BeerCritic


Stone IPA

Stone India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.9%
IBU:
Volume: 12 oz
Glass: Tulip Goblet
Purchased at: Hopewell Valley Wine and Liquor
Consumed on: Friday, February 15th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

first impression: A quickly dissipating head and a slightly unfiltered, hazy appearance gives a mixed bag of anticipation, but I’ve had this beer before, and know what I’m in for. The grapefruit is amazingly present in the aroma, and the color, while not the most interesting or poetic, is certainly not unappealing. The taste is remarkable. It warms, and travels down the chest with a trail of hops. It is a beer with a taste history to it. You can remember the flavor for minutes after, and it is a great flavor. Wonderfully bitter with heavy malt undercurrents. It is an exemplar of an IPA.

Aroma/Olfactory:
Malt is roasted, toasty, and weighs heavily on the flavor.
Hops are resinous, very flowery, and brimming with grapefruit and lemon.
Yeast/Bacteria reminds one of a stack of stone slabs, a hint of surface water but not odoriferous or negative in impression.
It is tasty, heady, commanding, intoxicating, present, heavy, and delicious.

Visuals/Appearance:
Color is pale, orange, single noted, and without real depth.
Liquid is just a bit hazy and quiet.
Head is gone, but the lace is remarkable present. Hangs more on the glass than the volume itself. Quite white at the start.

Taste/Flavor:
Sweet in a slight way, but more bitter
Bitter is the overarching sentiment here, and it delivers in droves. It’s not ruination, but it’s not far off, IMHO.
Sour notes come with the bitter and citrus components.
Beatifully balanced in hops and malt.

Palate/Tactile:
Body/Mouthfeel is full and long lasting.
Texture is slightly cloying, not in a sweet way, and not like a stout, but it does not dissipate quickly.
Carbonation is crisp but not visually active.
Finish is quite bitter, and nicely so.

Second impression: Overall, this is a great beer, a fantastic example of an IPA, a strong exemplar of Stone’s lineup, and just a pleasure to have. One of my favorite beers, by far.



Philadelphia Newbold IPA

ABV: 6.5%
RateBeer rating: 62
Calories: estimated at 150 C
Volume: 12 fl oz.
Glass: shaker, tulip
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s, Lawrenceville, NJ
Price: $2.25
Consumed at: home

tanka: music and electronics

bronze cymbal white crash
chemical, sweet, and hoppy
bitter and short lived
faint fleeting rain in meadows
brand precedes flavor, stumbles

aroma 4 out of 10
visuals 4 out of 5
taste 6 out of 10
palate 3 out of 5
overall 14 out of 20



Dogfish Head Midas Touch

ABV: 9%
RateBeer rating: 86
Calories: estimated at 200 C
Volume: 12 fl oz.
Glass: Dimpled mug, English pint, Stein, Yard
Purchased at: Circle Liquors Super Saver, Pennington, NJ
Price: $3.50
Consumed at: home

Tanka beer review:

bubbling gold and white
sand and leather, sawdust sweet
long lasting sweetness
honey, chives, silt and barley
traveled from a thousand years

aroma 8 out of 10
visuals 4 out of 5
taste 8 out of 10
palate 4 out of 5
overall 17 out of 20



Victory Golden Monkey
06/21/2008, 4:33 AM
Filed under: Abbey Tripel (trappist), Victory | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Victory Golden Monkey Tripel Ale with Spices
ABV: 9.5%
IBU: n/a
Volume: 12 fl. oz.
Glass: shaker
Purchased at: Sherwood Liquors
Consumed on: February 27th, 2008, 10:12 pm

sensory first impression: A very pretty beer with quirky advertising. Overwhelming fruity scent, which I like. No head or lace to experience, but I don’t miss it, since the olfactory is so nice. I poured twice – first time clear – second time because I felt I had missed out on the bottle conditioning yeast. Whoopsie! the second yeasty pour made it downright cloudy. It’s like sandblasted glass now. Nice bite, lots of flavor – I taste bacon, and I smell banana. I’m not crazy about smoke in beers – see my future review of Triumph’s Rauchbier, for example, but this is balanced pretty nicely. There’s lemon and plums and orange and apple — lots of apple — and banana. Nice bite and texture, and the presence is divine. This is a special beer.

Aroma/Olfactory:
Malt is smoky and full of a fruit bowl of taste influences.
Hops are herbaceous, mellow, and leafy. Very nice balance here. In the hands of an amateur, this would be a mess. Hail Victory.
Yeast/Bacteria doughy, earthy, leafy, and reminds one of an aquarium. I just jumped in. Did I mention this is 9.5% alcohol by volume?
Banana seems omnipresent, and I love it. Paprika? Ginger-licious. What an amazing depth of flavor.

Visuals/Appearance:
Color is pale and a solid block of gold.
Liquid is cloudy with yeast.
Head/Lace is nowhere to be found.

Taste/Flavor:
Maltiness/Sweetness is heavy in smoky sweetness – like a banana infused sausage, but delicious.
Hoppiness/Bitterness is light and very balanced.
Sour from the smoke, but in an affectionate way.

Palate/Tactile:
Body/Mouthfeel is quite full and cloying.
Texture is creamy, slick, and thick
Carbonation is softly present in the background.
Finish is long lasting but muted. The cloying aspect amplifies this aftertaste, which is wonderful.

Overall second impression: What a wonderful beer. It wasn’t the first thing to reach out and grab me, but I’ll be sure to keep it on the top of my list when I’m looking for something special to sip, enjoy, and savor. What a treat.



Samuel Adams Summer Ale (draft)

On tap at Winberie’s in Princeton. A bit of a sour note, but a delicious, highly available, well priced beer. A quiet aroma, mostly due to chilled glasses. The appearance was average. The flavor had a nice depth, and was refreshing, but was nothing out of the ordinary. The palate was nice, but again muted. Not a bad beer, but nothing near great. Much better than the average macro.



Anchor Steam Beer
06/21/2008, 4:25 AM
Filed under: Anchor, California Common (lager glass) | Tags: , , , ,

Bottle at WInberie’s in Princeton. A very nice beer for such wide distribution. The aroma was very muted because of over chilling, but did not seem bad or off. The appearance was a darker body with a very active head. The flavor was fine – a bit deeper than your average American pils. The palate seemed nice – it hangs on for a minute. Over all, not a bad beer, and a good alternative to many macros.



Flying Fish HopFish IPA
06/17/2008, 2:45 AM
Filed under: Flying Fish, IPA (shaker, tulip) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Flying Fish HopFish IPA
ABV: 6.2%
IBU:
Volume: 12 oz bottle
Glass: tulip goblet
Purchased at: Hopewell Valley Wine and Spirits
Consumed on: Friday Feb 15, 2008 at 10:23 pm

first impression: A beautiful, deep orange color, a healthy head and a pale demeanor. The aroma is present, and bites a bit. The taste is good, nice, and both hoppy and malty. Just a tiny bit chemical in flavor, which is disappointing, but fleeting. Head departs almost immediately. I think there are some foaming agents present.

Aroma/Olfactory:
Malt reminds of hazelnut or lightly flavored coffee. Maybe a bit of banana or orange peel. There’s definitely some zest present.
Hops are very flowery and give a hint of lemon. Hops improve in flavor throughout tasting.
Flavor seems to target the tasters on the high back roof of the mouth. Heightened sinus reaction.

Visuals/Appearance:
Color is a reddish gold, and reminds of a bourbon, if in color only.
Liquid is quite clear, crisp, and a wispy boil in action.
Head starts strong and quickly dissipates into nothing at all. Lace just barely hangs on.

Taste/Flavor:
Rather sweet, but not cloying.
Bitter and hoppy, but not in a long lasting way – seems designed, rather than brewed. Quickly dissolves into a smooth but enjoyable aftertaste.
Sour in the hints of citrus overtones. A lot of zest originated flavor – bitterness seems unnatural.
Is that bubblegum?
More hoppy than malty, and not bad at all, once the initial shock of the acrid is passed. Good marks, but not the best – better than many others.

Palate/Tactile: Mouthfeel is medium – lingers upon the mouth for a moment.
Texture is crisp and glides from front to back easily. Attention is on both the front-middle and the back of the tongue.
Carbonation is relatively quiet, but crisp on the tongue.
Finish lasts for a second or two, then fades, and nicely so.

second impression: Overall, this is a good beer, definitely not your average American Pils, but does not do great justice to IPAs in the same realm as Stone or Victory. Seems like a River Horse also-ran, which is not to say bad.