BeerCritic


Brooklyn Black Ops Oak Aged Imperial Stout
Brooklyn Black Ops Oak Aged Imperial Stout

Brooklyn Black Ops Oak Aged Imperial Stout

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.7% in 25.4 fl oz. estimated at 400C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $23.00

Aroma: intense coffee and licorice aromas, alcohol is very present, inviting, enticing. Berries, grass, and wood. Oaking is evident. Roasted, burnt scents throughout. A bit acrid, and enjoyably so.

Visuals: Packaging is engaging, classic, and perfectly done. The body is absolute pitch in color, viscosity, and heft. As deep black and opaque as anything I’ve ever seen. Head is tan, starting thick and fluffy, then dissipating, but not fully. A thin head remains. Lacing is exquisite.

Taste: Crisp body gives way to sultry chocolates, coffee, and caramel. Luxurious. Surprisingly balanced for the style and treatment. I expected to be bowled over, but instead, I’m treated to a very drinkable (dangerously so) beer.

Palate: Perhaps the best part of this beer is the set of sensations in the mouth and throat. Starts with a bubbly crisp effervescence, followed by a mild transfer to smoothness that carries those roasted flavors, then a sweet cream milkiness, then a bit of chalk, followed by a three part finish consisting of sweetness, roastiness, and hoppy bitter burn.

Overall: This is a once in a lifetime beer, very well done, and I’m thrilled to have enjoyed it. I only wish I was celebrating something besides Saturday night, as this beer deserves a celebration.



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 Imperial Stout
Founders Imperial Stout

Founders Imperial Stout

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.5% in 12 fl oz. estimated at 200 C
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $2.75

Aroma: roasted malts, coffee, sugar, syrup, carbon, toast, winter evenings, fireplace

Visuals: beautiful, exquisite packaging like all Founders brews, dark as midnight, absolutely black, light does not escape, starts with thick tan head, which dissipates over time but does not disappear, lace stays for a while.

Taste: delicious balance, syrupy but not cloying malt flavor, deep and acrid hop flavor afterwards.

Palate: Smooth, silky velvet feel. lingers upon the tongue and in the mouth. Coating, sticky, and delicious.

Overall: What an amazing brew. I’ll have it again, at least 3 times, though I’d love to have it at least once a week.



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.



Moylan’s Hopsickle Imperial Ale

Style and Glass: DIPA, Tulip
ABV, Volume & Calories: 9.2% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: The Six Pack Store, Roosevelt Blvd., Phila, PA for $12.00 (Thanks, Joe! First visit, but not the last!)

Aroma: A hop head’s delight. It’s deliriously, deliciously hoppy. A flowery, almost burning hop aroma. I love it.

Visuals: The packaging from Moylan’s is usually very advertising heavy, but well designed and attractive, if a little over the top. The orange pour leaves a hazy orange sunlight body, with an off-white creamy head with a lot of lace that’s sticky and fresh. This seems like the ultimate in DIPA beauty. Very well done visually.

Taste: Not very balanced. This is really all about hops, and while there is a slightly malty finish, it is very crisp, bitter, and ultra hoppy. I love it, but I imagine a differently organized palate might find it off-putting. Love hops? Find this brew!

Palate: The finish is long lasting, delicious, and dark. It’s creamy at the start, crisp in the middle, and sticky in the end. It’s a great tactile experience.

Overall: I absolutely love this brew. I’ll be looking for other Moylan’s brews, but this I’m specifically going to find this again. For hop heads, this seems like a destination beerage.



St. Bernardus Prior 8

Style and Glass: Belgian Strong, trappist
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8 % in 11.2 fl oz. estimated at 200 C

Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $17.00 as a part of a gift pack complete with glass.

Aroma: sour, fainter, flowers, metallic, mold

Visuals: inviting, dark, moat, deep brown, nearly opaque, thin, staying, off white head, tight lace.

Taste: well balanced, maple, syrup, sour, woody, fruity, plum, cherry, orange, slightly bitter.

Palate: whole tongue active, sweet, bitter, delicious, mellow, blunt, long dark finish.

Overall: Delicious and remarkable. Deep, dark, and multi-layered. I’d love to have it again, though generally, I prefer sweeter Belgian variants.



Founders Backwoods Bastard

This is the bourbon barrel aged version of Dirty Bastard, which I enjoyed very much. Oak aging usually does not add a lot for me, though I’m endlessly interested in the way it alters the flavor. This brew comes in at 9.2% ABV in a 12 oz bottle from Joe Canal’s in Lawrenceville, NJ for about $2.50 a bottle and 200 Calories.

The color is beautiful. A deep ruby red, almost opaque. Good lacing with a thinner but persistent light tan foamy head.

The aroma is sweet, oak, and tea. Alcohol is present in the nose. Lots of leather, and the aroma is quite strong.

The flavor is mostly whiskey. Very penetrated with the oak aging. Good finish, smoky, dark and burnt. A superlative scotch ale. Founders knows how to do it right.

The palate is prickly — lightly carbonated and long lasting. Very dark, intense flavors. A very well done brew.

Overall, I like this quite a bit. Better, IMHO, than Oaked Arrogant Bastard which does not balance the aging nearly as well. I’d have this again. Not a favorite, but I simply prefer heavier stouts.



Hoppin Frog Bodacious Black and Tan

It’s dark and opaque, with a quickly diminishing tan head. It’s got very little in the way of aroma, but there is some coffee and pine. It’s translucent in the edges. Light just makes it through. The taste is spectacular. Coffee, hops, cocoa, yogurt, cream and citrus all come together nicely. An extreme flavor mix. A very tasty brew. Well balanced. A great dessert beer, but would also stand up to the spiciest flavors. Hoppin frog has some work to do on its labels, but they should keep doing exactly what they’re doing with the beers.



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.



Bell’s Porter

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 93, porter, pint, stem glass
ABV, Volume & Calories: 5.6% in 12fl oz. estimated at 150 C
Purchased at: Bound Beverages, Bensalem, PA for $3.33

Aroma: nice, chocolate, malty, dark, roasty. 8 out of 10.

Visuals: tasteful, brown, opaque, tan head, thick lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: heavy malt, light hops, medium strength, high craft. 9 out of 10.

Palate: high quality, smooth texture, roasted finish. 5 out of 5.

Overall: deep, malty, I’d have it again, okay value, high craft. 18 out of 20.