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Blog Based Beer Reviews, currently presented as Blog Posts, awaiting transfer into the database of all beer reviews

Beer Review: Westbrook Brewing Co, Mexican Cake

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Two separate, approx. (what looked liked) 10-12 oz pours (in undersize Duvel glasses) at The Lodge, Hilton Head Island, SC. I had heard a little about Mexican Cake but would never have sought it out as such. Anyway, strolling into The Lodge at 4.00 PM on a Saturday afternoon I see that they have it on, and since it was one of only three beers on their list that I have never tried, I thought...

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Beer Review: The Wrecking Bar, Ding – The English Bitter

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: I have not spoken to Bob Sandage about 'Ding', so I cannot comment on its origin with any degree of certainty, but here is what appears to have happened. Recently Bob went to England for a short visit where he was exposed to some classic, English Bitters. His trip happened to coincide as our argument/discussion about the characterization of cask beer in America was coming to a head, and as a...

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Beer Review: Back Forty Beer Company, Freckle Belly IPA

Ding Points: 74.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: I've had very little exposure and experience with Back Forty beers, but when I did, I thought they were incredibly average. This is the first one that has made it across the border to GA, and predictably a DIPA. 22 oz bomber, cost me $4.99 I think. Best By 08/12/13. Whether this is an American IPA or an American DIPA is largely irrelevant I feel, since with the level of bitterness that we...

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Beer Review: Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Silver Anniversary Lager 1988-2013

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: So what do we have here? Apparently it's a Lager, and 5 seconds research tell us it's a Doppelbock, or at least an amped-up version of the classic Brooklyn Lager - not entirely sure they are the same thing, but hey, that's what Brooklyn seem to be going with. Here's the official word from Brooklyn. $13.99 for the corked & caged 750 mL bottle. Bottle- conditioned. This bottle has the...

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Beer Review: Jester King Craft Brewery, Le Petit Prince Farmhouse Table Beer

Ding Points: 64.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00 Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Big thanks go out to Lee for providing me with the original bottle of this back in 2012. That bottle was cracked open on vacation in Hilton Head, SC in summer of 2012. The height of relaxation for me these days. This review is a combination of two separate tastings, the second one being a bottle that I purchased from the Greenville Beer Exchange in Greenville, SC in March of 2013, about 9...

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Beer Review: Victory Brewing Company, White Monkey

Ding Points: 54.00 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth:, 60.00 Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: I hold my hand up here and admit that I screwed up. The thought of Golden Monkey aged in white wine barrels was definitely something that I would be very interested in. I tend to gravitate toward some of the white wine options for barrel aging, and Golden Monkey strikes me as beer that would do well, and be suited to such a treatment. However, I failed to read the label correctly, or do the...

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Beer Review: Stone Brewing Co, Enjoy By 04.01.13 IPA

Ding Points: 64.00 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: Dammit. Enjoy by 04.01.13 - that means that once the 4th of January has passed this is going downhill. Oh, hang on, this is America, so actually that's April 1st. A joke? Maybe, but either way you're hardly likely to confuse this beer with anything out of the UK! More hype in the beer community for this and my expectations are for competence and no more. I paid $6.99 for the 22 oz bomber,...

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Beer Review: Dogfish Head, Birra Etrusca Bronze

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Taste: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Pour is a, 'per the label' dark bronze color with some initially high head that fades pretty quickly. Retention is not great, and lace is essentially zero. Of course, the name is actually nothing to do with the color, rather a reference to using 'bronze' in the fermentation. I'm not at all sure what that means, but I suppose it refers to using bronze equipment rather than adding pieces of...

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Beer Review: Jester King Craft Brewery, Commercial Suicide (Oaked) Farmhouse Ale

Ding Points: 51.00 Pour 60.00:, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 40.00 Tasting Notes: OK, an 'Oaked, Farmhouse Mild Ale'? Hmmm, I dunno. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle-conditioned, 750 mL in the usual Jester King presentation. The label also refers to something that they call 'English pub ale'. Needless to say, that worries me a bit, and coupled with some other equally silly guff on the label, it's not a good start for me. In addition, any source that is quoting this as...

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Beer Review(s): The Celt Experience Beers; Bronze, Dark-Age and Golden

Usually I don't like to review beers in batches, but on this occasion it seemed a little more appropriate for more than one reason. My friend from North Carolina/Yorkshire, Stuart Arnold (of Fortnight Brewing, check 'em out), provided me with this opportunity to hit three organic beers from Caerphilly in Wales. Apparently the Celt Experience Brewery has been operating for a few years and produces organic beer. It's always a huge thrill for me to get a chance to drink relatively low ABV beer,...

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Beer Review: Blue Moon Brewing Company (Coors), Proximity (Vintage Ale Collection)

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Yes, I am fully aware of what this is (and what it is not), but I'll try anything once, and to be honest the description of this beer sounds like it might be something that I would (potentially) enjoy. I've heard some morons calling this a 'Bine', as in Wine/Beer - jeez. 750 mL bottle in a style that actually looks like it's a 650 ml offering, with textured, vinyl-like labels front and back....

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Beer Review: Ranger Creek Brewing, Small Batch Series No.1

Ding Points: 77.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Bottle has black wax which is VERY thick. Quite a pain to open. As Ranger Creek mentions on its web site, it (the wax) does stink a bit! Bottled conditioned, the beer is dated 4.9.12. Oatmeal Pale Ale with Rye added and then oak-aged for a month? Not sure this will be my cup of tea at all, but Small Batch #2 was good and a surprising beer, so I guess we can give it a whirl. Thanks go out to...

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Beer Review: Samuel Adams (The Boston Beer Co.), Latitude 48

Ding Points: 66.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: These notes are an amalgamation of two different bottles, almost exactly 12 months apart, and that is reflected in the two different labels over the course of a year. This year, the bottle was taken from the mixed, 'Hop Tour' six pack that BBC is putting out, with Noble Pils and Whitewater IPA being the other two beers. A year ago, Latitude 48 either came as a single or as part of its own six...

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Beer Review: Lazy Magnolia, Indian Summer

Ding Points: 61.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Pour recedes to leave zero head, zero lace. Looks like a lucozade. Really fruity, but not really in an orangey way. Complete clarity. If the wheat was there to any extent it must have been filtered out. No 'wheat' feel to this beer for me. No hint of coriander to speak of either. It's a little strange to me that with the orange and coriander added, this isn't more 'Wit' like. I understand it...

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Beer Review: Jester King Craft Brewery, Thrash Metal Farmhouse ***** Ale

Ding Points: 74.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: What's the deal with the (apparently) blacked out word between Farmhouse and Ale?? Pour gives an enormous, fluffy head with some good retention and some nice lace. The nose gives some quite hot alcohol and a large peppery element - so far, so good. Color is a cloudy, mid to dark range, orange. The tastes are of fruity alcohol, with a semi-high solvent elements. The fruit is quite dry, and...

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Beer Review: Sierra Nevada, Oatmeal Stout 2012 Beer Camp #45

Ding Points: 87.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Before purchasing the Beer Camp 12 pack, I was pretty sure that the beer that I would like least would be this one. It turned out that it was the one that I enjoyed the most, and by quite some distance. It should be noted that is not a commentary on the weakness of the other beer in the pack, rather it's a credit to the strength of this beer. Pitch black pour with a small, half-inch mocha...

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Hard Time Barleywine Style Ale

Ding Points: 71.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Part of the solitary confinement series. I had a few conversations with various folk about the type of Barleywine I could expect, American or English. More than one person suggested that I could expect to find a hybrid. I think they were wrong. In a nutshell we get a distinctly American Barleywine, but one that is not quite as aggressive as some. Don't get me wrong, we have large hop...

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Beer Review: Terrapin Beer Co., Liquid Bliss (Side Project #18)

Ding Points: 68.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Here we go with Side Project #18 from Terrapin, a 'peanut butter beer'. The usual, 22 oz, gold-foiled presentation for the Side Project series. The whole series can be viewed on Terrapin's web site, here. The beer pours an attractive, dark, chocolate brown pour with a nice looking mocha colored head that is about two fingers high. Retention and lace are not great, but I suppose adequate. For...

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Beer Review: Shmaltz Brewing Company, He’Brew Miraculous Jewbelation 8

Ding Points: 74.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: The back story to this beer is that I missed out on it when it was first released (late 2004), but subsequently enjoyed many of the other Jewbelation offerings. As a result, for many years this was on my 'Want List' on beeradvocate. It was after I had long given up hope of ever getting 8, that Shmaltz re-brewed and re-released it in the 12 oz bottle in the mixed pack almost two years ago....

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Beer Review: Founding Fathers Brewing Co., Founding Fathers Light Lager

Ding Points: 24.00 Pour: 40.00, Nose: 20.00, Palate: 20.00, Mouth: 30.00, Global: 20.00 Tasting Notes: I really only wanted to review this because of the small conversation that my review of the 'regular' Founding Father's lager provoked. Pour is typical. Color looks pale golden, and comes with a head that dies almost immediately to leave virtually no froth. The lace is non-existent. Slight, malty vegetal nose with a little acidity coming from the carbonation. Carbonation is medium for the...

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Boulevard Brewing Co., Bob’s ’47 Oktoberfest

Ding Points: 85.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Apparently this beer is brewed to celebrate one Bob Werkowitch, Master Brewer, and his graduation from the US Brewer's Academy in 1947. Nice. Beautiful clarity with a distinctly orange hue, Bob's '47 looks like a classic Oktoberfest in the glass. 20 oz pint at Taco Mac in Douglasville, GA, USA. To be honest, the head is a little disappointing and there is minimal lace, but both the hue and...

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Beer Review: Freetail Brewing Co., Witicus

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: 22 oz bottle, tanks go out to @lnashsig for the opportunity to try this one. At first glance this seems like an unusual combination. A rye based Witbier? Odd. As I have said on more than one occasion in the past, rye is not my favorite thing, but I do like a good Wit, so I am intrigued. The first thing I notice on the label is a large picture of an orange slice - that strikes me as a...

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Beer Review: Brewery Ommegang, Duvel Rustica

Ding Points: 66.00 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: OK, what are the differences between this and Duvel? The question really seems as though it should be at the forefront of any discussion of Rustica, since it is being declared as Ommegang's, "American Farmhouse interpretation of Duvel'. Let's just say that Ommegang had better be confident (and careful) about deliberately drawing comparisons in this manner, because they are opening up a whole...

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Beer Review: Great Divide Brewing Co., Wolfgang

Ding Points: 53.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 40.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: Black body with a thick, creamy, almost old fashioned Guinness like head. The retention is OK, but the lace is not as good as the original , creamy presence (initially) suggests. Nose has a little caramel (but less in the taste) and is disappointingly lacking in alcohol presence. Bitter. VERY bitter for the style, and nowhere near sweet enough. A little soapy hoppiness that I have zero...

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Beer Review: Dogfish Head, 75 Minute IPA

Ding Points: 67.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouthfeel: 90.00, Global 60.00 Tasting Notes: Had a chance to purchase a bottle at the brewpub in March of this year, but I passed. Everything comes to he who waits, and lo and behold here it is on the shelves in GA a few months later. $8.99 for the 750 mL from JUGS Atlanta. Pour is a mid-orange, hazed body with a thick, white head that leaves very good lace and has better than expected retention. Looks nice, appearance is a strong...

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Beer Review: Jester King Craft Brewery, Boxer’s Revenge

Ding Points: 87.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: I have to admit, I am not really predisposed to liking this beer. I'm not a big fan of anything barrel-aged at the best of times, but coupled with a Wild Ale style, I feel you are mixing genres to an extent that is unlikely to work and is somehow disrupting the laws of physics/beer - it just doesn't need to be done. Luckily, it turns out to be not especially relevant. Anyway, having said all...

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Beer Review: Ranger Creek Brewing, Small Batch Series No. 2

Ding Points: 88.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Thanks go out to @lnashsig for the chance to try this one. bottle-conditioned, 07.18.12, Batch 001. Here's the official word from Ranger Creek Brewing. My first interaction with them. Intrigued by the presentation with the 375 mL bottle, capped and black waxed. Opens with a decent pop. The carbonation is initially very high. It produces close to 12 oz of foam before clearing to a much more...

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Beer Review: Weyerbacher Brewing Co., Seventeen

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: 12 oz single, Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pretty straightforward here. Very sweet, highly spiced Saison. A few medicinal herbs, but nothing too extreme, mainly because the sweetness keeps them in check. Definitely a mild alcohol burn which could be a function of the spice, but feels like a slightly aggressive solvent EtOH character. I get alcohol soaked pears, and a pretty bright, sinus...

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Beer Review: Brooklyn Brewery, Fiat Lux

Ding Points: 90.00 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: 32 oz growler from AleYeah! Roswell in September, and then about six weeks or so later, as a 32 oz growler from JUGS in Sandy Springs. Most of these thoughts are from the initial growler fill, with supplemental additions on part 2. Part of the Brewmaster's reserve series from Brooklyn, here's the official word. Pour is a golden one, a bit like a decent Belgian Strong Pale. Head is high and...

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Beer Review: De Proef Brouwerij, Flanders Fred

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth; 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Always glad to see another De Proef collaboration, this one being the sixth in the series. Some have been great, some less so, but it's usually pretty interesting - turns out this is no exception. This beer is a result of Alan Sprints from Hair of the Dog fame and Dirk Naudts at De Proef coming together. The beer is commercially described as a, 'blend of a Flanders-sourced Lambic with a...

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Sweetwater Brewing Co., Danktoberfest

Ding Points: 58.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: The latest in the Dank Tank series. Blue and white checkered motif in a nod to the Bavarian flag. Pretty good looking beer, with a nice, red-amber hue and a decent, off-white head. Retention of the head is pretty average, and there is little or no lace. Nose is appropriately malty, but it does seems to have a hint of hoppy bitterness (this is a pre-cursor to some of the problems with the...

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Beer Review: Brasserie Fantôme, Fantôme Saison

Ding Points: 95.00 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 100.00, Mouth: 100.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Extremely surprised to see this back on the shelf at Green's in early August of 2012 - extremely. Distribution to GA seemed to have stopped for quite a while, amidst rumors of Dany Prignons's demise. $12.99 for the 750 mL corked and capped bottle. The usual Fantôme cork is extracted. Batches of this beer are basically impossible to date, and there can be such variation that oftentimes...

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Dead Man Walking

Ding Points: 58.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 20.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: Ahhh, dammit. Such a shame. This beer looks absolutely spectacular when poured into the Tucher Weizen, half-liter glass. The natural light shows a beautiful burgundy color, with a decent tan head and some truly rich hues. It looks great. Unfortunately, the look is by far the highlight of this beer. That's not to say it's a 'bad' beer, it isn't, but such as shame that it did not live up to the...

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The search is over, and at the same time, just beginning

Yesterday was a pretty significant day in my little beer world. Was it a day that was characterized by me finding a long sought after bottle? No. Was it a day that I tasted and reviewed a super-rare beer? No. Was it a day when I reached some memorable milestone of some description? No. So what? Yesterday, the close to 3000 digital reviews that I have from my days on beeradvocate, became fully searchable in my own mySQL database on dingsbeerblog.com! With a pretty significant amount of work on...

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Partners In Crime

Ding Points: 72.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Delighted to see a Berliner Weisse. Not really that I'm an especially big fan of the style, but high quality beer of any type under 5.0% ABV is just so difficult to come by in the USA, that almost anything is welcome. 32 oz growler from Hop City, Atlanta, GA. Pour is exactly as expected, all the elements are there. Pale straw (not golden), with a wispy head that fades to a collar quickly. No...

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Beer Review: The Lost Abbey & New Belgium Brewing, Mo Betta Bretta Ale

Ding Points: 68.50 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: $13.99 for the 12.7 fl oz in the corked & caged bottle. Yes, I said $13.99! As always with The Lost Abbey, I open with a degree of trepidation. The carbonation is always a worry, particularly with anything in this sized bottle, however in this case the pop is OK, and certainly good enough for me to push the worry of non-carbonation to the back of my mind. Light golden color with slight...

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Beer Review: Stone Brewing Co., 16th Anniversary

Ding Points: 86.00 Pour: 100.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Bottled conditioned, August 2012. OK, the last Stone Anniversary beer that I thought was any good was 13. That beer was superb. 14 and 15 I disliked strongly, and I thought that 14 was simply a bad beer. That brings us to 16. Well, there are some conflicting signs (for me), right off the bat. Lemon, I like; Stone doing a DIPA ought to be a solid platform; Rye is generally an element that I...

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Beer Review: Boulevard Brewing Company, Rye-On-Rye 2012

Ding Points: 77.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: More thanks go out to @lnashsig. 2012 vintage, bottle number 20081, Batch 2012-2, Best By: 02-2014. 33% ale, 67% ale aged in rye whiskey barrels. Frankly, I'm not a big fan of either rye or whiskey barrel-aged beer, so things don't look good from the get go here - let's take a closer look, into the Duvel tulip it goes. Rich looking, brown pour that is quite attractive. Some hazy, murkiness...

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Beer Review: Jester King Craft Brewery, Das Wunderkind!

Ding Points: 77.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: For the second time in just about as many days, I find a beer that for all intents & purposes could actually be described as an English cider. Thanks go out to @lnashsig for this opportunity. A blended sour from Texas? Interesting to say the least. Jester King describes this as a Sour Saison. Oddly, I don't find the beer to be particularly acidic or to have any specific Saison character...

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Beer Review: Freetail Brewing Co., 3Tail

Ding Points: 60.50 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Thanks go out to @lnashsig for the chance to try this. Opened in 2008, Freetail Brewing Co. states, 'Free your mind and your tail will follow', which is alarmingly similar to the much more recent tagline by Burnt Hickory Brewing of, 'Free your mind and your glass will follow'. Anyway, both are cheesy. 22 oz bottle. Mid to dark golden body with a pretty small head. Not much retention, not a...

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Beer Review: Founders Brewing Co., Frangelic Mountain Brown

Ding Points: 64.50 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: 25.4 oz bottle, $13.99 Smyrna World of Beverage. Not sure why I bought this. Anyway.... A lighter than expected, reddish hue on the pour. I'm a little surprised at how thin the beer looks. No viscosity to speak of at all, and a beer that produces little or no head even with severe agitation. Little retention. The nose is a very sweet, nutty affair with a surprisingly low amount of coffee...

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Beer Review: Brouwerij St. Bernardus Watou, Tokyo

Ding Points: 90.00 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: I originally drank this at the Brick Store on draught. This review is mainly from my experience with the 750 mL corked & caged bottle, with a nod to that original draught offering as well. This beer was brewed to commemorate the opening of the St. Bernardus bar in Tokyo. Seems like an odd project to me, but hey, Tokyo's gain I guess!...

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Beer Review: Alpine Beer Company and New Belgium Brewing Co., Super India Pale Ale (Lips of Faith)

Ding Points: 88.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Anything involving Alpine in the DIPA category usually gets my attention, so I was interested to see how this would pan out. The last New Belgium collaboration that I tried (Brett Beer, with Lost Abbey) was woefully disappointing, so I am hoping this is better. Turns out that I need not have worried. The usual Lips of Faith presentation, but this artwork is a little uninspired to say the...

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Beer Review: Mikkeller, Open Windows Open Hills Tiger Baby

Ding Points: 61.50 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: I ran into a cacophony of new Mikkeller offerings in the store last week, with all kinds of weird, strange and expensive beer on display. I don't rate Mikkeller much, and their general loud posturing and ferocious, indiscriminate output tends to put me off as well. Add in the fact that the majority of their beer represents crippling bad value, and you could call me a fairly serious skeptic of...

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Beer Review: Green Flash Brewing Co. and Founders Brewing Co., Linch Pin ‘White India Pale Ale’

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: I'm not a big fan of hyped-up, imaginary beer styles, so this gets off on the wrong foot all around. WTF is a 'White IPA' anyway? The BS that we have had to endure over 'Black IPA' is bad enough, now this? It just gives my arguments more credence. Good looking pour with a solid golden body, high white head with decent retention and some lace. Looks above average. Nose actually offers a...

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Beer Review: Cigar City Brewing, Cucumber Saison

Ding Points: 90.00 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: High, fluffy, large bubbled and wispy white head sits above a mid-orange, slightly clouded body. Nose has a light, floral element with some icy, apple notes. Clean. Tastes are much like the nose but with the floral element jacked-up, and a slightly tart character coming through. It's very clean. Occasionally, as one takes a gulp, there is a really large cucumber presence and it's fantastic. I...

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Beer Review: Mother Earth Brewing, Silent Night (2010)

Ding Points: 89.00 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: If truth be known I have a bit of a soft spot for Mother Earth. The reason is simple. Although I don't pretend to know Josh Brewer (the Brewer) at all well, I did have the privilege of meeting with him a few years ago shortly after he had opened his brewpub in Beaufort, SC. On that visit I brought him a few beers and he looked after my family and I very well. That was a beautiful building,...

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Beer Review: Terrapin Beer Co., Samurai Krunkles (Side Project 17)

Ding Points: 47.00 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 40.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 40.00 Tasting Notes: Side Project 17. A quick look at the description of this beer has me interested. 'Ale brewed with ginger and with green tea added'. Ginger and green tea are flavor profiles that I enjoy, but of course these are usually best in lighter styles than IPA's (especially when considering heavy, overbearing American versions) where they can impart their subtlety, but still shine through. IPA seems...

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Beer Review: Dogfish Head, Positive Contact

Ding Points: 88.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Presented by both Dogfish Head and Dan The Automator (whoever he is), this has farro, cayenne and cilantro added. I like me some cilantro, so I think this has potential. It also has a label with DELTRON 3030 emblazoned on it - another thing that without the help of Google, I have no clue of its meaning. I know this is part of DFH's music series, but I also have no idea what the Positive...

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Beer Review: Brewery Ommegang, Biere d’Hougoumont

Ding Points: 72.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Curious that a brewery would pay homage to a Bière de Grade by naming the beer after the scene of an EPIC French defeat, but...... Nice pop on opening. Mid amber pour in strong light gives some deeper red tones. Attractive colors. However, head retention is poor, and leaving zero in its wake. Not really too much of a problem given the style, but I would prefer a little more of a nod in the...

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Beer Review: New Belgium Brewing, Tart Lychee (Lips of Faith)

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouthfeel: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: I tried this in its initial incarnation back in March of 2010 in Raleigh at The Pit. I was impressed then (with The Pit and the beer), but did not write a review on that draft experience, so now this is a review of a 22 oz bottle purchased in Atlanta in July 2012. Pour is a fizzy, mid orange color with little retention of the head. A thin collar of foam persists at the very extremities of...

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Beer Review: Rogue, Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

Ding Points: 43.50 Pour: 40.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 40.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 30.00 Tasting Notes: I picked up this 22 oz bottle at a price of $10.99. I finally gave in and purchased it, based largely on the fact that in other places in the last couple of months, I have seen this always higher, and in one case up to $19.99 for the bottle. I assume the inflated price is simply a combination of Rogue's general overpriced beers, plus the 'allure' of the pink bottle and the name. Either way,...

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Beer Review: New Belgium Brewing, (Lips of Faith) Brett Beer

Ding Points: 50.00 Pour: 50.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: I stopped in at Growlers on my arrival on Hilton Head Island, and saw they had this on tap. The guy was busy 'educating' me about, 'how I'd better like sours', before I stopped him in his tracks and bought something else. I was reluctant to pay for a growler fill when Lost Abbey has been so remarkably inconsistent over the years; boy am I glad that I did! Fast forward to a few days later, and...

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Prison Camp Pils

Ding Points: 60.00 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Very light, straw colored pour. Actually the beer is incredibly pale, almost to macro, low quality standards. Not necessarily an issue, but it really isn't the best looking pilsner that I've seen by quite some distance. The hue is certainly not the most important part of the beer, but there is lack of depth here that subconsciously starts to say 'macro' which is not helping my mind. Not the...

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Beer Review: Green Flash Brewing Co., Rayon Vert

Ding Points: 81.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Interesting bottle that reminds me a little of the Australian stubbies. Pour is a mid-orange color with a huge, ice-cream like head. The retention is superb, leaving a thick and creamy head the whole way down the beer, but the lace is surprisingly scant when considering the initial fluff. The carbonation seems high, but the beer settles quickly and the mouthfeel is a lot smoother than I was...

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Beer Review: Sierra Nevada & Russian River, BRUX Domesticated Wild Ale

Ding Points: 91.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 100.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: 750 mL corked & caged bottle, approx. $15. Are they using the word 'domesticated' to classify it is 'American'??? Next time I see 'all domestics $2.00 per pint', I guess I'll ask for this!! ;-) Mid to dark golden copper hue. Fizzy pour, resulting in no lace and virtually no head or retention. Cider-like in terms of its carbonation. The nucleation pattern provided by the Duvel glass is an...

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Beer of The Guards

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: I'm always very excited to try the latest Jailhouse offering, and this is no exception. I wonder if the pun inspired the beer, or if the style came first? 32 oz growler from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Bière de Garde's can have a wide range of colors and taste attributes, and this one sits at the darker end of the spectrum. However, it still has a lovely red clarity and is not 'dark' as such....

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Beer Review: Jester King Craft Brewery, Noble King (Hoppy Farmhouse Ale)

Ding Points: 88.50 Pour: 100.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 100.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Jester King is a brewery that I have been monitoring carefully over recent months (even though I'm not crazy about the use of the word 'craft' in their name). Several people have mentioned them in a number of contexts that interest me (low(er) ABV, interesting yeast strains, Farmhouse styles), so I have been watching with interest. Not quite my first opportunity to try them, but my first...

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Beer Review: Sweetwater Brewing Co., LowRYEder IPA

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Plate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: I am assuming that this is a re-birth of the Crank Tank Rye'd Ale from the fall of 2010 (I've included my review of the 22 oz bottles of that, at the end of this review). I've got to be honest right off the bat here, I generally do NOT like rye beers. The harsh, bitter, peppery notes that the spice delivers is usually not to my taste at all, and their brash nature seldom sits well with me....

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Beer Review: George Gale & Co. LTD, Millennium Brew

Ding Points: 95.00 Pour: 100.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 100.00, Mouth: 100.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Opened on the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen's, Diamond Jubilee. God Bless you Ma'am. Brewed in 1997 as part of the celebration surrounding Gale's 150th Anniversary and their first royal visit, the beer was distributed for the year 2000. I purchased this imported bottle a few years ago at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta, GA, USA. 275 mL, gold foil on the neck and corked. Cork is still...

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Beer Review: Steinhaus Brewing Co., Mission St. 2012 Anniversary Ale

Ding Points: 69.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: $2.99 from Trader Joe's who market and distribute the Mission St. beers. The range is brewed by Steinhaus, which are owned by Firestone Walker - this is a complicated arrangement! Apparently this is a blend of three different beers. 22 oz bottle with a black, plastic covered cap. Pour is a chestnut body with a modest, mocha colored head. A little lace and not much retention. Some spotty, very...

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Beer Review: Guinness Ltd., Guinness Black Lager

Ding Points: 60.00 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Brown with reddish highlights. Pitted, frothy tan head. Head fades badly with little or no lace. Nose has some mid-caramel notes and not much else. The body here is quite thin but the tastes definitely have some of the typical Guinness roast, bitter notes about them. The taste element reminds me a little of the old bottled Guinness days of the 1970's, and it's certainly a lot more bitter and...

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Beer Review: Minhas Craft Brewery, Boatswain American IPA

Ding Points: 48.50 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 40.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: 22 oz bottle, another Trader Joe's, el cheapo offering. I've had mixed success with these beers, so there's always a bit of a lottery involved but this is a Minhas beer, so the omens are not exactly good! Copper pour with a small head. There is a fairly small amount of lace, and the head breaks up over the top of the body. Looks OK. Nose is of some musty hops against a fairly solid malt...

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Beer Review: Dogfish Head, URkONTiNeNT

Ding Points: 84.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: OK, here we go with another Dogfish Head experiment. The second one, Noble Rot being the first, that I have tried in their newly designed bottles. Brown, slightly garnet colored pour with a thin, smooth, nitro-like mocha head sitting atop the beer. Very little lace. Much more clarity and cleanliness than a traditional Belgian Dubbel and it looks better than I was expecting (my dislike of the...

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Beer Review: Dogfish Head, Tweason’ale

Ding Points: 63.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: From notes. Purchased as a 12 oz single form the beer store a few miles north of the Dogfish Head brewpub (Atlantic Liquors?) in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Anyway, interested to try this. Apparently so-named because it will appear 'between' their other 'seasonal' production runs. Pour is a really, shiny, polished copper affair with a small head. There's no doubt that the head and lack of retention...

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Beer Review: Founding Fathers Brewing Co., Founding Fathers Lager Beer

Ding Points: 50.00 Pour: 50.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: This is a ruse, right?? It's Yuengling, marketed by Rolling Rock, surely?? Even if that's not the case, in a nutshell, this is still Yuengling. I'm generally not in the habit of dismissing beers with such an apparent lack of reflection and thought, but that was my first thought, and nearly 25 minutes later and 12 oz down, I can't think of anything else. A non-descript, straightforward copper...

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Beer Review: Sweetwater Brewing Co., 15th Anniversary (15 Years of Heady Beers, 1997-2012)

Ding Points: 68.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: If the truth be known, I didn't like this much when I first tasted it, immediately after it came out, but thought it might be a beer that could change quite quickly, so I put one aside and am now trying it a few months down the road. This time the nose on the beer seems stronger than I remember it. I mention this before I make any references to the pour, for the simple reason that the aroma...

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Beer Review: New Belgium Brewing Co., Cocoa Mole (Lips of Faith Series)

Ding Points: 71.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Chestnut pour from the 22 oz bottle, with a small, white head but some better than expected lace. Lots of red highlights. Looks like a solid brown ale in the glass. Sugary vanilla and cinnamon on the nose. Initial tastes repeat the light cinnamon and vanilla and give a hint of the heat to come. Smooth at first but pretty shortly though, the heat begins to build and it gets quite warm....

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Beer Review: Bomb Beer Co., Bomb (Lager) Beer

Ding Points: 47.00 Pour: 50.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 40.00, Global: 40.00 Tasting Notes: Alright, let's be VERY, VERY clear about what we have here. Essentially, this is a beer marketing company (not a genuine brewery), that is hooking its business model to the word 'Craft', and choosing to make a beer in a style that is a close to a macro, adjunct lager as possible, in order for it to appeal to the largest possible audience. (They tellingly declare 'CRAFT BEER' on the can in...

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Beer Review: Tommyknocker Brewery, Nice Saison Seasonal Ale

Ding Points: 48.00 Pour: 50.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 40.00, Mouth: 40.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: Tommyknocker is a brewery that has flattered to deceive me over the years. One of my earliest experiences with them was their Imperial Nut Brown Ale that, at the time, I thought was fantastic. Since then, almost every, single beer has been a disappointment, and this 'Saison' is really no exception. The pour is a golden, hazed butterscotch body, but the head retention and lace are close to...

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Beer Review: Terrapin Beer Co., Phlux Capacitor (Side Project 16)

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Here we go with Side Project 16, Phlux Capacitor. Label says 'Oak Aged, American Ale' and declares 9.8%, so I suppose I should be expecting something like an Oaked Arrogant Bastard. Not exactly my favorite beer, but we'll see how it shakes down. Chestnut brown pour with a two finger head but with better retention and lace than one might expect for a beer that is close to 10% ABV. Nose and...

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Beer Review: Olde Hickory Brewery, Death By Hops

Ding Points: 19.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 00.00, Mouth: 00.00, Global: 00.00 Tasting Notes: Purchased on a recent trip to Raleigh at Bottle Revolution. An attractive pour with a good clarity on a light copper color. Unfortunately, that's as good as it gets, the rest is frankly awful, truly awful. The nose offers only a hint of the disaster that follows, but it does reveal some diacetyl, some metal and some oily notes. In the mouth the tastes are TERRIBLE. One of the worst beers I...

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Beer Review: Dogwood Brewing Co., Youngblood’s Imperial Porter (BrewMaster’s Series 1)

Actually, less of a beer 'review' this time, and more a few cellar notes on this 2004 gem. This particular bottle was consumed on 04/29/12. The sad (and somewhat ironic) thing about Brewmaster's Series #1 from Dogwood, was that this, new-dawn-great-promise-of-things-to-come beer, was released to almost perfectly coincide with the brewery closing in the late summer of 2004. It was a cruel trick to produce a beer as good as this, with the real anticipation of many, many more to come in a...

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Beer Review: Clown Shoes, Clementine

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Beer looks like a glass of orange juice with a head (the picture below doesn't quite do it justice)! Head that lacks much retention or lace. Enormous orange whiff meets the nostrils when the cap is taken off but this fades quite quickly. The nose reverts back to a more traditional wit after the initial citrus orange burst. Tastes have quite a lot of soapy bitterness. A little coriander but...

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Beer Review: Samuel Adams, Tasman Red

Ding Points: 71.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Label has this declaring itself as a 'Red IPA' - more nomenclature nonsense that doesn't really help, although by the end of the beer I kind of know what they are trying to say! This is the second beer I have tried in this Sam Adams limited brew series, the Cinder Bock being the first. Pour offers a chestnut body and a two finger head. The color suggests a lighter beer than one otherwise...

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Beer Review: Voodoo Brewery, Gran Met (Grand Master)

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Advertised as a 'Belgian Style Ale' this is clearly a Tripel despite the fact that untappd originally had this listed as something else. The pour offers exactly what one would expect with a golden body with a high, fluffy white head, but the heads fades very badly. Some lace too, but not a lot. The hue really is quite striking as the light hits it, but it does have a slightly worrying lack of...

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Beer Review: Anheuser-Busch Inc., Shock Top, Wheat I.P.A.

Ding Points: 49.00 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 40.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 40.00 12 oz single bottle, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hiram, GA. Classic macro disappointment with an initially decent head that fades dramatically to nothing. Perhaps a little more color than expected, at least in terms of it being orange rather than pale yellow. Nose is of nothing in particular, but there does seem to be a feint, plastic aroma - odd! Tastes are exactly how the boys at AB intended I guess, almost...

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Beer Review: Oskar Blues, Deviant Dales India Pale Ale

Ding Points: 77.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: 32 oz growler from Hop City rather than a can from the 16 oz, tallboy 4-packs. Official word on the beer from Oskar Blues. Shiny copper colored pour with some decent white, sticky lace. Nicely put together as expected, with requisite lace for an American DIPA. Nose is immediately apparent, but this smells a little different to the usual American DIPA. There is definitely an onion element as...

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Beer Review: Finch’s Beer Co., Golden Wing Blonde Ale

Ding Points: 54.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: Finch's beers have been in Atlanta for a few weeks now but becasue I am SICK TO DEATH of the can hysteria which has been obscuring the infinitely more important factor of the beer in the container, I have been actively avoiding sampling these as a minor protest. Eventually I wanted to give them a try, so picked up singles of the Blonde Ale and the Pale Ale. I like the color scheme on both of...

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Beer Review: Terrapin Beer Co., 10th Anniversary Ale

Ding Points: 80.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Into the Terrapin snifter it goes. Modest head and modest lace on opening and pouring and virtually neither remain after 2 minutes of sitting (all to be expected given the ABV). Bright, profoundly orange/golden body with some delicate carbonation. Bready nose with some fresh, sinus clearing alcohol. A small, green, herbal element if you try hard to pick it up - not obvious but present. Quite...

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Beer Review: Sierra Nevada, Ruthless Rye (2012)

Ding Points: 44.00 Pour: 50.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 40.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 40.00 Tasting Notes: Chill hazed, clouded brown body with a very disappointing head. Some spotty film, but no retention or lace to speak of. Drab and ugly looking. Nose offers typical peppery, medicinal notes with a strange, additional blue cheese note. Smells a bit odd. As expected (and known) the tastes are dominated by a bitter, medicinal pepper based rye and frankly nothing else. Rye is a character I dislike...

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Beer Review: Samuel Adams, Alpine Spring

Ding Points: 63.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Hazed, lemon, orange and golden pour with some nice white head and decent lace. Unfiltered look is attractive, and offers some nice, light yellow colors (the photograph suggest more orange elements than are obvious to the naked eye). Nose does not offer much other than very light citrus. Some bready notes which surprised me. I was expecting the citrus notes to offer a stronger presence in the...

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Beer Review: Shmaltz Brewing Company, Funky Jewbelation

Ding Points: 41.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 20.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 30.00 Tasting Notes: Barrel Aged Release#6, apparently a combination of; Jewbelation 15 (3 months old), Vintage Jewbelation (9 months), Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA (1 month), Origin (14 moths), Reunion '11 (7 months), Messiah (14 months). 73% Rye Whiskey Barrels, 27% Bourbon Barrels. Pours as expected with a black body and a initially decent, mocha head. The head fades and leaves a typical, creamy, spotty film but...

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Beer Review: Ommegang, Art of Darkness

Ding Points: 76.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: The usual Ommegang Limited Edition series presentation. Cork pops with modesty. Brewery Ommegang says, 'A spellbinding homage to brewings' dark arts'. Really? Who brewed this? Harry Potter? Nice dark brown color which gives away a slightly olive green hue. Head is pitted and mocha, leaving a thin, spotty film, but not much lace. Perfectly acceptable. Nose is simple. A few dark fruit notes,...

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Beer Review: Blue Moon Brewing Co. (Coors), Blue Moon Spring Blonde Wheat Ale

Ding Points: 36.50 Pour: 50.00, Nose: 40.00, Palate: 30.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 30.00 Tasting Notes: 12 oz single; I think I paid 89 cents - I may have been had! Another Blue Moon Seasonal, and I have a feeling this is replacing the now longer brewed 'Rising Moon' which was a terrible, terrible 'Amber Ale', so I wonder if things have taken a turn for the better. Quite an attractive label, but the outside of the bottle is ultimately more inspired than the inside! The beer pours with a golden...

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Beer Review: Shmaltz Brewing Company, Hop Manna IPA

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: I have to say that I approach Hop Manna with a little trepidation, since although I generally have really enjoyed Shmaltz beers over the years, all of their power seems to have been wielded at the malt end of the spectrum and not with hops. That's also where my general preference lies, so this is a bit of a departure for them, and a beer in style that I don't often pick up these days. That...

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Beer Review: Samuel Adams, Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Ding Points: 76.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: This is approx. 3 months old so certainly not quite as the brewer intended, but still drinking absolutely fine. The pour is a really nice, rich looking mahogany affair with some significant red tinges. Head is modest and not especially well retained. Off white color. Nose and tastes are pretty rich. Boston Brewing Co. does a great job with beers like this, Octoberfest, Boston Lager and...

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Beer Review: Crown Valley Brewing, Black Cabin Smoked Ale

Ding Points: 52.50 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: Strange one, this. Pour is a light amber, slightly hazed color with absolutely no sign of the black malts mentioned on the label. Head and lace are both quite poor, and beer fairly rapidly becomes relatively lifeless in the glass and has some annoying, prickly carbonation. Lightly acidic as well. Nose is that of neutral but sweet, bready notes and not much else at all - disappointing when we...

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Beer Review: Clown Shoes, Lubrication (American Black Ale)

Ding Points: 58.00 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: I suppose it's worth stating right off the top that I detest the name, 'Black IPA' and generally I like the tastes of these beers just about as much, so do with that what you will, full disclosure has occurred. In that light, the fact that the label says 'American Black Ale' actually pleases me - imagine THAT! This 22 oz bottle was purchased from Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA several months ago,...

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Beer Review: Good People Brewing Company, Brown Ale

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: 12 oz can from Vulcan Beverage, Birmingham, AL, and also at the brewery tap room. the picture below shows the brown ale on the far right alongside the IPA and the Stout. Unlike the IPA, there seemed to be less discernible differences between the two versions of this beer (one from the can and one on draught). Both give pretty classic interpretations of the style in a solid (if unspectacular)...

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Beer Review: Sam Adams Longshot Cat. 23, Honey B’s Lavender Ale

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: BJCP Style 23 is 'Specialty Beer' which really means a dumping ground for beers that do not fit into other categories. Light, chill-hazed pour. Scant head and lace. Nose gives a really large whiff of lemon, and in that respect it smells like a lager shandy. The tastes also take the lager shandy note , at least up that every final flourish where a bit of floral lavender kicks in. This is...

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Reprieve (Saison, French-Style Ale)

Ding Points: 68.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: I had this a long time ago (almost immediately after it came out) and was somewhat disappointed. As I was passing through the Olde Crabapple Bottle Shop a couple of days ago, I saw it and thought it time to re-visit the beer to see if a little age has made a difference, or if my opinion could perhaps be changed. Pour is unfortunately a two part affair. The initial pour is a little anemic,...

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Beer Review: Full Sail Brewing Co., E.S.B (Extra Special Barney)

Ding Points: 90.00 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00 Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Brewer's Share series. Right off the bat I am extremely annoyed by the abuse of the ESB moniker, and although utterly trivial to some people, I feel it deserves more respect and abusing it serves to misinform the public. Pour is an attractive lightly clouded orange amber with a small white head. Lace is minimal. Nose offers some pleasing, bready malt balance and a hint of hop presence but that...

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Beer Review: Sixpoint Craft Ales, Bengali Tiger

Ding Points: 75.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Had this a couple of weeks ago at The Capital Ale House in Richmond, VA and when I opened that can there was an overwhelming smell of burning rubber - really overwhelming, and truly odd. So this time I was expecting something similar, but happily that didn't come. 16 oz can from The Foodery (North) in Philadelphia, PA. For an American IPA, the nose on the beer is surprisingly sweet with some...

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Beer Review: Sixpoint Craft Ales, Sweet Action

Ding Points: 62.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: 16 oz can from The Foodery, Northern Suburbs in Philadelphia, PA. Bought this along with the Bengali Tiger that I had tried a few days earlier. Pour is a dark, rust colored affair with a solid, pitted, inch-and-a-half head that has some decent retention. The beer is very murky and looks quite viscous. Some frothy, residual lace too. Nose is strong on sweet, bready malts and not much else....

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Beer Review: Green Flash Brewing Co., Summer Saison

Ding Points: 86.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: 22 oz bottle. Lemon, hazed pour with a minimal head. Nose and tastes have more hoppy bitterness and less sweetness and spice that I was expecting. Hops generate a small degree of bitterness that I wasn't expecting. The nose gives a fairly large does of citrus, but the fruit is missing in the tastes, and is placed by a grapefruit like bitterness. There's a pleasing soapy hop character that...

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Beer Review: Sam Adams Longshot Cat. 23, Friar Hop Ale

Ding Points: 64.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth:, 70.00,  Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: BJCP Style 23 is 'Specialty Beer' which really means a dumping ground for beers that do not fit into other categories. Light marmalade amber pour with a very good initial head. Head drops quickly to give a spotty film and limited lace. The nose offers a lot of musty, fruit elements but surprisingly (given the name), almost no hops. Strange, but age is probably to blame here. The tastes...

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Beer Review: Weisses Bräuhaus G. Schneider & Sohn, TAP X Mein Nelson Sauvin

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: It's an attractive presentation in the dimpled, very heavy, olive green bottle, and at $16.99 I KNOW this contributes to the price (I'm not naive), but I like the look with the hanging neck label and paper-sealed, cap. A 'bottle fermented wheat beer' that was brewed to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ABT cafe's in Holland. The beer describes itself as a 'wheat bock', so Weizenbock it...

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Beer Review: Unita Brewing Company, Hop Notch IPA

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth 70.00:, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Pretty standard all-American IPA here. Reviewed from the bottle, but notes from at least one other tasting on draught has also gone into this review. A light, chill-hazed pour with a orangy golden hue. Actually, on closer inspection this looks less like chill-haze and more like a completely unfiltered beer. Head is medium sized, but bone-white and nicely pitted. Retention isn't bad, and lace...

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Beer Review: SKA Brewing Co., Euphoria Pale Ale

Ding Points: 63.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: From the 12 oz can, the beer pours a lot darker than I was anticipating with a quite significant mid-amber color. Head and lace are not substantial, but there is some nice, sticky lace that forms. A little chill-haze forms in the body of the beer. The nose is much hoppier than I would expect, and this is also true of the tastes. By American standards of course, this is not an especially hoppy...

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Beer Review: Mactarnahan’s Brewing Co., Spine Tingler

Ding Points: 68.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: OK, an American brewed, Belgian Tripel, from a brewery with Scottish connections? We'll see! Nice golden hue with some decent carbonation. Small head, fades quickly to give very little lace. Head retention is not great, and the thin film is not impressive. Color is good but I'd like a little more presence in the glass. Nose is surprisingly weak. Not especially strong in any department...

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Beer Review: Sam Adams, Cinder Bock Rauch Bock

Ding Points: 69.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: In a nutshell, I think it's worth saying that if a hybrid beer should taste like a combination of the styles, then this beer absolutely nails it. In that regard I am pleased by Cinder Bock. It's also true that thinking about it for a moment, a mixture of a rauch and a (double) bock are potentially interesting bedfellows, but we all know that things that look good on paper don't always work...

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Beer Review: Sam Adams, Thirteenth Hour

Ding Points: 55.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes In the impressive, corked & caged bottle. Part of the Barrel Room Collection. Jet black with half-finger head. No lace, but ultimately a pleasing, spotty tan head. Sour notes in the nose, in fact almost sinus clearing. The sour, lacto element is carried through into the taste, but it does subside a little as the bottle is consumed. Light burn in the chest which is a bit of a paradox given...

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Beer Review: Wild Heaven Craft Beers, Let There Be Light

Ding Points: 60.00 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes I think that Wild Heaven are a bit confused with their marketing, and no I'm not only talking about the unhelpful use of 'sessionable'! The name and marketing suggests that they are trying to tempt the light beer drinkers market, but light beer drinkers are generally not only interested in lower ABV beer (in fact sometimes they are not even interested in THAT), but rather they tend to be more...

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Beer Review: Thornbridge, Bracia

Ding Points: 55.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 40.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: Bottled Winter 2010, best before 12.14. A beer from their Thornbridge 'Hall' series. Black pour. Tan head, with some nice legs. Head retention is better than expected given the ABV. Nose offers some alcohol and some solvent based licorice. On warming it seems a little nuttier. Tastes start with more of the light licorice and mild sweetness. It then gets a bit odd - in fact it gets very odd! I...

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Beer Review: Kona Brewing Co., Koko Brown

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes On-tap at Deckard's. Rich, brown body, off white head, decent lace. Fades to a slightly disappointing tiny collar. Held to the light, there's some pronounced, red clarity in the body. Bakers chocolate & light cocoa on the nose. Light in the mouth and less chocolate than the initial nose would suggest. Gentle alcohol and a light, brown ale acidity. Not a huge amount of nut element here for...

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Beer Review: Dogfish Head, Noble Rot

Ding Points: 83.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: It's strange how coincidence works out sometimes. I had heard about the new, embossed and differently shaped Dogfish Head bottles were about to come out, and apparently Noble Rot is the first beer in these bottles to make it to the Atlanta market. As I took the bottle from the shelf it was immediately apparent to me that the bottles had changed, and I made a mental note of it. I drove from...

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Beer Review: Sweetwater Brewing Co., Dank Tank 420 India Pale Ale

Ding Points: 81.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes. OK, so I suppose this setting out to be a combination of 420 and IPA, merged for the latest in the Dank Tank Series. The usual presentatin for the series, this time coming with a sort of retro-blue and yellow color scheme. Pour is a fairly bright, orange affair with a nice, white head. Some decent lace and retention. Nose is strong. Big, clean citrus lines with some sweetness. Some added...

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Beer Review: Cains, Cains Finest Bitter

Ding Points: 71.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Having had this from the can several months ago, I wanted to refrain from reviewing it until I could at least get the kegged version (given that I was pretty sure that I'm never likely to see the cask presentation here in the US). Patience, and up this pops at Hop City, Atlanta, GA for a very pleasing $3.99 for the 32 oz growler. Sensible price, sensible volume and sensible ABV; quite the...

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Beer Review: Wild Heaven Craft Beers, Eschaton

Ding Points: 63.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: 32 oz growler from The Beer Growler in Avondale Estates, GA, USA. I was delighted that the folks at The Beer Growler were happy to swap my 64oz growler for the 32 oz one that they were selling Eschaton, in. I was anticipating having to purchase a 32 oz one separately. They also said that they would be happy to swap my new 32 oz for a 64 oz one on the next visit so nothing lost there. $10.99...

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Hop Riot

Ding Points: 73.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Surprised to find this at Hop City on Friday. I didn't even realize this was coming out as the next beer in the Solitary Confinement series. Not a favorite style of mine, so we'll see. Described as an Imperial Pale Ale (not IPA) on the label; not sure if that has much significance since the beer really feels like a DIPA whatever the label declares. Pretty, bright orange color with great head...

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Beer Review: The Caledonian Brewing Co. Ltd., (Newcastle) Founders’ Ale

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: This is the third or fourth time I have this in the last couple of weeks, a few times on draft and now this bottle. More silly text on the neck label ('A Blighty Good Brew', after the Winter IPA's, 'Brilliant British Ale'), suggests that this may be aimed directly at the American market (not even sure if this is available in the UK), but I'll simply ignore that. True to style Newcastle-type...

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Beer Review: Boulevard Brewing Co., Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale

Ding Points: 95.50 Pour: 100.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 100.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Part of the usually tremendous, Smokestack Series, the beer pours with a magnificent, bright, golden orange marmalade colored pour with a huge head in the Duvel chalice. Looks wonderful. Smudged dot-matrix 'Best By' date on the neck is unreadable, along with another illegible number - perhaps a batch number. Nose immediately gives away lots of spicy, tropical fruit along with some very...

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Beer Review: Brewery Ommegang, Seduction

Ding Points: 87.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Dark brown (close to black) pour with a modest, pitted, light beige colored head. Lace is medium, retention OK as the beer settles to a pleasing film and collar on, and around, the surface of the beer. A LOT of floaties - a lot. The (presumably) yeast pieces, resemble a cork that has disintegrated into the beer. The nose is very malty with a little Belgian yeast. It almost smells a little...

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Beer Review: Monday Night Brewing, Eye Patch Ale

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00 , Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: I wrote these original notes on August 11th, 2011. It's my understanding that the Monday Night Brewing beers first saw an unofficial light of day at a special event at Leon's in Decatur, GA a few months ago. I wasn't there and didn't have a chance to try them so the following is hearsay, but a number of people that I spoke to said that they were underwhelmed. As a result I was initially a...

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Beer Review: Dogfish Head, ta henket

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: 750 mL bottle, $10.99 from Mac's, Atlanta, GA, USA. I don't think a huge amount of this came to Atlanta, at least not in the first wave of distribution, maybe more to follow. Yellow dot-matrix on neck says, 'BOTTLED IN 2011 21:03 A'. Golden pour with a touch of chill haze. Carbonation rages from the bottom of the DFH signature glass. Small head that falls away fairly quickly to leave a thin...

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Beer Review: Good People Brewing Company, IPA

Ding Points: 71.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Good People - Legally Brewed since 2008. Reviewed from the 12 oz can that came from Vulcan Beverage in Birmingham, AL, but with additional comments and notes from the draught version that was consumed a few days ago at the brewery on the same trip. Pitted, three finger head with some very good retention and lace. Nice orange color, quite bubbly from the can, seemingly less carbonated from the...

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Beer Review: Krombacher Braueri, Krombacher Pils

Ding Points: 60.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 50.00, Taste: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Nice high, rocky head. Retention not great but some lace. 11.2 oz bottle as a single from Mac's Atlanta, GA. Decent golden color with above average carbonation. Nice clarity. Nose is pretty skunky, noticeably so in fact. Tastes are better than the nose would initially suggest. Vegetal notes in the taste and not a great deal of definition. Grainy sweetness for me and the lack of a noble hop...

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Beer Review: The Caledonian Brewing Co. Ltd., (Newcastle) Winter IPA

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Mid-amber pour with pretty good clarity. Smallish white head without much retention or lace. Nose gives a simple, toasty malt base and a few hoppy overtones. The tastes follow suit with a solid, caramel malt base and some pretty light hop tones. This beer may confuse American drinkers because they may be looking for a typically aggressively hopped IPA. This is clearly NOT that. The beer...

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Beer Review: Samuel Adams (BBC) Weinhenstephaner, Infinium (2011)

Ding Points: 68.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: Having had this last year at Thanksgiving and been lukewarm on it, I thought I would try it again this year. People seemed to be saying that the '2011 vintage was better', but I don't think there has been a recipe change so that confused me. Perhaps the breweries have got a better handle on making this beer a year, or maybe a simple batch variation, or perhaps nothing at all has changed....

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Beer Review: Sprecher Brewing Co. Inc., Abbey Triple

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Taste: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00 Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: 12 oz single from Highland Beverage, Birmingham, AL, USA. $2.19. I simply really, really enjoy virtually everything that Sprecher does; I hope this is no exception. Pour is a nice, dark golden body with a small, white head. Retention and lace are not great, but considering the ABV, not too bad. A little solvent alcohol in the nose along with some fruit, I'm hoping the alcohol is turned down a...

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Beer Review: Clown Shoes, Tramp Stamp

Ding Points: 61.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: So, thanks to some more shenanigans related to distribution, Total Wine in GA gets in a bunch of Clown Shoes beer and some other Mercury Brewing Co. products too. Obviously Total Wine wouldn't do anything illegal, but there's also some wheeling and dealing going on here which has the effect of pissing off some of the local independents. Anyway, here it is and I'm grateful to have the chance...

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Beer Review: The Bruery (with Dogfish Head), Faster, Bigger, Better, Bolder (Collaboration Series)

Ding Points: 88.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: The first thought was, whoops this is an expensive beer for a lager shandy, but luckily that passes pretty quickly. 'Very attractive hazed orange pour with a high, fluffy head and some nice retention and lace. Nose offers some lemon based, high carbonation which is a nice touch. Lemony, spritely, effervescent feel about the beer. Definitely some spicy elements to the beer with white pepper...

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Beer Review: Crown Valley Brewing, Oktoberfest

Ding Points: 83.00 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Surely the final Octoberfest of the 2011 season - surely? 12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pour is an attractive, mahogany, dark copper/amber affair with a nice looking four finger head. Leaves some nice, sticky lace and it gives a decent amount of retention. Very nice looking beer indeed. Solid nose (if not spectacular), which has a decent depth of bready malts. You have to...

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Beer Review: The Bruery, 4 Calling Birds

Ding Points: 87.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: OK, here we are with a beer that I've been looking forward to for some time. Definitely a beer in a style that I enjoy very much, and despite my own protestations, The Bruery has managed to provoke quite a lot of excitement, *some* of which has been realized. The reason I'm interested in this in particular, is that my guess is that this will be a beer that falls into some of my favorite...

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Beer Review: Moylan’s Brewery, White Christmas Spiced Winter Lager

Ding Points: 47.50 Pour: 50.00, Nose: 60.00:, Palate: 40.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: Damnit. One of the most disappointing beers I've tasted in a LONG time. The big problem here is the level of expectation that I had, since the advertised combination of orange peel and spices sounded exactly like something I would be really in to. Having read the label and considering my own tastes I had really high hopes - they were dashed. The pour is a clear, golden amber. The white head...

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Beer Review: Samuel Adams (BBC), New World Tripel (Barrel Room Collection)

Ding Points: 87.00 Pour: 100.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Never thought I would see this on shelves in GA. Love the presentation in the corked and caged, unique bottle. Pour is pretty impressive. After the huge pop when the cork leaves the bottle, the beer pours with a massive, and impressive fluffy head into  the Duvel tulip. Lace is great, and the retention is excellent. A nice rich golden body too. The etched Duvel tulip provides the perfect...

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Beer Review: Bridgeport Brewing Co., Summer Squeeze

Ding Points: 71.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: I'm a big fan of lemongrass in all kinds of contexts and beer is no exception. I like the crisp, fruity element that it can bring. Of course it is a tricky thing to deal with, since the balance can easily be upset by using too much, but ultimately I usually look forward to it. I hope this is not an exception. 12 oz single from Mac's Midtown, Atlanta, GA, USA.   Pale, hazy light...

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Beer Review: Ridgeway Brewing, Reindeer Droppings

Ding Points: 76.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Very hazy, orange pour. Very nice, bubbly head that offers plenty of sticky lace with very good retention. Nose offers plenty of sweet, grainy, almost earthy notes. A hint of alcohol but not much. Ridgeway certainly has a lot of these Christmas themed beers that they export, I wonder if they feature so strongly at home. I'm delighted to get them each year, since they offer a little slice of...

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Misdemeanor

Ding Points: 86.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Bought a growler of this a few weeks ago but left it in my brother-in-laws fridge by mistake. This is on tap at Taco Mac, Prado, Sandy Springs/Atlanta, GA. Had a few 16 oz glasses. Understated, subtlety in a glass - it'll be largely wasted on the American, geek palate! I am hoping against hope that the ABV is 4% or under, since this beer drinks like a really nice session beer, but obviously...

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Beer Review: Stone Brewing Co., Vertical Epic 11.11.11

Ding Points: 64.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Every time that I pick up a VE bottle I am annoyed by the fact that the series is not a 'vertical' at ALL, but I suppose that's a conversation/post for another day. Decent legs, nice, solid copper colored with a tiny bit of lace and a thin, creamy and spotty film eventually settles on the surface. Nose gives no sign of heat, and is really very fruity. Some Belgian esters that do not really...

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Witness Protection

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: On tap at Taco Mac, Metropolis, Atlanta, GA, USA. $6.00 for 16 oz. Solid black pour with a small, creamy, taupe colored head that produces a persistent, one-eighth of an inch, creamy layer that sits for ages. The lace is nice, and coating, which reflects the feel that one gets in the mouth. There's a fairly distinct, roasty bitterness about the beer that packs a decent punch and has presence....

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Insanity Plea Ale

Ding Points: 68.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: More Jailhouse goodness? I hope so. Not sure if 'plea ale' is a play on words (pale ale), but from the tap handle it looks like this might be branded as a 'fresh/wet hop' IPA, well see. All the initial indications suggest that is the case, with a orange, golden crystal clear body and a small, creamy looking head. Atttractive no doubt, with a little lace, but fairly thin and not really...

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Beer Review: Lagunitas, Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale

Ding Points: 63.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Pours with a slightly washed out, pale gold color with some haziness but not chill haze. A large, pitted, two finger head that looks good, but fades quickly. However, some nice, sticky lace in a west coast hop-based manner. The nose offers a big tangerine and grapefruit note which carries through, into the taste. This is an extremely fruity beer indeed. The hops develop a very large aromatic...

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Beer Review: Thomas Creek Brewery LLC., Banana Split Chocolate Stout

Ding Points: 60.00 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.0, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: $10.99 from Arbor Place Beverage for the 750 mL, (plastic, yuck!) corked, (crappily) caged bottle, that was next to impossible to open as the cheap, shitty cage wire just about disintegrated in my fingers, and fight with the hideous, plastic cork raged for several minutes, finally ending with my victory but not without the help of a lazy fish corkscrew - bullshit! From 'The Atypical Series'....

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Beer Review: Terrapin Beer Co., So Fresh & So Green, Green 2011 (Challenger)

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Single hop beers (or even multi-hop beers that are dominated by only one hop) are OK, IF the hop that is being featured is one that is suitable, and can cope with being on its own or heavily featured. Some hops can manage, some can't, so I always feel such beers are a gamble. I'm not sure if this is a single hop beer of not but, the web page for the beer would suggest that it is. The pour is...

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Beer Review: Thomas Creek Brewery LLC., Octoberfest Lager

Ding Points: 70.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: My oh my, Thomas Creek is a strange brewer. On the whole I have found their beers to be largely mediocre, but with their production of the Monday Night Brewing beers, and a beer like Up The Creek, they occasionally do very much better than average. (This is especially surprising when I consider my own usual taste parameters and compare them to a beer like 'Up The Creek'). I wonder where their...

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Beer Review: North Coast Brewing Co., Grand Cru

Ding Points: 73.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Very heavy, thick 500 mL bottle with a large dimpled bottom. Must add significantly to the cost. Corked & Caged. Brewed with Agave Nectar and aged in bourbon barrels. In the region of $12-14. Opens with a hearty pop. The pour is a golden, well carbonated body with little head, lace or retention. Big, sweet pineapple notes greet the nose. Tastes are less well-defined in terms of the...

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Beer Review: Innis & Gunn, Winter Beer 2011

Ding Points: 81.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: 11.2 oz, clear bottle. 111201936 bottle dot-matrixed in black on the lip of the bottle - whatever THAT means! Pour gives an attractive, solid copper body and some light froth. Head retention is not huge, but decent. Some watery lace. Nose suggests plenty of vanilla oak and a light whisky edge - subtle though. Tastes are not as rich in the oak as the nose would suggest, and that's just FINE...

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Beer Review: Rogue Ales, Good Chit Pilsner (Chatoe Rogue First Growth Series)

Ding Points: 87.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Another in the First Growth series. 650 mL bottle in the usual, First Growth/Chatoe Rogue presentation. $5.99, Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. Good looking pour. Slight chill haze forms that clears quickly as the beer warms. Nice looking frothy, bubbly, white head with some decent lace and retention. Forms a small white collar on the golden surface. Nose and tastes offer plenty...

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Beer Review: Founders Brewing Co., Blushing Monk 2011

Ding Points: 81.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Pour is a black-cherry colored affair with a bright pink head. Obviously not much retention or lace on the froth. Nose is pretty rich on the raspberry note (hardly shocked) but it is comforting that it's rich. The tastes are totally dominated by a sweet raspberry element and very little else. I don't know what the base of this beer is, but the fact the label refers to it being a Belgian Style...

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Beer Review: Dogfish Head, Faithfull Ale (Pearl Jam Twenty)

Ding Points: 61.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Paid about $12 for the 750 mL bottle from Macs in Midtown Atlanta, GA, USA. Yellow, dot-matrixed date on the bottle shoulder that declares 'Bottled in 2011, 103 1'. Pour delivers a golden macro colored body and a slightly above average (although not spectacular) head, retention and lace. Small ring of foam left after initial pour. The nose and tastes have weak, yeasty, lager notes about them...

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Beer Review: Brooklyn Brewery, The Companion

Ding Points: 64.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Not too often one sees a wheatwine so it's always a beer that I'm interested in. Some fairly conflicting information regarding the ABV here. I've read (and heard) everything between the low 7's and 10 (Untappd has 7.6%, beeradvocate 10% and Brooklyn's own blog 9%), so I'm really not sure what the truth is. Part of the draft only, Brewmaster's Reserve series, this came from Hop City in...

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Beer Review: New Glarus Brewing Co., Uff-da Bock

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: 12 oz bottle form Kevin - thanks, man! Dark chestnut pour, quite close to black. BIG, ice-cream like, creamy head that has some super retention and some exquisite lace. The appearance may be the best part of this beer, and by quite some distance. Nose is unsurprisingly neutral if I'm honest. There's some very light malt but there appears to be a serious lack of volatile components. I dunno,...

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Beer Review: Sweetwater Brewing Co., Fresh Sticky Nugs (Fresh Dry Hopped Double Red Ale)

Ding Points: 91.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 100.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: 22 oz bottle, the latest in the Dank Tank series, this time with a red, yellow and green motif. It's difficult to keep up with the amount of beer being produced of late, especially in the what has now become, quite prolific Dank Tank Series. The pour gives a nice 'gloop, gloop' sound as it forms a chestnut brown color (rather than especially 'red') with some lovely head, and some great,...

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Beer Review: Jailhouse Brewing Co., Community Service

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Jailhouse's collaboration with O'Dempsey's and that makes me a little nervous because it brings together a brewer that I have been incredibly impressed with (Jailhouse), along with one that has done largely the opposite for me. Reddish, mahogany color on the pour, but not really any great depth or clarity that I would normally be looking for in a beer of this style. Don't get me wrong, it...

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Beer Review: Anchor Brewing Co., Brekle’s Brown

Ding Points: 72.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: The highly recognizable, 'Anchor shaped', 22 oz bottle that reminds me of their 'Small Beer' every time that I see it. Neck label along with the classic oval. 1GV on the rear gives the usual Anchor code in raised, dot matrix. Noisy, gulp, gulp pour leads to a murky brown body and some lovely, pitted, off-white head. Lace is average, but it does give some super creamy, thin film. Ice-cream...

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Beer Review: Port Brewing, Older Viscosity

Ding Points: 87.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: 12.7 fl oz corked and caged bottle. Vintage 2011, dot-matrixed on the neck. Even though this beer is in no way supposed to be highly carbonated, the lack of pop on a corked & caged Port/Lost Abbey beer always has me slightly concerned. The pour removes most of the concern as the beer perks up to give a decent, thin head. It's not much, but then again it really shouldn't (and doesn't need...

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Beer Review: New Belgium, Lips of Faith Series – Clutch

Ding Points: 80.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Mmmm, interesting. A sour stout rather than a 'sour dark'  - I guess I should have researched that properly in the first place. Never mind. The beer pours with the appearance of thick, robust stout, but in reality it is very light drinking. Beautiful lace, a small, but nice, creamy film that sits on top of the beer. Nice lace. Nose offers a medium funk, but in no way is it over-powering. This...

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Beer Review: Abita Brewing Co., 25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog

Ding Points: 70.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Chestnut body with a good, light coffee colored head on an aggressive pour. This fades fairly quickly to give a thin film on the surface but not much lace. Nose offers a BIG, chocolatey, dry. cocoa waft, but not what I would call any significant element of vanilla; it's just not there - shame. I have to be honest and say that Turbodog is quite a long way from one of my favorite beers of all...

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Beer Review: Birra del Borgo, My Antonia (Italian version)

Ding Points: 73.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: 12.7 oz bottle, 7.5% ABV. Not any easy bottle to get into with medium thick, black foil and a cap that is quite tricky to prise off. $7.99 from Green's on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. It's an elaborate bottle in dark green, thick glass with the dimpled bottom, and no doubt that adds immensely to the overall cost of things. I do like the presentation, but of course the increased cost is...

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Beer Review: Shmaltz Brewing Company, Genesis 15:15 Barrel Aged Harvest Barleywine Ale

Ding Points: 86.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Batch 001, 791 cases, bottling date 9/7/2011 all noted in detail on the neck label. 22oz bottle from Mac's Midtwon, Atlanta, GA, USA. Shmaltz is a brewer I have come to enjoy very much, if for no other reason than the fact that they generally favor the maltier side of the spectrum which usually suits me more than the other end of things. Very dark chestnut (close to black) pour which provides...

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Beer Review: New Belgium, (Lips of Faith) Kick

Ding Points: 88.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: More beer in the Lips of Faith Series. This one brewed in association with Elysian, it's a blended beer. Relatively low carbonation on the initial pour, but the beer still has plenty of life in the glass. Mid-orange pour with smallish head, low retention and a little lace. Some spotty surface lace remains. Under NO circumstances is this 'ruby-hued' as the bottle suggests, that's simply...

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Beer Review: Terrapin Beer Co. & Left Hand Brewing, Peaotch (Midnight Project Collaboration #4)

Ding Points: 58.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: The latest in the Midnight Project Series (brew four) from the Left Hand and Terrapin collaboration. More, somewhat juvenile naming. Label describes this as "Ale with Peaches added'. Brewed with peaches form Georgia and Colorado. They grow peaches in Colorado? Mid copper pour, nice clarity and some white head. Some retention and lace but not a huge amount. Nose is strong, heavy on the peach...

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Beer Review: Fort Collins Brewery, Hellesbock

Ding Points: 78.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: 22 oz beer purchased from Arbor Place Beverage in Douglasville, GA, USA for $5.99 where I know for an absolute fact, that this beer has been on the shelf for over a year. This is definitely the 2010 release, although no markings on the label or bottle will tell you that. Decided to go ahead and purchase it anyway, in the full knowledge that this was not a fresh sample. Dark gold pour with a...

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Cellar Notes – Allagash Victoria and Victor

In the last few days I pulled both an Allagash Victoria and a Victor from the cellar; both were purchased fresh in August of 2008. Here's a quick note on what I found with these vintages. I cellared both of these purely and simply on the basis that I really enjoyed them as young, fresh beers. They seemed like they could have been a couple of interesting candidates for cellaring, with their grape elements and their ABV's, so after just over 3 years the experiment was complete. In a nutshell,...

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Beer Review: Full Sail Brewery, Sanctuary

Ding Points: 88.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes It never ceases to amaze me, how a fairly limited set of ingredients, plus the brewing process and the brewers intent, can so often produce a beer that does something quite different to that intent, and seemingly something significantly different than the label would suggest. This is one such beer. Part of the Brewmaster's Reserve Series for 2011 (although this has been out before), the beer...

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Sierra Nevada & Dogfish Head, Life and Limb 2

Ding Points: 72.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes I wasn't crazy about the original Life & Limb, which of course came with plenty of hype, but this version seems to have slipped in with a little less fanfare. I am assuming there are some differences (apart from the presentation which has moved from the 24 oz 'stubby' to the SN, shouldered 750) since this beer is now called '2', but the ABV seems to be the same, and looking at my notes...

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Beer Review: Vanberg & Dewulf (De Troch), Lambrucha

Ding Points: 77.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: An interesting one since this appears to be a beer that is blended in Belgium (at De Troch) for Vanberg & Dewulf who seem to be an importer based in Coopertown with ownership in Chicago. The addition of Kombucha interests me greatly as well, as I always feel that tea (and tea-like) beverages have a potentially interesting marriage with beer. 750 mL from Green's on Buford, Atlanta, GA, the...

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Beer Review: Stone Brewing Co., Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Ding Points: 50.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 40.00, Palate: 40.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: Classic Stone presentation. Screen printed bottle with usual Stone nonsense on the back. August 2011 printed along with ENJOY FRESH directly underneath that. I generally dislike 'Black' IPA's both in name and in taste. Utter nonsense on both counts. Thick head, on top of what looks like a viscous, jet black body, but the mouth doesn't reveal the density that the look initially suggests. Head...

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Beer Review: Brasserie Beck (Brouwerij De Musketiers), Antigoon

Ding Points: 67.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: The label shows a giant with a severed arm and lot of theatrical blood. OK, whatever, but the name of the beer that is spelled out in said blood is just about unreadable which is annoying to me. The beer is apparently brewed and bottle by The Musketeers in Belgium and imported by 'WIN-IT-TOO Inc.' which is apparently associated with www.globalbeer.com. I suppose this is being associated with...

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Beer Review: Full Sail, Elevation

Ding Points: 75.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: The 22 oz bottle is adorned with a bright orange label which seems appropriate for the contents. The beer reflects both the color on the label and the typical DIPA color which is pleasing on both fronts. Head is small and there is a disappointing lack of sticky lace. A thin film forms on the surface of the coppery colored brew. There is a noticeable amount of chill haze which although not the...

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Beer Review: Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V., Brigand

Ding Points: 43.00 Pour: 50.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 40.00, Mouth: 40.00, Global: 40.00 Tasting Notes: Stubby, 11.2 fl oz bottle with an attractive sky blue colored cap. Label says 'Bottled on 070717' which seems a little strange; maybe a 'best before' date instead? Not sure why the St. George's Cross appears on the label but simply some artistic license I expect. The beer pours as a quite a dull, uninteresting orangey brown. Head is fierce at the start, but drops off rapidly. Very little...

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Beer Review: Shmaltz & Terrapin Beer Co., (A Beer For Hope) Reunion Ale ’11

Ding Points: 73.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 70.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: Another beer in the charitable, reunion series. 22 oz bottle. A 'Dark Imperial Ale' whatever THAT is! This is the Shmaltz version. This should be interesting since Shmaltz is one of my favorite brewers with their malt based offerings, and Terrapin's star has been fading quite badly in my eyes over the last couple of years - too many beers, in too short a time has bred some mediocrity. Nice...

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Beer Review: Monday Night Brewing, Drafty Kilt

Ding Points: 87.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Poured from the Hop City growler it is a beautiful, brown garnet look with a creamy looking, off-white head. It really looks substantial, has excellent clarity and is impressive in terms of its presence. Bold looking beer that says 'come and have a go if you think you're hard enough'. The nose produces notes that are sweet, caramel based with some brown sugar and a touch of alcohol. There...

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Beer Review: De Proef Brouwerij, Broederlijke Liefde Saison Ale

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: 750 mL, (plastic, meh) corked & caged bottle in the usual Brewmaster's Collaboration Series presentation. This one comes with the added moniker on the label of being associated with Philly BEER Week. This is the fifth in the Collaboration Series. Pour is a bright orange with some cloudiness. The head is small but nevertheless fairly well formed and the retention is absolutely tremendous....

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Beer Review: The Fort Collins Brewery, The Incredible Hop (Imperial India Style Wheat Ale)

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global 80.00 Tasting Notes: Surprisingly clarity on the pour (given the Imperial India Style  Wheat Ale moniker - whatever THAT is) even if there is a little chill-haze, and some vibrant carbonation. When the beer has settled down a bit it looks like a bright, clean Pilsner and not like a wheat beer at all. Head and lace are both very good considering the ABV. In the west coast/DIPA tradition/fashion the sticky lace is a...

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Beer Review: Cricket Hill Brewing Company Inc., East Coast Lager

Ding Points: 61.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Oh look, a REAL session beer (if the 4.0% ABV is to be believed!). Massive carbonation on the pour leads to a silly looking glass full of bubbles. This does recede quickly though (which I suppose is good in one way, i.e. it doesn't get in the way) but it also falls away badly to leave very little lace and head - ridiculous, considering how this started. A hazy, unfiltered look that is a honey...

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Beer Review: Brouwerij Liefmans, Fruitesse

Ding Points: 64.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: Medium thickness on the matt, black foil reveals a corked & caged bottle. Pop on opening is, as expected, quite strong with a smattering of gunsmoke. Cork shows a 2010 vintage. Label tells us this is a 'Malt Beverage' with natural flavors and contains Acesulfame-K (a sweetener I guess). Matured on cherries it contains natural fruit flavors including cherry, raspberry, bilberry, elderberry...

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Beer Review: Shipyard Brewing Co., Smashed Blueberry

Ding Points: 90.00 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: 22 oz bottle, somewhere between $7.99 and $8.99 in most Atlanta retailers. The gold foil and the vivid blue of the label make this an attractive package externally. The pour (a rich, almost black color with a super head and some nice lace) match the intensity and the pleasurable nature of the look, and have me salivating at the prospect of tasting it. Having drunk this last weekend, I...

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Beer Review: SKA Brewing Co., True Blonde Dubbel

Ding Points: 80.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: SKA is perhaps the American brewery I would most like to see available in Georgia. Over the years I've enjoyed many of their products, and True Blonde Dubbel is a beer that I have tasted on several prior occasions to this, so it's about time for a formal review. This, latest 22 oz bottle, came from the Chicago road-trip. The bomber with the yellow wax is something I really enjoy visual taking...

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Beer Review: Smuttynose Brewing Co., Homunculus

Ding Points: 77.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Characterized on the label as 'A Belgian Style Golden Ale', and by other sources as a 'Belgian IPA', this beer is now part of the Smuttynose BIG BEER series, but has been a around for a few years previously know as 'The Gnome'. To be fair, Smuttynose also mentions 'hoppy Belgian' on the label too. 22 oz bottle from Green's on Ponce, this was $5.49. Pour is definitely golden in color, and a...

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Beer Review: Red Brick Brewing, Dog Days Ale

Ding points: 52.50 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global 50.00 Tasting Notes: I am reliably informed that this beer is essentially the same recipe as the 2010 Summer Ale that Red Brick put out last year. Looking at my notes from previous tastings of that beer, this does seem different to me, but obviously that could be a palate issue. To me, this beer is a bit 'all over the place'. The pour is very disappointing for a self-proclaimed Hefeweizen. The color is good, but...

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Beer Review: Boulevard Brewing Co., Long Strange Tripel

Ding Points: 92.50 Pour: 90, Nose: 80, Palate: 100, Mouth: 90, Global: 90 Tasting Notes: A beer, which on the one or two other occasions I have drunk it, I enjoyed it so much that I never got around to reviewing. I just didn't want the experience of drinking it to be interrupted by note taking. Boulevard really has made some excellent beers in the Smokestack series over the years. This time I planned the review. The bottle was purchased from Binny's in Clybourn, Chicago, IL along with a few...

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Beer Review: Three Floyds Brewing, Apocalypse Cow

Ding Points: 83.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: 22 oz bottle from Binny's in Clybourn, Chicago, IL. $11.99 (I think). Pour is a very attractive, orange/golden clear pour with decent carbonation. The head is good, and the lace attractive. A very attractive beer all around, actually. The lace is incredibly sticky and is some of the best I have seen in some time. The nose is a good, sinus clearing type in line with the style, but it does have...

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Beer Review: New Belgium Brewing, Somersault

Ding Points: 76.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: 12 oz single from Mac's, Atlanta, GA as part of their mixed sixer. The second time I've had this, the other occasion being on draught at The Wild Wing Cafe on Hilton Head Island, SC. There was definitely a danger of me not giving this beer a fair crack of the whip. I am somewhat cynical about this type of beer which I generally regard as a marketing ploy aimed at luring in BMC drinkers with...

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Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Best of Beer Camp #37 – Weizenbock

Ding Points: 88.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: Had you asked me in advance of tasting any of the Best of Beer Camp Beers, I would have predicted that the Weizenbock would have been my favorite, so let's see if the theory is born out in the practice with this one. Pour is a very rich, orangey/yellow butterscotch affair, which is both attractive and gives me good vibes about the beer being stylistically relevant. Head is good, and retention...

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Beer Review: Moylan’s, Extra Special Bitter Ale

Ding Points: 80.00 Pour: 80, Nose: 80, Palate: 80, Mouth: 80, Global: 80 Tasting Notes: Every time I see an American brewed beer with the ESB moniker, my heart sinks. On nearly every occasion that I recall, the resultant beer has been dreadfully disappointing, mainly because it has been so far away from the genuine article it often hurt my very soul to see/taste it. The usual issue is a hop profile that is way too high, and the added threat of a west coast brewery in this case doesn't exactly...

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Beer Review: 21st. Amendment Brewery, Hell or High Watermelon

Ding Points: 50.50 Pour: 60.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth: 40.00, Global: 50.00 Tasting Notes: 12 oz can as a single from Mac's. New style can with different colors from the first time I had this (used to be green, orange and white, now baby blue is the dominant color). Hazy but VERY bright orange color. Poor head and retention, and the beer seems under-carbonated for something of this style to me. No lace. The nose offers what I would call a generic fruitiness that isn't really...

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The ‘Grand Pooh-Bah’ is dead! Long live the ‘Ding’!

I wanted to draw a line under my beeradvocate.com experience once and for all, but couldn't realistically do that to my own satisfaction until I had collected all of the reviews that I had contributed to the site over the years. As best I can tell, at the time of my ban, I had approx. 2600+ beer reviews in the BA database, plus 305 place reviews. That added up to Beer Karma Points totaling 8117.08 and with them,  'Grand Pooh-Bah' status on the site - not a small contribution over nearly 7.5...

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Beer Review: Avery Brewing Co., Eighteen

Ding Points: 74.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose; 70.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: If the truth be known I'm really not a big fan of the bitter, grating unrelenting tastes that rye tends to impart to beer, nor have I been a huge fan of many of the Avery anniversary beers in general, so I approach the beer with a large degree trepidation. Having said that, if there is anywhere the rye bitterness may marry well with a style it would/could be with a contemporary, American...

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Beer Review: Weyerbacher Brewing Co., Sixteen

Ding Points: 81.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: Obviously a relatively unusual style, especially in the form of an anniversary beer, but nonetheless a welcome one. Darker than expected pour with a nice beige head. Small retention but some really nice creamy stuff is left on the surface of the beer - good, spotty, thin film sits as a temptation for what is below. Mahogany color, but on the dark end of that particular spectrum. Nose offers...

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Beer Review: Lost Abbey/Port Brewing Co., Red Poppy Ale 2011

Ding Points: 78.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 80.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: 12.7 oz bottle that is REALLY heavy. Very thick glass on this one. Annoyingly hard to remove cork under the cage, eventually meant that I had to extract it with a 'Lazy Fish' corkscrew. Decent pop - at least we have some carbonation! Pour looks as expected with a small, poorly retained head and some dark, turbid, brown notes and a little sediment. Lace = zero, with a thin film settling on the...

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Beer Review: Heavy Seas/Clipper City Brewing Co., Letter of Marque 2011

Ding Points: 76.00 Pour: 70, Nose: 80, Palate: 70, Mouth: 70, Global: 80 Tasting Notes: If the truth be known, over the years I have found the Mutiny Series a pretty average collection of beers, and I've said as much in my reviews. Underwhelming taste profiles have led to some pretty disappointing efforts in my book, so for some time my expectations have been dulled. Given that background, I found it rather odd that when I read this was a Dubbel, I felt it might be a style that the series...

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Beer Review: Red Brick Brewing, Double IPA

Ding Points: 64.00 Pour: 80, Nose: 60, Palate: 60, Mouth: 70, Global 60 Tasting Notes: God bless 'em, Red Brick (aka Atlanta Brewing Co.) just CANNOT get their packaging right! Despite a whole bunch of recent attempts to re-brand, it still doesn't seem right to me. Anyway, I guess that's another rant so back to the beer. 12 oz single. Pretty, gold color that comes with a one finger head. Decent retention, and some nice lace. The nose offers some of that onion element that we saw reported so...

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Beer Review: Lost Abbey/Port Brewing, Anniversary Beer

Ding Points: 81.50 Pour: 90, Nose: 80, Palate: 80, Feel: 80, Global 80 Tasting Notes: 22 oz bottle, $7.99 form Smyrna World of Beverage, Smyrna, GA, USA. Bottled on 5/5/11 with an additional dot-matrixed '5212' on the neck in yellow ink. Shock, horror! This is a big, bold, hop-bomb without any excuses or any pretense. In many ways that is a plus, since the beer 'does what it says on the can' and that is an admirable trait and one which is too often neglected these days. Pour is a very...

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Beer Review: Brasserie De Saint Sylvestre, Gavroche French Red Ale

Ding Points: 79.50 Pour: 70, Nose: 80, Palate: 80, Feel: 90, Global: 80 I'm fairly sure that this is a bottle with a significant amount of age on it, but at the same time I'm pretty confident that this type of beer will mature well, and perhaps equally importantly it will mature in a manner that will suit my palate. $2.99 for the bottle is hardly a huge risk either, so I'm in! "Order 1008" dot-matrixed on the rear of the label near the Shelton Bros. logo. The pour gives a murky brown, Dubbel...

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Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., The Best of Beer Camp #8 California Common

Ding Points = 80.00 Pour: 80, Nose: 80, Palate: 80, Feel: 80, Global: 80 Tasting Notes: My first of the Beer Camp Series. Picked this up at Mac's in Atlanta, along with two of the three others from the Beer Camp mixed pack. Put into their mixed sixer. Clear, golden color with a nice degree of carbonation. Small, one-finger, white head. Quite surprised at the depth of golden color. Bready notes in the aroma. The bread element is pulled into the initial tastes but this quickly changes....

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Beer Review: Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner Ruby Redbird

Ding Points = 72.00 Pour: 50, Nose: 70, Palate: 80, Feel: 80, Global: 70 Tasting Notes: OK, the cap for this beer has "The Perfect Summer Beer" emblazoned across it so it is certainly not afraid to declare where it thinks it is in the grand scheme of things. I like the confidence, I wonder if I will like the beer. As folks that are clued in to the American beer scene know, the Shiner range of beers from Spoetzl are an interesting phenomenon. A loyal following in their home state, around the...

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Beer Review: Sweetwater Brewing Company, Waterkeeper hefeweizen ale

Ding Points = 73.50 Pour: 70, Nose: 80, Palate: 70, Feel: 70, Global: 80 Tasting Notes: Another 22 oz, one-off (presumably) offering from the Sweetwater Brewing Co., that for my money have eclipsed Terrapin in their ability to produce a consistent, high quality special release beers. The usual Sweetwater presentation with screen printed bottle; at least this time there isn't a bunch of juvenile, sophomoric innuendo associated with the beer - a nice change! Deliberately poured this one...

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Beer Review: Stevens Point Brewery, Burly Brown

Ding Points = 60.00 Pour: 60, Nose: 60, Palate: 60, Feel: 60, Global: 60 Tasting Notes: Not a brewery that generally sets the pulse running, but I'm always open to trying the next beer from any brewer, so when this one literally fell out of the DBF on to the floor and started leaking, I took as a sign to drink it! Thanks go out to Kevin for the opportunity to try it. Pour is an impressive red mahogany color, but the head, lace and retention let it down a bit. The depth of color deserves more...

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Beer Review: Brasserie de Cazeau, Saison Cazeau

Ding Points 87.00 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00 Tasting Notes: I spent an hour or so chatting with Crawford Moran (the genius brewer at 5 Seasons Westside in Atlanta) yesterday, and really enjoyed drinking his Provence Saison that is brewed with Lavender. Coincidentally I had picked this up at Hop City next door, just a few minutes previously. Both of these floral saisons seem to dovetail beautifully with the very hot weather that has hit Atlanta in the...

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Beer Review: Heavy Seas/Clipper City Brewing Co., Aarsh Irish Red Ale

Ding Points: 75.50 Pour: 80.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 80.00, Feel: 70.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: I've been dreadfully disappointed over the years with the mutiny series, even to the point where I have stopped buying several of them, so to be quite frank my expectations have been significantly lowered. Pour offers a pretty nice looking amber body, some good clarity and a head, retention and lace that I would describe as above average. The nose and initial tastes offer a nice hop and malt...

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Beer Review: The Bruery & Cigar City Brewing Co., Marrón Acidifié

Ding Points: 82.50 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 80.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 80.00 Tasting Notes: 750 mL capped bottle with the usual 'The Bruery' presentation. The pour produces a fairly highly carbonated (at first) body, with a mahogany-red color. The head is scant and produces no lace. There is a nice clarity about the body, and it settles to give a diluted coca-cola color. The final pour gives a fairly significant film of sediment that floats on top of the beer - a bit sawdust like in...

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Beer Review: Heavy Seas/Clipper City, Dubbel Cannon

Ding Points = 50.50 Pour: 60, Nose: 50, Palate: 50, Feel: 40, Global: 50 Tasting Notes: 12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. The pour produces a somewhat disappointingly lifeless beer, with head, retention and lace all significantly lacking. The color is certainly 'IPA like' in as much as it gives an amber hue, but at the same time it looks dreadfully 'washed out'. A weak looking beer. Nose offers some light malts and a touch of sweet Belgian candy, but again it seems somewhat light...

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Beer Review: Terrapin Beer Co., Side Project 15 Indiana Krunkles

Ding Points = 45.00 Pour: 50, Nose: 50, Palate: 40, Feel: 60, Global: 40 Tasting Notes: 22 oz gold foiled (neck) bottle with the usual Terrapin Side Project presentation; this is #15 in the Side Project series. WTF is a 'German Style Wheat IPA'?? Germans across the globe are more horrified than they were in 1966. The beer pours a clouded, golden color. Darker than a standard Hefe and with nowhere near the requisite head, retention or lace. The nose offers a DULL, sweetish hop note that fails...

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Beer Review: Stillwater Artisanal, existent American Farmhouse Ale

Ding Points: 68.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 70.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 70.00 Tasting Notes: 750 mL capped bottle with matt, black foil on the neck with a brooding sepia and black label with additional Nietzsche quotes. It's all trying a bit too hard for my liking. Anyway.... I was excited to see the words 'Farmhouse Ale' on the label since I generally love a good Saison, but frankly I should have taken more careful note of the word 'American' in front of them. In this case this...

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Beer Review: Dogfish Head, Robert Johnson’s Hellhound On My Ale

Ding Points 60.00 Pour: 70.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00 Tasting Notes: 750 mL capped bottle in the usual DFH presentation. Pour offers a low density, bright copper color with a moderate head and some lace. Given the ABV, quite acceptable. Aroma is mainly a sharp, medicinal, alcohol infused assault that offers some sinus clearing elements but not in a good way. Harsh. The tastes reflect the nose to an extent, but are not quite as unpleasant/aggressive. There's a...

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Beer Review: Brewery Ommegang, Gnomegang

Ding Points: 90.50 Pour: 90.00, Nose: 100.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 80.00, Global: 90,00 Tasting Notes: 750 mL, corked & caged in the usual Ommegang bottle. Pop on opening is modest, with a little gun smoke. Pour is a beautiful golden clarity, with a smallish head. Lace is present but not tremendous. Considering the ABV all is in order, and the color is truly pretty to behold. Carbonation seems somewhat restrained but again, quite appropriate. The nose is an absolute treat. A huge estery,...

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Beer Review: Mikkeller, Rauch Geek Breakfast (AKA ‘Beer Geek Bacon’)

Ding Points = 60.50 Pour: 80, Nose: 70, Palate: 50, Feel: 60, Global: 60 Tasting Notes: Purchased at Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. 500 mL bottle. Jet black pour with a really dark, coffee colored head. Nose and tastes deliver a large amount of smoke, but the beer lacks the meaty, solid quality of many smoked beers and in that respect feels a little light. Tobacco features with some leathery components, but the beer lacks a sweet edge that really needs to accompany the smoked malts. Slightly too...

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