Monday, February 23, 2015

Beer Review: Malevolence Chocolate Caliente

Reviewing the Malevolence Chocolate Caliente, a Russian imperial stout brewed with vanilla beans, cacao nibs, cinnamon, Urfa biber chili flakes, and dried Aleppo pepper from Spiteful Brewing out of Chicago, Illinois.

Score: 94

January 2015 bottling. Served in a Hunahpu's snifter and enjoyed on 02/22/15 during the Oscars telecast.

Appearance: First things first: open this beer over the sink. We cracked the cap on a side-stored (but otherwise still) bottle, and this beer began gushing instantaneously. Within 15 seconds, 50% of the bottle was all over the table. Once some of the beer made its way into the glass, it poured a dark chocolate color with nice outer-edge fade and ample foamy khaki head that settles to a thin bubbly ring around the glass. Minimal lacing or retention, but nice browning effect/residuals from swirling. 3.5/5

Smell: The aroma on this beer was quite potent and pleasant (possibly because the kitchen was covered in it). Heavy-handed cinnamon, shortbread cookies, chocolate, and hints of mint and vanilla. Some chili pepper too. Reminds me a lot of Abraxas. 4.5/5

Taste: Lovely mix of cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, sugar cookies with a hint of chocolate too. Nice light but present pepper kick and flavor on the back half. Tastes a lot like the love child of Abraxas and the 2011 vintage of Hunahpu's. Lingering spice and spiciness. Cocoa-mole on the finish too. Quite excellent! Was expecting this to be sour, infected, or off in some way given that it gushed upon opening, so the quality of the flavor was a welcome relief. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly under-carbonated -- which is shocking, given how forcefully this beer gushed upon opening. Nice pepper heat that is present, but not too prominent or overpowering -- kind of like how Space Ghost is but with a little less heat. Lovely spice mix that is balanced despite brown sugar/cinnamon sweetness. 3.5/5

Overall: An excellent beer and real winner from Spiteful, who is making some interesting stuff as a newer Chicago brewery. I've been told this is already being barrel aged, and am interested to see the outcome of that project. I am not sure why this beer explosively gushed upon opening, but friends have since informed me that they have had similar experiences. Open this one over the sink with glasses on the ready, and enjoy. Prost!

Cost: $12.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Beer Review: Yellow Rose

Reviewing the Yellow Rose, a single hop (Mosaic) IPA from The Lone Pint Brewery, out of Magnolia, Texas.

Score: 85

Unconfirmed bottling date, but presumed fresh (less than a month old) based on the representations of the trader. Served in a Hopslam snifter and enjoyed on 02/11/15.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, murky orange color with two fingers of seafoam head that settle to clusters of clumps atop the glass. Very good lacing and retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Grapefruit, melon, and berry. A touch of grassy/earthy tones too. Lovely, fruity mix without a bitter-apparent nose. 4.25/5

Taste: Grapefruit flavor, bready malt and a little fruitiness upfront with spicy, earthy tones on the finish and a hint of onion that lingers long past the finish on the very back of the palate. Very mild bitterness. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, appropriately carbonated (on the higher end for an IPA, though). Has a mild bitter bite upfront palliated by a maltiness that quickly counterbalances. Has a foamy mouthfeel as it sits on the tongue. 4/5

Overall: A solid, but unspectacular IPA offering (though Mosaic is admittedly not my hop of choice). Definitely worth a pint, but not a must-seek brew for my preferences.

Cost: $10 for a 750 ml bottle.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Beer Review: Beer Geek Dessert

Reviewing the Beer Geek Dessert from Mikkeller out of Copenhagen, Denmark. This beer is their oatmeal stout base brewed with cocoa and vanilla.

Score: 94

Fall 2014 vintage bottle served in a Mikkeller & Friend stemmed glass and enjoyed on 01/30/15.

Appearance: Pours an inky black color with a ring around the glass of frothy khaki head. Amazing  lacing and retention. Nice oily legs, but no browning from the swirl a la Barrel Aged Beer Geek Vanilla Shake. Picture perfect stout. 5/5

Smell: Rich vanilla frosting, marshmallow, chocolate cake, and oatmeal cookies. Syrup too. Absolutely heavenly, decadent nose that is bold in aroma. 5/5

Taste: Nice medley of sweet vanilla upfront followed by lasting bitter chocolate with a hint of coffee on the finish. Opens up to a little burnt flavor on the finish too, which is slightly ashy. This is pretty tasty and quite quaffable given its bitterness, but the flavor not as epic as the nose led on. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, low carbonation. Bitter, slightly ashy finish. 4/5

Overall: Another delicious variation of Mikkeller's Beer Geek oatmeal stout. Mikkeller's been knocking it out of the park with their chocolate/vanilla variations of Beer Geek the last year-plus. This one is also very reasonably priced relative to most of their portfolio. Do not pass a chance at this one up if you see it on the shelf.

Cost: $7.99 for a 12 oz bottle.