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 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 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.

Beer 387/365 – Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stout

Duck Rabbit Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.00%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade

What makes this beer different: Not too much, just a solid beer.

Will I be drinking this again: Yup I got another one in the basement

Grade: A-

4/7/2011: I haven’t had too many beers from Duck-Rabbit yet, but the ones I have had are very good. Their milk stout is one of my favorite, if not my favorite milk stout out there. I’ve got some of their baltic porter in the basement as well. Maybe I will crack one of those open this week.

The nose is pretty typical for a Russian Imperial, dark chocolate mostly, some coffee and dark malt. The flavor is classic RIS, dark chocolate, some coffee, and a nice alcohol punch. Mouthfeel is pretty creamy for the style, and low carbonation. Sometimes I admit I get a bit caught up the the “American” Imperial stouts that add all kinds of crazy ingredients, and forget about how good a simple Russian Imperial Stout can be. What makes a RIS good in my opi9nion lies in the simplicity of the beer, not the uniqueness. Good beer for sure.

Picture of the day: Accidental Penis?

Beer 384/365 – Dogfish Head Burton Baton

Dogfish Head Burton Baton

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 10%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Very malty, I have a feeling this was a bit old.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes i want to try it fresh

Grade: B+

3/28/2011: My first schedule Monday update! I now have my google calendar set to remind me every Mon and Thur to update. I’m usually doing 982,734 things at once during a typical work day, so this should help kick my ass into gear. Anyways onto the review.

The nose is not nearly as hoppy as I thought it would be, it was more sweet like a light ABV barleywine. That being said there are some citrus hop notes in the smell. The flavor is really good, but again doesn’t remind me a lot of a DIPA. A lot of caramel malt, some earthy hops, a hint of wood, and the finish is a little boozy. Actually this reminds me of what a “105 minute IPA” would taste like (half 90 minute, half 120 minute). Actually after just reading some of the reviews apparently this is not due to the beer being old like I suspected, most people actually feel the same about this being very malty. A bit heavy/sticky on the mouthfeel. All that being said this tasted great, just wouldn’t consider it an Imperial IPA.

Picture of the day: Sounds like a fun date to me!

Beer 383/365 – The Bruery Autumn Maple

The Bruery Autumn Maple

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

ABV: 10.5%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade

What makes this beer different: The first beer I have ever tried that was brewed with Yams…

Will I be drinking this again: I have another bottle in the basement, it was a little hot so hopefully some age will tame it a bit.

Grade: A-

3/22/2011: Let it be known that I will try any beer that has maple in it. I LOVE maple flavor. It also helps that they use yams in this because sweet potatoes/yams are right up my alley as well. You might see a blurry face in the reflection of the window behind the beer, and that would be my good friend Donnie who I split the beer with.

I was expecting a lot of maple in the nose, but there was zero. Lots of spice, nutmeg and cinnamon maybe? Also something fruity. The flavor is great, but not what I was expecting. Cinnamon, nutmeg and clove are the front runners. Maple is there but to be honest I’m not sure if I would have picked it out if i had not known it was in the beer. Lots of caramel flavor as well. Everything about this beer is great except for the mouthfeel, and strong alcohol bite. The mouthfeel is a bit light for such a high ABV. Overall though I’ll bet this beer will be great with some age.

Picture of the day: I can already tell this chick is going to make a great mother.

Beer 382/365 – Tripel Karmeliet

Tripel Karmeliet

Style: Tripel

ABV: 8.4%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate Wine & Beer – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Very sweet/sugary even for a Tripel

Will I be drinking this again: Yes it was damn good for the price.

Grade: A

3/15/2011: I bought this beer on a recommendation from a friend. She lived in Belgium and said this was one of her favorite beers ever, and I was crazy for not having tried it yet. I would love to visit Belgium because their bottles only run about 1-2 American dollars, as opposed to at least 5 dollars here in the states. Someday!

I already know this beer is going to be sweet as there are chunks of candy sugar around the mouth of the bottle (you can actually see it in the picture above). The nose is even parts sweet and spicy, maybe cardamom? The flavor at first is very very sweet; toffee, caramel, honey, candy sugar. About halfway through my glass a lot of the spice starts to show up; cardamom, clove, maybe some orange peel? Lots of good carbonation keeps the beer from getting cloying. Overall this was one of the best tripels I have ever had. Highly recommended.

Picture of the day: Put that candy away!

Published in: on March 15, 2011 at 8:29 am  Comments (6)  
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Beer 381/365- New Holland Dragon’s Milk

New Holland Dragons Milk

Style: American Stout

ABV: 9.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate Wine & Beer – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Thought this would be considered an imperial stout due to the ABV. Regardless this is one of the best affordable “big stouts” available.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, this beer is a staple in the cellar.

Grade: A-

3/7/2011: Kind of shocked that I didn’t drink one of these during my 365. Even more shocked that this is my first New Holland beer. I tried to make it there on my Michigan Beer Tour, but ran out of time and energy. I plan on driving through Michigan again in the near future, and I plan on making it to New Holland this time around for sure.

Dragon’s Milk in my opinion isn’t overly complex, but complexity isn’t a must for a good beer. The nose is mostly chocolate, oak, and a bit of dark fruit. The flavor reminds me of a stronger version of one of my favorite beers; Dominion Oak Barrel Stout. A lot of roasty malt, chocolate, some oak, and a hint of vanilla and dark fruit. There is a little alcohol kick that you usually get with a Russian Imperial Stout, but it doesn’t bother me much. This coming from a guy who drinks his Beam ‘n Coke’s at an 80/20 ratio typically. Mouthfeel is a bit light for the ABV, which is probably why the alcohol isn’t hidden extraordinarily well. Overall a great beer for the price.

Picture of the day: Who is up for a staring contest?