Beer Reviews: Most Recent

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Sprockets!
Sprockets!

Blackstack Brewing
Kellerbier / Zwickelbier / 4.80% ABV

3.78/5  rDev 0% | Score: 3.78
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Poured a cloudy, golden-yellow color with a small, off-white head of foam. It smelled of bread crust, toffee and floral notes. Sweet caramel taste with a mild bitterness.

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The Psychic Laser
The Psychic Laser

Southern Tier Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.50% ABV

4.06/5  rDev +5.2% | Score: 3.86
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Brewing Company "The Psychic Laser"
One pint can; the production dating is skewed but it looks like it reads "DOB 04/24/2018 FL 48:00"

Notes via stream of consciousness: Nice label. It's poured a cloudy golden-orange body beneath a three finger thick head of off-white. It looks like a hefeweizen. The aroma is hoppy with fruit and spice and earth and pine. I was initially thinking the spice and earthiness was from hops but I've just now realized that they've used a saison yeast for this one. I'm getting tropical fruits, berries, and I think, some clove-like phenolics as well. On to the flavor... similar. The tropical hops don't come through quite as strong as the aroma suggested they might, and the saison yeast is definitely clear, giving more character than I thought it would. It doesn't seem that bitter but I hesitate to guess at it as there's a lot of malt there to disguise it. It's not sweet though, and it finishes dry with a little bit of acidity and plenty of soft spice and earthiness. I wish I could make out more of the fruitiness but I can only say mango, pineapple, soft tangerine, apple, and sweet red berries. The pine is very mild, which is good because it balances nicely with the fruity hops and might be too much with the earthiness and spice from the yeast. Medium in body and crisp. Quite drinkable. The lacing could be better but the head retention was pretty good to begin with. Overall pretty nice I'd say.

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Worst Behavior
Worst Behavior

Blackstack Brewing
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.50% ABV

4.46/5  rDev +1.8% | Score: 4.38
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap. Poured a clear, golden orange color with a small, off-white head of foam. It smelled of toasted caramel, citrus fruits and pine. Big bitter, piney hop bite up front with citrus and sweet caramel.

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Faerie Tears
Faerie Tears

The Ale Apothecary
American Wild Ale / 9.00% ABV

4.09/5  rDev +2% | Score: 4.01
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle, batch bottled 28th June 2017 (I think, as the last number wasn’t so clear). Poured into a 3 Fonteinen stemmed glass.

Appearance: A hazy dark copper orange amber colour with a big two finger off white head that had pretty good retention but eventually settled to a thin but replenishing layer. It left only sparse to no lacing.

Aroma: Oak, vanilla, leather, funk with hints of tart, fruity, apricot and peach.

Taste: Sour, tart, funk, fruity (I’m unsure exactly what fruit, but I want to say apricot…), grape and oak with hints of lemon, vanilla and a vinous touch.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: Nice, easy and relaxing to drink even at 9% abv.

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Ratify
Ratify

Blackstack Brewing
Witbier / 4.80% ABV

3.85/5  rDev +0.8% | Score: 3.82
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Poured cloudy, golden color with a small, bubbly white head of foam. It smelled of cracked wheat, orange peel and spices. Sweet wheat flavor with some spice.

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Dankwood
Dankwood

Founders Brewing Company
American Amber / Red Ale / 12.20% ABV

4.23/5  rDev +3.4% | Score: 4.09
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a full beer, especially for an amber ale, yet it finishes frothy and creamy, magnificent. The smell is full of warm and somber hops with bourbon, malt and a lot of wood rising up in the aromas. The taste has a complexity that is fun and completely hardy all together. It includes flavors of biscuit malt, caramel, charred wood, bourbon, starchy hops, pine, and some kind of sweet fruit I can't put my finger on, think in the range of candied cherry or sweetened juniper berry. Star is the fullness and woody pulp feel that will put hair on your chest

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Irie IPA
Irie IPA

Tighthead Brewing Company
American IPA / 7.80% ABV

3.79/5  rDev -3.3% | Score: 3.92
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz can. Poured a clear, golden amber color with a small, tan head of khaki-colored foam. It smelled roasted malt, toast and pine. Very malt-forward IPA with a bitter piney hop bite.

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Smoke Metal
Smoke Metal

Burlington Beer Co.
Oatmeal Stout / 5.50% ABV

4.16/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.16
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in the tap room.
Pours a nice dark brown with some light coming in on the edges. Low levels of head.
Aromas are a good deal of roasted malt, chocolate and decent smoke.
Flavors are really well balanced levels of smoke and deep roasted malt.
Mouthfeel was good but a touch thin for me.
Overall, great use of smoke...just want it a bit thicker.

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E.
E.

Hill Farmstead Brewery
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 7.00% ABV

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

Pours a slightly hazy pale golden color with a medium sized white head.

Smells of fresh cut garden herbs, orange zest and a flowery note, which mingles into the oaken barrel, acting as a calming antagonist to the fresh hops. This appears very well rounded on the nose, topped off by a hint of passion fruit and blue cheese. A unique combination, which works very well on the nose.

Drinks light and refreshing with a thirst quenching finally, in which dry and sour flavours team up to a powerful combination.

Tastes of dry, herbal hops among sour yeast and dried orange zest. Turns even drier then, with a subtle, sour funkiness coming up, adding a note of wet cellar and leather to the flavors. Finishes heavier on the funk than on the hops, creating a short, dusty toffee peak, covered in old leaves and mushrooms.

Truly complex on the palate, this is a great split between saison and pale ale, full of daring and more subtle flavors, combined to a fantastic blend on the palate.

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Ardenne Saison
Ardenne Saison

Brasserie Minne
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 5.50% ABV

4.03/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.03
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy yellow color with a solid white head.

Smells of wheat, wild flowers, grass and light caramel malts. Offers a subtle sourness atop this foundation, highlighting the floral hops outstandingly well.

Drinks very smooth due to its well pronounced yeast profile, which successfully hides the beers uprising effervescence until the finish, in which it adds a pleasant refrehment.

Tastes of matured grassy to floral hops with a crackery quality and doughy yeast, adding a light banana flavor. Turns aqueous during its middle part with a well integrated mineralic quality and an uprising bitterness. Finishes peppery, floral, soft on the tongue with just a whiff of dried herbs maintaining.

Great beer! While this is full of flavors, ranging between saison dupont and orval, its incredibly refreshing and light on the tongue, making this a perfect bbq beer.

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Tomorrow's Verse
Tomorrow's Verse

Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 7.00% ABV

3.75/5  rDev 0% | Score: 3.88
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours out a medium hazy dark golden color, with a thin white head------------- the aromas are of clove, lesser cinnamon, woody notes and canned peaches---------------- the flavors are of clove, cinnamon, bubblegum, canned peaches and Apple pie, the beer had a med mouthfeel with a crisp finish----------------- overall this beer was very good - this is not my favorite style of saison I prefer the more dry and less spiced versions, but with that said this was really well made, it was nice and spicy with some sweet fruity esters coming through wile still finishing crisp-------

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Pacific Wonderland Lager
Pacific Wonderland Lager

Deschutes Brewery
American Pale Lager / 5.50% ABV

3.77/5  rDev +0.3% | Score: 3.76
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The clear pale golden yellow beer pours into a Duvel glass with a 1” ivory white head that leaves a ring of a streaked pattern of lacing around the glass as it slowly recedes to a thin layer that eventually becomes an irregular island of foam on the surface. Sipping a couple of arches and lots of small patches and speckles of lacing, many of which slide back down to the liquid.

The aromas include some light, almost toasted, crackery malt and some fruitiness along with light grassiness and a touch of citric zest from the hops.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose wth the lightly toasted crackery malt backed up by some fruitiness. The light sweetness is well balanced by some grassy bitterness that also has a touch of citric zest.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly prickly from the moderate carbonation. The medium length finish begins as the malt sweetness and fruitiness slowly to fade into a, clean, crisp, dry and slightly earthy, slightly citric and bitter ending.

Overall a pleasant and easily drinkable beer that is refreshing during the hot, humid weather. I’d be happy to have this one again and could easily have more than one. It seems to me to be a good choice to have on offer for an evening with friends. While not overly complex it is flavorful, well balanced and everything works well together.

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Oude Bae
Oude Bae

Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Flanders Oud Bruin / 6.50% ABV

3.88/5  rDev -1.3% | Score: 3.93
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The lightly hazed reddish cherry wood colored beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a finely bubbled 1” light pink head that recedes slowly to a thin, irregular island of foam and a small ring around the glass while leaving little or no lacing. Sipping creates some widely scattered patches and a few legs of lacing, most of which slide back down to the liquid.

The aromas include some red wine grapes, some oak, some dark bread, a hint of something like tart cherries.

As expected from the nose the flavors are mostly about the red wine grapes. There’s also some fruity dark cherry tartness along with the bit of wood from the oak. In the background there’s some dark bread and sweetness from the malt.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied as well as being both tart with the red grape and dark cherry notes and slightly prickly from the light carbonation. The background includes some wood from the oak and some dark bread from the malt. The medium length finish begins as the malt sweetness and dark bread begin to disappear leaving both the tartness from the grapes and cherry, along with a bit of oak, to lead the way to a semi-dry and astringent finish in the middle and back of the palate.

Overall an interesting beer which is well made and which I’ve enjoyed trying for the complexity of it’s flavor profile. But that said, I’m not sure I’ll be repeating this one. Effectively the overall aroma/flavor profiles show a bit too much red wine and dark cherry tartness for my tastes.

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Black Magic Stout
Black Magic Stout

Empire Brewing Company - Brewpub
Irish Dry Stout / 4.80% ABV

4/5  rDev +9.3% | Score: 3.66
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Empire Brewing Co. "Black Magic Stout"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, coded "02/05/20180205"

Notes via stream of consciousness: I poured the bottle straight down into the glass and got a decent amount of tan head over its black body but it didn't look nearly as good as most other nitro beers I've had from a bottle. OK, who cares. It's very roasty in the nose, but there'a also some additional grain and a pleasant yeasty fruitiness. Not bad so far! On to the flavor... very roasty as well, almost like black coffee, but also a bit chocolatey, a touch caramelish, and somewhat nutty. That's pretty well done in my opinion. A stiff bitterness balances it (the label lists 22.3 IBUs) and it finishes dry and roasty. It's not go the depth of some Irish-style stouts that I've tasted but it's also a little bit more complex than some as well. And it's not overdone as well. The worst thing you can do is over-do an Irish-style stout either with roastiness or bitterness or additional malts. I do wish there was just a little more carbonation to it, but at least it's smooth and pleasant with a medium-light body and gentle caress on the tongue. Well done. A pleasure to enjoy.
Review# 6,141

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Uppercase Poems - Scotch Cask + Blooming Bean Coffee
Uppercase Poems - Scotch Cask + Blooming Bean Coffee

Odd Breed Wild Ales
English Barleywine / 14.00% ABV

3.43/5  rDev 0% | Score: 3.43
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On nitro at the brewery. Deep brown and murky. Retains some bubbles. Smells of coffee and something bright behind I can't identify. Lots of caramel and brown sugar. Tastes of coffee, caramel and brown sugar. A touch or Brett earthiness. Some light whiskey, but not distinctly scotch. Heavy and almost creamy. Coffee dominates and makes it tastes totally different from the untreated Scotch version.

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Smash Smash
Smash Smash

Blue Owl Brewing
American IPA / 6.70% ABV

3.81/5  rDev 0% | Score: 3.73
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

an all mosaic sour pale, at least it was mosaic when we were in, not sure if the hop changes on this one from batch to batch or not. i was surprised to learn it was all mosaic after we drank it, the flavors and especially the aromas of the hops in here seem way beyond mosaic, sure there is some of that classic pineapple and cat pee thing to it, but there is a lot more than that too, i got meyer lemon, candied melon rind, tangerine and orange tic tac, white grape, and even like a vanilla taffy or something, clearly the lactic sourness of this has brought out some unique properties of the mosaic, maybe the lower ph upon dry hopping has something to do with it from a chemical standpoint, but whatever has done down here, its a success! the fruitiness of the hops adds some cool complexity to a beer that might not be so interesting without this level of hop depth, the malt is very basic pale type here and the sourness is the same mid palate pucker, tidy and citrusy, that all of their beers seemed to have, not a lot of variation there as far as i could tell. the hops make this fresh and summery and oddly unique for what appears to be a relatively simple recipe. nice job with this one, a new side of mosaic!

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Van Dayum!
Van Dayum!

Blue Owl Brewing
American Amber / Red Ale / 5.40% ABV

3.73/5  rDev +3.6% | Score: 3.6
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

after a couple of blue owl beers, i came to expect a more simplified, albeit super clean lactic sour profile and less complexity from the ferment, and thats quite okay, this is their niche, and they are covering all style tweaks within it, it seems to me anyway. this is a pleasant sour red, even with the right sort of sharpness for something like a flanders red, but the sourness is more of a lemony pucker rather than a red wine vinegary sort of flavor. its nice though set against a much sturdier and more flavorful malt base than many of their other, lighter beers have. here there is a toasted nutty element, a little bit of toffee sort of sweetness, and a hearty bready thing, balances out the acidity really well, and ends up dry on the finish which is nice in the warm texas summer. i get a little more nuance from this one than a lot of their others too, raisin and bourbon notes from the malt, bright lemon and even spite soda or something in the lacto, its a tasty take on this style, and it makes me wonder why the vast majority of kettle soured beers seem to be pale, clearly there is a role for some other malts in something like this...

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Hop Totem
Hop Totem

Blue Owl Brewing
American IPA / 6.70% ABV

3.68/5  rDev -0.5% | Score: 3.7
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

there are some of their beers that this sour profile works brilliantly in, and others where its not necessarily the right fit, and this falls into the latter camp for me. it seems like most if not all of their beers have the same sour mashed clean lactic tartness, without any funky brett, more complex bacterial maturity, or much else at all really on the yeast side, and while its amazing in the berliner and the gose and even the pale, it leaves a little something to be desired in this ipa, at least for me. the hop profile is nice, a cool mix of juicy dry hopped citrusy brightness, orange and grapefruit and tangerine, but also a little higher alpha vegetal bitterness, which gives a pretty complete spectrum to this. the body seems insanely light, broken down quite a bit by the lactic acidity thats so prevalent all the way through this one. i still like how clean and citrusy the sourness is, it compliments the hops really well, but it ends up taking this one away from ipa for me, and it might be better by itself than it is next to so many of their other beers which this identical sour profile is more agreeable. still light and summery and very drinkable for a sour. tasty but not their best beer.

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Puff
Puff

Sixpoint Brewery
American Double / Imperial IPA / 9.80% ABV

4.41/5  rDev +6% | Score: 4.16
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a can to a snifter glass. had a dark amber color and a super cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: An incredibly enticing aroma of dank hops, tropical fruit, citrus, malt, and pine resin.

T: Tasted of a good shot of tropical fruit (mango), lots of dank hops (not overdone), a tinge of malt in the finish), some citrus (orange peel), and a bit of pine resin. This is one of those incredibly well-balanced DIPAs. The fruit elements never let the powerful dank hops and pine overwhelm things. Quite delicious.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a sweet, slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Puff is the type of beer that won't please everyone (what is, really?), but if you want something slightly odd, give it a whirl.

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Bleu
Bleu

Central State Brewing
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 6.00% ABV

3.71/5  rDev +1.9% | Score: 3.64
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a tallboy can to a pint glass. Had a dark, blood red color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was an inch of creamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Not much lacing, though.

S: A decent, but not great aroma of blueberries, Belgian yeast, citrus, a musty quality, and spices.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of Belgian-style yeast (present throughout), a fair amount of blueberries (not quite enough), light spices (peppercorn), the musty / earthy quality, and some citrus (lemon). An uneven, somewhat flat flavor. Blueberries aren't an overly powerful fruit, and they need propping up. This flavor doesn't quite get the job done.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Definitely an uneven beer all around. Has some good qualities, but could've been better.

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077-19148 - Citra
077-19148 - Citra

Carton Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial IPA / 7.80% ABV

4.58/5  rDev +8.8% | Score: 4.21
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I really like all of the Carton 077xx but being a citra lover to me this is one of there best. Nice and clear (no haze) with just enough bitterness. Next time buy more.

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Hiram's Hooch Imperial Stout
Hiram's Hooch Imperial Stout

Jack Mason’s Tavern and Brewery
American Double / Imperial Stout / 8.00% ABV

3.39/5  rDev 0% | Score: 3.39
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jack Mason's call this an Imperial Stout, so I will rate to that style.

This imperial stout tastes like a dry irish stout. Aroma and tastes of dark roasted malts, coffee notes and minor dark chocolate. No residual sugar/sweetness. No hint of alcohol.

Dry but smooth, almost like the beer was served from a nitro tap (without the head), but way too thin. No body for the amount of alcohol. 3.0

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Happy Knack IPA
Happy Knack IPA

Jack Mason’s Tavern and Brewery
American IPA / 6.60% ABV

3.93/5  rDev 0% | Score: 3.93
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale dirty orange. Minor notes of grapefruit in the nose with a hint of sweetness. Don't let the cloudy nature of this beer fool you. It's taste is somewhere between a Northeast and a West Coast IPA. Drinkable with a dry but not harsh finish.

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Log Hopper Tavern Kölsch
Log Hopper Tavern Kölsch

Jack Mason’s Tavern and Brewery
Kölsch / 5.00% ABV

4.1/5  rDev 0% | Score: 4.1
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light and refreshing, well carbonated with the faintest of lemon taste. A good reflection of the style.

I tried every beer on tap and this was their best offering.

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Big Bird
Big Bird

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

4.69/5  rDev +6.1% | Score: 4.42
look: 2 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasted this alongside MBC Lunch, Four Quarters Ghost in the Sky and Gun Hill Vox Populi. The others didn't fair well in comparison. And I love all of them. Part of that was the shear "this one goes to 11" of Trillium's study in utter lack of restraint. Intense tropical and resin aromas backed by juicy, massive flavor. You simply cannot not stop drinking. Pacing yourself is not an option. A beer I would likely abandon my wife and children for. A small complaint though--this beer is not easy on the eyes. Sludgy gray-ish peach color, like the complexion of some consumptive poet. From now on I'll just drink it from the can.

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