Beer Review: Brown’s Burst Valencia Orange IPA

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As becomes typical for me I am a bit behind on my reviews. All of the beers are drank fresh and notes are written at the time, I just get behind in converting the reviews onto the blog. This is a beer I got in a trade back in August from a friend in NY. This is the first canning Brown’s had done at the time and it is their Burst Valencia Orange IPA. Burst comes in at 7% ABV.

Appearance: Great hazy deep orange copper color, a nice looking beer. 1 finger head with some nice lacing as you drink it down. Not really a fan of the can.

Nose: Pine, resin, orange zest, citrus fruits with some earthy and floral notes as well. Smells like a classic west coast IPA.

Taste/Mouth: West coast feel. Pine and resin with a nice bite of bitterness. Finishes kind of rough, super dry and kind of harsh on your palate. It feels like they went too heavy on the bittering for this one. Reminds me a lot of a home brewed IPA, which people tend to over bitter. It has potential, the recipe just may need some tweaking.

Price/Availability: This was the first canning from Brown’s that I am aware of so not entirely sure of availability as of now.

Overall: A very average to below average beer. Don’t get much from the orange zest added, it is just a west coast style IPA brewed with moderate success. As I mentioned I think it has some potential it may just need some tweaking in the hop addition to tone down the brutal super dry and harsh finish on this one. Unless I heard that they changed the recipe I probably wouldn’t try again.

Grade: C-

Beer Review: Other Half & Holy Mountain By and By

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Managed to get some more stuff from Other Half from my friend back East in one of our recent trades. This is Other Half’s collab with Holy Mountain out of Seattle called By and By, it is a Brett IPA and comes in at 6.5% ABV.

Appearance: Huge fluffy 3 finger head. Milky, hazy golden orange color with lots of active carbonation. It retains the head for a while and then settles in to a thick layer with sticky lacing.

Nose: Fruity, yeasty aroma with pear and green apple. Smells a little Belgian-esque at first but the Brett is definitely present and you can pick it up as you dive deeper into it. Peach, pineapple and fruit punch aromas are very present as well.

Taste/Mouth: Just slightly tart with some pineapple, lemon, orange zest and lots of floral hop aromas. Some bready and yeasty flavors as well. It feels very carbonated. The mouthfeel is kind of harsh and the amount of carbonation kind of takes away from the flavor of the beer. You get some heat and it finishes really super clean.

Price/Availability: As far as I know this beer has only beer brewed one time, I got it in a trade.

Overall: This beer kind of locked in my feelings toward Brett IPAs, I am just not a huge fan. I had heard only great things about this beer and was obviously super excited to try it. Even with my doubts after having some Brett IPAs in the past that I didn’t love, I went in with an open mind. I found parts of this beer I really loved but it felt slightly overcarbonated and despite having some really nice pineapple and floral flavors it was harsh on the palate and felt hard to drink at times. I am glad I had it but I don’t think I need it again.

Grade: B-

Beer Review: Rushing Duck 4th Anniversary Brux IPA

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More beer from one of my favorite NY breweries and home of the infamous James the Brewery Cat, this is Brux IPA, the 4th Anniversary beer from Rushing Duck. Brux is a celebration of Rushing Duck turning 4 and a platform to show off their beloved brewery cat. Named after the unique strand of yeast Saccharomyces Bruxellensis, RD added pink peppercorn to give it an even more unique twist. Brux comes in at 7.2% ABV.

Appearance: Very hazy deep orange color with a nice 1 finger head, really great lacing. James is popping out of a birthday cake on the anniversary bottle and is also featured on the canned version, what more could you ask for.

Nose: Nice floral, tropical fruit, musty, white grape, some pine resin, lime, lemon, earthy, mango, pineapple and spicy hop notes. It features Azacca, El Dorado, Mosaic, Meridian hops.

Taste/Mouth: Floral, earthy, spicy and some lemon flavors initially. There are some nice tropical and pineapple flavors as well. You get an interesting spicy peppery flavor through the middle from the pink peppercorns. It is nice and easy to drink for 7.2% ABV and feels medium with a nice bite of carbonation. Finishes pretty clean and slightly bitter.

Price/Availability: This was a one time only bottle for the breweries 4th anniversary but they have since brought it back as a canned beer which comes around every once and a while.

Overall: James!!! Cheers to 4 years of Rushing Duck beers, 4 years of some damn good beers I might add. This was an interesting one, but one I enjoyed it quite a bit. Definitely great depth of flavor that kept me interested all the way through. The Saccharomyces Bruxellensis strain of yeast the beer was named after, along with the pink peppercorn addition and a hop bill full of some of my favorites (El Dorado & Mosaic, hello!) this was a great way to celebrate. They have since brought this one back in cans and made it a bit more accessible by lowering the ABV to 6%. Here’s to 4 more years RD!

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Foundation Epiphany Maine IPA

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I had this beer shortly before I took my trip up to Portland and was able to actually visit the brewery and get this fresh on draft. Drinking this Epiphany was the first Foundation beer I ever had, after hearing quite a bit about them and Epiphany in particular. Epiphany is a “Maine IPA” and comes in at 8% ABV.

Appearance: Very hazy light orange color with a 1/2 finger head which dissipates to a nice layer of foam. I love Foundation’s branding, its super clean.

Nose: Really big dank juicy nose, orange, pine, resin, tropical fruit, pineapple and mango. You get some caramel malt notes but its mostly just super stanky and dank.

Taste/Mouth: Awesome tropical fruit, citrus fruits, pineapple, pine and resin. Mango comes over from the nose as well. It has a super juicy and full mouthfeel. Great marriage of both the east coast IPA/DIPA with the NE style IPA. Sticky dry finish with some nice bitterness to keep this thing modest. It is super easy to drink at 8%.

Price/Availability: I got it in a trade but they are brewery release 4 packs I believe and are around $12.

Overall: This is one of the best beers I have had this year without a doubt. I got one can in a trade and after drinking it was so excited to get to Portland, Maine and try this on draft and at the brewery (which I did!). It is such a great hybrid double “Maine” IPA which blends kind of more traditional east coast DIPA notes with the NE style juice IPA that is the hot beer currently. Epiphany is bursting with juicy flavor and has such a big dank aroma I could smell for days. As mentioned this is one of my favorites of the year, and recent time, so no surprise it hits a perfect score!

Grade: A+

Beer Review: Carton 077-10014 (Motueka) East Coast Double IPA

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An east coast double IPA from my home state of New Jersey, this is Carton’s 077-10014 Double IPA featuring the Motueka hop. This series of beers are referred to as “dubviants” as they are all single dry hopped versions of Carton’s 077XX DIPA. This particular Dubviant displays the New Zealand hop Motueka. 077-10014 comes in at 7.8% ABV.

Appearance: Very hazy golden yellow 1/2 finger head with decent lacing. I’m a fan of Carton’s branding, their cans are very eye catching. Really nice looking beer.

Nose: Tropical fruit, lime, orange zest, grapefruit with some pine and resin notes as well. I was expecting a more dank nose honestly but it is pleasant.

Taste/Mouth: Nice tropical, pineapple and lime hop flavors. Pine and resin comes through from the nose as well. You need to dig kind of deep to really grab the Motueka elements of this beer I feel like mostly your just getting elements of the normal 077XX. There is some nice honey and caramel malt backing up the hop bitterness. Some floral notes as well and it finishes bitter and resiny. Semi thin to medium mouth, it feels light and crisp for being an 8%er.

Price/Availability: It is a rotating beer with hop availability I believe and is a brewery release if I am not mistaken. I got it in a trade.

Overall: It is a good beer, I honestly think I prefer the regular 077XX to this particular Dubviant though. The tropical and lime notes are very pleasant and it is an easy drinking beer for being 7.8%. 077-10014 also feels a lot more like a regular IPA to me than a double. This is the third Dubviant I have had and I preferred the others I had to this one. They are all good beers that I certainly would drink but don’t know if I would go out of my way to have this one again.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Pipeworks Grungeist Imperial IPA

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New ninja alert! Grungeist comes in at 9.5% ABV.

Appearance: Cloudy copper orange color with a 1 finger head. Sticky lacing and a head that dissipates to a thin layer. Typical ninja art.

Nose: Fruity and somewhat musty. White peach, stone fruit, white grapes, apricot, kiwi and some pineapple. Lemon and a malt backbone as well.

Taste/Mouth: Wow very unique flavors. White peach big time all the way through like a peach gummy flavored candy. Grapefruit, mango, apricot and grapes. Very juicy, flavorful and unique. You can pick up some heat but barely, it’s hidden well by the big juice and hop flavors. Keeps you interested.

Price/Availability: $10 a bomber in Chicago and pretty easy to find. Rotating as all the Ninjas are.

Overall: One of the most unique, if not the most unique Ninja to date. Grungeist is a new German hop and certainly has incredible depths of flavor. I am obviously a huge fan of this series (seeing as I have reviewed just about all of them) and I love they are pushing the boundaries of these single hop beers and using some new and different hops. This is an awesome and unique beer showcasing a hop I am sure we will start to see pop up more and more.

Grade: A-

Beer Review: Bissell Brothers Substance IPA

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Next is a review of Bissell Brothers flagship IPA, Substance. Bissell Brothers are certainly creating some noise out of Portland Maine with beers like this one, Reciprocal and Swish. Substance comes in at 6.6% ABV.

Appearance: New England hazy juice style. Yellow orange color with a 1 finger head which dissipates slowly into a layer of thick lacing. Very turbid.

Nose: Pine, orange, pineapple, tangerine, tropical and mango. Very dank and juicy nose. The pineapple and mango notes are what stuck out most to me.

Taste/Mouth: Nice juicy peach and orange with some floral notes up front. Lemon, tangerine, pineapple and mango make their way over from the nose as well. Biscuit and cracker malt. Nice chewy, medium body with medium carbonation. Finishes slightly dry and bitter. Its a very New England style IPA mixed with a typical East coast style IPA.

Price/Availability: This is a brewery release which is brewed weekly I believe. I got it in a trade.

Overall: A fantastic NE Style IPA which I would consider on the same level as some of Trillium’s beers. Unlike a lot of other juice bomb style IPAs this one still has a nice East Coast IPA feel to it. This was my first Bissell Brother’s beer and I recently took a trip to Portland Maine and was able to try some of their other stuff as well. Excited to see what this brewery will do in the future. This is a well crafted flagship beer for the brewery and certainly lives up to what I heard about it.

Grade: A