29 June 2009

Beer Diary - Matt R

FFF/DogFish Head - PopSkull
Beer Style: Brown Ale
Cost: 12$
Available: One time release

A collaboration brew that was available for purchase on Dark Lord day this year, and I just have not gotten around to drinking one. This is a very big brown ale clocking in at 10% ABV.

This beer poured a very dark chestnut hue with a very minimal head on it. The nose is quite complex. A lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-you's. (Do you know the movie I was watching when I was drinking this?) I get plenty of wood (from DFH), caramel, cocoa, chocolate, and even a touch of vanilla hanging around in the background. The flavor profile matches the nose nicely with main flavors of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, and dark fruits. The carbonation was a bit much for me and I hoped it would be a little more "chewy" on the mouthfeel. This was a big and boozy brown ale, but overall I liked the collaboration between these two brewers.

2007 Deschutes - The Abyss
Beer Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Cost: 10 - 12$
Available: Roating once a year/Winter

I had my first Abyss right after the 2006 version came out and now I am constantly trading for more of this beer, and I would say that this beer is in my top five of all time beers. I served this beer very close to cellar temperature.

This beer pours an impenetrable dark black with a fingers worth of tan head on it. The nose is a wonderful balance of roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruits, molasses, liquid smoke, a touch of the barrel aging, and spicy vanilla. The myriad of scents that float in and out are wonderful. The flavor profile delivers on the nose with the initial sip delivering loads of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, a light oak character, caramelized dark fruit, and some black licorice. The mouthfeel is thick and full but is still very silky. This beer was heavenly, and if we reviewed this beer in an actual roundtable this would get my only 5 mug rating I've ever given. I would love for anything from Deschutes to make it this far East, but I will continue to trade for this as often as I can. If you have any of the 2007 version it is drinking very fine right now.

2009 Two Brothers Hop Juice
Beer Style: Double IPA
Cost: 8 -11$
Available: June 2009 at better liquor stores in Indy

Two Brothers has a release party for this beer, and then you will find it in the stores shortly after the release party. I have enjoyed this beer for the last two years, and now let's see how this years batch stacks up.

This beer pours a glowing amber color with a thick and frothy fingers worth of bone white head on it. The nose came to life upon the pour with big scents of earthy and piney hops on the nose. There is a big toffee scent coming in as well with the citrus punch finally coming to life after the beer warmed for a little bit. The flavor starts with the initial blast of bitter hops. I get pine, ripe grapefruit, orange peel, and grassy undertones. This has a good malt backbone to back up the hops as well. The malt is slightly sweet and has a toasted caramel quality to it as well. This is a very easy to drink DIPA, and I had no problems with a bomber of it. I think the 2009 version of this beer has been my favorite thus far. If you like DIPA's this one is around town right now, and I would recommend picking up a bottle of this one as it is quite fresh and drinking nicely.

Three Floyd's - Apocalypse Cow
Beer Style: Double IPA
Cost: 10.99
Available: Limited, but it is around Indy right now

I picked this one up the day it hit Indy, but waited to drink it for some reason. I love the label art on this one. It is from Dan Grzeca. I am really curious about this beer. It is a double IPA, but they have added lactose sugar to the beer. I also like the fact that I know this beer is fresh.

This pours a rather hazy rustic orange color with a fingers worth of head that left good spotty lacing on my snifter. The citrus takes full force on the nose with plenty of orange, citrus, mango, and passion fruit. This is almost a dead ringer for dreadnaught on the nose. I can keep my nose all day in a pint of dreadnaught, so I am alright with this. The flavor profile is full again of all those citrus and tropical fruit flavors with a sizable sweetness from the caramel malt. The mouthfeel is main difference between this and dreadnaught. The mouthfeel is thick and full, and I would say one of the biggest mouthfeels in a DIPA that I've personally encountered.

You can tell this beer has most of the qualities of dreadnaught, but it has some other differences that I actually liked better than dreadnaught. The mouthfeel was something I've never encountered in a DIPA before and it was most welcomed. I can see how the malt sweetness would be a turnoff for some people, but I like the big malt sweetness balancing out the hop profile.

A keg of this will be tapped downtown at BW3's on Thursday July 2nd.

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