This “ale brewed with honey, kola nuts, poppy seed and guarana” from Scottish brewing legends BrewDog pours a brackish brown-black with a vaporous sandalwood head. Dogma has an aroma that is surprisingly sweet, with some chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, caramel, and rustic bread grains – ultimately, it smells like chocolate pumpernickel bread. The first swallow is powerful and perplexing, with an unusual mix of chocolate, thistles, seeds and rye, but it finishes clean with light, flowered honey flavors. Less chocolate and more nuts enter the picture on subsequent sips, with a taste similar to Coca-Cola liberally spiked with honey and spices settling on the tongue. It’s a very odd beer, but also quite tasty as a cold-weather curiosity.
This beefed-up version of Bear Republic’s popular Racer 5 IPA pours a dried apricot orange with a tight white head, while the nose offers candied citrus, dank hops, oranges and peaches. There is a nice, not-too-sticky sweetness on the first swallow, with apricot, peach, citrus fruits, grassy hops, and bubblegum all making appearances, along with some black pepper and cracker grains. The bitterness on the finish is on the sweeter end of the spectrum, and the settling flavors are bubblegum, peach, and orange, with just a touch of pine. Racer X has a compelling and quirky finish for the style, with bubblegum, pie crust, wet grass, tangerine, and hops candy all showing up in this extremely drinkable DIPA.
We’ve launched our Etsy store and to celebrate we’re offering 25% off any purchase.
Printed on archival paper these beer illustrations are the perfect gift for the craft beer lover in your life. Choose from 10 different 8.5 x 11 prints or pick up a 6-pack of postcards. To get this “Beer” Friday Deal use the Coupon Code*: “BEERFRIDAY2013″ at checkout.
*Coupon good 11/29/13 only.
Groupe G pours a dirty orange with a mid-sized, pillow-y, off-white head. Belgian aromas jump out of the can on the crack; in the glass, you get bubblegum, tropical fruit esters, banana, peach, a sharp spice bite, and hint of farmhouse funk. The first swallow is beautiful – sweet tropical flavors of guava and berry play off the spice snap of the rye, and the hop bitterness is fairly restrained. It gets more flower-y on subsequent swallows, almost like a Belgian hibiscus IPA with rye, while kumquat and bubblegum flavors come to dominate the finish. This beer goes in a lot of different directions at once, but it’s all pretty cohesive and original, not to mention delicious.
This unlisted-on-Beer Advocate offering from Auburn Alehouse pours a clear Tootsie Roll brown with some plum highlights and a mid-sized, cream-colored head. The unmistakably sweet smell of English malts leads the nose, along with toffee and a grassy, earthy character. Son of Otis has a tea-like taste on the first swallow, with some toffee on the periphery, and coffee, soil, and grass on the finish. It has a flavor profile that gains strength on subsequent swallows, eventually folding in toasted nuts and twigs. Overall, this feels like an English-style bitter with an enhanced West Coast hop presence, as the beer is not particularly sweet despite the malt-forward flavor.
This “stout brewed with oysters” from Portland, Oregon-based Upright pours a squid ink black with a thick, light-brown head, and a nose of licorice, bark, coffee-flavored chocolate, brown sugar, and slight sea brine. Upright Oyster Stout has an exceptionally light mouthfeel, on the verge of watery, but that first impression is followed by an outburst of flavors. The taste is powerful and inscrutable, touching on but not quite imitating flavors of chocolate, coffee, dirt, wood, barrel root beer, black licorice, sarsaparilla, and dark fruit tannins. A touch of salty, oyster shell brine on the finish urges your palette towards the next sip, and this masterful and mysterious beer proves to be compulsively drinkable.
This other half of the He Said four-pack is a “Baltic-style porter brewed with pumpkin and spices”, and it pours a coffee bean dark brown with a slight, cola fizz-colored head. It offers an aroma of flaky-crusted pumpkin pie up front, backed with some black licorice and candied ginger. The first swallow is very spice-heavy, including ginger, pumpkin pie spice, and something sharply herbal (according to the website, the spice additions are Vietnamese cinnamon and caraway seed). There is a black licorice twist to the finish that introduces the “Baltic” aspect, which might be one high concept too many for He Said’s overcrowded flavor profile.
This collaboration between San Francisco’s 21st Amendment and Seattle’s Elysian is a Belgian tripel brewed with pumpkins, tarragon, and galangal (aka Thai ginger). It pours a light, peachy orange with a tight white head, and presents a lot of earthiness and spice on the nose, including pumpkin and gourd flesh, sweet potatoes, ginger, and other autumnal spices. He Said Tripel feels lighter on the tongue than anticipated, with a nice effervescence on the front end that gives way to those expected autumn spice-bomb flavors, led by pumpkin, ginger, and candied yams. Despite the potential here for a cutesy hybrid, the flavor profile is expertly balanced, with a little banana-like sweetness cutting through the heavy, lingering spice notes.