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Featured Reviews - December 2013 Archives

Heavy Seas Yule Tide
Posted Thursday, December 26th, 2013 by Tip Top

Heavy Seas Yule TideIt's been a long time since I've written a review at all, much less put it up here for our blog, but when Heavy Seas was good enough to send me a bottle of their Seasonal Release in the Uncharted Water Series I figured it was the least I could do in return.  Yule Tide is an Imperial Red Ale aged in Jamaican Rum barrels.  It weighs in at 9% abv and 28 IBUs.  It is available in December and January wherever Heavy Seas products are sold.

Pours a clean chestnut color, red but with more brown. Very little head reduces to a wisp on the surface and a ring around the glass.  Stays that way for the remainder.

The aroma is instantly sweet. Raisins and brown sugar. A touch of ginger. Maybe a bit of chocolate. The Barrel is there with more sweetness and no char. Touch of caramel.

Taste starts off much the same. Brown sugar sweetness along with caramel maltiness. Barrel is much more present in the taste than the aroma. Touch of char, rum sweetness and a touch of spice. Ginger comes through at the end, really finishing things off and cutting out a bit of the sweetness.

Medium full bodies. Lower carbonation that is appropriate for the style.

Overall, an enjoyable beer, but 22oz might be a little bit much for one person to drink. I'd suggest sharing.

Thanks go out to out to Caroline at Heavy Seas for sending me this beer!


Nebraska Toasted Barn
Posted Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 by Tip Top

Nebraska Toasted BarnPour produced a moderate head that is about a half inch thick, made up of tight bubbles.  Decent staying power, but after a couple minutes it's a wisp on the surface and a thick bead around the edge of the glass.  Body is very dark brown, but not quite black.  Completely opaque.

Nicely balanced with nothing overpowering the nose here.  Bold chocolately notes.  Vanilla and oak from the barrel aging.  Bourbon is here, but subdued.  Smoke is here, but in balance with the other aromas.

Chocolate and a touch of molasses start things off on a sweet malt tones.  Smokiness appears, but not huge, bold and overpowering like some smoked porters tend to be.  Vanilla really balanced off the smoke, as the wood aging seems just right here.  Touch of bitterness.  Whiskey is far in the background, providing a highlight rather than dominating the beer.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.  This one drinks really easily while still being full flavored.  Really nice brew that could be drank in decent quantities if the opportunity lead itself.  I had it as a dessert and it worked just right.


Sixpoint Review #3 - The Crisp
Posted Friday, July 29th, 2011 by Tip Top

Well, vacation got in my way of getting these Sixpoint reviews done in a timely manner, so I figured I better get right back into them.  This time I'm reviewing The Crisp, a lager weighing in at 5.4% abv and 42 IBUs.  Forgive the picture from my much to messy desk with an empty from another night on it.

The pour produces a nice two inch thick head that is made up of loose foam.  Varying sized bubbles stick to the sides of the glass as the head subsides a bit.  Tons of tiny bubbles race to the surface on the golden brew.  Really nice looking beer.

Sweet malts combine with assertive grassy hop notes.  If I didn't know it by reading the 42 IBUs on the can, the aroma would tell me that this is going to be a beer that is more hop focused than many lagers out there.  Almost a bit of corn syrup sweetness to the smell.

Flavor is much more balanced than I thought it might be by the nose.  Malt and hops are working in pretty much perfect harmony.  Starts off with a moderate malt sweetness that has a touch of corn.  Hops quickly take over, bringing a bit of brashness to the picture.  Grassy and herbal.  Hops subside and give way to a subtle sweetness again, but this time with a bit of lingering bitterness on the back of my tongue.

Clean, refreshing and drinkable.  This is a perfect lawn mower beer.  Something you wouldn't tire of, but is really nice in its simplicity.


Sixpoint Review #2 - Sweet Action
Posted Friday, July 15th, 2011 by Tip Top

Sixpoint Sweet ActionThis is my second review this week of a Sixpoint beer, following Bengali Tiger a couple days ago. 

An aggressive pour produces about a quarter inch head of with foam made up of tight bubbles.  After a minute, it's a thin film on the surface with a sturdy ring around the glass.  The body is a nice orange hue with a bit of a chill haze to it.

Aroma is what I guess I should have expected from the name of the beer.  Malty sweetness with definite honey notes.  Light grassy bitterness.

Flavor expands on the aroma.  Starts off with sweet honey-like malt.  That stays a bit, but gives way to a surprising amount of citrusy hop flavors.  Hops turn to grassy bitterness, which take a hold of my tongue for a little while.  There is just a touch of piney hopes and a good amount of spiciness.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.  It's neither thin, nor big and velvety.  Not biting carbonation, but not the big bubbles either.  Right in between, it compliments the beer well.

Overall, this is quite a nice beer.  I see this described as a Cream Ale and a Blonde Ale, but I'm not sure that it is either.  Not that style matters, but I would think this fits best as an amber ale.  Super sessionable and easy to drink, you might find yourself wanting more than a four pack of this one.



Sixpoint Review #1 - Bengali Tiger
Posted Monday, July 11th, 2011 by Tip Top

One of our members is now a brewery rep for Sixpoint.  Adam was good enough to send me a sampler of the recently released cans from the brewery.  This is my first review in what will be a four part series focused on Sixpoint.  Thanks Adam!

Bengali Tiger is the brewery's take on the American IPA.  It comes in at 6.4% abv, 62 IBUs and 13 SRM.  Here goes.

This IPA pours a nice orange color with a slight chill haze.  There is a stream of tiny bubbles rising up through the body, which helps to sustain the head.  Head poured about an inch of beige foam.  Thick and frothy, it had really good staying power.  After a couple minutes, there was a thin film covering the surface along with thick lacing covering the sides of the glass.  Lacing turns web-like as I empty the glass.

Smells wonderful.  Tropical and citrusy hops are highlighted by a sweet malt base.  Pine and grapefruit along with a little bit of spiciness.

The flavor really follows through from the aroma.  Starts off sweet, with both the hops and the malt starting things off.  Sweet malt combines with fruity hops.  Hops stay for a bit while the malt fades into the background, showing orange, grapefruit, and a bit of piney flavor.  All the sudden, it switches it up a bit and brings on a nice biting bitterness.  The bitterness isn't really brash or overpowering.  It pricks the tongue through the rest of this, well into the aftertaste.  A bit of a return of the malt sweetness happens as the bitterness is fading.

Mouthfeel is both creamy and prickly at the same time.  The body is nice and smooth, almost creamy, but at the same time, the carbonation is pricking at your tongue.  Carbonation is fine, with tiny bubbles helping accentuate the bitterness of the hops.  Finishes clean, even if the aftertaste stays in your mouth for almost a minute.

This is a really nicely crafted IPA.  Well balanced, but still highlights what an IPA should, the hops.  Easy enough to drink that I'm upset I only have one.  I would rank this among the best IPAs that the East Coast has to offer and overall it can hold it's own with the country's finest.  Well worth checking out.  I think once you give it a chance, you'll find yourself going back to the store for more.