Beer Review: Green Flash Symposium IPA

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Got a review of a Green Flash IPA from their Hop Odyssey series which has brought some pretty great beers in the past. Symposium comes in at 7% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy light glowing copper with a very thick 1 and a half finger head that makes for some sticky lacing.

Nose: Super piney, resiny and floral. Really nice spicy vibe to it as well. Some pungent grapefruit in there as well.

Taste/Mouth: Grapefruit, grassy and earthy that finishes slightly dry and piney. Grapefruit flavor lingers throughout the taste and in the finish. Good malt to back up the brutal bitterness. Really good feel to it, bitter and brutal but still drinkable.

Price/Availability: Seasonal following the hop odyssey calendar. Pretty good pricing around $7.

Overall: Nice seasonal IPA offering from some of the masters of west coast IPAs. Just make sure you catch it when it first is released as Green Flash beers tend to become shelf turds. This beer or any of their IPAs fresh are great bets though!

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Bell’s Mercury (The Winged Messenger)

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Doing my best to grab all the Planet series beers from Bells. This is the third beer in the series I believe. Mercury the Winged Messenger comes in at 4.8% and doesn’t list its IBU.

Appearance: Small head, little to no lacing and a lot of floating debris in the beer. Straw yellow pale in color.

Nose: Yeasty, fruity, some banana and clove notes. White grape, spicy farmhouse notes as well. Smells a lot like a Czech Pils to me.

Taste/Mouth: Tastes like a bad Hefe honestly. Earthy and musty yeast flavors, spicy phenols, grape and kind of skunky like a Czech beer. Really weird and definitely not what I expected from this beer. Don’t like the finish either, leaves a very strange flavor in your mouth.

Price/Availability: One time only for the planet series and around $2.50 for a single 12oz bottle.

Overall: Another letdown from this series. This was more drinkable than Venus but that is not saying much as that beer was just an instant drain pour. This is a pretty big miss from Bells and another miss in a series I had high expectations for. I only drank about half of it before I poured this one as well.

Grade: C-

Beer Review: Pipeworks Cascade Imperial IPA

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I continue to try and grab every Pipeworks ninja I see and review them all. This time I have Cascade Ninja, which I have had before reviewing it but wanted to buy it again so I could write a review (and have the bottle for my Ninja collection).

Appearance: Deep copper/light amber color, 1 finger head and some super sticky lacing. Standard Ninja artwork.

Nose: Pretty juicy citrus smell with some grapefruit notes sticking out. Lot of floral and spice coming out of the nose as well.

Taste/Mouth: Spicy and citrusy with some floral notes as well from the nose. Pretty brutal on your palate, very hoppy and bitter. Finished dry and with some heat and a bit from the alcohol content.

Availability: Rotating with hop availability, prices around $10 and pretty readily available in Chicago.

Overall: Another ninja showcasing a great hop. This one is in the middle of the pack as far as ranking the Ninjas. I don’t think its one of their best but I would buy it again as I definitely still consider it to be a solid beer that I enjoyed drinking. Another job well done Pipeworks.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Stone Delicious IPA

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One of Stone’s newest additions to their year round offerings. It is “Crafted to reduce Gluten” (which is the lamest thing Stone has ever wrote). It is brewed with El Dorado, which is a hop that I often enjoy quite a bit especially in a single hop situation along with the newer Lemondrop hop variety. Delicious IPA comes in at 7.7% and 77 IBUs.

Appearance: Very slight haze with a golden copper color. 1 finger head which makes for some sticky lacing down the glass.

Nose: Citrus, pine, lemon zest, lemon peel dominate the nose with some earthy and resin notes as well.

Taste/Mouth: Good bite of bitterness right up front with some pine and citrus. Most noticeable flavor right off the bat is a really strong strange lemon flavor. It is like a bad lemonade or lemon flavored drink. The initial citrus and pine flavor is pretty nice until you get to the backend and experience the terrible dry lemony finish.

Price/Availability: It is available year round in 6 packs and on draft, I believe it is also in Stone’s mixed 12 packs.

Overall: Huge disappointment. Love El Dorado and Stone IPAs and I had really high hopes for this one but it just totally missed. The lemondrop addition totally kills this beer for me. I understand they were trying to make an accessible and appealing IPA to a larger audience but I just couldn’t enjoy it. Won’t buy this again.

Grade: C-

Beer Review: Deschutes Jubelale

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This is actually a review of last year’s Jubelale from Deschutes, just finally getting around to turning my notes into a proper review. They changed the packaging and label this year as it has just begun to show up on shelves. That’s how far behind I am on these reviews!

Appearance: Dark brown with a 1 finger head and some really great lacing.

Nose: Sweet caramel, brown sugar, caramelized sugars, toasted malt with some nice chocolate notes in there as well. Really nice malty, sweet nose. Smells like a delicious cookie.

Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose pretty closely with lots of caramel, sweet and roasty flavors. Brown sugar, caramelized sugars and a little bite from the carbonation make this a really easy beer to drink. Malt dominates the palate with really no hop presence at all.

Price/Availability: 6 pack for around 9-10$ in Chicago. Mostly available in the midwest and west coast, although Deschutes footprint may be bigger than it used to. It is a seasonal beer available in Fall/Winter.

Overall: One of the best winter seasonals out there, its not one of those gimicky bullshit spiced beers or loaded with orange peel or coriander. It is just a really great, malty, drinkable beer perfect for a cold night by the fireplace. I will always have a few of these in the winter months.

Grade: B+