Archive for the tag “4 Toasts”

Fire and Blood – Ommegang

GoTbeer_bttl6.8% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($9.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This third Game of Thrones-themed beer from Cooperstown, New York-based Ommegang pours a rusty red with a massive, persistent, off-white head.  Through the thick froth, you can make out an interesting nose of dark fruits (especially plums) and chili peppers, along with some notes of Belgian spice.  Although this hoppy Belgian red ale has been spiced up with the addition of Ancho chiles (as well as spelt and rye), there is no major heat on the tongue or in the throat, just a consistent chile flavor accenting the base taste of apple, plum, and berry.  Fire and Blood is far more drinkable than you would expect from the description, offering delicious but relatively restrained Belgian-style flavors with a lot of depth and nuance.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

 

GOT

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Black Hand – Speakeasy

BlackHand_bttl6.9% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market in Sacramento ($6.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

This milk stout “brewed with cacao nibs” pours an impenetrable ebony with a short, brown head.  Big chocolate cake and heavy cream smells greet the nose upon first sniff, along with a curious mineral scent and a little bit of graham cracker, coffee, and milk chocolate.  The first swallow is dessert-y and delicious, with chocolate and milk mingling on the palette alongside a grassy taste that (if I know my old-guard West Coast breweries…) is probably courtesy of an amped-up hop profile.  The mouthfeel gets milkier on the finish, with flavors of chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, mineral water, and half-and-half also entering the picture.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Speackeasy_BlackHand

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Sour in the Rye with Kumquats – The Bruery

bruery-sourrye-kumquats-bttl7.6% ABV
Purchased through The Bruery Provisions (25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into wine glasses.

This variation on Sour in the Rye was aged in oak barrels with kumquats, and it pours a muddy, peachy copper with a vaporous white head.  The somewhat perplexing aroma contains sour candy, a little vinegar, puckering citrus fruits, and oaky wine tannins.  Sour in the Rye with Kumquats has a surprisingly refreshing sourness given all of the elements in play, with the intense kumquat juiciness asserting itself on the second wave of flavor.  Oranges, lemon peels, and papayas are all present on the tongue in addition to the kumquats, and while the rye never emerges as an independent flavor, it does seem to have imbued the citrus flavors with an extra intensity.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

SourRye-Kumquats

toasts-4   4 Toasts

3XIPA – Device Brewing Company

3x_label10.5% ABV
Purchased at Capitol Beer and Tap Room ($7/13 oz. pour) and served in tulip glasses.

This debut beer from Sacramento newbie Device Brewing Company pours a clear, honey gold with a tight, off-white head.  The nose offers the sweet smells of wet grass, pears, and other stone fruits drizzled in honey, and the first swallow indicates that same sort of sweet character is ahead.  That initial impression quickly gives way to a hop bitterness that is mostly herbal and piney in nature, with a browned toast touch to the aftertaste.  3XIPA gets grassier on subsequent swallows, with a dose of alcohol burn entering the profile towards the end, although it remains fairly honeyed throughout.  Device is only brewing four styles out of the gate in order to hone their technique, and that attention to detail is evident in this promising triple IPA.

toasts-3.5   3.5 Toasts

Device3XIPA

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Racer X – Bear Republic Brewing Company

racerx8.3% ABV
Purchased at Curtis Park Market ($7.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

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.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

RacerX

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Hellion – Gigantic Brewing Company

gigantic_hellion_bttl

8.5% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($9.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This “dry-hopped Belgian-style golden ale” from the exciting Portland, Oregon brewers Gigantic pours a straw-like gold with a tight, bright white head.  It has the expected Belgian golden nose of strong grains, a little bit of barnyard floor, and some vague tropical notes.  The first swallow is rich with de-sweetened pineapple and papaya, building in candied flavor until subsiding into a wave of bitterness.  A nice, rum-like burn settles in on the long finish, along with some honeyed fruit, ginger root, and dry crackers.  Hellion is a very good beer, bringing a welcome earthy quality to this often overwhelmingly sweet style.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Gigantic_Hellion

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Melrose – Beachwood Brewing

Beachwood_mel_bttlSoCal Beercation Edition

7.1% ABV
Purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego ($8.75/22 oz. bottle) and poured into lowball hotel glasses.

Long Beach-based Beachwood’s complex and quaffable Melrose IPA pours a clear, light-honey gold with a wee off-white head and a fair amount of bubble agitation in the body.  The nose rockets out of the bottle upon the crack of the cap – magnificent, flowery, frosted-hop aromas, a little grass and funk, and melon zest aromas make you want to dive right in.  Pine and leaf flavors dominate the first swallow, fading into a restrained, rind-like bitterness that combines melon and grapefruit. This well-balanced beer offers more citrus on subsequent swallows, including unripe oranges and a little lemon, but it is a cracker-dusted grapefruit flavor that eventually settles on the palette.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Melrose

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Bois – The Bruery

boisSoCal Beercation Edition

15% ABV
Purchased at The Bruery Tasting Room ($7/4 oz. pour) and served in mini-snifters.

This barrel-aged offering from The Bruery pours a muddy brown with a tight eggshell white head, and a surprisingly subtle nose of alcohol, vanilla, and touches of brown sugar and coconut.  It offers an eye-opening taste of hard alcohol on first swallow, but without the residual throat burn, instead fading into flavors of pineapple, brown sugar, and vanilla beans.  The alcohol burn eventually comes in on the finish, but there are also some bread, spice, and molasses notes in the picture to capture your attention.  Bois is not a beer for timid palettes, and it’s almost too intense to be fully appreciated at present (a couple years of aging should take some of the edge off), with the alcohol beginning to overwhelm the subtler flavors after the first few sips.  That said, if you’re looking for a big beer, they don’t get much bigger or more flavor-packed than this one, with everything from nuts to tree sap to unsweetened maple syrup making an appearance on the tongue.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

bois

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Coffee Ale – Boulevard Brewing Company

blvd_coffeeale_bttl

9.3% ABV
Purchased at Final Gravity ($9.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This ale was brewed by Kansas City, Missouri-based Boulevard with coffee provided by their neighbors at The Roasterie.  The succinctly named Coffee Ale pours a raisin juice brown with a tight, light tan head, and an eye-opening nose of nutty black coffee and dark fruits.  There are also some berry notes inherent to African coffee, and overall it was a bold choice to make this Smokestack Series beer into an ale instead of a stout or porter.  The end result is fairly similar to a coffee-infused nut brown, but I liked how the floral and berry notes played off of the hops and biscuit-y malts.  It’s a lot like pairing a coffee and a flaky pastry up front, then chasing it with a coffee-and-cream candy on the finish.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Blvd_CoffeeAle

toasts-4   4 Toasts

Panil Divina – Barrel-aged version

 

panil_bttl6.5% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($20.49/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into flute glasses.

This “Spontaneously Fermented Italian Ale” pours a honeyed gold with a large and extremely fluffy white head, and an angrily agitated body similar to champagne.  The enticing but not overpowering nose is a farmhouse morning of lemons, grapefruits, and dry grass.  Panil Divina smells like fresh country air and tastes like fresh farm produce – it offers a refreshing lemon taste on first swallow, with grapefruit and tangerine on the retreat.  Bitter melon, sour grapes, and barnyard funk flavors emerge in the satisfying aftertaste of this beer, which was fermented in open air with several yeasts and aged in French Oak.   It’s not as dry as you would expect, and is surprisingly balanced and thirst-quenching for such a high-maintenance brew.

toasts-4    4 Toasts

Panil

toasts-4    4 Toasts

 

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 468 other followers