Finally got around to trying this beer out from Chicago’s own, Spiteful Brewing. Always see Spiteful beers at the store just never got around to trying them but I am getting around to it. Figured I would start out with their God Damn Pigeon Porter, partly due to the fact I like the name so much. God Damn Pigeon Porter comes in at 8.2% ABV.
Appearance: Pretty pitch black with a 1 and 1/2 finger dark frothy head and some really nice lacing. Love the can art.
Nose: Roasted malt, smoky balanced out nicely by some earthy hop notes coming through, this one gets a nice treatment of Simcoe late in the boil from what I’ve read. Big on roasted malt notes and chocolate as well. Pretty nice deep nose.
Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose closely with big roasty malt and smoky flavors coming through first. Nice amount of hop bitterness in there to balance it out. Good full mouthfeel with a nice chocolate finish.
Price/Availability: 4 pack runs about $10 and its very available in Chicago.
Overall: A great drinkable go to local porter, would definitely buy it again or order it on draft if I saw it. Definitely would grab a 4 pack of this if I was craving a crushable dark beer.
I see a ninja, I buy the ninja. Simple as that really. Here is another review of another ninja series beer from Pipeworks, this time it is showcasing Centennial hops. Centennial comes in at 9.5% ABV with no IBU listed.
Appearance: Hazy copper/amber color with a 1 finger head and plenty of sticky lacing down the glass.
Nose: Pretty fresh hop smell to it, when I drank this and made my notes this beer was bottled only 5 days before can’t get much fresher than that! Ripe tropical fruit, grapefruit, honey, pine and resin with some malt on the nose. Smells very sticky.
Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose with pine and resin notes up front with some grassy, caramel and honey as well. Good amount of malt in the taste, maybe more noticeable than the hop flavor of the beer. A little hot with the 9.5%, I wish the alcohol was turned down a little bit and the characters of the hop flavors could come out a bit more. This beer is also pretty brutal on your palate, crushing bitterness.
Price/Availability: Rotating with the other Ninjas as hops become available. The price is around $11.
Overall: A lower tier Ninja here, love that they always locally source the hops for the Ninja series beers. Unfortunately I think they could have better showcased Centennial in this one, not a lot of flavor from the hop, more just crushing bitterness and a little too hot and malty for me. I much prefer some of the other Ninjas to this one. I do hold all of them to high standards because I know how good they could be!
Duchesse De Bourgogne was my intro to sour beers and has since been a beer I often purchase at the store from time to time and enjoy quite a bit. Happy to be finally getting around to writing a review for it!
Appearance: Deep brown with active carbonation and a small sticky head. Really a nice looking beer, love the classic label too, truly a work of art.
Nose: Acetic, vinegar and sour notes right up front. Gets your glands salivating. Some nice apple, fruit, wine and oak aromas make for a real deep complex nose. The aroma makes you really want to start drinking this one.
Taste/Mouth: Cherry right up front with some hints of wine and fruit. Some lime flavors with bready malt notes to balance out the sourness. You get the oak notes from the nose up front as well. Of course the vinegar, acid and sour notes come through big here too but not overwhelming, very pleasant. Really complex beer all around and finishes clean.
Price/Availability: Around $12 and pretty good availability all around the US. Great pricing for the quality.
Overall: Amazing example of a flanders red, truly one of the classics. This is a great beer to introduce people to sours, its not overwhelming but displays incredible complex notes of a classic style. Could drink this one on a regular basis.
This IPA from Half Acre is now known as Senita IPA but when I made my notes on this one it was still called Heyoka. They had to change the name because of some disagreements over the origin of the name. Half Acre is currently working on their expansion into a larger brewing facility which will increase there distribution area and production. Heyoka or Senita comes in at 7% ABV.
Appearance: Clear bright golden yellow with a 1 finger head and some real nice lacing.
Nose: Really nice bright aroma. Very piney and resinous, lots of grapefruit and citrus fruits in the aroma as well. Very pleasant nose that hits you hard when you pour it from the can.
Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose really nicely with lots of grapefruit and pine. Some earthy and floral notes with a strong biscuit malt backbone which balances the beer out perfectly. Finishes slightly dry and sticky. A very nice full mouthfeel and the appropriate amount of carbonation.
Price/Availability: 4 pack of 16oz cans for around $10. Very widely available here in Chicago both in canned form as well as on draft.
Overall: A great offering from the makers of many other incredible beers. Truly one of Chicago’s best local options, this and daisy cutter are two of my go-to beers out at the bar. This and Anti-Hero are the first two IPAs you should have when you get to Chicago.
One of my favorite dark beer releases every year and one of my favorite beers to stick in the cellar. Founder’s Backwoods Bastard is their Wee Heavy Scotch Ale aged in bourbon barrels. This beast of a beer is released yearly in the winter months and is one of the best beers to warm you up on a cold night.
Appearance: Cloudy dark brown, what little head from the pour dissipates quickly. Decent lacing down the glass.
Nose: Huge bourbon nose with vanilla and oak making serious contributions as well. Lots of chocolate, cocoa, toffee and caramel all of those huge malt notes. You really get the bourbon in the nose more than many of the other Bourbon Barrel Aged beers. You can feel the heat in the aroma.
Taste/Mouth: Bourbon, coffee, chocolate, oak and sweet malt notes. Good amount of malt, booze and sweetness to balance out the strong bourbon flavors. Light carbonation and lighter mouthfeel than you would expect from such a dark beer. Pretty drinkable for 10%. Really an extremely deep and complex beer, more and more flavors come out and develop as it warms up.
Price/Availability: 4 pack for around $10 and an annual release, pretty easy to get in the Midwest.
Overall: Without some time in the cellar it is a little heavy on the bourbon flavors but with time this beer becomes perfect. That small flaw is really nothing though in retrospect of how amazing this beer is. One of my favorite malt bombs out there and certainly one of the best bourbon barrel aged options.