Argh…

Argh…

Foley Brothers Brewing, Skeleton Crew Imperial India Pale Ale, Brandon, VT

Folly Brothers Brewing Skeleton Crew Imperial IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Folly Brothers Brewing Skeleton Crew Imperial IPA.

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.

Pick a winner…

Pick a winner…

Fort Hill Brewery, Fresh Pick IPA, Easthampton, MA

Fort Hill Brewery Fresh Pick IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Fort Hill Brewery Fresh Pick IPA.

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.

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.

Dank you very much…

Dank you very much…

La Cumbre Brewing Company, Project Dank IPA (bottled on 5/9/17)

22oz bottle of La Cumbre Project Dank IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
La Cumbre Project Dank IPA

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!

Let the Sunshine in…

Let the Sunshine in…

Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Sip of Sunshine IPA, Warren, VT (brewed in Stratford, CT)

Can of Lawson's Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine poured into a nonic pint glass.
Lawson’s Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine

I have tried a lot of beers, this is number 2,336 in my beer database. The legend of Sip of Sunshine has been around for a while now, but for various reasons this beer has eluded me. I tend not to chase beer and I rarely stand in line for it (especially during winter at 5am), but I can respect those that do! I got lucky the other day when I opened Facebook and saw that Rapid Liquors in Stoneham had just received a shipment of this beer. I live about 2 miles away and within about an hour, there were only 3 four packs left when I got there. Here is my review:

Tallboy can dated 5/2/17 so this is about a week old. 8% abv. Pours dark gold with a decent white hop head. Great Belgian lace. Huge pineapple juice aroma with bursts of mango. The sweet smells jump out of the glass and assault the nose. Some dried apricot and papaya notes as well. Simply put, this beer smells amazing. First sip is tropical fruit salad with a touch of pine. It has a distinctive floral and herbal hop finish. It is kind of a perfect balance between an old school IPA and the new juicy east coast variety. Almost immediate slow warming in the belly after a few sips, yet it remains ridiculously smooth for the high abv. Some caramel malt balances it out, but it is really all tropical fruit deliciousness. Gets drier and slightly more dank as you move through it, but not in any kind of negative way. Great, great stuff.

Dang(ko) this is a great beer…

Dang(ko) this is a great beer…

Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company, Danko Double Dry Hopped Rye Ale, Framingham, MA

Danko Double Dry Hopped Rye Ale poured into a nonic pint glass.
Danko Double Dry Hopped Rye Ale.

6% abv. Canned on 4/5/17.  Made with Valley Malt Danko Rye and Simcoe hops. Pours a somewhat ugly murky tan orange gold color, but looks are not everything. Interesting aroma includes citrusy hops, fresh cut grass, and floral and citrus notes. A nice hefty mouthfeel with a subtle hop tingle all around the mouth.  A mildly spicy and delicious rye bite compliments the hop bitterness. Ridiculously drinkable and thirst quenching. Again, love the mouthfeel on this beer. Some peach and dried apricot fruitiness as well. More and more grapefruit as you move through it. Some french bread and dried cashew nut maltiness balance it as well.  I really love this beer

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.

Happy National Beer Day…

Happy National Beer Day…

Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Super Session #2 IPA, Warren, Vermont

Lawson's Finest Liqiuds Super Session #2 IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Lawson’s Finest Liquids Super Session #2 IPA

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.

Calling Dr. Nandu…

Calling Dr. Nandu…

Aeronaut Brewing Company, A Year with Dr. Nandu. Somerville, MA

Aeronaut Brewing Co. A Year with Nandu IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Aeronaut Brewing Co. A Year with Nandu IPA

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!

Beer makes the best gift…

Beer makes the best gift…

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Hop Savant Brettanomyces IPA, Denver, CO

Crooked Stave Hop Savant Brettanomyces IPA poured into a tulip beer glass.
Crooked Stave Hop Savant Brettanomyces IPA.

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.