Sunday, February 26, 2017

Southern Tier Crème Brûlée (2017 re-review)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20ChadPolenz (1763) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 25, 2017


2015 BJCP Category: 30A Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer (base style: 16A Sweet Stout)

AROMA: As the name indicates, the aroma is of Crème Brûlée (vanilla custard). There is some dark malt sweetness, iced coffee, and minor alcohol presence as well. Simple but enticing nose. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Opaque ink black. Moderate tan foam retains and laces fairly well. 2/3

FLAVOR: Vanilla dominates the palette from beginning to end. Slight vanilla extract-like taste at first with a strong caramelized custard flavor on the finish. The dark malt is there mostly for backbone and does not create for much distinctive character. Bitterness doesn’t really emerge until the finish as does the alcohol. Strange combination of bourbon-like vanilla booziness and dry bitterness on the finish with a cough medicine-like aftertaste. The palette is delectable in small doses only. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Full-bodied with fairly low CO2 to give it a viscous, creamy texture. The 10% ABV warmth is gentle, but difficult to ignore. A challenge to drink more than a sip at a time. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Definitely delivers on its name, but goes a little overboard on the sweetness. A borderline novelty brew. 7/10


NOTE: Read and watch my 2010 original review here:

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Destihl Abbey's Single

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20ChadPolenz (1763) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 25, 2017


2015 BJCP Category:26C Trappist Single

AROMA: Medium-high Trappist yeast character. Citrusy esters with a clean, flowery or perfume fragrance. Some spicy notes. Some sweet grainy malt background notes. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Dark gold to light orange/copper hue. Cloudy body. Moderate off-white foam laces well. 2/3

FLAVOR: Lightly malty-sweet with honeyed biscuit/cracker flavors. There is a citrusy flavor (mostly orange) throughout. A spicy hoppy presence lingers in the background but becomes quite strong on the finish. Phenols create for a peppery, almost tobacco-like character (possibly tannins) which is strong enough to be a bit distracting. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium-high carbonation. Quite crisp with a dry, slightly bitter aftertaste. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Impressive that an American brewery would be able to produce this niche style on a large scale. Pretty much to spec and enjoyable. 7/10


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Southern Tier Cherry Gose

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20ChadPolenz (1762) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 22, 2017

DOB: 9/8/2016

2015 BJCP Category: 29A Fruit Beer (base style: 27 Historical Beer: Gose)

AROMA: Lacto sourness is most prominent along with strong salt smell. Tart cherry juice is moderate and complements bouquet well. Everything seem authentic. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Fairly dark magenta hue; extremely hazy body is nearly opaque. Small white foam never completely dissipates. 3/3

FLAVOR: Lacto and salt are prominent immediately. Salt may be a bit too strong, though. Palette is consistently sour, but not to the intensity of a Belgian. The cherry flavor emerges briefly as it finishes, but is not overtly sweet or juicy. The tartness from the cherry complements the base flavors well. No malt or hop distinctiveness. Alcohol is nearly invisible. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and carbonation. Feels much lighter than 8.2% ABV as its crispness and refreshing quality make it remarkable quaffable. Finishes mostly clean, though there is a lingering salty taste on the lips. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Admirable brewing accomplishment of imperializing an otherwise light style AND adding authentic fruit flavor to it. 8/10


Monday, February 20, 2017

Andechser Weissbier Hell

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20ChadPolenz (1761) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 20, 2017

DOB: L1595

2015 BJCP Category: 10A Weissbier

AROMA: A light fruity taste of banana yeast esters, orange and some green pear. Minor bubblegum and clove scents in the background. Seems to have a subtle skunky scent, but it is not distracting. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Burnished gold hue; body is hazy but clearer than most. Large bright white foam persists and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Light palette overall with a wheaty/bready base without any raw graininess or maillard products. Banana yeast esters emerge on the second half along with slight orangepeel. Clove-like phenols lurk in the background throughout to add a faint trace of spice. A light sour tang or tartness is briefly present right as it finishes but is not off-putting. No hop bitterness or flavor to speak of. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Feels much lighter than 5.5% ABV as it’s a little watery in texture. Very refreshing and a clean aftertaste is nice. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I prefer a more robust hefeweizen, but the easy drinkability of this makes up for it. Probably an old bottle, but quite enjoyable. 7/10


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Motorworks Indy IPA

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ChadPolenz (1760) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 19, 2017

DOC: 11/1/2016

2015 BJCP Category: 21A American IPA

AROMA: Pungent hoppy aroma of citrus and tropical fruit along with slight berry component. Sweet, almost candy aroma. Low clean grainy malt in the background. No alcohol. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Dark copper/flame orange hue. Cloudy but very translucent. Small, white foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Quite fruity for the style with tropical fruit and slight berry flavors dominating. Sweetness may be a combination of hops and malt base. Has a residual sugary taste. Bitterness is strong, slightly dry, but not intense. No alcohol presence. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and matching carbonation. Smooth; slightly crisp but still soft. Hops linger momentarily as does a sweetness. Seems a little lighter than 6.9% ABV; a little refreshing too. No alcohol warmth. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: One of the sweetest IPAs I can recall, but the flavors work well together and it’s otherwise to-spec. 8/10


Friday, February 17, 2017

Prairie Prairie Hop

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20ChadPolenz (1759) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2017

DOB: 12/1/2016

2015 BJCP Category: 21B Specialty IPA: Belgian IPA

AROMA: Strong American hop aroma of stone, citrus and tropical fruit. A light wheat scent appears in the background. Esters and phenols are very obscured. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Very hazy copper/orange. Moderate off-white foam persists. 3/3

FLAVOR: A veritable fruit basket of flavors. Tropical and stone fruits are most prominent and are lightly sweet and almost juicy. Green pear is present in the background. Bitterness is moderate with a dry/spicy taste. Esters and phenols are present for slight pepper taste and drying sensation, but are obscured by the hops. Aside from a slight crackery taste, the malt base is passive. Alcohol plays no role in the palette. 16/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body with medium-low carbonation. Doesn’t feel sticky, but is certainly not crisp. The 8% ABV is well-masked as far as taste and warmth. Beer is genuinely refreshing and quaffable. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Though billed as a "Belgian-style ale" (saison?), it’s clearly a Belgian IPA and works well as such. 9/10


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pilsner Urquell (2017 re-review)

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20ChadPolenz (1758) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 16, 2017

BBD: 6/11/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 3B Czech Premium Pale Lager

AROMA: Medium-high bready/grain pilsner malt. Slightly sweet with a subtle graham cracker component. Moderate spicy hops. Faint diacetyl is complements aroma and is acceptable. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Deep golden hue; brilliant clarity. Moderate white frothy head laces and retains well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Bready pale malt throughout. Clean and light at first but becomes sweeter as the swig progresses taking on a caramel or graham cracker taste. Spicy Noble hops are evident at the apex imparting a dry bitter bite and leaving an aftertaste akin to rye bread. Subtle minerally note on the finish. Well-balanced and delectable palette. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and carbonation. Very quaffable and sessionable at only 4.4% ABV. Crisp and refreshing with a mostly clean aftertaste. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This beer single-handedly created the pilsner style and still remains among the best of them all world wide. 10/10


NOTE: Read my 2015 original review here:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Southern Tier Raspberry White

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20ChadPolenz (1758) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 15, 2017

DOB: 1/8/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 29A Fruit Beer (base style: 1D American Wheat Beer)

AROMA: Very sweet raspberry smell akin to homemade jam. Light wheat presence. No hops or esters. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Hazy pinkish-magenta hue not unlike a cocktail. Small bright white foam. 2/3

FLAVOR: Not as sweet as the nose would indicate. Raspberry is the most dominate flavor, but it’s more of a garnish and rather tart. This is not carbonated jam. Wheat base is quite noticeable and creates for a slight bready flavor. No hops or yeast esters. Simple and repetitive but enjoyable. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body and moderate carbonation. Fairly crisp; refreshing while in the mouth; slightly tart on the finish with a clean aftertaste. Ideal summer beer at only 4.6% ABV (why is this a winter seasonal?) 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Though standard for the fruity wheat beer style, it’s to-spec and drinker-friendly. It does what it’s supposed to do. 7/10


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Stone Enjoy By 02.14.17 Chocolate & Coffee IPA

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ChadPolenz (1757) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 14, 2017

DOB: 1/8/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 30A Spice/Herb/Vegetable (base style: 22A Double IPA)

AROMA: Dank citrusy hops akin to juice concentrate. A clean floral/perfume aroma. No chocolate or coffee. No malt distinctiveness. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Dark orange; translucent. Large sediment particles float in suspension. Large off-white foamy head. 2/3

FLAVOR: Strong palette of dank hop intensity. Flavor matches the nose: citrusy juice concentrate up front with piney/earthy spiciness on the finish. Malt base creates for a familiar sweetness, but is not distinctive. Coffee only emerges very briefly as it finishes and does not linger. Chocolate is undetectable. Alcohol is a major component to the palette. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; medium-low carbonation. Texture is soft and smooth but thick. Alcohol creates for some minor warmth. Some dry astringency lingers, but is tolerable. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Not a bad beer, (a to-spec DIPA, actually). It just doesn’t deliver on its promise of a chocolate and coffee DIPA. 6/10


Monday, February 13, 2017

Pair O’ Dice Clearwater Honey Cream

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20ChadPolenz (1756) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 13, 2017

DOC: ?

2015 BJCP Category: 30A Spice/Herb/Vegetable (base style: 1C Cream Ale)

AROMA: Sweet nose of clean grainy malts and honey. Almost a breakfast cereal aroma. Orange sherbet is also noticeable. No distinctive hop scents. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Golden/light amber color; mostly clear. Low white foam mostly dissipates. 2/3

FLAVOR: Lightly sweet cereal-like taste from the flaked maize and honey. Clean fermentation profile and clean pale malt base. Orangepeel is quite subtle and emerges briefly on the backend for a garnishing flavor. Hops impart just a mild spicy character and low bitterness. Honey re-emerges briefly in the aftertaste. All flavors and ingredients work well together. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; moderate carbonation. Crisp, clean and very refreshing. Sessionable for 5% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A delectable combination of flavors made all the more impressive considering the base style. 9/10


Sunday, February 12, 2017

JDub’s Poolside Kölsch

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20ChadPolenz (1755) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 12, 2017

DOB: 12/7/2016

2015 BJCP Category: 5B Kölsch

AROMA: Lightly sweet clean grainy malt aroma with a touch of honey and wheat. A slight fruit aroma is present as well. Some spicy hops in the background. Clean fermentation. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Maize yellow/golden hue; mostly clear with effervescence always visible. Small white foam never completely dissipates. 2/3

FLAVOR: Lovely pale malt sweetness makes up the majority of the palate. A clean grainy maltiness akin to cereal or wheat bread. There is background fruity note that complements the malt. A subtle spicy hop bite at the apex. Aftertaste is akin to honey, but eventually fades cleanly. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; moderate carbonation. Crisp, clean and refreshing. Very sessionable at 5% ABV. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: JDub’s got this absolutely to spec, which is rare and impressive. I wish more drinkers appreciated this style. 9/10


Friday, February 10, 2017

Are you as shocked by these "sexist" craft beer labels as I am?!

Since beer is a male-dominated industry and a product that is mostly enjoyed by men, it’s understandable that claims of sexism, misogyny and general male chauvinism would come with the territory. The problem is, for every valid grievance, there are scores of non-issues that get raised by those with a social/political agenda who want to stir up controversy where it really doesn’t exist.

One such complaint is of supposedly sexist/exploitative beer labels. I won’t deny that there are some labels that could reasonably be construed as such (they’re mostly European, by the way). However, I’ve seen SJW types outraged by labels that are, in my opinion, quite tame, intended to be comedic, and/or genuinely artistic (see this post on for one such rant). I also highly disagree with their notion that this is some kind of chronic problem – that the craft beer industry is just saturated with lowbrow T&A imagery. Or worse, that this supposed sexism is driving women away from beer.

I wanted to do some research to see how many “sexist” beer labels I could find. I visited five beer stores in the greater Tampa area and looked at each and every beer label in all the stores. I must have viewed at least 1,000 different products and took pictures of anything that could possibly send SJWs (and prudes in general) into a tizzy no matter how benign they seemed to me. We’ll look at them from most tame to most shocking.

NOTE: click on any photo to view it in its full high-def quality.
All of the above labels feature a woman, but I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could complain about any of them being even remotely “sexist.” So can we agree that there are actually POSITIVE depictions of women on beer labels?
Ah, the classic German “Beer Wench”. I suppose these could be viewed as sexist since they all feature a woman serving [men] beer. Only one of these shows any skin, though. If you’ve ever been to Germany, you know this isn’t an exaggeration; there really are dirndl girls at the Oktoberfest celebration, though some bars and restaurants utilize this look year-round. So are these labels sexist? Hardly. These are actual cultural norms from where the beers originate. There’s no “cultural appropriation” here, nor is it considered exploitation over in Deutschland (at least not yet).
The Original Sin ciders feature beautiful cartoon artwork and play up on the brand’s Biblical theme. The sour ale is not particularly provocative, nor is it clear who the woman in the glass is supposed to be or what she’s doing, so I don’t understand the marketing angle. The “Equinoxe du Printemps” label is just plain ugly and far from sexual. However, it looks like genuine art you might see in a museum; I have no problem with it. Aphrodite is another Dieu du Ciel brew, but even though the character appears to be nude, the picture itself is not exactly sexy since the exaggerated proportions of her face make it look like a cartoon. Cute to be sure, but not titillating.
These labels all feature cartoons or similar graphics. None of them come across as exploitation to me. Red Banshee bears a fantastic comic book-style artwork and is completely benign other than the word “banshee” which I’m sure some feminists will have a problem with. The Wild Docta’ and Wild Ginger definitely are a bit provocative, but because they’re cartoons how bawdy can they be, really? The three Scuttlebutt beers feature a mermaid on them – whoop de friggin’ do (not a very creative mascot, by the way). The Pike “Naughty Nellie” is also pretty boring. The name is a little provocative, but it’s cliche; the color scheme of the label is quite ugly too. Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ could be seen as titillating considering the imagery and the name. However, it is just a cartoon and aside from some cleavage, the woman is fully dressed. Lastly, the Mikkeller “California Dream” label might be a metaphor for ejaculation. If that is the artist’s intention, it’s not very subtle and rather lowbrow. Personally, I find it to be ugly; it doesn’t make me want to buy the beer.
Here are a couple boxes I could see courting controversy.  The Wells Banana Bread Beer box has a strange sexual innuendo graphic on the handle of two women who look like vintage pin-up models with the tagline “The greatest thing since sliced….” I’m not sure what the sexual connection is supposed to be, though I’m sure these characters are there to be catch a man’s eye. What’s odd is that they do not appear on the bottle itself. The Thirsty Dog “Old Leghumper” box is also bizarre. The women’s legs are attractive, but that’s a very unusual fetish to use for marketing. There seems to be a subtle bestiality humor to it as well, but I just find that creepy.
The Maui “Bikini Blonde Lager” graphic is too amateurish and unattractive to be exploitative. The Big Storm “Florida Ale” has a great-looking cartoon, but it’s tame as far as sexual innuendo (you’d think the Maui beer would feature a woman in a coconut bikini and grass skirt). The Sunset Beach Bikini Ale seems rather insipid to me. Sure it catches your eye on the shelf, but the presentation is so hackneyed and cliche – this was seriously the best they could come up with? Meh. When I first saw the Old Battle Axe IPA I thought it was another Lagunitas brew as it features that Bettie Page-type vintage pinup character. Cute artwork, but it doesn’t make me want to buy the beer. The Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu is a beer based on an ancient Chinese recipe, but what does the label have to do with the beer? Why is this woman topless? Why does she have a tramp stamp? This label is much more baffling than it is sexy. As for the Costa Rican beer “Imperial,” it’s pretty obvious this is intended to catch the eye of men. The woman in the picture is much more attractive to me than the beer. I will say that it works as actual art as the sunset and golden color scheme really work well together. It’s no more bawdy than any of the other bikini-clad labels, though.
Of all the hundreds of beer bottles and cans I viewed in researching this blog, these two Belgian-brewed “Triporteur” beers are the only labels I would consider outright sexist or exploitative or whatever you want to call it. Both are probably intended to be jokes, but they seem rather juvenille to me. The artwork is professional and eye-catching, so it definitely does what it’s supposed to do. Though I will reiterate that these are from a European brewery and are no more outrageous than some of the really sexist beer labels found there.
Other observations
  • Women are some of the rarest subjects to be depicted on beer labels. Animals (especially dogs), mythological creatures (especially demons), and historical figures (especially Vikings and monks) are much more likely to appear on a beer label.
  • As the first ten examples shown in this post demonstrate, there are plenty of female characters on beer labels that couldn’t possibly considered sexist by a rational person (though I would argue that’s true of most examples on this list anyway).
  • The vast majority of beer labels, regardless of brewery (macro or micro), style, price, etc., are simply text. It seems that most breweries expect their beer to sell based on its quality and/or reputation and aren’t interested in using labels that are gimmicky, flashy, or artistic. If the industry really was as sexist as the SJWs claim, wouldn’t these labels be the norm rather than the rarities they are?
  • ALL of these labels had to be approved a government bureaucrat at some point.
I think I’ve effectively argued that there really isn’t a deluge of sexist/misogynistic/exploitative beer labels out there. Though these examples may seem like a lot, I personally would only consider a few of them genuinely sexist, but none are obscene. Also, the labels pictured here account for only a tiny fraction of all the bottles and cans readily available in my area; so to say these are somehow a significant segment of the market is just mathematically incorrect. I’m sure other parts of the country have a wider beer selection than what’s available here in central Florida, but I’ll bet the amount of “sexist” beer labels is proportionally equal wherever you go.
But if any of these labels offend trigger you, I’d love to know why.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Green Bench Postcard Pils

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20ChadPolenz (1754) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 7, 2017

DOC: ?

2015 BJCP Category: 2A International Pale Lager

AROMA: Mild overall with a light sweet grainy malt. Hint of corn and even a slight apple character (acceptable for the style). Very faint floral hop presence. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Banana yellow to gold hue; hazy body but CO2 bubbles plainly visible. Moderate white foam mostly dissipates. 2/3

FLAVOR: Grainy pale/blonde malt presence throughout. Not especially sweet, but clean and mild. Corn imparts a faint cereal character. Slight spicy hop bite and moderate bitterness at the apex and into the finish. Noticeable sour tang on the retreat, though aftertaste is clean. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light bodied; high carbonation. Very crisp, but no carbonic bite. Refreshing while in the mouth and very sessionable at 4.7% ABV. Good beach beer. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Though not world class, I would definitely opt for this over most other examples of the style. 7/10


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Southern Tier 2X Oak'd IPA

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20ChadPolenz (1753) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 5, 2017

DOB: 12/22/2016

2015 BJCP Category: 33A Wood-Aged Beer (base style: 22A Double IPA)

AROMA: Strong hop presence of the dank/resin/variety (not fruity). Slight perfume or flower scent. General sweetness with vanilla/alcohol character, but not wood per se. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Copper hue; very clear body with CO2 visible. Moderate off-white foam retains and laces fairly well. 2/3

FLAVOR: Strong hop presence immediately in the form of both flavor and bitterness. Hops are dank and resiny; slight green tea taste. Malt base is solid and fairly sweet, but still yields to the hops. Difficult to distinguish the wood character other than a general earthy background note. Maple syrup only appears for a quick instant after the apex (used as a fermentable sugar rather than a flavoring ingredient anyway). Moderate spicy/floral hop flavor and bitterness on the finish. Well-balanced and enjoyable, but wood character is a bit too subtle. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; medium carbonation. Doesn’t feel quite as big as 8.2%, but doesn’t feel overtly light, either. Little to no alcohol warmth or flavor. High drinkability; not a sipper. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Works fine as an East Coast-style DIPA with a bonus wood character. I want something more than just "fine", though. 7/10


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Mahrs Bräu Der Weisse Bock

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20ChadPolenz (1752) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 4, 2017

DOB: ?

2015 BJCP Category: 10C Weizenbock

AROMA: Spicy/sweet nose of Maillard products, whole wheat bread, and clove-like phenolics. Dark fruit character, especially plum, cherry and raisins. Some alcohol presence and some signs of oxidation. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Dark ruby-brown hue. Mostly cloudy but translucent. Slow, fine carbonation visible. Pours to a large, tan, soapy head which completely dissipates. Large yeast chunks visible, too. 1/3

FLAVOR: Palette is more sweet than spicy, but a bit mild. A dark fruit combination of plum, raisin and fig dominate. Wheaty/bready flavor is present as a background note throughout. No hop flavor or bitterness. Finishes with a slight medicinal taste (could be chlorophenols, but most likely oxidation). Slight rum-like alcohol taste emerges on finish and lingers momentarily. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; low carbonation. Feels a bit flat and thick in the mouth but is not sticky. Mostly dry aftertaste. Has the weight of a 7.2% ABV brew, but not the robustness or complexity. Minor alcohol warmth. 2/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Has the basics of the style down, but has not improved with age despite bottle conditioning. 6/10


Friday, February 3, 2017

Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel (2017 re-review)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20ChadPolenz (1751) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 3, 2017

DOB:4376 (9/4/16?)

2015 BJCP Category: 10B Dunkles Weissbier

AROMA: Strong presence of clove phenols and banana esters. Whole wheat bread scent is quite prominent. Slightly sweet bubblegum or vanilla candy background note. Minor oxidation. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Dark copper/light brown hue; fairly hazy body but far from opaque. Effervescence constantly visible. Large white mousse-like foam. 3/3

FLAVOR: Soft wheat bread-like base throughout the palette. Not as spicy or sweet as banana bread but close (age may account for mildness). Light peppery phenols up front with a strong sweet taste of banana and slight bubblegum on the second half. Very faint oxidation does not distract. Otherwise to-spec and delectable. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body with a soft, luscious texture. Very smooth and comfortable. Carbonation looks high but feels low; each swig is crisp but not spastic. Tempting to session at 5.3% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: When fresh this is a World Class beer, but even with a little age it’s still excellent. 9/10


NOTE: Read and watch my 2012 original review here:

Saturday, January 28, 2017

DuClaw For Pete's Sake!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20ChadPolenz (1751) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JAN 28, 2017

DOB: 11/25/2016

2015 BJCP Category: 30A Spice/Herb/Vegetable (base style: 20A American Porter)

AROMA: Delivers as advertised with a sweet peanut butter and chocolate aroma. Both seem faux. There also seems to be a slight minty scent. No obtuse booziness. No distinct malts or hops. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Extremely dark brown to black. Large brown frothy head retains and laces extremely well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Surprisingly enough, the palette is not that sweet, but actually quite rustic. Peanut butter and hops combine for a slightly earthy/nutty taste. It is not a candy flavor or that of actual peanut butter. Chocolate emerges on the finish with a bitter dark chocolate taste and slightly burnt toast. Alcohol creates for a strange minty sensation in the background. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body with moderate[ly low] CO2. Texture is smooth with a gentle alcohol warmth that lingers in the throat. Somewhat dry aftertaste, but otherwise clean. Doesn’t seem to be as big as 9% ABV. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: The original is a liquid candy bar, but this is more like a standard imperial porter with some bonus flavors. 7/10


Friday, January 27, 2017

DuClaw Dirty Little Freak

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20ChadPolenz (1750) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JAN 27, 2017

DOB: 11/29/2016

2015 BJCP Category: 30A Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer (base style: 19C American Brown Ale)

AROMA: Milk chocolate with faint coconut presence (both seem sweet and faux). No distinct malt or hop features. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Brown proper hue; dark but clear. Small tan foam. 3/3

FLAVOR: Milk chocolate throughout the first half and a coconut flavor as it finishes. I do not detect caramel per se, nor is there much in the way of specific malt character. Minor presence of earthy hops at the apex, though beer is not particularly bitter. Palette is rather mild overall (surprisingly so). 12/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body and carbonation. Feels much lighter than 5.8% ABV. A slight resiny aftertaste. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Should be a winner considering the recipe, but it’s too mild for my liking. 6/10


Saturday, January 21, 2017

JDub's Blueberry IPA

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20ChadPolenz (1749) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JAN 21, 2017

DOC: 6/15/2016

2015 BJCP Category: 21B Specialty IPA

AROMA: A brief whiff of blueberry aroma is quickly obscured by Mosaic hops and a strong honey/lemon oxidation aroma. Has a light pale malt presence implying sweetness. 7/12

APPEARANCE: Dark amber/flame orange. Fairly cloudy. Small, off-white foam retains and laces alright. 2/3

FLAVOR: Assertive dry bitterness immediately with slight pineapple/melon flavor. There is a bit of a malty syrupy sweetness present. Blueberry taste only emerges briefly at the apex and then fades quickly. Noticeable honey/lemon oxidation flavor on the finish. 12/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body with medium-low CO2. Feels a tad sticky on the tongue. Hops linger but are not astringent. Minor alcohol presence. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Not bad considering the age of the can, but I don’t think blueberry and hops pair well to begin with. 6/10