The holiday allowed me to visit the Seattle area and, of course, I got a bunch of beer to try so…here are the slightly edited reviews:
Payette Brewing-North Fork Lager: Nice bready nose, like uncooked bread. It’s sweet on the finish, like corn, that evaporates after the last swallow. It’s pretty damn good! The bread flavor in front with the corn on the end gives this beer some dimension.
Dru Bru-Belgian Bordeaux: Belgian pale aged in Bordeaux wine barrels. The wine really comes through in the nose; like church wine, only pricier and meant to be drank. The flavors follow through, too. A tart fruit quality rides through the ale, with some hop bitterness on the finish. The problem is; those two things don’t play nice with each other. It’s a beautiful drink, with a pink hue I rarely see and a pleasant floral nose but the sum is less than it’s parts. An interesting experiment that didn’t quite play out.
Counterbalance brewing- Counterbalance IPA: sweet orange nose; citrus but I get a little caramel under it. The first sip was a little overwhelming; a lot of bitterness, not much else. As I continue though, a inkling of sweetness crawls out from under the bitterness. The beer becomes a little more palatable as I go, which is novel but a nice experience.
Mollusk-Briny Deep stout: A coffee nose but it’s not overwhelming. The beer itself is pretty smooth and finishes remarkably cleanly. It’s an 8% beer-which I don’t get at all-and I’m not picking up much in the way of oysters, which the label says is included in the beer. But I’m actually kinda impressed by the beer. Plus, 10/10 on incorporating the brewery name into the ingredients.
Dystopian State– The Gold Sigil, Imperial honey wheat ale: The nose has some honeysuckle to it, but the wheat malt doesn’t shy away either. While this beer is a sweet, it doesn’t linger and almost has a slight dry quality. It’s pretty nice and I’d have more.
Highwater Brewing-Aphotic Imperial Porter: the nose is a lot of mocha. Coffee chocolate blend. And the beer has a lot of that, too! But it’s awfully effervescent on the finish that that feels weird. From a sensory perspective-that is, the sparkle on my tongue is so intense that it feels weird. It also gives the finish a strange twist that doesn’t quite work. It doesn’t ruin the beer, but it makes me feel like I should have some misgivings about it.
Black Market Brewing-Invasion Red IPA: This has a great nose: pine and a little caramel in it and it makes me look forward to the beer a lot. But the mouth is thin, the midrange is flavorless, the finish is dirty and where it’s isn’t dirty it tastes like raw hops.