I started taking notes on beers back on January 31, knowing that I would soon be blogging about craft brews. That particular day, I split between draft and can/bottle beers. The guys I hang with tend to get a bucket of random beers (cans and bottles) instead of going for the drafts. As such, there are days when I will mix it up with both draft and containers.
Looking through my notes, I have been trying to think through how I want to write up my beer tastings. Having written two blogs on beers, I am starting to think that my notes are a little inadequate for the depth that I really want to write about. My next sampling, I am going to be a little more diligent about my notes, and hopefully write a more thorough review. The other thing I was thinking about was writing about beers from a single brewery. I really liked the flow of the Funky Buddha blog. Bear with me as I work on finding my voice.
In the meantime, here was the line up from January 31, 2018.
Brewer: New Belgium
Style: White IPA (Indian Pale Ale)
Rating: It’s Aight
Normally, I adore IPAs, but the Accumulation ended up being nothing too special. When poured, the beer was a rich golden color and slightly cloudy. The aroma had a hint of citrus. Overall, the flavor tended to be a bit tame, not too hoppy and not too citrusy. I gave it an “Aight” because it lacked a little of the punch that I have come to expect of an IPA.
I am still trying to figure out why this IPA lacked a particular punch, and maybe it was the addition of Wheat. I am, generally, not a big fan of wheat beers because of the flavor. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great wheat beers, but ordinarily I try to avoid them. Maybe the wheat took the edge off of the IPA.
Brewer: Heavy Seas
Style: Double Dry Hopped APA (American Pale Ale)
Rating: Not Really
This APA poured a clear Amber. Seeing Amber seemed a little unusual because most Pale Ales are a golden color. The aroma of the beer was definitely citrusy, though it was hard to tell if it was more lemon or grapefruit. The flavor seemed a bit sweet and smoky, with a touch of bitterness. I think it was the smoky flavor that put me off a little on this beer. It’s not a bad beer, but I’m not sure that I would go for this one again in the future.
Hoggetown Irish Red
Brewer: Swamp Head
Style: Irish Style Red Ale
The Hoggetowne poured a dark clear amber, which seemed about right for a Irish Red. The aroma was dominated by the malts, tending toward the sweet. The flavor matched the aroma and was a sweet malt with a hint of hops. I think that the beer was a bit too malty for my likings. There was a similar sentiment around the table about this one.
Brewer: Cigar City
Style: Brown Ale
The Maduro has a lot going on for it. It’s one of my favorite brown ales in recent months. The beer pours a dark brown, which is about what you would expect. The smell was a sweet malt with a hint of smokiness/toastiness. The flavor very much matched the smell, it was sweet toasty malt flavor that comes together and works quite nicely. I have gone back to the Maduro several times since I’ve first had it.
Style: Sweet Stout
7th Hill Taproom had this beer on one of its Nitrogen Lines. The Nyctophile pours almost like a Guinness, all the way down to the cascading bubbles, which is always fun to watch if you have buzz going. The aroma and flavor scream Guinness, but with some subtle differences. I think that this beer tends to be a little sweeter, maybe a hint of fruit, which sets it slightly apart from that other stout. The guys that I drink with felt very much the same way about the Nyctophile. So, if you are a stout lover, you should give this one a try. Definitely worth going back to.
The beers of the night were the Maduro from Cigar City and the Nyctophile from Deep. Both of those beers were solid representatives for their respective styles of beers. Most of the beers coming out of Cigar City and Deep are pretty standout, and are beers that I am currently enjoying. The Americannon and the Hoggetowne were a bit of a disappointment to me. But when there is consensus around the table, it’s hard to dispute. The Accumulation from New Belgium wasn’t a bad beer, it just didn’t stand out against the other IPAs out there.