ad astra per alia porci

Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout
December 27, 2013, 4:15 pm
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Pour: Modest one-finger head with numerous bubbles that dissolve quickly to reveal the pitch-black body.

Nose: Typical roasted malt, chocolate, cream. Less sense of coffee though.

Palate: Slight carbonation. Understated sweetness and toasty with an almost medicinal, herbal, slightly astringent undertone. Medium but crisp. Strangely muted creaminess and coffee tones.

This does not taste like a conventional rich stout that hammers home the toast, coffee and cream. Instead, this polished brew is strangely herbal in character. I find it hard to put a finger on it, which makes it intriguing and inviting, always urging me to take another sip to unravel its mystery. A very unique stout that challenges my expectations. After the previous big-bodied, creamy, chocolatey and intense coffee stouts, this brew stands right out.


Great Divide Titan IPA
December 27, 2013, 2:29 pm
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Pour: Very thick whitish two-finger head, with orange hazey amber body and some floaters inside.

Nose: Very sweet and perfumy. Citrus, pine, lychee, floral. Good omens.

Palate: Oily, thick mouthfeel, with some umami. Very crisp, yet with the complexity and sense of weight reminescent of a Belgian beer, oddly. Very strong, solid hops backbone that lingers.

A very solid, straightforwardly bold beer that is unabashedly a hophead’s dream with a rich malty backbone. Well-balanced despite its brashness, and very, very good. Great Divide does really good beers.

Sierra Nevada Stout
December 20, 2013, 3:02 pm
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Pour: Two-finger light brown, very foamy and organic head with large bubbles. As expected, a very dark brown, almost black body, but with a amber tinge at the side. Intriguing.

Nose: Coffee, toffee, roasted malts, chocolate, hazelnut. The cream is not so strong. All the expected, rich stout smells but not very strong.

Palate: Medium mouthfeel, with soft carbonation. Coffee and hop bitterness are the first tasttes that hits the tongue, with a very sweet, crisp backbone. Rich and sweet, yet crisp in the resolution, so it is not overwhelming on the tastebuds.

This is a stout that is less creamy but sweeter and crisper in orientation, with more characteristics of a pale ale. It is more balanced, simple and less aggressive for its type. Very nice, solid and tasty, but not the best.

Green Flash Brewing Co West Coast IPA
December 20, 2013, 1:52 pm
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Pour: Two-finger whitish head with many large bubbles. Hazey, orangey amber body. Inviting.

Nose: Citrus, floral and pine leaps to the nose. Sweet and fruity, strong grapefruit scent. Malt and bread too as it warms.

Palate: Slight oily and full mouthfeel, with soft carbonation. A very sweet and fruity beer, with a very lively and organic taste that resolves into a mellow and sustained hop bitterness as it finishes.

This is a really pleasant and delicious American IPA. It is intensely hopped, but more in terms of its aroma rather than the palate, and very well balanced against the sweetness without losing an inch of vibrancy. A very fine example of its type. I am very pleased. One of the very best American Pale Ales. I will be looking out for other offerings from West Coast.

Firestone Walker Pale 31
December 14, 2013, 7:36 am
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Pour: Slim one-finger thick foamy white head, with a light, slightly hazey orange body

Nose: Rounded sweet nose, reminiscent of orange, citrus.

Palate: Very refreshing, light, with slight carbonation. Citrus body. Mild bitterness at the end, with a very clean and crisp finish.

This should be drunk on a lazy, hot summer afternoon, and will go well with burgers and chips at 4.9%. Good beer.

Deschutes Obsidian Stout
December 13, 2013, 3:50 pm
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Pour: Pitch dark brown body with minimal caramel head with large bubbles.

Nose: Roasted malts, coffee, cream all leap to the nose. Very pronounced and sustained aroma. Very enticing and delicious, like a melted chocolate bar.

Palate: Coffee and dark cholocate notes hit the tongue immediately, following very smoothly and naturally from the nose. In the middle cream and roasted malt is revealed. Finishes with a pleasant, dry and crisp coffee bitterness. Hops are not very pronounced. A faint hint of smoke may be perceived. As the brew warms, the sweetness of the malt comes through, with a fuller and more rounded feel on the tongue.

Damn good stout, dessert in a bottle. This is on par with the the Voodoo Stout, Anchor Porter and Yeti, but for different reasons. The former come with greater complexity and more excitement and even brutality. This brew is more conservative, with its very delicious coffee, chocolate and roasted malt notes, as well as a much sweeter body. An excellent expression of the genre, with almost dessert-like qualities and super pleasant and tasty. Can’t recommend it more.

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
December 13, 2013, 2:17 pm
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Pour: Two-finger white thick foamy head with tangerine-amber slight hazey body.

Nose: Typical fruity citrus IPA nose. Sweet. Much more on the citrus side.

Palate: Slightly thick and oily on the palate. Very vibrant and fruity – mango, lemon, orange. Very tropical fruit flavours. Medium malt backbone that progresses smoothly in hop bitterness. Bitterness is of medium body but radiates at the end in a pronounced finish. Leaning on the light side for an IPA.

Very pleasant beer, basically a very tropical fruity IPA. I cannot see why Ratebeer and Beer Advocate gives this beer a 100. I am a bit in two minds about this one; on one hand, the tropical fruit notes are really impactful and outstanding, on the other hand, the very same fruitiness, for some reason, brings its marks down. I might need to try this again because the current bottle says “Enjoy by 11/27/2013”, which is about two weeks ago.