041315_00

Dirt Wolf

It’s been awhile and a lot has happened over the past few months but more on that another time. Today I have Dirt Wolf from Victory Brewing Company. This bad boy rocks in at 8.7% ABV and falls under a double IPA classification.

Dirt Wolf
Victory Brewing Company’s Dirt Wolf

Dirt Wolf pours orange with a thin white head. A strong citrus and grapefruit hop aroma hits you right in the face. This isn’t a subtle beer, it means business. There is a slight pine but it is edged out by the other hop smells. There are some biscuit and malt aromas that you can find as the beer warms and/or you become used to the hop smell. The big take away from this one is hops. The hops are fresh, bright, and round. I love the smell of this beer.

On the first taste I was surprised that a mild malt flavor with light biscuit and bread lead the way. It was quickly followed by strong citrus hops and a round hop flavor from front to back. The hops don’t punch but build and bite, which is a really nice way of building an interesting hop flavor.  The hops end on a spicy note. I wouldn’t call the ending grassy, but it approaches that field. The most outstanding part of this beer, other than the hops, is that there isn’t any heat to speak of. The beer comes off feeling very balanced and drinkable. For better or worse, that’s what this thing does.

Really, really nice DIPA. Very clean and full flavored. Hops are solid and malt supports the hops. No heat anywhere to be found. Hops are bright, clean, and fully flavored. Outstanding DIPA

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08-20-00

DuClaw Hell on Wood Beer Review

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for barrel aged barleywines. I seriously love them. A local brewery that doesn’t get enough praise is DuClaw Brewing Company. They make some wonderful beer and when I saw Hell on Wood, I grabbed a few bottles. The bottle says that it is a barleywine style ale that is aged in bourbon barrels. It also rocks in at 10.6% ABV. A true sipper.

Hell on Wood pours a nice reddish brown color with a slight haze.  The head is light tan and thin, but doesn’t fade quickly. The nose is wonderful and full. It starts with a deep, dark, almost burnt caramel aroma. The caramel is surrounded by some “traditional sweetness” that really rounds out the malt character. A good helping of bourbon, oak, and vanilla follow though. I didn’t much if any hops which is generally how I like my barleywines.

Hell on WoodThe taste generally follows the nose. It begins with some strong caramel notes. Bourbon hits next. It’s a clean and spicy bourbon that cuts through the sweetness of the malt. A really solid, but not overpowering, oak flavor comes in next and really adds a great layer of complexity and depth. There is some heat towards the end of the taste. Surprisingly, it’s a balanced heat if there is such a thing, and it makes for a great flavor note. Hell on Wood finishes with a nice earthy/piney hop flavor that adds a touch of bitterness.

This beer stays a lightly sweet throughout but it’s enjoyable and still close to a perfect balance. It drinks thick and chewy; like I said, a sipper. I rather enjoyed this barleywine. It has a great combination of flavor, complexity, and aromas that make a barleywine an enjoyable drinking experience.

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08-17-00

North Coast Acme California Pale Ale Beer Review

My dad was nice enough to pick up a bottle of this beer for me on his way home from work one night. I’ve only had a handful of North Coast Brewing Company beers before; all good experiences. I was super excited to get another chance to try their beers. This one is a nice little pale ale that comes in at 5% ABV and a low 21 IBUs.

Acme California Pale Ale pours a nice orange color. It is perfectly clear, as any pale ale should be, and has a thin white head. The thing that impressed me about the nose was that the hops didn’t hit right off of the bat. The first thing I noticed was a great round caramel aroma that promised a flavorful beer was inside. The hops come into smell after that and provide a nice pine and tropical fruit mix. The hops are sticky sweet and really balance out the malt odors.

Acme California Pale AleOn the first taste I found that the nose didn’t lie, this beer has some great malt flavor. A solid, but light caramel and sweetness flavor show themselves first followed by a wonderful biscuit and bread flavor. The hops come in and provide a nice light hop punch with a slightly piny ending. The beer finishes dry which only makes you want to take another sip. As I drank this beer the hops changed over time. I found that they provided a nice earthy hop flavor to the beer, which I rather enjoyed.

This is a really good pale ale. It is much more of  an English style pale ale than an American one, but that’s not a bad thing. The hops and malt are in such good balance that this beer makes you want to keep drinking it.

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08-10-00

Dogfish Head Immort Ale Beer Review

I review a lot of Dogfish Head beers. I generally like their style, love their willingness to do something different, and I’ve met the owner. With all of that said, I would’ve picked up this beer if it was brewed by anyone. The label beckons, ” Vast in character, luscious and complex, this smooth, full-bodies ale reveals interwoven notes of maple, vanilla and oak.” It also comes in at a hefty 11% ABV, which means that it’s a sipper. There’s something special about slowly drinking a beer and having it change over time. It also means that you don’t have to get up as often. Score.

Immort Ale pours a nice ruby color. It has a thin off-white head that quickly fades. There a several small bodies suspended in the beer which I can only attribute to yeast. The nose has a bit of heat along a wonderful aroma of woody earth. This beer is barrel aged but it strikes a nice cord of oak and earth flavor that you usually find in some funkier beers. A slight bit of sweetness can be found in the recesses of the nose. Finally, a nice aged hop flavor comes forward to round out an already nice odor.

08-10-03The nose on this beer is super complex and lovely and the taste is right along the same lines. It starts with a sweet upfront flavor that I would describe as grainy caramel. The oak flavor comes in and provides a solid contribution and future background flavor. There is a slight bit of vanilla to be found but I would have expected a bit more with vanilla mentioned on the label. The hops do not deliver a super crazy bitterness but instead provide a nice spicy bitterness that really round this beer out.

This beer stays earthy throughout with lots of great flavor and complexity. I really like this beer overall. It has great characteristics that make it easy drinking (for an experienced craft beer drinker) but rich and flavorful. I really enjoyed this one and I can’t wait to age a few bottles and see how it transforms over time. I’m really hoping that it loses a bit of the heat.

 

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05-01-00

Beer Review #328 The Truth

Another trip, another new Flying Dog Brewery beer. Seriously, these guys (and gals) make a ton of new beer on a regular basis. This beer is a double IPA and rocks in at 8.7% ABV. The bottle says,

Full disclosure: This beer came to fruition because we saw a gap in our portfolio and we wanted to increase our market share.

The Truth it is!

The Truth pours a nice clear orange color. It comes with a thick off-white head that eventually fades to a thin layer after some time. The nose is loaded with sticky-sweet hops. It LOVE the smell of this beer, it’s everything a hop forward beer should be. It’s loaded with citrus, tropical fruits, and pointed hop flavor that just screams “drink me.” Seriously, if I homebrewed a beer that smelled like this beer I would go pro in a heartbeat.

The ta05-01-03ste is equally as wonderful. There is a nice round sweetness on the first taste that is quickly followed by a flavorful punch of hops. The citrus and tropical fruit flavor echoes to the aroma and the hops take on a spicy characteristic. I’m amazed by how much flavor the hops contribute to this beer. I truly dig it.

Everything on this one hits me just right. I wish that I were a paid spokesperson for this beer because I like it that much. I love this as a double IPA. The hops, malt, and carbonation all fall into the correct balance for me. I can’t say enough about this beer and I hope that it sticks around for a long time.

 

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