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Beer Review #311 G-Thing

12-18-03The good folks over at Magic Hat Brewing Company recently sent me a few samples of their winter beers. The first was a return to the line-up in Heart of Darkness. I still really enjoy that beer and I’ve actually gone to seek out more on my own accord. Today’s beer is named G-Thing. When I read the label my first thought was “that’s an awesome gingerbread man” and my second though, well more of a song, was Dr.Dre and Snoop Dogg’s Ain’t Nothing But A G Thang. Yup, I went there.

G-Thing pours a nice deep dark brown that I half expected in a winter beer. There is a slight tan-ish head, but not a ton going on. The note of this beer is really interesting. You obviously get some ginger, and a good dose of it. Being the ginger there are some really nice bready notes. This beer surprised me in it’s ability to capture as much malt as it did. I wasn’t expecting that much malt to come through when compared to the ginger.

On the first taste I was very open to the malt flavors. They flowed in nicely and exhibited some nice dark caramels and bread notes. The ginger spice comes in about halfway through the drink and makes for a wonderful addition. I will full admit that I’m not much of a ginger fan, but this beer stays in balance. I didn’t get much in the way of hops but the beer finishes dry. It reminds me of an English style beer in that the malt and body are there until the end.

It was pretty easy to drink this beer quickly. It was refreshing and had a nice mix of flavors to stay interesting as it warmed. With the holidays quickly approaching this beer would make for a nice drinker during a holiday party. With the cold weather that we have had here on the east coast, I have found myself turning to this style of beer. I think it fits the season nicely and fulfills the goals of a seasonal beer.

Beer Review #228 Inlet IPA

16 Mile Brewing Company has been on the local beer store’s shelves for a little over a year now and, until recently, I haven’t seen anything new. The last time I went to the store I was happy to find two new beers from them. They also stopped bottling beers in 16 oz. aluminum bottles and went to the typical 12 oz. glass bottles. 16 Mile Brewing Company is in the small down of Georgetown, DE, which is not terribly far from Dogfish Head. I’m always happy to help out a small local brewery so I picked up a few more bottle than what I normally would have.

Inlet IPA is an English-style IPA that comes in 6.1%. Unlike American IPAs which are all about the hops, English IPA take greater pride in the subtle complexities that malt can offer. This ale pours a nice clear orangy amber color white a medium density white head. The nose has a slight bit of hops, but nothing like a “typical” IPA would offer. There was a nice sweetness coming through and the hops had a caramel flavor attached to them which I really enjoyed.

The nose really offered some serious hints to what this beer was going to taste like. There were some nice strong caramel flavors upfront that were quickly followed by some English ale esters. I really enjoyed the complexity that the esters added to the beer. The hops are there, but, again, not like a typical IPA. Instead of being biting, these hops form a great backbone to the beer that meshes up very nicely with the malt.

I found this beer to be very drinkable, but I think it would really shine on a colder day. The malt is sweet and it sticks to you all the way down. I’m going to be getting this one again once the fall hits to really enjoy it fully. If you like malt forward beers this one might be a good one to try. It will obviously be hoppier compared to most malt forward beers, but I don’t think that you will be disappointed. (more…)

Custom Brewcrafters English Pale Ale Beer Review

09-02-19-05A friend of mine lived in upstate New York for the past few years and he brought me a bottle of Custom Brewcrafters’ English Pale Ale. He had previously brought me their Double Dark Cream Porter which I liked a great deal, so I figured this one would be on the same level.

09-02-19-02The bottle reads, “a well balanced amber ale with a smooth dry finish.” I opened the bottle to a nice pfff and it had a nice malty smell to it. There was a small bit of hops in there as well as a strange sour smell. I couldn’t put my nose to it, but there was something off. The beer pours a nice copper color but not super clear. There is a bit of cloudiness in there but as a homebrewer cloudiness is not a big deal.

Upon my first sip I couldn’t get very much mouthfeel. This beer felt very light and drinkable on basis of mouthfeel. Taste is another matter. There was not much malt flavor, the sour smell continued into the taste, and the hop bitterness stayed around just a little too long. The bottle was correct with the dry finish as the flavors drop right off of your tounge, but the bitterness lingers. It’s not a terrible beer by any strech, but it’s not a good one either. There was a little funk that threw this off. After checking around the net, it’s not just me that has had this problem with this brew. Maybe it is something they are trying to get into their beer, but it only takes away from it. If you are out and about and see this, pick it up if you have some extra cash, but better get a buddy give it to you for free like I did.