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Beer Review #306 Palate Wrecker

08-06-03Green 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. (more…)


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…)

Beer Review #167 Lagunitas Maximus

This will be my first review of a Lagunitas Brewing Company beer on this site. I have enjoyed a few of their beers over the years but sadly this is the first time I’ll be writing about one of them┬áLagunitas Brewing Company is located in Petaluma, California which is about an hour north for San Fransisco. Those Californian’s are known for their love of hops and Lagunitas Maximus officially comes in as a double IPA. I’ve had good and bad experiences with double IPAs in the past, so this was more of in impulse buy than anything.

Maximus pours a nice burnt orange color with a slight bit of haze in the glass. There is a fluffy white head protecting the liquid underneath. The nose isn’t as loaded with hops as I expected. There are surely there, but other odors come out as well. I found the nose to be very candy-like and sweet. The grapefruit hops helped balance out the sweetness in the smell, but it was still pretty evident. I also got a little heat, which is to be excepted for an 8.2% beer.

On my first taste I was pleasantly surprised that there was a forward flavor. Before I got to the hops or any real body, there was a good amount of sweetness. The hops then build in, but do so nicely. They don’t bite, but build. The hops I found to be slightly grass and piney. They didn’t have a strong flavor in any direction, but seemed to be a bit more subdued for a beer like this. The heat in the nose could be found on the back-end of this one.

I found myself liking this double IPA. The hops are very smooth and don’t “rip your face off.” My only problem is that it gets a little to boozy for me as it warms but I guess that is going to happen in a high alcohol beer. (more…)

Beer Review #133 He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA

I’ve heard a lot about Shmaltz Brewing Company when I first got into craft beer. I believe the main reason for this was because of their humorous names for their beers (He’Brew the Chosen Beer). I haven’t been able to find any of their beer around me until recently. I found that somewhat surprising considering that the beer is brewed Saratoga Spring, NY. When I saw a bottle of He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA at the beer store recently I decided to grab it up. The beer is named for Lenny Bruce, a Jewish writer and about a dozen other things.

He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA is a double India Pale Ale brewed with rye malt. This monster rocks in at an impressive 10% ABV. I’ve really enjoyed most of the rye beers that I have had in the past, so I probably would have purchased this beer had it been from anyone, not just Shmaltz.

This RIPA pours an amber color and it has an off-white head. The nose was a bit different than what I expected. It pours out rye aromas along with some caramel. The hops are there, but they are not the star in the smell department. As the beer warmed (or perhaps I warmed after a bit of drinking this thing) I found the hops aromas showed themselves more.

On the first taste I really noticed the hops. They were spicy but smooth and powerful. I really dug how the hops combined to make this beer super drinkable. The malt was big on this beer as well. The caramel notes are there along with a good helping of rye. I really like the flavor that rye gives to a beer.

Being a double IPA this beer is thick. But, for being such a big beer, this one is surprisingly drinkable. I wished that I had purchased more of this beer as soon as I finished the bottle. I will surely be getting more the next time I go to the beer store. (more…)