Tag Archives: Colorado

New Belgium Snapshot

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Snapshot is an unfiltered wheat beer from New Belgium, and I recently picked up a few for the first time in a mixed 12-pack. It’s very pleasant and mild. The nose is bready with a bit of lemon, and the head is meringue like. The middle is sweet with heavy orange overtones. The finish is more orange and a bit of wheat in the background which makes it relatively dry. It’s a very mild beer, which is a nice summer treat, and on top of that I think this would make it a great hit with the Blue Moon/Shocktop crowd.

I give it a 4.2 out of 5.

New Belgium Blue Paddle Pilsener

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It’s officially summer tomorrow, and time for a new crop of light, refreshing summer beers. Blue Paddle from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery fits that bill. It’s a Czech-style Pilsener and the first lagered beer New Belgium produced. The nose is grassy with peach and a bit of apricot. The middle is malty and has a surprisingly heavy body. Not too heavy, but I’d call it a medium bodied beer. There are notes of toast and grain and a very bready finish. This is a definitely a malt-forward beer, with the hop notes deep in the background. This is probably a bit rich and heavy to be a proper lawnmower beer, but it’s a properly good Czech Pilsner.

I give it a 4.2 out of 5.

Pinstripe Red Ale

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Pinstripe is a Red Ale from Ska Brewing of Durango, Colorado. The coloration is a medium copper and the nose is toasty. There’s very little bitterness here, and in the middle I get caramel and quite a bit of fruit in the form of peach and apricot. The finish is grainy and slightly metallic with just a little lemon. There’s not anything particular special about this beer, but it is a great example of the style and would be a wonderful post-lawn mowing beer.

I give it a 3.7 out of 5.

Great Divide Old Ruffian Barley Wine-Style Ale

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Old Ruffian is a medal-winning barleywine ale from the Great Divide Brewing Company out of Denver, Colorado. They say that it’s hop-forward, but this is no West-Coast IPA. It pours a rich, semi-translucent copper with a thin head, which is to be expected from a barleywine as they are only lightly carbonated. The nose is sweet, with notes of dark fruit (figs and raisins) and toffee. This is a well hopped ale, and the sweet caramel and sugary fruit in the middle is beautifully balanced by the strong hoppy citrus notes of orange zest. The malt comes back to the fore in the finish with brown sugar and plums, and a bit of heat from the alcohol right at the last. The body is heavy and the alcohol is high, at 10.2% ABV. Barleywines aren’t my favorite, but this is an outstanding example of the style with enough hops to make it enjoyable to any palate. This is a very fine beer.

I give it a 4.7 out of 5.

New Belgium Accumulation

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It’s bitterly cold here in Charlotte (read, below freezing) and so what better time to try a winter seasonal White IPA from New Belgium Brewing? Accumulation is crisp and cold, and pretty spot on for what I expect of a white IPA. It’s very hop forward since there’s not a lot of maltiness from the wheat base to balance it out. The nose has pine and orange, the middle has more pine and lemon, and there’s a smooth breadiness to the finish with some strong citrus and herbal notes that remind me of thyme and rosemary. The body is fairly light, and the alcohol level is a fairly-standard-for-an-IPA 6.2% ABV. This is definitely hoppier and lighter than your average winter fare, but it’s a nice change of pace for those of us starting to go into hop withdrawal this time of year, and it’s quite well executed.

I give it a 3.9 out of 5.

 

New Belgium Pumpkick

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I love fall and winter, and I love fall and winter beers. In this case, New Belgian’s fall seasonal pumpkin ale, Pumpkick. The nose is spicy with a bit of Belgian yeasty fruitiness. The middle is spicy pumpkin reminiscent of pie, and slightly sweet. The finish is tart, showcasing the cranberries this beer is brewed with, and a bit of citrus from lemongrass. None of the flavors are overpowering, and this medium-bodied ale has a very manageable alcohol level of 6% ABV. making it an excellent party or session beer. My bottom line is that this is a very nice, but not outstanding beer.

I give it a 3.9 out of 5.

Avery duganA Double IPA

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duganA is an American Double (or Imperial) IPA released annually in September by the Avery Brewing Company of Boulder, Colorado. It’s in the more traditional style of American IPAs without the heavy pine of the west-coast IPAs. The nose is super citrusy, with lots of grapefruit and lemon. The middle has some lemon rind, some spiciness, and is quite buttery, which lends well to Avery’s food pairing suggestion, which is to match this ale with creamy, cheesy dishes. The finish has a bit of vanilla, more butter, and is quite dry. The body is medium to heavy and the ABV is a reasonable 8.5%. This is a good effort by Avery and overall it’s quite decent, but there’s too much butter in here for me.

I give it a 3.5 out of 5.

New Belgium Ranger IPA

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Ranger IPA is New Belgium Brewing’s year-round IPA offering. It’s a fairly classic interpretation of the American IPA, floral and hoppy. The nose is predominantly floral with a hint of lemon. The middle and finish have grapefruit notes and a slight, slight undercurrent of pine. It’s light in color, and fairly light in body, and really nice rendition of an American IPA.

I give it a 4.0 out of 5.

Great Divide Oatmeal Yeti

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Oatmeal Yeti is an Imperial Stout based on Great Divide’s Yeti Imperial Stout, but with the addition of rolled oats to soften the bite of the roasted malt and raisins to give it some rich, almost Belgian fruity notes. It pours nearly black, like heavily used motor oil, with a thick, dark, chocolatey brown head. The notes I get in the nose are chocolate and figs and a hint of coffee. The middle is rich, heavy, smooth and dusty with the flavors of the oats, raisins, a bit of cherry, and some oak. The finish has more oak, some coffee, and sweet chocolate syrup. This is a big, heavy beer, that could honestly be mistaken for a meal. The alcohol content is fairly high too, at 9.5% ABV. I’ve reviewed a lot of good beer lately, and this is no exception. I love big oatmeal stouts and this is an outstanding example.

I give it a 4.7 out of 5.