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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

Image result for devil's canyon full boar scotch ale pictures

 

 

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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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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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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Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout

10 Aug

Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout

Brewer: Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Location: Boonville, Ca

Alcohol Percentage:   5.7%

IBU: 14

Interesting Fact: Anderson Valley has over 200 unique bottle caps. They have a “Hall Of Foam” for anyone who has managed to collect 50 or more!!!

Survey says: This beer had a big, full head. It had a very dark, deep ebony color. It was very drinkable, being quite smooth. It exhibited a light malt flavor. Being a stout and only having an IBU of 14, it was definitely not bitter. If you like stouts this beer would be worth a try.

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Lobotomy Bock Lager

6 Jul

Lobotomy Bock

Brewer: Indian Wells Brewing Company

Location:  Inyokern, California

Interesting Marketing Gimmick: This company calls itself  “The Biggest Little Brewery in the World” and prides itself on using pure artesian spring water from the historic Indian Wells Spring. The water flows underground from high in the Sierras near Mount Whitney.

Alcohol Percentage:   10.5%

Survey says: This uniquely named brew has a very dark color. There was little to no head and next to no aroma or fragrance. Despite the 10.5% alcohol level there was no perception of it in the taste. This brew had an almost root beer style flavor and sweetness. It was very drinkable which could be a problem with its alcohol content. The overall flavor was malty with no aftertaste or hoppiness. If you  do not like today’s hoppy craft beers this might be a good choice for you. The panel felt it was definitely worth trying again.

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Brother David’s Triple Abbey Style Ale

27 Jun

Brother David’s Triple Ale

Brewer: Anderson Valley Brewing Company 

Location:  Boonville, California

Interesting Marketing Gimmick: On the brewery grounds near Boonville,  Anderson Valley Brewing has a famous 18 hole disc golf course.  For 5 bucks you can play the course all day and then redeem your coupon for $5 off purchases!

Alcohol Percentage:   10%

Survey says: This brew had very little aroma and just a light head. This beer has a very sweet and fruity flavor. It has a nice smooth mouth feel and is surprisingly light bodied. Candy sugar is added during the brewing process to add alcohol and give a medium high carbonation. Despite the 10% level of alcohol, it really is not detectable in the taste. It is definitely not a hoppy type flavor and the panel considered it to not have a typical beer taste. This is a very drinkable  beer that the panel definitely liked and would try again.

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