Fridge purge including Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale Victory Brewing, Dogfish Head & Clown Shoes

Before refrigeration, summertime brewing was difficult if not impossible. German brewers would make an advanced supply in March to carry demand through the summer. This Marzen (March) was made with a higher ABV for preservation and was stored in cool caves. When proper brewing conditions returned, they celebrated and purged the remaining supply at a big party – Oktoberfest.

Now that the calendar has flipped to October, I also need to take a good look at my own cave/fridge and purge some that have been lurking in the back.

Clown Shoes, Victory, Dogfish Head Caps
(c)2012 popsonhops

Clown Shoes — Miracle
Tasting: October 2, 2012
Style: IPA

I bought in Delaware in August. I remember that buckets of rain fell and lightning shook the store as I tried to pick up more bottles than I could handle. I was drawn to Clown Shoes because I knew of their reputation and I also knew that their beer wasn’t available in NJ. Quick pop and I get a sweet candy aroma. My first few sips and it’s earthy and black pepper hops. Flavor is a bit subdued and slightly thinnish mouthfeel. Unfortunately, this is a beer that wears out its welcome and has a declining appeal with each sip. 79 points.

Victory Brewing – Hop Devil
Tasting: October 3, 2012
Style: IPA

A legendary hop beer and not sure why to this point it’s escaped my nearly 400 beer list. Massive hop nose – citrus and sweetness. Pours a dark orange with a fleeting off-white head. My first sip — wow. So much to describe hops are spicy like pepper, grassy over a dank sweetness. I’d like to say it’s balanced – but that malt doesn’t stand a chance against the hop wallop. I like it a lot — 91 points.

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale
Tasting: October 3, 2012
Style: Brown Ale

For me, Dogfish Head is always a hit or miss proposition. I love some of their offerings and have dumped my share of duds down the drain. I’ve heard good things about Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale, so I picked up a bottle in early summer. It has lingered untouched since then – maybe because it was directly behind a bottle of KBS that I’m cherishing instead of drinking. I’m intrigued in that it is a dark ale like a Scotch Ale, but with an IPA hop profile. I assume to expect an experience like a black IPA. Pours a rich brown and is chock-a-block full of roasted flavor – coffee, dark chocolate. Nice and sticky. I wouldn’t say that there’s much of a hop profile here — just a wisp of lemon. But this one is enjoyable – 88 points.

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