Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sierra Nevada Flipside Red IPA


Flipside Red IPA is a new seasonal super hoppy west-coast style IPA from the folks at Sierra Nevada in Chico, California. It’s deep dark red in color, and the nose is floral and grassy, with a bit of honeysuckle. The middle has lemon, grapefruit, and a bit of pine, and the pine gets stronger and stronger through the finish. It’s mid-weight in body, and comes in at 6.2% ABV for a nice dose of alcohol but not too much. If you like the bitter, hoppy west-coast IPAs as I do, this is a great beer.

I give it a 4.5 out of 5.

Ommegang Rare Vos


Rare Vos is a Belgian Amber Ale from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. This beer pours with a massive head that has a texture reminiscent of the foam you get with a root beer float. The nose is fruity, with cherries and bananas. The middle is fruity and spicy, with cherries, plums, and pepper. The finish has a bit of orange rind, sweet pears, and coriander. It’s a medium weight beer, delicious and well balanced. The flavors are well defined, but not so powerful that you get tired of them, making this an excellent everyday drink.

I give it a 4.6 out of 5.

Lagunitas A Little Sumptin’ Wild Ale


Since my last review was of Lagunitas’ A Little Sumptin’ Sumptin’ Ale, it’s only fair that this review is of her limited release big sister: A Little Sumptin’ Wild Ale. This is like an Imperial Belgian Wheat IPA, if that makes any sense. Wheat malt, Trappist yeast (for the Belgian flavors) and massively malted and hopped for big bitter flavor and a relatively big 8.8% ABV. The big hops mean that the mildness of the wheat malt is fairly well overpowered and lost. There’s some sugary undertones in the middle that taste a bit like rice, and I think those may be all that’s left of the wheat in this brew. Other than that, this is a nice solid double IPA. A has a lot of orange, some pine, and the aforementioned sugar. The Belgian yeast also gives it a bit of apricot in the middle, and a nice ripe fruity nose. A very good beer.

I give it a 4.4 out of 5.



Lagunitas A Little Sumptin’ Sumptin Ale


Little Sumptin’ Sumptin’ is another fun wheat ale, this time, a west-coats IPA-ish version of a wheat beer. The mild wheat base is loaded with hops that give it plenty of orange and pine in the nose, grapefruit and loads of pine in the middle, and orange in the finish. The result is a mildly bitter ale with all of the characteristics of a west-coast style IPA in a lighter, easier to handle form. It’s super cool, and given that the west-coast IPA is one of my favorite styles, I love this twist.

I give it a 4.7 out of 5.

Samuel Smith Yorkshire Stingo


Many years ago, when I first started to branch out from the macrobrews and into the exciting world of craft beer, I had a particular interest in British beer. Samuel Smith in particular, as the establishment from which I purchased most of my beer at that time had an excellent selection of the Tadcaster brewery’s various offerings. However, at some point between those early years and when I started blogging here, I’d tried virtually all of the variations I could find at the time and moved on, so I’ve unfortunately neglected the fine English Ales which are such an integral part of beer history. Tonight I begin to rectify that oversight with a review of Samuel Smith’s Yorkshire Stingo, an oak-aged, bottle conditioned English Strong Ale, and strong it is, at 9% ABV. Because it’s bottle conditioned, it recommends a gentle pour which lends to a head that dissipates quickly. The nose is rich with scents of raisins and figs and plums. The only ingredient other than the big four (water, barley, hops and yeast) is cane sugar which is what explains the high alcohol levels and the fact that this beer tastes like a fine dessert. The middle has flavors of plums, toffee, and molasses. In the finish, there is vanilla pudding and oak. I’d call the body medium. It’s not quite as heavy as I’d expected, but it’s perfectly pleasant. The only bitterness at all is in the oak right at the finish, otherwise, this is definitely a sweet beer, perfect for after dinner and an excellent example of the style.

I give it a 4.6 out of 5.

Unibroue Blanche de Chambly


Blanche de Chambly is a Belgian White Ale (wheat beer) from the Canadian masters of all beers Belgian at Unibroue. The head is massive and foamy, as is expected from a wheat beer. Check. The nose is yeasty and floral. Check. The middle is subdued by the wheat, with notes of orange and honey. Check. More citrus is the finish, which is mild, and not bitter at all. Check. Yup, this is a wheat beer, and a marvelous one at that. This is the beer that you can use to teach Blue Moon fans what a wheat beer should actually taste like. Another outstanding beer from Unibroue, and one of the best, if not the best wheat beer I’ve ever had.

I give it a 4.7 out of 5.