I may be slowing down with my posts – but that’s not to say that I haven’t been drinking beer. I’ve decided to throttle back on the experimentation and risk involved with trying new beer and to focus in on the best beers I’ve experienced during my march to five-hundred different beers. Of late, I’ve made a dent in my stock pile of Hoppin’ Frog’s Barrel-Aged Boris (94 points), Firestone Walker’s Parabola (96 points) and Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (96 points). I have a few odds and ends in my fridge and it’s probably time to give each their turn in the spotlight.
Head Stock IPA Nickel Brook
Tasting: August 31, 2013
Beer #: 487
This one is part of my souvenirs from Niagara Falls. Actually, this is the one I had in my hands as the Canadian beer geek dissed me as a “pot head” instead of a “hop head”. It really was a surprise to find a 7% alcohol by volume (ABV) IPA on the shelves. It seems the Canadian sweet spot for ABV “strong” beers is about 5% – a far cry from the 8% – 12% found on American shelves.
The landmark 1967 concert, Woodstock, gave us the image of the dove perched on the headstock of a guitar. This can’s label one offers what appears to be a psychedelic twist on the iconic logo. I think it’s a pretty cool can that’ll be added to my collection.
Overly bitter – like orange rind, not much in the way of sweetness to balance it out. I’d put it at an “eh” 82 points.
Dead Elephant Railway City Brewing Company
Tasting: September 2, 2013
Beer #: 488
Dead Elephant – An interesting name that should have an interesting story. According to the label, the beer is a tribute to P.T. Barnum’s famous circus elephant – Jumbo. In a tragic railway crash in 1885, Jumbo was struck by a locomotive in an Ontario rail yard. According P.T. Barnum, Jumbo was struck trying to save a baby elephant but in true form – no one else could support Barnum’s claim. The site of the accident is now the home of Railway Brewing and it’s apropos that the infamous link to the city be the source of the tribute. Jumbo’s hide was displayed at Tufts University’s P.T. Barnum Hall for many years until it was destroyed. Jumbo remains the school’s mascot.
Dead Elephant isn’t as enormous as Jumbo. It checks in at a moderate 6.5 % ABV (again – I guess big by Canadian standards). The ruby-orange beer yields some surprisingly sweet malt right out of the gate. Think malt extract or syrupy caramel. Some mellow citrus follow and there is only a wisp of bitterness. Dead Elephant is definitely a front-loaded beer. Very drinkable at first, but wears out it’s welcome about halfway through the can. Not bad though – 83 points.