Next is another beer from Chicago’s Revolution brewing, this is their fresh hop IPA brewed with all local hops. This IPA is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, and Nugget hops, all from Hop Heads Farms in Hickory Corners, MI. I was definitely excited to see this one as I love the hop lineup, fresh hop IPAs and they even took the fresh hop a step further by getting local hops. Local Hero comes in at 6.5% ABV and 65 IBUs.
Appearance: Pretty clear golden yellow with the slightest haze and a 1/2 finger head that leaves some good sticky lacing down the glass. Great artwork as usual from Revolution.
Nose: Fruit, pine and mango hit your nose first. Deeper into the nose is a lot of sticky fruit juice aroma, like a fresh fruit punch with lots of citrus fruits as well. Not a huge in your face hop aroma but really nice.
Taste/Mouth: Follows suit with some big juicy fruit flavors and some pine carrying over as well. Nice bite of bitterness and finishes sticky with some lingering bitterness. Good carbonation and mouth-feel as well. A very fresh tasting and feeling IPA that is easy to drink. Could definitely session this.
Price/Availability: $8 a bomber and seasonal with availability of local fresh hops.
Overall: I would assume this is a similar base recipe to that of Anti-Hero judging by the name and the similarity between the two. Nice concept for a fresh hop beer using local hops. Very drinkable and I will definitely purchase it again next year.
I am happy Clown Shoes makes it over to the Midwest, I wasn’t sure as they are somewhat of a smaller operations as far as I could tell especially since they are a contract and brewed at Ipswitch. I have a few of their bigger beers aging in my cellar right now including Billionaire (barleywine on cognac barrels) and Ride the Lion (wee heavy on bourbon barrels) definitely excited to crack those open. That is beside the point, today I am here to talk about their Double IPA, Space Cake! Space Cake comes in at 9% and does not list IBUs.
Appearance:1 finger head, super hazy glowing orange color. Great lacing that is super sticky down the side of the glass. Love the look of this double. The bottle artwork from Clown Shoes is always awesome as well.
Nose: Really big tropical fruit up front, guava, some pine, resin, passion fruit, pineapple, orange, lemon and lime. Really juicy, fruity nose on this beer. The nose had my mouth watering for sure.
Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose with super juicy fruit notes, really nice drinkable double. It is sticky, juicy, resiny and super hoppy just like I want my double IPA to be. Dry and sticky finish. This one is just packed with awesome citrus and tropical fruit notes from the mosaic they load this beer with. When mosaic is utilized like this it really is the best hop for an IPA.
Price/Availability: $5 for a 9% Double IPA in a bomber? Your already winning with that price, it is pretty readily available when it is in the lineup.
Overall: Great price, great beer and very available. Love everything about this beer from Clown Shoes. Super dank and sticky I will definitely be purchasing this one in the future whenever I see it fresh.
Always got my eyes peeled for Ninja sightings when I am at the liquor store and was able to grab this one a few days after its release. One of the newer additions to the Ninja family, Nelson Sauvin. Nelson has seen an increase in use lately and I am not complaining, it is one aromatic and flavorful hop from New Zealand. Nelson Sauvin comes in at 10% and as usual Pipeworks does not release the IBUs for Ninjas.
Appearance: Hazy dark copper/light amber with a 1 finger head and some nice lacing. This is more toward the color of a Double IPA I like, sometimes the Ninjas are really dark in color.
Nose: Very piney, spicy, some fruitiness and earthy notes as well. Definitely that New Zealand Nelson vibe on this one, as Pipeworks says I have never had a Gooseberry but this has a definite Gooseberry feel to it, I agree. Just has some notes in the nose you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, must be Gooseberry.
Taste/Mouth: Spicy, floral and some grape notes up front. Kind of leafy and vegetal in the aftertaste and finish. Full mouth-feel and pretty drinkable for a 10%, some pale malt backs up the huge hop notes. Nelson dominates the flavor and feel of this one with its very unique and different notes. Not overwhelmingly hot like some of the other Ninjas, has some heat though obviously from the 10%.
Price/Availability: Rotating Ninja lineup as hops are available and depending on what they feel like brewing I would imagine. First time for Nelson, decent pricing around $10.
Overall: Surprised with how good this one was, the Ninjas can be a bit of a crap shoot sometimes. Nice showcase of a newer hop variety that I would definitely recommend everyone gets familiar with. Its in the middle as far as ranking up against the other Ninjas, I would buy this one again.
No I was not hammered drunk when I was writing the title to this post, maybe the dudes at Stone were when they wrote the name on the label art though. Lukcy Basartd is an anniversary beer celebrating 13 years of Arrogant Bastard Ale, to celebrate it they created a dry-hopped blend of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale and Double Bastard Ale. Stone loves their anniversary beers and usually so do I. I like Arrogant Bastard but it definitely isn’t my favorite Stone offering, I do love Oaked Bastard though and I am always up for a blend. Lukcy Basartd comes in at 8.5% ABV and IBUs are classified.
Appearance: Dark red amber/brown with a 1 finger head and some good lacing. I love the concept of the bottle art with the spelling errors and strangely written description.
Nose: Hoppier than I though it would be in the nose. Lots of pine and resin, if there are hops in a Stone beer expect pine and resin! Some caramel, oak and malty notes but mostly a very nice pine aroma.
Taste/Mouth: Really nice and surprisingly smooth and drinkable for 8.5%. Some oak and caramel notes from the nose with toffee, pine and citrus coming through as well. Semi bitter and dry finish. Really surprised me, not what I was expecting from the taste but was pleasantly surprised with the drink-ability.
Price/Availability: As far as I know this is a 1 time anniversary beer but we will see Stone loves to bring back beers like this. Great price as usual from Stone.
Overall: Really a pleasant surprise here, can’t say it enough. Thoroughly enjoyed this one and I think it is the best Bastard variation I have ever had. I would love to see more blended beer experiments from breweries especially after seeing how well this one turned out.
Matilda, a beer I have had many times but am just getting around to reviewing now. My roommate gifted me a 4 pack of the Goose Island Belgian Pale Ale for my birthday this year. This is certainly a well known beer, an award winning beer and a pioneer in its category. I have 2 of the 4 beers from the pack in my cellar so I am definitely looking forward to see how well this beer develops over time. For now though I have for you a review of a less than a year old Matilda. Matilda comes in at 7% and 26 IBU.
Appearance: Light copper color with a 1/2 finger head and the slightest haze, caused primarily from yeast sediment due to the bottle conditioning. Very minimal lacing. Love the bottle artwork of all the GI Belgian beers, very simple but visually appealing.
Nose: Belgian yeast, farmhouse, Brettanomyces, clove, fruity, sour fruit, dried orange, dried citrus fruits, spicy and lemon. Very funky but pleasant. Quite a large spectrum of scents you get from this beer as expected from a Belgian beer.
Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose with some funky sour Brett notes followed by fruit, clove and dried citrus fruits. Some biscuit malt, lemon and tropical fruit notes as well. Has a light mouth-feel, light carbonation and just a slight bite of bitterness which may be caused in part from the sour notes. On that note though it is very easy to drink and none of those flavor notes are overwhelming.
Price/Availability: This is a very widely available beer both in bottle form and on draft as well. Wish the price point was a little better.
Overall: This isn’t a style I actively pursue very often, I just don’t go out of my way to buy Belgian or Belgian style beers really. I have to say I am a fan of Matilda though, it is an extremely drinkable yet complex and readily available beer. I think its a great starter beer for people looking to dive into the crazy complex world of Belgian style beers.
As usual I am playing serious catch-up with my notes and turning them into reviews on the site. I promise I am gonna get a bunch of reviews up this week though. I have notes going all the way back to late November/early December, I have just been so busy with work but I need to get better at posting more frequently. First up is Deschutes Fresh Hop IPA, Chasin’ Freshies, which I can promise you I had fresh! The 2014 release of this beer showcases Mosaic hops. Chasin’ Freshies comes in at 7.4% ABV and 65 IBUs.
Appearance: Light golden yellow with a slight haze and a 1 finger head. Some nice lacing down the glass as well.Love the bright hazy look of this one, definitely what I envision a fresh hop IPA to look like. Always like the bottle art from Deschutes as well.
Nose: Pine, resin, peach, passion fruit, citrus, pineapple and fruit juice. Really great showcase of my favorite hop as of late, Mosaic. The only other hop used is Bravo, which is a newer experimental variety hop. Very low malt profile in the nose.
Taste/Mouth: Good pine and resin from the nose carry over to the taste. Some earthy notes as well with medium carbonation and again very minimal malt profile. Hops come through more in the nose, very juicy mouth-feel and finishes a little dry. Definitely invites you to continuing drinking.
Price/Availability: Around $7 for a bomber and its a seasonal release. Great pricing from Deschutes as usual.
Overall: Had this one on draft at a local bar as well. A good fresh hop offering from the Bend brewery. Not the best fresh hop I have had but it is certainly well done and drinkable as well as at a great price point. I think this one is really carried by the Mosaic, that being said I would definitely purchase it again in the future.