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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fort Hill Brewery, Fresh Pick IPA, Easthampton, MA
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.
Troegs Brewing Company, Nimble Giant Double IPA, Hershey, PA
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 andBelgian 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.