Nothing but deliciousness…

Nothing but deliciousness…

Bissell Brothers Brewing Company, Nothing Gold, Portland, ME

Bissell Brothers Nothing Gold poured into a nonic pint glass.
Bissell Brothers Nothing Gold.

8.2% abv. Brewed with citra, amarillo, and equinox hops. This is the hoppiest beer made by Bissell Bros. Pours an opaque dirty orange color. Citrus aroma bursts out of the can with an amazing combination of pink grapefruit and sweet clementine notes. I really love the smell of this beer. Touches of caramel apple and oat flakes on the nose as well. First sip is grapefruit rind, spruce tips, and fresh cut grass with the slightest touch of peppery alcohol. I love the medium-to-full body mouthfeel on this one. Ridiculously drinkable and satisfying and the 8.2% abv in a 16oz can is downright dangerous in all the best ways. I have never tried Swish, but it blows my mind to think that it could be better than this beer. I am hoping that Bissell Bros. is still going strong when I retire to Maine in about 25 years!

Living the Jai Ali(fe)…

Living the Jai Ali(fe)…

Cigar City Brewing, Jai Ali IPA, Tampa, FL

Cigar City Brewing Jai Ali IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Cigar City Brewing Jai Ali IPA.

7.5% abv. Canned 9/5/17 so this is about a month old. I first had this beer at the Walt Disney World EPCOT Center Flower and Garden Festival in 2015 during a family trip. I remember it was about 97 degrees in May and I drank it way too fast to adequately rate it. I recently picked it up at Wegman’s in Easton, PA during my trip to the Martin Guitar Factory and Museum.

It pours a rich copper gold color with a thin white head. Wow, it is bursting with orange zest and grapefruit aromas. First sip is orange zest and pine with a touch of white pepper. Thirst quenching and therefore dangerous due to the relatively high ABV. Excellent Belgian lace. This is certainly a hop forward IPA, but the sweet caramel and candy sugar malt flavors try to help balance it. Hop flavors linger forever on the gums and the back of the throat. Papaya and pineapple flavors get stronger at finish. Some vegetative tobacco earthiness as well. This is a delicious IPA and I only wish it was something we could get distributed to Massachusetts.

Pour yourself a Frost(y) one…

Pour yourself a Frost(y) one…

Frost Beer Works, Vermont Farmhouse Ale, Hinesburg, VT

5.5% abv. 30 IBUs. A generous gift from Caroline Herr. Made with all Vermont ingredients. Pours a gorgeous iridescent straw yellow and gold color with a fluffy white head. Cloves, banana bread, peaches, and fresh ground white pepper on the nose. Sour lemon tartness with orange zest on first sip. Cloves, coriander and subtle pepper flavor follows. Ridiculously drinkable. Gets a touch drier with each sip. Fresh and fruity apricot and peach flavors linger on the tongue and sides of the gums. This is a very well-balanced beer. Really nice complexity for a low alcohol quaffer. Well done Frost Beer Works.

Dueling reviews 5 years apart…

Dueling reviews 5 years apart…

The Alchemist, Heady Topper, Waterbury, VT

4/28/12

Poured into a nonic pint glass from a tall boy can. 8% abv. Thanks to Jeff for dropping this one off after picking it up at Redstone. Pours a beautiful murky gold yellow. Amazing hop aroma…pine resin, grapefruit, fresh cut grass and herbs. First sip is fantastic and you know immediately this is a special beer. Pine, lemon, orange rind, and sweet grapefruit flavors. A touch of white pepper, cilantro, dry crackers, and lemon ball candies. Hops mask the alcohol and make this an incredibly drinkable Double IPA. I could drink this all night.

9/21/17

Trying this a second time. Many thanks to Caroline Herr for bringing this back for me while on vacation! Pours a lighter murky gold color than I remember from last time I had it. Decent head with good retention. Grapefruit, caramel apple, and lemon on the nose. First sip is mango with slightest touch of white pepper, Juicy tropical fruit flavors with a delayed tingle on the sides of the tongue and gums. Tons of piney bitterness. Slightly dank. More alcohol esters this second time around. Still smooth and very drinkable.

Now Taza what I am talking aStout…

Now Taza what I am talking aStout…

Night Shift Brewing, Taza Stout, Everett, MA

Night Shift Taza Stout poured into a nonic pint glass.
Night Shift Taza Stout.

Canned on 7/7/17.  Throwback series of this previously retired beer. Stout brewed with chicory root and ginger and aged cacao nibs from Taza Chocolate.  6.6% abv. Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates. Coffee, oatmeal, and cacao nibs on the nose with the slightest hint of candied ginger. First sip is chocolate covered espresso beans, black strap molasses, bourbon vanilla, and orange rind. Full-bodied chewiness of sweet malts, but finishes with a surprising hop snap. Coffee, espresso, and chocolate flavors come in and out with each sip. A very enjoyable stout.

Better than a Royale with Cheese…

Better than a Royale with Cheese…

Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company, Pulp, Williamsburg, MA

Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co. Pulp poured into a nonic pint glass.
Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co. Pulp

Can dated 8/15/17, so this is only 10 days old. 8% abv. Pours a dark gold color with an orangish hue with a thin white head. Good Belgian lace. Spruce tips, pine, and tropical fruit on the nose.  First sip is orange zest with touches of white pepper and pine. A quick warming in the belly and around the gums, but the alcohol is hidden quite well, making this a very dangerous beer. To put it plainly, this shit will get you drunk! Juicy tropical fruit flavors from start to finish with touches of candy sugar like sweetness. Some dry water cracker and caramel malt helps balance it. Earthy, tobacco leaf notes as well. I guess I was expecting something a little more chunky and more full-bodied with the name Pulp, but this is a solid IPA.

Lieutenant Starbuck approved…

Lieutenant Starbuck approved…

Clown Shoes Beer, Galactica Double IPA, Ipswich, MA

Clown Shoes Galactica Double IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Clown Shoes Galactica Double IPA.

Can dated 7/26/17 so this is about 10 days old. 8% abv. Pours a rich dark copper color with a thick white head. Awesome Belgian lace. Tropical fruit and ripe apple and pear on the nose with some herbal notes. Some white pepper spiciness from the alcohol with a subtle warming in the belly after a few sips. Chewy malt backbone with caramel, dry cracker, and maybe even a touch of spicy rye. Floral, herbal, and citrus hop bite at finish with juicy mango and papaya mixed in. Some pine and spruce notes as well. Pine resin flavors get more prominent with each sip. Certainly not a summer BBQ sipper, but a very solid example of the style that I would add to the rotation.

Argh…

Argh…

Foley Brothers Brewing, Skeleton Crew Imperial India Pale Ale, Brandon, VT

Folly Brothers Brewing Skeleton Crew Imperial IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Folly Brothers Brewing Skeleton Crew Imperial IPA.

A gift from my friend and colleague Bridget Devlin. 8.5% abv. A whopping 100 IBU.  Pours an unfiltered gold color with a fluffy white head that slowly dissipates. Fantastic Belgian lacing all around the glass. Lemon candy, pine, and orange rind on the nose with a touch of fresh cut grass. Papaya, mango, and pineapple juice flavors on first sip. Touches of floral and herbal spiciness as you move through it, but mostly juicy hop flavor. Dried apricot at finish with the slightest white pepper flavor from the relatively high alcohol content. Dry cracker and caramel malt flavors help balance it, but it is really all hops.  No real alcohol esters at all, medium bodied, smooth and thoroughly drinkable. A very enjoyable Imperial IPA.

Pick a winner…

Pick a winner…

Fort Hill Brewery, Fresh Pick IPA, Easthampton, MA

Fort Hill Brewery Fresh Pick IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Fort Hill Brewery Fresh Pick IPA.

7% abv. 50 IBUs. Pours a hazy gold yellow color with hefty white head that quickly dissipates. Sweet ripe mango aroma with a touch of lemon and orange zest and pine. Tropical fruit, including juicy mango and papaya on first sip with a touch of spicy white pepper. Hop flavors linger for a long time on the palate. A bread and honey sweetness at finish followed by a dryish hop bite. Medium bodied, but super drinkable at 7% abv. You do feel some slight warming in the belly about halfway through it. I have noticed a little bit of variation among batches, but this beer is delicious and a great value. I love that this brewery is producing high quality beer at an affordable price. Go find it now! For those locals out there, I have been picking it up pretty regularly at Rapid Liquors in Stoneham, MA.

This beer is bigger than giant…

This beer is bigger than giant…

Troegs Brewing Company, Nimble Giant Double IPA, Hershey, PA

Troegs Nimble Giant Double IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Troegs Nimble Giant Double IPA

9% abv. 16 oz can with freshness expiration date of 10/04/2017, so this can is pretty fresh. Troegs brews this once a year. Pours a dark orange color with a thick white head. Good head retention and  Belgian lace. Fresh squeezed grapefruit on the nose with a touch of white pepper. Alcohol is definitely present on the first sip, but it doesn’t taste as boozy as I thought it would. Orange zest, apricot, unripened mango, and grapefruit flavors. Pretty smooth and drinkable for the high abv. This is a dangerous beer. Grapefruit flavors become more prominent with each sip. Interesting mix of hop resin oils, yet dry at finish. Some caramel, honey, and candy sugar sweetness sneaks through as well, but it does not become cloying. This is clearly not your everyday go to beer, but it is certainly something to look forward to this time of the year.