Thursday, September 21, 2017

Früh Kölsch

ChadPolenz (1844) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 21, 2017

DOB: 2/5/17?

2015 BJCP Category: 5B Kölsch

AROMA: Lightly sweet honey malt (likely oxidation) with a bit of a white wine character. No hops. Clean fermentation. 7/12

APPEARANCE: Brilliant golden hue (2-3 SRM). Effervescent. Moderate white foam retains and laces fairly well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Lightly-sweet clean grainy malt presence with a subtle toast-with-honey character. Medium-low bitterness throughout with a light, dry peppery taste. Seems to be slightly oxidized with minor sherry flavor. Well-attenuated. Clean fermentation. To spec; just old. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; low carbonation. Should be very effervescent and crisp, this feels a bit flat. Not refreshing, but aftertaste is clean. Sessionable at 4.8% ABV. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I can tell this is a classic example of the style at the core, but not when it's 4-7 months old. 6/10


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Samuel Adams 20 Pounds of Pumpkin

ChadPolenz (1843) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 20, 2017

BBD: 2/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 30B Autumn Seasonal Beer

AROMA: Moderately-strong "pumpkin" aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. Sweetness akin to brown sugar. Nothing in the way of malt or hop distinctive aromatics. Simple, but inviting. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Beautiful copper/burgundy hue (9-13 SRM). Mostly clear body. Moderate off-white foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Well-balanced palette of both sweet, dessert-like flavors and gentle spicy flavors. Cinnamon and nutmeg likely account for both taste sensations. Beer could be described as sweet, but far from cloying. Spices become lightly warming on the finish. Hops may accentuate this with firm bitterness. Malt is strong enough for foundation, but offers little flavor or sweetness of its own. Palette is enjoyable, but rather simple and repetitive. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied; medium carbonation. Smooth with light warming sensation from spices. Cinnamon lingers momentarily; otherwise a clean aftertaste. Quite filling at 5.7% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I'm kinda over pumpkin beers, but this actually has the flavor I like, even if it is rather simple. 7/10


Monday, September 18, 2017

Rogue Dead Guy Ale (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

ChadPolenz (1842) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 18, 2017

DOC: 6/28/17

2015 BJCP Category: 4C Helles Bock

AROMA: Malt-forward nose with slight confectionery sweetness (especially caramel). Hints of toast. Faint hop presence in the background with herbal/peppery character. Clean fermentation. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Murky shade of orange/copper. A bit too dark (9-15 SRM) and off-color for the style. Small, off-white, foam mostly dissipates. 1/3

FLAVOR: Palette is sweet but not cloying. Caramel flavor is quite prominent with minor toast and Maillard characteristics. Very low hop presence in terms of both taste (herbal, peppery) and bitterness (slightly dry). Balance is malty, but not cloying. Flavors are a bit off for the style, but in the ballpark. Clean fermentation. 12/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; medium-low carbonation. Smooth and comfortable with a slightly malty but ultimately clean aftertaste. Feels much lighter than 6.8% ABV. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: It's a Maibock done as an American Ale so it's not exactly to spec, but it's closer than not. 6/10


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

ChadPolenz (1842) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 17, 2017

DOB: ? (L179Q)

2015 BJCP Category: 4B Festbier

AROMA: Mostly pilsner malt with slight bready/doughy character. Not sweet, just malty. Low earthy hops. Clean fermentation. 7/12

APPEARANCE: Clear golden hue (2-3 SRM). Effervescent. Large white foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Generic pilsner malt dominates the palette, though it has little distinctive features. Slight raw dough or bready flavor; nothing toasty and certainly no confectionery sweetness. Hops are extremely low in both flavor and bitterness. Alcohol presence is a gentle warmth. Surprisingly clean aftertaste. Though more to spec than not, the taste is rather boring. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and carbonation. More creamy than crisp. Smooth, but not refreshing. Surprisingly heavy at 6.3% ABV; not very robust considering the potency. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A fine, to-spec (mostly) German Festbier. Probably the weakest of the authentic brews. 7/10


NOTE: See my 2008 original review here:

See my 2012 re-review here:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Spaten Premium Lager

ChadPolenz (1842) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 16, 2017

BBD: 3/2018

2015 BJCP Category: 4A Munich Helles

AROMA: Fairly strong skunky scent due to green bottle. Otherwise a lightly sweet, clean grain malt presence of pure pilsner malt. Faint Noble hop spicy scent. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Pale golden hue (2-3 SRM); extremely clear. Small, white foamy head never completely evaporates. 2/3

FLAVOR: Moderately sweet clean pilsner malt throughout. A touch of authentic honey flavor in the background grows a little stronger on the finish and lingers in the aftertaste briefly. Spicy Noble hops are present, but mild and subtle. Palette is definitely more malty than hoppy, but far from cloying. Would probably be a perfect score if not for the lightstrike flaw. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium carbonation. Smooth, crisp and refreshing with slight malty sweet aftertaste. Highly sessionable even at 5.2% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Pretty much the progenitor of the style and still one of the better examples after all these years. If only it were in cans! 8/10


Friday, September 15, 2017

Samuel Adams Honey Rye Pale Ale

ChadPolenz (1841) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 15, 2017

BBD: 2/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 18B American Pale Ale

AROMA: Lightly-sweet clean grainy malt. No rye spice. Low American citrus/piney hop scent. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Beautiful, brilliantly clear shade of amber/pale copper (9-11 SRM). Large beige froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Malt-forward palette of clean, grainy base malt. Slightly sweet with a touch of honey flavor (beer is brewed with honey malt, not actual honey). Rye is subtle and imparts mild spice on the finish along with equally mild hop flavor and bitterness. Seems to have a mint-like taste as well. Balance is reversed for the style. 10/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; medium-low carbonation. Fairly smooth; slightly bitter aftertaste. For 5.8% ABV I'd expect more flavor. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This probably could've worked if it were brewed as it's marketed. The actual product is rather boring and off-style. 5/10


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Praga Dark Lager

ChadPolenz (1840) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 14, 2017

DOB: ?(38110601)

2015 BJCP Category: 3D Czech Dark Lager

AROMA: Plenty of dark malt but no roasty/burnt notes. Some confectionery notes and a touch of cola or nuts. Low spicy Noble hops in the background. Oxidation and light-strike are noticeable, but not distracting. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Clear dark brown hue (17-40 SRM). Moderate tan froth never completely dissipates and leaves trace lacing. 3/3

FLAVOR: Malty sweetness throughout with prominent Maillard products. Notes of milk chocolate, caramel, cola, and bread are present. No roasted or burnt flavors. Low spicy hop flavor and gentle dry bitterness to offer some balance and prevent a cloying palette. Background note of minerals and oxidation are easily overlooked. Slightly sweet aftertaste. 16/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body and carbonation. Very smooth. Not refreshing, but easily quaffable. Highly efficient at only 4.5% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Certainly an admirable example of the style. Though old, this bottle was enjoyable. Probably World Class when fresh. 8/10


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lord Hobo Hobo Life

ChadPolenz (1839) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 13, 2017

DOC: 8/7/17

2015 BJCP Category: 21 Specialty IPA - Session IPA

AROMA: Strong tropical fruit aroma with slight grassy notes and cat pee (not a flaw). Slight sweetness from use of oats. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Pale yellow hue (2-4 SRM); extremely hazy body. Small white foam mostly dissipates. No lacing. 2/3

FLAVOR: Mostly tropical/citrus fruit flavors throughout, but in the form of zesty peel and pith rather than the fruit itself (nothing juicy). An underlying spicy/grassy taste lingers in the background but is quite strong with a dry bitterness at the apex. Base malt and oats are quite subtle and offer little sweetness, though the palette does not seem to be overtly unbalanced. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; medium carbonation. Slightly refreshing, though hops linger with mild astringency. Feels quite efficient for 4.5% ABV, though 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: NEIPA done as a SIPA, which is impressive. Final product is merely good; not great. 7/10


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Clown Shoes Baked Goods

ChadPolenz (1838) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 12, 2017

DOC: 6/14/17

2015 BJCP Category: 18B American Pale Ale

AROMA: Strong American hops aroma of citrus and tropical fruits. Slight grass component. Clean, bright nose. No malt distinctiveness. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Bright pale shade of orange (4-5 SRM). Cloudy body. Moderate white foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Plenty of hop flavor in the form of citrus, tropical fruit and slight green tea. Hops provide more flavor than they do bitterness (appropriate for the style). Slight spicy bitterness towards the apex. Base palette is rather mild; malt offers no specialty character or sweetness. Since bitterness is tame, it doesn't feel unbalanced. Hops linger momentarily with a grassy/spicy sensation, but then fade away cleanly. 12/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body and carbonation. Feels noticeably thin and tepid for the style. Seems inefficient for 5.5% ABV. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Hop flavor is nice, and it's what you expect in the style. But the beer seems a tad simplistic and derivative. 6/10


Monday, September 11, 2017

Dogfish Head Oak-Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout

ChadPolenz (1837) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 12, 2017

DOB: 6/15/17

2015 BJCP Category: 33A Wood-Aged Beer (base style: 20C: Imperial Stout)

AROMA: Strong dark malt and dark fruity aromatics (cherry, black grape, plum). Slight fresh wood/green character (almost minty). Alcohol is present, akin to rum (likely the vanilla). 9/12

APPEARANCE: Black opaque body (44+ SRM). Moderate dark tan head mostly dissipates. No lacing. 2/3

FLAVOR: Strong dark fruit base along with dark maltiness. Palette is sweet, but not cloying. Roasted malt is present, but restrained. Bitterness is enough to offer balance, but hops do not stand out as far as flavor. Moderately-strong vanilla taste on the finish offers a nice bonus flavor. Oak character is extremely difficult to distinguish. Alcohol accentuates sweetness and offers a lovely warming sensation. Brief chocolate aftertaste, otherwise rather clean. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Full-bodied, low carbonation. Soft, smooth texture. Alcohol imparts gentle warmth. Not necessarily a sipper even at 16% ABV (but it's a wise approach). 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Though delectable and impressive, probably too young to compete as a wood-aged beer at this time. 7/10


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Praga Premium Pils

ChadPolenz (1836) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 9, 2017

DOB: ? 38120130

2015 BJCP Category: 3B Czech Premium Pale Lager

AROMA: Noticeably skunky due to green bottle, though some (or most) of that may be due to Saaz and other Noble hops. Moderately-strong peppery hop aroma along with bready maltiness. Clean fermentation. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Beautiful golden hue (2-5 SRM); brilliant clarity. Moderate white foam mostly dissipates; some lacing. 2/3

FLAVOR: Moderately-strong spicy Noble hop flavor and bitterness immediately. Flavor is peppery and earthy. Fairly rich bready malt presence with noticeable caramel or graham cracker flavor as it finishes. Well-balanced between hops and malts throughout and into the aftertaste. Slight honey/lemon due to oxidation. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body and carbonation. Quite smooth and refreshing. Highly drinkable and sessionable at 4.7% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Not quite as good as some of the World Class examples, but definitely an enjoyable, well-made beer. 8/10


Friday, September 8, 2017

Czech Rebel Beer

ChadPolenz (1835) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 8, 2017

DOB: ?

2015 BJCP Category: 3B Czech Premium Pale Lager

AROMA: Medium-high bready-rich malt medium spicy hops. Clean fermentation profile. Slight honey/lemon oxidation presence. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Somewhat dark golden hue (5-7 SRM). Clear body; plenty effervescent. Large white froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly strong bready-rich malt taste throughout. Akin to whole grain bread with a light caramel sweetness in the background (though that may be oxidation). Hops are quite prominent as well with spicy/peppery taste and assertive, dry bitterness. Balance is slightly malty, but the interplay is rather complex. Slight honey taste on the finish due to oxidation. Otherwise clean fermentation. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and carbonation. Smooth, comfortable texture (not crisp or spastic). Hops linger for a mild spicy, dry aftertaste. Feels like a much stronger brew than 4.4% ABV. Absolutely sessionable. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: If this were fresh it'd definitely be a World Class example. A hidden gem hiding in your local beer store. 9/10


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Prairie Flare

ChadPolenz (1834) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 7, 2017

DOC: 6/10/17

2015 BJCP Category: 27 Historical Beer: Gose

AROMA: Moderately strong sour aroma; clean lactic presence. Moderate sourdough smell. Orange/coriander scent combines with salt for a freshness sensation. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Hazy copper/pale orange hue (5-7 SRM). Large off-white suds quickly evaporate. 2/3

FLAVOR: Salt taste is immediately evident as is a clean, fairly strong, lactic acidity. Mostly even balance of sourness and tartness. Flavors work well together to create for a refreshing palette. There is an underlying sourdough bready character, though far from rich. Coriander and orange are subtle at first, but emerge quite strongly on the finish to create for a spicy, potpourri-like sensation. It's a flavor reminiscent of pumpkin beer even though those spices are not in this brew. No hop presence (none needed). 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium-high carbonation. Very refreshing. Tartness lingers momentarily and is quite pleasant; otherwise a clean, dry aftertaste. Feels much lighter than 5.4% ABV. High quaffable and sessionable. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Hits all the right notes for a gose and the additional flavors are nice bonus too. 9/10


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Czechvar (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

ChadPolenz (1833) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 6, 2017

BBD: 12/4/17

2015 BJCP Category: 3B Czech Premium Pale Lager

AROMA: Lightly sweet, caramel-like malty presence. Slight honey-lemon scent from oxidation. Faint spicy/floral hops. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Golden hue (5-7 SRM); crystal clarity and effervescent. Moderate white foam mostly dissipates but does lace fairly well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Lightly sweet bready taste with a caramel undertone. Hops lurk in the background throughout with a spicy/peppery flavor and light dry bitterness. Noticeable honey/lemon flavor in the finish. Slight metallic presence, though it is tolerable. Palette is rather mild overall, but enjoyable. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium-high carbonation. Highly quaffable, somewhat refreshing. Feels a tad light for 5% ABV, though tempting to session. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is probably a World Class example when fresh, but still a fine example when old. 6/10

NOTE: Read and watch my 2009 original review here:

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sixpoint Lo-Res

ChadPolenz (1833) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 5, 2017

DOC: 6/25/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 21B Specialty IPA

AROMA: Moderately strong hop aromatics of citrus and tropical fruit; candy. Minor grass character. No malt distinctiveness. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Pale orange hue (5-7 SRM); hazy body. Moderate off-white froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly strong dry hop bitterness throughout. Citrusy flavor is most dominate throughout the first half, but not juicy per se. There is an underlying taste akin to tea leaves. Slight astringency due to dry, crushed vitamin-like bitterness. Malt offers balances but no character of its own. Palette is rather simple and repetitive overall. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light bodied; medium-high carbonation. Somewhat refreshing while in the mouth; but the aftertaste is a dry, somewhat astringent sensation. Sessionable at 4.5% ABV. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Technically it has what you want in a SIPA, but offers nothing new. Fine, but not great. 6/10


Monday, September 4, 2017

Central 28 Trekker Bier

ChadPolenz (1832) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 4, 2017

DOC: ?

2015 BJCP Category: 25B Saison

AROMA: Highly estery with strong banana, pomme fruit and citrus aromas. Spicy phenols also present. Has a clean, flowery bouquet. Base malt is grainy, not sweet. No wild character. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Yellow/pale orange hue (4-7 SRM). Very hazy body. Moderate white foam mostly dissipates, but still laces the glass. 3/3

FLAVOR: Strong citrusy/fruity/spicy palette throughout. Citrus flavors are likely due to New World hops. Esters impart banana and pomme fruit flavors. Moderately high phenols on the backend give a spicy/peppery sensation which lingers into the aftertaste. Base malt creates for a mild grainy taste. Bitterness is rather firm and quite dry. Well-attenuated, there is no residual sweetness here. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; high carbonation. Crisp and refreshing with a clean aftertaste. Easily crushable and highly sessionable at 4.5% ABV. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Seems to be an overtly American -style saison, but is delicious, drinkable and absolutely to-spec. 10/10


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Full Sail Session Black Dark Lager

ChadPolenz (1831) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 3, 2017

DOB: 4/24/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 2C International Dark Lager

AROMA: Fairly generic lager scent of base malt and not much else. Dark malt is present, but does not come off as roasty or sweet. Virtually no hop character other than a hint of spicy/earthiness. No overt adjunct presence. Clean fermentation. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Deep brown from a distance, though more of a mahogany color overall (13-27 SRM). Clear body. Large tan froth never completely dissipates and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: First half of the palette is rather mild with a standard base malt character. Not particularly sweet, but far from dry. Mild dry bitterness with low spicy/earth hop flavor. There is a noticeable roasted malt and coffee flavor as it descends with a light coffee-like aftertaste, though it fades quickly. No adjunct taste. Clean fermentation. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; medium-high carbonation. More smooth than crisp. Not refreshing per se, but quaffable. Despite the name, it's not really sessionable at 5.4% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Much more flavorful and interesting than your standard pale lager. Very drinkable and exemplifies the style quite well. 9/10


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lagunitas Aunt Sally

ChadPolenz (1830) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 29, 2017

DOB: 7/11/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 28B Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer (base style: 18B American Pale Ale[?])

AROMA: Moderately strong American hop presence of citrus and tropical fruits, some grassiness. No sour aroma. Malt present, but evokes no sweetness. 7/12

APPEARANCE: Mostly clear shade of yellow (2-5 SRM). Large white froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Base palette has the making of an APA: hoppy flavor and moderate bitterness. Hops have a citrusy taste along with a candy-like sweetness. The malt offers balance, but little specialty character. Sourness is rather subtle; mostly in the background throughout with slight tartness on the finish. Dry finish; clean acidity. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium-high carbonation. Crisp and refreshing with clean aftertaste. Feels much lighter than 5.7% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Marketed as a sour ale, this is better considered an APA with a tang. Interesting, but not amazing. 7/10


Friday, August 25, 2017

Yuengling Traditional Lager (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

ChadPolenz (1829) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 25, 2017

DOC: 7/24/17

2015 BJCP Category: 2B International Amber Lager

AROMA: More noticeable malt presence than pale adjunct lagers, with hint of caramel sweetness or nutty character. Corn is quite evident, but not overly sweet or cereal-like. The faintest presence of spicy/earthy hops. Clean fermentation profile. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Beautiful copper/reddish color (8-12 SRM). Clear body. Fairly large white fluffy foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly simply palette with generic base malt dominating. A noticeable sweetness from specialty malt, but not a sweet beer per se. Corn tastes authentic and complements palette. Not sweet, but not gritty or oily either. Minor spicy/earthy hop flavor and low bitterness. Clean fermentation. Slight malty aftertaste. 16/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium-high carbonation. Smooth, comfortable, refreshing and quaffable. Easily sessionable at 4.4% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: More to it than the average adjunct lager and a good example of the style. 8/10


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ommegang Brunetta

ChadPolenz (1829) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 24, 2017

BBD: 2/19

2015 BJCP Category: 23C Oud Bruin

AROMA: Complex bouquet of malty sweetness in the form of confectionery notes; dark fruit; floral yeast esters, and an underlying clean sourness. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Dark cloudy mahogany color; perhaps a tad dark for the style (27-34 SRM). Large tan frothy head retains and laces well. 2/3

FLAVOR: Malt-forward palette with sweet flavors of chocolate and toffee and some dark fruit. Not quite as rich-tasting as the nose indicates, but still flavorful and complex. Medium esters, no spicy phenols. No hop flavor and very low bitterness. Sourness lingers in the background but becomes more pronounced on the finish. Aftertaste is briefly tart and dry, but otherwise clean. 16/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; medium-low carbonation. Smooth and comfortable texture. Highly drinkable for 5% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Not quite as sour as I prefer, but definitely to-spec and easily drinkable. 8/10