Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sisyphus Ben Gone But Not Forgotten

Sisyphus Ben Gone But Not Forgotten. Imperial Milk Stout. 9% ABV. 44 IBU.

Another in the employee design series, this one in honor of Ben Steingold who left Minnesota for North Carolina. Bye, Ben! I miss you, already.  But, how's your beer?

Solid blackness under a sizable, long-lasting, creamy, tanned head. Looking terrific.

In the nose: Fruit. Spice. Spruce tips? Pine? Ginger? Something's going on here, and I like it. Citrus notes, too. I wonder what's going on?

In the mouth: there's more sweetness on the palate than mere malt suggests.. There's a gentle spiciness, and a suggestion of fruit. Ginger comes back to mind, and citrus fruit too. Bright, spicy, malty, smooth and beautiful. Strength doesn't yet become apparent, but flavor continues to contribute to some sort of deliciousness. Tas. Tee. Stuff, indeed. Yum -a- dum, dum.

Town Hall Bavarian Express Schwarzbier

Town Hall Bavarian Express Schwarzbier. 5.2% ABV. German black lager.

Dark brown, nearly black coloring, slim brown head.

In the nose: cocoa first, then coffee. Dark malts, little hops.

In the mouth: all the dark malt flavors: we've got cocoa and coffee, some ash, and anise. Lightly bittersweet. Tasty. Nice dark malts, nice flavors, good drinkability. Has everything I want in the flavor department. Bitterness remains there, but lightly, and the flavor is largely malt-derived.

I love a good schwarzbier, and this is one of them.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Oliphant Toraifosu Belgian-style Dubbel Ale

Oliphant Toraifosu Dubbel Ale. 8.9% ABV.

I can't recall what Toraifosu refers to, although I did ask Matt the last time I saw him. Something. It's got to be something. But, how about the beer?

Dark brown, rich, full, flowering head of creamy-toned head.

In the nose: sweet, creamy, nutty. Caramel and toffee, with Belgian yeast, Special B malt. Vanilla, cocoa, ...just nice. Nothing but nice.

In the mouth: Smooth, sweet, caramel and toffee, cocoa and dark fruits. Delicious. Medium bodied. Long, sweet finish. Little hops. Very true to style. I didn't like this the first time I tried it at the taproom. That was then, this is now. Now, I'm digging it. Digging it big time. So much chocolate, and so much smooth. Richness aplenty. And that ineffable quotient of wow. Mmmm.....wow! Love it.

Tasty, toasty, rich and chocolatey. Mmmm...I said I loved it, right? So delicious. Just flat out yum.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Barley John's Brewing Company Cone Gnome the Barbarian Double IPA

Another one in a blank can, straight from a distributor rep. This one is not canned, merely available in keg form. How do I know what it is? Because they told me. Now it's time to open and drink...

Conegrnome the Barbarian. 10.1% ABV.

Clear, amber colored, slim, but lasting ivory head atop.

In the nose: soft, light....not too much happening, not the typical hoppy aromatics.

In the mouth: big bitterness, big fruit, big sweet. Increasing bitterness, with the backdrop of citrus and tropical fruit. Bitterness remains strong, relentless. Sweet and malty, with hoppy kick carrying through. Tasty. Strong. Bitter. I like it.

I tore this off of the internet to share with you: Conegnome is an imperial IPA that is fit for a king. This beer has a massive malt base and has been battle tested by Huell melon hops.

Rhombus Guys Invincible Pale Ale

Rhombus Guys Invincible Pale Ale. Rhombus Guys Brewing, Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Sample can brought to me by the Sample Man.

Lightly hazy, amber color, large white head, leaving some lacing.

In the nose: bright hoppiness, citrus and pine. Floral. Grapefruit-y. Beautiful. Ahhhh....I can dig it.

In the mouth: bright citrus-y hoppiness, lean body, crisp and delicious. Goes down easy, with a long bitter finish. Tasty stuff. Just right. Smooth, refreshing, and, yes,  I'll take another.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Town Hall Cross Pond Porter

Town Hall Cross Pond Porter. 5.2% ABV.

Dark brown coloring, slim tanned head.

In the nose: roasted malt. A little caramel, a little sweetness, some dark fruit, then all ending dry on the palate.

In the mouth: Gets on board the palate with gusto, stays smooth all the way. Layers of flavors, coffee, toffee, caramel, a little cocoa. Staying mostly malty, with hardly a peep out of hops. Just enough flavor to keep interesting while being superbly drinkable.

Merely described on the website as "English-American hybrid porter." I'd be curious to learn more about that. What parts of each style were combined? What left, what stayed.

Flat Earth Red Cape Irish Red Ale

Flat Earth Red Cape Irish Red Ale. Flat Earth Brewing, St. Paul, MN. 5.1% ABV. Winter Seasonal.

This Flat Earth beer is one that I'd always passed on when I saw it on local shelves in bottles. There was always something else that seemed a little sexier. The sample man came through with these unlabeled 12 ounce bottles. I wondered if I should include these for review, but, why not? They came from the brewery. It has to be the same beer as the one you find on the shelves, right?

Dark brown color, showing clear and crimson at the edges, with a slim tanned head.

In the nose: caramel malt's in charge of this one. Sweet and toffee-ish at the start. Mostly malty, hops are hidden. Nice.

In the mouth: Malt grabs the palate at first, keeps things sweet and supple, before losing the grip. Stays malty-sweet throughout the sip, before ending on a lightly bitter edge, then fading away. Definitely down able. A friendly ale, to be sure.

But something is a little off. It doesn't really fit the parameters of an Irish Red. Certainly doesn't look very red. I wondered if they'd mislabeled the cap, and then checked some reviews on BeerAdvocate, and it does seem like we were all drinking the same beer. A different take on an Irish Red Ale, that's for sure, but not bad at all.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sisyphus Steam Beer

Sisyphus Steam Beer. 6% ABV. Canned on 2/05/17.

Lightly hazed amber hued. Slim white head.

In the nose: Clean, lightly fruity, ester-y. A touch of hops.

In the mouth: Hops are bigger here, just a dose of bitterness, then all is smooth. Much maltiness, but moreover, smoothness and deliciousness. Very nice. Simple, easy drinking, tasty. Nothing wrong with that. Good beer, and I can drink it.

Personally, I like a good beer that you can drink.

Bent Paddle Valve Jockey #1: Oatmeal IPA

Here's an example of how I could have saved myself eleven bucks. Two weeks ago, I hosted the local release of the first in Bent Paddle's new brewer's series, Valve Jockey, at Acadia Cafe. Brewer Neil Caron was there, as well as BPBC reps, and the fine beer-minded folks who had the good sense to come on down. And I could have taken a moment over the next 8 days to pour myself a pint and compose some notes, but as has previously been stated, I don't always do that for beers on tap where I  work. Or other bars, for that matter.

So, off to the store to find a bottle. (Eleven bucks?)And you know what, I also need to find a bottle of Climate Generation Black IPA, which we had on tap before and after the Oatmeal IPA. Why did it stay on tap longer than than the other? Is it, I suspect, because IPA drinkers are really racist? Oh, no, I didn't!

Okay, bad joke. I've stated over and over my indifference to the "black IPA". But I protest too much. Some of my best friends are black IPAs. Black ales matter, folks.

Onward to the beer.....

Bent Paddle Valve Jockey #1: Oatmeal IPA (aka Oatneil), 7.2% ABV, 80 IBU.

Clear, golden colored, fresh, ivory head atop.

In the nose: bright, citrus-y, hint of tropical, a little bitter, a little sweet.

In the mouth: Yeah! That's right. Big flash of bitterness, bold citrus flavors, with a trickle of astringency creeping down the throat. Medium body, smooth and tasty. Hop flavor never quits. Malt flavors are a joy on the tongue. Flat out delicious and definitely drinkable. This bomber is going down in no time flat. Damn good IPA, and, yes, you can drink it.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Toppling Goliath Tsunami Pale Ale

Toppling Goliath Tsunami Pale Ale, Brewed by: Toppling Goliath Brewing Company, Deborah, IA. under special agreement with Lakeland FL.

Hazed, pale amber coloring, lush white head, lasting long and leaving lace.

In the nose: An explosion of citrus and pine. Beautiful bitterness. Lovely and lively.

In the mouth: Hoppy. Juicy. Citrus-y. Then, dry and even more bitter. Medium-bodied. Easy-drinking, and just as hoppy as you need in a pale ale.

"A tsunami, powerful and unwavering. And that's just the beer. Tsunami pale ale rolls onto the scene with waves of Mandarin orange aroma and a refreshing crash leaving your palate asking for more. Are you brave enough to surf it's delicious turf? Take the plunge and ride the wave."

Surf it's turf? Ugh. Gag me.