Infinium by Boston Beer Co. and Weihenstephaner Style: Bière de Champagne ABV: 10.3% _
Interesting note: Bière de Champagne is a recently developed beer style. More info can be found here _
750mL champagne bottle
A: It pours a golden copper with a one finger off white head. Doesn’t stick around but leaves a frothy top.
S: Slightly grassy, a little musty, by of biscuit and a light citrus note. Weird bit of metal smell. Syrup.
T: Obvious booze in the middle an the end with a sharpness up front. Definitely sweet and caramelly over a bready backbone. Apple and lemons. Lingering sweetness. Metal taste as it warms.
M: Sharp all over with almost cloying sweetness especially in the finish. Tingling feeling left for a minute or two.
O: Rather big beer, too sweet and boozy. There are underlying notes that seem to save it at moments, but generally not enough. _
Overall score: D
Notes: I was quite disappointed with this beer. I love the label, and I think it had a lot of potential as it was a collaboration between two well established breweries. I’ll never get this again as far as I can help it. Too bad.
I had this back in July at Pinocchio’s. I remember there wasn’t very many intriguing things on tap that night. _
On tap into a tulip
I’m going to change it up a bit and go with a different format.
It poured black with a thin, almost one finger dark brown head. The glass wasn’t clean enough, so it didn’t stay, and thus no lacing. It smelled of dark fruit, malty sweetness, some roast, apple strudel. It’s sweet, dark fruits like raisins, apples and plums overtop light roasty malts. It feels thin with some light carbonation. This was nice at first, but a bit too sweet. It’s pretty light - good for after dinner even on a pretty full stomach. I remember this leaving a somewhat flat kind of memory in my mind.
Hop Rising by Squatters Pub Brewery Style: American Double IPA ABV: 9% _
My dad went on a trip to Utah this summer, so he brought me back a few beers since I knew I couldn’t get some of the stuff out from that way. I had this back in early July. _
22oz bomber poured into a tulip
A: It pours a golden copper with thin and fluffy almost one finger off-white head. There is thin abundant lacing. I swirled it, and the head retention was brilliant. I supposed I just didn’t pour it well enough. Just when I thought I had it down. Oh well.
S: Smells of grapefruits, pineapples, green apples, and slight kiwi all laid over a bready, malty backbone. There is slight cloves and bananas as if belgian yeast were thrown in for just a little.
T: It tastes resiny, piney and citrusy, hops up front and all around with biscuity undertones. It’s fruity and sweet with a slight hidden sourness and acidity, that not only did I not expect, but I was very happily surprised about. It’s wonderfully floral and flavorful, complex with many hidden subtleties underneath the citrus and pine and above the breadiness.
M: It’s smooth over the tongue with carbonation being quite evident on the sides and in the finish, somewhat creamy, but not thick with some hidden acidity in the finish.
O: This was a great to come home to on a blazing hot day after a long, tiring day of work. At 9%, it’s dangerously hard to put down. Full and complex, this was a great gift and a wonderfully pleasing drink. I wish I could get my hands on more of it. _
Nemesis 2010 by Founders Brewing Co. Style: American Barleywine ABV: 12% _
This was also back in June, but it was just a few days later. This is a barleywine that I initially thought was bourbon barrel aged. There IS a chance this was the ‘09 which was a maple bourbon barrel aged, but I can’t be sure. I thought I remembered something about bourbon barrel aging in the description, though I might be getting it confused with Weyerbacher’s Insanity, which is their Blithering Idiot bourbon barrel aged. _
On draft. 10 or 12oz pour into a snifter.
A: Black with a light tan, short head. Head doesnt stick around (NOTE: the head you see is from my swirling the glass. There wasn’t much before I did that). Leaves a frothy, murky top.
S: Roasty, burnt, chocolate, bready, bittersweet.
T: Burnt, coffee/espresso, quite dark chocolate, sweet and spicy up front, malty in the middle, piney and burnt bitterness in finish with some bittersweet chocolate really hanging on.
M: Thick, smooth, creamy.
O: This was great. A lot more chocolatey than I’d expect to find in a barleywine. Very complex, well balanced and surprising and pleasant at every turn. _
Overall score: A+
Notes: Whatever this beer was, it was good. I don’t believe I reviewed Weyerbacher’s Insanity, but that was really great. I’d highly recommend it.
E.S. Bam by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale ABV: 4.7% _
This was the third beer I had back on June 3rd at Pinocchio’s following the Pliny and the Jackobin’s Rouge. _
12oz draft into tulip
A: Pours a cloudy orange brown with a thick, pillowy off-white one finger head.
S: It’s funky and light, hints of pee (which isn’t all that bad a thing), greens like celery or lettuce, slightly musty like a barn, citrus, hops. There’s a spice I just can’t place along with some pepper.
T: Crisp, refreshing, light, slightly tart with some bready almost like spicy rye malts up front and in the middle. Bitterness in the finish with some sweetness and mustiness along with some acidic urine. Citrus on the tip and at the back changing from sweet lemons to tart limes.
M: Thin, light, somewhat watery with decent carbonation especially at the front and sides. Something you’d expect from a summer beer.
O: Refreshing, light. Great beer on a lightly breezy spring day to a schorching hot summer one. Nice complexity with intriguing undertones, some of which I can’t quite pick out. _
Overall score: A-
Notes: This was a great hoppy saison-style ale. There’s a bit of a high price tag on Jolly Pumpkin beers, and they’re quite worth it.
Pliny the Elder by Russian River Brewing Co. Style: American Double/Imperial IPA ABV: 8% _
Had this on tap way back in June at Pinocchio’s, I was really excited to see it on tap because you always hear such great things about the Plinys. _
Supposed to be 12oz pour, but closer to a pint.
A: Pours a golden copper with a thin white head, she prob didnt pour correctly, with soft lacing. I’m certain properly poured into a tulip or snifter it would look incredible compared to the pic above.
S: Smells sweet and bready, like pale malts covered in grapefruit and limey citrus sprinkled generously with pine needles. After a swirl, more lemons and possibly something like coriander.
T: Taste is sweet and citrusy oranges with grapefruit overtop a bready malt base, much like the nose, but differently laid out. Piney bitterness on the roof and in the finish, lingering bitterness and grapefruit.
M: It’s smooth and light, astringent in the middle.
O: It’s very refreshing, crisp, fruity, nice, but possibly a bit overhyped, but its pretty damn good. Great balance. _
Overall score: A
Notes: I’m not sure if this beer is overhyped (though its reviews are high scoring and numerous), or if I just need to try it again properly poured or from a fresh bottle. Either way, it’ll be a bit before it makes its way out here again.
Dark Humor by Ithaca Beer Company and Iron Hill - Media, PA Style: American Porter ABV: 7% _
I had this back in June. This was a collaboration between Ithaca and the Iron Hill in Media. They took the original Pig Iron Porter recipe fermented it with 100% brett. I had this with an incredible NY strip steak with mushrooms and garlic potatoes. _
12oz pour into tulip at Iron Hill
A: Pours a pitch black, different from the porter from which it was spawned with a tan 1.5 finger head that shrinks to about half a finger without drinking. Once a sip is taken is leaves a foamy layer on top with thick bubbly lacing.
S: Roasty and tart, cocoa, slight cola scent, earthy, thyme.
T: Sweet and roasty, carmelly, earthy, chocolatey, very strong tart and bitter, but its quite smooth as long as it doesnt sit too long in your mouth thats when it realy kicks in, raspberries and tart cherries with slight sour strawberry, thyme (especially in the belches), hidden hints of citrus like lime.
M: Biting sourness on the front and sides with strong burnt-like bitterness in the back, smooth still and abundantly carbonated.
O: Immensely complex, like a huge party and everyones dancing and swirling and having a great time with sourness and roastiness being the long lingerers at the end of the party. This was a really great collab between Ithaca and Iron Hill. I love what the dudes at Iron Hill - Media have been doing with their beers. _
Rauch Geek Breakfast by Mikkeller Style: American Double/Imperial Stout ABV: 7.5% _
On tap at (yet again) Pinocchio’s. This time it was late May. This was the start of my spending all my time and money at Pinocchio’s for a summer. _
Serving type: 12oz into a tulip
A: Pitch black with a two finger thick billowy brown head, foamy lacing all the way down.
S: Very smokey almost meaty, malty, raisiny, apples.
T: So smokey and meaty, like im in the mountains cooking bacon from a freshly slaughtered boar over a fire, some bitter chocolate in the middle meeting with some hoppiness in the finish, espresso lingers on afterwards.
M: Smooth and creamy, thick and untamed, like a big cloud of smoke.
O: Great after dinner or for beakfast as the name implies. Despite how smokey it is, it’s never overpowering or cloying. _
Overall score: A
Notes: I remember this being really great. I even had to up my original overall score because it left a big impact on me.