Beer Review: Pipeworks Sunburst Peacock IIPA

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Fish, Unicorns and Ninjas are a few of my favorite things when it comes to Pipeworks beers. In this review I have Sunburst Peacock from Pipeworks with honey, guava and citra hops! This series, as most of Pipeworks double ipas, has impressed me quite a bit. Sunburst Peacock comes in at 9.5% ABV.

Appearance: Very hazy, deep golden copper color. Very small head, sticky lacing not a ton of head retention.

Nose: Guava is the big component. Passionfruit, pineapple, orange and mango come in big as well. Tropical fruit, for the most part it smells very fruity and kind of syrupy.

Taste/Mouth: Guava, mango, tropical fruit with not a ton of bitterness. Medium carbonation that finishes dry and sticky. High ABV is really well hidden as usual in these big pipeworks beers.

Price/Availability: $10.99 a bomber which is solid pricing as usual and it is a rotating beer.

Overall: Another well executed double IPA from Pipeworks, not their best but they are always solid. They do a great job with balance and masking the usual high ABV in these big hoppy beers. Sometimes the fruit addition works and sometimes it doesn’t, I think it adds a nice aspect to this beer. I would buy it again for sure.

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Half Acre Double Daisy Cutter Pale Ale

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Half Acre, in my opinion, is the best brewery in Chicago and possibly the Midwest right now. Their year round lineup is incredible and their limited releases are equally as great. Double Daisy Cutter is the bigger version of their year round pale ale Daisy Cutter. Same basic malt bill but the hop additions are increased quite a bit. This beer drops only a few times a year and I look forward to it every time. Double Daisy Cutter comes in at 8% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy, golden copper with a 1 finger head. Frothy and nice sticky lacing down the glass. Always great artwork on these releases.

Nose: Dank resin, pine, some citrus, passionfruit, sweet candy notes and some pineapple. It is huge dank and citrusy with some juicy notes as well. It is like a beefy Zombie Dust.

Taste/Mouth: Tropical and citrus fruit notes, passionfruit, pineapple, grapefruit and orange. Nice dry bite of bitterness. It is really balanced nicely considering the huge amount of hop flavors. Good cereal and caramel malt notes as well. It is super balanced but full of such great hop flavors.

Price/Availability: $10 for a bomber at the brewery.

Overall: This is another bomb Double IPA from Half Acre. They continue to impress as Chicago’s best brewery in my opinion and this is a must have from them. There distribution foot print becomes bigger and bigger so it becomes easier to get, if you see it around definitely grab it.

Grade: A

Beer Review: Stone 20th Anniversary Citracado IPA

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Cheers to 20 years! To celebrate their 20th anniversary Stone brewed an IPA, like they have done so many times before for their anniversary. In addition they brought back some old favorites, a few of which I reviewed. Citracado is brewed with Citra hops and showcases avocado flower honey as well. Citracado comes in at 9% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy slightly darker amber, deep red copper color with a 1 finger head.

Nose: Pine, resin, grapefruit, orange and tangerine up front. Honey, caramel, juicy tropical fruit and citrus fruit aromas come through as well.

Taste/Mouth: This is definitely a Stone IPA and has some of its classic characteristics. It is piney, floral and has a nice amount of citrus flavors from the Citra. Good malt backbone with some caramel flavors and some honey as well. Easy to drink.

Price/Availability: The bomber itself is around $8 and also comes in the Encore series 4 pack of bombers which is around $23.

Overall: Stone can close the book on an extremely successful anniversary celebration this year as they celebrate 20 years of brewing excellence. Glad they brewed an IPA for the big 20 and although it is not their best ever it is a well done and easy to drink IPA from some of the masters of the hop. Looking forward to another 20 years of hoppy beers from Stone. Cheers.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Foundation Venture Maine IPA

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This is from when I took my trip up to Maine a few months ago and was able to make my way to the Foundation Brewery. They had a ton of great offerings on draft and I took a 4 pack of Ventures home with me to make sure I would be able to get a review of it up. Venture is a Maine IPA brewed with Cascade, Chinook, Columbus, El Dorado, and Mosaic hops. Venture comes in at 8% ABV.

Appearance: Active carbonation, 1/2 finger head and is a nice hazy golden orange color. A really nice looking beer, their cans are also very aesthetically pleasing.

Nose: Mosaic definitely comes out a lot in the aroma. Tons of mango, tropical fruit and citrus. Pine, strawberry, grassy and herbal notes are present as well. Very dank and deep nose.

Taste/Mouth: Creamy and full mouthfeel, drinks sort of like a session IPA and not a Double. Mango, tropical fruit and berry flavors stand out, it is pleasant and easy to drink. Definitely pretty juicy as well with pineapple and citrus juice flavors.  Not as complex and deep as Epiphany.

Price/Availability: Grabbed a 4 pack at the brewery for around $12 I believe.

Overall: It is definitely no Epiphany but it is another solid “Maine IPA” from Foundation. It has some nice deep juicy flavors and a dank aroma but lacks some of the complexity found in Epiphany. I am excited to continue to have more of Foundation’s beers as they continue to grow. I need to start to plan my next trip back to Portland ASAP. This one was super easy to drink and I went through the 4 pack like this was a Session IPA not a Double.

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