Stone (not so) Coconut IPA



I wasn’t too impressed with this one. At least I got to use my new Stone glass. Here’s a synopsis of this brew straight from the Stone website followed by my review:

“Originally dreamt up by homebrewers Robert Masterson and Ryan Reschan, who earned themselves the top prize in our 2013 American Homebrewers Association homebrewing contest, this innovative beer marks a refreshing sea change for IPA lovers everywhere. It was brewed with 280 pounds of coconut and an unusual blend of hop varieties, including a few from faraway lands or just brand spankin’ new, and is guaranteed to taste like no IPA that’s gone before. Prepare yourself for a tropical breeze of a brew that will lull you to a place of tranquil contentment for a little R & R.”

My Full Review:

Final Rating: 3.53/5

look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a Stone pairing glass. Purchased in Attleboro, MA.

Appearance- Pours a golden, clear body with a two finger white, somewhat fluffy head that reduces slowly to a thin layer of foam. Leaves some pretty thick lacing.

Smell- It’s pretty tropical, floral, and citrusy. I get lemon zest, grapefruit, mango, and maybe a hint of coconut. The malt takes back stage but is definitely present – vanilla and caramel show up.

Taste- The first thing to hit the tongue is a huge piney, resinous, bitter, astringent hop bite that is reminiscent of a high-ABV, pine-forward, imperial IPA.. which this really should be. The follow through is somewhat tropical, some grapefruit and a HINT of coconut (it’s definitely there but would never have been identified if this wasn’t a “coconut IPA”). Some caramel, light malt undertones. Aftertaste is hoppy.

Mouthfeel- Medium-heavy body, medium-low carbonation. Definitely a sipper.

What I was expecting here was an IPA in which the fruity, juicy hop flavors delicately compliment the tropical character of fresh coconut. Instead, it’s more of heavy hop bomb with no apparent balance and very little coconut. Could have been done better. Cool bottle though.


Ommegang’s Abbey Ale



Tonight’s beer is a classic – brewed for almost two decades and highly respected, this beer is brewed in New York but might as well be brewed in Belgium. It’s a dubbel style Belgian ale brewed with Licorice Root, Star Anise, Sweet Orange Peel, Coriander, and Cumin. Sounds complex? Believe me, it is. My review barely does it justice but here it is:

Final Rating: 4.49/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Ommegang 10 yr. anniversary glass. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

Appearance- Pours a hazy, cherry-brown body with a huge, fluffy white head that reduces very slowly. Leaves some lacing.

Smell- Very nice and potent, I get raisons, plums, oranges, burnt sugar, ripe bananas, and spices, clove and coriander. Very inviting on the nose.

Taste- Wow, this is very nice! What a wide range of flavors, this is super complex. Starts off pretty fruit, with sweet fruity notes including banana, plums, white grapes, and oranges. This turns into a roasty, charred, toasted malt flavor. Spices compliment all of these flavors, including clove and allspice. Aftertaste is slightly metallic.

Mouthfeel- Rich, medium-heavy body. This is a dubbel? Could be a trippel easily. Medium carbonation.

I was very impressed with this beer. If you said that this was imported from Belgium I’d probably believe you. Ommegang has created a very good, very accurate version of the Belgian dubbel. Recommendable

The Spiciest Beer You’ll Ever Taste

Founders Mango Magnifico


“Mango Magnifico con Calor [Magnificent Mango with Heat] is a never-before-released, high-gravity fruit beer brewed with mango and a touch of Michigan-grown habaneros. Not a traditional fruit beer, the delicate tropical fruit in Mango Magnifico is punctuated by a hint of heat, increasing the overall depth of flavor and adding another level of complexity. A refreshing drink for the warm summer months.”

Final Rating: 3.85/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 25.4 oz bottle into a FFF tulip glass. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear orange-amber body with a 3″ fluffy white head that ruduces slowly to a ring of foam. Leaves some lacing.

Smell- I definitely get some sweet mango and fruity notes. Beyond that is maybe some caramel and alcohol. Not getting any habenero or spiciness in the aroma.

Taste- The first taste to hit the tongue is a syrupy, pretty sweet mango. Not too long after, the Habenero peppers make a big presence with a distinct spiciness that is like no other – a lingering hot and spicy flavor linger for a while. Chili pepper notes on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall I’d call this one of the most unique beers I’ve ever tasted, mainly because of the kick of spiciness it packs. I’d have to say the mango does go well with the habeneros. It’s not very complex, though.

Would you like some Smoke with your Beer?

Jack’s Abby Smoked Maple LagerImage

Tonight’s beer was an offering from a local but well known brewery from Framingham, MA, Jack’s Abbey. Famous for their outstanding selection of lagers, Jack’s Abbey brews in the traditional German style with an American twist.

Maple Smoked Lager is brewed in a unique style called a Rauchbeer, noted for it’s smokey, charred character. Here’s an excerpt from Beer Advocate regarding this style:

“Green malts are literally dried over an open fire of beech wood, imparting a unique smokiness (“rauch” is German for smoke), the usage of which produces beers of an acquired taste. Imagine a smokiness so robust, so assertive, that it tastes of spiced, smoked meat.”

And assertive it was. Here’s my review:

Final Rating: 4.31/5
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Purchased at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA.

Appearance- Pours a cloudy, dark amber body with golden highlights. Has a 2″ white head that reduces fairly quickly to nothing. No lacing.

Smell- The aroma is very smokey.. campfire, charred malt, burnt coffee, and almost a burnt sugar/toffee scent.

Taste- Where do I begin.. the first impression is like drinking a campfire – there’s a super potent smokiness to this beer but it’s not overbearing. This transcends into burnt sugar, toffee, and caramel notes. The maple shows up on the finish.. very subtle maple but it’s definitely there and adds complexity, and for that +1/2 point for taste!

Mouthfeel- Could be a little heavier, light-ish body with a little too much carbonation. Doesn’t take away from the overall enjoyment though.

This was a very good interpretation of a less common style. The Germans would be proud. Complex and extremely flavorful.

The Bruery Mischeif, A Belgian-Style Pale Ale Straight Outta Cali



Tonight’s brew was a 35 IBU offering from a very respected brewery, The Bruery. It’s a Hoppy Belgian-Style Golden Strong Ale. This golden ale is dry-hopped with American hops to add a layer of complexity and mystery to its fruity, dry Belgian-style character.

This was my first beer from The Bruery, who’s more sought-after beers include the legendary imperial stouts, “Black Tuesday” and “Chocolate Rain” , both of which I am in constant search of. Some day. Here’s my review on Mischief:

Final Review: 3.88/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into a snifter. Purchased in Attleboro, MA.

Appearance- Pours a pretty hazy, somewhat dull straw colored body with a fluffy white head that reduces slowly and leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell- Pretty tropical and fruity, aromas of pineapple, mango, and grapefruit. There’s definitely a bold hop zing in there too.. resinous and piney.

Taste- Hm.. pretty interesting. Starts off kind of sweet, with the caramel, light malts combining with the Belgian fruit which were present in the aroma. The finish is very hoppy, leaving an astringent, resinous stickyness. There’s a solvent-like ethanol aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Somewhat watery. Medium-low carbonation.

I was moderately impressed with this beer. Definitely worth a try, though, as it is complex and unique.

Happy IPA Day!!



Happy IPA day everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying some hoppy brews today. I know I am. I decided to drink an awesome IPA from a lesser respected brewery – Green Flash’s West Coast IPA.

This is an IPA brewed with columbus an centennial hops, a great combination which should produce some tropical and fruity notes when drank fresh. Too bad that many of Green Flash’s beers have been sitting on the shelves half a year or more, and the beer community has noticed. Oh well, it was still awesome, and here’s my review:

Overall rating: 4.11/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a oversize wine glass. Bottled November 2011 (you can’t find fresher Green Flash on the shelves these days!)

A- Pours a clear amber body with a thick off-white head that reduces slowly to chunks of foam and leaves heavy lacing.

S- Heavy pine, citrus, lemon zest, resin, breadyness

T- Flavorful but subtle hop character – lots of pine and citrus zest, but a nice strong malt backbone reveals caramel, bread, and lightly toasted malt.

M- Somewhat watery, medium carbonation. Good drinkibility, pretty smooth.

Definitely a decent IPA. Easy going down. Could use a bit more flavor, but the hops have definitely faded in this bottle as it is over 6 months old.