Thursday, January 17, 2019

O'so Goldilock's Revenge Brandy Barrel Imperial Stout

O'so Goldilock's Revenge Brandy Barrel Imperial Stout. 10.8 % ABV. O'so Brewing, Plover, WI. Smoked Imperial Stout aged in Oak Brandy Barrels.

O'so Brewing has not appeared here in the Nib in seven years. When I visit Wisconsin to buy beer, I must be passing them over for other things. But now they are self-distributing to Minnesota, and I got some samples, all totally new to me. According to the rep, they're only bringing out the best stuff, not the cores. Sound fine by me. Let's start with this one.

Absolute blackness in the glass, complete opacity, slim brown ring on top.

In the nose: Brandy barrel's busting out all over. Big-boned and boozy. Substantial sweetness. Rich and alcoholic. Impressively expressive.

In the mouth: Massive malt, rich, slightly bitter, excessively dry. Barrel aged expresses itself exceptionally. Hot, hot, hot, and bursting at the seams. Dark, decadent, charred and smokey. Immense. Almost dangerous. Fairly impressive.

Goldilocks' Revenge? She ate their food, wrecked their furniture, slept in their beds, invaded their home....and she's taking "revenge" on the bears? In most tellings of the tale, she escapes and lives unscathed. Again, what's she taking revenge on? Their ire at having their home invaded, the privacy destroyed, their sacred sanctum desecrated? The Bears were innocent!

Our imperial stout aged in brandy barrels for five months. This beer symbolizes the fight that small breweries have to go through in order to get established in a market poisoned with greedy distributors, corporate idealism and fat cats with deep pockets. The small guy can still survive if they have enough true grit and work ethic. Feel the anger.

The O’so Extreme Beer series is our take on very limited production wood aged fine beers. These ultra premium beers are released only when we feel they are ready, and not a minute sooner. Some of them age for months, some of them years. Some of these will never be made again, some of them might be. We are always working on new Extreme Beers.

Town Hall Foolish Quadrupel Ale

Town Hall Foolish Belgian Quadrupel Ale. 10% ABV. 17 IBU. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN.

So, I bought this growler after making sure that I hadn't already done a review previously. Foolish Angel, the beer aged in Angel's Share whiskey barrels? Yes. Foolish Red, the beer aged in red wine barrels? You bet. But, the beer on it's own? Surprisingly, no. Just wasn't there when the growlers were available. Well, my luck changed the other day, so here we go, at last.

Clear, deep Burgundy hue, slim white-ish head.

In the nose: Huge malt sweetness from the get-go. Vanilla, dark fruit, rich & raisin-y. Candi sugar and plums. Really hitting the right notes for a Belgian quad. Sweet and lovely.

In the mouth: Pow! And Mmmm. A fierce entrance leads to lush and smooth and malty deliciousness. Bubblegum meets dark fruit, rum, rich malt and sugar-coated candies. A sweet, late-night treat. Perfect nightcap.

This is so delightful. I wish I were sharing it with friends. But then, I couldn't write this. And where would we be then? I should always buy two of of everything awesome. But, I can't afford that. I got to get a GoFund Me going. Help me buy beer, right? That'll work.

Wait! Stop the presses! I have reviewed this beer before, when it was first released in 2006!
Here are my notes from nearly 13 years ago:

Hazed coppery orange color, not as dark as I was expecting, with a slim ring of foam that quickly vanishes.

Deep, fruity aroma, wide open, starting out a bit exotic and wild, a mite musty, then spices speak up, peppers and oranges in a bewitching blend....

Taste: sweet up front, then a mellow complexity unfolds, a bit plummy, cherries, vinous, tangy...big malt, no real hop presence...Richness with every new sip, very fresh and brimming with flavor, primarily of fruit, with some wicked spices kicking it up here and there...Big body, with a long, lightly sweet finish.

A very likable brew. With time, you start to notice the higher abv, but until then it drinks down like a dream. It is so plump and delicious, though, with ever-revealing delights inside, you will take your time with it. You'd better...

as I get near the end of my first glass, I'm feeling more similarities to some of my favorites, like des Rocs, the Trappists, de Dolle, etcetera...I'm liking this a lot!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sisyphus Winter Warmer with Cinnamon

Sisyphus Winter Warmer with Cinnamon. 6.7 % ABV. 15 IBU.
Sisyphus Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

Dark brown color, ruby edges, clear-ash, slim beige head.

In the nose: Spice reigns supreme in this one. Cinnamon, ahoy. Dark malts and dark fruit & cocoa notes just below.

In the mouth: A flood of tasty dark malt flavors, studded with spices. Deep, warm, and welcoming. Fig, raisin, a bit of berries. Bittersweet and satisfying. Very cinnamon-y. Oh, so tasty.

BTW, and FYI, the original, non-cinnamon Winter Warmer was originally reviewed here. Go check it out.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier

Okay. I'm going to open, drink and review this bottle of German Oktoberfestbier that I received as a sample well over three, maybe even four months ago, back when it was in season. And I will not beat myself up over not doing so sooner. Like, when it was in season. It just won't be discussed. Okay? Let's go.

Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier. 6.3 % ABV. 26 IBU. Staatliches Hofbräuhaus München, München, Deutschland. (Munich, Germany).

Clear, bright golden color, slim ivory head.

In the nose: Classic, noble hops and grainy malt. Clean and cool.

In the mouth: Wet, warm, sweet and lovely. Gritty, grainy malt texture takes control, moderate hop bitterness keeps the lid on malt. Ends on the side of dry. Classic festbier style. Exceptionally smooth and likable. I'll say it again: tasty.

Good old Bavarian festbier, and you can drink it. Fun fact: You may think from my surname that I'm Irish. Only 25%, actually. The rest is German and Swiss, and maybe a little etcetera in there, too. But, I like the beers of Ireland and Germany equally. And everywhere else's. You know the deal: I like beer. It makes me a jolly good fellow. Someday, I've got to go there. It's in the ol' bucket list.

The Munich Beer Festival, or Oktoberfest, is an event of superlatives - it’s the largest popular festival in the world, staging in the beer metropolis of Munich. Millions of visitors from all over the world flock along every year to enjoy its very special atmosphere. For this occasion, Hofbräu brews a rich, full-bodied beer which goes down ideally with traditional Bavarian cuisine. With its deliciously bitter taste and alcoholic content of 6.3% volume, Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier is as special as the Beer Festival itself.

Avery Out of Mind Coffee Stout

Avery Out of Mind Coffee Stout. 6.5 % ABV. Stout with Coffee Beans. Avery Brewing, Boulder, CO. "Intense. Wired. Beerista." Seems like they're getting into the whole "3 words" thing.

Solid blackness. Slim brown ring of foam.

In the nose: Warm, earthy coffee tones on top, dark malt notes just below. Cocoa flavors blend with espresso.

In the mouth: Sweet from the stout, with notes of cherry and vanilla, keeping up with the coffee flavors. Slightly bittersweet, ending dry. Medium bodied, long, dry coffee-is finish. Just enough hops to keep on top the roasted malt. Lovely stuff.

We've taken this big, intense stout to the extreme by boosting it with whole bean dark-roasted coffee. We aren't afraid to use plenty of rich roasted barley, balanced by the bitterness of coffee to give this full-bodied stout a little extra something you've been looking for in a beer.

Seattle Oaked Maple Hard Cider

What's with the bent can, somebody's probably asking.
Surely you didn't receive it in such a fashion?
Of course not. Lesson learned: If your bag has a little
hole in it, and you fill it with beers, you might have a
big hole, and that, my friends, is a problem.
Seattle Cider Co. Oaked Maple Hard Cider. 6.9 % Alc./Vol. Made with Washington Apples. "Not Your Standard Cider."

Clear, yellow, slim head.

In the nose: Apple-y, oak-y, touch of sweetness. Hint of maple.

In the mouth: Sweetness from the start, big ol maple flavor. Slightly sugary. Just a little oaky.
There's a little apple underneath, holding it down, but the flavor's mostly maple. Light bodied, easy drinking. Good cider and you can drinking...if you can handle all the maple.

Fermented with raisins and oak chips, this semi-dry cider is back-sweetened with pure Vermont maple syrup. Offering notes of vanilla and oak with a hint of maple, this unique cider is the perfect accompaniment to chilly winter weather. Best served chilled (50-55 degrees).

Monday, January 14, 2019

Oliphant The Mangus Tart Mango Milkshake India Pale Ale

Oliphant The Mangus Tart Mango Milkshake India Pale Ale. 5.6% ABV. Tart Milkshake IPA. Brewed by Oliphant Brewing, Somerset, WI.

Hazed up, bright orange color, slim ring of ivory foam.

In the nose: traces of tart and fruit, unfolding and flowering. Quite promising.

In the mouth: Sour kick from the start, sour and salty. Tart uber alles in this one, so far. Waiting on the fruit. It's there, somewhere, underneath the sour. Where's the milkshake, though? And, while we're at it, the IPA?

Should I be expecting some happiness, or creamy/fruitiness? It's what they're advertising.

This gets more complex further in, the flavors widen and expand. But not enough that we ever get to taste the milkshake, or the mango, or the IPA. Just call it a tart mango ale. If the "milkshake" aspect doesn't actually come through, why call it such? And it certainly doesn't taste like an IPA.

I hate to knock a favorite brewery, but that's what's going to happen when you put out a "tart mango milkshake IPA." Is it me, not getting these new styles, am I the one who's wrong? Who out there is vigorously nodding?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Fair State FSB 2018

Fair State FSB. FSB for Fair State Brewing, as well as the pre-cursor to the KGB. Russian Imperial Stout. 13.9% ABV. 70 IBU. Fair State Brewing, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

Full-on ebony hue, here, with a swiftly disappearing brown head on it.

In the nose: Rich dark malts, cocoa, anise, espresso. Quite deep. Cavernous. Char, ash, nice.

In the mouth: Darkness reigns supreme. Richness, deepness, chocolatey-ness. Skirts shy of the sweet. Definitely on the dry side. And deeply satisfying. So much rich and thick and decadently delicious. Whoa. This one has everything. Yu-u-um, a dum, dum.

So good. So very good. So many ways the epitome of the very model of a major imperial stout. All the heat, all the action, and everything we need is going on.

As you can see, I'm fond of this. It boggles the mind that it hasn't had an entry here yet. It's been written about once before, in this post, the first time I tried it. I've served it on tap at Acadia in years past. I'm just having a hard time figuring out how I never picked up a bottle or a can before? Did I pass it up merely because I'd tried it before?

(Reading the link provided above shows that I answered that very question nearly 3 years ago. I passed on bottles because I already ordered the keg, and presumed that I'd take notes then. No such thing happened. And I continued to pass on bottles when I saw them, fool that I am.)

Well, don't you pass it up. This is one of the best imperial stouts made around these parts.

The 2018 version of our yearly Imperial Stout is a massive beer infused with orange zest and vanilla. Brewed with oats and an amalgamation of our favorite dark and roasted malts., its just the thing to start out your holiday dessert plans. 

Peroni Nastro Azzurro Lager

Peroni Nastro Azzurro Lager. 5.1 % ABV. Birra Peroni, Roma, Italy.

Once more, it's proof that if you give me a beer, it will be reviewed here. Got this from a distributor rep, probably due to this fact, not that he thought I'd like it and want to start selling it. I probably also received the bottle I reviewed in 2005 as sample. I found those notes. Here they are...

Transparent, yellowy appearance...big, bone-white head, softly settling.

Aroma: "eh, it's beer"...clean and dull, with merest hints of lemon zest and minerals...

Taste: ah! crap! harsh bite at the front...ow! not good! bad beer, bad beer!
Dissipates eventually, but offers no rewards...big, painful, citric sour quality pervades what little flavor exists, and each new sip brings a fresh wince to the face. Not what you want in a beer.

One of the worst experience I've had with a beer. Not quite Crazy Ed's, but close...
Someone please confirm for me, "Nastro Azzurro" is Italian for "Nasty Ass", isn't it?

Looking back, thirteen and a half years later....It's not that bad. But it is bland, watery, and unbelievably boring. Was the sample I got then bad, was the beer worse, or have I just built up a tolerance? Good questions. But, now more than ever, I'm staying away from this one.

I still don't know what Nastro Assurro means, though. 

Destihl Touch of Haze Hazy IPA

Destihl Touch of Haze Hazy IPA. 7.3 % ABV. 57 IBU. Destihl Brewery, Normal. IL.

Last night, I had an officially sanctioned Grateful Dead-themed beer from Dogfish Head. Now, here's an un-official tie (dyed)-in, from the Deadhead series, it seems.

Yeah, it's all hazy, bright golden toned, under a slim ivory, lace-leaving head.

In the nose: Softly fruity, lightly citric. Touch of tropical fruit.

In the mouth: More soft, sweet and fruity. Low on the bitterness, here. Lush malt. Tasty stuff. Medium bodied, long, fruity finish. Ends of a slightly dry note, with a persistent sweet/fruity echo in the back. I like this one. Go on ahead and drink it.

Our Deadhead IPA Series melds the strong vibe of our favorite music with the beer we love to drink, elevating both into a higher state of consciousness. Our Touch of Haze IPA resonates with big additions of Mosaic and Cascade hops harmonized with the smooth mouthfeel of flaked oats, for a mellow, juicy and hazy IPA that really strikes a chord. Cheers!

Oskar Blues Can-O-Bliss Tropical IPA

Oskar Blues Can-O-Bliss Tropical IPA. or, as the can says, "Mountain IPA." Also, for some reason: "Juice Willis." Not to mention "Trop It Like It's Hot." 7.2 % ABV. 68 IBU. Oskar Blues Brewing, Lyons, CO.

Hazy, bright golden hue, slim white head.

In the nose: Bold and beautiful hoppy aroma. Citrusy, tropical, pineapple and mango. Fruity, juicy, nice.

In the mouth: Ah! Big drop of juicy hops on the palate. Citrusy/tropical. Lightish bodied, tasty and smooth. Ends on a big of dry note. Good IPA and you can drink it.

Once more, a brewery has put a lot of work into telling a tale about the beer. Much more than I can provide. Go ahead and check it out:

Take a swig and follow along in the brochure as we show you around the tropical hopscape of Can-O-Bliss. Please keep your arms and legs inside the Dank Tank at all times.

Ladies and gents, our first stop is Mosaic hops. Mosaic was originally bred by crossing Nugget hops with Simcoe and the result is complex and clean with notes of blueberry, mango, stone fruit and spice; juxtaposed with citrusy, tropical, herbal and floral flavors – clearly one of the busiest pallet ports on the island.

The next stop on our beer safari is a natural hop formation known as Azacca. Azacca boasts colorful tropical fruit and citrus flavors with tasting notes of spicy mango, pineapple, tangerine and pine.

Everyone grab your poncho because up ahead there’s a satisfying flavorfall of Galaxy hops, awash with peach, passionfruit and ripe mango. You might get a little wet.

Please remain seated as we tastebud-travel into El Dorado valley. You’ll notice the big aromas of pear, watermelon, stone fruit and candy. Sit back and enjoy the smells.

Lastly, let’s pull over into this Idaho 7 viewing area, complete with zesty orange, tangerine, marmalade and black tea vibes. Idaho 7 has only been around since 2015. You might want to pull out the ol’ camera and grab a couple shots of that pungent tropical fruitsphere.

Alright folks, we’ve finally arrived at our destination – juicy, hop-heaped, Tropical Can-O-Bliss IPA. Crack a can and taste that juicy tropical goodness! You certainly don’t need binoculars to peep the sunset-orange hue on that brew.

We hope you’ve enjoyed your tropical island tour, where sips are mandatory and tips are appreciated.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Stone Tropic of Thunder Lager

Stone Tropic of Thunder Lager. Tropical Lager. 5.8% ABV. Stone Brewing, Escondido, CA.

Clear, bright golden color, slim white ring of foam.

In the nose: citrusy, floral, slight sweetness.

In the mouth: Lightly hoppy, a touch of bitterness, a smack of sweet. Easy on the palate, definitely refreshing and ridiculously drinkable. Little bit of citrus tastes bounce off the tongue as the hop bitterness increases a bit. This is tasty stuff, for sure.

I don't have too much more to say about it. In fact, that about covers it. Stone Brewing, however, has a lot more to tell you:

Maroon yourself: Imagine you set sail for a three hour tour. Let’s say from the Port of Escondido (work with us here). The weather started getting rough. Your tiny ship (but not lunch, thankfully) was tossed. Long story short: You’re marooned on a remote island somewhere near the Tropic of Thunder. The good news is that the Capt. of the S.S. Stone and her brewing kit were among the small cast of colorful characters that survived the rough voyage with you. Mainstays Citra & Mosaic along with newcomer Cashmere hops are joined by their juicy tropical aromas of citrus, pineapple and coconut (try stringing all that together in a catchy tune). The rescue ship will find you all soon enough. For now, set aside the non-working cell phone and lack of social media (again, work with us here), kick back and revel in your moment of tropical island lagoon serenity.

North Lake Golden Light Lager

North Lake Golden Light Lager. Owned by a company in Ramsey, MN, brewed over in Wisconsin, by Minhas in Monroe, as well as some other brewery in Tennessee, it seems.

Shut down by prohibition in 1919, the North Lake Brewing Company lay dormant for decades, only to be revived in 2013 under the same principles set forth a century earlier.

Minnesota owned and distributed, North Lake brews full-flavored lagers in small batches to guarantee the freshest beer for Minnesotans and Minnesotans at heart.

North Lake Beer is produced at both Minhas Brewing, Monroe, WI and City Brew, Memphis, TN and can be found at restaurants, bars and retail liquor stores across Minnesota.

Clear, bright golden color, slim head, swiftly disappearing.

In the nose: slightly floral, grainy, not much else.

In the mouth: Some sweetness at the start, mostly malty, nothing much from hops. Pleasant enough. Innocuous. Watery. Light. It's golden, it's light, it's a lager.

I drank it. It wasn't bad.


Ideal for those hot summer days on the water
Light, refreshing taste
4.1% ABV

Town Hall Raspberry Belgian Strong Ale

Town Hall Raspberry Belgian Strong Ale. 8.7 % ABV. Belgian Strong Golden Ale, with raspberries. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN.

Clear, bright crimson, short-lived pinkish head.

In the nose: Big time berry. Slight tart and largely fruity. Raspberry all the day long.

In the mouth: Powerful pucker at the start. Fruit follows, the rest is fairly smooth, while strong. Light bodied, but packed with flavor. Going to my head. Ringing with fruity, tarty deliciousness. Nighty night.

Brilliant red color, freshly picked raspberry flavor/aroma, with a delicious cotton candy finish.

Cotton Candy? Now, I've heard it all.

Indeed High and Dry Brut IPA

Indeed High and Dry Brut IPA. 5.6 % ABV. 20 IBU. Indeed Brewing Company, Minneapolis, MN.

Lightly hazed, dull yellow, slim ivory head.

In the nose: soft and citrusy. Lemony and floral. Touch of pepper? I kind of like this.

In the mouth: Hoppy and dry. No juicy up in here. Downright brittle, it is. Clean and lean. Light bodied, zippy finish. It's here and it's gone, and it leaves one wanting. This is a fine interpretation of a pointless style. The more I try the Brut IPA, the more I wonder what is the point of this. Why? I'm not getting bitter, I'm not getting sweet or juicy, just ...what is it? Who wants it?

There ain't nothing wrong with this, but, man, once again, something that's called an IPA is missing what makes a great IPA.

Oh, what am I complaining about? It's alright.

A newly emerging style of IPA from San Francisco, a "Brut" IPA (referencing the very dry, sparkling wine) is an IPA where every last bit of sugar is fermented from the use of an enzyme added during the brewing process. Due to this lack of residual sugars that would normally act as a backbone to support bitterness in hop forward beers, a Brut's focus is on high quaffability, low bitterness and massive aromatics. Our Brut IPA is a highly drinkable ale with a boisterous blend of fruit forward hops including El Dorado, Belma, and Calypso. A simplistic and clean pilsner malt bill paves the way for this aromatic adventure into the hop fields. If you tend to shy away from the big bad IPAs, a Brut is great way to experience the glory of hops!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Oliphant Last Year's Talent Imperial Stout

Oliphant Last Year's Talent Imperial Stout. With Coffee, Almond, and Cacao Nibs. 9% ABV. Oliphant Brewing, Somerset, WI.

Solid blackness, thick and rich brown ring of foam on top, lasting long, and looking lovely. Fits the part for the style.

In the nose: cocoa. coffee. Rich, dark malts.

In the mouth: More richness, deep cocoa. Warm, lush, full of dark malty goodness. A little anise, a touch of pepper. Loads of coffee and cocoa. Yum, -um, -um. A dum. dum. I can't emphasize this enough: you-u-um. So easy. So malty. So chocolatey, espresso-y. So, so, very, very. So very smooth and so very tasty.

I was quite delighted to find this one at a local store recently. Thought it was long gone and I'd never get to taste it. Oh, happy day!

Dogfish Head and the Grateful Dead present American Beauty Pale Ale

Dogfish Head and the Grateful Dead present American Beauty Pale Ale. 6.5 % ABV. 50 IBU. Brewed by Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE.

Dogfish Head is at it again with the music-themed beers, and this time it's a band that I've never really been into, not even a little. I remember one night at the Harriet Brewing taproom (RIP), a Dead cover band was playing, and some groovers asked me "do you like the Dead?" as I stood in an utterly un-grooving manner. Not really, I told them, and they looked at me as if a giant eggplant has suddenly bloomed on the top of my head. Yeah, well, how many Horace Silver albums do you have, you filthy hippies?

On with the beer:

Clear, bright amber hue, sizable ivory head, looking good.

In the nose: Clean, lightly hoppy. perfectly okay.

In the mouth: Fruity, earthy, gritty hop presence on the palate. Smooth stuff, quenchable, refreshing. Medium body, long hoppy finish. Ends on a dry note, with flavor everlasting. It's a good pale ale, and you can drink it. There ain't nothing wrong with that.

I forgot that they added granola to the beer (of course), but it doesn't really stand out, but, rather, blends in with the malt very well. Adds a particular grainy, roast/toasty character, and the honey smooths it out.

But, speaking of the Grateful Dead, I once had a co-worker who teased me for playing so much jazz at work. I told her that I'm tired of everyone picking on jazz, because jazz never hurt anyone, and the only bad thing jazz ever did was inspire the Grateful Dead. Boy, she did not like that.

American Beauty, a pale ale inspired by the Grateful Dead, captures the spirit of the band's 30 years of touring and recording. Dogfish Head and the Dead both built their followings by connecting directly with beer lovers and music lovers, so when we first started this collaboration (back in 2013), we asked those loyal fans to help drive the recipe.

After receiving more than 1,500 ingredient suggestions, granola was tops. It was the main course in millions of parking lot meals and is a sweet and toasty complement to the barley, succulent wildflower honey and all-American hops.

Year Round
Pale Ale

Thai, jambalaya, frites

Golden/orange amber
Subtle fruity notes of marzipan/almond/cherries, citrus hops, orange, honey and malt
Sweet lingering honey with citrus accompanied with fruity notes of almond

Warming and thin, lingering sweet and bitter

Lupulin / Drastic Measures Operation CoHoperation India Pale Ale

Lupulin / Drastic Measures Operation CoHoperation India Pale Ale. 7% ABV. 50 IBU. Lupulin Brewing, Big Lake, MN, in collaboration with Drastic Measures Brewing, Wadena, MN. (That's the new venture from the former Disgruntled brewer Brett Doebbelling.)

All cloudy-like, bright golden, slim white head.

In the nose: citrus aplenty up in here. Orange and lemon, with a pinch of pine.

In the mouth: Popping with hops. Medium bodied, long, bitter finish. Deliriously delicious. Lots of hoppy goodness going on. Flat out yum.

Collaboration with Drastic Measures in Wadena, MN. A most mind blowing mash up of malt, hops, and hop hash. Two worlds colliding with a force so great that the resulting element is greater than the sum of its parts. From that collision poured this golden liquid hop juice. Enjoy!

Mikkeller San Diego Upstairs Downstairs Golden Lager with Spices

Mikkeller San Diego Upstairs Downstairs Golden Lager w/long Pepper, Kaffir Lime, Coriander and Oak Spirals. 5.2 % Alc./Vol. Mikkeller San Diego, San Diego, CA.

Clear, bright golden hue, vast ivory head.

In the nose: Slightly tart, fruity, lime. Floral/ vegetal. Damned interesting, to be sure.

In the mouth: Clean, smooth, light bodied. Just enough malt, and just enough hops to keep it interesting. More malty than hoppy and then the lime, the spice, and other. Tasty, tasty. Quite delicious, actually. Mmm, I'm digging it. Sweet and malty and tasty and mmmm.

Blonde lager w/ Kaffir Lime Leaf & Indian Coriander

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Unmapped Topowit Belgian Witbier

Unmapped Topowit Belgian Witbier. 5.4 % ABV. 13 IBU. Unmapped Brewing, Minnetonka, MN.

Very clouded, deep amber hue, slim white ring of foam.

In the nose: Bright citrus, vibrant lemon and orange, delicate spice. Floral in abundance. Overwhelmingly pleasant and lovely.

In the mouth: Light-bodied, Excellently quenchable. Belgian funky flavors, citrus notes, slight spice. Smooth and refreshing. Lightly malty. Not exactly a note-perfect witbier, a little darker than style requirements, but I don't mind that much.

Topo Wit is our flagship Belgian White Ale. This easy drinker is packed with flavor but is still light enough to be the perfect “anytime beer.” Notes of fruit and spice add zesty overtones to this enjoyable wheat-based brew.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sisyphus How Now Brown Cow

Sisyphus How Now Brown Cow Brown Ale. 5.4 % ABV. 22 IBU. Sisyphus Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

Dark brown color, rich, cocoa-tinged head on top.

In the nose: Soft, and creamy. Nutty, malty, a little earthy. Largely likable.

In the mouth: Cocoa takes command. Malty and slightly sweet. Medium -bodied, and delicious.
I have to say, I don't choose brown ales very often, but when they're done right, I'm pretty darned glad. This is just hoppy enough, malty enough, and so very tasty.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Town Hall E.T. Wee

Town Hall E.T. Wee. Wee Heavy Ale aged in Elmer T. Lee bourbon barrels. 8% ABV. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN.

I bought this one during Barrel aged Week last year, and sat on it for a little bit. Here come the notes:

Here's one I've never been able to take home in growler format. If I had, you'd have heard about it already.

Utter darkness, slim brown head, soon gone.

In the nose: Sweetness, first, then bourbon. Vanilla, cherry, charcoal. Intense bourbon flavors swallowing up a malty Scottish style. More flavors eke out, some molasses, more fruit. Just nothing but nice.

In the mouth: Deep, dark, malty, delicious. Mmm. Dark fruit, fig and raisin, sweetness and darkness plus bourbon means tasty.

Scottish-style Wee Heavy aged in bourbon barrels.

Oliphant Anutart Blackberry Sour

Oliphant Anutart Blackberry Sour. Berliner Weisse with Blackerries. 5 % ABV. Oliphant Brewery, Somerset, WI.

So, someone's got to solve this puzzle for me: Is it "ANN-you-tart", or "A-NEW-tart"? Got to find out. Also, this series' crowlers labels continue to look like demented teeth at play in some bloody gums. Okay, what the story, Jeremy Hughes?

Thoroughly hazed, rich and jammy, cast in a deep, Burgundy hue, with a fine layer of pink head atop.

In the nose: nice tartness starts it out, swiftly swallowed by fruit. Very berry in here. Just a touch of sweet.

In the mouth: Sweetness is charge at the forefront, and tart soon takes over. Bright and fruity and refreshing. Juicy. Only just a little bit on the thin & watery side, but I certainly don't mind, and it's not wrong for the style.

Good blackberry sour ale, and you can drink it.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Summit Oatmeal Stout

Summit Oatmeal Stout. 5.2 % ABV. 41 IBU. Summit Brewing Company, St. Paul, MN.

Summit Oatmeal Stout? Half of you are saying to me: Hasn't that been around forever? And half of you are all like, "Summit makes an Oatmeal Stout?" Yes, they've been making it since 2004, and it's still draft only. Way back then, I wanted to carry it on tap at my old place, The Blue Nile, but I'd gotten rid of our nitro equipment, and you can't pour this stuff without it. Once I was in charge of ordering beers for Acadia, it was one of my first acts, to bring this on and keep it on.

So, after all the years, why hasn't it appeared here in the Nib? My lack of interest in taking notes at the bar, I guess. I used to do it more often at the Nile, but it's not quite the same, for various reasons. However, it appears that I already have taken notes on it, way back in June of 2004, and 14 1/2 years later, I think they stand. So, notes from my first taste at the brewery, going into the books:

Sampled on draft at the brewery, earlier this afternoon, following my first tour of the facility.
A pint enjoyed in early 2019, to accompany
my notes from 2004. 

A lovely dark brown, nearly black color, complete cascading tan nitro-pour action, before finally settling.

Nose is an excelllent outlay of roastiness, very alert and bitter. I drank this in deep before imbibing. Just right for an OS.

Taste is smooth and creamy, with excellent texture, full body, and a palpable oily, almost slick feel. Cocoa and coffee blended seemlessly. Goes down with little effort, but leaves the palate pleased, from a significant amount of flavor.

I followed the first glass with a pour of the Porter, an old favorite, and the difference is amazing, though they're both nice examples of their style.
Very glad Summit tackled this, and did it so well, and I'm anxiously awaiting it in winter, maybe?
Please, Summit?

And, nearly 15 years later, they still haven't bottled or canned it, despite the improvements in nitro can/bottle technology. This is from the brewery that announced it was dropping the beloved Winter Ale last year, then caved and brought it back the next season due to public outcry. Maybe we're not outcrying enough for this. Let's get outcrying, people!

A Taste You Won’t Find Just Anywhere.
While its cascading rich black color will be familiar to Stout enthusiasts, ours is decidedly different. It’s made with naked oats from the UK, for one. Smooth and slightly sweet, with hints of coffee, caramel and chocolate, Summit Oatmeal Stout is served with a Nitrogen/CO2 mix and sold exclusively on draft in select places.

Brewed Year-Round
Original Gravity: 13.3° P
Alcohol by Volume: 5.2%
Color, (deg. L.): Pitch black, 80° L
IBUs: 41
Malts Utilized: 2-Row Pale, Caramel, Oats, Crystal, Roasted Barley, Chocolate
Hops Utilized: Northern Brewer, Pilgrim, Fuggle
Yeast: Ale

Established: 2004

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