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Notes on beers served in the format

bottle

Fantôme
Sante 24!

Label has (what I assume is) the original brewing date of Friday and Saturday 14-15 August 2020 changed to 13-14 August 21, and the 24 asterisked. My guess would be because of COVID changes to the production occurred. Having had a bad experience with Sante 23! I'm a little wary. Of course, these beers are so individual, that perhaps there's no point in even thinking about that, but I guess it's just natural to wonder. Opens with an encouraging pop, and the pour really is something special. A...

Jester
Zinne

Brewed May 18th 2016. Barrel-aged Saison, bottle-conditioned. Bottled on 7th, August 2017, Best Before 7th August 2019. Well, it is what it is. Brewed in 2016, this is likely a minimum of three, maybe more, years past its best. That didn't stop me buying it late in 2022 when I saw the last bottle, hanging out, lonely on a shelf. Happy to take a punt on a beer brewed by these two guys, full in the knowledge that this likely won't be good/great/drinkable. Pour is quite acceptable in terms of...

CAPTAIN of the
COAST

16.9 oz bottle, Tavour purchase. Decent clarity on the dark copper body with decent head, some lacing and retention. About expected at 9.5%. Nose gives up plenty of the whisky barrel and some decent alcohol. Mouthfeel is light, which I like since it adds to the drinkability. Nothing cloying or heavy in terms of the body. As it warms, things change. A bit deeper, a little heavier. Plenty of barrel in the tastes, but it's 'tangy' - quite sharp, a little citrusy and acidic. Not bad, but not quite...

Weihenstephaner
1516 Kellerbier

When a certain type of beer is called for (or craved), you just can't substitute it with anything else. This is one such beer. 11.2 oz bottle. Golden body with a light haze and a modest head that has some lingering retention and a little lace. I'd love to try this draft, at the source. Big German malts are present right from the moment that the bottle is opened, and they continue to pour out of the stein. A beer in two parts. The malt cascade that meets the first sips, then gives way to a hop...

Fantôme DMD
Cascadian Dark Ale

750 mL corked and capped, lot D-1-4-15 best before end 2019. I approach with a fair degree of trepidation. Labeled as a Cascadian Dark Ale (Black IPA) that I don't much care for, coupled with the Best Before date of "end of 2019", and the relatively low ABV, I am wondering what's likely to await me. Add Dany on the top of all of that, and well, you get the idea! Corked jammed in hard, and comes up with a good pop. First problem alleviated, this IS carbonated. Pour is great. Beautiful jet black...

Westbrook
12th Anniversary (2022)

I have a pretty complicated relationship with Westbrook. Having met Ed Westbrook via a mutual acquaintance in a garage in Charleston, SC just prior to him opening Westbrook Brewing Co. back in 2010 (ish), As such, I have a soft spot. I also love a couple of their beers (White Thai and Mexican Cake), but I also feel they have lost their way somewhat (pandering to bullshit recent trends, and for example, a really underwhelming experience with the 11th anniversary). Long story with more to add,...

Shegöat
Weizenbock Ale

Dark chestnut pour. A few red highlights, but overall the beer is darker than most I’ve had in the style. Modest head, small ring of foam and no lace. Rich, light alcohol nose, very malty. Reflected in the initial tastes as one might expect. Plenty of malts flow over the tongue and offer a very rich experience, despite the mouthfeel being a little thin (possible contradiction here). This is largely as expected and stylistically correct. At times it tends toward a brown ale, but stays rich...

Gnoel de Abbey
Holiday Brown Ale

Dark brown pour. Decent thin film, some lace. Nice and malty with a real good dose of spice. The spice is difficult to decipher specifically, but it’s reminiscent of some mace and some cinnamon. With the spice comes some good sweetness, but there’s also a nice hop note in the backend that reminds you that this is not simply a fancy brown ale. The warmer it gets the sweeter it comes and the beer starts to open up a bit. The spice backs off a bit, and the beer seems less bitter. More sweetness...

Cuvée Prestige Tripel De
Garre Barrel Aged

Lot: n°1 - 2022. Dot-matrixed on top of cage 24/11/24 GBO, 24KU13:36 I got really lucky in acquiring this beer, so rather than dwelling upon that too much I'm determined to enjoy it and savor it. One thing that a lifetime of buying, sampling, drinking and being immersed in great beer has taught me, is that no matter how great any one beer might be, you owe it to the brewer and to yourself to open it, drink it and enjoy it. Head is smaller, and much less pillow-like than regular De Garre....

Westmalle Trappist
Extra

Into the Westmalle chalice she goes, bottled April 7th 2022, Best Before 2 years from that date. Had this beer several times since May of 2021 when I used it to christen the re-launch of this blog. Honey colored, clouded pour with a great head out of the bottle. Thin, persistent folio on the surface, and some thinnish, clinging lace. Nose gives up some simple malts, maybe a little honey or banana, but it's pretty muted. Opens a little on warming of course. Mouthfeel is extraordinary...

De La Senne
Taras Boulba

Hazed, honey colored pour. Fantastic head, white, high and sticky with lace and persistent. Looks great. The light balance of this beer is second to none. Bitterness is there, but it is so very tempered with a fantastic, creamy body and the light Belgian malts that hold the whole beer together. Tempered alcohol, and then the dry, quite astringent bitterness, that could feel American In its aggression, BUT because the beer is so balanced you just don't view it in the same way. Mouthfeel and...

De Ranke
2022 Hop Harvest

750 mL capped bottle. Delightful pour into the 25 cl De Ranke stem. Clouded orange body with a small, perfectly formed dense white head that lingers and offers ice-cream level lace. The bitterness that greets the palate on the initial sip is something whose depth is hard to achieve without bruising hop presence. The same is true of the accompanying sweetness, but of course here each are executed perfectly. Smooth in the mouth, the beer dances so gently along the soapy grapefruit line, whilst...

Arcobräu Coronator
Doppelbock

Lovely, clear deep chestnut brown pour as hoped for. Off-white head is good, but retention not great with only a little lace. Nose and tastes offer requisite, sweet malts with again plenty of depth. Brown sugar and toasted malt. There's nothing unexpected here, and just about everything that you would want. Pretty light in the mouth with easy drinking, but in turn I like a bit more oomph in the mouth in the style. Finish and aftertaste are sweet, but there's an unusual thread running through...

Mont de Cats
Bière trappiste

330 mL bottle, BB 08/2024. Dark, copper colored body with a light, high, white and fluffy head. Good lace; nice retention. Body color doesn't really match the style. Nose offers little TBH. Only very, very simple bread malts are detectable. No problem per se, but in terms of the style I'm not in love with it. A surprising, malty bitterness for the style, and also rather dry to start. Lacks significant depth of flavor (again in terms of the style), and maybe the *slightly* lower ABV than...

Tripel
De Garre

Tripel De Garre is an astonishing beer in many respects. That amazement goes way beyond the contents of the bottle and extends to reasons that aren't necessarily obvious. As anyone who has been drinking for any length of time knows, there are several external factors that can influence how one views any given beer. One of the the strongest influencers is nostalgia. Remembering a great visit to a bar or brewery, or a wonderful vacation, or even a particularly fabulous time in one's life, each...

Straffe Hendrik
Xmas Blend ’21

Had no idea the this beer was available in the US until I stumbled across it in Atlanta recently. I bought this 2021 750 mL, and a 33 cL 2022. Great pop on opening, with a little gun-smoke. Superb pour with a high mocha head that turns into a creamy film, and some lovely, dense, creamy lace. The nose offers a boozy, caramel and cheery note. Dark copper body. Tastes start with more of the boozy cherries. Light, fruity acidity and more cherries. I'm not generally a fan of any Belgian styles...

Father Christmas
Holiday Ale 2022

750 mL, capped bottle from Tavour. Categorize this beer as you will, hence my three designations. Pour is a pretty, dark-red brown affair with some good tan head. Some decent lace. Nose is not the greatest, and gives a slightly artificial smell. Difficult to describe Tastes are some alcoholic chocolate up front, and then even more alcohol. It seems hot, and a bit muddled and messy. There's no definition here, and while there are some Belgian notes (yeast, dark fruit, sugary solvent), it comes...

Arcobräu Mooser
Liesl Helles

Not a classic Helles perhaps, although that's a matter for debate of course, but given it's a Bavarian beer, then maybe it can't be anything but a classic in the style. Pour offers a lovely color, but a touch of chill-haze on the body. The taste are good, but not as clean as some Helles can be. I know a Helles is not necessarily, a dry, astringent pils with big Saaz bite, but this one is really quite malty. Noticeably so. I'd even give a nod to the fact that it feels a little Märzen like....

The Bruery
Saison D’Hiver

2022 Vintage. 750 mL, Tavour purchase, the usual Bruery presentation. The Bruery's marketing re: labels and 750 mLs still pulls me in - at least I recognize that fact! Hazy, appropriately enough, orange body with a short-lived, initially decent but soon fading head. Nose has a TON of orange juice. I mean it actually smells like artificial orange juice. Because of that, it's a mild surprise when the beer isn't quite as sweet as the nose might suggest. It still replicates the orange nose, and...

Dame Jeanne
Brut Sur Lie

750 mL, corked & caged, part of a recent Belgian Happiness shipment. Unfamiliar with this beer and this brewery. Looks like the beer has been around since at least 2016. Moderately aggressive pop on opening (I was expecting more). Poured into some tall, thin pilsner glasses in the absence of champagne flutes. Pour is obviously highly carbonated and takes time to settle down. Subsequent pours are easier, as the carbonation seems to dissipate and leave the beer quite quickly. This is an...

Gauloise
Christmas

Dark brown pour with some sumptuous, cherry red, garnet highlights. Head is decent, and fades to give nice, sticky lace and some thin, creamy foam on the surface of the beer. Looks good. Nose has some sweet raisins in the typical, BSDA tradition. It is sweet, and it offers very little in the way of spice. I really don't find this beer especially 'spiced', and certainly not compared to similar Christmas beers. In fact, there really isn't a huge amount of flavor beyond the sweetness here. It's a...

Gulden Draak
9000 Quadruple

Beautiful, deep orange-golden color. Rocky head, lace is fantastic. Obviously a ridiculous color for a "Quad" but that doesn't make it unattractive. Nose offers sweetness, and some bready malt, but it doesn't give away what's to follow. At 10.7%, to me, this drinks less aggressively than the original Gulden Draak at 10.5%. Go figure. This seems smoother to me than the original. Carbonation may play a part in this which seems light. Some caramel, but the alcohol remains relatively in check....

Fantôme Refreshing
Summer Spiritus Project

Well, here we are, back to utter insanity with this Fantôme offering. A darkish, lime green pour with a decent head, some thin film lingering, and an acceptable, if not incredibly well-retained head. The green color doesn't bother me (it's Dany), and the beer looks pretty solid out of the bottle. Nose has some lemon, and then a healthy dose of green herbs, that may or may not be recognizable as single entities. In the tastes there are some menthol notes, a bit of mint and eucalyptus, some...

Tre Fontane
Tripel

I'm a bit curious about the age of this bottle. Difficult to know, and other than "L17 40" printed on the label there's nothing else to go by. I'm hoping this is not a reference to 2017, but TBH with no other information to hand, who knows? Various shades of gold out of the bottle, dependent upon the addition of the bottle conditions yeast or not. Smell and tastes give up quite a lot of the herbal fruit that ultimately turns out to be the eucalyptus. Not sure that I could identify it...

Fantôme
Fantôsma Patagonia

At the very best of times Fantôme beers can be tricky to pin down, to categorize, and to understand. That's their beauty and indeed their point in many ways. Then from time to time you get one that defies even that 'logic'. This is one of those. Golden body with a nice, relatively finely bubbled white head. Some lace, and a thin film across the surface of the beer. Looks strong. The nose offers some light, lemonade shandy notes, with a very slight hint of something else in the back end. That...

Ommegang
Bigger and Bretter

Old bottle (obviously) Oh how the mighty have fallen. Ommegand in 2022 is a shadow of its former self (another conversation altogether), and this beer takes us back to a different time when the brewery was truly a great force in the USA. Tremendous pop on opening which delays my fears of the beer losing its carbonation after this amount of time which is a great thing, BUT if I am totally honest. even though the pour, head, retention and lace are all excellent, it doesn't drink very highly...

Zundert
10 Trappist

The context here is that this beer was consumed as part of a quadruple, Quad tasting with Westvletern 12, St. Bernardus Abt 12 and Rochefort 10, and also in the wake of a separate tasting of Zundert 8 which was rather unimpressive. Surprisingly dark pour, close to black if the highlights are ignored - some dark garnet if they are not. Head is great, retention is excellent. Looks fantastic. Nose and tastes have a decent amount of licorice and slight bitterness. Smooth. Finishes dry. The alcohol...

Silly
Saison

330 mL bottle. Chestnut brown color with lovely, red highlights on the pour. Nose is malty as one might expect from a Brasserie de Silly beer, but not at all consistent with a (contemporary) beer that has "saison" on the label. Tastes are very malty as one would expect for the brewery, but for a saison? I don't know what the history of saisons is (at least not in all of its glory), but this beer is clearly not in-line with anything contemporary within the style. Plenty of toffee and caramel,...

Premium XB
Bluebird Bitter

It's hard to describe the literal euphoria of an Englishman who is a legacy drinker, and who hasn't been home for too long, when a beer like this comes into view. I picked it up via a west coast bottle shop, unexpectedly, when I was buying some other beers, and what a thrill (and a treat) that is. Lightly chill-hazed, golden straw color, with a modest head, but decent retention and lace above average. Nice, and as expected. Nose is where things start to change. The label says "English Pale Ale...

Fantôme
d’OR

lot 08 07 22 best before à consommer avant fin 2026 14° Plato. Mid-range orange pour after an encouraging pop on removing the cork. Beautiful, beautiful pitted head, Stunning retention and lace on the second and the third pour. Oh my gosh. Initial impressions are that of a great mellow bitterness, smooth and easy drinking, some light spice and oddly reminiscent of a Rochefort 6. Eventually the spicy notes and bitter bite do build, but it takes a while and prior to that the beer feels very...

Asam Bock
Dunkler Doppelbock

Purchased on a whim from Kahn's in Indianapolis. Wasn't seeking bocks or even Germans at the time, but didn't recognize this so gave it a whirl. Standard 16.9 oz presentation. Pour is as expected. Dark chocolate body, mocha head. Pitted head, lace is average. Nose gives up some sweetness, as do the initial tastes. The beer seems above average in terms of the sweetness, even considering the style. The sweet nature overpowers some of the underlying malts a little  There's a LOT of brown sugar...

Angel’s Paw
(French Oak Edition)

Well, the French oak spirals certainly changed the original beer! First out, the original beer has taken on a much darker hue here. In the mouth this is much rounder, and the oak is surprisingly rich. It really changes the beer from the clean edges of the original BSPA, into a much flabbier offering. For me, even though this is quite drinkable and has all of the characteristics that one might expect, the treatment doesn't make the original beer any better. Different? Sure. Better? Not really....

Labrassbanda
Love Beer

500 mL bottle. Incredibly attractive color on the pour, a real, deep golden. Not necessarily all that typical of many a Hefewieizen, which often come with a somewhat lighter, yellow hue rather than the deep golden color we get here. Head is solid with some lace and retention, and perhaps more in line with something that is typical for the style. Light banana in the nose and tastes. A little hop bite in the back end to complement the usual banana, clove, bubblegum and light phenols. This is...

Monk’s Cafe Grand Cru
(Flemish Sour Ale)

11.2 oz "stubby" bottle as part of the Van Steenberge mixed, six pack. Beautiful, dark garnet pour, especially as the light catches it. Head is great, nice retention and lace. The nose and initial tastes are that of intense ethanoic acid, BUT after those first bursts the beers falls into that classic, beautiful, sweet and sour mode. Great balsamic, rich dark cherry, especially as it warms. The sweet and sour complement one another. Some oak, not a great deal of fruit for me, just that gently...

Hofbräu
Hefe Weizen

11.2 oz (330 mL) single. Straw colored pour with a head that fades quickly. A little chill-haze, a few floaties. Limited lace, not a great deal of retention. Grainy nose, a little bubblegum -not much. Medium body with a light yeasty, bubblegum and banana tastes. It's quite sweet and soft. The sweetness builds a little, and becomes a feature of the beer. Although a classic (I suppose), the sweetness is surprising to me. Light banana in the finish, and the sweetness finishes the beer too. I have...

St. Feuillien
Five

Here we go with a new beer, and one that has obviously been specifically marketed as a lower ABV, "refreshing" thirst-quencher. They are NOT shying away from the marketing on this one! Pretty, bright, light lemon yellow color and a good head on pouring. Decent retention, some lace and a nice thin film. Nose offers a little grassy bread. Upfront tastes ARE indeed "refreshing" - LOL. Very gentle hops are balanced well with simple grains. There's a decent whack of Belgian yeast which is great in...

Scotch Silly
(Pinot Noir Barrel ’19)

It's impossible not to make a comparison between this beer and the 2018 Chardonnay version of this beer, especially when the other one was consumed and reviewed just a few days ago. The same base beer, and also in wine-barrels, I'd expect similar things, and indeed that's what we get. Notable changes here are the fact that the beer is a year younger (2019 versus 2018), and Pinot Noir is the grape. Given that I think that the Pinot Noir is going to mesh more with the underlying Scotch Ale...

Scotch Silly
(Chardonnay Barrel ’18)

Corked and caged. Moderate pop on opening. Pour has the requisite chestnut brown and is pretty. Head is moderate, not especially well retained, doesn't give much lace, but at least gives a nice film on the surface of the beer. At 10.0 % and at this age, I'm OK with that. There is some oxidation in the nose at this point. Shame, I'd liked to have gotten to this earlier, but that wasn't to be. Tastes have the base Scotch Ale well rounded, and a barrel note that is less discernible specifically...

Zundert
Trappist 8

For something that is categorized as a BDSA, this beer is a very strange color. There is a light brown, chestnut appearance, not a typical, blackish, darker body. It looks like a, "slightly-better-than-usual" Dubbel. Head is initially good, but lace doesn't form and the retention isn't great, however the thin film across the surface of the beer that lingers, is pleasing. Light fruits greet the nose and tastes. There's a touch of bitterness up front, but I get very little spice that others have...

Uerige Altbier

The Doppelsticke I’ve had several times before, but never this in the US until now. The usual, Grolsch style, “pop-top” presentation, with good gun-smoke on opening. Head is beautifully formed, excellent lace, nice retention. Brown body. Nose gives up intense, bready malts. Really very strong. Tastes are more reserved, but follow-on with simple malts and very light bitterness in the back end. Not sweet, but with some light spice among the hops. Excellent mouthfeel, and this beer feels like a...

Rye on Rye Maple (2020)

Courtesy of Brian, cheers mate! 12 oz bottle, best before 16 March 2021, 2020 vintage. 16 IBUs, limited release with maple syrup and aged in Templeton rye barrels. Mid-brown pour with a decent head considering the ABV. Of course this fades, but it leaves a thin film on the surface of the beer, and a few tiny pieces of lace on the glass. Nose has the whiskey notes that one would expect, but no real trace of maple. Initial tastes are reversed. Nose also gives up much more alcohol than the tastes...

Fantôme Desert Ghost Sonoran Saison

Capped and corked, the usual Fantôme 750 mL presentation. Clouded, deep orange body with a fizzy initial head that disapates immediately to leave no film and no lace. Light carbonation remains in the mouth. Not great looking, but no panic, it’s Dany! Nose offers not much more than a sweet, light citrus tone; little else. No bad, just not complex. Tastes start with a herbal note up front that fades pretty quickly. This is then replaced by the citrus elements. There’s a floral note about the...

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Whisky Barrel Aged

As is the case every time I make notes about a beer and then publish them on the site, they are no more than my thoughts, for my own records, and for my own reference. They really aren't for any other purpose, but if others enjoy reading them or even find them useful, then great! If not, so be it. I say that here because I think that these notes are likely to run counter to many others thoughts about this beer, and that's just fine! Right off the top I'll admit that I'm just not a huge fan of...

Weissbier Hell

Orange, honey-colored, hazed body and a wispy head. The head is gone quickly, little to no lace. Nose offers little, likely too cold. Sweetish taste profile that at the beginning and lacks the classic banana and bubble gum notes out of the blocks. Likely to do with temperature once more. However, even with warming, this doesn't change a great deal, and we don't really get much past the (controlled) sweetness. Smooth, easy drinking with no edges, and that includes sweetness, bitterness, any hop...

Weissbier Dunkel

Put simply, the best Dunkleweizen available in the USA. Now, if I'm honest one can apply that to the full range of Andechs beers that we get here in the US in their respective styles, so am I saying anything out of the ordinary? No, not really, but it bears saying. Darkish amber body with a beautiful tan head. Head is not very well retained and offers scant lace, but still looks good initially. Color is perfect. The nose is extraordinarily rich, and to me resembles even the bigger, bolder...

Ginger Gueuze

$28.95 for the 750 mL bottle. I might like this in the end, but I don't think that it will be very good value. Anyway, I'm invested to this point, so here we go. Capped and corked, the beer opens with a really healthy pop. Good gun-smoke. Carbonation is HIGH - not exactly a gusher, but this beer is extremely carbonated. Orange body. Lace is very good as well. Pretty. The carbonation makes for a lively mouthfeel. I'd heard rumor that this was really tart, but it isn't, at least not on my palate...

Grand Cru 2022

OK, OK, I'm biased! Certain styles speak to me, and a great Tripel/Belgian Strong Pale is one of those things. 750 mL capped and foiled, dimple-bottomed brown bottle from Tavour. Label has a strong Bruery vibe about it, which I have absolutely no issue with. High, very light, fizzy head that recedes to nothing pretty quickly and leaves almost no lace. In that regard not great, but carbonation levels are obviously good. The head is a the only weak point for this beer. Light golden body. Nose...

The Abyss (Old World)

As far as I can ascertain this is just The Abyss in sherry barrels - or at least that's what's advertised. Should be right up my alley. Let's see. Capped and black waxed as usual, but the bottled on date is not decipherable. "2019 Reserve" adorns the label. Pour is as expected, resplendent. Jet black, impenetrable body, magnificent mocha head. Nothing better in the genre. Not much evidence of any sherry in the nose, it may be a little cold. Let's allow this to open up. As that happens the...

Strong Dark and Belgian

22 oz bottle, courtesy of Mark, and directly from the brewery. The color of this beer is very attractive. A deep, garnet red hue in certain light, and clear as a bell. I saw bunch of pictures on Untappd which had me worried in relation to the carbonation, because almost every one of them appeared flat. The carbonation here is better than those pictures would suggest, but not great, and if there's one criticism in terms of the pour and appearance is that personally, I would like a more...

Elder Brett

22oz bomber (a relative rarity these days shamefully), $11.00 from Brew Ridge Beer Hub Waynesville, NC. Label somewhat confusingly adds the moniker Season-Brett Golden Ale. Release #2 (or maybe 3), the text is smudged, and that seems confusing in terms of dates as well. Anyway, maybe DEN#3275 has some meaning. Pour is a straw golden body with a fizzy head that dissipates to nothing immediately. Nose and tastes follow a single, sour, tart formula, with clean green apple edges and not much else....

Chimay Dorée (Gold)

In general, Dorée is a deeply misunderstood beer, but this is especially so in the USA. Firstly there is the issue with it being an infinitely more subtle beer that anything else that they make. Subtlety is not a trait that is appreciated a great deal in the USA, and that's true of all beers, but Dorée has another problem that compounds things. Relatively, very little of it gets to the States, and people don't know what it is, as a result it often sits on shelves or in warehouse for long...

Hofbräu Dunkel

330 mL single. Blue Ridge Brew Hub, Waynesville, NC. Beautiful, red bronze pour with clarity and cleanliness that is striking. White head. some lace. Nose offers a ton of predictable caramel notes. Caramel up front immediately in the tastes too. A very, very light roast note, but this is muted appropriately. Malts of course, are all over the beer, and they meld perfectly. Sweet, medium bodied example, with even a touch of chocolate in there too. Refreshing, but it is a sweet example of the...

Hofbräu Original

Pure, golden, clear pour with a resplendent white head. Quintessential Helles in the glass. Deep bread in the nose with a touch of hop character being barely perceptible. Easy drinking, mouthfeel is lightly prickly, simple and perfect. Sweet breads mingle amongst the noble hop bitterness. Beautifully balanced, as the elements meld perfectly together. Lots of sweet grains, a medium body and that leads to an incredibly easy to consume beer - in many ways, that's its purpose. Crisp, light and...

Thiriez EXTRA (dry-hopped French farmhouse ale)

750 mL bottle purchased at Knightly Spirits in Orlando, FL, USA. Capped. This beer was distributed in Atlanta for years and years during the mid 00s, and I am pretty sure that I've had it before, but apparently never took any notes so here we are. This is likely an older bottle, but there is no way to tell. As such I was concerned because this is a low ABV beer as well, so the expectations were low. Opens with an encouraging pop. Good. Pour is dull, light brown/straw/gold, not particularly...

Saison de Pipaix

Wow, an old, old friend. Very surprised I had not reviewed this, but also I haven’t seen it for years and years. Probably haven't drunk it since the mid-00s back in Atlanta when and where it was pretty widely available. 750 mL, capped from Belgian-Style Ales online. Lively pour, slight gusher. Mid-orange color with a very generous head. Lacing excellent. Nose has a high level of farmhouse funk. Some of this is reflected in those first tastes, but at the outset there is a fairly distinguishable...

Tripel Golden Ale

Purchased in Columbus, OH at Perfect Pour. 750 mL, corked and caged affair. Reserved pop on opening, no drama. Pour is a yellowish-golden rather than a distinctly golden-golden. A little chill-haze. Head is bone-white and above average. Decent lace, quite "coating" on the glass, and somewhat in the mouth. I'll start by saying that I like this - I like it a lot - but, this is a VERY dry Tripel, if a (typical) Tripel at all. The requisite sweetness is largely absent. The website describes the...

Bière De Coupage

1 pint bottle directly from the Brewery last month. Orange golden pour. Almost a pinkish hue at the edges. Head is average, drops off quickly and little lace. Nose has plenty of farmyard horse manure, not funk as such, but some oak barrel notes. Quite dry with the barrel-aged part of the blend definitely coming through most strongly. The younger beer doesn't bring a lot in terms of life, and the beer takes on plenty of apple, and other cider-like notes. Carbnation is low, but the beer is...

Saison Du Bois

1 pint bottle from the brewery last month. Pale golden color with a simple, white head. Nice lace. Lovely, wine-based nose.The nose also has a surprising level of sweet, bready malts. This is carried through to the tastes which initially feel very sweet indeed. This backs off pretty quickly to reveal a vinous, oaky note (as expected). Light and quick in the mouth, with some fruit elements. Quite floral. There's almost an artificial ester note too, which sounds like it might not be good, but at...

Fantôme Cocoa Ambreé

Fantôme & Fermentery Form adorns the label. Capped and corked, the usual Fantome presentation. Lively pour with a light, high, fine-bubbled head that is good effervescence but that fades pretty quickly. Body is a lightish brown, dark butterscotch heading toward orange affair. Cloudy. The body of the beer is not particularly attractive TBH. Nose is mainly a relatively non-descript, yeasty bread note with a touch of something fruity. Light tartness (very light), with similar almost...

Saison tremist

750 mL, corked and caged, a recent purchase from Belgian-Style Ales. A new beer to me. Looks like it has had some distribution in the US for about 3 or 4 years at least. Excellent pop on opening, good head, decent film retention, and some nice lace. Lemon colored, clouded body, all is in order. Yeasty acidity in the nose, and off the top in the tastes. Smooths out evenly with a little citrus funkiness. Mild funk, but all in order. Pretty dry from start to finish. A touch of candied fruits...

Tynt Meadow

So, here we go with this English Trappist. I must say that I am certainly intrigued, if not a bit wary. Pour is one of my pet peeves, dirty brown, ugly washing-up water Dubbel. I hate this look in a beer. Turbid and unattractive. Head is a little better, but is modest, has poor retention, and leaves no lace. In terms of appearance, this gets off to a bad start. Nose offers some bready, alcoholic oxidation. Mmmm … at this point I’m referencing the bottle to see if I’ve got an old one (I don’t),...

25th Anniversary

I think that I've simply lost what little love that I ever had for beers such as the Firestone Walker Anniversary Series. I mean I am glad that they are making them - it shows a solid commitment to a craft - but when ones looks at the blend that has gone into 25, the only thing that comes to mind is, "would it really matter what was blended at this point?" There's such a colossal number of incredibly potent flavors and barrels in the mix, isn't this just a hodge-podge that would most likely...

Bière Du Boucanier Dark

Poured from the iconic, ceramic stubby bottle, on first look this appears like an ugly Dubbel brown - my favorite color complaint - but in better light there are a ton of red hues and the beer is significantly less dull than it first appears. Head is decent, and consummate with a 9% beer. Retention and lace follow a similar pattern. Fruity yeast on the nose, that is carried into the tastes a bit, but in those tastes we find a drier beer than the aroma might first suggest. Still plenty of...

Cherry Chouffe

Well … it is what it is. Various shades of red in the body that range between dark burgandy to alarmingly red, depending on the way that the light hits the beer. The moderate head is slightly pink - again dependent upon the light source - and it leaves some decent lace. Nose has plenty of cherry notes, not too strong. It’s sweet, but honestly not too sweet. It threatens, but then backs off. As long as you want that strong cherry taste, and you don’t mind the sweetness, then this is a ‘beer’...

Fantôme Dark Spiritus Winter Project

I’m pretty experienced with Fantôme, so I know what to expect (i.e., the unexpected), but lately I’ve had a couple of less than stellar experiences. This beer gets me back to more familiar territory of the brilliant madness. Pour is a slightly reddish, brown pour, with a creamy, light tan colored head. Nose offers a lovely, deep bready, yeasty note, with a little herbal element. Mouthfeel is lively. Nice. The tastes are a mid-sweet, very lightly herbal bitterness with a paradoxically dry...

Trappistes Rochefort Triple Extra

I first got this shipped to me in June 2021 directly from Belgium and before it was available in the US, but have had probably about 6-10 bottles of it since. Let’s get this out of the way immediately. This doesn’t drink like a typical Triple; at least not for me. A mid-golden, slightly hazed pour with an above average creaminess on the head. There’s a lot of depth to the mouthfeel, and it drinks more like a wheat beer in terms of its body. It drinks like a cloud. Yes it is orangey (likely as...

9 Ladies Dancing

Turbid brown pour with a level of carbonation that was better than I thought it might be after this length of time. Somewhat surprisingly, it does meet the taste parameters that one might expect. Not only that, it doesn't deliver any cardboard either. That seems unlikely at this age, but it manages to do that. What it doesn't do (unsurprisingly) is bring a lively, fresh feel! It looks, and drinks its age. There's a little coffee, some vanilla, the cocoa nibs are there, and a mingling of dark...

Saison du Rosier

375 mL bottle, corked & caged. Tavour purchase. Lemon colored, lightly hazed body with a decent white head. The fades quickly, and is fizzy rather than anything else. Nose offers plenty of acidity, and not much else. Yeah, this isn’t really a saison. It’s way too sour to fit snuggly into that category, and it isn’t even that tart. However, it IS the acidic and the tart that overrides any type of funk. When I say ‘override the funk’, I mean there is none. Anyway, some light citrus fruit, a...

Parabola Autumn Edition 2021

Dark chestnut approaching black pour, with a great looking mocha head. Surprisingly rich looking head (and good lace and retention) for such a massive ABV. Also surprisingly, the beer gives up mostly chocolate on the nose. As it opens up with temperature, the bourbon notes come through a little more, but still … Tastes are heavily laden with tobacco bitterness, tannins, and leather as the initial impressions. As it warms, the complexity increases with all of those still hanging on, and then...

Fantôme Rock The Farmhouse

750 mL, corked and capped, the usual Fantôme presentation. Big gusher, with a ton of very light, wispy foam cascading from the bottle. Needs a very quick inversion toward a glass to save the good stuff. Mmm … pour is frankly, ugly. It has a butterscotch haze and resembles the thing I most hate in my (beer) life right now, a NEIPA. Ugly, ugly, ugly appearance, that looks like a glass of orange juice. I can’t tell you how much I hate the appearance of this. Looks like the wort, or perhaps more...

Firestone Eleven

Another cellar-dweller. Murky dark brown pour, no head to speak of at this age, but all the nose you can handle. Barrel aged alcohol still hanging on, even now. Some black flecks of sediment. Same can be said of the taste profile. Is it distinguishable in any meaningful way? No really. is it pretty thin? Yes, of course. Does it still give a mild burn and do you know what you are drinking? Yes, you bet you do. Obviously I should have drunk this x+ years ago, I understand, but it’s not horrible...

Fantôme Sante 23!

750 mL, capped and corked bottle. Pour offers a frankly unattractive, murky, reddish-brown body with little to no head. Some acidic fruit on the nose, and a bit of malty bread. The first couple of gulps are full of ethanoic acid and it burns a little. As the beer warms and the palate adjusts, there is a slight backing off of that initial assault, but to be honest it does linger down the whole glass. The finish is dry, but the acidity hangs around, and in the end this basically drinks like a...

Fantôme Red Spiritus Automn’ Project

750 mL, corked and caged. There’s very little information about this beer, I’ll have to ask Dany. Lot 03 b 21 best before a consommé avant fin 2025 A pinkish head that is huge sits a top a reddish-brown body after a tremendous pop on opening. This looks special. There’s some mild fruit in the nose, but not much. As it warms, that increases. This is lovely. It drinks like a fruit beer, with lots of strawberry notes, and almost no sweetness up front. It’s balanced, has a light herbal note, and...

Abbaye des Rocs’s Saison

33cl bottle, yellow cap. Lovely mid-golden pour with a half-inch head. Average retention, some nice lace. Nose offers simple grains, a touch of hops. Plenty of fruit in those initial tastes with a lot of citrus. However, it’s not sharp or tart, but has a lemon sweetness about it. Dry start, and the beer is highly drinkable at 5.4%. The dry element continues and builds, and it’s then that the hops truly kick in. Ultimately, a decent hop note, and one that I wasn’t expecting. Some yeasty tastes,...

Saison du Meyboom

33 cl bottle, imported from Belgium. 2021 Vintage. Dare I say it? It looks a little like a NEIPA. Hazed, light orange body with a fluffy, large head that creates decent lace and retention. Nose offers some light hops, and a grassy freshness that feels lightly rustic. Very slight soapy bitterness, and a little light citrus, but not much. Finish is pleasingly, lightly bitter. It’s very soft, light, and airy. The beer opens up on warming with further orange experiences, including a touch of zest...

Fantôme Silos and Summits

750 mL capped and corked green bottle. Pour is a clouded orange, with a medium head that fades quickly. No lace. Nose offers a kind of diluted orange notes, and little more. This is odd, and not great. Some orange notes up front, with a bitter, drying, finish. The spices seem bitter, and obviously the hops are old. I believe that this was brewed in 2019, and it’s showing every inch of its age. Touches of oxidation, plenty of cardboard, and not much else. I hate the fact that I’ve come to this...

Blaugies Saison D’Epeautre

750 mL, corked and caged green bottle. Pops with pleasing vigor. Hazed, light butterscotch body. Huge head, but lacing and retention only slightly above average when considering the initial foam; likely because the foam was so wispy and light. Nose offers light bread, not a great deal else. Any funk and spice comes in upfront, and to be honest there is not a lot of it. The beer backs away pretty quickly, and becomes an easy drinking, smooth, sweetish, light fruit experience. Oddly, in contrast...

De Ranke Franc Belge

Expiry 23/12/2022. 330 mL bottle. Pour offers a mid-orange, amber, slightly hazed pour. White head, some nice retention and lace, with a significant film that settles across the beer in the chalice. Nose offers some malt, but until it warms and opens it’s hard to distinguish much. When it does I get a little orange, but mostly solid, bready, relatively neutral notes. The beer drinks a little like a very dry, English bitter, with some very mild hop character juxtapositioned against balanced...

Blaugies la Vermontoise

375 mL, corked and caged green bottle. Imported form Belgium. Light golden, hazed lemon colored body with a very nice, aggressive fizz on the pour. Not surprising, as it opened with a delightful, fierce pop. Nose has light acidity and some wheat notes. Perhaps a touch of lemon, but that may be just a trick that the color and the appearance are playing on the sense. Tastes start by carrying through those initial citrus notes, and there is plenty of bitterness here as well. The bitter elements...

Practise What You Preach

I have no interest in getting into a pissing match about James Watt's antics - I mean that I literally don't care about Brewdog or their attitudes at all - BUT what I will say is simply this. About 15 years ago when Brewdog started, I had some brief dealings with him, and he was a dick. That's it, no more, no less, but that's the truth. Now back to this beer. This review is based upon a 33 cl bottle that was imported from Belgium. A couple of weeks later I saw 750s of it here in Fort Wayne,...

Straffe Hendrik Tripel 9°

Arguments abound over which beers constitute the quintessential examples of many styles, but perhaps Tripels attract the largest amount of such attention. Westmalle is of course the first beer out of people’s mouths when Tripels are the subject of that particular conversation, but Straffe Hendrik Tripel seems to be a beer that I’ve heard in these exchanges more and more. Those comparisons seem fair as soon as the beer is opened. Highly carbonated, with a huge, light head that fades to give...

Vicaris Winter (2018)

33cl bottle. Best before 19/09/23, so plenty of life left in this yet. Belgian Strong Dark? Maybe not. It has some Winter Warmer character too, and no, I’m not being fooled by the name, but in the end this seems almost largely brown ale-like. ‘Imperial’ of course. Pour is a dark brown, chocolate colored body. Looks like a better version of a dirty dubbel. Head and lace do a good job. A ton of bread in the nose, with a touch of oxidation. The beer feels older than it might be right off the bat....

Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel 11°

33 cl bottle, best before 18-05-2024. The color of this beer is truly beautiful. An incredibly deep garnet red, with great clarity. Head is light coffee-colored with tremendous depth and pitting. Lace is perfect. Even at a relatively cool temperatures the nose is apparent. As it warms, the yeasty aroma becomes stronger, and the sugary alcohol comes through beautifully. Tastes start with a gentle introduction of red cherries with plenty of drying bakers chocolate or cocoa. The beer is nowhere...

Shoreline Brewery Sum Nug

I suppose that this is what the kids would, these days, call “a West Coast IPA”*. Of course, that’s UTTER bullshit, because what it really is is no more than just a simple, American IPA that isn’t a hazed New England mess of a juice. *East Coast doesn’t mean ‘hazy’, and West Coast doesn’t mean ‘not hazy’ - WTF is wrong with beer these days? Anyway, $5.99 from Service Liquors East, Warsaw, IN. A 22 oz bomber, an unusual sight these days amongst the cans. BTW, I (generally) hate cans too....

Hoegaarden De Verboden Vrucht

Just like Hoegaarden Grand Cru, I like this beer. Shoot me. Pour is a dark burgundy body, with a resplendent head, that takes on a light tan hue, and a lovely, “noisy”, pitted, dense look. This looks great. Right out the bottle there is plenty of banana sweetness in the nose. The tastes continue to bring the same, and we get some really nice dry alcohol soaked dried fruits. More banana based yeast, and then some more vinous notes. There’s a fruity, jammy, red wine based element in there, and a...

MOTHER of all STORMS

2021 vintage. This is a complicated beer, that is actually very different than first impressions on opening might otherwise suggest. At the outset the appearance seems to be basically black, and the nose very strongly bourbon based. Neither are anything like the final experiences of appearance or smell that I am left with at the conclusion of the bottle. The initial bourbon smell drops off pretty quickly. The (apparently) black body very quickly takes on a dramatic reddish-brown hue that was...

La Moneuse

375 mL, corked and caged affair. The classic heavy, green, dimpled bottom glass. Pour gives an excellent head that becomes more modest quite quickly on standing. Not much lace. Mid to darkish orange, lightly hazed pour. It looks like a beer with real depth. Nose takes a while to open up with temperature. When it does it give a generic bread note, but also toasted malt that’s although similar to the bread, is quite distinct. Almost a wheat, cereal note. Weetabix anyone? Mouthfeel is lively....

11th Anniversary

If the truth be known, I’ve been influenced by Westbrook’s Mexican Cake - a lot. I really love that beer, and as a result, a special release of something (probably) not dissimilar is likely to get my attention. 11th Anniversary did. Whenever I see a Westbrook Anniversary beer I am reminded of meeting Ed Westbrook in a suburban garage, with a few other Charleston, SC beer geeks just a little bit before he opened the brewery. I suppose that must be about 12 years ago now. On that day he brought...

Grand Cru

33 cl bottle. The pour is a slightly hazed, golden body with a high, wispy head. This is not a simple beer, and I don't mean that in the normal way of recognizing this as a complex one. Rather, I mean that it's complicated! Confused? Me too! The tastes are surprisingly bitter and hoppy* (at least if you’re going to put this beer in the BSPA category which is where it belongs). In fact, the hoppy nature of the beer builds rather a lot, and it finishes in some much more serious hoppy territory...

Brewers’ Bridge

If the truth be known, I didn’t even know that this beer had been brewed back in 2019. That was a period in my life when my finger was OFF the pulse of the beer scene - so it’s not that surprising - BUT the consequence is that when I came across it in a random, Fort Wayne, IN store, I was pretty shocked and pretty delighted! $5.49 for the 11.2 oz bottle. As someone commented in the Belgian Beer Board Facebook group, “Allagash & Brasserie DuPont, what could possibly go wrong?”. Well, sure,...

Bourbon County Double Barrel Toasted Barrel

2021 Vintage. Approx. $55 for the bottle. Ouch. Jet black pour - of course - head can be created with an aggressive pour. It’s tan. Nose is pretty solvent like. The legs on the beer are great, and obviously a function of the ABV but they are wine like. To its credit this is extraordinarily smooth, it hides the alcohol very well, and does not burn. The bourbon is definitely smoothed out very well, and there is no aggression at all. In a year or so, I’d imagine it will even out a lot more, and...

Fantôme Blanche

In the absence of any other information I am going to assume that this is the same (or at least a similar) beer to the De Hotton Witbier that was last seen about 5 years. I’ll try to get the word from Dany on this. Pour is a hazy orange body with a HUGE head with pleasing lace, and decent retention. The color I’m not mad about, but the beer as an entity in the glass looks magnificent. Nose offers a lot of dry lemon notes. There’s some promise of some white pepper too. The initial tastes offer...

Saison

Second time I’ve had this, from a brewery that’s just a few miles away from where I used to live. 500 mL capped bottle, purchased from Total Wine, Atlanta (Akers Mill). Pour is a well carbonated affair, but it’s a little fizzy (as opposed to something with any depth) for my liking. White head, poorly retained, some lace. Everything sits on top of a honey-orange body. Mouthfeel is prickly, and a touch thin. Nose has some acidity, and some mildly funky cheese. Light soapiness starts the beer...

Pattinson Porter

Batch #2, brewed Jan 2021. Purchased at Little Five Bottle Shop, Athens, GA in November 2021. Pour is aggressively carbonated, but after the initial pour, the carbonation is less annoying and settles into a lovely, highly carbonated beer that behaves a little better than at first. Depending on the light, the beer is either jet black or has some reddish, brown lighter highlights at the edges. Tan head is a “fizzy” affair, but has decent retention and creates a nice, thin, mocha, creamy layer...

Bourbon County 2019

So I looked to see how many notes that I had for BCS over the years and I see only these from 2006. Has it really been that long? Was this close to the first year of BCS? I suspect the answers are, "Well, yes", and "Almost". Full disclosure. I'm not a pant-wetting fan boy for hyped beer - never have been - and I'm not much of a fan of booze-aged/infused/barrel beers (with the exception of a good wine barrel) if I'm honest, so that odds are stacked against BCS from the outset with me. That...

11 Pipers Piping

2020 re-release. This is an odd one for me. The idea of coriander being added to cut the sweetness of a typical Scotch Ale I suppose makes sense (if indeed that’s its purpose), but at the same time it seems to work against what the beer might be trying to achieve. I don’t know, it seems a little bit of fractured combination of flavors to me. Black-brown body on the pour, with a somewhat disappointingly poorly retained tan head. Even when cold, the nose starts to give away a lot of the Scotch...

Fantôme Macaquincoing

Occasionally one will come across a beer where there is a single, overriding experience that dominates just about all other aspects of it. It doesn’t necessarily make the beer one-dimensional, because at the time the subtleties may be possible to discern, but the further removed you become from the beer, the more singular the experience becomes. This was one of those beers. Bitterness. That’s it. Now that bitterness was not an American, IBU, hoppy assault, but rather the far more predictable...

Fantôme Strange Ghost

A special beer. Label declares, ‘1 brew Dark Triple Version’, lot 02 f a 21, best before end of 2024. Pour offers a chestnut brown body with a deeply impressive, mocha/tan colored head. It’s rich looking in every aspect of its appearance. Nose almost seems like a lightly spiced Christmas beer. The aromas are not especially strong, but they are easy to pick up. A bit of cinnamon, some mace, maybe a touch of nutmeg? Then the taste … WOW! Essentially it’s a herbal explosion of many elements...

Collaboration 2016

One of those absolutely random bottle store finds that keeps me going into just about every beer store that I ever see. I think that I’ve had this before, but I find no notes. A dirty, dubbel-like pour, but the pop on opening is encouraging. The first concern of a beer of any age is always carbonation. We can move on to all of the other problems, but that’s the first port of call and a test that this beer passes. After a little time in the glass it clears to give a much more attractive, dark...

Hoegaarden Grand Cru

Hate me if you want, I love this beer. Is this nostalgia? Partly. But it’s also a yeasty treat that hits the spot and never disappoints. There’s plenty of alcohol, plenty of yeast, and a ton of fruit esters that hit the palate. It lingers and it builds. It’s sweet, reminds me of slightly drunken days in Belgium, and great friends. The nose is tremendous, and it brings on the taste experience. They interlock perfectly. Again the yeast and the fruit are the characters that come together and...

Queue de Charrue Ambree

29/21/22 Best Before. If I’m honest, I really don’t understand this beer. Out of the bottle, it looks good. There’s an incredible, rocky head, and some great lace. The body is a less remarkable, light amber/orange (some would say ‘copper’, but for me the clarity is not here) body. The nose offers a decent, malty, lightly acidic touch. The tastes reflect the same. The reason the beer confuses me a bit is that I don’t really get any Belgian Pale notes here, and it feels a bit like a beer that...

Spits Tripel

Orange clouded pour. Nice head with some sticky lace. Color is a little too orange for the style IMO. This is odd, and well outside any Tripel parameters even with generous interpretations of style (something I seldom have much truck with). Surprisingly, quite a lot of hop character on the nose - see what I mean? Not so much happiness in the initial taste, but still. Lacks the big alcohol kick of a Tripel, and has next to nothing in the candy, sugary, Belgian yeast/ester department either....

La Mère Noël

Pour is as expected for the designated style, if not necessarily for that of a beer that is a Christmas offering. Clear golden body, and a large bubbly white head to accompany it. Minimal lace (but some), and the head is lighter and more wispy than one might expect. Mouthfeel is a nice combination of smooth and creamy, and has a little prickly liveliness about it. Tripel, Belgian candy nose with requisite alcohol. Tastes are similar, with a drier bite at the back end than the initial burst...

Leffe
Ruby

I suppose if all the hate directed at Leffe is really deserved, this is the beer that ought to take it on the chin to the greatest extent. As a fan of several Leffe beers (that gets me lots of stick), even in my sympathetic eyes, this is a weak offering. The reddish, rose, pinkish tainted pour offers a decent head and lace (considering what this is), and as long as you a ready for what it is, there’s little to complain about here. Nose gives some light sweetness. Tastes are those of a fruity...

Black Rocs 1979

L1933 00909, 17/01/22 Well, I don’t know. What has become of the once great l’Abbaye des Rocs? Some things as good as ever, most things not, and then there’s this. Is it a stout? Sort of. Is it a coffee stout? Absolutely not. Is it a 'flavored stout' (whatever than means, and what it says onthe label)? No. Is it a Belgian Dark? Some elements of it might feel a bit that way. It is a little insipid? Yes. Too thin? A bit. Frankly it’s all over the place and not really in a good way. The pour us a...

Gordon Xmas

33 cl bottle, Finest Belgian Beers. 28.08.22 It’s a beautiful, deep chestnut red pour with a ton of great lace left by the rich, billowing white head. The initial nose offers wave after wave of deep, alcoholic malts, and the tastes reflects that somewhat, bu the alcohol is more in check than the nose suggests. The maltiness breaks across the palate continuously, with a lovely, nutty profile pushing into the palate. Classically Scotch Ale, with a ton of depth, the alcohol that you need, and the...

Bon Secours Noel Bière Blonde

33 cl, flip-top bottle from Finest Belgian Beers. A healthy pop on opening, a good sign. The body is an orange, hazy affair with an above average rocky white head with good lace. Retention slightly above average too. Nose offers a very attractive light spice, and some alcoholic sweetness. The initial tastes do much the same, but the sweetness is greater in the mouth than the nose might suggest. Champagne feel on the larger gulps, but with a lower carbonation than that might suggest. More...

Abbaye des Rocs Spéciale Noel

33 cl bottle. Finest Belgian Beers. Lot L2006 02369 26/10/2022 Turbid brown, murky Duddel like pour, with a decent but poorly maintained head. Nose offers a few, light fruit, and bitter notes. Something similar breaks across the plate early. This smooths out over the course of the bottle, and really becomes quite sweet. If one concentrates it is possible to pick out a touch of nutmeg, and little prickly carbonation, and some deeper plum like fruit, but this is one of the those odd times when...

Leffe Rituel 9°

Leffe gets plenty of abuse from plenty of beer snobs, but if those folks are being honest, it’s really hard to knock the appearance of almost any of their offerings. Rituel 9° is no exception, and it looks resplendent in the Leffe glass. A beautifully clear, deep golden colored body sits underneath a white head that’s better than average, and that leaves good lace. It's also decently persistent. Pretty. There's a lot of deep-seated, estery fruit in the nose, coupled with a touch of alcohol....

Black Tuesday
Aged In Red Wine Barrels

12.7 fl oz bottle from Tavour. I believe it was $21.99. It’s not a very attractive pour. Now, you can say, “Well, what were you expecting?”, and there would be some validity to your criticize of my comment , but that doesn’t make my statement any less correct. No head (of course at this ABV), and there’s a turbid, reddish brown hue to the beer. Light doesn’t penetrate much, but the brownish-red nature is more obvious in better light. Nose is not a great deal more than a massive amount of sweet...

Logsdon Two Rivers Noir

I love several Logsdon beers, I generally enjoy a wine influenced beer, and farmhouse funk is certainly part of my ‘favorite style’ profile. All good, things seem set fair here, then … or is it? Head is that of a soda. Fizzy but disappeared entirely almost instantly. Slightly cloudy, raspberry colored body. Large cheese funk on the nose, but that’s not carried forward much to the tastes. This is way too fruit forward for me. When look at the blend it is essentially 75% fruit beer, and it...

Leffe Biere d’Hiver (Winter)

This is one of the prettiest beers that I've seen in a while. A truly deep red-brown pour, with a great head and some fantastic lace. Bone white layers are left behind in the glass. Unfortunately, the look is the high-water mark for it. The beer drinks very light, considering the style and the look. That's both a good and a bad thing. It makes the beer drinkable and easy, but TBH it really lacks the depth that it should have, and that either style (see below) demands. Plenty of caramel, plenty...

Gouden Carolus ULTRA (UL. TRA)

It's hard to get my head around a Gouden Carolus beer like this one. This is true even for a person like me who LOVES lower ABV beers. So far removed from their (normal) lane. A light yellow pour with good head, lace, and some haze greets the eye. Simple nose with plenty of grain notes - bready - but a really solid bitterness about the taste profile. Plenty of sweet malts too, and a dry bitterness returns to finish out the beer. In fact in finishes extraordinarily dry in fact. Yeasty wheat,...

Leffe Tripel

Another beer that I enjoy, but also one that many purists frown upon. Is it a classic Tripel? Some would say no, and perhaps prefer to categorize this a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but for me it has enough Tripel character to carry the beer through, and to keep it relatively stylistically true. Hazed, golden color pour. Nice, lively head. Sweet, candy esters meet the nose, and intensify in the early sips. Paradoxically light, but still with a gentle element of cloying. I know that sounds...

Leffe Radieuse

18/03/22 43 08.03 Leffe is much maligned. I've always liked/enjoyed/loved their beer. Partly nostalgia? Sure. But I simply don't drink beer that I don't enjoy, so shoot me! Radieuse is a pretty beer. A beautifully clear, red-chestnut body with an acceptable, if not great head. Nose offers a ton of malt, and this comes through in the initial tastes. The alcohol blends beautifully with the malt and creates a rich, but highly, highly drinkable beer. A touch of solvent (which is OK), the beer...

Chimay Blonde 150 (Green)

Here we go with the much anticipated, already a little vaunted, Chimay Green. Shipped into the USA from Belgian Shop. With transit cost, the six bottles were approx. $10 a piece. An absolute steal at that price. The usual Chimay presentation, but with the forest green coloring and the '150' wreath moniker. Light golden, slightly hazed pour with a superb, generous, pillowed, dense white, pitted head. Great retention. Chimay glass does its job with a constant flow of carbonation rising from the...

Andechser Vollbier Hell

Jungle Jim's, Cincinnati, June 2021. A classic. Light golden, sparkling body with utter clarity. Great, wispy, massive head, but because of the wispy nature it collapses quite quickly. I wonder if the head is different on draft? Nose and tastes give the requisite bread and maltiness. There's a sweetness about the beer (and indeed the style), that I have to be in the mood for, and occasionally touches on an adjunct, euro lager cloying nature. It never really gets there, but there's a fine line....

BIRD-DAY Volume II

Second in the 25th anniversary series. Collaboration with Gigantic. I do like a Mezcal barrel. I've come to learn that. Tangerine colored pour (appropriately enough) with a modest white head. Retention a little below average. Nose and tastes do exactly what is says on the tin. Medium tangerine notes build from the beginning and break across the tongue. The citrus element has a nice sweetness to it. Orange continues to ramp up down the glass. Salty notes accompany the very, very, very light...

The Dissident (2019 Reserve)

2019 Reserve. Bottled 7/17/2019. Don't know if I remembering correctly but I thought this used to come in 750 mL bottles. Anyway ... 500 mL, deep, antique red colored wax. Capped. Bright looking orange brown pour which creates a decent, if light head with an aggressive pour. Some film remains, with a little lacing. As good, if not better than expected given the style. Plenty of oaky, musty acidity in the nose. Puckering, tight acid hits early, but paradoxically backs off but then lingers and...

Simplex

BO7T15 FEB18 EXP: 22/02/2020 Older, 33cl bottle that came from Jungle Jim's, Cincinnati, OH, USA, in June 2021. Hazed, golden pour with a modest, 1/4 inch white head. Lacing not bad. Label states, "This is not a Pils", presumably because the brewers think you might associate it with that style. I could see from the bitterness maybe, but this is way too full in the mouth, soft and round to ever be mistaken for a Noble-hopped Pilsner. Nose has some simple yeasts. The initial taste are quite...

20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

2016 Encore 20th Anniversary re-release, sadly not the original. $13.90 from Beer Lime & Sunshine, Pittsburgh, PA. Solid orange/tan pour with large head that recedes. Some lace, decent surface head retention. A little malty oxidation in the nose, along with some muted orange. Tastes reflect the nose with a surprising drying finish and more alcohol than the aroma suggests. A little cardboard oxidation, at 5 years old this feels past its best. Drinks fine, dryness continues and alcohol helps...

Fantôme Vertignasse

Additional notes: 10/02/2022 In late 2021 I found a few of the older (presumably 2017) vintage bottles languishing at Little Five Bottle Shop in Athens, GA, and although I knew I was taking a huge gamble I went for it anyway. A mistake (usurpingly), as they had all gone completely after 4 years of sitting around, and resembled a murky algae pons and were completely undrinkable. Fast forward to a new shipment that recently came to the USA, these notes are associated with lot ac 6 21 best before...

Chubby Bunny

Side Project #29. The pour offers a nice, two-finger head followed by a thin ring of foam on the outer extremities, a little lace, and a proverbial jet black body in the ATL Spring sun. Aroma is a dark chocolate one rather than a milk chocolate one, and when it comes to the tastes, the bitterness of that cocoa breaks over the tongue nicely. Less sweet than some milk stouts, it constantly feels like a bitter dark chocolate has been used. Advertised as a S'mores imperial milk stout, I get a more...

Improved Old Fashioned

Plain and simply? It's ugly. The classic, muddy brown dirty dishwater Dubbel. I mean, it does generate some head, and for a beer of this ABV that's no mean feat, so a little credit where credit is due, but that color ... Botanicals and whisk(e)y aromas dominate the nose, with a similar mix coming through in the initial tastes. Alcohol is warming, but for me it was very short on the back end. Lots of licorice and aniseed. Some bitter warming whiskey. A lemony finish, a little orange and final...

Beer To Drink Music To

Bright copper body with a wispy, white head. Looks great. Nose has good levels of clean orange that reflects the color. Light viscosity and alcohol are certainly present and forceful. The beer seems a little clean and bitter for a real Tripel. Yeast is not a big presence and it feels a little imperial pils like. A little noble bitterness. Increasing spice pushes through the bitterness. Some white pepper notes that are more authentic for actripel keep on keeping on. I like it, even if the yeast...

Ommegang Soothsayer

Re-branded Art of Darkness? Not much excites me in the beer world these days, but a new Ommegang beer is always something that has the potential to do so. Strong Belgian Dark makes it even better, and I’m anticipating much joy. The pour into the Ommegang chalice is as expected, and after a mild pop on opening, the body is a dark, dark almost black brown, and a huge, pitted, mocha colored head. It looks fantastic. Some lacing too. Nose and tastes deliver exactly what one would expect. Dark...

Sonnet

Southern Tier is a real Jekyll and Hyde brewery for me, with a range of beers that I have simultaneously enjoyed (Creme Brulee and Krampus), hated (Imperial Cherry Saison) and felt largely indifferent about (Phin & Matt's and 2XIPA). As such, I tend to be ambivalent toward them, and with so much beer available to me these days they are a brewer that has gone from a regular in the rotation to an almost forgotten player for me. It would appear that they have a slightly new look for this...

Seeing Double IPA

I've known this beer for many, many years and usually I've enjoyed it immensely, but this is the first time I've had it in the bottle and seems like a very different experience than all of my previous draught encounters. The color looks fine, but there are a HUGE amount of yeasties in the pour. Bottle-conditioned in the extreme, apparently! Really nice, mid-golden color once the beer clears and I can actually see what's going on. A nice sized head and some very good lace and retention when...

Weisse Weisse Baby

$9.99 for the 750 mL from Growlers, HHI, SC, USA. Bottled 03/29/13. Well this beer has been a long time coming. A few years ago, a few months before Westbrook had even opened, I had the pleasure of meeting Ed Westbrook at a party held in Charleston (thanks Brian Z.). Ed brought two beers with him that he was piloting for the new brewery. One I forget (perhaps a Strong Belgian Dark), but the the Berliner Weisse I did not. It was astonishingly good. I was thinking that WWB might be an...

RU-55

Chestnut brown pour with a better than anticipated head on the aggressive pour. JesterKing classes this a 'Barrel Aged Sour Red'. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and aged on oak barrels. Some mid-level ethanoic acid on the nose amongst some organic wafts of hay. The initial tastes offer some barrel notes that I am not keen on and don't need. Luckily the light vinegar sourness is enough to counteract this fairly quickly, and even about a quarter of the way down the bottle, the barrel elements becomes...

Brewery Ommegang
XV Reserve Anniversary

$15.99 for the tin and the corked bottle. Love me some Ommegang, but even before I open the tin or the bottle I feel that the price here is unlikely to be kind in terms of value. We'll see. The corked and caged bottle opens with a modest pop and only a touch of gun-smoke. Pour is a dark chestnut brown that borders on black. There is a lovely mocha head that is deep and pitted, but it doesn't last long at all. A shame, since this was set up to be a real treat on the eye. The nose offers plenty...

Black Tuesday
The Bruery

Updated notes Original notes 03/06/2013 The back story to me acquiring this beer is interesting. When it first came out, I was still very active on beeradvocate. At the time, I remember doing my usual, 'this is bullshit' type rant about limited release beer and the ridiculous hype associated with it. I then received a 'beermail' from another BA, offering to send me a bottle for nothing. I gladly accepted, and a week or so later, there it was. I of course reciprocated with a big box in return....

Yule Shoot Your Eye Out
(Seasonal Ale)

Huge shout-out to @lnashsig for the chance to crack this one. Looking forward to it immensely. Pour is a dark brown/black affair with two fingers of mocha, wispy and bubbled head. Brewed with cocoa nibs and spices. Nose offers some light acidity but not much of the spiciness that follows in the tastes. This beer is light on its feet, and offers plenty of the cocoa nibs that are advertised and some simpler, light spice notes too. Nothing dramatic or too heavy here, the beer offers some easy...

5 Golden Rings
The Bruery

Additional notes 08/08/2021 Aged bottle. Carbonation almost completely gone, and for this beer, that’s not good. Look, I’m not about to ding a beer for being this way after all of these years, but it’s a pretty important reminder to drink beer pretty much as soon as one can. Outside of the carbonation issue, this beer remains pretty true to the original notes. That’s all. Additional notes 12/22/2013 One year on and frankly, not much change. I was hoping for a slight tempering of the fruit and...

Unibroue 17
Grand Réserve

Bottled in 2011, No. 2011-100254, best before 12-12-2016. Parchment like label, information on the back describing the 2007 beer and the process it went through to become the 'Grand Reserve'. I've been (generally) a huge fan of the Unibroue anniversary series, and indeed enjoyed 17 very much, so even at $12.99 for the corked and caged 750 mL it was a no-brainer for me. A healthy pop on opening (good) is followed by a light chestnut, brownish pour. The carbonation is pretty good and gives a...

Brasserie La Botteresse
de Sur-Les-Bois Brune

This beer did something for me that happens pretty infrequently these days - it really WOWED me! One of the best beers I have tasted in quite some time, and a beer that for me, really took me back to some other classics. Spectacular pour that looks brooding with its big, dark chestnut body and creamy, mocha colored head. It's big and dangerous and looks like it! Lots of medicinal notes amongst the more typical Belgian Dark notes - in that respect, a little surprising. There's a touch of...

Rauch Geek Breakfast / Beer Geek Bacon

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 bitter for me and this beer frankly lacks the charm and subtlety of many other smoked beers. Frankly i was disappointed. Not up to speed for...

Rosey Nosey

Lighter than expected amber color with a head and lace combo which is sufficient to keep me happily engaged. Medium (appropriate) carbonation. The nose is where the special nature of this beer start to manifest themselves. Rich caramel, biscuit malts combine to reveal a classic, English malt and mid-hop character brew. Slight dry finish that one would expect completes the package with a touch of soapy bitterness in the aftertaste. Don't think of this as a Winter Warmer and you'll be happier....

Special Reserve Wisconsin Scottish Ale

As others have mentioned, there is no mention of "Special Reserve" on the label here, so I am assuming this is the correct beer. 12 oz bottle, thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this beer. Mid-amber pour with a nice clarity. Head is reserved, but appropriate. The nose is really rather strong with plenty of sherry liquor notes which get me rather excited.The aroma promises a richness. The taste don't really match the virility of the aroma. There is certainly a huge malty, sweet,...

Gnomegang

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, lightly phenolic pineapple barrage that does not let up. The tastes follow that lead with plenty of...

30th Anniversary – Jack & Ken’s Ale

OK, a 'Black Barleywine' brewed by an American brewery is frankly unlikely to be a beer that I fall in love with, so for that reason I decided to sit on this one for a while. I've had it since it first came to Georgia, so a decent amount of time on it now. Opening corked & caged affair gives a pretty alarming pop with some good gun smoke. A really dark chestnut colored pour that reminds me of the most mature conkers that I had as a kid. A thin, creamy film/cap forms on the beer as things...

Bashah

12 oz bottle. Batch 352 which I think says 12/19/10 as the bottled on date, but I bought this way before that so that cannot be correct. My suspicion is that is a best before date. Anyway... Black pour with some brownish highlights. Not much head, very little lace, but it settles to give a spotty, creamy film on the surface. Nose offers plenty of hop character, and it is typically aggressive for the style and the two breweries involved. That carries forward to the taste where the hops could be...

Steelhead Extra Pale Ale

12 oz stubbie bottle. Blue label that is different to the picture in the BA db. As a single form Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pour is a tad disappointing as the beer sits somewhat lifeless with a classic macro look - no head, no retention, no lace and a golden body. Color is fine, carbonation is not. Head is particularly disappointing to me. Nose and tastes give a distinct vegetal sweetness and a malty experience that feels musty and old. No date on the bottle that I can see, so who knows?...

Mission St. Hefeweizen

22 oz bottle from the Trader Joe's cheap and cheerful line. I have had some really good success with some of these budget brews, but there have also been one or two stinkers so it's always an adventure - let's see what we have here. The beer goes into the 500 mL Tucher Weizen glass. It's color is definitely out of the ordinary for the style. It's deep, orangey copper which is a long way away from a typical, lemony yellow body. The head is good initially, and to be fair doesn't fade as badly as...

Ovila

Corked & caged bottle with an unusual shape around the neck. Opens with a fearful pop with a button mushroom like cork - I suggest great care opening this one, but to be honest I would rather have it that way than without sufficient carbonation. Nice gun smoke. Attractive reddish brown hue which seems less muddy than the usual Dubbel appearance which is a bonus. Having said that beer is a dreadfully disappointing head and it fades horribly. No lace, no retention - shame. Light, alcoholic...

Hop Ruiter

So I've been eying this 750 mL bottle in the store for some time and assumed (from afar) that it would be a Belgian IPA (considering the name), but was a little surprised to see it in the BA db as simply a BSPA. Additionally it was reviewed in this months BA magazine and was given the moniker 'Belgian Strong Golden Ale'! Seems like the beer has a identity crisis. Either way I'm pretty confident that I know what this beer will taste LIKE, it really depends to what degree that the white pepper,...

Capricho Oscuro – Batch 2

12 oz bottle, many thanks go out to Steve for the chance to try this one. On the neck label the Batch # (2), and the bottle count (205/450) are noted. Pour is a dark, chestnut brown with quite a lot of sediment, a lovely rich, coffee colored head, some which brings with it some decent retention and lace. Big 'ole which malty notes with some sherry and alcohol. Tastes reflect that, but come in with a bit more subtlety. The sherry and alcohol notes are reflected early, but then we get more...

Querkus Smoked Oaked Porter

The presentation of this beer certainly makes one think that this could be a Scandinavian beer - something about the name and the label. Had no idea this was a Ridgeway beer until I looked at the label very carefully. A really pretty color on the pour with plenty of ruby red highlights throughout the beer. Conservative head but still gives decent retention and some nice lace. However, the color is the star in the appearance; quite exquisite. Nose and tastes give a mild smokiness that permeates...

Sanctification

375 mL bottle courtesy of Ross - many thanks. Batch 005. Chilled this off perfectly and the medium pop on opening the corked & caged bottle produces some nice gun smoke. The head 'fizzes' up initially but of course it does not last and there is not much lace or retention. A very thin film of bubbles sit atop the beer. The color is REALLY memorable. A very, very distinct lemon colored, yellow body. Super bright in terms of the hue and a stand out feature of the brew. The nose is fresh and...

Shark Attack Double Red Ale

22 oz bottle, Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. Very typical for the style, a cloudy and turbid brown soup like affair with some big, rocky, pitted, off-white head and lace. Retention is not great. It's a bit of an ugly looking beer for me. Nose and tastes deliver typical big, hoppy alcohol notes, and there is the requisite dry finish. Strangely, the alcohol is fairly well hidden during the drink, but in the aftertaste and at the end the beer packs its' full punch. The combination...

Jai Alai IPA – Papaya

750 mL bottle as part of a care package from Joey at the brewery. Many thanks. Nothing on the label to suggest that this beer has Jai Alai as the base, but reading the reviews it apparently does. The label is attractive and it suggests a fruity, rich experience is in store - that doesn't really happen for me. Pour is a VERY attractive deep copper color with a high, fluffy head. The color is very rich and reminds me of one of those high def photographs that has that orange hue. The beer looks...

Midnight Special India-Style Black Ale

So, I had heard about the new limited, special series that Glenn at Jailhouse was going to release and this one popped up at Green's on Buford yesterday. $8.99 for the large (bomber like) bottle. Part of the new, Solitary Confinement Series; Cool! Not sure that I understand the label with the train bearing down on the convict in his bed, but, hey...whatever! The pour is a very rich looking, dense, totally black affair that pours with a real, 'gloop, gloop' noise as it comes out of the bottle....

North Peak Siren Amber

12 oz stubbie bottle as depicted in the BA db, thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this one. Pour produces some nice sticky, white lace on top of a slightly murky, brown body. Not really very interesting to look at but at the same time the head is decent, produces some nice lace and is somewhat well retained. Nose offers little other than some sweet malts. The tastes are fairly ordinary with a few hoppy hints amongst the fairly dry, average malt base. Drinks easily and has good...

Organic Honeydew

500 mL bottle as depicted in the BA database. $3.99 from Green's on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pour is an impressive, bright golden color with some lovely clarity, good carbonation, a nice, tight white head with some good retention and lace. Attractive no doubt with some great depth of orange color in the golden hue. Nice. The nose offers a little breadiness amongst the sweet malts and a a hint of toasty grains. Tastes give more of the toasty grain character and a honey elements that is more on...

Irish Style Stout

12 oz stubbie bottle as per the usual Sprecher presentation. Thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this beer. The bottom line with Sprecher is that they produce some great examples of simple styles, that are generally under-appreciated outside of their immediate locale, and by America geeks in general. Simple black body with a modest head. The thing I like about both the nose and taste associated with this beer is that they both represent a VERY light, balanced profile that sits in a...

King Goblin

Single 500 mL bottle from Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA , USA. Superb color on the pour, giving a beautiful, garnet clarity that I seldom see these days. Color is deep and present. Head is to be frank, a little disappointing. Small, not well retained although the lace defies he lack of retention. Nose and tastes give up a classic biscuit malt and a light touch which defines the style (at least in the bottle). Some hoppy notes are added to the alcohol which produce a nice balance of drying...

New Holland Night Tripper

22 oz bottle from Brawley's, Charlotte, NC, USA. Light foil on the neck of the bottle. New Holland is one of the few brewers that get to NC but not to GA, so I generally pick up something from them every time I'm up in NC. Inky black pour with a modest head. Some nice, then mocha film sit atop the black body. Carbonation is reserved but entirely appropriate. Nose and tastes give a fairly significant sweet effect. Some alcohol and lots of dry chocolate in the finish. A little warmth but...

Stone Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine

22 oz bottle from The Beer Dispensary, Apex, NC, USA. I approach this beer with a mix of trepidation, excitement and interest since I feel that it is likely to bring together two elements of beer that are usually at opposite ends of the enjoyment spectrum for , namely Belgian yeast and character at one end (the good), and aggressive, hoppy, high ABV American Barleywines at the other (the bad) - it promises to be quite the experience. The pour is a VERY attractive, bright dark copper with some...

Mongo

22 oz bottle. $7.99 from Ansley Wine Merchants, Atlanta, GA, USA. Heard a lot of buzz about this beer in the last couple of weeks as LA/Port has recently made it to GA. For some reason (not sure why) I was under the impression that this was going to be largely a draught offering, so I was a little surprised to find it in bottles. Pour is an attractive hazy marmalade color with a large, three finger head but doesn't quite give the magnificent and sticky lace that such a good head should bring,...

Imperial Stout

2011 vintage, as a gift from Mike at Duckworth's. Most generous, many thanks. 22 oz bottle with some really thick gold wax on top. Ding and the wax go to battle for a few minutes before I manage to prise the cap off. Wax seal like affair has 2011 embossed into the wax. Pour is the requisite black, inky body, but with a very well retained head and some nice, cappuccino, sticky mocha colored lace. The mouthfeel is pretty silky without being remotely cloying at all. Very smooth even considering...

Presque Isle Pilsner

12 oz single thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this one. Extremely pale color on the pour with a touch of haziness about it - not good for a Pils. Carbonation seems low for the style too. Weak vegetal notes, some dubious notes int eh nose and some funny dry bitterness in the finish. Not a clean beer and it lacks all kinds of attributes that a solid Pils should have. Perhaps better fresher and closer tot he source, but I'm not convinced of that and I'm not holding my breath.

Berghoff Rock River Red Ale

12 oz single thanks to Kevin for the chance to try this. What is this?? Expecting an Amber/Red of *some* description I get a honey-colored, slightly hazy beer that, apart from the big, fluffy head, appears to be a macro color. The nose and tastes are SUPER sweet and grainy. I mean SWEET, even by my standards that can usually tolerate a lot of sweetness. There's a corny maltiness about the beer too. Metallic features amongst the vegetal notes. Some alcohol. Strange, and if this is an Amber/Red...

Wipeout I.P.A.

Review #2600 on BA. On tap at Taco Mac, East West Connector, Austell, Atlanta, GA, USA. 16 oz pour. The beer comes as a hazed, mid-orange pour with the emphasis on the cloudy nature of the beer. Quite 'dense' looking which is OK for the nice, two-finger head that forms, but less appealing in the body of the beer. Typical, west coast, American IPA is the simple analysis here; large, piney, resinous grapefruit in the nose which intensifies on warming. More of the same in the tastes with perhaps...

Cascade Kriek Ale

750 mL, corked & caged from Brawley's, Charlotte, NC. 2009 vintage, $19.99. No hint of a pop on opening. Pour gives some more head than I was expecting but no lace and only a thin film is left behind after a couple of minutes. The body is a light, chestnut brown color and lacks much hint of red that a few others seem to have mentioned. Nose gives plenty of sinus clearing, fruity acidity - as expected. Tastes reflect the nose but with a touch more aggression and more residual drying effects...

Angry Angel Kolsch

12 oz single from The Beer Dispensary, Apex, NC, USA. Kolsch? Nope. Pour gives a cloudy, mid orange body with a large, frothy, fluffy off-white head that leaves some sticky lace. The nose instantly gives a fairly significant blast of hops, and the tastes replicate some of the hop bitterness too. Also present is a large malt backbone which holds the whole thing together. Aftertaste is quite dry. In a blind taste taste I would put this down as being an old, American IPA. It fails the 'look' test...

Le Terroir

22 oz bottle. Pour is a rich, golden color with good clarity but a few hints of hazy cloud. Head forms quickly, is small, light and fluffy and fades to yield no more than a thin film and next to no lace. Nose is interesting. As well as the tart acidity that one is expecting, there is also a fleeting whiff/hintof the green-feel hops. However, this slips away quickly to give way to the acidity in the blink of an eye. The tastes mirror the nose with the apple acidity barging past a minor hop kiss...

Urthel Saisonnière

11.2 oz bottle. Surprised to see this at The Beer Dispensary in Apex, NC, USA. Not an Urthel beer that I have ever seen in the US before. Pour gives a pretty standard, honeyed, hazed, lemon color with a nice creamy white foam on top. Some nice lace as the beer sits in the Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs goblet. A significant, sweet earthiness permeates the nose of this beer right from the get go. Organic feel about the beer. In typical Urthel fashion the tastes are a little reminiscent of a...

Lagunitas Bavarian-Styled
Doppel Weizen

$3.99 for the 22 oz bottle which itself suggests that this might be a good value beer. Typical numbers for the Lagunitas series of bombers. Murky, honey colored pour with a semi-decent head. The nose and the tastes give up some of the banana notes that one might expect, but you have to concentrate a little to detect them. They are not as strong as many others beers in the style. The murky appearance of the beer is replicated in the mouthfeel which is syrupy and viscous. Not really a huge...

Sweetwater Dank Tank Mean Joe Bean

22 oz bottle in the usual Dank Tank presentation this time with a brown and yellow motif. The pour is basically black with a few brownish highlights at the extreme edges. Head is quite small and lacks any retention or lace, a little disappointing. Nose has a surprisingly lack of coffee element and is mainly dominated by a malty, alcohol note. The mouthfeel is very light which I suppose could be taken one of two ways. Either the beer is very drinkable and easy, or it lacks presence for a beer...

Headwaters Pale Ale

12 oz single from Ale Yeah, Decatur, Atlanta, GA, USA. Relatively new entrant to the Atlanta market. Th e pour gives a clear, copper colored body with a one finger head. Head is unfortunately poorly retained and there is virtually no lace. Color is pretty though. I'm very surprised at the hoppy nature of the nose. It's quite striking under any circumstances, and considering the style that is even more amazing. The tastes also give up some of that hoppy element, but it's not quite as strong as...

Bink Grand Cru

750 mL bottle with a synthetic 'cork', silver foil and cage with black cap. Cork is wedged in pretty tight, it is a pain to open. Also, the lack of 'pop' and lack of gun-smoke is a little disappointing. In anything other than bright light, the beer looks black. In stronger light the body is seen to be a shade or two lower getting into the very, very dark brown region with even a few red notes/highlights in the extremities. Aggressive pour was required (at least by me, since I am a fan of...

Bell’s Oarsman

12 oz single from Ale Yeah, Decatur, Atlanta, GA, USA. A very pale, hazy yellow pour with a pretty small head and little retention or lace. Nose and tastes are citrusy and light, but lack any depth for me. It's not complex and beers of this ABV CAN BE! There are a few light (relative) sour notes. It seems to me that Bell's are getting away with a little something here. They are filling a gap in the US market, but they are doing it with a beer that's not very good. However, the gap in the...

Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche

The usual Schlenkerla bottle shape, purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta, GA, USA. The pour is a particularly attractive, gold color with a moderate, white head. It looks really nice in terms of the color, but I would much prefer a bigger and better retained head. It lacks a little in that department, but the color is really superb. Very nice carbonation. The nose delivers the usual Schlenkerla bacon smoke, but it seems more complex and layered than some of the other Schlenkerla beers....

Minhas 1845 Pilsner

12 oz bottle courtesy of Kevin. The pour delivers a color that is darker and more orange than I would like to see from a Pils. It has a slightly hazed, copper tone and doesn't give a very clean appearance. The head is a quick, one finger affair but it disappears very swiftly. No lace. Nose and tastes are at first watery and grainy, and then cut in with a huge dollop of sweetness. The sugar seems very artificial and quite chemical in its nature. The lack of body continually repeats itself....

Schell’s Pilsner

12 oz single - thanks to Kevin for the chance to try this one. Pour is a very odd color. It has a watery pale look, but also has a slightly bizarre hazed, wheat-like look. The head is not really of any consequence and there is a thin film of froth on the surface. No lace. The color is very disturbing to me - it looks both washed out and cloudy. Strange. Nose has some dry, grainy alcohol and a little degree of sweet malt. There is a hint of bitterness that permeates the beer (good), but it also...

Old Slugger

12 oz single, thanks go out to Rob for the chance to try this. This is a beer with some presence. I like it a lot. The pour looks substantial with a heavy, copper colored body and some really nice, thick white head. Nose and tastes deliver some substantial, malts that are nicely complimented with a decent splash of bitterness. The hop profile is noticeable and definitely brings a presence that is unusual for the style, AND gives more punch than a beer with this kind of ABV would be expected to...

Saranac Amber Wheat

12 oz bottle as a single from Kevin. Thanks mate. The beer pours with a lovely, dark golden color with a decent white head that leaves a little lace. There is a touch of haze to the beer which seems appropriate for the style. Nose offers very little outside of some weak malts and a little grain. Tastes are quite dry with a short finish. Plenty of pale malts with the faintest kiss of hop bitterness in the final flourish. More dryness in the aftertaste. The malts have a little biscuit nature...

Saranac Helles

12 oz single courtesy of Kevin. A good clean, bright (appropriate) pour with a head head that is not especially well retained or leads to much lace. Carbonation is good amidst the golden, clear body. Some light, peppery spice on the aroma and tastes that also lend a degree of bitterness. Sharp and clean, the beer gives away its sharp roots with a combination of dry, stinging bitterness. This is by no means the harshest of the style I have had, not does it deliver the real sting of solid Saaz...

Berghoff Prairie Lager

12 oz single, from Kevin - many thanks. Oh dear, this is not very good at ALL! I like the label and the general appearance of the bottle, it's a shame that this is by far the best aspect of this particular beer! Should i eat the label instead of drinking the beer? To be fair the beer does pour with a Pilsener appearance in terms of color, carbonation and clarity, but the head is woeful and the lace non-existent. The tastes and nose are INCREDIBLY sweet, even for my sweet tooth and obviously...

Hopalicious

Many thanks go out to Kevin for the opportunity to sample this beer. 12 oz single. At first glance, from the general appearance and more obviously from the name, it seemed to me as though this was going to be some huge, American DIPA that would be a real plate abuser. On closer inspection it reveals that the beer is not supposed to be that at all, and it's just a swell since it did not appear especially hoppy at all. In fact, the name was somewhat ironic in both the respect that it was not...

Lakemaid

12 oz single from Kevin, thanks mate. Pour offers a slightly hazed yellow body and an aggressive dispensing yields a pretty decent head if truth be told. Obviously little retention and/or lace, but not bad considering everything. Nose and tastes do no more than a beer of this style and nature should. A sweet, grainy, vegetal note with limited bitterness and weak malts. Mouthfeel is average for the style and the beer delivers a thoroughly underwhelming experience pretty much across the board....

Heavy Seas – Siren Noire Imperial Chocolate Stout

I believe that the latest batch of Siren Noire (late 2010/early2011) came out a few weeks ago, but this review is from a bottle that is just over 12 months old. 22 oz presentation in the usual, Heavy Seas Mutiny series bottle. I have been generally VERY disappointed with the Heavy Seas range of Mutiny beers over the last couple of years so i have had my expectations lowered considerably. Pour is a requisite dark brown, but fails to reach strong levels of black at any point in the glass. Quite...

Buckeye Beer

12 oz single courtesy of Kevin. For a beer that has a Czech Pils moniker, it has a heck of a lot of adjunct lager character! Head retention is pretty weak and the beer delivers a nose that is chocked full of vegetal sweetness. The aroma characteristics are somewhat 'bothersomely' repeated in the tastes and frankly they do not improve much. The nagging sweetness replaces what should be a dry, clean, bitter Saaz bite in the finish, and the beer generally under performs horribly for the style,...

Saranac Rye Pilsener

12 oz single, thanks to Kevin for the chance to try this. Rye beers (of any description) are not really my thing so I approach this with a degree of trepidation. the beer pours as a totally clear, golden straw color with a small, white head. Carbonation is decent and leaves a touch of lace. With the combo of pale malts and, hops and rye, the beer does deliver a clean-cut edge with a degree of bitterness up front. However, this beer is not really deep. Finish is short and dry (good), but lacks...

Fighting Billy Bock

12 oz single, many thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this beer. Pour is an encouraging, reddish brown affair with some nice clarity and good, attractive highlights when the light catches it correctly. The head is a little small, quite poorly retained and lacks much lace, so the good work provided by the color is unfortunately undone almost immediately. Shame. The carbonation seems a touch low. A malty beer with fairly simple caramel and sweet characteristics without getting...

Point Classic Amber

12 oz single, many thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this. Pour offers a strangely red tinge to the beer with plenty of white head. The color goes beyond amber and to another level. Nose offers little, but the tastes do deliver a touch more that I was expecting. Some light acidity on the malts and a light dry character that no-one is calling 'hoppy', but on the other hand does deliver a certain non-sweet note. Ordinary? Sure, but a beer that doesn't leave me unhappy, if at the same...

Grand Cru

22 oz bottle with the usual, Great Divide presentation. Red foil on this one. Dark copper, garnet colored body with good clarity and a small, off-white head. In the Chimay chalice the beer leaves some decent lace and a thin, creamy spotty head on the surface of the beer. The nose is where things get interesting to say the least. There is some sweetness that I was expecting, but there is also a dose of some hop character. The tastes are also pretty odd. There's a lot of sweetness, but not...

Terrapin TomFoolery

22 oz bottle, $7.99, #14 in the Side Project series. I'm immediately put on the defensive by the idea of a 'Black Saison'; as a traditionalist and a person that really loves a great Saison this doesn't really fill me with a lot of inspiration or hope. Jet black body with a small, creamy head. Some nice lemony, citrus notes in the nose, and a simple replication in the tastes. Some nice, sharp orange peel and a few light spices and white pepper in there too. Very, very minimal roastiness (which...

Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pour is a nice looking one, with all the requisite attributes for the style, plus some really nice alcohol legs. Head and lace are not amazing, but solid. Nose is pretty strong, but mainly in alcohol and little else. Usually that's not a good sign but this particular aroma sits OK with me. Very light in the mouth which adds to the drinkability. The beer is a collection of maltiness wrapped inside more alcohol. Obviously some roastiness but very...

Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale

===Updated Review 04/11=== This bottle straight from the brewery thanks to Joey. 1000x better. No infection issues here. A lovely, deep brown color with some decent head and retention. Not much lace, but still looks nice. Decent depth on the color too with some nice red hues coming through. A nice, smooth nuttiness permeates the whole experience and leaves that lingering malty character that one really wants with a brown ale. Carbonation does feel a little prickly which detracts from a...

Infinium

Elaborate bottle that I acquired for the somewhat bargain basement price of $16.99. Delighted to get it for that kind of money since there seems to have been a very mixed reception for this beer. Poured into the champagne flute, the appearance lives up the style with a hazed, darker than one might expect, peachy, golden body and a hugely effervescent head. The nose offers a dry, acidic alcohol aroma that is promising. The tastes on the other hand are nowhere near as dry as I was expecting, and...

Ubu Ale

I had a few of these fro the first time back in the Summer of 2010, but this review is from a 12 oz bottle. Pour is a dark brown with blackish, red highlights and a resplendent, high, mocha colored frothy head. Head retention and lace are both very good. An extremely solid, malty nose suggests depth, and a lot of it. Tastes don't quite deliver what the nose suggested, but still give a hearty malt based beer with some alcohol and a decent dose of bitterness. A tiny amount of oxidized, sweet...

Série Signature Kellerbier

750 mL corked & caged bottle. Opens with a decent pop. Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. Hazy, butterscotch orange pour with a splendid head. The head is very ice-cream like, and threatens to be almost solid. Thick white density with retention to match. Great looking beer. Nose gives a characteristic musty, rye note which is carried into the taste. The tastes give quite a bitter, peppery note that lacks the charm or fruitiness of a beer like a Saison, or the sweetness of a Tripel,...

Lips Of Faith Dunkel Weiss

22 oz bottle, the usual Lips of Faith series presentation from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pour gives a lovely black color (in poor light), but a more traditional brown based beer in better light. The head is tight, and mocha in color with a nice amount of retention and lace considering the ABV. The worry with the ABV of 9% is that the solvent alcohol may begin to take over the beer and rob it of its normal style characteristics. Fortunately it doesn't, and the beer delivers all of the...

Schell’s Bock

12 oz single, thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this one. Pour is a slightly reddish brown, with some good clarity, a smallish head that is not retained all that well and does not really give much lace. The nose and tastes combine to yield a very nice malty, alcohol flavor that is compact and fairly short without fuss. The beer is pretty light with a straightforward approach that delivers a bready finish and some simplicity and depth that is uncommon. Robust, perhaps a little nutty...

Fat Squirrel Ale

12 oz single, thanks to Kevin for the chance to try this one. Always delighted to try a New Glarus beer, and this is no exception. Pour provides a body that is quite clear and has a reddish-copper pour with a somewhat small head. Not much retention or lace. Good malty nose, but unfortunately the nose does not really translate into much depth in the taste. Quite honestly, it tastes really quite weak. This is disappointing to me because if this were a really good example of an English Brown Ale...

Saranac Pomegranate Wheat

12 oz single, many thanks to Kevin for the chance to try this one. Pour gives a peach colored body with some light, wispy head. Lace is minimal but nevertheless it is present. Nose offers some light, acidic fruit but little else, even on warming. Tastes are surprisingly neutral. I was expecting EITHER a blast of fruit, or a blast of wheat and in the end got neither! There is a little, light fruit acidity that the nose promises but it never gets significant and the wheat never manifests itself...

Berghoff Sundown Dark

12 oz single thanks go out to Kevin for the opportunity to try this beer. I do like the labeling and the presentation of the Berghoff beers, shame that's the best part of the beer. Color is a surprisingly dark body with a smallish head. Minimal retention, minimal lace. Carbonation seems better than average. Nose and tastes give a disappointingly watery feel. Some light malts but the beer is overall grainy and does not produce any significant taste. Ultimately it is a very sweet beer and it...

Improvisación Oatmeal Rye India-style Brown Ale

Given to me as a gift from a well-known bar owner. Many thanks. 750 mL capped bottle. Not really sure what a Oatmeal, Rye, India Brown Ale is, but... Opening produces a HUGE gusher - not a trivial amount of beer lost, in fact around one third of the total contents are lost on the kitchen counter. Makes me think 'infection' or a best 'over-carbonated', we'll see. The pour gives a frankly UGLY, chocolate brown color to the body that looks like viscous med - totally opaque. The head is obviously...

Jamaica Red Ale

12 oz bottle as a single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Different label than the one in the BA db. A slightly hazed, mid-brown pour sits underneath an off-white medium sized head and produces some better than average lace. Nose dives up some dry hop notes. Tastes are in line for the style and combine a decent hop and malt balance with the requisite dry finish. Aftertaste lingers to give some more residual hoppiness which is appropriate. Some mild alcohol burn in the back end and finish. The...