Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Off Color Dino S'mores Review

Name: Off Color Dino S'mores
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.5%
IBUs: 40

Lookie here, a new beer that I recently picked up from Off Color Brewing. This time around, we've got Dino S'mores, an imperial stout made with marshmallows, graham flour, vanilla bean and cocoa nibs; In other words, a S'more Stout. When I stumbled upon this, I saw there was a one bottle limit per customer, which is fine since I personally rarely buy packs of the same beer. Plus the asking price of one bottle is enough to deter me from putting down money on an actual 4-pack of this stuff. Speaking of which.....

I personally have not heard anything from anyone about this beer, aside from its very high rating on Beer Advocate. My first exposure to this brewery came in the form of their Scurry Altbier, which I thought was good but the asking price for it was a bit high for a 4-pack. I'm hoping it won't be the case with this beer.

Appearance - Pitch black with a thin brown colored head that settles down to a semi-translucent appearance. The lacing starts out promising initially but it ends up being very sparse.

Aroma - Chocolate malts and vanilla sweetness, followed by some graham crackers, marshmallows and dark chocolate with a bit of hop bitterness on the back end of the nose. Well I have to give them credit, it certainly smells like a S'more.

Taste - Chocolate malts & cocoa nibs accompanied by marshmallow and vanilla beans. The back end of the palate opens up to those graham cracker notes along with more of that cocoa nib sweetness along with some mild bitter hoppiness. The aftertaste is a mix of chocolate, vanilla and graham crackers.

There's no other way to put this: It's a S'more in liquid form and it works very well. Every element of the flavor compliments the others quite well and what we end up getting is a very robust and tasty Imperial Stout that manages to fire on all cylinders.

 I've had a some S'more stouts before from a couple of different breweries, but they all lacked that "Wow" factor that should've been there. It's almost like Off Color came along and said "Look, THIS is how you make an awesome S'more stout." In short, if you're able to find this beer, then it would be in your best interests to check it out. Don't let the price of admission scare you on this one, the ride is worth it.

Off Color Dino S'mores - 9.5/10

Monday, December 28, 2015

Alaskan Hopothermia Review

Name: Alaskan Hopothermia
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.5%
IBUs: 70

Now that Christmas is finally over with, it's time to get back to reviewing some beers. Since the first major snowfall is supposedly going to be hitting us tonight, I thought now would be a good time to review Alaskan Brewing's Hopothermia.

Hopothermia is Alaskan's first widely available Imperial IPA. It's beginnings trace back to that of being a draft-only release when it came out roughly around three years ago. In fact, I recall having it on tap when it was first released at a bar in Minneapolis (The Republic in Uptown I want to say....?) I'm guessing it proved to be popular enough to warrant a bottle release.

Appearance -  Fairly clear dark amber color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head starts out foamy but retains a mostly thin appearance with a moderate amount of lacing..

Aroma - Very dank piney hops on the front of the nose with a strong caramel malt backbone, along with some mild grapefruit rinds.

Taste - Piney & citrus hops with some mild dankness. Further in you start to pick up on some grapefruit sweetness and caramel maltiness, while on the back end of the palate is just more bitter hops. Aftertaste is some more bitter piney hoppiness with some light toffee notes.

If you like your IPAs with a bit of dankness to it, this beer is for you. It's reasonably priced and there's nothing that I would consider to be wrong with it. Maybe it's just me but I remember this being more.......exciting when I first had it, though it could be my change in palate or a change in recipe. Either way, it's still good and I could see myself drinking this again.

Alaskan Hopothermia - 8/10

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Oskar Blues Death by Coconut Review

Name: Oskar Blues Death by Coconut
Style: Porter
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 25

It's been too long since I reviewed anything from Oskar Blues, with the last beer review being from over 2 years ago. Well today I'm here to change with that with Death by Coconut, their winter seasonal which they added to their lineup last year. It's a porter but made with coconut.

It's one of those beers which I've seen online a few times but the temptation never struck me to seek it out whether it was travelling to Wisconsin or through trade. Ah.....but since Oskar Blues is now available in Minnesota, the opportunity to try it out came across me the other day while I was at the store. Plus I had this on tap at JL Beers this past weekend and thought it was a good excuse to expedite.

Appearance - Pitch black save for a minor dark brown tinge on the bottle of the glass. The head takes on a khaki color with a mild amount of foaminess, along with the lacing which is fairly mild as well.

Aroma - Strong coconut sweetness & chocolate maltiness. I'm also getting some coffee grains along with some roasted barley. When I had this at the bar, the bartender mentioned it was like smelling coconut suntan lotion; He wasn't exactly wrong when he said that.

Taste - Sweet coconut notes followed by some solid chocolate & caramel maltiness. Middle & back end of the palate opens up to some roasted barley notes and light floral hoppiness while still maintaining that coconut sweetness. The aftertaste consists of more coconut, roasted barley & light bitter hoppiness; all of which linger for quite a while.

I'll throw this out here right now, if your not a fan of porters, this beer may cause you to think otherwise for a couple different reasons. The first being that the coconut not only balances out the other elements of the flavor but also tips it in its favor. The other reason being that my wife, who hates dark beers with a passion, tried this out and ended loving it!

For the casual craft beer drinker, this is certainly worth checking out. Some may find the sheer coconutiness(?) to be off putting but I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to, which makes this beer all the easier to recommend.

Oskar Blues Death by Coconut - 9/10

Monday, December 21, 2015

Bauhaus Brew Labs Tallander Review

Name: Bauhaus Brew Labs Tallander
Style: Scottish Ale
ABV: 6.0%
IBUs; 25

Today I've got a new beer from Bauhaus Brew Labs, a brewery which I haven't had any beers from (on this blog anyways) since last winter. My previous entry from Bauhaus was their Jingle Fever Baltic Porter (now known as Winterloper), which at the time, I thought was their be-all end-all winter seasonal.

Well, this year they've given us Tallander, their true winter seasonal which is described by the brewery as basically a cross between a Scottish Ale & a Wee Heavy. They've even made a commercial for it too, which you can watch here since Blogger hasn't made it available for embedding as of yet. If you watched the video, you probably figured out that the name itself draws from the film Highlander. I remember watching it when I was about 11 years old, and having a hard time following it. I guess the brewer must be a fan of the film.

Appearance - Clear dark brown/amber color with no visible carbonation. The head takes on a khaki color and is fairly foamy in terms of appearance. The lacing left behind is moderate and is somewhat sticky.

Aroma - Some fairly potent roastiness on the front of the nose with some Munich-like maltiness. Also getting some light peated scotch notes along with some chocolate maltiness.

Taste - Some moderate roastiness on the front of the palate, followed by some chocolate maltiness and light peated scotch notes. On the back end of the palate I'm getting some mild bitter hops along with more of that roasty flavor mixed in with some very light smokiness. It's also worth noting that it finishes rather dry.

I'm not normally into Scottish Ales but I like this. It's nice & balanced and I think the Scottish/Wee-Heavy hybrid works out rather well. On top of that, Tallander is also very reasonably priced so that makes it a lot easier for me to recommend as well. If you see this, I would certainly recommend checking this out.

Bauhaus Brew Labs Tallander - 8.5/10

Friday, December 18, 2015

Toppling Goliath Light Speed Review

Name: Toppling Goliath Light Speed
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.8%

Well today is the day that the new Star Wars movie comes out. Hard to believe that the last time a Star Wars movie was in theaters, I was only in high school. Unlike the majority of Americans, I will be waiting a few weeks before I actually go and see it, since I've always hated crowded movie theaters. Plus I know that The Force Awakens will be making the runs for a long time.

Anyways in celebration of the release, I've decided to take a look at a beer that is related to Star Wars....sort of. Toppling Goliath has finally started bringing their specialty bombers to Minnesota and the one I'll be looking at is the Lightspeed Pale Ale, which is brewed with Millennium & Falconer's Flight Hops; how clever.....

I did a little digging about this beer and I found out that it actually was called Millennium at one point, but I'm guessing they had to change it due to the risk of copyright issues lest they incur the wrath of Disney.

Appearance - Moderately hazy dark orange color with no visible carbonation. Head starts out somewhat foamy but ultimately takes on a thin filmy white appearance. There's also a good amount of lacing left behind along the sides of the glass

Aroma - Rich orange peel and citrus hops mixed in with some toffee & pale maltiness. I'm also getting some mango & grapefruit notes in here as well. It smells remarkably similar to PseudoSue....

Taste - Bitter & citrus hops on the front of the palate with some mild mango sweetness in the middle, followed by some grapefruit rinds and toffee maltiness. Aftertaste is primarily mildly bitter & citrus hoppiness with some pale maltiness.

It's a good solid beer overall and the choice of hops, no matter what the intent was, manages to come together quite well. Though I can't help but feel that many of TG Pale Ales feel too similar to one another in terms of overall flavor....but you know what? As long as they're still good, I'll keep drinking them.

Toppling Goliath Light Speed - 8.5/10

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter Review

Name: Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter
Style: Porter
ABV: 6%
IBUs: 16

As I type this, there are sounds of rolling thunder outside along with some heavy rain. Keep in mind that this is the middle of December in Minnesota & there is usually a foot of snow on the ground by this time. To which I say good riddance. After the winter we had two years ago, I'll be happy if it stays like this until next summer.

Winter seasonal beers, on the other hand, I am always looking forward to trying out. This brings us to Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter. I remember having this about three years ago, maybe a few months before I launched this blog if my memory serves me correctly.

Appearance - Black with a dark red tinge around the edges of the glass on the bottom due to the light shining through. The head takes on a tan color and is fairly foamy in appearance but the lacing is very sparse.

Aroma - Chocolate malts & vanilla followed by some roasted barley and caramel sweetness with a light hint of coffee grounds.

Taste - Chocolate malts & roasted barley with some mild caramel and vanilla bean notes. The aftertaste is mainly light vanilla and light chocolate. I remember the vanilla being a little more pronounced for some reason,

I recall this having more vanilla flavor a couple years back, so I wonder if the recipe was tweaked at some point? Aside from that, it's a solid porter and I have no qualms about that. I say it's worth checking out at the very least if you haven't already done so.

Leinenkugel's Snowdrift Vanilla Porter - 8/10

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sixpoint Resin Review

Name: Sixpoint Resin
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.1%
IBUs: 103

Here I am still sitting around, awaiting in the recovery unit and looking at possibly a couple hours before discharge; The joys of same-day surgery I tell ya. Moving onto the other beer which I had from Sixpoint Brewery, we have Resin, which is their Imperial IPA offering. To my knowledge, this is one of their two Imperial IPA offerings. This too comes in a 12oz. Red Bull-style can like Bengali before it.

Appearance - Mildly hazy dark orange color with almost no visible carbonation. The head has a decent amount of foaminess with some sticky lacing.

Aroma - Strong resiny & piney hoppiness with some light caramelized malts. Pretty hop forward smelling for the most part

Taste - Strong piney & bitter hoppiness followed by a mild caramel malt backbone. Aftertaste is mainly bitter resiny hops and some light grapefruit rinds.

Resin is a good Imperial IPA.....but for some reason it doesn't quite cut it for me. Sure it's hoppy and has a fair amount of maltiness, but I keep telling myself there is something missing and it's a something I can't quite put my finger on. Is it the malts? The hops? It's hard for me to say for certain what it is so I'll try to summarize it as best I can: It has all the parts to make it work, but they don't quite come together like they should. I think I'll stick with Bengali for the time being.

Sixpoint Resin - 7/10

Sixpoint Bengali Review

Name: Sixpoint Bengali
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 69

I'm currently at the hospital right now on account of my wife having surgery. Since I'll be here most of the afternoon and possibly the first half of the evening due to it being a same-day surgery, I figured I'd spend the time here wrapping on some reviews that I've had on the back burner while the wife is recovering.

The first beer I'll be looking at is from a brewery that just entered the Minnesota market about 4 weeks ago, which is Sixpoint Brewery based out of Brooklyn, New York. The beer in question is their Bengali IPA, a beer I recall seeing on store shelves at Binny's back when I lived in Chicago. I also remember it being once called "Bengali Tiger" but they changed the name I believe last year when they tweaked the original recipe.

I would also assume they're trying to go after the Red Bull crowd with their can design. When I first opened the six-pack, it took me a second to figure out that I had a 12oz. can in my hand. I mean, it seriously looks like an energy drink that you would use to chase a shot of Jagermeister with (not that it make it taste any better, but that's another story.)

Appearance - Fairly clear bright orange color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head is quite foamy and full of volume; even with a gentle pour and the lacing is also very abundant.

Aroma - Hefty caramel & toffee maltiness with some bitter piney hops. I'm also picking up on some mild orange & grapefruit rinds.

Taste - Much like the nose, very caramel & toffee malt forward, which is followed by some bitter piney hoppiness. In the aftertaste, I'm getting that orange peel and grapefruit rind bitterness with a slight caramel accent. It kind of reminds me of a maltier Surly Furious.

It isn't anything that I already haven't seen, but when it comes to a balanced IPA, it doesn't get much better than this. The hops and maltiness compliment each other nicely, which makes the drinking experience all the more enjoyable. It's worth picking up if you so happen to come across this.

Sixpoint Bengali - 9/10

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Swag Brewery Beer Candy Review

Every year for the past couple of years, Max from Swag Brewery has kindly provided me with some gift ideas for the holidays. Two years ago, it was their beer soap. Last year, it was their beer candles. This year, we have.......Beer Candy!

That's right, we finally have something that is meant to be consumed as opposed to being lit on fire or rubbed against the body. We have something that is safe to eat! Now I'm quite familiar with hop candy and have had it on a few occasions but here there are 3 flavors to choose from: Hoppy IPA, Roasty Stout and Honey Ale.

Hoppy IPA - Light lemon flavor with that hop resin flavor sans the bitterness. I'm also getting some floral hoppiness on the back of the palate. True to it's name, it tastes like actual hops with out the bitterness.....that's a good thing. Tasty!

Roasty Stout -  Roasted barley and light coffee grounds, with some notes of milk chocolate and dark cocoa. The longer I taste it, the more I can pick up on a very light hop bitterness, you really gotta dig for it, though. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it literally tastes like I have a stout in my mouth right now.

Honey Ale - Strong honey notes followed by some light floral hoppiness (yes, I said it) and even some light citrus notes. I don't recall any honey ale tasting this......honey-forward but it still tastes like a honey ale, albeit a very rich one. It's also got a bit of that toffee malt sweetness in here as well.

Well I can safely say that if you love beer, you will love this candy. You get the experience the taste of a wonderful craft beer without the risk of getting drunk. Oh yes, it's also a great gift for that craft beer lover in your life and it's actually a fairly unique concept & idea; One that works out quite well!

As always, if you'd like to get some of these for yourself or someone you know, you can find it at

A big shoutout to Max from Swag Brewery for providing me with these goodies!



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Insight Hell Chicken Review

Name: Insight Hell Chicken (AKA In The Garden of the Hell Chicken)
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.5%

I have another can from Insight Brewing and it's their Hell Chicken Pale Ale which is made with Yuzu Fruit. I was going to review the Troll Way IPA but before I cracked it open, I found out that there was a recall due to the quality issues with the beer. So because of that I will have to get my hands on a can from the newer batch.

While putting this post together, I found out I made a boo-boo with my review of Sunken City, as it's true name is "In The Halls of the Sunken City." Each beer has a name that correlates with a chapter in a book and each chapter has a name of several characters. The same applies to this beer as well. Let's be realistic here, if people are using Google to find out about this beer, chances are they're not going to be typing "Insight Brewing In The Garden of the Hell Chicken." They're probably going to type "Insight Hell Chicken" to avoid redundancy.

Appearance - Mildly hazy dark yellow color with some equally mild carbonation. The head is about one finger in width with some soapy and sparse lacing.

Aroma - Sweet pear and (what I assume is) yuzu sweetness. I'm also picking up on some toffee maltiness in here as well. I really can't get anything else because of the sheer fruity sweetness.

Taste - Bitter floral hoppiness with a sweet yuzu kick. I'm also getting some toffee maltiness and light graininess. Aftertaste is mainly bitter floral hops and yeasts with a slight pear sweetness.

Much like the Sunken City, I was a bit skeptical and even a little put off by the aroma at first but it ends up being a solid, well put together pale ale that does just enough to stand out from the crowd. The yuzu in particular really gives this beer a nice dimension in terms of flavor. It's by no means complex but if you like Pale Ales, I think you'll appreciate what this beer has to offer.

Insight Hell Chicken - 8.5/10

Monday, December 7, 2015

Insight Sunken City Review

Name: Insight Sunken City
Style: Saison
ABV: 7.8%

Since I will not be doing the remainder of my Sam Adams Winter Seasonal pack due to it's abundance of empty bottles, I figured why not do some local beers? Recently Insight Brewing started releasing their beers in tallboy cans after being on draft for what seemed like forever. I've been sitting on a couple cans for the past week so I figured I might as well crack 'em open.

The first one is their Sunken City, a Saison that is brewed with Sauvignon Blanc white grapes. I'll admit it's an original, if not, unusual twist to what is otherwise a fairly traditional style.

Appearance - Mildly hazy bright yellow color with a moderate amount of visible carbonation. The head is surprisingly fizzy with only a semi-filmy retention and there isn't anything in terms of lacing.

Aroma - Belgian yeasts and light cloves upfront, followed by some Sauv Blanc white grape notes and pale malts. I'm also getting a very light boozy scent in here as well, along with a light floral hoppiness.

Taste - Once again, the Belgian yeasts are front and center with some stronger-than-the-nose clove notes. The middle of the palate is where those white grape notes shine through without being too wine-y along with some pale maltiness, which shows up in the back. As for the aftertaste, I'm getting some bitter notes and light floral hops.

I have to say that this is really good. I was a little off put by the nose at first because it reminded me of a Sauvignon Blanc mixed with beer, but after drinking it, I have to say that using the Sauv Blanc grapes actually works in delivering an extra dimension to the flavor. If you see this, check it out!

Insight Sunken City - 8.5/10

Sam Adams Old Fezziwig Ale Review

Name: Sam Adams Old Fezziwig Ale
Style: Winter Warmer
ABV: 5.9%
IBUs: 25

I was going to continue reviewing my Sam Adams Winter Seasonal pack but I had some friends over this past weekend. As a result, I decided to bring some beers, of which, these were my choice of beer. Kind of sad, since I didn't take notes on the Chocolate Bock as I thought it was probably the best beer that I've had from Sam Adams in a long time.

In any case, I have their Old Fezziwig Ale, which is a winter warmer style beer. Unlike the previous beer, which was added very recently to the Sam Adams line-up, this beer has been around for over 14 years, according to it's addition to Beer Advocate. As for the beer name itself, it comes from the character Fezziwig from the Charles Dickens' book (and perhaps unsurprisngly) A Christmas Carol.

Appearance - Dark brown color with mild amount of visible carbonation. Head is fairly foamy with a light khaki colored head, though there really isn't much in terms of lacing.

Aroma - Plums & chocolate malts and toffee sweetness upfront. This is followed by some light roasted barley notes and a hint of spices & cinnamon.

Taste - Doesn't deviate too much from the nose. You've got some chocolate malts & caramel, followed by some mild roastiness with some more cinnamon and allspice notes. Aftertaste consists of toffee sweetness and mild cinnamon notes.

I personally there should be a little smokiness here to add some dimension to the flavor. However as it stands, it's a good beer with a nice flavor. Not available as a standalone, at least to my knowledge, but it's one certainly worth checking out.

Sam Adams Old Fezziwig Ale - 8.5/10

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sam Adams Sparkling Ale Review

Name: Sam Adams Sparkling Ale
Style: Blonde Ale
ABV: 4.8%
IBUs: 20

You know winter seasonals wouldn't be complete without some offerings from Sam Adams. I recently came into possession of the Sam Adams Winter Sampler and with it are a few beers that I have never tried before (with the exception of the Boston Lager of course).

The first one I'll be looking at is a fairly new beer if Beer Advocate is to be believed and it is their Sparkling Ale, which is a Blonde Ale. I find it a bit odd considering that winter seasonal beers are usually dark whereas this one is light. Also looking back at the photo itself, I feel like I should've poured this into a flute instead of a standard pint glass. Oh well....

Appearance - Bright yellow color with a high amount of visible carbonation with a fairly foamy white head and some mild lacing.

Aroma - Pale malts, bitter floral hoppiness & cereal grains (not necessarily in the adjunct sense though.) I'm also getting some light malted barley notes as well.

Taste - Floral hops & orange rind followed by some lemongrass, pale malts and malted barley. As for the aftertaste is pretty much all lemongrass with some light pale maltiness.

I really can't say this left too big of a lasting impression on me, but this is certainly a nice sessionable beer. It's certainly a different take on the blonde ale style and, for what it is, it manages to be quite drinkable.

Sam Adams Sparkling Ale - 8/10

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Avery Old Jubilation Ale Review

Name: Avery Old Jubilation Ale
Style: Old Ale
ABV: 8.3%
IBUs: 45

Here comes another Christmas beer courtesy of the Avery Brewing Company. For this review I'll be taking a look at their old jubilation ale. It's an Old Ale with an ABV of 8.3%. It is been quite a while since I've taken a look at anything from Avery and since I've never had any of their winter seasons before, I'm curious to see how this is.

Appearance - Very dark brown color that almost looks black in appearance until you hold it up to a light, in which you can see some brown tinge around the edges of the glass. The head itself is quite thin but with a fair amount of foam.

Aroma - Dark fruit and plum notes, with a mild amount of smoke, and some decent carmelized malts. I'm also getting some very light citrus and floral hoppiness.

Taste - Dark fruit notes and caramelized malts, followed by some smokiness in the middle, before finishing up with a chocolate and roasty finish with some light bitter happiness.

I can't say that this is my favorite winter beer by far but the flavor works and it doesn't have any issues  otherwise. I'd say if you're looking for a good winter beer and you have a couple extra bucks to spend, then this wouldn't be a bad choice. Otherwise, you're better off sticking with another winter beer that's a little cheaper.

Avery Old Jubilation Ale - 8/10

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Schell's Snowstorm (2015) Review

Name: Schell's Snowstorm (2015)
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 6.2%

Alright everyone, the holidays are officially here so for the next several reviews, I'll be doing pretty much all winter seasonal beers. In order to keep myself from hating winter seasonal beers as a whole, I'll be breaking up the monotony with some beers that recently became available in the marketplace. So let's do this!

First up is a beer that has become an annual tradition on this website and that is August Schell's Snowstorm. Every year when this beer is released, the style changes along with it. Last year, it was a Grand Cru/Belgian Strong Ale and this year, Schell's is returning to Belgium with a Wallonian-Style Brown Ale. Wallonia is, of course, a region in southern Belgium.

Appearance - Clear dark brown color with a high amount of visible carbonation. The head takes on a thin but foamy khaki color and the lacing left behind is mild but sticky.

Aroma - Chocolate malts, bubblegum & cotton candy notes. I'm getting some light floral hoppiness and butter toffee sweetness in here too

Taste - Strong Belgian yeasts and cloves on the front of the palate followed by some bubblegum notes. The middle of the palate possesses some solid chocolate maltiness, cotton candy and banana notes. The aftertastes consists mainly of Belgian yeasts & chocolate malts with a light floral hoppiness.

You know what, this is probably the best beer in the Snowstorm Series I've had yet. In fact, this is best beer I've had from Schell's since I had their Cave-Aged Barrel Aged Lager earlier this year. Needless to say, you absolutely need to check this out if you see this on store shelves. Since winter is just kicking off, finding this beer shouldn't be too much trouble. Cheers to the guys at Schell's for making yet another fine Snowstorm this year.

Schell's Snowstorm (2015) - 9.25/10

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Boulevard Tell-Tale Tart Review

Name: Boulevard Tell Tale Tart
Style: Wild Ale
ABV: 6.2%
IBU: 10

Before I start, I must apologize for getting sidetracked with those other reviews. You know how it is, you're reviewing some beers when, out of the blue, something catches your eye and you just have to have it. Oh yes, I'm sure you're all aware there are tons of beers coming out right now and I try to get around to all of them but sometimes that isn't the case. Oh well, it's a good problem to have I suppose.

Now then.....time for the final beer in the Boulevard Great Eight Variety Pack. This beer is actually a fairly new addition to the Boulevard line-up and it's a Wild Ale of all styles. I give to you Tell Tale Tart, which takes it's name from the Edgar Allen Poe story Tell Tale Tart. From what I gathered, this is also a year-round beer as part of their Smokestack Series.

Appearance - Fairly clear orange color with a mild amount of visible carbonation/ There isn't really anything in terms of a head though, with the exception of a few moments where it is visible before fading away entirely. There also isn't any sort of lacing to speak of either.

Aroma - Citrus-apple tartness along with some pale & toffee maltiness. There's also some light rum raisin notes that I'm picking up on as well.

Taste - Strong raspberry tartness (not sourness) with some light citrus notes. I'm also getting some light pale maltiness along with some cereal grains. I am getting a tiny hint of that rum raisin that was present in the nose in the aftertaste along with some more raspberry tartness.

If there is any beer that I think would be a good introduction to sour beers, this would be on the top of my lists. It's tart and yet it isn't what I would consider to be sour, though that could change depending on how your taste buds are. At the same time, those who are fans of Wild Ales will find something to like about this beer. It may not do anything new in regards to the style but this is still a tasty beer.

Boulevard Tell Tale Tart - 8.5/10

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

LTD Sleepwalker Review

Name: LTD Sleepwalker
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 11.5%
IBUs: 135

A new brewery has graced its presence here on my website. Today I have Living The Dream Brewing, or LTD Brewing for short. They're a fairly new brewery based out of Hopkins, Minnesota and I believe they just recently started bottling their beers, which leads us to today's beer (more on that in a minute). LTD is one of those breweries that I heard about back when I lived in Duluth but I believe it wasn't until recently that they started distributing their beers in the form of bomber bottles in stores.

Which brings us to Sleepwalker, which is described by the brewery as a Triple IPA. Given the name of the brewery, it's not too surprising that some of their beer names have to do with sleeping or being asleep or in some other state of (un)conciousness. The label artwork is pretty cool, it kind of looks like a 6-foot tall zombie Yoda....what you don't see it too?

Appearance - Dark mildly hazy amber color with a high amount of visible carbonation. The head is has a decent amount of width a quite foamy with some lacing that is on the mild side but has some sticky retention nevertheless.

Aroma - Very pungent & sweet Citra hop notes and a tiny bit of bitter hops. There is a very hefty caramel malt backbone though and some light grapefruit rind notes. I'm not getting any booziness yet in the nose yet though.

Taste - Big citrus & bitter hop notes on the front of the palate with a solid caramel malt backbone. Lots of bitter hoppiness towards the back end of the palate with some noticeable booziness and apple juice notes. Needless to say, the finish is quite bitter with just a mild amount of caramel maltiness.

I have mentioned a couple times before that I think Imperial IPAs that venture beyond the 10% ABV mark tend to be wobbly in terms of quality. Almost like the flip of a coin: They're either great or not great. This beer is the equivalent of a coin landing on it's side; It's got some really good things going for it, like being a big bold IPA that will certainly please those looking for a hop fix but the booziness is a bit too much for my liking.

In short, I like it but I don't love it. In this case, my advice would be try a bottle out for yourself and decide.

LTD Sleepwalker - 8/10