Sunday, March 1, 2015

Squatter's Takeout Rye IPA (from Utah Brewer's Cooperative)

Purs the color of caramel, with a tall head that recedes to a lacy film of a tan hue. Hoppy aroma right off the bat, with an assertive grapefruit taste. Some bready characteristics as well. I'm not catching anything distinctly rye however. Not a bad brew, but nothing outstanding either.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Hoppy Lager

Sierra Nevada runs a "beer camp" every summer, where aspiring home brewers can enjoy all the fun stuff about summer camp while learning how to be better brewers. Campers submit their recipes and brew up a batch. the winning recipes are distributed by Sierra Nevada as part of their Beer Camp series. In addition to regular beer fans they also partner with other breweries to come up with new and interesting lagers and ales. Hoppy Lager is the result of a collaboration between SN and Ballast Point Brewery.

Hoppy Lager pours a clear golden hue with a two-finer head that settles down to a frothy film fairly quickly. There's a lot of hop flavor, but not a lot of bitterness. The taste is reminiscent of a good stone hearth-baked bread, or maybe an Irish soda bread. There's some honey notes as well and some lemon peel as a hidden surprise. Pretty decent pilsner.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gran Sport Porter

From Coop Ale Works in Oklahoma, this interesting porter caught my eye. At 43 IBU's it's a fairly hoppy porter, but with thefull-bodied silky smoothness that I expect from a good porter. Pours pretty-close-to black, two-finger brown head and notes of chocolate and coffee beans. Only gonna have one though...have to drive home!

Boulevard Chocolate Ale

I've had this ale twice on tap, and it was delicious. The chocolate was at once subtle and obvious: it was apparent that you were drinking beer infused with chocolate, but it didn't seem like you were drinking chocolate milk as is the case with so many chocolate brews. I was surprised initially by the color, which is not a stout-dark like many ales that add chocolate, but a hazy amber with a fluffy white head. Not much other flvor comes through, medium hoppiness, very smooth.

Zipline American Trippel

Pouring a semi-hazy honey color with an off-white head skimming the top 2 or 3 molecules, Zipline's American Trippel tantalizes with subtle notes of peach and mango and maybe a hint of coriander. The  Belgian-ness characterizing most trippels is subdued here, but there's some real complexity as new flavors are revealed as the ale sneaks up on room temperature. Should I have another?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner

Pick up anything by Sierra Nevada and you won't be disappointed. Lately they've been coming out with some lager styles, like the Vienna Lager from a few months ago. There's a lot of pilsners out there (basically all the macro-brews are pilsner style lagers or their close cousins) but it takes a quality brewer to do it right. Nooner pours a light, bright, crystal clear straw color, with a fluffy white, three-finger head. Some subtle hop bitterness, on the piney side. There's some flowery notes along with some subdued citrus. Overall a fine beer to usher in the warmer weather.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Leinenkugel's Big Butt Doppelbock

Big Butt Doppelbock used to be one of my favorite beers back when I was an (almost) exclusively Leinenkugel guy, back before I really understood what darkness meant in a beer. In fact it was a guest's negative reaction to Big Butt that inspired me to keep some cheap beer in the fridge for undiscerning visitors. Big Butt was discontinued by Leinie's at an inopportune time: just when darker beers started becoming popular, discontinued before Ill-Gotten Booty started doing beer reviews.

Big Butt pours a reddish mahogany brown with a thin tan head. Low carbonation, medium hoppiness with an aroma and taste of figs, raisins, and apricots. Toffee and honey make an appearance as well. Pretty decent bock, although nothing "doppel" about it.