Archive for the category “3-4 Toasts”

Tart Attack – NoDa Brewing Company

noda-tart-attack-bttl4.3% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club and poured into tulip glasses.

This blackberry-aged Berliner Weisse from Charlotte-based NoDa Brewing pours a clear, light gold with a filmy, bright white head.  The Rare Beer Club notes suggested aging Tart Attack for a maximum of 6 to 7 months, and this bottle fit right within that timeframe.  It offered a berry patch nose of blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and a little mineral water, with some white wine grapes and honeydew melon on the periphery.  There is a succulent tartness on the first swallow dominated by berries and other fruits, including green apple and cantaloupe, but it finishes clean and crisp, without a significant amount of mouth pucker.  Some dusty funk asserts its presence on the nose and tongue, and a lemon-like tartness appears on the finish, giving Tart Attack the feel of a North Carolina terroir brew.

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TartAttack

 

 

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Black IPA – Hop Odyssey Series – Green Flash Brewing Company

green-blackipa-bttl

7.2% ABV
Purchased at Curtis Park Market ($6.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into Green Flash tulip glasses.

This plainly named hoppy dark ale from beloved San Diego brewers Green Flash pours an espresso bean dark brown-black with a mid-sized and slowly fading tan-colored head.  The expected Black IPA aromas of leafy hops and burnt toast are present, but the supporting smells favor dark fruits and berries over the usual coffee-like roast.  Green Flash Black IPA offers an excellent mix of fresh hops and scorched grains on the first swallow, with a bitterness that is reminiscent of coffee without necessarily matching its flavor profile.  Fresh and assertive hop bittering helps to offset the chalkiness that can sometimes creep into black IPAs, and fans of the style should appreciate this beer, even if the flavors are a little overstated.

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GreenFlash-BlackIPA


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   3.5 Toasts

The Maharaja – Avery Brewing Company

maharaja_bttl

10.2% ABV, 102 IBUS, 21 degrees Plato
Purchased at Corti Brothers ($7.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

This famed Double IPA is part of  Avery’s “Dictator Series” (along with their excellent Czar, a Russian Imperial Stout that we reviewed here ), and it pours a deep gold with a frothy, eggshell white head.  Classic DIPA aromas make an impression on the nostrils even two full feet away from the glass. Upon closer olfactory inspection, Maharaja offers a very sweet nose of fruit syrup, strawberries, browned toast, and honey, an aroma that doesn’t seem like it could possibly be the prelude to a triple-digit IBU beer. The first swallow follows the lead of the nose, doling out honey-drizzled fruits like strawberry, peach, and pineapple, but ending in a wave of hop bitterness that closes on a note of spiced crackers. Maharaja is thick as tree sap and sweet as syrup, with a malt presence that is overstated for my taste, and an almost tyrannical mix of tastes that varies from spicy to sugary to full-on hop burn.

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Maharaja

 

toasts-3.5   3.5 Toasts

Scotch Silly Barrel Aged – Brasserie de Silly

ScotchSillyBarrelAged9% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($15.49/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This barrel-aged Scotch ale from the Belgium-based Brasserie de Silly pours a prune-ish brown with a tight, off-white head.  The boozy nose offers alcohol-doused caramel chews, plums and other dark fruits, as well as raisins and other dried fruits.  Barrel Aged Scotch Silly has a relatively light mouthfeel for the style, with some woody bitterness on the aftertaste, and an alcohol flavor reminiscent of apple brandy.  There is a bit more toffee on later swallows, with slightly more nuanced raisin and dried apricot flavors coming to the fore as it warms in the glass, at which point the alcohol taste begins to resemble dark rum.  It is quite tasty if you’re in the mood for a big beer, with flavors that get progressively better.

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ScotchSilly

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Tripel B – Adelbert’s Brewery

tripelb_adelberts9.3% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club ($/25.4 oz.bottle) and poured into goblet glasses.

This bottle-conditioned Belgian tripel from Austin-based Adelbert’s pours a cloudy cantaloupe juice orange with a minimal, bright white head.  It smells of grass, toffee, some farmhouse funk, melon, cantaloupe, and tropical citrus.  There is a lovely warmth and restrained sweetness on the first swallow, with the expected tropical and melon flavors given a biting contrast from the peppery Belgian yeast.  Adelbert’s Tripel B is very heavy for a Belgian tripel, reaching more into the realm of a strong Belgian gold.  It’s not a boozy beer, but while some cracker-like grains, spice, caramel, and marmalade flavors are present, the overall taste is fairly neutral and tiring on the palette.

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Adelberts_Tripel

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Coming Home 2013 – Grand Teton Brewing Company

CHHA13-bottle7.5% ABV
Purchased at Capitol Beer and Tap Room and poured into goblet glasses.

This year’s Grand Teton winter seasonal is brewed in the style of a Belgian dubbel, and it pours a burnished gold with a tight, dirty white head.  The sweet nose offers fairly standard-for-the-style aromas of dark fruit, Belgian candied sugar, red apple, and a little caramel and butterscotch.  Toffee and caramel flavors take the lead on the first swallow, backed up dark fruits, and fading into an unexpected crispness on the finish that makes Coming Home 2013 lighter than a classic Belgian dubbel.  A little bit of spice comes in on subsequent sips, but it mostly holds the sweet fruit and toffee flavors throughout, indicating this beer would be a compatible mate with non-chocolate desserts.

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ComingHome2013toasts-3.5   3.5 Toasts

Burnt Fog – Track 7 Brewing Company

7.6% ABV
Purchased at Track 7 Tap Room ($3/8 oz. pour) and served in pint glasses.

This smoked porter pours a murky dark brown-black with a mid-sized, white sand head, and boasts a delectable aroma of pan grease, hickory smoke, and blackened bacon.  True to its name, Burnt Fog is filled with charred and smoky flavors on the first swallow, most notably in the form of burnt leaves, bacon, and mild tobacco.  It remains pretty sweet and drinkable throughout, never too heavy or smoke-choked, with some walnut-like bitterness on the finish.  Track 7 Brewing’s take on the smoked porter doesn’t offer the fleshy flavors of BBQ-ed meats so much as the char, smoke, and grease residuals, with coffee grounds, candied nuts, and English-style malts also making appearances.

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BurntFog_Track7

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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.

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Device3XIPA

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Dogma – BrewDog

dogmabttl7.8% ABV
Purchased at City Beer Store ($xx/22 oz. bottle) and poured into oversized wine glasses.

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.

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Dogma

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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.

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RacerX

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