Bo & Luke Stout Against the Grain Just some good 'ol boys

Bo & Luke Stout, Against the Grain. An Imperial Stout made with smoked Corn, Rye and Barley aged in used Pappy VanWinkle Bourbon Barrels

(C) 2017 popsonhops.com

Bo & Luke Stout

Tasting: October 6, 2017
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 13%
Beer #: 1,100

Originally an Against the Grain Brewery and Brouwerij De Molen collaboration beer. Here’s how the Against the Grain describes Bo & Luke Stout:

We took the ingredients in bourbon whiskey (Barley, Rye, Corn) and then smoked them with cherry wood and brewed a huge imperial stout with them. Then to top it off we aged it in Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels. The resulting beer is rich, smokey and complex, with a bourbon character of caramel, vanilla and spice.

Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Here we are at beer number 1,100.

Very active carbonation, bubbles out of the bottle and no matter how careful I pour, it leaves a very active khaki-colored head. Even my first few sips are fizzy.

First flavor impression is a lot of peat and damp moss flavor. I assume whiskey influence here. Some cherries, smokey. Unique flavor for sure. Not your typical imperial stout. I’m not getting any of the advertised caramel, vanilla or even spice. A bit of a let down for me, but still interesting enough to call it at 89 points.

As I usually do, here are some of my milestone beers…

Beer # 1,000 The Bruery Black Tuesday
Beer # 900 Goose Island Cherry Rye
Beer # 800 DeStruise Black Albert
Beer # 700 Three Floyds Dark Lord
Beer # 600 Alesmith Speedway Stout
Beer # 500 Fifty-Fifty Elijiah Craig Esclipse
Beer #400 Founders Bolt Cutter
Beer # 300 Mother Earth Trippel Overhead
Beer # 200 Theakston XB
Beer # 100 Sierra Nevada Beer Camp # 37
Beer # 1 Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

October 6, 2017 is beer # 1,100 and 342 days since #1,000
October 29, 2016 is beer # 1,000 and 225 days since # 900
March 18, 2016 is beer # 900 and 172 days since # 800
September 29, 2015 is beer # 800 and 228 days since # 700
February 14, 2015 is beer # 700 and 163 days since # 600
September 5, 2014 beer # 600 and 300 days since # 500
November 9, 2013 was beer #500 and 340 days since # 400
December 4, 2012 was beer # 400 and 182 days since # 300
June 5, 2012 was beer # 300 and 195 days since # 200
November 23, 2011 was beer # 200 and 134 days since # 100
July 12, 2011 was beer # 100 and 244 days since # 1
November 10 2010, was beer # 1

How about another beer from Against the Grain?

Love the label art? Visit the website of the artist, Robby Davis.

And lastly, visit the brewery website here.

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Jigsaw Jazz by Fort Hill Brewery Is it a masterpiece or muzak?

Jigsaw Jazz Ameican Double/ Imperial IPA by Fort Hill Brewery Southhampton, MA

(C) 2017 popsonhops.com

Jigsaw Jazz

Tasting: June 18, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,091
ABV: 9.3%

Even though our coolers would be packed to the gills with goodies from both Trillium and Tree House, my friend and I could not resist a stop at Yankee Beverage in Sturbridge to investigate some of the local “shelfies”. It’s like a treasure hunt, but this time there weren’t any rare gems to be found in a sea of unfamiliar labels. Since Jigsaw Jazz was recommended to my friend before our trip, we each bought a six-pack of twelve-ounce cans.

A little odd this one. The first sip is of clove and cracked black pepper. Opens up to a tropical fruit IPA complete with grape juice and melon. Alcohol is wonderfully concealed. I’ll also say I expected a pretty big sweet malt base to support the ABV but it isn’t overly sweet. Not a fan of the upfront spices but overall, Jigsaw Jazz is a well-executed beer, 89 points.

Visit the brewery’s website

How about another Belgian-influenced IPA?

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Tree Bucket, Hair Raiser, DCBC1 and more Brewmaster Jack, Hoppiness is a Warm Pun.

Tasting: November 14, 2016
Style: Belgian-style hybrid IPA
Beer #: 1,087
ABV: 9.3%

Brewery Vivant
Tree Bucket

This can was a gift from a friend. Overall, I’d call it interestingly unique. Tree Bucket has a strong Belgian influence of clove and spice but fairly complimentary pairing to the grassy and lemon hops. I like it mostly for its change of pace. Interesting and well-done execution of a hybrid style, 88 points.

Visit the Brewery Vivant Website

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Tasting: May 28, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,088
ABV:8.2%

Brewmaster Jack
Hoppiness is a Warm Pun

I’m a sucker for suggestions from beer clerks and this single can came as a suggestion while buying some SingleCut in Warwick, NY. Up front, I get some potent lime with some minor tangerine and biscuit, cereal grains. Some sugary syrup and a little boozy astringency. Not bad, but wouldn’t seek out again 87 points.

Visit Brewmaster Jack Website

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Tasting: July 30, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,089
ABV: 8.0%

Exhibit A
Hair Raiser

Pours very clear rich amber color. Has herbal, clove and black pepper up front. Takes some time to acclimate. Does balance with some melon sweetness. Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy. Hops offer some mild citrus. All-in-all, well-balanced beer. 90 points.

Visit “Exhibit A” Website

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Tasting: August 27, 2017
Style: Bourbon-barrel aged Imperial Brown Ale
Beer #:1,090
ABV: 10.5%

Dark City
DCBC 1

Usually, bourbon-barrel aging will lend complimentary flavors of vanilla, oak, earthy woodsiness. This influence in this can of DCBC 1 is far from complimentary as these may be the only flavors. Oh, maybe some booziness to boot. Almost like they left a little too much bourbon at the bottom of the barrel (wink-wink). Luckily, I like bourbon influence enough to give DCBC 1 a score of 88 points.

Dark City
DCBC1

Visit Dark City Website

How about some more odds and ends?

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Equilibrium Fractal Citra Galaxy Hoptimization & Photon Citrus as well

Equilibrium Fractal Citra Galaxy

Tasting: July 17, 2017
Style: American Pale Ale
Beer #: 1,079
ABV: 6.8%

Equilibrium Brewing, Fractal Citra Galaxy Middletown, NY

(C) 2017 popsonhops

This was an unexpected excursion on a hot summer afternoon. After dropping the boys off at Boy Scout camp my wife suggested that we check out some local hiking trails in the Dingman’s Ferry area. She knew I’d be tepid about the idea so she threw in, “Maybe we can hit a brewery in the area.” When Equilibrium popped up as a “brewery near me”, I was all in. After sweating my butt off for a few hours, we raced to the brewery in Middletown, NY in an attempt to make the growler fill deadline. As you can see, we made it and had a couple other beers just for unwinding.

If you go to Equilibrium Brewing.

The brewery seems centrally located and is across from the police station on Henry Street (be careful on your intake bruh). Ample parking on the silo side of the brewery. In the cooling down period of a summer evening, the garage door of the tasting room was wide open and the pleasant breeze washed away my sweaty afternoon. While growler fills ended at 6 p.m. on that Sunday, the tasting room remained open until 10 p.m. For hours, visit the brewery website.

They do serve food and we decided to stay for dinner. I’ll sum up our dining experience by saying the food was excellent but the service was painfully slow. So slow, they offered to comp our appetizer but in the end, they forgot the discount part (oh well). That was a minor ding on the overall experience.

Equilibrium Fractal Citra Galaxy.

Anyway, this blog is about beer not food service and onto the main event, Equilibrium Fractal Citra Galaxy. One of the definitions of a fractal is an object that displays self-similarity. Think of cutting snowflakes out of paper. In the case of this beer from Equilibrium, I believe a fractal applies to the base recipe as the similarity and the different hops as what makes it unique. There is are other hop versions of this beer and was thrilled that my timing included one of my favorites – Galaxy.

Equilibrium Fractal Citra Galaxy, Hoptimization, Photon Citrus

(C) popsonhops

Lighter straw color white wine grapes, fleshy orange, pithy and crisp dry finish. Really nice, 94 points.

Equilibrium Hoptimization:

Tasting: July 17, 2017
Style: American Double IPA
Beer #: 1,080
ABV: 8.5%

A hazy and beautiful looking beer. Wonderful up front with juicy orange, mango, and strawberry. Finish is a bit clunky acrid. Doesn’t detract, 92 points.

Equilibrium Photon Citrus:

Tasting: July 17, 2017
Style: American Pale Ale
Beer #: 1,081
ABV: 4.8%

I was caught a little off guard with Photon Citrus. My first sips were of ripe with banana and clove that I would associate with a farmhouse style. Took a while to acclimate to some pepper, grassy and citrus rind qualities of a pale ale. Very refreshing 88 points.

If you go with non-craft beer friends, they can go to the bar next door, Players for a Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Players, The bar next door to Equilibrium Brewing

(C) popsonhops

 

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