Smattering of Birthday Beer Reviews

I decided to treat myself for my birthday (a few weeks back) and buy some beers for review. So here we go:

Belching Beaver-Damned double IPA. It’s grapefruity! There’s a half-hearted attempt at caramel in the middle but the nose and the finish shoo that along like a cat you’re trying to get out of the kitchen. I enjoyed it.

26236649560_30979028b1_cSound-Old Scoundrel barleywine style. There’s a chalky quality to the finish which is really, really weird. It’s unfortunate because the nose has the perfect caramelized scent. That nose gets a little toasty too, as it warms up and is still delicious. It’s the best part of the beer, though, as the midrange just doesn’t feel weighty enough, which would be a compliment in a different style but here means that it just gets blown out by that chalky texture at the end.

Breakside- bourbon barrel-aged salted caramel stout. Hoooo, man is this tasty. The salted caramel ribbon runs under the chocolate and bourbon flavors quite nicely. The nose has the bourbon but not too much of it, so there isn’t a hint of the possible recoil that one might get from a really strong or harsh spirit.

There’s a pleasant effervescence to the stout which plays in its favor. This is a beer with some very rich flavors and the bubbly keeps the beer from being too thick.

The aftertaste is all coffee. It’s not too acrid or dark but it’s not very luscious or counterbalanced, either. I don’t dislike it but it is a letdown after such a robust midrange of flavors.

Stone Sotchasticy project HiFi + LoFi Mixtape. This is a blend and it’s not one that works for me. The nose has that woody funk from barrel aged beers, so I was initially hopeful.  The flavor and finish is all bitterness and more wood, however. Ugh.

Gigantic-Massive. This ale pours densely. Close to chocolate syrup, and it’s got that kind of sweetness, too. But it’s a lush, decadent ale, the kind you have when you’re saying, “I’m worth it”.

26483533526_2a9ef273a5_cGrain Station-Bet the Farm IPA. This has a resiny nose that fades very quickly. Surprisingly so. It’s a little sweet at the start but that’s quickly replaced with a tongue scouring bitterness that make this beer difficult to appreciate. I’m starting to grok why people revolt against IPAs: if nearly every IPA I encounter refuses to balance then what’s the point? It’s just as bad as spicy food: if you have one dimensional food or drink, it really looses a lot.

Perennial Artisan Ales-Sump, stout with coffee. This beer pours thick, like chocolate milk you’ve added a little too much mix to. It smells like coffee beans, which is helpful since it also tastes like coffee beans. There are some sweeter, caramel notes in there, which is good and I wouldn’t go so far as to say this evokes the chocolate covered espresso bean flavor that Elysian’s The Fix has, but it’s definitely using similar colors.

26509473005_612e719522_cRoyale Brewing pilsner-it is almost exactly what it is supposed to be. That noble hop nose with a  hint of corn, a beer that has zero aftertaste & wants to quench thirst, it’s all right in that pilsner style box. Buuuut the body is just a bit too thin. It isn’t that something in this beer doesn’t just jibe, it’s just that it plays into the US pils stereotypes. It’s close, but not quite there.

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