So it's already beer o'clock around Goatsden International Headquarters. This installment, there are some fine craft brews to enjoy. Remember the ratings scale? Of course you do. Higher is better. If in doubt, check previous installments (search "beer" on this site). Keep it craft, keep it indie, and keep it delicious! Cheers and prost!
WINTERHOOK (Portsmouth, NH) - 4
This seasonal winter warmer pours a gold-amber with a mountain of small-bubbled foam. Nose is caramel-biscuity, with hints of spice (clove?).
Taste is strong, very bread-like with a little hint of fruit and a slightly bitter, alcohol finish. Definitely a solid beer, with a complex flavor profile, and an easy to drink treat for a bone-chilling evening!
BOULEVARD WHEAT BEER (Kansas City, MO) - 3
I'm not too familiar with Boulevard's brew offerings, but this faintly yellow and cloudy wheat beer begins blessed with a large, creamy head of foam. There's substantial lacing involved here, and a lively nose of citrus, and indeed there is a definite heavy orange zest finish to the taste. Boulevard Wheat is smooth-drinking, light-bodied, and a solid choice, although it doesn't present itself as too distinctive nor memorable.
GOOSE ISLAND - SOFIE (Chicago, IL) - 5
A "Belgian style ale" could encompass many tastes, so the printed description here leaves some mystery as to what lurks within this attractive and ornate bottle. Well, Sofie pours a kinda ugly cloudy yellow, with few bubbles and no lace. Not a strong opening, but the game's not over. Aroma is warm and spicy, with an unquestionable orange citrus overtone, with hints of pepper and clove. Surprisingly, the taste is quite mellow, with a huge sweet orange burst, followed by a slow-burn spiciness at the finish. This is then followed by another hint of warmed citrus. Delicious and exquisite!
GREAT DIVIDE BELGICA (Denver, CO) - 3
Great Divide has been noted for some outstanding beers (Yeti, anyone?), but this isn't necessarily one of them. Belgica pours a beautiful, hazy gold, with plentiful suds and minor lacing. Next comes a fantastic aroma of spice, citrus, and floral/grapefruit hops. But Belgica loses a point with the taste. It's malty and sweet, but the wonderful hops presence (so promised with the nose) seems toned-down and scaled-back, somehow. It's bold and citrusy, with a peppery alcohol followthrough (this one's a strong 7.2% ABV), but not one I'd pursue further.