I’m not a coffee drinker in the slightest, but I love coffee beer. Odd right? Some say that coffee is an acquired tasted, like beer, but I often find it to be to harshly bitter and not suitable to my palate. When I saw Boulevard Brewing Company’s Coffee Ale on the shelves I knew that I had to try it. This beer is part of their Smokestack Series and the label proudly reads, “malt beverage brewed with coffee.” It also comes in at 9.3% for a bit of an extra kick.
The coffee ale pours a dark brown and has a nice tan head. I was expecting a black colored beer, but brown is okay with me. The beer pours very creamy and the head sits solid, but only goes to a medium thickness in the glass. The nose is rocked with strong coffee odors. I didn’t get any hops or heat in the aroma but a touch of sweetness can be found.
The taste, like the nose, is packed with coffee. It’s strong, in charge, and yells “Coffee BEER!” Outside of the dominating coffee there is a slight caramel sweetness but nothing else to make note of. Instead of hop bitterness, this beer relies on the coffee to do the job. And it does it well.
The mouthfeel is very light and not nearly as creamy as the pour suggested. As far as coffee beers go, this is one of the stronger coffee flavors that I have found. I still found it very drinkable and packed with flavor. I’m no coffee nut, but there is a nice bouquet of coffee flavors that really add interest to this one. I’m not versed in coffee enough to explain the flavors, but I found them enjoyable and not over the top. This is a good one to try if you like coffee beers. Continue reading →
I have yet another Double IPA up for review today. Don’t kill me, I just can’t help that I like big beers. As James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio says, “I like big beers and I cannot lie.” Today’s beer comes from the Old Dominion Brewing Company. I first had this beer several years ago at the Good Beer Festival but at the time, they did not bottle it. I’m happy to report that they now bottle it and I am better for it. This Double IPA comes in at a nice round 9% ABV.
Double D IPA pours a nice orange color and has an off-white head. Unlike some DIPAs, this one is perfectly clear and looks beautiful in the glass. The nose is rich in hops. There are a lot of hop aromas a beer can have and this beer sits firmly in the grapefruit/tropical hop world. I didn’t get any pine on the nose in this one. In my book, any good DIPA should have a nice malt body to balance out the hops and the malt even comes out in the aroma for this beer.
On the first taste you get hit with two things:
A great malt flavor that has some nice bread/toast components
The malt is nicely balanced but the start of the show is the hops. The hops are bright, fresh, and crisp. There is a really good citrus flavor that follows through the entire beer. A slight pine flavor comes in at the end and helps dry everything out nicely. Unlike some hoppy beers that feature bitterness, this beer really has a lot of hop flavor. It just sings through the beer and provides some great flavor notes for your tongue to enjoy.
This is hands down one of my favorite DIPAs. I’m so glad that they started bottling this beer. There is a great balance to this one. The malt is present and flavorful and the hops are clean and bold. There really isn’t a thing to dislike on this beer. Dominion has three different beers featuring pin-ups and this is by far my favorite. Continue reading →
I’ve been on an IPA swing recently and I came across a new beer and a new brewery while at the beer store the other day, so I had to grab a bottle or two to try. The beer is Shipwrecked Double IPA and the brewery is the Mission Brewery out of San Diego, California. This bad boy comes in at 9.25%.
Shipwrecked Double IPA pours a nice burnt orange color and looked mostly clear but might have had some haze. It was hard to tell if it was clear or hazy as the glass got coated in condensation pretty quickly after the pour. There was a medium off-white head that stuck around longer than most double IPAs. The nose is super unique, unlike any nose that I’ve smelled before. You have the normal hop citrus and slight pine but the main hop odor is kind of stinky. It’s almost like a foot smell. I don’t know if I just got a weird batch but the nose, while not unpleasant, wasn’t overly outstanding either.
On the first taste I was thrilled to find that the malt bill on this beer is top notch. There are some great caramel notes along with some nice bready notes as well. The malt by itself is very nice and well brewed. When the hops hit, they hit quickly. They are very clean and leave your mouth as fast as they came in. There is a slightly grassy feeling to this one while drinking but it doesn’t end on a grassy note or even a bitter note, it just leaves.
The mouthfeel is full but it seemed a little under-carbonated for my tastes. I wonder if the feet smell could be associated with an improperly crimped cap. This isn’t a bad double IPA but it is far from my favorite. I really wanted more assertive hops out of a double IPA but this beer left me with memories of a great malt flavor. It’s not a bad thing for a beer, but not a good thing for a double IPA. Continue reading →
It’s been a long time since I reviewed a Flying Dog Brewery beer. I’ve been in a real hop mood lately (as you can probably tell from recent reviews) and when I came across this beer at the store, I grabbed immediately. Citra is one of my favorite hop varietals and Imperial IPA screams “Drink Me!” This beer also comes in at a drink and fall asleep(™) 10% ABV.
This Imperial IPA pours a light orange and has a nice white head. It is perfectly clear and looks great with light passing through it. The nose is full of rich hops. Citra is clearly the hop at play in this beer. If you ever want to find out what a particular hop smells and tastes like, finding a single hop style of beer is the way to go. Homebrewing makes this task a bit easier. Citra has notes of citrus (duh), grapefruit, and other tropical fruits. The hops are bright and round. I really love everything about how this beer smells. Even more impressive than the fresh hop aroma is the lack of any trace of alcohol.
On a first tasting a slight malt sweetness with light caramel can be found. After that the flood gates of hops open and the hop flavors flow in fast and wonderfully. All of the flavors mentioned in the aroma are present in the flavor of this beer. The hops are solidly biting and slightly grassy. This beer leaves your mouth while making your inhale a bit to counteract the bitterness. The body on this beer is nice and creamy as well which helps the sipper crowd out there.
This is an excellent example of how a brewery can showcase an ingredient. If you don’t know what Citra is or what it tastes like, this beer will give you an education. Everything from the aroma to the flavor is covered with Citra. It’s truly a wonderful beer that I will be drinking often. Continue reading →
Green Flash Brewing Company has been increasing their distribution to my area recently and I’m a happy guy because of it. When I saw a beer named Palate Wrecker on the shelves of the beer store, I just had to buy it. I’m such a sucker for a good name/label. I took a look at the bottle before purchasing and this one clocks in at 9.5%. I think Palate Wrecker is just part of what this beer wrecks on your body.
Palate Wrecker pours a orange color and it is perfectly clear. The head is super thick and off-white. The nose is packed with hops. Pungent hops. Palate altering hops. The grapefruit and pine is more than almost any beer that I have ever smelled. I love big hops, but this one seems over the top.\
I did get a slight malt flavor on my first sip but it was short-lived. The hop train came in and knocked out everything else that was there. The hops just wash over your tongue and blow out every taste bud. The hops start as a citrus flavor and then a hammer of pine comes in and cleans any other flavor out of your mouth. I know that hops are supposed to numb your taste buds, but this is the first beer that I have ever had that actually lives up to that tale.
I LOVE this beer. It’s big and bold and in charge. I’ve never had a beer that left my mouth feeling the way that this one did. I guess this falls into the double IPA range and it delivers on every end of that. The hop flavor and brutality of this beer are second to none. I highly suggest this beer. Continue reading →