BEER #98: HONKERS ALE, GOOSE ISLAND BREWERY

ImageTonight’s beer is Honkers Ale from Goose Island Brewery out of Chicago. However, the actual bottling occurred in New Hampshire. The color of the beer is a very translucent, almost watered down amber color. There is a small frothy head that dissipates pretty quickly. I am still a bit congested, but to me, there is a barely noticeable smell of malts. The taste is much the same. This “brew” honestly tastes like an EXTREMELY watered down “ale” that has had a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar dissolved into it for a lingering sweetness. I definitely can’t taste any strong hops or malts in this beer. Some may honestly enjoy that the beer is not strong when it  comes to flavor, but I don’t like paying for off-colored sugar water.

ABV: 4.3%; IBU: 30

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BEER #97: WEE HEAVY, SAMUEL ADAMS

photo (14)Tonight’s beer was Wee Heavy, part of Sam Adam’s Imperial Series.

Seriously…this beer is horrible. It tastes like the smell of my laundry detergent (as I have never eaten laundry detergent). I don’t know what it is about it, but it just has this horrid, very artificial, off taste to it. I bought it in the individual bottles area at a mainly college population liquor store (aka most beers bought there are domestics in 30 pks), so maybe it had gone bad. It at first tastes stout like and malty, but then it finishes with an off sour laundry sheet/detergent pungent tastes. I read some reviews on this beer after trying it, and I think I must have gotten a bad bottle as I don’t taste any of the flavours that my fellow beer drinkers are describing except for the initial basic roasted malt/sweet dark chocolate taste.  Anyone try this beer and have any input?

ABV: 10%

BEER #96: IMPERIAL IPA, MENDOCINO BREWERY

ImageTonight’s beer is an Imperial IPA from Mendocino Brewery out of California. The color of the beer looks like a nice hazy golden was mixed with a light amber. The head pours medium and then ends thin and slightly frothed. I’ve been congested for weeks and have really been having a hard time smelling these beers, especially this one. I don’t know if the aroma of this beer is light or what, so I can’t report anything back on that. However, I am enjoying the taste of this beer. When you first take a swig, you feel the carbonation all in your mouth. However, the brew finishes smooth and somewhat dry. The taste of the beer really hits a spot with me – at first you taste a plethora of pale malts which then turns into a bitter flavor on your palate. However, what sticks is the sweetness of the end of the beer. You get a nice sweet, citrus hop. It tastes like lychee to me. I’m a fan.

ABV: 8.0%

BEER #94: BIG SEA E.S.B., FREE STATE BREWERY & BEER #95: ISOLATION ALE, ODELL BREWING COMPANY

ImageBeer #94 was Big Sea E.S.B. I have actually never had this style of beer and for those of you like me who did not know, E.S.B. stands for “extra special bitter.” I got this brew at the infamous Monday pint night on tap at Free State Brewery in Lawrence, Kansas. The body of the beer is a very clear amber. There is a thin soapy head with very little lacing left along glass and medium carbonation. There is a light bitter hop taste but also a very strong interesting contrast of malts and grass with a little bit of acid. The taste lingers on the palate as you finish. I enjoyed this beer.

IBU: 45

ImageBeer #95 is Isolation Ale from Odell Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. I chose this beer as its description talks about snow, and my town is apparently supposed to see its first snowfall of the year tonight. This beer also has a deep amber color. There is a medium head that sits atop the body and it is extremely frothy and smooth – think what you would want to feel and see on top of a beautiful stout. There is a very smooth taste and feel. I taste a lot of malts with a hidden caramel sweetness that breaks through. However, I also taste a little bit of an off sour taste that finishes the beer. I think this is an okay beer, but I really don’t like the sour taste that is present at the end. It interrupts the malty palate in very negative fashion.

ABV: 6.1%

BEER #93: DARK OATMEAL STOUT, BRECKENRIDGE BREWERY

ImageTonight’s beer was another one out of Colorado: Dark Oatmeal Stout from Breckenridge Brewery.

The color of the beer is a very deep dark amber. There is little head if any at all with no lacing left along the sides of the glass. As soon as you start pouring this brew, you can see that it is heavily carbonated. It smells of roasted malts and dark chocolate. The taste is malty, but not as malty as I would expect for a stout. You can taste a heavy influence of dark chocolate roasts. However, I am not a fan of this beer due to the heavy carbonation. The first thing you notice when you try this beer is a tingling sensation on your tongue. The beer finishes very, very wet and you are left with a tingling, almost light burning sensation, in your throat. Don’t waste your time with this oatmeal stout, there are much better ones out there.

ABV: 4.95%

BEER #91: SNOWDRIFT VANILLA PORTER, LEINENKUGEL & BEER #92: CHAINBREAKER WHITE IPA, DESCHUTES BREWERY

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Last night’s beer was Snowdrift Vanilla Porter from Leinenkugel Brewing Company out of Wisconsin. I am not really a big fan of this brewery’s beers, but I had a white elephant last night and this was one of the options someone brought along that I had actually not tried before. All you really need to know about this beer is that it tastes like a standard smooth stout with not a lot of carbonation. However, there is also a strong, almost fake, taste of vanilla that infiltrates each sip. It’s way too sweet for me, and the vanilla is way overpowering.

ABV: 6%

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Tonight’s beer, Beer #92, was Chainbreaker White IPA from Deschutes Brewery in Oregon. The color of the beer is a very hazy golden. There is a medium amount of carbonation and a pretty thick, but very frothy, head. The aroma is rich with yeast and citrus hops. The taste of this brew is pretty good. You can definitely taste the plethora of Belgian yeasts used to brew this baby and there is a very strong taste of wheat. There’s also an influence of citrus hops, and you get a very slight bite of hops near the end of each drink. Not a bad white IPA at all.

ABV: 5.6%; IBU: 50

BEER #90: GINGERBREAD STOUT, HARDYWOOD PARK CRAFT BREWERY

ImageI’m still coughing out my lungs, but have recovered and am back to consuming delicious beer after about 5 days.

Now onto last night’s beer…OH MY GOD. That is all you need to know about this beer.

My brother and my future sister-in-law brought this bottle of deliciousness/angel tears all the way from Richmond, Virginia. And apparently, it was hard as hell to find even just hours after it was released.

The color of the beer is a very deep, dark amber with a small tan head. The aroma of the beer is much like a standard stout. However, you can smell a distinct sweetness of honey. I honestly do not smell much gingerbread. But then comes the taste. It is just purely decadent. It’s nice and smooth with a small amount of carbonation, and your palate is instantly hit with the tastes of delicious gingerbread and spices. I am in love with this beer. I paired it with a sugar shortbread cookie, and this brought out the spicy gingerbread flavors even more. If they’re not sold out and you live on the east cost, RUN and get yourself a bottle, or better yet, run down to the brewery!

ABV: 9%