Archive for the tag “4-5 Toasts”

Labyrinth Black Ale (Uinta Brewing)

13.2% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($14.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into globe glasses.

His Notes:

Utah-based Uinta’s Labyrinth pours an oozy, inky black with a small but frothy tan head, and the deep nose contains coffee, dark chocolate, wood-fermented yeast, and molasses.  The initial flavor is strong, earthy, and oaky, with the creme brulee-style sweetness turning to alcohol bitterness and throat burn.  Its’ first sip delivers on the promises of the nose, but it takes you on some labyrinthine twists and turns afterward.  The licorice that has been added during the brew comes through mainly in the aftertaste initially, but gets stronger and stronger as the beer slowly warms.  Labyrinth goes through a number of changes on the tongue, from sweet molasses to sturdy oak to bitter chocolate and licorice, getting less sweet and more smoky-bitter with each sip.

  4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4.5 Toasts


Triple Exultation (Eel River)

9.7% ABV
Purchased at BevMo ($6.49/22 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

His Notes:

This “Old Ale” from Fortuna’s Eel River pours like maple syrup and is colored rusty brown with a sandy brown head.  The smell is filled with hard alcohol and fruit esters, alongside notes of licorice and mild cooking woods like cedar.  Woody alcohol is also dominant on the palette, but it’s kept in check by a notable hop kick.  Chewy grains and malty smoothness enter the picture on the finish, which is slow and warming like a shot of good whiskey.  The smell, color, and consistency of Triple Exultation are similar to those of a traditional barleywine, but the emphasis is more towards bitterness than sweetness, and the result is a lovely slow sipper with a beautiful back end.

   4 1/2 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts


Sculpin IPA (Ballast Point)

7.0% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea and served in tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This beloved IPA from San Diego-based Ballast Point pours honey gold with a billowy white head.  It has the sweet, airy aroma of a peach orchard, with some citrus, bananas, and cotton candy also in the mix. Sweetness is dominant on the palette, but it’s the natural sweetness of fresh fruit, mixed in with hay and dew-soaked grass.  Citrus fruits (mostly oranges and grapefruits) are also present, along with a potent but not overpowering hoppiness.  Surprisingly, it’s the hop bitterness that sticks to your tongue, gradually growing in intensity until the next sweet sip.  Sculpin is an IPA masterpiece that comes on slow and sweet, but it uses that resin bitterness to wallop your tongue into sublime submission.

  5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts


Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale 2011

6.7% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($5.99/24 oz. bottle) and served in pint glasses

His Notes:

Made entirely with hops less than 24 hours removed from the vine, this special release pours clover honey orange with a large and fluffy white head.  The well-rounded nose is filled with sweet pine, melon, and the zest of lemons and grapefruits.  Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale stuns you with its incredibly fresh flavors, which offer an intriguing jumble of homemade honey, oily pine, lemony citrus, dewy grass, and even a pineapple mint taste that can be credited to the wet Washington hops.  It’s pleasantly herbal without being cute or overbearing, and the hop bitterness is extremely refined, with definite fresh herbs coming to the fore.  The overall effect is drinkable and refreshing, but with an impetuous youthfulness that lends it an unexpected complexity.

   4 1/2 Toasts

Her Notes:

  5 Toasts


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