Beer 112/365 – Great Lakes Blackout Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Oakey hops

Will I be drinking this again: Yup, bought a few to age.

Grade: A-

2/28/2010: I can’t believe its been a couple months since I have had a Russian Imperial Stout for my beer a day. I also can’t believe this is my first Great Lakes beer for this site. Probably because I have had pretty much every readily available beer they make. Although this is my first time trying blackout stout.

Blackout stout smells like coffee, black malt, and a bit of hops. The taste is mostly a roasted coffee, a bit of chocolate, a little tiny bit of hop flavor, and a hint of smoke. Very nice combination. The smoke adds a nice touch to the aftertaste. Thick but silky mouthfeel, and hides the 9% alcohol very very well. Great lakes doesn’t really make a beer that I don’t like, and this one falls right in line with the rest.

Picture of the day: Son, this is what a woman should look like when you are through with her.

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm  Comments (2)  
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Beer 111/365 – Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard

Style: American Strong Ale

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Oakey hops

Will I be drinking this again: Probably, but depends what else is in my fridge at the time.

Grade: B+

2/27/2010: I remember my first experience with Arrogant Bastard was not a good one. Granted this was about 5-6 years ago when I thought all beer was supposed to be drank out of a bottle, and they are all supposed to be taken down via big swigs. Also at the time I hated anything hoppy so obviously arrogant bastard was a bad choice. Well thats in the past and I am going to give it another try, except oaked. Oh and how about I found this snifter for 26 cents at a thrift shop, sweet!

Right away you smell the oak from the Arrogant Bastard. A nice hop aroma also. Aggressive hops lead the way for taste, with some caramely sugar taste, then a big hit of alcohol, finished off with a nice oak flavor. The taste is very good and very original, but the alcohol is way to prevalent. Now don’t get me wrong I love a good strong beer, but this one tasted WAY stronger than 7.2%. I do realize ASA’s are supposed to taste strong, but this one taste’s much strong than the average. Mouthfeel is good, silky, very nice carbonation. Overally a pretty solid beer with a great taste, just needs better stealth alcohol ninja skills.

Picture of the day: A few misguided Yahoo Answers.

Published in: on February 27, 2010 at 6:12 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beer 110/365 – Rogue Chocolate Stout

Style: American Stout

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Perfect balance of hops and chocolate

Will I be drinking this again: Without a Doubt

Grade: A

2/26/2010: Last night I took a beer inventory to see which beers I had that could be aged, and which could not. Well this bad boy fell under the not category so I decided to throw it into the fridge to share with Cara. Sidenote: I plan on popping open my first ever Abyss sometime soon.

Damnit why did it take me so long to try Rogue Chocolate stout, this stuff is awesome. Smell is a lot of sweet chocolate, and some hop presence. Taste is a perfect balance of chocolate and hops. What really makes this chocolate stout different from others, is that the chocolate is more on the sweet side than bitter. There is a nice dose of hops that balance the chocolate. I have been looking for a lighter bodied stout that had a lot of chocolate flavor, and this fits the bill. Awesome beer.

Picture of the day: I knew the japanese were weird, but not this weird. Whats up with this Dan? haha

Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beer 109/365 – Bell’s Hopslam

Style: Imperial IPA

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Super hoppy but dangerously drinkable

Will I be drinking this again: Go a 6 pack, so yes.

Grade: A

2/25/2010: So I have never gotten around to trying Hopslam until recently, mostly because I have never been open to trying IPA’s again until I started this website up. All kinds of buzz about this beer so I figured it was a must try. I confess I actually had this on tap as a second beer a few weeks back when I went to Vintage Estate to stock up.

Bell’s Hopslam is probably the hoppiest smelling beer ever. The taste is a complete enigma to me. Even though there is a ton of hop flavor, it is amazingly easy to drink. A decent bit of malt backbone for all the hops to lean on, and I am getting some honey also. If I had to guess the ABV I would guess 7%, but its actually 10%. Alcohol is hidden very well. If this beer wasn’t so pricey I could easily drink a few in a row without blinking.

Picture of the day: So this is how pacman was born.

Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm  Comments (3)  
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Beer 108/365 – Avery Maharaja IPA

Style: Imperial IPA

Purchased at: My Buddy Kevin bought it straight from Colorado for me.

What makes this beer different: Light mouthfeel, but huge flavor

Will I be drinking this again: For sure

Grade: A-

2/24/2010: Quick history lesson… Did you know IPA’s have been around since the 17th century? Only recently have Double IPA’s/Imperial IPA’s sprung up. It was believed to be created by Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River brewing out of California (was with Bling Pig brewing at the time). Supposedly this style happened on accident when he added too much malt to his mash, and made up for it by adding a ton of hops. Crazy.

Is there a bad beer brewed in Colorado? Other than anything Coors that is. I really need to get out there to do a brewery tour. Maharaja smells very hoppy, piney. Taste actually is a lot more malty that I expected, almost too malty for the style (gasp) in my opinion. A lot of sweet malt, and some pine sappy hop flavor. A bit of citrus there also. Also it hides the 10% alcohol content extremely well, especially considering the fact that the mouthfeel is actually kind of light to me. Usually you need a pretty heavy beer to mask an ABV like that.

Picture of the day: Okay so this is actually a video, but it features two of my favorite people Jon Stewart and Tracy Morgan.

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 11:07 am  Comments (1)  
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Beer 107/365 – Abita Purple Haze

Style: Fruit/Vegetable beer

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: A touch of raspberry.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: B

2/23/2010: Purple Haze is brewed in the home state of this years Superbowl champions, Louisiana. Of course the name of this beer is a tribute to the best guitar player EVER.. Jimi Hendrix. I actually work as an usher at the Mellon Arena where the Pittsburgh Penguins play, and last night Eric Clapton was in town. He is no slouch on the geeetar either. Although his set was very short, probably because he was actualy sober.

Well Abita got it about half right, this beer is hazy but not very purple. Damn you Abita. But seriously this was one of the first craft beers I have ever tried. The smell is a typical wheat beer smell, with almost a berry jelly type smell. The taste is a lot of wheat, a little bit of raspberry, and not quite enough malt. The ingredients are right, just not quite balanced. If it had a touch more raspberry and malt, this beer would be an A. I remember when I first tried this beer I LOVED it, but I guess my palette is getting a bit more “refined.” I will still drink it again as it is a sessionable beer, but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I used to.

Picture of the day: This pretty much sums up some of the problems in the US.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 10:50 am  Comments (1)  
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Beer 106/365 – Thirsty Dog Lunar Lager

Style: German Pilsener

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: The most non lager tasting lager ever.

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe if it was the last beer on the moon

Grade: C-

2/22/2010: Ugh. So very disappointed by this beer. I love thirsty dog as they brew two of my favorite beers; Old Leghumper and Siberian Stout, but they really dropped the ball on this one. Not only did it not taste like the style AT ALL, but it just didn’t taste good for any style.

Lunar Lager pours out extremely hazy. Giant galaxies of yeast are suspended in the middle of the beer as if there was zero gravity in the liquid. I even let this beer sit for 10 minutes to see if the giant meteorites of yeast would settle, but they didn’t. Look at the picture… You can see the pile of sand on the bottom and the chunks floating around. The smell is sour as hell with no sign of hops at all, which is usually at the forefront for a German Pils. The taste is sour/spoiled lemons, and thats really about all. Its not the good kind of sour you usually get with a good beer either, its the spoiled sour type of taste. No sign of hops in the taste either. Mouthfeel is decent but not nearly good enough to bump this beers C- grading. Avoid this one, but it shouldn’t be hard as it was a one time experimental release. Also assuming not many people have tried it since there are only 6-7 reviews of it on BA.

Picture of the day: Now this is a good one. If men wrote Women’s magazine covers.

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 2:29 pm  Comments (3)  
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Beer 105/365 – Aventinus

Style: Weizenbock

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Plum meets wheat

Will I be drinking this again: Oh yes

Grade: A

2/21/2010: Yet another variation of a style non beer-geek people call “wheat beer.” So for non-beer geek people lets check the definition on BA… A more powerful Dunkel Weizen (of “bock strength”), with a pronounced estery alcohol character, perhaps some spiciness from this, and bolder and more complex malt characters of dark fruits. Hmmm interesting. I would say that is pretty accurate to describe Aventinus.

Aventinus is a lot darker than your typical wheat beer as you can see. Smell is mostly cloves, and a light malt scent. Taste is incredible. Cloves, Plums, and brown sugar. Beer is real complex and has just a tiny sour note that makes you want to keep drinking it. I almost wonder if they used a belgian style yeast in this because at times the mouthfeel felt like a belgian dark when I wasn’t paying attention to what I was drinking. I’m sure the plum flavor adds to that. Aventinus is dangerously drinkable for an 8.2% beer. If I had an endless supply of money this would no doubt be my tailgating beer of choice for steeler games. If you haven’t tried this beer yet, you need to regardless of your favorite style.

Picture of the day: Don’t you just hate golfing sometimes?

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm  Comments (9)  
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Beer 104/365 – Great Divide Old Ruffian

Style: Barleywine

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Imperial IPA meets Barleywine

Will I be drinking this again: Probably yes

Grade: B+

2/20/2010: So I am on a new mission to try as many of the top 100 beers on beeradvocate.com as possible. A good bit of them are fairly accessible, and reasonably priced, so I figure why not? Old Ruffian drops in at #87/100.

I am by no means a barleywine expert, so take this review with a grain of .. barley? One thing I can tell you is there was a pretty big hop presence to Old Ruffian, especially for the style. The smell is violent, very hoppy, caramel, and booze. The best way I can describe the taste is its a three headed monster of caramel malt, citrus hops and alcohol, but they are all in balance. The beer without a doubt got better as it warmed. Much more flavorful and balanced when it got closer to the 55 degree range. I still need to work on truly appreciating barleywines, but this was for sure one of the better ones I have had.

Picture of the day: Sometimes beer goggles make you laugh, but this would just make me want to cry.

Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm  Comments (6)  
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Beer 103/365 – Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout

Style: American Stout

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Not as smokey as I thought it would be

Will I be drinking this again: Mmmm depends what else I have available that day

Grade: B+

2/19/2010: Wonder why there isn’t a “smoked stout” category on Beeradvocate? I guess its because Smoked Porter is a bit more common than Smoked Stouts. Anywho picked this one up a few days ago at Vintage Estate. Actually didn’t see this one in Michigan when we took our trip up there. Had to pick this up because so far Dark Horse might be my favorite brewery I have personally visited. Again how can you hate a place with beers called “Richard in mouth w/cumquat”, and “Smells like weed.”

It seems to me like Dark Horse uses the same stout base for all the beers in this series. The prior ones were One/Oatmeal, Too/Cream, and Tres/Blueberry. The smell is a decent bit of smoke, and a bit of coffee. The smoke taste in this beer comes through as more of a charred type of flavor, and is actually a bit subdued oveall. I am assuming this is because I am used to smoke porters which usually aren’t nearly as bombarded with as much malt as stouts. The other flavors are heavy espresso, and molasses. I wish I knew what the ABV is on this beer because it peeks out just a little bit. I base a lot of my grading of a beer on whether or not the alcohol is hidden well, so its hard for me to give an accurate grade. If its a 6% beer they did a bad job, if its a 9%-10% beer they did an awesome job. Overall very solid, just wish the alcohol was hidden better.

Picture of the day: Mother Nature has a sense of humor..

Published in: on February 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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