Thursday, May 31, 2012

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter

Type: Vanilla porter (no shit, Sherlock)
Origin: Denver, CO
Price: $8.99/6-pack
ABV: 4.7%
NSP: 11.12
website

Trying to punch my way through my backlog of Colorado beers before I start grinding through my huge craft beer club list.  I've said before that I'm not much of a porter or stout guy, but I figure it never hurts to try one now and then.  I know Alex has a semi-chub for this one, and I actually picked this bottle up for him.  But it turns out Breck distributes to the east coast, so he has access to it, the SOB.  When are they going to start sending stuff out this way, dammit?

Anyway, this one's brewed with vanilla beans from PNG and Madagascar.  It doesn't really look like a porter as much as it does a brown or black ale because it's slightly translucent (though only from the right angle, as the picture shows). It smells pretty damn delicious- plenty of rich roasted malt, heavily laced with a whole buttload of vanilla.  There's not much more than that, but both of them are really nice so more isn't really necessary.  The richness doesn't translate to the body at all- it's really light and easy to drink, helped by a relatively (for a porter) high carbonation.  And the vanilla is all over everything- and I love vanilla, so it's right up my alley.  As it warms, the vanilla become even more potent, which makes me want to drink it faster and have another (which I regrettably don't).

Maybe I'm slowly starting to change my tune on this style.  It's still not going to be the first type of beer I reach for, but there are definitely those times when something like this would hit the spot.  If Breck started distributing here, I'd probably end up having some of this in my fridge all the time, just for those occasions when I felt like one.  Since they don't, maybe I'll grab some of Brendan's favorite, Knee Deep Tanilla (and, as he said for that one, an imperial version of this would be intriguing).  Good stuff.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Colorado Native Lager

Type: Amber lager
Origin: Golden, CO
Price: $9.49/6-pack
ABV: 5.5%
NSP: 12.34
website

Another beer brought back from my recent trip to Colorado.  Colorado folks tend to be a bit territorial, and I remember when this came out there was a fair amount of fanfare surrounding it.   The fact that this is made entirely with Colorado ingredients- Rocky Mountain water, San Luis Valley barley, 'the oldest strain of brewer's yeast in Colorado', and Colorado-grown hops- appealed to the sense of territorialism, I suppose.  Personally, the concept of locally-grown ingredients isn't all that meaningful to me (I guess I'm a bad Coloradan), because it doesn't matter if the ingredients are local if the beer ends up mediocre.  But I'd heard the beer was pretty legit, so I figured what the hell.

The bottle itself doesn't say where this is made.  So imagine my surprise when I looked up the website and saw at the bottom of the page: AC Golden Brewing Company, Golden, CO.  Yes, this beer is made by fucking Coors.  Maybe it's another layer of bad Coloradan, but I'm as much of a fan of Coors as I am of accidentally banging my junk on the corner of the table on the way to the kitchen to get a glass of water in the middle of the night.  If I'd known this was a Coors product, I wouldn't have bought it.  I would've taken a hatchet and smashed it to pieces.  But dammit, I already poured it, and even though it's Coors I can't just dump it because it's still beer.

So besides the fact that I already hate this, I also tend to not be a huge lager fan.  And this is an amber lager, which I like even less.  Really, I don't even know why the hell I'm drinking this.  As you can see in the picture, the color yells 'Hey, I'm malty as hell!'  And it smells really sweet with that never-appealing stale cardboardy malt aspect, plus maybe a touch of hop florality, but that's so faint I could be making it up.  The flavor's quite sweet as well, and again, the hops are so light and malt-concealed that they could be from Zimbabwe and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  The carbonation feels a bit soft, and with this much malt, it ends up feeling kind of thick.  The only thing that saves this is a light acidity that prevents it from being over-the-top heavy- which is good, because it means I can just shotgun the rest of it and move on to something else.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Anchorage Brewing Bitter Monk

Type: Belgian DIPA
Origin: Anchorage, AK
Price: $17.49/750 mL (!)
ABV: 9%
NSP: 3.86
website

A little while ago I had my first beer from Anchorage Brewing, The Tide and its Takers tripel.  As I said in my review, it was one of those beers that challenged what I knew about beer.  Most beers you drink, you have a pretty good idea what's going on with it.  When you open a bottle of stout, you pretty much know what you're going to get, give or take.  But The Tide and its Takers was a total mystery to me from beginning to end, and I liked it more for that than I did for the pure quality of the beer.

I said in my The Tide and its Takers review that I'd be going after the Galaxy IPA next, but I saw this at Clem's Bottle House the other day and couldn't resist.  I figured if TTAIT (I've had enough of writing out the full name) was confusing, this would probably be totally baffling, and why not push the envelope a bit further.  As far as I can tell, it's got the same fermentation process as TTAIT - primary with Belgian yeast, secondary in chardonnay barrels with brett, and tertiary in the bottle for a little carb boost.  But they also DIPA this one up to 100 IBU with a shitload of hops, including Citra dry hopping in the barrel.  Alrighty then.  I really hope it's good because it's freakin' expensive.  These dudes seriously bottom out the NSP scale.

First off, I'll say that I love Anchorage's labels.  Secondly, I'll admit that the bottle says this is from July 2011...it made me pause in the store, because that's a pretty long time for an IPA to be in a bottle.  But I'm not sure if fresher batches exist, and Clem's only had one bottle, and beggars can't be choosers.  The beer looks delicious, nice and cloudy with a good frothy Belgian head.  The Belgian yeast is nice and strong in the smell, with a hefty brett funkiness (all in all, it's really yeasty) and a good bit of winy citrus, which is no doubt amplified by the dry hopping.  But I don't really get any florality from the hops at all, or anything that screams out that this is an obvious DIPA.

The brett funk is pretty forward in the flavor, but not so much that it overwhelms anything else (unlike piss-vomit-rubbery Brett Dream).  At the same time, it's a bit stronger than I recall it being in TTAIT.  There's a decent amount of tart citrus in there, but it's sandwiched in between the brett on the front and the finish, which is fairly bitter, though not to the point of an American D/IIPA or an obvious 100 IBU.  I don't get a lot of easily identifiable hop flavor beyond just straight bitterness, but with the potency of everything else that's not all that surprising.  It has a similar chemicality/astringency as TTAIT, but in this case it's not as strong, I think because the hops kind of run over the citrus at the end and hide the alcohol pretty well.  It's also really dry, which is a nice touch, because the strength of the flavors dissipates quickly, which means you can handle drinking more.

Well, as I expected, this is even more challenging than TTAIT, because the hops add an extra layer of complexity and thus another degree of difficulty for your taste buds. There's just nothing easy about this beer.  I mean, Belgianity, brett, DIPAness, and alcohol each present their own set of things to deal with, and this has all four, and none of them lightly.  But you know what?  I like it a lot and I'm glad Clem's had it.  More than TTAIT from a straight beer-drankin' perspective.

I would absolutely love to see something like this built as a collaboration with Alpine.  Two big-time up-and-comers, and with Alpine's mastery with bringing out really good hop flavors, they could make it completely over-the-top ridiculous. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Anderson Valley Poleeko Gold special still life edition



Type: EXTRA pale ale
Origin: Boonville, CA
Price: $4.50 22oz
5.25% ABV
NSP 7.6

Mmmmmmmm this is goooood. Very pale. Bitter. Crisp. We need more beers in this category from Cali brewers (ie Bear Republic XP). I gotta brew me some of this sheeeeeet. Andy's review claims this is like an ESB, I disagree. No caramel malt quality evident whatsoever, and its supa' dry. While there are ESB's out there similar to this, they aren't very traditional. Drink up son, and enjoy the still life art whilst ya do. Plow Plow.

Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout

type: stout
origin: Healdsburg, CA
price: $7/22oz (guess)
ABV: 8.1%
NSP: 7.5
website

I have to remind myself that this is not an imperial stout, because I found myself tasting it as if it were.  There are minimal aromas floating around here, but it definitely has all those classic caramel and roasted-malt flavors, with a mild bitterness that lingers in your mouth (that's not a bad thing, I think).

I realized what a session stout might be with Green Flash's Double Stout, but this is more representative of what I originally though of: A stout that's not a massive face punching headache maker (e.g. Stone's BA-IRS) - one that you could drink like a session ale.  In this case there's nothing really interesting going on, per say, but it sure is an easy drinkin' beverage by a damn fine brewery.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Iron Fist Uprising

Type: Tripel IPA
Origin: Vista, CA
Price: $11.50/750 mL
ABV: 12%
NSP: 7.83
website

When I saw that Iron Fist was putting together a tripel IPA, I was excited, to say the least.  I absolutely love Le Freak (though for some reason it's started to taste a bit metallic of late, in my opinion), the easiest tripel IPA to find in San Diego.  And I'm always up for supporting an operation that's as friendly and welcoming as Iron Fist, particularly since they also make good beer.  I decided to share this one with Brent (maybe Samer can translate his shirt), because at 12% it's a bit much for a fella to take on alone.

This is a hell of a lot darker than I was expecting.  As I was pouring it, I was thinking there was no way this could be a tripel.  With that color, it's gotta be more of a dubbel, or at this ABV, a quad, right?  It doesn't really smell like a dubbel or a quad, though, none of the musty/cardboardy dubbel malt or the alcohol-soaked raisin quality of a quad.  It's really fruity with plenty of nice tripely banana and Belgian spice.  The hops that make this an IPA are there, but they're hidden a little bit.

First impression of the flavor is booze, booze, and booze.  Brent said if you're not careful, it burns a bit when you take it down.  I'll let you make your own 'that's what she said' joke.  Once my palate fought through the alcohol, I was a little confused.  This isn't just a tripel, as I'd surmised from the pour.  There's tripel flavors, almost wit or hef-like banana and clove plus Belgian spice, but there's also a lot of dark-fruity characterSo it seems to me that the Belgian part of this takes its lead more from the strong dark ale style than the tripel style; that's ABV's consistent with that too.  As with the nose, the hops are floating around in there and provide a light bitterness, but this isn't one of those west coast IPAs brewed with Belgian yeast (like Cali-Belgique or Le Freak). 

Well, this wasn't what I was expecting at all, and it doesn't really compare to Le Freak style-wise.  So I have no frame of reference.  I definitely liked it a lot though; as Brent said, if you're going to get drunk off a 12% beer, there's no better way to do it, and I agree with that wholeheartedly.  Purely out of curiosity, I'd be interested to see what would happen if they imperialized it (hop-wise, of course, no need to boost the ABV more), but even as-is I'd have no problems drinking it again.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum

Type: Imperial IPA
Origin: Chico, CA
Price: $2.50/12 oz
ABV: 10.4%
NSP: 12.43
website

We at Non-Snob seem to have a love/hate relationship with double/imperial IPAs.  So many of them end up overly malty or overly sweet, and none of us really have any time for those.  But occasionally, one of them hits the formula just right (Maharaja, Decadent, and Brendan's hoard of Hoptologist among them) and ends up becoming one of our favorites.  Given the quality of Sierra Nevada's pale ale and Torpedo, I have high expectations for Hoptimum, because there's no way Sierra's going to let the hops play second fiddle to malt.

I could smell this one the moment I opened the bottle- pine and grapefruit, pine and grapefruit.  Once it's in the glass, it becomes more floral, though the citrus definitely remains as well.  And there's enough grain in the smell to tell you they kicked up the malt bill, if the color wasn't enough evidence.

Whoo daddy is this a hoppy bastard.  I was considering reviewing another beer after this, but no longer, because my palate is going to be shot.  This is the way I like my D/IIPAs- it ain't fucking around.  Just enormously hoppy, in the west coast style- citrus-dominant rather than pine/floral-dominant.  Enough malt to provide body and balance, but not so much that it tastes malty or sweet.  The hop bitterness is mouth-coating and sticks around longer than just about any other beer I've ever had- this isn't one of those clean-finishers, and it sure as hell isn't supposed to be.  At the same time, I don't feel like it's excessively bitter- while the hops are incredibly potent (enough that the 10.4% ABV is completely concealed), they feel somehow clean. 

Well, in my opinion, Sierra knocked this one onto Waveland Avenue.  It's not something I'm going to want to drink every day because it's such a meaty SOB, but damn if it isn't delicious.  So, respeck*, Sierra, and keep it up.

*If you haven't seen Ali G skewer Becks and his skeleton wife- go here.  Poor Becks.  Well, poor if you subtract his millions and millions of dollars.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bud Light

No review here, just a rant.

I'll do the shitty beer thing, no problem.  At Coachella I must've plowed through 50 Silver Bullets (Stage 2 coldness only).  Natty? Sure.  Key Light? Fuck yeah.  But Bud Light?  No way. Go eat a fat one.

We found a 30-pack outside of a grocery store (someone had left it in their cart) so I figured I had to take it.  But this stuff is on another level of awful.  I must be getting old and cynical, because this feels like watching the new Kevin James movies.  Or the new Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey movies.  Why? Because fuck you that's why!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Madison River Salmon Fly Honey Rye

Type: Rye...pale ale?
Origin: Belgrade, MT
Price: $9/6-pack (craft beer club)
ABV: 5.6%
NSP: 13.25
website

I tell ya, it's hard work keeping up with the craft beer club.  Including this one, I'm running a 12-beer backlog.  Better get to work.  This one's from Belgrade, Montana, in the Gallatin Valley just outside of Bozeman.  I don't really know for certain, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that Montana's version of Belgrade is probably prettier than the Serb version, just because the Gallatin Valley might be the most beautiful area in the entire US of A.  

I'll let you guess from the name of the beer which two specific ingredients this contains...no, it's not some kind of fermented salmon/housefly drink.  It doesn't say on the bottle or the website whether this is an ale or a lager, but by the smell it's an ale- nice and fruity.  The honey and rye are pretty obvious as well, giving it a rich sweet smell with a bit of spicy pepperiness.  There's also a light hop note in there.

The honey and rye are also the most potent pieces of the flavor- each of them is easily distinguished.  But they also combine to give the beer a nice almost maple character that I like a lot.  That's not to say that it's rich in body (as most maple beers are), though- it's pretty light, and with a hop twist and a perfect level of carbonation it ends up well-balanced.  Quite tasty, and I look forward to drinking the other two in the box.

The craft beer club is establishing a pretty nice pattern here- they're offering beers that are well-crafted and complex enough to spend a little time with them, but simple enough that once you're done studying them a bit you can just sit back and enjoy them without feeling guilty about knocking back a few at a time.  Pretty much exactly what the non-snob ordered.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Boulevard Sixth Glass Quadrupel

Type: Quadrupel
Origin: Kansas City, MO
Price: $11.99/4-pack
ABV: 10.5%
NSP: 12.43
website

I've sampled three other Boulevard beers for this blog, and so far, the only one I've been impressed with was the Tank 7.  The Double Wide was passable, and the Long Strange Tripel was pretty bad.  So I'm not really sure what to make of them, because their reputation surpasses my own experience thus far.  But I thought I'd give them another shot.  They make it easy by offering a lot of their premium stuff in 12-ouncers, which are a hell of a lot easier to pack in a suitcase than a 750.

I love me a good quad, so I have high hopes for this one.  The nose is really excellent- the usual alcohol-soaked raisins are there, but what really stands out to me is the root beer scent.  And not shitty white trash root beer, I'm talking the really good sarsaparilla type stuff, with all sorts of licorice/anise, brown sugar, and vanilla running around.  And then a delicious fruity Belgian yeast thing to top it off.

Damn.  I'd hoped the flavor would bring the same richness as the nose, but it doesn't keep pace.  Most of the same hallmarks are there, but they aren't nearly as potent as they smell.  I'm disappointed that the root beer thing tapered off so much because I'd absolutely love a root-beery quad (maybe I'll just mix some Sioux City with bourbon later).  I still get a fair amount of vanilla, though, so that's good.  There's also a fair bit of pepperiness that wasn't obvious when I smelled it.  The carbonation's a bit too strong, and the alcohol is noticeable at the end, though the latter is no surprise.

Well, shit.  This one started off so well, the nose was really top-notch.  But that means it ended up that much more disappointing because the flavor fell behind.  I guess I'm not really any further along in forming a strong opinion about Boulevard.  Oh well, at least I got a bit of a buzz, so not all is lost.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Primator Double Bock

Type: double bock
Origin: Nachod, Czech Republic
Price: $2.69 per 500 mL
Website
ABV:10.5%
NSP: 19.5

This is quite a meaty bastard. I already knew that double bocks are not diet beers, but this one packs in 1900 kJ per 0.5 L (which is 450 calories). We all know Sambo will be staying away from this one. Diet aside, this is really not that great. It is really just too sweet without any interesting flavors. The alcohol is definitely there, lending a slight burn on the way down and the only other thing going on is a caramel maltiness throughout. If you are really a fan of double bocks, give it a try since the NSPs are through the roof, but otherwise pass on this one unless you are in the Czech Republic.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Great Divide Samurai Rice Ale

Type: Rice ale/blonde ale
Origin: Denver, CO
Price: $9.99/6-pack
ABV: 5.1%
NSP: 10.86
website

If you haven't noticed, every time I make my way back to Colorado, I try and bring as much local beer back as possible.  This last trip was no exception.  I picked this one up for the express purpose of giving Andy the opportunity to make as many racist jokes as he could come up with.  Fire away.

Right out of the bottle, I'm figuring that this will take me no more than ten minutes to put down, given the color and the fact that Budweiser also has a sizable rice component.  It smells really sweet with a caramel accent, sort of like a lighter version of the Sweetwater 420.  Actually, as it sat in the glass for a bit, it sort of started to smell like a Rice Krispie treat (i.e. sweet and starchy).  But there's a light lemony hop scent in there, just enough to make me hope I won't get a sugar high from drinking it.

It pretty much tastes like...well, not a whole lot, as expected.  The sweetness isn't nearly as strong as the nose suggested, which is a good thing- it's actually decently dry while still being a bit fruity, no doubt because it's an ale.  The rice doesn't bring so much flavor (really, why would it?) that you can't find the hops- instead, there's more of that lemony thing, plus a little something vegetal.  Pretty damn easy to drink, though the carbonation level's at the point where if you go a bit too fast you'll belch loud enough to scare the cats.

Well, beer-wise, I don't mind this in the slightest. But it's expensive for something so light and non-challenging.  I guess I don't see much reason to buy this instead of Bud.  I suppose if you refuse to drink lagers and you absolutely have to try a rice-based beer, have at it.  But go drink it somewhere else because you're a big bag of douche.

Monkey Paw

Monkey Paw
805 16th St 
San Diego, CA 92101 
(619) 358-9901 

Let's start this with a diagram:
What a "full" pint looks like at Monkey Paw.
What do you see here, children?  Caption not enough of a hint?  Well, it's an image of what's called a "short-pour", or when a bar fills your pint glass up but stops when the head first reaches the top.  For a moderately carbonated beer this equates to about 4 ounces less beer (see this nerdy-ass post for details).  OK fine, less beer.  But, when you charge 16oz prices for a 12oz pour, then you've crossed the line into scum-baggery.  This was not a one-off thing; it was clear that both bartenders were pouring short.  And, after I realized what was happening, I took note of what everyone else was getting.  You guessed it, short-pours.

Their other trick is a little more clever and a lot less obvious: Notice that when you get a "full" pour it's actually in what's called an Optic glass (where the inside has flat surfaces, not smooth).  Because the flatness of the inner wall of the glass adds extra thickness (inwards), they achieve the same effect, and it's harder to notice if you're not paying attention.

So this is a tough one for me to stomach.  Here we have a newish bar with a damn good beer selection, that also brews its own beer (decently I suppose), is operated by the owners of Hamilton's and Small Bar (both of which we frequent heavily), and that's pulling this scumbag-style, cost-cutting shit.  I really didn't expect to see that here.  Fuckitty fuck, you don't make enough money already that you need to scam customers?  Well go eat a fat deez.

They do make a mean Wit Wiz though, with delicious waffle fries... But is it worth it?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monchshof Kellerbrau

Type: lager
Origin: Kulmbach, Germany
Price: $4.75 per 0.5 L
Website
NSP: 5.68
ABV: 5.4%

I picked this one up at Bottlecraft a week ago when we were getting provisions for a "light" get-together. I think of all the contributors, I like lagers the most, and tend to be my go-to. This is definitely a lager, and has all the hallmarks of one (light, crisp, soft head, not overly hopped). There is a bit more to this that I think puts it ahead of other lagers I've had and thats the considerable malt contribution. Its not a dirty maltiness like brown ales, but a crisp maltiness that lends a sweet nuttiness to the underlying lagerness (I know I used 'ness' four times there, so don't show your douchebagedness by pointing it out). Also, it is so light and refreshing that I could drink them all day.  So, long story short, you should try it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Knee Deep Tanilla

Type: vanilla porter
Origin: Lincoln, California
Price: ~$6 per 22 oz
ABV: 6.3%
NSP: 6.8
Website

I am not a huge porter fan, but I am a big Knee Deep fan, so I decided to pick this up while I was stockpiling Hoptologists (I'm down to only 2 though :( ). One of the best porters I have had was the Vanilla Gorilla from Red Brick in Atlanta, although that one was an imperial. This one has the same great flavors as the Vanilla Gorilla (Tahitian vanilla, hence the tanilla name), but the first thing I noticed was it felt a bit thin. The vanilla is just right on this, and it really reminds me of drinking coffee with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. The only thing I would change is make this a little more imperial to add some more depth to it, but alas, upon further inspection on the website, they do make an imperial version of this as a seasonal beer. I might have to make a trip up there to pick some of that up along with a few cases of hoptologists. This is definitely a must drink still, and is one of the better porters I have had.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Double Take IPA

type: IPA
origin: Rochester, NY
price: $9/6-pack 12oz
ABV: 6.9%
NSP: 16.3
website

Another beer from Lynnie Lee's homestate, New York.  I don't agree this is a "head snapper", as the bottle states, but that's not to say it's not good.  I found this to be more of a malt-heavy IPA as you might expect from that coast [Chris and Alex (please excuse his poor typesetting abilities) both mention this distinction fairly often].  It has plenty of bittering-type hopness, but just not enough of those wonderful hop aromas and flavors we've come to expect on this coast.

Turns out I might be in Rochester during their beer week, so you might find me snappin' some heads with my good looks, or seeing what else Double Take is putting out.  Come say hi if you're around.  If you don't know, here's what I look like:
The Wolfman.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Toronado 2.0 (San Diego)

Toronado:
4026 30th St 
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 282-0456 

Here we have the second version of the firmly-established San Francisco craft-beer haven, that I'll call 1.0.   Having patroned both versions, I can surely point to differences between version 1.0 and this (here's a blog post about it):  1.0's bathrooms are raperooms, the place smells like feet, bartenders are generally cockfaces, and it's crowded as hell.  Of course, it's been around in the same section of Lower Haight for nearly 25 years, so that's not surprising I suppose.  But don't forget the amazing beer selection, which 2.0 is right on point with.

Look at this selection.  Granted it's CBC week, and the place was packed with heavy hitters (brewers from Alpine, Alesmith, Bear Republic, media, etc.), but just take a good look at what I had to choose from last night:

Russian River, Alpine, and the Abyss.  Nuff said.
Bear Republic tap takeover.  But don't worry, there are at least 50 more taps.
San Diego definitely has some top-notch beer establishments (I love me some Beagle), but how is this a fair fight, and further, how the hell am I supposed to choose?  And how are people who don't pickle their liver like the Non Snob crew do supposed to choose also?  Another way to look at it is that this is almost not fun, simply because there's too great a selection; if I drank everything I wanted there I would go broke, alienate friends, and destroy relationships.

I don't mean to suggest this place is overrated.  It's not.  Some of the most unique beers I've had at a bar have been from here: Nøgne ø's pale ale and imperial stout, Alpine's Expo, to mention a few.  So go there, and drink amazing beer, if you can manage to choose.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Diamond Bear Paradise Porter (part deux)

type: porter
origin: Little Rock, AR
price: $9/6-pack (Chris' craft beer club thingie)
ABV: 4.99%
NSP: 11.81
website

Damn Chris and his amazing palate.  He gave me an extra from his little-boy-beer-club (LBBC, formerly NAMBLA) and I thought "hey, let's see if my take is different from his, and then I'll post about it!!!".  So I pour and taste.  Turns out we have the same damn opinion (his review), although his is much more thorough.  But is his eloquence due to his advanced palate, or am I just slow and cant think of adjectives beyond "rad" and "awesome"?

However, I would play up the bitterness aspect Chris mentions.  It actually accentuates the typical porter-like flavors, which I think's the key to this being a very successful porter; otherwise, I could imagine this tasting simply like watered-down Black Butte.

I do have to detract for the label though.  It looks like the design is meant to appeal to Jimmy Buffet fans and people who like the flaming turds that are the Transformers movies.  And then there's the "Paradise in a glass!" slogan.  Ughh.  It's shit labeling like this that makes me want to take it off the shelf and smash it against the floor, as opposed to buying it and drinking it.  They should watch a little more Mad Men, methinks, but I would still buy this on draft, and perhaps even look for it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ska Modus Hoperandi

type: imperial IPA
origin: Durango, CO
price: $2-3/12oz (guess)
ABV: 6.8
NSP: 8 - 12
website

Oh man, does the Recon-man know how to pick 'em or what?!   This is an absolutely delicious, unique IPA from SKA.  It tastes like the IBUs are through the friggin' roof (some serious mouth puckering) but they're actually not (only 65, where Big Eye is 85) and it's not too dry; so, only the complex flavors of the yeast and hops linger.  But there's an acidic quality to that linger that reminds me of when I chewed on a pellet of Magnum and nearly lost my tastebuds.

I'm beginning to think Chris is somehow trying to beer-it-forward, because he consistently shows up with some major gems (e.g. this, Hop Rising, ...).   I can only hope he doesn't want me to watch him sleep nude in an oxygen tent, because I don't believe it gives him sexual powers.
Chris, when he's not bring back awesome beers from Colorado.