So I've been backlogged with good brews (and some far-ranging music)...here's an installment of beer reviews from the late August to September period. Look out for another beer installment SOON! And don't forget to fight for your right to choose your beer. Corporate beer sucks! Indie beer, baybee! Power to the people, not to shareholders! Remember, my reviews range from a 1 (infected toilet water) to 5 (the fountain of youth). So, a 3 would be a decent (but not outstanding) beer. Got it? And a-one, and a-two, a beer for me, and a beer for you! Hah!
CASTELLO (Italy) - 2.0
Hmm. A thin, pallid appearance and major skunky odor are immediately apparent with this Italian lager. Not a good place to start. Taste is weak, watery, and, well, bland. There's little to grasp taste-wise. I know there are some good craft brews from Italy, but I've yet to encounter one, unfortunately! Awful stuff here.
GREAT DIVIDE - BELGICA (Denver, CO) - 4.0
A "Belgian-style India Pale Ale"? Now that's something I've never had before. Kudos to Great Divide for creativity. Anyhow, Belgica pours a non-threatening pale gold (like a lager), but the sweet and spicy floral notes are prominent and welcoming. My first taste landed me headfirst on the spice train -- warm and peppery. with an outlying hint of citrus underneath. Definitely one for the more adventurous, but quite delicious.
TYRANENA BREWING - ROCKY'S REVENGE (Lake Mills, WI) - 4.0
This cloudy brown ale I'd never seen nor heard of, but it packs a wicked punch. Starting with the endearingly cool "sea monster" bottle art with local legend on the label doesn't hurt. But what matters most is the taste, and "Rocky's Revenge" hit me straight away with a strong nutty, hoppy kick. There's some chocolate notes, too, most definitely, but none of the coffee-like tones of a porter. It's sweet and malty, but, like, heavy, man. A real winner and a unique beer.
BECK'S OKTOBERFEST (Germany) - 3.5
This malty red-amber brew pours with solid lacing, and a rich, yeasty biscuit toastiness upon initial sips. Not really a complex beer, but more than pleasing to my palate. Good showing, especially from the usually sub-par Beck's label.
CHIMAY - TRIPEL (Belgium) - 5.0
Poured into my ale goblet with a rush of carbonation and a sweet, fruity aroma. Very appealing and attractive! The cloudy, golden appearance shows plenty of yeasty sediment, too, and the first taste is a rich and spicy flavor, followed by a slight alcohol presence. Coriander, clove, and candy sugar also come through in this complex and perfectly-done Belgian abbey ale. The hoppy "rolling" finish is just icing on the cake. Absolutely a beautiful and delicious beer!
DARK HORSE BREWING - Perkulator Coffee Doppelbock (Marshall, MI) - 3.0
A cloudy, opaque amber at first pour, this hearty brew smells of sweet malts and roasty chocolate coffee. Initial taste is a palatable sweetness, tempered by an almost fruity character. Maybe a hint of raisin or spice with a final wash of alcohol. Certainly not as coffee-oriented or intense as I'd expected. Love the bottle art, though!
CARLSBERG ELEPHANT (Denmark) - 3.0
Pours a rich, amber-gold with plenty of head and lacing. This nice 7.2% ABV lager has a nicely floral nose and a balanced malty flavor profile -- not too challenging or challenging but certainly enjoyable and easy-going. A good, solid beer with a surprising alcohol kick.
AVERY BREWING - SALVATION BELGIAN-STYLE GOLDEN ALE (Boulder,CO) - 5.0
The ornate, busy, and artful label design is fitting for this opaque golden ale with a brisk 9% ABV content. The taste is rich, malty, and sweet with floral, fruity overtones and a hop-edged finish. A complex flavor that's pleasing and surprisingly palatable. Superb!
AVERY BREWING - THE REVEREND BELGIAN-STYLE QUADRUPEL ALE (Boulder, CO) - 3.5
Opaque, cloudy red-amber with average to medium lacing. Poured this one into a small wine goblet. First whiff is a sweet candy, some clove, spice, and then a profound jab of alcohol burn. At 10% ABV, this one's definitely a sipper. Faithful to the Belgian style, but substantially more assertive. Quite tasty, but perhaps a mite too heavy-duty to really enjoy often.