BeerCritic


Schlafly Oak Aged Imperial Stout 2007
Schlafly Oak Aged Imperial Stout 2007

Schlafly Oak Aged Imperial Stout 2007

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.5% in 25.4 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Hamilton, NJ for $11.99

Aroma: Mostly cocoa, fainter, but delicious. Attractive.

Visuals: Packaging is exquisite, royal. You should expect something very special, and if the BWSA from Schlafly is any indicator, I do. A black tar pit of a brew.  Fully opaque, though the pour seemed thinner than this body proves. Thin tan head, almost fully dissipating, with some lace remaining.

Taste: Surprisingly light at first, but a quick flavor of oak, cherries, raisin, and alcohol hit after a second, followed by a longer hoppy burn. Very nice. Caramel, chocolate, and coffee show through. Licorice, taffy. A sweet treat. Needs some dark chocolate and pretzels to set it off.

Palate: Crisp, terricloth, and biting in the end. Hoppy dark finish. Oak is quiet on this comparative to the BWSA, but I don’t miss it. I only enjoy smokiness to a certain point, though there is some here, it is not overwhelming.

Overall: I liked it a lot. There are other less expensive, equally enjoyable imperial stouts, such as Oak Aged Yeti, or even just Yeti, but this was a very nice treat. Thanks, Schlafly.



Captain Lawrence Nor’ Easter Winter Warmer
Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter Winter Warmer

Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter Winter Warmer

Style and Glass: American Strong; Trappist, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 12 % in 25.4 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $14.49

Aroma: Very much the impression of bourbon or whiskey. Alcohol, smoke, and fire await. Like a fireplace going in the neighborhood on a cold winter night.

Visuals: Very nice packaging, tasteful, inviting. Thin white head hangs on indefinitely, over a dark black oily body. Lacing is intricate and sticky.

Taste: Like cough syrup — it’ll cure what ails you. Thick, sugary, with a surprising control of the 12% ABV. Warms immediately. Woody, oaky, and smoky. More of a smoked german sausage than italian or polish spicyness. Like biting into a cupcake — very thick. Tasty! Cherry, chocolate, and caramel.

Palate:  Warming throughout. Starts thick and dull, no crispness throughout, and not really looking for it. Middle is spongy and drying, and finishes long, smoky, and a little spicy.

Overall: Like other CL’s I’ve tried, this is very much about the smoke, and like others I’ve tried, CL seems to do it right — not like eating a sausage, but it would compliment it very well. Delicious, expertly balanced, and neither cloying nor overpowering, which is astounding considering the ABV.



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.



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.



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.



Great Divide Hibernation Ale
Great Divide Hibernation Ale

Great Divide Hibernation Ale

Style and Glass: American Strong, Trappist
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8.1 % in 12 fl oz. estimated at 200 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.83

Aroma: caramel, syrup and roasted malts. Some pepper, spice, and citrus.

Visuals: Beautiful packaging, recently redesigned cohesive brand from Great Divide.  It does the beer within the bottles justice. The ruby mahogany body is deep and contemplative. hard to see through, but clear rather than hazy. Thin tan head is long lasting, lace is intricate and shows this brew’s freshness.

Taste: Well balanced flavor starts with roasted malt, follows with a rush of crispness from carbonation, and finishes long with a dark roasty deliciousness. Sugar overtones, followed quickly by a light sourness. Easily drinkable. Alcohol is quiet and well hidden.

Palate:  Smooth, crisp, drying, and long fantastic finish add up to a wonderful session brew, despite the high ABV, so beware!

Overall: A beautiful, enticing, delicious beer, affordable, from a great brewer, and entices the senses. I’ll have it again, for sure.



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.



Southern Tier Choklat

Style and Glass:  Imperial Stout, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 11% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Burlington for $8.99

Aroma: So nice, cocoa, chocolate, milk chocolate, sourness, cream, caramel, alcohol.

Visuals: beautiful packaging, as usual, utter darkness, like a night in the deep woods, black, opaque, nice tan head, strong lace.

Taste: Well balanced, syrupy chocolate, tight bitter finish, warming, strong, delicious.

Palate: High quality, smooth texture, warm, bitter finish.

Overall: dessert in a bottle. I’d have it again in a heartbeat. Likely my favorite chocolate imperial stout. It turns it to 11. Nicely done once again by Southern Tier.



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.



Southern Tier Hoppe DIPA

Style and Glass: DIPA; tulip, snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 360 C
Purchased at: Circle Liquors, Pennington, NJ for $5.99

Aroma: fresh, nice, aromatic, pine, citrus. 10 out of 10.

Visuals: beautiful label, golden, brilliant, clear, persistent, white head, slowly dissipating lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: well balanced, sweet malt, bitter hops, strong, well crafted. 10 out of 10.

Palate: high quality, high texture, strong finish, drying, delicious. 5 out of 5.

Overall: A beautifully executed imperial IPA. Everything it should be. I’ll have it again. It’s an exemplar.  Of average value. Beautifully crafted, and I expected nothing less of Southern Tier. 20 out of 20