Friday, January 31, 2014

Beer rankings, 1\31\14

The brewlist rating guide!

Even though I'm still going to be rating beer in both x\100 and BA style x\5 numerical ratings, I have also decided to make a system of tiers that I think a beer belongs too. This set of tiers is completely subjective, and in many ways mirrors the review system of the site formerly known as spill (or at least, that's my intent). Its meant to help you figure out how and when to buy a beer, both at the bar and at the bottle shop. It is also a way for people to look at a beer in a non-numerical manner to better help them decide how to make the best use of their resources. It of course, will be upgraded and fine tuned over time, and Eventually will find its place in all my reviews as i find the time to go back and edit everything.

Lets start off with the bottom:
vomit tier
This is as low as it gets. At least in a drain pour I could get in a few sips before gagging...........this is a beer that is so bad it makes me SICK. Its spill counterpart is the "double fuck you", and I think its pretty much says everything you need to know about the beer. This is a beer I don't even think is worth trying once, unless its completely 100% free or part of a beer festival (and even then, possibly avoided). Nasty, foul, terribleness, and odds are a very rare tier for me to put a beer in. Avoid at all costs, it will be money you never see again.

Drain pour tier
This tier is as low as it gets, and its spill parallel is the "fuck you" category. Its a beer so bad, That I could not find the will to finish it. You should avoid paying for Beers of this rating like the plague, unless you have a STRONG curiosity for making your own conclusions (an admirable characteristic), or are a glutton for punishment. I believe that all beers should be tried once, but seriously. Avoid full price at all costs for beers in this category. Get them at happy hour prices or on sale if you must (or free from friends).
Bad beer tier
This tier is a parallel to "some o'll bullshit". This is a beer that is bad by all conventional rating standards, but still has SOME kind of redeeming characteristic that kept me from sending it to the big drain in the sky. Maybe it was extremely....EXTREMELY cheap. Maybe I could drink it without finding it that offensive. Maybe I liked the taste of peanut butter, live bees, cherries, bacon and doughnuts enough to finish it......... but for whatever reason, I found the beer to not be completely worthless, but still not good. Id recommend it for just one try to make up your mind if your curious, but preferably on sale or in a trade......or as said before...... if it can be purchased in LARGE quantities at VERY cheap prices (or just cheap prices...what ...I'm not judging you!)
"on sale" tier
This beers counter is "matinee", and this is a beer that comes off as being middle of the road. Its a beer that has a lot of redeeming characteristics, but also a lot of issues that muddy the water. Overall however, the positive outweighs the negative. This is a beer that was made for sales....happy hour price cuts, case discounts, buy one get one free...etc, etc, etc.....if you see a beer like this that is on sale, get it. you wont be disappointed. A solid beer at the right price, and a beer that's worth having once to make up your mind at (even at full price, both retail and bar prices, just to slate your curiosity,or if options are limited). Who knows, you might really like this one!
Would drink again
The mirror to this rating is "full price". No doubts about it, this is a good...good...GOOD beer. It is either equal or greater than the sum of its parts and is truly a great brew. Well worth seeking out, these beers are essentially the stuff of great love in the beer community. Worth full retail AND full bar prices, these beers are a MUST try. A easy choice if you haven't had this kind of beer already.
World class

This corresponding spill rating is "better than sex", although that might be debated (HA!). This is the kind of beer that you rarely see, but always remember. Its often heavily debated category, with people hotly contesting the "world class" nature of certain brews, insisting that its a tier reserved for their impossibly limited release white whales (or the top 20 beers of the world via BJCP and Ratebeer, but then again I repeat myself....HA) . I tend to be far more liberal for this rateing, and feel that its just about any brew that goes above and beyond the expectations placed on it, and deliver something you never expected (in a good way that is). Its a beer worth driving all over town to find...........or hundreds of miles if your crazy (who am I kidding...of course your crazy...and its totally worth it). These are beers that you HAVE to pick up, that is, if beer is your thing (really, I'm guessing that it is). Some of the best beer you can buy on the market, and a must try, possibly even at prices gouged up by a few bucks.

And their you have it, the tier system. It will make up the last word of my beer reviews, and hopefully help people navigate what they should and should not buy. Just like spill, beers can fall in-between categories, and I will fill in the blanks of how and why they might.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

World market blitz part 2, Skullspliter

World market blitz part 2
Skullspliter, 8.7%

I had this brew right after drinking a glass of my very own Scottish landfall ale (scotch ale, 7.6%), and wanted something to peg it too.....because you really need to see how a homebrewed recipe stacks up to a pro-one. Ill save some time and come right out and say it.................I was very disappointed with this beer. I wasn't disappointed with the price. I got this beer for about 1.30, and really felt that it was one of the best deals World market had (with a sale or without)...........and despite that, I had clear standards that I wanted this brew to have and it did not meet them at all.....and really, I was immensely surprised by the online reviews.

Their really is no saving grace for this one. No "its out of date" excuse for why I did not like it. If anything, a older bottle should in-fact taste BETTER than a new one. I just had a serious problem with this beer, and I feel as If I'm the only one who had such misgivings about this brew. People on the internet seem to love this beer (or at least they seem to on Beer advocate and Ratebeer)

That brings me to my other criticism. Sometimes when I look at online reviews, and see the flavors that people list off I think "yea, that was their! It was on the tip of my tongue, but just couldn't quite name it!". This was not one of those moments. It looked like people where just making up characteristics that they expected or wanted to be in the brew and listed them off ( that pretty much did not exist), and seriously let their bias get the best of them for a brew named "Skull Splitter", which seems to be the strongest point this brew has......A cool name.

If this beer was made by Boston Brewing\Shipyard (or any other larger, critically underrated brewery) and under a different name, its reviews would be a LOT lower, and peoples tunes would a lot different. I salute the few people who put similar reviews online. Its nice to have company in a dissenting opinion.

Just my 1 cent of course.................

Anyho, the review:

  • Orkney Brewery 
  • orkney brewery
    • Beer name: skull splitter, 1.99 bottle at world market. higher elsewhere.
    • Style: Wee heavy\Scotch ale, 8.5%
    • rateing: Ratebeer(94\100), beer advocate (91\100)
      • appearance: My own beer does do something wrong: it has way too much color. It comes off far more brown than it should, and this brew does it right in my opinion. It has the color of pale malt syrup (which oddly enough, is in fact amber in color), with virtually no head (remember, alcohol kills head!) which is not a problem. I think that this brew requires close to a perfect score in appearance. 4.5\5
      • Smell: really, I'm sorry to say, not much here. A bit of alcohol sweetness and Scottish eastery yeast aroma (what, that's the only way to describe it) fits in as well. Its OK, but id hope for more. 3\5
      • Taste: I was kinda worried about my own Scottish ale. It tasted kinda hot, and I assumed that it was because it was very young (kegged about 2 weeks ago). This stuff makes me feel that its going to be a great Scottish ale.....because this stuff had heat coming out of the wazoo. This stuff has huge amount of "warmth" to it, which I would really call "booz" (tomato to tommato correct?). Of course it has a bit more to it than booz....lots and lots of god....its just terrible...That is pretty much the scope of flavor that this brew has. I'm not sure, I guess that I give it a 2.25\5, but its a disappointment to say the least.
      • Mouthfeel: The beer has a oddly light mouthfeel, probably dried out via the use of brewing sugars. It is balanced out by a decent level of snappy carbonation. 4\5
      • overall: I think I was expecting more from this one. seriously. With a name like that, you expect greatness. but its just a bit above average. It comes off WAY too hot, way too buttery, and way too sweet. I might say that its not offensive, but suprise suprise, it is. I poured this beer DOWN THE DRAIN. I just couldnt finish it. I can understand someone elese liking it...but wow....that was not my experience. I suppose its worth having once to make up your own mind about the stuff (or to get the bottle, which DOES look cool), but really, its not worth a 4 pack or really trying again. 2.25\5On the whole, a disappointment. Looking forward to when my own scotch ale matures up in about 2-5+ weeks. Hopefully that will scratch my scotch ale itch
        • BA average: 2.69\5. I personally give this one a 45\100. very poor.
DRAIN POUR! Kinda felt like this....


World market blitz, beer 1: Founders Centennial IPA

World market blitz
Beer 1: Founders Centenial IPA

Recently I discovered that World market (1480 Apalachee Pkwy) had a great deal going on: 30% off build your own 6 pack.....well, OK, I did not just find this out .I've known about it for some time, but never managed to take advantage of it up until about a week ago.

I stopped in after work while crashing due to a small breakfast, and decided for no reason to check out their beer. I ended up talking to one of the employees their while looking at their winter beer packs, and was reminded that they still had this deal for member's. Since I was a member (it is free after all), I immediately picked up a 6 pack and went home feeling very accomplished.

Later on I went back for a wine tasting, and picked up another 6 pack. And then just for good measure, a day later I got one last 6 pack just to make sure that I had hit all my bases. Now I have 17 beers that I have never tried (I accidentally got a 2ed vanilla porter), and I figure that I can make a decent series about this huge blitz of new beers.

Lets start off with one of the first beers I selected (since, hey, anything founders is excellent), Centennial IPA

  • Founders Brewing company
    • Beer: Centenial IPA, about $9-11 a 6 pack (1.20 a bottle with the 30% deal)
    • Style: American IPA, 7.2%
    • Rating: ratebeer(99\100), Beer advocate(93\100)
      • Appearance: a perfectly clear amber color with a amazingly long lasting fluffy head. Ill be honest, this beer pretty much looks perfect.    5\5
      • Smell: pine and citrus hops, with a bit of fruit loops and a decent malty aroma. Very well balanced and pleasant. very nice, but is not perfect.     4\5
      • Taste: Pine, neutral hop bitterness, and a grainy malty backbone. very well balanced and easy to drink, at least from my perspective. I like it! 4\5
      • Mouthfeel: It feels very syrupy and heavy to me, but that works quite well with the hops. 3.5\5
      • Overall: This beer is one that I feel fits the "go-too" beer category, much like my current one x2IPA. It is easy to drink ,of decent ABV, very drinkable, and sweet yet quite hoppy. It might be a more hop forward beer if it was consumed fresher or had been refrigerated prior to sale, but even so, its a great choice and one of my current favorites for when I want something that will be predictably good. A well deserved 4\5
        • No surprises here, this beer is great. It got a average score of 4\5 from me on BA, and I feel that its about a 91\100 brew. I hope I can try it again real soon
Would have again!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sam Adams Odyssey part 7: White Christmas

Sam Adams Odyssey part 7: 
White Christmas

I do love a good holiday beer. They are not easy to drink in bulk, but their is just something warming about a beer with a good amount of spicing. It just helps warm me up in these HARSH Florida winters (well in my perspective, they feel harsh!). I was happy to see this beer at the nearby ABC liquor, and even happier to be able to pick it up as a single. I was expecting something more like X2mas (which is more of a spice beer), instead of the witbier that White Christmas is, but still, I can enjoy a good wit on a cold winter night.

well, lets just get to the review!

  • Sam Adams (Boston brewery)
    • White christmas, 1.99 single (about 7.99 for a 6 pack)
      • Beer style: Witbier, 5.8%
      • rating: ratebeer(46\100), beer advocate(79\100)
      • personal rating: Ba style
        • appearance: semi-clear golden colored brew, with a decent bit of rising up carbonation. 4\5
        • aroma: Very malt and spice forward. It smells like cloves, a bit or coriander, and sweet malt. Good, but nothing to boast about. 3.5\5
        • flavor: The smell does not betray this one, the flavor is all spice and malty goodness. Lots of sweet grainy malty flavor comes first in this brew, with a nice burst of warmth from the spices. A bit of honey flavor on the finish as well. Not too shabby. 4\5
        • feel: it feels heavy, mostly due to its sweetness, which is helped out by its carbonation. 3.75\5
        • overall: I was surprised by this beer. It is a surprisingly easy to drink well made witbier. Its flavors follow the wit style quite well, and the final product is actually a fairly decent desert beer (I classify it as such due to how sweet it is). I would be happy to drink it again and found no real problems with it at all. 4\5
          • BA average(3.88\5), personal score(83\100)
Worth it on sale!

I found this beer to be quite good. Not the best winter beer, but a good one non-the-less. It was very warming, and its spice character was well received. I thought that I could easily enjoy a whole 6 pack of this beer and found it to be another worthy brew from the Boston brewery.

Worth picking up to try!

La Cheim!

Sam Adams Odyssey part 6: double agent IPL

Sam Adams Odyssey part 6: 

double agent IPL

So far, every single hop forward beer from Sam Adams has been very good, and I had high expectations for this beer, that actually had some decent reviews on ratebeer and beer advocate (for their other hopology brews, I found the reviews to be lukewarm). I suppose that this can be explained by the fact that its a unique beer: a hoppy lagger.......and reviewers tend to respond better to new things like that than just another IPA.

I had also had it before, but not recently (recipes change), and I had never given it a in-depth review (or finished a whole bottle of the stuff!). Well, lets take a look at this brew...........

  • Boston brewing company
    • Double Agent IPL, 1.99\ 12 oz
      • Style: American pale lager
      • rating: ratebeer(94\100), beer advocate (85\100)
      • personal rating: Ba Style
        • Appearance: Vibrantly clear. The beers lagger visuals are quite striking. A decent head comes with this one, but dissipated before I could snap a picture. But when it was their, I have to say, the beer looked amazing. 4.5\5
        • Aroma: pine\tar sap, wood, and big giant resiny hops. If their was hops where a tree, this is what its amber sap would smell like. A bit of bready mixed in as well. Very well pronounced hop flavor (especially since I'm getting over a cold and cant smell very well right now!). 4.25\5
        • Taste: this tastes like everything that the smell suggested that it would be. This beer tastes of huge amounts of hop resins, and its all up front. The neutral hop bitterness (what might be described as the IBU's) is also pretty noticeable. Id place it in upper-medium areas. It might be far too much for a new drinker, but anyone who likes IPA's should be comfortable with this beer. And as for the lager components, they work rather well. The clean flavor of the lager helps accentuates the hops, and the beers natural beady sweetness helps counter its hopping even at such a low alcohol level. 4.25\5
        • Mouthfeel: for the abv and style, the mouthful is actually not too light. Fairly nice, sweetish, with a decent dose of carbonation (tho a bit more would make it feel better). 3.5\5
        • Overall: This beer is really gave me no surprise, as I had had it before and rated it fairly well. But that was almost a year ago, and now that I like hops more, I like this beer a lot more as well. I'm not sure if they made it better over the time or if its just me that's changing, but I give it a 4.25\5. A very nice brew, and an example of how Boston Brewing can defiantly do something very new and interesting.
          • BA average(4.19\5), personal score:90\100.
Would try again!

Well, their you have it! another great hoppy brew from Boston brewing. I'm hoping that they continue to surprise me and deliver the goods for good brews.

This makes 5\6 brews with of positive reviews......hopefully the new batch of 2014 Sam adams beers will keep the positive streak going.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

spot updates: proof, new leaf, and some more beerstop

Proof bottle shop

Proof has managed to load up on an impressive collection of very good hop forward beers. If you have never tried any of them, Id say that it would be very hard to chose between them! really, the best option is to pick up all three. They are all must-try brews that I highly recommend.

  • Victory brewing
    • Dirt Wolf, 9.49\4
      • Beer style: Double IPA, 8.7%
      • ratings: ratebeer(99\100), beer advocate(95\100)
      • personal ratings: BA(4.8\5), personal score (98\100). Best ipa of 2013.

  • Victory brewing
    • Hop ranch, 9.49\4
      • Beer style: Double IPA, 9%
      • ratings: ratebeer(98\100), beer advocate(96\100)
      • personal ratings

  • Founders brewing
    • Harvest ale, 10.99\4
      • Beer style: American IPA, 7.6%
      • ratings: ratebeer (99\100), beer advocate(95\100)
      • personal ratings: BA (4.5\5), personal(96\100)

New Leaf

Not exactly "beer", but common, that just looks damn interesting! I do wish that more sodas came like this........I mean, just looks cool..... and fyi, its soda made by a brewery.
  • sprecher brewing, 7.49\4
    • Bootleg bourbon barrel hard root beer
      • Beer style: root beer, 5%
      • ratings: ratebeer (n\a), beer advocate(80\100)
      • personal ratings: n\a

This one looks cool because its a type of beer that everyone wants to try, and according to what I've heard online it does what it claims to do well. Also available at beer stop (and likely many other stores) for the same price 

  • Shipyard brewery
    • Mint chocolate Stout, 7.49$
      • Beer style: Imperial stout, 9%
      • ratings: ratebeer (75\100), beer advocate(74\100)
      • personal ratings: n\a

Now this i have not seen around town, and it looks like a good buy for a serious fan of Ommegang, or for someone curious about trying a Belgian stout (though  Weyebacher's Tiny might be a better starting point for a Belgian stout)
  • Brewery Ommegang
    • Chocolate indulgance, 14.99
      • Beer style: Belgian stout, 7%
      • ratings: ratebeer (96\100), beer advocate(86\100)
      • personal ratings: n\a

This beer looked cool as well. A collection of 4 ancient style Scottish ales made with modern equipment and ingredients? Sign me up! Id be happy to get this as a present any day of the week.
  • Williams brothers brewery (Scotland)
    • historic ales from Scotland, 12.49\4
      • Grozet
        • Beer style: Scottish Gruit (pre-hops ancient beer), 5%
        • ratings: ratebeer (39\100), beer advocate(80\100)
        • personal ratings: n\a, but as a beer history lesson, it should be seen as an important part of the gift set. Its also one of the only Gruits even sold nowadays, so take that for what it is.
      • Heather ale
        • Beer style: Scottish Gruit, 5%
        • ratings: ratebeer (85\100), beer advocate(90\100)
        • personal ratings: n\a, but I've always wanted to try heather ale.
      • Alba Pine ale
        • Beer style: Scottish Gruit, 7.5%
        • ratings: ratebeer (85\100), beer advocate(85\100)
        • personal ratings: n\a
      • Elderberry black ale
        • Beer style: Scottish gruit, 6.5%
        • ratings: ratebeer (62\100), beer advocate(85\100)
        • personal ratings: n\a
All of these beers look interesting. They are ALL a portal into the what beer was like in ancient times (hence the name!). That makes them all the more enticing, considering that I'm the kind of person that loved it when Boston brewing worked to remake the first craft beer, New Albion's pale ale (I love the taste of history). Its ratings are also pretty good, which helps a lot. If your like me and have both a passion for history as well as beer, it looks like a solid buy.

And with that the spot update is complete! I hope that everyone finds what they are looking for when they go out shopping!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Sam Adams Odyssey part 5 Summer ale

Sam Adams Odyssey part 5
Summer ale

    Picked up at proof on the bottom of their American singles shelf. Only place in town that I have seen it. I really have no expectation about this one. It could go either way.
  • Boston Brewing Company
    • summer ale, 1.99, 12 oz
      • Style: Wheat ale, 5.3%
      • rating: ratebeer (40\100), beer advocate (76\100)
      • Personal rating:
        • Appearance: Heavy carbonation laces the inside of the glass when poured. The beer has a very hazy golden color to it, and a head that appeared despite a very careful+ pour. It looks like it would be nice to drink on a lawn chair in the middle of a nice summer day. 4\5
        • aroma: Extremely sweet smelling with a heavy dose of citrus (lemon). Nothing wrong with it, but nothing that great either. I will give this one a 3.5\5
        • Taste: I feel that this one really does not work very well at all. The spice is done all wrong and it just feels wrong on all levels. The lemon does not work either. It does not mesh with the wheat ale base that its flavoring. The bottle that I picked up said that it was best before October, and right now its January 1st, so I'm going to say that its a possibility that the bottle is quite past prime. Still, I give this beer a 2\5 for flavor.
        • Mouthfeel: Very prickly and acidic. It is to such a degree that I have to say, I can barley tell how the body feels. The spice also makes for some astringency. 1.5\5
        • Overall: I really did not like this beer at all, and it looks like I've run into my first true failure in this series. Still, I do have that feeling that the bottle may be too old. It is a possibility. Over time the lemon peel and spice can seriously degrade the beer, but still, It seemed like a bad idea from the start. An American wheat ale should not be spiced and flavored like a wit.......if this was instead a hoppy flavored (not bittered) wheat ale I feel like it could had worked. The beer itself looks great, its just a fact that it went very downhill very quickly. 2\5, and FYI I poured this one down the drain.
          • BA score: 2.35\5, or about a 43\100. So very bad. Will not try again.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Whole foods brewlist, 1\6\14

Whole foods: Bringing beer into focus

I hope that no-one takes that the wrong way......its merely a mater of fact. Whole foods is expensive. Their food, groceries, and home supplies all cost more than their competitors (Trader Joes, Costco, Publix, Wallmart, etc). Can't fault me for saying that, and its pretty obvious that no-one goes to Whole Foods to save money.....besides me I suppose (I obviously like to bargain hunt). However, if your a beer fans, you should give them a shot, because against all conventional wisdom, whole foods often undercuts their competitors by quite a bit on beer prices.

No lie. I first thought that was a fluke when I found the two leading Ballast point stouts marked down so much, but when I started working on this list, I was surprised to continue seeing the trend for lower priced beer. I cant find every point where they have a better price than competitors, but I will point out when I notice that they beat the rest on certain items.

However, their surprisingly lower-prices is not why I find this place to be fantastic for beer. Its also not because of their occasional stocks of rare white whale level beers, and its certainly not the free samples (but Ill admit, those help a lot) its because you can drink in the store! And not just at the bar, you can drink the RETAIL single bottles (after you pay for them that is). That's just crazy to me. You can pick up a bottle, open it, and drink it. Anywhere in the store.

Finally, the concept of buying a single bottle makes sense to me!

Its just amazing. Its pretty much makes them the cheapest pesudo bar in town, and can make for a great stroll around the store, a good chill-spot at the cafe, or a good place to take friends out to have a few nice cold ones. And common, who doesn't want a beer when they are shopping for organic goodness? With free samples? That's just a match made in heaven.

And to add to that, the place is expanding the beer selection. The expansion will allow for more single beer purchases, a greater variety of beers, and a larger percentage of the refrigerated shelf space. Currently they are planned to take effect by next week (as of today, 1\5\14).

As a final point of interest, I personalty know that at least 2 of the staff are experienced homebrewers, and are more than happy to talk home-brew with you if they have the time and if you bring it up! This is a serious plus for me. 

If you haven't already gone and enjoyed what their offering, your missing out. I highly recommended it.

The Brew List:
  • Avery brewery
    • the beast grand cru, 9.99, 12 oz
      • style: Belgian dark strong ale 16.83%
      • rating: ratebeer (98\100), beer advocate (86\100)
      • personal rating: 83\100. This is a remarkably furious beer.....but that's just the problem. Its too furious. Its flavor too strong, its body too thick. Its a beer that ozzes out 'too much”. But that's just the way we like it, isn't it? A good example of extreme beer, and well worth trying one just to say that you did, but really, in may ways it just goes too far.
  • Ballast point
    • Victory at sea coffee vanilla porter, 7.49
      • style: Imperial porter, 10%
      • rating: ratebeer (100\100), beer advocate (98\100)
      • personal rating: n\a, yet............
    • Sea monster, 7.49
      • style: Imperial stout, 10%
      • rating: ratebeer (98\100), beer advocate (90\100)
      • personal rating: n\a.....yet
  • Samuel Smith
    • Organic chocolate stout, 4.99
      • style: sweet stout, 5%
      • rating: ratebeer (97\100), beer advocate (94\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Eel river brewing
    • Trippel exultation, 5.99
      • style: old ale, 9.7%
      • rating: ratebeer (96\100), beer advocate (85\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Stone
    • Old Guardian, 7.99
      • style: American barleywine, 12%
      • rating: ratebeer (96\100), beer advocate (89\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Sierra Nevada
    • Brux domesticated wild ale, 14.99
      • style: American wild ale, 8.3%
      • rating: ratebeer (96\100), beer advocate (86\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Legacy brewing
    • Hoptimus prime, 6.99
      • style: Imperial ipa, 9%
      • rating: ratebeer (93\100), beer advocate (90\100)
      • personal rating: n\a

4\6 packs

  • Brasserie d'Achouffe
    • La Chouffe, 11.99\4
      • style: Belgian strong ale, 8%
      • rating: ratebeer (98\100), beer advocate (94\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
    • Houblon Chouffee
      • style: Belgian IPA, 11.99\4
      • rating: ratebeer (99\100), beer advocate (94\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Wells and Young
    • Banana bread beer, 9.44\4
      • style: fruit beer, 5.2%
      • rating: ratebeer (42\100), beer advocate (79\100)
      • personal rating: 94\100. This stuff tastes like banana bread. Its mission is accomplished. And it tastes delicious. Give it a shot. You wont be disappointed. Unless you don't like banana bread, then you will be disappointed
  • Coronado brewing co.
    • Islander IPA, 12.99\6
      • style: American ipa, 7%
      • rating: ratebeer (95\100), beer advocate (85\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Holy Mackerel
    • Panic attack, 9.99\4
      • style: Belgian strong ale, 10%
      • rating: ratebeer (61\100), beer advocate (77\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Lagunitas
    • Brown sugga, 10.99\6
      • style: American strong ale, 9.99%
      • rating: ratebeer (97\100), beer advocate (90\100)
      • personal rating: 95\100
    • Ipa,
      • style: American IPA
      • rating: ratebeer (94\100), beer advocate (87\100)
      • personal rating: 85\100
  • Founders
    • dirty bastard, 11.49\6
      • style: Scotch ale, 8.5%
      • rating: ratebeer (98\100), beer advocate (91\100)
      • personal rating: 93\100. One of the best scotch ales on the market.
    • Centenial, 11.49\6
      • style: IPA, 7.2%
      • rating: ratebeer (99\100), beer advocate (93\100)
      • personal rating: 87\100
  • World brews
    • 4 in hand IPA, 4.99\4 pints
      • style: American ipa, 6.3%
      • rating: ratebeer (24\100), beer advocate (73\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
    • St cloud, 4.99\4 pints
      • style: Witbier, 5.4%
      • rating: ratebeer (22\100), beer advocate (66\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Narragansett brewery
    • Narragansett lager, 6.99\6 pints
      • style: American adjunct lager, 5%
      • rating: ratebeer (12\100), beer advocate (77\100)
      • personal rating: 83\100. In terms of the American adjunct lager style, this is simply the best there is. It is my go too choice when friends want to drink something that their familiar with (and I don't feel like drinking bud). A high recommendation for anyone who says that you cant make a good American adjunct lager.
  • Joseph James brewery
    • Red fox Russian Imperial stout, 10.99\6
      • style: Russian imperial stout, 9%
      • rating: ratebeer (80\100), beer advocate (79\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Fat head
    • Holly Jolly, 12.99\6
      • style: herb\spice beer, 7.4%
      • rating: ratebeer (76\100), beer advocate (85\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Hinderland
    • pale ale, 10.99\6
      • style: English pale ale, 5.3%
      • rating: ratebeer (63\100), beer advocate (76\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Victory
    • headwaters pale ale, 10.99\6
      • style: American pale ale, 5.2%
      • rating: ratebeer (94\100), beer advocate (89\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Red Brick
    • Hoplanta, 9.99\6
      • style: American ipa, 6.7%
      • rating: ratebeer (64\100), beer advocate (84\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • La Rossa
    • Birra Moretti, 8.99\6
      • style: Doppelbock, 7.2%
      • rating: ratebeer (74\100), beer advocate (83\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • left hand brewery
    • Nitro milk stout, ?\6
      • style: milk stout, 6%
      • rating: ratebeer (96\100), beer advocate (89\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Siera Nevada brewery
    • Narwhal, 9.99\4
      • style: Russian Imperial stout, 10.2%
      • rating: ratebeer (99\100), beer advocate (92\100)
      • personal rating: 98\100. I flat out love this beer. Its easily one of the best stouts on the market, easily the best in the store right now (unless a surprise bomber comes around)
  • Southern Tier
    • 2xmas, 9.99\6
      • style: herb\spice beer, 8%
      • rating: ratebeer (93\100), beer advocate (84\100)
      • personal rating: 97\100. I thought that it was a perfect spiced beer, at the time anyway. Are-review might be necessary, but yea. I liked it a lot.
    • 2xIpa, 10.99\6
      • style: Double ipa, 8.2%
      • rating: ratebeer (97\100), beer advocate (91\100)
      • personal rating: 98\100. Its my go-to big ipa. Enough said. I love this stuff.
  • 6 point
    • crisp, 9.99\4 pints
      • style: German pilsener, 5.4%
      • rating: ratebeer (59\100), beer advocate (88\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
    • Bengali tiger, 9.99\4 pints
      • style: American ipa, 6.4%
      • rating: ratebeer (94\100), beer advocate (88\100)
      • personal rating: 90\100. This beer is my prime choice for a nice, crisp, hoppy American IPA. Its large container also adds a lot to what makes this beer great. Highly recommended beer for starting your night, before you really break out the big guns. I also recommend it as a picknick or sport event beer. Not exactly sessionable, but highly portable and large can size make it useful for such events. Highly recommended.
    • Sweet action, 9.99\4 pints
      • style: cream ale, 5.2%
      • rating: ratebeer (79\100), beer advocate (88\100)
      • personal rating: 85\100
  • Fullers
    • London porter, 11.99\6
      • style: English porter, 5.4%
      • rating: ratebeer (100\100), beer advocate (94\100)
      • personal rating: I had this one at the store. A great, highly malt forward brew, and a hard one to resist when I'm shopping at whole foods. A good go-to porter, and a proven classic. 95\100
  • Lexington brewery
    • Bourbon barrel ale, 12.99\4
      • style: English strong ale, 8.19%
      • rating: ratebeer (61\100), beer advocate (83\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
    • Bourbon stout, 13.99\4
      • style: Imperial stout, 8%
      • rating: ratebeer (88\100), beer advocate (81\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Julius Echter
    • Heff-weiss hell, 11.99\6
      • style: Hefewisen, 4.9%
      • rating: ratebeer (85\100), beer advocate (89\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
    Bulk, 12 packs
  • Oscar Blues
    • multipack, 18.99
      • dales pale ale, 6.5%
        • style: American pale ale
        • rating: ratebeer (98\100), beer advocate (88\100)
        • personal rating: I hate this one. I think that it tastes like cheesy socks. But its a classic to many, soo ehh. 2.5\5
      • Old Chub
        • style: Scotch ale, 8%
        • rating: ratebeer (97\100), beer advocate (90\100)
        • personal rating: I love this beer, and its my former go-to scotch ale (right now its after Dirty bastard), but I still love this ale. 87\100
      • Mama'a little yella Pills,
        • style: Czech pilsener, 5.3%
        • rating: ratebeer (52\100), beer advocate (81\100)
        • personal rating: 73\100
          • Average pack score: ratebeer(82\100), beer advocate(86\100)
          • Overall impression: The only place in town to get this one. It looks like a GREAT bulk purchase of craft if you and some friends are curious about the original canning craft brewers, Oscar blues. And for what you get, the price is quite nice. If its ever on sale it should be an immediate purchase!
            • P.S. For the money, this one also has a high concentration of alcohol! Just saying :p
  • Magic hat
    • Winterland variety pack, 14.99
      • Number 9 not quite pale ale
        • style: Fruit Beer, 5.1%
        • rating: ratebeer (45\100), beer advocate (77\100)
        • personal rating: I'm not a terrible fan of this beer, But I think that my old review of it is a bit off. I find that I can finish the beer and enjoy it for what it is. Its nothing special, but I find this beers apricot flavor to work in the short run. I cant drink more than one of them, but I think that it can work for a single severing durring the winter. 70\100
      • Heart of darkness
        • style: English stout, 5.7%
        • rating: ratebeer (91\100), beer advocate (88\100)
        • personal rating: n\a
      • Encore ipa
        • style: American IPA, 6.4%
        • rating: ratebeer (n\a), beer advocate (82\100)
        • personal rating: n\a
      • G-thing ginger spice ale
        • style: herb\spice beer, 5.7%
        • rating: ratebeer (46\100), beer advocate (77\100)
        • personal rating: n\a
          • Average pack score: ratebeer(60\100), beer advocate (81\100)
          • Overall Impression: I honestly did not know that this was a variety pack until I did the list. I think that its diversity of style can make it a good choice to spice things up, but I still really don't have much of an opinion of the box set. A good one for magic hat fans is what I would say, or for a good purchase for the money, its a solid buy. Not sure if it would be so those two factors are not important to you.
  • Boston Brewery
    • Winter lagger, 14.99
      • style: spiced bock, 5.6%
      • rating: ratebeer (64\100), beer advocate (82\100)
      • personal rating: I found this beer to be highly refreshing, crisp, and lively winter offering. Perfect in quality for price, this bulk order is a must try for anyone interested in seeing Sam Adams when they get things right. 84\100
  • New Belgium
    • Sunshine wheat, 17.99
      • style: American pale wheat ale, 4.8%
      • rating: ratebeer (48\100), beer advocate (79\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
  • Siera Nevada
    • Torpedo extra, 15.99
      • style: American ipa, 7.2%
      • rating: ratebeer (98\100), beer advocate (93\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
        • P.S. For the money, this is the best craft beer ABV (booz) return per dollar. Just saying.......
    • Pale ale, 15.99
      • style: American pale ale, 5.6%
      • rating: ratebeer (96\100), beer advocate (91\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
    • Celebration, 15.99
      • style: American IPA, 6.8%
      • rating: ratebeer (98\100), beer advocate (93\100)
      • personal rating: I found this to be a great hop forward brew, but not nearly as hoppy as the torpedo. A good choice for less hop-forward friends looking to get a buzz going and enjoy a decent brew at a great price. 90\100
  • Innis\gunn
    • box set, 9.99, 3 pack + glass:
      • Original
        • style: Scottish ale, 6.6%
        • Stats: ratebeer (64\100), beer advocate (84\100)
        • personal rating:70\100
      • Bourbon Stout
        • style: Scottish stout, 7.4%
        • Stats: ratebeer (63\100), beer advocate (85\100)
        • personal rating:Anyone looking at this one, be advised: its quite sweet. A lot of this sweetness comes from its bourbon aging (giving it a hot and estery\fruity character), and the rest from its Scottish-style yeast. Their is not nearly enough chocolate\roast to back it and balance out the bourbon sweetness. I think that this beer would had tasted better if it had a stronger hop bitterness or a dose of smoked\roasted malt barley to curve its sweetness. However, as you drink it, it grows on you a lot, and because of that I give it a 75\100. Easily worth trying once.
      • Treacle Porter,
        • style: Scottish porter 7.4%
        • Stats: rate beer (n\a), beer advocate (78\100)
        • personal rating: 80\100
          • box average rating: ratebeer (64\100), beer advocate(82\100)
          • Box overall impression: Now this one is quite interesting. Besides having a box that, in my opinion, is worth getting just for the art (Innis and Gunn have always had a sense of style), its a great chance to try a good chunk of the brewery’s main offerings. I also love the glass that it comes with (which is perfect, obviously, for Scottish style beer), and the glass was one of the primary reasons why I picked it up in the first place. Overall I give the box set a score of 85\100, with an extra 5 points added because of the glass.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Spot update: Quite a lot of new things at Beer stop!

Beer stop really loaded up on some good brew very recently, because last I went I realized that i did not bring nearly enough cash with me!

In addition to STILL having cases and cases of bourbon county stout, they also have quite a few new treats......lets start off with the best first!
Hummmmmn, I wonder what this could be.....

Yup. Its the god damn World Wide Stout
Anyone want to to hafsies? or Quarters?

  • dogfish head
    • World wide stout, 
      • Style: American imperial stout, 17%
      • rating: ratebeer(100\100), beer advocate (93\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
This is one uncommon beer, and i would say its the rarest Ive seen since 120 minute IPA in the store, or when they had a bottle of Utopias. An expsneive, but must have brew. Who knows how long it will still be available!

lets move on to another stout, but one that.s scaled back a bit....Founders Imperial stout!

  • Founders
    • Imperial stout, 13.29\4
      • Style: American imperial stout, 10.5%
      • rating: ratebeer(100\100), beer advocate (97\100)
      • personal rating: 96\100. An extremely dark, roasty, and rick imperial stout. A must try.

Lets move on to something a bit smokier, Stones vanilla bean smoked porter!

  • stone
    • Smoked vanilla bean porter, 7.49
      • Style: American porter, 5.9%
      • Rating: ratebeer (97\100), beer advocate (88\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
And now, here is a beer that I haven't seen in some time, The one and only sculpin.

  • Ballast point
    • Sculpin ipa, 14.69
      • Style: American IPA, 7%
      • rating: ratebeer(100\100), beer advocate (98\100)
      • Personal rating: I would have to say that this is one of the finest ipa's I had in 2013. not quite as good as dirt wolf, but it is damn close. A must have. Pay the extra 3 bucks and enjoy this 6 pack immensely. 95\100

And now just for fun, these fellows looked pretty nice as well............even if they are not as rare or in short supply as the above brews.

  • Terrapin 
    • Wake-N-Bake coffee oatmeal imperial stout, 12.99
      • Style: Imperial stout, 8.1%
      • rating: ratebeer(99\100), beer advocate(96\100)
      • personal rating: n\a

Not exactly super rare at all, but yea, they have plenty of this stuff. i just thought that the case box looked cool!

  • Dogfish head
    • Burton Baton, 14.49\4 ( I think)
      • Style: Imperial ipa, 10%
      • rateing: ratebeer(99\100), beer advocate(94\100)
      • personal rating: n\a
As you can see, their are a lot of nice choices at the store right now. more good ones than usual! I hope that I can decide what it is I'm going to do. I hope that you can do the same!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sam Adams Odyssey part 4 Nobel Pills

Sam Adams Odyssey part 4
Nobel Pills

  • Sam Adams
    • Nobel Pills, 1.99 12 oz
      • style: Czech Pilsener, 4.9%
      • rating: ratebeer (84\100), beer advocate (85\100)
      • personal rating: BA style
        • appearance: straw colored yellow. Very clear. 4\5
        • aroma: the soft refreshing aroma of noble hops. It is quite nice, 4.25\5
        • taste: I have to say, one of the better Pilseners I've had before. Hop forward with a stable sweet backbone. Light and easy to drink. Its hops can get a bit aggressive at times, but that is to style and I doubt anyone would have any problems with it. 4.25\5.
        • mouthfeel: Relatively thin, with a good boost of carbonation. Once again,very easy and nice to drink. 4.25\5
        • overall: I'm going to give this one a 4.25\5. I really cant fault it with much at all. I suppose its hopping could be done better, but that's a serious nitpick. Any ber could use a better hopping, and the hop flavor in this beer is its greatest strength, A great Pilsener to give a shot when you can.
          • BA average: (4.24\5)
          • personal score: 88\100
            • Super short review:Buy this beer! Its well worth it.

Style in focus:
Czech Pilsener

Love them or hate them, you cannot deny the importance the lagger has had on the face of beer. It changed the direction of brewing in the world, opened up new and larger market for brewers to target, and became (for better or worse) the brew of choice of the entire world and by the worlds largest brewers. And lager was “invented” in the Czech Republic. I use italics because it is absurd to say that anyone invented the style. Ultimately it was started by the unintentional bonus of storing beer in the cold seasons, which resulted in the selective breeding of yeast to act in a different way. This selective breeding is what really narrowed down what is today known as Lager yeast. To attribute that invention to any brewer is like giving credit to the farmer for inventing the egg. However, the Pilsner was most defiantly invented. And it was invented in the Czech Republic.

The territory that is now the Czech Republic has seen many hardships over time (such as being taken over by many waring nations) they have always maintained a strong history of brewing. Its this territory that saw the birth of the Pilsener. Much of the brewing was done by citizen breweries (Měšt'anský pivovary “burgher’s”), and one of these breweries did what many great breweries today do: they got a excellent brew master from another source to get their beers up to par. That is where Josef Groll enters the equation. The Bavarian brewer was brought in and used his knowledge of bottom fermenting yeast (first used in records in Bavaria) and the new lightly kilned malt (golden malt) to brew the worlds first Pilsener. It is because of this that the brewery was renamed Plzensky Prazdroj, or Pilsener Urquell (or Pilsener Original Source). It is from this that all forms of Pilsener originates from, including the main product from brewing behemoths such as Miller-Coors and AB-InBev (even if their products are quite far off from what was originally brewed by Josef Groll).
Exert from Beer Advocate:
The Czech Pilsner, or sometimes known as the Bohemian Pilsner, is light straw to golden color and crystal clear. Hops are very prevalent usually with a spicy bitterness and or a spicy floral flavor and aroma, notably one of the defining characteristics of the Saaz hop. Smooth and crisp with a clean malty palate, many are grassy. Some of the originals will show some archaic yeast characteristics similar to very mild buttery or fusel (rose like alcohol) flavors and aromas.
Exert from the BJCP

Aroma: Rich with complex malt and a spicy, floral Saaz hop bouquet. Some pleasant, restrained diacetyl is acceptable, but need not be present. Otherwise clean, with no fruity esters.
Appearance: Very pale gold to deep burnished gold, brilliant to very clear, with a dense, long-lasting, creamy white head.
Flavor: Rich, complex maltiness combined with a pronounced yet soft and rounded bitterness and spicy flavor from Saaz hops. Some diacetyl is acceptable, but need not be present. Bitterness is prominent but never harsh, and does not linger. The aftertaste is balanced between malt and hops. Clean, no fruity esters.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied (although diacetyl, if present, may make it seem medium-full), medium carbonation.
Overall Impression: Crisp, complex and well-rounded yet refreshing.
Comments: Uses Moravian malted barley and a decoction mash for rich, malt character. Saaz hops and low sulfate, low carbonate water provide a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile. Traditional yeast sometimes can provide a background diacetyl note. Dextrins provide additional body, and diacetyl enhances the perception of a fuller palate.
History: First brewed in 1842, this style was the original clear, light-colored beer.
Ingredients: Soft water with low mineral content, Saaz hops, Moravian malted barley, Czech lager yeast.

Well, their you go. Now you have all the information you will need to know about the Czech Pilsener. I hope that you manage to pick yourself up a Nobel Pills and judge for yourself. I am confident that you should enjoy it, assuming that its flavors are to your liking!