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What Was the Last Beer You Drank?


robbalvey
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Some goodies from Heath arrived today, so look for those coming up in the next couple weeks.

 

My uncle and I planted the hop roots in my backyard today, after receiving them in the mail yesterday. Speaking of my uncle, I was over at his place yesterday and we had a few beers while watching Planet Terror, that movie was nuts...

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And the final product, one cylinder for the centennials, and one for the horizons. Hopefully these guys will do okay their first year and I can make a wet hopped IPA come fall harvest.

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Here's a close up of the centennial variety planted in the ground...

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I'll just watch while he does all the work...

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It's rhizome planting time! I ordered these guys from MoreBeer, the place where I got the rest of my Homebrew stuff. My uncle is a gardener in the neighborhood so this works out great...

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Such a different IPA, god I love the malt backbone in this thing. Perhaps the best malt backbone of any IPA i've tried. Extremely caramel/butterscotch notes are followed by some piney hops.

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Ewww, it's all blurry! How'd that happen?!?!

Stupid camera shutter has a mind of its own I swear. But yeah, I'd revisit Drake's IPA...

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Nice head with good carbonation and no signs of oxidation either. I am pretty sure the flavor was a lot more noticable than the last time I had this, and it ended with a NICE chocolate flavor that I don't remember. I liked this a lot better than the last Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout I had... Props to Anderson Valley.

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My uncle found Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout in a sixpack at the local liquor store, way in the back of the cooler. It has probably been in there for a couple years or something, seriously.

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Overall pretty good stuff. Extremely floral qualities in the aroma and the flavor. It's really raw hop flavor that reminded me a bit of Kill Ugly Radio, just not as good. I'd be curious to know which hops they use in the making of this one.

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Surprisingly this is my first time having it. I always see it around but have grabbed the other stuff. Lagunitas Maximus IPA, 7.5%

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A couple of days worth of drinking to catch up on.

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and then for some stacking fun while we finish up, until next time we're up in the area, when Knoebels is opened!!

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Not too sour, and with lots of cinnamon and spices as well as cherries

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Then, time for us men to join in on the Phoenix Kriek with two of our own

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Ooops, he accidentally got the Olde Frosty, this is the real River Piraat. Much less hoppy, much more Belgiany

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While Heath decided to try the new River Piraat, a Belgian Pale Aleish tripel, looks pretty dark though, and smells hoppy!

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Kim went with the same thing, without any hesitation

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Nicole went with the Phoenix Kriek, nice and tart with good cherry flavor

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First up for me, Olde Frosty IPA, loaded with pine flavor

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This is probably the most stuff I've ever seen on tap at once here, especially on a Sunday!

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Selin's Grove Brewing, it's been too long!

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Sunday it was time to head back to one of our favorite places

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and as we were leaving, I had to pick up a bottle of something here to enjoy later this week

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and finally, what may end up being the last chance I have this year for some HopSlam on tap

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Lots of great flavors in this, really lite, crisp, and hoppy

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Next up, the long awaited Victory Kolsch, must've been hidden since last summer

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A look at the tap for the Spring Fling, ooh la la!

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First up, Blue Point's Spring Fling Rye IPA, a nice Spring IPA, not overly pined out, but with some good mild hop flavors

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Lots of great stuff on tap, as usual

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Saturday after taking a walk we decided to head over to Union Jacks again to see what was left from the prior week's Hopfest

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But since Knoebels isn't opened yet, we decided to stop off and see how Fahrenheit is coming along.

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a beer from the other day, and one from tonight

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At 12% this one is a heavy beer, but the color is fairly light in color. Lots of sediments floating around, and the alcohol makes its presence known. The malts accompany the bite with smooth sweetness and this beer really makes sure your night is over. De Dolle is really awesome.

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I haven't been feeling too well today, so I figured one of my favorite beers may cheer me up... Still Nacht, a strong belgian dark from De Dolle

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Typical barleywine.. heavy and thick, full of malt and dark fruit flavors with alcohol that prepares you for bed. Good stuff!

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First up, Old Horizontal from Victory, an American-style barleywine

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I took a bunch of pics last week but never bothered to post anything.

 

I thought I'd remedy that by getting back into the "Best of BA" theme that I started a few weeks ago. Hopefully I'll keep this one going over the next couple of weeks.

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Hell yeah it does! Actually the hops naturally didn't taste the freshest but the big piney nature of this guy still got to shine and was backed a huge, beefy backbone of malt and heat. This really started to get into American Barleywine territory as it warmed. I love DIPAs with a big ole' set of balls and this guy definitely had a pair. Good stuff!

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So we'll start things out with #76 on the list. The Goose Island Imperial IPA. This is normally a fall release, so this bottle's got about 6 months or so on it. Would it hold up?

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Another work week, another good time as any for a themed beer week. This week, we're drinking some of Beer Advocate's Best Beers on Planet Earth, focusing on the internationals this time around.

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I'm not normally a big fan of Belgians, but wow! Really flavorful, sweet maple sugar, dark fruits, molasses, nuts, chocolate, clove, butter, apples, and a nice alcohol warmth. Good stuff indeed!

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Surprisingly, new to me is #45 on the list, Trappistes Rochefort 8, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale from Brasserie de Rochefort coming in at 9.2%ABV

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The Best of BA continues with OMG....An Imperial Stout? I'm shocked!

 

Actually, this is IMO (along with North Coast Old Rasputin and Storm King) one of the best value for the dollar beers you can get out there (a six pack is like $9-10).

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And this is just a solid Imperial Stout! Packed with tons of roasted malt bitterness, chocolate and caramel sweetness, and a little spank of heat to make sure your awake. It's not quite a top tier RIS but watch out guys, this doggy's still got lots of bite!

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They actually just reformulated this recently. I haven't had a bottle in over a year, so it's hard to say what exactly is different besides the higher ABV (it went from 9.0-9.7%). It did seem a little more hoppy than I remembered last.

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Coming in at #85, it's the Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing out of Ohio.

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Tonight's submission is currently #19 in the world according to BA, one of the first Belgian ales I've had.

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and I can see why he likes it. Sweetness, yeasty bread, dark fruits, clove and other spices, a hint of citrus, and a nice alcohol warmth with a nice smoothness and a good effervescent carbonation. A really good Belgian, and being a big bottle that I've been cellaring since 2006 makes it even better!

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St. Bernardus ABT 12, 10%ABV. One of Joe's favorites, being a Quad and all

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Ah, I left Philly only to find myself needing to work 60 hours this week. Ugh.

 

I guess that means beer!

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Just slightly hoppy. That's a hop level I can handle!

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Speaking of spring (see that was an awesome segue), here's Sierra Nevada's ESB.

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Nice and sweet. Perfect for spring......hey, where the hell is spring?

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You may laugh at my love for Lakefront, but Capital is taken over. Here's their Maibock.

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Quite honestly one of the finest red ales I've had.

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This from St. Patty's Day. O'hara's Irish Red.

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^^ You guys and your best of BA! Mmm, St. Bernardus Abt 12... Hey Matt, Sierra Nevada's ESB is damn good isn't it?

 

We'll start from saturday over at the uncles and progress to last night, since I've been having something new every night because this is the most beer I've ever had from my trip to BevMo a while back, my homebrew, my trip to Monument, and the shipment from Heath. Lots of goodies to be had but I'm trying to pace myself as best as possible.

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Pretty yummy beer. Started off a bit one dimensional for me in an earthy, spicy, funky saison kinda way, and then transformed as it warmed with some nice green raisin, green apple tart flavors with a little pineapple and bread in there too with alcohol presence letting itself be known throughout. Pretty dang good overall, can't wait to try my other Lost Abbey's.

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Lost Abbey's Avant Garde Ale. I think this is my first Biere de Garde, as well as my first offering from The Lost Abbey. 7% ABV and this wine bottle is all to myself!

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Pretty nutty, with some sweet toasted malt flavors and background smoke. A little bit of pine/citrus at the end but just barely. One of the better brown ales I've had so far, even if it did border on being a porter.

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Bear Republic's Tribute Brown Ale. Pretty dark for a brown ale, borderline porter color. This was brewed in rememberance of their Sales Manager, Peter Brown.

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Oh no it's molten lava, run for the hills! Actually, it's just the impressive coal base left from the tons of wood we burned that night.

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Smells like... Pine, pine, and more pine, with a side of spruce. This is perhaps the best beer I've ever smelled, but elder pliny is up there too. The flavor was good too, nice spruce and pine, but I must admit I was expecting a stronger red back bone which seemed to be lacking a bit to balance it out. Thanks Heath!

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I've waited a long time to try this one, my uncle is lucky I agreed to share it with him! Troegs Nugget Nectar, from the recent trade.

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The fire we sat by on saturday, it was raining on friday so we had to get out there and have a fire on saturday instead.

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Very thick and syrupy, and done in the classic English style with pretty much no hop presence but tons of bready dark fruit sweetness and alcohol. It's no Old Foghorn though.

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Next up was something I found over at Monument and had to pick up since my Uncle likes Mendocino brewing so much and I like it too. Talon is a barleywine at 10.5%

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Tastes the same as last week. Still decent stuff but I don't know what's with that flavor. I'll have to just take it to the LHBS (Local Homebrew Shop) to have the manager taste it and hopefully give me some insight. I'll remember my camera next time too, I promise!

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More of my porter would be had on saturday. I was hoping the raw hop/veggie flavor would be mellowed out this week, after beind assured by the BA homebrew forum that it probably is underdeveloped as opposed to the trub creating this flavor.

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a couple beers today...

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And... it was ok. Pretty low-tiered doppelbock. Very sweet and chewy-like, the drinkability is good, but its just not quite as pure joy as the bottles of Sam Adams and Ayinger that it was sitting next to in the fridge.

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Currently, I'm drinking Bell's Consecrator doppelbock. ::insert laughing at Matt comment::

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It was pretty good! The citrusy hops were strong, but there was some subtle malt sweetness that kept trying to break through. The hops still dominated in this great IPA

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First up, Victory Hop Wallop, their double IPA

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^Nice choices, Joe. A good segway into my next Top BA beer, #35 the Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock!

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Fantastic stuff, lots of molasses sweetness with a touch of cocoa, dark fruits, roasted malt, and a nice mildly bitter finish combined with some nice alcohol warmth

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All the way from Germany comes this fine double bock brew, the Celebrator

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The "Best of BA" continues, this time with something from the Top 10. I was going to go a lot, LOT higher tonight but we'll save that for a more appropriate time.

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Wow! This stuff is awesome! Just a heavenly mix of eye opening dark coffee notes and chocolate sweetness enveloped in an embrace of bourbon, vanilla and oak. Fantastic stuff!

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This is probably one of my favorite bottle labels too, looking like an old bottle of Snake Oil Tonic or something.

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Currently sitting at #7 on the list, it's a fresh bottle from this year's always highly anticipated release by Founder's of their Kentucky Breakfast Stout. This is a formulation of their regular Breakfast Stout that is then aged in bourbon oak barrels for over a year.

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Tonight's beverage, another top 100 BA brew from our International buddies, brings us all the way to #10 in the world.

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At first sip I didn't care for it, too much alcohol taste at 11.3%, but as it warmed up more flavors came out, making it taste better. Lots of spiced fruit characteristics along with maltiness and alcohol warmth.

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Trappistes Rochefort 10, a Quadrupel ale from Belgium's Brasserie de Rochefort

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^ I like 8 a lot better, always wondered why 10 is rated higher.

 

I have a couple to post from the last two nights.

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Oh yeah! It was good stuff for sure. Mellow for Russian River perhaps but I expected that from a blonde ale. Good amount of saison like funk balanced out by some cool sweet tropical fruits and a little bit of tart green apple in the finish. Finishes dry and smells great all the way through.

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My first Russian River from a bottle, Redemption Blonde Ale, no brett in batch 003. ABV 6.01%

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I lost half the beer to gushing after 20-25 minutes. And like the other Marin/Moylan's gushers I've had, it smelled terribly inky and tasted the same, had to drain pour, so annoying! Cracked open an Alaskan IPA to wash down the ink.

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Oh no, my first offering from Hair of the Dog and one I was really excited about trying... Blue Dot Imperial IPA was a gusher, noooo!!! And gush it did... I'm really surprised the bottle didn't burst with this kind of pressure.

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Uh oh, what happened here...

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^I think the 8 is definitely more drinkable and flavorful from the start, but the 10 is a totally different beast with lots of fruit flavors all over the place, as well as some chocolate and sweet bread. Definitely more alcohol taste in the 10, meaning less desire to want to drink this as well as something else, but I can see how it got its rating with all those crazy flavors that come out, and none of them ruining the palate.

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I woke up super early this morning.. so I had a beer to help me get back to sleep

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Though it was not cheap, it delivered a great taste, one of the best dubbels I have had. Heavy and malty with typical dark fruits and candy-like sweetness, this was a great find.

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The Ølfabrikken Abbey Ale, a Belgian style dubbel from Denmark. Only 4 reviews on BA, yet I've seen this in several stores, what gives?

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Tonight, I had an Amber Bock at dinner (it was better than I expected, plus it was with Rich and Mel ) so I made up for it when I got home with an offering from Weyerbacher

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This one was quite interesting! It didn't have the same strong bourbon/whiskey character that Insanity had, but it did have a very strong taste and aroma of sour apple, like some jolly ranchers were dropped in. If Monks Flemish sour was more like this I would be more inclined to try more sour beers, because I actually liked the taste. Not quite as yeasty or spiced as other tripels, but I see some sediment floating around the bottom that I will get to later... a good beer overall, but very thick in alcohol so this will say goodnight

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Prophecy, their barrel-aged Tripel, my first Weyerbacher belgian-styled beer

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I just wanted to get up Friday night's pics before Derek put up the rest of the ones from this past weekend's VA adventures.

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And we both agreed that it was very, very good. Top 15 in the world good? We weren't so sure but it was hard to ignore it eye-opening, heavy mix of coffee, chocolate, and a very prominent dose of anise. All that and incredibly drinkable too. Sinning never felt so good!

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Another shot of the label, since the last pic was a little blurry. I've been dying to try this one since we visited the brewpub last summer.

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Finally, we end with something that fits in with both of our Best of BA themes of the week. The #13 ranked beer in the world. The Peche Mortel (Original Sin) Imperial Coffee Stout from the Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel in Quebec. A limited amount of this has made it's way into PA and Derek grabbed us a bottle at Union Jacks earlier in the week.

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And this was decent. A fresh taste of Simcoe and Amarillo hops but the hoppiness just seemed tame compared to the CoHoHo. It was still very creamy and drinkable though.

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And because we're on the eve of a VA trip, I've got to bust out a VA beer for us. This times it's Legend's 2008 release of their Hopfest Ale. This one was brewed in celebration of their 14th Anniversary.

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This had that fantastic piney West Coast feel to it was the malt profile was a little thin for a Double. It felt more like a super-resinous Red Ale at times. Make no mistake though, this was still darn tasty! Look for more from these guys sometime soon down the line.

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A shot of the cool label. A friend of the brewery does the artwork for many of their beers and they are quite flashy and unique.

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For this special pre-trip version of Friday Night Pints, I decided to bust out something special from Alaska that was part of a big trade from last January. CoHoHo, from Midnight Sun Brewing out of Anchorage, this is their holiday release DIPA.

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The season has finally begun, meaning we get to throw some roller coaster rides into the mix with our beer drinking. Time for a weekend update from Virginia.

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While I chose to go with the alehouse exclusive Alehouse 75, a mix of the 60 Minute IPA and the 90 Minute. Best of both worlds in this one!

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Heath went with the 90 Minute Imperial IPA, probably the East Coast's best. Lots of sweetness, grapefruit, and just enough alcohol warmth

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Kim chose to go with the Aprihop since it's Spring time. Light and fruity but with some nice hop kick

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The atmosphere reminded me of an Unos, but with lots of Dogfish merch and artwork scattered around

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Mostly all of Dogfish Head's current selections are here on draft

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Luckily we were planning on heading to one of the Dogfish Head Alehouses on the way home, in Falls Church, VA

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Today, after a rainy cold day at King's Dominion, we needed some warmth

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as for us guys, our dessert was Left Hand Warrior IPA and Avery's The Czar Imperial Stout

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For dessert the girls decided on Lambosas, an Ale House specialty consisting of Lindemans mixed with sparkling wine and such; Cassis for Kim and Framboise for Nicole

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Heath and Kim went with a Cask Pale Ale from Starr Hill and Red Nectar Ale from Humboldt

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complete with a perfect lemon

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Luckily we picked up on it lacking the characteristics of a hefe and compared it with a sample of the stuff, and they brought me the proper stuff

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But we were here for dinner, so we sat at a booth. Nicole enjoyed a new batch of Bell's Oberon while I ordered a Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, #38 on BA's top beers of the world. Except this was a Bitburger Premium Pils they poured me by mistake

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Great stuff on tap, and I just love the long bar complete with ice shelf

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After finishing off at Busch Gardens, Team Extreme decided to head to Capital Ale House, which conveniently was right next door to our hotel

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Blech! This sample was more than enough for me. I feel sorry for Mark though, who decided to get 24 oz of it at Grogans!

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Also fairly new to the scene is the Chelada, a Bloody Mary type mix of Clam Juice, Tomato Juice, and Budweiser

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I also tried the Shock Top, which used to be called the Spring Heat Spiced Wheat when it was their Spring seasonal. Now it's full time, and it's probably their tastiest brew

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Wild Blue is next for me, a Blueberry Lager.

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Dave shows off his Ecto Cooler AKA Tilt

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My first sample would be the Sun Dog Amber Wheat, Anheuser Busch's new Spring seasonal. Not bad stuff

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It was a whole big BACT summit and we took up 2 tables. Mark, Amanda, and Dave enjoy the smell of their Skip Jack Ambers

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New stuff from last time, good way to earn some more tasting credits without having to buy the stuff only to discover it's not good

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After a fun (yet sometimes wet) morning and afternoon, it was time to enjoy some free brews!

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What a better place to start out the official season than a theme park built by a brewery! BACT at BGE '08

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Some beer photos from a few days in Florida last week...

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Happy hour at IOA! I was boring at got Sun Dog again, since I really liked it at BG.

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Fun times at the Rose and Crown Pub. I got a Snake Bite drink, a cider/beer combo, which was awesome!

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Over at Epcot, I tried Tecate and Sol at the San Angel Inn. They were ok.

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Later on I got a Bare Knuckle and Budweiser combo. Pretty good.

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I tried the Sun Dog first, which I liked quite a bit.

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Waiting for free beer.

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First stop was the Hospitality House at Busch Gardens Africa.

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^ Wow, both Hospitality Houses at each respective Busch Gardens were hit this weekend by the beer thread! I am very jealous I've been to BGE but I was only like 19, it was still an awesome park in my opinion. I've never been to BGA though, and I hear it's even better than BGE, at least as far as rides go? But maybe Griffon balanced them out a bit, I dunno!

 

^^ Hi Rick! Does your friend plan on getting any playoff tickets for the Sharks? I think they have the team to go for the cup this year. Also, did you watch Big Joe on TV drop the gloves in Dallas? He doesn't fight much, but I was happy he did, because he absolutely destroyed Steve Ott, who I abhor.

 

Here's a link to the fight.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzYZ4CpO7Pg

 

^^^ Whatever happened to that bottle of Mikkeller Black Derek?

 

I was at a friend's Bday party on saturday, so I only drank beer on Friday night over at my uncle's, but I've been having some stuff at home too that I will also post.

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The main reason I wanted to try it was because I was wondering about the simcoe variety itself, whereas I've only had it in a mixture before this. It's quite a spicy variety, which I did expect. This was pretty good, and the malt backbone is solid. Alcohol is present the whole way through. I'd give it a 7/10. I actually think if I were to use one single hop variety in an IPA this one might be last on my list. Adds nice spicy complexities when used with other hops that have more well rounded characteristics. Thanks for my first Weyerbacher Heath!

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And last night I had Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe IPA. My first brew from Weyerbacher and one that has been on my want list for a while. 9.0% ABV.

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Mmmm, that's great stuff indeed. It looks kind of scary though because there is a massive amount of sediment floating around, more than any other beer I've had. The flavors are nice and hoppy and complex. The malt backbone is still there though.

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And I saved the best for last, as I did not want to annihilate our palates before the other more mellow beers, my second bottle of Pizza Port's Hop 15, which I thought I would be trading, but apparently it's all mine, Muahahha! Ranked #62 on the Best of BA.

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My uncle absolutely loved it, which surprised me a bit. Recently I have started to figure out that he likes beers with a thin mouthfeel, but big flavor. This would fit under that category for sure, with awesome dark fruit flavors coming out and a refreshing feel to it.

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New Belgium's 1554 Black Ale. I had this in a bomber recently on my own, but my uncle hadn't tried it yet.

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It was acceptable, probably the most mellow ESB I've had to date, as it seemed a little watery at times, but did have that nice Maris Otter taste that I adore.

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We'd follow that up with a Red Hook ESB, which has somehow escaped the grasp of my Uncle and I until tonight.

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A good opener beer to start off the night with. The flavor didn't knock me off my feet or anything, but the balance was really nice.

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Continuing on to Friday, my uncle picked up a create your own six pack over at World Market, which is a pretty cool store. One of the six he picked up was Firestone's Double Barrel Ale. It's an amber ale that I've not yet tried.

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I was a little skeptical at first when I saw it was brewed with honey, since the honey flavor has overpowered other beers I've had, but this added just the perfect touch of honey sweetness that brings together the malt backbone with the pungeant piney hops. I LOVED this beer. Also, the alcohol doesn't really come through at all. A really amazing DIPA, and the 2nd best I've had (1st will remain with pliny) Thanks for the Bell's Heath! *Laughs at Matt*

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My first offering from Bell's, and from what I understand it's a good one. #27 on the Best of BA weighing in at 9.3%, Hopslam!

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