Hoppin Frog – B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher


Ah, hello there faithful readers. Another fine eve is upon us, and what better way to enjoy it than by reviewing a nice brew. Tonight’s episode stars: BORIS, The Crusher! I’m gonna have a hard time referring to this beer as a woman…ah who am I kidding, no I won’t. Though this beer has a name that would fit a wrestler perfectly, that won’t stop my womanly personification of beer. The name is actually a clever acronym for: Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout. Ah, one of my favorite styles. What’s even cooler, for me at least, is that it’s brewed in Akron, Ohio. I grew up in a little burg called Olmsted Township which wasn’t too far away from Akron. I’m happy to see my home state producing such fine beer! The bottle boldly claims it will crush me like no other…alright well I’m a former Marine, let’s see what she’s got! (See, already referring to her as a woman)

Mmmm… she certainly looks like she could crush somebody. It’s like a black hole formed in my glass and is now sucking all light deep into her bowels. And the head must trek through her darkest depths to catch the slightest glimpse of the world above. It succeeds, and grows with pride to an impressive size, basking in the freedom as long as it can before the beast sucks it back down to the netherworld. You can really tell the head wanted to escape, it clings to the sides desperately as it’s strangled back down to the briny deep, but nothing can escape… BORIS. I fear my nose may be sucked right into the glass, but it’s a risk I will bravely accept for the sake of my faithful readers!

Ohh mannnn this issssss ohh noo! Noo!!!! NOOOOO!!!!!

Ed. Note – Sadly, Brian has been sucked into BORIS for all eternity. This was his last action on earth, may he be remembered forever.

Alright just kidding.

Now this brew definitely has an aroma that sucks you right in, just not literally. The smell encompasses you entirely, surround your soul with warmth and happiness. I would say she smells very enticing for a so called “crusher”, though the aroma crushes your nostrils with flavor. The first scent you notice is most assuredly coffee and chocolate, and man is it STRONG. There’s almost an overtone of caramel and alcohol, it’s a very boozy-sweet aroma, and that’s my favorite smell on any woman! It smells like comfort beer to me, a nice warming mug for  a cold winters night here in Southern Florida. Nothing like a fine strong ale to warm me from these 80° nights.  Well the first step to getting warm is to actually drink, so onward!

Amazingly balanced…wow I’m blown away. There’s a reason this beer won the Great American Beer Fest gold medal twice, and it’s because it tastes freaking perfect. What truly amazes me is the lack of an overpowering aftertaste that is common in oh-so-many heavy beers. Drink an Old Rasputin and your gonna taste that one for a while afterwards. This baby’s finish is so balanced it’s barely noticable until you take another sip, and then it springs back to life with a burst of wonderful flavor. Let’s take this one step by step, she certainly deserves it:

First you get hit with a healthy dose of chocolately, malty, coffee goodness, all mixed together in wonderful balance. The key to this finely balanced circus act is Miss Chocolate. You see, she’s not some wispy Mz. Milk Choclate, oh no, shes a strong powerful Miss Dark Chocolate, taking supreme confidence in her lack of sweetness. And when she tangos with Mr. Coffee (happy coincidence I swear! no lawsuits please), they dance a divine dance on a stage of roasted malts. And moments before this all becomes too much for the audience, they are doused in a healthy amount of alcohol. The couple continues their tango, all the while the alcohol falls like rain and they dance up until the very last drop hits the stage. As the precipitation finally fades the lovers take their bow and gracefully exit stage left, leaving a single rose in memory of the dance you just witnessed.

Are you still with me? Good, time to come down to planet earth and wrap up this review.

Overall, this brew is one of the best imperial stouts money can buy. I’ve rarely had a beer this heavy that was so finely balanced, I could make a metaphor about something there but I’ll spare you. It’s a fine example of a stout done right, it’s rich and smooth and powerful, like Will Smith used to be. If your into stouts, or really good beer, do yourself a favor and grab one of these sometime. You will be crushed!

Until next beer, this is Brian G. signing out!

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Categories: Beer, Imperial Stout | Leave a comment

Cigar City – Good Gourd


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Good evening faithful readers and fellow alcoholics. It’s official: Fall is here, and hopefully a drop in temperature will follow… but until then we can always keep cool with a good beer. And what better beer to go with fall than a pumpkin ale? If you’ve never had the pleasure of a pumpkin ale, I’d highly recommend it. It’s more like pumpkin pie usually, rather than the gourd itself, and Good Gourd from cigar city is no exception, even if gourd is in the name. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, let us bask in the beauty of this brew first.

Ah yes, this beautiful beer is the perfect fall color. Like falling leaves in the wind, her appearance is graceful in simplicity. It’s such a excellent color to get you in the fall mood, and with a healthy helping of head as well. As if to foreshadow the coming winter, a beautiful snowfall graces the crown of this brew, then proceeds to slowly melt away without a trace. I can almost smell the pumpkin pie just staring at this brew! Time for the real thing though.

Mmm…it’s truly one of the most wonderful aromas I’ve experienced in a beer. Think of your grandma’s house as shes baking for Thanksgiving…yeah it’s that damn good. It’s most certainly reminiscent of a pumpkin pie, a very sweet aroma and with a dash of cinnamon. I’d love to save one of these beers for Thanksgiving now that I think about it. Note to self: buy more of this beer. This aroma is truly amazing though, it’s taken me back to my innocent childhood days of skinned knees and climbing trees. If the smell can cause this amount of pleasure…on to the taste.

Excellent, simply excellent. Now I’ve have my fair share of pumpkin ales, and I can safely say this is a very, VERY balanced pumpkin ale. Did you get that second very there? I capitalized it for a reason now…It’s not that the flavor hides the pumpkin to achieve this balance. The pumpkin flavor is displayed proudly front and center stage. This beautifully balanced brew reigns in the flavor before it’s too sweet. Let’s see if I can describe exactly how.

Ok, first you get a wallop of malts up front, it’s a very nice backbone to fill out the spices. Then, as she slides across your tongue, you experience a wash of cinnamon and pumpkin, with a small amount of sweetness. This sweetness doesn’t last however, oh no, she’s almost immediately balanced by the perfect amount of bitterness, which leaves the finish very smooth. And a smooth finish deserves a smooth body, which this lady definitely sports. She’s rich and creamy like a hot cup of cocoa…mmm cocoa. And to cap it all off, there is a nice warming sensation derived from this brew, a perfect companion on a chilly fall night. Now, if only Mother Nature would deign us with some colder weather down here, then I could truly enjoy this beauty.

Overall, this is a standard that has been set for pumpkin ales. It’s exquisitely balanced, outrageously strong, and fantastically flavored. If you’re a fan of pumpkin ales, do whatever you can do grab one of these beauties! And if you’re not, this might change your opinion about that.

Until next beer, this is Brian G. signing out!

Categories: Beer, Pumpkin Ale | 1 Comment

North Coast – Grand Cru


Good evening fellow beer lovers. It’s a lovely Thursday night, I just finished a great meal, and now it’s time to review a brew. Tonight the brew is a Grand Cru from the likes of North Coast, the wonderful brewery who brings you Old Rasputin. I was surprised to see this beer from them, so I made sure to grab it. I’ve had a couple Grand Cru beers before, they are as different as snowflakes. Rodenbach Grand Cru, man what a beer! It was my first sour beer and I didn’t even know sours existed. I don’t think anything could have prepared me from that shock, like expecting a glass of water and getting vodka instead. Only now I’m looking for more…well I guess I did that with vodka too. I’m very interested to see how North Coast’s entry holds up against the others I’ve had. Well let’s get to it then…
Now this, this is beauty! The head is pretty heavy, but it disappears faster than a jack-rabbit on payday. Ok, I know that comparison doesn’t really add up, but I think it sounds funny so it’s staying. Anyway, she’s lovely golden color and very clear. Definitely clearer than the majority of beers I consume. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just a different style of brew. That doesn’t mean she’s a fragile girl. At 12.9%, this beer makes Old Rasputin her bitch. Good thing this isn’t a 750ml bottle! I bet we can smell that alcohol, as innocent as she looks.

Well, as expected her aroma is extremely alcoholic. It’s not a bad thing however, it smells a lot like a white wine, maybe a bit floral with a very boozy quality to the scent. She definitely promises to pack a punch, there’s no gettin’ around that alcoholic aroma. Well no sense in letting it go to waste, let’s give her a taste.

Ok, this is a fairly balanced beer… but in a somewhat unorthodox way. First of all, the balance is between sweetness, and the immense flavor of alcohol. I’m gonna talk through it step by step…ready? Ok!

First and foremost you get the sweetness. I want to say it’s pineapple flavor, but I hate pineapples and I like this taste so it’s not quite that. Maybe more like a kiwi or something. It’s a very crisp sweetness that’s fruity, but hard to nail down to one fruit. I know there’s a gay joke in that somewhere…please e-mail them to me post-haste. The sweet flavor loses power very quickly however, and an almost tart taste takes over. It’s not mouth-puckering tart, but it’s enough to squash the sweetness. What truly contrasts the sweetness however, is the swallow. It’s a tidal wave of alcohol blasting away any remnants of sweetness or tartness, but as the wave recedes, a tiny bit of sweetness is found. They lay side by side for a while, until they both are taken back into the sea by the gentle waves. This whole scene is perfectly supported by a very crisp body. It allows the flavors to truly take center stage. The whole experience, albeit a bit sweet, is very enjoyable.

Overall, this is a great beer to write an ocean metaphor for. It’s also a great brew to enjoy, and seems well suited for the upcoming holiday season. An innocent looking Belgian pale ale that’s insanely strong and pretty damn good.

Until next beer, this is Brian G. signing out.

Categories: Beer, Belgian Pale Ale | Leave a comment

Russian River/Sierra Nevada – Brux


Good Monday to you faithful readers! Today we have a very special beer, and no I’m not sick of saying that yet.  As I sit down to review this beautiful brew, I do so with a genuine smile. For this brew is a collaboration between the well-known Sierra Nevada brewery, and the well-known-to-beer-nerds Russian River.  This brew stood out when I saw it there smiling at me from the cooler, and it is in fact a sour beer!  Proudly professing it’s use of Brett on the label, it begs to be tasted. I haven’t had any sour beers from Russian River (can’t get them without trading I’m afraid) and I don’t even know of a Sierra Nevada sour in existence. Well, were not here to talk about history, were here to talk about beer, so let’s get on with this pony show.

Ohh, she wears a very nice golden color, almost a bit sunshiny like Pliny but not quite as exuberant. And though she does leave a decent amount of head for your pleasure, the pleasure is short-lived and dissipates rapidly. What’s interesting however, is the excessive energy I’m seeing in this brew’s carbonation. Like an overpowered fish tank aeration stone, the bubbles come fast and don’t stop. This beer screams effervescence to say the least. Let’s see if the smell matches this emotion!

Ohhh yeah, tartness where have you been all my life? Truly the smell is a delight for fellow sour-lovers. The tart is up front and center, just where she should be. Playing a supporting, but equally important role, is a crisp apple and perhaps a bit of peach aroma. And then it’s lovingly finished off by the farmhouse sweetness you get from oh- so-many good saisons. This promises one balanced brew, let’s see if she makes good on that promise shall we?

Hmmm, she does for the most part, but perhaps she’s leaning a bit towards sweetness over tartness. I knew she was a big sweetie pie the moment I saw her eyeing me in the store. Now, I must say, the store clerk did inform me
that I should wait a bit to drink this beauty. Well of course it’s the first one I pop open, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ah…the joys of  unwrapping presents early! Let’s walk down this unwrapping one ribbon at a time.

First, as it should be, you get hit with a slight bit of tartness. It’s quickly supported by Lady Sweetness, who somewhat overshadows our lil’ Miss Tart in this broadway production. Chalk it up to her powerful performance, renowned across the land.  But not to be outdone so easily, our Little Miss Tartness shines through mid-swallow with a nice sun beam of flavor, accompanied by a bit of a bite. The memory of this grandiose production is largely sweet and tart, but again Lady Sweetness shows her prowess by leaving a stronger imprint.

The body of this bodacious beauty is the perfect stage to support these complex roles. It’s a rich, incredibly bubbly stage, and all this activity allows the flavors to truly battle each other. Like some kind of anime with fighting bubbles, what was that called again? Bubblemon? Regardless, it’s a damn fine body for a damn fine beer.

Overall this is a pretty subtle sour, but a great beer regardless. It may be a bit on the sweeter side, but not so much that it’s overwhelming. The tartness, subtle as it is, is enough to balance this brew. If your just getting into sours try this baby out… or if you’ve never had a sour this is a good place to start for sure.

Until next beer this is Brian G. signing out!

Categories: American Wild Ale, Beer | Leave a comment

Liefmans Goudenband


Good evening once again faithful readers. It’s a lovely evening tonight indeed, I had a very relaxing day and am capping my night off with this review. It’s another sour beer, I just want to try any sour beer I can for some reason. I’m really digging the complexities and differences in them. Tonight we have Liefmans Goudenband on display. The bottle alone is pretty damn cool, it’s all wrapped in paper which I rarely see. In fact, it’s the only one I know of that’s wrapped in paper. Does that mean it’ll taste fantastic? Probably not, but it gets some points for a classy bottle. Let’s see how she looks inside…man that sounds like something a surgeon would say.

Nice and dark, that’s what I like to see. It’s this beautiful ruby-red, but not quite completely. It leans more towards a mahogany color than anything. It also has an ample size head that leaves a decent amount of lacing. She won’t be winning the best head giver 2012 award like the E.S. Bam, but I appreciate her effort regardless. A fine-looking beer no doubt! Let’s see what her smell’s all about.

Mmmm… tart baby tart. I was hoping for this tart punch in the nose and my wish came true, but far be it from me to stop there. No, I owe you readers a good college try so you can imagine the aromas wafting from this dark beauty. Mmm…after the tart aroma there is a seductively sweet scent. It’s aroma reminds me of a tart apple actually, I think they are called Granny Smith apples, which is the coolest name for an apple IMAO. I really enjoy this contrasting aroma, it may even have a touch of cherry but I’m probably just imagining things again. Such is life…Well I know one way to find more flavors, on to the tasting!

Ohh, yes, yes, and yes! There is a superb balance to this beer, and the whole experience is extremely satisfying. A beer this complex deserves my best metaphors, similes, and puns, so let’s see what I come up with.

First of all you get an immediate mix of sweet and sour when this beauty hits your tongue. Like some divine warhead which has each half sour and sweet, rather than sweet encased in sour. It has an exquisite contrast in a perfect balance that could rival Van Gogh’s finest works. She starts off strongly, waving her contrast like a male peacock showing off his plumage. Then the subtle sweetness, born of apples and cherries, crescendos to overcome the tart mistress. But only for a moment! Once you begin to swallow this sacred sweetness a tidal wave of tart crashes across your tongue washing away the flavor just before it becomes too much to handle. It’s as if Poseidon himself intervened to ensure a balance in this beautiful brew. And, as if to throw my sea metaphors out the window, she finishes very dryly with the slightest of winks to remind you she’s still around. It’s a good sharp finish to a very fine brew.

Overall, this is one World Class beer. It’s the perfect example of a balanced sour brew and I couldn’t be happier with this.What’s best is, I still have a whole bottle to finish! If you like sours, or are feeling adventurous, GET THIS BEER!

Until next beer, this is Brian G. Signing out!

Categories: Beer, Flanders Oud Bruin | Leave a comment

Jolly Pumpkin – E.S. Bam


Well good evening their faithful readers, I just popped open a very special brew tonight. I know I say that…almost every time, but I really mean it this time! I popped open this special farmhouse ale from Jolly Pumpkin only to have it foam completely out of the bottle, this baby has some serious carbonation. You can see from the picture it’s quite thick, but well get to that in a bit. There’s another reason this beer is special to me, it’s another beer on my journey of sours. I’ve been trying more sour beers recently and really enjoy them, partially because of the process in which they’re made. I won’t bore you (again that word seems violent…) with details, but bacteria makes it sour so a lot of the flavor is left up to nature, quite like wine. There are even vintage year sour beers from single barrels, but generally the beers are blends of different barrels to make it taste just like the brewer wants. Alright, asleep yet? Good, let’s pour this baby!

Now I know what your thinking, that’s a mountain of head right there! You’d better believe it partner, and seeing a beauty willing to give so much head really gets my heart pumping. In fact, the head has died down now and it looks like a lace pattern covering the whole glass…ah no wonder they call it lacing. This is the most impressive head giver I’ve ever seen, I have to give this baby an award for: “Best Head Giver 2012.” For this prestigious award she shall receive her own category and will forever be the lone beer in it. Now if I can take my eyes off the generous helping of head for a moment we can see a lovely clear amber beer, almost a honey color. It’s fairly opaque but not greatly, you can trace the outlines of your fingers through the glass. Well we certainly have a special girl here tonight, let’s see what she smells like.

Mmm… it’s tart and very complex, but you definitely are hit with a punch of tartness up front. Afterwards, a fruity scent sneaks its way into the aroma, possibly an apple flavor. It’s so incredibly subtle though, nothing more than a whisper in the middle of wall street. Let’s see if this whisper can get any louder shall we?

Ahhh, very interesting… The sour bomb I was expecting up front is absent. I guess he didn’t get the memo about the meeting we scheduled, but pinch hitting for Mr. bomb is Mrs. sweetness, in all her seductive glory. It’s almost like an apricot to me, though I’m no advocate of apricots, it is what comes to my mind so I’m writing it. This is quickly washed away however, swept aside by a more acidic vinegar tartness than a sour cherry tartness. I must be honest, I am not enjoying this type of sourness over the more fruity sourness, but far be it from me to judge to quickly. It took me time to appreciate the other sours I’ve had, this is just another side to them I haven’t experienced yet. Actually, it’s the aftertaste that is most vinegary, the middle of the flavor is a dry somewhat fruity tartness> I think of a red sheet of hard candy for some reason. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it flashes in my mind during the middle of the tasting, I should probably see a professional after I write this. It’s a pretty complex flavor that’s very hard to pin down, almost like a chameleon sightly shifting it’s flavor to blend in with other flavors in a never-ceasing dance of camouflage.

Overall, it’s not my favorite sour but it’s one of the most delicately complex ones. The head alone warrants a standing ovation, and the complexity behind this petite beauty is a testament to the art of sour beers. Not overly tart, not overly sweet, not quite like any other sour I’ve sampled.

Until next beer this is Brian G. signing out.

Categories: Beer, Best Head Giver 2012, Farmhouse Ale | Leave a comment

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel


Wow, that’s a hell of a name for a beer. I’m glad this is a blog and not a podcast because I know I’d pronounce this brew’s name horribly wrong. It’s a pretty interesting beer, the bottle is pretty damn cool and extremely heavy, like the Notorious B.I.G. may he rest in peace. It’s really one big ass bottle, part of the reason it’s sitting in front of me now, one does not simply walk by such a large bottle. That and the fact that it’s a Belgian IPA, I usually stick to the darker brews, but I went a bit IPA happy on my last trip. I’m ready for this change of pace…it is time. (Please use an old wizard voice in your head when you read it is time…) Let’s see how she pours.

Well it’s certainly no dark beer, but then, I wasn’t really expecting it to be. It’s an extremely opaque light yellow or golden color. I can’t see my hand on the other side…this makes me extremely happy as it often points to a nice body. The head looks fantastic on this baby, it is extremely uneven and foamy. It looks like a bubble bath really, and it leaves a hell of a lot of lacing. Imagine the head from Guinness on an IPA with a tad less volume…that’s it right there. Well let’s see if it smells like a Guinness.
Wow, this is nowhere near a stout, it’s not even in the same country as stout, this is an IPA through and through. Very hoppy smell with a good amount of bite to it, but there is also an underlying floral aroma that mellows the other flavors. It’s smells like a sam adams but a bit lighter and more complex. Well I can’t wait any longer, it just smells too good.

Oooh…that’s pretty damn interesting. It’s got the IPA aftertaste, the bitter hoppy aftertaste that I’ve been missing for so long. Ah, it’s truly great to have an IPA back in my life! How I’ve missed the IBU ratings and the manly feeling I get with each swig. This is a man’s beer IMAO, there is no getting around these hops baby! I’m surprised it doesn’t taste more alcoholic, it weighs in at a hefty 9%. That’s up there around 90 minute IPA from dogfish head and you can really taste the alcohol in that. Man that’s another great IPA by the way…I digress
It’s interesting to have a Belgian IPA, I can taste hints of fruit and spice and perhaps a bit of lemon. It’s not as bitter as an American IPA and not as complex as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It’s a very nice middle ground for those looking for a bit of both worlds. The body is medium to light with a very foamy head that adds quite a bit of enjoyability to the texture. The carbonation is just right as it gives the brew an effervescent feel.

Overall I’m extremely happy with my choice to start getting into IPAs again. It’s basically a middle-ground between the heavy hitting IPAs and the extremely rich dark ales. It’s also got a gnome on the bottle, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me. If you’re a fan of rich or bitter brew I’d give this beauty a chance.

Until next beer this is Brian G. signing out.

Categories: Beer, IPA | Leave a comment

Duchesse De Bourgogne


Ah, Monday is upon us once again, and to help make this day more bearable I came back from the store today with some very different ales than usual. I must look past strong dark Belgians and on to new frontiers! The latest being sour ales. Today’s beer is a Belgian, but not a Strong Dark ale, goodness no! This is what they call a Flemish Red Ale, and basically it means it’s gonna be one sour beer.. There’s something special about red ales, whether Flemish or Irish IMAO. This one especially has some bragging rights, it won the Gold in the 2006 World Beer Championship! I love drinking award-winners…well alright, I just love drinking. The bottle did really catch my eye at the store though, very refined looking. Let’s see how the inside looks.

Ah, a red ale indeed! This ruby-brown colored sweetheart is know as “The Burgundies of Belgium” and I can definitely see why. It’s a very rich dark red that is not usually seen in beers that I frequent, it looks very promising. Honestly, I’m just happy to be drinking a red ale again, I think next time I’m going to get some Scottish and Irish brews. Well, let’s see what she smells like.

Wow, now the smell itself is pretty complex. It’s immediately sweet then sour, it’s like a damn warhead I tell ya. You remember that candy right? Ultra sour but then sweet in the middle if you make it through the pain. Man, those were huge when I was a kid! I digress… I smell a very tart apple, this is gonna be nonstop trip to flavortown baby! Let’s get on with it then…

Mmm, the initial flavor is very light and sweet, this is where you can taste the apple full force, or perhaps it’s cherry. Whatever it is, it’s fruity as hell. Now, the beauty of this brew is that the sweet flavor is quickly subdued by the tartness. I’m pretty damn happy about that because I really can’t take overly sweet drinks. The only thing I like extra sweet is a woman, and I mean that in a non-sexual way I promise. Ah, my mind’s wandering again let me take another sip. Ok, what’s amazing is the tartness and bite become very smooth and leave a slightly sour malty aftertaste that goes perfectly with this beer. It’s gotta be the one of the best aftertastes I have experienced. It’s nice to have a sour beer that’s not overwhelmingly sour for once!

Overall, this is a damn fine beer. While it’s not as heavy in body as my usual lineup, it’s something that is just as potent flavor wise. It’s true, I love a beauty with a strong full body, but sometimes it’s nice to feel a lighter body on your tongue. That is as long as the flavor is not lacking, and this girl certainly has that in spades.

Until next beer this is Brian G signing out.

Categories: Beer, Flanders Oud Bruin | Leave a comment

Great Divide Belgian Style Yeti


(Ed. Note- This is a review from some time ago after I had stopped reviewing)

Well here I sit once again on a Sunday afternoon. There’s a very special beer sitting in front of me, so special that I felt it had to be the first review I did since I got back. It’s definitely been a long time since I wrote a review and I’m looking forward to getting back into it.  Not that I haven’t been drinking good beer in the  meantime, oh no nothing so preposterous! I happened to misplace a vital piece of my camera so it has been decommissioned until quite recently. Shortly after, almost like it was destiny, I came upon a brew that intrigued me so much I simply couldn’t pass it by. As I walked down the aisle, a radiating halo of light appeared to be coming from this bottle. It was demanding my attention subconsciousness, and who am I to go against my subconscious? With a golden orange label and a familiar name for comfort I cradled my bottle as I brought it home, and waited, and waited, and waited. It’s the last bottle of brew until I schedule a new trip, but I am very glad I waited.

Now I know your probably saying “Hey Brian, what the hell is so special about this beer?” Well, I’ll tell you my alcoholic friends! It’s because they have taken on of my favorite beers, Yeti, but used a Belgian yeast instead of the normal yeast! This should give it a lot of the fruit and spice flavor that comes in most Belgian brews regardless of type. Now Weyerbacher has a Belgian Imperial Stout, which is essential the same thing.  It’s called Tiny, and it’s delicious, but Yeti I have always know as a traditional Russian Imperial Stout, so this is like seeing  a Belgian Old Rasputin…man that would be amazing. Perhaps I should e-mail North Coast brewing…I digress. I’m very excited about this brew…I truly am. So without further ado…

It pours out dark, dark brown with a head that comes a bit belated. The head forms from the bowels of your glass slowly to leave a beautiful topping, as you can see above. Wow, when I say dark, I mean dark. It might as well be considered black but in the light you can see hints of brown, and there is no lookin’ through this baby, that’s for damn sure. It’s like some kind of dark skinned sultry exotic dancer, I hope it doesn’t smell like one. 😉
Fact: Winks make every joke tolerable, no matter how blue…moving on.

Well it certainly smells fantastic, nothing like latex and astroglide so that’s great! 😉 The smell is quite subdued, but it’s there if you really smell. You just gotta work a bit to get it, your not afraid of a little hard work are you? Good! Well get in there an take a big ol’ sniff! Now it’s mostly malts like a good stout should be, but there is Belgian flare of spice for sure. It mostly smells like a solid roasty stout though, some hints of coffee as well. Let’s not forget that Yeti is a stout, period. This just has a bit of variation, but man this is a confident feeling stout…if that makes sense in the least bit. Enough is enough, let’s see how it tastes.

Ah, now thats stout! (Have I said it’s a stout enough yet?)First and foremost, I would like to officially praise Great Divide on the body and texture of Yeti. It’s simply the prime example of balance in a rich creamy stout, it’s smooth and heavy. I’m sure theres a funny analogy in there, feel free to send them in! Maybe like an overweight seal? Jokes aside, the taste itself is a testamant to balance as well. It starts off with a very coffee-like malty taste. The spices of the Belgian are almost undetectable, I might be tricking myself into tasting them actually. Then you get a great wave of bitter when you swallow that counters the sweetness, but there’s very little sweetness to this bad boy. It’s a stout until the end, with a nearly undetectable twist, but a twist nonetheless. The original Yeti is fantastic, so I’m glad they didn’t go wild here and kept most of the original taste. I really wish I had a normal one to compare it to now, I’m gonna pick one up on my next trip for sure. Damn you Yeti, I can’t escape your meaty paws!

Overall this is a great stout. Don’t let the Belgian-Style label fool ya, it’s a stout there’s no doubt. HA! Now that made me smile right there. If you like a good stout, there’s no doubt, try Yeti Out,  Belgian-Style that is. Seriously though, stout fans should give this baby a go, it’s not too heavy (for people who like heavy beers) and not too light, in fact this brew it seems just right. Ok I’m done, it sure was fun.

Until next beer this is Brian G. signing out!

Categories: Beer, Imperial Stout | Leave a comment

Stone – Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA


Well hello again avid readers. As I sit down today to write a review I do so with a smile (it’s rare that I don’t actually) I have one of the truly great Imperial (or Double) IPAs in my hands. Her name is Ruination, brewed by Stone, but there’s something special about this particular beauty. She has been ruining palates for ten years now and decided it was time to wear something bold like never before! The hop masters at Stone threw in twice as many hops for this version, and man does it show! Without further ado I present to you: Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA

Mmm, she wears a golden, maybe slightly amber color, with a very nice helping of head which immediately leaves lacing, and I mean immediately! I could make a joke about lacing, extra head, and immediacy right now… but for once I’m gonna take the high road. (Don’t get used to it) Man, she is looking extremely delicious right about now, and you can tell her strength by how opaque she is.  I can’t even see my hand through the glass, it’s just a subtle movement that you see. With so many hops in this brew you’ve gotta have a lot of malt to balance it. Let’s see how she smells.

Ohhh yeah….dig those hops baby! Actually, I didn’t really say ohhhh yeah when I smelled it. It was more like oh-ho-ho-ho-hoooo. I felt guilty about the false ohhh, I had to come clean. Regardless of my false onamonapia I truly do dig those hops. Ultimately that’s the first thing I notice…it’s really quite difficult not to. It’s a pretty damn piney hop smell which I tend to prefer over the fruiter or citrus hop aromas, like I’m in the middle of a dense evergreen forest surrounded by beer. (That’s a reoccurring dream of mine actually) Some people tend to avoid the piney IPAs, but lately I’ve been really enjoying them. There’s really not much else to smell in this baby except those sweet, sweet hops. There is a malty hint to the end of the experience, but it’s a lone grain in a forest of pine. Well, let’s see if I can taste more than hops.

Man….(I really said that)…what a beer! It’s like three separate blasts of flavor. I guess you could say it’s like a party in my mouth and everyone’s invited…if you really had to say that. Frankly, I wouldn’t stoop to such levels as to state something so cliche’. Moving on…I gotta take this one slow to fully describe this all. Well let’s see…First there’s a definite sweetness which is overpowered pretty quickly, but then slides back into the mix towards the finish. Like in Matlock where they show you the villain at the beginning but then he disappears until the end.

But the sweetness is definitely not the main actor in this scene of a brew. No, the lead assuredly belongs to our good old friend Mr. Hop. He’s featured in so many IPAs already you can’t blame the casting director for picking such an experienced player. But that’s not to say he doesn’t let his supporting roles shine, no, there is quite a bit of balance to this scene. Ok…I’m done with the acting metaphors…moving on.

All fancy writing aside, this is a hoppy beast of a brew, and rightly so to pay homage to the normal Ruination. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s slightly more balanced and leaves a much less bitter finish. It’s amazing there’s 10.8% in this beauty but there’s so much hop flavor I can see how they hide it. But man…it’s pretty damn balanced for being so hoppy, the malts are  right where they should be, providing a solid foundation for this massively hopped beer.

Overall, this is one of the best Double IPAs I’ve had. It’s not as balanced as Pliny but its much more bold and that says a lot IMAO. Sometimes you want an extra bold flavor… man does this deliver. If your a hop-head get one of these if you can, you won’t regret it!

Until next beer this is Brian G. signing out.

Categories: Beer, Imperial IPA | 2 Comments

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