BeerCritic


Magic Hat Spring Fever 2009

Circus Boy

My planned progression for the Magic Hat #TTL tasting on Thursday March 26th at 8 pm on TwitterTasteLive.com is Circus Boy, Odd Notion, #9, then H I.P.A.

Magic Hat Spring 2009

Magic Hat Spring 2009

Magic Hat Circus Boy

Magic Hat Circus Boy

Magic Hat Circus Boy Hefeweizen Style; glass: Vegetable/Spice beer (lemongrass); weizen 12 fl oz x 4.4% ABV = 52.8 / 60 = .88 beers * 150 C = 132 calories (est.) Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.25 as part of a variety pack. Aroma: faint, lemon, citrus, spicy, some slight sourness. Visuals: fun intriguing packaging, body is hazy yellow, like a sandblasted sheet of gold, bright yellow color, hazy, under a bright white head, lace is minimal and fleeting. Taste: very light, starts with a dull sweetness, middle is clean water, finish is short but enjoyable. Very little hop aroma or bitterness. Clean, refreshing, reminds of a light lemonade. Very drinkable, and clearly a session beer. At an estimate of 132 C each, I could have quite a few of these and not worry about gaining. Palate: Starts quite wet, some sourness emerges, sweet brightness in middle, very clean water throughout, finish is fleeting and abrupt. Overall: Clearly meant as a session brew, and it’s quite an enjoyable beer as such. I think it’s an ideal springtime brew, and a very nice ‘lawnmower’ beer.

Magic Hat Odd Notion Spring 2009

Magic Hat Odd Notion Spring 2009

Odd Notion Agave Poppy Seed Pilsner Style; glass: Pilsner; Footed Pilsener 12 fl oz x 5% ABV = 60 / 60 = 1 beers * 150 C = 150 calories (est.) Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.25 Aroma: hay, manure, dust, corn, light, flowery Visuals: quirky, fun packaging, like a science experiment, brilliant bronze body, very clear, wispy off white head, little lace. Taste: starts with tobacco, leather, surprising, probably great for pairing with salads or roasted veggies, middle is bitter and slightly¬† acetic, wow, a strange taste. Peanuts or sunflower seeds would be delicious with this. Palate: starts with bitterness and sourness, middle is leathery and dusty, finish is long and mostly a twisting lemony rind bitterness. Overall: surprising flavors, and can’t wait to try to pair with something. A strong series of layered flavors, and would balance sweetness nicely.

Magic Hat #9

Magic Hat #9

Magic Hat #9 not quite pale ale. Style; glass: Fruit beer; flute 12 fl oz x 4.6% ABV = 55.2 / 60 = .92 beers * 150 C = 138 calories (est.) Purchased at: canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.25 Aroma: cherry, fruit, peach, apple, flowery, honeysuckle Visuals: alluring, enticing packaging, body is brilliant, golden, yellow highlights, foamy white head, sticky lace. Taste: starts sweet, some syrup, flour, corn, flowers, grassy middle, turns to candy, slight sourness throughout, finish is short and sweet and sour. Palate: starts very carbonated and purfumed, middle is quick and crisp, finish is short lived and very flowery. Overall: Very much an experiment, and enjoyable as such. Might pair well with chinese or japanese cuisine, something spicy, saucy, and thick would be cut well with this brew.

Magic Hat HIPA

Magic Hat HIPA

Magic Hat HIPA Style; glass: IPA, tulip 12 fl oz x 5.8% ABV = 69.6 / 60 = 1.16 beers * 150 C = 174 calories (est.) Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.25 Aroma: coconut, orange rind, perfume, pine Visuals: intriguing packaging, oceanic sunset, bright orange body, brilliant, thin wispy white head, sticky lace. Taste: starts very sweet, goes quickly to citrus and middles to a perfume based bitterness, finish is orange rind, pineapple, coconut. Palate: starts quite crisp, carbonated, middle is mellowing, finish is medium and enjoyable bitter. Overall:¬† A very nice IPA, though unlike many others it seems like this one is playing with a few island inspired peripheral flavors. As a purist about the style, I’m not offended, but I do prefer a more straightforward approach to the flavors of an IPA. Magic Hat, however, tends to take everything in about three new directions from what’s expected, which is kind of nice.

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Elysian The Immortal IPA
Elysian The Immortal IPA

Elysian The Immortal IPA

Style; glass: IPA; tulip
22 fl oz x 6.3% ABV = 138.6 / 60 = 2.31 beers * 150 C = 346.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $3.00

Aroma: sour, flowery, and some pine. Mold. Inviting.

Visuals: Overwrought packaging and label design, though the box branding won me over. Sunlight in the glass, though there is clearly sediment awaiting me in a subsequent pour. Bright, brilliant orange, with a wonderful white staying head and crisp, sticky lace.

Taste: beginning is resinous, malt is not sweet, as you might expect, but rather nutty. Charming. Middle is corn, hay, and dust. Grassy. Finish is aa light hoppy bitterness. Very enjoyable.

Palate: Starts heavy and rounded in the mouth, works quickly to crispness and bite, then to some warmth and a middle length butter finish. Well done.

Overall: Delicious, definitely not an imperial style, but I appreciate the subtlety and focus on hops. Malt is secondary here, and sweetness is clearly muted. I like it a bunch!

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Stone Cali-Belgique IPA
Stone Cali-Belgique IPA

Stone Cali-Belgique IPA

Style; glass: IPA; tulip
22 fl oz x 6.9% ABV = 151.8 / 60 = 2.53 beers * 150 C = 379.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville for $7.99

Aroma: sweet, banana and cloves, some citrusy hops, pine, grass.

Visuals: packaging is beautiful, though screen printing always seems to be coming off the bottle. It gives the brand a bit of crumbly marble style, though I wonder if it’s intentional? Perhaps the most brilliant IPA I’ve ever seen, absolutely crystal clear. Like the final scene in THX 1138, it’s that bright sunlight. Golden, pale, transparent, bright white head, sticky fresh Belgian lace. Carbonation is continuous.

Taste: Delicious, sweet, and hoppy. A great blend, very much in the spirit of Chouffe’s Hobblon Dobblen (sp?). Expertly balanced, nice easygoing maltiness, great hops. Perhaps my favorite new session brew.

Palate: Crisp, clean, and refreshing. A dream of fusion of two of my favorite styles. I hope they develop an imperial of this. Starts very sweet, crisp, middle has a bit of a burn and slight roastiness, finish is hops and bitterness with a salty sweet end note. Amazing.

Overall: In terms of lighter brews and more reasonable ABVs, this is a clear winner, and easily my favorite IPA at the moment, and very much a favorite all around, though my top honor still goes to Mikkeller for Black. I’m going to get more, soon. Stone, just keep them coming, and please consider an imperial version of this.

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Rogue Yellow Snow IPA 5L Mini Keg
Rogue Yellow Snow IPA 5L mini keg

Rogue Yellow Snow IPA 5L mini keg

Style and Glass: IPA; tulip
ABV, Volume & Calories: 6.2% in 5 liters estimated at 1,000,000 C
Purchased at: Bensalem Beer and Soda for $34.59

Aroma: mellow, sour, grassy. Hops come through nicely.

Visuals: The 5L can is impressive, unique, and a great way to draw beer. Fun, inventive packaging for craft brew. A bit hazy, golden to amber in color, with a long lasting white head that thins but does not disappear. Lace is phenomenal.

Taste: Very well balanced, with a malty, sweet start and a bitter hoppy finish. All the classic flavors you’d expect: pine, grapefruit, and resin. Dark malty finish is delicious. Flavor is deep, strong, and lasting.

Palate: Fresh, clean, and crisp, but lingers nicely on the front and back of the tongue. Tingles throughout the mouth.

Overall: A special treat from a great brewer. As close to the tap as I’ll have at home. I’d love to have it again, but I doubt I’ll ever see it again, after I slowly enjoy these 14 glasses. Delicious.



Russian River IPA

http://www.russianriverbrewing.com

Russian River's Logo from http://www.russianriverbrewing.com

Enjoyed this with friends at Issac Newton’s in Newtown, PA. On tap, served a chilled (sigh) shaker. Deep golden, brilliant, clear and delicious. Nice white head dissipates fairly quickly. Some lacing. All about the hops — delicious flowery aroma and bitter finish that is a little bit sour and sweet. Would be delicious with a Szechuan stir fry or with Vietnamese chile dumplings. Dark flavor, roasty, and an exemplar of the style. I really really want to try some of the bigger brews by RR.



Ballast Point Sculpin
11/02/2008, 4:05 AM
Filed under: Ballast Point, IPA (shaker, tulip) | Tags:

Had a chance to taste this on tap at Bella Vista’s reopening in Philadelphia. I ended up losing my car at the event due to theft, but it was almost worth it to taste Sculpin on tap. It’s that good.



JW Dundee’s India Pale Ale
09/10/2008, 5:13 AM
Filed under: IPA (shaker, tulip), Jim Dundee

ABV: 6.3%
IBU: ?
Calories: 160
Volume: 12 fl oz
Glass: tulip
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s – JWD Sampler
Price per fl oz: $10 / 144 fl oz = $.07 per fl oz
Consumed on/at: home on March 18th, 2008

sensory first impression: Nice color – sunset again, from JWD. 1/4 inch head, bumpy. lightly sweet nice aroma. Nice flavor, though not typically hoppy, like other great IPAs. A bit weak, but not bad in flavor. Very nice, but not a contender against Victory.

Aroma/Olfactory:
Malt flavor is: dark bread, cereal, coffee, roasty
Hop flavor is: resinous, floral, and citrusy. A bit of nice bite.
Yeast flavor is: sharp cheesy, wet, thick with dough.
Other flavors include: star anise, clove, peas, licorice, soy sauce

Visuals/Appearance:
Color is: bright, beautiful, red, fiery, deep sunset
Liquid is: clear, sparkling
Head and lace are: bumpy, light, white

Taste/Flavor:
Maltiness or Sweetness level is: medium
Hoppiness or Bitterness level is:medium
Sour level is: light

Palate/Tactile:
Body or Mouthfeel is: medium
Texture is: creamy, thick, papery, fuzzy
Carbonation is: lively
Finish is: sweet and long, with some bitterness.

Overall experience: A surprisingly good beer from JWD – I attribute this to my love for IPAs, but it has some hops, some citrus, and some long lasting, creamy texture. Good stuff. Not great but very preferable to the nonsense big brewers.