Thursday, January 31, 2013

Green Flash | Palate Wrecker

Green Flash Palate Wrecker (Hamilton's Ale).

Poured into my new Allagash Chalice : ) Palate Wrecker has a dark golden orange color with a dense inch of frothy beige head. While the head recedes a bit, there is considerable retention with lots of sticky lacing.

The aroma is loaded with hops all across the board; floral, citrus, pine, tropical fruit, lots of pineapple, very resinous and dank. Caramel malt is present just enough to keep my nostrils from burning.

The first sip attacks my tastebuds with lots of bitter resinous hop flavor. Bitter pine and grapefruit up front blends with a touch of sweet malt to soften things up a bit, but is far from balancing out this monster. The finish is filled with tropical fruit and orange zest; although the malt is present in the finish, there is a noticeable bitterness that lasts long after every sip.

Palate Wrecker has a medium-full body for an IPA, but the 9.5% ABV is hardly noticeable. This is one of my favorite aspects of this beer; most DIPAs that exceed the 8% mark generally become boozy, hot, and heavy. This booziness tends to overshadow much of the desirable malt and hop flavors. Palate Wrecker on the other hand, accomplishes a very high ABV while maintaining intense hop bitterness, with minimal booziness.

All in all, I don't think it has quite wrecked my palate, at least not to an avid IPA drinker, but it is one hell of a hoppy beer. A little pricey, but worth a try. Would love to see Palate Wrecker in a bomber for the right price.

Personal: 8.5/10
Style: 8.5/10

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dogfish Head | 60 Minute IPA

Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter, 60 Minute has a crystal clear golden amber color with minimal white head. The aroma hints at bitter hops but mainly features a sweet, buttery, and bready malt. The flavor, while similar to the aroma, has more hop flavor, but is more akin to the east coast and british style of IPA: Bitter, pine, grass, and grapefruit.

What I feel this beer lacks in complexity, it makes up for in drinkability. 60 Minute is very easy to put down, and I could see myself finishing this six pack tonight.

There's nothing I really dislike about this beer, it's just that there are so many better IPA's out there. And I'm tired of all the Dogfish Head hype. Putting down the haterade… 60 minute is one of their reasonably priced beers, and represents the style well. While I might not want to buy this at a liquor store, if I saw it on the menu at a bar/restaurant, I would be very excited to get a pint. Ya feel me?

Personal: 6.5/10
Style: 8/10

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Maine Beer Company | Zoe

Maine Beer Company's Zoe, an American Amber Ale, made by a very small brewery in Portland, Maine.

Zoe has a nice deep dark amber - almost chestnut color with about an inch of fluffy off-white head. Lots of sticky lacing coats the glass. The aroma is loaded with piney, fruity, and floral hops with a nice strong amount of sweet caramel malt. The taste is intensely bitter at first with lots of pine hop flavor. Fruitier hop flavors mix with copious amount of sweet malt to really deliver a… dare I say, perfect beer.

Zoe is honestly like drinking the freshest and best tasting Stone Arrogant Bastard I've ever had; big malt, big hop. What makes it even better is that it's made by a super small brewery in the northeast that places more value on quality, freshness, and environmental stewardship, rather than money.

Personal: 10/10
Style: 10/10

Get this beer while you can, absolutely worth it!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tröegs | Perpetual IPA

Tröegs Perpetual IPA, a beer meant to be a tribute to the Tröegs brother's desire to continue exploring. Keeping in sync with what Chad just mentioned a day ago, this beer also clocks in at 7.5% ABV. Perhaps that is the magic number for an IPA.

Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter, Perpetual shows its pale golden straw color with a nice big fluffy pillow of white foam on top. The aroma is full of citrus fruit and spice, while the sweet crystal malt adds just enough to the hop aroma to make it smell like delicious hop candy.

The flavor is along the same lines as the aroma, with a little more bite of hop bitterness up front. It actually makes the beer more crisp and refreshing than you might get from the aroma. The all around light body and choice of pale malts in Perpetual IPA make it easily sessionable, and a joy to drink, even at 7.5%!

I'd be lying if this was my first bottle of Perpetual IPA. Since Tröegs began releasing this in 6-packs in the fall of last year, I've probably started on my third case of this stuff. In the ever expanding world of craft beer (especially IPAs), this is one that will always be a home run. Bold hop flavor with just enough light malt to compliment, but not get in the way…. My kind of IPA. I wish I could have had this side by side with that Union Jack IPA.

Personal: 10/10 (extra points for being East Coast)
Style: 9.5/10

Live in the Atlantic County area? We'll bring this to your house!

Elysian Valhalla Red IPA

A beer to die for! Valhalla, the place where old Vikings go to die and drink for eternity, is something of legend. Lucky for us Elysian brewing has created a beer that we can enjoy before we travel to party with the Vikings and Norse Gods!
A very interesting Red IPA that is made with roasty Special B malts and two very unique hops (Citra and Sorachi Ace). Citra hops are a new experimental variety of hops known for being very aromatic while having a crisp citrusy finish. On the other hand, Sorachi Ace hops are an older Japenese variety of hops known for their lemony finish. Together the malts and hops combine for a nice rich mid-palate flavor with a refreshingly crisp finish. A very interesting beer that is better than most of the red IPAs I have had before. Definitely worth a try at only $6.99 for a 22oz bottle!

Personal Rating: 9.5/10
Style Rating: 8.5/10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA

Firestone Walker is known for their great barrel aged beers, but they still know how to make an amazing hop bomb of an IPA! This IPA from Firestone Walker weights in at 7.5 ABV (which seems like a magic number for brewers these days considering how many great IPAs weight in at this ABV) and is crisp and light on the malt body. This style differs from many of the IPAs produced just a few years ago when most brewers agreed that if you added more hops you had to add more rich, sweet malts to keep It balanced. This new breed of IPAs is rich in hop flavor and bitterness but without the heavy malts of the past which make them nearly unsessionable. The hops are both very aromatic and perfectly balanced in the slightly bitter finish. The brewery utilizes over four pounds of pacific-northwest hops per barrel to produce this brew. A new hit that is a year round brew from Firestone Walker.
If you like Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin, Troegs Perpetual IPA, Uintas Hop Notch IPA, or Port Brewings Wipeout IPA then you have got to try this one next! Cheers and bottoms up!

Personal Rating: 9.8/10
Style Rating: 9.5/10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Harpoon Rich & Dan Rye IPA

Harpoons RIPA (Rye IPA) is a home run for price and quality! It is filled with the aromas of classic west coast hops with a hint of spiciness from the rye grain addition. A great IPA that delivers on the three best things we love in this style: aroma, taste and price ($8.99 per 6 pack). The ABV is 6.9 but still drinks like a session beer.
It definitely reminds me of Stone or Lagunitas breweries out of California but it comes from Harpoon Brewery out of Massachusetts. In fact, after 25 years of running a brewery together, this is the first beer that Rich and Dan (founders of Harpoon Brewery) have brewed together. The joke at the brewery was whether it would be Dan and Rich's or Rich and Dan's RIPA.
Overall, definitely a great pick up when you are in the mood for a good IPA but feeling like trying something different. Rye is the new hot adjunct grain for brewers to use so you will definitely see more of these style beers!

Personal Rating: 9/10
Style Rating: 8/10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at: