Banded Horn Brewing Company, Daikaiju Double IPA, Biddeford, ME
8.7% abv. Can dated For Little Z, 3/9/17. Pours a semi-opaque gold with a thin white head. Pineapple, mango, papaya, and a touch of grapefruit on the nose. First sip is a great mix of tropical fruit, white pepper, and herbs.Medium bodied, yet thirst quenching. You would never, ever imagine that this beer has a high abv. Some mild warming of the belly toward the end, but super drinkable. Mango, orange zest, andoverripe cantaloupe at finish.Some dry cracker and fresh french bread maltiness, but mostly all hops. This beer is a monster and it just might be the most dangerous double IPA I have ever tasted. Kudos to the folks at Banded Horn. I am looking forward to stopping by the brewery this summer.
Trillium Brewing Co. Double Dry Hopped Congress Street IPA, Canton, MA
7.2% abv. Born on 4/11/17 making this 3 days old. Many thanks to my friend Brian Souza, who dropped this one off on my doorstep wrapped in a plastic bag full of ice! Pours an opaque and murky yellow-gold-orange color with a thin white head. It is kind of the color of Trump’s face and hair combined. Grapefruit aroma jumps out of the can. My wife, who doesn’t drink beer, just turned to me and said, “boy that smells like grapefruit!” Some floral, grass, and pine notes as well, but mostly grapefruit on the nose. First sip is sweet pineapple and ripe mango with a strong grapefruit finish. Some white peppery spiciness all over the mouth as well. Medium to almost full bodied and a touch chewy. Perhaps the most viscous IPA I have ever consumed. Some malt sweetness, but mostly a delicious tropical and citrus fruit bomb. Love it.
Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Super Session #2 IPA, Warren, Vermont
Celebrating National Beer Day 2017. Can dated 3/28/17 so this beer is about 9 or 10 days old. 4.8% abv. Fresh hop aroma jumps out of the can on opening. Pleasant floral and piney hop scent with hints of citrus. First sip shows it is hop forward for sure, but it has a nice pale and caramel malt backbone that makes it ridiculously drinkable. Lemon, pepper and floral hop flavors linger and jump all around the mouth. Some ripe melon and berries as well.It is by no means a hop bomb, it is the perfect balance of crisp hops and smooth malt flavors. A great session IPA.
Aeronaut Brewing Company, A Year with Dr. Nandu. Somerville, MA
6.5% abv. 66 IBU. Can art by Raul Gonzalez III. Can dated 3/2/17. Pours orange amber with thin white head. Good Belgian lace. Mango, pineapple, and orange zest on the nose. First sip is sweet ripe mango with dried apricots and floral notes. Moderately carbonated with a nice mouthfeel.CO2 and hops create a pleasant tingle all around the mouth. Well-balanced with some toast, buttery cracker, and caramel malt flavors. Some pink grapefruit and papaya at finish. This is a rock solid and excessively drinkable IPA. Go out and find some!
Finback Brewery, BQE Imperial Chocolate Stout, Queens, NY
9.2% abv. 63 IBU. Brewed with local Mast Brothers cocoa nibs and Native Coffee Roasters coffee and aged in bourbon barrels. Pours jet black with a thin tan head. Rich dark chocolate aroma with strong coffee notes. Full-bodied yet silky mouthfeel. Not boozy at all, but slight warming on the back of the throat after a few sips. The alcohol is really well masked. Complex and truly enjoyable mix of flavors including dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, sugary street roasted nuts, fig, dates, molasses, bourbon vanilla. A little dry astringency at finish from the heavy malt billing, but that is expected. Some citrus hops add to the mix. This really is a delightful beer. It gets better and better with each sip, I want more!
Banded Horn Brewing Company, Vertumnus Ale, Biddeford, ME
Ironically I am trying this beer, named after the god of seasons and change, a few days before we receive over a foot of snow in mid-March!
6% abv. Dry hopped ale aged on oak with brettanomyces yeast. This beer starts with their Veridian IPA. Pours a rich orange-gold color with a fluffy white head. Spiced apples, cloves, and banana bread aroma. First sip is both fruity and spicy. Mix of dried mango and papaya with white peppercorn and cloves and the slightest note of vanilla. Very drinkable, but dry at finish, perhaps from the oak. Tropical fruit flavors linger on the gums and tips of the tongue after sharp hop and spice bite. Hops become more dominant as you move through the beer. Refreshing and very flavorful. Another solid and enjoyable offering from Banded Horn.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Petite Sour Blueberry, Denver, CO
5.5% abv. Gift from my brother Tim. Mixed fermentation ale aged in oak with blueberry. Blueberry and brettanomyces yeast aromas jump out of the bottle. Good natural carbonation. Pours blood orange with a fluffy white head. Awesome sticky Belgian lace. First sip is thirst quenching deliciousness. Berry lemonade, kombucha, blue flowers, and a touch of pepper and clove spice and herbs. This is a tasty treat that goes down way too fast. Becomes slightly dry at finish. Damn this is great fruit beer.
Night Shift Brewing, Bennington Oatmeal Stout, Everett, MA
7% abv. Canned 1/27/17 so this is 7 days old. Pours jet black with a tan head that dissipates quickly. Wonderful coffee and tiramisu aroma. Great full-bodied mouthfeel. Rich chocolate covered espresso bean flavor upfront with just a touch of bourbon vanilla. Oatmeal, cocoa, and very faint maple notes give it a kind of chocolate chip pancakes flavor! Nice hop bite at finish helps to balance it. Some astringency at finish from big malt billing, but it is smooth and drinkable. Wonderful aromas jump out with every sip, this really is a great smelling beer. This is a limited seasonal offering, so if you see it, grab it.
Dugges Bryggeri, Tropical Sunrise Swedish Sour Ale (Collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal), Dugges, Sweden
Gift from either my brother Tim or Tom, I can’t remember! 4.5% abv. Sour beer brewed with lactobacillus, pineapple, mango, and raspberry. No hops in this one, just fermented with actual fruit.
Pours a pinkish peach gold color with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. Lacto funk aroma with strong mango, papaya, pineapple, berries and spiced apple tart notes. Fruity, sour, and thirst quenching. Goes down easily and very quickly. Some natural carbonation with a light to moderate body and a touch of buttery slipperiness, but then it gets drier toward the finish. Strong dried mango, pineapple, and apricot flavors as well as lemon ball candy (think Lemonheads). Would pair well with light desserts and would be incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Hop Savant Brettanomyces IPA, Denver, CO
7% abv. Gift from my brother Tom and my sister-in-law Kristen. Pours a murky gold orange color with a massive marshmallow head.Lots of yeast sediment. This one smells amazing with an interesting mix of cloves, banana and pepper from the wild yeast, but citrus, tropical fruit and floral notes from the hops. Thick Belgian lace all around the glass. Smooth, almost buttery mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Brettanomyces funk with first sip followed by ripe mango, mild white pepper, raisins, apricot, peach and pear skin. Peach flavor becomes more dominant as you move through it. Damn this beer is delicious and I wish it was a larger bottle. Amazingly juicy, but finishes a touch dry.Sad that I just quaffed the last sip.