Sunday, September 22, 2013

Indigo Imp Autumn

On the first day of Autumn, we figured it was appropriate to to review this. The label screams awesome with the shiny, gold-leaf look, their imp looking more impish than normal, with his blue really popping on the red, brown and gold background. We're some of the first to review this online as well, 3 reviews on BA and 2 on RateBeer.

Now for those who don't really know much about Indigo Imp, I'll let Jennie do the history lesson on them, as I'm excited to try my first fall beer of the year. This pours a dark orangey/amber color with a decent amount of off white head. This is hazy and opaque, which is typical of a bottle conditioned beer. The aroma on this is interesting. There's a belgian-like yeast strain blended with faint pumpkin pie spices and some dank, almost sour characteristics. The flavor on this though makes up for the dank nose. Ignore the dank nose! There's some sweet potato up front, the flavor does a 180 to almost a sour beer that builds to almost being too much, then it flips again and rounds out on some nice nutmeg, cinnamon. Oh wait, now it's less sour in the middle and brings out more toffee, caramel and spices. Damn. The third sip is even different. There's something interesting about this ever changing/evolving flavor profile. Not your typical pumpkin/autumn beer, not your typical sour/open fermented beer. There's some creaminess to the mouthfeel with a slight puckering residue left over.

I continue sipping this transformer of beers while passing the torch onto my partner in crime. Rather pleasant, I know a few people who would really enjoy this.

4.5/5 caps


It sounds like I'm up against the Optimus Prime of beers here. I'm intrigued... but since Nathan put the onus of the Indigo Imp history lesson on me, I'll address that first. Indigo Imp is based out of Cleveland, is a family operation with very limited tasting room hours, and can be hard to find as they  self-distribute. All of their brews are Real Ales, which means that they are naturally carbonated. Indigo Imp's beers are also unfiltered and not pasteurized. They open ferment in shallow, open tanks, so there can be variations in flavor from batch to batch from the wild yeast that is floating in the brewery. They also only brew seven barrels at a time, which is a very small capacity. I know homebrewers who have almost that much capacity.

So, let's get on to the beer. This is a medium orange color with some off-white head that is still atop my glass. The aroma on this is interesting... it's not as dank as the whiff I sneaked from the bottle. It's soft citrus with some caramel and an almost sour note. Let's take a sip. Nathan described it well, with the sweet potato up front, and then the sour punch kicks in. I have yet to pick up on any pumpkin pie spices. The second sip was almost fully sour. This is very indicative of Indigo Imp's beers, coming from the open fermentation. Yep, all I am getting from this is lemon up front, then softening out to a dry finish, and all the sour notes in the middle. I'm not getting much more out of this. There is the creamy mouthfeel that I find in every Indigo Imp beer I've had.

I'm not as thrilled with this as Nathan. It's ok... I don't love it nearly as much as I do their Blonde Bombshell, which I find to be nearly revolutionary in flavor profile. This is actually one of my less favorite beers from Indigo Imp. I'm not picking up on any of the fall spices that are alleged to be in here. The sweet potato addition is hit-or-miss in the flavor, and it's just overpowered by the notes from the open fermentation. The label also indicates that it has some toasted marshmallow notes; that is so different from my experience that I am sitting here with a very confused look on my face. Candidly, I'd rather have Firebrand (an amber) or Fiend (a red rye ale), two ales they produce that are quite tasty.

3.9/5 caps


Schlafly Winter ESB

I don't know about you, but ESBs are one of the hottest trends in craft beer right now, from what I've seen. It seems that most craft brewers -- whether they are nanobreweries or dominating the regional market -- are putting out an ESB or have one in the works. If you're not familiar with the style, ESB stands for Extra Special Bitter. It's a very balanced brew, with neither the hops nor the malts stealing the limelight from the other. And, contrary to its name, it's also not overly bitter.

So, this particular one is from Schlafly, one of my favorite St. Louis breweries. They're not distributing to Ohio yet, although they are soon tripling their capacity, so this may be something we can get here in the future. We picked this up on the summer trip to Peoria, and on the first night of fall, with a definite autumnal chill in the air tonight, it seemed like a great pairing for the evening.

This pours a medium copper color, with some strange sediment floating throughout the glass and a slight chill haze. There was a finger or so of off-white head that dissipated fairly quickly. The aroma is orange and bready notes, with perhaps some peach and caramel floating in there as well. The flavor is peaches, water, and then a vague bread note and some earthy bitterness at the very end. The body is fairly light, and the sediment is not noticed in the mouth. Carbonation on this is average.

It's a little more watery than I expected or enjoy. I'm not as thrilled with this as I have been with most of Schlafly's other offerings. It has great reviews on BeerAdvocate and RateBeer, but it's far from my favorite ESB.

3.8/5 caps


We were just discussing the trends of different styles. I've heard people talking that the Hoppy trend will eventually end, that the trend has hit the peak and another style will come in and take a hold of the market. I hope this day never comes, as I am clearly a fan of the hops (to where my next tattoo will most likely be a hop, or the Gonzo Fist).

I start this while pondering what will happen in the Walking Dead graphic novel (yes, I'm just now getting around to reading them) while I stare at this copper-toned sample. Orange, caramel, bread and almost olive aromas. Olive? Yeah, that's what I'm picking up. Bizarre. The flavor is, as my partner-in-crime mentioned, peaches up front, then wateriness, bready/dough-like tones with some decent hop bitterness at the end. Yeah, I got the same flavor characteristics as Jennie did. Lighter bodied, slightly dry finish with a light stickiness left on the palate.

4/5 caps


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel

I must confess, in advance, that I am conflicted on how to write this review. It's Talk Like a Pirate Day and it's Gnome Week. Shit. So conflicted. So I'll put on "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order (probably the greatest song ever written) and get to it. Yes, I've had this song perpetually stuck in my head, daily, for the last 9 and a half months, but it still doesn't get old.

So this is from Brasserie D'achouffe, from Belgium. There's an interesting story about this brewery, I'll give a shortened version, but you can find a longer version online. The founder of this brewery was on a nature hike when gnomes appeared to him and told him to make beer. Hence why all their brews have a gnome, paying homage to the friendly wood creatures who helped find his way. Me personally, I've always been drawn to gnomes. For a while, I ran a website called Lawn Gnome Kingdom (you can still find the Yahoo Group of it, although it's been horrifically over run with spam). Oh, the gnomes and I have been very close throughout the years, which makes me excited to try this for the first time. A Belgian IPA with a gnome on it. Game on. I've had other selections from them (La Chouffe, Mc Chouffe and N'Ice Chouffe), so I'm excited to try this.

And before we begin, yes, "Bizarre Love Triangle" is on constant repeat, blaring through the ear buds while my female counter part is chilling with our neighbor, waiting her turn to embrace the Gnome.

The pour on this is a very light straw color, almost what American piss lagers try to look like, but fail. Very farmhouse/saison in color. Decent amount of stark white head that lingers on this 9%, 59 IBU beauty. The nose on this is heaven. There's light citrus, some spice, earthiness and faint sweeter malt. No one characteristic sticks out in the nose, melding in a perfect harmony, but nice and light, not assaulting on the olfactory senses. The initial sip on this is that I just walked through a field with gnomes. Playfully dancing on my taste buds, playing gnome games in my mouth (that's what she said). This is very light for a 9% brew. Initially there is Belgian yeast strain taste (the spice, the light banana), which builds while the hops make their citrusy presence known. Some slight grass taste makes the journey, from time to time, reminding you of the gnomes dancing. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy, yet, this finishes dry, making you long for more. This is good, no, this is damn good. So good, it makes you long for more on the taste buds. So good, you switch to A7X "Unholy Confessions," as this seems like something you'd confess to at your church. It makes me feel slightly dirty for liking it so much, as it's not one of my Flying Dog flavors, but I swear i'm not a whore for cheating on FD.... God damn it. I'm finger drumming to the Rev's amazing drumming.... If you've heard "Unholy Confessions" you know the part I'm talking about.

I seem to be getting sidetracked as the 9% makes the journey into the sweet foggy haze that loosens your mind and allows the creativity to flow. Yes, it's that good. Happy Gnome Week and YARRR! Ye best be celebrating the day of scalawags and plundering. I hand over control of this ship to my main wench.

5/5 caps


Ahoy! The Wench speaks!!!! My First Natey now has shoulder cat (his Gia is literally sitting and riding around the house on his shoulder), a la a parrot on his shoulder -- according to him, she ate the parrot, so maybe I should check out this amazing beer again. You see, I first encountered this at a beer training program, a year and a half ago. One whiff, and I was in love like Keira Knightley was in love with Orlando Bloom during the first couple "Pirates of the Carribbean" movies. My sample was gone faster than some booty that had been plundered. Not mine, though. Oh no, First Natey, not mine. For a change.

It's a lovely golden straw color with some white head that remains, even after an hour-ish of sitting at room temperature and with the 9% ABV. The nose is freshly mowed grass or perhaps lemongrass and caramel-y notes. A perfect balance of hops and malts, if you will. Taking a sip, there's a faint banana/clove hint at the front, followed by a vaguely toasty note, followed by that lemongrass sort of flavor. It's like a gnome skipped across this IPA after frolicking in the fields with Bacchus. Dionysius. Ninkasi. Insert beer god/dess here. It's perfectly carbonated, light-bodied, and an all-around great beer. Later, much later, there may be an earthy note that creeps across the palate to remind you of the grassy fields where the brewer met the gnome that begat this beer.

This is such a great summer sipper, it's perfect to enjoy on those last few days of official summer, when the early-autumn chill is affecting the weather. The daily high might be mid-80s, but it drops well into the 50s at night. The daily high temperature might hit for a minute or two, instead of for hours on end when you feel like your skin and internal organs are melting from a hot flash. And ten minutes later, you're freezing from the temperature drop to the point where you don the penguin-adorned fuzzy pants, as Mr. First Natey has done. Sigh. Midwest pirate problems. Yarrrrrr. Avast, mateys! Find me more of this!!!!

4.9/5 caps


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Barley's Infinity Grand Cru

This comes from Barley's about their Infinity Grand Cru:

About the Ale: Barley's Infinity Grand Cru is a wonderfully complex Belgian dark strong ale.
Complex, with a rich malty sweetness, fruity esters and significant alcohol with moderate spiciness.
The malt is rich and forward, with caramel and toast aroma. The esters give raisin, plum and dried cherry notes, with a subtle pepperiness.
This is not a Belgian that's going to get all clove and banana on you. The Belgian yeast strain we used gives us the fruity esters we were looking for, as well as the higher alcohol.
So what's a Grand Cru?
Historically, Grand Cru is a regional wine classification that designates a vineyard known for its favorable reputation. The term is not technically a classification of wine quality per se, but is intended to indicate the potential of the vineyard.
At one time, Belgium was a part of Burgundy. Elder Belgians will tell you that their love of great food and drink has its origins in the time when they were part of Burgundy.
Belgium of course has a great tradition of brewing fantastic ales. It's only natural that they would adopt this wine term to describe their best beers.
We decided to adopt this moniker for our Belgian dark strong ale. Barley's Infinity Grand Cru.
Why Infinity? Our Grand Cru was first tapped in the same month that our downtown long time Executive Chef, now General Manager Jason Fabian is getting married to his lovely bride Gretchen. We named it "Infinity" to symbolize the infinite commitment two people make to each other.
Here's Lookin' at you, Kid!

Let's see how it syncs up to their description.

This 9.2% ABV beast pours a dark brown, almost like dark chocolate. There is a decent amount of caramel colored head. The nose on this is something else. This has so much happening, let's begin to even catch a little bit of what's swirling around in this epic concoction. There is definitely a dark stone fruit in the nose; a little cherry, a little plum. There are also hints of sweetness and at times, faint toasted notes. The first taste... OK... The second sip... OK, The third taste... Damn this is good. We tried samples of this during the Microbrew fest, but I don't remember it being this good (it might have been because of the Centennial IPA firkin or the Columbus hops that I chewed on), but this is downright amazing. There is an initial taste of cherry, caramel and spice, but as you sip on it more, it becomes more complex. There's toasted malt, plum and almost a wine-like bit that join in the mix. I don't think I can fully describe all the different notes I'm pulling out. At times, there are some faint banana and clove notes that Belgian yeast strains are known for, but it's masked over by the other flavors. The fact that each sip is different than the last makes this probably the hardest beer to describe. It's very complex, at times like a hefe, at times like a barleywine, and others like a Trappist ale.

There is some light carbonation in this, just enough to remind you that this is a beer and not... well, some non-beer.... Shit. I'm feeling the alcohol on this as I've downed half a pint (and the Hoptoberfest, plus the normal daily allowance of cheap daily beer). The mouthfeel on this is slightly sticky, in a sweetness sort of way, but this is, in no way at all, cloying. 

I now pass this torch onto she-who-.... ah hell. I give my rating and hand this over to Jennie.

 5/5 caps


So, at the Microbrew Fest, we were invited to, nay, encouraged to sample liberally from both Barley's tents ("Know what you're selling," and all that), as even though they are separate entities and separately owned, the names and brewers are so intertwined that commingling lingers. For example, Angelo (brewmaster at Alehouse #1), had tossed in Centennial, Citra, and Amarillo hops by the handful into the cask of Centennial IPA at the Smokehouse table. The Infinity was one of the brews from Alehouse #1 nearest us, and sample I did, as it was one of their more popular brews at the festival. Then I had someone pop down from another tent and ask for the "beer that tastes like brown sugar". This was the closest I could think of, and it was well-received.

When speaking with a brewmaster, I enjoy finding out which beer is their favorite or their pride-and-joy, and Angelo pointed us towards this. He also encouraged us to sample the Massive Attack, a Belgian golden ale with black currants. It was also fantastic, but the sample and my palate were destroyed too quickly yesterday to give a full review of that.... I'm just hoping it's still on tap toward the holiday season, as Nathan's grandmother loves black currants.  

Wait, am I having a hot flash, or is this warmth from the alcohol in this 9.2% monster of yumminess??? Let's find out.

This is a hazier deep garnet color with a good amount of toffee-colored head still attached to the glass and leaving lovely lacing down the sides. The head does not stick around long, probably because of the higher alcohol content. The aroma is pure brown sugar, raisins, and dark stone fruit, purely Belgian strong ale. It's quite lovely, despite my abhorrence of raisins. Now, the funny thing is, as I was surrounded by the people who made this brew, they swore up and down there was no brown sugar in this... and yet, it certainly smells of brown sugar and perhaps a hint of molasses. [Food geek note: brown sugar is merely white sugar with molasses added. Dark brown sugar has more molasses than light brown sugar.] To my experience with Belgian strongs, this is very desirable. Taking a sip, it's rather sweet. It's brown sugar blended with all those lovely stone fruits, with hints of caramel and a strong alcohol bite toward the very end. There's a kick-you-in-the-nuts kind of warmth that spreads over your entire being like a succubus. It's well-carbonated, sticky on the lips but not cloying.

As per usual, we have a couple of hunks of cheese in our fridge. Let it be noted that we are both complete and utter cheeseheads, despite our living in a state besides Wisconsin. On Barley's website, they suggest with this a Gruyere cheese, among many other food pairings. We happened to have a hunk of generic Swiss and an aromatic rosemary Asiago. Funny, I thought I would like the asiago more with this brew... but the rosemary, the pungency of the cheese, and the great fruit esters in the beer all cancel each other out. It's much better with a store-brand large block of Swiss -- which actually evokes the wonderful flavors of Gruyere. I can only imagine how tasty an actual Gruyere would be with this. Side note, I gave Nathan a hunk of both, as he's finishing off the growler of Hoptoberfest, and he said the Asiago complements it perfectly. The nutty notes of the Swiss are a lovely balance to the fruity esters, and the buttery nature of Swiss is a killer complement to the alcohol finish in this beer. If you're a beer-and-cheese fan (and who isn't?!), do yourself a favor and get yourself a quality hunk of Gruyere to accompany this beer. Your tastebuds will thank me.

In a heartbeat, I'd throw this up against any Belgian Trappist ale, and it will stand on its own.

5/5 caps


Monday, September 16, 2013

Barley's Alehouse #1 Hoptoberfest

We had a fantastic weekend, volunteering at the final day of the North Market Microbrew Festival, which is dedicated to local and Ohio craft beers. There were 20 or so breweries there, many of whom were from Columbus and the surrounding areas. Apparently attendance records were shattered, and it was certainly busy, with perfect weather to complement the atmosphere. We worked the Barley's Smokehouse tent, alongside some of the coolest motherfuckers we've had the pleasure of meeting. Seriously, you can't go wrong in the craft beer community.

Dad watched Peanut while we were there, and his fee for babysitting was that we bring home some beer. Ummm, ok. So, afterwards, we stopped at Barley's Alehouse (across the parking lot from where we were stationed during the festival) and picked up some great beer. We were just going to get the Hoptoberfest, which we knew Dad would love, when Angelo stopped us and sent us on our way with a second growler. Now, we were feeling pretty good when we got home, fed the family, and put Peanut to bed. So we may have committed a crime and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Not to worry, Dad helped himself to a couple of glasses last night. This is what he didn't drink.

We were lucky enough to have this on tap at the festival. It's just as good the next night. It pours a deep amber color, and fortunately, there's a tiny little bit of off-white head that poured out with the growler. Whew, the crime just became a misdemeanor. The nose on this is very hop-forward, with a lot of pine and grapefruit and just a tinge of earthiness. There isn't much evidence of malt body in the nose. Taking a sip, there's the Oktoberfest style coming through... it's earthy/malty at the front, with faint toffee and caramel tomes coming through, which gives way quickly to almost a nut-like character (which in this is going to come from the malts), and then fades into the pine and citrus hops that are just a fantastic complement to the style. It's moderately carbonated, even after a night in our fridge.

This is probably my favorite Oktoberfest. Granted, I've yet to have a beer from Barley's that I don't thoroughly enjoy, but this is a fantastic example of the style. We'll be happy to assist them at any future event!

4.9/5 caps


Again, HUGE thanks to Angelo and the whole Barley's crew. Kick ass people, if you haven't been there, it's on High Street right after 670 (adjacent to to the North Market). Awesome food (try the sauerkraut balls), amazing beer. Wait, did I say amazing? Yeah, yeah I did.

This is just one example of the damn near 21 years of brewing excellency that Barley's has under their belt. They opened their Ale House (High Street location) on Nov 20, 1992. This particular example is stellar, but then again, I don't think Barley's is capable of producing a bad beer.

It pours a deep amber color with some light white head. The aroma is grapefruit and pine with a hint of earthiness, caramel and toffee. The flavor, after warming up for nearly an hour while Jennie dilly-dallied on the computer, is... bad. Bad as in BAD ASS! There's a whole array of flavors attacking your tongue at once. You got earthy tones from the hops blending with caramel and toffee on the front, which fades into some citrus which fades in and out throughout the rest of the sip. After the citrus initially fades, there is a nuttiness to it, giving way to citrus again and pine. I realize that not much of the flavor has changed since Jennie started on this Brewventure, which is good. It's cellar temp now, and I'm getting the same flavor profile I did when it was cold.  There is still some slight carbonation which blends perfectly with the stickiness from the hops that are left on your palate.

Cheers, again, to Angelo and the Barley's crew. Which reminds me, we still need to post our review on the trifecta of brews we had back in Feb/March (Beastie Boysenberry, Blood Thirst, and Blurry Bike IPA). It's been a work in progress, as we get sidetracked with things.

4.9/5 caps


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Stone Enjoy By 09.13.13

Ah, the latest release of Stone's Enjoy By IPA. Note, this is our 3rd Stone Enjoy By (see previous reviews of Enjoy By 05.17.13 and Enjoy By 04.01.13).

This is the most widely released edition of this 9.4 %, 88 IBU beast, 24 different states. And we'd better hurry on this one. We've sat on this for a while and now there's only 8 days, 1 hour and 25 minutes to drink this, not intentionally, more of just a lot of life happenings going around.

But onto this stunning piece of master craftsmanship. This pours a gorgeous golden orange color with a small amount of off white head that fades quickly, much like my attention span when I'm typing about beer. You see, I get in this blissful state where I picture myself holding hands and dancing in a circle with a giant hop. After dancing in a circular motion, we fall down, back first, in a giant pile of hops, where we roll around. It's in this blissful state that I would like to stay, but at the same point, living in a fantasy world doesn't pay bills for most people. Oh... I can't really remember where I was. Hang on, let me scroll up.

Ok, so we covered color. Onto the heavenly aroma.As soon as I put my nose to the glass, I'm instantly swept away into the fantasy world again, where grapefruit, citrus and tropical notes lift you up with angelic-like grace. Wings surround the hops as they gently make you rise while their friend caramel waves at you from a distant cloud in the background. The winged hops drop you into a 100-foot free-fall as you plunge into the liquidy goodness that is this beer. Your mouth is instantly submersed and taken over by the sheer divine taste of this. HOPSUS BE PRAISED! Grapefruit, Pine, Lemon, Orange, and Mint grab you by the tongue and march down your throat. as they leave their resiny goodness all over the mouth.There are some slight tones of biscuit and caramel, but they are like a  no-name farming high school playing against an undefeated Big Ten school in football. They make an appearance, but they game is clearly one sided. There is alcohol noticed, but it's more like a cheerleader for Biscuit and Caramel High.

I think I should let my partner in crime take over on this while I float off into my fantasy world of hops.

5/5 caps


Witches be cray cray. While Nathan is off communing with Dionysus and shrugging off memories of Drive Your Tractor To School Day, I've been yearning to delve into this iteration of Stone's yummy goodness. Let's see if it is as equally delicious as the prior versions of this.

Well, before he delved into an orgy with hops and Austijia (Lithuanian goddess of hops), he described the color to a T. The nose on this is wonderful: grapefruit, pine, and a touch of caramel and biscuit. As I take a sip, I am taken aback. I don't recall it being quite this good. Damn, there are the cherubs shaped like hops shooting arrows full of hops down my throat. There's pine, grapefruit, more grapefruit, that hint of mint, and it's all rounded out by a solid malt base. And as he-with-boyparts mentioned, the biscuit and caramel are barely noticeable. The hops are definitely the star of this brew. The mouthfeel on this is well carbonated, lighter-to-medium-bodied, with a slight resinous stickiness.

It should be noted that, with the popularity of this brew, Stone has adopted this "enjoy by" approach to all of their IPAs, which, in my mind, is as it should be. They don't advertise that, but I learned this from a very reputable source. I love that... no more staled, faded hops. No more IPAs that leave you wondering where the hops are. No more disappointment in a great bottle of beer. Huh. Nathan left the last of his glass in the kitchen while he delved off into la-la-land to frolic with Hopsus. I wonder if he'll notice if I drink the rest?

I feel a bit fraudulent, as I'm wearing my Hopslam shirt. Oh well. This is at least periodically available throughout the year without the fight during January to obtain a $20 six-pack. This isn't as particular, requiring steady temperature maintenance and having a short shelf-life. Don't get me wrong, Hopslam is still tied for my favorite beer (hello, Oracle, how you doin'????). But this is simply fantastic.

Oh man, he noticed it was still there. Until next time, Stone. 

5/5 caps


New Belgium Fat Tire

It was recently announced that New Belgium Brewing would soon be entering the Ohio market, before the end of 2012. This announcement has been much-heralded, so tonight, we bring you their seminal brew: Fat Tire Amber Ale. We picked this up on the trip to Illinois, where we also consumed several in the hotel bar (when the bartender thought we were asking for draft, not craft beer, and proceeded to offer us Miller Lite).

It pours a medium amber color, with a little chill haze and a light off-white head. The nose on this is faint but quite sweet, with a bunch of caramel and a hint of vague citrus. This is a very light brew, coming in at 5.2% ABV. It tastes of caramel, toffee, dough, and a vague earthy note, with that hint of citrus. It's malt-forward, with just a tinge of hops coming in to brighten the beer toward the end. The mouthfeel is well-carbonated yet creamy, not too heavy and not too light.

I can see where it would be a great gateway beer for people who are new to craft beer. As I've said before, I'm not a huge fan of ambers, as I find most bland and uninteresting. This is no exception. I mean, it's good, but it's nothing remarkable. It would be a great beer on a cool fall day, but alas, Nathan turned off the air conditioning and the thermostat is hovering somewhere around 80, the windows provide no circulation as they all face the same direction, and I'm having a hot flash like I just stepped into a sauna. I mean, really, who the hell builds an apartment with all the windows facing the same direction?!?!?! Oh wait... Looks like I'll be sleeping in the refrigerator tonight.

4/5 caps


It's not that hot in here- it's only 74 degrees (F), not 'hovering around 80. You make it seem like I run a sweat shop here. Well, at times I do, but this isn't one of them.

So, this has had time to warm up (not because of the temperature in here, like Jennie will say, more because our neighbors popped over and we were outside talking with them). The color is a medium amber, as previously mentioned, with a half finger of white head still remaining. The aroma is slight citrus with some caramel and biscuity tones. The flavor is light. Caramel, mostly,with toffee and very vague, nondescript back end that brings hints of both citrus and earthiness, but so faint, you have to dig in to really find it. Mouthfeel is creamy, yet smooth. Very drinkable.

Not bad for an amber, great gateway beer. I'm going to offer the rest to our neighbors who are just getting into beer. So far, they seem to be enjoying the Irish Red style, and since we can't have a regular supply of Flying Dog's Lucky SOB, I figure they might enjoy this.

4/5 caps


Rebuttal: It was 78, not 74. Next time I'm taking a picture of the thermostat, you sweatshop-runner. -Jennie