Friday, February 24, 2012

Midnight Sun Brewing Co.- Obliteration VIII

Midnight Sun is a brewery that I definitely wish I saw a lot more of down here in San Diego. To my knowledge, there are only a handful of bottleshops in Southern California that get their beers on a regular basis. Luckily for me, I happened to be in one of them shortly after they received a new shipment and I was able to get the newest in Midnight Sun's series of experimental IPAs- Obliteration VIII.

Obliteration VIII pours a beautiful dark golden color with a one finger off-white colored head. I picked up some huge notes of citrus hops along with some hints of white pepper.

The taste is chock full of hops. Big, sticky, chewy hops with a bit of caramel and orange thrown in for good measure. I didn't taste a ton of malt here, but it didn't bother me too much. This is an absolute hop bomb and one of the better ones out there. I have to find more of this.

Final Grade: A

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 34

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Tweason'ale

By this point, I think I've pretty much talked up Dogfish Head about as much as one beer blogger can humanly talk up one brewery. In case you didn't know: I love Dogfish Head! Their newest beer, Tweason'ale, certainly continues their quest to keep trying new things. It's a gluten-free beer that uses sorghum instead of barley or wheat and is brewed with strawberries and buckwheat honey. I'd been wanting to try a gluten-free beer for a while, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Tweason'ale pours a clear pale golden color with a thin cream colored head that quickly recedes to a ring around the top of the glass. The smell has a touch of the strawberries, but it comes across as a tad artificial- almost like those strawberry hard candies with the wrappers that make them look like real strawberries. I also picked up a touch of musty grain, a bit of sweetness from the honey, a perfume like flowery aroma and a touch of sourness that reminded me of wine.

The taste opens with some tart strawberries and lemons along with a bit of pink grapefruit flesh. The beer was highly carbonated which (when coupled with the light, fruity flavors) made it almost taste more like a cider than a beer. Still, this was an extremely refreshing and pretty tasty beer that didn't seem to be lacking anything due to its gluten-less ingredients.

Final Grade: B+

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 34

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Belgium Brewing - Lips of Faith-Cocoa Mole

If you know me, you know I love all things chocolate. So when I heard that New Belgium's newest Lips of Faith beer was called Cocoa Mole, I got pretty excited. A beer brewed with chiles AND chocolate? Game over. There was absolutely no way I wasn't trying this one. I found a bottle last week at Texas Liquor and opened it about two minutes later at home.

Cocoa Mole pours a dark brown color with a thin but long-lasting cream colored head. The smell was really incredible. I caught a lot of cinnamon and unsweetened baking chocolate along with some brown sugar and a slight hint of chile.

The taste opens up sweet and smooth with some notes of dark chocolate and a bit of earthiness from the chiles. Right around the middle, I got a good hit of heat from the peppers. The heat lasts through the finish and the chiles leave a bit of dryness on the tongue. My biggest complaint about this one was that the mouthfeel was a bit thin. Other than that, this was a pretty well executed experiment.

Final Grade: B+

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 34

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jester King Craft Brewery - Black Metal Imperial Stout

Up until very recently, I would have thought that the terms "craft beer" and "Texas" went together about as well as the terms "Lindsay Lohan" and "sobriety." But I've started hearing more and more about decent craft breweries popping up in Texas and I finally got my first chance to try one of their beers last week.

Black Metal is a Russian Imperial Stout brewed by Jester King Craft Brewery, just outside of Austin, Texas. The beer has one of the best labels I've seen in a while- a pissed off looking dude in full on KISS makeup. Bad. Ass.

Black Metal pours a deep black color with an incredibly dark milk chocolate colored head. The smell was a bit faint, but I picked up some roasted malt, black licorice, molasses and dark chocolate, with some subtle hints of plum.

The taste opened with a big hit of roasted malt and milk chocolate. The middle brought some flavors of espresso and the finish brought some faint hops and charred grain husk. The mouthfeel was very smooth but a bit lighter than some of the big Russian Imperial Stouts out there. Overall, I was pretty impressed with this beer and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what Texas is able to produce in the future.

Final Grade: B+

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 34