Tag Archive | Review

Good People IPA (Video)

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-

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Olde Hickory Black Raven Black IPA (Video)

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+

Can Anheuser-Busch Make a Decent ESB? (Goose Island Harvest Ale 2011)

Goose Island Harvest Ale
English Special Bitter
5.6% ABV

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.

So let’s get the damn thing in a glass and find out!The pour itself

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.

Check out that clarity!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+

Goose Island Vanilla Cream Soda (Video)

This is the second of my entries for Chad9976’s Charity Challenge. I was going to review Goose Island’s root beer, but Chris over at BGN already reviewed it, so I decided to do their Vanilla Cream Soda instead.

Sorry about the roughness of the video. I shot a better intro to this, but had technical problems. It happens.

Beyond the Pour grade: A-

Soda Review: Sprecher Puma Kola (Video)

A soda review? Well, yeah.

Chad has been doing soda, energy drink, and other non-beer reviews for about a year now, and challenged all of us other video beer reviewers to give it a shot. To sweeten the pot, he said he’d throw in ten bucks to the Red Cross if we did one, or twenty if we did two. So I shot two.

This is the first, a soda made by Sprecher in Wisconsin. They make some pretty “okay” beers, and apparently also some pretty “okay” sodas. I call this a “root beer” a couple of times in the review, but that’s a slip of the tongue — it’s just a soda, although it has some root-beer-like characteristics.

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest 2011

So I did a video review of the Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale last year, which means that I’m not really interested in shooting another review for this year’s batch. Even if that was very early in my video reviews, so the video basically sucked donkey balls. Instead I’m going to use this year’s version as an excuse to get back into text reviews. Just got off from work so it should be a nice refreshing beer.

Pours a dark coppery orange color with a thick slightly off-white head. Leaves significant lacing on the glass. I could smell the earthy spicy hops the second I cracked the cap on the bottle, and in the glass it’s even more impressive. Nice golden malt notes underneath, very bready and biscuity, with slight caramel notes.

Damn this beer goes down smooth. Clean bready sweet malt balances beautifully with the spicy earthy hop character. The hops leave a slightly metallic spicy “sting” on my palate and tongue after the beer finishes. I’m not sure how fresh this bottle is but the hop character tastes quite nice regardless — perhaps it could have a bit more of that “bright” bitterness as opposed to the spicy quality here, but it’s a perfectly good sessioner.

The issue with these fresh-hop beers is that despite their drinkability, which would make them good everyday beers, they’re by definition only briefly available once (or, if you’re Sierra Nevada and want to import fresh hops from New Zealand, twice) a year. The expense of getting hops that fresh also makes these beers a bit pricey — $6.99 for a 25oz bottle isn’t crazy expensive, but it’s more than I’d pay for a simple sessionable pale ale. Overall, a solid beer, well-put-together, but nothing really worth dying for. In other words, a perfectly “Sierra Nevada” kind of product.

Beyond the Pour rating: B