This one comes from a new brewery in Derry, New Hampshire brewing on a small 3 barrel system. Bottles of their IPA and brown ale started hitting the shelves a couple months ago and I grabbed the Battle Axe IPA as I love the label art and generally enjoy IPAs.
Battle Axe pours a deep amber color, darker than most IPAs. Aroma was mild with plenty of sweet malts and some citrus, floral hops but nothing overwhelming. Taste is a nice balance of the caramel malts and some earthy hops.
This is a balanced well made IPA that will not wreck your palate. Solid beer but if you love hop bomb, palate wrecking IPAs you may be disappointed.
Alcohol Content: 7.2% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 60
Brewers Website: Kelsen Brewing
Brewers Description: The Battle Axe was a weapon used by Vikings and other foot soldiers during the Middle Ages. Over time, the weapon evolved from a simple wood chopping axe to a lightweight and well balanced combat style axe capable of piercing a knight’s armor or dismembering an enemy’s limb with one blow.
Like the blade of a Norseman’s axe, Battle Axe IPA will slash through your taste buds and olfactory system with a wallop of hop flavor and aroma. The simple malt backbone of this IPA yields to the wonderful citrus hop profile. Rest assured that your taste buds will remain intact, so you’ll be sure to come back for more.
I picked this one up in Vermont the day it was released there which was at least a week before it hit the shelves in Maine. Apparently this is the first in a series beers from Stone that will continue to push the limits of beer.
Double IPAs are one of my favorites styles of beer and I really like the citrus/fruity hops versus the dank, piney hops so a DIPA brewed with grapefruit peel seems like a good idea. Grapefruit Slam poors a very clear orange with a single finger white head. Aroma has lots of citrus and well grapefruit.
Taste was excellent with a nice citrus hop profile and slightly bitter start. Finish is where I picked up the grapefruit pith. Mouthfeel, carbonation, etc were all where I expect them on a DIPA and made this beer really enjoyable.
Alcohol Content: 8.2% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 95
Brewers Website: Stone Stochasticity Project
Brewers Description: India pale ales harness the inherent flavor characteristics of hops to bring forward familiar flavors of pine, resin, spice, and citrus. In some cases, those botanicals are so potent, they exactly mirror specific edibles. Such is the case with Centennial hops, which hail from the Great Northwest and come across on the palate like a mouthful of citrus fruit. That sensation is amplified with this, the first beer introduced via the Stochasticity Project–a double IPA brewed with Centennial, Chinook and Magnum hops as well as an immense dosing of fresh grapefruit peel. The result is over-the-top bittersweet grapefruit intensity that is at once refreshing and bracing in its citrusy bitterness.
With the new brewery open in Stowe they have brought back The Crusher on a more regular basis. Since opening it has been available each day with a limit of 2 – four packs per person. Love this beer and so glad to be able to get it on a regular basis now. Be sure to check out The Alchemist in Stowe soon.
I didn’t discover The Alchemist until after the flood so the only beers I had tried were Heady Topper and their gluten free beer, Celia. Last December when I went to Vermont for three days with my wife I tried Ouroboros at The Reservoir which was great. Then they started their truck sales occasionally releasing beers in plain cans with stickers to identify the beer. I didn’t make it out to Vermont for the sale but I was able to score a can of each.
Crusher is an even bigger DIPA than Heady with an ABV of 9.6% versus Heady at 8.0%. This beer has the radiant orange glow that I enjoy so much, unfiltered and a great white head. Tons of hops in the aroma with tropical, citrus, grapefruit; again all the things I like in my DIPAs. Taste is excellent with loads and loads of hops; citrus, tropical, grapefruit. A fair amount of bitterness but the alcohol is non-existent which is surprising for a such a big DIPA.
It was probably a good thing I only had a single can of this beer as I certainly would have finished a second and that probably would have been too much for one night.
Pros: HOPS and no alcohol burn
Alcohol Content: 9.6% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: The Alchemist
Brewers Description: The Crusher is an American Double IPA that I started making years ago at the old pub. Hop heads were constantly asking for more hops. So, in the words of Frank Zappa, “Did you say you want some more? Well here’s some more.” While I enjoy hops with the rest of them, I still try to maintain some semblance of balance and drinkability. This beer is oozing with hop flavor and aroma with a very dry finish. Enjoy responsibly, this one can sneak up on you.