31 December 2012


Adding the following beers to the list:

Rogue Brutal IPA
Yard's Wet Hop Ale
Yard's/Prohibition Hoppy Lil' Hudson (Cask)
Sixpoint Redd
Moonglow Weizenbock
Port Hop IPA
Pretty Things White Fluffy Rabbit
Satin Solstice Imperial Stout
Magic Hat HIPA
Long Trail IPA
Old Forge IPA
Neshaminy Creek Brewing County Line IPA
Honeymaker Dry Hopped Mead
Lawson's Finest Maple Nipple
Wolaver's IPA
Shed Mountain Ale
Otter Creek Black IPA
Nodding Head 60 Shilling
Nodding Head 700 Level
Mikkeller/Brewdog I Beat You Double IPA
Rodenbach Grand Cru
The Bruery 5 Golden Rings
Wolver's Alta Gracia Coffee Porter
Evil Twin Blind Eye IPA
Lost Abbey Gift Of The Magi 2011
Sly Fox Christmas 2007
St. Bernardus 2007
Russian River Pliny The Elder
He'Brew 15:15
Kona Pipeline Porter
Emelisse Triple IPA
Homebrewed Geuze
Trois Dames Victor
Blue Genie Putting Out The Fire Wit
Dark Horse Cascade Hop IPA
Goose Island Pepe Nero
Maine King Titus
Gouden Carolus Noel
Stegmaier Winter Warmer
Ballast Point El Dorado
Flying Dog Imperial IPA
Flying Dog Oyster Stout
Homebrewed Oyster Stout
Homebrewed Marzen
Flying Dog
Terrapin Samurai Krunkles

21 November 2012

Hop Karma Brown IPA vs. India Style Brown Ale

Can you spot the difference? This is the stuff you've got to look for as a beer hunter. This is essentially the same beer, but there's one striking difference; the name. One may wonder, Do they taste the same?
Let's find out...

Hop Karma Brown IPA came before India Style Brown IPA. As a matter of fact, the Hop Karma was the first beer I ever had by Terrapin Beer and I was immediately hooked. On the label reads, "Peace, Love, and Hoppiness". You've got that right, god dammit.

Hop Karma Brown IPA

Sticking your nose into the Hop Karma, you get the immediate sensation of going-against-the-grain. After all, who in their right mind would try to marry a brown ale and an IPA? It's a good thing they tried because it works wonderfully, and everything you would expect to be present is. Nutty brown, and medium amount of hops. 
Tasting it brings your senses on a level playing ground. Taste, smell, and mouthfeel, all realigned. Screw ginger before sushi, drink this if you want your shit in line. 
Toasted nuts, brown ale, notes of chocolate (not cocoa), bitterness, and slight-slight coffee trickling it's way into the sidebands. I managed to get weird a draw a diagram of what's going on:

NOTE: It's very hard to reference nuts and sweetness while looking at the diagram of a tongue. You've got to be daring. You've got to get weird. Be daring to keep your bearing(s). That's the motto tonight. Don;t like it? Good, move your mouse to the top right or left depending on your operating system, and click the red X. Ok, now that the riff-raff is gone, let's continue: 
Think about the creator of DragonBall Z, or the creator of the website PenIsland.com. These people are up with the times. Sometimes you have to hurt someone (or yourself) to help many. 

At the very back of the tongue rests the watchdog hoppiness. It's WATCHING, not managing, the rest of the operation. Moving forward is the toasty nuttiness. THIS is managing everything else. I'll elaborate in a minute.... 
The alcohol layer is there to let you know that this is indeed a beer, and a damn good one at that. Simply put, the sweetness up front fades into the alcohol which fades into the nutty and then into the hops. Here's where things get interesting. NORMALLY, the hops and the alcohol rest in the back together and they cancel each other out. That's why you hear people say, "Wow! This is a great IPA!" -- Because it's BALANCED. 
Terrapin has managed to toss in the nuttiness and brown ale layers at JUST THE RIGHT amount to add to, but keep everything balanced. An incredible feat, if you ask me. 

Imagine someone juggling bowling pins, and someone tosses an axe in for good measure. Pretty frigin cool, huh? That's the best metaphor I can give at the moment.

The hops are keeping watch while the brown ale layer keeps everything in line. It's coursing through the whole thing like some kind of swirl in your whipped cream. Oh, it's present, and it's here to stay. Get used to it. 

The sweetness (and this is going to sound weird) I can relate to carrots. You know that little sharp spike of "vegetable" that you get from carrots? Well take the sweetness from a really sweet carrot and take that bit of sharpness/bitterness and that's what you'll get on the front end of your tongue. It's weird, I know. I'm not saying that there's carrot juice in here, I'm just saying that it's very similar. What ever they did, they did it right. It;s different and that's what you want, right? Probably why you're reading this write-up. It's what I have personally coined, "The Unorthodox Beer Review".

India Style Brown IPA

Well, the've done it. They have reproduced the beer without compromising anything. It's the same, save for it tasting fresher because it is newer. The Hop Karma held up very well. I am surprised how well because I had that beer back in I believe LATE 2008- EARLY 2009 and Terrapin was still using gold bottle caps. The India Style Brown IPA also had a gold cap but it's still newer. The difference? More fresh. 


NOTE II: I had a MUCH longer write-up written about this whole thing but google decided to flip some switch somewhere and I lost 90% of the article, thus I had to re-write everything. I must add that I had quite the ramble going -- I managed to hit that sweet spot where the fingers flow as quick as the thoughts and everything was conveyed beautifully. Like I said, I had to rewrite it all.... or try to for that matter, replicating what had been. Let it be known: I am pissed. 

11 November 2012

Flying Dog || The Fear

Buttery smell [weird!]. I am blown away at the no-brainer contained in this bottle: Instead of taking an ale and adding the usual pumpkin spice, Flying Dog decided to take a BROWN ale, and toss in some subtle pumpkin spice and some hopiness. This beer deserves lots of attention for setting itself apart from the others. On the bottle, the last sentence in the description is: "...Only then will the true artist in you rise up."

Get this beer!!

04 November 2012

Sprecher || Cream Soda

Hey I can review beers so why not soda too? (THE SODA IS FROM A BEER BREWERY) so I had to try it, of course.

Made with Wisconsin honey. 2 servings, 60-something grams of sugar and carbs. Hey, it's up there but wow is it worth it. This soda will make you smile blatantly and instantly. You dive in and smile -- that's it. Immediate satisfaction. Fuck. ... Ok ok back to reality: ! Digest the information at hand: DELICIOUS. If you EVER see this, buy it.
They also make root beer, ginger ale, and, of course, cream soda.

26 October 2012

Iron Fist || The Gauntlet

Tastes just shy of a barleywine. Once again I have picked one of "these". Luck? Not so much I guess. Well it's freakin delicious despite the love/hate.

19 October 2012

Goose Island || Pepe Nero

Very very similar to a black IPA. Hoppy, slight bite -- probably about 50-60-something IBUs if that helps. Smooth isn't the best word for this, but it definitely applies. It's a sipper, but don't nurse it. If I catch you, I'm taking it from you for myself.

18 October 2012

Dark Horse || Cascade Crooked Tree

Hoppy. It's basically in IPA. BASICally...... An IPA.


Also... After a tri-pork soup, it became more of an accessible beer. It took on some sweetness and some pilsner quality, but still retained its hop bite. Intriguing. I'd get it again easily.