Monday, November 23, 2015

Feast of Fools 2015

Magic Hat recently sent me a bomber of one of their rarer beers, Feast of Fools Holiday Raspberry Stout 2015. The label is pretty fun, depicting a line of fools standing in the snow all around the bottle. As the snow begins to fall, perhaps each is just hoping the line to buy a bottle of this limited release beer moves more quickly! Magic Hat will donate $5,000 to Vermont Foodbank with proceeds from this beer , providing 15,000 meals for their neighbors. You can help by donating directly yourself as well. 6.0% alcohol. 28 IBU.

Chocolate and light roasty aroma, raspberries only the faintest in the background. However, raspberry flavors burst on the scene from sip one, excellent tartness with a jam-like flavor. That against the backdrop of cocoa and a medium chocolaty rich base and yum!

Not sweet or bitter, very well-rounded. Great raspberry flavors complement the cocoa perfectly. Any "stoutiness" is cut by the fruity tartness, even to the point where it's hard to recognize this as a stout. Yummy malty fruity beer? Yep! Check it out!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New York Oyster Stout

Blue Point Brewing decided that since oysters are so prevalent around their Long Island brewery, they wanted to try their version of an oyster stout, a style that's been around for over 100 years. New York Oyster Stout uses those local oyster shells and bay salt to help keep this tradition alive. 5.5% alcohol. 27 IBU. Bottled on SEP092015.

Nice cocoa with lightly roasted malty aroma. Super creamy and velvety texture, even milky, really nice. Cocoa flavors come first with some coffee nuances. On the thinner side, though the beer really coats the entire palate and sticks, just an observation. As the beer warmed up a bit, the roasty flavors gained a little momentum, even showing some smokey aspects.

Each sip also had a background briny, salty "hint of ocean" type finish to it. Interesting though not pronounced, a little weird in a beer (not just this beer, rather just this style), though not off-putting in any way. I liked it just fine!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Allie's Donuts Double Chocolate Porter

Narragansett Brewing recently did a collaboration with an iconic Rhode Island donut shop, making Allie's Donuts Double Chocolate Porter. According to the story on my pounder can, a trip to Allie's is somewhat of a family tradition. So hell yeah! Time to make a beer to honor that tradition. 5.5% alcohol. Hi-Neighbor!

Really nice aroma, like a bakery. Sweet cocoa and butterscotch are very inviting. Mouthfeel from the start is very thin, a little unexpected based on the smell. Cocoa and cola flavors start with just a touch of coffee. Light cinnamon spiciness. Creamy, nicely carbonated. But in the end sort of bland, especially for what the story and aroma promised. Was OK.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hot Cha Cha Cha Hard Cider

Woodchuck Hard Cider recently released the sixth installment in their Out on a Limb rotating seriesHot Cha Cha Cha Hard Cider. In this unique case, Bird's Eye Chili Peppers were infused into their apple cider. On the label, even the really cool-looking pepper has watering eyes and is obviously suffering from the heat of drinking this spicy cider. A little story on the back sets your expectations. Nutritional facts are also on the back: Per 12 oz: Calories 270; Fat 0g; Sodium 10mg; Total Carb 33g/Sugars 25g; Protein 0g.

Sweet apple and spicy, peppery aroma, singed a few nose hairs. Sweet apple flavors start, initially tame with that vinegary "cidery" tartness you may expect. But just like you were prepared to expect, WHAM! a spicy kick to each finish that travels directly to your throat and leaves a lingering dull burn.

I would say by the third sip, however, that if you have any love for things spicy, you will find this cider easily manageable and actually growing on you. Repeat! More sweet and spicy playing off each other. I thought the carbonation was also a really nice aspect, bringing out both the apples and chilis. A fun twist for a cider. My lips are still tingly 20 minutes later. Check it out!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

HopShock IPA

I tried Mr. Pineapple earlier. I hope that I enjoy SanTan Brewing's HopShock IPA a little bit more. This can also has a super-boring dated design, showing three hop cones with lightning bolts in the background! The story says I should expect a "Southwestern IPA that will jolt your senses with a bolt of exotic Nelson-Sauvin hops." Aren't those hops from New Zealand? So this is a Southwestern (Pacific Ocean) IPA? 7.1% alcohol.

Tropical fruity aroma, nice peaches. Very fruity flavors, lots of pineapple (way more than the Mr. Pineapple beer they actually added pineapples too, for the record) and peaches. Tangy, citrus, light hoppy resin.

A spicy, peppery middle angle then takes hold and kind of alternates with the fruitier sweetness from the start. Definitely a hint of alcohol and dryness at the finish. Balanced but an excellent bitterness leads the way for sure. Enjoyable though I'd have preferred to have the tropical fruity aspect more juicy and prominent. Definitely a winner!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Our Special Ale 2015

Craft beer pioneer Anchor Brewing recently shipped its 41st edition of Our Special Ale, their annual beer brewed to celebrate the newness of life. Each year, the recipe of this Winter Warmer changes, as does the beautiful tree artwork on the label. This year's tree is Cedrus deodara or Himalayan Cedar, which can be found in Afghanistan, Tibet, Pakistan and India. Besides the beautiful tree, I love that Anchor puts Merry Christmas and Happy New Year front and center. 5.5% alcohol.

Rich, sweet malty aroma full of prunes and cinnamon and nutmeg. A little tart and fruity to start, cherries, plums. Cocoa and cinnamon and some light hoppy bitterness follow. Body is a little thinner than the aroma promised. Nice flavors. Always worth the annual checkup!