Good Morning


It’s not many nights that I say to myself “wow. this may be the best beer I’ve ever tasted”, but the other night when I enjoyed Tree House Brewing’s Good Morning Imperial stout, those very words came out of my mouth. And upon sipping it over the new two hours, letting it warm and allowing the layers and layers of complexity to unfold, my final rating pointed to just that – Good Morning might be the best beer I’ve ever had. It’s certainly the highest I’ve ever given any beer a rating, and if it wasn’t for my stubbornness and belief that “no beer is perfect”, I may have just given it a 5/5.

I guess it was worth waiting 2 hours in line (in the snow) after a long day to get my 750mL growler fill. And you can bet that next time it’s released, I will be doing the same thing (hopefully without the snow).

Here’s my review:

Final Rating: 4.9/5
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL growler filled 4 hours ago at Tree House Brewery into a Tree House tulip glass.

Pours an inky, black, oily, thick body that instantly produces a rising dark mocha colored, light-to-dark textured soft frothy head that reduces very slowly, leaving blotchy lacing and an uneven layer of light brown foam.

Let this one warm up to let the aromas develop and come through. Holy.. this beer reminds me of the wonderful aromas one would experience when first walking into a bakery.. extremely decadent, rich, complex, EXTREMELY inviting. How one earth do I begin to describe the aromas coming from this beer? Take the most delicious dessert you ever had and put it in aroma form.. rich french vanilla, super roasted rich freshly ground coffee, fresh brownies and cake, maple syrup, slight jammy fruits, anise, charred malt, sugar cookies. I can’t wait to sip this.

Taste is equally as decadent and complex, rich freshly ground coffee, sugar cookie, maple candies, dark chocolate chip brownies, cocoa, finish is roasty and toasty. So incredibly delicious. The mouthfeel is rich, heavy, full-bodied, low carbonation. Absolutely fantastic.

I was blown away by this beer. I enjoyed it over two hours and it just got better and better as it warmed and the flavors and aromas opened up. It was absolutely amazing, and as rated the best beer I’ve ever had. The complexity, uniqueness, balance, and flavors are out of this world. Seek this out.

Hill Farmstead Citra Pale Ale

Was super psyched to try this pale ale, as I recently brewed a citra pale and and this was pretty comparable! Super delicious , here’s my full review:

4.56/5  rDev +2.5%

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

Poured from a 750 ml growler into a HF taster. Filled at the brewery 2 days ago.

Pours a magnificent golden yellow very cloudy body with a white head that reduces to a layer of foam. Some lacing.

Aromas are delectable, tons of tropical fruits.. The hop profile here is dominated by juicy citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, mango.

On the tongue come big freshly hop oils – straight citrus and tropical fruit, followed by a slight hop bite but not much, making this an extremely easy beer to put down. Carbonation is medium and body is medium-light.

Delicious citra ale.. Having experience in brewing citra forward beers, this is what I aspire to create.

Founders Blushing Monk: A Raspberry Bomb!

Blushing Monk is brewed with a ridiculous amount of raspberries and with a Belgian yeast strain. It pours a stunning deep berry red and, at 9.2% ABV, has a surprising kick. The perfect dessert beer, it can be enjoyed on its own or paired with fresh cheeses, fruit, cakes and more.

Final Rating: 4.09/5  

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

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Founders KBS snifter. Purchased in North Providence, RI. 

Pours a deep maroon, slightly hazy translucent body with a beautiful pink head that reduces fairly quickly but leaves spotty lacing and retention. 

Aromas are sharp and potent – strong raspberries sum it up, not much more. On the tongue is immediate raspberry jam, sweet raspberry juice, some malt, on the finish is straight raspberry aftertaste. This is an absolutely raspberry bomb, but not overly sweet and not much alcohol detected. Medium-syrupy body with low carbonation. 

If raspberries are your thing, get this beer. A little one dimensional but tasty.

Founders Big Lushious Stout with Chocolate and Raspberries


“This deep, rich stout is packed with flavor: roasted malts, all-natural dark chocolate, a subtle suggestion of burnt coffee grounds and a kiss of tart raspberries. It’s big but balanced. At 7.8% ABV, Big Lushious is a sumptuous, extravagant dessert beer fit for enjoying with friends and family around the holidays or to celebrate a special occasion. But really, this beer can make any occasion special. Don’t worry; we won’t call you a lush.”

Final Rating: 4.24/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Founders KBS goblet. Purchasedin North Providence, RI.

Pours a deep black, inky body with a modest 1 finger head that reduces quickly to leave spotty lacing and little retention.

Aromas of chocolate and coffee with berries in the background come through. Reminds me of a chocolate covered raspberry. Nothing huge in this category, kind of subtle aromas.

Woah… wasn’t expecting the flavors to come in this proportion.. at first it tastes like a regular stout with milky chocolate characteristics, then boom – the raspberry hits you. Strong, almost tart raspberries shine through from the follow through to the finish, mixing with semisweet chocolate and coffee. The finish is roasty, espresso and raspberries are reminiscent. Carbonation is low, body is a little lighter than I prefer for an imperial stout.

Very nice, I actually really enjoyed this one. If it were a food I’d compare it to a chocolate covered raspberry espresso bean. Try it if you’re into it!

Hill Farmstead Society and Solitude #5


The next beer in Sean Hill’s experimental Double IPA series, Society and Solitude #5 is an Imperial IPA brewed with American and New Zealand hops.

Final Rating: 4.62/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml HF growler into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Purchased at the brewery.

Pours a beautiful, hazy bright golden body with a 3 finger white head that reduces fairly slowly, leaving blotchy lacing and some retention. Very nice.

Absolutely inviting on the nose.. tons of citrus, tropical fruit, mango and pineapple, hoppy and forward.

On the tongue citrus dominates, orange, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, fresh tropical fruits. The finish is not bitter at all, just straight potent hops on the follow through and throughout, absolutely fantastic! Easy drinker, medium body and medium-low carbonation.

Worth the hype. World class DIPA, plain and simple.

Jester King Provenance with Oranges and Grapefruit


The Jester King Provenance beers are a series of dry, highly-attenuated, authentic farmhouse ales, brewed with Hill Country well water, malted barley, malted wheat, hops, and fermented with a unique blend of brewer’s yeast, native wild yeast, and native souring bacteria.

This variation uses Oranges and Grapefruits. The other two use Lemon/Lime and Tangerines/Clementines. Really enjoyed this one. Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.22/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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

Pours a super hazy golden yellow body with a big frothy white head that sticks around for a while, leaving blotchy lacing.

Aromas are fruity and tart – sour apple, ripe bananas, oranges, zesty citrus and lime, Belgian style spice and farmhouse yeast.

Starts off tart, sour citrus; lemony with grapefruit, oranges and bananas, peppery spice, wheat and farmhouse funk on the finish. Aftertaste is tart. Refreshing on the tongue, easy to drink with low carbonation.. a little more carbonation would have beefed up the crispness.

Overall, as for with most of the Jester King wild ales, I am very pleased with this beer. Super balanced and complex, very easy to drink. Wish I was in the JK distro!

Firestone Walker 15: An Anniversary Blend of 8 Beers


This Firestone Walker 15th anniversary beer released in 2011 is a blend of 8 beers, perfectly blended by world class blenders to create a true masterpiece. Here’s the blend of Firestone Walker Beers:

18% Helldorado (11.7% ABV) Blonde Barley Wine.
17% Sticky Monkey (12.5% ABV) English Barley Wine.
17% Bravo (13.5% ABV) Imperial Brown Ale.
13% Double Double Barrel Ale (11.5% ABV) Double Strength English Pale Ale.
11% Good Foot (14.3 ABV) American Barley Wine.
10% Velvet Merkin (8.6% ABV) Traditional Oatmeal Stout.
9% Parabola (13% ABV) Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout.
5% Double Jack (9.5% ABV) Double India Pale Ale.

My Final Rating: 4.05/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Firestone Walker Proprietors Reserve snifter.

Pours a deep brown, chocolatey body that, once in the glass is deep black and opaque. Off-off head rises a couple inches then reduces to a small layer of foam, leaving blotchy lacing.

Aromas are delicious and inviting, vanilla cake and butterscotch upfront, heavy bourbon and caramel, slightly nutty, molasses.

On the tongue is caramel and brown sugar upfront, bourbon and vanilla on the follow through, slightly roasty on the finish. Slight hops on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is kinda thin, medium carbonation.

Overall it started out nice but I think this may have fell off since bottling. Thin and weak on the palette. Nonetheless an enjoyable drink.

Wicked Weed Amorous: A Heavily Dry Hopped American Wild


Traded for a bunch of Wicked Weed sour beers, glad to add them to my lineup! This beer, Wicked Weed Amorous, is an American Wild ale dry hopped with tons of hops.

Final Rating: 4.5/5

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

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a Wicked Weed snifter. Acquired in a trade with Mike M – thank you very much!

Pours a slightly hazy amber body with a big frothy white head that reduces slowly to leave some lacing and chunky retention.

Aromas are delicious and inviting – oak and barrel, sour lactic, green apple, citrus, and hops, pine, and light resin. I can’t wait to take a sip.

Upfront are sour, citrusy, tart fruity notes, sour cherry, musty funk, oak, wine, grapes, followed by a hoppy bite on the finish and a slight bitter, sour aftertaste. Super complex and flavorful! Mouthfeel is light, drinkable, and crisp.

I was pleasantly suprised at how balanced, flavorful, and complex this beer was.. took the characteristics of a world class wild and added a level of complexity with the dry hopping, but not too much. Would seek out again.

Snowed in With Some Bomb!


Christmas Bomb! is an imperial stout aged on espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers with winter spiced added. All the flavors meld to create a truly unique beer. The peppers add just the right amount of heat to compliment the intense coffee and chocolate flavors.

Final Rating: 4.59/5

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Prairie dino glass.

Pours a deep, inky black body with a 2 finger dark mocha head that reduces slowly to leave some lacing and retention.. very nice looking!

Big aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, roasty malt, and slightly spices.. very nice and inviting!

On the tongue it’s big, bold and flavorful, lots of milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, dark roasty coffee, dark fruits, vanilla beans, with slight spices on the finish.. rich, creamy, low carbonation, and super balanced and actually very easy to drink. This is amazing!

Overall I was pleasantly suprised at how awesome this beer was, the reviews do not reflect my experience, this was one of the better stouts I’ve had. Super bold, rich, flavorful, and balanced. Would seek out again!

Bourbon County Vanilla Rye


“First brewed for the legendary festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer in Chicago, drinkers enjoyed this Bourbon County Variant so much we bottled it the next year (2010). People flocked to stores to get their hands on a bottle and have this one of a kind barrel aged stout. Over the past few years we have heard our fans express their love for this version and we are extremely proud to bring it back in 2014. This years version features a little twist of aging the stout in Rye Whiskey Barrels with a mix of Mexican and Madagascar vanilla beans!”

My full review:

Final Rating: 4.61/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Goose Island tulip. Purchased on black friday in western MA. Bottled 31Oct14.

Pours a deep, inky black body with a modest 1 finger milk chocolate colored head that reduces to leave no lacing, but a faint ring of foam.

Allowed to warm to a little under room temperature prior to analysis, as I wasn’t getting much aroma straight out of the cellar. The vanilla really opens up once it warms, lots of vanilla bean, caramel, butterscotch, reminscent of vanilla cake or a light vanilla extract smell. Bourbon and chocolate in the background with a little booziness. Very inviting on the nose.

Upfront, the vanilla is very apparent on the tongue with a sweet vanilla bean/caramel flavor, leading to a chocolatey-bourbon flavor reminiscent of other bourbon county varieties, followed by a nice roastyness that sticks around for a while. Rich, full mouthfeel with a heavy body and minimal carbonation.

Overall this was very tasty and a few notches above regular BCBS. Richer in body and with the addition of vanilla a little more complex and flavorful.


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