Beer 330/365 – Short’s Mystery Stout

Shorts Mystery Stout

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.8%

Purchased at: Given to me by Andy.

What makes this beer different: A lot of burnt/roasty flavors, not a bad thing though!

Will I be drinking this again: One more in the cellar! Probably will give this another year before opening.

Grade: B+

10/4/2010: First beer of my Short’s Beer Marathon! Why did I pick this as the first? Well honestly its because I love stouts, and its been glaring at me every time I go into my beer cellar. Not sure what makes this beer a mystery, but I am curious as to why its the only of my 13 Short’s brews in front of me that has a gold cap? I’m assuming that was intentional.

Mystery Stout pours out pretty thick. The nose is actually kind of burnt smelling, which was unexpected. Some chocolate in there as well. The flavor is very aggressive, burnt/roasted malts are at the forefront, followed by some molasses, a little vanilla, and a good amount of Bittersweet chocolate. Earthy hops are in the mix as well. The flavors are all very good, but they don’t play together quite as nicely as they should. Mouthfeel is the MVP in this beer, semi-creamy from the oatmeal, silky and full. Overall a pretty unique take on the style, I just could have used a little less of the burnt flavor.

Picture of the day: Very creative business card. (might not be safe for work)

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 307/365 – Founders Nemesis (2009)

Founders Nemesis 2009

Style: Wheatwine

ABV: 12.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Very unique, and very strong (but delicious)

Will I be drinking this again: Yes! I still have 3 more sitting in my basement.

Grade: A

9/11/2010: I sampled Founder’s Nemesis way back in March, and LOVED it then. Basically any beer that has maple in it I’m am sure to at least like a little bit. It seems like any of the small run beers that Founder’s produces, always end up being top notch (Nemesis, KBS, CSB, Black Biscuit etc). They even had this honey wheat that I tried when I visited back in January, and it was phenomenal.

Wheatwine is a completely new style for me, so I’m not quite sure what to expect. The smell is boozy as all hell, with some maple/caramel notes. I don’t know how to explain it, but the first sip almost had no flavor. I probably needed to let it warm a bit so I set it aside for about 15 minutes. Yup that was the problem, now there is a ton of flavor. Its pretty crazy how a few degrees in temperature can make a world of difference as far as flavors go. Lots of toffee and maple, a little woody, with a little afterkick of vanilla. The alcohol lets you know its there, without totally stabbing you in the throat. Mouthfeel was very unique and what I would call fluffy/creamy. If you were lucky enough to get your hands on some of this, crack one open now as it is drinking nicely already.

Picture of the day: Now this is what I call false advertising.

Published in: on September 11, 2010 at 8:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 283/365 – Atwater Dirty Blonde

Atwater Dirty Blonde

Style: Witbier

ABV: 4.5%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate - Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Very under malted for a witbier

Will I be drinking this again: Nope

Grade: C+

8/18/2010: Thanks to Brett for suggesting this beer to me. It seems to me Atwater makes either really good beer, or really below average beer. It just seems like there is no middle road with them. I am hoping for the prior with this one. Their Vanilla Java Porter (I’ll try anything with vanilla in the name) used to be one of my favorite beers, but from what I read they have changed that recipe from the original. I haven’t had one in almost 3 years so its hard to say.

All I can smell is orange juice in the nose. The flavor lacks a good malt presence, actually the more I’m drinking this it lacks flavor period. I can appreciate an easy drinking beer, but I want there to be some sort of flavor I can lean on. There is some tartness there, but its not super pleasant. Mouthfeel is a bit watery, and it is under-carbonated. Brett thanks for the suggestion, but next time I’ll take a real life Dirty Blonde over the Fermented beverage version.

Picture of the day: This girl either needs to learn how to use the liquify tool in photoshop correctly, or needs to call a good contractor.

Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 10:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 281/365 – Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA

Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA

Style: American IPA

ABV: 6.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate - Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Almost a perfect balance between hops/malt.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, this is in the top 10% of IPAs I have ever had.

Grade: A

8/16/2010: Dark Horse is hands down my favorite brewery. I have had almost a dozen of their beers now, but I have not yet tried their best seller; Crooked Tree. I know I know I should be ashamed, but as long time readers of my site know I did not like IPA’s when I started this website. Slowly but surely I am learning to love them.

Crooked Tree has a pretty hoppy nose to it, with sweeter than average malts for an IPA. At first sip you can instantly tell that this is a tamer version of the Double Crooked Tree DIPA (Obviously). The malt profile is a bit different for an IPA, very sweet almost toffee flavored, and the hops give off a lot of orange flavor, and a bit of pine. In this case I don’t mind the pine because the sweet malt is supplying enough backup. Mouthfeel is almost silky for an IPA, with just the right amount of carbonation. Dark Horse always seems to stay true to the style, but puts just enough of a twist on it to make it original.

Picture of the day: I gotta be honest, I read this one wrong the first time too!

Beer 250/365 – Bell’s Batch 9000

Bells Batch 9000

Style: American Strong Ale

ABV: 12.5%

Purchased at: The Headkeeper – Greensburg PA

What makes this beer different: Super sweet and needs some time to sit for sure.

Will I be drinking this again: Have a few more bottles in the basement

Grade: B

7/16/2010: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think Bell’s is a little overrated. Other than Hop Slam they don’t offer much that is very unique. Of course there is a market for above average “staying in the lines” craft beer, so I can’t say I blame them for pretty much staying on the straight and narrow. I love breweries who think outside the box, and try to push the limits. Bell’s is a little more on the conservative end of the brewery scale.

I have been reading reviews on this beer and see that it is still a little hot, but that didnt stop me from trying it. I am also confused how this is categorized as a Strong Ale, it hits me more as a stout. The smells is VERY boozy and sweet. The flavor is all about sweetness, molasses, and dense fugdeyness. The booze are far too prominent for me at this point. I rarely ever thing a beer is too boozy, as I am the type of guy who drinks my whiskey and cokes with only a splash of coke. Very full mouthfeel, with little to no carbonation. I am sure this will be a solid beer in a year or two, but for right now I will avoid drinking another one.

Picture of the day: Keep your kids away from this guy.

Published in: on July 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 232/365 – Dark Horse Rod

dark horse rod

Style: Amber Ale

ABV: 7.2%

Purchased at: On Tap at Vintage Estate – Boardman, OH

What makes this beer different: The most herbal tasting beer ever.

Will I be drinking this again: Not sure if they are bottling it, but I would drink it again sure.

Grade: A-

6/28/2010: Dark Horse is hands down my favorite brewery for three main reasons. One, they brew awesome beer. I have tried almost a dozen different beers of theirs, and all were a B+ or better. Two, they turned down being in a Nickelback video (hate their music). Three, they don’t take themselves too seriously and have an good sense of humor when naming/describing their beer. For instance check out the sexual innuendo’s going on here in the description of the beer.

“Rod is a refreshing, medium bodied red ale brewed with aphrodisiac herbs for woman and men alike. Brewer Russ Beattie was working on his own version of Sex Panther, using passion flower, epimedium, damiana, and ginko to elevate the levels of spring time friskiness and brewmaster Aaron Morse decided that the best way to spread the love was via Rod.”

Rod smells toasty and herbal. The main event as far as flavors go, is no doubt some herbal funk. Can’t tell you what herbs exactly, but its herbal, almost like tea made with real tea leaves. A good bit of caramel malt going on, and finishes a little bit dry. Mouthfeel is a little heavy for an amber, but I think it needs the heaviness for the herbs to lay in. Very unique, but no it didn’t get me excited in that type of way hah.

Picture of the day: WOW, this girl has reached an entirely new level of stupidity.

Published in: on June 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 223/365 – Dark Horse One Oatmeal Stout

Style: Oatmeal Stout

ABV: 8.0%

Purchased at: Maybe Siciliano’s in Grand Rapids Michigan? I can’t remember ha.

What makes this beer different: One of the heaviest Oatmeal Stout’s I have ever had.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, I hear they are selling in PA soon so thats a plus.

Grade: A-

6/19/2010: I think its official; Dark Horse is my favorite brewery. Every single beer of theirs that I have tried has been very unique, and very tasty. Plus I love the whole rustic/rural setting of their brewery/brewpub. If you haven’t seen what it looks like check out my brewery tour write up for some pictures.

This beer smells very very roasted, lots of coffee smell going on here. The taste is intense for an oatmeal stout. Almost a neck and neck race between dark roast coffee, and bittersweet chocolate, with vanilla lagging way way behind in last place. This beer is very sweet, but its kept in check by the burnt/roast flavor that the coffee is giving. Very heavy mouthfeel for an Oatmeal stout, but thats perfect for me because I love heavy beers. Not sure if you get Dark Horse beer in your area, but if you don’t be sure you try to trade for some. It will be worth it.

Picture of the day: Digging up the past.

Beer 216/365 – Bell’s Expedition Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.5%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: One of the few Russian Imperial Stout that I have tasted dark fruits in? They are usually more straight forward.

Will I be drinking this again: Depends what else is in front of me but yes

Grade: B

6/12/2010: Anyone else not really “wowed” by anything that Bell’s makes? I really like Hop Slam, but its not something that I would go out of my way to get. Maybe I am a victim of all the extreme beer variations out there. A lot of breweries are making some pretty off the wall stuff (Three Floyds, Short’s), and I am always down to try something new and crazy. Bell’s kind of stays on the straight and new as far as pushing limits goes.

Expedition Stout smells like most Russian Imperial Stouts; Chocolate and booze. The taste is a bit different though. One of the first things I get is some dark fruits, which isn’t usual for an RIS. There is also a lot of bitter chocolate, and very bitter espresso. The beer isn’t all that complex, but the alcohol punches you a little too much for my taste. I know a lot of RIS’s are known for that, but this is a little too in your face. Took me over an hour to finish the beer. Flavors are right, alcohol balance is not.

Picture of the day: LOL House.

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beer 213/365 – Short’s Smoked Apple Ale

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

ABV: 6.25%

Purchased at: An extra in trade from Andy

What makes this beer different: Tastes as advertised, smokey and appley

Will I be drinking this again: Its a pretty limited release but if it was more accessible then yes I would.

Grade: A-

6/9/2010: Thanks a bunch to reader Andy for sending me this as an extra. I have been wanting to try Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock for awhle now, and he hunted me one down. $14 for 6.3oz worth! I might have to break my 10oz per beer per day rule for that bad boy.

This beer smells like an apple cooked over a campfire. The taste is heavy on smoke at first, with a little bit of apple in the background. You can feel the smoke in your tear ducts its so intense. About halfway through the beer it really mellows out and the split is almost 50/50 smoke to apple, but still heavier on smoke. Very unique beer to be sure. A little over carbonated but it helps cut through the smoke a bit.

Picture of the day: Ronaldo is jealous.

Beer 204/365 – North Peak Siren Amber Ale

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

ABV: 5.0%

Purchased at: From the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe

What makes this beer different: Watery and bitter

Will I be drinking this again: No way

Grade: C-

5/31/2010: I picked this up wayyyy back on New Years Day at the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe during my Michigan Brewery Tour. I am a sucker for any beer thats in these little grenade looking bottles. I’m sure this is partially due to the fact that I drank a lot of Mickey’s in college (remember that Nick?).

Siren Amber almost has no smell at all, very odd. I am sure its partially due to the fact that at this point its at the very least, 6 months old. The taste is bitter and medicinal. Some caramel malt there but its so subdued you almost don’t even notice it. Had a hard time finishing this beer to be honest, so I didn’t do the best job ever taking notes on it. But to summarize: avoid this one. I was under the impression this was brewed by the same people who brew Jolly Pumpkin, but apparently this is not the case.

Picture of the day: Ear-Plug Fail.

Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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