Normally, compiling my “worst beers of the year” list is pretty fun. But as I mentioned in the Best Beers of 2015 list, I’ve reviewed pretty much every macro beer by now – so there really aren’t a lot of purposely bad beers out there left for me to review. In fact, most of the stuff on this list is here probably because the bottle or can I happened to be drinking at the time was old (but if the brewery doesn’t fresh date their products I say it’s fair game for a review). Though there are still plenty of up-and-coming craft breweries that still haven’t mastered the art of quality control. If they’re going to put a bad batch on the market, then they deserve any and all negative reviews it’s met with. But anyway, this list isn’t nearly as heinous as years past. Most of the beers are just below average rather than truly bad (though there definitely are some stinkers on the list).
As per usual, the standard rules apply:
- It must be a beer that I reviewed for the first time in 2015.
- It doesn’t matter if it’s been around for years or debuted in 2015, just as long as this was the first calendar year in which I reviewed it.
- It doesn’t matter if I’ve sampled or drank it before, just that I never have reviewed it until now.
- Re-reviews don’t count (for better or worse).
- Reviews of a different vintage or different edition of a previously-reviewed beer are ineligible.
- Only one entry per brewery.
reviewed this in a blind taste test in September it was awful. This particular bottle is much better than that one, though it’s still not that good. It’s possible something may have happened to this beer in transit to my area, but whatever the case may be, it’s just a disappointing experience.
There’s definitely a familiar Marzen character here with the presence of slightly sweet darker malt and just a hint of fruity flavor (maybe some toffee, too). Unfortunately, it’s completely obscured by a sour tanginess to the palette. Much like the nose, there’s a presence akin to cranberry in here: tart and a little astringent. No hop character that I can detect. The flavor seems to worsen as it warms. I don’t know what the deal is with this beer, but I do not like it.
Another 2015 dud from this brewery: Narragansett Lovecraft Honey Ale
The malt base has held in rather well and creates for a peanut brittle and toffee flavor along with lemon lollipops (oxidation). Hops are pretty much gone except for light piney flavor up front and a touch of earthy resin on the finish. Otherwise, it’s mostly a sharp, dry astringent flavor and a tangy sourness on the finish and aftertaste. I can’t imagine this is how the beer was supposed to taste.
Another 2015 dud from this brewery: Broken Bow Red Ale
While I don’t think Mountain Brew Light is vastly superior to its bigger brother, I do notice quite a difference in taste. Mostly due to the fact I can actually drink more than a few ounces of this at a time. Not that there’s a lot (or anything) to taste here. Only a faint Corn Flakes-like sweetness. No malt or hop character at all. Thankfully, not much metallic or starch or tangy off-flavors (there is a bit of a dirty taste, but it’s faint and probably due to the fact the can is so old). It actually quite watery-tasting. Not terrible, but this would be doubly good if it were merely mediocre.
Another 2015 dud from this brewery: Mountain Brew Ice
I’m no stranger to peppers. I’ve grown my own jalapenos, habaneros and Trinidad Scorpion peppers and eaten them raw. I’ve even brewed with these peppers and was able to use them to impart gentle warmth. Twisted Pine’s “Ghost Face Killah” is most definitely not gentle, nor is it warm. In fact, “hot” doesn’t really describe it. As soon as it touches the tongue and lips it sets those body parts on fire. It has the taste of raw peppers as it goes down – a nasty earthy/soil-like flavor. After a while, there’s a slight smokey aftertaste, not unlike that of a Chipotle pepper, but by that point it’s too late. I can’t imagine anyone other than a pepper enthusiast being able to get through more than 4oz of this. There’s nothing to taste, it’s just liquid fire. Screw this.
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