Finally we have reached the end! The collaboration between Sierra Nevada and Ninkasi, Double Latte, is the final beer review of the Beer Camp Across America! It was a long road but I am glad I got reviews done of all twelve beers. The pack featured many letdowns but some good beers as well. I saved Double Latte for last as I had heard from many people that it was by far the best one in the pack. I finally got around to drinking and reviewing it, so here you have it the completion of the twelve pack of collabs in the beer camp across america pack. Double Latte comes in at 7.6% ABV and 60 IBUs.
Appearance: Very dark black color with no light making it through. Nice 1 and a half finger head, very thick head creating some amazing lacing.
Nose: Coffee real big up front. Lactose, espresso, roasted malt, milk chocolate and brownies. Get a slightly nutty character coming through as well, like a hazelnut roasted coffee. Really enjoyable complex nose, spent a lot of time enjoying it.
Taste/Mouth: Really nice mouthfeel, silky smooth thick body. Lot of coffee and milk chocolate in the taste carrying over from the nsoe. Lactose again as well nice slightly smokey and coffee aftertaste. Milk chocolate all the way through this one. Low-medium carbonation and very drinkable. Warmed up nice too.
Price/Availability: One time only.
Overall: Heard it was the best in the entire twelve pack, definitely was up there in the top 3. I have had some Ninkasi beers in the past that I liked a lot and some that I was pretty underwhelmed or indifferent toward. Gotta say they really nailed it on this and in a pack featuring many breweries which I consider to be more elite than them, they proved they deserve to be in this pack and considered one of the best breweries in the US.
One of the beers in the pack I was most excited about the hoppy pilsner collab between Sierra and their fellow California brewery Firestone Walker. Torpedo Pilsner easily had the potential to be one of the best beers in the pack as Firestone makes an incredible pilsner on their own, Pivo as well as some other incredible hoppy beers. They went with some newer interesting hops from New Zealand to make this a very unique America/German hybrid pilsner. Torpedo Pilsner comes in at 5.2% ABV and 45 IBUs (another one).
Appearance: Hazy straw yellow with a 1/1 finger head. Some good lacing pretty much what I anticipated as far as appearance.
Nose: Fruity and floral hop notes out in front. German lager yeast and pilsner malt definitely noticeable as well. Nice clean fruity, floral and earthy notes coming out of this one for the most part. An enjoyable lager nose.
Taste/Mouth: Clean and refreshing definitely first thing coming to mind as I take a sip. Fruity hop notes and lager yeast flavors as well as some grainy malt. Hops lend a little bite of floral and bitterness on back end. Very good drinkable and refreshing pilsner.
Price/Availability: One and done!
Overall: As expected this was one of the better beers in the pack, in the top 5. Glad they decided on this style wish I could have had the opportunity to try this on draft as I can picture it being even better.
Final three beers from the Beer Camp Across America. Myron’s Walk a Belgian Style Pale Ale brewed in collaboration with Portland, Maine’s Allagash is up next. When they first released the list of collaborators and styles I was probably the least surprised to see that the collab with Allaghash was something Belgian. Little Belgian from Allagash paired with the king of Pale Ales? Seems like a winning recipes, not super innovative or anything but at least they seemed to choose something they know would work. Myron’s Walk comes in at 5.3% ABV and 38 IBUs.
Appearance: Golden yellow color, very bright and hazy beer. 1 finger head with some decent lacing. Nice color to this beer.
Nose: Belgian yeast with the coriander and orange hitting right up front of course. Pine, resin, citrus hop notes coming through as well. This beer was finished with Cascade, Citra and Mosaic, gotta love that. Lot of fruity notes coming from the yeast as well. Really soft and enjoyable nose on this beer.
Taste/Mouth: Earthy, orange peel, citrus fruit, coriander and a tang from the Belgian yeast. A little bite of pine from the hops as well. Medium body and medium carbonation gives a nice bite on the tongue as well. Very drinkable beer not too much Belgian flavors to overwhelm the nice subtle American twist on this beer.
Price/Availability: Just this once!
Overall: Upper middle class as far as rank in the pack is concerned here. Don’t normally seek out many Belgian beers but I definitely respect and usually enjoy anything from Allagash. What your getting here is just a by product of two breweries doing what each of them do best. Playing off their strong points they make a very nice drinkable beer.
Getting toward the end of the Beer Camp Across America pack now, after this only three more to go. In this review I have Maillard’s Odyssey the Sierra collab with Bells Brewery from Michigan, an imperial dark ale. Bell’s is a brewery certainly known for their dark beers such as their porter, Kalamazoo stout, Java stout and Expedition stout to name a few. I was excited to try this one since I enjoy all of the beers aforementioned and I had heard mostly good things about this beer as opposed to some of the others in the pack. Maillard’s Odyssey comes in at 8.5% ABV and 40 IBUs.
Appearance: Pitch black beer with no light piercing through. About a 1/2 – 1 finger brown head. Really amazing lacing on this beer as well. Loved everything about the appearance of this one.
Nose: Huge amounts of coffee. Chocolate, toffee, caramel and lots of roasted malt as well. Pretty much nailed the aromas for this one on the label descriptions. Really enjoyable beer to take in, spent a lot of time enjoying the nose of this beer.
Taste/Mouth: Really nice coffee and roasty flavors and some nice chocolate flavors as well. You get a little caramel. Most flavors carrying over from the nose of this beer. Nice thick body lending to a full mouthfeel which finishes with a nice roasty dry burnt molasses flavor. Really interesting and complex beer with lots of layers to it. Warmed up well.
Price/Availability: One time only, unfortunately.
Overall: Bell’s nails their collab with Sierra by producing without a doubt one of the best beers in the pack, probably in my top 3. Very complex and rich beer would love to have it again.
Sierra and Ballast Point coming together in the Beer Camp pack to make a hoppy beer! Was very happy to see them choosing a hoppy style, Imperial Pale Lager was nice to see as well keep with the lager trend in the pack and keep the ABV high as many of the other breweries seemed to be doing. They used a lot of familiar hops in this like amarillo, cascade, centennial and nugget to name a few so I knew that this was probably going to be pretty good. As mentioned before I did drink this fresh and make my notes just haven’t had a chance to get the review online until now. Electric Ray comes in at 8.5% ABV and 70 IBUs.
Appearance: Light copper color hazy with a 1 finger head. Had some nice lacing as I drank it down. Little darker than I would have liked to see.
Nose: Citrus fruit, good amount of floral notes, little piney and definitely some pineapple. Lot of pale pilsner malt in the nose as well. Not as explosive of a nose as I would have liked, maybe I have been spoiled with all the amazing hoppy lagers from Jacks Abby I have been drinking but this wasn’t where I would have liked it to be.
Taste/Mouth: Floral and citrus hop flavors with a good malt presence. Grassy and cracker malt especially medium carb and some heat coming from the alcohol on the back end. More heat and malt than I was expecting for sure. Kind of anticipated the malt when I saw the color, I understand trying to balance it but it kind of undermined a lot of the good hop bitterness and flavor I would have liked to get.
Price/Availability: One time only for the Beer Camp Across America pack.
Overall: Was pretty letdown by this one from two breweries who are on top of the hoppy beer game. Wasn’t bad but it wasn’t as masterfully crafted as I was expecting it to be. Like I said before I have definitely been spoiled with the hoppy lagers from Jacks Abby but I thought Ballast and Sierra would be able to make an IPL on a similar level.
Next up is the New Glarus and Sierra collab There and Back, an English Style Bitter. If I am being truthful this was by far the beer in the pack that I was the least excited for. In fact I continually put off drinking it, I eventually bit the bullet though since I did want to review all the beers in the pack. There was just nothing to get excited about. I know New Glarus likes to stick to their classic styles but c’mon! A once in a lifetime variety pack of collaborations with Sierra Nevada and you guys brew a English Style Bitter! There and Back comes in at 5.6% ABV and 40 IBUs.
Appearance: Amber 1/2 finger head. Slightly hazy with some decent lacing.
Nose: Grassy, caramel, toffee and some fruit. Honestly smells a lot like an American Adjunct like a PBR or Bud heavy.
Taste/Mouth: Malty and finishes pretty dry. Bready, caramel and some citrus notes with a medium body and medium carbonation. Not very exciting or complex. Drinkable I guess but not something I would be excited to crack open and drink.
Price/Availability: As with the entire pack, one time only!
Overall: Pretty much what I was expecting out of this one. Just not happy with the style choice. Its not innovative or interesting or anything you expect from a collab featuring some of the US’s biggest craft breweries. Would have loved to see them have some more fun with a weird style or even a new age take on this style. Would avoid drinking this one again for sure. One of the weakest beers in the pack in my opinion.
Have a lot of reviews to catch up on and I will start by finishing the remainder of the Beer Camp Across America beers. I drank all of these when I bought the pack over a month ago now and made my notes then so keep in mind I did drink these pretty fresh, I am not just now drinking them. Up next is the Oskar Blues collaboration, Canfusion a rye bock. This was definitely one of the beers that intrigued me more than some of the others since it was different, in a can and had rye in it (I love rye beers). Canfusion comes in at 7.2% ABV and 45 IBUs (lot of beers in the pack had 45 IBU).
Appearance: Copper amber color with a 2 finger head producing some really nice lacing down the glass. The head was thick and creamy, good clarity in this one too. Glad they canned it in the spirit of collabing with Oskar Blues.
Nose: Clean fruity lager yeast up front with a good dose of rye spiciness. Malt sweetness and caramel is noticeable as well but mostly the lager yeast and rye.
Taste/Mouth: Spicy rye with a good bite from the rye and some hoppy bittnerness as well. Finishes the same way with rye and bitterness. Nice malty beer all the way through with great spicy notes, pepper and citrus hops as well. Nice medium carb and body on it makes it very drinkable yet still pretty complex.
Price/Availability: One time only collab, same as the rest of the pack.
Overall: Really drinkable rye lager, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Good unique updated Americanized version of the classic Bock. Nice to see they decided to do something fun and different with their collaboration. This is one of the six better beers in the pack. I am a huge rye beer person and would definitely have this again if it was made available.