CORRECTED AUDIO: Beyond the Pour Podcast Episode 15: The Ratebeer “Best Of” Awards, Beer Snobbery, and Ding!
We’re back again with another delayed episode, this time delayed just because I’ve been busy enough not to have time to edit it. Sorry. I’ve done a light editing job here and I haven’t created a roadmap for you this time, but I’ll be better in future episodes, I promise.
NOTE: This episode originally ran with a slowed-down piece of audio at the beginning. The version currently uploaded should be good. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any problems with the audio.
The second beer from Alabama I picked up at Liquor Express in Huntsville. This is also from Good People, whose DIPA I reviewed previously. This one is more sessionable at 6%. It’s not a world-class IPA but it’s solid and serviceable and my rating is perhaps a tad low.
Plus, check out that can! It just screams “Alabama IPA” to me. If Wal-Mart had a house brand IPA, that’s the kind of can they’d use.
Beyond the Pour grade: B-
The first beer sent to me in trade with Tommy. The rest will be coming shortly.
This video is a bit longer than usual because I’ve had and reviewed several Black IPAs in the last couple of weeks, and I spend some time musing about the style. Is it really all that new? Will it stick around, or is it just a fad? I’d be interested in getting comments on those kinds of issues, and may make a more involved video on the topic down the road.
Beyond the Pour grade: B+
This is sort of the moment of truth, isn’t it? Harvest Ale will be the first seasonal release from Goose Island made since their sort-of acquisition by A-B Inbev. I don’t have a clear memory of what this beer tasted like in previous years, but if it’s a solid ESB we have room to hope that Goose Island’s other seasonalsbourboncountystout!will still be decent.
Pours very clear orange/red body with almost no haziness at all. Typically with an ESB you have a bit of haze, but nothing here. It gives me about a finger and a half of white head that dissipates pretty quickly. Aroma is very English, with lots of biscuity toasty malt and a very dry character. Love to see what this one’s like on cask — I’ll have to see if it’s available next time I stop by the Clybourn location in Chicago.
I digress. Flavor is very much like the aroma, somewhat sweet with lots of fruity esters. Very malty and toasty, drying on the finish with a hint of spice quality. Aftertaste is clean but biscuity. Nothing too complex –certainly not my favorite ESB!– but it’s definitely solid. Tastes like a very authentic example of the style.
I’ve got to say, this bodes well for the future of Goose Island. We’ll see how it goes, but for now color me cautiously optimistic.
Beyond the Pour grade: B+
This whole Black IPA style hasn’t quite been for me. The first one I had was Stone’s Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, which I found kinda “meh.” Since then, I’ve had maybe a dozen, some good, some not, but none has quite been out of this world. Is this a style that’ll stick around, or is it just a flash in the pan?
Anyway, today I’m talking about Short’s Bludgeon Yer Eye IPA. It’s another one of their limited-release bottlings, and it’ll be out of stock in the area within the next day or so. I’ve always said this is a weird business model for Short’s, but they seem to be making plenty of money so who am I to question them?
Pours jet black with a thick yellow-white head. Tons of lacing on the sides of the glass. Smells strongly of citrus with a bit of spicy hop, with lots of licorice and black patent malt underneath. Roasty, dry, caramel qualities rise to the surface.
Flavor is very well-balanced between the roasty characteristics and the citrusy hops. There’s just enough of a spice quality to keep the beer interesting, and balance out what might have been overwhelming sweetness from the citrus. I wouldn’t want more than one or two of this, but as an occasional treat it’s pretty nice.
Beyond the Pour grade: B