Beers # 801 – 810
With my refrigerator packed with Vermont goodies, you’d think I’d lay off buying anything new. Of course, I have FOMO (fear of missing out) – especially on new releases. Here’s a little catch up…
Number 1: Lupulin River by Knee Deep Brewing. Funny, this one was one of those beers that created a lot of beer store aisle buzz and frankly, it’s lost on me. I get a strong smokey flavor (hemp) some bread-like malt. Hops are a bit disjointed. I certainly don’t get the bright tropical fruits that others describe. Bottled on July 15th – but purchased just two weeks ago. It’s been stored in my fridge but I suspect age, heat have taken its toll. I have to call them as I taste them and Lupulin River gets 83 points.
Number 2: Hop Knife by Troegs. Along with the late summer arrival of pumpkin and Oktoberfest beer comes the fresh hop harvest ales. I did miss the Hop Knife release last year so, I’m happy to have a friend give me a couple of bottles this year. Very herbal and grassy. Expected a bit more dankness and freshness but this 6.2% ABV beer comes up a bit too demure for me – especially when compared to the other beer that still occupies my beer fridge. 87 points.
Number 3:ReDANKulous by Founders There was a hysteria that used follow Founder’s Backstage series releases – not so much anymore. When I think dank – I think fresh, raw, musty, green. If I get any of these characteristics, they are hidden behind sweet and massive caramel and a fairly strong citrus hop bitterness. I’ll note that this dark reddish-brown ale checks in with a robust alcohol by volume of 9.5%. Nice but could be better 88 points.
Number 4:Cousin Steve and the Lemon Hearts by Clown Shoes I was thinking Grapefruit Sculpin and the crisp and fresh grapefruit flavor when I bought this bottle. I had hoped for some of the same crisp and fresh tartness but this one falls way short. The base IPA is clunky – some nice sweetness but the hops are bitter for the sake for bitterness. There’s no citrus to compliment the underwhelming lemon addition. 82 points. By the way, I was told this was a New Jersey exclusive and the singer on the label is the New Jersey beer rep. Very cool and I’d be happy to have my image on a label. But I’d also hope it was better beer.
Number 5:Crossing Streams IPA is an IPA brewed as a collaborative effort between Miami’s M.I.A Brewing and Tampa Bay’s Coppertail Brewing. Got this as a bonus beer in a trade that centered around Marshall Zhukov for a Hill Farmstead Arthur. Wax necked presentation – as usual, a pain in the ass to get into. Crossing Streams IPA is cloudy and very malty sweet. For a 7.4% ABV IPA Crossing Streams IPA is tad astringent and a bit fizzy on the tip of the tongue. It lacks any positive hop influence and has a weak body. Minor dankness overall a very clunky bitterness. Not worth my time 80 points.
Number 6: Cigar City Cucumber Saison Someone said that this beer tasted like pickles – hmmm. I love pickles. Before I crack it open, let me note that this was a gift from a friend that was visiting family in Tampa Bay and took a side trip to Cigar City’s brewery. I’ll say the base beer is not extraordinary but the quick wave of fresh cucumber is an interesting addition. It does wear itself out after a couple of ounces. Overall, I’ll put Cucumber Saison at 83 points.
Number 7: Deep Rooted by Kane Brewing. This brewery is A Jersey favorite. The color is an amazing rich brownish red. From that color, it looks more like an imperial red ale than American IPA. The flavor also points to imperial red as I get some caramel and some simple syrup sweetness over some herbal hops. Flavors are a bit demure for my liking and there is an astringent crispness that seems out of place. 85 points.
Number 8: Citrus by Funk Brewing This sharp looking can came as a recommendation from a beer clerk in Pennsylvania. Happy to see that they hail from Emmaus, PA (home of Shangey’s). Has grapefruit juice added. I bought because I thought of Grapefruit Sculpin. Not much of a comparison as the fruit in Grapefruit Sculpin tastes like you bit right into a grapefruit while Citrus delivers a pleasant but demure citrus flavor. Nice malt base. I’ll put Citrus at 87. Nice effort. Look forward to future offerings.
Number 9: Ripple by Kane. Going for the pot aroma and flavor and they nailed it. A really easy drinking ale. Mellow and dank with mango and tangerine. 89 points.
Number 10: Hop Drop by Newburgh Brewing: Squealer fill at Cable Beverage. Whopping 10% ABV in this imperial IPA. Big juicy hop bomb loaded with tropical fruit and syrupy sweetness. Woodsy and a bit of boozy heat. Really nice 93 points.