Monthly Archives: February 2016

840. Hoof Hearted Brewing Dragnsaddle

Hoof Hearted DragonsaddleThere are a couple of interesting stories relating to this brewery and their beer. First is the name which I assume came from a race horse from the mid-2000s named Hoof Hearted, see video at the bottom of this post for a chuckle. Second Hoof Hearted beer is highly sought after in Ohio with long lines at the brewery when they release cans. Here is a link to a story about the release of Dragonsaddle. For some unknown reason the brewery signed on with a distributor in Maine and we are now getting occasional shipments of cans from Ohio. Seems odd that a brewery that has long lines to buy their beer at the brewery would choose to set aside some of those cans to send them 800+ miles to Maine. This is the first beer from Hoof Hearted that I picked up at Bier Cellar in Portland.

Dragonsaddle is described as a triple IPA and comes in at a whopping 11.5% ABV. Very few IPAs I have reviewed even come close to this in terms of ABV with Ephraim from Hill Farmstead and Can’t Dog from Marshall Wharf being the only two that come to mind. Appearance is a slightly hazy orange with a decent white head that had good retention and left a lot of lacing. Aroma is dank, tropical and citrus. Taste follows with lots of citrus and tropical fruits; mango, pineapple, tangerine. Somehow there is no alcohol burn or taste at all in this beer which is amazing at 11.5% ABV.

This beer drinks like a 7% IPA but hits much harder. Dangerously smooth and drinkable. Very impressed with the first offering from Hoof Hearted and glad they decided to send some of their dank offerings to Maine. 
Pros:
Drinkable even at 11.5%
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 11.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 128
Rating: 
Brewery Website: Hoof Hearted Brewing
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: The strong “herbal” aroma sends you back to freshman year catching a ride to school in your weird burnout neighbor’s ……. (insert your fav. El Camino, IROC, Firebird) whilst being bombarded by the sounds of Van Halen (DLR era, none of that Sammy Hagar synthy love song bullshit). DANKSOME!

The flavor profile is full-on drippingly ripe tropical fruits: Mango, guava, papaya, and citrus. Juicy, refreshing, and deceptive. We would highly recommend wearing a helmet & supportive cup when mounting the Dragonsaddle.

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839. Hill Farmstead Madness & Solitude

Hill Farmstead Madness & SolitudeHill Farmstead made this beer as part of their 5th anniversary celebration. They took Ephraim, one of my all time favorite beers, and aged it in second and third use bourbon barrels. Those of you that follow me know I am not big on bourbon barrel aged beers but I had to try this one.

Madness & Solitude pours a burnt orange with a wispy white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma was quite a bit different than Ephraim with a lot of oak and vanilla coming through with muted hops and a fair amount of booze. Upon the first sip, and I do mean sip as this is a BIG beer, you get big oak flavors, vanilla and some of those citrus hops that I love so much. The finish is boozy and seemed to be full of bourbon but that may just be my over sensitive palate since I don’t drink bourbon and rarely drink bourbon barrel aged beers. The same thing often happens when I drink a coffee beer, all I can taste is coffee.

I enjoyed this beer and drank two 750s over a weekend, not in the same night, but I would have preferred straight up Ephraim without the bourbon barrel aging. Interesting and I’m glad I got to try it as we may not see it again.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 10.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewery Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: In March of 2015 (our Fifth Anniversary), we brewed our Imperial IPA (Ephraim) and then aged it in second and third use bourbon barrels with the intent of an experimental anniversary release.  In the spirit of the holidays, we offer you this double dry hopped, oak aged Imperial IPA. 10.5% abv.

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838. Hill Farmstead Motueka Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead Motueka Pale AleThis is the ninth beer from the single hop pale ale series from Hill Farmstead that I have reviewed. The first were; Amarillo, Cascade, Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic, Nelson Sauvin, Riwaka, Simcoe. I think the only one I missed is Columbus.

Motueka pours a pale orange with the signature Hill Farmstead haze. Bright white head and soft carbonation. Aroma is a little more subtle than a lot of Hill’s beers but still has a nice amount of citrus and some grass. Taste is also a little lighter than their other single hop beers with a slightly sweet start followed by some citrus and floral hops. Finish is clean with virtually no bitterness.

Always surprised by the mix of aroma and flavor a talented brewer can get from a single hop variety. This beer is super easy to drink like most of their pale ales and I really enjoyed it. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.2% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewery Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: An American Pale Ale bittered, flavored, and dry hopped exclusively with Motueka hops, a New Zealand varietal.

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837. Hill Farmstead Excursions #5

Hill Farmstead Excursions #5I sometimes feel like a broken record when I am reviewing a bunch of quality IPAs. While they all have their individual characteristics many have the big citrus, tropical fruits that I love with a slightly hazy appearance. I guess some call this the New England IPA as breweries like; Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Trillium, Tree House, Bissell Brothers and certain beers from other breweries all seem to fit nicely into this description. So many great IPAs in the Northeast that I rarely trade for IPAs from other parts of the country as I am usually disappointed.

Excursions #5 continues Hill’s use of experimental hops including the up and coming Vic Secret hop from Australia. Appearance is typical Hill Farmstead IPA with the hazy orange and bright white head, plenty of lacing remains on the glass. Aroma is full of tangerine, lemon and a bit of herbal/floral hops. Taste follows the nose but also adds a bit of dankness. Carbonation is light giving it the soft mouthfeel of most Hill Farmstead beers and very little bitterness.

Overall this is another excellent beer but is outdone by some of the other beers available at Hill. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewery Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: The fifth installment of our experimental hop series, this IPA is brewed with German Hallertau Blanc and Australian Vic Secret.

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836. Night Shift Brewing Santilli

Night Shift SantilliI had high hopes for Santilli after enjoying Whirpool unfortunately it wasn’t quite as good as I had hoped.

Santilli is Night Shift’s single IPA and it comes in at a very reasonable 6% ABV. Appearance is a slightly hazy orange with a bright white head. Aroma is mostly earthy; grass, pine, maybe a bit of pineapple. Taste starts with a fairly aggressive bitterness that overwhelmed some of the other flavors. I got a little grapefruit, pine and a floral finish.

Overall a very good beer that I will try again in hopes that it either improves or that my palate was off that day. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewery Website: Night Shift Brewing
Brewery Social Media: FB20 twitter20 insta
Brewer’s Description: Smooth-sipping IPA with massive hop profile. It is crisp, tropical and delicious; named after our address on Santilli Highway in Everett

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