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.

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.

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.

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.

My name is Jim, but most people call me…

My name is Jim, but most people call me…

Gong with a somewhat obscure movie reference for this blog post title. Guessing that you wicked smaaaht people out there can figure it out.

Long Trail Brewing Company, Green Blaze IPA, Bridgewater Corners, VT

Long Trail Green Blaze IPA poured into a nonic pint glass.
Long Trail Green Blaze IPA.

6.5% abv. 60 IBUs. Made with Equinox, Mosaic, Columbus and Chinook hops.  Poured from a 12oz can.  Pours copper gold with a decent white head. Good Belgian lace. Pine resin, orange zest, and sweet pineapple on the nose. Hops are clearly present on the first sip, but they are not overwhelming. Initial flavors include pine, fresh cut grass, lemon, apricot, and fresh herbs. Slight spicy tingle around the gums and sides of the tongue at finish. Caramel and dry cracker malt flavors help balance this out a bit. This is a solid IPA and something I would buy again for the great $13.99 per 12 pack price. Really good beer can also be affordable, you just have to look around a bit!