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 Baby Diamonds Session IPA

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It seems like my readers wanna see more hype. Ask and you shall receive, here is another beer from Other Half out of Brooklyn. This is Baby Diamonds, the session version of their Green Diamonds IPA brewed with Galaxy and Amarillo. Baby Diamonds comes in at 4.8% ABV.

Appearance: 1/2 finger head which dissipates quickly, some good lacing and super hazy light golden yellow/orange color.

Nose: Tropical, lemon, pineapple, grapefruit, piney, floral and earthy hop aromas. You can pick up some biscuit malt as well. Covers most of what you would expect from Galaxy and Amarillo, not a huge dank nose.

Taste/Mouth: Good hop presence in the flavor for a session IPA with lemon, grapefruit, earthy and some pine/resin notes. Pretty big dose of bitterness for a session IPA. which I didn’t mind. Finishes dry and bitter but also crisp and slightly chewy. Medium carbonation and easy to drink while staying rather complex for a session IPA.

Price/Availability: Rotating brewery release got in a trade.

Overall: This is a pretty great session IPA. Galaxy and Amarillo always make for a nice flavor profile. It is more complex and has more depth than most of the session beers out there today. That being said I like my “session beers” to be easy to get and something I can just grab at the grocery store or liquor store. Not sure it is worth waiting in lines at the brewery but if it came my way again I would certainly drink it and enjoy it.

Grade: B

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: SingleCut Mo’Shuggie Soulbender IPA

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A few weeks back I posted my review of the first SingleCut beer I was able to get my hands on, Softly Spoken Magic Spells, which received a perfect mark. I requested some more SingleCut in one of my latest trades with one of my east coast friends. Mo’Shuggie Soulbender IPA comes in at 7.4% ABV.

Appearance: Awesome hazy glowing orange color. Off-white 1/2 finger head and super sticky rings of lacing as you drink it down. A really great looking beer.

Nose: Super dank nose. Resin, pine, weed, spicy, fresh cut grass, great tropical and citrus fruit aromas. Orange, grapefruit and mango are easily distinguished. Super awesome juicy and delicious smelling beer.

Taste/Mouth: Unbelievably tasty beer. Great grapefruit flavors come through from the nose with some honey sweetness. Resin, sap and piney hop flavors. Orange, mango and peach fruit flavors are very present as well. Super juicy mouth feel. Some earthy and grass notes as well.

Price/Availability: I believe currently they distribute on the east coast in the NYC area. I am not certain on price as I got this in a trade.

Overall: My second go at a SingleCut beer and goddamn they kill it again. Mo’Shuggie is an incredibly complex beer that you can continue to peel back the layers of as you dig through the aroma and flavor, which is difficult because it’s so good it is hard not to just crush it. SingleCut really seems to unleash hop aromas and flavors in all their glory in these beers. Like Softly Spoken Magic Spells this beer is one you should absolutely be seeking out and like SSMS, it hits a perfect score.

Grade: A+

Beer Review: Half Acre & Other Half Rainbow Never Ends Double IPA

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Hype, hype and more hype. Other Half seems to magically collab with every great brewery in the US. For this beer they took their talents to Chi-Town and brewed Rainbow Never Ends with the guys from Half Acre. What did they come up with? A dank, juicy double IPA of course. Rainbow Never Ends comes in at 8.5% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy straw yellow gold with super sticky lacing and a half a finger head. Really awesome label design on these Half Acre exclusive bombers.

Nose: Nice big juicy citrus and tropical notes. Fresh hop nuggets, some piney and earthy notes. Idaho 7, Equinox and Citra were the hops used and they seemed to be used to perfection here. Pineapple and passionfruit are also rather prevalent. Spent a long time just enjoying the great aromas from this beer.

Taste/Mouth: Nice tropical fruit up front. Melon, citrus fruit, mandarin orange and mango. Get some kolsch yeast flavors as well and it finishes slightly dry and sticky. Good dose of bitterness throughout the feel and a little heat from the ABV. Nice flavors, good balance and a thoroughly enjoyable drinkable beer.

Price/Availability: $10/bomber brewed once and only available at Half Acre brewery.

Overall: The hype is real with this one. Other Half and Half Acre deliver a great DIPA with Rainbow Never Ends. I haven’t had a ton of Other Half stuff but to me this just feels like a really well executed Half Acre Double IPA which I am more than okay with (see my reviews of Beer Hates Astronauts and Navaja). Glad I was able to make it to the brewery and pick up some bottles when it was released, would grab it again if they decide to bring it back.

Grade: A

Beer Review: Carton/Barrier SS-C.R.E.A.M. Imperial Cream Ale

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Barrier and Carton got together and decided to make a hoppy imperial cream ale. I imagine after drinking lots of Money and Boat Beer they came up with SS-CREAM. Needless to say I was pretty pumped to give this beer a try as Barrier is becoming a favorite east coast brewery of mine and Carton is one of the most solid breweries from NJ. SS-CREAM comes in at 8.4% ABV and 70 IBUs.

Appearance: Slightly hazy copper/light amber color. Almost no head but some real great lacing.

Nose: Citrus, pine, resin, grapefruit, lots of orange and some tropical fruit aromas. Malty sweetness and spicy as well. Smells like a big beer and has a lot of depth. Some of the notes became a little more pronounced as the beer warmed up.

Taste/Mouth: Spicy, herbal hop flavors and some sweet malt up front. Some vanilla flavors with orange and grapefruit carrying over from the nose. Pear and pine resin in the middle. Full body beer with a nice bready malt sweetness as well. It finishes slightly bitter and dry. I would compare this to a super balanced double IPA, since I can’t compare it to any other imperial hoppy cream ales.

Price/Availability: Brewed once as a collab between these two at Smutt Labs in New Hampshire.

Overall: Love the experimental style of this beer. Two solid east coast breweries teaming up and trying something new, while taking elements from some of their successful beers. It feels like there should have been more hype surrounding this beer. I was excited to get this in a trade and it certainly delivered as an excellent super balanced big hoppy beer. It is currently a one off but if it was brought back as a rotating or seasonal offering I would grab it again.

Grade: A-

Beer Review: Barrier Money IPA

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My first crack at a Barrier Brewing beer here with their IPA Money. Certainly Barrier’s most talked about beer and one I have been looking forward to grabbing since I started hearing rumblings about it. Money comes in at 7.3% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow, nice 1 finger head with some real great lacing. Awesome label art as well and I like the bottles Barrier uses.

Nose: Lots of citrus notes; pine, lemon and pineapple dominate. Biscuity malt comes through with some sweet malty notes as well. Tropical fruit and some melon is there as well. This is one of those beers that kind of smells like a fruit roll up, love that.

Taste/Mouth: Taste is citrus and tropical fruit forward with a nice crisp bite of bitterness. Orange, lemon, and grapefruit are pretty dominate flavors. Pine comes through from the nose as well. Pretty dank and juicy. Good balance though with some biscuit and grainy flavors. Mouthfeel is really nice and smooth.

Price/Availability: I got this in a trade with one of my friends back east, from what I understand it is pretty available in the NYC area though.

Overall: A fantastic IPA from Barrier. Money is super easy to drink with no sign of the ABV and while being super dank and juicy maintains great balance as well. I am looking forward to having this beer again very soon. If you get the opportunity; drink it fresh, drink it now.

Grade: A