Tropical Cream Pop IPA, Bolero Snort Tropical?

Bolero Snort TVB Tropical Cream Pop IPA

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Tropical Cream Pop
Tasting: September 16, 2017
Style: IPA with mango, pineapple, milk sugar and vanilla
Beer #: 1,094
ABV: 6.3%

Tropical. Aaah. Makes me think of a mid-winter retreat to my favorite Caribbean destination, Grand Cayman. Pardon me while I have a sensory memory of deplaning via the rolling staircase. The hot and humid air is intensified and stirred up by the whirring jet engines. An instant lather of sweat wells up as I haul my luggage to the car rental office across the street. Last year, it was so hot, the wheels on my luggage melted (yes, really). My thickened New Jersey blood needs a week of tropical rum punch and lawnmower beer to help me acclimate.

Okay, daydream over. Let’s pour a beer. This can’s label indicates that this IPA is made with mango, pineapple, milk sugar, and vanilla. Unfortunately, I don’t get any of these flavors. Way off the mark here. Has a mild throat burn and a clunky bitterness. A bit too  too much in the way of lime or citrus rind. No juiciness whatsoever. Tropical Cream pop may have a couple moments when it’s tolerable but the false palate readings don’t help. 83 points, yikes.

The Orange Cream Pop was a bit better

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Kowabunga Kolsch brewed by Bolero Snort What's a Kolsch?

Kowabunga Kolsch by Bolero Snort Brewing

(C) 2016 popsonhops

Kowabunga Kolsch
Tasting: July 24, 2016
Style: Kolsch
Beer # 1,086
ABV: 4.5%

A friend asked me why the beer style is called “pale ale” when in fact, it isn’t really all that pale and actually darker than many other styles. My explanation was that pre-19th-century beer came in three styles: dark, darker and darkest. In the late 19th century, the beer universe somewhat shifted to lighter-flavored and lighter-colored beer. It was lighter than their contemporaries and many regions in Europe introduced their own version of this lighter style. England gave us the familiar pale ale and Czechoslovakia introduced pilsners. The regions of Germany also introduced their own answers to lighter beers. There was Dortmunder from northern Germany, Helles in Bavaria and Kolsch from the city of Cologne.

Kolsch is clear while Weiss beer described as a cloudy version of Kolsch. Kolsch is made with traditional hops like Hallertau and is typically low in alcohol by volume, usually between 4% and 5.5%. One other note about Kolsch is that is an ale that is fermented in warm temperatures but cold conditioned.

Bolero Snort Interpretation:

This Kolsch isn’t from Cologne but rather from a New Jersey brewery, Bolero Snort. They note that they bypassed the traditional German hops in favor of Citra and Motueka hops.

It’s a stinking hot day here in New Jersey and I can certainly use a nice crisp summer beer. Pour is light and crystal clear. Aroma is minimal but the chilled flavor hits the spot. Kowabunga Kolsch has your typical German-style sweet crystal malts and some mild skunkiness. Hops are muddled and bitter. Definitely a change of pace beer for me but certainly enjoyable. 88 points.

Footnote to this post: I had written this post in the summer of 2016. I just came across it while reviewing drafts and realized that I forgot to post it. So, no you haven’t entered a time warp.

How about a couple more beers from Bolero Snort?

Visit the Brewery Website

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Bolero Snort Flamabull, Bravehorn, Orange Cream Pop OVB So much beer, too little time!

Tasting: March 17, 2017
Beer #’s: 1,046 & 1,047

Bolero Snort

Flamabull, smoked porter (8.0% ABV) and Bravehorn Scottish ale, (7% ABV)

Bravehorn and Flamabull by Bolero Snort Brewing

(C) 2016 popsonhops

A number of years ago, I was introduced to one of the owners of Bolero Snort. It was at Stew Leonards in Clifton and the beer guy Greg said to me, “Hey this guy is opening a brewery tomorrow.” I asked the brewery’s name and wished him luck. I remember seeing him again at a tasting at Gary’s Wine in Wayne and by then they had established a local following. Nice people and I’m happy to support local craft beer entrepreneurs.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that puns abound with this brewery and seemingly each beer’s name has some twist on cows or bulls. It also seems like they’ve bucked the craft beer trend of producing IPA after IPA. It’s an interesting tactic as IPA dominates the space and perhaps they’d rather take the “long tail” approach. Smart marketing ploy to occupy a less crowded space.

First up is the smoked porter called Flamabull. They did a nice job here. Full of smokey flavor like the charred parts of barbecued meat. As it warms, it has some underlying coffee and mellow chocolate sweetness. Maybe a bit one dimensional but that’s okay. 88 points.

Next up is Bravehorn, a Scottish ale made with cranberries and orange peel. Not doing it for me. Yeasty banana, off-bitter, fruit just isn’t a great compliment- 65 points. A real clunker. Back to the fridge for something else.

Tasting: March 28, 2017
Style: IPA
Beer #: 1,047
ABV: 6.3%

Orange Cream Pop OVB (Orange Vanilla Bullsicle)

Orange Cream Pop OVB (Orange Vanilla Bullsicle)

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Bonus beer. Surprise find at Amazing Grapes in Pompton Lakes. Apparently, the manager set aside a four pack for another customer who failed to pick it up.

You’ll have to use your imagination with this beer and if you concentrate very hard, you can convince yourself that it tastes like an orange creamsicle. My advice let OVB warm up a bit as it lets the fresh and intense orange rind bitterness and the creamy mouthfeel shine through. a little funky aftertaste. If you can get beyond the fact that it isn’t an orange creamsicle in a can, you’ll get that this is a nice IPA. 91 points.

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Explorable by Bolero Snort

Explorable IPA by Bolero Snort Brewery

© 2015 popsonhops

Tasting: October 20, 2015
Style: IPA
Beer # 827
ABV: 6.5%

Explorable by Bolero Snort

Explorable and other Bolero Snort beers are brewed about a mile from my house and I want nothing more than to love this beer. Whether it turns into a trade chip or just quality local beer – either way, I win. However, the real reason I bought Explorable was that it came as a recommendation of a friend with similar tastes. He liked it and wanted me to share my thoughts.

Unfortunately, not a winner in my book or on my palate. I use the term clunky often and if you don’t get my reference I’ll call it clunky because the taste is muddled. Usually you can attribute a bitterness to something like citrus or citrus rind. Explorable is just bitter for the sake of being bitter. Another attribute of clunky is a lack of any discernible malt backbone. Explorable has no trace of tropical fruit or caramel sweetness and it lacks any mouthfeel.

The great thing about beer is that the experience is totally subjective – the enjoyment can be swayed by your surroundings and mood. Maybe my friend had a better day than I did.

Sorry – maybe next time for local winner – 79 points.

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