Bourbon Barrel Aged Speedway!

baspeedway

Alesmith’s Bourbon Barrel Ageed Speedway Stout is a huge, bold, rich, dark imperial stout aged with coffee in bourbon barrels for at least a year.

final Rating: 4.5/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an Alesmith sample glass. Not sure of the vintage, as the bottled on date is smudged, but I think it’s a 2010. Thank you Kevin for this one!

Pours a thick, inkjet, oily body with a 3 finger milk chocolate colored head that reduces fairly quickly to leave a ring of retention.

Smell is inviting and potent – vanilla bean, heavy dark fruit, bourbon, some mustyness (I’m assuming from the age), milk chocolate, some booze in the background.

First thing to hit the tongue is sweet butterscotch, vanilla, sugar cookie, followed by milk chocolate, bitter roasted coffee, with a super charred, roasty malt aftertaste that sticks around for a while. Thick, rich, heavy body with low carbonation.

Very nice, super tasty, rich, complex, and balanced while hitting all the good flavor points of a barrel aged stout. Highly recommendable!

whitechoco

The Bruery’s White Chocolate is monsterous 15% ABV Barrel Aged Wheat Wine with Cacao nibs & Vanilla Beans. It’s only avaiable to Bruery Preservation Society members, good thing I have a hookup!

Final Rating: 3.86/5

look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Thanks vitese for the hookup! 2014 edition.

Pours a light, hazy, amber-marmalade body with a big, frothy, off-white head that reduces slowly to leave leggy lacing that sticks around.

Aromas are quite potent and inviting.. white chocolate seems appropriate as aromas of vanilla cake, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, and butterscotch all come into play.

Taste is a different story.. upfront is a muted caramel-toffee flavor, vanilla/bourbon and dark fruit on the follow through, somewhat astringent, almost sourness on the finish. A little boozy.

Mouthfeel is odd… watery, low carbonation, with a medium-light body. I’d expect something a little richer for a beer of this caliber.

Overall I wasn’t impressed with White Chocolate, maybe a couple years will add some richness or balance to it. Will revisit.

Das Uberkind!

uberkind

Das Uberkind is an Organic Vielle “Old” Saison aged for months in oak barrels. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned.

Final Rating: 4.36/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Jester King stemmed glass. Acquired in a trade from Trey.. thanks bro!

Pours a super hazy, cloudy dull golden body with a bubbly white head that reduces fairly quickly to a think layer of foam.
Smells sour, tart, citrusy, lactic, musty, and somewhat oaky with hints of farmhouse spices in the background.
Big sour notes of tart citric acid, fruit peels, sour apple, dry champagne, oak, caramel and spices on the finish. The aftertaste is super dry and tart, leaving an acidic sourness on the tongue. Medium carbonation, super drinkable, refreshing and crisp.

A very nicely crafted Wild Ale.. very complex and flavorful, on the acidic side. If you’re into sours, this is a beer to seek out!

Jack’s Abby Cocoa-Nut Barrel Aged Framinghammer

cocoanut

Big, bold, black barrel aged and aged in bourbon barrels with coconut and cocoa nibs. This baltic porter was aged for extended periods of time.

Final Rating: 4.55/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a Jack’s Abby snifter. Purchased at the Brewery.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body with a a finger dark brown head that reduces quickly but leaves spotty lacing.

Big coconut aromas take center stage here, along with vanilla, coffee, chocolate. Very, very enticing. I wasn’t expecting that much coconut, complimented by some nice bourbon barrel stout notes.

Taste follows the nose, very coconut-vanilla forward upfront, followed by roasty coffee, chocolate, some dark fruit, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, caramel. finish is roasty and toasty, somewhat bitter. Very nice, complex, and balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, but drinkable at 10%. medium-low carbonation. rich and indulgent.

What a great beer. Super complex and tasty, while really nailing the coconut-chocolate flavors. Easy drinker, and definitely a sipper.

Jester King Black Metal, a Farmhouse Imperial Stout

funkmetal

Black Metal Imperial Stout, a.k.a. Suds of Northern Darkness, a.k.a. Iron Sword, a.k.a. El Martillo del Muerte. Black Metal is a cruel and punishing beer fermented by the sheer force of its awesome will.

Final Rating: 4.2/5

look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Jester King stemmed glass.

Pours a deep, deep black, inky body with a huge, gushing dark mocha colored head that reduces fairly quickly to a thin layer of foam, leaves a little lacing. Beautiful.

Smell is interesting.. almost smells sour with hints of coffee, milk chocolate, and toffee. Not overly aromatic, tough to get a good analysis here.

Upfront is heavy freshly ground coffee, roasty malt. The follow through is bittersweet chocolate and maybe some farmhouse belgian spiciniess. The finish is hoppy, roasty, and toasted and charred.

Mouthfeel is medium with medium high carbonation. Not super rich, but super tasty.

I liked Black Metal a lot.. my only complaint would be that I don’t get much “farmhouse” character.. maybe a little more spiciness, fruityness, or tartness would have helped. Overall recommendable.

Hill Farmstead Abner: An Imperial IPA to Remember

abner

Next beer up from my Hill Farmstead beer haul this past weekend: Abner. This double IPA sits high on the top 250 beers list and is considered one of the best IIPA’s in the world, which is why I wanted to enjoy it fresh. Here’s an excerpt from the Hill Farmstead website, offering a back story to Abner as many of their beers do:

Abner (1867-1953) is our great grandfather; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his fourteen children. In his honor, this Double IPA is dutifully crafted from American malted barley, a plethora of American hops, our ale yeast and water from Abner’s well. It is unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and double dry hopped. Aromatic and flowery, bursting with notes of citrus and pine, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Abner.

My Review:

Final Rating: 4.72/5

Poured from a 750 ml growler into a hill farmstead stemmed glass. Best by 9/19, purchased 3 days ago at the brewery!

Pours a super hazy golden body with a big frothy head that reduces slowly to leave thick lacing and chunks of white foam.

Smells amazing – super aromatic with heavy citrus, sweet resin, bursting tropical grapefruit, pineapple.

The taste follows the nose with citrus being the dominant note, followed by tropical fruit, pine, floral hops, and creamy malt with raw hop oil sticking to the tongue, leaving a resinous pine bite on the tongue. Absolutely delicious, perfectly balanced. Medium carbonation with a rich creamy body.

Overall, does Abner live up to it’s high regards? Drink it fresh (this was 3 days old), and the simple answer is a resounding yes. This is up there with heady, and with it’s raw character and perfect balance, it’s safe to say that it can give heady a run for its money.

Hill Farmstead Anna

anna

Anna is Bière de Miel, brewed with 20% raw wildflower Vermont honey and house saison yeast.

Final Rating: 4.61/5
Appearance 4.65
Smell 4.5
Taste 4.7
Mouthfeel 4.6
Overall 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Acquired in a trade with Keith, thank you kind sir!

Pours a golden yellow, hazy body with a big, white frothy head that rises like a cloud and reduces slowly to leave uneven foam chunks. Leaves heavy lacing.
Smell is complex and inviting, eminating aromas of barnyard funk, lemony citrus, light fruit, spices, yeast, sweet malt, and wheat.
First thing to hit the tongue are notes of tart citrus and fruit skins, next up is a delicious funk characteristic of a good farmhouse ale, old, musty, and leathery. The follow through is banana, wheat, cloves. The finish is tart, dry, and citrusy. Goes down easy, very refreshing and drinkable. Medium-high carbonation.

My first Hill Farmstead saison, and I can see what the hype is about.. this is absolutely delicious, balanced, and complex. Not too tart with just the right amount of funk. Very good representation of the style.

Founders Dissenter IPL

“It’s been a dozen years since we’ve brewed a lager—and, true to form, we’re going big with Dissenter India Pale Lager, our argument in favor of the potential for complex lagers. Brewed with a wide variety of tropical, citrus-forward hops, Dissenter clocks in at 8.7% ABV and 70 IBUs. Our ales are fermented at warm temperatures, but this lager is fermented cold, using a different kind of yeast. The longer brewing process used for lagers gives Dissenter an exceptionally clean finish, allowing you to appreciate the clear beauty of the hops as you would a well thought out, eloquent dissenting opinion. We’ll let this one speak for itself.”

My final rating:

4.35/5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a founders KBS goblet. purchased in Attleboro MA

Pours a clear deep golden body with a 1 finger white head that reduces slowly to leave some lacing. Aroma is SUPER floral and upfront, combined with tons of pine, citrus,and resin. Taste starts off with citrus rind, pine, resin, and the finish is tropical, clean, and juicy. Very drinkable with a light body for 8+%, medium carbonation. I love that it doesn’t leave an astringent bite on the tongue but delivers tons of flavor.

Overall very well balanced, tasty, and drinkable. Well done.

09-08-2014

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Oatmeal YETI!

oatmealyeti

Much like its legendary predecessors, this Yeti is big, bold and dark. The addition of rolled oats softens Yeti’s notoriously roasty backbone and the small amount of raisins added in the brew kettle create a unique dark fruit character. Just as admired as those that came before it, Oatmeal Yeti Imperial Stout is a gentle beast.

ABV.: 9.5%

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a Yeti snifter. Purchased in Sturbridge, MA.

Pours a deep brown translucent body with cherry highlights and a light coffee colored head that reduces slowly and leaves blotchy lacing.. very nice appearance. Deep aromas of cocoa, marshmallow, toffee, caramel, and some dark fruits come through. The first notes to hit the tongue are cocoa, fresh coffee, toasted marshmallow, roasty malt, some dark fruit. The finish is slightly bitter like dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is not as heavy as you’d expect with medium low carbonation.

Overall a great variant of one of my favorite stouts. Easy to drink, complex, and balanced, and not too heavy on the wallet. Recommended.

Appearance 4.4
Smell 4.5
Taste 4.5
Mouthfeel 4
Overall 4.2

Stickee Monkee: A West Coast Quad

stickee

A Belgian Quad by recipe, but aging it in spirits barrels garners its own category: Central Coast Quad. A beer formulated to sit on the sweeter and malty side so that we could utilize it for blending. Turbinado brown sugar from Mexico and Belgian candi sugar add wonderful molasses flavors. It has a full body and lush texture with barrel expression all over this beer: toasted oak, coconut, leather and cigar tobacco.

Final Rating: 4.36/5 rDev -2%

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Firestone Walker barrel room snifter. Purchased in Cumberland, RI. Allowed to warm over an hour.

Pours a muddy brown body with a 2 finger light mocha colored head that reduces fairly quickly, leaving no retention. Aromas of caramel, toffee, molasses, dark fruit, candi sugar, raisins, some booze on the nose. The taste gets more and more pronounced as it warms up, mirroring the nose with strong sweet notes of candi sugar, molasses, caramel, bourbon, raisins, dates, dark fruits, and a very nice roasty, toasty finish. Medium body with some booziness and low carbonation.

Overall, very complex and a great American representation of a Belgian Quad. On the sweet side, a little more than the usual quad. Very nice nonetheless.

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