Friday, March 13, 2015

Boulevard Tasting Room Series: Oatmeal Stout

Contestant #2 from the Tasting Room, Oatmeal Stout poured a thick tar-like black, with a towering four-finger head that slowly receded to a lacy tan topping. Fairly hoppy at 35 IBUs, about what you might expect from a pale ale, but with the heavy consistancy that any oatmeal stout should have. Coffee and chocolate notes, but not overwhelmingly so. A little bit of a whiff of what you might expect from a whiskey-barrel-aged brew.

Boulevard Tasting Room Series: Mid-Coast IPA

Semi-Local Brewery Boulevard in Kansas City continues to amaze and dazzle us with new and interesting beers. Their Tasting Room series spotlights some of their "experimental" brews that were previously unavailable outside of their on-site tasting room...hence the name. Mid-Coast IPA is a Mid-America take on the West Coast style of ales that is characteristically heavy on the hops. Mid-Coast weighs in at an impressive 104 IBUs. With hops not only in the brewing process, but dry-hopped in later for extra hop flavor, this is a hop beast. Take that Lagunitas!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sam Adams Crystal Pale Ale

Sam Adams used to just identify their different beers by style, i.e. Brown Ale, Cream Stout, Double IPA etc. with the occasional exception like the winter favorite Old Fezziwig. Over the last few years they've taken to giving them names rather than merely descriptions. I believe we have seen Crystal Pale Ale before; in September 2009 I reviewed the Summer Styles variety pack, which included a pale ale
I didn't have much to say then (It was the early days of Ill-Gotten Booty Beer Reviews) but I believe that it's the same beer. It poured a medium-tone golden hue with a minimal white head. Initial aroma and taste were heavy on the citrus-floral with an emphasis on the grapefruity hops. Hints of lemon and orange peel as it warms up. Not a bad brew, as usual, a good representation of the style.

Lagunitas Night Time

Lagunitas is known for its hoppy beers, no matter what style, and Night Time is no exception at 74 IBU. It pours a deep dark brown with a slowly receding light brown two-finger head. The flavor is rich, with chocolate and coffee notes, almost verging on porter-like heaviness. It's almost too much though. I love nice creamy stouts and ports and I enjoy hoppy IPA's, but the combination is close to sensory overload!

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!