Sunday, July 15, 2018

Terrapin Raspberry Truffle W-n-B Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

Fill date: 2017

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 29B Fruit and Spice Beer (base style: 20C Imperial Stout)

AROMA: Complex bouquet with many aromatics happening simultaneously and in harmony. Raspberry jam or puree-like character is quite prominent with an authentic smell and sweetness. Coffee and chocolate are certainly noticeable and work in conjunction with each other as well as with the raspberry. The base imperial stout is present with a firm dark malt base, though no hops jump out pe se. Alcohol is present, but subtle and completely clean as is fermentation. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Seemingly opaque black, but actually very dark shade of violet (44+ SRM). No sediment visible. Moderately-large, dark tan foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Raspberry is the lead flavor component with an authentic, sweet, slightly tart jam-like taste. Milk chocolate flavor also appears at the beginning of the palette with moderate intensity. At the apex and into the finish the coffee flavor emerges rather strongly along with the expected bitterness. Raspberry flavor and tartness reappears in the aftertaste along with the familiar base imperial stout roasted character. No discernible hop flavor, though bitterness is at appropriate level so as to prevent the palette from being sickly sweet. Alcohol is subtle and clean. All flavors work extremely well in harmony with each other and the base brew. 19/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; moderate carbonation. Texture is smooth and comfortable. Doesn't feel quite as strong as 9.4% ABV as the drinkability is wonderfully easy. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: An amazing combination of flavors that work wonderfully together. Everything is authentic and delectable; high drinkability seals the deal. 10/10


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Freigeist Abraxxxas

Fill date: ?

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 27 Historical Beer: Lichtenhainer

AROMA: Moderately-strong dry smoke character akin to campfire. Sour/lactic presence is noticeable, but closer to subtle. Moderately bready aroma from the wheat (classic German malt character). No hops (none needed). No alcohol presence. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Orange/copper hue (7-9 SRM). Very murky body with sediment particulates due to age of bottle. Highly effervescent. Large off-white soapy foam mostly evaporates. 2/3

FLAVOR: Complex palette with a series of flavors that wouldn't seem to work, but somehow due. The initial taste is clean lactic sourness with a subtle citrus and white grape fruity character. Smoke is noticeable at first, but seems to fade with each swig. Smoke is most prominent on the finish as it lingers briefly in the aftertaste with just a hint of chocolate. The wheaty base gives it a bready character, though it is not especially rich or sweet as attenuation appears to be high. No hop flavor (none needed), bitterness is low, which is fine since the sourness provides balance. No alcohol. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; high carbonation. Smooth and refreshing. Highly drinkable for 6% ABV; this feels like something more intentionally sessionable (as would be traditional for the style). 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: One of the most interesting and impressive flavor combinations I can recall having. Would be World Class when fresh. 9/10


Friday, July 13, 2018

Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale

Bottling code: 4121079181718E

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (base style: 30A Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer [base style: 1C Cream Ale])

AROMA: Very strong authentic, sweet vanilla aroma (candy-like). Low wood character from the barrel. Faint trace of corn. No obvious bourbon, malt or hop character. Clean fermentation. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Clear shade of golden amber (5-7 SRM). Moderate white foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Vanilla dominates the palette with a slightly faux taste. Sweet, although not quite as sweet as nose would indicate. Base brew is obscured by the vanilla as there is only a slight corny taste on the backend. Malt base is neutral, clean and grainy. Bitterness is very low, though palette is not cloying. No wood nor bourbon flavors from the barrel. Clean fermentation. 11/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; moderate carbonation. Feels a bit thicker and calmer than it should be, though it is smooth and easily drinkable. At only 5.5% ABV, the potency is rather low for a bourbon barrel-aged brew. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: The vanilla is nice, but there isn't much else to enjoy or appreciate. A pedestrian brew for pedestrian drinkers. 5/10


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Einstök Icelandic White Ale (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Fill date: 4/11/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 24A Witbier

AROMA: Moderately-strong coriander and orangepeel aroma. Slightly perfumey with a sweet, candy-like character. Malt base is low, but enhances the sweetness of the presentation. No hops (none needed). 10/12

APPEARANCE: Clear shade of pale yellow (2-4 SRM). Very large, bright white froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Lightly malty-sweet clean grainy flavor with just a touch of honey. Orangepeel and coriander are subtle at first, but emerge with a remarkably strong taste at the apex and into the finish. The spices impart a slight zestiness to balance the malt and oat sweetness, though their flavors are somewhat candy or cereal-like. Hop bitterness is low as is hop flavor. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium-high carbonation. Texture is smooth with slight creaminess. Quite refreshing and highly drinkable. Tempting to session at 5.2% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Pretty delectable and to-spec for the style. Drinkability is nice as well. Impressive brew considering its origin. 8/10


NOTE: See my 2015 original review here:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Best before date: 10/12/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 2A International Pale Lager

AROMA: Fairly strong light-strike presence. Low pale malt character with no implied sweetness; seems to be all-malt. Hops are very low with subtle earthy/floral aromatics. Fermentation seems to be clean. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Pale golden hue (2-4 SRM). Brilliantly clear body. Moderate white foam never completely fades and leaves some lacing. 3/3

FLAVOR: Moderately-low clean grainy malt with just a touch of bready flavor and sweetness. Fairly well-attenuated as there is no lingering/residual sugar or malt taste. Bitterness is quite firm with a consistent dry/slightly spicy taste. Overall palette is quite clean for a macro lager (no adjuncts and no fermentation issues). 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; high carbonation. Somewhat refreshing with a crisp, dry finish. Feels lighter than 5.1% ABV, though drinkability is high. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Definitely has what you want in a pale international lager. It'd be even better without the green bottles. 7/10


Monday, July 9, 2018

Dogfish Head Midas Touch

Fill date: 11/01/17

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 34C Experimental Beer

AROMA: Fairly prominent honey/mead-like aroma as well as a bready malt base with just a touch of caramel. White muscat grapes imparts a slightly sweet juicy component. Saffron adds a subtle herbal note. All these aromatics make for an interesting bouquet which is recognizable as beer, but unlike any traditional style. Alcohol is present, but tame. Fermentation is clean. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Hazy shade of orange-copper (9-13 SRM). Moderate off-white foam never completely dissipates. 3/3

FLAVOR: Honey may be the most dominate flavor component; akin to a dry mead. Malt provides some sweetness with a bready, bock-like taste at the core. The white grape comes across as light and juicy and emerges only on the finish. Meanwhile, the saffron is evident throughout with a tingly/herbal taste to offer contrast and slight bitterness (there are no hops in the brew). Alcohol is present, but is clean and subtle. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; moderate carbonation. Texture is quite smooth and comfortable. Not refreshing, but remarkably drinkable for a hefty 9% ABV potency. Warmth from the alcohol is gentle. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Marketed as a beer/mead/wine hybrid, this definitely drinks as such. An interesting and delectable brew that exemplifies what a truly experimental brew can and should be. 10/10


Sunday, July 8, 2018

De Halve Maan Straffe Hendrik Wild (2014 vintage)

Fill date: 2/14/14

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 28A Brett Beer (base style: 26C Belgian Tripel)

AROMA: Strong, fresh, fruity aroma, particularly of lemon and pome fruit. The Brett character is evident in the background with a signature countryside Belgian terroir. Difficult to discern the base brew, however, as the hops and Belgian yeast esters are obscured or absent. There is a slight caramel malt character and minor alcohol as well. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Extremely hazy shade of rusty copper. Scant sediment visible. Large foam settles to a pen-width, but never evaporates. 2/3

FLAVOR: After four years in the bottle, the Brett has grown remarkably strong. Citrus and pome fruit notes are much more subtle tasting than the nose would imply. Farmhouse/terroir taste is quite prominent, creating for a continually dry palette. Ironically enough, there is still a somewhat sweet caramel malt flavor in the background. Bitterness is rather low, and actual hop flavor is virtually absent. Signature Belgian yeast esters are also obscured; difficult to peg the base brew as a Tripel proper. Aftertaste is of green pear, with some alcohol lingering as well. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; very high carbonation. Smooth and comfortable in the mouth, though drinkability is impacted by the effervescence. Alcohol is surprisingly tame at 9% ABV as it imparts only gentle warmth. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: After 4 years of conditioning, the Brett definitely runs the show. Base brew is likely authentic, but upstaged. 7/10


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Crooked Stave Hop Savant Brettanomyces IPA

Fill date: 10/18/17

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 28A Brett Beer (base style: 21A American IPA)

AROMA: Strong citrus and tropical fruit presence, especially lemon, pineapple, and passionfruit. "Funky" Brett presence is also noticeable, but rather subtle. Faint grassy/herbal character likely from the hops. Base malt is neutral with no specialty character, though none is really needed. No signs of oxidation considering the age of the can. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Very hazy shade of yellow/pale orange (4-5 SRM). Large foam never completely dissipates and leaves trace lacing. 3/3

FLAVOR: Remarkably fruity-tasting throughout. Lemon is the most prominent flavor along with a cocktail of tropical fruit juices. Brett imparts a subtle tartness and general funky flavor, but is only noticeable briefly on the backend. There is a slight tartness, which is an interesting counter to the juicy character. I detect a subtle dill or grass-like hop flavor. Actual bitterness is very low for an IPA, though the age of the can likely accounts for this. Malt base is nondescript; yet palette does not feel unbalanced. Brett lingers in the aftertaste briefly with a dry tartness, but quickly fades away cleanly. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium-high carbonation. Smooth and refreshing makes it highly drinkable. Though a 6.7% ABV should be a bit more challenging. This drinks like an overt session brew. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Enjoyable, interesting, and fun to drink Brett beer. Could use some improvements on the base style, though. 7/10


Friday, July 6, 2018

Magic Hat Barroom Hero

Fill date: 2/13/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 13A Dark Mild

AROMA: Mostly brown malts, but without any implied sweetness. Noticeably nutty character with just a touch of dark chocolate. Seems to have a stale or musty character. No hops (none needed); clean fermentation. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Dark ruby/brown proper hue (27-34 SRM). Cloudy, translucent body. Large, tan, soapy foam quickly evaporates and leaves no lacing. 2/3

FLAVOR: Brown malt throughout; somewhat astringent and lightly roasted with a significant nutty taste. Though a malt-forward palette, it seems to be highly attenuated so as to have little sweetness. Bitterness is medium-low, yet strong enough to notice. No discernible hop flavor (none needed). Finishes with a slight off-flavor tang. Leaves a lightly sweet malty aftertaste. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; low carbonation. Feels a bit under-carbonated and watery. Not refreshing, though easily drinkable at only 4.2% ABV. More likely to be sessionable when fresh. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Amazing that such a niche style would be mass-produced and it does adhere to the style guidelines rather well... just not when it's five months old. 6/10


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Founders Rübæus (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Fill date: 5/8/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 29A Fruit Beer (base style: 18A Blonde Ale?)

AROMA: Huge, authentic, and inviting raspberry aroma akin to jam or preserves. Smells sweet, but not sugary or "raw", per se. Difficult to discern base style character (malts, hops, esters, etc.), though it does smell like a beer and not an FMB or cocktail. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Beautiful shade of magenta/cherry red (13-17 SRM). Slightly hazy, but clear of particulates or sediment. Initially a large, pinkish foam which never completely evaporates, and still leaves some lacing. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly sweet up front with a strong, authentic raspberry fruit or puree taste which becomes slightly medicinal on the backend with just a faint tartness. The fruit does not seem like an extract/concentrate, or an artificial/chemical additive. Though sweet, it is not cloying; nor does it seem under-attenuated or that artificial sweeteners were added. Base brew is rather difficult to detect other than a nondescript pale maltiness and perhaps a slight wheaty, cracker-like character. Bitterness is very low; hop flavor is absent (which is acceptable). Raspberry flavor lingers for a slightly sweet aftertaste. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; moderate carbonation. Smooth and refreshing. Surprisingly strong at 5.7% ABV as it drinks like something more overtly sessionable. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Though simple, it is a delectable, non-faux, highly drinkable fruit beer. Difficult to judge to guidelines since the base style is undeclared. 8/10


NOTE: See my 2013 original review here:

Monday, July 2, 2018

Founders Double Trouble (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Fill date: 5/17/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 22A Double IPA

AROMA: Fairly strong American hop aroma of citrus and stone fruits. A slight green tea component as well. Moderate malty sweetness and just a touch of caramel character. Faint alcohol presence; clean fermentation. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Clear amber/pale orange hue (5-7 SRM). Large eggshell frothy foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Prominent hop taste throughout with richer, more resiny flavors than most of the style. This also accounts for the perceived bitterness being relatively low throughout (just a brief hop bite at the apex). Citrusy/stone fruity taste is present, but closer to juice concentrate than actual fruit or pith (the high alcohol presence has a lot do with this). Malt base is quite strong with a sweet caramel and honey flavor which is subtle up front, but almost barleywine-like towards the back. Hops linger in the aftertaste with a slight grassy/green tea flavor. Alcohol is difficult to ignore, but clean and not distracting. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; moderate carbonation. More viscous than the average DIPA, but remarkably smooth with no astringency. The brew is quite potent at 9.4% ABV with a gentle warmth; yet drinkability is not hindered at all. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: An "old school" DIPA by today's standards, but still exemplifies the style excellently. Just a bit maltier, sweeter and boozier than I'd prefer, but that's me. 9/10


NOTE: See my 2011 original review here:

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Weihenstephaner/Sierra Nevada Braupakt

Bottling code: 7068

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 34B Mixed-Style Beer (base styles: 1D American Wheat Beer; 10A Weissbier)

AROMA: Nearly equal parts American citrusy/stone fruit hops and traditional German yeast character of banana and clove (though all components are moderate in intensity overall). Malt and wheat base make for a firm bready/doughy backbone with just a touch of caramel-like sweetness. No alcohol presence. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Cloudy shade of amber/rusty orange (7-9 SRM). Very large white froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Starts American and finishes German. Immediate hop flavors of grapefruit, peach, and orangepeel open the palette. Bitterness is noticeable strong for a wheat beer at 35 IBUs, though hop flavor is relatively strong as well. The yeast character is subtle at first, though the traditional banana and clove notes emerge on the apex and into the finish. The malt base is firmly bready throughout with just a touch of caramel. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with and subtle orange and clove flavor. Alcohol is present, but stays mainly in the background. For the most part, these flavor combinations do work. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full[ish] body; high[ish] carbonation. Texture is soft and smooth; almost creamy. Much thicker viscosity than a traditional American or German wheat beer. Also much stronger than either styles at 6% ABV as that alcohol imparts gentle warmth. Not quite as refreshing as either base brew, and much too strong to session, but the drinkability is nice. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Though marketed as a German Weissbier, it's truly a hybrid brew since it has an overt American character. Interesting and impressive product. 8/10


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Samuel Adams Sam '76

Best before date: 9/2018

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 18B American Pale Ale

AROMA: Strong clean American/New World hop aroma, especially of citrus pith with a slight grassiness. Malt base is light and generic; no specialty character. Clean fermentation. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Slight hazy straw/golden hue (2-4 SRM). Large soapy foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly strong hop flavor with noticeable lemon peel and grass up front, and a subtle herbal/spicy flavor towards the end. Malt character is light and nondescript. Just a slight cracker-like taste and no residual sweetness. Alpha acid bitterness is low at 12 IBUs, but hop flavor is strong enough to amplified the perceived bitterness. Citrusy hops linger briefly, but fade to a mild starchy sensation. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; high carbonation. Smooth, crisp and refreshing. Ideal summer beverage at 4.7% ABV; this is quite sessionable. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Big Craft's attempt to cash in on a niche craft fad and they actually pulled it off. Technically to-spec for an APA, though it drinks like something else. Product is tasty and drinkable for sure. 8/10


Friday, June 29, 2018

3 Daughters A Wake Coffee Blonde Ale

Fill date: 3/12/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 30A Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (base style: 18A Blonde Ale)

AROMA: Prominent authentic coffee aroma. There is a sweetness akin to coffee iced cream or frappucino, etc. Only slight malt base and very faint citrusy hops. Simple nose, but nice. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Amber hue (5-7 SRM); very hazy body. Small white foam nearly completely dissipates. 2/3

FLAVOR: Strong, authentic coffee flavor throughout. Fairly well-roasted, but no astringency or peppery flavor. Little in the way of noticeable malt character, though there is moderate sweetness on the back end which gives makes the beer drink like a coffee-flavored confectionery. Actual bitterness is rather low and there is no discernible hop flavor (though none is really needed). Aftertaste is slightly sweet with a coffee flavor. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; moderate carbonation. Smooth, somewhat refreshing, and highly drinkable. Could work as a beach beer or a dessert beer at 5% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Though the palette is rather simple; the brew is delectable, balanced, and highly drinkable. 8/10


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hidden Springs ZFG

Fill date: 6/4/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 18B American Pale Ale

AROMA: Strong American/New World hop aroma of citrus and tropical fruits (more of pith than of juice). Moderate grassy component seems on point for the bouquet. Nondescript pale malt base; perhaps a bit wheaty or cracker-like. No alcohol presence; clean fermentation. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Slightly hazy shade of white gold (4-5 SRM). Champagne-like effervescence visible. Huge white head with composition of dish soap suds which leaves scattered lacing. 2/3

FLAVOR: Brew is something of a novelty or an experiment as all the hops were added post-fermentation resulting in zero IBUs. Hops are moderate in intensity with a grassy/spicy flavor and slight grapefruit pith in the aftertaste. The flavor does offer some perceived bitterness, though the pale malt base is not rich or sweet. Attenuation seems to be rather high and some wheat may be present which might account for the dryness. Hops linger in the aftertaste same as in an ordinary pale ale. Fermentation seems clean. No alcohol presence. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; high carbonation. Smooth; somewhat refreshing, though easily drinkable. Feels much lighter than 5.5% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Creative brewing technique, but the actual product is more "interesting" than it is genuinely good (for the style). 6/10


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Trappistes Rochefort 10 (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Best before date: 9/26/22

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 26D Belgian Dark Strong Ale

AROMA: Pungent nose with strong confectionery notes of caramel, vanilla and chocolate. Simultaneously there is also a noticeable fruity presence from the yeast esters (raisin, plum and cherry, especially). Definite spicy/peppery character from the yeast phenolics. Alcohol is also present, but is clean and enhances the robustness of the nose. Hops are virtually indistinguishable with just a faint earthy/floral character (which is acceptable for the style). 11/12

APPEARANCE: Dark ruby/burgundy/brown proper hue (22-34 SRM). Slightly hazy. Large, tan foam when poured, though most of it dissipates. 3/3

FLAVOR: Complex palette of flavors to be sure. Relatively sweet confectionery notes (caramel, vanilla, chocolate) up front likely due to the intense maltiness. As soon as it hits the apex, taste becomes fruity due to the yeast esters as well as spicy due to the yeast phenols. Alcohol is invisible until the very end at which point it imparts a noticeable warmth, but is not solventy. Aftertaste is briefly sweet, but quickly fades away cleanly. Bitterness is fairly low, but certainly offers enough balance. Attenuation seems to be rather high; sweetness is not from Belgian candi syrup rather than fermented malt sugars. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; high carbonation. Texture is smooth and creamy. The alcohol is certainly noticeable at 11.3% ABV, but it does not impair the drinkability at all (which is quite high for such a strong brew). 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A World Class beer that's probably just chilling on a shelf at your local bottle shop. Sweeter than most Trappist quads, but one of the best examples of the style. 10/10


NOTE: See my 2012 original review here:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

26 Degree Captain Ron Hefeweizen

Fill date: ?

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 10A Weissbier

AROMA: Fairly strong banana-like yeast esters with much more subtle clove-like phenols. Slight presence of pink bubblegum or vanilla. Solid bready component from the wheat. No hops (none needed). 10/12

APPEARANCE: Golden/amber hue (2-4 SRM); Only slightly hazy for the style. Moderate white foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Moderate bready/wheaty taste throughout, though it is the dominate flavor component up front. There is an underlying spicy clove taste from the yeast phenolics. After the apex, a fairly strong banana taste emerges along with a mild vanilla-like taste and sweetness. Tame hop bitterness with a subtle spicy/floral taste. Finish is mostly clean and dry. 16/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium-high carbonation. Smooth and refreshing. Tempting to session at 5.6% ABV as it feels like a lighter brew. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Has everything a good weissbier should have; especially the taste and drinkability. Not perfect, but much better than average. 9/10


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Westmalle Tripel (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Best before date: 2/15/19

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 26C Belgian Tripel

AROMA: Fairly strong Belgian yeast character with a moderate banana and orange fruitiness and a subtle clove-like spiciness. Malt presence is quite strong with a honey/caramel note, though beer does not smell sweet or under-attenuated. Hops are difficult to distinguish from the phenolics, but would seem to add some spicy/floral character. Alcohol is present, but clean and subtle. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Slightly hazy amber/pale orange hue (5-7 SRM). Moderate white foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Spicy, fruity and dry throughout. Classic Trappist yeast character throughout with an initial spicy/floral/perfume sensation at first. Dry and bitter with an orangepeel-like character becomes somewhat rich a honey and orange proper taste on the back end. Slight bready malt base, though brew is clearly highly attenuated so there isn't much in the way of sugary sweetness. Phenols and hops add a firm bitterness to off-set the maltiness and lead to a dry, clean finish. Alcohol is present, albeit subtle, and enhances the drying sensation. Bottle seems a little aged and oxidized, though. Would probably be perfect if fresh. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; medium-high carbonation. Smooth, comfortable texture with an extremely gentle warmth from the 9.5% ABV. Slightly refreshing while in the mouth, though aftertaste is a bit spicy. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This brew essentially birthed the style and is definitely one of the best examples all these years later. If only I could get it fresh. 10/10


NOTE: See my 2014 original review here:

Friday, June 22, 2018

Southern Tier 2XIPA (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Fill date: 5/8/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 22A Double IPA

AROMA: Fairly strong floral/citrus aroma (especially lemon). Some pine presence and a touch of grass. Clean malty sweetness in the background, but no specialty character. No alcohol presence. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Clear, golden/amber hue (4-5 SRM). Moderate white froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: High bitterness throughout with fairly strong hop flavor to match. Palette is piney/resiny at first with a hefty malt component. Slight caramel flavor up front with a honey/lemon taste on the backend (likely due to the alcohol and hops, respectfully). A touch of tea-like astringency on the finish lingers briefly in the aftertaste. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; medium-low carbonation. Texture is smooth, but a bit thick with a slight sticky sensation. Minor alcohol warmth at 8.2% ABV, albeit clean. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A classic East Coast-style DIPA. Not as exciting as it once was, but to-spec for sure. 8/10


NOTE: See my 2010 original review here:

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Weyerbacher Sunday Morning Stout

Fill date: 3/22/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (base style: 30A Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer (base style: 20C Imperial Stout))

AROMA: Very strong bourbon and coffee aromatics and all are authentic. Vanilla from the barrel imparts a strong sweetness (though a lot of that is due to the malt base I'm sure, though there isn't much in the way of classic imperial stout roastiness or fruitiness). No distinctive hops. Alcohol is present, but clean. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Opaque jet black (44+ SRM). Small, brown, foam completely dissipates and leaves no lacing. 2/3

FLAVOR: Huge bourbon barrel character up front with a rich vanilla-like taste and accompanying sweetness. Surprisingly, there is little in the way of roasted malt or fruity flavors. At the apex, the coffee emerges strongly with bitterness and authentic flavor to balance the sweetness of the first half. Hops are difficult to pick out as far as flavor and bitterness, though palette doesn't feel wildly unbalanced. Alcohol is clean for the most part, though it does induce a rubbing alcohol effect after it is swallowed and exhaled.  13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; low carbonation. Texture is a little slick, but not oily. Plenty of alcohol warmth, as well there should be at 12.7% ABV. Not necessarily a sipper. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A tasty but simplistic brew with the barrel and coffee comprising most of the palette. The imperial stout base needs some work. 7/10