BeerCritic


Mikkeller 黑
Mikkeller Black Stout

Mikkeller Black Stout

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; Snifter
12.7 fl oz * 17.5% = 222.5 / 60 = 3.7 beers * 150 = 555 C est.
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $18.99

Neither of those (17.5 or 18.99 or 12.7 fl. oz. ) are typos.

Aroma: amazing, coffee, cocoa, hay, barnyard, oak, alcohol, ether.

Visuals: world class packaging, blackness, midnight, deep woods, solid, thick, viscous, staying tan head, intricate lace.

Taste: nicely balanced, off the charts in malt and hops, a new level of strength. Superb.

Palate: highest quality, syrupy texture, long dark finish.

Overall: The DFH 120 minute IPA of the world of imperial stouts. All others pale. It is without a doubt the best beer I have ever tasted in my life. I will go and clear the shelves of it, whatever the cost. It’s not only a favorite, it is my new superlative standard. Highest value for the highest craft. Mikkeller is only posing as a human.

A second tasting: I often say that this beer or that beer is ‘one of my favorites’ but this beer is, by far, my favorite brew. I forst had this in November of 2008, and wondered when I declared that it was my favorite how long it would hold the title. Many beers since have been very good, very complex, flavorful, and rewarding, but this one has all of that, plus personality, style, and an aroma, that is at once chocolatey, peppery, and full of booziness. The complex mixture in the flavor and texture includes maple syrup, alcohol, vodka, coffee, licorice, candy, dust, and chalk. The heft is intimidating, and the alcohol effects about halfway through makes you respect and quietly sip and contemplate it. This is an amazing brew, and would pair well with the most powerfully spicy or sweet dishes. It would overpower almost anything else, and for me, that’s right on. Play on, Mikkeller, you rock it hard.



Otter Creek Copper Ale
Otter Creek Copper Ale

Otter Creek Copper Ale

Style; glass: Alt Kolsch; tumbler
12 fl oz x 5.4% ABV = 64.8 / 60 = 1.08 beers * 150 C = 162 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.20

Aroma: Hay, corn, faint.

Visuals: typical packaging, beautiful, bright copper body, brilliant, staying white head, sticky lace.

Taste: Some depth, spicy, hoppy, malty. Caramel, roasted malts, some coffee. Tasty!

Palate: start is spongey, middle is drying, and finish is acetic, bitter, and enjoyable.

Overall: perhaps the best of the sampler. It was sold to me by the beer manager at Canal’s who suggested that this was their flagship. I think they should focus on this malty, slightly bitter, delicious session brew.

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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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Allagash White

On tap at Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA, for $1.25 as part of a sampler flight. Deep, hazy gold, thick, white foamy head. Aroma is wheat, hay, grass, washy. Some banana, peach, and cloves. In the background. Softer, less warm than most Belgian styles. Lacing and legs are intense and sticky.



Weyerbacher Muse Saison Farmhouse Ale

Style and Glass: Saison, Tulip; flute
ABV, Volume & Calories: 6.2 % in 22 fl oz. estimated at 300 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.66

Aroma: nice, flowery, wheat, rice, hay, dust, mold, field, grass.

Visuals: wacky label, sunset at harvest, pale, orange, brilliant at first pour, hazy after, wispy head stays, loose lace.

Taste: unbalanced, corn, barley, rice, little hops, subtle, delicious.

Palate: silky, smooth, tea, light, crisp finish.

Overall: A very nice light saison. I’ve had it a few times now, and I enjoy it. I prefer stronger brews, but this is a nice, lighter session brew. Unbelievable value for the price.



Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale

Style and Glass: American Strong Ale, Trappist; Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 6.8 % in 22 fl oz. estimated at 300 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville for $1.66 ($19.99 for a 12 bomber case on special)

Aroma: nice, cocoa, heather, hay, flowers, leaves, musty, musk, dark roast malts.

Visuals: exciting packaging, like a lighter flavored chocolate stout, brown to black, fully opaque, staying rocky tan head, sticky intricate lace.

Taste: chocolate malts, more towards malt than hops, focyus on aromatic hops, some bittering hops finish, delicious.

Palate: milky, peppery carbonation, wash, surf, medium finish.

Overall: Amazing for the special price. I’ll have it about 11 more times at least. I’d like to pair it with something like pizza, broccoli, garlic chicken, soy, beans, lots of possibilities there.



Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale

Style and Glass: Old Ale, Snifter, Shaker
ABV, Volume & Calories: 9.8 % in 12 fl oz. estimated at 200 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $10.99/4

Aroma: Very nice, oak, wine, leather, barnyard, hay, wheat, alcohol, sweetness.

Visuals: beautiful packaging, thick legs, ruby, iced tea, hazy, thin off white head, some thin lace.

Taste: starts malty, finishes malty, sugary, candy, delicious, sticky, long arc of flavor, bitter finish, grassy, some minerals, alcohol is well hidden.

Palate: high quality, smoother texture, longer muddy finish.

Overall: A winner. Like most anything by Founders, I’d surely have this again. Not my favorite style, a bit too sweet for me, but delicious. A bit expensive, but worth the taste.