Beer Reviews: Most Recent

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Imperial Stout - Vanilla
Imperial Stout - Vanilla

Hubbard's Cave Brewery
American Double / Imperial Stout / 9.70% ABV

3.92/5  rDev -0.3% | Score: 3.93
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2018...

Pours a dark caramel brown/black and immediately forms a semi thick, caramel-colored head that doesn’t linger too long - not much head retention.

Smells of rosted/charred malts and molasses infused with vanilla hit the nose first followed by a subtle yet noticeable hop aroma.

When I tasted this, the first thing I noticed was a pleasantly sweet vanilla flavor accompanied by a charred earthy molasses/maple syrup flavor that seemed sort of off balance, but not by much. I also noticed a slight hop character with a residual bitterness to which I was not a big fan of; it’s not that it’s overbearing, it just lacks subtlety. This is definitely a sweet stout that masks the alcohol, but not overwhelmingly sweet.

It felt thick/full-bodied and somewhat frothy with moderate to low carbonation.

Overall, this beer is decent. If you’re in the mood for dessert stout with a roasted vanilla flavor, then this is it. It’s a little off balance, but defintely enjoyable.

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Across The Nation Coast 2 Coast
Across The Nation Coast 2 Coast

Central City Brewers + Distillers
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 6.60% ABV

3.38/5  rDev 0% | Score: 3.38
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

355ml can, part of the 2018 Across the Nation collaboration pack with 12 different Canadian breweries, one from each province and territory. This one involves Nova Scotia's 2 Crows Brewing, and is an Ancient Grain Saison.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves a few minor instances of hanging archipelago lace around the glass as it quickly evaporates.

It smells of gritty and grainy cereal malt, some mild earthy yeastiness, and very faint leafy, herbal, and grassy hop bitters. The taste is bready and crackery pale malt, some indistinct otherly graininess, weird estery floral notes, fading phenolic yeast, and more well-understated earthy, musty, and dry hay-like hoppiness.

The carbonation is fairly restrained in its dialed-in frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and generally smooth, with nothing really acting in bad faith at this particular juncture. It finishes trending dry, the various grains losing a lot of steam in their lingering stance.

Overall - yeah, what I'm getting here is just an amped-up version of all those gluten-free beer knockoffs that I've suffered through over the years. Not exactly pleasant to put back, even if it hides its elevated ABV quite well.

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3 Bones
3 Bones

Aviator Brewing Company
Kölsch / 5.20% ABV

4.17/5  rDev +13.6% | Score: 3.67
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the can into a Kolsch stange.

Very nice shiny brass body color, nearly clear with perhaps a touch of haze and minimal fine rising carbonation. Excellent merringue rich forming head. Fine bubbled then later giving to large swiss chesse like appearances. Thick and lathery rich four controlled fingers and nearly creamy. Some lace but good amounts of staying power, good looking kolsch.

Solid aroma, almost clean lager smelling but gives to a faint touch of fruit ester character. Good chewy malt sense and baked bread. Touches of almost crips white toast and very faint herbal hop character as well. Sticking to basics and done very well.

Very impressive palate. Simple bodied, but with excellent flavors. Real good touches of chewy malt and wheat bakery bread. Slight fruity tang in the middle cut with a soft herbal spicy hop bitterness. Finishes with an almost floral touch, with an excellent mix of honey sweetness and more toast. Honey lip smacking with almost perfume like aromas on each sip. Contrasting green herb bitterness with a light spice for excellent balance as well.

This is one of the more enjoyable domestic made kolsches I've had in a long time. I love a good kolsch and I would love to have more of this on a regular basis.

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New England IPA
New England IPA

Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
American IPA / 6.80% ABV

4.49/5  rDev +15.1% | Score: 3.9
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’ll let the commercial description do the talking for one main reason. It’s on the money. While not every beer Koch makes is a favorite with everybody, you can pretty much take to the bank one obvious fact: SA’s beers are dead-on style. And if you enjoy NEIPA’s, why not enjoy one from the guy who made New England famous for Beer? Besides, at just about $11 for a four pack of canned pints, it’s a bargain, considering what some Brewer’s are charging for the same quantities. I mean, $18-20 for four pints? Come on. It’s beer, man, and, moreover, it’s Beer that absolutely must be drunk fresh. You’re not going to lay any NEIPA down to age, for sure. Spend more if you want, but for my money, Jim Koch has a winner here—one of the best he’s released ( IMHO) in a while.
Commercial description: “The slight sweetness is perfectly balanced by the pineapple and grapefruit hop character, without being overly bitter. Clocking in at 6.8% ABV and a low 35 IBUs, the unfiltered IPA provides a burst of fruited hop aroma and leaves drinkers wanting another sip. In comparison to West Coast style IPAs which have prominent hop bitterness and a light, dry mouthfeel, New England IPA’s are generally known for a juicy, luscious mouthfeel and opaque, hazy appearance - and are best enjoyed fresh.

Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, white wheat, golden naked oats

Galaxy, Simcoe, Mosaic, Citra, Cascade”

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No Return Ticket
No Return Ticket

Sour Cellars
American Wild Ale / 5.90% ABV

4/5  rDev -4.3% | Score: 4.18
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample at Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2018, Blue Session. Dark ruby pink color. Aroma has tart berries, jam and sour fruit jelly. Taste is sour, fruity, a bit mineral and dry.

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Wildflower Witbier
Wildflower Witbier

Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co.
Witbier / 4.50% ABV

3.54/5  rDev +2% | Score: 3.47
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had two on tap at the Crab's Claw Caribbean restaurant at Atlantic Beach NC. A nice complement to some delicious Grouper. Straw yellow color, good size foamy head with average retention (chilled restaurant glass) and some lacing on the glass. All the witbier aromas and flavors are fairly muted, but they are all there. Some wheat bitterness, citrus, yeast and coriander. Not bad at all!! Just not a top-shelf Witbier. Mouthfeel is rich enough, a little wheat bitterness and noticeable spiciness Good complement with food and as a summer thirst quencher.

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Pacific Wonderland Lager
Pacific Wonderland Lager

Deschutes Brewery
American Pale Lager / 5.50% ABV

3.48/5  rDev -7.4% | Score: 3.76
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can, best by date of 8/22/18. Poured into mason jar.
Pours a bright lemon yellow, slight chill haze. Huge fluffy bone white head with small amount of lacing. The nose is lemon, dough and cracker. Taste starts out citrusy, some skunkiness comes into play. Crackers and finishes lightly hopped. The body is NOT a wonderland (I hate John Mayer btw). It's very light but it is crisp. Probably crushable on a hot day but overall, this missed the mark for me. There are better craft lager options.

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Konkey Dong
Konkey Dong

Hoof Hearted Brewing
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV

4.4/5  rDev +0.9% | Score: 4.36
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sample at Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2018, Blue Session. Aroma has dextrin malt, vanilla, floral hops and asparagus. Taste has dank hops, milky yeast, soft herbal bitterness with a smooth mouthfeel.

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Ed is Dead
Ed is Dead

Foam Brewers
American Double / Imperial IPA / 9.20% ABV

4/5  rDev -4.8% | Score: 4.2
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, the appearance was a milky yellow/orange haze with a nice looking cap of a little white foamy head dissipating ever so slowly. Some speckled lace wound around the glass nicely.
The aroma had some lemon pith, pineapple, grassy hops, and a little bit of vanilla cream.
The flavor was a blend all of the prior mentioned aromas brightly bouncing into each other pretty nice. Slight aftertaste of the lemon pith, pineapple and vanilla.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt nice and low with fairly nice creamy sort of pineapple and lemon finish. ABV felt on par.
Overall, pretty damn nice DIPA brewed slightly to be that milkshake style of one. Yeah, I could see myself coming back to this.

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Tropical Super Itchy
Tropical Super Itchy

Evil Twin Brewing
Berliner Weissbier / 4.50% ABV

3.96/5  rDev -6.6% | Score: 4.24
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

As I CANtinue New Evil Twin Beer Sunday (Week 692), I am having another Berliner Weisse!

From the CAN: "Berliner Style Weisse Ale with Passionfruit added".

I agitated the beer while still in the CAN before Crack!ing open the vent & beginning the Glug into my fancy Berliner Weisse glass. This all worked to my advantage as it formed a finger of dense, foamy, fizzy, bone-white head that slowly fizzled its way down to wisps. Color was a cloudy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 -5). Nose had the familiar tartness of the style, but this time with a tropical fruitiness. Hmm. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, not watery, but not terribly far beyond it, either. The tartness was evident, but the tropical fruitiness helped to keep it in check. The flavors meshed well in this one and left me smacking my lips after each sip. I liked this one much better than the previous Rhubarb Compote Sour which was too tart & too jarring for my taste. The fruit offset the tartness, but it did not mask the fact that it was a Berliner Weisse. If I am meant to review to style, then it should taste like the intended style, which this one certainly did. Finish was dry & tart with just a modicum of fruitiness to accompany it. It was definitely refreshing, but after two CANsecutive beers in this style, I am ready for an AIPA! YMMV.

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Tired Hands Brewing Company
Herbed / Spiced Beer / 7.20% ABV

4.02/5  rDev +3.3% | Score: 3.89
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

TacoHands - Tired Hands feat. Cellarmaker
Culinary IPA - 7.2% abv
Canned 5/3/18 (24 days ago)

L - 3-finger dense bright white head atop a pale peach body.

S - cilantro, lime, pine. Very unusual nose.

T - sweet lime to start. Spicy middle. Getting cilantro and black pepper the most, followed by anise, salt, a little hot pepper, mild chili powder. A lot going on here! Low bitterness, medium sweetness, low booziness.

F - medium-light body with moderate carbonation.

O - a good choice for a humid afternoon. Very weird though.

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Terry's Chocolate Orange Pinko! (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Terry's Chocolate Orange Pinko! (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

Flat 12 Bierwerks
Russian Imperial Stout / 10.50% ABV

4.2/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.2
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce red wax capped bottle, bottle #29/150. Not sure when this was released, but I purchased this at Flat 12 Jeffersonville/Kentuckiana about a month ago. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head that stayed around for a bit. There's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like orange peel, bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some chocolate and orange flavor noticeable too. Kinda does taste like a bittersweet/dark chocolate Terry's Chocolate Orange with some bourbon. Nice balance between the bitter and sweet flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and a bit syrupy with a moderate amount of carbonation. I liked this a lot, glad I picked it up! Certainly worth a try if you come across some.

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Send Lawyers, Guns and Money
Send Lawyers, Guns and Money

Dewey Beer Co.
American IPA / 7.50% ABV

3.97/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.14
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale peach tea-color with a grayish hue and a fat finger of foamy white head. Thin sheets of lacing.

Strawberry-flavored gummy bears, ripe honeydew and cream mix in the nose. Maybe even some lime and artificial banana. Is this evocative of a pina colada or some other Cuban rum-based cocktail? I wouldn't know, so -- why not? -- yes, it is!

The nose continues up front in the taste, and then runs into a fairly strong earthy and tea-like bitterness. As the flavors begin to merge as the beer warms, they become more congruent.

Medium bodied, a tad slick, with strong carbonation.

This is a great hot-weather beer.

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Southern Session IPA
Southern Session IPA

Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co.
American IPA / 5.20% ABV

3.75/5  rDev -0.3% | Score: 3.76
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good session IPA. Had it on tap at Amos Mosquito's in Atlantic Beach NC. Light hazy copper/amber color, medium size white head with decent retention and lacing. Mild piney and citrus hops in the aroma and the same in the flavor along with dry, biscuity malt. Bitterness level was pretty good. Overall flavor not bad for a sessionable IPA. Mouthfeel is crisp, nicely carbonated and a little on the light side. Good session beer, depending on beer selection, I would order it in a restaurant again.

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Weihenstephaner Kristallweizenbock
Weihenstephaner Kristallweizenbock

Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Kristalweizen / 7.50% ABV

3.73/5  rDev -10.6% | Score: 4.17
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle into Perfect Pint
4077 date code
L- clear pale gold with 2 finger thick fluffy white head
S- bananas, toasted wheat germ
T- similar to nose as there is strong toasted wheat along with bananas and yeasty alcohol
F- medium-bodied, average carbonation
Overall this beer is brewed to style, but the is a bit intense for me

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Little Honda
Little Honda

Foam Brewers
American Wild Ale / 5.20% ABV

4.25/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.25
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip, the appearance was a purple milky color with a small cap of a little white foamy head that settled fairly quick. Some lace ran here and there.
The aroma had a nice blend of blackberry sweetness running into a nice creamy lactose meshing. Tartness is pulled back in this one a little bit, I didn't mind for me. Seemed like a light lemon squirt pinched the end of this to try and brighten the sourness, perhaps.
The flavor moderately brought the blackberry qualities of sour, tart and sweet together into the creamy lactose pretty damn good. Still, that same little squirt of lemon was there just seemed to balance for a light 'sour effect.' Slight aftertaste of blackberries and a touch of cream.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Though there wasn't any 'pucker' in this beer, I'd say this was still pretty nice to me. Carbonation felt low, but I wasn't bothered by that. ABV felt pretty close to what was projected. Finish was all about the blackberries.
Overall, pretty nice blackberry lactose wild ale. I'd definitely have again.

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Spin Dive Summer Gose
Spin Dive Summer Gose

Lake of Bays Brewing Company
Gose / 3.80% ABV

3.89/5  rDev +1% | Score: 3.85
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a hazy golden colour and the head is a frothy white.

The smell is fresh white bread, citrus hops, and a bit of lime. This transfers to the taste. There is a really nice tartness to this beer that I think reflects the sea salt, black pepper, and lime.

The beer is light bodied and the finish is quite smooth.

This would go well with nachos.

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Wake & Cake
Wake & Cake

Transient Artisan Ales
American Double / Imperial Stout / 13.50% ABV

4.3/5  rDev -3.4% | Score: 4.45
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sample at Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2018, Blue Session. Black color. Aroma has chocolate, cocoa shake and dark chocolate malts. Taste is sweet with some dark fruit notes and a light roasty and dark chocolate bitterness.

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Pepe Le Plout
Pepe Le Plout

The Libertine Brewing Company
American Wild Ale / 6.00% ABV

4.05/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.05
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Always a burden to be the first reviewer, particularly in a style whose popularity evades me. (So, why have I Had 32 different American wilds? Go figure.)

Below average Looks in a style not known for its looks. Smells tell me I'm going to like this more than most: horse blanket and wood. Tastes convert the blanket and wood into a smooth acidity. Just enough tang to finish better than average for a style that usually leaves me with a frown. I had this with soup at lunch and its was a good match.

Masterful packaging with a nice cork, old school label on the front and a psychedelic drawing of Pepe Le Plout on the label's back. Libertine also has a funny website... at least the staff photos are a hoot.

How I found a one-off 2017 brew from an obscure mid-California micro in a mid-sized beverage store in Chicago remains a mystery. And it cost more than 95% of the beers I buy. But Libertine is now one of my 740 brewers and I'm glad of that.

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Café Del Bastardo
Café Del Bastardo

Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
American Double / Imperial Stout / 14.50% ABV

4.08/5  rDev -4.4% | Score: 4.27
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a very strong bourbon aroma,takes a while to them notice espresso beans,some dark and milk chocolate. Taste is very similar, bourbon totally dominates but the alcohol is fairly well hidden.

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Double Dry Hopped Broccoli
Double Dry Hopped Broccoli

Other Half Brewing Co.
American Double / Imperial IPA / 7.90% ABV

4.22/5  rDev -4.1% | Score: 4.4
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thank you CanConPhilly for this
16 oz can, dated 5/9/18, poured into a teku

A- A hazy golden copper with a two finger white head

S- Citrus, some tropical fruits, some light fruits, earthy spice, slightly dank.

T- Citrus, some mango/tropical fruits, citrus zest, some light fruits, earthy/piney bitter finish.

M- Smooth, medium body, a little creamy.

O- A very nice IPA, easy to drink and nicely balanced.

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The Rare Barrel
Saison / Farmhouse Ale

4.15/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.33
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sample at Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2018, Blue Session. Aroma is sweet and floral with pollen and meadow flower notes. Taste is balanced, a bit tart, yeasty, floral, quite easy drinking and dry.

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Threat Level Midnight
Threat Level Midnight

Barrel Theory Beer Company
American Double / Imperial Stout / 9.10% ABV

4.5/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New batch is 10.7%

On tap. Tan head. Black color. Maple syrup bomb. Reminds me of MD. Sweet and sticky in a good way. Coffee and vanilla sweetness. Chocolate. Thick. Full bodied. This one is fire.

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Across The Nation Me Ol' Trout
Across The Nation Me Ol' Trout

Central City Brewers + Distillers
Cream Ale / 5.20% ABV

3.54/5  rDev 0% | Score: 3.54
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

355ml can, part of the 2018 Across the Nation collaboration pack with 12 different Canadian breweries, one from each province and territory. This one involves Newfoundland's YellowBelly Brewery, and is an East Coast Cream Ale.

This beer pours a clear, bright pale golden straw colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and somewhat creamy bone-white head, which leaves some decent spattered lace around the glass as things quickly sink away.

It smells of bready and doughy cereal malt, some indistinct melon fruitiness, a hint of earthy yeast, and some very tame leafy, herbal, and floral green hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy pale malt, some apple and still muddled melon fruitiness, sort of estery yeast, and more well-understated earthy, musty, and dead grassy hoppiness.

The carbonation is average in its palate-baiting frothiness, the body an adequate medium weight, and mostly smooth, with just a touch of generic bitterness maybe taking a bit off of the top here. It finishes off-dry, the malt and yeast notes holding court.

Overall - this comes across as a basic cable version of the style, with a wee nudge of exotic hops that do little to elevate the experience. Plain, serviceable, and easy enough to drink, if you don't think too hard about it, which I suppose is the point, eh, b'y?

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Black Lager
Black Lager

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company - Midtown Brewery & Biergarten
Schwarzbier / 4.70% ABV

3.79/5  rDev +0.5% | Score: 3.77
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black in color with some light seeping through the body. There’s a fingernail of beige on top. Moderate lacing. The aroma is of dark malt with a hint of smoke. I’m tasting dark malt with a nice roastiness and hint of smokiness. The body is smooth and quaffable.

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