Beer 400/365 – New England Brewing Imperial Stout Trooper

New England Brewing Imperial Stout Trooper

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 9.2%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade way back when

What makes this beer different: Almost a milk stout quality to it. Which is odd for a RIS.

Will I be drinking this again: I don’t think they even make this anymore because of a lawsuit that LucasArts filed against the company, but I could be wrong.

Grade: A-

1/12/2012: My updates have went from being every day, to every other month. I apologize for that! I also realize I can’t make any promises as to how often I will update, so your best bet if you want to follow along is to subscribe (over in the right hand column). That way you will get an email anytime I update. WordPress doesn’t share your email address so don’t worry about getting spammed. I finally finished my freelance site, and the side projects that have came to me as a result of having it is what has been taking up all of my time. If you care to see the site here it is: steelcitycreative.com

On to the beer! Imperial Stout Trooper poured out much thinner than I had expected, yet very dark. A very sweet smell akin to a milk stout, with some chocolate and alcohol as well. The flavor was a little underwhelming. I am not sure if this beer was a bit thin to age as long as I did (almost 3 years), or if this is just how the beer tastes. Yes I still gave this an A-, but expected it to be a bit better. Some roasted coffee flavors, vanilla, milk chocolate, and that lactose/milk stout type flavor I was talking about. The mouthfeel was a bit watery for an imperial stout. Overall this was still a pretty tasty beer. I just expected a little bit more.

Picture of the day: Some people may not get this if they don’t watch the show, but it is true for me.

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Beer 399/365 – Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.5%

Purchased at: Smokin Joe’s – Pittsburgh, PA

What makes this beer different: The maple. I love beers with bourbon, I love beers with maple. Therefore I LOVE this beer.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes I was lucky enough to land one bottle at Smokin Joe’s (for $35 ugh)

Grade: A+

10/25/2011: This beer was on my most wanted list, and I heard rumors that Smokin Joe’s in the South Side of Pittsburgh was getting a case. I got lucky with some insider info on when the beer arrived. By the time I got there, they were already down to 7 bottles left. They also had a sixtel of it so I got to try it on tap.

The smell is amazing, bourbon is at the forefront, coffee, some oak, and chocolate. The maple is very subtle in the nose. The flavor is amazing. Maple is much more prominent in the taste, and it does a great job of mellowing out the would-be harshness of the bourbon. Chocolate, bourbon, molasses, coffee, vanilla… So many subtle flavors going on. Seems to be a slightly different taste every sip. This beer does have some similarities to KBS, but CBS is much more drinkable in my opinion. I had a hard time not drinking this entire beer within 10 minutes. I won’t say this is the best beer I have ever had, but it is without a doubt top 3. If you are lucky enough to stumble across some of this, buy as much as you can.

Picture of the day: Stove top not working?

Beer 398/365 – Professor Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse

Professor Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse

Style: Berliner Weissbier

ABV: 5.0% ABV

Purchased at: I don’t even remember at this point!

What makes this beer different: My first Berliner Weisse, so not sure what the standard is.

Will I be drinking this again: I would! But I only remember seeing it once on store shelves.

Grade: A-

10/13/2011: I can’t believe its been almost 5 months since I have updated an actual beer on this site. When I realized I was so close to beer 400, I figured I had to at least gut that out. Although I would love to make it to 500 someday.

Onto the beer. I picked this one up because of a suggestion from a friend who said it was a great beer, and a great style of beer. Had to read up a bit on the style before sampling this because I have only had one beer of this style before. To over simplify, sounds like its a traditional wheat beer with a sour kick. Lots of head on the initial pour, and you could smell the sourness without even putting your nose up to it. Also a musty lemon type smell. Again to over simply if I had to describe this to a non-beer drinking friend, I would say this tastes like a lighter sour version of a traditional wheat. Lots of tang, but not too much. Oddly thirst quenching, and thirst inducing at the same time. Would love the find more of this for a hot summer day. Pretty unique and worth trying if you stumble across it!

Picture of the day: If you are what you eat

Beer 397/365 – Maine Beer Company Zoe

Maine Beer Company Zoe

Style: American Amber

ABV: 7.2%

Purchased at: Sent to me by Jared in a trade

What makes this beer different: Very hop heavy for an Amber, but thats a good thing!

Will I be drinking this again: Due to lack of distribution, no.

Grade: A-

5/24/2011: So many changes in my life lately. I try not to post personal stuff on my blog too much, but over the weekend I had two family members pass away within an hour of each other. Needless to say my family is in a bit of shock right now, so as usual I missed my Monday update. I am still going update twice a week, I just don’t know if I can commit to solid days.

Love the simple labeling that Main Brewing uses on their beer. Each label is plain white, with the name, a short description, and a small drawing of a face. Immediately upon opening the beer you can smell how hoppy it is for an Amber, mostly on the citrus end. The flavor is great, and to be honest if I didn’t know any better I would assume it was a caramel heavy IPA. Lots of citrus hop, caramel malt, toffee, grassy, and bready. Very complex for an Amber, and very well done. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy for the style, but it works for all the flavors going on.

Picture of the day: I love Macs, but this is pretty funny.

Beer 395/365 – Port Brewing Mongo IPA

Port Brewing Mongo IPA

Style: Imperial IPAABV: 8.5%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade

What makes this beer different: Lots of grapefruit/citrus character

Will I be drinking this again: Very good, but not worth trading for.

Grade: A

5/12/2011: My mom lately has become an estate sale junkie. I am a little bit afraid she might end up being featured on an episode of hoarders. Okay thats an exageration, but I do reap the benefits. Which brings me to my next point; the photo you see looks like is distorted, but its not. The glass is a super tall skinny pint glass that my mom bought me from an estate sale. I have a china closet full of beer glasses now, partially due to her estate sale purchases.

The nose is very fruity; orange peel, lemon, and strong grapefruit. This is one of the hoppier Double IPA’s that I have ever had, but thats okay because there are no signs of pine flavored hops (my least favorite flavor in beer). A lot of pale malt flavor, and even a bit of caramel. About average mouth-feel for the style, but the only place this beer is lacking is in hiding the alcohol. The alcohol shows itself a little tiny bit too much, but overall a really good beer.

Picture of the day: Now this is what I call Extreme Parenting.

Beer 393/365 – Weihenstephaner Vitus

Weihenstephaner Vitus

Style: Weizenbock

ABV: 7.7%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Very light in color for a weizenbock, and much less fruity.

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe! It was good but not great

Grade: B+

5/2/2011: Yup, totally missed my update on Thursday. I had a week off between jobs, and took a week down in Ocean City to relax a bit. Had my first job today so I obviously didn’t want to update from there. I am back on track now, so updates will be on time!

Onto the beer. So I will be honest and say I have no idea why the weizenbock style varies so much in color. I am used to Aventinus and Victory Moonglow that are a much darker color than Vitus. The nose is kind of boozy, banana, and no sign at all of dark fruits. If I didn’t already know the style I would assume this beer is a hefeweizen. The flavor is similar to the nose, lots of banana some clove, and a sweet bubblegum type flavor. The mouthfeel is THICK! One of the heaviest non-stout beers I have ever had. To sum this up in one line, this beer is like a hefe on steroids. In my opinion this shouldn’t be considered a weizenbock, but regardless it is a good beer.

Picture of the day: Hey birthers, sorry I was kind of busy for the last few months.

Beer 392/365 – Flying Dog In Heat Wheat

Flying Dog In Heat Wheat

Style: Hefeweizen

ABV: 4.7%

Purchased at: Seaside Deli – Ocean City Maryland

What makes this beer different: Tastes like a traditional hefe, but lighter in body and a little boozy

Will I be drinking this again: I bought a 6 pack, and it is an easy drinker for the summertime.

Grade: B

4/25/2011: Sorry! I know I was due for an update yesterday, but I am on vacation for a week before I start the new job. The weather has been high 70’s, and sunny as hell. So needless to say I have been outside a lot, golfing, drinking, grilling etc etc. A day late is better than never right?

Flying Dog In Heat Wheat must be filtered because it is pretty damn clear for a hefe. The nose is classic hefe, a lot of banana and a bit of clove. The flavor is similar; banana and clove with some trace of a spice I can’t put my finger on. The thing that kills this beer is the mouthfeel is very light, and the ABV actually is semi-noticable for a 4.7% abv beer. Overall its a decent beer for a hot summer day, but not a hefe I would go out of my way to find again.

Picture of the day: The fresh prince worked up a pretty hefty cab fare

Beer 390/365 – Great Lakes Doppelrock

Great Lakes Dopplerock

Style: Dopplebock

ABV: 7.8%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Very fruity for a doppelbock

Will I be drinking this again: Yes I would like to try this from the bottle.

Grade: B+

4/18/2011: Great Lakes is a very good brewery in my opinion. Almost all of their beers are what I would call “solid”, and great examples of their respective styles. You usually aren’t going to find anything really off the wall from them, but I can appreciate that. What I am trying to say is that Great Lakes is the exact opposite of a Short’s Brewing or Three Floyd’s in their approach to flavors in beer. Also apologies for the terrible picture again, but this Thursday I will be back to good pictures as I just edited about 30 photos from the Nikon..

The nose is full of malt, dark bread and toffee. The flavor to my surprise has lot of a plum/raisin/fig type thing going on. The caramel/toffee/sweet malts are there, but not as much as in the nose. Very surprising because usually I can pick up the dominant flavors in the nose, but no sign of fruit in the smell. Doppelrock also has this smokey milk type thing going on. Yes I know this is an odd description for a beer flavor, but not sure how else to put it into words. The body is a little under carbed, but still about right for the style. Overall a pretty good beer, but the milky flavor knocked it out of the A- range for me.

Picture of the day: Yup it must be tax season.

Beer 389/365- Pelican Pub India Pelican Ale

Pelican Pub India Pelican Ale

Style: American IPA

ABV: 7.5%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade

What makes this beer different: One of the hoppier IPAs I’ve had in a long time

Will I be drinking this again: Meh, it was good but not worth trading for.

Grade: B+

4/14/2011: Had this beer on the day I brewed my fourth batch of beer. This was my first time trying a recipe that was completely “freestyled”. I wanted to make a hybrid between two of my favorite beers of all time; Three Floyds Gumballhead, and Flying Dog Raging Bitch. I basically found a good clone recipe of each, cut them in half, combined them, and added a little bit of citra hop. This beer actually turned out pretty good, and hopefully we kick the keg this weekend during opening day of trout.

Onto the beer… Indian Pelican Ale has a very hop forward nose, a lot of grapefruit, and some pine. Long time readers of my site know how much I hate piney flavored hops. The flavor again is very hop forward, although not as piney as it was in the smell. Lots of grapefruit, some citrus, and pine in the mix. I wish there was a bit more maltiness going on, but there is just enough for this beer to be considered good. The mouth-feel is a little light for the style, probably due to the aforementioned lack of malt. Overall a pretty good beer, just needs a little more body to it.

Picture of the day: Women’s purses are like a black hole.

Beer 388/365 – Affligem Noel

Affligem Noel

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 9.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman, OH

What makes this beer different: Not much just a great holiday beer

Will I be drinking this again: Probably yes, the price tag was not bad at $9 for the big bottle.

Grade: A-

4/11/2011: Kind of a bitter-sweet day for me today. Just put in my two weeks at my current employer. Excited about the new job, but going to miss the people at my current job. Oh well you gotta do what you gotta do right? Either way this is a good excuse to open up a beer tonight.

The nose is really complex, caramel sweetness, some spice, some wood, and dark fruits. Lots of flavors going on here, but I’m not sure I can put my finger on all of them; dark fruit, caramel, clove, a little bit of chocolate, and some earthiness. Interesting combo of flavors, but wish it was a tiny bit sweeter (its a little dry). The alcohol is hidden pretty well, but the body could use thickening up just a little bit as well. Overall the flavor is there, just wish it wasn’t as dry and a bit thicker. Very unique though!

Picture of the day: A solution to the upcoming zombie apocalypse.