Monthly Archives: February 2012

177. 3 Floyds Brewing Dreadnaught

Another of the beers from Wisconsin as I am finally making it to the bombers that were included in my trade and decided to start with Dreadnaught from 3 Floyds. This one is similar to Double Trouble from Founders. Maybe a little less grapefruit but has the same flavor profile with lots of hops but very well balanced and almost the same bold orange coloring. Bottle has great art work and the beer has a solid 2 finger head that leaves incredible lacing on the glass. Aromas of fresh hops and citrus fruits and taste has hops at the beginning, middle and end but are balanced with some sweet malts. Hops are present but not overpowering in this one which is just the way I like my IPAs. Does not drink like a 9.5% beer but has the punch of one. Finished smooth with a bit of sweetness towards to the end that lingers with the hops for a very pleasant experience. Overall a great Imperial IPA from 3 Floyds and something I would certainly enjoy again if I have the chance.
Pros: Color, balanced taste
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 9.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 99
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Three Floyds
Brewers Description: A hophead’s dream beer. This Imperial India Pale Ale has an opening salvo of mango, peach and citrus hop aromas that sit atop a pronounced caramel malt backbone. Although Dreadnaught is a strong and intensely hoppy ale, its complex flavor is both smooth and memorable.

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176. Oxbow Freestyle No 3 – Black Saison

First I have to say I am so glad I was able to take a picture outside as the sun is up after 5:00 now in Maine which makes things a lot easier. The quality of pictures taken inside is terrible compared to the normal setting of my deck rail. If you look back to last Summer/Fall you will see the same backdrop as this picture with vibrant green and fall colors. Hopefully the rest of the pictures until November will be taken outside. This was taken at the end of the growler – 64 ounces of beer is perfect for a weekend especially when it is 7.5% ABV.

The Freestyle #3 is a Black Saison which is almost perfect. The beer pours black (what a surprise for a black saison 🙂 with a small head that leaves a bit of lacing. Aroma has plenty of malt and taste is great. There is a bit of coffee in there, just a small amount of sweetness but very well balanced and goes down very easy for a 7.5% beer. The 64 ounce growler was gone in 2 nights and although I have a beer almost every night it is usually limited to a single 22 oz bomber so finishing a growler in 2 nights means it was a good beer. If you live in Maine or even New Hampshire take the drive to Newcastle on a Friday afternoon and visit Oxbow. I was there for 15-20 minutes talking beer with Tim Adams (head brewer) last Friday and it was a great time. Will certainly be back for more Oxbow in the coming weeks.
Pros: Dark, strong and flavorful.
Cons: Only available on tap or growlers at the brewery
Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:  ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Oxbow
Brewers Description:
Mash:   British Pale, Belgian Chocolate Malt, Belgian Crystal, Belgian Coffee Malt, Specialty B, Aromatic
Hops:   American, European
Fermentation:    Saison Yeast
Flavor Profile:   Deeply Kilned Malts, Italian Roasted Coffee, Pepper

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175. Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout

This beer has been hanging out in my fridge since Thanksgiving which is hard to believe as I have reviewed 75 beers since then. Decided it was time to open this one for dessert. The beer pours a great black color with thick tan head that leaves great lacing on the glass, just what a stout should look and act like. Aroma is of chocolate, toffee and dark fruit. Taste is chocolate roasted malts to start followed up by some coffee and licorice with just a hint of a hop finish. Not nearly as sweet as I had expected from a chocolate stout and does not have the strong alcohol taste that you often get from a 10% ABV beer. Serve this beer at a slightly warmer temp; 45-50 degrees and you will enjoy it.
Pros: Color, not too sweet
Cons:
Alcohol Content:
 10.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Brooklyn Brewery
Brewers Description: Available from October through March. This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, our award-winning rendition of the Imperial Stout style, once made exclusively for Catherine the Great. We use three mashes to brew each batch of this beer, achieving a luscious deep dark chocolate flavor through a blend of specially roasted malts. We brew it every year for the winter season. It is delicious when newly bottled, but also ages beautifully for years.

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174. Allagash Tripel

I had this on tap at the Allagash tour and decided I needed to review this beer. Eventually I will work my way through all of the Allagash beers but they tend to be expensive and most are not available in 12 oz bottles. The beer is worth it though as Allagash brews some of the best Belgian style beer available in the US. This one pours a great golden color with solid bright white head that lasts. Aroma has lots of citrus and fruit and just a hint of alcohol. Taste is complex and you get the banana and honey noted in the brewer notes. The beer is smooth, easy to drink and the alcohol content is well hidden by the complex flavors. I may review this again when I purchase the 750 ml bottle if it seems like a different beer. If you enjoy the Tripel you should also try the Curieux which is this same beer aged in bourbon barrels. The aging process changes the beer entirely.
Pros: Everything
Cons:
Alcohol Content:
9% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Allagash
Brewers Description: This strong golden ale is marked by passion fruit and herbal notes in the aroma, with suggestions of banana and honey in the complex palate. The Tripel has a remarkably long and smooth finish.

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173. Capital Brewing Autumnal Fire

This is another from my beer trade and not something you can find in the North East. Capital Brewery is located in Wisconsin and brews German style beers with lots of lagers and in this case a doppelbock. Autumnal Fire is a limited release beer brewed in the fall. Beer has a great fall color to it very similar yo most Octoberfest beers, clear not cloudy and a solid light tan head. Aroma is of dark fruit, raisin and maybe a bit of caramel from the malts. Taste has lots of malt, maybe a little vanilla and just a touch of hops. A good beer and different than most others I have been drinking in the past couple of months.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content:
 7.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Capital Brewing
Brewers Description: A blazing rich beer, this is a doppelbock based on an Octoberfest personality. Warm and intriguing, the perfect “Brandy Snifter” beer.

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172. Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

This is my first review of a Sierra Nevada beer and the best thing about this one is the label art. I am not sure what rye is supposed to taste like but the first thing that came to mind when I tried this was celery which is not a good taste for beer. Color is about what you would expect from an IPA and aroma seems to be all rye as it not like any other beer I have reviewed. Taste lacks the normal IPA hops flavor and has a lot of bitterness. This beer is not well balanced. I have read good things about this beer on other sites so I was surprised that I did not enjoy it. I guess it is possible I got a bottle from a bad batch but I am probably not going to buy another to see.
Pros: Label art
Cons: Overpowering rye aroma and taste
Alcohol Content: 5.8% ABV
Calories: 197
IBU (Bitterness): 60
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Brewers Website: Sierra Nevada
Brewers Description: Rye has been a staple grain for millennia—sought after for its stubborn resilience in the field and revered for its unique flavor. Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors—combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to spring.

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171. Ale Asylum Bedlam

This is the fifth of 12 beers from the Wisconsin beer trade I received last week and I am really excited to try the rest of them. This one probably should get a higher rating but it was not quite as good as the Double Trouble reviewed earlier this week so 3.5 stars is what it gets. I really should change up my rating system but having already reviewed 170 beers it may be too late for that. Appearance is a nice deep orange (not as bright as Double Trouble) but has a similar aroma. Strong grapefruit and fresh hops. Taste is sweet but well balanced with plenty of fruits and hops which is what I would expect from a Belgian IPA. High ABV but that is masked well with all the flavor of the beer.
Pros: Aroma, taste
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Ale Asylum
Brewers Description: An amalgamation of styles, Bedlam! was made on the condition that if our brewmaster (a style purist) didn’t like the first batch, it would go down the drain, never to see the light of day. Since that day, it has gone on to become our most popular seasonal. One beeradvocate.com member by the name of “Cokes” summed up the Bedlam! experience quite nicely:

T-minus 10…9…8…
The hazy golden-bronze ship shudders and emits a huge plume of soiled ivory smoke.
..7..6..5…
The exhaust cloud fills the surrounding area,only slowly receding, but leaving sticky lacing all around.
…4..3..2…
We have ignition. Lacing is still everywhere (and it will be for a while). We have launch.
…1…
Liftoff.

Tropical fruit blasts up the nasal cavities. Pineapple rockets with mango afterburners orbiting lime moons and pelted with grapefruit and peach meteors. The toasty malt adds tethering gravity, bracing against the dusty, clove and lilac and black pepper Belgian-influenced space debris.

All systems go. It turbo-boosts into and across and through the mouthspace. The grapefruit and lime rind G-forces snap one’s head back right away. Once free of their gravity, a shortbread maltiness, with just a touch of toasted nuts pressurizes the cabin. Now it’s time for Ludicrous Speed. Kaleidoscopes of papayas, cloves, mangoes, allspice, pineapple, peppercorns, apples, mint, and orange race past as it speeds towards a black hole littered with bitter dry herbs and flowers. It’s throttled down a bit now, and frees itself from this pull, coasting in the sweetish tropical-spice medley, rather than navigating the coarser, more bitter sections of space ahead. The crew is divided: some say, nothing ventured, nothing gained; the rest are content with its smooth sailing.

The burly yet streamlined vessel is fueled by a persistent, bubbling carbonation. It flies through the ether as easily as it flies down one’s neck.

The course it’s on is fantastic, easy-going, sweet with balanced bitter moments. But there’s a salty deckhand insubordinate idea in my head: if had it strayed just a bit further towards that bitter black hole, it would have made everyone on board a legend.

But great results cannot be second-guessed, and this is, by all means and measures, an amazing trip.

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170. Three Floyds Robert the Bruce

I am not quite certain what a Scottish ale should be so I cannot really judge this one on style. Color is a deep red almost brown with a very solid 2 finger head. Sweet caramel malts in the aroma and not a lot else. Taste follows suit with lots of toasted malt present and almost no hop taste. This is a full bodied beer, hearty but still drinkable. 7% ABV but no alcohol taste to speak of just a nice warmth inside after you drink it. There are not too many Scottish ales out there and it is not really one of my favorite styles so I didn’t expect too much. Overall I am this is a good beer from Three Floyds just not one that I personally would get too excited about.
Pros: Appearance, lots of malts (if you like that)
Cons: Lots of malts (if you do not like malt bombs)
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 30
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Three Floyds
Brewers Description: A bold Scottish ale with a complex malty body derived from roasted and crystal malts balanced with just the right combination of hops. This ale pours a deep ruby color, has a sweet malty nose with layered caramel and roasted notes and a full body. Robust yet smooth, Robert The Bruce is a malt lover’s delight.

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169. Samuel Adams Whitewater IPA

Another new style of beer. Firs it was the black IPA and now a White IPA combining a witbier with an American IPA. This makes for an interesting combination and one that is very appealing visually. The orange of an IPA with the cloudy appearance of a witbier. Nice thick white head that has a decent amount of retention. Aroma is minimal but some hops and slight fruit. Might have more aroma if I let it warm slightly but I didn’t. The beer itself is very drinkable and something that would well throughout the spring and summer if they decide to keep this one around. Malt sweetness up from with a solid amount of hops in the finish. Not a bad start to a new style, I am sure other brewers will make them bigger and more complex but Sam Adams certainly makes it drinkable.
Pros: Appearance, easy to drink
Cons:
Alcohol Content:
 5.8% ABV
Calories: 197
IBU (Bitterness): 60
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Samuel Adams
Brewers Description: We love hops at Samuel Adams, and while we enjoy traditional IPAs, we thought we might spice things up a little bit, literally, by combining the intense hop character of an IPA with the crisp spicy wheat character of a Belgian-style white ale. The resulting fusion-style brew is Samuel Adams Whitewater IPA. The white ale and IPA combination make this crisp, smooth, yet hop-friendly beer the perfect pairing with a variety of meats and cheeses. Intensely flavored and firm in texture, Blue cheeses need a bold beer like Whitewater IPA to cleanse the palate. The brew’s strong hop character also adds an earthiness to the savory flavor of meat.

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168. Founders Brewing Double Trouble

All I can say is WOW!. Just look at the color of this beer – bright orange and yes it really is that color, that is not just the camera playing tricks. Double Trouble is a Double IPA so it packs a little extra punch but you would not know it when drinking it. This beer is smooth from start to finish with lots of citrus aromas and taste. It has been about 30 minutes since I finished it and I can still taste the grapefruit. Very easy to drink for a DIPA and another beer that I wish I had more than 1 of. Look for Founder’s Double Trouble if you head out to the mid-west.
Pros: Color, taste, drinkable
Cons:
Alcohol Content:
9.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 86
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Founders Brewing
Brewers Description: An imperial IPA that was brewed to turn your world upside down. Hops will get you coming and going. Pungent aromatics up front pair with a malt-balanced backbone and a smooth, bitter finish.

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