BeerCritic


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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Schlafly Reserve Oak Aged Barley Wine Style Ale (2007)
Schlafly Oak Aged Barley Wine Style Ale

Schlafly Oak Aged Barley Wine Style Ale

Style and Glass: Barley Wine Style Ale, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.2% in 25.4 fl oz. estimated at 400C
Purchased at: Canal’s Hamilton for $11.99

Aroma: Oak, whiskey, alcohol, heartburn, smoke, and tobacco. An exhilarating aroma, and just being around it seems a little bit like a spicy barbecue is nearby.

Visuals: Packaging is a bit precious, but well done, and meets the need for specialty presentation. Body is an angry deep hazy red under an almost white long lasting head. Freshness and quality are evident from the way the body acts. Lacing is sticky and thick. Beautiful.

Taste: licorice, smoke, spices, and oak meld at the front, the middle has a deep slow burn, and the finish is almost all hops with a sweet malty undertone. An amazing brew. The oak really gives this BWSA a depth and flavor that I find pretty unique. Barbeque sweetness and smoke is welcome. This should be had with some blackened chicken and spicy curried potatoes. This would be great with Indian cuisine.

Palate: Smoother than you’d expect by far. Very oaky, woody, and crisp. A bit sour, puckers after a moment. Finish is warm, delicious, and strong

Overall: I love this, but I’d love it more playing against some savory and spicy flavors. Delicious.



Founders Double Trouble DIPA
Founders Double Trouble DIPA

Founders Double Trouble DIPA

Style and Glass: DIPA, Tulip; snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 9.4% in 12 fl oz. estimated at200 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $2.75

Aroma: A beautiful, hoppy explosion. Pine, citrus, resin, salt, seawater, and burn of alcohol is very present.

Visuals: design is fun, inviting, and apropos, body is a winter sunset, deep reddish orange with a bright white head, very clear, head is small but withstands the tasting, lace is missing.

Taste: smooth, sweet and burning, syrupy and spicy with savory notes, hops are forefront, bitter and biting.

Palate: smooth throughout. Alcohol inhale on first taste, followed quickly by sweetness, then intense bitterness, then a long dulling battering of the mouth. Delicious.

Overall: An amazing and delicious brew. A bit expensive, but always worth it. .



Pizza Port Hop-15 Ale DIPA
Port Brewing Hop-15 Ale DIPA

Port Brewing Hop-15 Ale DIPA

Style and Glass: DIPA, Snifter; tulip
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.5 % in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: The Six Pack Store, Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia, PA for $9.00

Aroma: flowery citrus burn, soft but speaks of quality and heft.

Visuals: A very nice package — inviting but not overwhelming, hop bomb motif is especially enticing, murky after adding sediment, but brilliantly clear at first pour. Deep, dark orange with staying white head and sticky lace. Hard to see through.

Taste: A screaming fit of sugar malt and piercing hop bitterness. It literally hurts the back of my mouth and tongue. It is amazing. The burn goes on for nearly a minute. A sensory experience like no other. The citrus, pepper, and it must be capsaicin, I can’t believe that any other additive would burn like this. It is used to a special and wondrous effect.  Bravo.

Palate: Piercing, biting, and hoppy. Burning, sweet, and bitter. Coating and delicious.

Overall: It is a stand alone in imperial IPAs. None other have exactly the ssame effect. In a long line of collectible duplicates, this DIPA stands alone. Very, very well done, and memorable.



Stone Double Bastard Ale

Style and Glass: American Strong Ale, Snifter; trappist
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.5% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $7.99

Having this on Christmas night to finish off an amazing day. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you.

Aroma: amazing, sweet, flowery, hoppy, grassy, heavenly, malty, earthy, mold.

Visuals: nice label design, what seas might look like in hell, menacing deep red, brilliant, clear, thick white head, sticky tight lace.

Taste: wow. very malty, deeply hoppy, sugary, not syrupy, crisp, heavy, molasses, smoke, strong.

Palate: Of the highest visual and taste quality, rigid, sandy, rough, long bitter finish.

Overall: An absolutely amazing DIPA, though not classified as such. I’d have it again no question. Perhaps one of my top ten. A favorite. Great value. High craft.



St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

Sorry people, this was on location, and so no visual media.

Style and Glass: Strong Dark Belgian Ale, Trappist
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10 % in 22  fl oz. estimated at400 C
Purchased at: Issac Newton’s, Newtown, PA for $18.00

Aroma: malty, sweet, inviting.

Visuals: typical St. Bernardus label — neither inviting or not, like visiting an old friend, dark pour, thin head, opaque, dark body, red brown body, nice lace.

Taste: amazingly balanced, deep flavors, overlapping influences, peach, banana, cinnamon, bitter hops, high strength.

Palate: high quality, fruit juice texture, amazing, deep finish.

Overall: delicious. An amazing treat. Beautiful, rich, and deep. A repeat when I can afford it. A high level favorite. medium value. high craft. Paired with a brownie and ice cream dessert — matched well in sweetness and contrast.



Mikkeller Black Hole Imperial Coffee Stout

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 13.1% in 12.7fl oz. estimated at 250 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $10.99

Aroma: Amazing, coffee, licorice, dirt, sand, mold, sulfur.

Visuals: beautiful packaging, dark, oily, black, staining, without light, long lasting tan head, the most vibrant lace.

Taste: well balanced, heavy malt, heavy hops, heavy strength.

Palate: high quality, silky, oily, melted chocolate, fluid, long bitter finish.

Overall: Another amazing brew from Mikkeller. An absolute repeat. An instant favorite. High value. High craft.