Friday, November 27, 2015

Alpine Nelson Rye India Pale Ale

Alpine Nelson Golden Rye India Pale Ale. 7% ABV. Brewed and bottled by Alpine Beer Company, in San Diego, California.

Lightly hazy, bright golden appearance, with a large, voluminous, gorgeous cloud-white head, leaving lace and looking beautiful.

Incredibly fresh and vibrant aromatics, but not with the usual pine and citrus notes we expect in an IPA. Rye malt comes across, subtly, and some white grape notes, some white wine character, and just a whiff of the ol' cat pee, the common traits of the Nelson Sauvin. Tropical fruit essence rolls up. Intriguing stuff.

In the mouth, it's all the hoppy goodness. Rye spiciness creeps up just a little, but the hops are tops here. Bold bitterness, with fruity notes abounding. Amazing beer. So full of flavor, big on the hops, and a delight to drink. Just about perfect. Mmmm.

Great beer, go drink it.

American Sky USA IPA Ale

American Sky USA IPA. 6.8% ABV. 72 IBU. Color: Butterscotch.

Clear, bright amber coloring ("butterscotch"?), slim, soon-gone, ivory head.

Vibrant, citrus-y nose. Beautiful, floral, and bitter.

In the mouth, a burst of hop bitterness, long on the the palate. Bitterness blazes the senses and lasts long in the finish. All the usual suspects are in order, grapefruit, lemon and lime. Fairly delicious, this one. Satisfies, if it doesn't thrill.

I can heartily recommend that this is a good beer, and that you can drink it.

American Sky Amber Salute Beer

American Sky Amber Salute Beer. Brewed and bottled by American Sky Brewing, Minnetonka, MN. 5.5% ABV.

It's a formerly Hudson, Wisconsin-based brewery that has been purchased by Lucid Brewing earlier this summer, with the original brewer still making the original recipes in the Minnetonka Lucid Brewery, using some of the equipment from their Hudson facility. The bottle is a sample given to me by Jon Messier, one of the owners of Lucid, last week. He's been back to find out my opinion, and I had to admit I hadn't opened the bottles he'd given me yet. Time to rectify this situation.

Lightly hazed, amber coloring, slim whitish head, soon down to a tight ring.

Toasty, malt-forward nose. Grainy. Smells of fresh wort. If you've ever been in a brewery when they're brewing, this is what I'm getting.

In the mouth, it's a warm and malty thing. I'm guessing we have an unfiltered amber ale here. Low on the hops, full mouthfeel, malty finish, softly fading. A little nutty. Tasty. Thirst-quenching, excellent drinkability.

You know what, I like this. Go ahead and give it a try. Won't hurt you.

Town Hall Northern Gale Sticke Alt

Here we have another new Town Hall beer that's not listed on their website. I found it on BeerAdvocate with one rating, added this Sunday. Raters on added it a few weeks earlier. I hadn't been in in the pub in a while, so it was new to me. By the name, I'm taking a wild guess that it's a German-style Sticke Altbier. Those helpful folks mentioned above say that it's 5.5% alcohol by volume. I could have found that out myself, but I didn't take note while I was there, just grabbed the growler, and now here I am ready to drink it. So what am I waiting for?

Clear, caramel-brown coloring, slim off-white head, soon-gone.

Clean, malt-forward aroma.

Rich, malty flavor. Semi-sweet. Good balance. Brief notes of caramel and toffee, a little cocoa, and the hops are holding malt just in check. Tastes like a sticke alt should.

Good beer. You can drink it.

That about cover it, friends.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Founders ReDankulous Imperial Red India Pale Ale

Founders Redankulous. Imperial Red IPA. Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 9.5% alc. by vol, 90 IBUs.

Clearish, bright crimson coloring, large, creamy, off-white head, lasting long and leaving lace. Looks great.

Aroma is piney, citrusy, fruity, and, yeah, that most hated of words, to me,..."dank"...I should just give in, right? It's funky stuff, for sure. I like it.

In the mouth: Boom, boom, boom, boom. Big and full and fresh and vibrant. Everything at once, while being easily drinkable, but for the high alcohol. And that is looming large. Big malt, big hops, big everything. Whoa, this is serious. And I'm digging it. It's tasty as they get.

So rich and malty, so well-balanced, so thick with the dank (I hate myself for writing that)...this is a beer to be experienced. Once in a while. Nice one, Founders.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Alpine Hoppy Birthday Session IPA

Alpine Hoppy Birthday Session IPA, (or American Pale Ale).  5.2% ABV. Alpine Brewing, Alpine, CA.

Lightly hazed, bright golden coloring, ivory head leaving lace, looking lovely.

Bold, citrusy aromatics. Lemon and lime, orange, and pine. floral. Incredibly fresh leafy, green hoppy nose. Beautiful.

In the mouth: a bracingly bitter entrance on the palate. Fresh hop attack, more citrusy goodness. Lean-bodied. Easy-drinking. Bitterness never quits, and alcohol doesn't stand in the way of having a few, if that's what you want to do.

Label side gobbledygook: Hoppy Birthday. "The Most Celebrated Beer in the World." Truth is, everyone has a birthday. And when you want to celebrate, this Session IPA is a gift to the senses. Made with 6 different hops, this brew is refreshing enough to enjoy again and again. Now, make a wish and blow out the candles. But, don't tell anyone or your wish won't come true."

Sure. Okay. Well, I liked it, so go out and drink some.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Destihl St. Dekkera Le Diplomate

Destihl Saint Dekkera Reserve Sour Ale. Le Diplomate. Sour Ambelgo-style double pale ale aged in oak barrels. Batch year 2013. Alc. 7.3% by Vol. Brewed and bottled by Destihl Brewery, Bloomington, IL.

Clear, light amber coloring, intense carbonation, with a slight, but staying ivory head.

Aroma: sour from the start, nothing but straight-up funk. Oak barrel conquers all. Nothing else climbs up to say anything else.

Tasting it: Funk and sour kicks it off again, with a bit of hops peeking through. Texture becomes increasingly intriguing, deliciousness begins to show up on the palate. I feel a double pale ale peeping out, but “Ambelgo-style”? That’s a new term for me. But I think I understand what they’re getting at. I’d love to try that beer before they oaked it and funked it. I’ve got an idea of what it was like, but the end product here is all about the wild and the oak.

And you know what? There ain’t nothing wrong with that.  It’s a great beer, and I’m drinking it. (Warning: this is most likely only available in Illinois. I bought this at the brewpub in Normal, IL, paid $19 for it.)

Indeed Let It Roll IPA

When it comes to the local beers by the breweries I like, I try to get to their new beers right away. I’ve been dragging on this one. No reason why, just been slow to pick it up at the store, all the while wishing I’d get a sample can. Oddly enough, I just got a couple sample cans of Stir Crazy, a beer I’ve been enjoying seasonally for three years now. We can’t question the Sample Man, though, we can only thank and praise him for his kindness. (Note: I did have a cask of it at Acadia, but didn’t take notes on it, and finally ordered a keg, but I don’t take notes at the bar that often. Like to formulate my thoughts in the ol’ Sanctum Sanctorum.)

Indeed Let It Roll India Pale Ale. 6.2 % ABV. 12 oz. 86 IBU. “Juicy, crisp, floral.” Short and sweet, that’s the way I like the gobbledygook. Which is the opposite of gobbledygook.

Lightly hazed, bright crimson coloring, slim off-white head.

In the nose: Intriguing blend of flavors here, nothing in particular jumping out. Some citrus and pine in the mix, but all part of a greater tapestry. Other fruits and berries are suggested, as well, and it’s lower on the bitterness. I like it.

In the mouth: Bitter, crisp and bright from the start, with a long lasting stay on the palate, just the way I like it. Sweet malty character keeps perfect balance. Hoppy bitterness never leaves.

As mentioned earlier, not a lot of mumbo jumbo on the can, I’ll see what I can find out………….. "Go all-in on Let it Roll IPA, brewed with a winning blend of spicy malt and citrusy hops. Together with Let it Ride IPA, we’ve doubled down to bring you an IPA all year round. When you’ve got a good thing going, you Let it Roll, baby, roll."

That doesn't tell me that much. If there's more information out there, I'll find it, eventually.

Back to the beer. Here comes the juicy, yeah, that part is there. The more I drink this, the more I like it. Happiness swells around. It hits me in all the right places, where a good IPA ought to. Nice one, Indeed. Keep on rolling.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

F-Town Ipalicious IPA

F-Town Ipalicious India Pale Ale. 12 fluid ounces can. 6.5% ABV. Brewed and canned by F-Town Brewing, Faribault, MN.

So, my first time with this newish Minnesota brewery. I took a gamble on a 6-pack with no notion of the quality inside. There’s gobbledygook ringing the bottom of the can, and I’ll read it before drinking because it’s rather simple and basic. “Piney citrus hop punch with a complex balanced malty flavor.” All caps, no punctuation.

Logo looking a lot like a cross between Victory’s HopDevil and Surly Man with Empty Glass. Mixed with some sporting team's logos that I can't think of right now. Just throwing that out there.

Clear, reddish-brown coloring, large, creamy, off-white head, leaving lace and lasting long.

In the nose: yep, piney, and yep, citrus-y. Sweet caramel malt notes swiftly follow.

In the mouth, it lives up to the can’s description and the promise of the aroma. Full malty flavor, big bitterness that lasts long on the palate. Continuing duet between bitter and sweet. Tasty stuff. Reminds me quite a bit of …you guessed it. What, you didn’t guess it? Well, go ahead and guess….hint: it rhymes with Murious.

In the end, it’s a good beer and I can drink it. Glad I bought the 6-pack. Now go out and drink some.

Also, here's more gobbledygook from the website: This devilishly good IPA is not for the faint of heart. One sip and you will be hit by its signature piney citrus punch with a complex, yet balanced, malty flavor. Our IPA will give you the hoppy kick that you expect, while still providing you with the balanced finish that you crave and deserve.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fair State Cromulence

Fair State has been embiggening the local beer scene with their sour beers, lately. In a totally cromulent way, of course. Hence, Cromulence. I bought a bomber, and here's what I said when I drank it up:

IBU: 10. ABV: 4.

Hazy, pale godlen, slim white head.

Aroma starts off wild and weird. Lactobacillus at play? Tart and funky. Some graininess.

In the mouth: Whoa! Ay, yi, yi! Fierce funk, wild and crazy. Is there wheat malt here? Sour stays strong in this. Lasts long on the palate, full of puckering and refreshment. Sour keeps on coming. Perfectly satisfying. If you love a good sour ale, get this one. Now.

Let's see if there's any gobbledygook on the label. "We made a wheat beer, dumped a bunch of bacteria in it, let it sit, boiled it, chucked in some citrus peels, and fermented it in an old dairy tank. That's a perfectly cromulent way to make a beer, right?"

Sure is. What's funny, though, is that every time I type "cromulent" autocorrect wants to change it to "corpulent." D'oh!