Monday, April 29, 2013

Uinta Birthday Suit (2013

We picked up a bottle of Uinta's Birthday Suit when we visited a great little neighborhood craft beer and wine spot. We had gone in to pick up some Founders Doom two days too late. Which, as we've learned, is way too late. It was long gone. They did, however, have many other scintillating selections. This was among them, a tantalizing champagne bottle that called to me from the bottom shelf of the cooler.

What we know about Uinta is that they're from Utah, relatively new to Ohio, and their Hop Notch is pretty darn good. I'm going to assume they're not Mormon,  as this -- gasp! -- contains alcohol. This is a sour brown ale, brewed in celebration of their 20th birthday. Funny, my cat, the very lovely Thatcher, turns 17 this weekend, so I'll put a hat on her, float a candle in my beer, and raise a toast to her. OK, I pretty much just gave her pets instead. I hope that's ok with you. If not, too bad, because she's very pet-worthy. A picture of the birthday girl is now in order, pictured with her much-beloved step-daddy. Sometimes she can make Grumpy Cat look happy. Right here she's not unhappy, but she is shooting me daggers for taking her picture:

So, let's get to the beer. It's a sour brown, so a tulip glass seemed appropriate. Which, in our house, equates to a wineglass. It pours about the color of Dr. Pepper: a medium, faintly coppery brown, with a moderate white head that didn't stick around except at the edges of the glass. The aroma is fairly mild: faint dark fruit, hints of toffee and chocolate, with some bready malts and a bit of acetic sourness. When I taste it, I pick up some of the dark fruits to start with, maybe some underlying chocolate and toffee, a bit of the malts, and then, BAM! Did I just eat a Lemon Sour Patch Kid? Did they sprinkle lemonade Kool-Aid in here? The small, unsweetened packets, of course. Huh. This is good, but the finish on it reminds me of candy, to the point where I've almost killed my second glass of it just trying to nail down those initial flavors. It's fairly well carbonated, and feels slightly chewy in the mouth.

I gave a sip to Phil, who seemed to really enjoy it. I think this is his first sour beer. He gave two eyebrow wiggles and the comment, "Ooh. Pretty good." That's a pretty raving review from him. And don't yell at me because I didn't give him a full glass; he was already into his second glass of wine by that time.

Happy birthday, Uinta! And again, welcome to Ohio.

4.3/5 caps

-Jennie


Tom Fudge-Packing Cruise, how do I write anything after that?

So, mine has been sitting out for roughly an hour while I typed up an email to our producer with show revamping ideas, and while She With Woman Parts took the lead (I meanwhile started playing my new-to-me vintage acoustic guitar). It still has the Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper color, no noticeable head at this point. The aroma is bready, dark fruit and some alcohol tones, which is surprising as it's only 7.4% ABV. The flavor is Wow! I love sour candy. I forget I'm drinking a beer. The flavor is lemony with some pucker-power, with some hints here and of hazelnut and some malts. This is interesting, as the sour takes premise over anything. It leaves a very phlegmy 'oh hey I just ate a Warhead' sort of mouthfeel.

This is a unique brew. Can't say I've had too many sours, but thus far, I'm digging the category.

4.4/5 caps

-Nathan

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Brew Kettle White Rajah

So, after that sweet elixir, my tongue needed the blatant bitterness of hops to tame it. Ok, yes, I would have just as easily settled for a glass of equally-teeth-stripping big, fat, luscious, dry-as-hell cabernet sauvignon. But we're here to review beer, not wine. And have I mentioned yet that I picked up a six-pack of White Rajah, which hit shelves recently?

Now, I do believe we have professed our undying loyalty to The Brew Kettle, located in Strongsville, Ohio. And this is one of my favorite brews of theirs. I look forward to it hitting craft beer shelves annually. Yep, it's an IPA. You may now locate your surprised face and don it immediately.

It pours a clear medium golden color with a light, white head. And the nose? Oh, did you ask about the aroma? Because I'm going to tell you anyway. Sweet Hopsus, the aroma. The most lovely mixture of grapefruit and pine wafts up through my olfactory nerves, sending my brain into a state of eternal bliss. Or at least twelve ounces of sheer bliss. There are also some tropical fruit notes and some bready malts that hit that old olfactory nerve. So now that I'm already in an altered state merely from the aroma, let's taste this and see how that goes. And because this is The Brew Kettle, and this is White Rajah, of course it's just as good as it smells. Grapefruit, some pine, some pineapple, maybe just a tinge of papaya, some light malt characteristics, and then a lovely dry finish with a very faint sweetness in the aftertaste, almost like toffee, comes through. I love the roller coaster of this brew. The mouthfeel on this is insanely creamy for a perfectly carbonated IPA.

Can you read the center of the label, the middle of the Union Jack, right under the word "Rajah"? It says, "Taming the savage hop." Indeed, The Brew Kettle has. And damn, this is a fine beer.

Just a reminder, The Brew Kettle is a brew-on-premise facility. Meaning that if you so desire, you can brew your own version of this. We're attending my cousin's wedding near Strongsville in a couple of weeks, and I would love to see if they have an open kettle then, but the wedding is the day before Mother's Day. Sigh. It'll be a quick trip up and back to Columbus that day. Hopefully we'll at least have time and such to swing by the brewpub for some of this on tap. If you would like to reserve your own brew kettle and make your own libation (using your own recipe or one of theirs), call (440) 239-8788.

4.8/5 caps

-Jennie

So, as the First Priestess of Hopsus stated, this is Brew Kettle's White Rajah. This was highly anticipated and sold out quickly last year. It is still like that today, only we were able to find it, unlike Doom (insert internet meme of grumpy cat saying something along to lines of "I couldn't find a rare beer today"). Regardless, We have a good beer, we're working on artwork for friends and family. I have gauze in my armpit. Shit, can things get better?

The color, yes it's actually poured in a glass, is SWEET FUCKING HOPSUS BITCHCAT! STOP CROP DUSTING US! Sorry, my personal Edward (HST reference) is crop dusting us. I'm not sure if it's the Tuna & Egg canned food that Jennie decided would be a brilliant idea for the cats (despite it giving Thatcher gas the last time they had it), or if it was BitchCat eating the refried beans that fell on the floor as I was making dinner. Regardless, I have a beer review to be doing, that was I can get back to this painting for my Brother From Another Mother.

The color is an ambery straw color, completely clear, with a small amount of white head. The nose is Grapefruit, pine, tropical fruit, nose in the beer, and some light malt. The taste is... Huh. Baby, Don't you forget about me. Don't, don't, don't, don't. Don't you forget about me. Will you stand above me? Look my way, never love me, rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling down, down, down, down. Will you recognize me, Call my name, or walk on by, rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling down, down, down, down. Most of you will recognize that as an epic song from the 80's by Simple Minds. That's how this beer is for me. Epic and a hell of a closer. The taste is a pungent hop bitterness up front that fades, but returns on the back end. And I just noticed I have an off bottle. This is different than the one Jennie is drinking, despite being out of the same 6-pack. I noticed there's a dank- earthy tone to mine, that isn't the same as Jennie's. Bizzaro. Regardless, I'll put the dankness and earthy tones aside, as I know how this tastes (it's been 'purchase when we can find it' brew for a year now).

So, as mentioned, there's a pungent hop assault upfront that fades into the grapefruity, piney, tropical fruity tones that you got in the nose. Then the trap door opens, killing the middle and leading to a full blown arsenal of bitterness toward the back end, with resiny mess sticking to everything it touches, much like the superglue that has stuck my pinky and ring fingers on my left hand together. Oh, if only I wasn't too lazy to go to the medicine cabinet and get the nail polish remover to cure my current ailment, but alas, my lethargy will leave me here in the vintage leather computer chair, with fingers stuck together, contemplating the 'ifs and whats' of the world. The mouthfeel on the beer is medium and very sticky, as previously stated. Enjoyable for any hop head.

So, after making Gaseous Maximus a shoulder cat (see picture) for staring at me weird, I will end this review and get back to my artwork with saying this- even an off bottle of this- still enjoyable.



4.75/5 caps

-Nathan

HoneyRun Elderberry Honey Wine



Ok, so this is completely out of my realm. This is our 3rd mead that we're reviewing. Technically, it's a wine, but at the same time, it's brewed. So, therefore, we review. Honeyrun is based out of Chico, California.

So, as I'm not a wine taster, I am a beer taster, I will use my wordsmithery to describe this to my best capabilities.

This pours a deep purple, almost blackberry color. No head, obviously as it's a honey wine. The aroma is honey, elderberry, and some alcohol kick. The flavor is intriguing. Again, as I go back to the 2 reviews of Brothers Drake (from our Fiery Foods Fest adventure), I've not had too many meads, so I don't really have a base scale to go off of. The flavor profile is some dark fruit, cherry, then the elderberry hits, followed up by a mellow honey flavor that sticks around, while finishing with the honey and elderberry flavors melding in a sweet bliss. How's that for using my wordsmith capabilities?!  This finishes.... HOPSUS DAMN IT MCAFFEE SECURITY SCAN! OFF YOU SHALL FUCK! WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU POPPING UP RUINING MY STREAM OF CONSCIOUS BLENDED WITH GONZO STYLE WRITING! Ohhh, if I could shove my size 15 into your Ethernet modem,  believe I would. The only thing holding me back from that is the fact that this is my token computadora. If I were to kick it like Drew Basil, I'd have no way to review libations. Hmm, I guess sometimes you have to take a trade off and see what's more important, the persistence of the damn anti-virus pop-ups, or the knowledge that this little box with 640 GB hard drive is your output to the world. It makes you take a step back, breathe, maybe have a smoke, if you do that, and remember, 'oh yeah, I have a review to do.' And with that, pending any interruptions by the multitude of programs on this little black box that controls the world, I continue on with this review. Where was I? Oh yes,  The finish. This finishes... rather sweet, while being dry at the same point. I don't know if this is proper wine terminology, as, once again I state this, I'm not a wine reviewer. Although I will say that I would love to do a review on any wine that's made by Maynard James Keenan, while doing an interview with him. He's just one of those guys who seems so damned interesting, that I (and I definitely know my feminine counterpart agrees) would love to sit down and pick his brain. Not about music, not really about his wine endeavors, just more of whatever comes to mind at the time. Which, judging by my flying fingers, as they are flying as fast as the brain is thinking, would be some crazy conversations with lies, sarcasm, and belly-laughs. Shit. I was supposed to be reviewing this.... Um... Yeah. This finishes, ah hell, I wrote that already. The 12% ABV is noticed in the flavor. This drinks like a cheap wine, but it doesn't at the same time, if this makes sense. It has an initial taste of cheap wine, with a Carlo Rossi-esque flavor, but finishes tasting like honey. This may be because this is a mead, but I've only had 2 meads previous to this. So, yeah, I don't really know how to judge this aside from it's not bad for a $12.99 bottle, but it's not as good a Brothers Drake.

3/5 caps? (corks?)

-Nathan-

How the hell does one follow up that?! And as a bit of an oenophile (that's wine appreciator for you zymurgists), I think he did quite well with describing the mead. Wine. Whatever the fuck this is. All I know is that I was passing through Wine & Brew Emporium's wine section today, mourning the loss of another Founders Doom. I saw this, said, "Hey, I like mead, and I like elderberry. How can this possibly go wrong????"

I think we both found it interesting that this poured like any decent red wine, from a clear bottle, natch... that deep claret color that makes you either shrivel in fear or shiver in excitement. Because I have bottles and cans and just clap your hands. Sorry, Nathan just found some Beck on the music channels. In the nose I get a lot of honey, mixed with some cheap red wine. And let's not forget the alcohol content, because it definitely comes through in the aroma. This is unique. It's not like the meads I've had from Brothers Drake. And if you're not in Columbus and can't access Brothers Drake, I highly recommend B. Nektar, as they've been making huge waves in the craft beer scene. Alas, I've not had any yet. But this... this is somehow subpar compared to those. Let me also state that I am not a fan of sweet wine. I can stomach one here or there, but not here and there. And this tastes like honey maybe mixed with Yellow Tail's Sweet Roo, if you've had that. I've not, so at least it does in my mind. The elderberry... oh man, I just got cropdusted by our littlest cat, nicknamed Beastlette. Give me a minute to recover... ok, we're good again. The elderberry kind of gets lost among the honey in this. It's there, it's somewhat prevalent, but it's not nearly good as the elderberry in, say, Magic Hat's Elder Betty. The mouthfeel on this is, as expected, sticky sweet.

Honestly, it's just not nearly as complex as I would like to see. And since apparently it takes a lot of honey to make a batch of mead, and since honey is expensive, and this was about half the price of a bomber of Brothers Drake or B. Nektar, well, I suppose caveat emptor

Damn, now I want a kick-ass, strip-the-enamel-from-my-teeth, hoppy-as-hell IPA. Good thing I also picked up a sixer of Brew Kettle's White Rajah today. That's totally not an indication of what the next review will be.... or is it?

3.1/5 caps. Or corks, as Nathan would say.

-Jennie

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Three Floyd's Jinx Proof Lager



We haven't reviewed many lagers, other than the occasional American adjunct that we keep in the fridge for "everyday" beer. Nothing wrong with lagers, but most don't move me to purchase them. If you are looking for a couple of recommendations for craft lagers, this and Scrimshaw Pilsner by North Coast, as well as Great Lake's Dortmunder Gold. Yes, I can say "this", because we've killed half a six-pack while waiting to review it.

I wanted something light and easy-going to take us through the end of the hockey game. The Blue Jackets had their final regular-season game tonight, and if the stars align right, we make the playoffs. That's a pretty unusual predicament for Jackets fans. We've only made the playoffs, what, once since their inception? However, even though the Jackets have played like they really want to make the playoffs, we need one of two teams to lose. And Detroit didn't lose. So come on, Colorado. Ugh, that hurt a bit to say.

Yes, I love hockey. It's my favorite sport. I grew up with it, and have even played it. It takes a ton of skill to not only skate, but also to move a puck and maneuver your stick while remaining upright on skates. No other sport combines two such skills, hence my love for it. And you thought I would only love it for the fights... that's amateur moves there, yo.

Anyway, while watching hockey, we drink beer. I enjoy a good Canadian beer while watching hockey, but that's just me. Or even a bad Canadian beer, because even Labatt's, which is now owned by AB-InBev (that's Anheuser-Busch for the uninitiated), is better than most American adjuncts. But tonight, we're drinking a craft dortmunder-style lager from Indiana. Three Floyd's, to be precise. Rather appropriate on Dark Lord Day, don't you think? (Dark Lord is Three Floyd's super-limited release Holy Grail of beers.) It's a madhouse in northern Indiana today.

So, onto this, the antithesis of Dark Lord. This is Jinx Proof, which was brewed in collaboration with Jinx Proof Tattoo in Washington, DC. Hence the awesome label. This pours a hazy amber color with a moderate white head. Ooh, the smell on this is lovely... there are biscuit note and faint citrus aromas, with just a tinge of grassiness. Wait, a hoppy lager? Oh, yes, please! Let's take a sip... the biscuit notes come out immediately, followed by a burst of orange-y, citrusy hop aromas, and finishing with dry, with a late note of toastedness coming in to finish off the sip. This is 5.1% ABV, a little higher than most lagers. Moderately carbonated, this is one of the best-balanced lagers I've had.

Three Floyd's has something of a cult following, and between this and Zombie Dust, I can see why. This would be perfect on any given warm day, which today actually was in Ohio. The weather here was perfect... sunny and mid-70s. This is a perfect complement to both that as well as a wonderful, rousing hockey game. Now, come on, Avalanche!

4.8/5 caps

-Jennie

Well, after drinking a Hopslam and watching the Jackets win, keeping track of the Wild game... damn it... I realize that I am now a hockey fan, and the Blue Jackets did not make playoffs. Previous to there being a Phil in the house, I could care less about some dudes skating and smacking a cylinder of hard rubber with a crooked chunk of wood. But throughout this shortened season, The Phil has opened my eyes to this, to where I want to have a CBJ jersey (to go along with my OSU football jerseys). Speaking of jerseys, we need to get a logo down, and create personalized jerseys with our logo. Does any of the readers know of someone/ some business that does personalized jerseys for a decent price and small quantities?

And apparently in Columbus sports, the Crew's scoreboard caught fire... wow...

But back to my passion, beer.

I have no idea what this pours, as I'm drinking out of the bottle, but judging by what was in Jennie's pint, It looks like how she described it. The aroma is biscuit, citrus and I catch a bit of floral in here. So onto the best part of this, the flavor. The taste is... hang on... I need more... Yum... It starts off biscuity, for about the first 2 seconds, then kicks in with some citrus flavors, almost orange, for a few more seconds before ending with bready and toasted notes on the end. Finishes dry with a lighter body and moderate carbonation.  I like this.

Here's the only problem I have with Three Floyd's; the lack of it being readily available in Ohio. I guess that's because AS SOON AS they have a release here, it's sold out, instantaneously. A cult following is not the proper terminology, more of fanatical devotion like the Spanish Inquisition had to the Pope (Python reference).

This is fantastic, well worth the purchase, but there should be more. Why is the beer always gone? Hopsus, please lend your hoppy hand and grace us with more beer.

4.8/5

-Nathan

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Elevator Brewing Big Vic







It's been an interesting week. We missed one rare release, we picked two up (one that we've reviewed before), I went to Urgent Care, and we landed this growler. So this will be the first review I do (and hopefully not too many more) with gauze shoved in a hole in my armpit from lancing an infected cyst. I was a big boy. I got a sucker. So, with a 3 1/2 day weekend, what is there to do, but drink good beer and tell my friends (the loyal readers) about good beer...

Elevator is an amazing company, based out of Columbus, Ohio. We filmed our pilot episode there (which, yeah, not going to bore you with details of where the status is). While doing a walk through, and again while filming, Dick and Vic were gracious to open their facility, and keg of Big Vic, to us.

Big Vic, clearly named after Masterbrewer Vic Schlitz (it's a caricature of him with a king's crown as the tap handle) is an imperial version of their Mogabi hoppy wheat ale. Not sure the ABV or IBUs on this, but believe me, when we were filming, it hit the spot (especially while looking at their hop selections). It's hard to find, as Elevator is self distributed, and this is only available on draft, currently. We picked up a growler of this from our friends at Savor Growl, which is one of their 60 beers on tap currently.

This pours a peachy orange color, clear, with a small amount of cream colored head that dissipates. The aroma is... damn it... dunked my nose in the beer. This is one of the more pleasant things of the day though. The aroma is citrusy and fruity, with some slight hints of breadiness to it. I'd call it 90% citrus and fruit to 10% bready in the aroma, if not more on the citrusy side. This smells amazing. The taste is a barrage of flavors on the taste buds. Hopsus be praised! You get citrus, almost mango at times, with some bready and wheaty tones, that ends with some spice, almost like a rye. The mouthfeel is smooth, very drinkable, and before I notice, this pint glass is gone, leaving beautiful lacing and a longing to enjoy more.

4.9/5

-Nathan-

Not only has it been an interesting week in our lives, tonight is a very interesting moon night. It's a full moon, there's a lunar eclipse, and it's a Pink Moon. Pretty cool stuff. Sorry, we were just outside basking in its glory. And yes, I stopped just shy of hugging a tree. The only reason I didn't hug the trees nearest our moon-viewing spot was because they are honey locust trees and have giant thorns.

Side note, this is the perfect time to give a shout-out to a Facebook page. Two weeks ago I became an admin on The Pagan Mama. Now do me a favor and go like them on Facebook. Hey, Ros gave us a shout-out, so we can do the same. Even if you're not pagan or a parent (we have a lot of papas, too), it's a fun page full of great insight, tips, and living mindfully. And yes, every now and then I talk about craft beer on there.

Back to the beer. Man, I love Elevator. They had just brewed the first batch of this when we met with them initially for pre-filming logistics. If I recall, the ABV on this is around 10-11%. A couple of these and what stage fright??? Especially when craft services on our shoots sucks so much (pretty sure I should be in charge of that). I've also had it at a pre-production meeting on another episode. Irony, no?

Nathan nailed the description of it. I don't pick up enough spice to be a rye, but it's a wonderful melange of hops, bready malts, and the patent smoothness of the wheat. This is technically an imperial version of Elevator's Mogabi, if you've had that. If not, it's a hoppy wheat beer, and it's fantastic. Mogabi recently was awarded a 92 (ostensibly on a scale of 1-100) and listed as one of the top 186 beers in the world in "All About Beer" magazine. They also started the trend that has shaped in the brewing industry for hoppy wheat beers. Thanks for the reminder, Dick and Vic, that not only did you do it first, but you also do it better.

5/5 caps

-Jennie

Knee Deep Brewing Co's McCarthy's Bane

I was a Russian major in college; I lived in Russia shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union. I have a deep-felt passion for all things Russian and Soviet. I still speak enough Russian to get me by, and I still have the occasional dream in Russian. We were recently perusing the Knee Deep selections at Savor, wanting to expand our horizons with them, and this just happened to jump into my hands. It's an Imperial Red Ale. I love the artwork and fonts used on this bottle, and despise everything that Joseph McCarthy stood for. I love the idea that I am drinking something that McCarthy stood against and would have hated if that xenophobic piece of shit were still alive. We saved this bottle specifically for tonight, Wednesday, my new favorite day of the week, termed Commie Pinko night in our house because the new television show "The Americans" is on FX in 14 minutes. I'm typing fast. That show is gripping and enthralling; if you haven't seen it yet, go get caught up on it as soon as you're done reading this. Elizabeth got in way over her head last week. It has surpassed "True Blood" and "Sons of Anarchy" to be my favorite current television show.

So, on to the beer. This pours a hazy deep garnet color with a light coffee-with-cream colored head. It's a lot paler than in the picture... our kitchen light was messing with my camera tonight. The aroma is heavenly... citrusy hops and a hint of caramel and some bready malts.

Fuck. I don't even really care for red ales, and this had to go and change my mind. They're usually too bland for my taste. This is anything but. You get a lovely mixture of cirtusy hops and bready malts mixing together on the front. There's also a hint of coffee right after that initial burst of yumminess. Then it finishes very dry, yet round on the tongue, with a last reminder from the hops that hey, we're not here to mess around. We're here to blow and change your mind about red ales, Jennie. This definitely drinks more like an IPA than a red ale.

I see why they named it so. It breaks stereotypes and typifications. It destroys the red ale genre much as McCarthy tried to destroy Americans with his unwarranted paranoia of the Cold War. And much as he destroyed the Pledge of Allegiance, by adding "under God" in 1954. Unlike McCarthy, this is sheer brilliance and depth of flavors.

5/5 caps

-Jennie

Wow, how do I follow that up? McCarthy wasn't a bad man, though, Jennie. He pretty much created a new witch hunt, but instead of witches, it was Commies. Wait... I guess that does fall under the category of bad. Huh, who knew?

But yes, this beer is a slightly hazy garnet color, with creamy head that sticks around. I'm surprised it doesn't have a hammer and sickle in the foam (Communism joke, hahaha). The aroma is... Sweet Hopsus (fictional religious character I should create)! There is heavy hops in the nose with a bit of spice from the rye they use. So, after taunting me for an hour (trying to review during the commercial breaks is hard for actually reviewing), I finally get to put this pint glass of amazing aroma up to my lips. After yet another break, this one for bathroom. Ah, sweet relief, onto the sweet nectar of  Hopsus to enter my mouth (seriously- going to work on Hopsus after doing this review). Huh... Damn it. This is a bold statement, but The Book of Hopsus claims that from here on out, all red ales shall be judged against this, whilest the unworthy red ales shall be cast back to the kettle they were brewed in. And now I have a lap Jazzy. She's a sweet grey tabby cat. But she's also distracting me from this religious experience that I've been longing for for over an hour. Hmm... Sorry cat, Beer wins.

The flavor hits with some citrus, followed by bready notes. There are hints of rye and almost a coffee tone toward the back, which is intriguing that after an hour of sitting at room temp, the flavors haven't dissipated from what my Priestess of Hopsus tasted (okay, I know, it's unfair of me to assume that she'll be the First Priestess of something when I haven't even asked her, or done the initiation rites, which will be drinking beer). The mouthfeel is dry, but there are some hints of stickiness, but not overwhelming.

After last night's debacle with the homicide of the Citra strain, this is a pleasant, nay, enjoyable and welcoming change of pace. Knee Deep has sealed their destiny as combatant for my favorite brewery. Knee Deep and Flying Dog, if you're both reading this- a collaboration between the two of you would be epic, especially if you can release it in Ohio. It would be beneficial for the both of you, as you both would gain distribution in places you normally wouldn't have, just saying.

5/5 caps

-Nathan

PS... Who, in fact, does release Knee Deep? Because if it's Premium, and I have a sneaking suspicion it is, then it's a win-win-win situation (one for each brewery and one for us, your loyal beer drinkers). Lap Jazzy is now contemplating her finagling of the beer closet, which she has opened by the sheer power of her little paws. Twice.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dark Horse Artic Deekorc Eert





So this is, sadly, the last review of the Crooked Tree single hop selections. We've had laughs and tears while reviewing the FF and Cascade, so let's see what the Citra brings about.

Before getting into the review, I must state that this was a 12+ hour work day full of mind numbing drone work, which gave me tons of time to think. And in this sleep-deprived state of mind, things seem much more twisted and chaotic than they are. One such example, that I expect the readers to partake in, is show your crazy side.  My challenge to the readers is do something completely bat shit crazy, and then twist it around and make someone else seem crazy for your actions. It's good fun. Such as dancing to swing music that's not there, then when asked about it, deny and twist it around, like I did to some poor coworker who's questioning both his and my sanity at this moment.
My life philosophy is sheer craziness, say and do the most bizarre and random things. People don't mess with crazies.There is a fine art of crazy, and if you don't have it down, pat, you're going to wind up in a nice, warm jacket with a lot of nice people taking care of you in your padded cell.

But now that has been said, time to throw back a beer and get more sleep deprived, building upon the crazy.

Our friend at Savor Market (where we purchased this) said she was not impressed with this, but had the suspicion it was an off bottle.  I hope this isn't like this, as Citra is one of my favorite strains of the hop plant. This pours a hazy orange color with small amount of stark white head, that dissipates quickly.  The aroma is... it's something that I can't put my finger on. Tropical fruit. That would be the thing. Tropical fruit with some citrus and bready hints. The flavor is rather bland, though. It's watery with a fruit flavor that builds, but is very faint. The finish is dry, barely any bitterness to this. The mouthfeel is like drinking a green tea, where there's some light substance, but not much more than water. This is disappointing. I expected more of a hop flavor and bite, especially after having their regular Crooked Tree. But, nonetheless, this was an experience, as this isn't a widely available selection.

3.9/5 caps

-Nathan

My big accomplishment today was that I've managed to nearly complete a painting that has become my bane: it's the most time-consuming painting I've done, and I really don't care for the nearly-finished product. It will be done before I go to bed tonight, so I can move on to other pieces I need to complete. I should take a cue from the greats, and leave it unfinished, but at this point, my OCD kicks in. I'm so close, I need to finish it. It's similar to brewing beer, for you homebrewers... brewing what you think is going to be the most fantastic beer ever, only to have it not carbonate. Or take on weird flavors. Or to be mildly hoppy like a pale ale instead of an IPA.Yes, I firmly believe that brewing beer is an art form. Doubt me if you will, but that's part of why I'm such a fan of craft beer.

Wow, the aroma on this is fantastic... I'm trying to figure out why Nathan really didn't care for it. Tropical fruit in the nose, yes. Citrus fruit, yes. Then I take a sip, and I see what Nathan was talking about. It's very watery, similar to Hoppy Face's Total Eclipse. It's a good beer, but it tastes like it's been watered down. This makes my mouth sad. This is definitely in the pale ale, not quite IPA, category. With water. Lots of water. Underneath all the water, it's a solid brew, but it's just watery. Really really watery.

Speaking of water, I hope Marshall's is better than my alma mater's, Albion. Ten minutes down the road, I struggle to think that the water content might not be much different. Albion's water was terrible... it turned your hair, your clothes, and yes, your toothbrush orange, and smelled and tasted like rotten eggs and straight up raw metal. It was pretty disgusting. If Marshall has similar water, let's hope Dark Horse has a bright tank. Or several. Fortunately, no hint of Albion water come through in this beer.

All in all, I'm very disappointed in this series. Crooked Tree is a fantastic brew. Double Crooked Tree is even better. This is a disappointment. We'll redeem them with a review of Crooked Tree (and another fantastic brew to come). I was so excited when this came out, so stoked that we scored a twelve of it, but what a disappointment.

3.75/5 caps

-Jennie


Monday, April 22, 2013

Founder's Red's Rye PA

We ventured over to Savor tonight in order to obtain a limited release brew. While we were there, we also picked up a growler, as they have, what, eight taps for your home draft-drinking enjoyment. Since this is a little more freshness-sensitive, we're doing this one first. I'll plead the fifth on what the limited release is.... for now. Expect that post to be very punny.

So, Founders Red's Rye PA. This year they removed Red's Rye from their year-round lineup and made it part of their seasonal selections. It's one of a number of decisions that Founders made recently that I'm not thrilled about, but they didn't ask me. I think this was the first Founders beer I had, the first rye I had, and from thence, my love affair with Founders began. Let's revisit that happy discovery.

This pours a deep garnet color with a pale khaki head. Out of a growler, that head was pretty fluffy... probably because I can't properly pour while holding a growler in one hand and a glass in the other. Man, human problems. In the nose I pick up lemon, other citrus, and some caramel or toffee notes, with a hint of grassy notes as it warms. Taking a sip, oh man, I just fell in love all over again. There's a mild hop bite throughout the first half, some bready malts kick in about halfway through, and the finish is spicy and dry, like a good rye should be. It's 70 IBU's, but it won't kick you in the taste buds with hop bitterness. It's has almost a creamy mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation.

At 6.6% ABV, it actually feels a little stronger. You don't really pick up an alcohol bite, but I'm feeling the effects after half a pint. Hmmm. Maybe I need to find my big-girl panties tonight. This will be missed in Founders' year-round rotation. It's a great beer that is well done, once again proving why Founders is one of the (if not the) best breweries in the country. Send me a bottle of Pliny (either Elder or Younger) for comparison, and we'll see. OK, thanks. Orrrrrrr, how about if Founders attempts a beer they don't fully succeed at? Wait, that's like asking a five-year-old to be have his listening ears surgically implanted... it's just not gonna happen.

4.8/5 caps

-Jennie


After a long day at work, and an even longer week ahead (ugh!), it's nice to relax at home with draft beer. The growler concept has become a huge trend in the craft scene, despite, before the bottling process came about, that was once the only way to get beer. History repeats itself, and the beer industry is not an exception of the Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence. Everything has a time line, and instead of linear, it's cyclical, so wouldn't it actually be called a time cycle instead of a time line? Look at music. Music repeats itself (and I don't just mean with a hook or sample). New Wave has repeated itself in the form of newer pop/dance bands that rely on the use of synthesizers. Grunge is on it's resurgence. I've been calling for this day for years, much like people call that there will be an inevitable zombie apocalypse, which most likely will happen. But, once again, I seem to be way off track from the task at hand.

This task at hand is reviewing beer. Good beer. I have yet to have a Founders' selection that has left me wondering how this company stays open. Nay, the reason they stay open is perpetually releasing fantastic brews. Despite them being from that state up north, they produce great products, that this is one of them. As my feminine counterpart stated, Founders' is changing this from a year round bottled selection, to a seasonal selection available September and October, with year round availability on draft. Why? 

Regardless of the reason why, here I sit, still awaiting the beer review. So, let's get to it. The color is a ruby/garnet color with small amount of head (yes, I CAN pour a growler while holding a pint glass, despite pain in the armpit from a cyst-like thing that became inflamed last night and has carried over to today to where I am holding my arm in the ever popular Bob Dole stance). The aroma is some citrus, toffee/caramel, and some spice, note this has had time to warm up.  The feminine counterpart has decided to distract me by putting my favorite movie on right at one of the greatest lines of the movie. Army of Darkness. "Well, hello Mr. Fancy Pants. I got news for you, pal. You ain't leading but two things right now. Jack and Shit... And Jack left town."

Damn distractions. Onto the flavor. Sweet frontal hop assault, Batman! There's a pungent kick of the hops up front, fading into bready and some caramel tones, ending with some bitterness and spice. This drinks velvety (okay, okay, I'll stop saying velvety to avoid another rant about the whore ex-step-mom and her creepy velvet painting of Elvis), with some light resin stickiness.

Get this when you can, you will not be disappointed. And as a side note, I think it's time to raise the ratings we gave to Anti-Hero, as that I don't think I gave it a fair rating of epicness.

4.75/5 caps

-Nathan-

Rebuttal: Bruce Campbell is from Michigan. Royal Oak, to be precise. Suck on that, you primitive screwhead. Also, the boomstick was made in Grand Rapids, as was this fine beer.

-Jennie

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dark Horse Edacsac Dekoorc Eert

Ha, I just noticed that I have paint all over my pint glass. Oops. Guess what my Saturday evening entails? Yep, painting and reviewing beer. And just think, this won out over dinner with Nathan's dad or a Wargoland invasion. I must be getting old. Or else the amount of time I'm putting into this one painting is really starting to piss me off and I'm to the point of I just want it done. Either way.

I'm also a little annoyed with the names in this series. I get it; it's Crooked Tree and the hop strain backwards. But it's really annoying to type. My alma mater is 10 minutes down the road; you can do better! Hopefully the beer is better than the name.

It pours a hazy amber color with a smallish white head. The aroma is the usual expected Cascade traits of pine and citrus, as well as some caramel and toffee and a random floral note. It's not an overwhelming aroma, fairly faint. When you taste it, there's an onslaught of lemon, orange, and pine that finishes a bit metallic. OK, now I'm starting to wonder if my taste buds are off or if we have a questionable sampler pack, because I don't recall Cascade hops finishing metallic. At the very end, long after you've swallowed your sip, there is an earthy note that I don't find offensive. I've had some Cascade-heavy beers that are too earthy and just taste dirty; this doesn't go that far. This is perfectly carbonated and I just want to call it "well-rounded", as it's well structured and has a noticeable malt base. You know it's there, although it doesn't really compete with the hops.

If you're not a hop-head or if you're developing your hop legs, I'd suggest giving this a go, as it's fairly innocuous as far as IPA's go. It's also a great example of a single-hop beer that's well done. I still prefer regular Crooked Tree (spelled forward) or Double Crooked Tree, but I'm glad we got this.

4.3/5 caps

-Jennie

It really didn't win over dinner with my dad. It's just a lazy day.And wow this has has become the most interesting beer review later. Phil started screaming for help.... He was just having a bad dream and sleep screaming... That makes for an interesting rush into the other room, though. And back to listening to New Order "Bizarre Love Triangle". It is seriously the most infectious song ever, as it gets stuck in my head multiple times a day, and no matter how many times I listen to it, it never gets old. And speaking of getting old, I hope I die before I get old (talkin' bout my generation).

Jennie pretty much nailed the description of the color and aroma. The flavor, though, I must differ on. Now mind you, this has had a chance to warm up while she was doing the lead on this. This is an interesting IPA, as it is, like the FF, rather light. The hops don't really kick in (so to speak) until the back end, and it's a barrage of citrus and pine. And Sweet Fucking Jesus, can I finish a review without an interruption? This time it's the god damn grey monster trying to get into the closet we have our home brew in (happily bubbling some still after 7 days). There's NOTHING in there for you cat, and I'm still pissed off at you for trying to claw my eyeball earlier. Note, this cat has become my Edward (Hunter S. Thompson's bird reference, not any sort of sparkling emo vampire reference- Watch "Gonzo", the documentary about Hunter S. Thompson, and you'll understand the reference).

But I seem to be getting sidetracked, much like your friendly neighborhood barfly. I'm uh trying to tell you something, (nonsensical mumblings). Eh? Yeah. You uh know what I'm saying. Do that... That thing with the thing, you know, the thing er you did there at um, um, um, Jimmy's party thing that people laughed at.  Yeah, the Jimmy's party thing, do it.

But no, back to strict business of reviewing hoppy libations.  I don't really get a metallic taste, like my hippy chic counterpart does, No, I get the hop barrage on the back end, as previously stated, with some lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel of this is a little heavier that the FF, but still on the lighter side.The hop presence in this makes itself more known than the FF, and I don't know if it's the hop addition times of the brewing process, the quantity of hops they used, or the differing Alpha and Beta acids in the different hop strains. But I think this is better than the FF.

4.5/5 caps

-Nathan


Dark Horse FF Dekoorc Eert



So to begin this evening, I would like to state that this is a newly bottled sampler from Dark Horse. It comes with 4 different IPAs; Crooked Tree and 3 different single hop brews with the grain bill of Crooked Tree. These brews were originally brew house exclusives, so this is a hell of a find (as we don't live in Marshall, State-up-North).

This one is a single hop variety using the Falconers Flight, which I'm not too familiar with. After doing some research on this variety of hops, I've found that the flavor profile of this is cirtusy, grapefruit and tropical fruit. Huh, sounds interesting.

Upon opening the sampler pack (with a 'glory hole', hehehe), I was noticing the labels on the single hop varieties. This on has a creature from the black lagoon/swamp thing sort of theme going on. Interesting. Wonder how the beer will pair up with the label.

The pour is an orangey golden combination that is messing with my head trying to figure out the name of the color. The only thing about it that I'm sure of is this; hazy orange... wait... hazy orange amber? Ah, to hell with it.... There is a small amount of off white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is lemon, light bready notes, and some other citrus fruit, but faint. Onto the flavor now. This is... huh... It's rather light for an IPA, with light bready tones toward the front, ending on an interesting hop note. This builds with some light grapefruit, lemon, and tropical fruit; all blended, but faint. As disgusting and disturbing as this may sound, I get more of the hop flavors burping than I did drinking it. Although the flavor comes out more a little more once it warms up some. This drinks smooth, with light body, medium carbonation, and some light lingering bitterness. This doesn't drink like it's 6.5% ABV beer. I cannot find any info on the IBUs of this.

This is good, but it's lighter flavored. If you're wanting an IPA that you won't feel is melting the enamel of your teeth, this is it.

4.3/5 caps

-Nathan-

Nathan now has his Viking nickname: Nathan the Uncouth. Although he has described this beer perfectly. I pick up some almost metallic and earthy tones at the very finish, but other than that, this may be the lightest IPA I've had.

I'm a huge fan of the regular Crooked Tree, so I'm a little disappointed in this... I think I just don't care for the hop strain all that much. It's a little earthy for my taste, and definitely milder in flavor. It is well done, though. Perhaps my mediocre opinion of this comes on the tail of the hop bender we've been on the last several days. But it's also not as fantastic as Crooked Tree. Or Double Crooked Tree, which we have actually been able to get on tap here in Ohio this spring. That is over Ohio's 12% ABV limit, so they allegedly re-labeled the packaging to comply with our liquor laws. I'm not complaining... it's a fantastic brew, and I recently enjoyed it on tap at Studio 35.

4/5 caps

-Jennie

Friday, April 19, 2013

Stone Enjoy By 05.17.13

A big, heartfelt thanks to Rin at Savor Market... she saved us one of the last bottles of this in the land. Note, it just hit shelves today. Believe the hype (or at least read our last Enjoy By review)... it's that good. Let's see how this compares to the April Fool's edition (Enjoy By 04.01.13).

Still light golden in color, still moderate white head, still perfectly clear. The nose is grapefruit and pine and fresh soil. Still devastatingly fresh, as this was bottled on April 12, which was one week ago. And I have it in my glass. Oh happy day! The taste is pine, grapefruit, more pine, some pine resin, a little earthiness, and more pine. Finishing with pine. Of course. There's a little bready note that comes in way after the finish to signify that yes, there are indeed some malts in here. I mean, something has to give it that 9.4% ABV. But like the prior edition, it's a total hopsplosion in my mouth. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

Ya know, I have to wonder if Stone isn't onto something. They put an expiration date on their beer (and not like that born-on date from the Big Brewery Up The Road), yet the day it hits shelves, it sells out. Marketing genius? Hop revolutionaries? Sheer madness? I'll let you decide. I mean, according to Stone's website, we have 28 days, 11 hours, 25 minutes, and 19 seconds left to enjoy this. At that point, I have to wonder if it will self-destruct or something. But it's a moot point, as there won't be any left in Central Ohio tomorrow, unless you can find it on tap somewhere. And with the specific intent of brewing it so it's better fresher, you have to wonder whether anyone is crazy enough to cellar it. I mean, I kind of wish we had saved the prior batch to do a side-by-side comparison, but then would we have run the risk of the bottle imploding by the expiration date?

Regardless, we have had a fantastic week with Stone. First the Dayman, then this. And oh, how I want the Dayman again. Alas, everyone was out of it tonight (we stopped at Palmer's and Savor; Palmer's was sold out of both Enjoy By and Dayman. Dammit). Sigh. It was the most interesting concoction I've ever put in my mouth. And yes, that's what she said.

5/5 caps

-Jennie

Letting that one slide, Jennie, as there are so many puns and jokes and sophomoric comments I can make. But tonight, I think I'll keep it classy. Aw, who am I kidding, it's Friday. YARRRRR!!!!!! I could easily just copy and paste from the Enjoy By 04.01.13 review, but nay nay.

The color is golden (and not golden like American Piss Lagers), with white head. I don't get the soil sort of characteristic in the nose, instead it's grapefruit, citrus and pine. Holy Hops, Batman! There are waves of hops, ranging from your piney to citrusy tones, that overtake the slight breadiness of the malt. The hop oils coat my mouth and leave me puckering up for another embrace of this sweet nectar of Dionysus. This is smooth drinking, little carbonation with an intensely sticky mouthfeel. The 9.4% ABV is mute in this, but the supposed 88 IBUs make their presence known. Much like the Kool-Aid man kicking in your wall to quench your thirst, the hops kick in the sides of your mouth to the delight of all hop heads. Hop heads rejoice, this is your beer. Americans rejoice, we got the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing.

5/5 caps (again)

-Nathan

Flying Dog Road Dog

***DISCLAIMER- THIS USES TONS OF FOUL LANGUAGE AND IS NOT FIT FOR ANYONE***

*** If you would like to skip straight to the beer review and miss my history lesson, skip to the 5th paragraph after this disclaimer****

So, this is somewhat vintage. It was bottled around March 27th, 2012 (according to the "best by" date code on the bottle, which is 226A12. 226 being the 226th day of the year (August 14th), A being an internal code, 12 being the year. The 'best by' date is 140 days after bottling, which if one IPA and one American Adjunct Lager in, the math would equal to March 27th, 2012).

This beer has SO much history in the Gonzo world, here's a quick run down. Dr. Hunter S. Thompson was good friends and neighbors with Flying Dog's founder George Stranahan. Thompson, known for his Gonzo-style of journalism, brought on a British illustrator, who was known for his dirty drawings. That illustrator, Ralph Steadman, had been working with Thompson since 1970, on Thompson's article "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved." The Steadman artwork has been a mainstay with Flying Dog since the initial artwork in 1996, which was Road Dog. At the launch of Road Dog, Thompson wrote (taken from Flying Dog's website):
"Ale has long been the drink of thugs, convicts, rowdies, rakes and other depraved outlaws who thrive on the quick bursts of night-energy that ale brings. In the 17th century England gangs of ale-crazed fops would often fight to the death in all-night brawls on public greenswards, which terrified the citizenry and left many of the infamous "youngblood horseman" chopped up with grievous sword and dagger wounds… These were the Wild Boys of Olde English story and song, rich sots on horseback who amused themselves in London by riding out at night, ripped to the tits on strong ale, and "popped old ladies into empty booze-barrels and rolled them down steep, cobblestone hills with crazy screams and shouts." If you must roll old ladies down hills and you don't want to pay the bills, try to be nice and clean off their lice with a powerful Road Dog Ale."

The label has been shrouded with controversy and  a long, 4-year battle with censorship. The reason being the proudly proclaimed "Good Beer, No Shit" that is displayed on the label. The label has been through changes throughout the years, but the Steadman artwork remains, as does the 'controversial' quote. Retracting any statement about the more recent battle about That State Up North trying to ban the sale of Raging Bitch because of the name, or Ohio trying to ban the sale of Cardinal Zin wine (also Steadman artwork) because it portrays a member of the clergy on a bottle of libations.

But, now with the history lesson/ boring the masses is out of the way, onto the beer review. This beer is no longer made by Flying Dog. I have no idea why. I do believe this is one of the last batches that they bottled (about summer-time last year, they took Road Dog off their product list on their website and when they switched over their labels to their new design, this one did not make the cut, unlike Tire Bite, which was replaced shortly after by Under Dog Atlantic Lager).

This pours a dark, dark amber. The only amber color that is noticed is when it's held up to a light, other than that, it's the color of soy sauce. This used Crystal (not sure the lovibond), Chocolate, and Black malts, with Warrior and Cascade hops. 6% ABV, 31 IBUs. The aroma, after being aged for a year, is roasted tones blended with some dark fruit and chocolate. The taste, oh sweet Jesus, the taste.  Roasted Malt, slight woody tones, hints of chocolate and coffee. Smooth, velvety mouthfeel, like kissing a velvet Elvis painting. You know the kind of painting that your bitch ex-step-mom had hanging above the couch, idolizing some washed up, over-rated pop singer who's big breakthrough was 5 years before she was born. Wait, that's not a good analogy for this beer. This beer is smooth. Smooth like fresh out-of-the-package fleece sheet. That nice, warm comforting feeling instead of that creepy look, staring at you from the wall as you try to zone out and pretend you're not sitting near the biggest waste of flesh that ever existed. That whale-like human that sucked away your dad's life essence, and tried to do the same to you. Bitching you out for everything you did, but yet letting her shithead kids do whatever they want. Yelling at you for drawing and not playing with her shithead degenerates, belittling you for every movement you make, making you feel like a utter piece of shit because you're not her kid, meanwhile treating her rotten pieces of shit like gold. Well, cunt bag, who's the one that doesn't have warrants and felonies? Huh? Any of your kids? No? Oh, well, it must fucking suck to know that your ex-husband left you cause you're the worst waste of air ever, and that he's the happiest he's ever been in his life with his new fiancee, and that your former step-son hasn't been to jail and isn't a registered sex-offender or drug dealer. Go fuck yourself and your creepy velvet Elvis.... wow.... I seem to be way the fuck off topic. Um... shit. Where was I?

Oh yes, Good beer. No Shit.

4.8/5 caps

-Nathan-

So, how is the White Devil supposed to follow up that???? Love the history of the beer and the artwork. If you're not familiar with Nathan's art, he's highly influenced by Steadman. Maybe let's get back to the beer, although he nailed it. Dark fruit in the nose? Check. I find, after sitting while he ranted about history and ex-stepmonsters, stone fruit comes out even more. There was a nice little off-white head that perched atop the brew two hours ago. OK, I exaggerate a little, but not by more than a half hour. In the taste, it's more stone fruit, chocolate, and a hint of coffee. Bittersweet, like Nathan's review.

Now I like porters. A lot. Clean, dark, heavy tones without the heavy feel. I can't stop looking at the Velvet Elvis painting without laughing. Coffee and chocolate tones come out much more when this is cold and I haven't killed three Genny Cream Ales between high-test brews. Every now and then, you have to switch up your broke/everyday beer. And Genny tastes much better after an imperial IPA. But I think we've had enough digression for one evening. This porter is pretty damn great, and like I said, I like porters. And in my humble opinion, this is one of the best on the market. Or at least used to be. Who knows, we may have the last six-pack in Columbus. Please, Flying Dog, reconsider removing it from the lineup? I know that you have another fantastic porter with Gonzo, but this is a killer everyday porter.

4.75/5 caps

-Jennie

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Stone Ruination IPA


We had a request awhile back from one of our friends to review more Stone beers. This is a nod to our friend Zimmer, Stone fan and erstwhile cameraman for the show. Which is still in production, I promise. It was a hot day here, in the mid-80s with a stiff breeze, so an IPA sounds fantastic. This has been calling me all day long... heck, even since last night, when Nathan decided to opt for bed instead of reviewing another beer, as he was feeling the effects of two 8% beers. Pansy.

Of course, I say that as Nathan is feeding me caramel-filled chocolate bunnies, which my child  recently sold for a school fundraiser. He allegedly just wanted to bite the head off a bunny. Maybe he's not such a pansy after all.

On to the beer. It pours a hazy orange color with a mild white head. The nose is lemon, grapefruit, and pine... pretty much all hops. Huh. This pairs really well with caramel-filled chocolate bunnies, as it cuts the sweetness so well. Too bad that fundraiser isn't going on anymore... now we're onto a jumprope marathon for the American Heart Association. If you want to donate, hit me up before April 26 on Facebook. Or email. Or Twitter. The kid is motivated to raise a bunch of money. Good for him. Wait, where was I? Digressing, as I usually do while consuming beer. Oh yes, this fantastic brew. This is fabulously hoppy. Lots of pine and lemon, and yet it tastes nothing like Lemon Pine-Sol. It finishes very bitter, kinda like me. It's very clean-tasting, and yeah, it's perfect for a hot summer day. Even though it's only April. Go figure, Ohio. It's not as sticky as many double or imperial IPA's... it's very smooth and balanced. There's a solid malt backbone, but nothing to deter from the sheer hop pleasure that is happening in my mouth right now.Say what you want about the west coast-east coast battle of IPA's... this is a classic illustration of the west coast style. Don't let it turn into a Biggie-Tupac kind of battle. Good thing most craft brewers tend toward the peace-loving hippie stereotype.

I had this last over a year ago, and I forgot how much I enjoy it. Another reason that Stone is one of my favorite breweries. Makes me want to book a trip to Escondido (California, where Stone is headquartered). Side note, I really want to meet Greg Koch someday, hopefully while filming a Stone episode for the show. When you pick up some Ruination, pick up a tasty caramel-chocolate confection for a true delight for your taste buds.

4.9/5 caps

-Jennie

Rebuttal to Jennie calling me a pansy- why try and review a beer at 12:30am, when taste buds have been thoroughly rocked previously by 2 good beers? That's when we move onto the cheap beer. And I do believe the bedtime was awesome (notice to reader- take that for what you want. All I know is reading Hunter S Thompson is amazing). And, yes, I wanted to bite the heads off bunnies that I sold for the kid (thanks again to my coworkers who needed a chocolate fix). That's mighty white of you, Jennie, to try and act like you're all high and fuckin' mighty. But I digress. Onto this brew.

This has had time to warm up while I was eating and White Devil was taking lead on this review. The color of this is a hazy orange, with a small amount of white devil, er, I mean white head. If the aroma were a woman, I wouldn't need White Devil anymore. The aroma is something you offer to the deity of your choice as an offering of good tidings and fortune.Grapefruit, lemon, pine, but mostly the citrus. Like a sucker punch in the face from Mike Tyson, the aroma nails you, sending you into a blissful dreamland that you won't recover from. The taste is different than the aroma. There is an earthiness up front that gives way to some citrus blending with a nice malty backbone. That leads to  some bitterness that reminds me of how bitter The White Devil will be when she proofreads this before posting. Suck on that Jennie. The finish is dry, like my love life will be after The White Devil proofreads this, but with a little bit of resiny awesomeness.

Possibly a final sign off from me (as White Devil will surely kill me).

4.9/5 caps

-Nathan-

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stone/ Two Brothers/ Aleman Collaboration Dayman






A little history on this, before we begin (as Beer Geeks, like myself, love it). If you're not into the history of this, then skip this paragraph, but if you skip this paragraph, you'll miss out on an endless world of knowledge, possibly even the meaning of life. Well, not so much the meaning of life, but definitely some interesting facts about how this came to be. Aleman, which is a brewing collaborative based out of Chicago, won a homebrewing competition with a coffee IPA, blending Citra hops with the flavor of coffee. The competition was judged by Jason Ebel of Two Brothers, and Greg Koch of Stone. The prize of this homebrew competition was to do a collaboration with Stone. Two Brothers is roasting the coffee in this as well.

So, in case you decided to skip the last paragraph, dudes who won a homebrew competition, Two Brothers, and Stone. This is the first Stone Collaboration of the year, and an interesting fact, the first collaboration since the end of the Vertical series from Stone (which we'll try and do reviews on soon).

 I've been intrigued by this brew since first reading about it. I had an idea a couple years ago about doing a coffee IPA, thinking the bitterness of the coffee would go great with bitterness of the hops, and the roasted tones of coffee would go great with the roasted notes of the malt. I've had coffee porters and stouts, but never an IPA. They're all ales, it makes sense, so why not? Well, I hadn't started homebrewing by that point, in fact, this month will make a year. Still have yet to brew a coffee IPA, but other crazy ideas are pouring out (fyi, if you're going to brew a grapefruit hefe, make sure you strain the grapefruit out, as it's very pulpy and will get in the bottles). I've only seen one other coffee IPA, by Mikkeller, but I'm sorry, I'm not dropping $12 on a 11.2oz bottle, unless I'm already drunk or I hit the lottery. So the under $10 price tag for a bomber is much more manageable, even sober.

Some quick facts on this brew: 8.7%, 42 IBUs, brewed with Cascade and Citra hops.

This pours a beautiful crystal clear amber with a small amount of white head that does not linger. The aroma is, well, interesting to say the least. Fresh brewed coffee and citrusy notes take turns assaulting your olfactory senses, although I think after warming up a bit, the coffee takes the lead. The flavor, that I've longed to taste. Oh, how I've longed to taste this, but I seem to digress from the most important part of this review, the flavor, as I leave the reader dying in agony to know how this tastes, I, too, am dying while the anticipation builds. Huh... There is a wave up front of citrus and coffee that blends in a unique way, like nothing I've had. Like a tangled web of tropical fruit and coffee. It sounds weird, yes, but is rather pleasing. The rushing wave splits to where the coffee subsides and the hops take presence. The first wave subsides and gives way to some toasted malts, followed by bitterness and ending on a pleasant coffee note that lingers. It finishes dry, like a good wine. The sheer onslaught that is happening on my taste buds makes me inspired to paint the characteristics I can see in my head, that will sound absolutely bat shit crazy if I try to put it into words, so I'll leave it with that.

If you have the opportunity to pick this up, do so. This is an experience in a bottle.

5/5 caps

-Nathan

Really, Dad, you're going to doze off in your chair during the first five minutes of the game??? Don't get me wrong, you raised me to love hockey above all other sports (even football), but damn... to interrupt Commie Pinko night at the Kape-Shad Casa and barely get into the game before dozing off. At least the Jackets just tied it up. We're in a major hunt for the playoffs, just like the FBI is on a major hunt for KGB spies in my new favorite show. But I digress.

So on to the beer. I've listened to Nathan's ramblings about brewing a coffee IPA and how interesting that would be. I agree, but I couldn't work it out in my head. I've also tried to talk him into Mikkeller brews (Beer Geek Breakfast, anyone?), but I have to agree, they are a little overpriced for what they offer. The coffee aroma has really come out more since it's warmed. Fresh from the fridge, it was more citrus and pines, with a hint of coffee. Now that it's warmed to just about room temperature, the coffee comes out a lot more, to where it's almost overwhelmingly coffee with a hint of orange. Ever chase a glass of orange juice with a sip of coffee? What, you've never been that hung over? Try it sometime. It'll give you a hint of what this tastes like. And it's heavenly. Nathan's description is spot-on... and this is one of the most unique, interesting, tantalizing brews I've had. Period. It's so good that we're considering picking up another bottle tomorrow. Ever have one of those nights where, afterwards, you're trying to hide your feelings and you run to the bathroom to either fist pump or self-high-five (or both)? You can't wait to leave to gloat to yourself all next day and bask in your own glory, but you know you're going to miss the person who is making you feel that way? I totally did not just describe my first night with Nathan... or with Dayman.

One thing I loved about this was the cap, which our friend (and erstwhile cameraman and huge Stone fan) Zimmer should enjoy:
Subtle yet effective brag. Good for you, Greg Koch and crew! I totally need to have 5 minutes in the bathroom alone to self-high-five now.

5/5 caps

-Jennie

Uinta Hop Notch IPA




I'm not quite sure who I need to complain to, but I'm a tad miffed tonight. Tonight is sacred Commie Pinko Wednesday, a night where there is no hockey and we watch "The Americans" at 10:00. It's as religious an experience to me as going to mass on Sunday for most Catholics. The night this show premiered, Nathan and I checked the Blue Jackets schedule to make sure that there would be no hockey conflict. They simply didn't play on any Wednesday this season. Somewhere along the way, some douchebag either in Toronto or on the west coast decided to change the Blue Jackets schedule. Without consulting me. The audacity of some people!!! So, in lieu of getting my 1981 Moscow on, I'm stuck waiting for Phil to fall asleep and catching my show either on DVR or On Demand another night. Next time, NHL officials, all schedule changes must be run past me in advance. This includes playoff hockey. Thanks for your consideration.

So, instead of watching what will happen with Phillip and Elizabeth after the latest FBI agent has mysteriously died, we're reviewing beer. Sigh. And since Phil found out today that he doesn't have prostate cancer, I'm done complaining. For now. Maybe I should lace the bottle of wine we got for him to celebrate? Nah. So, here we are, I'm a little grumbly over the change of events for the evening, but I have a good beer in my hand. What the hell am I complaining about? Right. I forget, too. Uinta Hop Notch. Uinta is relatively new to Ohio and based out of Utah. Poor bastards. I've had my eye on this since it hit Columbus shelves.

It pours a lovely medium golden color with a moderate off-white head. It smells like grapefruit and orange and caramel. Ever have those Milk Maid Royals from Brach's, with the flavored creme inside the caramel? It reminds me of the orange flavor of those. Tastes kind of like one, too, which then fades into a dry, grapefruity finish, with maybe a hint of white pepper at the very very end. Damn, this is a really good beer. And now I'm really craving Royals. I used to be able to eat an entire bag in a sitting. I loved those things. This beer is very well-balanced with some malt flavors there to balance the hops. It's well-carbonated yet smooth in the mouth (that's what she said; I know, I know). This is one of the best-balanced IPA's I've had, and you don't notice the 7.3% ABV.

I look forward to this making a regular appearance in our fridge. And I look forward to trying more from Uinta. Now, if only I could pronounce the brewery name (I've been saying it as Yin-ta... anyone have any input on that?).

4.75/5 caps

-Jennie

Ah, Jennie, Jennie, Jennie. If you're unsure of how to pronounce a brewery's name, always go to that brewery's website and look for a FAQ area. According to Uinta's website:
"Uinta is a word derived from the Ute Indians, who once inhabited the area. It is pronounced "you-in-tah." Uinta Brewing Company was named after the Uinta mountain range located in northeastern Utah, the only major range facing East-West in the continental U.S."
 Now you look like a raging bag of ignorant anger (ignorant for the name, anger for, well, re-read the first couple paragraphs of this review).

After a long week at work, you realize "Shit. It's only Wednesday." So you're glad to come home and have something good in the fridge. The bottle has intrigued me since first being spotted on shelves. It's very classic-looking, simple artwork. Nothing crazy to drag your eye to it (aside from the name), but that's what drew my eye to it (being an artist and art appreciator). 

This pours a medium golden color, as previously stated. The aroma to me is mostly orange, with other citrusy notes playing second fiddle (yes, I went to a high school in the country where we had drive your tractor to school), with some sweeter caramel on the back. As Jennie stated, about like the little milk caramel chews. The taste is.... huh...smooth malty, almost caramel tones at the front, being overtaken by a pungent hoppy, citrus bite with an almost orangey flavor. After that, there is some bready notes, rounded out on the back by some more, almost orange zest sort of flavor. Finishes smooth, with very little sticky/resin on the mouth. Nicely balanced, definitely interested in trying more of Uinta's brews.

4.6/5 caps (little more malty than my own personal preference, but still good)

-Nathan-

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Flying Dog Snake Dog

First off, why does Outlook suck? It is taking 3 minutes to download a photo sent from Jennie's phone to my email. Before Hotmail became under the Windows Outlook umbrella, it took about a second, now it's 3 minutes to download a 2 megabyte photo. Photo. Not sound clip or movie clip, a photo. Sigh. I have no pull in this argument with Windows, except for saying I will kill the account I've had for 10 plus years, and go to a different provider (such as Gmail or go back to yahoo mail). This seriously frustrates me. Finally, this photographic masterpiece is available to me:



But onto something that makes me happy. 60 IBUs, 7.1% ABV, Warrior and Columbus hops. That's right, I'm talking about Flying Dog's Snake Dog. According to Chinese astrology, it's the year of the snake. Thus, proving it's the year of this beer. Flying Dog made a fantastic video about Year of the Snake Dog, you can find it on Youtube.

So after a small rant, onto the review. A gorgeous amber color, with a white head that fades quickly. The nose is faint citrus with some hints of floral. The flavor though. Mind melting. For an IPA and not an Imperial or Double IPA, this is amazing. The flavor is some citrus, lemony or grapefruity, with some balancing of the malts. Toward the back is where the bitterness kicks in, leaving a resiny mouthfeel, after the smoothest drinking IPA I can think of right now.

This is the year of the snake, if for no other reason, go pick up a bottle, or a 6 pack, or the Shock & Awe 12 pack (with Underdog, Doggie Style and Pearl Necklace).

4.75/5 caps

-Nathan

Wait, we made it through a Nathan review of a Flying Dog brew without the obligatory Hunter S. Thompson reference? Indeed, he has found the edge, as, according to the esteemed HST, the only ones who can decscribe it are the ones who have gone over it. In fact, Nathan loves this quote so much he painted it, replete with Flying Dog beer caps, last week. He's really artistic... someday I'll share pictures of his "Isolation", his most requested piece. But for now, here is last week's endeavor:

Wait, where were we? Oh my. Onto the beer. I pick up some honey and orange in the aroma and  taste. It's a very mild, well-balanced IPA that's not too bitter, not too hoppy. If you're just approaching the hop scene, this is a good place to start. It's not overwhelming with anything, it's just a good brew. It's not quite as good as, say, the Single Hop series from Flying Dog, but it's definitely a solid brew from them. To be perfectly honest, I forgot how much I like this.

4.2/5 caps

-Jennie

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Knee Deep Brewing Hop Shortage





So to open this, the news story that was just on was about a woman in Texas who saw the Virgin Mary on a tortilla. Soak that in for a moment. She claimed that she also saw Jesus on the other side of the tortilla, and "Thought it was a sign from the holy family that everything is alright." No, it's a sign from the tortilla company that you should eat the tortilla instead of trying to find meaning in it. It's a fucking flour tortilla. This story was followed up by budget cuts and financial woes. Do you want to retract your statement that a tortilla told you everything is alright?

So this beer, by Knee Deep, is apparently a year round brew. After reading up on Knee Deep (since our Simtra review), they have a bizarre availability. California, Arizona, Nevada, Ohio and Idaho. 5 states and Ohio is the only one not near their brewery (based in California). Interesting, but I will NOT complain about this.

So, a quick run down of this. This is labeled as the cousin of Simtra, but with Centennial and Chinook hops. 11.3% ABV, no idea on the IBUs, as the label says 'no shortage here'. This pours a coppery amber color, with some white head that doesn't stick around. The aroma is holy family of hops (AH! See how I tied in the opening paragraph in with.... never mind). Citrus and honey aroma. The taste. Oh how I've longed for the taste while spewing my nonsensical whimsy all over this page, with the pint glass sitting in front of me, staring at me, taunting, making me long for the hop onslaught that was Simtra. Some sweetness up front, less sweeter in the middle, nothing but sheer bitterness on the back. The hop characteristics build toward that back and come out in a pineapple, grapefruit, pine concoction that lingers on your tongue, while your mouth puckers a bit from resiny bitterness left behind. Hints of the alcohol make a slight presence known in the flavor, but not noticed until about halfway through the pint, where you start to feel that nice, warm, happy buzz, that I previously compared to a wine buzz. You're warm, happy, and love everything. Everything is right in the world because you found a tortilla with the Virgin Mary on it. Then the harsh reality hits you that the lady in Texas who 'found' this 10th Wonder of the World, is just bat shit fucking crazy, because this isn't distributed there, so she can't be feeling the same happiness.

Not quite as good as the Simtra, but this is damn good. Thanks again to Rin at Savor Market for bring Knee Deep into our lives, and we will continue searching for their brews, to bring the awesomeness to you, our loyal viewer/reader/online stalker/beer geek.

4.85/5 caps

-Nathan

OK, Knee Deep. Welcome to Ohio, you lovely bastards. I've fallen rapidly in love with you and your seeming similar addiction to hops that I have. Simtra ranks with the best beers I've had the pleasure of ingesting. I took one sip of this and said, "Whoa." I don't get the 11.3% ABV except in the way it gives me that wonderful champagne-style buzz halfway through.

My partner in blogging, life, and crime described it perfectly. I don't have anything to add or complement his summation of this wonderful brew. Ohioans (and residents of the other four states where this may be obtained), go grovel knee-deep should Rin point you in the right direction with this brew or anything else they make. As for me, I'm going to fall prostrate to the ground in reverence of a kindred hop-loving spirit. Or is that too knee-deep in bullshit?

4.9/5 caps

-Jennie

Great Lakes Rye of the Tiger


Great Lakes Brewery has added two IPA's to their seasonal releases this year: Alchemy Hour and Rye of the Tiger. And Lake Erie Monster comes out next month, which is my favorite Great Lakes brew. I'm sad that this seems to be replacing Holy Moses, which was a fantastic white ale, but I'm excited about the IPA's. We picked up a six-pack of this when we couldn't find KBS last night, so it's something of a consolation prize... but with the hype over it, I'm pretty sure I won't be too disappointed.

Add to that whenever I opened the fridge today, I had Survivor stuck in my head. Right now I'm at that epic buildup at the very end. I've even come up with alternate lyrics in an ode to this brew: It's the Rye of the Tiger/It's the thrill of the hop/Rising up to the challenge of our rhizomes... Somebody help me, I've finally gone over the edge. Hunter S. Thompson would be proud. Gonzo beer blogging. Right.

Let's move on to the beer, so that you can all end that scary ride inside my head. It pours a medium orange color with a smallish white head. The aroma is citrus and some spiciness from the rye, with just a hint of biscuity malts coming through. Let's take a sip. This is really good! It opens with the citrus notes, has a lovely bite from the rye, and finishes super dry. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and medium-bodied. If you're new to rye in your beer, especially in your IPA, it doesn't taste like rye bread (thank goodness; I have a strong aversion to caraway seeds). It has the bite of a rich pumpernickel bread that combines perfectly well with the hops.

Great Lakes has been impressing me lately with their new additions to their lineup. This certainly does not disappoint. Well done from our brewing brethren to the north.

4.75/5 caps

-Jennie

After a day of sheer insanity, I figured it was a brilliant idea to add to the insanity... Jennie's version of Survivor is the main reason I let her take the lead, that and I was eating dinner with some Ghost Chili sauce. Spicy awesomeness. Before I start reviewing, I must applaud Jennie on her photography skills, as this resembles, to me, the label. Take a moment and notice the pint glasses hiding behind the bottle, resembling the tiger hiding behind the leaves. Now that your mind has been opened, let me take you on a little journey, I like to call...

The Beer Review

 Medium orange pour, little amount of white head that sticks around. It's clear, but not crystal clear. Wow my feet have some funk from sweating in a warehouse, and the cat's in heat. Okay, back to focusing, which is hard to do at times as you unwind from a long, tedious day of scanning boxes and putting them on a skid, but I finally digress. The aroma is citrusy, biscuity, and spicy. Huh, C.B.S., almost like KBS, which I'm still bitter over missing the release of. Maybe I should quit my job in order to chase these rare beers, following them like a hippie followed the Grateful Dead, wandering aimlessly across country, seeking the ultimate prize- happiness. Happiness from a mind enchancing experience, which would happen with this rare brew chase. But this, apparently, is not a rare brew. So, more readily available, where Great Lakes is distributed, this is a good find thus far. But now onto my favorite part of the review...

...The taste. Note that this has warmed up by sitting while I was enjoying my dinner (and a Burger beer). The flavor is light citrus up front, the rye following heavy right behind, but fading quick to give way to the light citrus, finishing dry and slightly bitter. Medium carbonation, medium body, leaving a slight resiny feeling around the cheek and gum area. Not quite as good as the Alchemy Hour, but one of the best RIPA (Rye I.P.A) styles that I've had. The cat in heat is also a klutz.

4.7/5 caps

-Nathan

Fat Head's Oompa Loompa

So, to continue the mocking of ourselves and our inability to obtain KBS, we move on to the other stout in the fridge, Fat Head's Oompa Loompa Chocolate Cream Stout. It sounds deelish. It's brewed with Belgian chocolate and Madagascar vanilla beans. I'm in. After Michigan's loss to Louisville, I'm going to need to assuage my sorrows. And my conscience for not watching the game.

It's a lovely deep brownish-black color with a pale khaki head. It smells heavenly... the chocolate and vanilla really come through. It reminds me of a 90% cacao Ghirardelli square in aroma. Wow, is this good. Indescribably smooth, it glides over my tongue like a really dark chocolate fondue. The Belgian dark chocolate is really noticeable in the taste, whereas the vanilla beans take a back seat, coming out later in the taste. It's a little thinner-bodied than I expected, but I'm okay with that, as I usually have to be in the mood for a heavy-bodied stout. Besides, cream stouts tend to be a little lighter-bodied.

Fat Head's has done another fantastic job in producing this beer. I'd be happy to keep it in my fridge to satisfy my chocolate cravings during a rousing bout of PMS. Or whenever I feel like a dark beer.

4.8/5 caps

-Jennie

Dislike on the name. You see, I had this ongoing story, nay, epic adventure back in middle school about how Ed McMahon hired Oompa Loompas to try and kill me. Great action, always ending with Ed McMahon escaping and yelling in the distance 'Yessir!' That opens you up into a little of my twisted creativity that begs to be released in one form or another. Maybe this beer is twisted creativity in a bottle. So with that, onto this brew.

This is a dark, opaque color, about as dark as my Ed McMahon/ Oompa Loompa anthology (I really have no idea what happened to those papers, but in nomadic times, you tend to lose items). The aroma is chocolate with hints of vanilla. The taste is... fuck me running. That's good. There are some dark roasted malts that add to the pleasantness of the chocolate. There are hints of vanilla toward the back. Smooth, lighter bodied, creamy mouthfeel.

Now I'm off to revisit memories of assassination attempts on my life by Ed McMahon as I watch Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson's perpetual rolling of a Reliant Robin (youtube it, it's hilarious).

4.75/5 caps

-Nathan

Monday, April 8, 2013

Full Pint Night of the Living Stout




We purchased this to accompany the season finale of "Walking Dead." Eight days later, we're actually going to drink it. And because tonight has been the night of the elusive stout, I'm going to torture Nathan by starting off with this one. We have been trying to obtain -- legally, of course -- a bottle of Founders KBS. We had to miss an event last week where we could have purchased one, and we were an hour late to Palmer's tonight for it, by which time they were sold out. Actual conversation:

Nathan: I shed a manly tear (when he found out that both our names were called in the raffle last week).
Me: It's ok, dear. It's ok to cry over beer. It's manly, even, to cry over beer.

Side note, I hate Nathan's work schedule. It was the reason we missed the KBS tonight. Don't worry, we'll keep trying, but in the meantime, we have another delicious stout to drink and share with you. Without further ado:

We've previously shared our enthusiasm for Full Pint, and our appreciation that we can legally obtain it in Ohio now without having to bootleg it across state lines. This is their occasionally available stout. I've not had a dark beer from them yet, so I'm intrigued. It pours black as black coffee, with a minute khaki head. It smells lovely... lovely coffee and roasted notes and some stone fruit coming through in the nose. It tastes... man, I wish I had this for breakfast. It tastes like coffee. Coffee and coffee grounds, and somehow, some bonfire flavor coming out of nowhere. I love the smell of a bonfire. And it finishes very bitter, like black coffee. The mouthfeel is very smooth, velvety, with moderate carbonation.

Ooooh, I like this. I'm looking forward to trying more of Full Pint's beers, now that we can get them more easily. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go throttle Nathan, or at least tackle him and take the remote. He's watching the national championship basketball game, over which I am very superstitious. While I really want to watch it, I'm convinced that Michigan won't win if I do. Go Blue!!!!!!

4.6/5 caps

-Jennie


I hate my work schedule too and it saddened me when Rin, at Savor, told me that both our names were drawn for last week's event. And to top things off, my Sundays are shot for a while, as Walking Dead is done for the season. And to top it off even more, Jennie's a team-up-north fan...

So to help chase away this self-burden, there's good beer. Good beer and reading Hunter S Thompson later.  This beer smells fantastic; coffee, roasted and some light darker fruit notes. The taste is coffee, coffee, roasted, coffee and bitter finish. Smooth, but thick, mouthfeel. I can't really add anything to what Jennie said, aside from This doesn't taste bad with a salty tear or two in it (joking, of course).

4.6/5 caps

-Nathan-

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Magic Hat Elder Betty





Kitties on the keyboard make it hard to type: lesson learned tonight. Miss Jasmine decided to help review the beer, although in the end, she had nothing to say about it... I think maybe she was just going for easy access to the desk and some Mom love. So, this is the last beer in the sampler pack from Magic Hat to review. Elder Betty, which was first released last summer. A hefeweizen flavored with elderberries, which are something of a new obsession of mine. They're mild but tart... I love them in cocktails. Seriously, try a splash of St. Germain (elderberry liqueur) in your next greyhound.... it smooths out the bitterness of the grapefruit juice. And I love love love the label artwork, so this was something of a no-brainer for me.

This pours a cloudy peach color with a white head that doesn't stick around long. The nose is all hefeweizen esters -- banana, orange, coriander -- with a touch of elderberry sneaking in. The taste is pure hefeweizen -- orange and banana, predominantly -- rounded and smoothed by a tinge of elderberries. I love that the elderberries complement instead of overwhelm this beer. They hit the palate late, and have the same effect they have in the greyhound. The mouthfeel is a little more bubbly than most hefeweizens, but that's ok in this, I think.

Jasmine came back to supervise blog progress. She's now prowling around the desk, threatening to tip over Nathan's bottle collection. Here is my view right now:

Yeah, she looks innocent. She's actually the sweetest cat. Even when she's eating the sprouting herbs or scratching her declawed paws on any and all closet doors.

Back to the beer... yeah, it's good. I'd suggest obtaining a six-pack once it warms up a bit more.

4.3/5 caps

-Jennie

Ok, so to explain the things you see on the desk, Alpha Collection box from Flying Dog (2 years ago they released that, with the AWESOME Imperial Simcoe IPA) and Hell's Angels from Hunter S. Thompson.  And of course the kitty who's getting some junk in her trunk. But onto the beer.

The label surely attracts us: just sheer beauty. The pour of this is hazy yellow orange (or as Jennie said 'peach') color, white head. Interesting banana and berry aroma. The taste is like an awesome banana and elderberry smoothie. few notes of orange and coriander, but adding to instead of overpowering or taking away from this fruity concoction of awe. lighter mouthfeel with some decent carbonation to make this more of a unique brew.

Good beer, better, once again, for warmer times, but we can't blame the brewery for Ohio's potential for some snow tomorrow and starting off in the 20's (note, a couple days ago, it was sunny and 60).

4.25/5 caps

-Nathan