Here we have 2 locals battling for supremacy. Similar styles, going head to head. Check us out on IG @beerawesomeUS and patreon.com/BeerAwesome every like, share, and donation means a lot!
6.1 % Saison
Here’s another I had been saving, and then funny enough someone gifted me a 4-pack of this, so now I can drink it without needing a good excuse. I TRUST it’ll be worth the wait. It pours a normal (though on the light side) color for a saison, but sadly no yeast/fermentation leftovers, which makes me think it’ll be less of a hidden gem than expected.
Hops – 4.3 Nothing to write home about, but it won’t leave you Angry Again.
Malt – 5.7 A good saison is more about the esters, yeast, and other notes and this one is just that. No malt really shines through but it is there, albeit thin.
Carbonation – 7.9 It’s pretty lively, and I think that breaks up some flavors that you end up missing out on.
Character – 6.3 It gets the name from the “13 carefully selected ingredients” but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what those Chones Ones were.
Palate – 8.2 There’s nothing wrong with it, I just wish it had more to it.
Overall – 6.66 I Ain’t Superstitious enough to worry about giving away that score.
It says there are 13 carefully selected ingredients but unless some of them are “water, some other water, yeast, a different yeast, and hops. Then the same hops again. And then different hops” I’m not sure I believe it. I had expected a little more from both of these brands, but with Megadeth watering down their musical offerings lately, it’s an appropriate beer/metaphor. I enjoyed it but more so for the opportunity to include jokes than it being a delicious beer.
Blueberry Coffee Porter
5% 12 oz Can
We’re working through the backlog, folks. The Caps lost, let’s move on to this from Waynesville NC. It’s a blueberry coffee porter. It is old (2018) and pours very dark. It smells like coffee and malt and slightly berry, and the head disappears immediately. Like the Caps desire. And from the can, it says they take their classic brown, and add fresh coffee and blueberry. I hope I’m not berry (trotz) disappointed.
Hops – 3.1 It is a little balanced.
Malts – 6.3 Also it’s not that roasty. Or malty. It’s getting weird.
Carbonation – 7.4 Despite the head going away like a Capitals lead, it’s very bubbly. Think soda.
Character – 4.6 This is where they’ve let me down. It’s halfway through the 2nd, and they did not deliver as promised. The coffee is there… barely. It’s like you got to take a sip of someone’s leftover iced coffee from yesterday. And the blueberry is slightly acidic. This may be from aging, but I’m just reporting what’s happening.
Palate – 5.8 It’s not… Bad. Not great. It’s the Capitals Powerplay right now. You have potential! But you did not deliver on it.
Overall – 5.9 It’s not very bad but it’s not good. It’s super bubbly, the flavors and mouthfeel are really thin.
I didn’t know this was going to be exactly how I felt after tonight’s loss, but this beer is exactly like their performance. Sounds great, but you need to actually execute! It was thin, lackluster, and overall left me wanting. 2 Minutes for disappointment, Boojum.
Stone and Jagermeister
Jagermeister and Arrogant Bastard Ale8.5%
I’ll preface this by saying I found this bottle having no idea it even existed. Reading up, it’s from the Stone installation in Germany, called Arrogant Consorita[sic](from their website). Pretty sure it’s Consortia but I am not a word doctor. It has aged (obviously) even though there was a big “DRINK FRESH, NUMBSKULL” on the side of it. However, the release date was Sep 2019 so it’s not SO far off and coming from Berlin it wouldn’t be super fresh to begin with. I think my apprehension was not wanting to 1) waste something exotic and 2) not destroy something beautiful. But here’s that Fight Club moment, so PROST!
I can’t keep typing out JAGERMEISTER AND ARROGANT BASTARD ALE so it will be known as JAB. The JAB, once uncorked, immediately had a very herbal smell like juniper punching me in the nose. Once poured, it didn’t go away. I get the licorice most people associate with Jager. It has a slightly higher ABV than the regular Bastard but I’m not sure I pick up any more booze. I have also prepared a cold shot of Jager, to intermittently sip. For research purposes.
Hops – 6.7 It is still Arrogant Bastard, but the initial hop bite/flavor/aroma really gets knocked out by JAB’s herbals. Some of the way into this glass and all I get at first is juniper, citrus, anise, licorice and then I’m left with the pungent bitterness of a stone IPA. It’s an odd transition from sweet to floral, to herbal and then a lingering bitter finish that really doesn’t showcase any of the flavors that they have separately. I would say it’s more resiny than hoppy.
Malts – Maybe. It’s sweet but that’s more from the addition of Jager and its ingredients. It would be tough to pick up any of the traditional caramel, roasted, wheat flavors you might find in a normal beer.
Carbonation – 5.5 It doesn’t pour flat, you can feel it in the mouth, but it’s not super lively. It’s a decent balance.
Character – 8.9 It’s tough to remain subjective when so many worlds collide. I like Jager. I like Arrogant Bastard. I like the flavors both of those things have. I like the flavors they have brought together, but it’s so weird. Like the guy that still drives a Pontiac Aztek but hasn’t even seen Breaking Bad, they just like it for the space and it was a graduation gift and that sort of makes sense on paper. There are so many things going on, and you get to taste all of them.
Palate – 4.1 This beer is exactly like when you’re cooking, and you under/overspice something and you keep adding stuff to it to balance it out until you’re left with a Katamari roll up ball of almost everything in your kitchen when you really just started out making a chicken parm. While the flavors are great separately, nothing here is cohesive. It’s a boozed up version of a 4 year-old’s story where you heard about one hundred details but none of them were pertinent.
Overall – 6.9 I figure they would like that number.
It’s the COOL LIQUOR PEOPLE coming together with the EXTREME BEER GUYS to make COOL EXTREME LIQUORBEER but that’s never been a niche. No one orders boilermakers outside of extras in movies, and this is like the worst parts of dropping a shot of Jager into an Arrogant Bastard. You can tell exactly what it is, but the one thing it wasn’t was necessary. I would say it was a neat marketing trick but I only found it a nice gas station that has all kinds of great beers. I’ve never seen it before or after, and hadn’t heard of it at all so it wasn’t marketing. If it was just an experiment, then now everyone knows. Not that it’s bad, it isn’t. But everything that makes Jager good and Arrogant Bastard good get lost in the mix here and you end up with a distorted version of both.
The Federal Reserve is a special edition of the Squatch from Chaos Mountain. While it’s their flagship, they also have better and more well received options so I was hesitant at first. The story goes, Fifth and Federal needed a beer, and turned to the great guys at Chaos Mountain to get it done. So they aged their Squatch Ale in Bowman bourbon barrels, and this mythical beast came out. It pours a beautiful muddy brown color (not sarcasm) and smells like a proper wee heavy with awesome woody notes.
Disclaimer: I have had this particular one sitting in the batcave since January. At some point, you just gotta drink the beer. It was, however, fantastic on tap at the source.
Hops – 2 It’s a wee heavy.
Malts – 5.5 I’m surprised but then I remember that the squatch wasn’t huge on traditional malt flavors (as best as I can recall).
Carbonation – 7.3 It’s unusually bubbly for a barrel aged wee heavy but that’s not such a bad thing. Breaks up the monotony.
Character – 6.5 There’s malts and some of the usual barrel aged notes in it but there’s nothing here to separate it from anything in the class. I’m fuzzy on how it remained so sweet without picking up major boozy notes to back it up.
Palate – 8.5 The high score here is just because there’s nothing wrong. If you like Squatch, this adds a little extra to it.
Overall – 7.1 Squatch might be A yeti, but it is not THE Yeti.
There’s nothing wrong here, but there’s nothing that would make you need to seek this out. I am excited, however, for another Chaos beer that’s in the lineup. I won’t spoil anything but it’s a huge one.
Biscuits and Marmalade
3 Stars Brewing
I have no idea what to expect with this, but I’m a sucker for a pretty label and had to have it. It pours a great, hazy yellow color which is expected with a kolsch. It’s hot again, which makes sense seeing as we’re still in August. Perfect time for a crisp, tasty beer like a kolsch. It smells like that light, sharp wheat/yeast smell and I’m ready for a decent experience.
Hops – 4.1 There’s not a ton of bitterness, but it’s still enjoyable. It might be able to please regular IPA drinkers and newbies alike with its smooth yet flavorful taste.
Malts – 5.0 I don’t like giving round numbers, but I do like this beer. It’s not a malt bomb but you still get a great wheat profile from it.
Carbonation – 7.2 It is bubbly but not totally unpleasant to hold in your mouth. However, this might make it a challenge to drink all 4 tallboys in a row.
Character – 3.5 There’s nothing extraordinary here. It’s a little sweet but it tastes just like a kolsch.
Palate – 7.1 There’s nothing to make it stand out, so it really doesn’t have any detractors. Then again, there’s nothing incredible going on, so it can’t exactly amaze, either.
Overall – 7.7 I’m going to grade this as a kolsch and not as an overall experience. It’s good, I like it, but I would not pay the premium for it again unless there’s a scavenger hunt and I need to find a DC-made kolsch with a cool label. Then it shoots right to the top of the list.
Kolsch are not exactly the most popular on the microbrew scene and I can see why. It starts like an ale, but then is additionally fermented cold like a lager. That makes it labor intensive for a product that could easily get overlooked. Is it good? Absolutely. Has it blown me away? No. Did I even remotely think about biscuits or marmalade when I was drinking it? Not at all. I’d give it to friends who just “want any beer” or someone looking for a brew they haven’t tried yet, but that’s the only use I can think of for it. OH WAIT. A shower beer. This smacks of a great shower beer. You don’t need to pay attention to subtle flavors, you just enjoy your perfectly fine very cold beer while you wash your bod.
Earned Run Ale
4.2% Session Pale
I’ll try about as hard in this summary as the Nats did this season. It pours a decent pale ale color and smells exactly like beer.
Hops – 6.1 They’re not going to blow your socks off and it’s not particularly delicious, either.
Malts – 4.20 There’s some there.
Carbonation – 7.5 Yes. Very.
Character – 2.5 It’s exactly an overpriced, under-delivering baseball beer.
Palate – 5.4 Are these arbitrary? Maybe.
Overall – When is hockey back on? I can’t wait. I guess the Redskins are about to start their regular season too. But hockey is soon, that’s the most important part. The good news is that it’s available for under $3 off the shelves, probably about $12 at the park.
Barrel Aged Imperial Milk Stout
It pours dark, but not as…viscous(?) as some imperial stouts. You can immediately smell the bourbon barrel aging and the tasty notes it left, as if it were christmas. And this beer has
been a very, very good boy. It looks like I’m keeping the Virginia beer review streak alive, so let’s just get into it.
Hops – 2.7 Not much to say here, moving along.
Malts – 7.4 Not overwhelming. There’s a sweetness, like the smell of grandma’s house after she had been baking cookies. Looks like I’m going to keep with the holiday theme even though
it’s a beautiful day in April.
Carbonation – 3.4 It pours milky, rather than bubbly. Which is nice because there’s no carbonation to cut through all the delicious flavor. Go ahead and pour yourself a glass and drink
it real quick, like a thirsy Santa and this is your milk and cookies.
Character – 7.2 There aren’t any crazy flavors here to ambush you or knock you off course like a patch of black ice. You have the sweetness from the lactose (hence milk stout) which
compliments the malts, bourbon characteristics, and other dark aromatic flavors.
Palate – 9.1 It’s a caroling chorus of delicious. Everyone is doing their part, except for Joan. She’s a little flat.
Overall – 8.6 It’s pourable, drinkable, it smells great, and it hides its alcohol wallop better than your parents with christmas gifts.
To be fair I’m only drinking this early to ease the battered and bruised ego from a small motorcycle wreck. I’ve been meaning to get to this beer in particular as it was gifted to me, and
I finally have a great excuse. Not that you’d need one, this thing is richer and sweeter than a Capitals playoff win. Which are starting today, btw. THE LOFFS! It’s that time of year
where I drink a lot because I’m happy, and then I drink a lot because I’m sad again. But not this year. This year is different. This year is special. Like CAPSized from Ocelot Brewing. And now I’m ready to get all settled in for a Caps sized victory. LGC!
I’m excited to get more Virginia beers in the reviews, and Center of The Universe has yet to disappoint me. This one is supposed to be like a salty, orange chocolate truffle, and if the color/smell is any indication, it’ll be delightful. There’s essentially no head to it, it’s straight to business with these two. Here’s your beer, it’ll be great, citr’ass (citrus jokes?) down and enjoy.
Hops – 1.1 Moving along it’s late, lettuce (produce jokes!) get to the point
Malts – 5.4 This one actually doesn’t hit you with a lot of the caramel, malty taste you’d get from a big stout which is surprising. It’s not a bad thing here though because malt flavor is the undercard in this prizefight.
Carbonation – 3.14 Because it was Pi Day recently and there’s not much else to say about that.
Character – 7.1 I can definitely taste a lot of the orange, and maybe some of the salt. You have a great beer behind it, and you don’t get a lot of the booze with it which is nice for such a robust stout. More chocolate would be appreciated, however.
Overall – 8.3 It delivers on its promise. Both breweries could have chosen the Safe Way (I admit that’s a reach but stick with me) but they threw caution and whatever else was on hand to the wind. First word, ORANGE. It’s right there and you get it. I would recommend at least a small sample, maybe a large sample, or guzzle it at someone else’s expense. I would like to deduct a few points since it’s not as bold and roasty as I would like, but I have to consider what they were going for and remove my own bias and I think they got it. It’s nice to have some new flavors kicking around, too.
The beer starts with ORANGE, and you can tell it’s there in droves. Sea salt, maybe. I’m not too familiar with salt in my beer. But when you call it “IMPERIAL CHOCOLATE STOUT” on the label, you can be certain I am expecting exactly that, too. Good overall beer, but for the weakness of both the Imperial stout portion and the lack of chocolate, I have to peel (a-ha!) off a few personal points. Great idea, pretty good execution. It’s tasty. I know they probably nailed what they were going for, I was just left a little wanting with the promise of imperial, chocolate, and orange.
As always: Like, share, follow and enjoy!
Tenebris Barleywine Ghost 541
Unintentionally, this is my second consecutive review for an Adroit Theory beer. Definitely not a mistake though. “Tenebris” coming from the Latin word for “Dark” makes many references to it on the bottle and in the flavor itself. It pours a nice dark and clear copper(ish) color and unlike most straight-malt barlewyines, you can smell something a little special in there. Something fruity but also dark, as if they’ve attempted to bottle the spirit of a Crow that spent its life listening to melodic death metal and eating plums.
Hops – 0.2 I dislike giving out whole numbers, that’s a rookie mistake, so it gets something very close to 0. It’s a barleywine. There’s not going to be hop presence in most/all of them.
Malts – 8.3 It’s not sickly sweet, like you’re chugging straight from a liquid malt bottle, but it is a barleywine (have I mentioned that?) and they’re malty. It’s more Malt-J than Maltley Crüe, though because they had to save room for something I’ll get into later.
Carbonation – 3.5 I’ve had some of the same style that drank like a low-viscosity syrup, but this is not like that. There’s a pleasant amount of bubbles to break up that sweetness, like cutting your latest batch of trashcan jungle juice falldown sauce with some Sprite.
Character – 6.8 It’s not a whirlwind of flavors constantly rabbit-punching your taste buds, but aside from the deliciously sweet malts and roasted essence, you also get a sweet dark fruit flavor.
Palate – 8.4 Everything there is super nice in both quality and quantity. Nothing overwhelms you, so I guess you’re just enjoyably “whelmed.” Some barleywines will also hit you with noticeable alcohol either on the nose or tongue or finish (or wherever you decide to put beer inside you), but despite being 10%, the only giveaway that it has a higher amount of booze is the malty-ness.
Overall – 8.4 Before all 12 barleywine fanatics get upset, this isn’t saying this beer is only a B-grade beer. It’s not. This score is judging only on barleywines, and all barleywines. If you had access to every single one on the market, and your friend asked you to put them all in order from worst to best, this would fall in the upper 80th percentile. It won’t knock your socks off and make you say “I’M DRINKING THIS AND ONLY THIS FOREVER!” But it does offer a lot of great stuff and a really cool label. Not as cool as last review’s EBK but it still gives you pairings on food, cheese, and cigars as well as a little parable about crows: “During Medieval Times, ‘The Shadow of the Sun’ was hopw European Alchemists defined the Crow. it was their symbol for the blackness of dispair and chaos.
We see the Crow as a Life Force so powerful it can actually live off Death itself. After all, it’s not Death if you refuse it…”
And the picture of the label is a really neat artistic take on a crow. Hence the reference in the beginning. Good job, guys.