Beer Reviews: Most Recent

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Pierre Ferrand Billionaire
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Pierre Ferrand Billionaire

Clown Shoes
English Barleywine / 12.00% ABV

3.65/5  rDev -14.7% | rAvg: 4.28
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: deep ruby brown. Thin taupe purple head. Laces nicely. Murky
S: booze. Raisins. Sweet bread. Brown sugar.
T: raw alcohol. Bitter. Prunes. Not as sweet as I'd hope for More on the bitter side. Yea just flat booze with some bitter fruit. Underwhelming.
F: quite watery Leaves an extreme bitterness on the palate.
O: not sure why such high praise. This is pretty poor and unfinished feeling. Boozy in the unrefined way. Disappointing. (444 characters)

805 Blonde Ale
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805 Blonde Ale

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
American Blonde Ale / 4.70% ABV

3.87/5  rDev +9% | rAvg: 3.55
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can poured into a mug

In the glass the brew is a clear, effervescent yellow with a grainy red hue. A foamy head recedes quickly leave no trace of lacing.

The nose is what you'd expect from a light, clear ale - dry, dusty grains, semi-sweet bread and a touch of citrus. There is slight more hop-presence on the palate, slightly floral and snappy. Light bodied, as notes of lemon-pepper and whole grain crackers combine to make this an easy one to throw back. (470 characters)

Orviamo
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Orviamo

Side Project Brewing
American Wild Ale / 10.00% ABV

4.56/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.61
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby hued brown, with a medium sized head of tight off white bubbles that leave excellent lacing.

Aroma is crazy funky, with some balsamic vinegar. Ripe plum, and hints of raspberry. Lots of sour green apple.

Incredibly funky, with some hay, horse blanket, and some vinegar. Very sour, raspberries are present, but not overtly. Plums are very subltle. Some alcohol is present.

Very full bodied for the style. Mouth puckering tartness. Light carbonation.

A very good sour, especially considering the ABV. I wish the fruits were more prevalent, but still very well done! (586 characters)

Crasher In The Rye
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Crasher In The Rye

Clown Shoes
American Double / Imperial Stout / 11.50% ABV

3.59/5  rDev -13.3% | rAvg: 4.14
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer is black with a smallish light brown head. Just a touch of brown at the edge of the glass. Smoke hits me first from the aroma. It was unexpected and while it doesn’t dominate the flavor, there’s a pretty good kick. Milk chocolatey stout. The lactose is evident. Vanilla, spice, mild oak from the barrels. Caramel, treacle, molasses. Lots of sweet stuff comes through once the initial smoke and booze blows off. The taste is surprisingly mild. It tastes every bit a big milk stout. Even the barrel flavor is relatively mild, adding more rye spice than anything. Lots of caramel and lots of chocolatey lacto sweetness. It drinks smaller than the abv. Fairly creamy feel. The beer just feels sorta weak somehow. Not much punch and not enough rich malt character. It’s not bad but it seems to rely too much on the lacto sweetness and ends up being a bit bland. (871 characters)

The Cut: Blackberry
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The Cut: Blackberry

Casey Brewing & Blending
American Wild Ale / 5.00% ABV

4.34/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.49
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

as good as this is, i still had higher hopes for it, which is maybe a signal that the hype is real for these beers now, more than ever. i for some reason expected a much richer deeper purple color, its just pink and relatively light in shade at that. heady though, and effervescent, and smelling like a million bucks with a ton of woody funk to it and more sourness than i remember from oak theory by itself. the taste is all of the above, and he does a pretty nice job of extracting real identifiable blackberry flavor from a beer that is still extremely dry. anyone who has ever tried to homebrew (or even commercially make) a dry blackberry beer knows its easy to ferment out all the fruit flavor for the mission of dry. this is beautifully done here, but still probably sits somewhere between an almanac and a jester king in terms of blackberry radiance. carbonation is awesome, i love the feel of all of his beers. id like to try the rest of the series, the fact that there is so much fruit in it, for me anyway, is not readily apparent, but the beer is darn good and should be consumed rather than squirreled or traded, its really good right now. (1,152 characters)

Eye of the Hawk
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Eye of the Hawk

Mendocino Brewing Company
American Strong Ale / 8.00% ABV

4.52/5  rDev +24.5% | rAvg: 3.63
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hell of a find at my local Trader Joe's, had to go back for more. Very good tasting and strong Imperial Ale. Hits harder than any other 8% abv beer I've tried. (159 characters)

Light Speed
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Light Speed

Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
American Pale Ale (APA) / 5.80% ABV

4.49/5  rDev +7.2% | rAvg: 4.19
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very, very good. Aroma is hops, citrus rinds, malt. Nice head, lace, orange amber color. Flavor's like nose; fits apa profile. Great body. Excellent drinking beer. (163 characters)

Red Swingline
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Red Swingline

Trinity Brewing Company
American Wild Ale / 4.10% ABV

4.03/5  rDev -2.9% | rAvg: 4.15
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at AJ's Beer Warehouse in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a clear orange, with a small head, and just a little bit of lacing.

This smells pretty tart and sour, with sour lemon, orange, and lactic acid.

This is pretty delicious, but I wish the hoppiness came through a little more here, as the sour aspects are dominant. There's a very snappy and present tartness here, puckers the lips right up, with tart and sour lemon rind, sour grapefruit, and orange, with no bitterness at all. There's some definite white wine character as well, musty and sour.

This is light bodied, with a very tart mouthfeel. Despite that, it's still pretty drinkable.

A nice little sour here, very crushable, but I wish the hoppiness was a bit better defined here. (760 characters)

Widmer Hefeweizen
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Widmer Hefeweizen

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Hefeweizen / 4.90% ABV

3.23/5  rDev 0% | rAvg: 3.23
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Good tasting, easy drinking beer. Lot's of carbonation. It's not up there with the best, but it's a great beer to kick back and relax after a hard days work. Refreshing. (171 characters)

Ecliptic / Wicked Weed / Stone Points Unknown IPA
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Ecliptic / Wicked Weed / Stone Points Unknown IPA

Stone Brewing Co.
American Double / Imperial IPA / 9.50% ABV

3.38/5  rDev -13.6% | rAvg: 3.91
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

there comes a time, and this is coming from me here, (the guy who loved the chocolate lobster beer and the double digit barrel blends firestone does each year, and gleefully drank a randall full of winter warmer with swedish fish and tobacco leaves until i threw up publicly) that there is simply too much going on. the idea is great, but this is about as muddled a beer as you will ever taste. the hops of the ipa are almost lost to low budget tequila flavors, which also sit like lousy tequila in a rot gut to write about. the tripel is sweet and very full bodied, and stone still slips in the obligatory (and now annoyingly predictable) out of proportion bitterness. its like santas toy sack, where gi joes for billy get piled on barbies for suzie, slippers for grandma, grill tools for dad, and a rawhide for spot. its a mess, no other way to look at this. now, its not an awful mess, its even worth doing just to taste it, but as a release in this series, especially in bomber format, its way off the mark i think. this beer inspired a conversation that someday, someone, somewhere, is going to pee in a beer, and thirsty wayward guppies like me are going line up to pay 10 bucks a pour out of nothing more than curiosity. it will probably come in one of those funny shaped 12.7 ounce bottles like lost abbey used to use, be corked, cellarable, and boxed in collectors edition gold leafed hand numbed packages. not to say this beer should be put in a category that despicable, but its certainly propping the door ajar more than a little bit. in the end, experimentation is where its at, blending is in vogue right now, and we all buy everything stone makes at least once right? i almost knew this would be a not real enjoyable beverage when i ordered it, but i just had to know, and its certainly memorable. anymore maybe thats more important than good from those who make these types of decisions... (1,905 characters)

Insanity
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Insanity

Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
English Barleywine / 11.10% ABV

4/5  rDev -3.6% | rAvg: 4.15
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Teku glass from a 12 oz bottle on July 28, 2015. Look is dark amber with a thin head and moderate lacing. Smell is dried fruits and rich caramel malts. Taste is sweet malts with complex oak, bourbon and bitter hop notes. Feel is thick and heavy. (261 characters)

Fear
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Fear

Brewfist
Milk / Sweet Stout / 5.20% ABV

3.49/5  rDev +7.4% | rAvg: 3.25
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a uniquely american style undertaken by a new radical italian operation, i had high hopes, but this is easily my least favorite of the brewfist stuff to date. for one, its majorly thin, almost watery, just not at all the texture i look for in a stout, even a lighter one. the malt flavor is great, with the chocolate malted barley setting the stage for the actual cocoa, and the bitter roasted barley giving it some balance that is much needed. however, the yeast is weird, and while i usually like it in italian beer, even as their general defining element in my experience, its wrong for this beer, or its too old and gone weird, one or the other, but its off. astringent and sharp and just not meshing with mellow earthy chocolate notes. the flavor is actually good, its the feel and all that isnt there for me. carbonated like crazy too, which usually i like, but its too much for the lighter beer. i cant complain, it was a bargain bin buy, definitely been in the market a little while, but this is pretty unimpressive. (1,024 characters)

KiloHop
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KiloHop

SanTan Brewing Co.
American Double / Imperial IPA / 9.80% ABV

3.86/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.86
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

In the Glass: Before I talk about this beer, Allen from the Craft Beer Hop Stop commented on this beer saying, "KiloHop is a little boozy." Just smelling this, as I was taking it to my desk, I am picking up what he is putting down. Anyway, I digress. The beer is darker than I expected and has a nice thin white head. I just finished another IPA that I bought for a badge... Excited for this Imperial IPA to close out the night. Cheers!

Nose:It smells sweet and chewy. I know, that is hard to explain... But it has a great nose. I bet this will really open up as it warms up. Most beers do! I am sick of starring at it. Let's drink.

Flavor: Not as much flavor as I wanted... I kept thinking there would be an explosion of hops, but it isn't there. For a beer that is nearly 100 IBU, I expected... I wanted more hops. But this reminds me a lot of the Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. That beer is not hoppy at all. Well, it is. But doesn't taste hoppy. I must disagree with Allen, though. Not boozy at all. Very well balanced and the hops really come in after I swallow.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thick and coats your palate with a nice hoppy flavor that really changes as it warms. The mouthfeel on this is the last thing I am worried about.

Aftertaste: This is where the flavor really comes out. As my palate warms, the hops really start to shine, and I am enjoying the complexity of the ingredients used to brew this beer. Not sure why they would limit a beer like this. Just part of the journey, I guess. If you like a well balanced DIPA, then get a can of this. Cheers! (1,569 characters)

Rivertowne Babbling Blonde
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Rivertowne Babbling Blonde

Rivertowne Pourhouse
American Blonde Ale / 5.30% ABV

3.14/5  rDev -7.6% | rAvg: 3.4
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I tried this beer because I think Riverfront procures good brews but I in fact did not like this beer (though slightly intoxicated) my original standpoint on this beer was managable at a cold temp but after the initial tasting I let it sit for a few minutes and it became unfinishable/tolerable at best. I literally mean a minute of temperature adaption. If this is your beer I wish you the best of luck. (404 characters)

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine
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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine

Central Waters Brewing Co.
American Barleywine / 11.50% ABV

4.85/5  rDev +13.8% | rAvg: 4.26
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my all time favorite Barleywines! I have had it on draft quite a few times and have a bottle from 2014 aging in my cellar for a special occasion. This BW is so damn smooth you wouldnt know the ABV is so high....HUGE Caramel notes that round out the finish and make it oh so memorable! (301 characters)

Love Buzz Saison
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Love Buzz Saison

Anchorage Brewing Company
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 8.00% ABV

4.41/5  rDev +4% | rAvg: 4.24
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bronze/orange color, lightly cloudy. Smell is very complex and interesting: cheese rind, peppercorn, sweet malts and orange rind with more subtle background notes of rose and barnyard funk. Flavor is lightly tart, orangey/malty sweetness up front with a pithy/peppery dryness on the finish. Brett funk and rose notes again are background players but add wonderful complexity to the beer. Definitely drink this beer, it's really good and very fairly priced for the quality you receive. (484 characters)

2XIPA
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2XIPA

Southern Tier Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.20% ABV

4.48/5  rDev +12% | rAvg: 4
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears light golden with scant head. Smells have citrus and bready notes. Tastes exceptional; crisp and extremely drinkable. Very thin body with no alcohol taste or aroma except slightly at end of drink. Heavily recommend and will drink again. (244 characters)

Framboise Du Fermier
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Framboise Du Fermier

Side Project Brewing
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 8.00% ABV

4.9/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.81
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an absolutely gorgeous ruby red with a pink head that leaves plenty of lacing.

The aroma absolutely explodes with sweet raspberries and tartness! The freshness of the raspberry aroma is astounding! Lots of funk on the back end. Tart granny smith apple, and sour warhead. But again, just a boatload of fresh raspberries!

The flavor is more fresh raspberries, both the sweetness and the tartness! Wonderful sour funk, with some hints of horse blanket. Warhead sourness puckers the mouth, but is super refreshing! This is just incredible!

Medium bodied, light prickly carbonation, and mouth puckering.

This is absolutely one of the best beers I've ever had! Side Project has again shown that they are the premier sour brewer in the US, and one of the best in the world! (776 characters)

As Follows
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As Follows

Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Belgian Strong Pale Ale / 9.00% ABV

4.12/5  rDev -0.2% | rAvg: 4.13
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased at CBX in Charleston, poured into snifter.
A: pours a plus one finger white foam head, a clear light golden body, carbonation, very little lacing
S: Belgian yeast, candy sugar, sweet grass, fruit tones of peach and white grape
M:medium light body with a hint of creaminess, semi dry finish on the tongue I'm guessing due to alcohol
T: just fantastic, Belgian yeast n candied sugar, peach, white grape, sweet hay, sweet orange, hints of orange rind, slight metallic towards the end that combines with some slight hop bitterness
O:as mentioned before the alcohol is well hidden and the taste is great, must try, I wonder how well this would age for a several months? (689 characters)

The City IPA
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The City IPA

Calicraft Brewing Co.
American IPA / 6.40% ABV

3.36/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.49
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. A nice golden color. Unfortunately, the beer claims it used blackberry root and orange peel and neither is prominent in the nose or mouth. Overall it is a fine beer, but it doesn't live up to its own description. (256 characters)

Schlafly Tasmanian IPA (TIPA)
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Schlafly Tasmanian IPA (TIPA)

The Schlafly Tap Room
American IPA / 7.20% ABV

4.1/5  rDev -4.2% | rAvg: 4.28
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great schlafly offering overall… Doesn't drink like a triple IPA. A lot of fruit and citrus character here with a nice smooth finish you would not expect from a triple IPA. Good stuff! Will track down again for sure! (221 characters)

English Style India Pale Ale
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English Style India Pale Ale

Lefty's Brewing Company
English India Pale Ale (IPA) / 6.60% ABV

3.75/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.07
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into an English nonick pint.

a: Hazy dark gold with a finger thick white head which receded to thin surface foam and patchy lacing.

s: Mild caramel malt and a bit of ripe light fruit

t: Follows the nose along with a little hop bite. Light cedar notes and more caramel malt flavor peek through later.

m: Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o: A refreshing brew, perhaps a bit lighter in color and flavor than some English style IPAs, but overall a pretty good representative example. (523 characters)

Hop, Drop 'n Roll
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Hop, Drop 'n Roll

NoDa Brewing Company
American IPA / 7.20% ABV

4.25/5  rDev -1.2% | rAvg: 4.3
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My favorite NoDa brew to date. Very nice hoppy character but still very smooth and easy drinking. Could easily mistake for a session. Great beer overall! (156 characters)

Tricycle Grapefruit Radler
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Tricycle Grapefruit Radler

Parallel 49 Brewing Company
Fruit / Vegetable Beer / 3.50% ABV

3.5/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.71
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

341 mL bottle from their "Unparalled" mixed six-pack, currently available at the LCBO. They included a new beer in this year's sampler (that's good!), but the new beer contains sodium benzoate (that's bad). OK, it's probably not inherently bad - but how else am I supposed to awkwardly shoehorn a Simpsons reference into this review? Served well-chilled.

Pours an opaque apricot colour, producing one finger of fizzy, very short-lived white head. It's gone before I've even placed the bottle down on the table - no lace or collar, with only a few foamy wisps on the surface. It pretty much looks like sparkling grapefruit juice. The aroma does little to convince me that I am drinking something that contains beer - again, it's nothing but grapefruit zest and juicy citrus pulp on the nose.

OK, now I feel like I'm just going to be repeating myself for the rest of this review - because it more or less tastes like a mixture of grapefruit soda and sanguine/blood orange. Moderately sweet and tart initially, with a touch of juicy orange flavour - however, the bitterness of the grapefruit pulp dominates much of the sip, leaving behind a pithy astringency that quickly fades in the aftertaste. Light-bodied, with lively carbonation levels - it feels fizzy and crisp on the palate, like a radler is supposed to - though the pulpiness makes this one feel a little fuller on the palate than most.

Final Grade: 3.5, a B. Tricycle Grapefruit Radler is only 50% beer, but that fraction still seems a bit high by my estimates. I have had a lot of radlers over the past couple of months - many were worse than this, and only a handful of them were better. For what it is, this is not bad at all. I expect that fans of grapefruit soda will probably love it - the differences between the two drinks are minimal at best - but personally I'd prefer it if there were at least some residual evidence of the base lager's presence. Refreshing, yet forgettable - not something I would have bothered putting into the sampler pack, but as a summer patio thirst-quencher, it'll do. (2,066 characters)

14* ESB
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14* ESB

Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) / 5.60% ABV

4.37/5  rDev +7.4% | rAvg: 4.07
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stouts Pub. Very nice amber color, beautiful thick head that stuck to the glass as the volume dropped (which was quick). Slight hoppy malt smell, not much citrus. Very little to no bitterness, a great ESB. A growler of this is on my list. (248 characters)

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