Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Beer Review: Beer Geek Brunch Weasel (Cognac Edition)

Reviewing the Beer Geek Brunch Weasel (Cognac Edition) from Mikkeller.
Score: 82

2012 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 07/30/12. A hearty thank you to Bryan Hernandez for buying me a bottle of this to celebrate the completion of the Illinois Bar Exam.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark coffee color. Served with a finger of fudgey brown head that totally settles. No lacing or retention. 3.5/5

Smell: Sharp, sweet red grape and cherry aromas. Cognac, ample "wood" and "barrel" that is not very blended into the aroma so much as it stands out. Coffee too. 3.5/5

Taste: Burnt, acrid coffee, "barrel and wood" flavor, cherry, red grape sweetness and fudge. Sweet and overly acidic. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, minimal carbonation. Sticky, acrid and sweet mouthfeel. 2/5

Overall: Rather than it being an integrating component, I am tasting/smelling too much "barrel" here. This beer is also way too acidic. The right flavor components for a potentially delicious beer are here, but there are too many pieces that do not seem to coalesce so much as they simply stand out. After this beer, I think I'm absolutely done with Mikkeller beers. Beer Geek Rodeo (a collaboration with Jester King) gave me hope, but Mikkeller is quite frankly entirely too expensive for what they are and they seem to miss substantially more often with their experiments than they hit. 8.5 oz's seems like a cheap sized pour, but I assure you it's harder to finish a bottle of this than you would otherwise believe.

Recommendation: Skip this one; it is incredibly overpriced.

Pairings: Green apples and honey.

Cost: $14.99 for an 8.5 oz beer.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beer Review: CynicAle

Reviewing the CynicAle from Surly Brewing Company. This traditional farmhouse saison is the last of Surly's year-round beers that I have yet to try.
Score: 79

Canned 06/13/12, served in am Avery nonic pint glass and enjoyed on 07/22/12 after watching the incredible ending to the Batman trilogy in IMAX.

Appearance: Pours a clean and transparent golden color with a slight reddish hue and two-plus fingers of off-white soapy head that settles to a thin layer. Poor lacing, average retention. 3/5

Smell: Bitter grain, wheat, a little corn, cloves, mellow piney hops and a little lemon. Mile Hefe-like yeastiness too. 3.5/5

Taste: Stale hops, wheat, lemon peel and yeast. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Water-like mouthfeel with medium-light carbonation. Somewhat dry and bitter finish. 3.5/5

Overall: A refreshing and light beer that reminds me more of "a better Spotted Cow" than Hennepin. Bold in flavor for the mouthfeel and definitely drinkable/refreshing in the heat, but this one is barely above average at best.

Recommendation: Surly is one of my favorite breweries, but this is not one of their beers that you need to seek out. I feel that this would make a solid starter craft brew for casual beer drinkers.

Pairings: Brats.

Cost: $8.99 for a four pack.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Francisco Liriano is the Javier Vazquez of 2012

Check out my latest article over at The Hardball Times detailing the resurgence of Liriano since being moved back into the rotation. If he keeps this up (his underlying peripherals indicate that much of his past ten start's dominance is sustainable), a 3.00 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with strong strikeout numbers in the second half are entirely plausible. He already has 25 strikeouts over his last 14.0 innings pitched. Why haven't you picked him up yet!

Here is what the xWHIP calculator has to say:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beer Review: Devil Dancer (2011 and 2012, fresh and one year old)

Reviewing a fresh and year old bottle of Devil Dancer from Founders Brewing Company.
Fresh Score: 86
Year Old Score: 45

Bottled 06/17/11 and 06/01/12. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 07/13/12.

Appearance: Pours a murky blood orange-red color. The fresh 2012 vintage looks a little darker in color than the year old bottle. The fresh bottle pours a thin layer of creamy tan color that settles to a pencil thin ring around the glass with okay lacing and retention. The year old bottle pours less head with less lacing/retention. 3.5/5

Smell: The fresh (2012) bottle has heavy notes of floral hops ahead of a strong caramel malt backbone. Some earthiness, lemon, citrusy pine and onion. Light booziness. Very balanced for such aggressive flavors. The year old (2011) vintage is super malty with strong doses of garlic and a little fruitiness. The 2011 bottle is much less balanced and aggressive in the nose and reminisce of a boozed up caramel-forward barleywine. Not getting any hops off the 2011 vintage. 4/5 (2012), 3/5 (2011)

Taste: The 2012 vintage is not as balanced on the palate as the nose leads on. Lemon citrus and piney hops, sugary caramel malt and a little onion. Earthy hops too. Very hop forward. Lingering spiced caramel malt flavor. The 2011 vintage is incredibly vegetal, caramel-y and barleywine like. Heavily laden with garlic and onion flavor with a ton of undesirable linger. This is a true palate killer. A little lemon in the background too. Strong lingering garlic flavor. Incredibly unbalanced and still quite boozy. This made me cringe as I sipped it. 3.75 (2012), 1.5/5 (2011)

Mouthfeel: Same mouthfeel to both beers. Medium-plus bodied, low carbonation. Oily mouthfeel. Bitter, sweet malty mouthfeel. 3.5/5

Overall: The 2012 kills the 2011 vintage. For what it's worth, the 2011 batch was not very good fresh either. I remember this beer being much more delicious when I first got into craft beer in 2009, but I only really liked IPA back then and had not really explored the depths of the IPA genre yet. This a very caramel-forward and hoppy beer that does not try to hide the hot booziness.

Recommendation: Casual beer drinkers should avoid this brew. If you like earthy hops and caramel-forward IPA or English-style barleywines, give this one a whirl. If you do decide to buy a four pack, DO NOT AGE ANY! Drink this one fresh.

Pairings: Indian food.

Cost: $19.99 for a four pack.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beer Review: Lindley Park

Reviewing Lindley Park from Olde Hickory Brewery out of North Carolina. This beer is a twist on their most famous brew, the Event Horizon.
Score: 92

From the 267 day of 2011. Enjoyed 06/16/12, served in a St. Bernardus Watou stemmed snifter and shared with my father for father's day.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a finger of creamy mocha head that settles to a ring around the glass. Good lacing and retention. 4/5

Smell: Huge doses of sweet honey, bourbon-y molasses, raisin, and raspberries. Sweet milk chocolate too. The most prominent aroma, by a mile, is the honey when you swirl the brew. There's some complementary vanilla and oak in the mix too. 4.5/5

Taste: More raspberry upfront and throughout on the palate than the nose led on. In the aroma, the raspberry was more an incorporated element, but it's dominant on the palate. Behind the raspberry is sweet raisin, brown sugar and vanilla. Dark chocolate flavor behind that. Just a little bit of oaky flavor and residual black coffee towards the finish. Very sweet, but the alcohol is well-hidden. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Just shy of full bodied, light carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel. Pretty sweet finish. 4/5

Overall: About on par with Bramble, though the flavors are better incorporated here. This is a very sweet imperial stout, and I have a strong feeling that those who did not like Dark Lord or Bramble Bourbon County Stout will not like this too much either.

Recommendation: Worth seeking out a glass, but I couldn't finish a whole bomber of this to myself if I tried.

Pairings: Steak.

Cost: $18 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beer Review: Rye'd Da Lightning

Reviewing the Rye'd Da Lightning from Three Floyds Brewing Company.
Score: 92

This bottle was picked up from the Three Floyds' brewery on June 14. Enjoyed 06/16/12, served in a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip and shared with my father for father's day.

Appearance: Pours an orange-amber color that is not "murky" or "cloudy," but I certainly can't see through it. Two fingers of cream colored seafoam head at pour settles to a thin layer with splotchy clumps of bubbly head. Excellent lacing and retention. Excellent cling too. 5/5

Smell: Lots of bright tropical citrus and a mild amount of rye spice. Mango, rye, grapefruit, tangerine, a little honey, and sweet pine sap. Lemon, sweet caramel malt, a touch of biscuit malt and a little peppercorn. Really nice aroma. Reminisce of Zombie Dust plus some spice, but not quite as good as Zombie Dust. 4.5/5

Taste: Very juicy and loaded with tropical fruit citrus. There's pineapple, tangerine, mango, peach and orange. Less rye spice than in the nose. Nice juice orange and caramel malt backbone. Nice bitter pine flavor in back half as well. Orange/pine/mild caramel flavor in the finish. As it layers, a bit of dirty caramel malt and earthy hops flavors comes through towards the finish/aftertaste. A lot more malty and less "hoppped up" than anticipated, but this brew is very balanced. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Super light and juicy, but no real "hop kick" on the tongue (unlike most Three Floyds IPA offerings). Light-plus bodied, low carbonation. Bitter finish with light citrus sweetness. 3.5/5

Overall: Are we sure this is actually a rye beer? This super-hopped rye beer has a super solid IPA flavor profile, but overall is not nearly as good as Artic Panzer Wolf or Dreadnaught or Zombie Dust or Alpha King in my opinion (all of which are distributed outside of the brewery).

Recommendation: Definitely worth drinking, but not worth a special trip to Munster or running around the city to special tappings in order to obtain.

Pairings: Reuben sandwich.

Cost: $10 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Beer Review: Mean Old Tom

Reviewing the Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company.
Score: 89

Bottled 11/10/11, served in a Three Floyd's teku glass and enjoyed on 01/19/12.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a finger of creamy khaki head that settles to a ring around the glass and a thin floating island of head in the middle. Amazing lacing and retention. 5/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, chocolate malt, a touch of sweet caramel, a little leather, and a light amount of vanilla. Some unsweetened fudge too. Very very light amount of grain. 4/5

Taste: Fudgey chocolate and a subtle smooth, unsweetened vanilla flavor upfront transitions to chocolate malt and a light amount of grain in the finish. Nice chocolatey aftertaste. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Lighter side of medium bodied, light carbonation. I realize this is a non-imperial stout, but it still feels a bit thin on the palate. Watery, slightly creamy mouthfeel. Dry and chocolatey finish that is ever so slightly sweet. 3/5

Overall: A really nice chocolate flavored beer -- surprisingly so given the anti-hype behind this one -- that is not going to get you blitzed, but falls flat on the thin mouthfeel.

Recommendation: I would certainly drink this one again, but I am not going to go too far out of my way to hunt it down again.

Pairings: Gouda cheese or brie.

Cost: $6.99 for a 16.9 oz bottle.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Beer Review: Fayston Maple Imperial Stout

Reviewing the Fayston Maple Imperial Stout from Lawson's Finest Liquids out of Vermont.
Score: 92

No bottle date, but received in a trade in March 2012. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 06/03/12 with Robbie Moy.

Appearance: Pours a completely opaque jet black color. One finger of creamy light brown head at pour that settles to a ring around the glass and thin layer across the top of the glass. Average lacing, good retention. 4/5

Smell: Coffee, chocolate and maple. Hint of sweet cherry, touch of wood. Growing amount of wood in the nose as it warms. 4.25/5

Taste: Milk chocolate and cherry upfront with a residual coffee aftertaste. Unsweetened chocolate. Subtle sweet maple backbone, but nothing too prominent. A very light amount of dark fruit flavor too. More wood flavor and more sweetness as it warms. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, minimal carbonation. Watered down syrup mouthfeel. Sweet finish. 4/5

Overall: A delicious beer that I would absolutely buy again if it were readily available on the shelves, but it's not worth the cost of hard-to-get and quasi-rare beer it takes to land given the quantities made available and general demand for Lawson's beers.

Recommendation: Seek this one out if you get the chance, but do not give up your Surly Darknesses for a bottle.

Pairings: Roasted pineapple coated in brown sugar.

Cost: $10 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beer Review: Currently Incarcerated Black Currant Porter

Reviewing the Currently Incarcerated (Black Currant + Porter) from Great Lakes Brewing Company out of Ontario, Canada (not to be confused with the Ohio brewery).
Score: 90

Batch 2, bottled less than a month ago. Served in a Goose Island silver goose Matilda glass and enjoyed 06/03/12 with Robbie Moy (who brought this back from Canada).

Appearance: Pours a black color with a thin layer of brown highlight at the top and bottom of the glass. A few fingers of light brown foamy head at pour slowly recedes to a thin foggy layer atop the glass. Excellent lacing, really good retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Chocolate covered cherries and currant. A little alcohol heat and burnt/roasted brown sugar. Roasted coffee and earthy oats. Unsweetened cocoa too. 3.75/5

Taste: Primarily chocolate covered cherry and a little sweet fizziness. Some coffee flavor in the finish. Very straightforward, slightly sugary. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, minimal carbonation. Oily mouthfeel. Modestly sweet finish. 4/5

Overall: A very solid porter that gets the cherry-chocolate flavor balance just right.

Recommendation: If you like chocolate covered cherries, seek a bottle of this out if you get the chance. Just do not go too crazy in your hunt for a bottle.

Pairings: Brownies.

Cost: $15 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beer Review: White Thai

Reviewing the White Thai from Westbrook Brewing Company out of South Carolina.
Score: 80

Can code is "1 10 20 A2BM." Served in a Half Acre tulip and enjoyed 06/03/12.

Appearance: Pours an opaque yellow color with a slight orange hue. A thin bubbly layer of white head at pour settles to a pencil thin ring around the glass. Below average lacing, average retention. 2/5

Smell: Yeasty orange, clove, banana and ample coriander. A little fruitiness, lemon and grapefruit. 3/5

Taste: More hefeweizen-like in flavor than expected. Banana-yeast flavor upfront with modestly fruity midpalate. Ample coriander throughout and in the aftertaste. Light yeast flavor too. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, medium carbonation. Juicy mouthfeel. Slightly bitter and malty finish. 3.5/5

Overall: A decent beer for the dog days of summer, but that's about the only nice thing I can really say about it.

Recommendation: I probably wouldn't say no if offered one at a BBQ, but I wouldn't seek this one out.

Pairings: Feta and walnut salad.

Cost: $10.99 for a six pack of 12 oz cans.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Beer Review: Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale

Reviewing the Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale from the Smuttynose Brewing Company.
Score: 87

Bottled on the 265th day of 2011 (October 23, 2011). Served in a Three Floyds' teku glass and enjoyed on 06/03/12 with Robbie Moy.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark mahogany color with a finger of khaki head that settles to a thick bubbly ring around the glass. Good lacing, good retention, good cling. 4/5

Smell: Rye, caramel malt, and ample creamy vanilla. A little sweet onion and sugary molasses. 3.75/5

Taste: Lots of sugary sweet caramel upfront followed by some creamy vanilla flavor. A nice rye kick on midpalate. Lots of sweet malt. Lingering sugary molasses flavor. Mild red grape flavor too. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel. Malty finish. 4/5

Overall: A solid malty beer that isn't cloyingly sweet by any means, but it certainly teeters the line of "pretty malty sweet" at points.

Recommendation: Not particularly worth seeking out, but definitely worth trying.

Pairings: Goat cheese salad with pecans with balsamic.

Cost: $8 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Beer Review: Imperial Eclipse Stout (Elijah Craig 18 Year)

Reviewing the Imperial Eclipse Stout (Elijah Craig 18 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Company out of California
Score: 97

2011 vintage bottle, number 4733. Served in a Kate the Great snifter and enjoyed on 06/03/12 with Robbie Moy.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a finger and a half of foamy dark khaki head that settles to a thin layer atop the glass. Amazing lacing, amazing retention, excellent cling. 5/5

Smell: Super smooth, inviting and balanced. Rich milk chocolate, fudge, raisin and sweet vanilla. A modest amount of red licorice too. A lesser amount of caramel, touch of coffee and a hint of sweet honey. A lot of complex chocolate flavors dominate the nose. 5/5

Taste: Upfront is sweet chocolate and a little licorice, following by fig and raw chocolate. There's some nice honey sweetness on the midpalate. There's some fudge mixed in throughout, and some brown sugar towards the finish. Not a whole lot of vanilla, maybe just a hint. A lot less licorice in the flavor compared to the nose. Chalky sweet fudge flavor aftertaste. A really excellent

Mouthfeel: Not quite full bodied, minimal carbonation. Not quite oily, not quite creamy, not quite syrupy, but some combination of all three for the mouthfeel. Extremely dry, almost chalky, finish with mild chocolatey sweetness lingering. 4.5/5

Overall: This is a knock out imperial stout. At $30 a bottle, it is not cheap, but if you are going to drop that kind of bread on a beer this is exactly how you would expect and want it to taste. I would not hoard this beer, but I would absolutely trade for another to replenish my cellar before it's impossible to find.

Recommendation: Everyone should seek a bottle out.

Pairings: Poundcake or s'mores.

Cost: $30 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Beer Review: Everett

Reviewing the Everett from the Hill Farmstead Brewery.
Score: 94

Opening a 750 ml growler that I received about a week ago from the overly generous Jason Richard. Served in a Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 03/28/12. Review is from notes.

Appearance: Pours a black coffee color with just over a finger of creamy mocha colored head that quickly settles into a bubbly ring around the glass and foggy thin layer that caps off just over 50 percent of the beer. Superior lacing, above average retention. 4.5/5

: Smokey roasted chocolate, dark chocolate and bittersweet baking chocolate morsels. Roasted oat, a little caramel and modest espresso/dark roast coffee. A light dose of piney hops too. 4/5

Taste: Just as much smokey roasted chocolate on the palate as the aroma led on. Toffee, light caramel and plenty of dry dark/raw chocolate with a smooth chocolatey finish. The beer is not very complex, but it's a luscious medley of creamy chocolate flavors throughout. Truly delightful. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full-medium bodied, low carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Dry and modestly bitter finish. 4.5/5

Overall: Quite possibly the best everyday porter that I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Very roasty/smokey and chocolate-forward.

Recommendation: Everyone should seek out a bottle of this stuff.

Pairings: Ice cream sundae.

Cost: $8 for a 500 ml bottle, $8 for a 750 ml growler or $16 for a 2 liter growler (plus the deposit).

2012 Home Run Derby Contestants and Their Numbers

Check out my latest articles on The Hardball Times, which breaks down the advanced home run statistics of each of this year's home run derby contestants. Normally I would post the copy of my latest baseball article here, but this one involves too many graphs and charts that do not coalesce with my template.

You can catch me on ESPN Radio discussing this article and collateral matters at 1:30 PM CST. The live online feed can be listened to by clicking here.

Beer Review: Tocobaga Red Ale

Reviewing the 2012 release of Tocobaga Red Ale from Cigar City Brewing out of Florida. Cigar City is likely best known for their infamous Hunahpuh's Imperial Stout, but they have plenty of standout beers (especially the Apple Brandy Zhukov). I had a glass of this at Dark Lord Day and enjoyed it thoroughly, so I am glad to finally get a bottle to review. I think Cigar City is planning to can this beer soon.
Score: 92

No bottle date, which is never a good sign for a hoppy beer. I received this beer from a friend (thank you Robbie!) last week, and he received it via trade from Florida earlier in the week. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 05/28/12.

Appearance: Pours a deep and opaque amber, almost mahogany-like, color. Fades from a reddish yellow color at the top of the glass to a ruby red at the bottom when held up to light. A thin layer of fizzy off-white head at pour quickly dissipates into a pencil thin ring around the glass. Slight below average lacing, but good retention. 4/5

Smell: Hoppy and citrus-y caramel, grapefruit and candied orange malt. Some fruity berry, bready grain and a little bit of earthy IPA-like onion aroma too. A touch of warm alcohol. 4/5

Taste: Drinks just like it smells, but smoother, more incorporated and a bit less intense. There's citrus and caramel upfront with the earthy/oniony hops and a mild "toasted grain" flavor in the finish/linger. Very oily, with some lemon, bready grain and modest toffee flavor in the middle. As the beer layers, more of the lemon flavor lasts towards the finish. No alcohol flavor or booziness whatsoever; this beer is quite drinkable. There's a nondescript "butteriness" to the midpalate flavor; I cannot put my finger on what that butteriness is, but it seems quite familiar. Very pleasant. Only slightly fruity/floral upfront, but that yields to the earthy hoppiness towards the finish. Residual lemon and bready grain aftertaste. This beer is not what I would at all call sweet, but it's a nice mix of the bitter and the malty. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-plus carbonation that perks the earthy hops and citrus flavors on the tongue. Oily mouthfeel. Bitter and malty finish, but not overly so on either account. 4.5/5

Overall: Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the style generally, Tocobaga Red Ale is a standout beer on par with Maine Beer Company's Zoe.

Recommendation: Given it's smooth flavor and not overly hoppy approach, I think this beer would make an excellent gateway to hoppy brews for the casual beer drinkers. Beer geeks are encouraged to seek this one out as well.

Pairings: Oyster Gratinee (per a Cigar City food pairing dinner).

Cost: $12 for a six pack.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beer Review: Hopzilla (2012)

Reviewing the 2012 release of Hopzilla from Terrapin Beer Company out of Athens, Georgia -- birthplace of the Elephant 6 collective.
Score: 91

2012 bottle from the March release. Served in a Stella Artois chalice and enjoyed on 05/28/12.

Appearance: Pours a clean and clear looking golden, slightly orange, color with two fingers of white soapy head that settles into a thin layer atop the glass. Excellent lacing and retention. 4.5/5

Smell: First impression is sweet and hoppy orange citrus closely followed by earthy onion and dirty/mulchy/earthy hops. Sweet mango and pineapple, malty caramel, bitter bready malt and a light amount of candied grapefruit too. A bit of astringent nose-hair warming "hoppy citrus caramel" aroma as the beer warms. 4.25/5

Taste: A lot more onion and "oaky"/"woody" earth/hops flavor forward than the nose led on -- particularly on the midpalate, where there is a sharp onion flavor. Ample bittersweet orange and mango/pineapple flavor and a juicy sweet citrus flavor balance out the bitter and malty onion-y hops oils. There's plenty of sweet -- but not sugary -- malty "citrus caramel" flavor too, but it's not an overly malty maltiness like the mess of a beer that Lenny's RIPA was. The flavors here are very big, and bold, and a bit warming on the palate. This beer teeters on the edge of "booziness" without crossing the line. The ABV is not hidden like the Double Crooked Tree, and the sweet malt-forward flavors of the beer make it a sipper and a palate wrecker, but the flavors are still surprisingly balanced for how aggressive they are. There is a lingering aftertaste of the flavors just described, albeit in a much more subdued fashion. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with minimal carbonation. The lack of carbonation causes the bitter and hoppy malt flavors to sit heavy on the tongue, and linger/layer well. Oily mouthfeel. Dry and bittersweet/malty finish. 4/5

Overall: A big and bold imperial IPA that is more "malty" than most, but still quite balanced. This is the kind of beer I expected from Lenny's RIPA.

Recommendation: Casual beer drinkers and bitter/hoppy beer haters should avoid this one. The rest are encouraged to seek a bottle out. I could easily seek this one aging well after a year into a "hoppy barleywine."

Pairings: Grilled chicken.

Cost: $12 for a four pack bottle.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Beer Review: Solitude & Society #2

Reviewing the Solitude & Society #2 from the Hill Farmstead Brewery.
Score: 92

Three week old 750 ml growler served in a Half Acre tulip and enjoyed on 04/09/12. Review is from notes.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black, essentially opaque, color with two fingers of foamy tan head that settles to a ring around the glass and foggy cap. Amazing lacing and retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, lemon zest, grapefruit, orange rind and pine sap. There is a light amount of oak as well behind the juicy tropical citrus aromas. 4.5/5

Taste: Roasted chocolate malt, zesty tropical citrus and extra sticky and resiny pine sap. There is a heavy and lingering hops bitterness present. The finish is a little chocolate-y. Loads of hops to boot, with a growingly bitter finish as the beer layers on the tongue. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied with carbonation on the higher end of medium. Oily mouthfeel. Dry and bitter finish. 4/5

Overall: One of the better black IPA on the market.

Recommendation: Fans of black IPA should seek this one out. Haters of black IPA should seek a bottle of this out too, if only to demonstrate that the style has it's highlights.

Pairings: Hamburgers.

Cost: $10 for a 750 ml growler or $18 for a 2 liter growler (plus the deposit).