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

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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.

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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.

Lactobacillus Guava Grove: Wildly Fruity

Poured this saison brewed with guava juice and lactobacillus bacteria into a Cigar City snifter!

Final Rating: 4.38/5

Appearance – pours a deep amber hazy body with a 2 finger white head that reduces quickly to a small ring of foam. 4.25

Smell – smells much like a Flanders.. Creamy, pale malt, Lacto tartness, cherry juice, citrus rind, some fruityness , spices 4.5

Taste- starts off hugely sour with lactic acid, lemon juice, sour apple, and citrus. The follow through definitely exhibits melon and guava, with some banana. The finish is creamy with some caramel and pale malt. The finish is astringently tart. 4.5

Mouthfeel- super carbonated, light and refreshing. 4.25

Very tasty, very sour, maybe a little too sour and carbonated and that may take away from the guava notes. Nevertheless nicely done.
4.25

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Midnight Sun Arctic Devil

Arctic Devil Barley Wine, aptly named after the ferocious wolverine of the north, is an English-style (meaning malt-inclined) barley wine. Though the recipe and process for Arctic Devil have evolved over the years, it is brewed once a year then aged in oak barrels for several months before the entire batch is blended, bottled and released. Arctic Devil is released once a year in the fall.

In its youth, Arctic Devil gnarls and snarls its way across the palate. Containing this beast of a beer for long periods in oak barrels–some having previously aged port, wine or whiskey–tames the unleashed malt and fierce hop flavors, melding and mellowing this powerful liquid into an incredible elixir worthy of a brewer’s table.

Final rating: 4.45/5

look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a Zwak glass. Thanks Keith for hooking me up with this!

Appearance – pours a hazy maroon-amber body with a thick off white head that reduces quickly to leave no lacing or retention. Some settling

Smell – tons of vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, cookie dough, some bourbon, caramel, honey, molasses. Sweet and inviting.

Taste – upfront I get molasses and vanilla, butterscotch, bourbon, the follow through has some coffee and roastyness. The finish is sugar cookies, very sweet and syrupy. Not much alcohol detected at all.

Mouthfeel – medium – heavy body, low carbonation

What an outstanding representation of a barleywine – complex, balanced, and sip demanding. The bourbon barrels really add tons of flavor to this beer. Seek it out.

Serving type: on-tap

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Firestone Walker Sucaba!

sucaba

A true English Barley wine.  Big boozy bourbon and American oak aromas combine with soft chocolate malt undertones.  Complex malt flavors framed in oak with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, toasted coconut and a touch of dark cherry.  A sipping beer best served in a Brandy snifter.  

Final Rating: 4.53/5 

look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Acquired in a trade from spambum, thanks buddy! 2013 vintage.

Appearance- Pours a rust colored body with a very small head that reduces quickly to a white ring. Dark and nearly opaque, can’t tell if it’s hazy but I think it is.

Smell- French vanilla coffee, bourbon, toffee, vanilla beans, butterscotch candy, white chocolate. Definitely smells like a dessert beer. Very nice.

Taste- Upfront there are sweet caramel, vanilla, bourbon notes. This develops into coffee and dark fruit notes, finishing slightly roasty. Warming booze definitely present. The aftertaste is amazing, toasted malt and vanilla cake.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation, medium-heavy body. Split this one.

I’ve waited a long time to try Sucaba and it didn’t let me down! This is such a complex brew, and the bourbon really stands out and makes a grand presence. It’s a heavier version of Founders Backwoods Bastard in my opinion, and that’s one of my favorite beers.

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