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Beer Archives - Page 2 of 2 - BEER AWESOME

BeerAwesome does battle with an Evil Black Knight IIPA

Evil Black Knight

Adriot Theory
Evil Black Knight
22oz Bomber

The Evil Black Knight [Here We Go Edition] Ghost 599 was bottled 07/17/2017 and starts strong with both words and content. There are more words on the label than in the last book I read. This pours a nice, very hazy, IPA color (there’s really no better way to describe that). It smells bitter and juicy so I’m excited to go to war with this unfiltered Imperial IPA.

Hops – 7.9 It’s not going immediately decimate your taste buds, but it’s bitter and delicious if that’s your thing.

Malts – 3.4 There’s something sweet about it, but the malty backbones of DIPA/IIPAs of old have been sent to the back of the line so that the juicy, bitter hops can lead the charge.

Carbonation – 7.1 It’s not champagne, but I think the slightly higher “bubbly” quality goes hand in hand with the taste of this beer.

Character – 5.7 I’m not going to say there’s a lack of flavors or essence here. That’s not the problem. There’s just not a great diversity. You get that tropical quality with this one but you won’t spend all day trying to convince yourself that there’s extra flavors in it that you didn’t pick up after the first 1,2,7,12 tries.

Palate – 8.8 It tastes like a great juicy (okay I’ll stop using that until I explain it) IIPA. It’s smooth, bitter, sweet, slightly tropical and none of those retreat too soon to enjoy.

Label – 10.2/10  Words, pictures, recommendations, pairings, a story.  It has it all.

Overall – 9.1 A SUPREME VICTORY. And now to explain what I meant by “juicy”. It’s a term that’s becoming more popular with New England style IPA/DIPA/IIPA beers but it also doesn’t have a solid definition. You know it when you’ve got it, but trying to elaborate to someone that hasn’t tried anything like it is tough. It’s bitter but not overwhelming, and yet full of sweet flavors too. Adroit came up with a great battle plan on this one and air drops a bomb of IPA flavor into your mouth. The label has more to read than most bathrooms, and part of this bottle says it pairs well with “pickled pineapple with shaved pecorino” and that’s just obvious. If you don’t routinely have those foods in mind, you’re most likely uneducated and need a trip to the nearest whole foods/farmer’s market. Where they sell pickled whatevers and shaved stuff. But before you go scouting for esoteric foods, LOCATE AND EXTRACT THIS BEER BECAUSE IT IS DELICIOUS. Do the thing.

BeerAwesome drinks Anderson Valley Bourbon Barrel Stout

Anderson Valley
Bourbon Barrel Stout22 oz Bomber
This one pours incredibly dark. There’s a nice head to it, and when you smell it, you’re immediately welcomed with dark, roasted notes, something fruity, and for lack of better words, bourbon barrel. It’s like someone has trapped the essence of a dark barrel of bourbon and put it in a bottle for you. This particular stout was aged in Wild Turkey barrels, so I expect some crazy flavor.

Hops – 2 Sometimes a stout can be bitter (see last review), but this one is not at all.

Malts – 6.5 It’s better than the last Dominion stout, but surprisingly, not by much. So far it seems tame, unlike the wild turkey on the label (and the barrel they used).

Carbonation – 5.5 It’s bubbly, but not overly so. It’s smooth and not much carbonation when you hold it in your mouth.

Character – 5.5 I don’t ever give out a double score (I also don’t ever use absolutes, or parentheses this often) but it’s somewhat lacking. For a brand that usually has great flavor and awesome seasonals, this one so far has yet to take flight, much like the bird.

Palate – 7 I’m giving it a higher score here because there’s not much to be offended by. Much like a mediocre thanksgiving turkey, you won’t find anything to rave about or dislike.

Overall – 6.1 I’m slightly embarrassed for both Wild Turkey and Anderson Valley. The great sights and scents you get when you initially pour it just lead you on a wild goose chase tracking down whatever flavor is supposed to stand out. There’s no boozy leftovers, very little “bourbon barrel” experience. I’m left hunting for flavors, and coming back empty handed. Is it bad? No, but there should be more to it than this. There are better examples of a BB stout out there. In the end, I’m going to cry fowl on this one. If they had made a higher ABV brew this drinkable, that would at least be a feat, but there’s not enough of…well, anything. This hunt is over, and not in a good way.

You’re still here?  Feel free to email, tweet, comment, or send smoke signals on what you would like to see reviewed next!  Or if you’re really great, send in something special and I’ll do my best.

Stout vs Stout. BeerAwesome does a double feature

45 IBUS, 5.5%



I’ll start this with a direct comparison, writing a little about each, then giving them their respective marks. The Russian imperial stout has hopefully not rigged this in any way, and I have never met with Ocelot.

The Dominion stout starts off with a crazy nose. A little bitter, very malty, very roasted, slightly coffee, somewhat chocolate. Smells like someone dumped a carefully crafted espresso over some chocolate generic ice cream. But let’s cut straight to it, and put it in the most discerning mouth in the room: mine.
…And much like Ron Burgundy, I immediately regret that decision. It’s limp. Flaccid. Weak. Okay cool let’s see how the other one is because another 10 seconds spent on this is already too much.


Just as dark (maybe even darker?) as the competitor, this stout clobbers the opposition. You immediately get that (allegedly) Russian Imperial Stout nose, with the somewhat yeasty, bready notes and then dark roasted malts. I mean, so I’ve heard. I’ve never been to Russia or had a Russian beer ever. Jump below to see how it stands up in the court of maw. (like mouth. My mom would hate this beer).

Hops – 5.5 It’s bitter, yes. But not like an IPA. Not too unexpected either from the nose and the IBU label.
Malts –  6 Here’s where things get a little suspicious. It pours just as dark as its competitor, promising a fair and unbiased competition. And then it doesn’t even show up. You’re an oak barrel stout, and I’m left wanting. I’m an IPA/DIPA/crazy beer fanatic and this isn’t enough malt for me.
Carbonation – 7.2 It’s pretty bubbly, at least initially. Just like everything else, it’s there for a second.
Character – 3.4 This character is like the celebrity cameo in a shark movie. One line, and then your body parts start exploding. What’s even in this? Is this just black soda water with some liquid smoke in it?
Palate – 4 It’s getting sparklers for the 4th of July. It’s going to a concert and finding out it’s just a tribute band to the one you really wanted. It’s the turn signal that’s green for 2 seconds. Is it the worst thing that could happen? No. But you wouldn’t buy any of that for a dollar.
Overall – 4.5 Take a lap, Guys. I realize most of your offerings are dreck, but you have some decent selections too. You just really bunged it up here.
Hops – 4.2 It’s a little bitter, but less so than the D—other one. I’m afraid of Beetlejuice-ing more of their beer in my mouth if I say that name again.
Malts – 6.8 They’re a clear and present…presence. Sweet enough to counteract the bitterness, juicy and roasty enough to draw you in. They can annex my taste buds any day.
Carbonation – 4.5 I don’t know if it’s because it sat for a minute, but it didn’t pour that heady either. They don’t get in the way, and it’s not like drinking chocolate milk. Good work.
Character – 6.2 It’s pretty standard as far as an RIS goes. Is there anything there to knock your socks off? No. But are they throwing around stuff like “roasted on vanilla beans” and then deleting all traces of them? Also no.
Palate – 9.4 This supposed collaboration comes together nicely to run away with this contest. I’m also running out of really good material here so I’ll break it down like this: IT’S GOOD. VERY GOOD. It is not the best out there, but what it does, it does well. The flavors don’t run away, nothing lingers too long, the finish isn’t too strong or bitter.
Overall – 8.4 This is a very solid stout. I wouldn’t wait in line to buy it, but if my friend said he had a case or a growler full, I’d already be in my car. Or maybe an uber, since it’s 10.5%. I know there are some incredibly rare and delicious ones out there, hence the 8.4 rating, but it’s really good. I don’t have any more clever election, russia, pop culture references so that’s a review. Buy it if you can, envy me if you can’t.


BeerAwesome goes Providential with Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s Providential Belgian-Style Golden Ale
7.5% 750ML

Pours a great bright, fizzy, cloudy almost orange color. Immediately smells like fruits, spices, sweetness, yeast and maybe some alcohol.

Hops – 3 Sure they’re there but that’s not the point here. They provide some nice balance
Malts – 6.5 It’s a belgian style ale. Tastes just like one.
Carbonation – 8 It says “champagne-like effervesence” and they’re right. It bubbled and fizzed just like it.
Character – 7 Okay so there’s not as much wallop to it as you’d think. But at the price point (cheap) it tastes fantastic. It doesn’t have much booze to it at all, no unpleasant aftertastes. What it does have is some spice, some fruit, malty sweetness and a nice touch of carbonation.
Palate – 8. It all comes together for a nice experience. Tastes like a decent belgian ale because it is one.
Overall – 7.5 Trader Joe’s specializes in almost-there replicas and this is no different.

This beer is like La Fin Du Monde light. Which makes sense, because it’s made by Unibroue (the folks who make La Fin Du Monde) for Trader Joe’s. It’s the outlet mall version of a great beer. It’s like a loaded V6 Mustang. Sure it may not have all of the wallop of the real deal, but if it’s your first time, you’ll love it. Which makes sense. For much fewer dollars you’re getting 75% of the experience.


BeerAwesome has an Imaginary Girlfriend! And an IPA!

20150822_001214Lost Rhino
My Imaginary Girlfriend IPA
6.1 % 22OZ Bomber

MIG Pours hazy golden color, sweet smell, very pleasant hop aroma. It can, however, do a 4G negative dive.

Hops – 7 I KNOW. It has hop aroma and bitterness and character but there’s nothing special about it. However, it is decently bitter without being overwhelming.
Malts – 3 They’re kinda there to give it a little sweetness, but that’s all you get here.
Carbonation – 6 It’s a little bubbly but nothing unpleasant.
Character – 5 The hops in it are decent enough, and I like that it is btiter without blowing my tongue to bits, but there needs to be…something. Anything. More alcohol, some better fruity esters, maybe a different yeast.
Palate – 7.5 It’s not that this is bad, because it’s not. It’s a pleasant experience and everything goes together well to make an overall blase beer.
Overall – 7   It’s not bad, it’s not amazing.  It won’t get you hammered but it is expensive.  It won’t offend or amaze, but the label is fantastic. A+.

The first thing that strikes me with this beer is the label. The actual sticker label on here is really high quality. It’s more like a vinyl or plastic than the paper you usually get. You definitely can’t tear this apart and shove the little shreds back into the bottle in some sort of cannabalistic anxious ritual. And then there’s the beer. It’s really not bad, but at 6% it had better be unbelievably smooth, or very distinct and it’s not. It has the “Lost Rhino” taste to it, and I fear that it’s basically another LR recipe without as much malt in it or something. Like someone made an OOPS batch of their Pale Ale and was left with the moral quandary of “What do we do with a beer that isn’t bad enough to scrap?” Do we sell it? What do we call it? What’s the drawing point here? Fred, you have any input? Of course you don’t, you’re the IT guy. The appeal of this beer is as imaginary as your girlfriend. HOLY SHIT THAT’S IT! FRED WE LOVE YOU, YOU UNWASHED MISERABLE BASTARD! Now please pick up your dice and dust the cheetoh crumbs off your desk, we don’t need you any more. Maybe take a shower and sign up for Tinder.


BeerAwesome reviews Alewerks Bourbon Barrel Porter!

20150609_015053Alewerks Brewing Co. Bourbon Barrel Porter
22oz Bomber, 9%

Pours dark with a small tan head. Immediate wood smell with dark, roasty malts, yeast, some booze and a dark fruity character. You immediately know you’re in for a ride.

Hops – 2.5 There’s a slight bitterness but not any hop characteristics. This one’s all about dark, roasty, oak-aged goodness.
Malts – 9.4 THATS WHAT BOURBON BARREL PORTER DOES! Comin in hot, this is not for hop heads. I’ll spare the metaphors and similes for now. So malts, yes. They’re here, there and everywhere. And they’re delicious.
Carbonation – 4 It *can* pour a decent head, but it doesn’t feel like Sprite in your mouth.
Character – 9 The malts are abundant, roasty and delicious playing gratuitious host to the welcome guests of fruity flavors, oak barrel finish and slight alcohol.
Palate – 9.2 It’s good. Everything here is working in /s tandem /s unison to create a really nice, dark roasty experience. Trade in your cup of joe for some molasses, booze and oak.
Overall – 9.4 On the other end of the spectrum from the cool “lets you drive his sports car” trendy DIPA uncle is the “gets you hammered from his personal flask at a very young age and is acceptably racist” Bourbon Barrel Porter Grandpa. You wanna sit down with this one and hear its stories, not take it on a night out. Maybe it could use a vanilla finish or a peppery spice to claw its way to those final points but this is a great porter. Much like your favorite show on Netflix, don’t rush your way through this one because the journey is the destination. Enjoy the ride.

Travel pun #48702 goes here.

On the Beer Wench and journalism. MY FIRST NON-REVIEW!

Okay, so up until now you have just expected no-nonsense (or at least relative levels of nonsense) reviews that give the reader a general idea of if they would like it, and what they would encounter. Today, I want to tackle a much grander issue; it’s one in the realm of beer journalism.  Recently there was an attention-garnering post from “The Beer Wench”, who shall remain an unnamed employee of Green Flash (toward whom I bear no animosity).  This isn’t going to be a tirade dissecting their audience-blaming, validation-seeking rant.  Just a commentary on the journalism itself.

Upon opening the link, we are greeted with the title “6 DIRTY LIES MEN SPREAD ABOUT WOMEN AND BEER”.  Immediately, you know it won’t be a completely fair and balanced account of one person’s experiences, but let’s keep going.  Because being offended does not mark the end of the journalistic trail.

The overarching style of the entire entry is that of one blaming “you”, which is really blaming the reader.  I may not have had the most exquisite teachers my entire college career but I did have the pleasure of being under the tutelage of a great English professor who taught us “when you say ‘you’, you automatically insert your reader into that situation.”  So whenever I read a “you,” I – as the reader – assume they mean me.  Let’s take a look at the first paragraph, where we find a violation of this “rule”.  It’s not really a rule, just a way of interpreting and proofing, so that you don’t alienate an audience.  To quote this first paragraph: “I’ve had it up to here with articles written by you (men), presumably targeted to other yous (also men), discussing how to get women to drink beer. Are these articles condescending and offensive? Absolutely! But also, they’re almost always flat-out wrong.”  Immediately you see that it is male-targeted.  It makes a cheap apologetic stance before again condemning men, but offers no real hope or positive light for any male reader up to this point.  As a journalist, reaching out to the beer community, you can’t afford to alienate any large segment of audience.  This is the initial stumble in the article, and we will now exam the rest.

“And as both a member of the va-jay-jay club and someone who sells and writes about beer for a living, my ego thinks that I’m the perfect person to address the fallacies in the most common “how to get your woman to drink beer” argument. Here we go.”  Aside from all the other gender and privilege and whatever arguments could be made, what I take away from this paragraph (which prefaces their entire article) is that “Hi, I’m a genetic woman and now I will school you on each and every genetic woman because I speak for all of them.”  If this is not the case, let me know, it just seems authoritarian to assume one thing or another for the entire female population.

According to the world’s most accessible and editable resource, Wikipedia, “In ancient Mesopotamia, clay tablets indicate that brewing was a fairly well respected occupation during the time, and that the majority of brewers were probably women.[11] Indeed, the brewer’s craft was the only profession in Mesopotamia which derived social sanction and divine protection from female deities/goddesses, specifically: Ninkasi, who covered the production of beer, Siris, who was used in a metonymic way to refer to beer, and Siduri, who covered the enjoyment of beer.”  This is great!  Shouldn’t this be a way of incorporating women and men into the same brewing system that produces what we love?  Instead the writer chooses this to be a pivotal “US vs THEM” point.  That’s not what beer is about, we want everyone to discover and enjoy all of the beers possible.  I don’t care who brewed it first, who was the first patron saint or the overlooking deity, and I definitely don’t care who maintains the tradition.  Tasty beer is tasty beer and should be enjoyed by all.

My second critique comes not in the form of facts or statistics but writing style.  My previously mentioned English teacher taught us all that “when you use ‘you’, it places the reader in the position of the context.”  Essentially, only use “you” when you mean to actually point out specific people or a person.  This article forsakes that in the stead of blaming most of the male population when it espouses: “Lie #2: Women are afraid of beer
The Truth: It’s not us; it’s (probably) you

Yeah, I’m talking to you, Mr. Extreme Beer Geek that spends his days and nights trolling beer pictures on Instagram, desperately searching for every opportunity to belittle and bully all of us bright-eyed and bushy-tailed craft beer cheerleaders because you didn’t get enough love as a child. It’s not our fault that we were born with boobs and get more likes on one beer selfie than you will on hundreds of photos over the course of a year –regardless of how many rare beer pics you post.

Let’s face it, (male) beer fanatics aren’t exactly renowned for having strong social skills and dashing good looks.”  The first thing I want to tackle here is the use of “you.”  When you’re a responsible journalist and you use “you” what you’re doing is placing the reader in that exact moment.  It can be appropriate, but in this situation, what it does is place every reader in the position of a judgmental male beer aficionado that may or may not exist to serve the purpose of belittling a female reader.  Not only is this offensive, but a cheap piece of journalism attributing a failing demographic to every male reader of the article.  Remember: WHEN YOU SAY “YOU,” YOU PUT THE READER IN THAT POSITION.

The next part is just juxtaposition and clickbait so I’ll browse over it with the least amount of words it deserves: “Sure, some chicks might have an irrational fear of beer because they think it’s going to make them fat. And hmmmm, I wonder who’s to blame for that? (Yep, looking at you Beer Belly Man.)”  Yup, an excess of calories (of which beer has more than most liquors) is again men’s fault, even though we can’t get women to drink beer?  Though when they do they immediately get fat because….men?

This next one is essentially the false-equivalency, and what I really just want to attribute to a negative experience leaking through the author’s publication.  ”

Lie #4: Women love fruity sweet shit, so you should start them with beers like that

The Truth: Fruit beers are terrible “gateway beers,” so that makes no sense
I’m not sure when and where this “women only drink fruit and wheat beers” stereotype came to be, but unfortunately I understand the thought process behind it. Obviously, women are the fairer sex and therefore we have delicate palates that cannot handle anything too abrasive or we will melt. Plus, we love, like love, fruity sweet shit. RIGHT?!?!

Don’t get me wrong, I freaking love me a good fruit beer. But calling a fruit beer a gateway beer is like calling an appletini a gateway cocktail. Both are essentially a gateway to nothing. You can’t just jump from super-fruity strawberry shandy to an aggressively bitter double IPA, just like you can’t just jump from a disgustingly sweet cosmo monster variant to a Manhattan.”  Let’s start with just the fruity beer part.  I think everyone knows at least one person (be they female or male) that needs to start with something more palatable.  I can throw the same lack of data out there, but I won’t, I will just say that *IF* someone prefers lighter and fruity beers, let that be their gateway into the craft beer world.  Start from there and lambics, hefeweizens, witbeirs, etc.  There’s nothing wrong with preferring a certain type of beer, and if it happens to be fruity, let that be your entrance.  We’re all here because we love beer. If you find one that you love, let us expand upon that, instead of contributing your taste profile to The Patriarchy©.

Assumptions.  I assume you can read English, and that’s as far as I’m going to get, because other than that, I don’t need to alienate my audience.  Unlike the segment where women like: “Coffee, tea, dark chocolate, red wine, kale, broccoli, olives — all of these are highly awesome bitter things that most women love. And if we can handle coffee and kale, I’m pretty sure we can handle your coffee-like roasted malts and your resin-like hops, thank you very much.”  The author of this previously quoted section also penned the part where women don’t all love fruity beer.  So if women don’t intrinsically like fruity beer and we can’t make the judgment that it is what they would enjoy drinking, what makes the author the supreme authority to say that “most women love,” things like kale and coffee and olives?

THE END:  It appears that the beer community is not immune to both clickbait and personal tirades.  Personally, I just want people to find and enjoy beer that they can love for the rest of their lives.  Whether it’s a woman drinking a raspberry ale or a retired lumberjack drinking a sextuple-hopped DIPA, I want you to find the thing that makes you happy.  Drink the beer that makes you happy, and make memories.

I hope you came away with at least one positive thing here, and as always, drink what you like.  Just don’t tell certain Green Flash employees 😉
Thank you from BeerAwesome.


BeerAwesome reviews Heady Topper

2014-08-25 23.11.26

The Alchemist – Heady Topper DIPA 8%
Pint Can

The instructions on this can are absolutely foolproof: “DRINK FROM THE CAN!” So, I did. Opening the top releases an avalanche of delicious hops right into your nostrils. I can’t comment on how it pours, except into your mouth at a frighteningly easy rate. Make no mistakes, this isn’t out to convert those on the fence about big IPAs. This wants to tenderly pet your tastebuds to death in a Lenny-like fashion. This beer has multiple statements about how it’s best when fresh, and unfortunately I did let this one age a little while. If it’s even better than this when it’s young, I’m jealous of those who got to experience that.

Hops – 8 Yeah. They’re here. Bitter and floral and citrusy and delicious. It’s not like drinking a pine cone, but if you don’t like a bitter brew, stay away.
Malts – 4.5 They’re there in the fact that they do enough to keep some hops in check and to deliver a nice sweet note.
Carbonation – 5.5 It’s smooth and not too bubbly.
Character – 6.5 Look this is simple. A little sweet, and then a bunch of hops. You won’t catch any crazy fruit esters, some wild rare yeast, or delicate notes of whatever. This is a fantastically simple DIPA.
Palate – 9 I love hops, and this is great. There’s no booze taste to it, it’s not too carbonated, and if you like hops half as much, it’ll go down quickly. But not before you have enough time to check out flights to Vermont to score more of this delicious brew. Well done.