Monday, December 11, 2017

COOP Ale Works DNR Belgian Strong Ale

This last weekend, i got to visit my sister and her family in Oklahoma, an all too short trip, but a fun one nonetheless.  Naturally i managed to squeak in a couple of local brews before leaving, and the one that left the biggest mark was the DNR Belgian Strong Ale from COOP Ale Works in Oklahoma City.  The beer pours a nice and cloudy amber with a quickly dissipating white head and smells of yeast, spice, fruit, and a little vanilla.  Flavors of banana and spice are at the forefront of this 10% ABV concoction, with some notes of fruit, molasses, and booze on the back end, all in a fairly dry finish.  Top notch.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

4th Tap Yule Cat Winter Amber

I probably don't give Austin's 4th Tap Brewing nearly enough love and enthusiasm as i probably should.  Aside from having an awesome taproom space, the brewery has as close to perfect a record on beer releases as one could possible hope for.  And their latest holiday offering is no different.  The Yule Cat Winter Amber comes in swinging at 7.2% ABV, pouring a brownish-reddish hue with a bubbly white head and smelling of malts, mulling spices, and nutmeg.  The flavor is a mix of sweet and bitter, malt and holiday spices at the forefront with some subtle oak notes on the back end.  It's delicious and surprisingly smooth, something i'll probably be stocking up on for the winter months ahead.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Independence Shiny Diamonds Ale

Never one to let me down, Austin's Independence Brewing constantly releases new and delicious beers that grab a hold of me and never let go.  The latest is the brew, in a fantastically amazing can, is the Shiny Diamonds Ale, a light, crisp, and hoppy pale that just might be my go to beverage for the foreseeable future.  The 5.8% ABV beer pours light gold with a foamy white head, aromas of spice, herbs, and a little citrus hitting the nose.  The hops at the forefront in regards to the flavor, citrus and grapefruit notes being the most prevalent, and finishes dry, crisp, and refreshing.  I love this beer.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Elysian Dark O' The Moon Pumpkin Stout

Pumpkin ale season is pretty much done now, but i thought i would sneak one more in before we're up to our elbows in holiday ales.  Elysian was always one of my favorite breweries to sample when in the Pacific Northwest, and although they've become part of the evil empire, they still put out good stuff.  Case in point, the wonderful Dark O' The Moon Pumpkin Stout.  Pouring a dark, brownish black with a tan head, the (now) 7.6% ABV stout smells of pumpkin, spices, cinnamon, and malts.  Thick and smooth, the flavors of pumpkin, nutmeg, malt, and cinnamon abound, with the cinnamon notes really taking front and center, all with a decently bitter finish.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

4th Tap Highland Scoundrel

On Friday, i took a day off from work, as did my wife, and the two of us went on a kind of brewery taproom crawl during the day while the kids were at school and daycare.  The last brewery we hit was 4th Tap Brewing Co-op in North Austin, and while i made sure to try a whole slew of things partaking in a flight, my favorite was the Highland Scoundrel, a delicious Scotch Ale.  The beer pours dark and brown and smells molasses, toffee, and malt.  Flavors of brown sugar, caramel, and dark fruit swirl in this strong 10% ABV, but never gets too boozy.  All in all, a perfect Fall libation.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Celis Citrus Grandis IPA

I've been pretty stoked ever since Celis Brewery returned to Austin a few months ago, and i've got to admit that i'm surprised that the brewers have been able to make a beer that i actually like better than their classic White witbier.  But their New England IPA, the Citrus Grandis is just too damn good to ignore.  Coming in at 5% ABV and pouring a hazy, light gold with a foamy white head, the beer smells of citrus, fruit, spice, and just a little bit of funk.  Flavors of fruit and citrus, along with some notes of bread and spice mesh well together in a crisp and refreshing, full-bodied blend.  The sweet and the bitter play well together, making it remarkably easy to drink.  It's almost like crossing and IPA with a Hefeweizen.  It's a perfect year round drinker.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

For years and years, Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale set the standard for craft brew pumpkin ales...probably because it was one of the only ones on the market, AND because it's just a great beer anyway.  But with so many different pumpkin beers from countless other breweries coming out every fall, it kind of gets sidelined in favor of new brews.  So i went back to it, and it's still great.  At 7% ABV, it's little heavier than some of its peers, and all the better for it.  Pouring a clear gold with a white head, the beer smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and sugar.  Notes of pumpkin and spices prevail with some brown sugar notes also on the tongue.  Can't beat an old classic.

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