Nightly Beers: 2013-08-29 (New Local Beer Night)
As usual, we’ll go from least to most hoppy and start with the one I’ve had before, the Oktoberfest. Pours a little light for an Okoberfest, a kind of ruddy amber, with a two-finger white head. Taste is very dry, almost roasted chocolate and coffee beans, with a crisp, clean finish and a crackery aftertaste. Possibly the driest Oktoberfest I’ve had, but still representative of the style. I like it a lot.
Next up is the Founders Inspired Artist Black IPA. Made for the Grand Rapids ArtPrize, this is a special release that I believe is exclusive to Michigan. Poured it into a glass and got immediate roasty malt aroma and citrus/floral hops. I actually audibly gasped at the aroma. It was that good.
Sorry about the flash on that pic. It’s hard when you’re taking pictures of black beer under normal lighting. And yes, that’s Classic Who in the background. The Seeds of Doom, if anyone cares.
Once the beer settles down a bit there’s a classic roasty quality with that nice citrus floral bite. What sets this one apart (and makes me like it more than many Black IPAs) is the hint of spicy/earthy hop in the hop build, which helps connect the two sometimes disparate flavors. I’ve seen a lot of European beer writers claim that the Black IPA is really just a hoppy stout, but I wonder if they’ve had some of the better examples of the style. (Or, at least, the more American-hopped versions.) Black IPA is a style that I tend to regard with suspicion, at best, but this one is worth picking up if you can get it.
That’s enough for tonight. Cheers.