Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot

"A Malty Robust Jobless Recovery Ale" is a pretty accurate description of this one. Lagunitas classifies this velvety, deep and dark brew as an imperial brown, which isn't a style you see around too often. It's got a piney scent with a raisiny, malty, brown sugary taste and has a nice bite to the apple and hops tinged finish. It's something like a sweeter, prunier Newcastle with a splash more booze and hops. It's probably not the type of girl you'd usually date, but she's fairly unique and generous enough where it matters to give her a whirl. (B+)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA

I'm not sure what Ninkasi, the ancient Sumerian goddess of beer would think of this one. When hops is in the name of a beer, especially a west coast beer, it gives the intrepid drinker a certain set of expectations that, when not lived up to, leave one with a limp sense of satisfaction, no matter what other qualities the brew may posses. When checking around the web, people seem to think the Tricerahops is super hoppy, so perhaps I got a bad bottle or they changed the recipe, because this should be called Maltasaurus instead. Don't get me wrong, it's not terrible, it's just not a Double IPA. It's more something like a strongish amber or one of the fruitier midwest IPAs. It has very little hop aroma and a pruney, earthy, low alcohol taste with an almost strawberry finish. It pours darker than you would think and fills your mouth with a bready, caramel mouthful of confusion. If you're in the mood for a fairly tasty malt bomb, this is a solid B+ and much better than their also overambitiously named Total Domination IPA. It may not be all that shabby of a beer, it just doesn't live up to the billing. Kind of like hooking up with a Seinfeld style Russian gymnast. (B-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Stone's 14th is their version of an old school English IPA and uses all British ingredients in its creation. But don't get it twisted, it still belongs with the San Diego brewery's line of left coast hop bombs. It's a crisp and citrusy way to cut the summer sun with a dry bitter bite that's more refreshing than harsh. It's peppery, yeasty and slightly fruity flavors mask the almost 9% ABV well. If it's English, it seems to have lost its accent and picked up some sass, not that I'm complaining. You're basically getting a slightly stuffy British chick that moved to Southern California and started modeling her new life after a Katy Perry song... but in a good way. (A-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Caldera Rauch Ür Bock

This autumnal treat brings a burst of porky smoke to your palette. it's surprisingly light for a beer that puts a campfire in your mouth, and in truth could probably use a little more meat on its bones to match that in its flavor. It has a thin head atop its thin but creamy body and a brown sugary sweetness that balances the woody smoke, creating the sensation of caramel covered burnt bacon... but a light appetizer version of caramel covered burnt bacon. Overall, it's a delightful taste of October to accompany your next sensual sleeping bag session with a girl that's unique enough to almost be exactly what you want if she just had a little bit more "substance". (B+)