Category Archives: Breweries

05-01-00

Beer Review #328 The Truth

05-01-03Another 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 taste 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. Continue reading

04-28-00

Beer Review #327 Two Hearted Ale

04-28-02I have an oldie but a goodie up for review today. Bell’s Brewery out of Michigan is one of the most respected craft breweries around, yet I haven’t reviewed a single one of their beers yet. Part of it is that they are hard to find in my area and the other part is that I usually drink them before I can get a review flushed out. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is one of the “classic” craft beers in the US.

The beer pours a nice orange color and has a few floaties in it. A thin off-white head also accompanies the liquid below. The nose is very floral with some bright hops. The hops are slightly tropical with citrus but also have a nice dank aroma to them. The odor isn’t overly sweet like many IPAs and it captures the hops wonderfully.

On the first taste you don’t get a lot of malt. There is some sweetness but it isn’t well defined. The hops come in quickly and provide some wonderful flavor notes. Tropical fruits, citrus, and grapefruit dominate the flavor arena for a bit before a strong pine hop comes in and cuts any sweetness present. The piney note is an exclamation mark on the beer and really separates the beer into two areas, pre-pine and post-pine. The post-pine flavor is very nice and slightly spicy. I also got the slightest amount of heat towards the end of this beer.

Bell’s has done a wonderful job with this beer. The hops are shown off so nicely that it’s hard to fully explain with text. I love all of the different flavors and aromas of hops showcased in this beer. It is a pleasure to drink and I hope that I can experience more of their beers in the future. Continue reading

04-24-00

Beer Review #326 Natural Selection Ale

04-24-03I can always count on Flying Dog Brewery to have a new beer available when I go to the store. This trip’s selection is Natural Selection Ale, which a a beer brewed by Flying Dog, but made in collaboration with Evolution Craft Brewing Company. I really can’t say enough about both of their breweries and the fact that they joined forces for a beer makes me down right giddy. This beer rocks in at 7.6% ABV and was made in three parts. Part one was the original beer which was then (Part two) taken and aged in cherry wood barrels at Evolution, and finally (Part three) dry hopped with Galaxy hops at Flying Dog. It seems like a lot of work and beer movement to make a beer, but I love when new things are tried out in the craft beer world.

This beer pours a hazy brown color. Hazy might be a bit nice, this beer is downright cloudy. It has a thin off-white head that sticks to the edges of the glass. The nose is nice and hoppy with the right amount of sweetness mixed in. The hops have a bit of a floral punch and really present a full, rich aroma.

On the first taste you get just a slight amount of sweetness in the front but it is quickly followed by a large train of hop bitterness. The hops provide a nice kick of bitterness but also contribute a great citrus/tropical flavor to the beer. There are some hints of wood behind the hop wall, but you really have to look for them. The beer is very clean with a great hop centerpiece. The hops stay through the end of the beer and leave on a clean, but slightly grassy end note.

I very much enjoyed this beer. I thought it was the right amount of different and showcased dry hopping very nicely. I love collaboration brewing and this is a solid example of how it can work out well. Grab em’ if you see them. Continue reading

04-21-00

Beer Review #325 Milk Stout Nitro

04-21-02Left Hand Brewing Company has been having fun putting their excellent stouts in bottles with nitrogen carbonation. My last example was reviewed here. I’ve seen very few breweries going the nitro route as it can be difficult and expensive. In most cases, nitrogen carbonated beers are done in a can with a widget, but not Left Hand.

Their normal Milk Stout is one of my favorites. It strikes all of the right balances and really shines as a example of the style. When I saw the nitro version of their Milk Stout, I bought a case, a rarity for me. The beer pours a smooth black. There is very little head what the resulting head is tan in color. The nose is sweet but chocolatly. The major chocolate note that I get is dark chocolate with some hints of milk chocolate. I didn’t get a lot of roast and there was no hop aroma to speak of.

On the first taste I was overwhelmed with how smooth this beer drinks. From start to finish this is a complete beer. A nice caramel and milk chocolate sweetness starts off the beer and then flows into a chocolate and roast explosion. The roast isn’t overly bitter, but it’s there and helps balance the beer. The chocolate is also bitter, the way dark chocolate is, and provides some great flavor. I love the progression of flavor in this beer. It leaves on a slightly sweet note with bits of dark chocolate bitterness hanging on. It’s a complete drink, plain and simple.

I love Left Hand’s regular version of this beer, but the nitro version kicks it up a notice. It has great flavor, balance, and drinkability. For a stout, it’s not overly thick or filling. It sits right in the sweet-spot of beers for me. I highly, highly suggest this beer. Continue reading

04-03-00

Beer Review #324 Spring Blonde

04-03-03As I said last week, New Belgium Brewing Company always has something new on the shelves when I visit the beer store. This go around they had a new beer to me, Spring Blonde. The bottle says that it is a “Belgian Style Ale… Inspired by our anniversary bike trips through Belgium, Spring Blonde is a bright golden ale with a sweet, lemony start, oedaling to a pleasantly bitter finish.” It comes in at 6% ABV.

Spring Blonde, true to it’s labeling, pours a nice golden color. It has a thin white head and it is perfectly clear. The nose is sweet and slightly bready. There isn’t a lot else going on but I would consider the aroma grassy.

On the first taste I got a slight bit of sweetness upfront but there isn’t a ton of malt flavor to be found. After the sweetness fades, a bitterness kicks in and follows through the rest of the beer. I didn’t get much, if any, Belgian yeast notes but more of a lager, sulfur flavor. The bitterness doesn’t sit totally right for me. It seems a bit out of balance with the beer and doesn’t taste like other blondes that I’ve had.

I didn’t really get this beer. It shows promise but it is a bit out of balance in my eyes and it just doesn’t drink nicely. It’s a light beer on the tongue and drinks fairly easily, but it’s not for me. Continue reading