Gift from my friend Brian Souza. 8% abv. Pours a heavy, hazy, orange color with a thin tan head. Jumping with mango, pineapple, and papaya aromas. First sip is thicker and richer than expected…a full bodied and chewy IPA in all the best ways. Grapefruit and pine resin hop bite lingers forever. Wheat and oats add some balancing malt sweetness. Sneaky masking of high abv with all the delicious flavor. Grapefruit scents and flavors become stronger with each sip. This beer has an interesting combination of dankness, sweetness, and earthiness that I really love. Another killer IPA from Portland, ME. This beer just jumped into my top 100 list. Delicious. Looking forward to visiting and trying more on my next trip to Portland.
7.2% abv. A ridiculous 112 IBU! Pours a gorgeous hazy orange gold color with a healthy white head. Excellent Belgian lace. Amazing grapefruit, mango, pineapple, and orange rind aroma. Super drinkable for a relatively high abv. Touches of pine, herbs, and white pepper about halfway through. Hop flavors linger on the tips of the tongue and gums. Solid malt backing with caramel and water cracker flavors adds some balance. Interesting blending of grapefruit, mango, and pineapple with each sip. This is a delicious IPA that creates a great balance of bitter dankness, tropical juiciness, with a dry and lingering finish. I love it.
8.2% abv. Purchased at Liquor Junction in Reading, MA. Pours a beautiful murky, orange-gold color with a healthy white head. Solid Belgian lace. Mango, apricot, pine, and orange rind on the nose. First sip is shockingly smooth with no alcohol presence at all, which is scary for a beer as big as this. Some warming in the belly after 4 or 5 sips. Pine and spruce flavors get stronger with each sip. Some zippy spiciness at finish from high alcohol and huge hop profile. Orange and lemon candy flavors with some caramel and bread roll malt flavors. Rock solid all the way through. This one has it all, the look, the aroma, the huge taste.
Gift from my friend Brian Souza. 6.8% abv. Interesting concept nano brewery run by the Sevigney Family. They experiment with hypothesis beers and get feedback and then tweak the recipes to create theory beers that may become part of their flagship beer list. Pours a rich, semi-opaque gold color with a one inch white head. First whiff is lemon zest, dried apricot, and ripe mango. Smooth and super drinkable. Tropical fruit and floral hop flavors. More juicy than bitter. Gentle hop tingle at finish with the slightest herbal spiciness, a touch of berry sweetness. A very nice offering from this this unique Maine nano brewery. Keep them coming.
Foundation Brewing Company, Epiphany Maine IPA, Portland, ME
Gift from my friend Brian Souza after a trip to Portland. 8% abv. 85 IBUs. Pours gold with lots of floaters. Wonderful Belgian lace. Ripe pineapple, spruce, and a touch of peppery spice on the nose. First sip is a zesty combination of white pepper and citrus rind. Smooth mouthfeel and very drinkable. Perhaps lacking a bit in carbonation. Some hearty malt sweetness helps balance things off, but mostly a hop bomb. Very enjoyable, but falls a bit flat given all of the hype surrounding it. I’ll take anything by Bissell Brothers over this any day.
6% abv. Can dated 11/6/17 so this is about 3 weeks old. Only mosaic hops used in this one. Pours a murky yellow gold with a white head. Lemon, grapefruit, and fresh cut grass on the nose. Jumping with tropical fruit notes including mango and papaya with the slightest tart blueberry flavor. Slight bready and dry cracker malt flavors, but this is pretty much a delicious hop bomb. Bitterness lingers on the gums and back of the throat with floral, citrus, and herbal flavors. It is fun to distinguish the differences in this recipe with each batch using a different hop varietal. This is the 6th on I have tried and they have all been great.
Aeronaut Brewing Company, Hop Hop & Away, Somerville, MA
A gift from my friend Derek O’Brien. Batch 384, can dated 10/26/17. 4.6% abv. 42 IBUs. Made with citra and mosaic hops. As always, super cool can art by Raul Gonzalez III. Pours murky gold with a inch thick fluffy white head. Grapefruit, mango, and orange zest on the nose. Surprising first sip is popping with citrus flavor…this is no ordinary session IPA. Touches of dried apricot, fresh cut grass, and apple skin. Smooth, drinkable mouthfeel, but plenty of hop bite to keep it interesting. Bitterness is balanced well by a rye bread and caramel sweetness. An excellent session beer for a summer bbq or to quaff over the holidays. Brewed in Somerville, MA, so drink local!
Bissell Brothers Brewing Company, Nothing Gold, Portland, ME
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!
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.
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.