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: Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion No. 002

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Luponic Distortion is Firestone Walkers new revolving hop series beers. The recipe will change every 90 days as the brewers tweak the beer slightly as hops and malt change. Luponic Distortion No. 002 comes in at 5.9% ABV.

Appearance: Crystal clear golden yellow color with a 1 finger head and some great lacing. Classic looking Firestone IPA here.

Nose: Pine, resin, tropical fruit, mango and mandarin oranges. This beer was danker and juicier than I expected. Some pineapple and melon notes as well. Smell it as soon as you crack it.

Taste/Mouth: Great tropical fruit flavors, mango, pineapple, some piney bitterness as well. Real clean, light feel and easy to drink. Finishes with a lingering tropical fruitiness. Some sweetness on the back end as well. This beer is really just super crushable and clean.

Price/Availability: Damn does this beer shine in this category. Super easy to get as Firestone’s footprint is massive and at $10 a 6 pack of cans, hard to beat that.

Overall: A great, accessible offering from Firestone. Just a good go to beer and a great series. Firestone is one of those breweries sometimes people sleep on because of how big they are but don’t because they are still making incredible beers and pushing boundaries just like those hype breweries that you are waiting an hour in line to get 4 cans of. Can’t wait to get a hold of 3 and 4. Always keep Luponic Distortion as a back pocket option when you need a great crushable fresh and delicious IPA.

Grade: A-

Beer Review: Funky Buddha Hop Stimulator Double IPA

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Had an opportunity to visit Funky Buddha when I was down in South Florida for vacation. Super nice brewery, great people and some great beers as well. Wanted to make sure I brought at least one of their beers back with me to get up on the site. This is Hop Stimulator Funky Buddha’s Double IPA and one of their flagship beers. Hop Stimulator comes in at 9.5% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy deep copper color with a 1 finger head that produces some nice sticky lacing. The label art was recently featured in Beer Advocate in their label approval article, I think I approve!

Nose: Lot of stone fruit aromas, peach comes through a lot. Some sweet and caramel malt notes as well. Pineapple, passionfruit, tropical fruits and resin. You can tell this is a big beer.

Taste/Mouth: Resin, pine and a good malt balance. It finishes sticky and dry with some lingering bitterness. This is a really nice balanced double, not a ton of heat from the ABV and a great mix of hop flavors and bitterness with malt. It does get a little syrupy once it starts to warm up.

Price/Availability: About $3 for a single in Southern Florida where they are most readily available as it is where the brewery is located.

Overall: A real solid Double IPA from an awesome South Florida brewery. It is nicely balanced and offers some good flavors. Glad I got to have a few of these while on vacation and also try a few of their other offerings. I would definitely revisit this beer and also hopefully get back to the brewery at some point as well.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Revolution Mosaic Hero IPA

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Revolution Mosaic hero is an IPA showcasing the unique and amazing hop, Mosaic. Rather than it being a single hop IPA, it utilizes Warrior and Zythos to help put Mosaic on display in all its glory. Mosaic Hero joins the other beers in this series Citra, Crystal, Jukebox and Galaxy. Mosaic Hero comes in at 7.5% and 75 IBUs.

Appearance: Dark copper or a light amber color. 1 finger head and pretty decent lacing. Big fan of all the art for the hero series. They have also since began canning it.

Nose: Super juicy. Lots of tropical fruit, mango, pineapple and some pine resin notes as well. Nice nose which definitely showcases the awesome aspects of Mosaic.

Taste/Mouth: Nice amount of bitterness with a small malt backbone to help keep everything even. Nice juicy tropical fruit flavors dominant the flavor with some pine resin also making its way over from the nose. Pretty easy drinking with a medium mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Can easily put back a few pints of it.

Price/Availability: Around $8 for a bomber and about $12 for a 6 pack of cans. Seasonal rotating release part of the hero series.

Overall: Another nice beer in the hero series, the heroes which showcase single hops are especially solid. Love to support Revolution as well so that is always a plus. I will buy this one again for sure when it rotates into season. I am a huge fan of Mosaic and glad they began to can this one.

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Mikkeller Nuclear Hop Assault Imperial IPA

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More Mikkeller following the review I did of his single hop Citra a few days ago here is a review of the imperial IPA, Nuclear Hop Assault. I am still playing catch up converting my notes to actual reviews for the blog so I did get this and drink it when it was fresh. This beer has only been brewed once and I had it in the summer of last year when it first came out. Nuclear Hop Assault comes in at 8% ABV.

Appearance: Very hazy golden yellow/orange with a 1 finger soft head. Nice lacing as you move down the glass.

Nose: Clean, citrus, pine resin, floral and super juicy. Some mint and earthy notes as well. Fresh pine needles and pine sap. A nice nose really showcasing some great earthy and pine notes.

Taste/Mouth: Very drinkable for 8%. Citrus zest, grapefruit, earthy and floral flavors up front. Some nice pine flavors coming through from the nose as well. Juicy taste, clean feel and finishes dry with another dose of heavy citrus.

Price/Availability: Brewed once back in the Summer of 2015, unfortunately as usual the biggest issue here as it is with all Mikkeller beers is finding it fresh and coming to terms with the high price point. This beer in particular was $7 for a 12oz.

Overall: It is a good beer, very drinkable and a good showcase of some new hybrid hops. That being said it comes with quite a steep price tag, so unfortunately it loses some points there as pretty much all Mikkeller beers do. Glad I got to have it and I will continue to occasionally buy Mikkeller beers here and there but I doubt I need to buy this one again if they decide to brew it again.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA

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Sierra Nevada is always pushing the envelope with new brewing techniques, especially new ways to utilize hops in their beers. Hop Hunter is brewed with fresh distilled hop oil adding that to Sierra’s long list of brewing innovations. Hop Hunter comes in at 6.2% ABV and 60 IBUs.

Nose: Really floral and earthy, lots of floral aromas dominate the nose. You get some citrus as well, the hop oil definitely adds a different feel to the aroma.

Appearance: 1 finger head with some floating particles in the beer, light golden/copper color.

Taste/Mouth: Taste is crisp and light, slight bitterness with those earthy, floral hops coming over from the nose. Some citrus, pine and grapefruit in the taste as well. A good malt presence in it as well with medium carbonation and finishes very clean.

Price/Availability: Year round and around $9-10 for a 6 pack, Sierra is very available.

Overall: A pretty decent new IPA from Sierra, they rarely disappoint. I would have it again but probably would not seek it out regularly.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Deschutes Hop Henge IPA

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Got a whole lot of backed up reviews I got to get out. Up first from Oregon’s Deschutes is their experimental IPA Hop Henge. Hop Henge comes in at 9.2% ABV and 95 IBUs.

Nose: Pine, resin, onion, hop nuggets, citrus, grapefruit. Really get the smell of hop nuggets in your hand fresh out of a bag. Super fresh smelling, getting some earthy tones in there as well. Really pleasant nose with lots of elements.

Appearance: Hazy light copper color with a 1 finger head and some great sticky lacing as your drink it down.

Taste/Mouth: Grassy, earthy and piney are right up front. It has a dry mouthfeel throughout with a dry and bitter finish. Its very bitter throughout with some nice citrus, especially grapefruit flavors coming through. Taste and feel are a little disappointing after the really nice nose this beer has, still drinkable and enjoyable though.

Price/Availability: Seasonal release and at $6 for a bomber this is one I grab every time I see it on the shelf for sure.

Overall: Price is right and this is a solid drinkable beer. Nose is really great and the taste leaves a bit to be desired but it is drinkable for 9.2%. Again, this is a beer I will purchase every year at $6 and be very happy each time!

Grade: B+