Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Craft Beer Tastings For Halloween 2012, Take Two...

Like it or not, craft beer is here to stay. Here are more reviews for your amusement and reference. Scores are from 1 (awful) to 5 (amazing). Drink and be merry!

Picked up this single after several recommendations on the web. Unavailable in my zip code, so found one in Louisville, Kentucky, at the amazing Liquor Barn.

Pours a dense and cloudy amber, with a thick and sudsy head. Nice. Lace is there, but unremarkable. Nose is appealingly citrus-floral. Not outstanding, but definitely appealing. Taste is sharp up front, but with a heavy malt foundation to smooth it all out. This is an easy-to-drink IPA that shouldn't offend non-IPA fans too much, but doesn't quite cut it in my book. Sessionable? I'd say yes, though, so score some points there, but I wouldn't recommend this one otherwise.

This delightfully-priced ($2.49 a bomber at Trader Joe's Louisville) imperial IPA is an impressively boozy 8.4% ABV, but fails on all other levels.

It pours a hazy, cloudy amber, with a decent two-finger head of off-white suds and a fair fence-post lacing. Not awful there. Nose is mild somehow, though. I don't get a lot of hoppiness. Maybe a hint, but almost more of an adjunct corniness. Huh? Taste is way off balance. This one is heavily malted and boozy. Really disappointing! I can hear an old lady buzzing "Where's the hops?" here. Maybe my bottle was old, but maybe not. A grossly imbalanced IPA and only a good deal if you want to get drunky-drunk. 

This cheapie just appeared on local shelves at groceries, so I suspected a major corporation bought out the name. Spot-on, as this once-proud Pacific Northwest name is now owned and brewed by MillerCoors.

Semi-transparent golden in appearance, with decent carbonation. Lace is pretty spotty but present, nonetheless. Nose is grainy and malty. Seems adjunct and corny to me. Taste is mild and watery. No sense of hops at all, despite the bottle's claim. Not sure if this was a better beer before the big boys bought the name, but this one's really pretty uninteresting. Avoid.

I've been quite a fan of Colorado's rich craft beer scene, but there are so many good breweries and beers, only a handful are distributed into my region. Had a chance to pick this up on a recent trip to Louisville, so here goes...

Cloudy amber, with an average head of carbonation. Lace is light and unimpressive. Nose is sticky hops. I get citrus and pine notes. Not bad. Taste is bitter grapefruit, but with a fairly substantial malt backbone. It's a crisp and refreshing IPA, and probably pretty sessionable. Still, this one doesn't seem to have a lot of character, so I won't have much interest in re-tasting unless it's fresh and on-draft.

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