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.
Foley Brothers Brewing, Skeleton Crew Imperial India Pale Ale, Brandon, VT
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.
Bell’s Brewery, Oberon, American Wheat Ale, Comstock, MI
5.8% abv. I first had this beer while attending the Museums and the Web conference in Indianapolis in 2009. I stopped in for a snack and a beer at Scotty’s Brewhouse and it paired nicely with some chips and guacamole.
I had it again tonight thanks to a beer swap with my friend George Schwartz . Bottled on 4/6/17 . Pours a murky copper gold color with a thick white head that slowly dissipates. Spicy aroma with a touch of funk and ripe banana. Great Belgian lace. Wonderful peach, apricot, and blood orange flavors. Orange zest and white pepper zip of hop spiciness. This is an American Wheat Ale with an extra punch of hop bitterness. This beer would pair equally well with a fresh fruit salad or a bratwurst, making it a perfect summer beer. It is medium bodied yet very thirst quenching. I literally drank this beer in about 10 minutes trying to rank it…that is generally a good sign of drinkability. Honestly, this is one of the finest American Wheat beers that you will find.
La Cumbre Brewing Company, Project Dank IPA (bottled on 5/9/17)
Two very well-packed 22oz bottles sent from Pat Pruitt and Marla Allison. 7.5% abv. Juicy hop aromas jump out of the bottle. Mango, pineapple, grapefruit and fresh cut apple skin on the nose. Pours a dark gold color with a thin white head. Pine oil slickness with herbal and floral notes. Slippery smooth yet slightly drying at finish. Superb mouthfeel. It is medium bodied and crazy drinkable. This one is packed with a smattering of different hops that give it a unique bitter complexity. Sneaky 7.5% abv, but you wouldn’t know it, hops are dominant with just a touch of caramel and toasted malt trying to break through. This one gets better and better with each sip. Orange zest and spicy black pepper crusted crackers.I am drinking it way too quickly in trying to review it. This is an absolutely fabulous IPA.Trying a second bottle a few days later and it goes down just a smoothly. This is a very dangerous beer and I love it!
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.