Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Early 2016 Beer Round Up

It is only January and I am already falling behind in my reviews.  Below, in no particular order, is a quick round-up of some worthwhile beers from the past month or so:

Green Flash's Jolly Folly IPA:  This was sort of a red ale, and sort of an IPA, and together an excellent beer.  Green Flash's rich, new holiday ale, released for the first time late last year, is worth finding, and it is still available in many stores.  It was an enjoyable, drinkable beer without all the spices brewers feel compelled to add to winter ales.

Mike Hess Brewing's Habitus Ale:  Habitus is technically a double IPA, but at 8% abv, it drinks like an IPA.  The citrus hop bitterness was not overwhelming, which was good, and this crisp, relatively light double IPA left me wanting more.  Habitus is available year-round, and since Mike Hess opened its Ocean Beach tasting room I always seem to have a few in my beer fridge.

Modern Times' City of the Sun:  City of the Sun is another IPA on my round up list.  I'm so predictable and pedestrian.  Well, this bold and aggressive IPA was anything but pedestrian and predictable.  Its heavy dose of Simcoe, Mosaic, and Motueka hops imparted flavors of earthiness and heavy citrus, which all the cool kids are calling "dank."  I am a big fan of the dank.  City of the Sun is only available from December to February, so time is running short on this gem.

Stone Brewing's Xocoveza:  This is a Stone Brewing Holiday special beer, and with ingredients like "cocoa, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg," I closed my eyes and approached my first drink like I was about to get hit.  I was still expecting a smack on my second drink, but by the third taste I started to realize that the sweet Xocoveza was a great, smooth beer.  It had all spices and ingredients missing from Jolly Folly, but they blended together perfectly.  The coffee and vanilla stood out to me, with a warm swallow due to the peppers.  It had a light feel, which made this beer much more appealing than if Stone had brewed it with an higher abv.   Xocoveza was an impressive stout.

Stone's Enjoy After 10.31.15:  This was an IPA brewed to cellar, and I waited a whole two months after the "drink after date" to open it.  I found it a rough, two dimensional beer: sharp hop bitterness and strong brettanomyces yeast.  I should have aged this beer longer  - years not months - to smooth out the hops and mellow the yeast, and to coax out other flavors.  This beer was the most carbonated beer I think I have ever opened.  It came with a cork and cage, and as soon as I undid the metal cage, carbonation pushed out the cork, unaided by me.  I didn't finish the bottle initially, and left it uncovered in the fridge for more than a day.  The next night I poured a glass and it had just as much carbonation as when first opened.  The attached picture is from the second day pour.

Ballast Point's Homework Series Batch #6 Robust Porter:  This beer was another stellar beer from Ballast Point's Homework Series.  It had deep, roasted malt flavors with a mineral tinge, like a English bitter or pale ale.  Batch #6 had a slight bitterness on the finish that helped counter its sweetness.  It was thinner than I anticipated, because the beer had a 7.8% abv.

1 comment:

Thomas Kemp said...

Beer is proof which will God loves usa and wants us to remain happy Wow... and like that.