Common Ales: Ninkasi Dino Ales

When I was small, I loved dinosaurs. I was ahead of the curve on that one-most kids I  knew were not into dinosaurs; it wouldn’t really be until the 1980s that they became cool. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that my love of dinosaurs translated, at least a little bit, to a love of any kind of monster, especially giant ones.

So when I saw that Ninkasi had two beers with dinosaur themed names, I thought; if this isn’t a perfect excuse to compare them, then what am I doing with my life?

The Tricerahops Double IPA first. This beer has been around for a bit- I think it might even be part of their regular lineup, but there’s never a bad time to revisit a Ninkasi beer. The label says ‘earthy hops’ and that’s not an inaccurate description. Like wet forest. There isn’t much malt to sweeten it up though; they’ve gone in on a dry finish which accentuates the bitter send off. It’s pretty straightforward beer, when all is said and done. I don’t know if it’s a flaw in my pour or not but I wish I was getting more nose off the Tricerahops because the ending is coming on very strong and there isn’t much to prepare my mouth for it.

31828736314_f44128b458_cNext is the Velocihoptor Double IPA. The nose has a nice grassy note to it but there’s as lot more malt to the flavor. The finishing bitterness isn’t as strong but leans more into a citrus family tree. As the beer develops an  orange peel flavor comes out a little more but it still isn’t overwhelming. I think I like this beer over the other: the sweetness is fuller, with a little roasted quality helps make this beer more drinkable and balanced.

Devils Mother 3: Mary MacLeod

There is something to be said for consistency. Doing the same thing, every time helps bring about results that are expected.

Mary McLeod is the Devil's MotherI’m pleased the say that it’s no different here: Mary MacLeod is a solid version of the Devil’s Mother. I just keep repeating that recipe, and it keeps on delivering.

The nose isn’t too strong and that is a slight ding against the beer. The dry roast coffee scent is there, if I dig into it but it’s not pushed at all. That is only bad because so much flavor is lost without olafactory stimulation!

(Sorry, I’m trying out some $5 words to keep from getting burnt out).

The beer itself though is solid as a brick. Full body, a touch of black licorice in there, almost certainly coming from the Black Patent malt, with nothing too sharp on the bitterness to make the beer too challenging to drink.

Brew Date: 10.22.16

Steeping Malts
1 lb black patent
1.5 lb chocolate
.5 black prinz

Fermentables/brewing malts
3 lb 2 row
4 lb Maris otter
7 lb LME

Additions: 1 lb Lactose

Hops: 2 oz Nugget @60

Yeast: Imperial Darkness

OG: 1.1

FG: 1.03

Bottled 11.13

ABV 9.5%