Archive for the ‘American India Pale Ale’ Category

Rumble IPA by Great Divide Brewing Company

I’m sitting on my back deck out in the fresh air of a near 70 degree day in…late November???  Wait…what???  Yep…that is correct…near 70 degrees is the temperature today so I figured why not enjoy beer #363, Rumble IPA by Great Divide Brewing Company, outside.

Rumble IPA is brewed in Denver, Coloroado and is an American IPA with an ABV of 7.1%.  Of note here is according to the label, this is an IPA that is oak aged…I love me some oak.

I broke out my Starr Hill glass for the pour.  The color of Rumble was an amber with orange highlights to it.  It had a nice off-white head.  The nose was very light almost to the point of it not really smelling like anything…odd.  If anything, I got more of a malty, caramel like aroma and maybe a bit of an herbal smell, again all of that was very faint.  Where was the citrus, where was the hops???  The taste was very subdued with a bit of pine and a bit of just a tad sweet caramel malts.  It had an herbal almost vegetable like flavor near the back end.  Very strange.  The bitterness was fairly light in the medium bodied brew and the carbonation was fairly low.

I’m not sure what I was expecting here but I really didn’t get this.  I didn’t get any aromas or flavors of the oak aging…none of that nice woodsy vanilla buttery smooth flavor.  This wasn’t horrible…I just didn’t think it was all that good.

And then there were 2…

Rating: D

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Autobahn IPA by Sixpoint

After my 20 miles of smiles mountain bike ride at White Clay Creek & Middle Run in Newark, Delaware…I was quite thirsty.  I figured I would reward myself with a half-growler (32 oz) of fresh beer form Joe Canals in Lawrenceville, NJ.

I pulled out a pint glass, placed on the rear of my car with my trusty steed in view…and poured.  Autobahn poured a nice cloudy orange amber with a one finger width white head.  The nose was quite piney with an odd perfume like scent.  It kind of smelled like soap.  Puzzled with the nose, I took a sip.  Pine was the big thing here in the flavor.  There was also some citrus…white grapefruit to be exact.  Thankfully the perfume scent didn’t show up in the taste.  It had a decent amount of breadiness…toast flavor.  Everything flavor wise really tailed off at the end which was also a bit odd.  It had a decent amount of bitterness.  The mouthfeel was that of a medium bodied brew with lower amounts of carbonation.  It was kind of smooth.

Overall this was just an average American IPA.  The half growler provided me with 3 glasses of beer…not too shabby for $9.99.  On the other hand, White Clay & Middle Run were fantastic…unless you like technical rocky trails.  There was a ton of speed and flow here which is right up my alley when it comes to mountain biking.  If you dig fast and flowy trails…and you mountain bike…give it a look.

Rating: C

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India Pale Ale by Climax Brewing Company

I was jonesing for something a bit different than all the Oktoberfest and Pumpkin beers I have had…so I chose an American IPA.  I am also hoping for a bunch of other things like a win by the Yankees tonight, a loss by the Phillies, the Mets to finally decide they are nothing better than a Minor League team, & Scarlett Johansson (sexy as all get up) deciding she wants to live with me & my wife in a faux-polygamist marriage.  Wait…what?  A man can dream…no?

Anyways…I pulled out all the stops for a Yankee win tonight as you can see in the above photo.  My Don Mattingly Yankee jersey, my well-worn Yankee cap, my Yankee hefeweizen glass, my Yankee underoos…OK…you can’t see them in the photo but trust me…I have them on.  Can you tell I’m amped up for this game tonight?  I think I need a beer to calm myself down…

And that beer, #310, is India Pale Ale by Climax Brewing Company from Roselle Park , New Jersey.  Their version of an American IPA has an ABV of 6%.  I wonder if I should have picked up a beer from New York?

Into my Yankees hefeweizen glass went this hazy amber with a bit of orange color to it brew.  The cream colored head was massive & fluffy and left excellent lacing behind.  I dipped my nose into the glass…pine  and caramel and floral and bread and citrus and even some grass greeted said nose.  I took a sip…first thought was yum…white grapefruit.  There was a nice slightly sweet caramel maltiness and a bit of a bread like flavor that mixed well with the slightly bitter hops.  Towards the back end of this it had a pine like flavor and it finished with the same taste and acidic sensation (not truly acidic..something similar) as you get when drinking white grapefruit juice.  It had a medium body and coupled with lower amounts of carbonation made this quite smooth and creamy.  This was extremely drinkable…I know they make this in growlers and I think I wouldn’t have any issues finishing one off.

Quite simply…this was very, very good.  This is my type of beer for sure.  American IPAs FTW (for the win)!!!  Oh yeah…lets go Yanks!!!  And Scarlett…if you are reading this (I know you are)…call me…

Rating: A

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Big Hop Harvest Ale by East End Brewing Company

After a long drive home from Pittsburgh (capped by the slowest, craziest traffic on the NJ Turnpike), I decided to keep the weekend fest of East End Brewing Company beers going.

Beer #294 was a growler of Big Hop Harvest Ale.  It doesn’t get any fresher than this as I picked this up at their brewing location in Pittsburgh on Susquehanna St.  This brew is an American IPA with an ABV of 7.4%.  What makes this brew unique?  Well according to the East End website, Big Hop Harvest Ale is their Big Hop IPA that uses locally grown and freshly picked hops (wet hops or undried hops) that are put into the brew kettle.  These hops are only available for a short time in late September or early October.  Looks like I hit Pittsburgh at just the right time.

Into my East End pint glass went this cloudy iced-tea colored brew.  The off-white head was quite tiny although the 2nd glass was much better in that department.  The nose was pine, grass, citrus, caramel malts…all in all…very clean smelling.  It had a nice white grapefruit like flavor with a nice bitterness that wasn’t too strong or overpowering.  Pine was also recognizable in the taste but it wasn’t as upfront as the grapefruit.  The caramel malts also were present with an ever so slight sweetness that balanced well with the hops.  This was quite smooth and was bordering on being creamy with lower amounts of carbonation.  It had a medium body and was quite drinkable.  After the third from the growler, I started to notice the alcohol.  But I already had a smile on my face after the first…so I wouldn’t say the grin on my face as I was drinking this was necessarily caused by the alcohol…though my wife was convinced it was.

This was absolutely delicious.  I have said this before and it rings true here…this is what good beer is all about.  Nothing here was overpowering and everything about it just seemed…right.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to venture to Pittsburgh this weekend and try many different brews from East End Brewing Company.  At the wedding I went too, the bride and groom had at least three different East End beers for their wedding guests pleasure.  I had a chance to try their Big Hop IPA (fantastic), Monkey Boy (really delicious), and Fat Gary Nut Brown Ale (another delish brew that my non-beer drinking wife enjoyed quite a lot).

To Scott from East End Brewing Company…cheers!  Keep on brewing(doing) what you do best…excellent craft beer!

Now back to enjoying that growler…

Rating: A+

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Southern Hemisphere Harvest by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

I spent a good part of the day researching and dreaming of a new bike.  My current one has a crack in the frame.  I have a few choices in mind, a 2009 Haro Mary SS and a 2011 Salsa El Mariachi.  Both are single speed mountain bikes (multiple speeds are for the weak) with the Salsa being quite a bit more money that the Haro.  Decisions, decisions…might as well mull it over a brew.

Beer #263 is Southern Hemisphere Harvest by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company from Chico, California.  This is a straight up American IPA with an ABV of 6.7%.  Interesting here to note is the hops used in this brew are all grown in the southern hemisphere.

It poured a nice amber with a touch of orange in the color.  The head was quite nice, white and fluffy and it left some awesome lacing behind in the glass.  The nose was hoppy but not the citrus I was expecting but more of a grass like aroma.  I took a sip and got  bread mixed with pine and grass.  There was a very nice bitterness here that lasted all the way through into the aftertaste.  It had a nice medium body and a bunch of stinging carbonation.

This was another very nice beer that I enjoyed quite a bit.  Now back to dreaming about bikes…

Rating: B+

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Spiral Jetty by Epic Brewing Company

Man I need to hit the lottery.  I could get use to getting up and going for a nice mountain bike ride, lunch with the wife, and just generally doing nothing.  As I sit here and enjoy my beer, #229, Spiral Jetty by Epic Brewing Company from Salt Lake City, Utah…I’m listening to an oldie but a goodie, Operation:Mindcrime by Queensryche.  Fantastic album from a great band.

Spiral Jetty, an American IPA, has an ABV of 6.6%.  Epic Brewing Company named this after the 1500 foot long rock coil extending into the Great Salt Lake by a sculptor Robert Smithson in 1970.  Google it…it is really cool.  It is also pictured on the label.

A honey colored brew stared back at me from the Starr Hill pint glass.  There was just a small white head…nothing to write home about.  The nose was mild and a bit sweet with pine, grapefruit, and a floral smell.  I took a sip, I got mostly grapefruit and a bit of fruitiness that I thought was pineapple.  It finished off with a nice orange rind like flavor and a decent amount of bitterness, that bitterness wasn’t overwhelming.  It had a nice medium body with some nice prickly carbonation.

A decent American IPA, not the best I have had but far from the worst.  Have a great weekend all!

Rating: B

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Bengali Tiger by Sixpoint Brewery

As you may be able to tell from the photo above, today was mowing day.  And look what I found prowling in the weedy grass of my backyard…a tiger.

A Bengali Tiger to be exact, which is beer #227 brewed by Sixpoint Brewery, in a can no less, from Brooklyn, New York.  This American IPA has  ABV of 6.4%.  I love cats of all types so I am looking forward to this Tiger.

What a pretty beer, a beautiful brownish/orange (it kind of reminded me of the orange on a tiger when held up to the light..though that didn’t get captured in the photo) with a one finger width white head.  Oh yeah…from the smell alone I knew this was my kind of beer.  Pine and citrus…but not of the grapefruit variety…orange was the citrus in the nose here.  This tasted delicious…it started with a bit of a biscuit maltiness and then it got hoppy with that pine and orange flavors and an herb flavor, the first thing I thought of was basil.  Basil is my favorite herb, we grow it in a pot on our back deck during the summer, and let me tell you there is few things that smell better than it.  There was a nice orange rind like quality here and a nice bitterness that lasted well into the aftertaste.  It had a nice creamy mouthfeel with a medium body and moderate carbonation.  Highly drinkable, no trace of “can” in the taste.

Easily the best beer I have had in a can.  Give it a try if you like American IPAs…I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Rating: B+

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HopDevil Ale by Victory Brewing Company

Today is a sad and sobering day for myself.  I attended a funeral of a man who was taken away from us much to early.  Funerals always put life into perspective for me, “Too much, there’s too much fucking perspective now.” as David St. Hubbins would say…look him up.  Life truly is fleeting and much too short not to go out and enjoy it as much as is humanly possible.  Not that it will mean much, but today I will dedicate my daily brew to Ken or “Keek” as he was known as.  I truly wish I had gotten to know him better than I did but as it has the way of doing, the daily grind always seems to get in the way.

Beer #221 is HopDevil Ale by Victory Brewing Company.  This American India Pale Ale with an ABV of 6.7% is brewed and bottled in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Into my Victory Brewing Company pint glass went this brew which had a clear amber color with reddish hues.  Topping off this beer was an off-white head.  The nose was heavy with hops (pine resin and grapefruit) and had a nice caramel malt aroma.  It tasted wonderful to a hop head such as myself with lots of white grapefruit and pine flavors.  Mix in a bigger than average caramel malt sweetness and a slight toasted bread flavor with a nice biting bitterness and the King was one happy subject.  It finished off quite dry and had a lingering bitterness that lasted long after the sip was swallowed.  It had a medium body, wasn’t overly carbonated, almost creamy, and a bit sticky.  It was highly drinkable for myself in that I could easily drink a six-pack of this if I wanted to.

To me, this was absolutely wonderful.  I love hoppy, bitter brews with a nice maltiness and this fits the bill perfectly.

Take the time to enjoy everything life has to offer.  Drink good beer, eat good food, and let the ones close to you know how much they mean to you.

Ken…I raise my glass to you today…

Rating: A+

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Misery Bay IPA by Erie Brewing Company

It is just one of those days where I really am not in the mood for a beer.  That of course does not mean I won’t have one though.  I do have a tendency to not always finish what I start but this is one of those things I want to finish and I will finish it “God willing and the creek don’t rise!”.

Beer #214 is Misery Bay IPA by Erie Brewing company.  Erie hails from Erie , Pennsylvania.  This beer is in the style of an American IPA with an ABV of 6.5%.

This beer had a nice color to it that reminded me of honey with some orange tints to it.  The head was thin and white.  Typical IPA nose of pine, grapefruit, & caramel malts.  Taste followed the nose with lots of sweet caramel maltiness and a huge, heavy pine flavor.  I didn’t get any citrus in the taste at all.   It had a nice overall bitterness but not over the top.  It was a bit heavier in the mouth than I expected with some sharp, biting carbonation and an almost sticky feel.

Alas, this was forgettable to me.  Nothing stood out and said…”Drink me!” though drink it I did.  Ahh well…enough of my yacking…

Rating: C

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10 by Mikkeller

Lord I was born a Ramblin’ Man…thanks to a co-worker, I have had that tune in my head most of the day…although he changed the lyrics slightly.  Ahh…things that rhyme with Ramblin’…

Maybe a beer will help get that song out of my head or maybe I should just turn up Steel Panther.  If you haven’t heard of Steel Panther…Google them. I guarantee if you are or were into 80’s Hair Metal like I am, you will like them. Beware though, they can be quite crude lyric wise but awfully damn funny. Now to the beer.

Beer #185 is 10 by Mikkeller.

Stats – American IPA with an ABV of 6.9% brewed in Denmark.  10 differant hops are used in the brewing process…hence the name, 10
Appearance – Orange amber color with a huge soapy consistency white head
Nose – Lots of hoppiness but not overpowering with grapefruit, herbs, pine, floral (has the scent of fresh cut flowers), with a nice maltiness…bread and caramel
Taste – Pine and grapefruit dominate with just bits of the malts thrown in. Not overly bitter but that bitterness lingers on in the aftertaste
Mouthfeel – Medium-heavy body, coats the mouth, crisp, moderate amount of carbonation

Delicious!  I like this one quite a bit.  It was a beer right up my alley.  Nice and hoppy, decent bitterness, highly drinkable, & refreshing…what more could I ask for?  I have a habit (bad habit possibly???) of cracking open a beer and enjoying it as I am grilling up some yummies.  That is what I did tonight and it was perfect for that.  Cheers or Skaal as they say in Denmark!

Rating: A

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