Monthly Archives: December 2013

572. Long Trail Limbo

Long Trail LimboLots of great IPAs coming out of Vermont and it is great to see some of the larger breweries getting into the mix. Long Trail makes some quality beers with Double Bag being my previous favorite. Limbo is their new IPA which appears to be a year round beer provided you can actually find it in your local bottle shop. It seems to sell out pretty quickly but keep an eye out for it.

The color is a deep orange with big bubbly head. Aroma has loads tropical fruits and smells great even coming out of a 12 ounce bottle. Taste scales back the hops just a bit but there is still a lot there to enjoy. Slightly bitter finish and leaves that nice oily coating in your mouth like a good IPA should. Overall this was a very impressive beer from Long Trail and one of the better IPAs available in a 12 ounce bottle.

Check your local shops for Limbo IPA.
Pros: 
Huge hop aroma
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 7.6% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 80
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Long Trail
Brewers Description: A big, mouth-watering IPA, brimming with all the flavors and aroma of the new breed of hops coming out of Australia and the Pacific Northwest.

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571. Gneiss Brewing Cenozoic

Gneiss CenozoicWhen was the last time you had an imperial wheat porter with fresh ginger? Probably never as this is the first one I have ever heard of but it makes for a great cold weather / holiday beer.

This beer is dark as you would expect from a porter with a thin tan head that disappeared quickly. Aroma is all ginger, smells like Christmas in a glass. Taste is much more subtle than the aroma starting with a nice smooth almost chocolaty porter then the ginger kicks in. The ginger is there but it does not take over the entire beer as you might think it would.

Cenozoic was my favorite holiday type beer and I look forward to trying it again soon.
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Gneiss Brewing
Brewers Description: Imperial wheat porter with fresh ginger

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570. Gneiss Brewing Weiss

 

Gneiss WeissSmall update to this post as Gneiss is now bottling this beer in 16.9 ounce bottles. They are a great deal at around $4 per bottle and available at most of the better bottle shops in Maine.

This is Gneiss Brewings flagship beer and it kind rolls off the tongue – Gneiss Weiss. This is a hefeweizen which is a style I  drink a lot of during the summer months. It works in the winter too but at 4.8% ABV this will be a great beer for those warm Maine summers.

Gneiss WeissWeiss looks very similar to the Au Nugget in the prior review but a little cloudier. Aroma has plenty of banana and lemon, very pleasant and inviting. Taste is excellent and extremely smooth. This is a good representation of the style and something you should try sooner rather than later.

Overall I am really impressed with the first two offerings from Gneiss Brewing and I am confident Dustin will continue to brew great beer from his small operation in Limerick. 
Pros: 
Appearance and very drinkable
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 4.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 12
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Gneiss Brewing
Brewers Description: Gneiss Weiss is our flagship beer.  This beer relies on a grain bill heavy on the wheat to bring forward a clean spiciness and creamy mouthfeel, without even a hint of cloying sweetness.  We use American hops to help define the beer as a full flavored, easy drinking session beer.

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569. Gneiss Brewing Au Nugget

Gneiss Brewing Au NuggettTook a trip to Limerick, Maine to visit Gneiss (pronounced nice) Brewing and brought home one full growler and three 32 ounce howlers. Opted for a full growler of their single hop IPA Au Nugget.

Gneiss is using at least 50% wheat in all their beer and a German Hefeweizen yeast strain. This makes for an interesting take on traditional styles. This single hop IPA uses all Nugget hops and is very easy drinking at 5.3% ABV.

Appearance is a nice unfiltered orange with a single finger white head. Aroma leans more towards the Hefeweizen yeast with some lemon but there was some spicy hops there too. The taste differed significantly as it warmed, when cold the yeast really took over and as it warmed the spice from the hops came through nicely. I originally thought they filled my growler with their Weiss beer instead of the IPA but as it warmed the hops were more prevalent.

Overall a very drinkable single hop IPA and certainly a different take than many other start-up breweries are taking.
Pros: Appearance and very drinkable
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 5.3% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 57
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Gneiss Brewing
Brewers Description: The second offering of our Single Hop Epoch, Au Nugget is a sessionable Wheat IPA single hopped with Nugget hops. Our house yeast works with the large hop bill to produce a more traditional piney, resiny hop bitterness with a zesty, lemon note. Light enough to crush at 5.3% ABV, but hoppy enough to savor at 57 IBU. Prost!

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568. Lawson’s Finest Liquids Triple Play IPA

Lawsons Triple Play IPAI am always excited when I find a bottle of Lawson’s Finest Liquids and even more excited when it is one of his hoppy beers. I grabbed this bottle at the Hunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier, there was a line of people waiting for Heady Topper to arrive and this was just sitting in the cooler.

Appearance is a very clear deep orange with a thin off white head that left great lacing on the glass. Huge hop aroma with loads of citrus, tropical fruits. These follow through to the taste as well with just a hint of malt to keep it in balance. Overall this is what I want in an IPA and at 7% it is just shy of Double IPA classification.

As usual really great stuff from Lawson’s so if you see it, buy it.
Pros:
Loads of hops
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Lawson’s Finest
Brewers Description:

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567. Lost Nation Rustic Ale

Lost Nation RusticI had to make a follow up visit to Lost Nation as I really enjoyed their Gose (see review here). This time I did a flight of all their beers and while the Gose was still my favorite I decided to bring home a growler of their red ale.

Appearance is a nice amber with a thick tan head. Aroma is full of grassy hops and a bit of sweet malts. Rustic Ale is very easy to drink and is more complex than most red ales. It starts with the grassy hops but they give way to the sweet malts, finish has a little bite to it.

Overall I was pleased with this offering from Lost Nation, if you visit the brewery try a flight and grab a growler to go.
Pros: Complex for a red
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 5.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 40
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Lost Nation
Brewers Description: A ruby colored ale that has a pronounced hop character. This smooth beer features a soft malt body that is complemented by American hops and dry hopped with whole flower hops just prior to kegging for a fresh hop finish.

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566. Berkshire Brewing Lost Sailor IPA

Berkshire Los Sailor IPAAnother growler I picked up on my trip to Mass and this one was full of Lost Sailor IPA. This is an English Style IPA which is not my favorite IPA style. As you can tell by the photo this is a nice looking beer, great orange color and plenty of off white head.

Aroma had a bit of pine but that was about all I could get for hops. There was also a lot of sweet malts in the aroma which I did not expect but I should have since this is an English IPA. Taste was solid with the some pine, floral hops and plenty of malt. Finish was quite bitter which I do not enjoy but again is typical of the style.

Overall this is one of the better English style IPAs that I have tried but I still prefer the big hoppy American IPAs. 
Pros:
Nice representation of the style
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 5.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 40
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Berkshire Brewing
Brewers Description: A classic British-inspired IPA, Lost Sailor keeps an even keel with a well rounded malt profile to support generous dry-hopping with the time-honored Goldings hop variety.  With its floral and citrus aroma and medium body, Lost Sailor is the perfect session beer, whether lost at sea or in the comfort of your own home or a local pub.

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565. Riverwalk Brewing IPA

Riverwalk IPAI’ve recently expanded my territory and travels to include Massachusetts so you can expect to see more beers from that area. My recent trip included growlers from Riverwalk, Berkshire and Newburyport Brewing as well as some Jacks Abby bottles.

This growler from Riverwalk was their IPA. When I start drinking beer from a new brewery I usually start with their pale ale or IPA as they are the two styles I drink most often. Riverwalk IPA has a great orange color with a thick white head. Excellent lacing on the glass and overall just a nice looking beer. The aroma and taste both lean toward the earthy, spicy, floral instead of the citrus that many IPAs have.

Riverwalk IPA was a nice change from the West Coast IPAs that most brewers are producing. Give it a try if you see it on tap or take a trip to the brewery you will not be disappointed. 
Pros:
Great mix of floral, spicy hops
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6.75% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 84
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Riverwalk Brewing
Brewers Description: Our RiverWalk IPA is a liquid ode to hops. IPA is all about what makes American brewing great. We wanted our IPA to be easy to drink, so there is just enough bitterness to help balance the beer. The use of lighter malts allows the hops to shine through and provides a dry finish to this beer. The aroma is strong and forceful with citrus, pine and floral notes. Our final step before packaging is a double dry-hopping regimen that packs as much hoppy goodness into the beer as possible. This beer is great for those who want to
“go green!”

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564. Sierra Nevada Nawhal

Sierra Nevada NarwhalThis is another one that has been kicking around the cellar for some time as this is the 2012 version of Narwhal from Sierra Nevada. I grabbed a 4-pack last year so still have 3 boxed away in the cellar for future consumption.

Appearance is totally black with one of the darkest heads I have seen on a beer. Aroma has lots of rich maltiness that leans more towards chocolate than coffee which is what I prefer. Taste is really where this one excels with loads of roasted malts, again mostly chocolate with a nice hop bitterness in the finish. Also a fair amount of alcohol which is to be expected from a RIS.

Overall a very nice beer from Sierra Nevada and I am already looking forward to opening bottles again in the coming years to see how it develops. 
Pros:
Rich chocolate malts
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 10.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Sierra Nevada
Brewers Description: Narwhal Imperial Stout is inspired by the mysterious creature that thrives in the deepest fathoms of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish, Narwhal will age in the bottle for years to come.

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563. Founders Dirty Bastard

Founders Dirty BastardI had this beer after drinking the Backwoods Bastard and should have done them in the opposite order as Backwoods is the barrel aged version of Dirty Bastard. Because this one doesn’t have the bourbon character from the barrel I actually enjoyed it more than Backwoods.

Appearance is very similar, dark brown with a thin tan head that disappeared soon after it was poured. The aroma had a nice combination of sweet caramel and dark fruit. Tastes is similar but also has a nice hop finish which surprised me from a Scotch Ale. The 8.5% alcohol was well hidden.

Overall a tasty beer for a style that I do not drink often. 
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 8.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 50
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Founders Brewing
Brewers Description: So good it’s almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain’t for the wee lads.

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