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03-20-00

Beer Review #320 Piercing Pils

03-20-02Dogfish Head is out with yet another new beer, a lager this time around. Piercing Pils is the name of the beer and it is a “Czech-style Pilsner brewed with pear juice, pear tea and Saaz hops,” because you know you can’t be Dogfish Head without throwing something weird into the mix.

Piercing Pils pours a yellow straw color and it has a bit of a haze to it. A medium white head fades into a thin white head and remains for the rest of the drink. Dogfish Head has recently gotten large enough to have it’s own branded bottles and Piercing Pils looks gorgeous coming out of their new bottles. The nose is sticky sweet with bits of sulfur. It also has a good bit of citrus that adds a nice layer to the aroma of the beer.

On the first taste I was really surprised at the amount of citrus that comes out of this beer. A lime-like flavor starts and ends the beer. There isn’t a ton of malt to talk about but there are some nice bread notes that come out as you drink the beer. I’m not a giant fan of pears but this beer allows you to experience a good pear flavor without becoming dominant. The hops really come in at the end and clean-up the beer nicely.

I really didn’t expect to like this beer as pears are just not my thing. I found myself really enjoying this beer. It’s easy to drink and it goes down very easily. Not all new Dogfish Head beers agree with me but this one does. (more…)

01-15-00

Beer Review #312 American Beauty

01-15-01Dogfish Head always seems to have a new beer out with some type of gimmick attached. Their beers can be hit or miss for me, especially when it comes to their “special release” beers. I haven’t been in love with some of their past releases but for some reason, when I see a new bottle on the store shelves, I go for it. In this case, American Beauty called to me. It has great bottle art and a quick read of the label really made me want to try this one out. It says, “an imperial pale ale with granola and all-American hops.” I really can’t say that I’ve ever had a beer with granola, so I bought it. It came in at a hefty $17.99, but at 9% ABV I didn’t feel too terrible (but I did feel a little terrible).

The beer pours a wonderful orange color and comes with a thick off-white head. It is perfectly clear and as you can see by the images in this review, it looks really cool with lights behind it and a short F-Stop. The nose starts with a nice hit of hops. They are mainly citrus but some sticky pine hides out in there as well. I got a few sweet malt notes, but the hops are the main star on this one. I also didn’t get any granola, which isn’t surprising I guess.

On the first sip I was hit by a complex array of flavors. It starts with a soft sweetness that rounds out nicely and leads into a tropical hop taste. Along with the sweetness are some of the normal malt flavors of oats and biscuits. As the transition from sweetness to fruity hops starts, there is a punch of candy that I really liked. The hops are super tropical and have a load of citrus that gives way to pine hops at the end. This beer struck me as being earthy and hoppy. There are some really nice malt flavors that meld into the hops but the piney finish really cleans everything up and gives a great showcase for various hop flavors.

I liked this one. I wish it was a bit on the cheaper side but I can live with it. This beer was a sipper for me while I listened to the fireplace crackle. You can say what you want about Dogfish Head but this beer is solid all of the way around. It’s not my favorite imperial IPA, but it does a good job of living up to what it says. (more…)

09-25-03

Beer Review #308 Shipwrecked Double IPA

09-25-02I’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. (more…)

08-09-02

Beer Review #307 Single Hop Citra Imperial IPA

08-09-04It’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. (more…)

07-31-02

Beer Review #304 Lot No6

07-31-03 I have yet another beer from Evolution Craft Brewing Company for review today. They are my favorite emerging brewery a the current time and I have really been impressed with the quality and number of beers that they have been putting out. I first had Lot No6, a double IPA, a the Good Beer Festival at few years ago, but not until recently have I been able to get bottles locally.

Lot No6 pours a nice orange color with a normal white head. It looks like a typically double IPA but the head lasts for a long time for a 8.5% beer. The nose is full of rich hops and malt. Citrus is the primary hop aroma pouring out of this beer, but some pine can also be found. The hops smell full. By that I mean that I mean that the hop smell shows the full aroma profile of the hops used. It provides a wonderful complexity and makes this beer a joy to smell.

A slight malt flavor can be tasted on the front end of this beer with bits of bread and caramel. The malt has just a moment to shine as the hops come in and flood out everything else. Citrus, namely grapefruit, is a feature flavor component of this beer and then the hops fade into a pine flavor. As with the nose, the hops are full and round.

To me, this is exactly what a Double IPA should be. It has a nice malt body with powerful hop flavor. I just love this beer and I can’t wait to get more of it. If you haven’t had the joy of experiencing this beer yet, I suggest you do. You will not regret trying this beer. (more…)