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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Review of Southern Tier 2XIPA

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the 2XIPA produced by the Southern Tier Brewing Company located in Lakewood, New York.

I have never had this beer before, and as most know, Southern Tier is one of the best brewers on the east coast, so I’m really looking forward to tasting this brew.

Here’s the description from the company’s website, southerntierbrewing.com.

Not quite an imperial, but certainly not a standard India pale ale. Our double IPA is a hop lovers dream. Citrusy and clean with an incredible finish.

It’s now time to pour.

This brew has an ABV of 8.2% and it comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

The 2XIPA poured an extremely clear pale orange to golden color with a white, fluffy, frothy, rocky and soft looking head.  It was very well endowed with size, the retention time was more than suitable and the lacing held on to the sides of the glass for a good long while.

This beer was very aromatic.  Pungent floral notes that were both bright and clean.  A mixture of piny and grassy hops cleared my sinuses along with hints of citrus that were reminiscent of grapefruit, orange peel and maybe even a touch of lemon zest.  The citric characteristics were not quite as “loud” as I thought they might be for a Double IPA, but they were still easily noticed and made for a good showing.  As the brew warmed a bit I started to get a fragrance of white bread.  Overall, well balanced, even and delightful.

The taste brought forth a touch more of the grapefruit and orange citrus.  Like the aroma, the taste was very clean and bright with savors of grass and pine.  I found plenty to be happy about in regards to the hop bite, hop oils and bitterness.  Only a touch of the bready malt was distinguished making this brew very hop forward.  It was hard to believe at 8.2% ABV, but I found absolutely no trace of alcohol.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied, very dry, clean, crisp, snappy and smooth.  It was also quite refreshing and thirst quenching.  A good showing of flavor was left behind on the palate after each sip.

I think we have a very good beer here.  I was taking huge gulps of this thing.  I would have never guessed that the ABV was nearly as high as it was had I not looked on the website.  It kind of reminded me more of a Pale Ale as opposed to a Double IPA.  It wasn’t overblown or overpowering.  Just a good, all around, flavorful beer.  I definitely think it’s worth a try if you happen to run across it.  It would sit very well with a fresh and warm Spring day.  Again, just my opinion.  See for yourself and be sure to let me know what you think when you do sample it.

Thanks for reading and commenting folks.  I appreciate it.  Until next time.

Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A- 

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Country: USA, Southern Tier

 

Review of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Hi again guys.  I have a very special beer to share with you for today’s craft beer review.  I’m going to be trying the one, the only, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA produced by the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery located in Milton, Delaware.

This beer really needs no introduction, so I’m going to skip all of the small talk and jump right into the commercial description from the website, dogfish.com.

Too extreme to be called beer? 120 Minute is brewed to a colossal 45-degree plato, boiled for a full two hours while being continuously hopped with high-alpha American hops, then dry-hopped daily in the fermenter for a month and aged for another month on whole-leaf hops!
Clocking in between 15% ABV and 120 IBUs, 120 Minute is by far the biggest IPA ever brewed! It’s easy to see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads!
We brew 120 Minute IPA a few times a year, but it goes fast. If you find some grab a few bottles — some to enjoy and some to age.

You ready???  I am!!!


This brew comes in a 12 oz. bottle and, according to the website, clocks in at anywhere between 15-20% ABV with some going as high as 21%.

The 120 poured a slightly hazy, orange color with a barely off white head that was of pretty good size.  It was semi-smooth with both large and small bubbles.  The retention time was more than adequate and I was impressed by the amount of lacing that was left behind considering the higher than normal ABV.  A thin film remained on top of the liquid for the entire drink.  A ton of alcohol legs were imparted on the sides of the glass when tilted from front to back.  The beer started to clear significantly as it warmed to room temperature.  It looked very nice.

As to be expected, the nose delivered a tremendous amount of hops.  Tons of grapefruit, orange, peach and pineapple.  It was very floral and bright with heavy hints of pine.  Accents of alcohol, but not nearly as much as one would expect.  A redolence of sugars, breads and caramel were intermingled also, however there is no denying that the hops were the primary factor with the smell.

The taste reaffirmed the extreme amount of bitterness and hops.  Hops galore to tell the truth.  A tremendous amount of citric fruits dipped in alcohol.  Grapefruit, peach, pineapple and orange.  Rum like alcohol savors were much more prevalent in the taste than they were in the aroma, however they were infused so well that they never became distracting, bothersome or off putting.  The flavor was very sweet to say the least.  It had hints of candied sugars, pine and caramel along with a minute amount of breadiness to try and tame those hops, but to no avail.  This brew is not trying to hide ’em, it wanted to accentuate them. 

The mouthfeel was ….  wow!!!  Medium to full bodied with a gargantuan amount of heat radiating as it worked its way across the palate toward the throat, down the chest, and into the belly.  It completely scorched the front and sides of my tongue.  I loved it!!!  It was surprisingly smooth, sticky, chewy and gummy.  The flavor lasted long after each sip had passed.   

This beer is awesome!!!  Some might think its too much, but I sure didn’t.  It is BIG in every way.  BIG aroma, BIG taste, BIG mouthfeel.  With that being said, I had no problem finishing this bottle all by myself.  It’s a sipper for sure and it should be taken slowly, however I had to take a huge gulp or two just so I could gage the full effect of this concoction.  If you like hops, I would highly recommend that you seek this thing out.  It’s worth the conversation alone.  I was able to obtain another bottle, so I’m going to hang onto it for awhile and see how it develops.  I hope I can find some more somewhere though because I don’t think I’m going to be able to wait a year or two before I try this again!!!

Have you guys ever had the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA???  What did you think of it???  Was it too extreme???  Be sure to leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading guys.  Until next time.

Cheers.

Score:  4.65 out of 5
Grade:  A+         

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Country: USA, Dogfish Head

 

Review of Coopers Best Extra Stout

For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be sipping on a Coopers Best Extra Stout produced by Coopers Brewery Limited located in Leabrook, Australia.

After all of the hustle and bustle from yesterday’s Christmas gatherings I was really in the mood for a Stout today.  I have tried this brew once before, but it was so long ago that I can’t really remember what I thought of it.  I think I liked it.  Well, I figure I better give it another go.

Here’s the commercial description from the website, coopers.com.au.

It reigns every winter.

When to Drink:  On cold, wintry days in front of a roaring fire with hearty food and hardy mates.

Who Should Drink:  Not a beer for the fainthearted, but there are more ways than one to enjoy a grand stout.

Sounds good enough.  Let’s drink.

This beer comes in a 12.7 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 6.3%.

The brew poured a very dark brown to black color with just a smidgen of ruby showing through at the bottom of the glass.  I could see quite a bit of sediment sticking to the sides and bottom of the nonic.  The crown was khaki in color, very well sized, smooth, creamy and soft.  The retention time was just average and the lacing left a little to be desired.

The aroma presented notes of dark chocolate and day old coffee grounds.  Additional hints of dark breads and roasted dark grains.  A slight creamed milk tone was noticed too along with a troublesome burnt rubber type of fragrance.  Underlining it all was a detection of dark raisins and plums.  Hmm.  Not the best bouquet I’ve ever smelled, although not completely horrible either.

The taste was a little more straight forward than was the smell.  Roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee and espresso.  A slight touch of earth and graininess.  Better balanced and more enjoyable, however just a touch timid.  Also, maybe even the most remote flavor of alcohol at the very back end I thought.

The mouthfeel was medium to mostly thin.  Very smooth and light, but considerably watery.  Not much was left on the palate after the swallow either.  Only the most remote amount of warmth was felt at the back of the throat.  I was a little disappointed with the mouthfeel.  I was expecting much more.

Well.  This is an “ok” beer I guess.  I seem to remember it being quite a bit better the last time I tried it, but no matter.  I still finished it with ease.  I think this would be best suited as an introductory Stout.  It’s not going to overwhelm the taste buds or knock anyone’s socks off, but it still has a few of the proper characteristics of a good Stout.  If you’ve never had it and you see it sitting on the shelf, pick it up and give it a go, but don’t drive out of your way to find it.  I think there are many others of this style that would better satisfy your needs.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.

Cheers.

Score:  3.35 out of 5
Grade:  B-   

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Coopers, Country: Australia

 
 
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