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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Beer Reviews: Most Recent

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged
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St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged

Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Quadrupel (Quad) / 11.00% ABV

4.75/5  rDev +6.3% | rAvg: 4.47
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from the mother land.

Chestnut / amber body with a half inch of tan head. Beautiful hue. Scents of the original. Belgian yeast, caramel, toffee, brown bread. The oak character is subtle. A hint of wine tannins and oak character adds a touch of elegance. Incredibly delicious. Subtlety and grace. (303 characters)

Ten Hills Pale Ale
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Ten Hills Pale Ale

Goose Island Beer Co.
American Pale Ale (APA) / 6.20% ABV

4.03/5  rDev +9.5% | rAvg: 3.68
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Essentially, what I look for in a pale ale is almost identical to a session IPA, but with a normal alcohol content. By that standard, this is pretty solid. Good pure hop bitterness that doesn't go too far, keeping well within the lines of its style. (251 characters)

Miller High Life
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Miller High Life

Miller Brewing Co.
American Adjunct Lager / 4.60% ABV

3.11/5  rDev +7.2% | rAvg: 2.9
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

The best word for me to describe the look of this beer is "frothy." Like the foam you see in ocean surf, yet straw colored. I don't know about you but I'd swim in an ocean full of beer.

It smells sweet and very mild.

It also tastes fairly sweet and fairly mild, but in a somewhat enjoyable way. It's light and corny, and won't make you grimace like some of the inferior cheap beers out there.

The feel is almost soda-like. But it didn't particularly bother me.

Overall this is a good choice for a cheap lager. In most stores by me it's the cheapest beer that isn't Busch or Beast or something ungodly like those. I much prefer this over PBR too. If I want a cheap lager and a store doesn't have Narrangansett or they're charging too much for Yuengling, chances are I'll get this. (787 characters)

Merit Light Premium Lager
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Merit Light Premium Lager

World Brews
Light Lager / 3.90% ABV

2.01/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 2.32
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Although the color is a very bright gold, it's still darker than your average light beer, and there is some strong carbonation, which leads to nice head that's retained for a very decent amount of time. The nose is not quite skunky, but it's not attractive, either. Sort of like they worked hard to make sure there was at least some smell, so it's a strange malty explosion in your nose with a hint of hops. The taste is more bland than unappealing or off-putting. Still, there's a bit more body and hop character than many light lagers. The carbonation you see is very apparent in the mouthfeel, giving the beer something of a sharp feel. Still, that seems to do a good job clearing out the slick/oily/filmy back end that wants to hang around. Not a stellar beer I'd seek out by any means, but probably no worse than most light macros, and at under five bucks a sixer, I wouldn't judge anybody for picking up some Merit Light. (934 characters)

La Fin Du Monde
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La Fin Du Monde

Tripel / 9.00% ABV

4.59/5  rDev +6.5% | rAvg: 4.31
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a cloudy yellow with a thick rocky head. About 3 inches of head out of a bomber bottle. Has the classic sweet triple smell to it. Wow that's amazing. It has a very light awesome taste to it. Again it's light. It takes a minute to develop the flavor on your tounge. This is the lightest 9% beer I've ever had. So smooth. Can't taste the alcohol at all. It is fully developed and we'll aged. Just done right beer. Amazing. Leaves lots of lacing down the glass. If you find this, buy this. I found a bomber for 10 bucks. It's worth it. (539 characters)

Shiner Oktoberfest
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Shiner Oktoberfest

Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Märzen / Oktoberfest / 5.80% ABV

3.93/5  rDev +17.7% | rAvg: 3.34
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A good brew indeed! Pours a nice light golden auburn smell is not place able and subtlety malty. Taste is of the caramel malt. A smooth lightly crisp finish. Over all a good rendition of an american marzen! (206 characters)

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Modern Times Beer
Gose / 4.00% ABV

3.96/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.39
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light red with a foamy reddish-tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with grain, cherry juice, salt, and earth aromas. Taste is much the same with sour cherry, cherry juice, salt, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that has a nice balance between the sour cherry and salt qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle. (592 characters)

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Urban Chestnut Brewing Company - Midtown Brewery & Biergarten
Weizenbock / 8.30% ABV

3.81/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.81
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 ounce bottle into a weizen glass.

Pours a bright yellow, some haze. Medium head with an average pour that dissipates quickly, some foamy cling. Smell brings lots of wheat, some malt, yeast and black pepper. Getting a little smoke as it warms. Taste also leads with wheat, yeast, less malt than the nose. A bit of spiciness, maybe some cloves, for one. Smooth, somewhat crisp. Body could be fuller, even for the style.

Decent beer, a good wheat ale. Does not taste like a Weizenbock to me, much less body and depth of flavor. (537 characters)

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Backpocket Brewing
Märzen / Oktoberfest / 5.30% ABV

3.52/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.52
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into a clear mug.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a light haze and a lazy effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy ivory foam.

Smell: very bready and a bit biscuity with a dash of hop character. Just a little too much toast and biscuit for my taste.

Taste: biscuity, bready and toasty; it reminds me more of an amber ale than an Oktoberfest in this respect. I will say it is stylistically acceptable if not exactly to my taste.

Mouthfeel: medium to medium-light body with a big carbonation and a surprisingly satisfying creaminess. I like it quite a lot.

Overall: just too much biscuit in this one for me to really appreciate it. (671 characters)

Honker's Ale
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Honker's Ale

Goose Island Beer Co.
English Bitter / 4.30% ABV

3.9/5  rDev +3.4% | rAvg: 3.77
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The aroma is the classic British hop smell that sets up anticipation of a fine UK bitter. It is not the dominant hop fragrance us Americans push forward in our ales. Instead, it is subtle by comparison. So, when you drink this, sit up straight, mind your manners, and speak in full sentences using proper grammar.

The color is almost copper in color and sets an expectation of maltiness, but like the hops, this too is subtle -- almost too subtle, to the point that I thought it was missing from the beer.

Similarly, the "feel" of the beer dissipates quickly and leaves you with a slight echo of resin from the hops.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised a Chicago microbrewery could pull off a British bitter this nice.

Good night for now, and may all your beers be fantastic. (783 characters)

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Maine Beer Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.20% ABV

4.72/5  rDev +1.1% | rAvg: 4.67
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An opaque gold/orange appearance. Aroma of biscuits, plum, citrus and tangerines. Tastes of biscuits, honey, oranges and tangerines for days. The particularly abundant tangerine and orangish malt flavors impart a world of soft rounded citrus flavors that taste out of this world. Bitterness seems mild and the alcohol is nowhere to be found. World class. (356 characters)

El Jefe Weizen Ale
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El Jefe Weizen Ale

Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Hefeweizen / 4.50% ABV

3.69/5  rDev +5.1% | rAvg: 3.51
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful pile of foam on golden beer in the tall narrow waisted glass. Quite a mouthful of suds. Lemony scent.

This is light and spritzy, less robust than a lot of Hefeweizens. There is a little malty sweetness, but this also has a sharper edge and finishes more dry. Wheaty and mildly aromatic with a touch of the German esters. More of a sour orange hint than banana, but there is a distinct whiff of clove.

Overall, a tangy and low-key Hefeweizen, but quite refreshing and gulpable. Light body with a malty sweetness on the lips. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Safeway in Anacortes. (592 characters)

Balling The Queen
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Balling The Queen

Tyranena Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.50% ABV

4.17/5  rDev +4.8% | rAvg: 3.98
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours a nice looking amber color, a little hazy. Medium head with an aggresive pour, not much left on the glass. Smell is citrus hops- mostly grapefruit, a little dankness. Also get some malt, not a lot else. Taste follows the nose with bitter, citrusy hops. Malt serves as a solid backbone but doesn't temper the bitterness much. Little bit of sweetness fron the honey, some caramel. Solid bitterness front and back, less so in the middle where the malt kicks in. Smooth, good body, well carbonated.

Strong effort from Tyranena, a solid, flavorful beer. Hope they bring it back soon. (626 characters)

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Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Russian Imperial Stout / 8.00% ABV

4.15/5  rDev +5.3% | rAvg: 3.94
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2/11/15 enjoyed 9/1/15 in a MadTree tulip/snifter.

Look - Small head was quick to develop and quick to dissipate. Tan medium bubbles head. Thick black body with brown edges. No sediment. No lacing.

Smell - Sweet bourbon. Vanilla. Coffee. Chocolate. Light berry.

Taste - Subdued bourbon. Chocolate. Coffee. Vanilla. Berry.

Feel - Looks much heavier than it is but still heavy. Carbonation more apparent than look. Bitter bite on tongue.

Overall - Lets call this Bourbon Barrel Aged Light. Average. I see myself hovering around 4 with ratings so take that in to account. (585 characters)

Beer Geek Vanilla Shake
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Beer Geek Vanilla Shake

Mikkeller ApS
American Double / Imperial Stout / 13.00% ABV

4.28/5  rDev -1.6% | rAvg: 4.35
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: deep dark chocolate. Almost black cola. Brown thick foam.

S: booze. Chocolate bar. Coffee.vanilla

T: bitter chocolate. Some subtle berries. Vanilla on the end.

F: thick syrupy. Bitter on the palate. Astringent.

O:this is very good. I do find myself wanting it to be the bourbon barrel aged version to take it over the top, but this is still awesome. (361 characters)

Drie Fonteinen Framboos
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Drie Fonteinen Framboos

Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen
Lambic - Fruit / 5.00% ABV

4.5/5  rDev +0.2% | rAvg: 4.49
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark reddish brown color. Minimal head on this beer. Smells of sour raspberries. Sour tastes up front and finishes with a really dry sour raspberry finish. A wonderful sour lambic. World class beer. (211 characters)

Smuttynose Kindest Find Imperial Red Ale
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Smuttynose Kindest Find Imperial Red Ale

Smuttynose Brewing Company
American Amber / Red Ale / 8.50% ABV

3.8/5  rDev -6.2% | rAvg: 4.05
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75


Bottle conditioned March 2015. 5 months old.

a: Clear light ruby with a finger plus thick offwhite head which receded to thin even surface foam and a little spotty lacing.

s: Sweet ripe fruit, mainly pear with a citrus tinge.

t: Considerable peppery and piney bitterness up front over a medium bread to caramel malt base. Bitterness lingers in the mouth over a dry finish.

m: Medium, smooth with good body and lots of carbonation tingle.

o; The age on this may have changed the hop flavor to mainly heavy bitterness. Malt sweetness helps provide balance in this case but the bitterness lingers throughout. I was never the fan of Finest Kind that many others are, and I can see why this may please them even less, but I do enjoy the overall substance of it even as the bitterness approaches cloying. Again though I'll allow that the age on this, which led to it being offered at a reduced price at a local store, may have muted what might have been more enjoyable flavor a few months ago. (1,043 characters)

Venus Fly Trap
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Venus Fly Trap

Isley Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.60% ABV

4.18/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.98
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap at the brewery and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, crystal clear, golden coloring, with a halo of bright white head. Nose of tart grapefruit, cut grass, lemon grass, candi sugar, and a subtle caramel backbone. Smells great. Flavors are rich and smooth forward, with sweet caramel and honey forward, subtle frassy and piney notes, and a peppery character at the end. Smooth and light in mouth, with a grassy and citrus aftertaste. Smooth, slightly dry finish. Delicious. (498 characters)

Choosy Mother Peanut Butter Oatmeal Porter
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Choosy Mother Peanut Butter Oatmeal Porter

Isley Brewing Company
American Porter / 6.60% ABV

4.47/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.41
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the brewery and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a brownish-black color, thick, with no head. Nose of rich peanut butter, milk chocolate, and rich cream. Smells like a blended Reese's cup. Flavors are rich and robust peanut butter, with a chocolate backbone. Very smooth and rich, with a subtle cream highlight. Dry bodied, and light overall, with a chocolate and peanut butter aftertaste. Dry, light finish, with a subtle sweet linger. Wow! Tasty beer! (474 characters)

The Bribe
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The Bribe

Isley Brewing Company
American Porter / 6.60% ABV

4/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.78
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the brewery and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a brownish-black color, with a tan, sparse head. Aromas of roasted grains, subtle coffee, milk chocolate, and subtle cream. Flavors are bitter roasted coffee forward, with cocoa nib highlights, and a hint of cream. Smooth, dry bodied, with a roasted coffee aftertaste. Smooth, dry finish. Tasty beer. (370 characters)

Granola Brown
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Granola Brown

Black Hog Brewing Co.
American Brown Ale / 5.50% ABV

4.25/5  rDev +8.7% | rAvg: 3.91
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had a 16oz pour of this beer on cask. Dark brown body with khaki colored head and not much lacing. I've read that this beer is brewed with cacao nibs, coffee, and sea salt. I thought each element was present in the beer: the coffee and chocolate up front and the sea salt on the back end. An interesting mix of flavors. In some ways like a chocolate-covered pretzel, only the pretzel is substituted for a cup of coffee. This is a very intricate brown ale, a style that doesn't do much in the way of "intricate" usually. Surly does good work with their Bender variants, and this is the next best thing in my opinion. A solid beer, pleasant mouthfeel, and full of flavor for 5.5%. (678 characters)

Reunion Barleywine
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Reunion Barleywine

Drake's Brewing Co.
American Barleywine / 11.30% ABV

4.02/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.25
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn! Last one but had another three before this final one....with review. I will say this is sadly turning. Sniffle.

Pours a nice murky brown with hints of burgundy highlights. Decent beige head that clings.

Getting some great brown sugar, molasses, tart booze, green apple, and walnuts. Big walnuts. Really great BW smell.

Taste is tangy and slightly bitter and buttery. Definitely more tang after two years of flavor enhancement though the booze is definitely warming the tummy. Candy apple and butterscotch.

Still a smooth mouthfeel.

Sadly this session was the worst of the bunch. After two years this monster has turned relatively tame. The sourness is much too prevalent for a brew this high in abv. The three others I consumed were better balanced with nary a hint of sour but a great blended brew. I made the mistake of holding onto this gem a little longer than I should have. Still...all in all....a great collaboration brew....though wish I would have reviewed it earlier. (1,003 characters)

Dark Palm
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Dark Palm

Isley Brewing Company
Dunkelweizen / 5.50% ABV

4.24/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.24
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap at the brewery and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a muddled, brown color, with a halo of off-white head. Nose of chocolate, toasted coconut, and hints of cream. Flavors are rich and roasted forward, with a heavy dose of milk chocolate, toasted coconut, subtle cream, and hints of cocoa nib. Smooth, creamy, and light in mouth, with a milk chocolate and coconut aftertaste, like a Mounds bar. Smooth, light finish. Great beer. (445 characters)

Super Saison
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Super Saison

pFriem Family Brewers
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 9.50% ABV

4.21/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.87
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a hazy, light straw with gold tints and a sturdy one finger white head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma has surprising lemony Belgian yeast, ripe tropical fruit, light clove. Flavor is also unexpected, with estery tropical and citrus fruit, exotic phenols, Belgian yeast, coriander. Finishes with spicy fruit and light pepper. Medium bodied with active carbonation, good mouth feel. Unusual fruit flavors that work well together and spiced nicely with Belgian style spicing. Reminds me a hybrid between a dry saison and a Belgian tripel. This has the same interesting interplay between starting sweet, but showing dryness near the finish, revealing different flavors. As a saison, rather idiosyncratic, but fits loosely in the style. As a Belgian oriented farmhouse style ale, quite interesting with excellent and off-beat fruit flavors. I liked this a lot and hope to revisit this often. Lightly warming in the finish, but the ABV is covered by the rich flavors. This brewery continues to surprise; I'm impressed when they pull off a bit of a different twist on a style, but it turns out very enjoyable. (1,158 characters)

Stunt Dubbel
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Stunt Dubbel

Isley Brewing Company
Pumpkin Ale / 6.00% ABV

4.18/5  rDev n/a | rAvg: 4.18
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap at the brewery and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazy, orange-caramel coloring, with a filmy, white halo of head. Nose of sweet pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg spice, vanilla highlights, and a bready backbone. Flavors are spice blended forward, with rich pumpkin and cream to follow. Very bready backbone. Delicious. Smooth, mid-bodied, with a vanilla sweet and pumpkin bread aftertaste. Smooth, slick finish, with a spiced sweet finish. Very good. (477 characters)

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