Jolly Pumpkin Oro De Calabaza - 4.05/5
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Bomber purchased at The Wine Seller in Ann Arbor, MI. Pours a bright golden hue with a thin white cap, lots of webbed lacing, and excellent clarity. Smell is overripe orchard fruit, alcohol esters, mild bretty funkiness, lemon and lime zest, intense sour candy, oak barrel, vanilla, assorted spices (cinnamon, clove), green apple, and effervescent, champagne-like aromas. Amazing nose. Taste boasts a huge puckering sourness with crab apple, sour candy, anjou pear, lemon juice, chardonnay, and a funky woodiness in the background. Very flavourful brew. Mouthfeel is lighter than medium-bodied, high carbonation, spicy and peppery bite mid-palate, massive sourness precedes a quick drying finish with fleeting afters. Overall, Oro de Calabaza isn't as balanced and complex as the Dark Dawn Stout, but it's still an enjoyable, contemplative quaff nonetheless. Worth buying.
Victory / Stone / Dogfish Head Saison du BUFF - 3.85/5
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5
12oz bottle purchased at Rozi's Wine House in Lakewood, OH. Pours a burnished golden hue with a slight chill haze, one finger of eggshell white froth, and several strands of lacing. Head lasts for the duration of the beer. Smell is rosemary, thyme, cardamom, clove, dandelion (sappy, resiny), fresh cut grass, mineral water, lemon zest, faint mustiness, and flowery-perfumey aromas. Taste is lemony, grassy, and weedy flavours, very spicy and zesty, bold herbaceous middle with rosemary, thyme, and basil, light floral notes to end. Mouthfeel is spicy zestiness upfront, crisp and clean palate, spritzy carbonation, big herbaceous middle transitions to a drying finish with fading afters. Overall, this is a one-of-a-kind beer with extremely strange flavours that somehow work well together. It's a ballsy, out-there saison that pushes the boundaries of the style. But given the calibre of the brewers involved, I guess that's unsurprising.
Samuel Adams Dark Depths Baltic IPA - 3.83/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
12oz bottle purchased at Rozi's Wine House in Lakewood, OH. Pours a dark ruby brown with one finger of cream-coloured foam and many spots of lacing on the tulip glass. Solid appearance. Aroma is roasted malt, raisin, cookie crumble, pruney-plumy notes, slight vinous character, citrusy and resiny hops, faint grapefruit, pine, and honeydew melon. Smells like a Baltic Porter with some Black IPA elements. Taste is roasty malt, cookie crumble, plumy-grapey middle, somewhat tart, mildly citric grapefruit bitterness with roasted-raisiny flavours to end. A big yet balanced brew with lager-like drinkability. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium-bodied, a little creamy, moderate bitterness precedes a dry finish with lingering raisin and roasted afters. No trace of the ABV. Overall, this is a well-made Baltic Porter with higher-than-usual hopping. It's not a full-on Cascadian Dark Ale but it's a good Americanized take on a traditional European style. Give this one a try.
Ballast Point Big Eye IPA - 4.38/5
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Fresh 12oz bottle from a 6-pack purchased at Rozi's Wine House in Lakewood, OH. Clerk said they received their shipment the week before my purchase. Pours a clear amber hue with a thick eggshell white cap and tons of stringy lacing on the tulip. Smell is blood orange, red grapefruit, pine sap, herbal hops, peach, mango, perfume, slight nuttiness, bread crust, caramel, ethanol, and nectarine. Very bold, citrusy, and aromatic. Taste is juicy and citric navel orange, red grapefruit, peach, nectarine, more piney, spicy and herbaceous hops, brown bread crust, light caramel sweetness, pithy and astringent bitterness to end. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, juicy and oily middle, bold citric bitterness precedes a long drying finish. Overall, Big Eye is an aggressive, world class IPA that favourably compares to the top tier hop bombs. A delicious brew.
Founders Double Trouble - 4.28/5
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
12oz bottle purchased at Rozi's Wine House in Lakewood, OH. Pours a deep and slightly hazy golden hue with a light amber tinge, a sliver of white foam, and strands of webbed lacing on the tulip. Smell is cookie dough, honeyed biscuit, toasty malt, mango, papaya, citrusy and herbaceous hops, peach, navel orange, and very faint pineapple. Taste is citrus, stone fruit, honey sweetness, biscuit, pine, resiny hops, pithy and astringent grapefruit bitterness to end. Mouthfeel is full side of medium-bodied, lush and juicy middle, soft carbonation, big resinous, spicy, and citric bitterness transitions to a lengthy, drying finish. Bang on for the style. Overall, Double Trouble is a killer DIPA with a pungent and unrelenting hop character. Definitely worth a purchase if you can get your hands on some. More nectar from Founders.
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