Archive for the tag “4.5-5 Toasts”

Double Eye PA – Mikkeller

mikkeller-double-eye-bttl14% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shop ($6.99/11.2 oz. bottle) and poured into tasting glasses.

Legendary Danish brewer Mikkeller produces this eye-popping 14% ABV Imperial IPA, which pours an opaque cantaloupe orange with a tight white head, and a strong nose of orange, hard alcohol, and pine needles.  Double Eye PA is perfectly brutalizing upon first swallow, with alcoholic citrus and butterscotch candy taking the lead, and a palette-crusing pine bitterness bringing up the rear.  This remarkable brew goes big on every possible flavor profile of a Double IPA – sweet, bitter, pine-y, citrus-y, boozy, and with strong suggestions of butterscotch and caramel.  Each small sip packs a wallop of diverse flavors, making a monstrous impression on the taste buds, and yet the end result has a curious sort of balance.  Take your time and let this beer do its work.  One caveat: there is copious yeast sediment in the bottle that can dilute the flavors, so be careful not to overpour.

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Gift of the Magi – The Lost Abbey (Cellar-Aged)


10.0% ABV
Purchased at Total Wine and More in late December 2011, cellared for 1 year, and poured into tulip gla

His Notes:

The Lost Abbey’s high-alcohol holiday biere de garde pours a reddish-orange with a voluminous, frothy, dirty-white head.  The distinctly Belgian nose offers pineapple, barnyard funk (due to the brett-aided bottle-conditioning), and other tropical aromas.  The first swallow has more caramel and grass than I remember – with a darker hue to match the more robust flavor – and a long, boozy, incredibly pleasing warmth to the finish.  This is no longer the “contemplative biere de garde” promised on the bottle; instead, it’s a brutish strong ale for a lonely Christmas Eve, with a mouthful of dusky hops entering on subsequent swallows.  Gift of the Magi has a fascinating mélange of flavors, ranging from grassy to woody to spicy and slightly fruity, offering new discoveries with each sip.

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Her Notes:


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Original Review from January 2012:

10.0% ABV
Purchased at Total Wine & More ($3.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This Lost Abbey Xmas annual pours a murky orange with a frothy, quickly retreating, off-white head.  The smell is strong with grapes, fresh dark fruits, berries, spices, and barnyard funk, along with the unmistakable quasi-tropical aroma of wild yeast.  Very inviting on the palette with fruit, grass, and a mild sourness, but it quickly warms up to reveal layer after layer of woody texture and complex spice.  Gift of the Magi is a fascinating hybrid of a Belgian farmhouse beer and a spicy winter ale, with oak notes, brandy, orchard fruits, bready yeast, and wild grass all present.  It gives you so much complex flavor to chew on, you can easily overlook the double-digit alcohol content.  A real masterpiece, Gift of the Magi overwhelms you with its Tower of Babel flavors instead of its’ ABV.

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Her Notes:


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Old Rasputin XV Bourbon Barrel-Aged – North Coast Brewing


11.9% ABV

Purchased at Pangaea Two Brews ($10/6 oz. pour) and served in mini-snifter glasses.

This barrel-aged version of North Coast’s venerable Russian Imperial Stout pours black piano key ebony with a thick and billowy almond-colored head.  It offers a strong but welcoming nose of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and a very prominent booze-drenched oak aroma.  Old Rasputin XV is velvety on the tongue, putting forth some amazing bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla flavors, with the expected barrel wood entering the profile on the long, warm finish.  This is a beer that takes it’s time on your palette, offering some fascinating touches of coffee, banana, nuts, alcohol burn, and even some scorched caramel.  And yet for all of its bigness, Old Rasputin XV is actually an incredibly subtle brew.

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Anniversary Doppelsticke – High Water Brewing

7.5% ABV
Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($7.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into stanges

His Notes:

This wonderfully offbeat offering from Bay Area-based High Water pours a watered-down cola brown with a discreet off-white head and a faint nose of earth and toffee.  Fascinating caramel and licorice flavors arrive on the first swallow, along with some nice nuttiness that finishes in an earthy funk. Anniversary Dopplesticke – High Water’s take on a largely unknown Altbier style – is very malt-forward, but with remarkable complexity and clarity. Subsequent swallows offer even more intriguing tastes – some root beer syrup, more smoked nuts, and dusky fruit (especially plums).  It’s an extremely unique brew, with a fantastic mix of rootsy, roasty, nutty, tangy, and sweet flavors, all of them delicious.

  5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4.5 Toasts

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