Beer Reviews: Most Recent

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Mountain Voice
Mountain Voice

Modern Times Beer
American IPA / 7.50% ABV

3.86/5  rDev -7.2% | Score: 4.16
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

June 17th, 2018 - I retrieved this can from the Flavordome alongside a few others to salute American beer and get some last tasting notes before I head to Japan. With the Mountain Voice I start with the least expensive of the four beers, but find a luxurious brew nevertheless. It pours with a reasonable haziness the color of a fresh orange peel, and has an aroma marked with tangerine and a bit of white peach. The flavor is where the Mountain Vice establishes its character, with a terrific mouthfeel that is filling, weighty and also cottony, like a storm cloud. And the flavor has all the weight and absent bitterness of your standard NE IPA, but what distinguishes it is a lovely marshmallow and marshmallow cream sweetness that is subtle and inviting. Though these cans are expensive, they are well worth enjoying as a last salute to the San Diego craft beer scene before embarking overseas.

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New DogTown Pale Ale
New DogTown Pale Ale

Lagunitas Brewing Company
American Pale Ale (APA) / 6.20% ABV

4.19/5  rDev +6.3% | Score: 3.94
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a 2 finger head. Bright shiny crisp gold. A good amount of lacing. Beautiful.

S: Immediately get scents of sweet citrus, bitter grapefruit, and piney oily hops.

T: Initial sweetness is almost instantly taken over by grassy bitter hops. The bitterness takes center stage and has a prolonged bow out. Alcohol is hidden very well.

O: A bitter pale ale with some character. Would drink again, but not a go-to for me.

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Satan's Pony Amber Ale
Satan's Pony Amber Ale

South Street Brewery
American Amber / Red Ale / 5.00% ABV

3.53/5  rDev +2.3% | Score: 3.45
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on the way home from the West Coast not too long ago, never having anything from South Street before. Thought the name for this brew was a bit odd but at least the flavor and taste were relatively straightforward, even if I wasn't crazy about it throughout my session...

Needless to say, this appearance of this beer was Amber, bordering on hazelnut in hue. A light salmon head formed once I poured this out but it quickly and unevenly settled down. Only one ring of lacing remained in the middle of my pint glass as I worked my way through this, which wasn't hard given how thin this was. Lots of caramel, hazelnut, and almond in the nose with more of those in the taste. Between the light body and basic, bready malt, this reminded me of Yuengling even though that wasn't the same style as this was. A bit of blood orange emerged as this warmed up but with the light presence of carbonation, this didn't last in my pint glass for very long.

That's not to say that this beer was great. Sure, the alcohol was low which meant that this was something that I could pound for a while, had there been more than one bottle here. Basic in nature and with an "Enjoy by" date of 4/29, this was worth it once just to kick back with but there just wasn't enough going on to fully pull me in...

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Star Burst NE IPA
Star Burst NE IPA

450 North Brewing Company
American IPA / 6.70% ABV

3.68/5  rDev -6.6% | Score: 3.94
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not sure if the BA categorization is wrong or the brewer is intentionally crossing the streams on different categories under the “American IPA” label. But this seems to be a modern, juicy, American-hopped version of a Belgian IPA, and I found the combination of influences to be a little unharmonious (American IPA category or otherwise). And that’s not a knock on the concept of a hoppier saison, farmhouse, or Belgian styled beer, because I’ve had some great ones. But this one is trying to be “big” in too many directions (big Belgian yeast notes combined with hugely tropical fruit hop notes) and the end result is unappealing, at least to my palette.

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River Roost Brewery
American Double / Imperial IPA / 7.80% ABV

4.39/5  rDev -0.9% | Score: 4.43
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy orange with minimal head.
Smell is ripe tropical fruits and resinous pine.
Taste follows, ripe pineapple and mango. Resinous, oily pine lingers on the finish. Quite tasty!
On the lighter side of medium bodied with good carb levels. 
Overall a great beer that can hang with the big boys in Vermont!

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American IPA / 6.00% ABV

4.09/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.09
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, from Vinmonopolet Jørpeland. Cloudy golden to orange colour, moderate white head. Pleasant hoppy aroma, notes of citrus, pine and spruce, some spicy notes too. Soft carbonation. The flavour has first a slight sweetness, then grapefruity and resinous hops take over the show, and last through the long and bitter aftertaste.

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Illegal Business
Illegal Business

Spike Brewery
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV

4.38/5  rDev +3.8% | Score: 4.22
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a hazy orange with two fingers white head. 
Smell is mango, pineapple, some citrus notes.
Taste follows with the mango, pineapple, a little bitter grapefruit keeps it in balance.
Medium body, soft and smooth feel.

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Transmigration of Souls Quadruple Dry-Hopped
Transmigration of Souls Quadruple Dry-Hopped

Orpheus Brewing
American Double / Imperial IPA / 11.00% ABV

4.66/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.66
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can from June 2018

The question is how can one of the top 5 beers in GA get better? quadruple dry-hop it! Congrats to Orpheus on celebrating a big anniversary in the best way possible - and thank you Hop,Grain, & Vine for the hook-up here!

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Open To Suggestions
Open To Suggestions

Spike Brewery
American IPA / 6.20% ABV

4.24/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.22
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy golden orange pour with a thick frothy white head.
Smell is mango, pineapple, peach, sweet malts.
Taste is dominated by the sweet malts, the fruity hop flavors are there too but the malts lead the way on this one.
Medium to full bodied smooth.

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Firestone 20 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone 20 - Anniversary Ale

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
American Strong Ale / 13.00% ABV

4.7/5  rDev +6.6% | Score: 4.41
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

XX has to be the deepest shade of brown imaginable. It looks clean, and a bit thin as it descends from bottle to glass, and she shimmers with hazelnut highlights. A very thin khaki ring makes itself comfortable around the perimeter, and little effort is put into leaving it's signature on the glass.

As expected with Parabola making up 40% of the blend, this bursts with the stouts goods. Marshmallow, bourbon, and licorice carry the torch for the dark ales contribution, while fig and candi sugar sweetness vouch for the Barley Wines. The oak happily represents the entire cast to these rediculously intoxicating aromas.

First sip, and it all seems to happen so fast! Going back for more and it seems that the barley wines take first wave, as caramel coated dark fruits attack. Molasses comes in next and then a clear shot of straight booze. A touch of black licorice, then sweet pipe tobacco and oak. This thing is layer after layer of flavors. Plain white sugar and a little burnt toast scrapings finish it off, and the masterpiece has made its mark.

In a general sense, one might argue this is a bit thin, but to me it's just right. It has a good amount of heft to it all the while being easy to sip. It's smooth, sweet, and robust. The dry oakiness is the perfect host to the sweet complexion, and it parallels the alcohol warmth long in the finish.

I usually grab two of FW Anniversary ales. One to have right away, and one to save til the following year. For XX, I only bought one. This one. That is my only regret. This is a truly amazing beer, and well deserves to bear the two X's. Cheers.

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Vanilla Porter
Vanilla Porter

Little Valley Brewing Ltd
English Porter / 4.20% ABV

3.34/5  rDev +7.1% | Score: 3.12
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

500 ml bottle conditioned, from Gulating Ølutsalg, Stavanger. ABV is 4.5%. Very dark ruby colour, moderate beige head. Aroma of moderately roast malts, only hints of vanilla and orange peel. Slightly sourish flavour with moderately roast malts, slightly dry. Hints of orange peel, surprisingly little vanilla for a beer called "vanilla porter". Very moderate hops.

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Dark Alley Barrel Aged
Dark Alley Barrel Aged

2 Row Brewing
American Double / Imperial Stout / 15.10% ABV

3.87/5  rDev -8.3% | Score: 4.22
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown to jet black. Medium brown head on heavy pour. Nose is Whiskey forward with notes of molasses roasted malt. Taste whiskey/Bourbon forward as well. At 15.1% you get a lot of heat up front but once that peels back, notes of dark roast coffee, toasted malt, molasses, brown sugar and light vanilla shine. Sweet candied Bourbon finish. Medium to full bodied but not heavy or soupy for the size of this beer. Finishes hot.

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Thunder Thief Double IPA
Thunder Thief Double IPA

Red Brick Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV

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

Three week old can June 2018

Golden wine colored with beautiful delicate lacing... tons of tropical fruit on the nose...super quaffable, nary a trace of booze...highly crushable unlike any DIPA I've come across. Red Brick has a homerun here, seek and destroy!

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Stoodley Stout
Stoodley Stout

Little Valley Brewing Ltd
Oatmeal Stout / 4.80% ABV

3.05/5  rDev -8.7% | Score: 3.34
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared 330 ml bottle. Very dark brown to black colour, moderate beige head. Moderate roasty and malty notes in the dryish aroma, a hint of cocoa too. Thin mouthfeel. Dry roasty flavour, okay but not remarkable.

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El Gose
El Gose

Avery Brewing Company
Gose / 4.50% ABV

3.57/5  rDev -1.1% | Score: 3.61
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 12 oz. can into an El Catador teku glass.

A: Hazy light gold, with a good amount of visible carbonation and a thin white head that fades quickly.

S: Lemony tartness and citric acid, over pilsner and cracker malts. There’s salinity as well, then something green or vegetal in the background that I can’t quite place.

T: Light tartness and pilsner malts with moderate sulfurous quality. Lemon and lime citric acid with medium salinity level and lactic tartness. It finishes dry and tart and salty.

M: A light body. Minimal alcohol. The carbonation sensation is on the low side for style.

O: A bit heavy on the pilsner malts for my taste, and a bit light on the tartness. Just nothing I’d buy again. I’m not sure where the vegetal aroma was coming from, but that didn't help.

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The Bridge (Down With The Koz)
The Bridge (Down With The Koz)

Interboro Spirits and Ales
American IPA / 6.30% ABV

3.64/5  rDev -7.1% | Score: 3.92
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up when it was released last year, having never had this before. I loved the idea behind this beer as I've driven over the Bridge in reference many times and it's demolition happened right around the time that this came out. In addition, LIC is in Queens and with these guys in Brooklyn, was fitting given that that's the two Boroughs that the Kosciuszko connects. I wish that this beer was up to par on the novelty scale, as it was quite unmemorable when all was said and done; although it wasn't even close to being a drain pour...

The pour to this was a bit underwhelming as the liquid was murky, muted, and gold with a bit of floating sediment in it. Not a lot to the head and the same was true for the lacing as there wasn't a lot left on the side of my pint glass as I worked my way through this. A bit of citrus juice and cream was found in the nose as there was more sherbert, chalk, and faint sweetness in the taste. Not as smooth as I would have liked, this seemed a bit dry and gritty and not as slick or juicy as I was hoping for. Faint Citra Hops and muddled dankness remained on the aftertaste but there just seemed to be something missing here...

Not a lot of booze in this meant that it went down as smooth as could be but not as effortless as I would have liked. Dated 6/28 with "IS OVER" written above it, this was not bad as much as it just didn't live up to the lofty standards that these two have set. Maybe it should have just been imploded!

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Python IPA
Python IPA

Little Valley Brewing Ltd
English India Pale Ale (IPA) / 6.00% ABV

2.35/5  rDev -33% | Score: 3.51
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

330 ml sample bottle, a gift, as Little Valley Organic Python IPA. Brew #207, BB date 19.06. 2011. ABV is 6.0%. Cloudy brownish golden colour, large white head. Strong lemony and acidic / vinegary aroma, also hints of wild yeast / farmhouse. The flavour is very acidic, lemony and vinegary, with a sharp hoppy biiterness in the finish. This is the second beer past its BB date I’ve had from Little Valley, they have both gone sour. Apparently you should not even CONSIDER drinking their beers if they are past their BB date. Will rerate if I can find a fresh bottle.

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Funky Blender - Nelson & Galaxy
Funky Blender - Nelson & Galaxy

Casey Brewing & Blending
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 7.00% ABV

4.29/5  rDev -0.9% | Score: 4.33
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 5/31/17. Pours a clear gloden yellow with a huge fluffy white head. Nose is citrus, grapes and yeast. Taste of grape skins and citrus pith along with dry oak. Nice yeast profile and fairly tart. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Very dry tart finish.

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Fairtrade Ginger Pale Ale
Fairtrade Ginger Pale Ale

Little Valley Brewing Ltd
English Pale Ale / 4.00% ABV

3.3/5  rDev +24.5% | Score: 2.65
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Rerate, 500 ml bottle, from Bris Ølutsalg, Jørpeland. ABV is 4.0%. Clear deep golden colour, moderate white head. Aroma of malts and ginger. The flavour is moderately malty but not sweet, with distinct notes of ginger, also fairly distinct bittering hops. And it is NOT very sour / infected! Ginger warmth in the aftertaste / throatfeel. I'm upping the score quite a bit. Original rating: 500 ml bottle (a gift), as Little Valley Organic Bottle Conditioned Ginger Pale Ale. And yes, it is "fairtrade" and vegan - and "CAMRA says this is real ale". My oh my - you don’t even have to drink it. BUYING it is apparently enough to ensure your passage through the pearly gates. ABV is 4.0%. "Best before" February 2010 - that might explain a lot. Cloudy golden colour, large to moderate white head. Strong aroma of ginger, sweetish fruity and sugary notes. The flavour is really sour, lemony and acidic from the first to the last sip (yes, I mean really SOUR - probably far more than intended by the brewer), with a moderate ginger burn. Dryish finish. Probably infected - certainly not something I would pay good money for. But I am a polite fellow - somehow I managed to finish the bottle.

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Ghost In The Machine
Ghost In The Machine

Parish Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV

4.66/5  rDev +4% | Score: 4.48
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a very cloudy yellow orange color with a thin foamy head. Head retention is mild. Aroma is excellent. Fresh, citrus. Somewhat piney. Taste follows the same way. This is very, very good.

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Brooklyn Black OPS
Brooklyn Black OPS

Brooklyn Brewery
Russian Imperial Stout / 10.50% ABV

4.08/5  rDev -1% | Score: 4.12
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a two finger, fizzy dark khaki head that settles own to a fine, half finger cap with great retention and thick lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, dark chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. Flavor is dark toasted malt, a fruity component that is close to cherry, vanilla, bourbon and light chocolate. Finishes fizzy with lingering bourbon and vanilla with cherry esters. Medium bodied with slight creaminess and sharp, fizzy carbonation. Looks and smell fantastic. The flavor is bourbon forward with the interesting fruit esters that are probably due to the bottle conditioning yeast. The vanilla and chocolate notes are subsumed into the bourbon. The malt is light for a Russian style imperial stout, but supports the strong bourbon barrel component. A little lighter in body and malt depth than expected for this big a stout, but the flavor is satisfying and nice and bourbony. I'm not a huge fan of fruit flavors in stouts, but the yeast fruit notes here fit well with the other flavors, almost a Belgian stout profile from the yeast. Really glad I had an opportunity to try this classic East Coast barreled stout. It grew on me as I drank it.

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Devil's Paint Box
Devil's Paint Box

Tangled Roots Brewing Company / The Lone Buffalo
American IPA / 6.66% ABV

3.5/5  rDev -3.8% | Score: 3.64
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle dated 10/20/17 poured into a tulip
A: Amber with a thin head
S: A bit sweet/caramel, some tropical fruit
T: Matches the nose. Mostly malt with some tropical fruit hops
M: Medium-bodied, fairly sweet
O: I love the label & hope I have the chance to try it fresher

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Dirty Little Freak
Dirty Little Freak

DuClaw Brewing Company
American Brown Ale / 5.80% ABV

3.52/5  rDev -5.4% | Score: 3.72
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Single 12 oz bottle purchased from Bottle Shock in PSL.
Pours a nutty caramel color from the bottle and forms a medium brown body in the snifter with a 1/2 finger of grey head.

Coconut on the nose, with hints of chocolate cookie and english brown malts.

Roasted malts come first, with dry cocoa following, hints of washed out chocolate chip, and finally a hint of coconut. Dirty tap water, earthy hops, earthy coconut.

Feel is creamy and electrically carbonated at the same time. Nutty, roasty finish.

Overall, a bit disappointed in this one. Glad I didn't buy a 6 pack.

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Specter India Pale Ale
Specter India Pale Ale

Fulton Beer
American IPA / 7.10% ABV

3.6/5  rDev -9.5% | Score: 3.98
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Despite zero agitation, this beer came gushing out, resulting in a bright golden color with several inches of head. Smell is juicy, tropical fruits. Taste is juicy, pineapple, passion fruit, grapefruit, moderate bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Barrel Aged Mexican Chocolate Peanut Butter
Barrel Aged Mexican Chocolate Peanut Butter

Belching Beaver Brewery
American Double / Imperial Stout / 10.50% ABV

4.38/5  rDev +2.6% | Score: 4.27
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Haha, oh wow... smelling this thing reminds Raul of his Tristessa that he woke up next to one morning in Ensenada - perfection. Oh yeah, look? Dark like Tristessa’s jet black hair. Taste? Can I huge? Huge, I mean huge peanut butter and spiced Mexican chocolate - this beer is for real. Only letdown is that for being barrel aged, it’s a lil too light (unlike Tristessa).

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