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Maine Beer Company / Lawson's Finest Liquids Collaboration Time I | Maine Beer Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
37 Reviews
THE BROS
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Maine Beer Company / Lawson's Finest Liquids Collaboration Time IMaine Beer Company / Lawson's Finest Liquids Collaboration Time I
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A hoppy American dark ale incorporating New England-grown barley, wheat, rye, and whole cone hops. Special thanks to Valley Malt for malting up the special batch of local Chocolate Rye and Crystal Wheat.

Added by sk8man121 on 07-18-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
37
Ratings:
117
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
8.45%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
7
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 117
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very tasty stuff, thanks John. A fresh spot on style black IPA with well integrated citrus and roasted malt, some bitter chocolate, a little rye edge. Grows on me. Thick lace. Wonderful aromas of the above. Full mouthfeel.Seek it out. Maine, here we come.

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Photo of oline73
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. This was opened at the August Baltimore BA tasting.

Appearance: Pours a mahogany color with some red where the light hits the edge. There is a half finger of off white head that fades to a layer.

Smell: Some hops and smoke. I'm also getting some rye like spice and dark fruit notes.

Taste: Rye like spice along with a mild roast. Not very sweet at all. Some smoke and roasted malt with even more spice and citrus hops in the finish. Complex and quite good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This was one of the best beers we've had. The spice/bitterness was really good with the smokey notes. I would have another.

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this about 2 weeks ago and meant to drink it right away, but completely forgot. It has a date, kinda, so illegible that i can barely even tell it's a date, and when I try to wipe the condensation off of it to read it, it's gone... aaand it's gone!

It pours a huge fluffy slightly darker colored 3 finger head (larger than the beer in the oversized snifter fades semi slowly in a pillow fashion, with canyons and mountains left behind, and lots of soapy lacing on the glass. The beer itself is not too thick looking but dark midnight black with no light escaping its grasp.

The nose expunges hops of all kinds, starting with spicy chewy hops, the kind that you get from pure pelletized bittering hops, a Chinook or similar level hop. Then the nice hops that typically come from the two breweries fall in line, a light citrus and bit of tropical fruit even, it dabbles in light fruit like tangerine, mango, peach, pear, and even a hint of grapefruit. Later comes the wafts of pine and light earthy bitterness, almost as if they used every good hop available and threw it in at different times in the boil or dry hop. Under all that is a light base of hints of dark chocolate, caramel, and even a light vanilla like aroma.

Taste starts with a light creamy luscious smooth rich malty flavor. Cocoa and dark chocolate, light milk chocolate even. It's so rich and smooth it's crazy, some oats in there, some caramel, light vanilla again, with a bit of... is that a hint of spicy rye? Then pure hops. Spicy earthy hops start off with a decent but not overpowering bitterness, similar as the nose again with a Chinook like heavy hop, and bit of pine. There is a light citrus but not much anymore, a hint of tropical fruit came through at first but was quickly shooed away by the other malts and hops. The bitterness ramps as it moves towards the dry spicy hop finish, with a light creamy chocolate flavor, light lingering caramel and vanilla, and cocoa.

Mouth is med bodied, smooth, rich, velvety, and decent carb.

Overall quite nice for an ABA. Not quite my fav style anymore as it tends to be very spicy and overpowering hops, but this one is pretty nice despite the spiciness. The nice velvety malts, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, and other flavors add a really nice feel and taste, and the hops aren't all spicy and earthy, there is some nice hops in there as well. Tasty and surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury, VT

A neat collaboration, but still a pretty average beer in the world of CDAs/ABAs. Dark brown-black pour with maroon hues around the edges; half inch or so of fizzy tannish head that receded to a ringlet, dabs of soapy lacing here and there. Pine and citrus hops in the aroma, some stone fruit, backed by bitter dark chocolate. More of the same in the taste, roasty malts, dark chocolate, ash, coffee grounds, light fruits, somewhat bland piney hops, kind of astringent. About medium in body, decent overall, but not something I'd get again, even if I could.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into a lawsons snifter. The brew appears black in color with more than 2 fingers worth of fluffy khaki head. As the cap fades, it leaves some webby lacing effect sticking to the glass. Rising bubbles maintain about a half finger around the perimeter. When held to the light, some lighter brown and ruby coloration is seen.

The aroma is very roasted and grainy like chocolate and coffee with a bit of earthen and ash aspects. There are fruity to herbal tinges of hops with a citrus element also blending into a bit of vegetative aspect. Some sniffs bring out almost a layering of licorice.

The taste is dry and roasted like bitter chocolate and coffee. Some earthen aspects mildly reminiscent of tobacco fade into the hop quality that is vegetative, herbal, fruity, floral and somewhat citrus-like. Some sips have a bit of a rasin-like or molasses character included along with hints of anise.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is quite roasty and dry with a bit of an oily hop feel that isn't outlandish. I am not the biggest fan of black ipas but this one was pretty solid for the style. If I had to drink a black ipa, I would reach for this one again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Best by 9/15/2012. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Dark brown. Nice creamy head and nice retention.

Smell - Strong grassy hops. A little citrus. Hefty roast behind it. Very nice blend of components.

Taste - Great grassy hop flavor. Bitter and grassy. Coffee roasted malts come second, but it isn't anywhere near as well blended as the aroma suggested.

Mouthfeel - Not heavy, medium bitterness. Good carbonation.

Overall - Maybe not well blended enough to say it's good. Grassy and tasty, but a little harsh.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at VBF.

A - Black, stout-like in colour; almost opaque. A small amount of light brown head formed and quickly disappeared. 4.5

S - Loads of fresh hop aromas up front - grapefruit, pineapple and mango. The roasted malt backbone is definitely there but takes the back seat in the nose.

T - A big bitterness up front with big grapefruit and pine flavous and some lighter tropical fruit notes. Roasted malts show up in the finish and add a nice layer of flavour to the finish. The hops definitely play centre stage here.

M - Medium body with lots of sticky hop oils. Light carbonation.

O - An excellent example of style.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

Best By: 9/15/2012

Pours a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, with a HUGE two-finger plus creamy/foamy light tan color head, TONS of sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some nice malt notes, lots of licorice notes, slight chocolate, slight citrus note, and some pines thrown in. The taste is very nice hoppy, with some nice maltyness, licorice, some citrus, and some pine notes. Medium body with a slightly dry/bitter finish. Overall this is a very tasty brew, glad to have had a chance to try it. Thanks Bill!

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Photo of rudzud
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Hunger Mountain Co-Op in VT. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a wonderful deep, rich brown almost black pour with an excellent almost 3 finger mocha head that slumps down to leave sticky side lacing and a nice dense half finger blanket.

S - Excellent aromas of chocolate roasted malts, nice and sweet like a fine chocolate with just the slightest coffee aroma. Wonderful pine aromas follow along with grapefruit rind. Excellent.

T - Taste is just delicious. More of those excellent chocolate malts along with light coffee flavours. There is some nice pine and grapefruit after the slightly smokey malts resulting in a lingering sweet, bitter finish. Way towards the end of the finish I get the faintest of tropical mango and papaya. Wow.

M - Not a super fan of the mouthfeel. Its not quite creamy, its not quite sharp. Its an odd combination of the two which results in an almost thinnish feel. Nice finish though.

O - Overall this is an excellent black IPA. I really love how there is some tropical notes on the finish. Really never had that before in a black IPA. Kicking myself for not having bought more of this as there were 6+ cases there.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Pours Stout-like. Very dark and light-impervious. You can tell the body isn't too viscous, but it definitely has a meaty build. Mild carbonation. Light bubble clusters.

S-Creamy and roasty and malty but it also sweats out plentiful amounts of hop aroma. Spiciness that is clearly derived from the rye. All local grown ingredients yield a very aromatic mixture of roast and hop.

T-Very multidimensional. Citrus and pine covered in milk chocolate and wrapped in rye bread. The rye actually isn't too overly involved. Flavorful and toasty. Definitely a memorable taste. Seems to change per sip.

O/D-If there were a triple Venn Diagram of a Stout, a Porter and a Black IPA this would lie right in the middle ground. Then you add in the rye addition and you have one unique brew. A great collaboration by two stellar breweries.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into tulip glass.

bottled date of 09/15/12.

Appearance: black bodied beer with more than 2 fingers medium tan color head. Head is composed of tightly pack thin bubbles. Big thick chunks of foam curtains are stick to the side of the glass.

Smell: Malts profile sticks out right away milk chocolates, cocoa, and mild roasty note. Hops are a little bit overtaken by malts, but its fairly close to being balanced. Hop profile is mostly pine and grassy notes. I get a hint of spiciness is this black IPA made with rye also? I think that I am getting just a hint of rye.

Taste: Hops are present right away and they are moderately bitter. Pine, herbal, earthy, grapefruits, and grassy hops. They taste fairly oily. The malts impart a touch of sweetness like a semi-sweet chocolate and a mildly bitter kind of stale coffee note. The rye really shows up in the finish and adds a touch of spiciness while building up the bitterness factor of the hops. Moderately bitter finish that lingers for a while along with a touch of roasty notes.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This has a fantastic mouthfeel to it. Its really easy drinking and is creamy, yet the carbonation is a little bit prickly.

Overall: What can I say that havent already said about Maine Beer Company. I am a huge fan of every beer that I drink from them. Maine Beer Company's bottle conditioning make these beer very appealing and gives all their beers a fantastic mouthfeel. Really nice beer here! Maine Beer Company and Lawsons should do another collaboration beer again some day! Overall this is a really solid Black IPA, but I gotta say that I enjoy NG Black Top and FSW Wookey Jack much more than this black IPA.

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Photo of xnicknj
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into taster - thanks alex

Pours an opaque black color with a crop of toasted head. Fades into some spotty, patchy lacing on the glass while drinking.

Nice punchy pine and citrus hops in the nose, tempered by some roasted dark malts. Hints of chocolate and cocoa with a dash of vanilla bean. Light sweetness and warmth.

Bitter and piny up front with a few hints of citrus peel. Nice hoppy profile, smoothed out by a slightly thicker malt backbone. Dark, roasty and hoppy all at the same time with some cocoa and vanilla sweetness. Finishes bitter and dry.

Medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and dry on the tongue. A nice hopped-up black ale, something I'd definitely try again.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Collaboration Time 1 pours a deep red/near black into the glass with a big, rocky light tan head. The foam is slow to fade leaving some spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is malty with notes of roasted malt, orange citrus and hints of chocolate.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth and creamy with mild to moderate carbonation. The flavor is nicely balanced between roasted malt, chocolate, orange citrus and pine. It finishes dry with lingering citrus and chocolate malt when gone.

This is a well balanced beer with lots of flavor and smooth mouthfeel. Wish I had more than one bottle.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 091512. Drink it fresh clearly stated multiple times on the bottle.

A: Pours a very dark red, almost black color with a massive 4 fingers worth of head. Leave it to MBC to always have large heads on all their beers (that's a good thing)

S: After the head dies down a bit (it took a while), there is a nice mix of roasted and spicy malts, chocolate, and big juicy hops. No real hint of the wheat yet, but it still smells amazing

T: Follows the nose, with the spiciness of the rye coming out quite a bit more than in the nose. Pleasant roastiness, dark chocolate, and bitterness from the hops. Possible hint of dark wheat about midway through

M: Medium-full bodied with a good dose of carbonation. Very smooth, though. I think the wheat helps to even out the rye a little here in terms of being how smooth it is

O: A very enjoyable black ale. Definitely a twist on the style using barley, rye, and wheat for the malt bill. Good to see these breweries teaming up for this one. I'd definitely drink this one fresh, as advertised.

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Photo of DaveHack
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive, fluffy, brown head settled down to a minimal film. Left behind is a thick and chunky lacing. Color is basically black, period.

Smells of smoked malts, I'd love to say more...but that is by far the domineering aroma.

Taste is definately smoked malt with some hop bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel is pretty damn good. It is medium body and coats my mouth without being oily

This isn't my style, but this is damn good. Definately worth a try.

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Photo of portia99
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle (09/15/12) poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a pitch black color capped with three big fingers of frothy coffee ice cream colored foam. Head shows good staying power and after several minutes drops towards the surface leaving behind tons of lacing on the glass.

S - Grassy and citrusy hops up front, roasty malts, a touch of root beer, hints of bitter coffee.

T - Lots of coffee...burnt/dark roasted malt, some earthiness, fresh/green grassy hops, low fruity esters.

M - Medium body with a somewhat assertive carbonation - lots of tingle, a bit of foaminess. Lots of burnt, acrid flavors that linger far past the swallow. The intensity of the charcoal effect detracts a bit here.

O - Overall a good black ale. Hops start out strong and give way to the burnt malt aspects on the finish. Fairly drinkable although the burnt nature of the beer is a bit overpowering. Hops show well here too. There is a bit of an off/weird fruity flavor somewhere in the middle that is the biggest detractor...somehow doesn't integrate well for me and is an awkward transition from the grassy hops up front to the burnt malt at the finish.

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Photo of jegross2
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Collaboration Time 1, a black ale collaboration between Maine Beer Company and Lawson's Finest Liquids.
Score: 92

Bottle demands you "drink by" 09/15/12. vintage bottle served in a Three Floyds teku glass and enjoyed on 08/13/12.

Appearance: Dense black body with three fingers of dense and soapy khaki head at pour. Amazing lacing and excellent retention. 5/5

Smell: This smells like a super zesty grapefruit IPA loaded with chocolate. The nose starts with the IPA qualities upfront, which then subside into the beer's stout-like qualities. Upfront is slightly resinous piney hopes, grapefruit and mango with growing layers of sweet tropical citrus as the beer wars. The back end smells of roasted chocolate malt, cocoa and a little bit of fudge that reminds me of what the air in the park next of the Blommer Chocolate Factory smells like. I am shocked that this black IPA is so day-and-night in it's aroma, and yet so well incorporated overall. A bit of the balance is lost as the beer hits room temperature, but it's still pretty excellent. 4.5/5

Taste: The taste is more traditional black IPA than the nose, with the stout-and-IPA contrast being less incorporated on the palate than in the nose. There is a citrusy pine hop backbone layered with chocolate malt on top. Sweet citrus (zesty tangerine, grapefruit and a little lemon) cuts through the chocolate flavors to provided a nice balance to the bitterness of the beer. There is nothing outstanding or unique about the taste of this beer, but a really nice tasting black IPA nonetheless. Not overly hoppy at all; quite balanced. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Lighter side of medium bodied with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is creamy and oily; very slick. The finish is slightly bitter and mildly malty. 4/5

Overall: Although it smells better than it tastes, I found this to be a very solid black IPA that is one of the better examples of the style.

Recommendation: Nab a fresh bottle of this while you still can and enjoy. It's mellowed out hoppiness leads me to believe that casual beer geeks might find this brew to be a nice bridge to more traditional IPA's.

Pairings: Rainbow sherbet.

Cost:

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Photo of jaasen64
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, typical style of Maine Beer Co. Picked up in VT at a small grocery store down the street from the Waitsfield Farmer's market after the Lawson's bottle release. No bottle date, however picked up last weekend. Everything ingredient in this is locally grown in New England (hops from VT). Poured into Founders snifter.

A- Pours an opaque dark brown pretty much black with about 3 fingers of thick creamy mocha brown head that has great retention and slowly recedes leaving nice layered lacing. Decent carbonation, maybe slightly above average for a black ale.

S- Very hoppy, mostly pine with a tiny bit of citrus, some dark chocolate and slightly roasted malts in the background which come out more as the beer warms. Average to slightly above average aroma strength.

T- Very hoppy, lots of pine, a little bit of sap, finishes with a lot of creamy dark chocolate and a tiny bit of roasted malts and espresso with a tiny bit of bitterness. Chocolate and some light hops linger as an aftertaste. Lots of nice tastes going on here, but in my opinion I don't think the piney hops and dark chocolate really balance the best with each other.

M- Smooth, lightly creamy, easy to drink, slightly overcarbonated for the style but otherwise a very good feel.

O- There were a lot of great things going on in this beer, however I didn't really care for the balance between the piney hops and dark chocolate. It was also a tiny bit over-carbonated for my taste. Other then those minor things, this was a great beer, which is what I was expecting from both companies. I enjoyed drinking this and I definitely recommend trying it if you can.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with an absolutely massive beige head leaving lots of lacing and excellent retention behind. Almost foams up like a quad.

More IPA than black character in the aroma. Citrus and resiny pine along with just a bit of roasty backbone.

Similar flavors although the roast cuts through a lot more. Good citrus presence up front before heavy roasted malt takes over. Finishes somewhat nutty with a pine hop resin.

Light to medium bodied. Good carbonation.

Not usually a fan of black IPA's, and while this one doesn't hold a candle to Jimmy, as far as regular ones go, it's pretty solid. Thanks to jaasen64 for hooking me up with a bottle!

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bilco for sharing his bottle.

Appearance: Near black with some lighter browns and deep reds when held to direct light. Head is a light, dirty khaki. Massive notches of lacing. Head drops to a spotty cap and chunky collar. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Roasted malts. Touches of chocolate. Roasty smooth. Some minor coffee notes. Hops are oily, earthy, piney, and vaguely tropical. Mango and tangerine over resinous, oily pine. Some grapefruit. It's all there. Both breweries managed to nail their distinct hop profiles. Malts are a touch sweet with a nice burnt edge. Chocolate malts and milk chocolate with a dusting of cocoa.

Taste: Nice punch of hops on the start. Roasted malts. Some caramel and chocolate sweetness. Creamy smooth roast. Oily pine. Big tropical component. Rough and raw mango and tangerine. Pelletized hops were obliterated and it's awesome. Some day old coffee. Touches of darker sugars bordering on char, but not quite. Mild spicy/earthiness from the hops as well. Oats? Great depth. Mild vanilla. Building bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, with a moderate body and carbonation. It drinks like black gold.

Overall: The blunt force aggression of Lawson's meets the deft balance of Maine and damn if it's not a top notch take on the style. Loaded with flavor and manages to represent both breweries in great fashion.

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Photo of Etan
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle sent to me by Valdieu2. Thanks!

A: Pours a rich dark brown with a huge light brown head. Monster lacing and retention.

S: Caramel, spicy hop leaf, grapefruit juice, a hint of roast and chocolate.

T: Thick coffee and brown bread, nice dose of bitterness and resinous citrus from the hops.

M: Fine carbonation, medium-bodied. A bit undercarbonated.

O: Often with hoppy black ales, the hops cover the malt base a bit too much, but this strikes a nice balance.

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Photo of beer2day
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of the Liquor Locker in SW Harbor.

Dark black pour with 2 fingers of thick, dark khaki head. Very well retained and nice lace sheets all around. Well presented.

Nose is dark roast coffee with a sweet shot of honey and molasses. Citrus hops contribute to the sweet nose as well. Growing more roasted later in the glass.

Definite roasted coffee flavor with a big shot of citrus hops. Strong dark chocolate in the finish combines with the hops to really finish sharply bitter. The roasted malt and chocolate malt make for a nice combination. The hops compliment well.

Surprisingly substantial feel. Borders on a stronger style, but well played. Not overly thick, but stands up well to the strong flavor.

A nice effort.

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Photo of Pahn
3.56/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 3 inch frothy tan head that dissipates slowly. Pours a dark brown / black and leaves some big arches of lacing.

Smell: Mild hop pungency, slightly citrusy. Cocoa, with some spicy aromas. Bit ashy.

Taste: Lots of chocolaty malt. Bit watery. Some herbal hop flavors, interesting (but not necessarily desirable) influence on these hop flavors from all the dark, crystal, and rye malt. Bit of pungency, probably from the Columbus (who knows?). High bitterness that I like.

Some elements are very good, but it doesn't come together for me. Reminds me of when Black IPAs first started getting nationally popular and most examples were confused "it's almost a good IPA, almost a good porter, but not really a great anything."

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Mild carbonation. A touch too watery. Semi-dry finish.

Overall: Unremarkable, especially considering the outright geniuses who made it. Lawson's black IPA, "BIG HAPI" blows this one away, but there's no good reason that this should be so inferior; Maine Beer Company's Zoe and Lunch are masterful hoppy beers as well. Somehow this collaboration falls flat. It's better than a lot of beers, but it should be a lot better than it is.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.87/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip. This one pours dark brown with three fingers of creamy light tan head.

Dark roasted malts take the fore front on this one with hints of bitter cocoa and char with a nice grassy citrus hop background aroma. The pallet has a nice hop flavor with hints of smoke and dark bitter chocolate malts. Citrus notes linger in the background and this has a nice bitter edge to it.

The body is medium with sharp carbonation. This one really lingers on the back of the tongue. Overall this one is a nice collaboration between two of the smaller guys. Nice work here, I'd love to see something else in the future.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of this on July 17, and typed up my review that night. Due to internet connectivity issues, I have been unable to post my review until now.

This beer just came out; in fact I think it doesn't officially get released until tomorrow, July 18th, but I was able to pick up a bottle at Bier Cellar today. It had been refrigerated in the store, and after a quick drive out to the Allagash brewery to pick up some Resurgam, the beer has been chilling in my fridge. [New MBC beer and Allagash Coolships on the same day? What a great day to be a beer fan in Portland, ME!] The bottle is marked best by 9/15/12 and includes the instruction to "Drink this beer fresh!"

The beer is an opaque, dark brown liquid. On top rests a head of light brown foam. Some clinging carbonation was initially visible, but it disappeared quickly. The retreating head leaves behind good lacing.

The beer has a strong hop aroma. It wasn't aware of it while pouring, but once my nose was close to my glass, I could tell that this was a well-hopped beverage. There is light citrus and some strong earthy characteristics. Toasted malts work very well with the hop profile.

Based on the appearance, aroma and now the flavor, I'll say this is a black IPA. Strong, earthy hop flavors are the strongest tastes, But roasty flavors and a touch of sweetness form the malt base can also be detected. I think I can taste a touch of alcohol in the finish. Hop oils and a slightly burnt aftertaste linger on after swallowing.

The body of this beer is slightly heavy, probably due to the darker malts. Carbonation levels are good. It isn't very sticky, although I can feel a touch of film on my lips. The coating in my mouth has a good bitter flavor and some of the roast characteristics mentioned above.

I like this beer. This is the first time I've had anything by Lawson's Finest, so I can't say definitively what Sean brought to this beer (he does get a thank you on the bottle), but MBC is up to their usual standards with this one. It's nice to have something that is dark like Tom but hoppy like Peeper. I don't know anything about the plans for this beer (in fact, before I got the e-mail from Bier Cellar announcing it's arrival, I didn't know it existed), but hopefully it will be brewed more than once and offered on draft around town.

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Maine Beer Company / Lawson's Finest Liquids Collaboration Time I from Maine Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.
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