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AaronS

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  1. other half green flowers west coast india pale ale - brewed at their dc location on okie street, 6.8% abv.  how could they have possibly not used this name by now? their website tells me that they used it for one of their vermont yeast dipas a few years ago, and having seen the can art I'll even say I enjoyed it. this is a totally different beer, or course, and combines 100% malted barley with citra, amarillo cryo, idaho 7, and strata, which is pretty modern for a west coast ipa. it's completely clear but much lighter shade of yellow than you'd expect. this tastes more or less true to style, there's the usual mixture of sweet malt and fruit, only the newer hops give you some papaya and pawpaw along with less citrus and resin than you'd expect. this is a pretty solid take on an older style and I'm glad I picked it up, although most of the beers I had last night were more enjoyable.

  2. a long time ago I went to the original shake shack location (which opened during his time at emp) and asked them who came up with the original shack burger recipe. they called a manager, who went in the back, came back, and told me kerry heffernan came up with it. 

  3. tap beer @ other half! other half has a pretty enticing set of new releases celebrating their upcoming 8th anniversary. most of these sold out pretty quickly, so this are mostly small draft pours. citra ipa - this is a throwback to their original single hop series, and is a little bit more new england than the way I remember it, 8th anniversary collaborative imperial ipa (west) great notion and monkish - this is a nice example of what they do so well, overly sweet hop juice with no malt and a bare minimum of bitterness, 8th anniversary collaborative ipa (east) trillium & lawsons - like the one before it, only less nelson, and oddly enough the only ipa here without citra, 8th anniversary collaborative triple ipa fidens, equilibrium, vitamin sea - a little bit more bitter and less delicate than the others, 4th anniversary: resurrection imperial ipa - this is the one that got me out of the house, their anniversary beers are usually their best and I remember being floored by this the first time around, and this is probably a little bit better than the vast majority of very similar beers you can get, for some reason that I don’t know, 8th anniversary collaborative smoothie sour the veil & omnipollo - I’ll buy almost anything with the omnipollo name on it, so this is the fist beer I’ve had with soft serve in it, I wonder if the mcdonald’s across the street finally fixed their soft serve machine, this definitely tastes weirder than the typical blueberry/blackberry/marshmallow beer, the ominpollo name really must be magic because this actually seems better made than the rest of this stuff and tastes strongly of mint, blah blah blah and also blah.

    eta: stouts have always been the thing that other half can’t do as well as their peers, and I was happy to see that they have one from richmond’s the veil on tap. google tells me this is an other half collab, but it spent two years in bourbon barrels in richmond, and this has as much flavor as any beer I’ve had in a long time, including a bunch of fudge and toffee stuff I associate with stouts.

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  4. finback incarnation 2021 barrel aged imperial stout with coffee and maple imperial snacky stout with invisible force columbia huila acevedo, and maple. aged in bourbon barrels - 13% abv. this is pretty much as you'd expect it to be given the other stouts they've released this winter - the adjuncts are really well done and definitely over power the barrels, the coffee maple flavor is easy to like, there's a little bit of bourbon and apparent alcohol in the finish but I'm pretty sure my kids would drink this, blah blah blah.

  5. brasserie fantome the coffee ruby very bitter taste original 1 time brew darker than habitual - 8% abv. this is even weirder than last night's beer. it's a fairly dark shade of brown and is pretty highly carbonated. there is some dark roast coffee notes with some odd herbal stuff underneath and a fair amount of bitterness that doesn't really taste like hops. the weird herbal stuff tastes a lot like last night's beer, only there was more of it last night, and this gives way to the coffee and some lemon etc. recommended.

    eta: I'm increasingly certain this has some caffeine in it. ugh.

  6. brasserie fantome strange ghost 1 brew dark triple version - 7.5% abv. I can't find much about this particular beer on line, but I did find this older write up of the brewery that paints the brewer as a sort of abe like character (polarizing, self taught, weird) who is very secretive about the type of yeast he uses but  doesn't even bother to try some of the beer he makes and prefers soda to beer. the article, which is from 2016, also says that there's some consistency issues that I've never noticed. I'm not sure how to classify this - while it is dark it's nothing like a traditional triple, although I have no idea how many times this was fermented. it's mostly herbal mint and orange peel at first, with some caramel malt sweetness underneath, a fairly bitter finish, as well as some pretty odd tea and vegetable flavors. I can't begin to guess what kind of spices this was made with, but they probably used a fair amount of european hops, and while it doesn't taste directly like brett to me it has the kind of depth and detail you get in the better brett beers. in some ways this is a lot like the de dolle beer from last week - caramel malt & odd fruit flavors - but this is a lot weirder and less malty, and this is a lot closer to a belgian strong ale than I thought it was at first. blah blah blah. recommended.

  7. omnipollo ice creamy white chocolate tangerine double india pale ale brewed with coca nibs, white chocolate, tangerine & milk sugar - brewed by twelve percent, north haven, ct, 8% abv. this is the fourth version of this I've had, the first used mango and was a really nice mix of bitterness and the adjuncts, but the peach and strawberry ones were a cloying mess. this is somewhere in between, the coca comes through a lot more clearly than it did in the other versions, the tangerine flavor is well done, and it arguably tastes like hops, and so on, but the striking thing is how normal this seems compared to some of the other stuff that omnipollo and their peers have done since. my other takeaway is that finback does this stuff better than most people.

  8. evil twin brewing new york city freudian slip barley wine conditioned on oak and vanilla - 10.3% abv. this is one of a handful of older beers from the two roads days that were brewed again. this is an odd choice for that, evil twin never really made that many barley wines and I never saw the original version of this around too much. the original was a fairly straight forward american style barley wine. this has the same abv as the original version, which is interesting because it tastes like it spent a lot of time in the sine qua non wine barrels that are used on a some of the even more jesus variants. that means huge, jammy red wine (cherry, maybe raspberry) that give way to some milk chocolate and a little bit of vanilla. so this is a beer which isn't true to style or the beer it was inspired by, which would be okay if this was at all pleasant. not recommended.

  9. prairie artisan ales barrel aged moose boots barrel aged imperial stout with maple syrup, toasted almonds, and vanilla - brewed at krebbs brewing, like every prairie beer I've come across, 13.4% abv. I let my kids pick out some ice cream the other day, and while I was finishing the pint of milk bar cornflake marshmallow cookie dough ice cream I was surprised that I'd never used milk bar as a reference point fo the kind of tooth breaking pseudo nostalgia that you find in this kind of beer, although this I guess this kind of beer didn't really exist the last time I had those cookies. this is a lot better executed than anything I've had from milk bar though, and the way the maple syrup and toasted almond flavors are integrated with the bourbon is truly impressive, and there's enough maple and vanilla in the finish to ensure that any bitterness you get from the bourbon barrels doesn't make this challenging in any way. this is a lot better than the vanilla noir they released at the same time and a little bit below the finback beers I had so many of last month. mildly recommended to children who drink.

  10. I had it just before the original red hook tavern chef left and didn't like it that much, which is also how I felt about the similar one she was serving at lot2. I'll probably revisit the lot2 one sooner rather than later.

  11. de dolle oerbier "wet & strong" - cans from the b-united tanker project, 8% abv. as I've mentioned quite a few times the b-united tanker project ships beer to connecticut in temperature controlled tanks, which allows one to purchase very fresh european beer here in new york. freshness clearly matters a lot for some of the lagers they sell, which isn't surprising, but I think it also works really well here, in what's probably a strong belgian dark ale according to the style guidelines. apparently the oer in the name is a play on old and ur, which makes sense because this is a version of the first beer they brewed in 1980. the recipe seems to have evolved over time, there's a few different abvs on line and I don't know why this is slightly lower than the current listing on their website, or if it's true that this was made with either lacto or licorice, although it tastes like the latter was used instead of the candi sugar you often find in this style. this pours a deep color of brown that's a little darker/less amber than a barley-wine. this is definitely the freshest example of this kind of beer I've had, and there's a lot more fruit than you'd expect on top of all the malt. there's a nice mixture of plum, cherry, licorice, fig, caramel, fruitcake/marmalade, a small amount of noble hops, and some white wine, orange, mint, and peach tea in the finish, along with a slight but definite hit of sourness. I don't think I've ever had anything like this - I'm used to drinking older examples of things like this that have a lot of depth but nowhere near as much detail, and I'm really glad I got to try this. it's a welcome contrast to all the newer american stuff I usually drink, the combination of the herbal notes and fruit in the finish is amazing, and so on and on. my highest recommendation if you like this kind of beer, mildly recommended to most people, not recommended to people who like beer for children, blah blah blah.

    eta: I was just at ETNYC and they had a belgian strong dark ale on tap, the de dolle beer has the same basic flavors but is a much better beer in every way imaginable.

  12. westbrook brewing company 11th anniversary imperial stout brewed with cocoa nibs and caramel - 11% abv. I don't see as much westbrook around as I used to, and probably haven't had anything since their last anniversary release, but they're always adjunct heavy stouts and I usually like them well enough. this one isn't great though, the caramel flavor is a little burnt and everything seems a little thin compared to the rest of the stouts I've had this winter.

  13. hoof hearted brewing south of eleven double india pale ale - brewed by two hearted in ohio, 10.2% abv. as hoof hearted continues to transition from a gypsy label brewed by the twelve percent beer project to a brewer distributed by twelve percent I get more and more convinced that the label art isn’t the real reason that twelve percent chose to work with hoof hearted. ipas above 10% are almost always intrinsically flawed, but beers with this abv have a tendency to taste better as you drink more of them, and this doesn’t taste anywhere near as bitter as it did when I opened the first can. I prefer bitterness to residual sugar or apparent alcohol at this point, and now that it’s less apparent this has a really nice mixture of pineapple, tangerine, and resin with a little bit of booze in the background.

  14. the best bbq I’ve ever had was some place in tenneessee I found using a version of that book. just across the border from the south west tip of virginia iirc.

  15. hop butcher for the world double blazed orange citra & strata-hopped milkshake double india pale ale brewed with oranges & vanilla - 9.5% abv. hop butcher for the world is a chicago area brewery that the internet tells me is the best maker of hazy ipas in the chicago area. I think they’ve been sending beer here for a while but this is the first time I’ve had it. this is an opaque shade of slightly muddy orange and has a pretty thick mouthfeel that’s pretty similar to the other half oat cream beers. this is even sweeter than their stuff though, there’s a lot of vanilla here and orange flavor that tastes like it was made with real juice. the vanilla is joined by some hop flavors in the finish, which add a welcome amount of mango and pineapple but don’t make this any less cloying. my kids would probably find this pretty quaffable, I’m wondering how bad my hangover will be. I like finback’s fruited ipas more every time I have other breweries yadda yadda yadda and also yadda.

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