Black Toad Dark Ale

23 Jul

 

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Brewer : Josephbrau Brewing Company

Location : San Jose, Ca

Alcohol % :  5.3

IBU : 12

Appearance : Very dark mahogany color which poured to a small tan head

Aroma :  Sweet

Body : Medium

Marketing Gimmick  : This brew is a Trader Joe’s beer. TJ’s likes to use an alias for its brewers for some reason. While listing Josephbrau on the label as the brewer this beer was actually made by the Gordon Biercsh Brewing Company in San Jose.

Survey Says : I purchased this beer with low expectations, being that it was quite inexpensive and a Trader Joe’s house item. I was very pleasantly surprised by this brew. It has a malty, lightly roasty flavor with a touch of hops bitterness. The hoppiness was not offensive and added to the flavor profile of this beer. It was refreshing, smooth and very enjoyable and drinkable. There was some lingering bitter aftertaste but not objectionable. I would definitely buy this beer again.

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Full Boar Scotch Ale

9 Jul

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Brewer : Devil’s Canyon

Location : San Carlos, Ca

Alcohol % :  7.4

IBU : 12

Appearance : Medium sized foam head. It has a very dark brown color.

Aroma :  Very slight yeasty smell

Body : Medium

Interesting Fact : The Company, established in 2001 in Belmont, derives its name from the canyon which runs through the area named la Canada del Diablo by 18th century Spanish settlers.

Survey Says : I sampled the pint sized bottle of this fine brew and the 7.4% alcohol level had my head spinning quickly. This is a very drinkable smooth flavored brew. It exhibits a nice malty flavor with no detectable hoppiness. There was no bitter aftertaste with this brew. It has very little carbonation. This was a very enjoyable beer which I would definitely try again.

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Everyone Gose Mad

23 Jun

 

 

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Brewer : Mad River Brewing

Location : Blue Lake, Ca

Alcohol % :  4.9

IBU : 13

Appearance : Very large foam head. It has a bright yellow color and is quite cloudy being unfiltered

Aroma :  Sweet

Body : Medium-Light

Interesting Fact : in 1989,  Bob Smith, Mad River’s founder, bought Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s old original brewing equipment from his long time acquaintance Ken Grossman and founded the company. That system is still in use today.

Survey Says : This is a Gose Style beer, which means it is brewed with predominantly malted wheat. Gose beers, which originated in Germany, are typically sour and salty flavored. This beer is no exception. It has some sweetness and some fruity citrus notes. This  Gose has a very different flavor. It definitely has bitter/sour tones and a hint of saltiness. It is fairly smooth  and  drinkable but not my personal cup of tea.

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Deschutes Obsidian Stout

27 May

Brewer : Deschutes BrewryImage result for deschutes obsidian stout

Location : Bend, Oregon

Alcohol % :  6.4%

IBU : 55

Interesting Fact : This brew was voted by the World Beer Awards in 2016 as America’s Best Stout

Survey Says : This Northwestern brew had a nice yeasty aroma and it poured to a dark head. This stout is practically black in color. It is very lightly carbonated. This dark beer has a strong toasty malt flavor with some sharp bitter notes. With a slightly high IBU of 55 for a stout, it expresses more than expected hoppy bitterness. It also left a bitter aftertaste. I prefer stouts with a smoother malty flavor and little to no bitterness. Overall I was disappointed with this style stout.

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Victory Golden Monkey

20 Jan

Brewer : Victory Brewing CompanyImage result for golden monkey beer

Location : Downington, PA.

Alcohol % :  9.5%

IBU : 25

Interesting Fact : Since its introduction in 1997 this craft beer has been Victory Brewing Company’s number one selling brand

Survey Says : This medium bodied brew had a sweet, yeasty aroma. It had a cloudy golden color with a nice tan head. This Belgian-style tripel ale has some spice added which can be detected in its flavor. The taste is very smooth with both maltiness and some sweetness coming through. There are no bitter notes or negative aftertastes. It is very easy to drink and quite enjoyable. I would definitely try this one again and would recommend it to friends.

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Fuller’s 2013 Vintage Ale

5 Jun

Brewer : Fuller Smith and Turner

Griffen Brewery

Location : London, UK

Alcohol  Content : 8.5%

IBU : 38

Interesting Item : This unique beer is produced in limited amounts each year. The bottles of each year’s vintage are individually numbered. We sampled bottle #117373 from 2013. Fullers recommends aging this beer for 3-4 years, rather unusual for a beer.

Survey Says : First of all I have to say that any bottle of beer that comes individually packaged in a handsome box must be pretty good and this brew was just that. This beer was a pretty amber color. It was slightly cloudy due to the fact that it was bottle conditioned . The flavor was medium strong with definite bitterness. It was quite smooth and very enjoyable and drinkable. The hops notes definitely come through and may be a little too strong for some but I think overall it  was a reasonably well balanced ale. Overall a very good experience.

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Firestone DBA (Double Barrel Ale)

24 May

Brewer : Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Location : Paso Robles, California

Alcohol % :  5.0

IBU : 30

Interesting Fact : This is the flagship beer that started it all for Firestone in Paso Robles in 1996. It is partially fermented in an oak barrel brewing process.

Survey Says : This medium bodied brew had a pleasant sweet aroma and a medium tan head. It has a very pretty amber color. This California brew has an extremely smooth well-balanced flavor. It has a bit of hoppiness for some extra zest. It just has a great beer taste without too much harshness or bitterness from the hops as noted by its IBU of 30. It is a very drinkable, refreshing and and enjoyable brew. I liked this beer a lot and would definitely try it again. It earns the coveted and prestigious five star award for its overall rating!!!!!

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Zywiec 1881 Porter Beer

8 May

Brewer : Zyweic Brewery

Location : Zyweic, Poland

Alcohol  Content :  9.5%

IBU : 32

Interesting Marketing Gimmick : Zywiec claims that this excellent dark stout, brewed since 1881, has health-giving properties.

Survey Says : This Polish brew had a sweet, pleasant aroma and a very dark almost black color. The head was large and dark tan in color. There was just medium carbonation. This porter beer had a fairly strong malty flavor with some tart/bitterness, but not too much. This is not a beer you would guzzle due to the strong flavor and high alcohol content. Rather, this brew was meant to be enjoyed like a fine wine and sipped slowly. This heavy bodied beer had no bad aftertaste either. I would definitely try it again sometime.

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Hofbrau Munchen Dunkel

2 Apr

Brewer : Staatliches Hofbrauhaus

Location : Munchen, Germany

Alcohol  Content :  5.5%

IBU : 25

Interesting Item :  Although Hofbrahaus has been around since the 16th century in Germany, it wasn’t introduced into the United States until 1997.

Survey Says :  This brew is a bottom-fermented ale with a dark ruby brown color. It poured with a large tan head. It is only lightly carbonated. It has a very smooth, toasty malt flavor but with some bitterness from its hops. It was very drinkable and refreshing. It does exhibit a slight bitter aftertaste but is not in any way objectionable. I would definitely try this beer again. I think it would go well with about any food.

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Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale

23 Mar

Brewer : Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Location :  Chico, CA

Alcohol  Content :  5.5%

IBU : 37

Interesting Item : Due to low volume and declining sales, this fine beer has been discontinued. We can only hope they bring it back someday. R.I.P. Tumbler, until we meet again

Survey Says : This personal favorite was sold as part of a fall season variety pack. It has a nice dark color with a slightly toasty aroma. It is medium bodied with a very smooth mouth feel. The flavor exhibits a wonderful malty taste. It is extremely drinkable. Even with a relatively high IBU of 37, the hoppy bitterness does not overtake the sweet malty tones. This brew was originally designed to be enjoyed in the fall but actually could have been loved year round.

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