Absolutely in the upper Echelon…

Absolutely in the upper Echelon…

Finback Brewery, Echelon Yuzu Double IPA, Queens, NY

Finback Brewery Echelon Yuzu Double IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Finback Brewery Echelon Yuzu Double IPA

Can dated on the bottom with 2/7/18 Wu Tang Can! So I am trying this one at about two weeks old. 8% abv. Brewed with yuzu and spruce tips and with simcoe and mosaic hops. Pours an opaque orange gold color with a decent white head. Some Belgian lace. Grapefruit, Christmas tree, and mango on the nose. Pineapple, citrus rind, papaya, and mango flavors burst around the mouth. You would never, ever imagine that this beer is 8% abv. Juicy and crazily drinkable. Dank and piney and fruity and delicious. I just polished this 16oz can off way to fast and I honestly need another one to sufficiently review it! If you see it, buy it.

Getting buzzed…

Getting buzzed…

Night Shift Brewing, Buzz, Everett, MA

Night Shift Buzz, Double IPA poured into a tulip glass.
Night Shift Buzz, Double IPA.

Picked up at the brewery a few days ago. Canned 1/29/18 so this beer is about 5 days old…it is straight from the brewery to my thirsty lips. 8.5% abv. Brewed with wildflower honey and lupulin powder. Pours a hazy glowing yellow gold color with a white head. Thick webs of Belgian lace all around the glass. Pine resin, lemon, and floral aromas.  Lupulin powder gives it a kicking hop bite with a surprising smoothness. Alcohol is masked extremely well, but it sneaks out every once in a while, just so you know that it is there. It gets drier and drier with each sip, but in a good way. Some candy sweetness and the honey does reveal itself ever so slightly. Tropical flavors appear halfway through with some candy sugar like notes. Some hints of sugared grapefruit as well. This is a rock solid DIPA. Quite frankly, this shit will get you buzzed!

Riding the Flume…

Riding the Flume…

Battery Steele Brewing Company, Flume Double IPA, Portland, ME

Battery Steele Flume Double IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Battery Steele Flume Double IPA

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.

Wait a second…

Wait a second…

Fiddlehead Brewing Company, Second Fiddle Double IPA, Shelburne, VT

Fiddlehead Brewing Company, Second Fiddle DIPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Fiddlehead Brewing Company, Second Fiddle DIPA

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.

I just had an epiphany…

I just had an epiphany…

Foundation Brewing Company, Epiphany Maine IPA, Portland, ME

Foundation Epiphany Maine IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Foundation Epiphany Maine IPA

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

This is a monster IPA…

This is a monster IPA…

Banded Horn Brewing Company, Daikaiju Double IPA, Biddeford, ME

Banded Horn Daikaiju Double IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Banded Horn Daikaiju Double IPA.

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, and overripe 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.