Beer Review: Knee Deep Lupulin River Imperial IPA

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I recently took a vacation down to South Florida and was able to grab some great stuff that I normally don’t have access to. Knee Deep is one of those breweries that I have been dying to get my hands on so when I saw their beers on draft I knew I would be able to track some bottles down. Here I have their Imperial IPA, Lupulin River, which is a beer I’ve wanted to try for quite some time. Lupulin River comes in at 8% ABV.

Appearance: Super cloudy, glowing orange color with a 1 finger head. Lacing is sticky as hell.

Nose: Really nice juicy orange zest, tangerine, grapefruit, some earthy and piney notes as well. Super dank, deep and enjoyable nose.Great combo of Mosaic and Simcoe.

Taste/Mouth: Dank, juicy flavors with some of that citrus and grapefruit flavors coming through from the nose. Piney and earthy flavors come through as well. Some malt flavors creeping through but subdued by sticky bitterness. The beer finishes slightly dry and bitter. Grassy and resinous aspects as well. Really drinkable.

Price/Availability: I paid about $9 for a bomber of this in FL, I am not entirely sure about their distribution or availability honestly.

Overall: A damn solid Imperial IPA. Nose is great, flavor is great and drink-ability is up there with some of the better IIPAs I have had. Perhaps closer to just an American IPA with the ABV and feel of it. I would definitely have this one again given the opportunity.

Grade: A

Beer Review: Maplewood Crushinator Session IPA

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New beer, new cans, new graphics. Maplewood Crushinator hits on all those points. Crushinator is the breweries brand new Session IPA which is in 16oz cans (new to Maplewood) and some fresh design on the cans. It seems like most of the beers from Maplewood are switching to this style of design, I have recently seen a new design of their Charlatan Pale Ale. Crushinator comes in at 4.5% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy unfiltered glowing golden color, really nice looking beer. Big pillowy 1 finger head. Love the new can design.

Nose: Really bright tropical aroma hits you right up front. Very big for a session IPA. Some earthy and spicy notes along with citrus as well. Very nice nose.

Taste/Mouth: Really great creamy full mouthfeel. Great tropical hop flavors with some nice bitterness balanced perfectly with the malt. Super crushable, crisp and super tropical. Really great flavor.

Price/Availability: $10 for a 4 pack and its a new beer which seems to be a rotating release.

Overall: Wow this beer really surprised me and I’m loving it. Jumped into my top Chicago summer beers for sure. Can’t wait to crush these on a hot day. Maplewood is definitely on my radar and got my attention with this beer!

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Spiteful Disheveled Dave Double IPA

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More Spiteful Double IPAs, cause why not right? This time the topic is Dave, a guy who needs to get his shit together. Everyone knows a few Daves. Disheveled Dave comes in at 9% ABV.

Appearance: Straw/golden yellow with a slight haze. 1 finger head which dissipates quickly and not a ton of lacing.

Nose: Not a huge nose on this one. Some citrus, subtle notes of orange, lime and tangerine.

Taste/Mouth: What this beer lacks in the aroma department it more than makes up for in taste. Packed with huge citrus orange, mango and pine hop flavors. Nice amount of bitterness with a strong malt backbone. Feels and finishes pretty light considering the ABV and is extremely drinkable.

Price/Availability: Another rotating beer in the “People” double IPA series (they like to name beers after people).

Overall: This beer is a little different than most of the other Spiteful Double IPAs I have reviewed. It is still a super solid DIPA, very drinkable and huge in the flavor department. The guys at Spiteful really know whats up cause I have yet to have anything even mediocre from them and this is another great offering.

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Lagunitas The Down Low Ale

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One of Lagunitas newest releases this is The Down Low Ale, a super sessionable American Pale Ale. I first had this at the brewery in Chicago and then ended up picking up a bottle so I could write it up for the site. Lagunitas is really at the top of the game right now, they just continually put out solid releases. The Down Low Ale comes in at 3.9% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy light copper amber color. Darker than I was expecting it to be when I saw the style and ABV. 1 finger head and great lacing, simple and pleasing packaging.

Nose: Pretty dank nose for a 3.9% session beer. Smells more like an IPA. Super pine resin, great tropical fruit, grapefruit, orange and citrus. Some caramel malt sweetness can be picked up as well.

Taste/Mouth: Some earthy, flowery, hop notes and a pretty good bite of carbonation up front. Finishes dry with a good dose of bitterness. Definitely invites you to keep sipping, so I guess it succeeds in being a great session beer. Not a really big flavor profile though, mostly earthy hop flavors, not as big as the nose. Easily crushable.

Price/Availability: This has been added to the year round lineup and at $4 a bomber you really can’t go wrong.

Overall: Lagunitas delivers another quality beer at an amazing price point, like a truly amazing price point I can’t stress that enough. Not my favorite beer they have ever brewed but it is certainly solid and succeeds in being very sessionable. The nose is quite impressive but the flavor, while fine, leaves a little to be desired. I would definitely buy again or grab on draft.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Pipeworks Lupine Imperial IPA

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Lupine Ninja is up next in my relentless pursuit of reviewing every Ninja out there. I love how Pipeworks literally reveals nothing about this series on their site, just the abv of the ninjas and everything else is just blank. Was excited to see Pipeworks take on this new hop variety. Lupine comes in at 9.5% ABV.

Appearance: Very light, hazy, golden yellow color. 1 finger head with some great lacing. Standard ninja bottle showcasing the eyes of a brewery employee, I believe.

Nose: Super interesting nose on this one. Some unique flower and earthy notes followed up with a big hit of white grapes. Tropical fruit, mango peel, lime and lemon are also quite prevalent. The white grape make for an interesting aroma, definitely an extremely unique hop.

Taste/Mouth: Really nice flavor, super juicy and full feeling. Finishes bitter and slightly dry with a nice tingle and heat from the alcohol. Some of the notes from the nose make there way into the taste such as the white grape, mango and tropical flavors. Really nice flavors and just like the nose, very unique.

Price/Availability: This is a newer Ninja but I suspect it will be rotating as the rest of the series is. $10 for a bomber so the price is right.

Overall: Very unfamiliar with this hop variety but sign me up because after this beer I am certainly a fan. This is a fantastic double IPA and I ended up buying a few of these and enjoyed them a lot. I will continue to grab any new beers from this series and continue to revisit my favorites when they are re-released, add this one to the list!

Grade: A

Beer Review: Half Acre Galactic Double Daisy Cutter Double IPA

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Daisy Cutter on steroids, jam packed with juicy and dank galaxy hops this is what dreams are made of. Half Acre is all about making dreams come true and they have done just that with Galactic Double Daisy Cutter. This monster beer is released once a year and the hype is real. Galactic Double Daisy Cutter comes in at 8% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy deep golden orange color with a small 1 finger head and really great lacing down the glass. Also love the artwork this year!

Nose: So dank and “galactic”, the galaxy hops are on full display here. Passionfruit, grapefruit, tropical fruits and some great pine resin notes as well. So damn dank and juicy I can’t stress it enough, the nose makes your glands salivate begging you to take a sip.

Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose pretty closely with some awesome tropical fruit flavors, passionfruit, citrus fruits and big grapefruit notes. Like the nose the flavors are really juicy and really pronounced. Malt sweetness is faint but it’s there bringing some balance to this hop bomb. Good full mouthfeel and bite from the hop bitterness and carbonation.

Price/Availability: Rotating annual release and it’s $10 a bomber as most of Half Acre’s limited releases are.

Overall: Dank AF, juicy AF this beer is absolutely amazing. Find it when it is released and buy a few for sure, hell buy a case cause I bought 3 and I want more. Half Acre really kills it with their hoppy beers and especially the limited releases and yearly releases like this one. This is a world class beer that lives up to the hype.

Grade: A+

Beer Review: De Proef/Hair of the Dog Flanders Fred

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Was thrilled to stumble across this in the international section at Binnys as Hair of the Dog is one of my favorite breweries and I don’t get to drink their beer nearly enough. Alan Sprints of Hair of the Dog collaborated with De Proef as part of their Brewmaster’s Collaboration series to make this beer, Flanders Fred. It is the first time the series has featured a blend, pairing Hair of the Dogs infamous Fred with a Flanders Lambic from De Proef. Flanders Fred comes in at 7.5% ABV,

Appearance: Cloudy deep golden orange color with a small head that dissipates quickly. Super sticky lacing as you drink.

Nose: Smells tart with some funky fruit and lambic yeast notes. Some nice dark fruit and spicy notes as well.

Taste/Mouth: Nice sparkling, clean and mineral feel to it. Some nice fruit notes, sour and tart but not overbearing. Wheat and salty brine flavors come through with a nice counterbalance of malt and vinegar. Cherry and raspberry flavors come through as well. Finishes clean.

Price/Availability: Re-release of a collaboration beer so not available everywhere but certainly found in places where Hair of the Dog normally is not. $12 for the bomber which is a solid price.

Overall: Really happy to have found this beer as I normally don’t frequent the imports and international aisle. Awesome beer all around and one I very much enjoyed drinking. Who knows if it will be released again at any point in the future but if it is I would certainly buy it again. Drinking this really made me want to get back out to Portland and drink some Fred!

Grade:A-