Fade To Black Volume 1 – Foreign Export Stout

12 oz single. Been holding on to this one since the original release. Time to have a crack at it now. Pour is an impressive jet black body with a tight head of very fine bubbles. Nice looking head and decent retention and lace. Nose releases some bready malts and not a lot else. Tastes release some very light alcohol notes amongst the very lightly charred, dark chocolate. A little bitterness that is the source of the slightly dry character. The dryness doesn't really ever get very high, which...

Midnight Project #3 Oxymoron

22 oz bottle. Well, this certainly lives up to the name, a strange beer to say the least. I don't quite know how to describe this, but it drinks like a dry, hoppy Marzen. It's odd because the last thing that you would associate with a lager of that basic description would be a dry character or a bitterness - odd. Perfectly clear, the beer pours with a disappointingly scant head, not much lace and golden orange hue. The nose is really rich and nice. It offers some classic sweet notes and some...

400 Pound Monkey

12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. My worry with all beers that start life in the USA and claim to be "English" style, is that we will get over-hopped products with alcohol that is too high and malt profiles that are insufficiently developed. This beer confirmed my reservations on two of those but did better on one. Decent copper body with good clarity and a nice white head that is well retained and leaves good lace. The appearance was the strongest suit in this beer for me. It's...

Chocolate Starfish

A bit of background to this review. I ordered the beer at The Porter in Little Five, Atlanta, GA, ‎USA. A few minutes later I was joined by a friend of mine who knows very little about beer and ‎started engaging the barman about what to order and drink. As part of this conversation the ‎barman started offering advice about brown ales but he did NOT mention the Starfish in that ‎category. I was curious since it was a CLASSIC brown ale, and it was sitting in front of me,...

Smoke Jumper Smoked Imperial Porter

‎22 oz bottle. ‎ I'm not an enormous fan of smoked beers in general, BUT it could be argued that if you are ‎going to smoke anything, the Imperial Porter would be a great candidate. ‎ Pour is impresive. Black with a few reddish highlights and a SOLID head. The head looks like a ‎piece of bread, and is well sustained and produces some beautiful lace. ‎ Sweet, light smoke makes up the nose. ‎ The tastes obviously reflect the smoke, and we get the typical...

Left Hand Oktoberfest

12 oz bottle as a single from Total Wine, Perimeter, Atlanta, GA, USA. If the truth be known, disappointed considering the usual quality of Left Hand beers and my general enjoyment of the style. In an O'fest I'm looking for a few key characteristics and this beer fell down on several of them. Firstly I want a really, bright orange hue with outsanding clarity and an observable carbonation. For me this provided none of those and in fact I would decscribe the beer as being "muddy" in its...

Polestar Pilsner

12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. In summary I was very surprised at how "macro" like this was. There were very large corn and vegetal notes in both the nose and the tastes, and a really distinct lack of sharp, crisp hop notes. The lack of Saaz crispness and the lack of cleanliness are big problems when it comes to a PIls beer, and to be honest this was seriously lacking n both departments. The pour and appearance were promising enough with a decent, if not huge head sitting on top...

St. Vrain Tripel

22 oz bottle from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pour is a wheat, colored, light yellow hazed body. Head is disappointingly thin and lacks presence. Unfortunately this is a feature of the beer - a lack of depth and presence. Lots of banana notes more than anything else. In fact, this almost seems like a banana, alcoholic cocktail! It certainly skates around the Tripel style, but to me it really feels quite thin. Alcohol is resent, but that's OK becuase the style demands it, and to be honest given...

Haystack Wheat

$1.50 as a 12oz from Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. Obviously a clouded orange appearance but to be honest ait looks a little weak and watery. Head is non-existant and does not provide any lace or retention. Nose is probably the best attribute with plenty of mild acidity along with apples and some grassy hay notes. After that, frankly this is not good. It's VERY weak and watery and lacks any depth. Some green apples but the whole thing suffers badly because of the lack of presence. It's...

Terra-Rye’ZD Black Rye Lager

$7.99 form Green's on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. 22oz bomber. Pour is impressive with a high, towering tan head and nice ruby red, highlighted black/brown body. Lace is fantastic; sticky, copious and thick. So far so good. Bags of great malts in the nose that a coupled with a sweet, cereal (oat-like) note. Reminds me of an oatmeal stout. Mouthfeel is also very nice with smooth, fine carbonation rolling easily across the tongue. Creamy nature. Again, almost stout like. Sweet, nutty start but...

Chainsaw Ale

750 mL corked & caged bottle. Cloudy and hazed mid-orange/brown body. Nice head, some sticky lace. The color and lack of clarity make this a somewhat unattractive beer. Looks a bit drab. Head and lace are better than the color. Nose reveals a huge, brown sugar type aroma with only a slight, background like solvent alcohol note. This is one sweet brew and with the combination of the hops I get an enormous mouthful of coconut. Quite a sickly sweet beer to me, and this is coming from someone that...

Smoked Goosinator Doppelbock

750 mL corked and caged affair - silk screened bottle. 2007 vintage, bottle conditioned. Nice looking, brownish-red body in keeping with the style. Head is large and smoke colored (yellowish tinge). Head is a bit light and airy so it disappears very quickly. Very little lace. Aroma is DISTINCTLY NOT smoked, which I suppose is a bit of a disappointment (hence the low score for aroma). Mouthfeel is a little thin for me. Mild smoke is the overwhelming taste. Not much Doppelbock flavor, but at the...

Left Hand Rye Bock Lager

750 mL corked & caged. The Wine Shop, Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA, USA. 2007 (bottle conditioned) vintage. Took a long time to remove the cage, and when I finally did, this one had a lot of carbonation. Poured into the 20oz pint glass. Plenty of large ivory, bubbly head, but not a huge amount of lace. Very nice reddish brown hue. Very malty nose with some alcohol; very nice, reminiscent of the best, alcohol ridden doppelbocks. The initial tastes are quite sweet and with some alcohol...

Deep Cover Brown Ale

12oz bottle as a single from my recent trip to NC/SC - probably from Total Wine. Pour is a dark orange and lacks the brown clarity that I look for in a Brown Ale - a bit murky for my liking. Head is short lived and lace is pretty much absent. A little flat. Nutty nose with high caramel content. Nuts re-appear in the taste. Average malt taste and the mouthfeel is rather thin. Unimpressive, somewhat weak all the way around I thought.

Good Juju (Ginger Ale)

Taco Mac on the East West Connector, Austell, Atlanta, GA, USA. 12 oz bottle. Dated what looked like 08/28/05 but it was smudged. Almost certainly past its best. Essentially this is an American Pale Ale with a splash of ginger flavoring in it. Very unispiring and quite insipid. No character apart from an obvious ginger flavor in the finish, but outside of that the background is one of the blandest beers I can remember. Light orange color, served too cold, I didn't bother finishing the bottle....

Snowbound Winter Ale

22 oz bomber, Green's, Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. Lovely dark brown and noisy pour with a massive nose emanating across the room. All the spices are there, nutmeg though cinnamon through all spice through orange zest. Delicious. Tastes are all the same, with a really good body. Figs, dark Christmas fruits the full package. Fantastic, reminiscent of Sam Adams Old Fezzy. I could drink gallons and gallons of this. Rock on Left Hand.

Sawtooth Ale

On tap Taco Mac, Decatur, GA, USA. $5.00. Light, APA mid orange color with a lot of chill haze. Extremely mild citrus hop flavor with some orange or lemon notes. Served way too cold and as a result the aroma is difficult to pick up, but whatever it is it is muted. Somewhat thin in the mouth, fairly non-descript all around. Some lacing (above average) with an odd sweetness to the beer. In my experience a typical Left Hand product - OK, but rather run-of-the-mill.

Twin Sisters Double IPA

$9.99 Green's, Atlanta, GA, USA. 2006 bottle conditioned vintage, tall, longnecked, dark olive green bottle, 750 mL corked and caged with screened label. Pain in the ass, tightly twisted cage - the most difficult I have ever had to open. Anyway, moving on. Hazy, burnt orange colored pour with a huge, dirty froth head (the kind you see at the beach). Poured into the Southampton Weizen glass, the beer slips under the head to enter the mouth without any head presence. A small amount of random...

Left Hand Milk Stout

A lot of sweetness up front with that tell-tale lactose aroma. For me there is a VERY fine line between the attractiveness of the lactose nose & taste, and the classic Hershey's "vomit" taste & smell which haunts all of that company's chocolate products (try chocolate from around the world and you'll notice the Hershey "vomit" characteristic). Good looking black body and I like the packaging. Strong Hershey milk chocolate feel. Acidic finish which enhances the lactose feel, rather unusual and...

Left Hand Imperial Stout

Appearance lacks the deep black opaque nature that one would expect from the style, and in fact there are red and brown highlights and a rather thin mouthfeel considering the RIS moniker. Thin spotty head, and a lack of lacing. Very strong alcohol presence in the taste, and a real burn on the way down. Quite acidic with sharp finish and lingering aftertaste. This is a very powerful drink, but it lacks subtlety and is very strong in the alcohol department with a lack of balance.

Warrior IPA

Very clear, orange body with some significant streams of carbonation coming from the bottom of the glass. Large, fluffy and rocky head with some layered and sticky lacing. Good looker without a doubt. Nose is VERY strong with huge hops of the pine and citrus variety. This made me wary of the taste, but with the large hops that DO come in the flavor, there is some malt balance. Finish is dry, even puckering a times, and every gulp comes with a fairly serious hop assault on the nose. My guess is...