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Hazed & Infused by Boulder Beer Company

 Beer #358 finds me swilling down something called Hazed & Infused by Boulder Beer Company from Boulder, Colorado.  The ABV of this American Pale Ale comes in at 4.85%.

It poured a nice golden amber color with a fluffy white head.  Excellent lacing did that head leave behind.  The nose was a bit on the light side with gentle aromas of citrus, some pine and soap.  Yep soap.  The taste was not soapy at all thank goodness.  It had some nice hoppy, heavier flavors of orange, tangerine, and pine mixing with caramel malts.  The body was fairly light, it had a gentle bitterness and with lower amount of carbonation that made this quite smooth.  It was quite drinkable and was gone quite fast…quite.

“Close your eyes look deep in yourself step outside yourself and let your mind go frozen eyes stare deep in your mind as you die”

This was quite enjoyable.  I enjoyed the higher concentration of citrus, hoppy flavors here.  It was quite a refreshing beer…quite.  What the heck is up with me today with all the use of quite???  Oh well…till we meet again…

And then there were 7…

Rating: B+

Winter Rental Black Lager by East Coast Brewing Company

Watching my Cowboys on TV again thanks to the Giants being on tonight and the Jets playing this past Thursday.  I can’t think of a better time to break open beer #357, Winter Rental Black Lager by East Coast Brewing from New Jersey, then now.  This is East Coast Brewing Company’s 2nd beer they have brewed since founding the company in 2007.  Brewed in the style of a Euro Dark Lager, this beer has an ABV of 5.6%.

It poured a very nice dark ruby red color with an off-white head.  This had a nice light roasted malt aroma with some caramel and coffee.  The taste started off with a bit of a hoppy slightly bitter pine like flavor and then it got into the malts with roasted coffee-esque flavors and a bit of caramel.  This had a body just south of medium and north of light.  It had moderate amounts of carbonation and was fairly smooth.

This was a nice solid beer from East Coast Brewing Company.  I hope they do well and start brewing more styles…like a nice American IPA.

And then there were 8…

Rating: B

Otto Ale by Victory Brewing Company

Back to Pennsylvania I find myself for beer #356.  I have already had 52 (53 if you include tonights) beers from Pennsylvania in this 365, the most from any state.  Otto Ale is my beer of choice for tonight brewed by Victory Brewing Company from Downingtown.  This is classified as a Smoked Beer and has an ABV of 8.1%  Interesting to note here is this Belgian Dubbel styled Smoked Beer was created based on the experiences Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet (co-founders of Victory Brewing Company) had on their trip to Bamberg, Germany in 1987.

Into my new glass, a Long Trail Brewing Company glass that the fine folks at Oak Tree Wine & Spirits (http://www.oaktreebuyrite.com/) gave to me after my purchase there today, went this dark amber brew with a very nice sized thick tan colored head.  The nose was smoky (think camp fire), malty and a bit fruity with raisins and I thought I got a whiff of some grapes.  It started off with a slightly sweet caramel malt flavor that melted off into a lightly smoky flavor similar to Liquid Smoke (if you cooked with this…you know what I mean).  There was a bit of brown sugar here too.  The fruits I picked up on in the nose didn’t really translate in the taste.  It had a medium body and some very fine light carbonation that made this creamy.  The alcohol was hidden very nicely here.

This was an interesting beer.  I really didn’t get the Belgian Dubbel aspect of this but I do find myself really enjoying the smokiness found in this style.  If you dig Smoked Beers or Rauchbiers, give this one a shot.

Cheers again to Oak Tree Wine & Spirits in South Plainfield, New Jersey as they were my go to beer store for the majority of this 365.  I will be visiting them in the future as their selection of beers is really unmatched where I live.  Team that up with a very knowledgeable and friendly staff and the little things like a free Long Trail & Sly Fox glass that will make them my go to beer store for many years to come.

And then there were 9…

Rating: B

Mother's Milk by Keegan Ales

And as the beers roll on we find KingBob and his glorious band of adventurers (I’m feeling in a Skyrim mood…look it up) rolling into the state of New York for the next beer, #355, Mother’s Milk by Keegan Ales.  Brewed and bottled in Saratoga Springs, New York, this Milk or Sweet Stout has an ABV of 6%.  According to the label, Keegan Ales is The Hudson Valley’s Brewery.  This is also my first beer from Keegan Ales and that in itself is very cool!

To the pour…and this was another beer that was black in color with a small light brown head.  The nose was a fairly mild malty roasted concoction made up of cocoa, coffee, chocolate, and a bit of a smoky camp fire-esque aroma.  I took a sip and was greeted by a ever so slight sweetness.  I tasted milk chocolate followed by the slightly bitter and a bit course in texture cocoa mixed with a bit of smoke.  It finished with a dark roasted coffee flavor that lasted into the aftertaste.  It had a slightly heavier than medium body with some light tingling carbonation.  It was quite easy to drink.

This was a solid brew that I only wish was a tiny bit smoother and creamier.  Now it is off to plan out my last 10 beers of this 365.  I really am thinking of going all American big brewers like Bud, Miller and Coors for those last 10…I kid.  It will be a cold day in KingBob’s realm before I sink that low.  And now KingBob and his merry band of adventures must pack up and move on to our next destination…where that is I have no idea.  I still haven’t visited my go to beer store to know the answer to that.

And then there were 10…

Rating: B

Olde School by Dogfish Head

Wow…as the end is near on this journey to drink 365 beers, I can’t believe tonight’s beer, #354, will be my 18th I have had from Dogfish Head.  Olde School is that 18th beer and it is a American Barleywine with a hefty ABV of 15%.  I have said it numerous times before, Dogfish tends to do nothing on the subtle side.

I broke out a glass I haven’t used in a while, my Stella Artois glass from a fellow blogger for the pour.  It had a slightly hazy amber color with hints of ruby red to it.  The head was the smallest of off-white rings.  I smelled booze, brown sugar, and raisins.  Man…was this sweet and very boozy in the taste.  There was the familiar flavor of caramel malts and a woodsy earthy thing going on in here.  Add in a dark cherry flavor very reminiscent of cherry flavored NyQuil and there you have it.  It had quite the warming effect from the high ABV.  It was quite thick and syrupy with the carbonation on the low side.  For me and I imagine anyone who drinks this, it was a sipping brew.

For me, this was just OK.  I’m not a big fan of Barelywines in general (although I have found some that I do enjoy) and this did nothing to change my feeling on them.  It really wasn’t what I was looking for in a beer this evening but it is what came up in the rotation.  Speaking of which, I am out of beer and need to make my final beer run for this 365.

And then there were 11 (these go to 11)…

Rating: C

Fade To Black Volume 3 by Left Hand Brewing Company

My next beer, #353, has a cool name, Fade To Black Volume 3.  It is also the name of a great, great song by Metallica (Fade To Black).  Left Hand Brewing Company is the brewer and they brew this Foreign/Export Stout in Colorado in town that goes by the name of Longmont.  The ABV comes in at a nice 8.5%.  This is their 3rd beer in the Fade To Black series.

This sucker poured a black color, none more black, with a nice almost two finger width tan head.  I took a whiff…smelled good with  chocolate and smoke and lots of big roasted malts aromas.  With my mouth starting to water, I took a sip.  Holy crap…there is a hot, spiciness here that caught me off guard.  This had the flavor of something like a piece of dark chocolate infused with habaneros or some other type of spicy chili pepper.  There was also a noticeable dark roasted coffee flavor here too and cocoa…but with a bitterness, not sweet at all.  It had a smoky essence to it also that was quite nice.  I loved how this had that spicy pepper burn in the back of the throat also.  There was no sweetness to speak of and it had a nice dry finish to it.  To be honest, the taste put a big smile on my face…dark chocolate, coffee, some sort of spicy pepper…my kind of drink.  It had a medium body with plenty of stinging carbonation but still had a kind of slickness to it…like oil that is.

This was a fantastic beer.  I love how they incorporated the pepper hotness and spiciness into this and how it wasn’t totally overpowering.  For me, it was highly drinkable.  I am a lover of hot and spicy anything…and if you are too, and love Stouts…give this try!  I want a few more of these…and I want them now…wonder if I can convince my wife to pick up some more for me on her way home from work???  And oh yeah…I was listening to Metallica’s Fade To Black as I was drinking this…and now I have a hankering for Thai food…the hotter the better…oh well…enough of my yackin’…

And then there were 12…

Rating: A+

Oktoberfest by Climax Brewing Company

Nothing like coming home to a lot of water on the kitchen floor.  It turns out that the drain pipe from the sink decided to give away making the water that was being expelled from the dishwasher leak out onto the floor.  Looks like a ride to Home Depot is on order to fix this issue.  In the meatime, with my tools in hand and a beer of course…I decide to blog first then fix the pipe later…

Beer #352 is Oktoberfest by Climax Brewing Company.  This Oktoberfest/Marzen is brewed right here in New Jersey and has an ABV of 6.2%.

Appearance – Amber color with quite a bit of an orange glow.  The head was just a sliver of white.

Nose – Hmm…it had a sour funky smell to it and a smell very much like baked apples.  My grandmother used to bake apples as a treat and this is what it reminded me of.

Taste – A sour taste hit me first followed with a heavy dose of bread.  There was a perfume like thing towards the back end of this also…all in all…a very odd tasting beer.  I started to think that maybe this was actually spoiled in some way.

Mouthfeel – It had a body just south of medium and some really low amounts of carbonation.

Overall – I’m not quite sure what to think here.  Did I get a bad beer or was this supposed to taste like this?  I think something was wrong to be honest as I researched this beer later and my observations on the nose and taste were quite unlike any review I found.  I have come to expect a quality product from Climax Brewing Company so I’ m thinking there is no way they brewed it to have these flavors and smells.  I’m not going to rate this because I feel this is a spoiled beer.  I will see if I can get this again in the next few days and will come back and update this entry…stayed tuned…

And then there were 13…

Rating: n/a

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