Thursday, September 29, 2016

A visit to Bald Man Brewing Company

The next brewery I stopped at this past weekend, which opened its doors about a month or so ago, is Bald Man Brewing Company located in Eagan, MN. There were a few reasons I checked these guys out; The first being that it's located not too far from where I live, the second being that one of their beers was featured in the Pioneer Press, and the third is that I used to live in Eagan. That's right, after living in Robbinsdale for the first 15 years of my life, I moved to Eagan and lived there for 5 years before moving away for school.

From what I've observed, Eagan hasn't changed too much with the exception of Lockheed Martin shutting down, the addition of an outlet mall along with more commercial developments since I left there. In fact, when I first heard that a brewery was setting up shop in Eagan, I was a bit surprised considering how Eagan wouldn't be at the top of my list for places I would expect to see a brewery. Also unlike some breweries that are located in the industrial part of town, Bald Man is located in an office park by Silver Bell Road & County Road 13 near the Eagan-Burnsville border. From the outside, it looks like any other business in the same park, with the Bald Man Brewing sign in the office park font. On the inside, however, we've got a pretty large taproom and, of course, fermentation and bright tanks for all to see.

Anyways, let's talk about the beer. Since they're a pretty new brewery, there was only 5 beers to choose from which is to be expected and that's alright. Plus the word-of-mouth I had heard about the beers was quite good, so I was quite excited to try them out.

Blinded By The Light Blonde (4.1% ABV) - Pale malt backbone with a slight bitter hoppiness, along with some mild biscuit notes. Nothing that I haven't already seen in a Blonde Ale before but this one was drinkable and good!

Tupelo Honey Brown Ale (6.5% ABV) - Nice honey notes paired with some chocolate malts & light floral hops with a surprisingly roasty (for a brown ale) finish. The honey helps gives some character to what is a very roasty brown ale; Perhaps toning down just a smidgen on the roastiness....

Calibration Day Session IPA (4.5% ABV) - A SMASH (Single Malt & Single Hop) Session IPA. Bitter hop and melon notes and a moderate malty backbone with a bitter finish. I'm not a big fan of SMASH IPAs as I think they're one dimensional (in a bad way) but this one was surprisingly good for what it was and I wouldn't mind having this again

Young America Pale Ale (5.6% ABV) - This was the beer that was featured in the Pioneer Press and had heard good things about prior to coming in. The flavor has a floral hop, yeast and mild bitter hop flavor profile upfront and through the middle, while the back end and aftertaste is dominated by the bitter hoppiness. In short, it's a solid pale but it wasn't my favorite of the bunch. That honor belongs to......

Misty Mountain Hops IPA (6.1% ABV) - My favorite beer during my visit there! You've got rich citrus hops backed up by bitter hops and it's all rounded out by a nice toffee malt backbone with a nice citrus & bitter hop finish along with a light hint of grapefruit. If you're looking for a nice West Coast-style IPA, this is your beer right here!

With the exception of the Misty Mountain IPA, there wasn't anything that really jumped out at me as great but at the same time they were all good, drinkable beers. Like Wild Mind, I'll keep my eye on these guys to see what they put out in the future. As for those who happen to find themselves in the South Metro of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Bald Man is certainly worth checking out.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Borealis Fermentary Speckled Ghost Review

Name: Borealis Fermentary Speckled Ghost
Style: Dubbel
ABV: 9%

It's been over 3 years since Borealis Fermentary has been featured on this blog. In fact, the last time they were featured on here, they were only available in a few select locations in the Duluth, MN area and now they've expanded their distribution to the Twin Cities. With that said, I never really kept up on their releases, so the other day I decided to pick this up.

I give to you Speckled Ghost, which is an Abbey Dubbel ale. The name comes from a supposed "elusive trout" that I have honestly never heard of, even during my tenure in Duluth. Maybe it's a tall tale or imagination, who knows?

There's also a bit of a backstory to this beer. About 4 years ago when I was visiting family in Duluth, I happened to pick this beer up at a small hotel liquor store called Cape Superior Bottle Shop (which has sadly closed since then) located along North Shore Drive just north of Duluth. It was a small liquor store and one of the first places Borealis Fermentary was carried at along with a small selection of their beers since they only had a couple beers released at that time. I took it back and fell in love with it and I considered it to be the best kept secret in terms of beer in Northeast Minnesota. It has been that long since I had this beer and to say I'm excited to try it again would be an understatement

Appearance - Cloudy dark crimson color with a high amount of visible carbonation. The heas is nice and foamy but there's not much in terms of lacing

Aroma - Caramelized malts, Belgian yeasts and plum notes, mixed in with some hints of blackberry, bitter hops and rum raisin like sweetness.

Taste - Belgian yeasts and plums upfront, with some hefty caramelized malts towards the middle, while the back end opens up to that rum raisin & blackberry flavor. As for the aftertaste, I'm getting more blackberry notes with a mix of lingering bitter hops and just a hint of clove.

When I first moved to Duluth, I was enticed by all the happenings that were going on there at the time. Beers like this remind of my time in Duluth, along with all of the innovation that is still going on there to this day. To me, this beer is like visiting an old friend and serves as a reminder for why I fell in love with the Duluth/Northeast Minnesota brewing scene in the first place. If you so happen to come across this, you should definitely check this out.

Borealis Fermentary Speckled Ghost - 9/10

A visit to Wild Mind Artisan Ales

These past few days have been busy for myself, mainly due to work, school, and taproom travelling. So this past weekend, I visited a few breweries since so many have been popping up recently. The first brewery I checked out is a relatively new brewery in South Minneapolis by the name of Wild Mind Artisan Ales.

As you may have guessed by the name, Wild Mind specializes in mainly wild ales along with traditional Belgian styles and the first brewery in the Twin Cities to have that be their primary focus; With maybe the exception of Fair State, who are known around here for producing exceptional wild ales,

It was noontime on Saturday with an overcast sky. Since it had just opened up 20 minutes prior, the taproom was rather quiet, which was good for me because I was operating on a timed schedule that afternoon. As I sat down, something happened to me that had never happened to me before: The gentleman running the bar (Jason, I believe his name was), recognized who I was through this website. I had only mentioned that it was my first time there and he right away knew who I was. So much for keeping a low profile, oh well!

Since I was running on a limited time frame, I wasn't able to sample all the beers they had there but I decided to select those which I felt best reflected the spirit of the brewery.

Double Dry Hopped Saison (5.5% ABV) - Nice Belgian yeast and clove notes with some nice citrus hops and honeydew melon sweetness, all back up by a nice pale malt backbone. It's nice and refreshing and the honeydew melon aspect really puts a different spin on what is otherwise a traditional Belgian style.

Rye Wild Ale (7.5% ABV) - Nice sour tartness that lingers throughout which is balanced out by some citrus hoppiness and solid rye bill, along with some mild toffee maltiness. In terms of taproom sours I've had before, this one is definitely one of the more balanced ones that I've come across and it's a very good one at that too!

Motueka Wild Ale (6.8% ABV) - Slight tartness with some floral & light citrus/kiwi hops along with some mild earthy pilsner maltiness. Much like the Rye Wild Ale, this one was also quite balanced and definitely had a refreshing quality to it.

Photo Credit: Growler Magazine
Overall, I was very pleased with what offerings I was able to try out and I'm very excited to see what these guys are going to be able to do, so I'll be keeping my eye on these guys, particularly in the barrel aging department since I saw some pretty large oak barrels/casks in the main entryway. As for everyone else, this is certainly worth checking out and while their focus is on wild ales, I spotted some more mainstream craft beer styles while I was there, so there's something for everyone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Deschutes Hopzeit Autumn IPA Review

Name: Deschutes Hopzeit Autumn IPA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 7%
IBUs: 60

I thought I was done with the Oktoberfest beers but there's a couple more that have caught my eye that I feel warrant a review. Plus if Avery's The Kaiser taught me anything it's that Oktoberfest style can actually  be interesting under the right circumstances.

Case in point, this beer isn't even really a full-on Oktoberfest beer. I'm of course talking about Deschutes Hopzeit Autumn IPA, which to my knowledge is a brand new fall seasonal from the brewery, which is, in the words of the brewery: A Traditional Marzenbier Inspired India Pale Ale. I can't say I've had a hoppy Oktoberfest before but it certainly jumped out at me when I saw it.

Appearance - Hazy dark red color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head is pretty thin and flimsy but the lacing left behind isn't bad.

Aroma - Well, I'm certainly picking up on those Munich/Marzen malts but I'm also getting some moderate citrus & bitter hops and a hint of toffee sweetness,

Taste - Munich malts with some moderately strong bitter hoppiness, which lingers throughout the palate along with some light toffee sweetness. The aftertaste consists mostly of that bitter hoppiness with a slight resin characteristic and it lasts for a few moments.

It definitely tastes more like an Oktoberfest than it does an IPA and the hoppiness is certainly there....but I can't say that the bitter hops mesh well with the overall flavor. It's an interesting idea from Deschutes but I think more consideration should've been taken when looking at which hops to use.

Deschutes Hopzeit Autumn IPA - 6/10

Monday, September 19, 2016

Leinenkugel's Harvest Patch Shandy Review

Name: Leinenkugel's Harvest Patch Shandy
Style: Radler
ABV: 4.2%
IBUs: 11

Today we're traveling back into Radler territory with this review with Leinenkugel's Harvest Patch Shandy, which is a Radler made with Pumpkin Spice....or is it Pumpkin & Spices? I also know this is one of the seasonal shandies made by Leinenkugel's, so if I get my hands on that one, I'll be sure to review it.

Appearance - Fairly hazy dark yellow color with a high amount of visible carbonation. The head is thin but has some decent retention but there's no lacing left along the sides of the glass.

Aroma - I'm getting some graham cracker and strong pumpkin spice notes mixed in with a malted wheat base. In other words, this smells pretty much like pumpkin pie.

Taste - Graham crackers and pumpkin notes with some nutmeg, spice and pie crust notes towards the back mixed in with some malted wheat. Aftertaste is mildly dry but there's more pie crust and pumpkin flavors here as well.

Well, I'm impressed because this actually resembles pumpkin pie. At the same time, I am willing to admit that the flavor is somewhat niche and not everyone is going to like this. As for me, I thought it was good for what it was and it could be a nice sipper on the patio on a cool Saturday evening.

Leinenkugel's Harvest Patch Shandy - 8/10

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sixpoint Tesla Review

Name: Sixpoint Tesla
Style: India Pale Lager
ABV: 7.1%
IBUs: 49

Look at this, another beer from Sixpoint that I have never seen before. In fact, when I initially saw this, I grabbed it without even bothering to find out what exactly the style of this is. When I got home, I looked it up and found out that it was in India Pale Lager, but not any ordinary one, for you see this is a Fresh Hopped IPL, so it made my gamble all the more enticed.

I also found out that this is actually a brand new beer from Sixpoint, and it's their first time releasing this beer commercially so I'm quite eager to try this one out!

Appearance - Moderately hazy dark yellow color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head is nice and foamy and the lacing is quite abundant.

Aroma - Fresh citrus & floral hops with some lager yeasts and mild pale malts.

Taste - Fresh citrus and floral hops along with a solid pale malt backbone, all of which linger throughout. The back end of the palate is a mix of bitter hoppiness and lager yeasts and with a dry-yet-mild bitter hop aftertaste.

I have never had a fresh hopped IPL before in my time as a craft beer drinker but this first time rendition knocks it out of the park. Since it is a Fresh Hopped IPL, you'll want to drink this as soon as possible and that's not just because it's a good tasting beer either!

Sixpoint Tesla - 9/10

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Bruery Autumn Maple Review

Name: The Bruery Autumn Maple
Style: Fruit/Vegetable/Spiced Beer
ABV: 10%
IBUs: 15

I figured now is the most opportune time to switch it up as far as fall seasonals are concerned, so what better to way to start that off than with The Bruery? Today I have their Autumn Maple. It's a beer that is made with maple syrup, yams (AKA Sweet Potatoes) along with a variety of spices and molasses.

Appearance - Cloudy dark brown color with no visible carbonation. The head is initially foamy head but settles down to a thin filmy look but there's a high amount of lacing on the other hand.

Aroma - Maple syrup and candied toffee malts with some yams, Belgian yeasts and some light cinnamon and nutmeg notes. I'm also getting some mild booziness in here as well.

Taste - Maple syrup, Belgian yeasts, molasses, and candied toffee malts dominate the palate with some surprisingly strong spiciness in the back along with some yam and molasses notes. The aftertaste is consists mainly of light Belgian yeasts and mild maple syrup notes. I am getting a mild amount of boozy heat in here as well, but it isn't noticable in the flavor so much as it is on the palate.

It's arguably about as "Fall" as you can get in terms of flavor and it all works together surprisingly well. In fact, I could see this going well during Thanksgiving, a holiday which I enjoy about as much as a case of appendicitis. Regardless, this is a good beer to help celebrate the fall season and anyone who is able to get this beer should try it out.

The Bruery Autumn Maple - 9/10

Friday, September 16, 2016

Bent Paddle Roof Rack Lager Review

Name: Bent Paddle Roof Rack Lager
Style: Vienna Lager
ABV: 5.7%
IBUs: 27

Well, fall is almost here and while I got a slew of Oktoberfest beers out of the way, there are other fall seasonals that I've been meaning to try out for a while now. The first one comes courtesy of Bent Paddle with their Roof Rack Lager, or Roof Rack Vienna Style Lager if you ask Beer Advocate.

According to the label, this beer is meant to commemorate the end of summer, or "paddling season" as they call it, while at the same time paying homage to Highway 61, which runs along Minnesota's North Shore. And in case you were wondering, it is the exact same Highway which Bob Dylan sings about in the song "Highway 61 Revisited."

Appearance - Clear bright orange color with a high amount of visible carbonation. The head is on the thinner side but it has a good amount of lacing retention.

Aroma - Strong Munich malts upfront with some mild citrus hop notes. I'm also getting some lager yeasts in here as well, but it's more moderate.

Taste - Citrus hops and Munich malts that linger throughout with some lager yeasts that show up primarily towards the back. Aftertaste is fairly dry, save for a mild bittersweet citrus hoppiness.

I never thought that I'd ever see a Citrus-y Vienna Lager, but here it is and it's a damned fine one at that! It's not the most complex beer out there, but the flavor is enough to keep you coming back for more. Since this just came out recently, there's still plenty of time to try this out. So do yourself a favor and get a six-pack of this, you won't regret it.

Bent Paddle Roof Rack Lager - 9/10

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fitger's El Lago Grande Review

Name: Fitger's El Lago Grande
Style: Pale Lager
ABV: 5.8%

Just when I thought I put all those "Mexican" Lagers behind me from this past summer, I just so happened to come across one this past weekend when I was in Duluth and it comes courtesy of Fitger's Brewhouse. It was a nice sunny day on the outside porch and I decided that I wanted something that wasn't going to destroy my sobriety as I had quite a few plans that afternoon.

I give to you El Lago Grande, which is Spanish for "The Big Lake." It took me about two seconds to connect the name to Lake Superior, which is where Fitger's gets their water from; Plus it continues Fitger's tradition of naming their beers after locales located in Northeast Minnesota/Northern Wisconsin.

Appearance - Fairly clear pale yellow color with a small amount of visible carbonation. The head is white and pretty thin for the most part and there's just a sparse amount of lacing along the sides of the glass.

Aroma - Pale malts and lager yeasts backed up by a mild but noticeable floral hoppiness. There's also an encompassing sweetness that probably comes from the yeasts, based on what I've heard about Mexican yeast strains.

Taste - Pretty identical to the nose, with those pale malts and sweet lager yeasts that make up most of the palate with some mild floral hoppiness on the back end of the palate. Aftertaste is fairly dry save for some more sweet lager yeasts and a light touch of floral hops.

I kind of wish that this was available during my excursion down in Miami, instead of that other Mexican lager I had there. Regardless, this is an excellent lager with a nice flavor profile overall. Though I'm unsure it's seasonal availability, this one is worth checking out should you come across it.

Fitger's El Lago Grande - 8.5/10

Monday, September 12, 2016

Avery The Kaiser Review

Name: Avery The Kaiser Review
Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
ABV: 10.2%

Well, it's been building up to this but this is the Oktoberfest beer that I have been looking forward to the most and this one is from Avery Brewing. I give to you The Kaiser, which is an Imperial Oktoberfest. It's been about three years since I had an Imperial Oktoberfest, which came from Leinenkugel's Uber-Oktoberfest as part of their Big Eddy series.

So what can be said about this beer? Well, aside from it being a strong Oktoberfest, this is the Oktoberfest beer that I got the most requests for after publishing my article about Oktoberfest beers. One of my local haunts for beer was even nice enough to set one aside for myself this past weekend while I was away in Duluth. Plus I've heard some pretty good things about this beer as well and I'm actually kind of excited to have this!

Appearance - Fairly clear dark orange color with a moderate amount of visible carbonation. The head is pretty thin but the lacing is somewhat plentiful

Aroma - Strong toffee and caramel malts with some potent piney and bitter hops thrown in. It honestly smells more like an English Barleywine than it does an Oktoberfest

Taste - Fairly strong caramel malts on the front of the palate with some Munich malts and bitter/piney hops and light raisin notes in the back. The aftertaste is fairly dry save for some mild bitter hoppiness and a slightly warming boozy sensation.

I was expecting a bit more in terms of overall flavor complexity but this one is solid nevertheless. It smells great and it also possesses a surprisingly good taste. On top of that, the price is also fairly reasonable so be sure to check this one out.

Avery The Kaiser - 8.5/10

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Canal Park Stoned Surf IPA Review

Name: Canal Park Stoned Surf IPA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 7%
IBUs: 65

This past weekend I was back in Duluth to visit family as well as try out some local brews. While I didn't get to have as much Duluth beers as I would've liked, I still managed to grab a growler and take some notes for review.

First up is from Canal Park Brewing Company with their Stoned Surf IPA, which to my understanding is a year-round offering. Also looking at my blog, it's been a little over 2 years since I even talked about them on my blog last and a little under 3 years since I did a proper review of any of their beers.

Also according to their website, this beer is for people who like frozen mustaches, fresh air, cannon balls off cliffs. While I like the last two, the first one kinda sucks; Trust me, it's happened once before back when I had a full beard.

Appearance - Very hazy dark orange color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head is pretty foamy for the most part and the lacing is somewhat on the sparse side.

Aroma - Big citrus hop & mango sweetness with a equally strong caramel malt backbone. I'm also getting some mild toffee notes and a tiny hint of dankness that is almost undetectable.

Taste - Once again, I'm getting a strong citrus hop and mango sweetness on the front of the palate and throughout the flavor. Towards the middle and back, that caramel maltiness and toffee notes build up fast to help balance out the hop profile with some mild bitter notes and dankness in the back and aftertaste.

This one is pretty good. You've got a nice hop profile backed up by an equally solid caramel malt backbone. If you're ever in Duluth and just so happen to stop into Canal Park Brewing, this one should definitely first among the beers you try out there.

Canal Park Stoned Surf IPA - 8.5/10

Hofbrau Oktoberfest Review

Name: Hofbrau Oktoberfest
Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
ABV: 6.3%

The most common complaint I heard from my Oktoberfest article was that none of my Oktoberfest articles prior to writing that article weren't real Oktoberfest beers. That means that none of those beers actually came from Germany.

Well, I grabbed this beer randomly while putting together a mix-a-six, which brings us to Hofbrau Oktoberfest, alsp known as Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier. I haven't researched this much other than it comes from Germany and that the brewery is owned by the Bavarian State Government, so let's check this one out.

Appearance - Fairly clear pale yellow color with no visible carbonation. The head is pretty foamy but leaves behind sparse lacing.

Aroma - Pale malts, and lager yeasts with a light hint of skunkiness. Honestly, this smells more like a Euro Lager than it does an Oktoberfest.

Taste - Pale malts and some mild toffee sweetness upfront with some lager yeasts and light floral hops in the back. There's also and encompassing light skunkiness.

You know, I really don't feel that like this is an Oktoberfest but more of a glorified euro lager, in appearance, nose and palate. Simply put, I'm not a fan of this and if you're thinking about having this, I strongly suggest that you reconsider.

Hofbrau Oktoberfest - 5/10

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Schell's Oktoberfest Review

Name: Schell's Oktoberfest
Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
ABV: 5.5%

Next Oktoberfest beer I have isn't even a request but rather it's one a friend of mine recommended for me to try out. I give to you Schell's Oktoberfest, which according to what I've been told, is the brewery's largest selling seasonal beer and one of their top selling beers overall.

Appearance - Fairly clear orange color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head starts out foamy but settles to a thin film and the lacing is somewhat sparse.

Aroma - Floral hops, toasted barley, light chocolate and some Munich malts & toffee sweetness.

Taste - Floral hops and toasted barley upfront with some chocolate in the middle before rounding out with some Munich Malts and toffee sweetness.

It's nothing remarkable but it's drinkable and if you're already drinking this religiously, then by all means do just that. As for me, it's nothing I haven't already seen so there's nothing really making this stand out from the rest of the Oktoberfest pack.

Schell's Oktoberfest - 7.5/10

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Goose Island Oktoberfest Review

Name: Goose Island Oktoberfest
Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
ABV: 6.4%
IBUs: 17

Well so far, you guys haven't lead me astray with your Oktoberfest suggestions since they have been exceptional, though, not groundbreaking in overall quality. That said, this next Oktoberfest offering is from Goose Island. No fancy name of any sort, just Goose Island Oktoberfest, which proudly proclaims to have hints of dried apricot and toffee aroma.

Also before I start, a couple of you mentioned that I should be using a dimpled mug or any type of mug when drinking an Oktoberfest beer. As luck would have it, I found one and everything is right in the world!

Appearance - Fairly clear dark orange color with a high amount of visible carbonation. The head is quite thin in appearance but the lacing is rather abundant

Aroma - Munich malts and toasted barley with some light hint of chocolate. I'm also getting some toffee sweetness in here as well.

Taste - Munich malts and toasted barley once again upfront, with some chocolate and toffee sweetness towards the back with a very slight hop bitterness that is mild at best in the back. As for the aftertaste, I'm getting a slight indistinguishable sweetness that could possibly be the dried apricot they were talking about....maybe.

It isn't anything I already haven't seen in Oktoberfest beer, but it's tolerable at the very least and is worth checking out or adding to your mix-a-six if you're not ready to make a full purchase of a six-pack. As for me, there are better Oktoberfest beers out there than this.

Goose Island Oktoberfest - 8/10

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Surly SurlyFest Review

Name: Surly SurlyFest
Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
ABV: 6%
IBUs: 34 (Per RateBeer)

Alright, next up in my Oktoberfest beers lineup is actually a local option courtesy from Surly Brewing with their SurlyFest. What makes this beer so interesting is that Surly makes it very clear from the get-go that this isn't supposed to be your typical Oktoberfest beer:

A traditional Oktoberfest bier from Surly? Nein! If you want one of those, grab your passport and head over to Munchen (bring us back some pretzels.) SurlyFest is brewed with three different types of Rye and a single variety of American Hops. Malted Rye, Flaked Rye, and Crystal Rye impart a distinctive biscuit flavor to the lush Vienna Malt body, and dry-hopping with Sterling Hops adds bright, floral hop aromas. A single hop, dry-hopped, rye lager bier? Ja!

Like many Oktoberfest beers, I avoided this one because of my dislike of the Oktoberfest style but I actually got a couple requests for this one, so I figured I might as well humor them and try this one out.

Appearance - Mildly hazy dark orange color with a moderate amount of visible carbonation. The head is somewhat foamy but the lacing is rather sparse.

Aroma - Munich and toffee malts upfront with some potent rye spice notes paired with a bitter hop scent.

Taste - Strong Munich malts on the front of the palate but with moderate bitter hops and rye spiciness in the back along with some light lager yeasts. As for the aftertaste, I'm getting more lager yeasts and a lingering hop bitterness.

Wow, this one too is also actually quite good and the rye bill paired with those bitter hops actually give this quite a bit of character. So far, you guys haven't led me astray with these Oktoberfest suggestions, so keep 'em coming! Oh and this is definitely worth checking out as well!

Surly SurlyFest - 9/10

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Odell Oktoberfest Review

Name: Odell Oktoberfest
Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
ABV: 6.1%
IBUs: 19

For the next few reviews, I'll be reviewing some of the Oktoberfest beers that you've requested after I posted my article about how I think that Oktoberfest beers all taste the same. There's also a couple of Oktoberfest beers which actually haven't been released yet that I'll get to in the near future.

For the first review, I've got Odell's Oktoberfest, which was the first request I got after I posted my Oktoberfest article. I was told that this one is supposed to be pretty good, so let's see how this one is.

Appearance - Clear dark orange color with a high amount of visible carbonation. The head is quite foamy in appearance but there's not much in terms of lacing.

Aroma - Munich and toffee malts with some light floral hoppiness and lager yeasts.

Taste - Much like the nose, you've got Munich and toffee malts upfront, the latter of which lingers throughout. In the back, I'm getting some light floral hops and some of those lager yeasts as well. The aftertaste consists of more toffee malts and lager yeasts.

Well, it's nothing that I already haven't seen before, but I found this to be quite good for an Oktoberfest beer and the sum of the parts really come together quite nicely. If you so happen to see this, give this one a shot!

Odell Oktoberfest - 8.5/10

Friday, September 2, 2016

Stillwater Artisanal Nu-Tropic Review

Name: Stillwater Artisanal Nu-Tropic
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6%

Well, it's another beer from Stillwater Artisanal and this ones name is Nu-Tropic. Keeping in tradition with many of their beers, it has a label that is.......different, with just of bunch of wavy squiggly lines that are purple and maroon in color. However, unlike many of their beers, this one doesn't have an explanation behind the name on neither the website or can, but simply a question asking us "Oh, you like fruit IPAs now?"

Oh yes, speaking of which, this is an IPA made with passionfruit and mango. So maybe it's called Nu-Tropic because it's made with tropical fruit? It's not a bad guess, in any case!

Appearance - Hazy and cloudy pale yellow color with mild visible carbonation and some sprinklings of sediment. The head is quite foamy and the lacing left behind is abundant and sticky.

Aroma - Getting some citrus and bitter hops with notes of mango, but not so much with the passionfruit. There's also a moderate pale malt back bone in here as well.

Taste - Bitter hops dominate the front of the palate with that pale malt backbone backing things up in the middle. It's in the middle where the light citrus hops make a brief appearance. Towards the back, however, things start to light up; As in those passionfruit and mango flavors make themselves known in a big way

This beer kind of reminds me of an inverse relationship between two twenty-somethings. Instead of starting out sweet and ending bitter, this one starts out bitter and finishes quite sweet. It's an interesting twist on something I'm used to seeing normally, but it's a twist that I definitely could get used to! It may be a notch more pricey than what I'm used to seeing, but I think it's worth it.

Stillwater Artisanal Nu-Tropic - 9/10