Monthly Archives: November 2011

98. Smuttynose Star Island

This is the first beer from Smuttynose that I would not recommend. It is a fine beer and something that I was able to finish easily but it did not live up to the other varieties of Smuttynose that I have already reviewed. It may simply be the style of beer as Belgian style ales certainly do have a unique character but this one just seemed a bit off. Color was great with a thick head, aroma seemed to be all over the place with some hops, grains and fruits in there. Taste was just OK and a bit disappointing after my other Smuttynose reviews.
Pros: Color
Cons: Inconsistent aroma
Alcohol Content: 5.1% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Brewers Website: Smuttynose
Brewers Description: Visitors to Smuttynose Island, peering across the dark waters of Gosport Harbor towards the ragged rocks of neighboring Star Island, are sometimes startled by the fleeting sight of mysterious, alluring creatures swept up from the Atlantic’s cold, inky depths.  Or so they tell us.

Our Star Island Single is an eminently sessionable, abbey-style ale offering a beguiling mix of flavor and refreshment. This medium-bodied golden ale features a slight residual sweetness from Honey Malt and hints of citrus and tropical fruits from the unique Belgian yeast it is fermented with, leaving a crisp dry finish. Enjoy it sociably while you savor good times, tall tales, friendly company & life’s unexpected pleasures.
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97. Cottrell Old Yankee Ale

I had never heard of Cottrell brewing but came across this one at at The Good Beer Store and since I like ales thought I would give it a try. I was impressed with the color and head after the pour and the beer did not disappoint. Solid aroma with lots of different fruity smells. The beer was smooth and easy to drink as you would expect from a 5% ABV ale. This one went down so smooth it is hard to review as it was gone before I knew it.
Pros: Smooth, color, aroma
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 26
Rating: ★★★½☆
Brewers Website: Cottrell Brewing
Brewers Description: A medium bodies Amber Ale this World Class Beer has an A+ Rating from the founders of Beer Advocate. Brewed and bottled in Connecticut for the past 13 years “Step Into New England” with this outstanding session beer!!

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96. Smuttynose Winter Ale

Snuttynose is quickly becoming one of my favorite brewers. I have yet to have a bad beer from Smuttynose and some of them end up on my top list. I have not started my top Winter seasonals yet but this will certainly be on it. Nice dark color with tan head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is sweet with some malt and hops in there. Taste is smooth with plenty of sweetness but very well balanced. This would be a great session beer and another solid offering from Smuttynose.
Pros: Color, smooth easy to drink
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.1% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Smuttynose
Brewers Description: Smuttynose Winter Ale is a full-bodied, amber beer brewed with a special Trappist ale yeast. Stylistically reminiscent of a Belgian Abbey Double, it features fruity aromas and flavor, balanced by soft Crystal hops. Warming, mellow & pleasantly complex, Smuttynose Winter Ale is your perfect cold weather companion. Available in sixpacks and on draft from late October through February.

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95. Redhook Long Hammer IPA

The last of the Redhook variety pack. Overall not a bad beer but I am not even sure this really qualifies as an IPA with an IBU rating of 44. Most IPAs from local brewers are in the 60+/- range so this feels more like a regular ale with slightly higher hops. For me this is not necessarily a bad thing as I prefer beer with lower IBU ratings. Color again is great with a thick white head that lasts and leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma is minimal but the beer itself is easy to drink. If I were rating this as an IPA it would get a very low rating looking at it just as a beer it is not bad.
Pros: Color, smooth
Cons: Not really an IPA
Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 44
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Brewers Website: Redhook
Brewers Description: The generous addition of hops both during and at the end of the fermentation process (dry-hopping) gives our India Pale Ale its characteristic bitterness and piney citrus aroma and flavor.  The medium body, crisp finish, and moderate alcohol and IBU levels makes this one of America’s most drinkable and best-selling IPAs.

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94. Redhook Pilsner

This is the third of four varieties included in the Redhook variety pack and the only one of the bunch I was not looking forward to. The only reason is I do not like pilsners and while this is a quality beer it was tough to drink. I was able to finish it but have 2 more in the fridge that I will have to bring to Thanksgiving dinner or some other function where someone else can drink them. The color is great with a nice white head that leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass. Taste is what I expect from a pilsner (which is not much). Overall another quality beer from Redhook and if you like pilsners you would probably enjoy this beer.
Pros: Color
Cons: It’s a pilsner
Alcohol Content: 5.3% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 25
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Brewers Website: Redhook
Brewers Description: Czech out Redhook’s newest brew.  Redhook Pilsner is crisp, golden lager that is modeled after those historic beers originally made in Plzeň, Czechoslovakia.  Redhook Pilsner’s maltiness is offset by a medium dose of Saaz hops and finishes with a clean, bright, thirst-quenching quality. A great “session” lager for when you’ve got a long day ahead of drinking.
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93. Redhook Copperhook

This is the second of four varieties from Redhook and this review will be similar to the first. A quality amber/red with an appearance that is probably a bit lighter than many other reds. Slight caramel aroma and again a nice balance of malt and hops. Finishes clean and easy to drink even though the ABV is slightly higher than most.
Pros: Great color, easy to drink
Cons: Lighter than other reds
Alcohol Content: 5.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 25
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Redhook
Brewers Description: Who needs precious metals, when you’ve got Copper?!   This copper colored ale is a real crowd-pleaser.  Copperhook strikes the perfect balance of smooth, rich, malty flavor you’d expect from a craft brew with a lighter body and hop profile that makes it a perfect “session” beer when you’ve got a long day ahead of knocking back a few with your buddies.

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92. Redhook ESB

The first thing you notice when you buy Red Hook is the old school short bottle. Very unique and while I usually drink my beer from a glass the bottle just feels good in the hand. I had not had Red Hook in some time and was looking forward to trying it again, found a variety 12-pack in my local grocer this week so decided to stock up. The first of four from Red Hook was the ESB and while this beer is quite simple it is still a good example of ESB and very easy to drink. Great color, minimal aroma and a good balance of malt and hops. Almost no aftertaste.
Pros: Color, smooth
Cons: Simple
Alcohol Content: 5.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 28
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Redhook
Brewers Description: Brewed in the style of a traditional British ESB (Extra Special Bitter), we’ve been making ESB continuously since 1987, and it’s now the benchmark for the Amber beer category.  Despite having “bitter” in its name, Redhook ESB is really not that bitter at all.  This brew is all about the balance of caramel malt sweetness completed by spicy, citrusy hops.

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91. Samuel Adams Holiday Porter

Before I started this blog I did not drink many porters but I have to say I have enjoyed these dark and complex beers. This is certainly one of the better ones with lots of flavor, great almost black color and thick tan head with lots of lace on the glass. IBU rating is a fairly high 40 but you do not really taste the hops. Lots of malt, toffee and molasses flavors here. Easy to drink even with a decent amount of alcohol. A solid porter from Samuel Adams and a good addition to the winter variety pack.
Pros: Color, complex flavor
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.8% ABV
Calories: 212
IBU (Bitterness): 40
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Samuel Adams
Brewers Description: A traditional, British style.  Robust and full bodied. Introduced as a member of the Winter Classics Variety Pack in 2004, Samuel Adams® Holiday Porter, with its rich malt complexity, has become a favorite among our winter seasonal brews. In total, four types of malted barley are used in the brewing process including a variety of German malt called Carafa®*. This specialty malt, along with a bit of flaked oats, gives our Holiday Porter its smooth, roasted malt character. Add generous portions of imported hops to the mix and one has a brew that is both robust and drinkable.

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90. Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock

I originally had this one a few years ago from the classic bomber and it tastes exactly as I remember it from this 12oz bottle. Pours a beautiful dark brown with a small head. Aroma is a great chocolate smell with plenty of sweetness. Taste is not exactly what I would expect from a Bock – a little thin but still has a nice feel to it. Very sweet with a lingering taste but in this case it is not a bad thing. Would not recommend having with a meal but certainly a good choice for dessert. I have another in the fridge and may try the next at a slightly warmer temp as I think it will have a different taste at 45+ degrees.
Pros: Color, Sweetness
Cons: Thin compared to other bocks
Alcohol Content: 5.8% ABV
Calories: 237
IBU (Bitterness): 11
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Samuel Adams
Brewers Description: Smooth, rich, and dark, with the robust flavor and creamy texture of chocolate. To create Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, we wanted to take the flavor beyond the taste of dark roasted malt. For this year’s brew we worked with a blend of cocoa nibs including Ecuador nibs from TCHO®, an artisanal chocolate maker in San Francisco. We started with hand selected Noble hops from Bavaria and combined them with a complex selection of carefully roasted malts. This dark beer has a big, malty character with the added sweetness of chocolate. We slowly age the beer on a bed of rare dark cocoa nibs, the primary ingredient in chocolate. Known for their quality, these cocoa nibs harvested in Ecuador, impart complex aromas and flavors from chocolaty to fruity, nutty, earthy, and citrusy.

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89. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

This is probably the higher IBU rating that I have had. Some brewers do not post the IBU rating so I cannot be sure but 90 is very impressive. Overall this beer was better than I expected as I am not a “hop head” and usually do not enjoy beer with high IBU ratings. The color is a great bronze/gold color with a small head that leaves a great lacing on the glass. The appearance alone makes this beer worth drinking. Taste was smoother than I expected for a 9% ABV – 90 IBU beer and there is a lot of malt in there to help offset the hops. This is a very good example of an IPA or more accurately a double IPA. If you like hops give this a try. I am now looking forward to the 120 IPA review.
Pros: Appearance, smooth
Cons: Lots of hops which can be a pro if you like them
Alcohol Content: 9.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 90
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Dogfish Head
Brewers Description: Esquire Magazine calls our 90 Minute IPA “perhaps the best IPA in America.” An imperial IPA best savored from a snifter, 90 Minute has a great malt backbone that stands up to the extreme hopping rate. 90 Minute IPA was the first beer we continuously hopped, allowing for a pungent — but not crushing — hop flavor. Since introducing the world to the continuous-hopping method with our 90 Minute IPA, we’ve since released the continuously hopped 60 Minute IPA120 Minute IPA and even a 75 Minute IPA (a cask-conditioned blend of 60 and 90 Minute IPAs). In addition to the continuous hopping, 90 Minute IPA is also dry hopped with our ‘Me So Hoppy’ device during conditioning (check it out in the video below). This beer is an excellent candidate for use with our Randall The Enamel Animal filter!

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