Maine Beer Company Dinner

dinner

I decided that after hearing all the hype surrounding Maine Beer Company’s first double IPA, Dinner, I needed to get a bottle. So I drove up the Boston to get the job done with an in-person trade with one of the brave souls who waited 6 hours in line for the release of this legendary beer. Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.75/5

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

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a goblet. Acquired in an IP trade with Mike – thank you very much!

Pours a sunny deep orange hazy body with a big frothy white head that reduces slowly, leaving chunky foam and lots of retention/lacing. Really nice looking.

Big, potent aromas of juicy fruits, fresh citrus, pineapple, like a tropical heaven bursting into my nostrils.. mango, pineapple, passionfruit. Fresh hops straight from the package, raw, alpha acids that make my mouth water. Nearly perfect here.

The tongue follows the nose with the addition of some piney/resinous notes.. lots of citrus and tropical fruits, followed by a piney/resinous bite then a light hop zing on the finish, no big hop bitterness on the finish which is nice, this ties into a nice easy drinking mouthfeel with medium carbonation and body. Beer burps are awesome.. which I usually don’t comment on but these taste like straight hops.

Overall a beautifully crafted DIPA, one of the freshest, most tropical I’ve ever smelled and the most balanced I’ve tasted. Excellent.

Jester King Montmorency vs. Balaton: Barrel Aged Sour Beer Refermented with Cherries

montmorency

Montmorency and Balaton cherries from Michigan were added to mature, sour, barrel-aged beer and allowed to referment to dryness. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned.

Final Rating: 4.58/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a Jester King stemmed glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a hazy raspberry maroon-red body with a light pink 1 finger head that reduces very quickly, leaving no lacing or retention. Berry juice looking after the head dies.

Big cherries on the nose.. kriek-like, tart green apple, fresh berries, barnyard funk, tart fruits. On the tongue is super tart fruits, sour cherry, sour lemons, lots of funkyness, barnyard, hay, on the follow through is slight vinegar, oak, fresh cherries, acetic bite on the aftertaste. Light and easy drinker, but very sour and mildly carbonated.

I loved this beer.. super complex, nice cherry notes, and lots of flavor.

Tree House Julius IPA – Liquid Gold

julius

“Our flagship and old friend. Bursting with pungent American hops, Julius, is a bright, tropical beer filled with flavors and aromas of mango, peach, passionfruit, and a melange of citrus. A soft, pillowy mouthfeel and rounded bitterness makes Julius very, very easy to drink. You’ve been warned!”

Final Rating: 4.67/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a Tree House tulip glass. Thanks AL for picking this up at the brewery today for me!

Pours a bright orange, super hazy body with a big thick white head that reduces slowly to leave pretty heavy lacing. Looks fantastic.

Lots of citrus on the nose.. orange rind, bright fruity hops, some resinous aromas, orange juice.

Wow.. very interesting on the tongue.. sweet citrus, orange, juicy notes, orange creamsicle, tropical fruit, followed by a nice subtle hop bite on the finish. Mouthfeel is absolutely PERFECT. This is one of the most delicious, drinkable beers I’ve ever tasted. Creamy, easy drinking, refreshing mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Perfect.

One of the best IPAs I’ve ever tasted. I can’t believe how easy to drink this beer is, while being packed with flavor. Wish I could drink this every day.

Mocha Wednesday: A Hump Day Favorite

mochawed

This huge 19% alcohol by volume imperial stout is a variation of The Bruery’s “Black Tuesday” brewed with cocoa nibs and coffee beans.

“Mocha Wednesday is the perfect follow up to a Black Tuesday. We’ve taken our bourbon barrel aged imperial stout and added cacao nibs from San Francisco based TCHO along with freshly roasted coffee from OC’s own Portola Coffee Lab. The result is an invigorating version of our popular stout; layered with notes of rustic dark chocolate and bold, fruity coffee beans.”

Final Rating: 4.56/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Acquired in a trade with Rishi – thank you kind sir.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black opaque body with a 2 finger mocha brown head that reduces at a medium rate to a ring of foam. LIttle lacing.

Aromas are strong and potent but very inviting – chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and booze with some coffee in the background.

On the tongue lots of complex and super delicious flavors – milk chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, caramel upfront – follow through is roasted coffee and some booziness (expected at this abv), finish is toasty, roasty coffee and malt and semisweet chocolate. Mouthfeel is thick, rich, and full bodied with low carbonation, you just have to let this one warm up a little bit.

This was the last of the black tuesday variants that i had to try, and this was my favorite one thus far. Most complex of them, and the coffee/mocha character works well. Recommended.

Space Station Middle Finger

spacestationmiddle

From the dawn of time, humans have looked to the sky for answers. Space Station Middle Finger replies to all from its eternal orbit. Behold Space Station Middle Finger, a bright golden American Pale Ale.

Honestly, I traded for this beer because it’s label is so awesome, and so is Three Floyds. Heres my review:

Final Rating: 4.27/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 3F Teku. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a slightly hazy amber body with a generous 2 finger off white head that sticks around for a while, leaving lacing and high retention.

Fruity aromas come through, tropical and citrusy, mango. Light aromas but very inviting. Biscuity malt backbone is present, maybe some caramel and slight butter.

Light hops on the tongue, citrus and grapefruit, light pine with a caramel, pale malt finish. Medium light body, very drinkable and crisp.

Overall very well rounded. I could pound a few of these down if it were available in a 6 pack (and I was in the three floyds distro!)

Hill Farmstead Society and Solitude #4 : Deliciously Tropical IPA

society4

Got to enjoy this a few weeks ago, but I just got the time to post the review and picture. This was a growler fill from a trip up to Hill Farmstead of Society and Solitude #4 – one of  Sean Hill’s experimental double IPA series. I really enjoyed this one. Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.6/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL growler into a Hill Farmstead Stemmed balloon glass. Bottled yesterday at the brewery.

Pours a deep orange, hazy unfiltered body with a generous white head, reducing fairly quickly but leaving blotchy white lacing.

Bright, fresh, tropical aromas shine through the foam – pineapple, fresh citrus, raw hops, slight buttery aromas come through at times.

On the tongue is an explosion of fresh hops, a nice combination of juicy tropical fruits and delicious dank, resinous zing. Citrus, grapefruit, pineapple. Malt backbone is there -this makes for a nice, medium body with medium-low carbonation.

I didn’t expect anything less from HF – where some of the best IPAs in the world are brewed. Perfectly balanced, super flavorful, and an absolute enjoyment to drink.

Mamouche – An Elderflower Lambic Straight out of Brussels

mamouche

Cantillon Zwanze 2009 was a lambic brewed in Elder flowers. In 2010, Cantillon re-released this beer as Mamouche.

Final Rating: 4.59/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Cantillon taster glass. Acquired in a trade with Cody, thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy deep gold body with a 1-2 finger white head that reduces fairly quickly to leave little lacing and a ring of retention.

Aromas are delightful – pungent tartness, musty basement, apple cider vinegar, slightly floral and earthy, lemons and citrus.

I allowed this to warm to room temperature before rating it’s taste, as I think that’s when it tastes best. Very tart, borderline sour, lemon juice, funky yeast, grassy hay, light oak and acetic on the finish.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing with medium carbonation. Very easy to drink, not harsh or cloying whatsoever.

I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious Mamouche is – it doesn’t get the highest ratings of the Cantillon beers but I actually enjoyed it more than others. Very complex and balanced with tons of nice flavor.

2015 Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout

huna15

Hunahpu’s Imperial stout is aged on cacoa nibs, ancho and pasilla chiles, madagascar vanilla beans, and cinnamon.

Here’s the background:

In Mayan mythology, Hun Hunahpu was the father of the Mayan hero twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Hun Hunahpu, along with his brother Vucub Hunahpu, was tricked by the Dark Lords of the underworld and slain. Hun Hunahpu’s corpse morphed into a cacao tree, his head becoming a cacao pod, which in typically awesome mythology fashion, spit upon the hand of a young maiden named Xiquic who promptly became pregnant with the hero twins. The twins would ultimately grow up to avenge their father and uncle and defeat the Dark Lords and ascend to the heavens to become the moon and sun.

Final Rating: 4.48/5

My Full Review:

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a cigar city snifter. Thanks Keith for this bottle!

Appearance – Pours an inkjet, oily, slick black body with a generous dark brown head that reduces slowly to leave little lacing. Beautiful.

Smell – Subtle aromas on the nose of dark fruits, soy sauce, light chocolate, vanilla bean, lightly roasted coffee. Slight metallic aroma.

Taste – Upfront I get dark fruits, cocoa, slight cinnamon. The finish is SUPER roasty.. deep roasted coffee, dark chocolate, toasted malt. I get slight chilies on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – Thick, viscous, rich. Low carbonation. It will be hard to finish a 750ml of this.. it’s literally a meal.

I can see why this is rated so high, this stout is packed with flavor and complexity. Definitely worth seeking out. Share this one!

Good Morning

goodmorning

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.

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