Beer Reviews: Most Recent

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18th Street Brewery
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.50% ABV

3.36/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 2.99
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Well, I certainly won't be getting this one again. Very mediocre. Here goes:

A: Very murky orange-brown. Looks like pulp-squeezed grapefruit juice or something. Head is very mediocre and the lacing is just OK.

S: Citrus hops, grapefruit, and some lighter spices. Little bit of Belgian saison scents but nowhere near as bready. Much funkier than I anticipated; doesn't smell like a traditional American IPA at all.

T: Mixture of citrus and grapefruit backed up by spicy yeast. Beer is somewhat sour. Malt appears at the back of the palate and lingers somewhat. Overall it was very mediocre. The hops produce a funky, sour taste and the spiciness of the yeast is somewhat weird for an American IPA.

M: Alright.

O: Weird brew. It was really very mediocre - tasted like alcoholic grapefruit juice with funky spices. (832 characters)

Vetter's Dunkles Hefeweizen
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Vetter's Dunkles Hefeweizen

Vetter Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus Neuenheim

3.53/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.75
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Looks delicious like all beer. Copper colored with a nice finger head that lingers. Bready and yeasty smell and taste. Not any distinct fruit to speak of. Very smooth and pleasant mouthfeel. Solid straightforward beer without complexity. (242 characters)

Bia Saigon Lager
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Bia Saigon Lager

Saigon Beer Company
American Adjunct Lager / 4.30% ABV

2.94/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 2.66
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pale yellow with low white head. Aroma of light malt, hay and caramel. Taste is light malty and honey sweet with pretty much no bitterness. Average to lively carbonation. (176 characters)

Heidelberger Frisch
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Heidelberger Frisch

Vetter Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus Neuenheim
Dortmunder / Export Lager / 4.50% ABV

3.5/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.65
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery in Heidelberg. Looks delicious like all beer. Bready nose and taste with a little lemon. Smooth fairly full mouthfeel. Solid beer. (156 characters)

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Bavaria Brouwerij N.V.
Euro Pale Lager / 5.00% ABV

2.84/5  rDev +3.3% | rAvg: 2.75
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden beer with large foam head. Aroma of sweet cereal grain and a little metallic. Taste is slightly sweet, bready and a mild hop bitterness. Soft on the palate. Not too bad actually. (185 characters)

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Airways Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 7.80% ABV

3.83/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.79
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Standard semi-opaque amber with a real notable gradient from the centre column to the edges. Lousy with bubbles leading to a persistant pillowy off white crown.

Nose starts off with an inviting sticky/juicy resins and malts before giving way to more floral hops.

Resin again and some sticky spice. Guava-y mango-ish perhaps, but not the fruity juicy tropical fruit flavour I usually associate them with. Much more... resinous. Pine but not quite and some faint pithiness. Finish finally commits to a honey/mango/bitter trifecta that works really well. While this isn't a blow-you-away IPA, I think if a more notable brewery had made it it would have considerably higher ratings. Or not. Who knows. (699 characters)

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Vetter Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus Neuenheim
Dortmunder / Export Lager / 4.80% ABV

3.25/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.69
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at brewery in Heidelberg. 1 liter stein. Looks delicious like all beer. Mild lager nose With faint lemon. Simple straightforward taste again with faint bitter lemon. Watery unremarkable mouthfeel. Very basic Pilsner. (229 characters)

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Prairie Artisan Ales
American Double / Imperial Stout / 14.00% ABV

4.71/5  rDev +4.7% | rAvg: 4.5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: very dark, tiny highlights around the edges. Small tan head.
S: oh man. Delicious big complex aroma. Chocolate slightly stronger than the awesome coffee and vanilla notes. It smells rich and inviting.
T: wham! Nailed it. Flavours all there not overpowering each other, but sitting harmoniously. The vanilla sweetness aligns with the peppers which give a roasted warmth.
F: the body is intense, the alcohol is not in the taste but in the feel, warming the chest and throat.
O: damn. Not only the best imperial stout but maybe the best beer I've had the pleasure to drink. Insane. (594 characters)

Amber Ale
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Amber Ale

Killer Sprocket
American Amber / Red Ale / 5.20% ABV

3.52/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.76
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml poured into tulip

L - clear, ruby red, frothy pale brown head about an inch thick

S - subdued aroma. Lightly roasted nuts, floral smells

T - bready malt backbone, only faintly roasted. Fruit (raisins, currants), nuts (almonds) and hint of milk chocolate (almost like cadbury's Fruit n Nut). Spicy bitterness towards dry finish.

F - moderate carbonation and thickness, dry texture,

O - good, bit more roasted malts compared to other ambers/viennas would have made it better. (489 characters)

Agamemnon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
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Agamemnon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

American Double / Imperial Stout / 12.50% ABV

4.38/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.12
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Monstrously sticky and full bodied, reminiscent of Berserker. Surprisingly stellar barrel aged stout. Molasses, maple syrup, vanilla and ashy malt in perfect balance. (166 characters)

Hitachino Nest White Ale
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Hitachino Nest White Ale

Kiuchi Brewery
Witbier / 5.50% ABV

3.75/5  rDev -7.6% | rAvg: 4.06
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle, pours a cloudy straw color with a white head; aroma is citrus, wheat, and a hint of spice, taste is wheat and citrus, finishes light bitter and dry with some spice notes, pretty good. (192 characters)

Cavalier Baltic Porter
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Cavalier Baltic Porter

Cavalier Beer
Baltic Porter / 7.90% ABV

3.89/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.89
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ML poured intto tulip glass

L - very dark brown - almost black. Tan creamy head, good retention - about 1cm thick after 15mins.

S - rich -dates, chocolate, roasted malt, with an odd hint of fresh pine in the background

T - choc, dates and roasted coffee come through into the taste. Toasted cereal malts, with a slightly fruity hop presence in the middle. Finish is all about the malt.

F - smooth texture, slight rum like booziness, well carbonated for style.

O - feels like a bit of a new world take on a baltic porter. Very enjoyable. (548 characters)

Schlafly Kölsch
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Schlafly Kölsch

The Schlafly Tap Room
Kölsch / 4.80% ABV

3.61/5  rDev -4.2% | rAvg: 3.77
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I picked this up at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99, making this single 12oz bottle $1.67. No freshness date.

The beer poured a hazy golden color with a nice 3-finger white head. Unfortunately, the head only lasted about 45 seconds and left very little lacing.

The beer had a wheaty smell to it along with some fruit and grassy hops.

Sweet wheat taste made even sweeter with some honey flavro as well. Fruit is noticeable as is a touch of spiciness. Bitterness is mild at just 25 IBUs.

Light bodied with low carbonation.

A good example of the style. (609 characters)

Bacchus Kriekenbier
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Bacchus Kriekenbier

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Fruit / Vegetable Beer / 5.80% ABV

3.52/5  rDev +0.6% | rAvg: 3.5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 375ml wrapped bottle with a best before date of 22nd May 2016 and poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a clear deep ruby colour with a one finger very light pink head that dissipated slowly ending in patches of foam and nice lacing.

Aroma: Mainly sweet cherry and raspberry. Basically candy berry smells.

Taste: Sweet tart cherry, a little bit artificial but getting to the cough syrup flavours that I like so much.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.

Overall: This was nice, although maybe a little on the sweet side. (576 characters)

Dark Island
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Dark Island

Orkney Brewery
Scottish Ale / 4.60% ABV

3.87/5  rDev -1.5% | rAvg: 3.93
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark chocolate and prunes primarily in the aroma, along with some molasses bread. Appears very dark brown, coffee-like; has a thin, off-white head. Tastes like bitter, woody seltzer water. Perhaps a little more fruit and cocoa as it warms up. Thin in body, lightly carbonated.

Not very flavorful—tastes thin, acidic, dry, and woody. I was excited after taking a whiff of the aroma, but then disappointed with the flavor. (424 characters)

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Ocelot Brewing Company
American IPA / 6.70% ABV

4.49/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.55
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent IPA from Ocelot. This beer smells fantastic with strong citrusy smell to it. The taste delivers more of the same, but is balanced with a little bit of pine taste plus a strong malt background. Yet again, Ocelot delivers and seems to be getting better and better as time passes. (287 characters)

One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer Barrel Aged Smoked Scotch Ale
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One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer Barrel Aged Smoked Scotch Ale

Parallel 49 Brewing Company
Scottish Ale / 8.50% ABV

4.61/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.87
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 341ml bottle

L: Red/ light brown. Mild dark white head with no lacing.

S: Sweet, scotch, bourbon, strawberry and lots of other tropical fruits. No smell of smoke even though it's a smoked beer.

T: Sweet with lots of fruit flavors and a slight tartness like a lambic would have. Once swallowed you get a slight smoky finish as though they have used a scotch from the Isays ( or however you spell it )

F: Light body and medium carbination but a very nice feel to it.

O: My favorite beer in the box so far, was worried to try it at 3:15AM but if they sold this beer as a single I would buy a case of it to enjoy around a campfire or at home. A very good all around beer but very misleading from its name and style they put it as. (747 characters)

St. Stefanus
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St. Stefanus

Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgian Strong Pale Ale / 7.00% ABV

3.7/5  rDev -4.4% | rAvg: 3.87
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

St. Stefanus Blonde, from the same brewery (Brouwerij Van Steenberge) that brought us the mighty Gulden Draak and Piraat, this is going to be a good drop have no doubt. Also a steal from DM’s at $50 for 6 x 750ml corked’n caged bottles, which works out to be 8.3333333333... (ad infinitum) dollars. When you’re getting a $12 750ml bottle of 3 Monts and thinking that is cheap $8.33 is a real find, besides I do love a Belgian Strong Pale Ale (just look at my top 10) so I was eager to wrap my gob around this one.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy amber body with a billowy 3 cm off-white head that soon disintegrates leaving a thin lace covering. I have a bias towards cloudy beers which plays somewhat into my score, take a couple points off if you like a clear beer. 8/10.

S: Pear and apple esters upfront and all over your face, bam! Bready overtones balance this out with hints of cracked pepper and clove adding a touch of spice as well. Overall St. Stefanus has a pleasant aroma leaning more towards sweeter characters, looking forward to the next category. 8/10.

T: Fruity with pear and scrumpy red apple cider notes which lead into the aforementioned bread yeast and a cracked pepper/clove flourish towards the end, which is an even crisp and dry, almost vinous (white wine) tannin-like finish. As it warms some metallic notes become ever-present and distract a little from this delightful brew, too bad St. Stefanus. 7/10.

M: Mid to light, could benefit from more heft, with a tack sharp carbonation. 6/10.

D: If you’re going to compare this to the awe-inspiring Duvel or La Chouffe it will (of course) fall short of greatness. Nonetheless this is a great buy at the price, I would easily spend $10 a 750ml bottle on a brew of this calibre, so don’t mistake St. Stefanus for an average Belgian Strong Pale Ale because it is a decent brew, unfortunately it resides in the style pantheon of the greatest brews. Interestingly I noticed “rice” listed as an ingredient in this beer, anno 1295, European brew? Something is amiss here - I don’t recall hearing about European beers having rice in them back in 1295... or hops even... or anything other than Gruit* in those days. 8/10.

Food match: Cheese platter, obviously, and that old catch-all: Brasserie food.

*Google is your friend. (2,353 characters)

Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew
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Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew

Kiuchi Brewery
Herbed / Spiced Beer / 8.00% ABV

3.6/5  rDev -1.6% | rAvg: 3.66
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Bottle, Brown, hazy with minimal white head. Aroma, Ginger, malt and spices. Light sweet, light sweet with a ginger end. Alc well hidden. Not to bad. (154 characters)

Negra Modelo
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Negra Modelo

Grupo Modelo S.A. de C.V.
Munich Dunkel Lager / 5.40% ABV

3.39/5  rDev +0.3% | rAvg: 3.38
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From bottle, Brown color, tan head. Caramel nose, sweet malty, hint of spice. Caramel malt taste, nuts, yeast, brown sugar. Medium body, average carbonation. (157 characters)

Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord De Muerte
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord De Muerte

3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Russian Imperial Stout / 15.00% ABV

4.84/5  rDev +26.7% | rAvg: 3.82
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 bottle; had a bottle share in Indianapolis. Out of the entire share, there were two beers that I loved the most: Toppling Goliath's Assassin and this.

With a thick, rich milk chocolate river cascading over each taste bud, it carries with it a light layer of heat from the peppers and a rowboat of vanilla & bourbon floating on top. This is my first time having a Dark Lord variant and it is no wonder why they are so sought after. (438 characters)

Brooklyn Quintaceratops
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Brooklyn Quintaceratops

Brooklyn Brewery
Quadrupel (Quad) / 11.00% ABV

4.2/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.77
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown color with 3 fingers of fluffy head that slowly fades down to a nice cap that leaves some sheets of lacing

S: Very complex. Starts off with the a fairly large rum presence and some Belgian yeast, which imparts some fruity and spicy esters. Bourbon barrels provide some nice background noise, such as vanilla, oak, and coconut. Dark fruits aplenty as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the rum and yeast mixture, which carries an undertone throughout (especially the rum). Dark fruits, spice, and earthiness are all present once the rum fades a little. The bourbon barrel then comes through, with much more of a barrel presence then the rum (in comparison to the spirit vs. barrel). Oak of course, along with the usual suspects of vanilla and coconut get thrown in the mix there. Finishes with lingering spices, rum, bourbon barrel, and dark fruits

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smoothed out by the double barreling

O: This one definitely gets a focus on the rum barrel. If you haven't had beers aged in rum barrels or just don't get that rum flavor in the beers you have had that were aged in rum barrels, this one is a great example of how the rum is present and works with the base beer (in a good way). Extremely drinkable (but definitely a sipper) at 10.9%. Definitely a very unique quad. It's just up to the buyer if they want to throw down the $20 on a bottle (I'd recommend it, but that's just me) (1,470 characters)

Founders Backwoods Bastard
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Founders Backwoods Bastard

Founders Brewing Company
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy / 10.20% ABV

4.25/5  rDev +0.7% | rAvg: 4.22
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown, Nice and thick mouthfeel with soft carbonation. The barrels have added a very pronounced whisky nose, and it’s a good one, with wood, vanilla and a bit of smokiness. Dried fruit too, which carries into the taste, alongside lots of deep malt, syrup and some smoky spice. Finish is lingering pepper and tar. (320 characters)

Yenda Pale Ale
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Yenda Pale Ale

Australian Beer Co
American Pale Ale (APA) / 4.50% ABV

2.66/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 2.8
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

So this is a new one at Dan Murphy’s and they’re practically giving it away if you’re a member there: Yenda Pale Ale. What’s a Yenda? Who knows and who cares. All I care about is the “Pale Ale” bit of the label, and if this beer actually lives up to the style (though by the 4.5% ABV and the general label information with middling hop and malt intensity I for one am not holding my breath). Also of note: I did not buy this beer - it’s one of the beers my dad has in his fridge. FYI my dad thinks Becks is an awesome beer.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Light amber, almost golden clear body with a massive 1 inch frothy off-white head that holds up well, ungainly as it is. Looks alright... it’s no Sierra Nevada but it does the job. 7/10.

S: The aroma is all over the shop with notes of sweet grain/caramel malts, floral hops and pineapple. This could definitely use more hops, it’s a bit of a muted aroma and for an American Pale Ale that is a cardinal sin. 5/10.

T: Caramel/toffee/grainy malts provide a decent enough sweet base, however there’s little in the way of hops to cut through it... and as expected it is a bit bland flavourwise. The hops themselves, almost non-existent as they are, provide a light floral addition and the finish is a non-descript mild bitter note. Aftertaste is a bit melony... yes I just invented a word “melony, cousin of felony”. 5/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light(ish) carbonation. 7/10.

D: Final verdict: Meh. Give this one a miss. It has all the characteristics of a beer my dad would tolerate but find a little hoppy for his Lager tastes. I’m actually hard-pressed to think of another Pale Ale I’ve tried recently that I have been so ambivalent about, this is like a filler beer - a beer you drink to get you tipsy eventually because you like to feel tipsy, and I moved on from those beers like a decade ago - now I fill my fridge with beers that excite me: IPAs, Belgian Tripels and Quads, Imperial Stouts, Gueuzes, Weizens and Rauchbiers - I want to sup on the nectar of the gods, none of this average macro filler crap. You have been forewarned. 5/10.

Food match: The label mentions “spicy food” yeah right, do you actually want to taste this beer at all? Probably not, but that’s beside the point, if you’re going to recommend a food pairing for this I would advise something like a chicken burger. (2,411 characters)

Olim Palus IPA
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Olim Palus IPA

Birrificio Pontino
American IPA / 6.40% ABV

3.97/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.97
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From XXXII. In Duvel glass. Playing Memoria. Nice but its bitterness is a bit more dry than what I would like. I wouldnt mind to repeat it in absence of better options (167 characters)

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