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bissell brothers brewing co the substance ale ale - 6.6% abv. I've posted about this before, but this is increasingly available around here and it's one of the few beers that's it's hard for me to pass up. there's a nice blog post on their website where they explain that this was the only beer they made for the first eight or nine months that the brewery was open, and apparently they wanted to do make something with citra and mosaic but couldn't get their hands on them in sufficient quantities in 2013, which is why they ended up using appolo, centennial, chinook, the falconer's flight blend, and simcoe. I can't tell you why the "original" version of substance they list on their website doesn't have mosaic, but this is is a great combination of a ne ipa with an older style ipa. it's made with wheat and oats and has the hazy, opaque appearance typical of a ne ipa, but it's a little bit too bitter for that and tastes more like citrus than tropical fruit, although there is a little bit of that along with the peach in the finish. there's not that much malt presence, but the oats are fairly apparent in the finish in a way that gives it a little bit more richness than you'd expect for the abv. this is a really terrific beer, and it's easy to see why they're one of the few breweries (along with the alchemist) that makes this kind of beer and still has a flagship. strongly recommended.

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tonigt: full moon belgian white ale--it is not really belgian, but a belgian style witbier from the mudshark brewery based in arizona. i quote my beeradvocate.com review:   looks very nice in the gl

Click. Way too young. And let's not forget his great whisky writings.

I'm not a huge fan of the Oberon but it seems the most accessible for the masses so it is the one that is most often on tap. It is a summer beer most change out to Pale Ale for the fall/winter (I lik

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hoof hearted brewing mondo dizmo (bourbon barrel aged) double mash imperial stout with hoof hearted coffee added - brewed and canned by hoof hearted brewing, marengo oh, 13% abv. I think of hoof hearted as a twelve percent brand, but unlike a lot of their colleagues they have an actual brewery that predates their relationship with twelve percent. I think this is the first time I've had their beer made at the original brewery. this is pretty barrel forward, it's mostly bourbon with some undefined roasted flavors underneath, and the finish combines some light, floral coffee notes with apparent alcohol and some licorice. the coffee flavors are pretty well done, but they reinforce my suspicion that the kind of coffee I want to drink isn't the kind of coffee that works best in stouts. meh.

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geuzerie tilquin oude mirabellen tilquin á l'ancienne traditional belgian lambic ale brewed with mirabelle plums - 7% abv. I posted about the blackberry version the other day, but my post showed up twice when I came back to this page and erasing one of them erased them both. this is a nice orange yellow instead of purple, but it strikes a pretty similar balance between brett and fruit, but the vinegar like tartness you get in the other beer is a lot less apparent here and this is a lot more accessible than the blackberry version. these are exactly the kind of clean, deep brett notes that I really like and so on. strongly recommended as a brett beer, recommended as a beginner lambic.

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firestone walker cinnamon dolce nitro stout cinnamon & vanilla spiced nitro stout - 6% abv. one of the downsides of the huge strides the local beer scene has made over the last eight or so years is a lot of the established national brands don't really bother with our market anymore, and while I'm honestly unsure that I'd still like it as much as I used to now I miss the days when I could get a two week old six pack of one of firestone's hoppy beers for ten bucks at the local grocery store. they still send some beer to ny, of course, but this is the first time I've seen remotely fresh beer from them in a really long time and nostalgia compelled me to pick it up. this is one of only a few times I've bought a nitro beer to drink at home, and one of the lowest abv stouts I've consumed in a long time, yada yada, but this is pretty bad. apparently this is meant to mimic a mexican coffee, and I was pleased to see that they had let the malt profile provide the coffee flavor, but this really tastes like the weirdly light blandness you get with a nitro stout with some cinnamon and vanilla on top of it. meh at best.

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westbrook brewing co. mexican cake imperial stout malt beverage with cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon, and habanero peppers added -  bottled 5/21, 10.5% abv. when the firestone website says that the beer above this was inspired by mexican hot cocoa it's hard to believe they weren't thinking about this beer at least a little bit. first brewed in 2011 as westbrook's first anniversary beer, this was the first mexican chocolate inspired stout that I came across. the other widely available ones, prairies's bomb and stone's xocaveza, didn't come along until 2014, and while I'm sure I'm missing a lot of the links  I think this and the beers they were making for evil twin at the time must have been a big part of what later became the pasty stout. (I'm kind of glad I don't have easy access to the horus, wakefield, or angry chair stuff that lead to the huge leap in abv.) anyways... it's been a while since I had one of these that didn't also use some of the evil twin adjuncts and I'd forgotten how spicy this is. there's a lot of slightly floral chili at first, which turns into cinnamon and then vanilla and mexican chocolate. the later two become a little more prominent as you get used to the heat, which is nice because they're really well done. this still seems like a clever use of adjuncts to me blah blah blah. recommended.

eta: hill farmstead’s twilight of the idols is from 2009.

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stone xocoveza imperial stout inspired by mexican hot chocolate & tres leches stout brewed w/chocolate, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, rice & oats - contains lactose, 8.5% abv. this is this year's version of one of the most widely available copies of mexican cake, which was introduced in 2014. it always had nutmeg, and I think lactose, but the rice and oats (and a slightly higher abv) are new this year. this is mostly coffee and lactose with a very mild set of chili flavors in the finish. I haven't had the original version in a long time, but this is cloying and it's hard not to think that my kids would drastically prefer this to mexican cake.

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evil twin brewing new york city I'm in a coconut state of mind double dry-hopped double ipa with mandarina bavaria, sabro, and citra hops. conditioned on fresh coconut - 8% abv. this is exactly what I wanted from it - a pleasant, easy to drink double ipa that has a nice mixture of hops and coconut that's well made without being at all challenging. bright citrus, coconut, a little bit of tropical fruit, no malt or apparent alcohol, blah blah blah. very nice for what it is.

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hoof hearted dragonsaddle triple ipa - on tap! 11.5% abv. this is another who farted beer actually made in ohio, which may not be a good thing. this is the beer their yearly festival is named after and apparently this is the first time that they’ve distributed any of it. this is a huge, all citra triple that looks like any number of similar local beers. it smells great, there’s a marmalade version the usual mixture of citrus and tropical fruit citra stuff, and it’s definitely as rich as it smells. there’s a fair amount of apparent alcohol here too, which isn’t any more welcome here than it is in a spouse, but I’m enjoying the guava and tangerine a lot and I’m glad I’ll be able tell myself I’ve had this. I can’t pretend to know whether hoof hearted has its own style based on my limited experience of their beers, which have mostly been made elsewhere, but I do think this is pretty different from an all citra triple from other half or finback. recommended to completist beer nerds.

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great notion double stack imperial stout with coffee and maple syrup - 11% abv. great notion is a portland, oregon brewery that sends beer here quarterly, I think these  cans were probably sent here with whatever stuff they were pouring at other half’s stout festival last weekend. they’re about six months old, which isn’t great, which is something I noticed after I got them home. I can’t tell you how they would have been fresh, of course, but these are pretty pleasant and have a nice combination of maple, coffee, licorice, and roasted malt flavor that’s pretty easy to drink. there’s some apparent alcohol here, but it’s actually integrated into the other flavors and it doesn’t ruin things for me, and this is also an example where a lighter, fruited roast of coffee works with the beer flavor. mildly recommended.

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evil twin brewing el dorado double dry-hopped ipa with el dorado, citra, halleratu blanc - 6.5% abv. this is another solid ne ipa from etny - there's a nice mixture of citrus, some dankness, and a nice mixture of stone fruit. I don't really know why I keep buying their beer over places like finback or other half, but they released a barley wine so I'm sure I'll be drinking one of their ipas next week to justify the trip and so on.

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sierra nevada barrel-aged narwhal imperial stout - 11.9% abv. this has been one of sierra's year round releases for a while now but I haven't come across it before, the base beer has the kind of huge roasted malt notes you look for in a stout, there are no adjuncts in this, the barrel aged bigfoot I had a few years ago was pretty wonderful, this is relatively inexpensive, etc etc. this is jet black and has a decent coffee colored head at first, bourbon really dominates the smell, and there's a big set of roasted chocolate and coffee that give way to a nice mixture of vanilla and bourbon with some coconut and anise in the finish. this may sound like a pretty standard description of a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout, and it's very close to the one on the side of the can, which is what you should expect from SN, but there's a really impressive amount of detail here and the interaction between the chocolate, coffee, and vanilla are exactly what I want from this kind of beer and so on. recommended.

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During the NOLA trip, I ventured into a couple of sketchy stores in the Quarter to pick up some local, never-going-to-come-out-to-CA beers.  Today I opened Faubourg Brewing's limited-edition Dat'Suma, an IPA brewed with satsuma (7.2% ABV). Quite hoppy and a little bitter, but I could pick up the citrus hint from the satsuma.

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bellwood brewing jelly king raspberry & meyer lemon dry hopped sour ale with fruit - 5.6% abv. I haven't had one of these fruited lacto sours in a long time, but this is frequently featured on tørst's by the glass menu and that's enough for me to buy something. this is my first beer from bellwood, a toronto brewery that sends a little bit of beer down here. this is a little older ideal for a hoppy beer, but it is bright and simple and tastes like real fruit and there's even some hops (beer flavor!) in the finish. this is pleasant enough but I have no idea how it compares to all the similar beers out there.

 

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