Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Linchpin White IPA – Green Flash/Founders Collaboration

7.0% ABV
Purchased at Corti Brothers ($5.29 /22 oz. bomber) and poured into pint glasses.

His Notes:

This collaboration beer between San Diego stalwart Green Flash and Michigan-based Founders pours butterscotch yellow with a fluffy, bright white head.  Linchpin has a nose of zesty citrus, especially lemon and grapefruit, and a prominent yeastiness that it gives it the overall aroma of a lemon cookie.  That bready quality does not extend to the taste, which offers grapefruit bitterness on the first swallow, backed by even more citrus on the retreat.  It’s refreshing at first, but one sip goes a long way, and Linchpin’s mouth-coating citrus aftertaste (apparently only produced by the blend of hops) actually left me parched.  This one is for hardcore fans of the white IPA style only.

  2.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

   3 Toasts


Horny Devil – AleSmith Brewing

11% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($12.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

San Diego-based AleSmith’s Horny Devil pours a clean, pale gold with a sizable white head.  It has the nuanced, tropical nose of a real Belgian tripel, with some cracked wheat and hot pepper on the periphery.  Fiery pepper sizzles the palette, but it mixes surprisingly well with the flavor profile of a Belgian ale, as the hot spice is cooled by the coconut notes and dry texture.  Candi sugar and Belgian yeast are also present, as well as a double-digit alcohol burn in the long, warming finish – it’s an excellent mix of the savory, the spicy, and the sweet.  Despite the ambitiously extreme flavors (including the addition of coriander seeds), it’s all very balanced and never overwhelms the palette.

  4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4.5 Toasts


Wookey Jack (Firestone Walker)

8.3% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market and poured into pint glasses.

His Notes:

This black rye IPA from Firestone Walker (the Champion Brewery winner at the 2012 World Beer Cup), pours a murky black with a slowly retreating, cola-colored head, and smells of pungent hops, pine bark, and roasted coffee beans.  Its’ initial mouthfeel is somewhat dry and watery for a dark IPA, but there is a pleasant pepper bite from the rye. The second wave of flavor is by far the best, with notes of chewy grass, cracked pepper, dank weed, coffee, and even a little milk chocolate.  Wookey Jack’s finish is long but measured, a real accomplishment considering the assemblage of strong flavors.

  4 Toasts

Her Notes:

   3.5 Toasts


White Oak (The Bruery)

11.5 ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Two Brews Café ($9.50/pour) and served in tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This offering from The Bruery is a 50/50 blend of their tasty Belgian gold Mischief and a bourbon barrel-aged wheatwine.  White Oak pours a hazy honey yellow with a minimal marshmallow sauce head, and it smells of pineapple, melon, vanilla, and wheat.  There is caramel sweetness on the first swallow, and the bourbon flavors are expertly blended with the tropical and grainy flavor of the Belgian ale, thanks largely to the use of a lighter wheatwine instead of an obliterating barleywine.  Like all Bruery beers, this is a model of full flavors in perfect balance, with the vanilla-wood bourbon taste and double-digit ABV only coming through on the finish.

  4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4.5 Toasts


Simtra (Knee Deep Brewing Company)

10.1% ABV, 131 IBUs
Gifted by Knee Deep and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

Simtra is the Triple IPA relative of Lincoln-based Knee Deep’s award-winning Hoptologist DIPA.  It pours a pale gold with a tight white head, and has a surprisingly sweet nose of cotton candy, citrus fruits, and spruce needles.  Much like Hoptologist, there is little in the way of traditional west coast IPA hop/pine/citrus/floral flavors here. Instead, Simtra is dry and cracker-like on the tongue, with dusky spices and an almost wormwood-like twist to the finish.  The hops are dank and chewy, and despite the triple-digit IBUs, this beer doesn’t crush you with bitterness – it insinuates and distracts you with its unique flavor profile while quietly coating your mouth with delectable hops.

  4 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts


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