Beer Review: Other Half Baby Diamonds Session IPA

img_2916

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: Rushing Duck Consumer Friendly Keg Mover

img_2905

Rushing Duck, home of the hardest working brewery cat in the business James the Brewery Cat, is back with a hoppy lager in Consumer Friendly Keg Mover. CFKM is quite the mouthful to say, and type so we will go with the abbreviation moving forward. CFKM comes in at 5.3% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy straw yellow 1/2 finger head and some great lacing. Basic can with a decal on it, fits the beer.

Nose: Floral, earthy, citrus and lemon. It has some yeasty and even smells a little farmhousy or tart. Malt is present as well with toasty and cracker notes.

Taste/Mouth: Definitely malt forward with the cracker, bready malt at the forefront with floral and citrus hops throughout. Peppery and some yeasty notes, finishes dry and spicy hop flavors linger on your tongue. It actually has a very full feel to it and doesn’t feel thin like a lot of other session beers out there. It is more complex than advertised for sure.

Price/Availability: Cans are a brewery release and as you would imagine they do a lot of kegs of this one.

Overall: It is an interesting take on the hoppy session lager which is a new variant of the already popular session beer which lots of breweries are taking a swing at this style or something along the lines. I was expecting a little more hop forward but it was more of a solid sessionable lager with the malt flavors at the forefront and some nice complimentary hop notes. I didn’t love it but it was well done and I would certainly grab it on draft or drink it again when in the Hudson Valley.

Grade: B-

Beer Review: Pipeworks Lil Citra Session IPA

IMG_2622

Pipeworks is further extending their line of  4 pack 16 ounce cans by adding a new Session IPA in Lil Citra. I was excited for this release as I am obviously a huge fan of Citra as a hop and Pipeworks really hit a homerun with Lizard King. Lil Citra comes in at 4.9% ABV,

Appearance: Very slight haze, golden copper color with a small head and some decent lacing. As usual the can art is outstanding, Pipeworks has some incredible visuals on their beers.

Nose: Big dank citra aroma, mandarin orange and orange juice. Citrus zest with some biscuity malt aromas. Earthy and floral hops. Big nose for a session IPA.

Taste/Mouth: Juicy citrus fruits, oranges, mango and some earthy flavors as well. Some biscuit and cereal malt as well. Finishes clean with some lingering fruity flavors. Real easy drinking with some decent depth to keep you interested.

Price/Availability: New in cans around $9/4 pack and availability in Chicagoland seems to be good.

Overall: A nice addition to Pipeworks increasing line of canned offerings. Lil Citra is an easy drinking session IPA that excels in the aroma department while also offering some good depth of flavor. I still prefer Lizard King, although it is an APA and Lil Citra is a session IPA, they still seem comparable and Lizard King is still the top dog. This will be in my rotation though and is a great warm weather beer.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Fat Head’s Sunshine Daydream Session IPA

IMG_2572

Another brewery I got to pick up a few things from in South Florida was Fat Heads. In this review I have their Session IPA Sunshine Daydream. Sunshine Daydream comes in at 4.9% ABV.

Appearance: Slight haze, big pillowy 2 finger head. Some suspended particles in the beer. Nice golden orange color.

Nose: Pineapple, citrus, pine resin, grassy and fresh grain. For a session IPA it has a nice nose and certainly bigger on the citrus and pineapple notes than many other session IPAs I have had.

Taste/Mouth: Similar to the nose with pineapple, citrus and pine coming through. Candied orange, honey and earthy flavors are very present as well. Slightly dry finish, medium carbonation. Easy drinking beer.

Price/Availability: Grabbed in FL, not entirely sure of their distribution footprint. I paid $2 for a single bottle.

Overall: A solid sessionable offering from a brewery that I have heard a ton about. I could certainly session this beer and crush them on a hot Florida day (which I did!). Certainly worth a try, don’t know if you need to break your neck trying to get your hands on it.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Maplewood Crushinator Session IPA

IMG_2548

New beer, new cans, new graphics. Maplewood Crushinator hits on all those points. Crushinator is the breweries brand new Session IPA which is in 16oz cans (new to Maplewood) and some fresh design on the cans. It seems like most of the beers from Maplewood are switching to this style of design, I have recently seen a new design of their Charlatan Pale Ale. Crushinator comes in at 4.5% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy unfiltered glowing golden color, really nice looking beer. Big pillowy 1 finger head. Love the new can design.

Nose: Really bright tropical aroma hits you right up front. Very big for a session IPA. Some earthy and spicy notes along with citrus as well. Very nice nose.

Taste/Mouth: Really great creamy full mouthfeel. Great tropical hop flavors with some nice bitterness balanced perfectly with the malt. Super crushable, crisp and super tropical. Really great flavor.

Price/Availability: $10 for a 4 pack and its a new beer which seems to be a rotating release.

Overall: Wow this beer really surprised me and I’m loving it. Jumped into my top Chicago summer beers for sure. Can’t wait to crush these on a hot day. Maplewood is definitely on my radar and got my attention with this beer!

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Lagunitas The Down Low Ale

IMG_2547

One of Lagunitas newest releases this is The Down Low Ale, a super sessionable American Pale Ale. I first had this at the brewery in Chicago and then ended up picking up a bottle so I could write it up for the site. Lagunitas is really at the top of the game right now, they just continually put out solid releases. The Down Low Ale comes in at 3.9% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy light copper amber color. Darker than I was expecting it to be when I saw the style and ABV. 1 finger head and great lacing, simple and pleasing packaging.

Nose: Pretty dank nose for a 3.9% session beer. Smells more like an IPA. Super pine resin, great tropical fruit, grapefruit, orange and citrus. Some caramel malt sweetness can be picked up as well.

Taste/Mouth: Some earthy, flowery, hop notes and a pretty good bite of carbonation up front. Finishes dry with a good dose of bitterness. Definitely invites you to keep sipping, so I guess it succeeds in being a great session beer. Not a really big flavor profile though, mostly earthy hop flavors, not as big as the nose. Easily crushable.

Price/Availability: This has been added to the year round lineup and at $4 a bomber you really can’t go wrong.

Overall: Lagunitas delivers another quality beer at an amazing price point, like a truly amazing price point I can’t stress that enough. Not my favorite beer they have ever brewed but it is certainly solid and succeeds in being very sessionable. The nose is quite impressive but the flavor, while fine, leaves a little to be desired. I would definitely buy again or grab on draft.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Alpine Hoppy Birthday IPA

IMG_2315

Alpine beers were for a very long time only available in such a small part of CA making them very sought after and hard to get. Since Green Flash has acquired Alpine though their beers have been a bit easier to get, although not their entire catalog gets national distribution I have since gotten to try a few of their beers. This review is of their session IPA Hoppy Birthday which comes in at 69 IBUs and 5.25% ABV.

Appearance: Light copper color with a small head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing as you drink it down though. Although Alpine labels are very simple, I find them very appealing.

Nose: Nice nose, not huge or mind-blowing but very pleasant. Pine resin, some grapefruit and orange aromas.

Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose with a good dose of pine and grapefruit. Tropical fruit and earthy flavors also come through in the flavor. Some caramel and malt sweetness help to bring some balance to this session IPA. Finishes bitter and dry. Easy drinking.

Availability/Price: $8.99 price tag (which I forgot to remove) in a bomber, availability seems to be good in the Green Flash footprint.

Overall: Green Flash buying Alpine helped me finally get to try some Alpine beers and so far, unfortunately, I have not been blown away. They seem like hoppy beers that were amazing a few years ago and have since been trumped by some newer beers and breweries. Competition is stiff now and Alpine may need to up their game to keep up. Nonetheless this is a fine Session IPA, although I do think a session beer should be in a six pack that way it can be sessioned, ya know?

Grade: B