Monthly Archives: August 2012

Review of Schlafly Extra Stout (Irish Style)

Hello guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Schlafly Extra Stout (Irish Style) produced by the St. Louis Brewing Company located in St. Louis, Missouri.

This is a beer that I’ve never tried from Schlafly.  I’ve always thought that they make some pretty decent stuff and this bottle intrigued me when I saw it sitting on the shelf.

Let’s see what we can find out about it from the website,

Our Irish-Style Extra Stout pours black and is an amped-up version of a traditional dry stout.  The addition of both roasted barley and Dark Crystal malted barley give Extra Stout undertones of chocolate, molasses and dried fruit.  The beer is generously hopped with East Kent Goldings to balance the sweetness from the malted barley.

Sounds good enough to me.  Time to pour.

This brew has an 8.0% ABV and it comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

It poured black with some ruby outlines around the edges and bottom of the nonic glass.  It formed a khaki colored head that was soft, smooth, creamy, thick and nicely sized.  The retention time was suitable and the lacing wasn’t too bad either.   A nice looking beer honestly.

The nose represented a well accentuated bouquet of roasted/toasted malts and grain.  A slight, but sturdy coffee bean aroma as well as a touch of cream.  A little bit of dark chocolate was discerned and a good touch of earthy hops too.  It was somewhat sweet smelling and it was very “round”.  Not bad at all.

The taste was very liberal with more toasted breads and grain.  A light touch of alcohol was found, however it was mostly noticed at the back end.  Through the middle though some coffee grounds and dark chocolate led the way.  The creaminess and hoppy profile that I found in the aroma seemed to fade quite a bit within the taste.  In actuality, the flavor was not overly robust or “strong” throughout.  It was decent though.  Definitely a nice representation of the style.

The mouthfeel was mostly medium bodied, although it did feel like it leaned a little bit toward the full side.  It was acceptably dry, chewy and smooth with a touch of that chalky aspect.  The carbonation was good and a bit of warmth was felt from the alcohol.  A solid amount of flavor was on the palate after each sip too.

Overall, I thought this was a pleasant enough beer.  It’s a fitting and acceptable everyday Stout.  One that would be a great brew to give to someone interested in exploring the style.  It wasn’t too complicated or ridiculous and it was very easy to drink considering the 8.0% ABV.  I don’t think I would ever turn it down if it was offered.  It would be really nice to enjoy once the Fall and Winter months arrive.  With that being said, if you guys happen to see the Schlafly Extra Stout (Irish Style) on the shelf at your local bottle shop, pick it up, give it a go and see what you think.  I’d be interested in hearing other opinions, so feel free to leave a comment if you wish.

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

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.75 out of 5
Grade:  B     

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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Country: USA, Schlafly


Review of Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout produced by the Hoppin’ Frog Brewery located in Akron, Ohio.

Let’s jump right to the website,, for the commercial description of this brew.

This Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout will crush you like no other! This is the grand-daddy of all stout styles, with an intensely deep roasted and full bodied flavor. A robust hop character adds a refreshing balance.

Into the glass it goes.

This beer has an ABV of 9.4% and it comes in a 22 oz. bottle.

It poured black with a dark tan head.  The texture was smooth and creamy, however it did possess some large bubbles around the outside next to the glass.  The size was good, but the retention time and the lacing seemed to be lacking a little bit. 

The nose had a ton of roasted malts along with a plenty of toasted grains and breads.  It revealed that typical oatmeal sweetness smell that I tend to like too.  A touch of bakers chocolate added a bit more sweetness.  It was balanced rather well, although I didn’t find that it was overly complex or intricate and I didn’t find much by way of the hops either.  Oh well, it still smelled nice.

The taste was heavy with the roasted malts.  Tones of grain, wheat, bread and oatmeal.  Again, quite sweet tasting with the addition of some dark chocolate.  A slight savor of alcohol was noticed and I even started to detect some raisin and a wee bit of coffee bean, which provided a slight tickle of bitterness.  Like the aroma, the balanced and harmony was more than adequate.

The mouthfeel was medium to mostly full.  Very smooth, creamy, chewy and dry.  The carbonation was medium to low.  A small amount of warmth was felt and a decent amount of flavor was left behind for me to enjoy after each sip.

Overall, this beer was very solid.  As I mentioned before, it didn’t provide anything out of the ordinary or “top of the line”, fairly straight forward to be honest, but it undoubtedly represents the style very well.  If you are a fan of Oatmeal Stouts you should definitely pick up B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout.  I believe it would pair perfectly well with the cooler evenings of late Fall and Winter.  The drinkability was suitable considering the high ABV, yet I found myself sipping it rather slow anyway.  If you guys have tried this beer let me know what you thought of it in the comments.  I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for checking back in on another review guys.  I really appreciate the support.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.9 out of 5
Grade:  B+  


Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Country: USA, Hoppin' Frog


Review of Haand Bryggeriet Haandbakk

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Haand Bryggeriet Haandbakk concocted by the Haand Bryggeriet Brewery located in Drammen, Norway.

This bottle is vintage #10 and it was one of only 2,160 produced.

From the website,, we find an enticing narrative of how the beer was developed in 2006, but I chose to take the description straight from the label of the bottle instead.

The “Hand Brewery” has always been obsessed with the original Scandinavian brew – ale made by farmers – aged in wood, deep, dark, and invariably, naturally, sour.  So, when the boys got their famous hands on some wonderful oak barrels, everyone knew what would happen next…   

Sounds good.  Let’s pour and take a drink.

This beer came in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 8.0%.

It poured a very deep burgundy/oxblood type of color with some nice ruby highlights shimmering at the bottom of the snifter.  From a relatively easy pour a very light tan, minimally sized head was formed.  It had some fairly large and loose bubbles, but the retention time was adequate enough.  The lacing didn’t look too bad either considering the style.  In fact, a thin ring of foam was left circling the liquid for the duration.

The aroma was spectacular.  Deep, dark sour grapes, black cherries and blackberries.  Very tart smelling with hints of oak and wood.  Very sweet and rich with just a touch of a vinegary relish.  It was very reminiscent of a red wine I thought.  Wonderfully balanced and detailed.

The taste announced a nice, pungent sourness and tartness.  More fruity goodness of blackberries, dark grapes and back cherries.  Again, a little bit of a vinegar savor along with a more prominent stab of oak and wood at the back of the palate.  Once the beer settled and opened up I began to notice a very light touch of yeast and bready malt.  A very exquisite taste.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Extremely dry, and slightly “bitey”.  It began sharp, but became quite round and silky smooth as it was allowed to breathe and my palate adjusted.  The carbonation was medium to low and just a wee bit of warmth was felt at the back end.  An impressive amount of flavor was left behind after each swallow too.

Man, this was a gorgeous beer.  A beautiful sour in my opinion and one that shouldn’t be passed up if you have the opportunity to try it.  I was surprised at how easy it became to drink as I worked my way through the bottle.  I don’t know that I’ve had a sour that was quite like this one.  It just had some subtleties that really appealed to my taste buds.  Most notably the combination of the wood, vinegar and the tart blackberries.  I should pick up another bottle of this at some point this Winter to sip on and enjoy as the fireplace is flickering.  So, with that being said, try the Haand Bryggeriet Haandbakk if you can and let me know your thoughts.  I’m betting that if you like Sours…. you’ll like this one.

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

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.3 out of 5
Grade:  A       


Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Country: Norway, Haand Bryggeriet

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