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Beer Review #196 Blue Point Toasted Lager

Blue Point Brewing Company of Patchogue, New York generally seems to have one new beer each time I visit my local beer store. Their Toasted Lager is the most recent addition the shelves. Apparently this beer is only new to me though, as they consider it their flagship beer. It has also been honored with a silver and gold metal at the World Beer Cup. While I don’t take ratings or awards into much consideration when getting a beer (a post for another time), Blue Point is very proud of their awards as they are clearly displayed on the bottle for this lager.

Toasted Lager pours a nice light amber color and comes with and abundant white head. From my experience the head was very dense and thick for a lager. The nose had some slight lager sulfur along with some dull background hops. As expected their is a bready/toasted odor as well, which I found very pleasant.

There is some nice sweetness on the front-end of this beer which is quickly followed by a more defined sweetness of honey and light caramel. The toasted part of this beer’s namesake fades in very nicely and really provides a great depth of flavor. I didn’t get any hops on this beer. The toasted flavor and a light sweetness stay on the tongue a bit, but the flavor is nice and not overly cloying.

I enjoyed this beer and I could see myself enjoying a few of them at a sitting. It’s a bit sweet but the toasted flavor more than makes up for the sweetness. I would like to see a bit more in the way of hops to balance this beer out, but this beer delivers exactly what it says on the bottle, which is more than most beers can say. (more…)

Beer Review #169 Hoptical Illusion

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am a marketers dream. Give me some catchy and I’m bound to try it out at some point. When I saw Hoptical Illusion from Blue Point Brewing Company of Patchogue, New York, I had to get it. Seriously, how can you not buy a beer named Hoptical Illusion. Damn you marketing.

This IPA pours a nice golden orange color and it is perfectly clear. A white head accompanies the beer. The nose has slight bits of citrus hops along with a very slight hint of malt. There really isn’t a lot else to be found in nose. I looked for more and even let the beer warm, but no other odors ever made an appearance.

A decent malt backbone started off my first taste. The hops quickly kick in and contribute some grapefruit and pine flavors. The hops are pretty strong and really do “kick.” However, the hops are not crisp and just sit on your taste buds for a long time. I generally like my hops to be in and out and only leave a light aftertaste. These hops hang around a bit too long for my liking.

This IPA comes in at 6.8%, which fits nicely into the style guidelines. This is a pretty solid IPA but nothing sets it apart from similar IPAs. The craft beer market is full of solid IPAs and this one gets a bit lost with the others. The name really makes this beer seem more than what it is. I didn’t dislike the beer by any stretch, but I wouldn’t seek it out again as it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. (more…)

Beer Review #155 Blue Point Pumpkin Ale

I’ve already reached my last pumpkin beer of the year. I found myself in an Oktoberfest beer mood this ear and I didn’t purchase many pumpkin beers. I think part of the problem is that every brewery seems to want to be the first to get their pumpkin ale out. I saw some in late August! Not the time that I want to be drinking a pumpkin ale and by the time I do, like now, they are all gone. I hope the industry gets around to fixing that little issue.

I have had a few Blue Point Brewing Company beers before as they have recently become available in my area. Overall, I have to give them a thumbs up. The brewery is located in Patchogue, New York and they seem to be grown at a decent clip. Their version of a pumpkin ale pours a nice copper color with a thin white head. There is no hazy like there was in my last pumpkin beer. They also managed to get the label the right side up. Good start.

The nose is very “pumpkiny,” with lots of actual pumpkin meat coming through. There are some of the normal spices (clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc) mixed in along with some sweetness. On my first taste I was shocked at how sweet this beer was. There wasn’t any pumpkin pie spice bit to this beer, but rather a slow fade into pumpkin flavor. The slow pumpkin onset was really nice.

I really enjoyed this beer from Blue Point. It was a little sweet for my liking but the gradual change to pumpkin flavor made up for any extra sweetness. I found the bottle a bit interesting because it said, “malt beverage brewed with pumpkin and spice.” I wonder if New York has some weird naming rule on beers where they need to be called a malt beverage if they fall into a certain category. In any case, this is a good one and I look forward to trying it out next year. (more…)

Beer Review #121 Blue Point Summer Ale

In the spring I reviewed Blue Point Brewing Company’s spring beer and found it to be a solid brew. Blue Point is brewed in Patchogue, NY a.k.a. Long Island, NY and they have been making a large variety of beer recently.

Blue Point’s summer offering pours like most summer beers; golden in color, clear, and a fluffy white head. The nose has some similar notes to most summer beers, like a honey-like sweetness, but also has some other components. I noticed a bit more hop odor than a normal summer beer has along with a nice biscuit aroma.

The taste is pretty straightforward and not overly complex. There is some sweetness followed by a slight hop flavor. The overall taste was pretty nondescript. Now this isn’t always a bad thing. If I had this beer in the winter I would be highly disappointed, but for a summer beer, it is light and refreshing.  It might not be packed with flavor, but it does a good job of quenching your thirst. I believe that there are better summer offerings out there, but this one might be good for a newcomer to craft beer or someone who has never had a craft brew. (more…)

Beer Review #104 Springfling Ale

Blue Point Brewing Company out of Patchogue, New York has been in my head quite a bit recently. I had never heard of the brewery until The Brewery Show did a episode about them towards the beginning of April. Since then I have noticed many of their brews popping in in local stores. I generally tend to grab seasonal beers before any other type, so I my introduction to Blue Point is Springfling Ale.

The beer’s label says that it is a copper ale, but I have seen other classifications have it as an American Pale Ale. Regardless of the classification, this ale pours a nice copper color (shocker) and comes with a nice white head. The nose has some bright hops with hints of grapefruit. There is some maltiness in there as well with hints of caramel and bread.

On the first taste the hops come in strongly, freshly, and well balanced. I didn’t get a ton of unique malt flavor, but the hops and malt were in a wonderful marriage with each other. I believe they use an English-style ale yeast for this beer because I noticed some slight fruity dryness in the flavors as well. Generally, this flavor doesn’t come from American ale yeast.

This beer is pretty solid. It isn’t unique in any way, but it is a good beer. It also comes in at 6% ABV so it doesn’t rock your shocks off. I am looking forward to seeing what else this brewery offers since my test for a good brewery generally starts at a pale ale, but that is a post for another time. (more…)