71 / 100
Pours a murky red colour with weird static floaties that look like flecks of ash. Head is lovely and fluffy, great crown retaining and some gorgeous lace behind. Could do without the floaties, but otherwise spectacular.
Smells pleasant, if a little boozey. Lots of malt with hints of nuts giving toffee, macadamias and almonds, with a big citric hop note giving quite a sharp, almost peppery astringency. Just a hint of some spiritous alcohol as well. Nice notes, but a bit overblown.
Taste compensates, with malt and plenty of it. Sweet, almost honeyed toffee notes on the assault, overlain with a slight citric hint of hops that take hold mid-palate and take it into a nice tangy finish, with hints of copper and a mild honey-glazed ham note as well. Just hints of ash and oak, plus peanuts and pepper. Really very pleasant and enjoyable palate, just a bit hot at the back.
Yeah, full enough but not very textured except for a flaggable booziness which takes over and dried up the finish in a spiritous way.
Pleasant beer; if that booziness subsided I could drink this all night.
76 / 100
The first thing you notice about this beer is the voluminous, crackling, but shining and oily head, which forms in an enormous fluffy mess as soon as the first sip is poured into the glass. Although, after a suitable period of time, this settles down a bit, it is quite literally the crowning glory of the appearance. It sits above a hazed yellow-golden body, but really, who's looking at that? It is, overall a majestic looking brew.
Nose is crisp and piney, with a resinous hop bite and soupÃ§ons of citric twang. Under this is a fragrant sweetness, reminiscent of vanilla orchids. It's milder than some big IPA noses, but it has a pleasant subdued complexity to it that makes it rather pleasant.
Taste is well balanced, although the hop character relies a little too much on that pure citric flavour, that gives it a touch too much astringency, especially towards the back. Otherwise it's a nice mixture of fragrant, citrus blossom bitterness with a mild, slightly nutty malt character to back it up. Feel is smooth and pleasant.
Yes, a very pleasant, well rounded brew. The bitterness does get a little too cutting and coating the tongue after a while, but that's what you get with a big IPA, and it's better than being insipid. A tasty brew, well realised.
75 / 100
Pours a burnished copper colour with ridonkulously proportioned cream-coloured head that sinks steady but still a bit slowly, leaving a nice marshmallowy pattern on top and lovely trails of lace behind. Steady bead; looks pretty good, need not have so much head.
Smell is very hoppy. Resinous with fresh bark, pine resin and a nice tang, with sherbet notes and light citrus. Slightly woody and the bitterness is noticeable, but otherwise it's quite light, tangy and appealing.
Taste is not quite as hoppy as the nose suggested. Slightly malty upfront with a thick caramelly base that continues to the end. Hint of citrus on the assault that gets mildly resinous midway, and then gets that slight lift of sherbety twang towards the end, slightly tartaric that kind of adds a layer of complexity to the bitter, hopy finish which is also slightly spicy. Hops are dominant though, and continue to the very end with a decent enough bitterness. A bit of a hang, but not ashy; pleasant.
Fairly full body, a bit thick, bit of texture from the carb and slight pull on the back from the hop oils.
Yeah, it's a really pleasant, smooth IPA. Few flaws here and there and it's not explosively brilliant, but definitely a 4-star beer.
75 / 100
Pours a burnished amber colour with very generous off-white head, beautiful and dense, about two fingers worth left, and sinking in lovely marshmallowy patterns down the glass. Slight webbed lace, very pleasant.
Smell is very hoppy. Lots of citric notes giving off lemon, pink grapefruit and pine resin. Some rosewater at the back, and a touch of a mediciney aroma, but all very nice and hopped-up IPA characters.
Taste is quite tangy, and hoppy from the get-go. Touch of rich, English toffee malt upfront, develops quickly into a very citric mid-palate with zesty lemon that then turns bitter midway, giving some rind and grapefruit flesh notes. Mellows out to a softer, sherbety kind of tang before the finish, which is understandably bitter; citric with orange and a dash of quinine for that slight medicinal finish. Good IPA notes, but the lighter hop flavours could carry on longer, since they're willing to show up so early.
Decent full body, but a bit rough around the edges probably due to the pull of hop oils. Touch of fizz as well.
Textbook stuff here, really. It's borderline double IPA territory but the higher ABV doesn't add a whole lot of extra complexity, it's just a big, hoppy, bitter beer, just like a West Coast IPA should be.
Pours a deep curranty black-red, which lets through just enough light to make the colour shine through, but with a solid haze. Minimal head after a while, although it froths in a beige bubbling at the start. Thin body, but probably to be expected from a lager. Not bad, but not that exciting.
Nose is crisp and grainy, but with a slight estery banana character, and a whiff of lagery sulphur. Almost a minerally note, but that might be psychosomatic from the name of the brew. Again, not bad, but not that great.
Taste is crisp but dark, with a pleasant grainy finish. Smooth for the most part, but the feel is still rather thin. Lacking complexity, but it's pleasant and drinkable for what it is.
Drinkable. That's its best attribute. It's not a particularly captivating beer, although I like the concept of the way it was brewed. Perhaps they could have produced a more interesting result, however.
85 / 100
Pours a dark brown colour, nice woody oaky hue with lacklustre head, just a thin ring of beige foam with some thin, but really decently sticky lacing. Not much to look at overall, really.
Smells very, very nice. Heavy underlying espresso note with nice oak-aging character, wood with bourbon-vanilla, touch of coconut, caramel and chocolatey overall. Yes, very pleasant, spicy, sweet complex aroma.
Taste is wow, I mean....wow. Amazingly smooth. Big booziness hits the olfactory just before you taste. But then it's all rich, creamy chocolate, with cocoa and creaminess, warm with vinous notes, brandy and bourbon as well. Develops coconut, vanilla notes and a big toffee character but it's all so smooth in the mouthfeel, with not a hugely erratic palate profile, just a glide along the contours of flavour. Vinous notes, maraschino cherries, hazelnuts, nutmeg, some oak wood, even some smoke. There's something musical; symphonic about this palate, rich and bountiful in complexity yet handled with such a deft touch. Marvelous.
Mouthfeel gets a slight boozey heat that is a bit harsh about midway. Otherwise it's smooth and just thick, and rich, as you would expect.
Cracking beer, wonderfully handled.
Pours a very dark brown; only brown note is up at the top under the head, which is minimal and thin, with visible bubbles but really rather listless. Lace is largely non-existent. Definitely needs more oomph, a bit sad really because the potential's there.
Smells very roasty with a massive espresso back to it. Nice nuttiness and caramel malt with a touch of red wine and a slight hint of cola. Yeah, pretty pleasant overall, but ultimately just a slightly thin dark-beer aroma.
Taste has far more oomph and spark to it. Starts darkish with a big whomp of dark booze to it. There are touches of espresso mostly, cocoa and caramel but it's still all subdued with a boozey warmth somehow becoming the dominant note later. Quite spicy as well, with black pepper on the back and a touch of cardamom. But yeah, it's boozey; dark. Not entirely wholly formed though, and some more sweetness, or anything to take command of this palate and steer it into delicious waters would just make the palate make more sense. It seems a bit confused at present.
Really rather thin for the ABV. Heat, without much texture. Not a big fan.
Not really enough in this beer to make an overarching theme stand out. I just don't get a vibe for what this beer's all about. But this is all very meta, and for what it's worth it's a decent beer.
75 / 100
Purchased in Australia, but put head-to-head with a bottle of Older Viscosity I purchased in the US.
This one pours deep and black, with a minimal head of fine brown. Lacing is also minimal, but good enough for this style of beer. Heavy body, but the older is certainly heavier. Looks decent.
Nose is deep with chocolatey malt, and a pleasant toasted bread character. Slight astringency comes from a hint of tobacco, and a slight rubbery character. Very pleasant, deep American Stout characters, but less so than many of the best examples I've had.
Taste is similar, in that it possesses many of the very good deep, dark characters of a good American Impy Stout, without the complexity or the fullness. Lots of astringent roasted bitterness, and a pleasant roasted sweetness like bittersweet chocolate. But it's missing something deeper, richer and combinatorial that would make it great.
There's no doubt this suffered from being compared to the Older Viscosity, which was clearly superior. That seemed to take this brew, and put it all together into a coherent and delicious package. This one seemed thin and rather bland by comparison, despite its obvious heft and flavour. In any case, I certainly know which of these I prefer.
78 / 100
Purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA, then brought back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe, head-to-head with a bottle of Old Viscosity.
Pours a deep, oily black colour, with a filmy and very minimal head of deep brown. It looks very still and very heavy in the glass. Wonderful, for what it is.
Nose is redolent with smoke, vanilla and oak, giving pretty much the full and vibrant array of American Stout characteristics. Dark, but sweet, giving off lovely coconut and bourbon vanilla notes. It's so far superior to the Old Viscosity in this, and any other regard.
Taste is pleasant, but very light, and without a huge amount of complexity. It still beats out the Old, but still has that slightly characteristic thinness, that lack of sweetness and heft. Characters of port and booze come forward quickly, overrunning a pleasantly oaked vinous beginning. Very smooth on the palate, and still with that rich and dark, slightly smoky flavour, but without a lot of intensity or complexity.
This is clearly superior to the Old Viscosity, but perhaps not by as much as I hoped. This is rich and full, and has the advantage of some serious barrel aging, but beyond that, it seems to be a similar brew with more breadth.
61 / 100
Having a Port Brewing session this evening. This seemed to fit both the "Port Brewing" and the "session" bill.
Pours a lovely dark schwarz, with a slight hint of brown at the edges. Head forms quickly when pours, but then dissipates almost as rapidly, leaving just a floating film of light beige. Lacing is a little hit and miss, some suds on one side, and a little of nothing on the other. Not bad.
Lots of roasted malt on the nose, toasted and slightly charred, with a slight astringency. Brown bread comes through as well, which oddly lightens the palate, and there's a whiff of something a little sweeter as well, perhaps a lilt of ripe banana - very faint though. Overall, it's mostly roasted and black, with just a few hints around the edges of something else.
Taste is dark, and a little empty around the edges. The bread notes come through more prominently here, leaving a damp emptiness through the centre of the palate, and a lingering odd burnt sweetness that continues through to the end. Mouthfeel is crisp, but with an oddly numbing effect.
Nope, this feels like something of a miss to me. It has some pleasant characters, but some slightly unpleasant ones as well. Not Port's best offering, that's for sure.
75 / 100
Pours a very light yellow with some hazing. Head is full and thick, pretty much pure white, and it leaves some very decent lacing. Carbonation is fine, but languid. Surprisingly, despite the fact it's lower in alcohol than the Wipeout I just tried, the body looks slightly heavier in this one. Pretty good look overall. Surprised at just how light it is, but otherwise very good.
Nose is pleasant and oily, with some pungent kaffir lime characters coming through, along with a sweeter tangerine citrus flavour. Very pleasant indeed - it's just direct sharp hoppiness, but it's very robust and very fresh.
Taste is reasonable, but merely follows on from the nose. A direct sharp mid-palate of fresh raw hoppiness, with minimal sweetness around the edges. The greenness is perhaps a little more pronounced here - the bitterness is very vegetative. It's a little one-sided, but it's still a very nice wet hopped ale.
Nicely done. Feel is smooth mostly, but accentuated with a little resinous bite to match the hops. It's a drinkable brew, and a pretty tasty one; a good showcase for hops.
74 / 100
Pours quite a light coloured golden, with a frothy, but reasonably large-bubbled head of just cream-coloured foam. Lacing is sudsy and sticky. Carbonation is streaming and vigorous. Colour is surprisingly light, really, and the body seems the same way. Not bad.
Nose is strongly hopped, leaning towards pine fragrance, with some sharp grapefruit citrus as well. Very direct in its flavour; I suggest Chinook or Simcoe is prominent. Pretty nice though.
Taste is also sharp, especially on the front, with quite a ripping grapefruit character bittering the centre of the palate. Mellows pretty quickly, however, not leaving a lot of astringent residue. It ends up with a pleasant fresh but buttery character on the finish. This makes it quite drinkable, and really quite pleasant given the harshness on the front.
Feel is soft and light, despite the vigorous carbonation, it's quite smooth on the palate.
This is a pretty exciting beer - it's like they've found a way to get that grapefruit hop character just right to escape the overpowering bitterness. I guess it is Simcoe that shines here - all the flavour of Chinook without the lingering harshness on the back. Very nicely done.
75 / 100
Opens with a fizzle belying what will pour to be a massively frothy-headed beast. Wonderful deep and vibrant red-brown colour, with a very fine-bubbled head of almost orange-sherbet-coloured foam. Lots of tiny streaming carbonation, but it's clear that it's having some difficulty pushing through the thick body. Really, colour, body, head this beer has the complete package - an absolutely divine brew to look at.
Nose is redolent with sweet and robust hop fragrance, almost tropical fruits with an underlying dose of dusty grain. It's an odd juxtaposition of fresh and luscious hops with musty cellar floor. Very pleasant all up though. A very nice nose indeed.
Taste is somewhat more one-dimensional - largely consisting of a sharp and vibrant, if somewhat overwhelming hop bitterness through the centre of the palate. Some fusel presence on the back adds a bit of heat, and at least another element which mingles with the bitterness, but it's missing some of the promised body to back it up. It feels very dry on the finish, and the hop oil residue is really pronounced, leaving it exhausting on the palate.
Overall, this was missing something. Although it does present some raw and unabashed aggressive hop character, to my mind this needs to be balanced with something, and it was missing from the flavour.
71 / 100
Pours a slightly murky golden colour, not particularly bright, with a filmy head of fine white bubbles. Some pretty fervent carbonation rises quickly to the surface, which makes a lie of the apparently full body. Overall, there's a little something lacking to it appearance wise.
Nose is much more on par, with a full bouquet of fruity hops. Notes of pineapple, apple juice, and fresh celery are noticeable, and a slightly sweeter caramel note underpins these. Quite pleasant, if not as full and robust as many a DIPA I've had.
Smooth initially on the palate, some sweetness, and a very light slick feel, before a brash hop leaf bitterness wells up, full of resin and tannins. Sharp and herbaceous on the back, leaving a gritty finish that's slightly too pungent to be refreshing. It's a big beer, pretty impressive and unapologetic, and I respect that.
Feel is just a little thin for the style. Despite the spectre of slickness on the front, it doesn't have much of a sustained body. Either that, or the hops bitterness just cut right through it.
Not a bad beer, and a very decent DIPA. You want a DIPA to be confronting and high in bitterness, and this certainly delivers on those two fronts.