Monday, July 23, 2018
Founders Brewing recently sent Barrel Runner to the Miami market. Part of their Barrel Aged Series, this is a Mosaic-hopped Imperial IPA aged in rum barrels. 2018 Release. 11.1% alcohol. 55 IBU
Holy Butterscotch, Batman! Huge aroma, full of rum, some generic fruitiness, lightly hoppy. You can really taste the rum from the start too, sweet and very rich, lots of butterscotch.
But after a few sips, sweet does collide with some hoppy flavors. Some citrus, light spiciness and hints of pine do show. The alcohol is noticeable, not hot but a little annoying after a while.
Big body. Bold flavors. Very interesting. The story on the back says this beer will make me believe I'm in the tropics. That wasn't necessarily the case; I was already believing that with the miserable weather here in Miami!
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Local Miami Brewery The Tank recently started distributing a few of their beers locally. Freedom Tower Amber is packaged in puzzling 11.2 oz bottles while La Playita Hop-Accented Pils comes in 12 oz cans. Both were priced around $12 for a sixer, so they better be stud beers for super-local, low alcohol beers.
I grabbed La Playita first. Very nice can art depicting the beach and hotels that line it. "Brewed for the Beach!" says a tagline on the can. A little story on the back of the can sets your expectations. Put your phone in rotate lock or turn your head and you can read that below. 5.1% alcohol. Canned 05/30/2018 Drink 07/22/2018 (which was within one week of the first day it hit the shelves at Total Wine.)
Faint aroma, lightly lemony, hoppy and floral. Nice flavors, fruity apple and light sweet graininess meet some floral hoppy bitterness.
Super balanced! Not sure I'd call this a "Hop-Accented Pils." I mean, of course there are hops in this beer, but to offer that extra description should mean a much more pronounced hops character. And honestly that is what I wanted more of: a spicy bitter bite. That said, La Playita is simple, refreshing and flavorful.
Friday, July 20, 2018
Total Wine in Florida currently has another Brewery Direct brand. I picked up Schlafly Coconut Creme Ale to check out. Part of their Special Release Series, the brewery calls this a dessert beer. 5.5% alcohol. 17 IBU.
Faint coconut aroma, very soft and unpronounced. Sweet flavors to start, toasty with a light fruitiness. Coconut builds with each sip. There is some bitter relief in the background. Pretty "one note" but not bad. Not exactly a dessert beer either in my opinion.
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Anchor Brewing recently collaborated with local clothing and lifestyle brand San Franpsycho to create San Franpsycho IPA. This "Juicy India Pale Ale" is brewed with peaches and apricots. 6.3% alcohol.
Super juicy and fruity aroma, you can really smell both peaches and apricots. Flavors also full of peaches, tangy, nicely bitter, and a little dry. Definitely delivered on the fruity promises. Interesting and a winner!
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Today I'm checking out Coppertail's Septima Saison. Evan B. Harris' label art is excellent as usual, depicting the area around the brewery known as Ybor City, specifically 7th Avenue (Septima). Roosters really do run wild there while coffee aromas fill the air, super unique! In fact, part of the sales of this beer go to promote the area.
Aroma is a little spicy but mostly neutral. Lightly fruity flavors are followed by some yeasty funkiness. Spicy, peppery, some citrus. Solid though I liked the label art better than the beer. Probably just a style preference.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
A few weeks ago, I got a chance to try Spain's Estrella Galicia Special Lager at an event in Miami. This is not related to other "Estrella" beers. On the way out, I bribed the brewery rep and took home a bottle for review here. 11.2 ounce bottles, 5.5% alcohol.
Lightly sweet aroma, some grain and honey. Very nice flavors, again starting with grain and honey. But some lemony and floral components add balance. Light apple. Sweet to start but enough bitter balance along the way. Crisp and clean. Nice beer.
Monday, July 16, 2018
"The Tacos of Beer?" Sign me up! Pair O' Dice Hi-Lo-Peno Pale Ale cans recently showed up in my local Miami liquor store. This is a pale ale brewed with jalapenos and limes, but no meat (the story assures you)! 5.5% alcohol.
Not much of an aroma, had to work for hints of both lime and jalapeno. Starts like a simple pale ale, lightly bitter. Then some lime starts to show, zesty, citrus. Then some jalapeno in the finish.
Next sip, lime starts to jump to the forefront. A few sips later, the lime builds and becomes a dominant flavor, just overwhelms everything else. The jalapeno flavor remains a constant, lightly "peppery" and "gardenish" but never spicy or hot.
Lime, jalapeno, burp, repeat. Get it?
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Today I'm checking out Two Brothers Sidekick Pale Ale. "Everyone Needs a Sidekick." 5.1% alcohol. 36 IBU. Kick By 10/22/18.
Floral aroma with some caramel, not too strong but nice. Flavors the same. Sweet caramel comes first. There is a floral, bitter, hoppy answer, but overall this is kind of sweet with a big body. Rich for a pale ale which detracted some from the refreshment. Was OK.
Monday, July 9, 2018
Today I'm checking out Stone Idolatrous IPA, part of their Hop Worship Series. For this beer, Stone is worshiping El Dorado and Mosaic hops. 7% alcohol. I drank it less than a month after it was canned so was definitely fresh.
Citrus orange and pineapple are the aroma stars with some hoppy resin in the background. My wife actually asked if the beer was brewed with pineapples. Hops are some awesome bundles of joy!
Bright citrus flavors full of orange and tangerine come first, a little zesty and with hints of hop resin. Second wave is pure pineapple, not too sweet but tropical and a great contrast to the initial flavors.
Dry. A little spicy. Great bitterness with just enough sweet fruity nibbles in the background. Very good. I took to a 4th of July party and the Corona drinkers were stealing my beer! Was probably the marketing story that was irresistible! LOL
Saturday, July 7, 2018
This week I grabbed a pounder can of Bell's Sparkleberry Raspberry Belgian-Style Ale. This is a Tripel brewed with raspberries that clocks in 9.0% alcohol. Canned 051818 Drink 070718
Nice reddish-pink color. Full nose of raspberries, sweet and tart and prominent. Nicely tart flavors full of raspberries right from the start. Some Belgian yeast and spicy character does show but the raspberries are the main flavor, hard to really find the underlying tripel. But you will know it has some alcohol in it!
I thought it was OK. The raspberry flavor was good, genuine, but I have to agree with my wife when she took one sip and in her always honest opinion said "it tastes like medicine!" Maybe this style wasn't the one to pair with a fruit. The beer did win a GABF medal a few years ago so check it out and make up your own mind.