Beer Reviews: Most Recent

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Custer’s Last Stout
Custer’s Last Stout

Montana Brewing Company
Foreign / Export Stout / 5.40% ABV

3.99/5  rDev +1.8% | Score: 3.92
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a 10 oz pint glass. The appearance was a nice looking dark brown close to black color with a bar pour’s kind of slim white to off white foamy head that dissipated evenly to allow a decent lacing roaming about. The smell had a thick rich roasted cocoa bean to slight coffee rich indulgent glossed over cakey-ness. The taste was pretty much exactly the same and covered a big cakey rich chocolate into the aftertaste. Semi-dry finish came across nicely. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a rich chocolatey roastiness rolling over my tongue, indulgent - definitely. Semi-sipper to somewhat of a drinker allowed me to be quite pleased. Overall, foreign/export stout or American stout, maybe a cross between the two. If anything, I liked it and would have it again.

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Varuna Reserve
Varuna Reserve

Prairie Krafts Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial Stout / 9.00% ABV

4.24/5  rDev -1.6% | Score: 4.31
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 edition, 12 oz. can.
Jet black with mahogany edges, thin layer of tan foam that remains only for a minute, no lacing.
Aroma is rich with woody barrel notes, dark chocolate, toasted almonds, and charred bread crust.
Taste is a touch boozy, sweet bourbon, chocolate and vanilla notes, thins out a bit in the end with a light soy note.
Aftertaste lingers a long time, black malt char and carob nuttiness. Body is on the lighter side of medium.
Fairly smooth with a creamy texture in spite of the abv. Overall a nice BA imperial stout.

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Schell's Stag Series #10 - Tropical Stout
Schell's Stag Series #10 - Tropical Stout

August Schell Brewing Company
Foreign / Export Stout / 8.50% ABV

3.77/5  rDev -4.3% | Score: 3.94
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into tulip. It is very dark brown with a 1.5 finger tan head that fades with some spotty lacing on my glass. Aroma is deep roasted malt, bitter chocolate and some dried fruit. Flavors of dark chocolate, a bit of burnt malt, along with dried fruit, light earthy hops. Mouthfeel is medium, smooth and creamy with soft carbonation. Well made stout.

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Mocha Stout
Mocha Stout

Mighty Squirrel Brewing
American Stout / 6.70% ABV

4.38/5  rDev +18.7% | Score: 3.69
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: A deep coffee black with a lovely 1 inch creamy foam head.

S: Wow. A lot of layers here. Dark roast coffee, black chocolate, hint of sweet milk chocolate.

T: The balance of chocolate and coffee is spot on. A touch of sweetness is present and plays very well with the bittering hops. Finishes creamy.

M: Lighter bodied stout. Not too light though. Keeps the beer fluffy and works with the creaminess of this beer.

O: Delicious and well rounded take on a milk stout. a lot less sweet then many other American milk stouts which I enjoy.

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Evil Twin Brewing
American Double / Imperial Stout / 10.00% ABV

4.2/5  rDev +6.1% | Score: 3.96
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I am rather inCANredulous at how many CANs of Evil Twin Brewing's beer I have acCANumulated for inclusion in The CANQuest (tm)! I had begun running through them at the end of New Beer Sunday (Week 677) & CANtinued my efforts yesterday during NBS (Week 678) so now I am simply finishing up. I have a couple/few days' worth left, but since my 53rd birthday is next Sunday (Week 679) & I have plans that may curtail my involvement that day, I am getting them in while I CAN.

From the CAN: "This is one half of a Black and Tan drink. Not just any Black and Tan but the one where a toasted smug and hoppy fella get together to make a sublime Taiji style balance. Mix the Yin & Yang together (or enjoy this profoundly evil Imperial Stout solo)."

I am sticking with each one solo, especailly since it now seems that Yin & Yang exists as a separate beer. I would prefer to allow the brewery to mix the version that they envision.

The Crack! revealed a brimful craft CAN with nowhere for the tongue of the vent to go. As a result, I got both a light spritz & some mild foaming on the Crack! I then CANmenced a slow, gentle Glug, followed by an in-glass swirl that raised just over a finger of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with good retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing cola highlights only at the edges. Nose was rich, redolent with smoke, baker's chcolate and a general fudge smell. This smelled like liquefied dessert! Mouthfeel was big, thick, full & creamy, like a dollop had been scooped onto my tongue! I allowed it to simply roll around, warming as I did so. Man, loads of bittersweet baker's chocolate, a good bit of smoke & a sweet Lebanon bologna flavor were my reward(s) from this one. Fantastiche! Finish was dry, smoky, more bitter than sweet. Phew! Now, this begs the question - How why would you attempt a blend of this Yang on your own? I am all in favor of blended beers, but this would be a tough one to pull off. I am VERY curious to find a bottlle of Yin & Yang to see what their vision yeilds. In the meantime, tomorrow will see me going Yang as this episode winds down to its current CANclusion. Stay tuned!

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Night Shift Brewing
American Porter / 6.70% ABV

4.11/5  rDev -0.7% | Score: 4.14
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Coffee black with a half inch creamy head (poured into pint glass)

S: Nutty, toasty, freshly roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate

T: Notes of fresh dark roast coffee combined with a hint of dark chocolate. The beer finishes a touch creamy which really balances the beginning of the beer out.

M: Medium bodied porter.

O: This beer is a staple for me. The body seems to be similar to your more traditional english porters, however the coffee and chocolate malts really take this beer to a heavenly place. This beer may even work better as a stout.

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A Little Spark of Madness
A Little Spark of Madness

Central State Brewing
American Double / Imperial Stout / 8.00% ABV

4.32/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.28
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black and thick, with a full finger of dark cocoa head. A really well-balanced, light and dry coffee stout. Chocolatey, earthy, but not going too far in any one direction--it doesn't try to overwhelm you with coffee, allowing the underlying beer to come through at the same time. I grabbed a single at my local shop, but this is worth going back to pick up a 4-pack.

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Saxonator Dunkles Doppelbock
Saxonator Dunkles Doppelbock

Jack's Abby Brewing
Doppelbock / 8.50% ABV

3.53/5  rDev -11.3% | Score: 3.98
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at the brewery.

Pours a clear mahogany color with a half-finger of off-white head. The head has solid retention, leaving minimal lacing before settling into a thin ring.

The aroma brings a wave of dark fruits and roasted nuts, as well as some caramel, toffee, and sweet dough.

The flavor is quite sweet, bringing notes of plum, fig, and caramel, as well as brown sugar, raisin bread, and toffee. Finishes with the faintest kiss of hops.

The feel is medium bodied with pretty good carbonation. Lots of warming from the alcohol and a tad sticky.

Overall, a pretty solid doppelbock that's a bit on the sweet side, and a bit too boozy, but overall not bad.

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Bent De Garde
Bent De Garde

Braindead Brewing
Bière de Garde / 8.00% ABV

4.18/5  rDev +6.6% | Score: 3.92
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Slightly cloudy reddish brown with a nice initial head but little lacing. Great smell, red wine and strawberry. Taste is slightly sour but also a pleasant fruity sweetness. Great with beef!

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Tröegs Java Head Stout
Tröegs Java Head Stout

Tröegs Brewing Company
Oatmeal Stout / 7.50% ABV

3.77/5  rDev -0.3% | Score: 3.78
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown almost black color with about a finger of tan head. Smells of pine hops, coffee, and licorice. Taste is chocolate brownie, licorice, a little hop bitterness towards the end. Medium body, flavors linger. Interesting, not bad, but not something I think I'll buy again.

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Modern Hell
Modern Hell

Jack's Abby Brewing
Kellerbier / Zwickelbier / 5.90% ABV

4.46/5  rDev +1.6% | Score: 4.39
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler filled at the brewery.

Pours a crystal clear bright gold color with a finger of foamy white head. The head sticks around for a while, leaving a few random spots of lacing before settling into a thin sheet. Extraordinarily effervescent, like soda pop. Different for the style, but a beautiful beer to look at in the glass.

The aroma is exceptionally bready and sweet up front. There are notes of grass and cereal grains with the faintest hint of spicy hops on the back end.

The taste follows the nose. Sweet, doughy bread and cereal grains followed by flaky biscuit notes and a spicy, noble hop finish. Nicely balanced and very clean.

The feel is medium-light bodied with lively carbonation. Very clean and smooth, yet crisp and dry and extremely refreshing.

Overall, a fantastic take on a German lager that is beautifully clean and easy drinking yet popping with delicious, malty flavor. This one is well worth seeking out.

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Tree House Brewing Company
American IPA / 7.00% ABV

4.49/5  rDev +3.7% | Score: 4.33
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very cloudy golden color with a thick foamy head. Head retention and lacing are both excellent. Big juicy grapefruit aroma with a fair amount of piney resin. Tastes follows the same profile. Big and juicy. Good amount of piney bitterness. Grapefruit predominates. Somewhat bitter aftertaste. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

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Barrel Aged Arkham's Finest
Barrel Aged Arkham's Finest

Modern Brewery
American Stout / 8.50% ABV

4.2/5  rDev -2.8% | Score: 4.32
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap in STL. This says it is no longer brewed, but the place I had it - the menu says it is a “seasonal” with no name, and when I was asked was informed it was a black IPA, which this most definitely is not, it is barrel aged stout material. This beer seems to match what I am drinking, which is a dark, velvety, chocolate/coffee stout with a heavy dose of bourbon/whiskey barrel. The only mild negative is it comes across a little thin in feel, but trying to do barrel aged at 8.5 is no easy task. Glad to have tried it, even though I cant be 100% sure it is what I am drinking.

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3 Citrus Peel Out
3 Citrus Peel Out

Southern Tier Brewing Company
American Pale Wheat Ale / 8.50% ABV

3.96/5  rDev +3.4% | Score: 3.83
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasty citrus beer. Fairly heavy with a high abv but still a good spring/summertime cooler. Pours a hazy yellow/light orange color from a bomber into a Timmerman's stemmed flute. The white frothy head has fairly good retention, not much lacing on the glass. The aroma is an explosion of citrus. The Grapefruit and Tangerine peel and the Blood Orange and Grapefruit juice are featured. There may be a little Wheat tartness and yeast aroma but it is all overwhelmed by citrus. Taste is similar. There is a heavy malty presence but the citrus flavors come out on top. Flavor is tasty, a strong version of a spring/summer cooler. Mouthfeel is light with a smooth summery sweetness. I like Amer Pale Wheat Ales and this one is pretty good but a bit stronger flavored by the citrusy fruit.

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Amber Ale
Amber Ale

Bell's Brewery, Inc.
American Amber / Red Ale / 5.80% ABV

4.4/5  rDev +14.6% | Score: 3.84
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours with a solid head and a nice copper color. Lacing is thick and stays the whole time. Smells a little like bread with some hops and light maltiness too. Great smelling beer. Tastes exactly like an Amber ale should: Nice and balanced with a little upfront ale flavor floowed by a tinge of caramel & sweetness on the back end. Perfect amount of carbonation and the mouthfeel is dead on. Just a great example of what an amber ale should look, smell and taste like. Easy to recommend this beer to anyone. Its easy to enjoy and the ABV wont kill you. Highly recommended!

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Daily Double
Daily Double

Greenpoint Beer & Ale Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.30% ABV

4.18/5  rDev -1.4% | Score: 4.24
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at Greenpoint a while ago, finally getting around to it this week along with their other offerings that I'm enjoying. Loved the can and the Jeopardy! reference on the side of it but in actuality, this was a solid American Double / Imperial IPA that packed a ton of flavor and sweetness without hardly breaking a sweat.

Good pour to this as the liquid hazy, golden, and waxy. Plenty of head topped this off and there was a copious amount of lacing down the side of my pint glass as I worked my way through this. Tons of candied sugar, marmalade, yeast, and orange blossom citrus in the nose with all of those coming forth even further in the taste. Dank hops with acrid citrus, orange cream, and oily, dank hops took hold in the taste, giving this a heavy and waxy feel that never really let go. Vanilla cream lingered in the aftertaste which complemented the dank hops and sediment at the bottom of the liquid quite nicely.

Plenty of alcohol here but not enough to detract from the smooth and sweet body of this beer. The color of orange on the label was appropriate for this as this was bright, bold, and full of vivid, sweet citrus. Another lovely brew from Greenpoint that could be enjoyed alone or as a dessert offering - and further proof that more recent releases from them are an improvement over their earlier ones.

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3Beans (Bourbon Barrel-Aged)
3Beans (Bourbon Barrel-Aged)

Sixpoint Brewery
Baltic Porter / 10.10% ABV

4.03/5  rDev -3.8% | Score: 4.19
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sweet, lacking bitter notes, coffee, vanilla, cream, chocolate.

I really should do this more justice but I don't have it.

The body is smooth, creamy, no alcohol bite.

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Mad Quacker
Mad Quacker

Lake Wilcox Brewing Co.
Vienna Lager / 5.00% ABV

3.99/5  rDev +14.7% | Score: 3.48
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper brown, filtered with moderate carbonation, and 5 fingers of light beige head.

Smells of toasted malts, caramel, black tea and a light red fruit quality.

Tastes slightly sweet, very malty, lots of caramel and toffee, and a hint of red fruits.

Medium, substantial tasting body, with moderate carbonation.

Drinking in Muskoka, Feb 20th, 2018. Very well done brew.

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Dragon's Milk
Dragon's Milk

New Holland Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial Stout / 11.00% ABV

3.92/5  rDev -3% | Score: 4.04
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 1/11/18

A really beautiful looking beer. Black body, no light coming through, Just a little ruby tint all the way at the edge. smooth and fizzy brown cocoa head, okay lacing.

The smell is predominately fig, dark fruit (dried plum), raisin, and roasty malts. Hint of vanilla.

Taste is plum, dark fruity fig, roasted malt bitterness and some vanilla extract paired with some evident heat midway through and more heat on the back. Not much oakey character present here. Could almost pass as an imperial stout w/ no barrel aging, let alone bourbon barrel aging.

Mouthfeel is fairly thin, almost watery. Low to medium carbonation, doesn’t stick to the tongue much.

This is enjoyable as a plum-y/fig-y imperial stout with some heavy roasted malt character but doesn’t really fit the profile of bourbon barrel aged, as labelled. Really pretty brew but misses the mark in scent, flavor, and mouthfeel. Maybe it could use some aging.

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Curiosity Forty Four
Curiosity Forty Four

Tree House Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 7.80% ABV

4.56/5  rDev +1.1% | Score: 4.51
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really tasty as with most treehouse. Pours golden with light lacing. Aroma tangerine and dank. Taste follows the nose with citrus. Big fan of treehouse.

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Second Anniversary DIPA
Second Anniversary DIPA

Other Half Brewing Co.
American Double / Imperial IPA / 9.00% ABV

4.54/5  rDev +2.5% | Score: 4.43
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

on nose is powdered sugar, gummy sweetness, lemon, grapefruit and orange peel.

cream, orange sorbet, peaches, sweet malty note, honey, pine resin, leafy herbaceous note, danky and grapefruit pith. super thick and fluffy mouthfeel.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Templeton Rye
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Templeton Rye

FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
American Double / Imperial Stout / 11.00% ABV

4.5/5  rDev +5.9% | Score: 4.25
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a finger and a half of dense light tan head which retains well and leaves some lacing.
S: Smells of oak, spices, chocolate, slight vanilla, but a definite rye bread like note on the nose
T: Taste is surprisingly spicy rye barrels up front followed by some chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt before a little toffee and extra spice comes in. Really light on the vanilla and caramel from the barrel but decent oak influence. Swallow is more spicy, chocolatey, oaky, roasty, and coffee goodness. Spice lingers very well.
M: This beer has a body that is on the upper side of medium with carbonation which is soft and just under prickly. The abv gives this one a drying finish which is pretty nice.
O: This beer is why I love the eclipse series so much. The differences between this MGP (Templeton sources from MGP) barrel and a bourbon barrel are stark as this beer is nothing like something that spent time in a bourbon barrel. I love the spice notes that really turn this one into a winter treat.

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Arlington Amber Ale
Arlington Amber Ale

The Brewer's Cabinet
American Amber / Red Ale / 6.40% ABV

4.41/5  rDev +12.5% | Score: 3.92
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at California Burger Tahoe Feb 2018

Hands down the best amber ale I’ve ever had, perfectly crisp and refreshing, no stinging amber bitterness/distaste. Incredibly quaffable. I’ll have another couple!

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Foreign Objects Beer Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV

4.84/5  rDev +14.7% | Score: 4.22
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look - hazy gold. Not quite as opaque or juice like as some other NEIPAs, but there is still no mistaking what this is.

Smell - sweet mango, with a bit of strawberry and orange juice.

Taste - mango. Mango. Mango. Well balanced sweetness and bitterness.

Feel - full bodied, velvety, medium/low carbonation.

Overall - wonderful beer. Hits all the marks. Definitely would seek this out again.

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Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout
Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout

Bell's Brewery, Inc.
American Double / Imperial Stout / 9.30% ABV

3.6/5  rDev -12.8% | Score: 4.13
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, served in a snifter glass. Pours a dark cola brown body, nearly black, half finger offwhite head, no retention, no lacing. Smell is tart cherry and dark fruit, light whiskey and oak, touch of smoke. Altogether a little bit metallic. Flavour is somewhat buttery smooth cherry tartness, light cherry juice, a bit of milk chocolate and whiskey, a little vanilla and oak. Interesting, but not particularly captivating. Flavour is medium-lighter bodied, a bit too thin for its own good, a bit of buttery cherry on the finish. Didn't work that well for me, though it certainly isn't a bad beer. It's a matter of whether you like cherry in your stouts. I usually do, but in this case, it didn't work as well as I'd like.

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