Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bell's Brewery Two Hearted Ale

Popularity among styles of beer come and goes but I’ve noticed that the popularity of IPA’s has stayed. IPA’s are as popular today as they were over ten years ago. This is an old style that dates back to when England (Great Britain) was colonizing India. Here we have Bell’s Brewery (Comstock Michigan) Two Hearted Ale, 7.0% ABV. Bell’s uses exclusively Centennial Hops from the Pacific Northwest and Bell’s own house yeast. Bell's Two Hearted Ale pours a cloudy, murky, dark orange color with a one and a half finger white heat that fades kind of quickly and leaves decent lacing in the glass. The very least amount of light came through the glass and there is some carbonation spotted. The aroma is strong with earthy floral notes and hints of pine. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale has a big floral hop flavor to it upfront that is grapefruit like with a nice malted backbone following that. There are hints of an earthy pine note there as well but it is a faint taste to say the least. I found Two Hearted Ale to be a little in your face with it’s taste. That’s not something I prefer. But it was not SO intense for my taste. The mouth feel is medium with a nice malted earthy floral grapefruit finish with a malted grapefruit aftertaste. Overall this is not a great beer but an okay beer. So I would say that Bell ‘s Two Hearted Ale receives a C+. I found the hop profile to be a little to in your face but the malts used to balance it out and keep it from being extremely hoppy. I think the malt backbone on Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is the best part of it. It really helps keep the hop profile down a bit and make it more drinkable and yet somewhat enjoyable. I would kind of recommend Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. So go and try it if you haven’t. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Evil Twin Brewing Yin & Yang

The Oxford companion to be defines Black and Tan to be a beer cocktail composed of on part bitter, amber ale, pale, or pale lager and one part stout or porter. It is traditionally poured at the bar so that the two beers layer, often with darker beer in the top half of the glass. “Black and Tan” is also a term used by more than a dozen US breweries for bottled products that consist of similar blends. But Yin & Yang, 10.0% ABV isn’t from The USA but rather Denmark and is brewed by Evil Twin Brewing. Evil Twin Yin & Yang is blended from 33% Yin, an American double or imperial stout and 67% Yang, and American double or imperial IPA. Evil Twin does brew Yin by itself as well as Yang. Evil Twin Yin & Yang pours a deep black color with a one and a half light brown fizzy head that quickly dissipates into a nice ring around the edge. I found no light coming through no did I see any carbonation bubbles through the dark black color of this beer. The aroma on this is a big roasted brunt scent with the faintest earthy scent. Yin & Yang has more of a big stout aroma to it than a big IPA, but the IPA aroma and scent are still there just barely. Yin & Yang’s taste is slightly sweet at first then you get a slightly faint earthy pine bitterness quickly fallowed by a big burnt bitter taste on the end. The mouth feel is full and has a bitter burnt finish with a little bitter malt aftertaste with the slightest touch of earthy flavors. Overall I found this beer to be okay not good not great but not so bad. So I would rate this a C-. The way Yin & Yang tastes at the end was where it fell short. I didn’t like the burnt taste at the end. The IPA bitterness was a bit much with the stout bitterness but not overly bitter though. It was more of an unpleasant bitterness than in in your face bitterness. I like dark IPA’s but this was I guess too different from that and from a true “black and tan”. I wouldn’t have this again for a long while nor would I recommend Evil Twin Brewing Yin & Yang. Yin & Yang was not as good as I though it was going to be. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Narragansett/Revival Brewing Co. Lovecraft Honey Ale

I found this Narragansett beer can to be an interesting looking can and the beer sounded a little interesting too. So I picked one up. This is Narragansett Lovecraft Honey Ale, 7.0% ABV and Narragansett collaborated with Revival Brewing Co. This is part of the Lovecraft series of beers that is named after the Rhode Island author H.P. Lovecraft and his now known as the father of modern horror. Artist from Steven King, to Neil Gaiman, Metallica, and Guillermo Del Toro cite him as a direct influence. Lovecraft Honey Ale is brewed with five pale malts including honey. This beer is more like an IPA. Lovecraft Honey Ale pours a deep copper color with a fluffy four finger white head that slow dissipates into some nice lacing in the glass but not a lot. I found there to be some light coming through but just a little and there is a decent carbonation bubble level there. The aroma is much like a sweet IPA. There is a piney earthy note with a sweet scent of some honey. Not much hops on the nose. At first Lovecraft Honey Ale has a sweet taste but very quickly turns bitter and piney as it passes over the back of your mouth. Not a good taste if you as me. There is a slight malted note on the very end but nothing to help with the bitterness. The mouth feel is medium with a bitter somewhat malted finish. Aftertaste is bitter with no sweetness from the honey. I found this beer to be not good and to bitter overall. Narragansett Lovecraft Honey Ale gets a D-. The sweet flavor from the honey is only present for a very short while and there is too much hop bitterness to this with not enough malt flavors to balance it out. It’s more hop bitterness than anything else and I was not expecting it to be like that. This Lovecraft Honey Ale sounds better than it taste. I could not finish all sixteen ounces of this. I wouldn’t really recommend Narragansett Lovecraft Honey Ale to anyone nor would I try it again. It’s to bitter with not enough malt or honey sweetness. Cheers! Please enjoy Responsibly!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Foothills Brewing IPA of the Month January 2015 (Barley)

Foothills Brewing is doing it again, IPA of the Month for 2015. This year they’re using dogs on the label from there #FoothillsIPAdog program, and each bottle sold will help a rescue program in that dog’s community. This is January (Barley), 6.4% ABV and 71 IBUs. Barley is Foothills brewery dog. January is brewed with just two malts and two hops, Citra and Chinook. January pours a slight deep orange cooper color with an off white four finger fluffy head, that slowly fades into thick roped lacing around the glass. I found very little amounts of light coming through the glass with decent amount of carbonation bubbles rushing to the head. The aroma is very piney and grassy with a hint of tart orange. The taste is slight tart with orange up front with piney notes and touches of grassy flavors in the middle with a smooth hop bitterness on the end. The hop flavor this IPA’s taste is smooth throughout and not harsh or in your face. The mouth feel is medium to almost full, and January finishes nice and somewhat smooth with a slight tart orange bitterness with a hint of a piney flavor. The after taste is much like the finish, with a touch more grassy notes, and slight hoppy flavor. I loved last years IPA of the Month, so I was really looking forward to this year, and its good. So Foothills Brewing IPA of the Month January 2015 (Barley) gets an A-. This is a simpler IPA than they usually do for this series but it worked well and was tasty. I really liked how the hop bitterness was smooth throughout this beer and I didn’t find an in your face hop flavor anywhere in this beer. That was great. January was simple but tasted fabulous. I highly recommend trying Foothills Brewing IPA of the Month 2015 January and the rest of 2015. I know I will have to have this again! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

DuClaw Brewing Co. Sweet Baby Jesus! Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter

American Porter is inspired from the English Porters. American brewers have taken this style to new levels. Whether its high hopping the brew, using smoked malts, or adding coffee or chocolate to complement the burnt flavor associated with this style. Some are even barrel aged in bourbon or whisky barrels. The hop bitterness is quit wide but most are just easy drinking session porters as well. This is beer, Sweet Baby Jesus! Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, 6.5% ABV from DuClaw Brewing Co. in Baltimore Maryland.  Sweet Baby Jesus! pours are dark black color with brown edges and a two-finger tan/beige head that dissipated kind of slowly and leaves behind decent lacing. I found no light coming through nor could I see any signs of carbonation bubbles. The aroma is of  big peanuts and Reese’s Pieces. I thought the aroma was quite good. This Duclaw’s taste is chocolaty upfront then a bit peanut/peanut buttery in the middle then fades into a slight burnt bitter flavor on the end. The mouth feel is full and rich with a nice peanut/peanut buttery finish that leads to a nice peanut buttery after taste that fades slowly until another sip. Sweet Baby Jesus is an interesting porter, but I found it to be okay, C+ here. I find it taste not as good as it sounds or as it smells but not terrible though. I like it but not as good as it sounded nor as good as I though I was going too. I was thinking the mough feel was going to real heavy and it would have more peanut butter to this than chocolate. I would recommend that you try Sweet Baby Jesus from Duclaw Brewing Co. Just don't set your hopes to high. It's good just not that good nor great. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!