60 Minute IPA is likely, if I were to guess, Dogfish Head’s highest production beer. It seems to be the easiest to find and most likely to appear on a menu. That’s not a bad thing though. There’s nothing about this beer that isn’t up to Dogfish Head’s usual high standards. The head lasts for quite awhile and is nice and creamy. The nose is grassy with some citrus. The middle has a lot of orange, which fades to lemon in the finish, with the hoppy bitterness playing a fairly subdued role, coming to the front just a bit in the finish. It’s a well balanced IPA, and not strictly bitter. For a traditional IPA fan, this is an outstanding everyday beer.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5.
I’ve been reviewing a whole lot of Belgians and their kin lately, and while that’s a lack of variety that I need to rectify, it isn’t going to happen today, because this review is of Rayon Vert, a Belgian-style Pale Ale from one of my favorite west coast breweries, the Green Flash Brewing Company. First a cautionary note. This is the third I’ve had from a four pack and while the first two vigorously overflowed when opening, this one gushed like a geyser, and I probably lost a third of the bottle in the first two seconds. Open one of these with extreme care. Now, to the beer. It starts with a super long-lasting, super light and fluffy head with a texture that reminds me a lot of the foam that you get from a root beer float. The yeast is more subdued in this than most. The scent is earthy and woody. The middle has a lot of lemon and bread, with a touch of tartness and some pine for a bit of bitterness. The finish is grapefruit and pine, but it’s not sharp, like you’d typically get in a west-coast style pale ale or IPA, it’s dull, with yeast and citrus over top. It gives it an interesting balance that I quite enjoy.
I give it a 4.3 out of 5.
Arcade Brewery, a soon-to-open Chicago craft brewery, recently
launched their first Public Brew challenge; a crowdsourced
beer line. The Public Brew series engages Arcade Brewery’s
community to help create aspects of the beer from naming
the beer, label design, and even suggestive aspects of recipe
formulation. The first Public Brew will be a Scotch Ale.
Arcade Brewery recently polled their community for beer names on their Facebook page.
More than 150 submissions were reduced to 7 finalists and over
470 votes determined the Scotch Ale’s future name: William
Wallace Wrestle Fest.
Arcade Brewery is now accepting label design submissions for
the newly named beer through March 15th, 2013. The artist of
the winning design will be awarded $300 and have their design
printed as the beer’s label. More information on the label design
challenge can be found at http://www.arcadebrewery.com/forum/design-challenge/
Arcade Brewery will also be launching 6 Pack Stories (a comic across 6 bottles of beer) this summer.
6 Pack Stories is written by Jason Aaron (Scalped, Thor, Wolverine) and
designed by Tony Moore (The Walking Dead, Venom, Fear Agent, Deadpool)
Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions
or for more details on the challenge.
Brewed and bottled by Sierra Nevada, Brux is an American Wild Ale collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the Russian River Brewing Company. Wild Ales of any strain remind me of the Belgians that I so love, and this one is no different. The nose has sourdough and pears, the middle has grassy with more pear and tart apple that fades into a finish of lemon and a tiny bitter hop bite. The body is medium weight and the overall theme of this beer is crisp and refreshing, tart and flavorful. I like it a lot.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5.
Tonight I’m drinking another Belgian Strong Dark Ale from my favorite non-Belgian Belgian specialists, Unibroue, from Quebec. The nose has lots of funky Belgian yeast, with some raspberries. The middle has a lot of peach and banana, and is sweeter than average. There’s a lot of banana and a little vanilla in the finish, and more of that signature Belgian yeast. It’s a really solid effort, and a fine beer, but I like some of their other offerings more, I think. It’s a little too heavy on the sugar and banana for my taste.
I give it a 4.0 out of 5.
Hellhound On My Ale is Dogfish Head Brewery’s tribute to legendary blues man, Robert Johnson. What they’ve come up with is a huge hop bomb that reminds me of an Imperial IPA, west-coast style. The nose is citrusy with pine. The body is heavy, with tons of grapefruit and more pine, and the lemon they added to the brew really starts to come into it’s own. The finish is lemony and and crisp, with one last hard hit of pine right at the end. This is a very solid Imperial IPA, and if you’re you’re into big hops, you should try to find a bottle.
I give it a 4.6 out of 5.
Expedition Stout is a winter seasonal Russian Imperial Stout from the fine folks at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Russian Imperial Stout is one of the boldest styles around, and this is a big beer at 10.5% ABV. It’s designed to be aged, and the brewery explicitly warns that it’ll be intensely bitter for the first few months but will mellow nicely over the years. The head is medium brown and clings to glass, leaving an opaque film as it recedes. The nose is chocolate and toast with a hint of pine in the background. The middle is bursting with complimentary flavors. There is chocolate, plums, bitter roasted malt in a heavy milky body. The finish is a balance of the sweetness of honey and the bitterness of burnt toast. The flavors are extraordinary though a bit raw given the youth of the example I’m drinking. I have another bottle, and I may leave it in the fridge for a year because this beer may be truly exceptional once it’s mature.
I give it a 4.2 out of 5.
Do you have an IPA glass? (I don’t!) Do you need an IPA glass? (I do!) Dogfish Head, in collaboration with Sierra Nevada and noted glassware specialists Spiegelau have created the ultimate IPA glass, which you can now purchase with Dogfish Head branding from the Dogfish Head online store, or their brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, DE.
While I don’t yet have this glass, I do have a set of beer glasses by Spiegelau, and I can vouch for the fact that they’re of the highest quality.
More information here.
You can purchase one here.
Today I’m reviewing another love-themed beer from the Belgian masters in Cooperstown. Several weeks back I reviewed Adoration, and today I’m giving Seduction a whirl. The description on the bottle makes it clear where the name comes from; The flavor is that of Belgian chocolate with undertones of cherries. Yup, sounds seductive to me. It’s not as big as a strong dark ale, but it pours as black as night with a creamy tan head. The nose is yeasty with cherries and musty earth. The middle is sweet, with chocolate and quite a bit of pineapple. There’s some tartness in the finish with a bit of cherry and a hint of roasted coffee, fading at the end to a last taste of chocolate. I have to say there’s not as much chocolate as I expected, but this is still a nice, complex beer.
I give it a 4.4 out of 5.
Old Stock Ale is an old ale released annually by North Coast Brewing. The 2012 edition is a commemorative release and for every bottle sold, North Coast makes a donation to the Otsuchi Recovery Fund to help the town of Otsuchi Japan which was devastated by the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March of 2011. The noble cause aside, this is an excellent aged ale outright. The coloration is somewhere between cherry and mahogany the nose is full of fruit, primarily cherries and a hint of oak. The middle is almost Belgian, with cherries, plums and cinnamon, that transitions to a alcohol-fueled heat in the finish with vanilla and fading cherry notes. This is a fairly massive beer at 11.7% ABV, and it’s definitely a sipping drink that would make an outstanding digestif after a rich dinner. It’s an outstanding beer that’s worth seeking out, and fact that some of the proceeds go to a good cause is an extra cherry on top.
I give it a 4.8 out of 5.