Friday, October 31, 2014

Beer Review: Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Speedway Stout

Reviewing the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Speedway Stout from the AleSmith Brewing Company out of San Diego, California

Score: 93

February 2014 vintage bottle served in a Ghandi Bot snifter and enjoyed on 08/15/14.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a finger and a half of khaki head that settles to a thin coating. Very good lacing and retention. Looks pretty much exactly like you would expect and desire a stout to look like. 4.75/5

Smell: Nutty, slightly grassy coffee with a light roastiness and a very pronounced chocolate character. A little bit of dark fruit too, which crescendos as the beer warms up. Quite lovely. 4.5/5

Taste: There is a lot more dark fruit in the taste than in the nose, which hits right away and lingers past the finish. Frankly, the taste is mostly about the dark fruit. Alcohol spiciness on the midpalate. Chocolate and a kiss of teriyaki sauce on the backhalf and finish, with some nuttiness and a wee bit of roast (much less than the nose) upfront. Solid integration. Tasty, but not on par with the likes of Kopi Coffee Speedway or Vietnamese Coffee Speedway. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, low carbonation. No acidity, mild bitterness and not much sweetness. Well-balanced save for the booziness, which is somewhat unexpected given my experiences with other iterations of Coffee Speedway, but perhaps, at the same time, this should not be too unexpected given that this beer is 12% ABV. 4.25/5

Overall: A quality stout and definite improvement over the base beer that just does not live up to the standard of excellence established by other iterations of this beer. Kopi Coffee Speedway is still king in my book, animal cruelty concerns notwithstanding.

Cost: $30 for a 750 ml bottle.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Beer Review: Veritas 010

Reviewing Veritas 010, a blended sour ale aged in french oak barrels with peaches from The Lost Abbey out of San Marcos, California.

Score: 88

2011 vintage bottle served in a Lost Abbey teku and enjoyed on 07/27/14, alongside Yellow Bus and Fuzzy.

Appearance: Pours a murky peach/yellow-orange color with a thin fizz of head that totally settles. No lacing or retention. 3/5

Smell: Peach vinegar, white wine and oak. Has that traditional American wild ale nose underlying, with a hint of nail polish coming through as it warms up. 3.25/5

Taste: Nice tartness and mild vinegar character, with a balanced acidity that is not too intense. A little wine flavor on the finish. Tastes like Upland Peach, but milder and better balanced. Ample and lasting peach flavor, though it is not a "fresh peach" flavor. Much smoother than the nose led on 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, modest acidity. Good carbonation. A little underlying sweetness, good tartness and a dry finish. 4/5

Overall: Thankfully, this tasted better than it smelled. If you liked Upland Peach, then I imagine that you would likely enjoy this beer. Solid overall, but nowhere near the quality of Yellow Bus (or Fuzzy, for that matter). It is even less like Yellow Bus than Veritas 012 is unlike Cable Car Kriek in my opinion.

Cost: $40 for a 750 ml bottle.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Beer Review: R&D Wild Peach

Reviewing the R&D Wild Peach, a sour brown ale with Michigan peaches that was spontaneously fermented and aged on oak from the New Glarus Brewing Company out of New Glarus, Wisconsin. This beer is a blend of beer that was brewed in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Score: 97

Blend of 2011, 2012 and 2014 beer bottled in August 2014. Served in a Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery tulip and enjoyed on 08/11/14.

Appearance: Watch out, this one gushes! Pours a murky, brownish red color with nice edge-to-center fade and 3 fingers of tan foamy head that settles to a thick ring around the glass with clumps of foam and what appear to be residual fruit shavings/dregs atop the brew. Solid lacing, very good retention. 4/5

Smell: Fresh peaches, peach syrup and peach jelly in spades! Behind that is graham cracker, brown sugar, oak, a little lemon and a dash of vanilla. Faint hint of brett and hay hidden in the background. This beer smells like a peach cobbler. 5/5

Taste: Peach syrup and fresh peach galore in the taste as well, though it does not taste like a peach cobbler. Behind the big wall of fresh peach is oak, sweet malt, brett and a light barnyard funk. Finishes with a mild bourbon flavor with ample peach syrup and a little bit of brett also lingering. There is a lot more funk on the taste than there was in the nose, but it is still relatively subtle and mixes well with the rest of the flavor profile. Really well balanced, mixing sweetness with a light sourness and a bit of young funk. As it warms, the peach lingers longer. Mmmm. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Viscous for a sour, effervescent and appropriately carbonated. The sourness level here is very mild, but the carbonation level renders it lively on the tongue nonetheless. Dry finish. 4.75/5

Overall: I was skeptical of what a bourbon aged brown ale with peaches would smell and taste like, but New Glarus hit the mark on this one. The nose is absolutely sublime. This beer is not sour like very sour blackberry, but why should it have to be? It is a different base beer entirely. Think Peche 'n Brett with more peach and a little bourbon.

Cost: $8 for a 500 ml bottle.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Beer Review: Yellow Bus

Reviewing the infamous Yellow Bus , a "yellow sour" (American wild ale) with white peaches from The Lost Abbey out of San Marcos, California. Although unsigned, the bottle has been verified as authentic.

Score: 98

2008 vintage bottle served in a Lost Abbey teku and enjoyed on 07/27/14 alongside Veritas 010.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy yellow-orange peach color that is a darker hue than the Veritas 010, with a thin later of head that settles to a ring around the glass. Has a lovely fade with an orange-ish center (this is sadly not particularly apparent in my photo). No lacing or retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Peach/peach syrup, oak, tannins and vanilla. So lovely. A hint of must and stone fruit. Has a little zesty, mildly jammy character. Quite remarkable, though not quite the best sour peach nose I have encountered to date. Lovely mix of aromatics here. 5/5

Taste: Peach, peach, peach, mineral water, a hint of stone fruit and a kiss of oak. So lovely. It's 90% peach, with a little jellied sweetness, wine, oak and other faint underlying complexities that make you doubt this is Lost Abbey. Do not get me wrong, Tomme makes some delicious sours, but subtly has never been his calling card. Finishes with lasting peach flavor. Just a hint of vinegar. More acidity/sourness if you let it sit on the tongue more. 4.75

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, spot on carbonation. More "pop" from the cork than there was with Veritas 010. Soft tartness with a little sweetness. Virtually no acidity and has the delicateness of the best Belgian lambic, which is quite unlike Veritas 010. Excellent balance. 5/5

Overall: A remarkable ghost whale; one of the better white whales out there that I have sampled to date. It is not a unique beer so much as it is a masterfully brewed and balanced one. I would put this a half step above Fuzzy in quality, noting that it is six or so years old and thus likely faded from its peak. I personally would take a bottle like Black & Wild over this if given a choice, but this bottle did not disappoint.

Cost: Unknown (was never a bottle sold to the public).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beer Review: Coffee Abraxas

Reviewing the Coffee Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales out of St. Louis, Missouri.

Score: 43

Fall 2013 vintage bottle served in an Abraxas glass and enjoyed on 07/25/14, alongside batch 1 and batch 2 Barrel Aged Abraxas.

Appearance: Pours a shiny, inky black color with a finger of head of mocha colored head. Good lacing and retention. Nice oily legs and browning from the swirl too. 4.25/5

Smell: Lots of green pepper, with subtler notes of cinnamon, milk chocolate and very faint coffee behind it. This nose has a lot of vegetal similarity, in a bad way, with Sump and regular Barrel Aged Sump; maybe it has something to do with the coffee blend used? The green pepper character is pretty unpleasant, but the residual aroma of cinnamon and milk chocolate is nice and saves this aroma from being a complete disaster. 2/5

Taste: Has a sharp green pepper flavor upfront with a little tang and fruitiness on the back half. Definitely some minor off flavors present here. There's a mix of milk chocolate and old coffee on the back half, with a kiss of cinnamon on the midpalate. Poor flavor integration here, which is a shame given the balanced master piece of regular Abraxas and Barrel Aged Abraxas. A tinge of booze too. The green pepper character in the taste, like the nose, is quite unpleasant, but it is not undrinkable. The beer finishes with a faint milk chocolate flavor that sticks around a bit. 2/5

Mouthfeel: Thin bodied, low-medium carbonation. Given the viscous body of regular Abraxas and Barrel Aged Abraxas, this is a huge disappointment. Vegetal flavor, but otherwise balanced with a touch of residual sweetness on the finish. 1.5/5

Overall: This beer was much roastier and chocolatey on tap (and it had none of the green pepper character) the night before FOBAB compared to this bottle. I have sampled much fresher pours from two other bottles, and my experience with those bottles was roughly comparable to this one. I think the coffee character here was entirely too vegetal, and that it overshadowed and overpowered the characters that make Abraxas special. I would certainly give this beer another whirl if I saw it on tap, but I would not seek out another pour from a bottle.

Cost: $30 for a 750 ml bottle.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Beer Review: Rue D'Floyd (The Bruery version)

Reviewing Rue D'Floyd, an imperial porter aged in bourbon barrels with cherries, coffee and vanilla beans added brewed by The Bruery out of Placentia, California in collaboration with Three Floyd's Brewing Company out of Munster, Indiana. This beer was unintentionally infected with lactobacillus, meaning that it is apt to develop off/unintended flavors over time. The Bruery, in their mea culpa email about the infection, asserted that it would be best by June 30, 2014 (i.e., no infection flaws apparent if drank by then).

Score: 93

March 2014 vintage bottle served in a 2011 Surly Darkness chalice and enjoyed on 07/19/14.

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate color with a thin layer of khaki head that settles to a thick ring around the glass. Okay lacing, average retention. 4/5

Smell: Vanilla bean ice cream, coffee, brown sugar, light roast, bourbon, cherry and a hint of chocolate. The cherry (and bourbon) is much more pronounced in the nose of The Bruery brewed version of this beer than the Three Floyd's brewed version, but it is still pretty subdued overall. The aromatic mix is nice, and the vanilla is quite lovely, but it is not quite as marvelously integrated as the Three Floyd's version was. 4.5/5

Taste: Bourbon-forward flavor followed by ample chocolate (much more so than the nose). Oaky vanilla on the finish. Not getting much cherry right out of the fridge, but as it warms up, a little bit of restrained cherry flavor comes through on the back half. Long-lasting finish of bourbon and oak. A bit of alcohol heat and more sweetness comes across than I recall in the Three Floyd's version. No off flavors present in this bottle as of late July 2014. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Similar mouthfeel to the Three Floyd's version, but with more alcohol heat. Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Viscous, chewy and a little creamy mouthfeel. Sweeter than I recall the Three Floyd's version being. 4.75/5

Overall: Very good, but it's not quite the robust beast that the Three Floyd's brewed version was -- whether that be because of slight differences in the brewing process or the coffee element or otherwise.

Cost: $20 for a 750 ml bottle.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Beer Review: Nocturn Chrysalis

Reviewing the Nocturn Chrysalis from the Jester King Craft Brewery out of Austin, Texas.


May 2014 vintage bottle served in a stemmed Jester King beer glass and enjoyed on 07/17/14.

Appearance: Pours a blackberry pulp color akin to New Glarus R&D Very Sour Blackberry, with a thin layer of light purple head that quickly settles to a thick ring around the glass. Solid lacing, great retention. 4.25/5

Smell: Blackberry jam and lacto primarily, with notes of lemon, oak and vanilla. Well integrated and pleasant nose. The nose is not quite "blackberry yogurt," but the comparison is apt nonetheless. 4.25/5

Taste: Has a sour bite upfront with oak and blackberry, followed by a surprisingly faint lacto flavor. Finishes with a dry, lemon juice-like, slightly acidic sourness without much flavor. No real linger on this beer. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied, appropriately carbonated. Dry finish, good sourness. Good balance, with a nice, light acidity. Could use a little sweetness. 4/5

Overall: This beer is good, but nowhere near the level of quality relative to other Jester King fruited sour projects such as Atrial Rubicite and Omniscience & Proselytism. I think this beer might be a bit too overattenuated. The sourness and blackberry flavor is nice, but the lack of sweetness from the fruit sugars holds this one back from being great.

Cost: $15 for a 500 ml bottle.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beer Review: Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Van Wink

Reviewing the Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Van Wink from the Hoppin' Frog Brewery out of Akron, Ohio. This beer is Hoppin' Frog's signature BORIS Russian imperial stout aged in pappy van winkle barrels.

Score: 84

November 2013 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness chalice and enjoyed on 07/12/14. Thank you Kevin S. for sending me this brew!

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with just under a finger of khaki head that recedes quickly to a thick ring around the glass. Okay lacing and retention, light browning from swirling. 4/5

Smell: Fudge, bourbon, oak, caramel, chocolate and a little roast. Really nice mix! 4.5/5

Taste: Taste is boozier, oakier and less integrated than the nose. Licorice, oak, dark fruit, booze and baker's chocolate. Has a kiss of ashiness. Not bad at all, but it is a far cry from the quality that the nose led on or even regular barrel aged BORIS. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, low carbonation. More bitter than anticipated. Creamy mouthfeel. 3.5/5

Overall: A solid, but far from spectacular beer that proves that using Pappy barrels does not always make a beer better. Regular barrel aged BORIS, and even non-barrel aged BORIS, were better in my opinion.

Cost: $15.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Beer Review: Black Damnation V (Double Black)

Reviewing the infamous Black Damnation V (Double Black), an eised barrel aged Russian imperial stout from De Struise Brouwers our of Belgium. This beer is their Cuvee Delphine (bourbon barrel aged Black Albert), ice distilled to 26% ABV.

Score: 87

2010 vintage bottle, Lot B. "Best by" 2016. Served in a Black Damnation tulip taster and enjoyed on 07/12/14. Thank you Paul for sharing this one!
Appearance: Pours a viscous, motor oil color with no head. Minimal pop to the uncorking of the synthetic cork. Has a crazy browning effect from the swirl with chunky lacing and good legs. This brew looks imposing. 4.5/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, tobacco, malt and black licorice. Bourbon, alcohol (though not nearly as much as you would expect from a 26% ABV monster), cherry, plum and caramelized sugars too. A touch of cardboard-like oxidation. Those nose is solid, with average integration, but it is nothing particularly amazing. The nose is big and bold and can be smelled a foot away from the glass. 3.75/5

Taste: Taste just like it smells with a strong fruity oxidation character to the finish. Caramelized sugars/brown sugar, barley malt, dark fruit chocolate and tobacco are the primary flavors through and in the linger. Less bourbon character in the taste than in the nose. This beer is surprisingly "smooth" for 26% ABV -- with three to four years of age on it, this beer lacks the "here I am, rock you like a hurricane" heat of higher (but relatively lower) ABV brews like World World Stout and Black Tuesday. Lots of lasting fruitiness/oxidation and tobacco/dark fruit flavor to the finish. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. The mouthfeel is so viscous and chewy. Big, lasting flavors coat the palate. Has a flavor profile consisting of sweet components that does not come across as being "sweet" a la Double Barrel Hunahpu's. 4.75/5

Overall: A good/solid, but not great or "cannot miss stout" in my opinion. I have had better bottles of this, but never one I had a good pour of that was quality enough to justify the high retail price tag or secondary market trade value. The flavor profile here reminds me of Double Barrel Hunahpu's, minus the spices/peppers, with relatively poorer integration. Among the many hard-to-get, highly touted beers out there, this one is notably skippable; tickers and completionists be forewarned.

Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Beer Review: Portuguese Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord (2014 vintage)

Reviewing the Portuguese Brandy Barrel Aged Dark Lord from Three Floyds Brewing Company out of Munster, Indiana.

Score: 55

Bottle #496/608. From the April 2014 Dark Lord Day release. Served in a orange logo Dark Lord mini snifter and enjoyed on 07/12/14. Thank you Robbie for bringing this bottle to share.

Appearance: Pours a motor oil black color with a wisp of dark khaki head that quickly and completely settles. No lacing or retention, but solid oily legs with a nice browning from the swirl. This beer looks dense, viscous. 4.5/5

Smell: Milk chocolate, brandy, green peppers, prunes and plums. Hint of cherry. Leather too, anise and char. Not my favorite mix of aromas and everything does not integrate the best. Not a fan of how bold the green pepper character is. After this beer sat out for awhile (approximately 2 hours), I felt that the chocolate character in the nose became a bit more prominent while the harshness of the char/anise/green pepper combo softened, resulting in a better integrated, more rounded nose. 3/5

Taste: Milk chocolate, burnt char, licorice, prunes, tobacco and a heavy brandy and bell pepper finish. A kiss of cherry. The finish is lasting, but not pleasant. A kiss of molasses on the back half too. While not as a sweet as say Moscatel Dark Lord, this is a sweet beer. 2/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation. Has a chewy, viscous and sticky mouthfeel a la Double Barrel Hunahpu's. Sweet, but not quite cloying. 4.5/5

Overall: This beer features a plethora of flavors I do not care for (black licorice, bell peppers and a brandy flavor that does not come close to the quality of the 2011 vintage), with poor integration to boot. While I cannot say this is one of the three worst barrel aged Dark Lord variants I have sampled (that honor belongs to Moscatel Dark Lord, Cognac De Muerte Dark Lord and Port Dark Lord), it is subpar beer that is not worth the tick in my opinion. I would not recommend paying $50 for a bottle, let alone trading rare beer or going above dollar-for-dollar in trade to acquire this.

Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Beer Review: Exodus (2011 vintage)

Reviewing Exodus, an intentionally soured red ale aged in bourbon barrels with cherries from Central Waters Brewing Company out of Amherst, Wisconsin.

Score: 94

Fall 2011 vintage bottle served in a Goose Island Chicago flag snifter and enjoyed on 07/01/14.

Appearance: Pours a murky, reddish-orange color with a slight brownish tinge with a half finger of head that settles to a thick ring around the glass. The last pour is quite sediment-y. Nothing special in the lacing/retention/lacing department, but this is a sour ale. 3.75/5

Smell: Cherry, lacto, vanilla and oak working in a nice harmony. Relative to how this was fresh, the acidity has softened a bit and the cherry has faded a bit in a good way such that the medicinal character that was once there fresh is now gone. A kiss of lemon too. 4.25/5

Taste: Tart cherry, oak and a kiss of lacto on the finish. Has a well-rounded acidity. Tart cherry throughout. Really pleasant balance here. No medicinal character anymore. A little residual sweetness on the back half. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Dry finish. Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation. Has a nice sourness with an underlying/balancing residual sweetness. 4.5/5

Overall: Excellent, early sour project from Central Waters that has aged marvelously. Recent batches on tap have been even better than this was fresh.

Cost: $14.99 for a 750 ml bottle.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Beer Review: Murda'd Out Stout

Reviewing Murda'd Out Stout, a bourbon barrel aged stout collaboration between Three Floyds Brewing Company out of Munster, Indiana (Dark Lord), Surly Brewing Company out of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, De Struise Brouwers out of Belgium, and Mikkeller out of Denmark. This beer is not "Barrel Aged Baller Stout." Rather, the components beers were individually barrel aged before blending.

Score: 98

January 2013 vintage bottle served in a stemmed Mikkeller "The Original" taster glass and enjoyed on 06/02/14.

Appearance: Pours an inky black color with a thin layer of tan head that settles to a bubbly ring around the glass. Poor lacing, okay retention. Nice legs and browning/tanning of the side of the glass from swirling. 4.5/5

Smell: Fudgey chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and a light oak character. Some cherry and fig too. Marvelous integration of this big bold barrel aged stout nose. 4.75/5

Taste: Tastes even better than it smells! Milk chocolate, fudge, vanilla, dark fruit and brown sugar/molasses. Big, lasting bourbon and chocolate finish. So...much...fudge! 5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, spot on low carbonation. Chewy and creamy mouthfeel. Nice sweet-leaning balance. The flavors absolutely coat the palate here. 5/5

Overall: Who said this beer was falling off? It is still drinking like a champ. This beer is just as good as Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord, and is one of the better barrel aged stouts out there (and it was priced accordingly). I would love to acquire another if the opportunity presents itself.

Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Beer Review: David

Reviewing David, a collaboration imperial IPA between Toppling Goliath Brewing Company out of Decorah, Iowa and Tree House Brewing Company out of Monson, Massachusetts.

Score: 91

Bottle from the May 2014 release. Served in an Upland snifter and enjoyed on 06/11/14.

Appearance: Pours an orange color with a half finger of cream colored head that settles to a foggy cap. Great lacing and retention. Some floaties/sediment present. 4.25/5

Smell: Fruity, grassy hops with a light caramel sweetness and booziness. Behind that is a pine/resin character and a sweet tropical fruit nose. Does not quite jump out of the glass like Triple Sunshine did. 4.25/5

Taste: Big sweet/juicy fruity mosaic hop character with a little musty/funky orange towards finish. Booziness in the middle. Reminds me a lot of Sosus, but boozier. Grapefruit, sweet caramel maltiness. Lots of sweet juiciness, no real bitterness or pine quality to the taste. Solid integration. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, low carbonation. Oily mouthfeel with a malty sweetness and light bitterness on the finish. 4/5

Overall: A nice and fruity IPA that is more in the vein of Sosus than Pseudo Sue. The mosaic hop fruitiness dominates the flavor (mosaic hops are not among my favorite variety) and there is no real bitterness or bite here. This beer is definitely well made, and definitely delicious. Alas, for me, it was merely good and not great, lacking some of the IPA bite that I was hoping for given the brewers involved.

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

Beer Review: Dinner

Reviewing Dinner, an imperial IPA from Maine Beer Company out of Freeport, Maine.

Score: 93

Bottle is from the 05/21/14 release. Served in an Upland snifter and enjoyed on 06/11/14. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a nice orange-peach color with a finger of frothy head that settles to a thin coating. Excellent lacing, good retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit and forest-y pine. The nose features a nice mix of tropical fruitiness and grassy/piney hop characteristics. Quite lovely. 4.5/5

Taste: Grapefruit and orange zest, with a nice piney bite on the back half. So...much...grapefruit! Simple, effective and delicious IPA. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery, undercarbonated. Watery mouthfeeel, but nice bitterness. Lasting bitterness and grapefruit. 2.5/5

Overall: A really lovely grapefruit bomb IPA that needs more heft and carbonation in the mouthfeel to be a truly elite beer.

Cost: $10 for a 500 ml bottle.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Beer Review: Triple Sunshine

Reviewing the Triple Sunshine from Lawson's Finest Liquids out of Warren, Vermont

Score: 100

From the 05/24/13 bottle release. Served in an Upland snifter and enjoyed on 06/11/14.

Appearance: Pours a radiant and murky light tangerine color with a finger of white head that settles to a thin foggy cap. Excellent lacing with crazy cling/retention. Has a cascading head when tilted. Such a gorgeous beer. 5/5

Smell: Bright and bold mango, peach, pineapple, fresh and dank tropical fruit and pine. Has a sticky, resinous sweetness to the nose. Really awesome. Reminds me of a danker, sweeter-malt aroma version of Double Sunshine. So much citrus, pine and dank freshness. Has a light spice character to the nose. 5/5

Taste: This beer has the same big juicy citrus and tropical fruit character of Double Sunshine upfront -- especially the mango and pineapple assault, in addition to the grapefruit -- but this is quickly followed by a bitter piney hop bite and lasting bitterness. Has a nice underlying sweetness, but definitely more bitter leaning than Double Sunshine's balanced juiciness. There is a little spicy/earthy character to the finish along with a little caramel malt flavor. Lasting bitterness and a nice resin flavor towards the back half. No booziness here, in my opinion. The bitterness layers nicely, with the flavors growing in intensity with every sip. Great integration here. 5/

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, perfect carbonation. Really viscous for an IPA. Slick, oily mouthfeel with a nice mildly dry finish. Bitter leaning with a stick-around-sweetness too. 5/5

Overall: A slightly spicy, bitterer and drier version of Double Sunshine with a nice dank quality to it. This beer falls somewhere between my two favorite IPA -- Double Sunshine and Abrasive -- with its bitter hop bite and sweet/juicy tropical fruit character. I can dig it!

Cost: $12 for a 22 oz (bomber).