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Deep Ellium Brewing Double Brown Stout

Another beer from Lidney. I’m honestly not sure how many I have left.

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(Sorry for the too-aggressive pour. Sometimes a problem with cans I find.)

I’m amazed at this genre until known more or less unknown to me of stouts made primarily with brown malt. It’s a very classically English stout thing to do, but now I’ve had a couple in the States which have a very nutty brown malt quality. It’s nice, and something I’ll probably do in a homebrew sooner or later.

On to the review.

Pours dark brown/black with a creamy brown head that dissipates pretty quickly. Nuttiness on the nose is apparent before I even really stick my schnoz in. Beneath that some coffee, caramel, earthy pungent hoppiness. Definitely some dark roasted chocolate in there as well.

Flavor? Again with the dark chocolate. A hint of spicy pine from the hops perhaps? Finishes with a dry and astringent finish that fades into an aftertaste of chocolate malt. The can claims this is 7% ABV and that feels about right — I don’t taste any booze but it’d probably be well hidden by the malt.

All in all a very nice and roasty stout. I’d definitely throw this in the rotation if I could get it regularly.

Rating: B+

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2nd Shift Art of Neurosis IPA

Sorry it’s been a fews days since I’ve posted. I’ve had a couple of beers but away from the computer so I took notes to post later.

This one isn’t from Lidney, but from another friend Russ who came into town for the Medieval Congress a couple of weeks back. I opened it up to drink while I was washing dishes and making dinner. As such, I don’t have detailed notes.

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Overall thoughts? Crazy drinkable, highly grapefruit-rindy, and with a ton of citrus character. At 7.5% I wouldn’t expect any booze and there is none. Drinks easy and finishes clean. A superior IPA.

I gave a few sips to a non-beer-drinking friend and he enjoyed it despite “not liking beer.” Max, I’ll get you into IPAs yet.

No rating since I wasn’t really paying close attention to this one. Somewhere in the B range most likely.

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA

Another day, another IPA?

This is a beer from Deschutes I haven’t had, and another one from Lidney. It’s dated best by 8/5/14, so I’m hoping that means bottled May 5.

The bottle says it uses Citra and Mosaic hops. No further ado, let’s dig in.

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Pour transparent orange, thick frothy white head that dissipates with time. Leaves significant soapscummy lacing. Aroma strong with orange and grapefruit. Significant sweetness from the hops, slight bready malt base.

Flavor follows the nose. Hints of bready malt, but overall a big wallop of orange/citrus/grapefruit astringency. Very long finish, mostly grapefruit/tangerine.

This is one of those beers that’s more satisfying to drink than to talk about. I’d love to sit down with a growler or a sixer of this and really dig into it. It’s delicious, but maybe a bit one-note?

Rating: A-

Urban Chestnut SLIPA Double IPA

This one’s not from Lidney, but from a pair of friends who recently came into town from Missouri. Since I got a couple of giant boxes of beer, I figured I might as well just review them all.

The bottle tells me this is a “St. Louis India Pale Ale.” Presumably that doesn’t mean that it’s like Shock Top Wheat IPA. snicker

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Pours straw yellow-orange into a nonic pint. Fluffy head leaves significant lacing. Smells lightly of orange, pine, some grapefruit. Slight oxidation? Hard to say.

Tastes smooth, generically “fruity,” with hints of pine and grapefruit. Slight metallic bitterness on the back of the palate. Goes down clean but leaves a bit of an aftertaste.

Not much to say on this one. The bitter aftertaste starts to catch up with me after awhile without some malt backbone or hop flavor to balance it out. Decent, but nothing great.

Rating: B-

Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout

Another day, another beer from Lidney. This one doesn’t have an ABV listed, but BeerAdvocate calls it 8.25%. (I used to post technical info on these reviews from the brewery website, but if no one’s really reading who cares?)

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(Yeah, I used a mug, because that’s how I roll today.)

Pours dark brown (not quite black) with thick creamy head. Reasonable carbonation. Some lacing on the inside of the glass.

Smells very English, hints of licorice and toffee. Tons of classic brown malt. No discernable hop.

Flavor is right on. Straight up English-style Imperial Stout. I wonder if they’re using a historical recipe for this one? Ron Pattinson could tell me how accurate this is to a high-gravity stout circa 1850, I’m sure. Lots of rich coffee and chocolate character. Hints of raisins. Perhaps a touch floral?

Reviewing this as a classic American Stout or Imperial Stout would make this look bad. The can emphasizes the brown malt used, which leads me to think they’re trying specifically for a sort of historical recreation. Either way it’s very drinkable and makes me happy on a Wednesday evening. Quite good.

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Rating: A-

Southern Star Valkyrie Double IPA

Another beer sent to me by Lidney (I think — I’ve gotten a lot of new beers lately from a couple of people). This one’s a canned DIPA from Texas.

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Pours dingy orange, about half opaque. Lots of bready malt character on the nose, not a lot of prominent hops. Some bitterness for sure. Slightly metallic.

Flavor: Wow, very very smooth. More like a 9.2% pale ale than IPA. Nice biscuity malt, a hint of hop bite but very little hop character. Perhaps an old can? No date code that I can see. With the excess of caramel malt this is like a super-smooth barleywine or super-ESB than a DIPA.

The bitterness definitely starts to creep up on me as I get through the can. Metallic character starts to dominate the aftertaste. (Not from the can, of course, but from the extended aftereffects of the hops.) It’s not exactly a DIPA, but it’s not exactly bad, either.

I’m not sure how to rate this one. As a DIPA it’s substandard. It reminds me of either an old can that hasn’t been in great condition, or a early-draft homebrew recipe. I’d love to try it again and see if this can is just off, or if this is what it’s supposed to be.

Even though I don’t love this one, thanks a lot for the can, Lidney. I always like to try interesting new stuff.

Nightly Beer: Licher Oktoberfest

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Sorry if this seems rushed, but I’m trying to do this from my cell. 

Oktoberfests from Germany have been getting lighter in color, body, and flavor over the last few years, and this one looks to be no exception. Slightly muddy straw yellow body with a thin white head.

Smells sweet, grassy, very low-hopped. Almost a little adjuncty. Taste is much cleaner, though, dry with a nice grainy quality. Body is smooth and clean. I want a bit more spicy hop in my pale lagers, but this might do in a pinch.

For an Oktoberfest, though, I’d take Great Lakes or Left Hand in a heartbeat. Or Hacker-Pschorr, although given the direction of German Oktoberfest lately that might not be the best choice down the line.