Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Homestead Brewing Co. Claim Jumper IPA

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On our trip back from Belgium, we're stopping a whole lot closer to home. This is brewed in Heath, Ohio, a mere 30-ish minutes from downtown Columbus. This is the first Homestead beer we've reviewed, and we're excited to try it. They brew lower-ABV beers, so that you can enjoy a few without ending up underneath the table. This is one of their higher-ABV beers at 5.8%.

Ahhh, homesteading. Jennie has grand designs of a brewstead, where instead of (or even better, in addition to) homesteading, we grow the ingredients to use in our own beers and have a pleasant native yeast strain that won't make me hurl as soon as I ingest it. It's a bit of a pipe dream, but yes, that's what I'd love to do. As long as we're on pipe dreams, it's also going to be on an acre of land with a beautiful Victorian home that we rehab ourselves in the middle of, say, Victorian Village or even Old Towne East. Hence why it's a pipe dream. Now, why I referred to myself in the third person, I'm still bemused. We'll chalk that one up to the 10% St Bernardus.

This pours a beautiful, clear golden orange color with a very small off-white head that continues to grace the edges of the beer. The aroma on this is quite lovely: just the perfect amount of pine, citrus -- notably grapefruit, freshly mowed grass, and some caramel undertones that really intrigue me. Taking a sip, my inner hophead smiles with satisfaction. You get all the flavors that are in the aroma, but they're even stronger here, and they're complemented by some beautiful tastes toward the end of pineapple and mango. There's also a vague earthy note that appears seemingly out of nowhere toward the end. Damn, this is good. It's decently carbonated, it's not overly bitter, but there's definitely a bitter finish to this, even though the bitterness is not overpowering. Does that make sense? I certainly hope so.

I look forward to trying more of Homestead's beers. This is simply great, and I'm rather proud it's made and available locally. Of the one beer review I could find of this, the person enjoyed this as much as I am (or at least nearly), and this was his preferred brew from Homestead. I can definitely see why. Hey there, Heath, how YOU doin'???

4.6/5 caps


Well, since my partner-in-Zymurgy decided to spoil our future plans, I guess I have no other choice than to review this beer, go to bed, and wake up ridiculously earlier to work followed by work.... ugh...

 This has had time to warm up a little, while she-who-lost-Rock,Paper,Scissors took lead on this. The color is a nice golden color with hints of orange, there's not any residual head at this point, just more of a distant vision. The aroma is, in the words of our friend, Big Mike, "Fuck Yeah!" Nice grapefruit, pine, citrus and hints of tropical fruits take hold with some biscuit and caramel tones playing second fiddle. This is an aroma (being a hop head) that I really enjoy. The taste on this.... Huh... the grapefruit and citrus are faint, then there is a nice mellow maltiness with biscuit and faint caramel coming up toward the middle. Pine takes over in the backend, blending with the tropical fruits. There's a nice lighter resiny feel left over. Not the typical hop bomb, rip out your enamel that I enjoy, but hoppy enough to satisfy my hunger for the humulus lupulus. Smooth drinking with decent carbonation. Definitely need to try more of their brews (especially as they are so close). and Jennie, stop hitting on the town of Heath.

4.6/5 caps


Monday, November 25, 2013

St. Bernardus Abt 12

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Ah, the spoils of winning "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is reviewing this beer first. This beer has long intrigued me, as it's the closest thing to Westvleteren XII that is readily available and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Delving into the history of this, from 1946-1992, Westy contracted out to St. Bernardus. When the contract ended, St. Bernardus continued brewing a similar style, which is this selection.

So, with the Ambulance LTD cued up, my trusty Flying Dog pint glass half filled with this, and the cats playing rough, it's the perfect ambiance for reviewing this. This pours a dark copper color that's rather cloudy, and looking hard enough, I see sediment floating around. The head on this was a decent amount of a cream color, which faded within 4 minutes to almost a distant memory of Holidays long passed. The aroma on this is dark fruit mostly. Cherry, fig, hints of raisin and toffee pound your olfactory senses into a submissive bliss, with apricot coming through from time to time to remind you that there is a task at hand, and this task is reviewing beer.

The.... holy shit.... I was going to describe the flavor, but it's amazing and has a lot going on... The flavor is interesting. There's a great honey flavor up front with the fruit and toffee you got in the nose. At times there is some spice and some breadiness about it, which is covered over by the honey-like flavor making a resurgence toward the backend. This drinks smooth, heavier carbonation than what it looks, nice light bubbles to add to the experience of this. It finishes dry. Kind of rich at times, but not sickening sort of rich. Definitely a sipping brew. The 10% ABV is not noticed in the flavor or mouthfeel at all, probably one of the smoothest 10% brews that's blessed my mouth.

5/5 caps


While Nathan cued up the Ambulance, I'm cuing up some Bob Marley, Jamaica being my literal happy place and, with it snowing (heavily) here, I need to be transported to someplace warm and idyllic. And while I may have let Nathan win at "Rock Paper Scissors," I also gave him his very first cootie shot earlier tonight. He. Had. Cooties!!!!!!! What is this world coming to?!?!?!! As for me, I've been immunized since, oh, about first or second grade. The man has been immunized against pertussis and other scary illnesses that we thought had disappeared 100 years ago, but not from cooties. Oh, the humanity. At least I took care of that. The world is once again safe.

When Westie became available in the US last year, it was going for a ridiculous price. Like $80 for a bomber. Or however it's packaged. Um, maybe when we Make It and aren't quite living the craft beer lifestyle on a Burger Classic budget (seriously, can you go wrong with $11-a-case budget beer?), we'll be able to procure some. Until then, I'm fine with a clone. So, let's get to it.

The appearance is just as Nathan described, with a thin layer of head remaining atop mine. Taking a sniff, I pick up some bread or, more accurately, biscuit and a whole lot of dark fruit with some underpinnings of toffee. Cherries and figs and plums are definitely present, and fortunately (for me, at least), I'm not picking up a lot of apricot or raisins, not being a huge fan of either. I do find a hint of alcohol aromas in the nose. When I finally delved into a sip, the word that came to mind was "velvety". This is smoother than a baby's butt. Let me see if I can walk you through this... it's brown sugar up front, fading into a bit of booziness, then the fruits come in to play and float on your palate, the same fruits that appeared in the aroma. There's the biscuit in the back, and the note of brown sugar and maybe some honey just kind of play underneath the entire sip. This is quite damn tasty. Nathan has described it well.

Now, this is a Belgian I can get behind. This is fantastic. It's not Belgian-y. It's Trappist-y. I like Trappist-y (as opposed to travesties). This is delicious. I want to drink more, and yet my portion is almost gone. I should be kind and give the remainder of mine to Dad, as Nathan did. Dad seemed to really enjoy it. Or should I just say, "Fuck it, it's Monday... Mineday"? Not that it was an especially bad Monday... sigh. Decisions, decisions. OK, given that two separate friends of mine lost their fathers yesterday, I'll be extra-nice to mine. He's a pretty rocking awesome dad anyway. OK, one more sip, and then I'll let Dad have the last of it.

P.S. Dad tapped out and passed on finishing my portion. Score. 

5/5 caps


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Boulevard Boss Tom Golden Bock

Boulevard... Oh Boulevard, is there anything you can't do? Seriously in love with this company, despite the fact we can't obtain them in Ohio. We still have some Illinois trip beers to review, and in showing love to Illinois (with all the shit they've been through the past couple days with the tornadoes), we review this with sunken hearts. We wish the best for everyone in the path of the terrible chaos that happened, and wish that those who lost their livelihood can have a speedy and full recoup.

With our deep heartfelt message out there, I continue on to this beer. We went out to Pekin, Illinois, this past summer and loaded up on beer (mixed 12 of Boulevard and countless mixed 6 packs) of brews we can't obtain here in Ohio. Since that trip, Clown Shoes is distributed and both Deschutes and New Belgium will have distribution here soon. I feel like we were a driving force on getting these breweries to come to Ohio (not really, I know it's a capacity thing with the sheer copious amounts of beer that Ohio consumes). With that being said, I hope Boulevard, with their new ownership of Duvel, decides to distribute here soon.

This pours golden, as would be expected with a name like 'golden bock'. There is a decent amount of stark white, fluffy head when first poured, but dissipates quickly. The aroma on this is slightly malty with some herb, spice and floral aroma from hops. Very interesting smelling. The flavor on this very light. Light maltiness, biscuit and faint hints of caramel, with faint hops giving flavors of what you picked up in the aroma. Crisp, clean and smooth drinking. Refreshing mouthfeel with nothing much of stickiness. One of the best lagers I've had (Three Floyd's Jynx Proof being the only one that comes to mind that tops it). I honestly think this would makes for a perfect porch drinking beer (side by side with any session IPA or the Stiegl Radler), but, alas, we're entering the cold weather in Ohio which makes people stay inside. So instead, if I run across this before warmer weather, I guess I'll have to stay in my flannel pajamas, sitting on the couch with the heater on, drinking this. I might take a day off work just to do that soon.

4.5/5 caps


Ugh, I'm still mega-distraught over the phone lines being down to Washington, Illinois, and not being able to make sure my old neighbors are OK. Old neighbors. That's such an insufficient description of what these women mean to me. They were my mothers-of-the-bride in my wedding (as my own mother had passed not quite two years prior). They were there when I came in after getting home from high school to find my beloved dog dead while my parents were still at work. They were who I talked to more than people my own age about teenage girl problems. They were there, for over twenty years, on a daily basis. I am rather distraught over the distance between us now, and knowing that they moved to Washington a few years ago and with the tragedy going on in that area, it's not helping a damned thing. I am fairly confident that they are safe and unharmed, but it would feel so much better to hear their wonderful voices, or to find their names on the Red Cross registry. All I can do, at this point, is to wrap my arms around them metaphorically.

Even though you are not beer fans, Barb and Joyce, this review is for you. Here's to hoping telephone service is restored soon and I can hear your beautiful voices and make sure you are OK and your home is unharmed.

With that said, I'm going to try to brush off the tears and not let them interfere with my senses of taste and smell. This beer, again from Kansas City, Missouri, pours a beautiful, crystal-clear golden color with the faintest ring of white head remaining. The aroma of this is wonderful, malty, and complex. Some faint grass or straw hints and perhaps some pleasant earthiness peek through the nose. Taking a sip, I get the golden part of Golden Bock. It tastes, well, golden. There's the grassy/straw notes that meld into bread and toast notes, fading into cereal and drying out quickly to a pleasant freshly-mowed grass finish.  A very easy-drinking beer, this is. Porch-sipper? Indeed. It feels very soft and round in the mouth.

It's definitely worthy of bringing a truckload of sand in a couple of fake palm trees to recreate summer on a cold February day, when you're sick of seeing White Death and longing for the aquamarine waters and white sands and steel drum sounds of the Caribbean.



P.S. During this review, I spoke with Joyce. Both she and Barb and safe and sound, snug as bugs in a rug and completely unharmed by the devastation that is wreaking its havoc on my hometown and surrounding areas. Even their home is without so much as a loose shingle, despite living a half-mile from the epic destruction. Thank goodness for the little things, right?! Now, to restore normalcy to the rest of the area. Washington Strong.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lager Head's High Five IPA

Confession: I've imposed a ban on buying any more beer-for-reviews until we drink up some of what we have on hand. We have almost a case of individual craft beers in our room and we acknowledge our slacker ways of late. Yep, I'm a bitch like that. You may now pity Nathan.

We also love to combine making art and writing reviews/blogs. As I have a deadline for a piece later this week that I'm drastically behind on, beer reviews are a perfect accompaniment for this lovely Monday evening. Hence, we bring you Lager Heads Brewery's High Five IPA. Lager Heads is based out of Medina, OH, and we were stationed next to them during the Microbrew Craft Beer Festival at the North Market back in September. Nathan actually poured some for them to give their brewery rep a brief break. We had this then, and I can't wait to try it again.

It pours a deep amber color, darker than most IPAs. It also poured with a really big, fluffy head that is a rather pale ecru. It's a 7.5% ABV, 100 IBU beast. As it warms a bit, the pine in the nose is really coming through. It's pine and citrus atop a strong caramel base. The flavor is quite tasty and mirrors the aroma. It starts off piney, fades to the caramel notes from the malts, and then as you swallow your mouthful, it dries out a lot and pine comes back to blast you in the face. Or, to be more true to the beer, the pine comes back to high-five your tongue. There is also a lovely underpinning of lychee that comes out as it warms. It's well carbonated and a little sticky feeling.

I had some misgivings of the quality of an IPA that a brewery with the name "Lager" in it could produce. All misgivings are erroneous, and this is a rather solid, pretty impressive IPA. I want to find more from Lager Heads. I want to travel to Medina to visit the brewery. I want to give each of the brewers high fives and keep drinking this tasty quaff.

4.6/5 caps


At the Microbrew Fest, we were assisting Angelo from Barley's (see our reviews on the Infinity Grand Cru and Hoptoberfest). Next to us, a rep from Heidelberg Distributing was at post for Lagerheads, apparently, we just missed the brewmaster. I started shooting the breeze with him (and for the life of me, I can't remember his name), decided, as an avid hop head, to get a sample of the High Five IPA. 100 IBUs, I couldn't resist. I needed this beer in my olfactory senses and in my mouth. It was good, it was really good. I filled in for the guy while he went on a bathroom break and decided to have fun with people (as that's what I do). There was a bearded man who came up and said 'Hey man, can I get a high five?', my instant reply was to raise my hand up and say 'Alright man!..... oh, you wanted the beer.' He got a kick out of that. Enough with memories, onto this hop beast.

I was ecstatic when Jennie brought this home. I had no idea that this was a bottled selection. This poured a rather dark copper color, almost like a 1980's penny that's been well circulated. Darker than what I normally think of when I think IPA. There was big, fluffy pale-caramel colored head that dissipated quickly. The aroma on this is fantastic. Big piney aroma with some citrus sneaking in with some light tropical fruit and unidentifiable sweetness (toffee? caramel? I'm not sure as the hop aroma is dominating). Onto the taste. The taste is similar to the aroma. Pine and citrus flavors blast you up front followed by caramel. Following the slight sweetness, you're reminded again why this is 100 IBUs as the hops sneak back into the forefront with citrus and pine, taking turns assaulting your tastebuds with flavor and resiny stickiness. This drinks smooth, but has a dry, resiny finish to it. This is damn good. It makes me wish we had more than just this sampling. My only quarrel with this (and this is just my personal opinion, as always, go out, try this and form your own) is the malty sweetness in the middle is too much for my personal palate.

4.7/5 caps


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stiegl Radler

Stiegl Radler. A combo of beer and fruit soda, so roughly what we in Ohio would call Shandy. Sounds good to me, especially with it being grapefruit. I have a strong liking of grapefruit (if you notice, a lot of my favorite hop varieties and IPAs have grapefruit notes to them), which I think somewhere might stem from my weird obsession with Hunter S Thompson. But no, I liked grapefruit before I discovered the wonderful, twisted world of HST. Huh, I guess I'll never know, onto the review.

This is a light beer, probably the lightest I've ever had at a whopping 2.5% ABV. This is probably more of a summer beer (instead of middle of November), but today made it up to 67 degrees, and pending the storms, should be perfect drinking weather for this. The pour on this is a pale hazy yellow, almost like homemade lemonade. The aroma on this is Grapefruit, with a capital G as it overtakes the olfactory glands and sends me in a harmonious state of mind. The taste on this is fucking fantastic. It's like drinking grapefruit juice that some sorry bastard decided to blast with some club soda. The grapefruit flavor is very heavy up front and fades about 5 seconds later to a light watery flavor. This is very light bodied, smooth drinking, light, tingly carbonation to make this a good porch sipping beer.

I cannot wait until there is a porch to drink this on. This is really good, despite being so light.

(Side note: Phil, Jennie's dad, had a 3rd of this 16.9 oz can with us. He drank it with a look of shock and said "It's REALLY good!")

4.9/5 caps


Ah, the much-ballyhooed Radler. Made a bit of a noise here in Ohio when it hit shelves in mid-to-late-summer. It's a German beer and beer style, somewhat scoffed by the serious afficionados, but nevertheless, intriguing to us American neophytes and hopheads alike.

As Nathan said, it pours a hazy pale yellow, almost like a weisse beer or unfiltered lemonade. There is predominant grapefruit and other citrus notes in the nose, and it distinctly reminds me of a shandy. Oh my gods it's good. This is lawnmower beer at its best. It tastes exactly like what it is: a lighter-flavored beer blended with grapefruit soda. This is what I wish our grapefruit hefewiezen tasted like. Don't get me wrong; that was a good, refreshing beer, but this is infinitely better. There is hardly any alcohol taste to this; it's more a fantastic grapefruit soda.

I don't really have more to add here, except that it's time to batten down the hatches and start on dinner for the family, Jennie Marzetti. I'm grateful that this is such a light beer, as following the Bully Porter and this, I don't need to invoke any more anger out of my kitchen gods.

4.75/5 caps


Boulvard Brewing's Bully! Porter

I am on such an emotional roller coaster at the moment. Please don't be fooled by the picture we just uploaded for Boulevard's birthday... I wiped away the tears less than a minute before the picture was taken. It's Boulevard Brewing's 24th birthday, so happy birthday to a long-standing favorite of ours!!! That's a great accomplishment to ride the craft beer revolution since 1989. On the sad note, we're hoping that our friends and family in Washington and Pekin and East Peoria, Illinois, are all safe, as they were hit quite hard by a very destructive tornado today. I am a hot mess of tears if I look at photo and video coverage of the destruction.

So, to get my mind off the sadness in my hometown, let's get to one of my favorite Boulevard beers, their Bully! Porter. This pours a lovely deep brown-black, opaque to the eye, with a fluffy khaki-colored head. The nose on this is just beautiful, with roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and hints of dark fruit floating across my olfactory nerve. Nothing overpowering, it's a light aroma with this. Taking a sip, I'm falling back in love with this beer (unfortunately, it's not one we can get in Ohio, so this is one I tend to miss when I don't have it). Boulevard, based in Kansas City, was recently purchased by Duvel in Belgium, so we're hoping for wider distribution (since we can get Duvel in Ohio) and that they don't change the great recipes. Anyway, let's get to my favorite part of this: drinking the damn beer already! This has such a beautiful flavor. It's light, with the dark fruits really coming through at the beginning of the sip, melding beautifully with the coffee and roasted barley notes, then fading into a semisweet chocolate finish which dries out perfectly in my tongue. It's very light without being watery. It feels rather light in the mouth and is well-carbonated.

This is a perfect example of a great porter. It's not overly heavy, not going to kill your palate, but has such gorgeous light roasted notes that it's a great autumn beer. This is one I would consider pairing with a chocolate dessert, poached pears, or a bonfire. Just not a tornado. I'm going to light a candle for quick recovery and few casualties in my hometown.

4.6/5 caps


We figured we'd do this review to show the people of Illinois our love and support (as we purchased this in Pekin, Illinois). We wish the best to everyone who has been through this terrible, unpredictable chaos.

With the heartfelt message out there now, I now get to distract focus onto one of my biggest passions in this world,  BEER. This poured a gorgeous dark brown, almost black, actually, think cola color, with a nice fluffy khaki head that dissipated quickly. This has had time to warm up, as my Partner-in-Zymurgy completed her portion of this. The nose on this is dark fruit, roasted notes and coffee. The dark fruit is more prevalent now than it was at first pour. The initial sip is divine. If Hopsus had  malty offspring, this beer would be the praise of him/her.  Offspring of Hopsus Be Praised? The flavor is like the nose, only the dark fruits have backed away from taking lead chair on this. The roasted malts and coffee tones really come through with hints of the dark fruits giving a nice smooth balanced flavor with some tones of chocolate rounding out the backend. Nice smooth dry finish and lighter/medium mouthfeel really makes this a good anytime brew, not just Autumn. I could see myself drinking this in the middle of Summer.

I think I just reconfirmed everything Jennie said. Happy birthday to Boulevard, and please continue the amazing beers (and if all possible, bring distribution to Ohio?).

4.6/5 caps


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Big Muddy Brewing Vanilla Stout

We tend to bounce back and forth between things, much like the thoughts in my head. We just reviewed a recently picked up Bell's Cherry Stout, and now we flip our mindsets, and palates to something we picked up from our Illinois trip. There are still samplings remaining from this trip, but we figured we'd do this one on the tail end of International Stout Day (which technically is done with EST, but is still going on in other time zones).

This didn't have much of a 'pzzt' when I popped the cap off, but still poured with a small amount of head. This is a dark espresso color with a small amount of beige head. This 6.0% ABV stout is unobtainable in Ohio (where we're based), so I hope this smuggling across state lines is worth it.

The aroma on this is sweet, some caramel, boozy and roasted malt notes, but mostly sweet, like candy. The first, pioneer-esque sip of this is interesting. It's like a boozy cream soda. The vanilla is very heavy, overpowering. There are faint hints of coffee and chocolate that get lost in this whirlwind of vanilla. This would be good for making a beer float, but as for a sipping stout, too much of one flavor overpowering the rest. This has potential to be a good stout, if they take out some of the vanilla. This drinks rather light, slightly watery mouthfeel with a slight sweet stickiness toward the back end that doesn't linger, unlike the vanilla flavor.

If you really like vanilla, and I mean REALLY like vanilla to where you have a vanilla bean tattooed on your arm and you call your kids "Vanilla" and "Bean", this is right up your alley. For me, this is a little too overwhelming. I almost feel like doing a 'black and tan' with a cherry lambic to see if it's more palatable, but then I realize I don't have any cherry lambic.

3.6/5 caps


I'm not quite sure what it is about vanilla and stouts that go together so well, but I do tend to enjoy them. Then again, I do enjoy a nice high-quality vanilla, though I don't care at all for fake vanilla. This is purportedly made with Madagascar vanilla beans, so my hopes are high.

This is a little lighter in color than I was expecting. It's more the color of, say, Dr. Pepper, than the usual black-as-night stouts to which we're accustomed. The nose on this is interesting and holds promise: roasted barley and booze really come through, along with some hints of coffee and yes, some vanilla. Taking a sip, it's pretty one-dimensional. The flavor is basically an underpinning of roasted malt and vanilla. Lots and lots of vanilla. At least it's good vanilla, but this isn't quite as good as I'd hoped. I had hoped for a more solid stout base than this offers. This is not quite coffee, not quite chocolate, not quite anything but roasted malt. It's very nondescript.  It's very, well, vanilla. Bland. Almost, but not quite, boring. It leaves a sticky sweet feeling on the tongue, and goes down kind of like an alcoholic vanilla Coke. This is a milk stout, and some of that lactose sweetness and velvety mouthfeel come through.

I think this may be a case of a strong flavor to cover a not-so-stellar beer. I'm sad to say that. I'd love to see them maybe clone Left Hand's Milk Stout and punch up some vanilla and then produce that. Huh. We have some vanilla beans left over from our amazing homebrewed Count Chocula Stout... that just gave me a big idea.

3.9/5 caps


Friday, November 8, 2013

Bell's Cherry Stout

Ah, it's a Friday night, it's a beer holiday (International Stout Day), and there are a ton of craft beer events going on in town tonight (Barley's 21st birthday party with a tapping of their amazing Christmas Ale; stout party at The Actual Brewing Company). And what are we doing, you ask? Are we attending one of the many events? No, we're sitting at home in our pajamas, commencing art projects soon and reviewing beer. At least we're celebrating Stout Day with some, well, stouts.

First up is Bell's Cherry Stout. I first had this back in 2011, and I fell in love with it. By now, you should be accustomed to me professing my undying love for Bell's and their amazing beers. Oracle and Hopslam, how you doin'? I've also come to enjoy their stouts. A lot. And this is one of my personal favorites.

It pours a deep, dark, mysterious just-shy-of black, murky as the Scioto River. There is a small caramel-colored head. The aroma is making my mouth water. It's coffee and chocolate and a faint hint of cherry. Let's take a sip of this inviting brew. It tastes much like it smells, with chocolate notes and a hint of coffee and perhaps vanilla and then there's the teasing embrace of the cherries and cherry juice, not overwhelming, but just kind of draping themselves across your taste buds. The cherries are tart, not sweet, and float in and out of the sip. The stout itself shines quite nicely and isn't overwhelmed by the fruit addition. If you're not a fruit beer kind of person, don't let this scare you off. The finish on this is pretty dry and tart, and yet juicy at the same time.

For the record, today is the second beer holiday of the week. All Stouts Day was Sunday, and while I had great plans to celebrate that, we get the chance to make up for it tonight. We should have technically drank this particular beer Sunday, as All Stouts Day is a Bell's-specific event. Oh well, there's always next year. Instead we were bottling our winter warmer and drinking a sour red from The Actual Brewing Company with great company that evening.

4.5/5 caps


What a way to kick off my birthday weekend. I begin with good beer, followed by good beer, followed by brew day, followed by birthday. So, let's delve into this stout on this International Stout Day.

The bottle has a rustic looking label of a cheery tree with giant cherries, giving the mind set that this is heavy on the cherry flavor. This pours like your typical stout, straight black, dark roast coffee that's opaque with a slight toffee colored head that doesn't stick around, unlike an upstairs neighbor's on-again-off-again boyfriend who decides to blast shitty music at all times when he's over. The walls are thin in this shit hole apartment, as thin as the head is, after my partner-in-crime has done her review. The aroma is interesting. Coffee, toffee, caramel, and chocolate tones dominate with faint aromas of cherries popping through toward the back. The taste on this is something else. It's unique. There is some slight tart cherry flavor upfront that slowly builds before climaxing on the back end with the sensation of biting into a fresh, homemade cherry pie. While this is happening, the coffee tone slips in toward the front, trying to take center stage before giving up and taking a bow. Once the coffee taps out, a nice mellow chocolate flavor comes in to meld perfectly with the cherry flavor that is starting to take the reins of this.

This has a medium mouthfeel, but smooth drinking. The finish is dry and slightly tart, yet refreshing. No hints of alcohol in this (7.0% ABV), just smooth sailing. Not quite as good as Expedition (review coming soon, hopefully).

4.5 caps