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December 2011

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May. 3rd, 2011

Blonde ~ Red Brick

Appearance: light haze offers softness to freshly baked bread crusts, hay and straw. Voluminous bubbly head leaves a network of lace in its wake before settling into a blotchy meringue head. Swirls thick and lacy.

Nose: yowza. Bananas, tangerines, tropical smoothies. Doughy bready yeasty. Freshly cut green banans mingle with plantains. Refreshing. Oozes summertime in the tropics. Fresh bread crusts.

Palate: soft, airy, and quick – like a summer sea breeze carrying essence of coconuts, papaya, bananas, and oranges. Lightly dry bitter finish – citrus skins. Fresh, simple and delightful. Bread crusts mingles with pineapple and guava. Clean in the middle, frothy along the sides. Dew-dropped green grass. Coconut husks.

Final Thoughts: I’ve had very little experience with Red Brick and the one I did have was very underwhelming so I expected very little with the Blonde. Consider me pleasantly and tastefully surprised. Even now, an easy month later I can remember her like yesterday. May I have another, please and thank you.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Apr. 29th, 2011

Blueberry Ale ~ Blue Point

Appearance: clear straw and hay colors. Voluminous head fades into a bubbly blotchy layer. Swirls thick along edges, no lace.

Nose: whole blueberries and toast lead into dominating and dominant blueberry pancake batter. The golden edges of bread crusts. Nondescript zip of lemon zest in the back.

Palate: clean and mouthcoating. Honeyed rolls with crispy crunchy crust. Honeyesque. Blueberries hit first, hard, and fade fast and hard. Blueberry skins and bread crust linger on the top middle of tongue. Lemon skins along the edges. Powdered sugar sweetness with dried blueberries speaks of powdered blueberry pancake batter ready-mix.

Final Thoughts: meh. Not impressed and not really good. Blueberry is a hard berry to brew with and so far as I’ve tasted the Sweetwater Blue still reigns supreme.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Hairy Eyeball ~ Lagunitas

Appearance: brilliant polished mahoganies and garnets. Coppery pithy head leaves lace and lingers as a thin film. Swirls lovely with lace, puff, and a solid collar.

Nose: candied white sugar, caramelized brown sugar. Hint of maraschino, fresh black cherries. Rustic woodiness permeates – earth, root, and bark. Plums. Spicy sweet heat in the back; stewed apple cores and apple skins with cinnamon and nutmeg. Toffee. Granny smith apples come and go. Spiced raisins.

Palate: clean medium weight that coast and dries at the same time. Sweet, dry, spiced, fruity, and woody all at the same time. Apple and plum skins, cinnamon sticks, bark, red apple flesh than dry tannic bitterness of skins. Black cherries canned in water for natural juicy sweetness. Juicy succulent black raisins in the middle. Amazing melding of flavors albeit smidge less complex than nose. Quick kick of granny smith tartness in last bit of swallow, then gone.

Final Thoughts: another tastebud pleaser from Lagunitas out of California. While not all their beers are hits, I am discovering more hits than misses these days and I like it. Yum.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

HeBrew Jewbelation 12 ~ Schmaltz Brewing

Appearance: dark brown and dark blacks. Little head with little to nothing lingering after pouring. Swirls with nothing.

Nose: brown sugar glazed pitted dark fruits with stones – figs and dates. Graham crackers. Black root, black licorice root. Meaty, fudgy, chocolaty cakey goodness. Rich but not complex. Earthen.

Palate: chocolate breads and chocolate cakes. Earth underneath. Hint of heat and spice in the back, earth and twigs and dirt too. Ginger and cumin powder. Immediate warmth lingers long in the back of throat, eeking into the chest. Graham cracker in the middle. Leathery and woody. Fudge dense with fresh prunes and dates. Best at room temperature. Burnt brown sugars atop middle tongue. Peanuts create a craving for peanut butter. Cumin.

Final Thoughts: at first I wasn’t expecting much because the nose certainly didn’t lead me to believe there was going to be much in the palate. I was wrong. An intriguing duopoly of simplicity, complexity, and richness. Delicious, and still makes me crave a peanut butter sandwich.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Revolutionary Rye ~ Samuel Adams

Appearance: ambers and oranges. Nice lace of foam crawls up side of glass. Clarity reflects and she swirls lovely.

Nose: generally faint. Red apple skins, rye bread crust. Tangerine and apricot skins. Crunch underneath.

Palate: medium body and mouthfeel, soft and frothy. Typical Samuel Adams malty sweet profile undercurrent. Apricots and tangerine underneath, faintly mouthcoating. Spice of rye isn’t there. Growing sweetness of apples and generic canned fruit.

Final Thoughts: overall nothing special for a rye ale. Underwhelming and once more that Samuel Adams malt character. Even for a beginner rye beer I’d have to say not really because how is one going to savor appreciatively the unique character rye adds to beer when it’s not there to appreciate.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

8 Ball Bourbon Barrel ~ Lost Coast Brewing

Appearance: pure black dirt under a khaki head which lingers a soft collar. Swirls thicker along the edges while retaining its obsidian depths.

Nose: wood, bourbon, and vanillin. Melted caramel nougat. Roasted chocolates dark and decadent in the back. Bourbon forward, then stout. Further hints of earth and dirt and twigs. Black root and vanilla root – subtle. Espresso beans.

Palate: wow. Rich, roasted, rustic, and bourbon. Vanilla extract, caramel, and oak. Surprisingly soft and frothy with a moist cakey texture, chocolate please. Flavor concentrates in the middle of each quaff. Bourbon chocolate vanilla caramel truffle breath. Gentle warmth subtle in the chest. Oak is a silent partner of dryness, roast, ash, and charred black earth.

Final Thoughts: it was more than I was expecting and exactly what I was expecting. While not a big bad imperial stout aged in big bad bourbon barrels, Lost Coast’s 8 Ball nonetheless maintains what it showcases best: class.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Apr. 23rd, 2011

St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale ~ Odell Brewing

Appearance: cloudy orange with a generous pithy head. Lace surrounds while foam lingers in clumps and chunks with random bubbles scattered about. Swirls thick.

Nose: hoppy, minty, herbal. White grapefruit. Musty green hop pellets. Tangerines and tangelos. Asparagus – fresh and raw.

Palate: clean with minty herbal dried hop leaf notes. The mint lingers nice and long; love it. Flower petals in the middle. Tangerine and lemon and white grapefruit. Asparagus in with the mint and herbs, rosemary especially. Lovely.

Final Thoughts: Odell always brews fantastic beers; I just wish they were available in Florida. In the meantime, I’ll savor any and all the Odell beers I can get my tastebuds on thanks to my sister.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Petrus Oud Bruin ~ Bavik-De Brabandere

Appearance: clear deep rich mahogany and ruby port hues. Little to no head with an off white collar. Small puddle in the middle and swirls thicker along the sides.

Nose: soured grapes, granny smith apples, and a hint of aged rum. Red apple skins caramelized with pure cane sugar granules. Sauvignon Blanc followed by red grapes and old woods polished and worn.

Palate: little sweet, little tart, little frothy. Gentle burnished old woods and mahogany essence. Dry in the back and finish with old wood. Cherries, rhubarb, apple orchards with the apples still hanging off the branches. Seeded grapes. Bit of pitted dark fruit meatiness right in the middle, very short lived but packs a punch. Would pair well the right cigar.

Final Thoughts: beer meets port meets wood meets my tender loving tastebuds. Delicious, divine, and inspired by olden times.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Echte Kriekenbier ~ Verhaeghe

Appearance: clear black cherry. Starts to slowly foam up the neck as I pop the cap. Lace clings to the sides.

Nose: sweet and sour black and purple grapes. Rhubarb mingles with cranberries, strawberries, and black cherry. Pomegranate in the back.

Palate: sweet and yet not sweet. Clean silky mouthfeel. Rhubarb and strawberry, black cherries and cranberries, strawberries. Tart sweet twang in the back and along sides of cheeks, tingles. Lovely lace as I drink. Yum.

Final Thoughts: it’s always intriguing to me how Flemish ales can be similar and different at the same time. One thing is always consistent though and that is how they delight and please.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Petrus Aged Pale ~ Bavik-De Brabandere

Appearance: brilliant straw and gold. Bubbly airy egg white head fades bubbly and clumpy – globs stick to sides of glass and float in the middle.

Nose: lemon bars full of zip and zest. Pinot grigio grapes and wine. Essence of wild soured fermentation as the grapes ferment. Oak planks damp with dew. Grape skins and pomace. Cactus.

Palate: lemon prominent with lemon bars, lemon sorbet. Faint sweetness in the back. Pinot grigio in the middle with a touch of tropical tartness – papaya and kiwi. Angel food cake sweetness in the middle, subtle and delicate. Freshly cut oak planks. Pomegranate long in the finish after each swallow. Playful acidity and carbonation.

Final Thoughts: even better than I was expecting. I love beer aged in oak and I love sour. Once more those fabulous Belgians have done it and done it right. May I have another please and thank you.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Jubelale ~ Deschutes

Appearance: deep rich mahogany hues under a khaki head with lots of lace. Head lingers as a thin film, broken in some areas.

Nose: spices, apples, plums, prunes. Chocolate in the back along with raisins and chocolate cake. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Apple crumble and fig newtons which mingles with aforementioned spices. Subtle and soft. Christmas cake.

Palate: sweet and fruity than spiced and dry. Apples and plums. Each quaff is dry and spiced with hints of earth in the back – twigs and shrubbery. Grows drier as it warms, highlighting spices – nutmeg forward followed by cinnamon. No brown sugar. Pine cones.

Final Thoughts: quite tasty. I could drink this all the time any time, but it does speak of the holiday seasons, relaxing with my love in front of a crackling fireplace. Another winner from Deschutes Brewery.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Apr. 22nd, 2011

Steelhead Double IPA ~ Mad River Brewing

Appearance: cloudy orange under a solid pithy head. Swirls with no lace but maintains a brilliant glow and pithy collar.

Nose: orangey and zesty – mandarin, mango, and tangerine. Hint of pink grapefruit. Dew dropped green grass. Lemon zest and lemon peel. Oozes freshness.

Palate: yum! Chewy, meaty, and orangey with orange, tangelos, mandarins, and mangos. Mango and kiwi is pervasive – fresh, sweet, chewy. Medium weight and mouthfeel. Gentle lingering bitter skin finish.

Final Thoughts: not overly complex but superbly delicious. For a first foray into brews from Mad River Brewing out of Blue Lake, California.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Rocky Mountain IPA ~ Fort Collins

Appearance: garnets and ambers. Clear with a touch of haze under a coppery pithy head. Swirls with lace, collar, and a solid head.

Nose: nice clean hop profile of whole hop cones, grapefruits whole, freshly sliced of both the white and yellow variety. Pine cones and fir trees. Not complex but clean, precise, and appropriately hop forward. Apple skins and melba toast. Grass and key lime.

Palate: grapefruit and key lime, apple skins and melba. Clean dry hop cone bitterness which gets right to the point. Spicy hops, crunchy caramelized melba, apple skins. One more dash of grapefruit, key lime, and fir trees.

Final Thoughts: I wasn’t expecting much from this beer but was pleasantly pleased which, in the world of a beer geek, makes me love what I do all that much more. Fort Collins definitely has a winner with their Rocky Mountain IPA.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

HeBrew Vertical Jewbelation ~ Schmaltz Brewing Company

Appearance: pours the color of old woods dark and mysterious. Lovely tan head lingers as a solid blanket while lace crawls up the sides of my glass. Swirls with lace and puff.

Nose: vanillin and caramel supple, soft, and sublime. Maple and meaty dark fruits: prunes and figs. Smoky in the back with a hint of ash and white hot charcoal.

Palate: clean procession of flavors with medium weight. Vanillin and caramel first, ash and charcoal in the middle and meaty dark fruits in the end. Delightful finish. Lingering prunes and plums in the back of throat. Tannic and tart along the bottom and sides of mouth, cheeks tingle. Burnt wood and smoke. Vanilla and caramel permeates subtly and smoothly from first quaff to last. Chest is warm. Fire pits, smoky and burnt, woody.

Final Thoughts: wow and wow. Once more I love beer that is touched by wood. I enjoyed all the Jewbelations from HeBrew but if I had to choose, Vertical was the overall winner.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Jewbelation Fourteen ~ Schmaltz Brewing Company

Appearance: black and brown and dense. Minimal head bordered by a thin tan collar. Swirls with a filmy puddle in the middle and spots.

Nose: earthy pitted dark fruits mingle with tar and sludge. Black root, black earth with a wisp of burnt baker’s chocolate. Generic dark fruit meatiness. Whole fresh black cherries and red uncooked rhubarb in the back. Fig cake.

Palate: meaty and dense as nose promised. Long lingering bakers chocolate finish, black and burnt. Thick and heavy in the middle. Dark prunes and leathery tannic bite along the edges; within we find fudge, figs, dates, black root, tar, and scorched earth. Plums whisper in the back of each swallow. Herbal with an almost gin quality to it. Old leather speaks of times past during an era of leather, wood, and gentry. Tobacco leaf.

Final Thoughts: this brew had me craving a cigar from first quaff to last. Yum and yum. Dense, decadent, and olden. Divine.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

90 Shilling Ale ~ Odell Brewing Company

Appearance: cloudy garnets and rubies under a puffy head of bread crust hues. Lovely lace bordering a solid blanket. Swirls equally impressive.

Nose: freshly pulped apples. Pears, apricot, and kiwi freshly cut. Plums. Spice and dryness in the back along with fruit skins. Jellied kiwi, apricot, and pears slathered atop fresh slices of bread. Moist. Green grapes.

Palate: medium weight and mouthfeel – full, frothy, and soft. Breads. Kiwis, plums, grapes, and apples with clean sweetness in the middle. Lovely. Subtle generic mulling spices blend which mixes seamlessly with the breads and fruits. Whereas the nose was all about moist breads the palate is more about dry breads. Peach and apricot.

Final Thoughts: Odell has been brewing for quite a long while and the proof is in their beers. An underappreciated style to be sure, this 90 Shilling Ale would make any Scotsman feel at home. Delicious.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Apr. 8th, 2011

Brown Shugga ~ Lagunitas

Appearance: gorgeous rubies, reds, garnets, mahoganies, and brown sugars all melted into one. Off white crusty head with a bubbly collar and lace crawling up the sides of my glass.

Nose: caramelized brown sugars and spice, cinnamon if you please. Spiced red apples and more cinnamon if you please. Golden sun-dried raisins, raisin bread moist and delicious. Candied sugars without the tooth-aching saccharine quality. Approrpriately brown sugar forward and woven inward, outward, and all around.

Palate: clean and delicious. Plums, cherries, and spice ohmy – cinnamon and brown sugar. Has a mulled cider quality with a whole cinnamon stick included, of course. Apples, more plums, and plump juicy golden raisins. Medium weight with a full lightly chewy mouthfeel. Warmth spreads through my chest. Essence of seasons, the transition of fall into winter. Homemade cinnamon apple sauce, skins included.

Final Thoughts: for a long while now Lagunitas has been hit or miss with me, though as my palate horizons broaden, so too does my appreciation for what Lagunitas offers the beery community. An amazing beer which screams for food.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Bourbon Barrel Stout ~ Bluegrass Brewing Company

Appearance: blacks with a brown bubbly spritely head which pops and dissipates quickly. Thin bubbly collar which, when swirled, lingers with creamy crema hues.

Nose: bourbon hits in the front, middle and back – bourbon everywhere with spice, vanillin, and charred oak barrels. Maple and molasses. Dark fruits are hidden in the back and soaked in bourbon, of course. Prunes and dates along the edges. Carries a rustic air of old farmhouses and barns worn with age, time, and weather. Quick hit of red apple must in the middle.

Palate: medium-light and bourbon centric. Vanillin, maple, and dry spice comingling with oak planks, oak barrels, and generic woods. Apples and grapes in the middle. Bourbon soaks dark fruits underneath – dates, prunes, raisins. Dry spice and oak lingers atop tongue with vanillin.

Final Thoughts: obviously unbalanced thanks to the assertive bourbon but being a bourbonholic myself, I don’t quite mind. If you’re looking for subtle than she may not be your dram but for those bourbon freaks like me, have your dram and enjoy it too.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Jewbelation Eleven ~ Schmaltz Brewing Company

Appearance: as with the other Jewbelations, a blend of dark browns and blacks under a tannish head bordered by a thicker collar. Deep and dense, like the undiscovered depths of a cavern and cave – moody.

Nose: dense and meaty and tis just the nose. Buckets and gallons of dark fruits – raisins and figs with chocolate weaving in and out. Fig newtons. Simple yet dense and aggressive in a good way.

Palate: rather fast with his flavor profile which is unexpected given the ferocity of his nose. Dry cocoa powder with truffle powder lingering atop the tongue. Figs and earth. Burnt woods, burnt earth in the middle. Medium to medium light weight. Fig and black cake.

Final Thoughts: the nose had me drooling in anticipation but the palate was a bit of a letdown. I would have liked to see more oomph in the flavor exploration that the olfactory exploration graced me with. Still good though.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. pagiarism is not tolerated)

Howl ~ Magic Hat Brewing Company

Appearance: pours brown-black. Nice tan head fades into a lace collar. Swirls lovely with khaki and tan designs.

Nose: roasted, crunchy, toasted pumpernickel; pumpernickel sticks. Whiff of stale in the background. Apple cores and apple seeds. Apple must as if left exposed to the air and has now browned.

Palate: not major but the oxidization and flatness of stale bread is there. Behind stale quality is apple seeds and apple core. Pumpernickel is underneath with some dry chocolate crumbles. Mouthfeel and weight is thin and a touch watery. Further quaffing reveals apple skins in with pumpernickel sticks and pumpernickel crust.

Final Thoughts: meh. If it hadn’t been stale than I would have been more flavorfully inspired. A decent attempt at a schwarzbier but falls far short of this quintessential German beer style. I wish there had been there because I really wanted to enjoy this beer and ultimately, I couldn’t.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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