Heater Allen’s Hugo Bock (Picked up at Berkeley Bowl West). A 3 of 4. Lots and lots of complexity for a bock - nice caramel and nuttiness in the nose, as well as some faint spicier notes. The body has some more depth to the nuttiness, as well as some raisin-like taste. Nice medium carbonation and a decently thick body. Very well done - not groundbreaking, nor palate-wrecking, just a simple, clean bock that is focused on the malt (which is what the style should be).

13 hours ago 8 notes

Emelisse’s (Collab with Marble) Earl Grey IPA (Picked up at de Bierkoning). A 4 of 4. Possibly the best IPA + [random ingredient] style I’ve had. It is beyond clear this a tea hybrid from the nose - it smells of tea and a woody, citrusy bitterness in the nose. Drinks like an IPA with some tea astringency that comes in mid-palate and slowly fades in the finish. Some relatively sticky lacing hangs around for a while, just as this hangs around on your palate - between the citrusy hop profile and the tea profile, these complement each other really well and help cancel out the power of each by itself. The malt profile is quite light and plays in the background here, with just a touch of sweetness from it to keep this from being too astringent. A great beer, and really shows nicely what tea can provide as an ingredient.

1 day ago 8 notes

Greene King’s Abbot Ale (Picked up at a Sainsbury’s in London). A 2 of 4. A solid, inexpensive English pale ale. Not the best, but good for the price, and relatively easy to find. Nice thicker body with a chewiness to it, as well as some decent caramel malt notes and a herbal bitterness. Up front, it’s a bit on the sweeter side with some bright lighter fruit notes, which fade into a nice maltiness and finally a clean, firm bitterness. For a English pale ale out of a can, it’s quite solid.

2 days ago 6 notes

A few beers at Perdition Smokehouse in Berkeley. On the top, Cellarmaker’s Equinox Pale Ale (a 3 of 4) (and some delicious hush puppies in the background). An awesome tropical fruit bomb of a nose and some light bright sweetness. Quite juicy and oily and solidly bitter. Easy drinking to boot. On the bottom left, Tahoe Mountain’s Hop Song Citra (a 3 of 4) - a great citrus presence and a great looking beer with some relatively sticky lacing. A decently thick body and a lingering grapefruit bitterness. On the bottom right, The Bruery’s Hottenroth Berliner Weisse (a 4 of 4). Smells of lemon and grain and has a great tartness up front as well as some balancing sweetness. Very light bodied, yet carries a ton of nuance to it, and has a beautiful opaque body. Not overly tart - the grain sweetness does a perfect job balancing. Excellent stuff.

3 days ago 10 notes

Liefman’s Cuvee Brut (Picked up at Merkur Hoher Markt in Vienna). A 4 of 4. A blend of goudenband and oud bruin with cherries added - and this is delicious. Quite different than most lambic-based krieks, but the deeper and more sour malt complexity from the oud bruin really shows and holds the sweetness at bay. Quite a lot of candy-like notes (but not artificial at all) in this - and quite bright cherry notes as well. The tartness nicely helps balance the sweetness, and the barrel mellows it out as well. Quite excellent.

4 days ago 9 notes

Oskar Blues’ Old Chub Scotch Ale (Picked up at Berkeley Bowl West). A 3 of 4. Somehow, despite having this many times, it hasn’t shown up on here yet. I’ve had one-off aged and soured versions of this on here, but not the excellent original. One of the exemplars of the scotch ale style - nice rich body that carries a decent amount of roast and a little bit of smoke with it, as well as some decent light chocolate sweetness. The booze does rear its head just a bit in the finish, but not overwhelmingly so. An excellent beer, and wonderful complexity in the body.

5 days ago 9 notes

Girardin 1882’s Faro (Picked up at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam). A 3 of 4. This is actually the first Faro I’ve had, so I unfortunately can’t speak with experience on its place within the style (besides what I know about the style from reading). A very small amount of lacing and what seems to be extremely little carbonation. Smells of brown sugar, caramel, and some candy, cherry and other fruit notes, as well as a tiny amount of spice. Quite dry on the palate without too much depth, and then a significant sweetness takes hold and then fades to dryness on the finish again. Some spice notes are here, too - cinnamon, etc. — but there isn’t enough to cut the sweetness completely. Quite dry and tart on the palate actually - I was expecting something far more cloying, but this is actually not bad after more than a few sips.

6 days ago 4 notes

London Fields Shoreditch Triangle IPA (Picked up at Whole Foods, Piccadilly Circus, London). A 3 of 4. Nice hazy red-orange body, and smells of quite a lot of citrus and some other tropical fruit. Faint lacing, and not too much head and a relatively flat body. The body is quite a bit more thick than expected with some malty sweetness as well as flat and dry yeasty notes. Decently bitter on the finish, which cleans away the relatively developed malt body. One of the better IPAs I’ve had while in London.

1 week ago 5 notes

Stiegl’s Hausbier Wildshuter Sortenspiel (Picked up at Merkur Hoher Markt in Vienna). A 3 of 4. Made with emmer, spelt, and black oats - not grains you see in beer all that often. Has a nice small amount of lacing that holds on forever, and a nice orange-ish color. Smells a bit like bread and almost something sourdough-ish, as well as some light sweeter, fruiter notes. Drinks quite easily with relatively high carbonation. It’s clear the grain bill in this is a bit weird - and you get a nice bit of different weird grain notes in the body. Interesting.

1 week ago 8 notes

Lost Coast’s Double Trouble IPA on tap at Pacific Coast Brewing in Oakland. A 3 of 4. A solid DIPA - some sticky lacing and expected amber-ish color. Smells a bit earthier than most IPAs and some faint citrus. Drinks with quite a bit of balancing sweetness. Quite bitter and a relatively thin oily body. Easily drinkable, and the alcohol stays well-hidden behind the bitterness and sweetness. Not the best by far, but not bad at all.

1 week ago 5 notes

Elysian’s Mortis Sour Persimmon Ale (Thanks, Doug!). A 2 of 4. Some slight sticky lacing, and a nice opaque orangeish body. Lots of light fruit notes in the nose, as well as some sweetness, as well as some brett-like notes, as well as some candy-like sugar notes. Drinks quite sweetly, with more and more fruit notes. Not a lot of yeasty funk or sourness going on here, but quite a bit of complexity to the fruit.

1 week ago 15 notes

Four of De Prael’s beers (Picked up at the brewery in Amsterdam). All solid 3’s or 2’s of 4. On the top left, Nick En Simon’s Mild IPA (Lowlands IPA - LIPA) (a 3) - a nose of mostly grassy and earthy hops, although some faint citrus as well. Beautiful orange color - the body has some interesting yeast profile - I’m guessing this is a belgian-y strain. Drinks with a moderate amount of sweetness and some bitterness, but not too aggressive. On the top right, Zwarte Riek (3), a Milk Stout. Clear this is a sweet stout from the nose - a bit of sweetness up front on the palate, as well as a relatively dry, roast body. There’s some interesting chocolate candy-like notes here as well, even some dark fruit. On the bottom left, De Klassieker Bitter, a relatively standard-ish English Style Bitter (2). Decent bit of malt development and some nice grassy hops to balance the caramelly sweetness. Nothing stands out. On the bottom right, the Johnny Alt (a 3). A pretty clean and simple nose - mostly sweet with some nice grainy/cereal notes and some grass. Drinks quite easily with a clean, dry body and a solid amount of carbonation (despite the relatively lack of lacing). Solid stuff all around.

1 week ago 7 notes

Wiper and True’s India Pale Ale Australia (Picked up at Independent Spirit in Bath, England). A 3 of 4. With Ella, Galaxy, and Summer, three hop varietals from Australia, this has a beautiful tropical fruit presence and some lighter stone fruit as well. Quite bright in the nose, and nice relatively sticky lacing. Drinks on the sweeter side and is clearly an English creation - there’s a more powerful malty chewiness and nuttiness here that I don’t expect out of something so tropical-oriented with the hops. Finishes with a firm bitterness, and quite great overall - nicely features the hops in the nose, yet these hop notes don’t appear too much in the body due to the malt back.

1 week ago 4 notes

Wiener Bier Brauerei Bio (Picked up at Merkur Hoher Markt in Vienna). A 2 of 4. Interesting to see a beer like this in clear glass, and with a solid quarter inch of yeast sediment at the bottom. Really sticky and chewy lacing, and the nose smells of yeast and some amber malts. Drinks relatively easily with medium carbonation and a medium body. A lager, this has several different wheats making up its malt bill - it definitely has the slight sourness wheat has sometime. Honestly, this is a solid beer, but its delicate profile gets overrun with the chalky yeastiness a bit.

1 week ago 5 notes

Sierra Nevada’s Blindfold Black IPA (Picked up at Berkeley Bowl West). A 3 of 4. Quite a lot of carbonation on this, and the lacing sticks around for basically forever. Quite a lot of roast and earthiness up front, as well as some interesting citrus, herbal, and medicinal (in a good way) notes. Decisively bitter, but the roasted malt notes definitely don’t take a backseat to the firm bitterness. Solid stuff.

2 weeks ago 7 notes