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08-17-00

North Coast Acme California Pale Ale Beer Review

My dad was nice enough to pick up a bottle of this beer for me on his way home from work one night. I’ve only had a handful of North Coast Brewing Company beers before; all good experiences. I was super excited to get another chance to try their beers. This one is a nice little pale ale that comes in at 5% ABV and a low 21 IBUs.

Acme California Pale Ale pours a nice orange color. It is perfectly clear, as any pale ale should be, and has a thin white head. The thing that impressed me about the nose was that the hops didn’t hit right off of the bat. The first thing I noticed was a great round caramel aroma that promised a flavorful beer was inside. The hops come into smell after that and provide a nice pine and tropical fruit mix. The hops are sticky sweet and really balance out the malt odors.

Acme California Pale AleOn the first taste I found that the nose didn’t lie, this beer has some great malt flavor. A solid, but light caramel and sweetness flavor show themselves first followed by a wonderful biscuit and bread flavor. The hops come in and provide a nice light hop punch with a slightly piny ending. The beer finishes dry which only makes you want to take another sip. As I drank this beer the hops changed over time. I found that they provided a nice earthy hop flavor to the beer, which I rather enjoyed.

This is a really good pale ale. It is much more of  an English style pale ale than an American one, but that’s not a bad thing. The hops and malt are in such good balance that this beer makes you want to keep drinking it.

05-01-00

Beer Review #328 The Truth

Another trip, another new Flying Dog Brewery beer. Seriously, these guys (and gals) make a ton of new beer on a regular basis. This beer is a double IPA and rocks in at 8.7% ABV. The bottle says,

Full disclosure: This beer came to fruition because we saw a gap in our portfolio and we wanted to increase our market share.

The Truth it is!

The Truth pours a nice clear orange color. It comes with a thick off-white head that eventually fades to a thin layer after some time. The nose is loaded with sticky-sweet hops. It LOVE the smell of this beer, it’s everything a hop forward beer should be. It’s loaded with citrus, tropical fruits, and pointed hop flavor that just screams “drink me.” Seriously, if I homebrewed a beer that smelled like this beer I would go pro in a heartbeat.

The ta05-01-03ste is equally as wonderful. There is a nice round sweetness on the first taste that is quickly followed by a flavorful punch of hops. The citrus and tropical fruit flavor echoes to the aroma and the hops take on a spicy characteristic. I’m amazed by how much flavor the hops contribute to this beer. I truly dig it.

Everything on this one hits me just right. I wish that I were a paid spokesperson for this beer because I like it that much. I love this as a double IPA. The hops, malt, and carbonation all fall into the correct balance for me. I can’t say enough about this beer and I hope that it sticks around for a long time.

 

04-28-00

Beer Review #327 Two Hearted Ale

I have an oldie but a goodie up for review today. Bell’s Brewery out of Michigan is one of the most respected craft breweries around, yet I haven’t reviewed a single one of their beers yet. Part of it is that they are hard to find in my area and the other part is that I usually drink them before I can get a review flushed out. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is one of the “classic” craft beers in the US.

The beer pours a nice orange color and has a few floaties in it. A thin off-white head also accompanies the liquid below. The nose is very floral with some bright hops. The hops are slightly tropical with citrus but also have a nice dank aroma to them. The odor isn’t overly sweet like many IPAs and it captures the hops wonderfully.

O04-28-02n the first taste you don’t get a lot of malt. There is some sweetness but it isn’t well defined. The hops come in quickly and provide some wonderful flavor notes. Tropical fruits, citrus, and grapefruit dominate the flavor arena for a bit before a strong pine hop comes in and cuts any sweetness present. The piney note is an exclamation mark on the beer and really separates the beer into two areas, pre-pine and post-pine. The post-pine flavor is very nice and slightly spicy. I also got the slightest amount of heat towards the end of this beer.

Bell’s has done a wonderful job with this beer. The hops are shown off so nicely that it’s hard to fully explain with text. I love all of the different flavors and aromas of hops showcased in this beer. It is a pleasure to drink and I hope that I can experience more of their beers in the future.

 

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…)

Beer Review #197 Dig Pale Ale

I know that I said that I wanted to move away from purchasing seasonal beers, but I had no idea that today’s beer was the new spring seasonal of New Belgium Brewing Company. New Belgium seems to be putting out a lot of new seasonal beers now instead of sticking with returning classics. I suppose a lot of breweries do this and keep a seasonal in a rotation of a few years before another beer comes along to fill it’s spot. I have nothing against seasonal beers and I know that they are big sellers for the craft beer market, but I really want to focus on beers that are accessible year-round.

Dig Pale Ale comes in at 5.6% ABV and uses five different types of hops to achieve New Belgium’s desired bitterness profile. Two of the hops used (Nelson Sauvin and Sorachi Ace) I have never even heard of. This ale pours a light copper color and has a decent white head. The nose has a slight citrus and lemon hop odor. The classic New Belgium “earthy” smell is there as well along with a slight malt toastyness. I was expecting there to be a bit more in the way of complexity, but this beer’s nose is pretty flat.

On my first taste I was surprised by the amount of malt and body to this beer. There is some really good sweetness that kicks in right from the get go and carries through the whole drink. A very balanced citrus hop comes in about halfway through the beer and really cleans up the sweetness. There are some hits of tropical fruits in the hops, but they are only there for an instant before the cascade hops wash them out.

This is a nicely balanced pale ale that is darn drinkable. I wouldn’t consider it outstanding or anything to write home about, but this one is a solid pale ale that should stay in rotation for another year or so. (more…)