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Notes on beers served in the format

growler

El Lector

32 oz growler courtesy of Joey as part of a care package from the brewery. Beer pours a very cloudy, chocolate brown color with a very, very modest head. Lace is minimal. In stronger light the beer takes on more orange hues. Does look especially attractive, but having said that a great Mild is seldom a stunning looker, so there is a degree of authenticity about that! Nose is a very nutty affair - noticeably so in fact. Surprising. If this were a blind taste taste I would guess that this was a...

Boy King Double IPA

OK, here we go with the much vaunted Boy King from COAST. I got really lucky as my wife was in Hilton Head when the Boy King was tapped at The Lodge - one growler = $19. Growler opens with a pleasing "phhssst" which gives me confidence - you never know how well the growler was filled or how it will hold up over a couple of days. This one seems perfect. The nose up front is really quite strong with a hop-laden tangerine citrus coming to the fore. The aroma is pretty interesting because as the...

Harpoon Chocolate Stout

Many thanks to DrDogBeer for the chance to try this as part of 2009 Secret Santa. Shared at The Brick Store. Pour is a fairly standard, mid-chocolate brown color with a better than expected head. Retention and lace are OK, not great, but OK. Nose is deinitely the strongest aspect of this beer wih a great, truly rich chocolate aroma coming from the glass even without much agitation. Very strong - very nice. Frankly, after that, things go downhill quite a lot. The beer is a little acidic and...

Thrilla Vanilla

Thanks go out to Scott for bringing this one back from TN. Cheers Bud. The beer looks great. Large, off-white head with some serious red highlights and good density of color. Nose gives the vanilla as expected but quite reserved. Plenty of vanilla in the taste too and perhaps some smoke too. The degree of chocolate malt character is quite pronounced as well. That was surprising. Mellow, drinkable and a tasty brew. My first from this brewhouse and I am impressed; definitely want to explore this...

Sixpoint Express

22 oz bomber courtesy of Grant via Bierkraft. Must have been filled from a tap, so I guess this could be classified as a growler fill. The appearance is unusual for a Quad. It is very orange. Clouded body and a decent amount of head, lace and retention considering the ABV. A little light for a Quad. Nose and tastes are extremly fruity. Alcohol is conspicuous by it's relative absence in both the nose and tastes considering the whopping 11.3. The fruit is not easy to place, but it's definitely a...

Brooklyn Cuvee De Cardoz

64 oz growler sourced at Charleston Beer Exchange, Charleston, SC, USA. Pour is a very pale, slightly hazed macro lager, yellowish color. Looks like a slightly watered down Duvel and lacks the large, fluffy head and retention and lace that one would expect to find in that classic. Nose has a massive pear ester character. Absolutely HUGE! We still get the esters in the taste, but it is less pear based and more of a general alcoholic solvent. Some light, white pepper and spice, but not as large...

Gruffmeister 8

750 mL wine bottle bomber from Laura Alberts, Charleston, SC, USA. $7.50 for the mini-growler/bomber/wine bottle. Another of my favorite styles from another of my favorite brewers. Pour is a very distinct, clear golden body with a small amount of pure white head. Not much retention and a little lace. Smell is very boozy. Some nice malty notes too. Tastes reflect the nose. This drinks easily though, at least considering the presence of alcohol in the taste. To be honest I was getting nervous as...

Endless Summer Ale

64 oz growler from Bruisn' Ales. Thanks J & J. Opens with an encouraging release of gas with a loud "pphhtt"! Crystal clear, light golden pour with a very nice head. Some decent lace as well. Carbonation is on the high side, but completely in line with the style. Nose reveals a touch of grassy herbal hops. Tastes are quite bitter. Almost a Saaz like pils finish as well. Finishes dry and bitter too. This is a surprisingly bitter beer which is not necessarily a bad thing. It has more character...

Pliny The Younger

Well, it took a LONG time to get this; I've been admiring this beer from afar for several years and today I got the chance to finally try it. Huge thanks to Grant for the opportunity to crack this one as a shared growler with many of the usual suspects at The Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA. Pour is a typical mid-orange beer with a nice head and lace and some good clarity in the body. NOT perfectly clear, but still lacks much haze to speak of. Soapy lace created - a good sign. The nose is a...

32/50

Growler from Charleston Beer Exchange, Charleston, SC, USA, shared with a few at The Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA as part of the regular Friday afternoon informal tastings. Pour is a completely clear, paler than macro yellow body with a wispy, airy head. Great lace. Simple beer that falls beautifully into the style. Crisp, refreshing and lacks any kind of skunk. Refreshing with a mild dry bite in the finish. A number of the geeks at the pub didn't care for this; I say that their palates are...

Blackbeerd Imperial Stout

64 oz growler poured by Jaime herself at the brewery. Shared with the usual suspects at The Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA on a Friday afternoon. Pretty standard "black as night" pour with a small mocha colored head. Lace is small and settles to a bubbly surface. Aroma and taste come together to give a very distinct porter, black patent malt presence. I don't know what malts are used here, but that's what it tastes like! Body is definitely not a viscous as many of the style and for me this adds...

Abrasive Ale

Many thanks go out to Grant for the opportunity to try this one at one of the usual Friday afternoon Brick Store gatherings (NOT at the tasting on 1/10, the day before with about three or four of us present). 64 oz growler, one of the last from Surly. At the time of tasting this was still called, "16 Grit". Pour is a hazed, light copper/orange body with plenty of white, sticky lace. Nose is HUGE and is ALL tangerines, clementines, oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits. More "orangey" than...

Kuhnhenn DRIPA (Double Rice IPA)

Thanks to kp for sharing this one. Flat looking pour which lacks any hed to speak of and there is no retention or lace to speak of. Very light colored pour with a light, golden orange note. The nose is by FAR the most interesting element to this brew. As others noted at the tasting, there was a VERY distinct, rich and bright tangerine nose to this beer. Very pronounced almost to the point of me wodering if there was an orange essence added! After the nose we just get another American double...

Feast Of Fools

Delighted to get this in a recent trade with Brad007. Sparing the details, he went to a lot of trouble to get this to me so major thanks go out to him. Delighted to have the opportunity. Thanks man! 32 oz mini-growler. I like the smaller size. Slightly murky, dark brown pour with some reddish highlights. In better light it settles to be a brownish, cranberry color. Nice looking head but it is short lived and leaves no lace. A slightly pinkish tinge (perhaps that's just my imagination!) Faint...

Consecration

Thanks go out to Grant for sharing this one a The Brick Store yesterday afternoon. Right off the top those RR growlers are just superb to look at! For me, that's where the joy sort of ends. I think it is difficult to even consider the American Wild Ale style since I currently feel it is pretty ill-defined. So, as a result some may feel that this review is not fair because it is not considering the style but when (as I feel) the style is poorly defined, I think that it's OK to give an honest...

Chaotic Chemistry

Many thanks go out to Brad007 for the chance to try this one. The 32oz mini- growler is a great presentation. The first time I've seen it but I like the idea very much. Dirty brown, cloudy pour with a really good, ivory colored head. The lace (or rather lack of it) is a little disappointing but given the ABV I shouldn't be too upset! The nose is obviously VERY strong - it is certainly bourbon based, but closer inspection with the nostrils reveals some very serious brown sugar and molasses in...

Live Oak HefeWeizen

Many thanks go out to BA stopbarking for a chance to try this one. Half-gallon, well sealed, screw-top growler with the "Draught House Pub and Brewery" advertised on the clear glass in white lettering. From what I have read from the other reviews, this is because the brewery does not do growler fills so this beer has to be sourced at bars that do fill a growler. (As an aside, I WISH we had growler fills in GA). The appearance of the beer within the growler is frankly a little uninspiring. A...

Paddlers Organic Pale Ale

Took home a growler of this after trying a few at the brewpub. Pale Orange body with a slight chill haze type appearance. Head is high and gives amazingly good lace. VERY good looking. Nose and tastes are of that of an IPA rather than a Pale Ale. Very pronounced, typical vigorous hops in the nose and the taste. Bitter bite in the finish. Grassy and rustic to the core. Another beer from this brewpub athat feels really light in the mouth. VERY easy drinking, almost "summer quencher" like. Josh...

Pisgah Valdez

Thanks to Rustydiamond, via mikesgroove, for the chance to have a crack at this one. 64oz growler. Attractive design on the glass. Pour shows a great, jet black pour (as expected), but a rather too fizzy a head. Carbonation seems high for the style. Head dies quickly with almost no lace. Aroma IS exceptional - pure coffee, no more, no less. Tastes do not reflect the huge aroma. I guess I was expecting a big gulp of coffee, but instead I got a rather reserved, porter, mildly roasted flavor. The...

Portsmouth Kate The Great

Many thanks to Lance for sharing the Growler. Shared at The Brick Store with a few of the usual suspects. Poured into the tulip, the body is jet black with a nice mocha head. At first the aroma and taste are both simply solvent like - very strong alcohol, almost varnish like. The alcohol was all I got initially, and I described the finish as basically vodka-like. It was not a good start for me. However, this beer changed just about more than any other I have tasted as it warmed. And I don't...

Pliny The Elder

Thanks to zrrbrrt for the trade. Been waiting on this one for sometime, and he did me proud. 64 oz of pure hoppy pine! Light amber/orange color with absolute clarity with some light carbonation. A few bubbles but not much. Huge frothy head with some significant lacing. The lace is really sticky (that's one of the crucial things I look for in an American IPA), a nice looker. The aroma is one that is difficult to ignore. Huge resinous pine, organic hay, grass, hops and other sweet meadow like...

Masala Mama India Pale Ale

Thanks go out to feloniousmonk for the 64 oz growler. Mid-orange pour with an attractive head that fades a little but with better than average lacing. Initial tastes are very fruity - peachy, bubble gum, light floral notes, but this gives way to a quick double take. This first blow is a massive hop follow-up - well, fair enough I was expecting that, but then we get the finish and the aftertaste. It's all aspirin and it takes control of almost everything else. The aftertste lingers a long time...