Skadoosh and Alena, The Alchemist A Pair of American-Style IPA

Skadoosh American IPA and Alena American IPA by The Alchemist Brewery, Stowe, Vermont

(C) 2017 popsonhops

After a quick trip up to Hill Farmstead for the PBS Weekends with Yankee shoot, it was back on the road home. My friend had an early day the next day, so he was a sport in agreeing to a quick stop at the Alchemist in Stowe. I wish I thought to take some pictures but it really was a quick grab and go. Next time. My haul was some Heady Topper, The Crusher, Focal Banger and a four pack of Skadoosh and Alena.

Skadoosh:

Beer #: 1,121

This nonsensical word was used by Po, the main character in Kung Fu Panda. Apparently, it means “goodbye” or “peace”. On-line references say that this term is often used right before you beat someone’s ass. So, I assume the assaulting bitterness of this brew are appropos. There are progressive versions of Skadoosh, I believe this is version 12 as I see some on-line commentary about number 12 at the same time this was purchased. I’ll give Skadoosh 88 points.

Alena:

Beer #: 1,122

Start typing Alena in your Google search box. A few letters in Google takes over returning the most popular searches. Mine returned Alena Shiskova. It’s a beauty…uh the beer, well uh both…Here are John Kimmich’s thoughts

Yes, some mellow dankness up front. Definitely more polish than Skadoosh, some mellow juiciness, 90 points.

A flash back review of Focal Banger before it had a label!

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Careful Man, There’s a Beverage Here and Fall Saints, Exit 18 and Boris the Crusher Reserve

Fall Saints by Kane Brewing Company, Ocean, NJ
Exit 18 Baltic Porter by Flying Fish
Hey, Careful Man, There's a Beverage Here, White Russian Imperial Milk Stout by Pipeworks Brewing Company
BORIS the Crusher Reserve by Hoppin' Frog

Careful Man, There’s a Beverage Here by Pipeworks Brewing

Tasting: November 10, 2017
Style: White Milk Stout
Beer #: 1,117
ABV: 10.5%
Line from the movie, Big Lebowski. The reddish brown color of Careful Man, There’s a Beverage Here threw me for a minute but a double take on the label does say white stout. Looks more like a barley wine and tastes a bit like a barley wine. Boozy, caramel sweet, and mellow vanilla coffee flavor. This unique beer grew on me as I worked my way through but still a so-so beer, 86 points.

B.O.R.I.S. Reserve by Hoppin’ Frog

Tasting: November 11, 2017
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Beer #: 1,118
ABV: 10.4%
Called a reserve for the use of better, darker grains. I guess regular B.O.R.I.S. uses crappy grains. Lots of roasted grains, mellow chocolate underneath. A tad boozy. All-in-all ,92 points.

Read about regular old B.O.R.I.S.

Fall Saints by Kane Brewing

Tasting: November 19, 2017
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Beer #: 1,119
ABV: 9.4 %
A few sips in and I’m reminded why I don’t like pumpkin beer. Well in this case, butternut squash beers. Spices give this a chemical flavor. Not enjoying this at all, 70 points.

Exit 18 by Flying Fish

Tasting: December 9, 2017
Style: Baltic Porter
Beer # 1,120
ABV: 9.5%

Another release in the series named for New Jersey Turnpike exits. This time, Bergen County’s Exit 18. It’s noted that the Baltic reference is a tribute to the many Baltic residents in the county. That’s Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden. A pretty broad brush. Frankly, this beer should have been named for the Hudson River as it’s quite demure in watery flavor. Offers up some boozy burn. Very disappointing. 72 points.
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So much Craft Beer, So little time Playing dead beer fridge catch up

My 15-year-old beer fridge went kaput the other day. I bought it for $199 so, I’ll consider it an honorable discharge. However, it leaves me in a quandry and I was forced to do an emergency evacuation of my craft beer to a couple coolers. I’ve had a few friends volunteer some fridge space but none made any promises of returning my full inventory. While I try and find a new fridge, I’ll do my part in trying to purge some beer that’s been building in my inventory. I’ll give some rapid fire thoughts on each…

A Beer Has No Name by Liquid Riot Bottling Company

Tasting: September 1, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,103
ABV: 8.2%

A Beer Has No Name by Liquid Riot Bottling Company, Portland, Maine

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Thanks to my friend, Mark for the goodies from Maine. I’m sorry to hear that his vacation was cut short. Dank hoppy and smokey underneath some bright pineapple sweetness. Hops include: Idaho 7, Mosaic, Citra, and Chinook Hops

Not sure why there isn’t love for this beer on Beer Advocate 85 points I like it a lot, 92 points from me.


Flume by Battery Steele Brewing

Tasting: October 19, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,104
ABV: 8.0%

Flume American Double / Imperial IPA by Battery Steele Brewing, Portland, Maine

(C) popsonhops.com

Another goody from my friend Mark. Lots going on with this beer. Herbal like black tea and lemongrass. Some underlying sweetness of honey and caramel. Bitterness is a little over the top but all in all enjoyable. 91 points.


Devastation by Brewery Vivant

Tasting: October 19, 2017
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,105
ABV: 11.6%

Brewery Vivant Devastation Double IPA aged in Bourbon Barrels

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Admittedly, this has been in the back of my fridge for a month. What’s left is yeasty, odd-flavored, sweet with some oak, vanilla and moss barrel influence. Really an odd beer. 75 points.


Big Timber IPA by Big Timber Brewing

Tasting: October 18, 2017
Style: American IPA
Beer #: 1,106
ABV: 6.5%

Big Timber IPA is an American-style IPA brewed by Big Timber Brewing Company, Elkins, West Virginia

(C) 2017 popsonhops

My first craft beer brewed in West Virginia crosses off state number 37 in my casual pursuit of beer from all 50. A gift from a friend that went to West Virginia. Maybe the first person I’ve known that has been to West Virginia. Very traditional IPA, lots of earthy pine and overpowering grapefruit and lime bittnerness. Has some balance as well with some distinct cracker-like malt. Surprisingly good. Big Timber IPA gets a respectable 87 points from me.


Burlington Beer Company, Chasing Rabbits (wheat IPA) and Orbital Elevator (American Double / Imperial IPA)

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Chasing Rabbits by Burlington Beer Company

Tasting: October 25, 2017
Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
Beer #: 1,107
ABV: 5.8%

Delivers black tea, herbal, and some white wine grapes. Mouthfeel is nice. Like it quite a bit, 91 points.

Orbital Elevator by Burlington Beer Company

Tasting: October 25, 2017
Style: American Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,108
ABV: 8.3%

Brewed with Oat Malt and Flaked Oats and it does deliver a nice mouthfeel. Dank undertone, bold citrus. Froot loops quality flavor. I liked Chasing Rabbits more but another nice beer, 90 points.

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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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