BeerCritic


Victory Hop Wallop
Victory Hop Wallop

Victory Hop Wallop

Glass: snifter, tulip
Originally Purchased at: Laurenti’s ShopRite, Hamilton, NJ on July 3rd, 2008

Today: A gift from Bryan K and Angel B – Thanks!

Price: $1.83
Size: 12 fl oz
ABV: 8.5%
Estimated Calories: 250 C in 12  oz
RateBeer Rating: 93

Aural: quiet opening, good carbonation, simple pour

Aroma 9 out of 10

Intensity: medium

Balance: sweet

Impression:  very nice

Malt Aroma: wheat, rye, brown sugar, toast ed peanuts, light caramel
Hops Aroma
: dust, fern, star anise, lemon
Other Aroma
: tea, peach

Notes: An absolutely amazing, if faint, aroma. Wondrous and inviting.

Appearance 5 out of 5

Color: copper

Clarity: brilliant

Head Retention: persistent

Lace: intricate

Notes: A beautiful presence, nicely retained white head, simple lacing, and a deep copper body.

Flavor 9 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: bitter

Impression: nice

Malt Flavor: wheat, rye, cane sugar, roasted peanuts, light caramel
Hops Flavor: dust, lemon, orange, zest,
Other: tea, oatmeal

Notes: Likely the best feature of this delicious brew – very hoppy, not well balanced, likely on purpose. Bitterness is key.

Palate 5 out of 5

Mouthfeel

Sensation: sour cream, oil, tea towel

Body: full

Carbonation: faint

Finish

Length: long

Intensity: strong

Balance: bitter

Notes: A delicious and richly textured finish.

General Impression: 18 out of 20

Craftmanship:  excellent

Freshness:  fresh

Personal Taste:  loved

Notes: One of my favorite beers.



Mad River Steelhead Extra Stout

A thick sticky tan head above an opaque black body, Aroma is coffee, nuts, caramel, and tea. Taste is sweet, tea, licorice, taffy, and pepper. Texture is smooth, with a nice rounded mouthfeel. A great session, even if not by definition. Very enjoyable, and extremely affordable, at $12 a case at Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ.

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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.



Left Hand Rye Bock Lager

Style and Glass: Dunkler Bock, Mug; Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 7.7% in 25.36 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $2.79 (down from $14 ea — I picked up 6 for $15 — madmen there, and they better stay nutso)

Aroma: very nice, inviting, flowery, rye, bready, wheaty, grassy, meadow, rain.

Visuals: interesting label, like an aged iced tea, deep murky brown, cloudy, thick off white head, sticky lace.

Taste: very well balanced, brown ale, sage, onions, rye, roses, tea, chai, some hops, medium strength.

Palate: very nice, smooth oily texture, medium, light, tasty finish.

Overall: A summery brew, refreshing, very enjoyable. A repeat, 6x at least. Maybe my favorite bock so far. Amazing value — makes me wonder why the run on the price. well crafted.



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 Back Burner BWSA

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 95, BWSA, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10 % in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $4.99 (sale)

Aroma: amazing, delicious, tea, herbs, alluring. 10 out of 10.

Visuals: beautiful, blood red moon, quickly thinning, off white head, interesting lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: blunt, delicious, silky, mild, surprising, very well crafted. 10 out of 10.

Palate: dull, numbing, medium to long bitter finish. 5 out of 5.

Overall: Taste is smooth and alcohol is amazingly disguised. Very interesting aroma — more than inviting. I would have it again, and it is a favorite. It was very well crafted. 20 out of 20.



Anchor Porter

RateBeer Rating, Style and Glass: 98, porter, english pint or stem glass
ABV, Volume & Calories: 5.6% in 12 fl oz. estimated at 150 C
Purchased at: Circle Liquors Super Saver, Pennington, NJ for $2.50

Aroma: leather, funk, armpit. feet. 7 out of 10.

Visuals: opaque, black and oily, persistent tan head, thick lace. 5 out of 5.

Taste: leather, tea, licorice, corn, little hops, well crafted brown style. 8 out of 10.

Palate: flat soda, smooth, quick flat finish. 3 out of 5.

Overall: Like delicious but flat root beer. I would not seek it out a second time, but this is not my favorite style. It seems of a high craft. 15 out of 20.



Avery Mephistopheles Stout

Glass: snifter
Purchased at: OakTree BuyRite, South Plainfield, NJ (Thanks, Jason and Matt)
Price: $8.99
Size: 12 fl oz
ABV: 16%
IBU: no frikkin idea
Estimated Calories:300  C
RateBeer Rating: 99

Aural: easy opening, little carbonation, dark, pretty pour

Aroma 10 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: sharp

Impression: amazing

Malt Aroma: rye, pumpernickel, sugar, cinnamon toast, peanut, chocolate, coffee
Hops Aroma
: moldy mud, marigold, tea, tar
Other Aroma
: alcohol burn

Notes: A rich and deeply layered scent – if the taste is anything like the scent, I’m in for a ride.

Appearance 5 out of 5

Color: black

Clarity: opaque

Head Retention: wispy

Lace: poor

Notes: A bold, deep black, sans light, plus wispy tan head. Beautiful.

Flavor 10 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: amazingly balanced

Impression: nice

Malt Flavor: wheat, barley, pumpernickel, chocolate syrup, whole wheat toast, peanuts, toffee, dark chocolate, espresso roast, dark coffee
Hops Flavor: dry dirt, cilantro, peppers, tar resin, lemon
Other: alcohol

Notes: The taste is unequaled in stouts. It has an acidic burn of alcohol, deep, dark rich chocolate, amber waves of grain, plums, apricots, ginger, soy, spinach. It’s amazing.

Palate 5 out of 5

Mouthfeel

Sensation: drying warming

Body:  full

Carbonation: average

Finish

Length:  long

Intensity:  strong

Balance:  bitter

Notes: Bitter depth of finish is one of the key reasons to find this beer again. It is murky with depth and history of flavors.

General Impression: 20 out of 20

Craftmanship: excellent

Freshness: fresh

Personal Taste: loved

Notes: Perhaps outshines even Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast.



Abbaye des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Strong Ale

Glass: Large Tulip
Purchased at: Circle Liquors Super Saver, Pennington, NJ
Price: $8.99
Size: 25.4 fl oz
ABV: 9.5%
IBU: n/a
Estimated Calories: 400 C
RateBeer Rating: 99

Aural: opening is explosive, but contained over a few minutes of caution. carbonation is very active and audible, pour after calming is beautiful and quiet.

Aroma 8 out of 10
Intensity: medium
Balance: sweet
Impression: inviting

Malt Aroma: grain bread sweet toast nut
Hops Aroma:
earth floral herbal
Other Aroma:
fruit cherry, peach,
Notes: inviting, nice, fruity, mild

Appearance 4 out of 5
Color: dark
Clarity: quite cloudy
Head Retention: poor
Notes: head dissipates almost instantly to absolutely nothing. The body is quite beautiful though – murky, cloudy, and reminds you of what it might be like to swim in the dirty seas of countries that have no concern for pollution. Scary, in a way.

Flavor 9 out of 10
Intensity: strong
Balance: between sweet and bitter. Interesting.
Impression: nice
Malt Flavor: rice, Italian bread, whole wheat toast, walnut
Hops Flavor:
soil, dying flowers, tea
Other:
cherry, celery, peas
Notes: A very interesting, dark taste. Full bodied, deeply flavorful, and not easily drank. Alcohol is expertly hidden.

Palate 5 out of 5
Mouthfeel

Sensation: sticky, warming
Body: full
Carbonation: highly carbonated, like seltzer
Finish

Length: long
Intensity: medium
Balance: more bitter
Notes: A bit of ash, yeast, and tea in the finish. Again, quite interesting mix of fruit, texture, and color.

General Impression: 17 out of 20
Craftmanship: excellent
Freshness: fresh
Personal Taste: liked quite a bit
Notes: A once in a while treat – not one of my favorites, but glad to have tried it as a specialty.



Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale

ABV: 5.5%
RateBeer rating: 67
Calories: estimated at 150 C
Volume: 12 fl oz
Glass:concave pilsner
Purchased at: Varsity Liquors, Princeton, NJ
Price: 1.33 as part of mixed pack
Consumed at: home

First Impression: A pretty, aromatic beer with a very steadfast head. Aroma is wheat and bread. Visuals are deep, clear copper with an impressive white head. Taste is agreeable with a bit of added tea flavor. Palate is fairly faint with a long sour aftertaste, but not very intense. Second Impression: a good beer for a certain palate: one without a horror movie sensibility – good flavor and finish, but a bit calm for me.

Aroma: 6 out of 10

Visuals: 4 out of 5

Taste: 6 out of 10

Palate: 3 out of 5

Overall: 14 out of 20