Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sam Adams Rebel IPA Review (2017)

Name: Sam Adams Rebel IPA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 45

So remember a couple weeks back when Sam Adams sent me a couple spring seasonal new beers to try out? Well it turns out that wasn't the only package they sent me as I found out last week when I got home Friday last week. You see they gave me two more beers to look at, so I'm taking a break from my Georgia beers to review these offerings.

First up is......wait a minute, Rebel IPA? Haven't I already reviewed this? The answer is yes, I did indeed review this when it first came out a couple years back, but they've apparently made some changes to it. Released under the moniker "A Rebel Reborn," they changed up the hop profile to include Mosaic hops, as well as two new hops called HBC 566 & HBC 682, which were derived from a program called "Project Lupulus" from which Sam Adams developed their own hops to use. This is, of course, in addition to the Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe and Chinook hops from the original recipe.

For comparison's sake, I will also be including the portions of the original review in italics with the new portions below in plain text.

Rebel IPA pours a fairly clear orange color with moderate carbonation. The head takes on a thin foamy appearance and the lacing is pretty good.

Appearance - Well, I really can't say much has changed here. It's still got the same clear orange color and moderate carbonation, along with the foamy head and good lacing.

The aroma has some strong piney hops and grape-fruitiness, followed by some mild citrus hops and a substantial caramel malt back bone. The piney hops in particular have this almost sticky quality to them, if that makes any sense.

Aroma - Here's where it starts to deviate. For starters, the piney aspect has been dialed back a bit in favor of more of a citra-centric IPA. The citrus hops are a bit stronger here and the Mosaic hops, while not overpowering, is noticeable here. The caramel malt profile is the same here and is still the same as I remember it.

The flavor starts out with some strong grapefruit & citrus hoppiness The second half of the flavor is where the piney hops make themselves known along with some noticeable caramel malts, before ending with a bitter hop aftertaste. On a side note, that citrus hoppiness in the front of the flavor lingers on throughout the whole drinking experience.

Taste - Profile-wise, a good deal has changed. The grapefruit aspect is mellowed out here to have more of a citra hop taste, along with that tropical Mosaic flavor, which noticeable throughout the palate but in a moderate sense. The back end of the palate, consists of some mild bitter hops and more citrus sweetness in addition to some moderate caramel maltiness. Aftertaste hasn't changed too much as there's still that bitter hop aftertaste, in addition to some light citra notes.

So, it really better than the original. Well the answer is.......in some regards, yes. Personally, I like the fact that it has a much stronger citra hop profile than the original and I've honestly yet to encounter a bad beer that uses Mosaic hops.. I was also kind of worried that this would be a malt bomb since the IBUs are only at 45, but upon doing some digging, I saw that the original was also 45 IBUs.

When they first launched Rebel IPA, I feel that it was intended to target primarily the largest segment of the craft beer crowd: the IPA drinkers. It was successful enough that a bunch of spinoffs from the original Rebel IPA. Now that they've captured that segment , they've either wanted to change it up to fit the current mold of taste for IPA or (something much more likely in my opinion) they did it to appeal to a wider demographic without necessarily sacrificing a huge portion of loyal drinkers.

With that said, I can see the new Rebel being another success for Sam Adams and I feel that anyone who was a fan of the original will for sure find this to be just as enjoyable. Like the original, it's not the best IPA I've ever had, but it's still good just the way it is and I'll happily have it again.

Sam Adams Rebel IPA Review (2017) - 8.5/10

Monday, January 30, 2017

Terrapin W-n-B Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout Review

Name: Terrapin W-n-B Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.4%
IBUs: 50

I apologize for being out these past few days, as I had to deal with the death of a family member and that had taken up a good portion of my time. It was a difficult time but I feel better knowing that he's in a better place and is no longer in pain.

With that said, I've come to final Terrapin beer in my Georgia craft beer package and that would be their W-n-B Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout. It's a beer I first heard about a few years back and I'm fortunate enough to try it out.

Now I was a bit confused over the W-n-B acronym as this beer used to go by the name "Wake-n-Bake" and it turns out that Terrapin did, in fact, change the name some point in the past few years. As to why that is, I cannot say. However, the acronym now stands for "Why not beer?" You wanna know what, why not?

Appearance - Pitch black color with no carbonation. The head takes on a nice pillowy dark brown appearance and the lacing left behind is very abundant.

Aroma - Coffee grounds, chocolate malts with some toffee sweetness. I'm also picking up on a light amount of bitter hops in here too.

Taste - Strong chocolate malts and molasses upfront with the middle opening up to some coffee grounds and roasted barley. The back end of the palate finishes things off with some mild toffee sweetness and a moderate bitter hoppiness, the latter of which lingers for a couple of moments.

What can I say, it's another excellent imperial stout from Terrapin and it serves as a reminder to myself that I need to make it a priority to check out more of their offerings the next time I'm in Georgia!

Terrapin W-n-B Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout - 9/10

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Terrapin Moo-HooChiato Review

Name: Terrapin Moo-HooChiato
Style: Imperial Milk Stout
ABV: 8.5%
IBUs: 30

Next up from Terrapin, I have their Moo-HooChiato (Get it? Macchiato, Hoo-MooChiato.......no?) which is described as a "Chocolate Espresso Imperial Milk Stout." I did a bit of research on this and it turns out this is an imperialized version of their Moo-Hoo Chocolate Stout, a beer which I didn't get but I'll be sure to try in the future should I come across it.

The bottle is also an anomaly, as it's more than a standard 12 oz bottle but less than a bomber. Instead, it looks like we're getting 500 ml of this stuff. Oh yes, it's also made with coffee beans from a place called Jittery Joe's, a coffee chain that is based out of Athens, GA, the same city which Terrapin is based out of.

Appearance - Pitch black with no visible carbonation. The head takes on a light brown color is reasonably foamy with a light amount of carbonation along the sides of the glass

Aroma - Coffee grounds and lactose followed by some chocolate malts and caramel/toffee sweetness. Well, I can safely say this smells like a Macchiato.

Taste - Pretty identical to the nose. The chocolate malt and lactose notes are quite strong and linger throughout the palate. In the middle and back, I'm getting some some of that coffee ground roast and caramel sweetness. The aftertaste is actually pretty sweet with some light toffee/caramel sweetness and light lactose.

If you like coffee beers like me, then this is pretty much a love letter to you. I'll even go as far to say that even you don't like coffee beers, there's enough maltiness in here to counter to roasty aspect of the flavor profile. So if you're fortunate enough to see this, try it out!

Terrapin Moo-HooChiato - 9/10

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Terrapin RecreationAle Review

Name: Terrapin RecreationAle
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 4.7%
IBUs: 42

Next beer I have from Terrapin is a session IPA by the name of RecreationAle. I didn't get a chance to visit the liquor stores down there (again, three day wedding that took up 75% of my time in Georgia) but I'm assuming this is a pretty new beer since I don't recall seeing this on their company's website 3-4 years back.

I did some digging around on RecreationAle and found that this used to be classified as an American Pale Ale, which Beer Advocate still has it listed as. However I'm guessing that they did some tweaking to the original recipe as the can describes this a Session IPA.

Appearance - Clear bright orange color with very little visible carbonation. The head itself is pretty foamy but there really isn't anything here in terms of lacing.

Aroma - Mild citrus and piney hops with some toffee malts and just a hint of biscuit/yeastiness.

Taste - Citrus hops on the front of the palate with some mild piney hops in the middle. In the back, I'm getting some mild toffee malts and more light citrus hops. The aftertaste itself is quite dry save for a touch of yeasts that linger for a couple of seconds.

It's a good Session IPA and one that I would gladly accept would it be offered to me again. It plays it safe for the most part but has enough flavor in it that it'll satisfy those in the Session IPA crowd just fine.

Terrapon RecreationAle - 7.5/10

Monday, January 23, 2017

Terrapin Hopsecutioner Review

Name: Terrapin Hopsecutioner
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 7.3%
IBUs: 71

Next up in my Georgia beer mail package is a slew of beers from Terrapin Beer Co., a brewery which I have some degree of familiarity with as venue which the wedding reception was held at had a bar; Though the wedding was a dry one so I had to sneak out to try them. Plus it's hard to forget a brewery whose mascot is a turtle.

First up is Hopsecutioner, which is their flagship IPA, which is made with Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo & Cascade hops. Also every bar or restaurant we went to in North Georgia had this on tap and I was fortunate enough to try it out, so I'm looking forward to having this again.

Appearance - Mildly hazy orange color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head is about 2 fingers in width and the lacing itself is pretty sticky.

Aroma - Strong piney hops with some moderate citrus and floral hops. I'm also getting a fairly hefty caramel & toffee malt backbone along with some light yeasty notes.

Taste - Pretty similar to the nose. You've got that strong piney hop flavor which is balanced out by that moderate citrus and floral hoppiness. Backing it all up is that nice & hefty caramel and toffee malt backbone. The aftertaste is made up of light caramel sweetness and a touch of resin.

I have to say I'm quite pleased with this and I really like the hop profile in this, yet it's malty enough that it doesn't go overboard with the hops. If I ever find myself in Georgia again, I'll definitely be sure to bring this home with me!

Terrapin Hopsecutioner - 9/10

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Three Taverns Feest Noel Review

Name: Three Taverns Feest Noel
Style: Quadrupel 
ABV: 10%
IBUs: 30

This past summer, while on vacation, Florida wasn't the only place I visited as I also spent four days in Atlanta. Before going, I was even told that next to Asheville, Atlanta was the craft brewing hub of the Deep South. However the cards of life were stacked against me in this instance. I wasn't able to sample much of the local options due to the three day wedding (Yes, three days) that took up the bulk of my time and was only able to visit Red Brick Brewing and a local gastropub that had a great selection of local brews. As a result, my soul was aching from missing out on what could've been.

Then a couple weeks back as I was looking at my vacation photos, specifically the ones I took while touring Red Brick, I suddenly got the idea to do a beer mail that consisted Georgia beers. After posting a request on Reddit, I was finally able to get my hands on a pretty sizable sampling of beer from the Peach State.

First up is from a brewery called Three Taverns with their Feest Noel, a Quad made with spices. I'm keenly aware that this is technically a Christmas beer but I'm always looking to add more Quads to my library, so let's check this one out.

Appearance - Cloudy dark brown color with no visible carbonation. The head takes on a foamy dark khaki look and the lacing left behind is quite abundant.

Aroma - Caramel malts and spices mixed in with some Belgian yeasts, toffee sweetness, and just a hint of cloves

Taste -  Caramel malts and Belgian yeasts start things off on the front of the palate, followed by some toffee malts, cloves and spice in the back, with a slight touch of floral hops. The aftertaste is a mix of caramel malts and light cloves.

Being that this is my first offering from Three Taverns, I have to say I'm very impressed with this. Between the candied malts, yeast profile and spice, this is a very well put together Quad. Here's hoping the rest of the beers I got here are just as good as this.

Three Taverns Fesst Noel - 9/10

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sam Adams Hopscape Review

Name: Sam Adams Hopscape
Style: Wheat Ale
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 30

The other beer which I got from Sam Adams is their Hopscape, which is a wheat ale made with "West Coast Hops" and it's also the other new spring seasonal from the brewery. It's been a while since I've had a good wheat beer, so I'm looking forward to trying this one out.

Appearance - Hazy dark yellow color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. Head is pretty foamy and there's tons of lacing left along the sides of the glass.

Aroma - Pale malts, malted wheat, with some citrus & floral hops.

Taste - Pale malts and malted wheat upfront that linger throughout with the middle and back opening up to that nice citrus & floral hop profile. The aftertaste consists of more malted wheat and a light orange peel finish

Much like the last entry, this one is pretty light bodied and the flavor profile is reasonably bright without being overpowering. I haven't had too many hoppy wheat beers, but this is pulled off quite well and, as such, is very easy to recommend.

Sam Adams Hopscape - 8.5/10

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sam Adams Fresh As Helles Review

Name: Sam Adams Fresh As Helles
Style: Helles Lager
ABV: 5.4%
IBUs: 18

It's not too often I get beer in the mail unless it's for a trade. However Sam Adams was cool enough to send me a couple of new beers which they just released. The first one I'll be looking at is Fresh As Helles, a Helles Lager made with orange blossom and also one of their new spring seasonals. Why is there a skull on the label? I have no clue; Let's just drink this beer!

Appearance - Fairly clear dark yellow color with a ton of visible carbonation. The head is foamy & quite creamy and the lacing left behind is quite abundant.

Aroma - Pale malts, lager yeasts & citrus hops, mixed in with some mild floral notes and just a hint of orange peel.

Taste - Citrus hops and floral notes upfront with that lager yeastiness and solid pale malt backbone in the middle. In the back, I'm getting some light orange peel notes with a light touch of honey. The aftertaste consists of lager yeasts & some floral and orange peel notes.

For a lager, this is very good! It's got a light body & nice crisp feel and on top of that, the flavor profile is bright without being overwhelming and compliments the overall body quite well. In general, it's just a tasty beer & if you're looking for a good spring seasonal once the world outside thaws, this would be a good beer to start with.

Sam Adams Fresh as Helles - 8.5/10

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sierra Nevada Sidecar Review

Name: Sierra Nevada Sidecar
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.3%
IBUs: 35

Been a while since I've reviewed something from Sierra Nevada, but I couldn't help but take notice of this the other day as it was in both six & twelve pack bottles. I give to you Sidecar, which is described as an Orange Pale Ale, To my knowledge, this is a brand new offering from the brewery and I figured that if they were giving it such a huge release that I may as well check it out at least.

Appearance - Mildly hazy dark orange with a light amount of carbonation. The head is nice and foamy and there's a ton of lacing left behind.

Aroma - Orange peel and citrus hops mixed in with a pale & toffee malt backbone. I'm also getting some light yeastiness in here as well.

Taste - Floral hops and light orange peel upfront with that pale/toffee malt backbone and citrus hops making an in the middle and back. On the back end of the palate, I'm getting a surprisingly strong bitter hoppiness paired with some yeasts; Interesting for a beer that's 35 IBUs. Aftertaste, however, is mainly just yeasts and light orange peel.

It's not as orange-y as the label would leave you to believe but it manages to be yet another solid pale ale from the brewery. I predict this will be a hit among the casual beer drinking crowd and a profitable venture for Sierra Nevada. As such, this is pretty easy for me to recommend and it's worth checking out at the least.

Sierra Nevada Sidecar - 8/10

Funkwerks Solenna Review

Name: Funkwerks Solenna
Style: Belgian Dark Ale
ABV: 6.3%
IBUs: 48

Ever since their arrival to Minnesota, Funkwerks has become one of my favorite new breweries to check out and today I have their Solenna, which is a Belgian Ale with Brettanomyces. I say Belgian Ale because that's not only what the brewery calls it but there's also websites and organizations that have different classifications for this beer.

Beer Advocate calls this a Belgian Dark Ale, while RateBeer calls this a Belgian Ale. Untappd, on the other hand, refers to this as a Saison. For all intents and purposes, we'll just refer to it as a Belgian Dark Ale

Appearance - Hazy brown color with no visible carbonation. The head starts off very foamy even with a gentle pour but the lacing is nice and abundant.

Aroma - Strong brett funkiness and caramelized malts upfront, followed by some mild floral hoppiness and a strong apple-like tartness.

Taste - The front of the palate starts things off with some strong Brett yeasts and moderate caramel malts, while the back end of the palate opens up to some mild floral hops and spice notes. In the aftertaste, I'm getting some of that light apple tartness that lingers for a couple of moments.

I like this. The Brett isn't too overpowering but it gives off just enough funk to make this a crowd pleaser. That said, if you aren't a fan of wild ales, this one isn't going to change your mind but for those who enjoys them will definitely find something to like here.

Funkwerks Solenna - 8.5/10

Friday, January 13, 2017

Bent Paddle Cold Press Black Review

Name: Bent Paddle Cold Press Black
Style: Black Ale
ABV: 6%
IBUs: 34 

Been meaning to review this for a while, but I can never seem to find this in stores; Only on tap at certain establishments. Then this past weekend, I finally found it. I'm talking about Bent Paddle's Cold Press Black, which to my knowledge, is their black ale made with coffee beans from The Duluth Coffee Company. It's also been a while since I've had their black ale, so let's try this out!

Appearance - Pitch black with some light carbonation along the sides of the glass. The head takes on a tan khaki color and it leaves a good amount of lacing along the sides of the glass.

Aroma - Nice roasted barley and chocolate malt profile mixed in with some nice coffee ground notes and faint hops.

Taste - The front of the palate starts things off with some roasted barley and chocolate malts, with some moderate coffee ground notes popping up in the middle. Towards the back, I'm getting more of that chocolate malt backbone and more coffee ground notes. The aftertaste consists mainly of roasted barley and light coffee grounds.

I like the coffee in this; Not too strong and just balanced enough to walk in sync with the other aspects of the flavor. As far as I'm concerned, it's another solid offering from Bent Paddle and the perfect beer for these cold winter days. If you see this, be sure to check it out!

Bent Paddle Cold Press Black - 8.5/10

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout Review

Name: Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 18-20%
IBUs: 70

While in Wisconsin this past weekend, I decided to stop at Casanova like always after I finish up at either Pitchfork or Oliphant when I noticed an offering from Dogfish Head that I had heard stories about but had yet to try out. I'm of course talking about their World Wide Stout, which clocks in at around 18-20% ABV; Kind of reminds me of their 120 Minute IPA, because they aren't exactly 100% sure what the ABV on this is. It also makes this the strongest Stout I've had to date.

Hey speaking of which, pretty soon I'll no longer have to travel to Wisconsin to acquire Dogfish Head as it was announced a couple weeks ago that they would start distributing to Minnesota this year. This comes after a nearly 17 year absence from Minnesota after the brewery got screwed over by a distributor and, according to what a store owner once told me, said that they would never set foot in the Minnesota market again. You know me though, I'm always down for a bigger selection of craft beer to choose from.

Appearance - Pitch black with a small amount of carbonation along the sides of the glass. The head takes on a brown color and is pretty thin & there's no lacing to speak of left behind

Aroma - Strong chocolate malts mixed in with some fairly strong bitter hops and light cherry notes, along with a hefty amount of roastiness from this on. I'm also getting some pretty strong boozy notes in here as well.

Taste - Strong chocolate malts and roasted barley notes that linger throughout the palate, with those bitter hops and cherry notes showing up in the middle and back. Speaking of which, on the back end of the palate is where I'm getting some very strong boozy notes and boy howdy, those first couple of sips you feel like your esophagus is burning. However, the more it warms up and airs out, the boozy sensation starts to calm down but is still very much there throughout the palate. As for the aftertaste, it consists of more roastiness and moderate hop bitterness, both of which linger for a few moments

I recall my review of Dogfish's 120 Minute IPA as it shares many similarities with World Wide Stout (High ABV, strong boozy aspect, etc.) and I gave it a reasonably high score back then of 9.25. After having World Wide Stout, I'm starting to wonder if I was having 120 Minute IPA while wearing rose-tinted glasses. In other words, I like the flavor but the boozy aspect is just so upfront & strong that it gets in the way of what makes this beer good. In short, it's worth trying out if you're curious but World Wide Stout makes a very compelling argument that bigger doesn't always equal better.

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout - 7/10

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Oliphant Citizen Kang Review

Name: Oliphant Citizen Kang
Style: Helles Bock
ABV: 6.7%

When I visited Olpihant Brewing a few months ago, I fell in love with them and how they took a creative approach to their beers. Fast forward to now and they've (somehow) managed to gain the ability to self distribute to Minnesota using some legal loophole/brouhaha that I'm not going to even bother to get into. The point being is that I now no longer have to travel to Wisconsin to have their beers....but will gladly do so going forward.

Case in point, I have their Citizen Kang Helles Bock. Now I grabbed this in Wisconsin this past weekend but the reason being that I haven't given any of their beers a proper review so I figured this would be a good way to start.

Appearance - Hazy dark orange with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head is pretty foamy and there's a good amount of lacing left behind.

Aroma - Pale malts and caramel with some light floral hops and just a hint of barley. The smell almost reminds me of spring seasonals.

Taste - Pale malts and barley on the front of the palate, but the back opens up to a rich caramel sweetness and mild floral hoppiness, As for the aftertaste, it's mostly just a mild hop bitterness with some barley but is otherwise quite dry.

It's not the most complex beer out there but it's certainly a robust one for what it is. With that said, I look forward to trying out many, many more of their offerings in the future. For the time being, go check this out if you can.

Oliphant Citizen Kang - 8.5/10

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Alaskan Husky IPA Review

Name: Alaskan Husky IPA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 7%
IBUs: 50

Well, I've got a new beer from Alaskan Brewing called Husky IPA. With some new beers from Alaskan, I normally make a note to myself to check it out in the future. This beer, however, was an exception for two reasons:

1. It was available for $7.49 for a six-pack
2. It's a Mosaic IPA

Now my regular readers know I love Mosaic IPAs but they've always been in the $10-11 range or priced higher than their other IPA counterparts. Never have I encountered a "budget priced" Mosaic IPA before and yet one just so happened to fall into my lap. Now with lower priced IPAs, I do notice that they tend to be more malty than hoppy so I'm hoping that isn't the case here.

Appearance - Hazy orange color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head is pretty foamy for what is and the lacing left behind is also quite abundant.

Aroma - Rich citra notes with some mild bitterness. I'm also getting some toffee and pale malts in here as well.

Taste - Much like the nose, you've got some reasonably robust citra notes upfront with some mild pine bitterness on the back end of the palate. The toffee and pale malt backbone lingers throughout the palate and provides that balance without being overbearing like I was expecting.

For the price I paid for it, I wasn't expecting too much. Color me surprised, but those Mosaic hops stand out quite well from the rest of the flavor. While it's not as robust as other Mosaic IPAs I've had, rest assured that you're getting more than your money's worth with this beer.

Alaskan Husky IPA - 8.5/10

Bald Man Killer Queen Review

Name: Bald Man Killer Queen
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.5%

A few months ago, I paid a visit to Bald Man Brewing and thought their offerings to be solid. Since I've last visited them, they've not only expanded their availability to some area bars but they've also released their first bottled release, which we have today.

I give to you Killer Queen, an English Style Imperial IPA that I picked up last weekend but was unable to consume due to a bout of illness that I had. It's always exciting to see new local breweries become available but before I start, I do want to address something that is a huge pet peeve of mine in beer: corks.

I spent nearly 15 minutes trying to get this bottle open but the cork simply wouldn't budge and I accidentally ended up ripping the top off by mistake as I tried relentlessly to open it up. In fact, the only way I was able to "open" this was by pushing down the remainder of the cork into the bottle where it could free itself.

What's wrong with a simple bottle cap? There's no need to unnecessarily complicate things by making a beer hard to open. You might as well have a lock combination for the beer in order to get it open. I understand you want to keep the contents of a beer secure or make it stand out from the others, but there's no point in having a hard-to-open corked beer if no one's going to be able to get it open to enjoy it.

Appearance - Hazy dark orange color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head is nice and foamy and the lacing is quite plentiful

Aroma - Piney hops and strong caramel malts with some light kiwi notes with a hint of barley.

Taste - Strong caramel malts upfront which linger throughout, while towards the back opens up to some moderate piney/dank hops. The aftertaste is made up mainly of bitter hops with some mild toffee sweetness.

Despite the cumbersome cork situation, this is a pretty good beer. It's fairly heavy on the malts and moderate on the hops which is standard for an English IPA in terms of flavor. If you're willing to deal with the cork (and use a corkscrew to open this,) then you'll probably find something to like about this beer.

Bald Man Killer Queen - 8/10

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Angry Inch Backwoods Brown Review

Name: Angry Inch Backwoods Brown
Style: Imperial Brown Ale
ABV: 9.5%
IBUs: 42

So my health had taken a turn for the worse, so I was unable to get around to looking at some beers for a few days but I'm back and ready to have some beers again.

One of my new year's resolutions was to focus more on local craft breweries and I figured that I may as well start with a brewery I am quite familiar with: Angry Inch Brewing. Despite my continued support for them, it's been well over 2 years since I've reviewed any beers from them. In fact, since I did my last review, they became a full-fledged brewery.

So I'm starting things off by reviewing Backwoods Brown, an Imperial Brown Ale that is only available in their taproom at this time. Since temperatures are supposed to drop below zero this week, I decided to grab a growler of this in preparation for the oncoming cold snap.

Appearance - Dark brown color that is almost black in appearance. The head is nice and foamy and there's a ton of lacing left behind.

Aroma - Chocolate malts and roasted barley mixed in with some toffee sweetness and a hint of molasses. I'm also getting some light oak notes out of this too.

Taste - Strong molasses and sarsaparilla notes with a hint of oak. I'm also getting some potent chocolate malts in here as well as some roastiness on the back end of the palate. I kind of want to make an ice cream float out of this!

This is fantastic! It's roasty yet sweet at the same time and the overall flavor profile reminds me a bit of root beer. This is, however, very much a beer. On top of that, the body is also quite smooth! In short, this has become one of my favorite beers they've made so far and serves as a reminder to myself I need to have their beer more often.

Angry Inch Backwoods Brown - 9/10

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Funkwerks Tropic King Review

Name: Funkwerks Tropic King
Style: Imperial Saison
ABV: 8%

Well. it's 2017 and while I meant to review this a few days ago, I got caught up with end of the year stuff & work. On top of that, I came down with a rather nasty case of the cold. The likes of which I haven't experienced in a long time. Thankfully my health has taken a turn for the better, so now it's time to get back to looking at some beers.

Today we've got another beer from Funkwerks and it just so happens to be another Saison! In this instance, it's an Imperial Saison made with Rakau hops, which is supposed to give this beer a tropical fruit like flavor.

Appearance - Hazy dark orange color with no visible carbonation, It possesses a reasonably foamy head and some good lacing to back it all up.

Aroma - Belgian yeasts & cloves, with some toffee & Munich malts. I'm also getting some strong mango and citra sweetness profile.

Taste - Belgian yeasts and cloves once again take center stage on the front of the palate but the mango and citrus notes which show up in middle and back of the palate help balance things throughout the palate, in addition to the toffee malts which gives the overall beer some nice support.

What can I say? It's a great spin on Saison-style, it possesses a great & robust flavor profile for what it is and it does so quite well. In fact, I'd even go as far to say that this is one of the best Saisons I've had in a long time. If you so happen to come across, you owe it to yourself to try this out.

Funkwerks Tropic King - 9.5/10