BeerCritic


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.



Saranac Imperial Stout

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 86, Imperial Stout, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 9% in 12 fl oz. estimated at 190 C
Purchased at: Trenton Road Take Out, Langhorne, PA for $.41

Aroma: deep, roasted, coffee, syrup, chocolate, sour. 10 out of 10.

Visuals: deep, opaque, black, oily, tan, fluffy, persistent head, steady lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: rich, coffee, espresso, dark malts, burnt, roasted, bitter finish,thick, delicious, well crafted. 10 out of 10.

Palate: oily, thick, long, dark finish. 5 out of 5.

Overall: Like a Wawa cappuccino but much darker and deeper.  I will seek it out and have it again and again, as long as this price stands. It’s very well crafted, and it is a personal favorite. 20 out of 20.



J.W. Dundee’s Porter

J.W. Dundee’s Porter
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: ?
Calories: 170
Volume: 12 oz
Glass: tulip
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s as a part of a sampler
Price per fl oz: $11 / 144 fl oz = $.07 per fl oz
Consumed on/at: home on March 18th, 2008

sensory first impression: My first ever porter, I’m sure, and not likely the best exemplar. It’s thick enough to be dark, but still translucent. Very chocolaty, quite nutty, and not at all unenjoyable, but not nearly to the degree of Rogue or Brooklyn’s stouts. Okay lace – tan head, but not frothy or deep. Good aroma. Okay color – a bit alcoholic.

Aroma/Olfactory:
Malt flavor is: chocolate, coffee, nuts, and roast.
Hop flavor is: resinous, and herbaceous
Yeast flavor is: doughy, moldy, and very dry
Other flavors include: alcohol, corn, raisin, a touch of smoke

Visuals/Appearance:
Color is: dark reddish brown, thick but not inpenetrable
Liquid is: dark and translucent at 90%
Head and lace are: thin, tan

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

Palate/Tactile:
Body or Mouthfeel is: medium to full
Texture is: creamy, thick, papery
Carbonation is: flat
Finish is: long and not bad at all.

Overall experience: A fairly dark beer with a nice nutty chocolaty taste. For the price, it’s fantastic, but for the type, it’s lacking. Spending $ on a 12 pack sampler, vs a 6 pack of chocolate stouts at 10% is like to result in different outcomes. This is likely the best of the sampler though.



Guinness Extra Stout

ABV: 5%
Calories: estimated at 300 C
Volume: 22oz
Glass: pilsner
Purchased at: Sherwood Liquors
Price per fl oz: $4.50 / 22 fl oz = $.20 per fl oz
Consumed at: home

sensory first impression: Rich, deep, roasted malty aroma – different from regular Guinness stout in this way. Head and pour are absolutely beautiful. Color is an inpenetrable black except for a ruby hint around the edge. Wow – taste is deep, malty, syrupy, cloying, and dessertish. Heavy on the tongue and surprising flavor for a 5% abv. Has overarching oak and wine flavor. This has all of what regular Guinness is missing – depth, bite, hops, flavor, and character.

Aroma/Olfactory:
Malt flavor is: caramel, syrupy, coffee, roasted
Hop flavor is: resinous, hay, grapefruit, pepper
Yeast flavor is: crumbs, leather, very dry.
Other flavors include: alcohol, tomato paste, medicine, raisin, sulfur, soy sauce, walnut, oak

Visuals/Appearance:
Color is: black, ruby highlights
Liquid is: darkest night.
Head and lace are: bumpy, frothy, tan, brown, with classic lacing.

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

Palate/Tactile:
Body or Mouthfeel is: full, raging
Texture is: creamy, sticky, thick, gritty, large particles, paper towel, cardboard
Carbonation is: lively
Finish is: astringent, long, syrupy, very nice.

Overall experience: An absolutely stunning beer for its distribution. I liked to punch, the bitterness, the depth, the warmth, the color, and the flavor. I did not like a slight metallic tinge, the price, or the idea that the regular stout is so deeply different than this.



Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 95, Imperial Stout, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10 % in 16 fl oz. estimated at 250 C
Purchased at: Issac Newton’s, Newtown, PA, on tap for $7.00 (Hi to my new found friends there.)

Aroma: overpowering, overwhelming, room altering, caramel scent. 9 out of 10.

Visuals: opaque, dark, black, thick, tan, persistent head, thin lace. 4 out of 5.

Taste: caramel, crystal malt, few hops, alcohol, overpowering, like dessert. 8 out of 10.

Palate: oily, long cloying finish. 3 out of 5.

Overall: It was almost entirely the essence of caramel. Interesting but not one of my favorites. I’d have it again, but It’s not something I’ll go out of my way for. It was well crafted, but not one of my favorites. 16 out of 20.



Samuel Smith Imperial Stout

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 98, Imperial Stout, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 7 % in 12 fl oz. estimated at 170 C
Purchased at: Circle Liquors, Pennington, NJ for $2.75

Aroma: tannins, dark, roasted, chocolate, coffee, nice, inviting. 10 out of 10.

Visuals: deep, murky, black, opaque, tan, persistent head, loose lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: deep, roasted, liquor, light bitterness, heavy malt flavors, layered, rich, well crafted. 9 out of 10.

Palate: soda, heavy, oily, long, deep, delicious finish. 5 out of 5.

Overall: Not quite up there with some other imperials, such as Stone, and not nearly as rich nor deep as something like Mikkeller’s Geek Breakfast, but highly available, and very delicious. I’d have it again in a heartbeat. It’s a great beer, and very well crafted. 18 out of 20.



Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale 2007

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 91, barleywine, snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: for $4.99

Aroma: sweet, nice, inviting, maple. 9 out of 10.

Visuals: deep but clear opacity, ruby color, limited clarity, tan, persistent head, intricate lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: heavy malt, roasted, bitter, nicely crafted. 9 out of 10.

Palate: coating, drying, buzzing, long, strong finish. 5 out of 5.

Overall: Lighter and crisper than Old Ruffian. I’d have it again in an instant. Nicely priced, and great flavors. Get it. Well crafted. 18 out of 20.



Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

ABV: 6 %
RateBeer rating: 99
Calories: estimated at 160 C
Volume: 12 fl oz.
Glass: pint

Purchased at: Issac Newton’s, Newtown, PA
Price: $4.50
Consumed at: home

First Impression: A very impressive presence – a nice aroma, good head and rich flavor. Aroma is bitter, coffee, and roasty. Visuals are an inky black body topped with a tan head that is persistent and lacy. Taste is thick with espresso notes, licorice, and pepper. Palate is perhaps its downfall – a bit weak, with a medium finish. Second Impression – not anything close to a Yeti or a Shakespeare, but not a bad stout – far surpasses a Guinness. But for $4.50 a 12 oz bottle, I’d much rather have the Yeti.

Aroma: 8 out of 10

Visuals: 5 out of 5

Taste: 10 out of 10

Palate: 3 out of 5

Overall: 16 out of 20



Nogne 0 #100 Barleywine Style Ale (Imperial IPA)

Glass: tulip
Purchased at: Canal’s Discount Liquors, Burlington, NJ (Thanks, Mike)
Price: $7.59
Size: 16.9 fl oz
ABV: 10%
IBU: 80
Estimated Calories:270 C
RateBeer Rating: 100

Aural: quick, painless opening, active, static carbonation, pour is smooth and quiet.

Aroma 10 out of 10
Intensity:  strong
Balance: sweet and sharp
Impression: nice

Malt Flavor: grain sweet toast nut caramel
Hops Flavor:
pine earth floral herbal resin citrus
Other:
pine, grapefruit, wheat
Notes: Aroma is delicious and enticing.

Appearance out of 5
Color:  brown
Clarity: quite dark, nearly opaque.
Head Retention: persistent
Notes: A beautiful angry red brown body topped by a great deep tan head.

Flavor 10 out of 10
Intensity: strong
Balance:  sweet and quite bitter
Impression: amazing
Malt Flavor: grain bread sweet toast nut caramel toffee roast
Hops Flavor:
earth herbal resin citrus
Other:
pine, grapefruit,
Notes: The flavor is absolutely amazing.

Palate 5 out of 5
Mouthfeel

Sensation: creamy drying warming
Body:  full
Carbonation: medium
Finish

Length: long
Intensity: strong
Balance: bitter
Notes: whole mouth is affected – sweet, salty, a bit sour, very bitter, and amazingly, in this case, umami.

General Impression: 20 out of 20
Craftmanship: boring ↔ excellent
Freshness: stale ↔ fresh
Personal Taste: disliked ↔ loved
Notes: The scent was of an active factory making furniture, sawdust and sweat, and smoke. The visuals were of a deep midnight under a new moon. The taste was of oak and walnut planks being sawn and tasted in the smoky air of an overheated blade. The palate is of a visitor who won’t leave, whether you wish her there or not, but luckily, you enjoy her company.  It was quiet in opening and pouring like an evening springtime rain.



Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

Glass: 4 oz wine glass
Purchased at: Canal’s Discount Liquors, Burlington, NJ – Thanks, Mike!
Price: $7.59
Size: 22 fl oz
ABV: 9.5 %
IBU: 75
Estimated Calories: 400 C
RateBeer Rating: 100

Aroma 10 out of 10
Intensity: Strong
Balance: Sweet and Sharp
Impression: very Nice

Malt Flavor: Caramel Toffee Chocolate Coffee
Hops Flavor:
Earth Floral Resin
Other:
alcohol, oak, woods, leaves
Notes: What an amazing aroma – off the charts in my personal experience.

Appearance 5 out of 5
Color: un-impenetrably Black
Clarity: Opaque
Head Retention: Persistent
Notes: Everything an imperial stout should be in appearance – absolutely un-impenetrable darkness, a rich tan head, and a very nice presence.

Flavor 10 out of 10
Intensity: Strong
Balance: beautifully balanced between Sweet and Bitter
Impression: so Nice
Malt Flavor:
Caramel Toffee Chocolate Coffee
Hops Flavor: Earth Resin
Other: alcohol, garlic, oak, depth
Notes: Simply amazing. Easily one of my favorites.

Palate 5 out of 5
Mouthfeel

Sensation: Creamy Drying Warming
Body: Full
Carbonation: Lively
Finish

Length: very Long
Intensity: very Strong
Balance: Bitter
Notes: The whole mouth is activated – the mouthfeel is wonderful, covering and coating and making the whole mouth tingle. The finish is very long lasting, and imparts a depth of chocolate, coffee, and caramel.

General Impression: 20 out of 20
Craftmanship: Excellent
Freshness: Fresh
Personal Taste: Loved
Notes: Perhaps my favorite beer I’ve tasted yet. Great Divide knows exactly what they are doing, and they should continue doing it forever.