Boulevard Brewing’s Single-Wide IPA is a wheat IPA which means that that signature hoppy bitterness of the American IPA is even more dominant than normal. There’s a foamy long lasting head and the scent is citrusy, with orange and grapefruit. The middle and finish have a ton of pine, with some lingering citrus in the background. It is a hop bomb if I’ve ever had one, and a good beer for sure, but there’s nothing that makes it stand out for me. Enjoyable, but unremarkable.
I finally got my hands on a coveted bottle of Bitches Brew, which pays homage to the Miles Davis album of the same name. I have to be honest, when I saw that this was brewed with honey, I expected this to pour golden and sticky sweet, maybe along the lines of Black and Blue. I was wrong. This beer pours as black as coal, and the sweetness is chocolaty and rich. The nose is roasty, with cocoa and a fruitiness reminiscent of Belgian yeast. The middle is rich, with bitter chocolate in the background and sweet, heavy milky body in the foreground. The finish is balanced between the sweet and the dry notes, with some vanilla right at the end. This is a wonderfully complex and well executed beer. I need to go get another bottle to put away, to see how it changes with age.
Stone’s 16th Anniversary IPA is a delicious double IPA brewed with lemon, and what it perhaps my favorite grain, rye. They’re both noticeable in the nose, through the fluffy meringue like head. The middle is heavy and sticky and has plenty of sweet to balance the bitter. The finish is heavy with lemon and offers a lingering bitterness. Overall, this is a well balanced double IPA that has a nice touch with the addition of rye, but isn’t particularly remarkable.
It’s somewhat fitting that as the Northeast cleans up after superstorm Sandy that I’m wishing them well with local pirate themed beer; Winter Storm, an imperial ESB from the Heavy Seas line by Clipper City Brewing in Baltimore, Maryland. The scent is grainy and slightly floral. The middle is caramel with more pine than I’m used to in an ESB. It seems they’ve hopped this one up a bit. As for the “Imperial” it’s definitely heavier than your average ESB, with a medium to heavy body and a bit of chewiness at the finish, and at 7.5% ABV it’s a fairly potent brew. Overall this is a really nice, well balanced beer.
Tonight I’m trying out an imperial stout from Boulevard Brewing in Missouri, called Dark Truth Stout. It pours an inky black, and has a super dense long-lasting head. The scents are of chocolate and coffee, with a slight astringency. The middle is rich and creamy, with a heavy, milky body, and notes of chocolate and orange and bitter roasted malt. The finish is sticky and lingers on the back of the tongue, and gives only the slightest hint of the alcohol that’s present in fairly substantial quantities. (9.7% ABV) This is a beautiful heavy beer, just right for a chilly fall night after dinner.