Beer Review: Three Floyds Broo Doo Harvest Ale

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As promised another Three Floyds beer review. First was their session and now I have their harvest ale, Broo Doo. As I was excited about Yum Yum when I came across Broo Doo I immediately snatched it up and was very excited to give it a try. This time of year in general is one of my favorite times of the year for beer. Everyone is releasing their fresh hop, wet hops and also their darker beers for the winter season like barrel aged beers and lots of limited releases. Broo Doo comes in at 7% ABV and 80 IBUs.

Appearance: Hazy light copper color with a 1 finger head and some great lacing. Very strange artwork for this 3F release…

Nose: Hops and hops and hops. Smells so fresh, light a handful of hop nuggets. Sticky resiny and dank. Pineapple, tropical fruits, mango, some pine and just an altogether awesome showcase of fresh wet hops.

Taste/Mouth: Really delicious. Lots of fruit from the nose coming over to the taste. Pineapple and tropical fruit with the pine and resin as well. Clean and sticky mouth at the same time. Really great taste and feel on this one. Can’t find a single thing I don’t like about it.

Price/Availability: Little high as usual but a little better at $12 a bomber. Fall availability.

Overall: Damn this is one dank, delicious harvest ale. Definitely one of the best I have ever had, and I have had a lot of them and a lot of good ones. Three Floyds absolutely killing this style and all the competition.

Grade: A-

Beer Review: Three Floyds Yum Yum American Session Ale

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Have back to back Three Floyds reviews coming to you next. First is their American Session Ale, a style that basically every brewery has had their crack at now, Yum Yum. No surprise here that Three Floyds would jump on this bandwagon since they are basically already masters of this style; Session IPAs, American Session Ale, Hoppy Session Ale whatever you wanna call it they brew a lot of American Pale Ales. Was excited to try this one regardless and had very high hopes. Yum Yum comes in at 5.5% ABV and 55 IBUs.

Appearance: Bright hazy orange with a 1/2 finger head producing really nice lacing. Pretty dark for a session ale, has more of a Double IPA color, nonetheless its a color I like a lot. Love the bottle and six pack artwork for this one as well.

Nose: Passionfruit, peach, citrus, lemon, orange, tangerine, pineapple and mango. Wow, this one really packs a punch of delicious juicy fruit aroma. This features a new proprietary hop aroma and man does it smell sweet and delicious. I mean I really got all those different fruits in there and I am sure others could pick out some more.

Taste/Mouth: A lot of fruit from the nose carrying over to a nice thick full mouth. Very drinkable and gushing with flavor, has some malt to balance it but its nice and hoppy. So much tropical and citrus fruits, just like the nose, make this an incredibly delicious and extremely flavorful beer.

Price/Availability: This is a year round release but I am guessing its part of the Three Floyds revolving schedule. The price is a little high as usual with all 3F releases, because of the hype.

Overall: Three Floyds continues to prove they are the APA kings here with another great release of an APA listed as an ASA. No surprise as expected this is one of the best session beers I have had since the craze started. Would definitely recommend this one and will have it again when I see it.

Grade: A-

Beer Review: Half Acre Lager Town Octoberfest

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About a month or month and a half ago I took a trip over to the Half Acre brewery (by trip I mean 20 minute bus ride) and sampled what they had on draft, picked up a growler of Space and grabbed a bottle of their newest release at the time Lager Town. Love the Half Acre brewery, always have a nice conversation with the guys at the tap room (the cashier offered me one of their growlers for my Hill Farmstead flip top, I declined) and am always very excited to try every beer I can when I am there. I do enjoy Octoberfests but I do not really seek them out, I have a few when they are in season but never really feel like they are worth reviewing. Nonetheless of the few I drank this year I thought I would at least review Half Acre’s  attempt at the German style lager. Lager Town comes in at 6% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy and unfiltered for sure is an amber color with some reddish hues. Pours just about a 1 finger head that provides some very nice sticky lacing. Love the artwork from Half Acre as usual, they had a few varieties of artwork for this one as well.

Nose: Caramel and toffee are noticeable right at the forefront with nice accents of fruity German yeast. Also some graininess and malt with a light roastiness to it as well. This has a very clean nose, enjoyable.

Taste/Mouth: Caramel and toffee again right at the beginning followed by roasted malt and some sweetness. Some earthy hops come into play. Like the nose the taste is also very clean and pleasant, super drinkable and definitely a beer you could put a 2 liter down of. Medium carbonation.

Availability/Price: Seasonal availability obviously and bomber at the brewery was around $7.

Overall: Nice take on the style pretty much every brewery does this time of year. Great way to kick off the month of October and fall and glad I bought this one. Would definitely grab it again next year when the time comes.  The bottle made a great decoration for my fireplace mantle as well!

Grade: B

Beer Review: Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA

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I have thoroughly enjoyed Deschutes beers being readily available here in Chicago as I have visited friends and family in Portland a few times and enjoyed drinking their beer while there. Unfortunately I didn’t have much access to it while I was living in NJ. Expect more reviews from them in the future but for now I have for you a review of their very talked about about IPA, Fresh Squeezed. Holding down a 95 from BA and a 96 from the bros this is certainly a sought after IPA especially among east coast hopheads who cannot regularly get their hands on it. Fresh Squeezed comes in at 6.4% ABV and 60 IBUs.

Appearance: Hazy deep copper color almost toward an amber color. 1 finger head with some nice lacing. As far as IPAs go this color doesn’t thrill me, I definitely like my IPAs to be a lighter color than this. This looks more like a Double IPA or an amber.

Nose: This beer is hopped with Citra and Mosaic two of my favorite hops. Citrus, blood orange, passionfruit, grapefruit and even some peach. Definitely a good amount of sweet maltiness in the nose too.

Taste/Mouth: Taste follows the nose with plenty of citrus, grapefruit and oranges. Really juicy beer with a decent bite from the hops. Lots of malt balances this one out. One of the maltier IPAs I have had in quite a long time. It is definitely a beer you can have your friends who “Don’t drink IPAs” try and probably get them on the bandwagon. It is really drinkable, Mosaic definitely takes the driver seat and Citra is sitting shotgun.

Price/Availability: Year round offering from Deschutes and availability is pretty good in the Midwest and west coast. Price here in Chicago is right around $11 for a sixer.

Overall: In this hopheads opinion, this is a bit too malty of an IPA. Doesn’t mean it is bad, quite the opposite really I think it is extremely well done and is probably some IPA lovers absolute favorite. I personally like malt to be toned down and the hops and bitterness to be on the forefront of my IPAs. Balance is important but this might even be too balanced in my opinion. Nonetheless this is a very drinkable beer and certainly one people should try and determine for themselves whether it is up their alley.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Pipeworks Mosaic Imperial IPA

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A few weeks back I reviewed Pipeworks Simcoe Imperial IPA, part of their Ninja series which showcases single hop varieties in Imperial IPAs. I have now for you the Mosaic Ninja Imperial IPA. This is the newest of the Ninjas at this point in time I believe and this was the first time it has been brewed. Was lucky enough to grab one at Binnys a few weeks back when it was released. Drank it super fresh and made my notes and now finally getting around to writing up the review. If you saw my review of Simcoe you know that I was a little underwhelmed by that Ninja and I have had my issues with some others in the past and have yet to decide whether the series as a whole is overrated or that certain ones shine. Mosaic comes in at 10% ABV and does not list IBU.

Appearance: Hazy deep copper color with a 1 and a half finger head. Very sticky lacing. I love how all the ninjas have different faces on the artwork of the bottle, depicting different members of the breweries staff I would assume?

Nose: Straight passionfruit right up front in this one, oh man is that good. Also loads of orange, citrus fruits, pineapple and pine. Smells really dank and is a very intense aroma that hits you hard. Perfectly showcasing how incredible the aromas of the Mosaic hop can be.

Taste/Mouth: Really juicy and full mouthfeel, a bit sticky feel as well. Citrus, orange, pineapple and grapefruit. Has a dry and sticky finish. Not as much ethanol and heat in this one compared to some other ninjas I have had, this one really doesn’t have much at all especially for a 10%er. Blood oranges in the aftertaste as well. Little biscuit and maltiness on the backend too.

Price/Availability: First time they have brewed this Ninja with Mosaic and the bomber ran me about $10.

Overall: My favorite Ninja for sure, probably my favorite pipeworks beer I have had at this point in time. So drinkable for 10%, I will pick it up every time I see it. This one deserves the hype of the Ninja series and deserves hype period. It is a wonderful showcase of the fantastic Mosaic hop and is definitely a must try if you see it.

Grade: A+

Beer Review: Three Floyds Evil Power Imperial Pilsner

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Some Three Floyds action coming your way with their European Style Pilsner brewed in collaboration with the heavy metal band Lair of the Minotaur to commemorate the release of their latest studio album “Evil Power”. The beer obviously getting its name from the name of the album and artwork inspired by the bands art as well. Three Floyds are often only associated with their hoppy American style beers but they are definitely fans of older and European style beers as well. Was excited to see this on the shelf at my local shop about a month ago when I picked it up. Evil Power comes in at 7.2% ABV and 56 IBUs.

Appearance: Glowing orange/light copper color, unfiltered and pretty hazy with a nice 2 finger head.Sticky lacing from the very thick head. Always like Three Floyds bottle artwork, this heavy metal inspired art is pretty sweet.

Nose: Fruity, German yeast. Lots of pilsner malt aromas with some earthy floral hops in there. Smells as I expected it too. Smells very pleasant and clean, very inviting.

Taste/Mouth: Clean pilsner taste, that nice fruity yeasty smells carried over into the taste as well. Pilsner malt again playing a huge part in this beer with some biscuit and grain notes as well. Very clean, refreshing and certainly crushable. You also get some citrus flavors like orange and lime in there as well. Good mouthfeel, light t drink but at the same time has a thick feel to it and medium carbonation. Hardly notice the 7.2% at any point in the tasting.

Price/Availability: Rotating availability and around $10-12 for a bomber. Which is on the cheaper end for Three Floyds bombers unfortunately.

Overall: I have yet to have a Three Floyds beer I really disliked. This isn’t anything special or groundbreaking but it is a good updated take on a classic style. It was about what I expected, maybe I thought it would be a little more jacked up on hops though.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Stone 18th Anniversary IPA

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Another year, another Stone anniversary IPA! Although I will say last year I wasn’t all that impressed with the 17th Anniversary IPA I am always excited for the yearly Stone Anniversary release. This year they bring us a golden brown IPA dry hopped exclusively with El-Dorado hops, a hop I find myself enjoying quite a bit especially when used in single hop beers (ie. Flying Dogs Single Hop El-Dorado). As usual Stone had a nice big festival celebrating another successful year of brewing to coincide with the release of this beer as well. 18th Anniversary comes in at 8.5% ABV and 75 IBUs.

Appearance: Like the label describes it pour a hazy golden brown (as if brown could be golden it appears Stone has figured out how), maybe pushing a light amber. 2 finger head and some nice lacing. Really nice looking beer, a very unique color but not really the right color for an IPA. ALways love the etched Stone bottle artwork, the anniversary beers are always simple but very clean looking.

Nose: Huge citrus notes, mandarin, orange, lemon, grapefruit followed by the standard pine and resin notes found in most Stone IPAs. Dank fresh hop nuggets. Some malt and caramel as expected from the color. Even some floral and earthy hop notes in there, this beer hits on a lot of different points on the hop spectrum.

Taste/Mouth: Hoppy and semi dry, citrus hop balancing out with a good helping of malt. I even get like a chocolate syrup vibe at points when drinking it and caramel, like eating a rolo while drinking a Stone IPA. It is quite hot with alcohol in the beginning as well. There is a lot going on in this beer huge depth in its flavor profiles. Maybe better categorized as an Imperial Hoppy Amber or Brown Ale instead of an IPA. At the very least its probably more a Double IPA than an IPA.

Price/Availability: Price is good for being 8.5% and a limited one time only release at $9 and its Stone so the availability is as good as it gets for craft beer in the US. I will say Stone is always fair with pricing.

Overall: It’s an interesting beer for sure, Stone is always trying to push the envelope of what an IPA can be and try to break peoples IPA stereotypes. I think though unfortunately like the 17th anniversary this one is a bit of a letdown for me. I wish they would just go back to making just standard really good IPAs on their anniversary. I understand maybe it gets a bit boring but I think its what people want. I didn’t hate this beer but I’m not sure if it was available again I would seek it out. I think if it were marketed as something other than an IPA I might bump it up a grade.

Grade: C+