Beer 176/365 – Victory Yakima Twilight

Style: American Strong Ale

ABV: 8.7%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Tastes much stronger than 8.7%

Will I be drinking this again: If I am in the mood for something strong yes

Grade: B+

5/3/2010: I honestly thought Yakima Twilight was an IPA from the golden hop on the label. I pour it out and notice how dark it was… hmm this isn’t normal for an IPA. The smell of Yakima Twilight actually is pretty hop filled, so it still had me going on the IPA trail after smelling it. Then I taste it, and I think okay this is a bit strong for an IPA, so I go to BeerAdvocate and see that its actually an American Strong Ale (Home Simpson D’oh moment).

The smell is very bitter hoppy, with some sweet malt. The taste is very complex, a lot of hops going on, with some toasted/caramel malt. Actually the hops/malt are almost an exact 50/50 split. The mouthfeel and carbonation were both a little under average, which dropped this down into the B level for me. Had it been a bit thicker, and more carbonated, it would have really helped in masking the alcohol.

Picture of the day: This guinea piggets around!

Published in: on May 3, 2010 at 10:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 175/365 – Stoudt’s Smooth Hoperator

Style: Dopplebock

ABV: 7.0%

Purchased at: 3 Sons Dogs ‘n Suds – Wexford PA

What makes this beer different: A hoppy dopplebock, very unique

Will I be drinking this again: Depends what else is on the menu for that day

Grade: A-

5/2/2010: I am all for trying anything different as far as beer goes, which is why I picked this bottle up. I actually picked a few up, one for me, one for the girlfriend, and one for a trade. I have never had a hop infused dopplebock so why not give it a shot. Plus it gets automatic brownie points for being brewed in my home state of Pennsylvania.

Smooth Hoperator actually smells more like an IPA than anything, maybe even an Oktoberfest beer. The taste is a great combo of earthy/nutty/toasted malt, and citrus/pine hops. They combine these flavors very well, while still being able to pick out the individual ingredients. Picture a yin and yang, with one being a typical dopplebock flavor, and the other being an American IPA flavor. As advertised is a very smooth drink, and semi-creamy. If you are getting sick of the same old flavors in beer, give this one a try strictly because of how unique it is.

Picture of the day: Look! There really is a Bigfoot!

Published in: on May 2, 2010 at 9:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 158/365 – Troegs Sunshine Pils

Style: German Pilsner

ABV: 5.3%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Very fresh and grainy

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, I need to turn my “miller lite” friends onto this beer

Grade: B+

4/15/2010: I have tried a ton of Troeg’s beer in my a day, but this is the first time trying Sunshine Pils! I would say Troeg’s probably has some of the best beer in PA. Actually they probably have the most solid beer overall from A-Z, with Victory a close second.

The smell on this I can only describe as “vibrant”… Very grainy, almost like smelling multi-grain bread, with some lemon scents in there too. The flavor is very crisp, a nice dose of hops for a pils, and again grainy. Very smooth and finishes a little bit dry. This would be a perfect gateway beer for your Miller Lite drinking friends.

Picture of the day: Okay this one isn’t so much funny, actually kind of sad. America is not #1.

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 8:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 154/365 – Sprague Farm Rust Belt Ale

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

ABV: ???

Purchased at: My roommate Dave brought it back from the brewpub

What makes this beer different: Super sweet but a good dose of hops also.

Will I be drinking this again: They don’t bottle it but if I am in the area then yes

Grade: A-

4/11/2010: My roommate texts me on Saturday asking if I wanted a growler from this place called “Sprague Farms” up near Erie, PA. I honestly never heard of it so I had to check out their beers on BeerAdvocate. Turns out this Rust Belt is an A+ on BA, and as a lot of you know that’s hard to come by on BeerAdvocate. Although there are only 3 reviews on it. At $8 for a 16oz Growler it better be some good stuff!

Rust Belt is some thick brew! One of the thickest Amber Ales I have ever had. Robust, Syrupy and almost chewy. The flavor is pretty damn good. Not a whole lot of carbonation going on which just adds to the heaviness. Notice I usually touch on the flavor/smell first, but I had to bump the gravity of this stuff up to the top because it is just so off the scale. The flavor has a ton of sweet caramel/toasted malts. A nice dose of very floral/citrusy hops take a little bit of a back seat to the malt. Never thought I would say this but, this beer could have used a bit more hops to cut through the thickness/syrupy type flavor. That or have the beer be a little lighter, with same ratio of malt/hops. Overall though I was very impressed with this beer and have a very unique feel and flavor.

Picture of the day: Homer Simpson tells gives Tiger an earful.

Published in: on April 11, 2010 at 9:32 am  Comments (2)  
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Beer 149/365 – Victory Golden Monkey

Style: Tripel

ABV: 9.5%

Purchased at: Sent to me by the guys at SCAATB

What makes this beer different: Pretty close to a “Real” Belgian, but not quite

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, it is a pretty solid belgian beer for being american made, and reasonably priced.

Grade: B+

4/6/2010: Ugh, been so busy lately that I have been forced to drink my beer in the 10-11 o’clock hour. Makes me feel like a lush drinking so late on a work night. I work at the Mellon Arena as an usher (to watch the pens for free), and on days that I work I don’t end up getting home until 10:30-11pm. Maybe I will start getting up earlier on those days, and instead of coffee I will drink a good coffee stout?

Thanks to Gary and Guy again for sending this to me. Wow there is a TON of yeast in his mad boy. Almost looks like a snow globe in my chalice. The smell is heavy on banana and yeast. Taste is a good bit of banana, and a little spiciness. The alcohol is hidden pretty well, but peeks out a little bit too much. Mouthfeel is close to a true Belgium brewed Belgian beer, but I have yet to drink an American brewed Belgian that really gets that amazing mouthfeel you get with a true belgian beer. This does get close though!

Picture of the day: The subway sandwich artists must have failedGeometry.

Published in: on April 6, 2010 at 9:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Beer 144/365 – Legacy Hoptimus Prime

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 9.0%

Purchased at: Joe Canals – Bellmawr NJ

What makes this beer different: Its the only beer bottle that turns into a robot when its emptied

Will I be drinking this again: It has been retired, and Legacy Brewing has been closed… So unless you are good friends with Doc Brown and have a delorean, we are out of luck on drinking this again.

Grade: B-

4/1/2010: Hoptimus Prime. What an ingenious name for a beer. Of course the name is a play off of my favorite cartoon growing up; Scooby Doo. You know the one with that goofy dog that turns into a flying cyborg robot? Okay obviously this is a play off of Tranformers. That was my attempt at a little bit of April Fools shenanigans for ya.

So I read a bit about this beer beforehand and found out that a good bit of the last batches were infected. Unfortunately I think mine was one of them. You could even smell that pungent sour odor as soon as you open the beer. The taste was very sour to start, but about halfway down it receded. After that it was just a bunch of sweet malt, with a small side of hops. Was really disappointed I got one of the bad ones since I heard a lot of good things about it. The only redeeming quality was that the alcohol was hidden very well.

Picture of the day: Some sound advice on child support.

Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 8:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 133/365 – Victory Smokin Oats Porter

Style: Smoked Beer

ABV: 5.8%

Purchased at: Victory Brewing – Downingtown PA

What makes this beer different: Smokiest beer I have ever had

Will I be drinking this again: Probably not, only because you are only able to get it at the brewery.

Grade: B+

3/21/2010: Ughhhhh still hungover from beerfest yesterday. Lost count of how many 2-3oz samples I tried, but it was a lot. I usually don’t get hungover unless I start mixing styles back and forth, and I made that mistake. Should have started with pale ales and worked up to stouts. Anyways on our trip back we needed to find a place for me to have my beer a day, our first choice was Troegs in Harrisburg but they were closed on Sundays, so we looked around on the blackberry and found out that Victory was open.

Wow I am glad we ended up here because this place is AWESOME. Huge bar/restaurant in the weirdest location. It’s in a working class suburb, but within a corporate park type of setting. I want to say they had 20 of their beers on tap, and they had this crazy growler fill system that would fill a growler with any of their 20 beers. Didn’t get to ask the bartender the specifics of the contraption but it looked like it was from the 22nd century.

As always I like to try stuff at breweries that I normally could not get in a bottle, so I went for the Smokin Oats Porter (only one review on BA). The smell is smokey as hell with some coffee notes. Taste is meatlike smoke all over the place. Way too much for a first sip. About halfway down it mellowed out and some coffee started to lend support. If it tasted like this the entire way through I would have given it an A, or if I was eating a steak with the beer. Mouthfeel was average with moderate amounts of carbonation. Overall pretty decent but wish there wasn’t soooo much smoke flavor right off the bat.

Picture of the day: Jesus man change your shirt.

Published in: on March 21, 2010 at 9:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 102/365 – Weyerbacher Heresy

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Purchased at: On Tap at Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Mmmm perfect amount of oak.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes for sure

Grade: A-

2/18/2010: I think when I die I want my to end up in Vintage Estate’s tasting lounge. They always have a lot of original/one of a kind beers on tap there. Cara and I ordered a Weyerbacher Heresy, and a Dogfish Palo Santo. I told her whichever she liked better she could have so I ended up with the Weyerbacher Heresy. Both are damn good but wow is Palo Santo amazing on tap.

I was so so close to giving this an A, but just couldn’t quite push myself to do it. Maybe its because I drank it next to the Palo Santo which is one of my favorites. Smells very malty with a bit of bourbon. The taste is caramel malt, oak, and bourbon. Very very nice balance between the three. A lot of oak aged beer sometimes ends up being to heavy or light on the oak flavor, but this one is just right. A bit heavier than the average mouthfeel for a RIS. Very solid beer.

Funny Picture of the day: Some people take their religion a bit too seriously.

Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 96/365 – Rock Bottom Imperial Stout

Style: Imperial Stout

Purchased at: Rock Bottom – Pittsburgh, PA

What makes this beer different: Not much really

Will I be drinking this again: Probably not, only because I like to try something new everytime I go to Rock Bottom.

Grade: B+

2/12/2010: Rock Bottom is usually the drinking establishment of choice anytime I have plans to go to The Improv (right across the street). We had tickets for Tom Green, out of sheer curiosity to see if he still had it. Well turns out he doesn’t. I honestly left the show feeling bad for him. I know part of his shtick is acting paranoid and skiddish, but it was just over the top. He was extremely coked out, or overly nervous. Of topic a bit, but I have seen approx 12 different comedians at The Improv, and Harland Williams is by far the best, with Ralphie May coming in second. So if happen to hear about either of these guys coming to your town, do your self a favor and go see them.

Enough sidetracking. I always make the mistake of getting heavy imperial beers after a large meal. This beer smelled like chocolate and coffee, and had a similar taste with some extra roastiness than the norm. The mouthfeel was very creamy and nice, but the feel didn’t match the flavor (if that makes any sense). Overall it was a very well put together beer, just nothing really wowed me about it.

Funny Picture of the day: I will call him… mini me.

Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 3:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 75/365 – Tröegs Nugget Nectar

Style: American Amber

Purchased at: 3 Sons – Wexford PA

What makes this beer different: Not a ton of complicated ingredients, which makes it very crisp.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: A-

1/22/2010: There has been a ton of hype behind this beer, and lots of discussion on Beeradvocate about how amazing it is. I was pretty excited to try this beer, especially because its #34 on Beeradvocate’s top 100. I usually find that I psyche myself out by getting overly excited for beer with a ton of hype. It’s almost like I expect it to taste like an angel gave birth in my mouth or something. Half of the time the beer doesn’t quite live up to the hype in my opinion.

This beer almost lived up to the hype. Don’t get me wrong it is a very very good beer, but again I expected it to be life changing. Again remember I am just recently being more open to IPA/hoppy beer. The smell is very hoppy, a bit of caramel, and some citrus. The taste is very clean and crisp, with hops upfront, and caramel malt behind it. The scale tips a tiny bit too much on the hop end for me, but not enough for me to dislike it. The taste is still very refreshing, and it impresses me that they get this much flavor out of a beer that’s this transparent. Very good beer, but one I need to be in the mood for.

Funny Picture of the day: The big bad wolf must be in cahoots with Al Queda.

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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