Friday, July 26, 2019

Omni FAD Review

Name: Omni FAD
Style: Imperial India Pale Ale (New England Style)
ABV: 8%
IBUs: 45

One of the styles has come into prominence over the past couple years is the Hazy/New England Style IPA. Normally I’d go into a discussion about it, but I’ll save it for a later article. For the time being, I will say that, love it or hate it, the Hazy IPA isn’t going away any time soon.

The beer we’re looking at today has become a real favorite amongst beer drinkers in these neck of the woods and it would be Omni Brewing’s FAD, which is an acronym for “Friggin’ Awesome Delicious.” I’ve actually had this beer before and did a brief write-up on it for my Summer Beer Dabbler article that I did on my old travel website last year. However it’s time to give this beer a proper review, so let’s have at it!

Appearance – Bright and cloudy orange color with no visible carbonation. The head itself is very thin and the lacing is very spotty to say the least.

Aroma – Orange slice and citrus hops dominate the nose with some light pale/toffee malts that remain underneath these aromas. It smells like orange juice, to say the least.

Taste – Much like the nose, that orange slice and citrus hop profile are out in full force and dominate pretty much the entire palate. There is, however, a light hop bitterness in here but it doesn’t really show up until the very end, and even then it’s still secondary to the citrus flavors.

Still as delicious as I remember it! Yeah, it’s not the most complex IPA out there but the flavor is extremely vibrant. Plus for them to give it a name proclaiming it to be Friggin’ Awesome Delicious and actually be so is really comething. This is definitely worth checking out should you get the chance to try it!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Schell's IPA Review

Name: Schell’s IPA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 5.8%
IBUs: 40

Much has changed in the two years I was absent. For example: new exciting breweries have entered the market, Sunday Sales in Minnesota is FINALLY a thing now and Minnesota Beer Culture is flourishing like never before. However, there is one other change that even I never would’ve seen coming: Schell’s Brewing has made an IPA.

“Big deal!” one might say. “Every brewery has their own interpretation of an IPA!”

Except Schell’s isn’t one of those breweries. You see, as the second oldest brewery in the country, Schell’s has been extremely dedicated to brewing exclusively German/European-style beers and it’s a dedication I have come to admire. In fact, when I went on a tour of the brewery a couple years ago, you could see all the German influences throughout the facility. Even our tour guide told us “When you have a town full of thirsty Germans, you’ve better be making good beer.” By the way, the tour is totally worth it if you’ve got a day to kill.

Then about a week ago, I was looking at my regular haunt for something new to try out when this caught my eye. Perplexed, I asked one of the owners if this was some sort of elaborate prank, to which he told me it was 100% genuine. He even told me that there was a rumor going around that when Schell’s went to register the name with the State of Minnesota, they “jokingly” submitted it with the name “Okay, fine. Here’s your f***ing IPA.” Whether or not it’s true remains to be seen; Again, just a rumor so take that as you will.

Up until now, the closest thing that Schell’s had made to an IPA was Arminius: their Hoppy Pale Lager and it’s still one of my favorite beers by them to date.

Anyways, Schell’s IPA, here we go!

Appearance – Mildly Hazy dark yellow color with a high amount of visible carbonation. The head itself is fairly thin but there's abundant amounts of lacing left behind.

Aroma – Big citrus and light piney hop notes are front and center in the nose. Behind that are some moderate toffee malts and I'm even getting some lemongrass in here too, though I suspect that might just be the hops.

Taste – Citra hops and toffee malts take up the most of the palate though there is some bitter/piney hops the pop up in the back to keep things from getting too sweet.

I was expecting an IPA on the maltier side, reminiscent of an English-Style IPA. However, Imagine my surprise when I instead got a nice citrus-centric beer. I enjoy my bitter hop-bomb IPAs but having this is a nice change of pace from some those said IPAs and is definitely an easy drinker. If you see this, you owe it to yourself to try this out.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Review

Name: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 38

During the first four years I was doing this blog, I reviewed many beers but there were some that I simply missed for reasons that are beyond me. I’m not speaking of rare beers but craft beers that are widely consumed. One of those beers is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a beer which I remember from my dad’s old company picnics from back in the mid-90’s as it was one of the beers of choice of my Dad’s younger co-workers who were fresh out of college.

Now I’ve reviewed quite a few beers from Sierra Nevada but never this one and my reason is because….well, I though I already reviewed it. That is, until, I dusted off the website and looked at the archives. Am I ashamed? No, but just a tad bit embarrassed.

Appearance – Dark orange with a mild amount of haze to it, along with some abundant carbonation. The head itself is pretty foamy and there's a healthy amount of lacing left behind.

Aroma – Caramel malts dominate the nose but behind that are some bitter and light piney hoppiness.

Taste – Much like the nose, the caramel malts hit you on the front of the palate. This gives away to the bitter and light piney hops in the back with the malts taking a back seat. The aftertaste has a lingering hop bitterness along and a light maltiness.

The balance of hops and malt is optimal here and while it’s nothing new, it’s a very easy drinking beer. As such, I can see why this is a standby for many beer drinkers everywhere; Myself included. As the old saying goes: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Tin Whiskers Bit O' Honey Blonde Review

Name: Tin Whiskers Bit O’ Honey Blonde
Style: Blonde Ale
ABV: 5.4%
IBUs: 21

For my first review in over two years, I decided to do something special and it frankly didn’t take me too long to find the ideal beer. I give to you Bit O’ Honey Blonde, a collaboration between Tin Whisker’s Brewing Company & Pearson’s Candy, the latter of which is responsible for making Bit O’ Honey candy. 

This isn’t the first time these two St. Paul-based companies have joined forces as they’ve also made a Salted Nut Role Ale & Nut Goodie Porter in the past. Both of these beers came out right around the time I left beer blogging, so I was never able to give them a proper review.

Appearance – Dark yellow/orange with strong haziness to it with a light amount of visible carbonation. The head itself is about a finger in width with some spotty lacing along the sides.

Aroma – A strong honey & almond smell dominate the nose almost completely. It literally smells like they took a Bit O’ Honey candy and turned it into liquid form because the aroma is almost indistinguishable from the candy it’s based off of.

Taste – It starts off with a vibrant honey flavor on the front of the palate but it drops out completely in the middle with some pale malt and floral hoppiness. On the back end of the palate is where the almond flavor pops up and in the aftertaste. The honey flavor also reeappears and lingers for a few minutes after the last sip.

For me, this works! It smells great and the honey adds to the flavor perfectly. Some might find the aroma and taste to be a bit too sweet for their liking but if you’re looking for a good-yet-different take on the blonde ale, this beer is just for you!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Changes coming to Nick's Beer Blog

Alright everyone,

I’m in the process of cleaning up and getting back up and running, and with it, there are some changes that are going to occur. I’m here today to explain to you just what is going to change and how I believe each change will be for the better, Without further ado, let's get started:

Wine & Spirits - The biggest change here is that in addition to reviewing beer, I’ll also be looking at craft spirits & wine. My reason for this is that during my time running my old website, I visited quite a few distilleries & wineries and out their stories (and drinks) to be just as captivating as a brewery and their beer. Plus, it gives me a chance to explore other aspects of the craft alcohol industry in ways that would've seen foreign to me just a couple years ago.

No More Scoring System -  The other big change I’m making is that I’m no longer going to include a score at the end of each review. Looking back at my old reviews, I feel that assigning a numerical score to a beer is quite subjective and, in some cases, overshadows the actual review itself. I’ll still be following the same format as before but there’ll be no score at the end; Just a summary of my thoughts on the beer itself.

Layout Changes - It's no secret to those who were once faithful readers that my formatting didn't change much during the four years that I did blogging. That said, I feel the look of the website feels dated and is in need of a face lift. I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to proceed with the final look but you'll know it when you see it!

Name Change (or lack thereof) - In my previous post, I mentioned that I was considering changing the name of this blog. I was tossing around names like Nick's Booze Blog or Nick's Boozy Blog. However, I have ultimately decided against this, in spite of the forthcoming of non-beer beverages that are to be featured on here. My reason is because this blog started out as Nick's Beer Blog and the fact that I have already established this website as such. Plus the aforementioned names just don't quite sound as catchy.

There you have it. While I'm looking forward to these changes, the thing I'm most excited about is getting back to writing on this website. It's been a couple of years but it feels good to be home!


- Nick

Friday, July 12, 2019

I'm Back!

*walks up to the microphone*

Hello? Is this thing still on?

It's been over two years since I posted my last article on here. Much has changed since I made my last post here. Truth be told, so much has happened in the craft alcohol industry that temptation has more-or-less gotten the best of me.

That said, I've decided to take up the mantle of "Alcohol Blogger" once more. I say this because the craft wine & spirits industry has really taken off and I'd like to cover those as well. Plus half the articles on my new website are centered on alcohol in some capacity.

So with that said, I'll be making some changes to the website and already have a new name in mind, though it's not a big deviation from the current name of this blog. Also the idea of putting this website on a Wordpress website with its own domain is on the docket but for the time being, this is where I'll be posting.

It's been a while everyone, but I'm back!