Michigan Blues

A friend brought back some beers from Michigan to share, so I did a writeup on them! There were even a few beers I hadn’t heard of, which is always cool. Mildly edited notes follow:

24507414012_58d2295647_zJolly Pumpkin Saison X:
This has a nose of honey, lemon and ginger. The label says ‘spiced’ but is reluctant to tell us what spices were used. This isn’t just a saison; it’s got a bit of funk to it. It also has an element of citrus rind bitterness to it which shows up sharply and really torques the beer in a negative direction. My host offers me candied ginger and…it compliments the beer well! So, this beer has an issue but that issue seems to be solved with candy.

Founders Breakfast stout: the nose is like a cold up of coffee. Iced coffee, actually and this is a pretty good way to describe the beer as a whole. Plus, I think it’s actually a stout, not a porter disguised as one, which is always nice. It claims to be an oatmeal stout and I believe the body is there to support it. It’s 8.3% so you reaaaally can’t call this a breakfast beer but it’s still pretty damn tasty.

24247996029_cf7e7f2720_zArbor Brewing Ypsi gypsi session IPA; this has an orangey thing happening. Buuut there’s a papery finish that I have to scrape it off the roof of my mouth. I think this beer got old, unfortunately, and so isn’t giving its best impression.

Brewery Vivant Undertaker; Belgian style dark ale. The nose is…soft. The beer is, too. Almost supple, the rotation of roasted malt flavors over the tongue. It doesn’t present any strong flavors (coffee or chocolate) to latch onto, but there is a roasted malt quality here that lacks the viscosity of a stout. A crisp bit is at the end, too; this beer isn’t highly effervescent but it does have some bubbly to keep things lively. The nose all but disappears quickly, leaving a sweet ghost in its place, no more.

Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca; the nose has that tart quality, the kind that usually means I’m about to drink a cup of vinegar. But the beer itself is nicely restrained. It really tastes like dry white wine, with an effervescent quality. I can get behind this in limited doses and certainly wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

24320224650_b09b6f06cc_zBrewery Vivant Farm Hand french style farmhouse ale. That seems like a lot of buzzwords that don’t say a lot but here’s what I am picking up: the nose has a hay, almost horseblanket funk. The beer is light and crisp all the way to  the finish, where the funk comes back again but in a groove thing way, instead of a Fabreeze moment. I like it.

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