Hill Farmstead Biere de Norma

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“Brewed on the day of my grandmother’s passing (Norma), this is an inspired Biere de Mars fermented entirely in oak and soured with our house spontaneous culture.” -Shaun Hill

Final Rating: 4.55/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

March 2015 Release. 2014 vintage. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a hill farmstead tulip glass. Purchased at the brewery during the release, refrigerated since purchase.

Pours a muddy brown, pretty hazy body with an orange tinge. Small one finger off white head rises and reduces slowly, leaving a good amount of lacing and a layer of retention. Gusher, -0.25.

Aromas are potent and inviting, heavy oak dominates with a definite acidity present – lactic and light vinegar, musty, old basement, hay. Can’t wait to sip this.

On the tongue, a delicious sweet and sour medly is present intermingled with a wild funkyness and delicious oak. Light lactic, sour apple, caramel, toffee, finished with drying wood notes. Medium body with low carbonation.

Overall quite an enjoyable beer. Great sweet and sour notes, lots of funk, lots of oak. Very nice.

Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek

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Oude Kriek is a blended lambic beer brewed with sour cherries and aged in oak. Positively loaded with real cherries, which are added whole into slowly fermenting oak casks.

Final Rating: 4.52/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a 3F tumbler glass. Acquired in a trade. 2013 bottle.

Pours a magnificent ruby red body with a 2 finger pink fizzy head that reduces fairly quickly, leaving a layer of retention and not much lacing. Color is awesome.

Aromas are very cherry forward, lots of berries, a nice freshness that perfectly compliments the end of a hot day. Light funk and definitely some tartness in the aroma.

On the tongue is tart cherries upfront, not too sour though. Lactic tartness, drying tannins, light funk, and a touch of oak on the finish. Dry finish, crisp and refreshing, leaving a sour cherry taste on the tongue.

Overall quite excellent, not too sour, very balanced, and I like the fact that you can taste the cherry without it being taken over by sourness.

Kane 2014 A Night to End All Dawns with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beanas

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Final Rating: 4.54/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Kane Tulip Glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a thick, inky, opaque black body with a deep brown one finger head that reduces fairly quickly, leaving spotty lacing and a ring of retention.

Aromas are heavy on the bourbon, very whiskey forward, with a light chocolate-vanilla aroma, judging by the aromas I think this will be sweet.

Upon sipping, sweet milk chocolate upfront, mingled with caramel-bourbon, sweet toffee, light vanilla on the follow through, finished by roasty charred malt, coffee-like.

Rich, thick mouthfeel, very smooth and silky, low carbonation, defintiely the shining point of this beer.

This was a big one.. this highlight of this beer was the oily, rich look and feel, and the aromas and flavors were there as well. Would have liked a little more vanilla, but overall excellent.

Side Project Fuzzy

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Fuzzy is a Blonde American Wild Ale that was fermented and aged in Chardonnay barrels with Missouri grown White Peaches.

Final Rating: 4.8/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a Side Project long stemmed tulip (wine?) glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a lightly hazy, sunny yellow body with a 2 finger white, frothy head that sticks around for quite a while, leaving a good amount of lacing and retention. Looks really nice.

Aromas are potent and forward – they filled my kitchen upon uncapping this beer. The aromas that come off this beer are absolutely stunning. This is how a wood aged fruited sour should smell, period. Heavy funk and hay, TONS of overripe stone fruit, like you left some peaches out in the sun for a while, definitely tartness going on here, I can’t wait to sip it.

Beautifully complex stone fruit, sour candy, funky yeast, pretty strong sourness, oak, champagne, musty basement, more woodyness on the finish, leaves a puckering sour apple aftertaste, quite dry. Mouthfeel is light, refreshing, effervescent, crisp.

One of the best, if not the best beer I’ve had this year, and one of the best sours I’ve ever tasted. All around this is magnificent and world class. Would recommend.

Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock

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“Consistently rated as one of the top beers in the world by beer ratings websites, this beer has developed a cult following since its first release in 2004. After a very very long boil, fresh raspberries and raspberry juice is infused into this intense lager, bringing about fresh berry notes with a hint of chocolate, like a chocolate truffle. A wonderful balance of sweet malt and tart fruit lends to the drinkability, while a long aging period mellows the alcohol, making for a great sipper with a long finish.”

Final Rating: 4/5
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 bottle. Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a Kuhnhenn Snifter Glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours an amber-ruby stream, with a hazy maroon body once in the glass with a tan-khaki colored head that reduces pretty quickly to leave a ring of retention and no lacing.

Aromas are heavy on the raspberry, lots of raspberry juice, caramel, light chocolate, a little musty, almost oxidized. Little alcohol on the aroma.

Heavy raspberry on the tongue, very heavy, like raspberry puree, thick and syrupy, burnt caramel on the follow through, big malty notes, the finish is lightly roasty, the raspberry lingers for a while. Medium thick mouthfeel, rich with little to no carbonation.

Hmm.. I don’t think I could have drank more than the 12.7 oz of this, even that was tough. I do appreciate the aggressive raspberry flavor but I’m not sure if it meshes with the big malt backbone. Glad I got to try it though.

Funky Buddha Morning Wood

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What’s better than beer for breakfast? How about a little Morning Wood. This Imperial version of Maple Bacon Coffee Porter is aged in Bourbon barrels for months, lending smoothness to the smokey, salty, rich combo of maple syrup, fresh roasted coffee, and bacon.

4.65/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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Poured fromm a 22oz bomber into a Funky Buddha snfiter. Acquired in a trade.

Pours an inky, pitch black body with a coffee brown head that reduces pretty quickly to leave a small ring of retention and a little bit of lacing.

Aromas are heavenly.. potent and rich, a wonderful combination of sweet maple, vanilla-bourbon, roasty coffee, chocolate, toffee, butterscotch. Extremely inviting. Closer to a 5 than a 4.75 in this category. Nearly perfect.

Taste is exactly what you would predict from the aromas, light-to-moderate sweetness with lots of maple syrup, vanilla, and bourbon upfront, follows through with caramel and coffee, finishes lightly roasty with coffee on the finish. Aftertaste is smokey.

All the flavors are amazing and this beer is world class, but little more body would have gone a long way. Not watery but a little less potent flavors/body than the nose would suggest. Medium carbonation.

Overall this is crazy good.. an EXCELLENT breakfast stout, a hair below good morning and mornin’ delight, but miles above the rest.

Perennial 17 Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout

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17 is an Imperial Stout brewed with huge amounts of chocolate malts, cacao nibs, and mint leaves. This hearty stout boasts 10% ABV and big chocolate aromas and flavors with a hint of fresh mint. This beer is perfect for the last cold months of the winter. However, it may be enjoyed right away, or allowed to age in the bottle.

 

Final Rating:3.92/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Perennial stemmed wine glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a pitch black, inky body with a small one finger dark brown head that reduces pretty quickly to leave a ring of retention. Not much lacing.

Mint is very apparent in the aromas – very mint-forward, some milk chocolate. I can compare the smell to an Andes bar. Peppermint and chocolate. Never smelled a beer like this before. One ding I have here is that it smells a little artificial, like peppermint schnapps.

Taste is just as described on the label.. lots of peppermint and chocolate, some vanilla and caramel on the follow through, with a very roasty, toasty finish that redeems the somewhat one-dimensional character of the first impression. Medium-heavy body with low carbonation. On the heavy side.

A very interesting beer, mint is an adjunct that not many brewers use, but I think perennial did well crafting a mint stout. Mint has such a heavy, distinct flavor that it’s tough to create “subtle” mint flavors, which may have been a slight downfall of this beer, as the mint is almost overpowering and artificial. Was happy to try it nonetheless.

Treehouse Doppelganger

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This beer is an imperial version of Alter Ego. It is intensely kettle and dry hopped to produce a pungent and flavorful Double IPA that is super pleasant to drink.  It is simply and easily described as a juicy and dank citrus bomb.

Final Rating: 4.75/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16oz can into a Treehouse snifter. Purchased and canned at the brewery the day of release 4/29/16. Consumed same day.

Pours a characteristic Treehouse hazy deep orange body, a little darker than the typical Treehouse IPA but not much. Not quite as golden. Head is big, white, frothy, leaving heavy lacing and a good amount of retention. Looks fantastic.

Aromas are bursting and tropical, heavy mango and pineapple, a little watermelon, passionfruit, grapefruit. The aroma reminds me of Haze with a bit more pineapple.

Taste is tropical fruit fest as expected, tons of pineapple, mango, honeydew melon, more melony than citrusy, much like Haze, with an amazing creamyness, orange creamsicle on the follow through, very little bitterness on the finish. Creamy, full body but not filling, easy drinker. Medium-low carbonation.

Another Grand Slam from Treehouse. Most of their hoppy beers have the same characteristic tropical, creamy taste and aroma with slight variations. This is is more on the melony / stone fruit side. Awesome.

Wicked Weed Freak of Nature

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“The Freak of Nature is our San Francisco inspired hoppy monster. At 8% abv and who knows how many ibu’s, this beer is our shrine to the Hop. Absurd amounts of the big West Coast hops gives this beer its citrusy, weedy nose and big, dank flavor. We dry hop with 48lbs per batch, which is over 3lbs of hops per barrel. In keeping with the classic style of the West Coast double, sugar plays a large part in creating this dry and minimally bitter double IPA. The Freak is particularly pintable for the style, so if you dare to enter, we welcome you to the Freak Show.”

Final Rating: 4.14/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2.22.16. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Wicked Weed snifter. Thanks Steve for hooking me up with this, been wanting to try it for a while.

Pours a lightly hazy amber body with a big frothy white head that sticks around for a while to leave behind chunky lacing and retention. Just what an IPA should look like.

Resinous, dank aromas, citrus and pine, lightly earthy with some rye and floral aromas. On the Tropical to Resinous spectrum, the aromas indicate that this falls heavily to the resinous side.

The tongue is very similar to the nose. Upfront is a big punch of resinous, piney, west coast hops that dominate the follow through as well, sitting on a pretty heavy hop backbone. Finish is bitter and piney with a distinct west coast astringency that sits around for a minute. Pretty easy drinker considering the 8.5% ABV, medium body with medium low carbonation.

A nice change from the east coast style, definitely showcases the roots of the American IPA with citrus, pine, and resinous notes.

 

 

Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze

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In a lambic brewery, every bottling (about 50 each season at the Cantillon brewery) results in a beer with its own more or less complex taste. These differences are one of the characteristics of the Gueuze, Kriek or Framboise. The lambic beers are blended in order to neutralize these differences and to be able to offer our customers a beer with a harmonious taste the whole season through.

Final Rating: 4.66/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 sticker. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Cantillon stemmed tulip glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a dark orange, pumpkin colored body with a big white head that reduces fairly quickly but leaves a nice layer or retention and some lacing.

Decanted and allowed to warm.. aromas of oak, funk, barnyard, hay, cedar, citrus, lactic.. aromas are potent and waft through the room, much more inviting than regular gueuze, definitely more wood character!

Taste is fantastic, upfront a light tartness with heavy oak, quite woody, citrus and tons of funk all mingled together, mustyness on the follow through, finishes dry and funky. So delicious. Medium-low carbonation, easy drinker, medium light body.

The increased wood and oak character of this really puts it ahead of regular gueuze and honestly all other gueuzes i’ve had in the past. Truly world-class.

 

 

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