Beer Review: Barrier Hop Damn! Double Rye IPA

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I have been dying to get my hands on this beer for so long! Barrier Brewing’s collaboration with one of my favorite bands of all time in Every Time I Die. They teamed up to create a Double Rye IPA and named it in honor of the bands seminal album Hot Damn! A lot of breweries have been doing collabs with bands, some are pretty forgettable. Hop Damn! comes in at 7.5% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy glowing amber color, really a nice looking beer. 1 finger head with a soapy head and decent lacing. Great art.

Nose: Spicy, peppery, rye, caramel malt and grapefruit up front with the spicy and peppery notes being the most pungent. Citrus, pineapple and onion come through as well.

Taste/Mouth: Spicy rye bite right off the bat with a juicy citrus and tropical fruit hoppiness coming through as well. Somewhat sweet with moderate bitterness and carbonation. Not really an IPA more of a hoppy rye amber I would say. I am very partial to rye beers and the rye in this is nice and lends some nice flavor to the overall product.

Price/Availability: It is a rotating beer and a bottle is around $9.

Overall: I obviously just needed this beer and I needed to do a review on it as Barrier collaborated with one of my favorite bands of all time in Every Time I Die. I am also a huge fan of rye beers in general, so all that being said the beer was good, not great but it was a well put together beer. The rye and spicy hop notes are pleasant on the nose and are responsible for some nice flavors coming through as well. I would grab it again at some point if the opportunity arises, hopefully it will be at an Every Time I Die show, that would be ideal. Shinfo.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Peekskill Higher Standard Imperial IPA

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About a week back I did a review of Peekskill’s hyped up APA Amaze Balls. In the same trade I did I also got a can of their Imperial IPA Higher Standard, which technically the brewery refers to as a Triple IPA. Higher Standard is packed with Simcoe and Citra hops and comes in at 8.8% ABV.

Appearance: Super hazy glowing orange color with a sudsy 1 finger head. Basic art on the can but its appealing and eye catching.

Nose: Resin, pine, citrus and some sweet bready malt notes up front. Can sense some alcohol in the nose. Oily hops, some orange and some grapefruit can be picked out as well. Pretty big nose as expected from a big beer.

Taste/Mouth: Nicely follows the nose with some resin, citrus fruit, orange and tangerine. Simcoe and citra are definitely on display here. Some nice sweet malt and bready notes with some heat on the backend from the alcohol. Finishes dry and sticky. Definitely has a west coast feel to it.

Price/Availability: Brewery release and at $20/4 pack the price tag is pretty steep.

Overall: A nicely executed east coast take on a west coast style Imperial IPA. The brewery notes call it a triple but it seems more like a double to me. Pine and citrus dominate the aroma and flavor thanks to hefty additions of my friends Simcoe and Citra. I want to like this beer more, I really do, but at $20/4 pack it feels like it should be like Hill Farmstead status and not just a solid DIPA. To put the price in perspective you can buy a 4 pack of Peekskill Higher Standard or 5 bombers of Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, I think I will take the latter. Glad I got to try this one but I don’t think I would currently buy it again but I would drink it again if it was more reasonably priced.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Neshaminy Creek The Shape Of Hops To Come Imperial IPA

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The Shape of Hops to Come is quite a mouthful, so from here on out I will refer to it as The Shape. Drawing inspiration from Refused pivotal album The Shape of Punk to Come, Neshaminy Creek has garnered some serious hype with this beer. I have not had a Neshaminy Creek beer for some time, I had one when they were first starting out and I have avoided them since as I wasn’t a fan. The Shape of Hops to Come comes in at 8.5% ABV.

Appearance: Semi hazy copper, amber color. Some active carbonation, pours a 1 finger head which dissipates to some sticky lacy.

Nose: Big citrus, pine and resin nose. Orange and lemon peel come through more as it warms up. Some boozy alcohol on the nose as well.

Taste/Mouth: Pine and resin come through from the nose with a nice big bite of bitterness. Citrus fruit flavors especially orange. Moderate carbonation and finishes super dry with a lingering crushing bitterness and some heat from the alcohol. Feels like a raw west coast IPA with that crushing bitterness.

Price/Availability: 4 pack fo 16oz cans for $12 and I think they distribute to the PA/NJ area I got this in a trade.

Overall: This beer has garnered some serious hype and is certainly sought after by hopheads throughout the country. I haven’t had any beers from Neshaminy for a long time, really since they were first starting out. This beer was definitely a big improvement from the beer I had from them in the past. It is a solid west coast inspired DIPA but not sure it lives up to the hype it gets. Nonetheless it is definitely a beer I would seek out next time I am in Philly and hopefully get to try it on draft.

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Half Acre Navaja Double IPA

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Navaja is another Half Acre beer I look forward to every year when it is released. This year they moved this beer to some super sexy 4 packs of 16 oz cans. Similar to other annual releases like Beer Hates Astronauts and Double Daisy Cutter, these beers are where Half Acre really flexes their muscles in my opinion. Navaja comes in at 10% ABV.

Appearance: Glowing bright orange color with a 1 finger head and some great lacing. Super hazy beer. Amazing can artwork and the feel of the can is nice, it’s like matte.

Nose: Huge citrus and tropical fruit on this one. Pineapple, mango and passionfruit dominate this super juicy nose. Some sweet malt in the back and you can pick up more orange notes as it warms up. This is a dank double IPA.

Taste/Mouth: Just like the nose this is super juicy with loads of tropical fruit flavors. Big hits of bitterness throughout and finishes juicy and tropical. It also finishes rather dry. Warmth from the alcohol is present but adds another nice dimension to the beer. Really great flavor and feel all around.

Price/Availability: Limited once a year, middle to end of Summer I believe. They did more than one run of it this year. It is $12/4 pack.

Overall: Half Acre really crushes these big hoppy beers. Like Beer Hates Astronaunts and Double Daisy Cutter this one is a huge hit, and probably deserves more hype than they get. The huge citrus and tropical fruit nose and taste that follows it closely make this 10%er almost sessionable. Don’t move through the 4 pack too quickly though, you’ll be on the floor. Another release from the premier Chicago brewery I can look forward to every year.

Grade: A

Beer Review: Newburgh MegaBoss IPA

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MegaBoss is Newburgh Brewing’s American IPA showcasing 7 different hop varieties and all the things they love in an American style IPA. It is meant to be an IPA enjoyed over and over again. MegaBoss comes in at 7% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow with a small 1/2 finger head and a little bit of lacing on the glass as you drink. A lot going on for can artwork but the colors are very nice.

Nose: Tropical fruit, earthy, juicy, with lots of pineapple. Solid juicy tropical fruit nose, which is apparently what they were going for. Some pine and floral notes as well.

Taste/Mouth: Follows with tropical and citrus fruit flavors. Also earthy and floral characters coming through in the middle. Its very crisp and easy drinking with moderate hop bitterness. It finishes dry and bitter, moderate carbonation.

Price/Availability: 4 pack of 16oz cans is around $12, which is a a solid price point. I got this can in a trade. They distribute in the NY/NJ area I believe.

Overall: A real solid offering from a Hudson Valley, NY brewery. A great drinkable beer I would certainly have again, would love to try it on draft. I meant to make my way up to the brewery before I moved (they had just opened shortly before my move), hopefully I will get the opportunity to get over there at some point. MegaBoss while not a mind-blowing standout beer, does what it was intended to do, be an American IPA you can enjoy and count on as a go to option again and again.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Barrier Daddy Warbucks Double IPA

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I was very impressed by my first Barrier beer, their IPA Money, and I was happy to get my hands on Daddy Warbucks aka Imperial Money. Daddy Warbucks comes in at 9% ABV.

Appearance: Super hazy orange color, really nice looking beer. Small 1/3 finger head that dissipates quickly. Some decent lacing as you drink it. I love Barrier’s bottles.

Nose: Pretty dank beer. Resin, pine, grapefruit and mandarin oranges up front. Some underlying sweetness followed by some nectarine and peach notes. Good depth.

Taste/Mouth: Good amount of citrus in the front, very juicy as well with some malt sweetness to balance the beer throughout. Some pineapple notes, not super bitter but the bitterness is there. Very balanced DIPA all around. Finish is somewhat dry and bitter but also malty.I wish a little more of the fruit notes from the nose carried over to the taste.

Price/Availability: 16.9 ounce bottle runs around $12, I got this in a trade. I believe Barrier distributes in the Northeast.

Overall: Daddy Warbucks aka Imperial Money, like its little brother Money is a great beer. Barrier makes beers that feel incredibly well crafted. I am glad I finally got to have both this and Money. Daddy Warbucks is a super solid, well balanced and well executed DIPA. That being said it isn’t anything mind-blowing or earth shattering and I enjoyed Money a little more, would revisit this one though.

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Peekskill Amazeballs APA

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It was a nice surprise to find this can of Peekskill’s single hopped Galaxy American Pale Ale Amazeballs in a trade recently. I wasn’t expecting it as my friend let me know it was a bit pricey and he didn’t think he would be getting it. It was one of the beers I requested as it has garnered some hype recently. Amazeballs comes in at 4.7% ABV.

Appearance: Very hazy golden yellow with a pillowy 1 finger head. Super sticky lacing as you drink this one. The can is very aesthetically pleasing.

Nose: Some nice mango and pineapple notes, not surprising as this is a single hopped Galaxy APA. Tropical fruits are on display, pretty dank nose for a 4.7% pale ale, you can smell as soon as you crack the can.

Taste/Mouth: Very fruity and juicy. Pineapple, mango and the tropical fruit carry over from the nose. Feels more like an IPA than an APA. Some orange, lemon and cracker malt flavors are present as well. Easy drinking but definitely big Galaxy hop characters.

Price/Availability: $16/4 pack at the brewery which is kind of ridiculous and insane. If you ask me that price point is way too high especially for a newer brewery and beer. As mentioned earlier I got this in a trade.

Overall: A damn good display of Galaxy in a nice single hopped APA from the Hudson Valley. This is an exciting beer and one I would certainly drink again given the opportunity. The price point though is kind of outrageous, $16 for a 4 pack of 4.7% APAs. I would feel way better about this beer if the price was $10-$12 and would have probably bumped the grade up a bit. That being said if you have the opportunity to grab this one without burning a hole in your pocket do it!

Grade: B+