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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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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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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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Monkshine Blonde Ale

28 Feb

Brewer : Uinta Brewing Company

Location : Salt Lake City, Utah

Alcohol Content : 6.8%

IBU : 26

Interesting Fact : This Utah beer is certified organic by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. It is brewed with organic barely and hops.

Aroma : Sweet, yeasty typical beer smell

Body : Medium

Appearance : Cloudy, golden yellow color, small head

Survey Says :  This brew had a very nice, smooth flavor with just a bit of hoppiness. It was lightly carbonated . Although it has a 6.8% alcohol content it was not evident in the taste. It was very drinkable. The bitterness from the hops was just enough to enhance the flavor without being too hoppy. There was no bad aftertaste. I would try this brew again.

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Insanely Bad Elf

16 Feb

Beer : Insanely Bad Elf Imperial Red Ale

Brewer : Ridgeway Brewing

Location : Oxfordshire UK

Alcohol Content : 11.2 %

Aroma : Very little

Appearance : Clear, light golden color with minimal head

Body : Medium

Marketing Gimmick : The label used for this ale depicts an elf in a straight jacket. It states that Santa concluded that after visiting this elf, “sanity is over-rated!”

Survey Says : This seasonal beer had a fairly strong flavor. It was just lightly carbonated. There were some toasty notes but also  some bitter hoppiness was evident. The bitterness was not at all overbearing and tended to blend well with the toasty maltiness. This is a high alcohol brew and it was quite evident rather quickly! You wouldn’t necessarily want to belt down this beer too quickly. This ale was not bad, but was nothing to write home about. I would probably not care to try it again.

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Anchor Steam

15 Nov

Brewer : Anchor Brewing Company

Location : San Francisco, California

Alcohol % :  4.9

IBU : 35

Interesting Fact : Anchor Steam derives its name from the 19th century when “steam” was a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast under primitive conditions without ice.

Survey Says : Nice light orange amber color with little detectable aroma. It poured to a large tan foamy head. It had a fairly strong flavor for an ale. Some light hops were evident. Medium bodied. The flavor was fairly smooth and quite drinkable. This was a refreshing ale with just enough hop flavor to make it interesting, It is brewed with all barely malt and no fillers which contributes to a very good flavor profile. I would definitely try this one again.

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Santa’s Private Reserve

15 Feb

Brewer : Rogue AlesRogue Santa Beer Christmas with rogue santa

Location : Newport, Oregon

Interesting Fact : The brewery was founded in 1988 in Ashland. In 1989 it moved to a garage in Newport located beneath one of Mohava Niemi’s clam chowder restaurants.

Alcohol  :  5.3%

IBU  : 65

Survey Says : This brew poured to a large tan foamy head. It is a reddish amber color. Very little aroma could be detected. It was medium bodied. There was no sweetness to the flavor. This beer is quite bitter. For an ale it exhibits very little maltiness. It is definitely more hoppy than malty. With a high IBU of 65 this is not surprising. This seasonal Christmas blend is made with double the amount of the usual hops plus an additional mystery hop called Rudolph. This craft beer was just way to bitter for my taste. I don’t think even Santa would like the beer!

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