Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chocolate Manifesto - Flying Monkeys (Canada - Ontario - Barrie)

Chocolate Manifesto - Flying Monkeys (Canada - Ontario - Barrie) 10.5%

I was amazed by the intensity of the aroma, dark chocolate and milk chocolate primarily but with hints of tobacco, espresso and the slightest hint of dark fruit.

The flavour is of the same forceful character. Strongly chocolatey as designed but also dark fruit, some hints of dark cherry and other dark fruit, as well as a certain nuttiness. There is a cool, creamy, freshness to the flavour and though there is a long chocolate aftertaste and the beer is very sweet I don't find Chocolate Manifesto to be cloying or particularly heavy.

This is an exceptional beer, the kind that makes me happy to be a beer geek and to try new and innovative beers. There are lots of chocolate infused beers out there, I really like this one.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing (United States - Missouri - Holland) 11.0%

 Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing (United States - Missouri - Holland) 11.0%

Dark brown in a glass with a silky head of mocha coloured foam. A really nice, almost chewy, aroma of dark fruit and chocolate; plenty of oak and vanilla as well.

Dark fruit flavours, and oak and vanilla abound. There is some distinct alcohol tingling in the mouth and warming of the chest. Strong bourbon spice in the finish, that same spice may explain some of the tingling I had ascribed to the alcohol. The mouthfeel is creamy as you drink it but thin once you swallow leaving a nice espresso, vanilla and hints of oak aftertaste but very little lingering texture for a stout (probably because of the cleansing properties of the high alcohol content).

I have found in the past that oak accentuates the taste of alcohol (and I don't think that's just because I, as a bourbon fan, associate oak with hard liquor BTW) but I think the strongish alcohol sensation and a bit of a taste are actually from the alcohol content. Now you may wonder why I'd comment on this when reviewing a beer that is listed at 11% but I've had other 11% beers that carried their alcohol less obviously. All that said, I think Dragon's Milk might be even stronger than the 11% indicated on the label, considering how squishy my head is feeling already. While Dragon's Milk carries its booze a bit more obviously than some other ales I think they did a bang-up job making a tasty chocolatey and oaky stout that is well suited to their High Gravity (aka high alcohol) series.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Gigantic IPA (United States - Oregon - Portland)

Gigantic IPA (United States - Oregon - Portland) 7.3%

A cloudy bronze in a glass with a resilient head of foam. A cedar and melon aroma. The flavour is very nice, a much more mellow IPA than I expected: cedar and melon. The aftertaste is more bitter but still not a hops character that slaps you across the face - which is perfect if you've grown tired of overhopped IPAs. That isn't to say that Gigantic's IPA isn't hoppy and bitter, it is, but the flavours are put together in such a way that the malty sweetness and hops bitterness work as partners rather than the flavour just being all hops.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Accumulation - New Belgium (United States - Colorado - Fort Collins)

Accumulation - New Belgium (United States - Colorado - Fort Collins) 6.2%

A whole bunch of tropical fruit makes up the aroma to this cloudy golden beer: mango, papaya, passionfruit and grapefruit. The taste is quite bitter, especially initially and in the finish, and it is full of the same tropical fruit mix but with more orange. The mouthfeel is a little bit creamy with some classic wheat herbal tones (coriander) in the finish. As far as the combination of the two flavour spectrums of a Belgian White and an IPA I think Accumulation does it best of the, admittedly few, I have tried.

Despite the wintery scene on the label, Accumulation's flavour seems like a tropical breeze - or maybe that's the point. Accumulation certainly is a refreshing break from the winter.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Blue Buck - Phillips Brewing (Canada - British Columbia - Victoria)

Blue Buck - Phillips Brewing (Canada - British Columbia - Victoria) 5.0%

Full gold in a glass with a resilient if not overly large head of foam. Nice caramel touch to the slightly raw malt flavour that reminds me of a malthouse. The hops are subtle but lend balancing hints of cedar and forest tones to the flavour. This beer delivers as promised as a tasty session ale, one that features more malt than hops character.