Monthly Archives: March 2012

207. Rock Art Brewery American-Belgo Style IPA

I had no idea what to expect with this one, what is an American-Belgo Style IPA?? Apparently it is an IPA using Belgian yeast to give it a mix of 2 entirely different styles. The beer pours a copper color with very little head which disappears almost immediately. The photo here is after an aggressive pour and you can see almost no head. Aroma was great with lots of yeast and fruit. Taste seemed a bit off with the mix of the Belgian yeasts and hops. I enjoy Belgian style beers and I enjoy IPAs just not sure I enjoy them mixed together. Certainly not a bad beer but if you want a Belgian beer get one, if you want a double IPA get one – no reason to try to get them in the same beer.
Pros: Unique
Cons:  Odd combination of styles
Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 70
Rating: 3 / 5
Brewers Website: Long Trail
Brewers Description: This is an American IPA fermented with our house strain of Belgian yeast. The beer has a soft copper body, malty and balanced with 70 IBU from our Columbus bittering hop addition. The hops then transition into flavoring hop additions during the last 30 minutes of brewing. At the end of the brew we add buckets full of aroma hops and ferment at a warm temperature. Then to capture even more hop flavors and aromas we poured more buckets full of hops directly into the beer (dry hop) and allow the beer to rest and absorb all the delicious hop goodness.

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206. Long Trail Double IPA

Similar to the 100 Barrel Series from Harpoon, Long Trail has their Brewmaster series. These are special recipes from their brewers are only available in 22 oz or on tap. Some are only available for certain months and others (like this one) are available year round.

Long Trail’s Double IPA has a very classy looking bomber and pours a nice golden with a fairly thick white head. Smell has a bit of everything; light pine, citrus and floral hops. Taste has plenty of hops with a fair amount of sweetness to offset the hop bitterness. Very well balanced and enjoyable. If you like Double IPAs you should give this one a try.
Pros: Well balanced taste
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.6% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 86
Rating: 4 / 5
Brewers Website: Long Trail
Brewers Description: Long Trail Double IPA offers true reward to those seeking intensely sensual hop flavor. Double IPA is a full-flavored ale featuring a good malt backbone combined with an aroma brimming with tantalizing citrus and pine notes.

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205. Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Black IPA

This is my fifth beer from Harpoon but the first from their 100 Barrel Series. This series is designed to give their brewers a bit more freedom with a little more freedom starting out on a pilot system and then moving it to a limited production. This is the 40th from the series but first for me. I do have #41 already and will review that in the coming weeks. Harpoon makes quality beer so I am sure I will continue to enjoy the 100 Barrel Series.

This one is the Black IPA which pours almost black, only slight hints of red in the color with a thick tan head. Aroma is minimal but there are some hops and roasted malts (as you would expect form a black IPA). Taste is good but nothing that makes it stand out from other run of the mill IPAs. Easy to drink with a fair amount of carbonation. Overall a good beer just not very exciting.
Pros: Appearance
Cons: Average taste
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 67
Rating: ★★★½☆
Brewers Website: Harpoon
Brewers Description: We have enjoyed brewing and drinking beers brewed in the IPA style for a long time. Our flagship Harpoon IPA and our Leviathan Imperial IPA are two of our favorites. We thought it was about time to take a crack at the Black IPA style.

Harpoon brewer Matt DeLuca took over the brewhouse for our 40th 100 Barrel Series offering. A newly released specialty malt from Briess called Midnight Wheat gives this beer an almost stout-like appearance without the overly roasty attributes often associated with traditional dark malts. Flaked barley is also used in the malt bill for head retention. An intense yet diverse hop addition schedule is executed during the boil that results in a well balanced offering.

On top of the Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade, and Citra hops is an ample addition of Ahtanum hops that provides a fruity aroma to complement the earthy, spicy bitterness of this dark ale.

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204. New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red

This is another beer from my Wisconsin trade and the first bottle that was dipped in wax to seal the cap. Makes for a very interesting bottle. New Glarus is a very well established craft brewer in Wisconsin. They started brewing in 1993 and still distribute only in Wisconsin so if you want to try their beer you will have to take a road trip or find a trading partner.

The Wisconsin Belgian Red is one of 6 year round beers made by New Glarus. The beer pours a very deep red with nice white head. Aroma is amazing, full on cherry, no beer or alcohol smell, just a sweet tart cherry smell. Taste follows the nose, very sweet cherry flavors almost candy like at the beginning and turning slightly tart at the end. Nothing but cherry and with the low alcohol content, higher than normal carbonation you could almost pass this off as a cherry soda. Generally I am not a big fruit beer drinker but if you like cherries you would like this beer.
Pros: Appearance and aroma
Cons: Overly sweet
Alcohol Content: 4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: New Glarus
Brewers Description: You hold the marriage of wine and beer. Belgian Red is a tapestry of flavor. This beer is brewed with whole Montmorency Cherries, Wisconsin Farmed Wheat and Belgian Roasted Barleys, lagered in oak tanks and balanced by Hallertau hops we aged in our brewery one full year.

Over a pound of Door County Cherries in every bottle makes this beer uniquely “Wisconsin.” So unique, in fact, that we applied for a patent. Expect this beer to be ruby red, with a medium body that is highly carbonated and intense with cherry flavor and bouquet. Serve your friends Belgian Red in a brandy snifter or champagne flute and toast life with beer from the land of Wisconsin.
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203. Penobscot Bay Red Flannel Ale (growler)

Visited the winery / brewery / restaurant in Winterport last week and picked up a growler of Red Flannel Ale as it was on special. This is my first growler from Penobscot Bay, I really enjoy growlers. The beer itself tasted just as I remember it from the bottle although this time I had 64 ounces of it instead of just the 22 from the bomber. Also while visiting the brewery I saw bottles of their 2011 homebrew contest IPA which I hope they bring back this year. If you happen to be in the Winterport area I suggest you stop by Winterport Winery. Also be sure to check out their website for the schedule of beer or wine dinners, cooking classes or events check out the link below. Great people making quality beer and wine right here in Maine.
Pros: Complex flavor, the right amount of sweet
Cons:
Alcohol Content: ??% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Penobscot Bay Brewery
Brewers Description: Red flannels keep you warm and so will this hearty ale. Mostly Pale malt but full bodied and flavor from the Special B. Roasted Barley and Munich for color. There is a sweet aroma followed by rich, malty flavors with added notes of Perle hops for bittering. Best enjoyed slowly and at cellar temperature. Drink some now, and lay some aside for the future.

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202. Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA

Was not sure what to expect from this offering from Dogfish Head as I had not read anything about it before opening the bomber. First thing I noticed was the amount of carbonation which made it very difficult to pour, this happens on occasion and it took me at least 3 minutes to get the glass you see in this picture. Pour a little, drink the foam and repeat. Smell is very subtle with some sweetness and a bit of earthy hops, nothing overpowering but certainly inviting. Taste is different than the other “minute” ipas from Dogfish Head and provided you do not drink this one very cold you will certainly taste the maple flavor coming through. This give the beer a different taste with the hops and sweet maple tastes, different and worth trying but I still prefer the 90 minute IPA over the other varieties. I do like the new embossed bottles with the Dogfish logo right there on the bottle.
Pros: Different due to the maple flavor
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 75
Rating: ★★★½☆
Brewers Website: Dogfish Head
Brewers Description: Blend two Dogfish Head favorites, add maple syrup and carbonate the mixture naturally. What do you get? 75 Minute IPA.

The carbon dioxide trapped during bottle conditioning gives 75 Minute IPA a soft and velvety mouthfeel. Dry-hopped with whole-leaf Cascades, this complex IPA has been known to inspire pilgrimages to our brewpub.

Now were sharing this animated blend of 60 Minute and 90 Minute with the rest of our fans, 750 milliliters at a time.

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201. Weyenbacher Hops Infusion

The score of this one may have suffered slightly as I had it immediately after the Victory Hop Wallop and it was just not as good. The appearance of this one was very promising with a nice deep orange color with thick white head. Smell had more sweet malts than hops which seemed odd since the name is Hops Infusion. This carries through to the taste as well with lots of sweetness up front with a lingering bitterness from the hops. Taste lasts and lasts but not necessarily in a good way. Overall this is not a bad IPA but after the run I have had of great double/imperial IPAs this one just did not stand up.
Pros: Appearance
Cons:  More malt aroma and flavor than I expected
Alcohol Content: 6.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Weyerbacher
Brewers Description: Our brewers’ intention on Hops Infusion was to create a complexity of hops flavor and aromas, not found in any other beer. Made with seven hop varieties, this deep copper-orange IPA is loaded with juicy hop notes of pine, lemon zest, and a layer of pink grapefruit and a strong foundation of toasted caramel malts underneath it all give this beer a complexity that’s unparalleled. Hops Infusion weighs in at 6.2% and is available year-round.

In case you are wondering, the seven varieties are Cascade, Pilgrim, Centennial, Liberty, Saaz, Fuggle and E. Kent Golding.

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200. Victory Hop Wallop

This is only my second beer from Victory Brewing but so far I am impressed. This is their double IPA and it is a good one. Appearance is not the best but still solid with a nice orange color and medium white head. A very pleasant earthy aroma but taste has lots and lots of grapefruit which is surprisingly good in a beer. I have had a few double/imperial IPAs with big grapefruit tastes and have enjoyed them all. This is a very good beer and something I would enjoy having again. If you see this in your local beverage store you should certainly give it at try.
Pros: Aroma, Grapefruit taste
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Victory Brewing
Brewers Description: We celebrate the pioneering spirit of old Horace ‘Hop’ Wallop and those who dare mighty adventurous things in this vivid, robust ale. As our annual homage to the hop harvest, expect loads of aromatic splendor and bitter beauty.

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199. Lakefront IPA

Another quality IPA but this one comes from a brewery in Wisconsin – Lakefront Brewery. This brewery has been around since 1987 so it was certainly one of the early craft brewers. They are known for one of the best brewery tours and actually have their tour posted on Youtube. Kind of a neat thing for a brewery to do. This one has a great color to it very bright orange with a huge white head. Tons of aroma with lots of fruity and floral hops, probably one of the best smelling beers I have had. Taste has every with lots of flavorful hops including citrus, floral and pine. The malts are there too to balance things out and the dry finish leaving you wanting more. I only bought a single at Bangor Wine & Cheese but wish I had more.
Pros: Aroma, Well balance hoppy taste
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.9% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Lakefront Brewery
Brewers Description: Pours a hazy orange with a rocky white head that lasts, and leaves soft lace on your glass as you sip this refreshing beer. American Cascade and Chinook hops dominate the aroma, yielding a citrusy, floral bouquet. The hops give a nice bitter bite to the flavor, but this beer is surprisingly well balanced with a full body and smooth malty flavor to back up the hops. It finishes smooth and crisp with a lingering hop flavor reminiscent of fresh ruby red grapefruit.

Goes well with any spicy food, historically Indian food as well as Thai, Cajun, or Mexican. Try our IPA with Buffalo wings, blackened chicken or pepperoni pizza. Beef dishes or fried seafood can stand up to the hops as well. Ideal Serving Temp: 54-56° F
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198. Meantime IPA

I have to admit I purchased this one because of the bottle. Such a cool design and label. This is an 11.2 oz bottle (slightly less than your typical American 12 oz) with avery unique style to it. Meantime is a brewery located in London, England and they also sell full 750 ml bottles with a cork top. The beer pours a pale orange color with a decent white head.  Smell is mostly malts and breads which is surprising for an IPA but maybe they do things differently in England. Taste has a fair amount of sweetness from the malts and a nice tropical fruit taste – maybe cantaloupe? Overall it was an easy to drink beer even at 7.4% ABV. Not sure I would seek out another bottle but I was not disappointed in the one I had.
Pros: Bottle
Cons: Average taste and less exciting than many American IPAs.
Alcohol Content: 7.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Meantime Brewing
Brewers Description: The Original Bitter BeerA Glass Full of Hops
India Pale Ales are commonly associated with Burton-on-Trent as the town rose to international fame on the back of these pale beers because the gypsum-rich local water was ideally suited to making hoppy, pale beers. In fact the style originated in London, and between the 1780s and 1823 the East London firm of Hodgson had a jealously guarded virtual monopoly of supply to the growing India market. These beers were characterised by pale malts, long maturation, massive hopping levels and respectably high alcoholic strength. Meantime’s IPA is generally regarded (by all those whose opinion matters) as being the best available recreation of a nineteenth century IPA.

Our India Pale Ale may best be described as hop wine. Jam packed with English Fuggles and Goldings, the beer is brewed with as many hops as we can physically get into the copper. We even add more hops using our own unique circulation process to ensure maximum contact between the hops and the body of the beer. All this gives us a final hopping rate of well over 2lbs of hops per barrel, resulting in a beer which throws out ginger notes and flavours of, marzipan which soften into a rich Seville orange marmalade.

Excellent drunk now, even better drunk tomorrow; this is one for laying down – both you and the beer will benefit from it.

If you want to learn more about India Pale Ale visithttp://www.india-pale-ale.com

Food Pairings
This was the original ‘export’ ale and as the beer that the British drank when they invented curry, this, not lager – is the original,authentic and ideal partner to all great British dishes be they ploughman’s, roast beef, or curry.

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