#12 – Sixpoint Brewery “Hi-Res”

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Tom’s Beer #12 is Sixpoint’s “Hi-Res”. I hope you get to pick this one up. Harkening back to Spinal Tap, this beer “goes to 11” both figuratively and literally (it’s a theme of the beer).

This is a scary beer, for a few reasons. I love it, and I’ll tell you why it’s scary in a minute. First comes some basic info.

This beer runs at 111 IBU, and the first sip really brings that out after a couple of seconds. It’s 11 SRM, so a deep amber. It also is 11.1% ABV, and that is the scary part.

When you first sip, you get the sweetness of the malt, then all of a sudden you get a hop bomb all over your tongue. This beer has a crazy amount of bittering/flavor hops, but you don’t get that in the smell almost at all. As it heads down the throat, you get a little bit of the ABV burn, but it’s hidden well. So well that you could drink this beer very rapidly, and a lot of it. The fact that this is such a smooth beer at 11.1% ABV is incredible.

I highly recommend you get this beer if you can find it, and are a hop fan. It’s a seasonal beer, so get it while you can. Overall 4.5/5.

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#11 – Smuttynose “Durty: Mud Season (2014)”

This is a fun beer to review. It was released originally as Short Batch #18, and has graduated into a spring seasonal. This is a “durty” brown ale, that’s hopped like a Double IPA. It runs at 8.4% ABV, and 97 IBU.

It pours dark reddish-brown, with a light brown head that doesn’t stick around but does lace well.

The smell is very clean, leaning much more toward hoppy than brown.

The taste is all hops, with the malt sneaking in later. According to Smutty, the hops used are “Bittering-Magnum, Flavor- Nugget, Dry Hop- CTZ and Chinook” while the malt is “North American 2-Row, Munich 10L, Chocolate, C-60, Brown Malt” with White Labs WLP-001 American Ale yeast. This is a very complex taste that you really don’t expect from a brown ale. Everything bounces around, and you get lots of flavors all over the tongue and all throughout the drinking process.

This is a beer that I feel like I really deserved today, after shoveling my driveway out. It started shipping in January (my bottle said best by 6/6/2014). Distribution is obviously limited, so pick one up while you can.

I give this one a 4/5. A very good hop-forward brown ale. The hops are very well-balanced against the malt, and the ABV is very subtle. It definitely mellows out as it warms.

ME #1 – Victory Brewing – Dirtwolf

DirtWolf

Available year round / 8.7 ABV / IBU (Not listed, but guessing right in the 65-75 Range) / 12 oz. Bottle

Poured easy into a 12 oz beer mug, ended up with about ¼” of white head that lasted about two minutes. The body was golden-yellow, bright, and clear. The beer looks like it has a fairly thin body, but I don’t think Victory aspired to achieve anything close to balance here…this beer is clearly about the hops. In fact, American hops crush your nose from the time you pop the crown. At first, there is some subtle underlying pine scent, but the big ones are grapefruit and citrus. Clearly, this is a moderate-heavily hopped beer, but is still less than that overwhelming dank bitterness you get in some DIPA’s. The citrus flavors help to keep this bitter beast palatable and the carbonation is medium, which compliments the medium bodied mouth feel, making this easy to drink. You are left with the pine and grapefruit after you drink, which subsides when you get the blast of citrus in your nose while moving towards your next taste.  Overall, this is an enjoyable DIPA that I would drink again. I was expecting a bit more from it based on what I have heard from others. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this brew.  It is a very, very good beer, just slightly more towards a “common” DIPA than I would have liked. On the Rate Beer scale: Appearance: 5/5 Aroma: 9/10 Palate: 4/5 Flavor: 7/10 Overall 18/20

Feel free to contact me if you have a recommendation for a beer you think we should review: michael.p.earner@gmail.com.

If you’ve had Dirtwolf, please share your thoughts in our poll.

Seacoast Craft Beer Reviews: Russian River Pliny the Elder

While I had to wait a month from the bottle date, this was everything that it was supposed to be. Up until last night, this was one of my many “white whale” beers (beers that you hunt for but can never get, either due to rarity or distance from distribution or quality).

From Ratebeer:

Pliny the Elder was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer, and writer. Although not considered his most important work, Pliny and his contemporaries created the botanical name for hops, “lupus Salictarius”, meaning wolf among scrubs.” Hops at that time grew wild among willows, much like a wolf in the forest. Later the current botanical name, humulus Lupulus, was adopted. Pliny died in 79 AD while observing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was immortalized by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, who continued his uncle’s legacy by documenting much of what he observed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pliny the Elder, the beer, is brewed with 40% more malt and over twice the amount of hops as compared to our already hoppy IPA.

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