A little something different from Thirsty Dog in this review with their Scottish Export Ale, Twisted Kilt. Thirsty Dog has been definitely gaining some popularity and notoriety with releases like Wulver and Citra Dog. Saw this one pretty fresh at my local shop recently so I decided to give it a go since I have enjoyed some of their other stuff so much and I have been trying to broaden my horizons a bit and review more styles. Twisted Kilt comes in at 5.2% ABV and IBUs are not listed.
Appearance: Dark brown almost black. Good clarity and when put up to light you can see through it. Nice 1 and a half finger head which produced some really nice lacing as well.
Nose: Huge roasty malt nose up front. Get some coffee, bread, brown and caramelized sugars as well. Smells like a straight malt bomb.
Taste/Mouth: Malt bomb for sure. Some nice candied sugar notes, vanilla, caramel and a little spicy as well. Roasted malt carries over from nose big time and you get some nice dark fruit notes as well. Finishes nice and leaves a sugary taste in your mouth, has a very full creamy mouthfeel as well.
Availability/Price: Rotating availability and Thirsty Dog is well distributed to NY and the price was around $2 for a single 12 oz.
Overall: This was an enjoyable, drinkable malt forward beer from Thirsty Dog. Maybe not the most exciting style but nice to see classic styles being brewed by American craft breweries. Definitely a style I don’t normally purchase but I am glad I gave this one a shot cause it was a great representation style wise and was enjoyable to drink.
Off Color Brewing based out of Chicago has been slowly gaining a fan base and has begun to expand distribution as we now get it in the tri state area. They brew mostly German style beers, pretty uncommon ones at that, and stray far from the norm of other American craft brewers. Hence the name Off Color I guess? They have done some pretty cool collaborations in the past with some big names like Three Floyds and Mikkeller. Today I have my review of their beer Scurry. Beer Advocate has it classified as an Altbier while Off Color lists it as a Dark Honey Ale on their site. Scurry comes in at 5.3% ABV and 18 IBUs.
Appearance: Very dark brown, good clarity. Pours a 1 finger head which produces some lacing down the side. Some leftover oats perhaps gathered at the bottom of the bottle.
Nose: Roasted malt, some honey and smells of fresh and spent grain. Nothing mind-blowing about the nose, was hoping to get more honey but it’s pretty minimal.
Taste/Mouth: A lot thinner than I expected but pretty smooth nonetheless. Definitely a malt forward beer, you get some oat notes in the flavor as well as a small amount of honey. This is a pretty drinkable beer for sure.
Price/Availability: This is a year round release from the brewery and is now pretty available in NY. Bought a single bottle for around $2.
Overall: Whether you wanna call this an Altbier or a Dark Honey Ale I would say it is a nice interpretation of a style not normally brewed by American craft brewers. It’s drinkable but nothing to write home about, could probably see some improvement if some of the special ingredients were made more noticeable and this didn’t drink like just a malty ale.
Finally getting around to posting this review. Another year of celebrating the release of Stone’s Ruination Double IPA with the annual release of Stone’s Ruinten Double IPA. First released in 2012 to celebrate the ten year anniversary of Ruination they liked it so much they decided to make it an every year event! Seems like an insane idea right? To somehow try to make Ruination an even bigger beer than it already is, but if anyone could do it Stone can and they have done it. “A stage dive into a mosh pit of hops” as they put it. Ruinten comes in at 10.8% and 110 IBUs.
Appearance: Pours a copper orange color and a nice 1 finger head which produces some good lacing.
Nose: Sooo big. Huge grapefruit, pine and resin right off the bat. Like sticking your nose in a hop pellet. You get some nice fresh orange and citrus as well. You get a little of the alcohol in the back end as well. As usual Stone nails the hop additions.
Taste/Mouth: Really nice full mouth, feels creamy and silky. Comes in with huge bitterness, orange, resin and pine carrying over from the nose. Some heat in the back which is to be expected from the ABV but is paired nicely with a bitter and slightly dry finish and some biscuit and cracker malt notes. After a few sips your palate has been delightfully crushed.
Availability/Price: Available once a year for the anniversary and the price on Stone bombers is always really good.
Overall: I love Ruination it is definitely one of the first Double IPAs I fell in love with so I am happy to celebrate its anniversary every year by purchasing Ruinten. Doesn’t hurt than Ruinten itself is a really great Double IPA. Way to go Stone you have done it again. Happy anniversary again and again!
Westbrook Brewing is quicly becoming one of my favorite east coast breweries, their IPA being one of my go to IPAs and everything I have been trying by them has been great. Added bonus? Well the cans of course! Today I have my review of their sour, salty and delicious Gose. It is their take on a classic German style sour wheat beer. A style that was once nearly extinct has been seeing some daylight thanks to the adventurous nature of American craft brewers. Westbrook’s Gose comes in at 4% ABV and a whopping 5 IBUs.
Appearance: Little hazy golden orange with a small white head that is gone quickly. Lots of carbonation bubbles moving in the glass as well. As usual absolutely love the cans and the can artwork.
Nose: Salt, salt water, the ocean and sour candy. Lemon, lime and wheat are on the nose as well. Can almost feel your glands salivating when your smelling this.
Taste/Mouth: Sour, salty and sweet all at the same time. Acidic as well like white vinegar. Wheat, lemon and maltiness on the back-end with some sourness finishing it out. Finishes dry and sour; immediately want to take another sip of this strange, delicious and complex beer. Really unlike any beer I have ever had, really any beverage I have had in my life.
Availability/Price: Rotating offering from Westbrook who always keep their prices very reasonable for 6 packs.
Overall: So unique! Really love it. While drinking it I kept thinking to myself this doesn’t seem like something you should enjoy really but it really is so refreshing and delicious. Makes you want to keep drinking it. I have to say though I am glad I split the six pack with a friend because I have to say drinking six of these sounds like a bit much. Not an everyday beer but definitely one I will gladly drink again in the future! Well done Westbrook.
From Chicago’s own Goose Island I have a review of their new May release from this year, The Ogden a Belgian Style Tripel. Tripels aren’t normally a style I seek out but when I saw this one was dry-hopped with Citra, Brewers Gold and Saaz hops I was intrigued. The important part of that last statement being Citra hops. I like the little bit from the brewery about this one and why it is named The Ogden so from the brewery: “William Ogden opened Chicago’s first brewery. He was the city’s first mayor. And he added the North Brand channel to the Chicago River that created the island from which we take our name. Three good reasons why we gave our first-ever Belgian Style Tripel his name.” The Ogden comes in at 9% ABV and 35 IBUs.
Appearance: Slightly hazy golden orange with a quickly dissipating 1/2 finger head. Really nice color and lots and lots of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass too which makes it a fun beer to look at. Poured into a Nonic pint as that is what the bottle indicated as proper glassware.
Nose: Fruity and yeasty typical belgian aromas with some tropical fruit and clove. Pleasant mix of typical Belgian aromas and some fruity hop aromas as well.
Taste/Mouth: Mix of Belgian spiciness and fruit with some hop flavors and bitterness. Can barely sense the 9% at all. Finish is pleasant not too bitter or hot. The nice carbonation give your tongue a nice bite but keeps the mouth of this beer very nice. Really easy tripel to drink which I don’t know how often I have ever said that. Has some characteristics of like a Belgian Pale Ale as well which make it easier to drink.
Availability/Price: Limited May release but it seems like it will be a yearly release now. The price wasn’t bad either considering it is 9%.
Overall: Citra made me buy it and I wasn’t really disappointed I purchased it. A pretty enjoyable tripel which is a style that I definitely don’t normally seek out or drink often. A nice updated Americanized version of a classic style.
Recently grabbed some County Line IPA from Neshaminy Creek a brewery located in Croydon, PA. There pretty local, it was a fresh IPA and it was in a can so I figured I would give it a go. This is the first beer I have had from this brewery as none of their releases I have come across particularly interest me (their other flagships being a pilsner, a tripel and a cream ale). County Line comes in at 6.6% ABV and does not list IBU.
Appearance: Poured from a 12oz can into a pint glass. Poured a hazy deep gold/light copper with a nice 1 finger head. The head was very thick and tight and the beer produced some real nice lacing. Love the can art as well.
Nose: Really dank nose, smelled it the second I cracked the can. Smells like straight hop nuggets. Lots of pine, resin, tropical fruit, pineapple juice and other tropical fruit juices. Really great aromas coming from this beer.
Taste/Mouth: Has a nice bite of bitterness to start with some pine and tropical fruit from the nose. Mouthfeel is nice at first, full and not overwhelming. Then on the back end this beer absolutely annihilates your palate. Super bitter and dry, and frankly pretty unpleasant. I love brutal beers and palate wreckers but this one is more like a palate eraser.
Availability/Price: Both pretty good in NJ/NY. Nesh Creek is pretty widely distributed around this area and the price isn’t bad.
Overall: The nose on this beer really shines. Even the initial taste is nice as well but this one is even too bitter for me at the back end. Like I said brutal beers are my forte and especially brutal IPAs and Doubles but this one needs some work. They definitely have their aroma hop additions down and the even flavor seems on point but something went wrong in the bittering department. Has a lot of potential to be a damn good beer. Would revisit it if I heard they changed it up a bit.
In honor of the beautiful weather as of late I have my review of Evil Twin’s Session IPA Bikini Beer. Although this is a year round offering you can see the appeal of it as a summer beer; both in name and style. I have been liking Evil Twin quite a bit lately and have been trying to give more and more of their stuff a try when I see it. Bikini Beer comes in at a whopping 2.7% ABV and IBUs are not given.
Appearance: Hazy gold with some floaters (as Evil Twin beers do) very small 1/2 finger head dissipated real quick, minimal lacing. Love the can design with the minimalist bikini.
Nose: Grassy, floral, earthy with a little hint of pine. Mostly floral notes jumping out at me, nose is definitely nothing special but with such a low ABV wasn’t expecting a huge nose.
Taste/Mouth: Pretty dry right off the bat. Buiscity malt flavor with a small hop bite, get some hop in the back end and aftertaste as well. Finishes dry and the mouthfeel is definitely fuller than I expected. Well carbonated, the way it feels is very similar to seltzer or sparkling water almost.
Price/Availability: I mean it is 2.7% and I understand its a session beer but the price is still pretty high considering. Yeah I know its a craft beer but still if they expect people to wanna session this aka drink a few of them at a time and often you gotta be charging like ~6$ a sixer or something definitely no higher. Available year round.
Overall: Very different take on the Session IPA than most other breweries have been doing. I mean I probably wouldn’t even call it an IPA at all. Maybe just a hoppy session ale? Not even particularly hoppy though so maybe just a session beer. Either way I didn’t absolutely hate it but I don’t know if I will be revisiting it.