This was the second option available when I was at Fiddlehead. While there I heard several people in line talking about how they tried this beer at the Vermont Brewers Festival and really enjoyed it. I knew I was going to bring home a growler of it regardless but it was nice to hear the beer was good before I bought it.
This is a great looking porter, deep brown with a single finger tan head that disappears quickly. Aroma is mild with only a bit of chocolate and some vanilla. Not a lot happening there but the taste makes up for anything that is lacking in the nose. Lots of chocolate, vanilla and coconut in this beer but it is not sweet as you might think.
Really impressed with both beers from Fiddlehead and will certainly be stopping there again on my next visit to Western Vermont.
Pros: Unique flavor and not too sweet
Cons: Alcohol Content: 5.5% ABV Calories: ??? IBU (Bitterness): 30 Rating: Brewers Website: Fiddlehead Brewing Brewers Description: As wonderful as last winter had been, it was a long one. At the brewery during one such blustery cold morning we began reminiscing of warmer weather and dreaming of sandy beaches and white capped waves we came up with a recipe to merge the two seasons together. We took a dark beer (more popular in the cold winter months) and infused it with the tropical goodness of roasted coconut flakes and cacao nibs. Delightfully smooth and dark this is pure beer candy. And since none of us at the brewery have ever actually surfed we figured Hodad (the surfer term for the guy who drives to the beach with a board on the car, sticks his board in the sand just to tan and pick up Betties) was the perfect name for a Vermont brewery creating a Hawaiian style ale.
I 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.
Another 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.
Another new Massachusetts brewery for me but this one is easier to get as they distribute in Maine. This is a pale ale with a very low 3.4% ABV. I really enjoy these low ABV beers as you can enjoy them with dinner and not get full just from the beer.
This one looks like a pale ale should, a nice light copper color with a thick white head. Aroma is very mild with only a bit of hop and Belgian yeast coming through. The taste is also mild but well balanced and very drinkable. A nice sweet start followed by just a bit of floral hops and yeast. Overall this was exactly what I would expect from a low ABV pale ale.
Pros: Tasty for a low ABV beer Cons: Alcohol Content: 3.4% ABV Calories: ??? IBU (Bitterness): 40 Rating: Brewers Website: Pretty Things Brewers Description: Do you ask, “Who is a ¡Magnifico!”? IT IS A PITY TO ASK SUCH A QUESTION! Dear friends Magnifico is one of our most favorite seasonal offerings -our friendliest beer ever. In 2011 we slip him into our line-up without fuss, all by ourselves on a private world-party tour of a small part of Boston. We swear nobody comes, but no admonishments!
This year, he says hello again my friends and this time he’s in bottle too. We love him because he’s only 3.4% alcohol by volume and perfectly full of lovely Citra, Horizon, Simcoe and Bravo hops. He also likes barley (because you must in order to make beer). He has Munich Malt, Crystal Malt and Maris Otter from Inglaterra.
Look at the label of ¡Magnifico!! It’s also magnifico! He’s just a little chico – malinki hop with a moustache gigante! He has big heart for such small creature. It’s the spirit of beer my friends and friendship and happiness. And loveliness. My friends, we hope you enjoy ¡Magnifico!(!) in the same spirit.
Oh, we nearly forget… if you drink ¡Magnifico!(!) in a bistro or cantina make sure you ask for proper glass! Jambo!
This bottle had been kicking around my beer fridge for quite some time and I finally decided to open. I have no idea where I purchased it or how old it was but fortunately the beer held up quite well.
Chatoe Rogue First Growth is a series of beers from Rogue using ingredients grown on their farm. There are several others still available but this one was retired a while back. Beautiful deep red color with a tan head. Aroma has a mix of dark fruit and malt. Taste starts quite sweet and then turns a bit tart with the cherries. The cherry taste is not very prominent which makes this beer a lot more enjoyable than other super sweet cherry flavored beers I have had.
Overall this was an enjoyable beer from Rogue but not something I would seek out again.
Pros: Nice light cherry flavor Cons: Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV Calories: ??? IBU (Bitterness): 25 Rating: Brewers Website: Rogue Ales Brewers Description: We made this beer with our own hops and barley. Malty aroma, dark mahogany-brown in color with a rich, malty sweetness that finishes dry on top of a lush cherry flavor.
I love that my job takes me to some of the best breweries in the area on a regular basis including Hill Farmstead. On my last visit I picked up a couple of session beers including this blonde ale which clock in under 4% ABV. Blonde ales are usually pretty boring but I should have known Shaun would make a hoppy blonde that would be anything but boring.
Walden has the typical unfiltered bright orange coloring and single finger white head. Aroma has plenty of pine and citrus but is dialed back from the huge aromas that come from Hill Farmstead’s IPA and DIPAs. Taste is similar to other Hill Farmstead beers but certainly scaled back a bit for it to be a blonde. This is simply a sessionable version of the great beer made by Hill Farmstead, plenty of hop aroma and flavor.
This is another one that I could drink every day and be happy.
Pros: Flavorful and hoppy for a blonde Cons: Alcohol Content: <4.0% ABV Calories: ??? IBU (Bitterness): 40 Rating: Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead Brewers Description: A sessionable blonde ale—originally brewed with our good friend John Kimmich from The Alchemist. <4% abv. 40 IBUs. Hopped with Motueka, Amarillo and Simcoe.
Got this beer as part of a local exchange with a follower from Mass that came up for a bottle release at Allagash a few weeks back. War is part of Backlash’s Apocolypse Series and is a saison. The label artwork is amazing as is most of the packaging from Backlash. Was sorry to see they discontinued the wax dipped bottle top but still love what Backlash is doing.
Beer is a nice orange color with a very nice bright white head. Aroma is OK with some Belgian and earthy smells. Overall a pretty appealing beer. Taste was different than I expected with a lot of different things going on; some grassy hops. Belgian yeast, spice, pepper and a mild sweetness from the rye. This sounds like an odd mix but it seems to work.
This beer was very easy to drink and I enjoyed the combination of flavors. If you come across a bottle give it a try and let me know your thoughts.
Pros: Unlike other saisons
Cons: Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV Calories: ??? IBU (Bitterness): 33 Rating: Brewers Website: Backlash Beer Brewers Description: War is the second beer in our Apocalypse Series. Each beer is modeled after one of the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse. This Farmhouse Ale was dry hopped with hibiscus leaves to represent the red horse of war, the second of the four who precede the end of the world. Using three different Belgian yeasts, this beer presents classic farmhouse tartness, complemented by earthy and grassy notes.
Label text: Still reeling from the devastation that Conquest left behind? That’s a pity, because the second brother is on his way and ready to rumble. War is rolling into town on a red horse with a big ol’ sword in hand (and no, he’s not compensating for anything). There’s no stopping this guy so you might as well take up arms and enjoy the fight. Side note: please don’t get carried away and use this bottle as an improvised weapon.
I had this beer last year at Craft Beer Comes to a Boothbay a brewfest put on by the Maine Brewers Guild hosted by Win at Boothbay Craft Brewery. Since then Win received the towns OK to open Watershed Tavern which has a solid lineup of beer and some very good food.
I grabbed this growler on my first trip to the tavern. They also sell the typical brown growlers with a label on it but I opted for the stainless steel. The beer is about what you would expect from a pale ale, light orange in color with a thin white head. Aroma has some light hops and malts. Taste is about the same with some hop bitterness but also a nice sweet malt finish. Overall this beer is very drinkable and worth grabbing a growler of next time you are in the Boothbay area.
Pros: Well balanced / drinkable Cons: Alcohol Content: 6.33% ABV Calories: ??? IBU (Bitterness): 35 Rating: Brewers Website: Boothbay Craft Brewery Brewers Description: Our first beer has been aptly named “633” after the Regions telephone exchange for starters. “If I could call a beer home, this would be the one.” ~ Win
It is a mildly hoppy pale ale using a 2 row, vienna, and munich malts for body,color, and head retention. It is hopped with American west coast hops later in the boil giving it a nice citrus hop flavor and very mild aroma. Slight addition of a roasted caramel malt gives “633” it’s signature ‘sunset over the harbor glow’.
Amber ales are tough for me. There are very few that stand out from the pack and unfortunately this one does not. Pours an almost brown color with single finger tan head. Aroma is almost entirely sweet malts and taste is the same. Overall this is a good representation of the style but there are so many other amber/red ales out there that do the same thing I am not sure why you would choose this over another.
If you see Henniker bottles in the store or visit the brewery try the Hop Slinger IPA as it is better than the amber.
Pros: Good representation of the style Cons: Boring Alcohol Content: 5.2% ABV Calories: ??? IBU (Bitterness): 32 Rating: Brewers Website: Brewers Description: An American Amber Ale – rich and enjoyable with its carmel and toffee sweetness that is balanced by a subtle aroma and a complimentary flavor of hops. Amber Apparition pairs well with delicate seafoods, poultry dishes and salads.
When I see blonde ale on a label I automatically think the beer is going to have little to no flavor, low ABV and be a beer I drink during dinner. Groundswell changes that with a full flavor Belgian blonde that clocks in at 6.4% ABV.
First thing I noticed was the stylish bottle with brass knuckles and wax dipped top, great marketing to get people to try the beer. The beer pours a pale orange with almost no head. Plenty of nice aroma from this beer with lots of Belgian yeast and fruity smells.
Taste is quite complex for a blonde ale with the Belgian yeast again playing a big roll but also a fair amount of fruity and earthy hops. The beer had lots of carbonation and was very crisp and clean to drink. Really enjoyed this beer from Backlash and need to get more of their beer up here in Maine.
Pros: Complex for a blonde Cons: Alcohol Content: 6.4% ABV Calories: ??? IBU (Bitterness): 22 Rating: Brewers Website: Backlash Beer Brewers Description: Groundswell is our Blond ale brewed in the Belgian style. We brew her with 4 different
varieties of malt which results in a golden color and smooth mouth-feel. Subtle yet complex flavor components include pilsner malt sweetness, fruity yeast esters and citrus notes from the addition of Indian coriander.
Crisp and refreshing, Groundswell is simple but far from dull.
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