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Beer Reviews: Most Recent

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ReDANKulous Imperial Red IPA
ReDANKulous Imperial Red IPA

Founders Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 9.50% ABV

4.3/5  rDev +3.9% | Avg: 4.14
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

FOUNDERS REDANKULOUS IMPERIAL RED ALE 7/30/16

A new Founders offering this year.

Poured from the 12 oz, bottle into a Samuel Adams English nonick.

a: Clear copper with an inch and a half offwhite head which receded slowly to thick surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s: Some caramel immediately but then mainly pine resin.

t: Catty dankness with pine resin and caramel notes and moderate bitterness. Dry to caramel-like finish. High ABV is beautifully covered.

m: Medium to full, great body and hard carbonation tingle.

o: As advertised all the way, great appearance and flavor, solid hop bite. Sort of an American hoppy version of a really good English real ale.

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Big Bad Baptist
Big Bad Baptist

Epic Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial Stout / 11.80% ABV

4.77/5  rDev +10.7% | Avg: 4.31
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving type: 22 oz bomber into a brandy glass

Pours absolutely pitch black with mocha colored bubbles that develop to a film. Smell is of obvious whiskey, dark chocolate, mocha, subtle coffee, slight roast, along with chocolate liquor sweetness. It smells great. Taste reflects the smell. Initial taste is forward with the whisky and wood flavors, they lead into an intense chocolate and coffee taste, leads into a pleasant roast flavor that drops off into a whiskey aftertaste. Great stuff. Feel is thicker but not overly viscous. No apparent alcohol burn, doesn't drink like 12%+. Overall this is an outstanding beer with great whiskey, coffee, and chocolate aspects. Definitely buy this and hoard it.

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Banko Palm Sugar Ale (Olympia Coffee Collaboration)
Banko Palm Sugar Ale (Olympia Coffee Collaboration)

Three Magnets Brewing
Cream Ale / 5.60% ABV

3.43/5  rDev -11.1% | Avg: 3.86
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber brew with a brownish cast. Plenty of foam and spritzy on the tongue. Not much aroma. Distinct coffee taste, but it's unlike any I've had before. It's slightly sweet with a touch of burnt sugar.

I don't get how this is a cream ale, but I guess you can put coffee in any light beer and call it what you want. To me it tastes like an English Old Ale, but maybe that's because the coffee adds that slightly acidic and musty taste. Or else it's the base "palm sugar ale" with something like a touch of molasses.

From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Elizabeth Station in Bellingham.

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Oatmeal Yeti
Oatmeal Yeti

Great Divide Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial Stout / 9.50% ABV

4.25/5  rDev +1.4% | Avg: 4.19
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a pitch black color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades down to a nice cap that leaves some good lacing

S: Roast, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and toffee/caramel make up most of the nose

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the roast and some dark chocolate and then really moves into the dark fruits and quite a bit of anise. Bitterness also increases as the fruitiness picks up. Finishes with lingering bitterness and anise

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A great oatmeal stout that really goes down the dark fruit route. Anise is also a key hitting point, so you'd better at least enjoy licorice a little bit. A nice sipper and a great candidate for aging

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
American Pale Ale (APA) / 5.60% ABV

3.11/5  rDev -23.2% | Avg: 4.05
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Nicely crisp beer with piney scent; balanced towards malt, toasty, with hoppy bitter coming in the end.
The head is stable and creamy. Color copper towards brown.

Overall, it is not my favorite beer or style, but quite a good representative of the genre.

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Golden Monkey
Golden Monkey

Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Tripel / 9.50% ABV

3.03/5  rDev -18.5% | Avg: 3.72
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap. A one finger white creamy dense head with piss poor retention. The beer is golden in color with some straw color hues. The clarity is murky with some carbonation visible.

The beer presents with pepper, lemon, floral, caramel, bread, yeast, alcohol, grassy, cloves like phenols, and a touch fruity.

Very peppery, oranges, lemons, caramel, bready, biscuits, phenols, floral, hay, and grainy.

M: A creamy, carbonated, medium body, and some alcohol warming.

O: This beer seriously lacks refinement. The beer is more spicy than normal, the alcohol comes off abrasive. It is just an average beer nothing special. The beer has potential.

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Local Option La Petite Mort
Local Option La Petite Mort

Central Waters Brewing Co.
Weizenbock / 9.05% ABV

2.92/5  rDev -19.3% | Avg: 3.62
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown cap acquired at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa for $10.69 per bottle. It's unclear if this is the same beer as De Kleine Dood (also a Central Waters/Local Option collaboration weizenbock). Perhaps this is also a bourbon barrel aged weizenbock, but not aged in Heaven Hill barrels? In any case, I liked De Kleine Dood and am looking forward to trying this whether it's a rebranding of the original or a new beer entirely.

Label clearly says "La Petite Mort," but it looks the same as the De Kleine Dood label.

Served cold into stemware and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. It's unclear if ale or lager yeast was used for this weizenbock; I'm assuming ale yeast? Reviewed live as a bourbon barrel aged weizenbock.

APPEARANCE: Head dissipates within seconds, leaving only a deep amber-brown opaque body. Appears fairly well carbonated. Not unique or special, but appealing in general.

AROMA: Central Waters' mastery of bourbon barrel aging is evident, with rich notes of marshmallow, caramel, leather, and subdued vanilla coming through - but is that really what you want in a weizenbock? (For what it's worth, though, there isn't any rich toasted white oak or barrel sugar character).

I wouldn't know there was wheat in this trying it blind, and I struggle to find any of the yeasty esters associated with a classic weizenbock (banana, clove, even bubblegum). There are no indications German yeast was used in this beer, or that it's a weizenbock in a traditional sense.

But then they aren't going for traditional, are they? Hopefully, the taste is better.

Aromatic intensity is above average.

TASTE: Lovely Central Waters bourbon barrel character - marshmallow, leather, caramel, really faint vanilla. No toastiness or oak barrel character here.

A hint of dark fruit. Not jammy, tart, or vivid in its fruit profile. Reticent as all hell.

Weizenbock-wise, there's nothing here for discerning fans of traditional expressions of the style. No banana esters, bubblegum phenol, spicy clove, etc. Any wheat is reticent as hell, lacking the fresh and overt characteristics of wheat in a proper weizenbock.

Given the lack of esters, I wouldn't be surprised if bottom fermenting yeast was used in this purported weizenbock.

Barrel character overwhelms the base, which throws off the beer's balance. This is amongst the most shallow beers I've ever tasted.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, somewhat thin, a biteen watery, plain. Aptly carbonated. A bit gooey.

OVERALL: Ester-free lager-like tendencies and a lack of any interesting base beer character make this ostensible stab at a weizenbock a definite failure. Yes, the bourbon barrel aspect of the brew is nice, but this wouldn't be recognized as a weizenbock in any blind tasting the world around. A rare miss from an otherwise very good brewery, but it does disguise its ABV well I suppose.

C (2.92) / AVERAGE

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Andechser Weissbier Dunkel
Andechser Weissbier Dunkel

Klosterbrauerei Andechs
Dunkelweizen / 5.00% ABV

3.28/5  rDev -16.8% | Avg: 3.94
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big fine-grained foam in the Affligem chalice. Dark brown in color. Poured from the 500 ml bottle. Sudsy mouthfeel is nice.

A touch of caramel and a little sweetness continues into the aftertaste. This has a bitterish taste and the touch of clove tastes like very old spices from the back of the cabinet. Slightly buttery with the roasted grain taste.

This would probably taste fabulous in a big glass among the vines somewhere along the Rhine. It goes down easy but I'm not wanting to try any more of these Andescher beers after the four I purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle.

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Little Rooster
Little Rooster

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

4.52/5  rDev +3.9% | Avg: 4.35
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 16 fl oz can purchased at Trillium Brewing Company, Canton, MA
Served in a pint glass

The super cloudy, peach colored body was topped by an inch tall, creamy white head that quickly fell to a thin collar. No lacing whatsoever.

The nose was incredibly dank and intense. Weed-like notes came through big time right from the get go. Loads of Nelson Sauvin hops as well. Super bright and lemony. A touch wine-like. Overripe peach and mango notes were rather apparent as well. Simply put, spectacular.

The flavor profile was also impressive, yet more pithy and bitter than the aroma. Here, the Galaxy hops dominated. Loads of white grapefruit. Intense lemon and lemon rind. Juicy, tangy tangerine also came through strong. Some orange peel too. Pithy grapefruit rind notes appeared on the back end and trailed into the finish. Somewhat bitter. More lemon rind as well.

The mouthfeel was the only aspect of the beer that did not completely blow me away. It was lighter bodied for the style. The liquid contained a spritzy, bubbly effervescence that came across as slightly prickly.

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BOMB!
BOMB!

Prairie Artisan Ales
American Double / Imperial Stout / 13.00% ABV

4.51/5  rDev +0.7% | Avg: 4.48
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, undated. Poured into Carton O-Dub glass.

L: 2F light tan head, no retention as the ABV knocks it right away, leaving a tiny ring and cap. Beer is as dark as can be.

S: Lots of coffee up front, some cocoa, vanilla, caramel malts, and a hint of chili. No alcohol in nose, which at 13% is a heck of an accomplishment.

T: Coffee, cocoa, then vanilla, caramel malt, and then chili at the finish, but just a little bit. The cocoa especially really carries through the entire taste experience from beginning to end. I believe the chili is designed to dovetail nicely with the alcohol heat as you just can't pick it up without the spice. Seriously, there is almost no indication this is an alcoholic beverage (well, until you get through half of it). Most impressive.

F: Medium, and less heavy than you might expect. Very little carbonation to speak of. Very good construction and just immaculate balance in making all this flavor work together.

O: Really amazing stuff.

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Doppelganger
Doppelganger

Tree House Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.20% ABV

5/5  rDev +8.5% | Avg: 4.61
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Superb.. Period.. Have had a number of treehouse IPAs and boy did this one stand out. Great body full of pure juicy hops with great aroma. Such a stellar beer

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Rainier Lager
Rainier Lager

Pabst Brewing Company
American Adjunct Lager / 4.60% ABV

3.41/5  rDev +20.5% | Avg: 2.83
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can - freshness date of Aug 29 16 stamped on the bottom:

The smell is of grain/cereal/husk, a small dose of lemongrass. Inoffensive.

While it has something of a cheap adjunct lager taste, it does have enough of a hop touch to give it an earthy/citric/lemony touch that makes it better than the average cheap lager taste.

It's rather fizzy, but not overly so and is crisp, refreshing and easy to drink.

Keeping the price and style in mind, it's not a bad brew - better than the typical cheap American adjunct lager.

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BearFuzz
BearFuzz

Boxing Bear Brewing Co.
American Wild Ale / 5.10% ABV

4.3/5  rDev n/a | Avg: 4.3
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Stone fruit orange haze pour with 1" foam to start and then quickly dissipated. Smell is ripe and rich with peaches, makes my mouth gleek in anticipation. Taste might throw some for a loop, not as sour as I was expecting but the taste is very good, thick peaches and a medium mouthfeel, almost thick if you compare against other sours. The peach comes through very nicely and the mouthfeel is actually soft and smooth, overall an excellent brew. Congrats to Boxing Bear on their 2nd Anniversary!

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Dead Ringer Oktoberfest
Dead Ringer Oktoberfest

Ballast Point Brewing Company
Märzen / Oktoberfest / 6.00% ABV

3.9/5  rDev +6.8% | Avg: 3.65
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful light ruby color with brown tints and a one finger khaki color head that disappates quickly. Aroma is caramel, toffee, biscuit, toasted malt, with some hints of spicy floral hops. Taste follows with caramel and toffee upfront, followed by a toasted biscuit malt backbone, and a finish that suggests floral, spicy noble hops. Mouthfeel is thin to medium, crisp, clean, and smooth. Overall, this is a hugely drinkable oktoberfest/marzen that hits the hallmarks of the style, especially for the version that are not the pale versions. Very nice oktoberfest by BP, definitely will be a recurring fall pick up.

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American Monastic
American Monastic

Clown Shoes
Belgian IPA / 8.50% ABV

3.56/5  rDev -10.8% | Avg: 3.99
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is somewhat obscure and dark yellow red color.
The foam is white with medium bubbles that come in fine just the right amounts.
The foam disappears in good pace and leaving little trace.
The fragrance has a spicy presence with little hops tones.
Clove arrive well with pineapple and mango.
A little peppery, with grass aromas.
There is little smell of yeast and some herbs.
In the taste, then hops up a little more, but you'll find clove quite simple.
Some fruits such as pineapple, grapefruit, mangoes, citrus in the right order.
A little pepper, spices, pine, coriander little bread and straw.
The beer has a certain bitterness highlighted that it is a little sting of pepper and a little lemon in.
Medium rich body.
Good with carbonic acid, good spiciness.
Moderate marked bitterness at the end a little dry.

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The Calling
The Calling

Boulevard Brewing Co.
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.50% ABV

5/5  rDev +22.5% | Avg: 4.08
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours an orange cream color.for a double it has very little bitterness to it which makes this double taste like an IPA. Its extremely smooth with a plethora of tropical flavors. I suck at writing what I taste but goddamn this beer is alongside pliney as a double. Not over powering and just bursting with juiciness , yum , who knew, good job KC

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Big Wave Golden Ale
Big Wave Golden Ale

Kona Brewing Co.
American Blonde Ale / 4.40% ABV

3.39/5  rDev -4.5% | Avg: 3.55
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle, dated JUN0116
A - golden I presume, but drank from the bottle, so unknown
S - smells fruity with some biscuity grain
T - nice tropical fruitiness without the bitterness; mango, pineapple, and a bit of passion fruit; biscuity malt and a touchof honey; yeast
M - lighter body, moderate carbonation, balanced finish
O - pretty average golden ale. As always, glad to try something new, but I wouldn't get this again.

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4-23 Dampfbier
4-23 Dampfbier

North Jetty Brewing
California Common / Steam Beer / 5.60% ABV

4.49/5  rDev n/a | Avg: 4.35
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From a growler. The last one of this one, emptied the keg, the man at the bar told me. It is a clear bright yellow beer. A lot going on smell wise. Sweet, some malt, and an herbal yeast reminiscent of a hefeweizen. Taste follows; there is a bit of sweet maltiness, the yeast esters similar to a hefeweizen, with some subtle hops. Dense, tenacious, lacy head of foam. I don't have much experience with this style, but I was really impressed with this beer. Worthy of a being a flagship beer. I hope they bring it back.

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Affable IPA
Affable IPA

Moody Ales
American IPA / 6.80% ABV

3.96/5  rDev +5.9% | Avg: 3.74
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dull copper with four fingers of frothy white head.

Smell - Piney and citrus hops, bready caramel malts, pine resin, grapefruit peel, pineapple.

Taste - Piney and citrus hop with moderate level of bitterness, followed up by bready malts, caramel, pine resin, and fruit (grapefruit and hint of pineapple).

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a lingering bitterness.

Overall - While this may not be the palate-wrecker that hop heads may be looking for, it is an enjoyable IPA nonetheless. I quite enjoyed the hop bitterness, along with the supporting malt flavour. Nice to see another Vancouver Island brewery make its way over to Cowtown

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Hearty Farm Stock
Hearty Farm Stock

Bent Stick Brewing Co.
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 7.00% ABV

3.64/5  rDev n/a | Avg: 3.64
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle, part of a trio of newly-released Belgian Saison-style offerings from this wet behind the ears YEG brewery.

This beer pours, like its brethren, with a ton of aggressively puffy and foamy off-white head, which fills the everlovin' glass, eventually sinking away to reveal a hazy medium golden yellow brew, and a bit of high-altitude streaky lace for its effort.

It smells of bready and doughy pale malt, a lesser gritty wheatiness, some bright domestic citrus and exotic tropical fruitiness, somewhat stricken and phenolic yeast, a muddled earthy spiciness, and some floral and perfumed booziness. The taste is grainy and cereal-fed pale malt, an even less-specific wheaten character, some apple, generic citrus, and summer melon (not the water- sort) fruity notes, damp white pepper and coriander spice, a more laid-back, but still informing yeasty character, and more removed from the hop quotient metallic alcohol.

The carbonation is fairly active in its palate-pushing and pulling frothiness, the body an adequate middleweight, and sort of smooth, as both the yeast and the elevated wowee sauce metric take an ounce or two of flesh out the scene, as such. It finishes off-dry, but y'know, complicated, with the big malt, yeast, spice, and alcohol dancing a dance of unfamiliar attrition.

Yeah, overall, this would be a typically astringent (in the prescribed 'good' way) Saison, but for the 14-proof heat presiding, which adds (and detracts) at will, as well as the still overwrought local bubble gorge fest that is going on here. Lots of disjointed, but ultimately workable stuff to consider, but bring a 'hearty' stomach to the table, is my only advice.

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Simtra
Simtra

Knee Deep Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 11.25% ABV

3.67/5  rDev -13.6% | Avg: 4.25
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance 1 finger creamy white head that hangs around for a while. Deep golden color very transparent with go0d carbonation
Aroma very subdued out the fridge. Floral earthy malty sweetness
Taste citrus up front with a bit of breadt maltyness.. finishes very bitter. Lingering sweetness
Feel medium with a zippy carbonation
Overall. . Solid

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Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel

Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Dunkelweizen / 5.30% ABV

4.96/5  rDev +17% | Avg: 4.24
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Head forms nicely with a gentle pour, pushing the two inch realm. This is a real beauty! It dissolves to a perfect ring with islands across the top. The smell is of dark malty grains with hints of bananas and roasted nuts, followed by that familiar hefeweizen crisp yeast background. The taste really delivers on what the nose predicts. Caramelized sugar, banana, fresh baked bread with just the right amount of nutty yeast. Man, I love this beer!

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

North Coast Brewing Co.
Russian Imperial Stout / 9.00% ABV

4.31/5  rDev +0.7% | Avg: 4.28
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a proper admixture of angelic suicide and blood; the black, inscrutable dent revealed when a boulder on the fiend's frozen lake is dug out of its ditch; the swatch of some god-primeval's mourning cloak; oil powering the cavalcade galloping towards Revelation.

Smell: The reek is of confusion, phobia, and midnight blitzkrieg. Chocolate factories incinerated to charcoal; scorched earth at its most evil and intense; memories of milk on the lips of a dying man; flickers of knife sweat as it quick-slits the cord linking body and soul; bread immolating itself to save the bakery; wood chips reaching into the furious atmosphere discombobulated; branches bled of all resin embracingthe air snapping; succubus licked tootsie roll pushed with unrelenting, though magically gentle, force deep into my mouth; sooty licorice and a chunk of boot from the first Hun gunned down discovered in grandfather's box of curios from the Great War; an undecayed grape dropping out of an emperor's tomb.

Taste: For a moment my throat became the conduit to an Awakened World. Then in dropped desperately baked burnt cookies exploding soil and secret coffee bean maps. Where aroma slashes the nostrils the taste is an unroughened arch, a passageway of absolute angles. Autumn fruits that have conspired to hide among the roots of their trees to witness the bitter-sweet passage of light into darkness; insatiable shifting of motion and stillness, euphoria and angst, leather whips and feathers; mud, of ancient origin, shuddering with the promise of rare life; baker's chocolate about to either destroy a cake or elevate it to saturnine tastes; syrup punched with wooden knuckles;

Feel: A sense of my breath being held hostage in a closet between fire and some oblivion hole.

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GrandMaster IPA
GrandMaster IPA

War Flag Ales & Lagers
American IPA / 6.90% ABV

3.43/5  rDev -8.3% | Avg: 3.74
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is very hazy amber yellow in color. It poured with a short bright white head that died down, leaving a collar around the edge of the glass and a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of caramel malts are present in the nose along with hints of citrusy and piney hops.
T: The taste follows the smell, having some flavors of caramel malts along with light notes of bitterness from the hops—the bitterness gets a little stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Only faint hints of bitterness are perceptible.
O: The hops in this beer seem to be a little muted, making it more like an English IPA than an American IPA.

Serving type: bottle

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Dragon's Milk
Dragon's Milk

New Holland Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial Stout / 10.00% ABV

4.5/5  rDev +13.4% | Avg: 3.97
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pitch black oily body, extremely brief 1 finger brown head.

Smell: See below.

Taste: A distinct flavor of dark chocolate syrup, plus mild coffee, mild oak, mild bourbon. Some charcoal on the finish.

Feel: Thick syrupy body, mild sweetness, low carbonation, warming alcohol finish.

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