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<strong>The Disgruntled Chemist</strong>


Beer Blogging - White Hawk IPA

I'm just sitting down with some delicious food, and I thought that I might as well drink a delicious beverage along with it. Specifically, this delicious beverage:

That's the White Hawk Original IPA from Mendocino Brewing up in Northern CA. Apparently, they brew it with the goal of replicating the first IPA recipe.

The White Hawk IPA pours into the glass a light golden color, with some cloudiness and a small white head that disappears in maybe 30 seconds. The aroma is mostly citrus; I smell orange and maybe some lemon peel. There's no malt in the smell at all.

Upon tasting the beer, my tongue agrees with my nose: there is barely any malt in this beer. Personally, I'm a fan of such things, because I enjoy a hoppy beer more than I enjoy a sweet one in most cases. But if you don't like hops, this beer would pretty much just knock you on your ass. The initial taste is (of course) hoppy, but not nearly as citrus intensive as the aroma would suggest. There's a nice bitterness through the middle, and that gives way to a (very) little bit of malty sweetness at the end, as well as a little taste of alcohol (the beer has 7% ABV). The bitterness dominates the aftertaste.

Rating: 7/10. This is a decent IPA, and I'm certainly not sad about buying it (at my local Trader Joe's, if you're interested). The White Hawk IPA follows the IPA recipe very well - lots of hops, followed by a little malt, and a high alcohol content. It's definitely worth picking up a six-pack if you're a fan of the style, but I wouldn't say that it's extraordinary.



I made a thing

It's a thing that shows you all my beer blogging posts: the beer blogging archive.

That picture is in the sidebar now (actually, it's kind of dominating the sidebar now, but that's OK because beer is important), and clicking on it will take you to a list of all the beer blogging posts I've done. There's some good stuff in there, so go check it out and expand your alcoholic horizons.

Labels: ,

It's beer! Hooray, beer!

This morning, I bought (among other beers) a six-pack of Rogue Dead Guy Ale, a German-style Maibock made with Rogue's special PacMan yeast.

As you can see, this beer has a very deep golden color and a small, foamy head. The head disappears to just about nothing within a couple minutes, leaving some nice lace on the sides of the glass. The aroma is nice and malty, with maybe some floral hints.

This is a really good tasting beer, not my favorite from Rogue but right up there. As you would expect from a Maibock-style ale, it's sweet without being cloying, with a pleasant malt flavor right off the bat. The malt tastes a little more roasted than you'd expect from a beer of this color, but otherwise it tastes a lot like it smells. The hops come through in the aftertaste, and provide a very nice contrast to the initial sweetness. The hops aren't as bitter as they usually are in Rogue beers, probably because they use a different variety for the Dead Guy Ale. The alcohol content is 6.6%, but it's sneaky - it's not on the label, and you can barely taste it.

Rating: 8/10. Recommended for anyone who's a fan of lighter, sweeter beers. This is a very good ale, and you should really go pick up a six-pack right now. What are you waiting for?



Beer Blogging Archive

Welcome to my beer blogging archive! Linked below are all the beer review posts that I've done, with the most recent at the top. I'll also put a link to this post in the sidebar; just click the logo above to come to this post. If you want to see another blogger's take on some different (and also some of the same) beers, go see Toast's beer blogging archive. The dude really knows his beer, and he won't steer you wrong. Well, except when he and I disagree, that is.

The average rating for these beers is 610.5/890 = 6.86/10, in case you were curious.

A bit about my rating system:

0-4 - I am annoyed that I paid money for this beer. Definitely not worth buying again.

5-6 - Not an unpleasant beer, but probably not something that I would buy again. A tepid recommendation at best.

7-9 - Beers that I enjoyed to varying degrees and that I feel are worth buying again.

10 - Even I, the most opinionated bastard ever, can't think of a way to improve this beer. You should really go out and buy some.

Now, the beers:

Deschutes Hop Henge Imperial IPA - Rating = 8/10

Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Rating = 9/10

AleSmith X Extra Pale Ale - Rating = 9/10

Red Hook Long Hammer IPA - Rating = 8/10

Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale - Rating = 5/10

New Belgium Springboard Ale - Rating = 7/10

Stone Vertical Epic 070707 - Rating = 7/10

Maredsous Triple: post 1, post 2 - Average Rating = 8.5/10

Moylan's Moylander Double IPA - Rating = 4/10

Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout - Rating = 9/10

Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout - Rating = 8/10

Snakebite - Guinness Draught & Wyder's Pear Cider - Rating = 7/10

Miner's Lung - Guinness Draught & Smirnoff Vodka - Rating = 5/10

Black and Tan - Guinness Draught & Bass Pale Ale - Rating = 8/10

Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale - Rating = 8/10

Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale - Rating = 9/10

He'Brew Genesis Ale - Rating = 7/10

Flying Horse Royal Lager Beer - Rating = 7/10

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA - Rating = 9/10

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale - Rating = 8/10

Samuel Adams White Ale - Rating = 6/10

Trader Joe's Dunkelweizen - Rating = 6/10

Budweiser Chelada - Rating = 0/10

Sweetwater Brewing Georgia Brown Ale - Rating = 6/10

Sweetwater Brewing 420 Extra Pale Ale - Rating = 8/10

Abita Brewing Turbodog Ale - Rating = 4/10

Bayhawk Ales California Pale Ale - Rating = 8/10

Lagunitas Maximus IPA - Rating = 9/10

Corona Familiar - Rating = 7/10

Cerveza Sol - Rating = 6/10

Miller High Life - Rating = 4/10

Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat - Rating = 6/10

Samuel Adams Cream Stout - Rating = 8/10

Stone Smoked Porter - Rating = 7/10

Victory Storm King Imperial Stout - Rating = 7/10

Victory Hop Devil India Pale Ale - Rating = 8/10

Magic Hat Mother Lager - Rating = 7/10

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine - Rating = 7/10

Magic Hat Fat Angel Ale - Rating = 8/10

Rogue Ales St. Rogue Red Ale - Rating = 7/10

Trader Joe's 2006 Vintage Ale - Rating = 7/10

Rogue Ales Mocha Porter - Rating = 7/10

Smithwick's Irish Ale - Rating = 5/10

Guinness Draught - Rating = 8/10

New Belgium 2° Below - Rating = 7/10

Brooklyn Brand Brown Ale - Rating = 5/10

Magic Hat H.I.P.A. - Rating = 8/10

Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale - Rating = 6/10

Magic Hat Blind Faith IPA - Rating = 8/10

Karl Strauss Amber Lager - Rating = 7/10

Green Flash Extra Pale Ale - Rating = 8/10

New Belgium Brewery Fat Tire Amber Ale - Rating = 10/10

New Belgium Brewery 1554 - Rating = 7/10

Stockyard Oatmeal Stout - Rating = 5/10

Quilmes Lager - Rating = 3/10

Phuket Lager - Rating = 6/10

Ringwood Brewery Old Thumper Ale - Rating = 7/10

Black Toad Ale - Rating = 6/10

Hoegaarden - Rating = 8/10

Anderson Valley Brewing Boont Amber Ale - Rating = 8/10

San Miguel Dark Lager - Rating = 7/10

Mendocino Brewing White Hawk IPA - Rating = 7/10

Rogue Dead Guy Ale - Rating = 8/10

Rogue Ales Shakespeare Stout - Rating = 9/10

Reaper Ale Sleighor Double IPA - Rating = 9/10

Santa's Butt Winter Porter - Rating = 5/10

Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter - Rating = 7/10

Full Sail Brewing Sunspot IPA - Rating = 8/10

Trader Joe's Winterfest Dark Double Bock Lager - Rating = 7/10

Samuel Adams Winter Lager - Rating = 8/10

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale - Rating = 7/10

Olde English "800" Malt Liquor - Rating = 1/10

Bison Brewing Organic Belgian Ale - Rating = 8/10

Full Sail Brewing Equinox ESB - Rating = 8/10

Rogue Ales Chocolate Stout - Rating = 8/10

Rogue Ales Brutal Bitter - Rating = 10/10

Lost Coast Brewing Great White Ale - Rating = 6/10

Samuel Adams Hefeweizen - Rating = 6/10

Samuel Adams Brown Ale - Rating = 6/10

Samuel Adams Black Lager - Rating = 7/10

Mendocino Brewing Red Tail Ale - Rating = 6/10

Echigo - Rating = 4/10

Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Rating = 9/10

Bornem Triple Ale - Rating = 6/10

La Fin Du Monde - Rating = 9/10

Avery Brewing's The Reverend - Rating = 6/10

Chimay Premiére - Rating = 7/10

Stone's Ruination IPA - Rating = 10/10

Spaten Optimator - Rating = 9/10

Bornem Double - I didn't rate that one for some reason



That's right, I'm still drinking

And I'm still writing about it just in case the beers I buy are good. My final beer of today will be one that I'm really excited about: the Sleighor Double IPA from Reaper Ale Brewing, down the road from me in Vista, CA.

You should really click the picture above and take a look at the label art; it's a pretty cool one. Also, the label poses a question of the drinker: "Do you dare?" I do, Reaper Ale. I do.

This beer poured into the glass with a deep golden color and lots of carbonation. A big, fluffy head was produced that stuck around for quite a while before dissolving into some substantial lace. The aroma is a pleasant combination of grapefruit and flowers, promising lots of hoppy flavor to come.

Drinking this beer is an adventure, because the flavor goes through three distinct phases before you get a chance to swallow it. The first flavor you get is mild and flowery and almost sweet. There's not a lot of that, though, because the second flavor asserts itself almost immediately, and it tastes like the beer is punching you in the tongue with a fist made of hops. It's bitter, but man is it good! As you start getting used to the bitterness, you start to taste the third phase of flavor, which is a grapefruit/orange/general citrus that mixes very well with the bitterness. A slight taste of alcohol (surprisingly little, considering the 9.1% alcohol content) comes through here also. That grapefruit flavor sticks around as the aftertaste.

Rating: 9/10. If you're a fan of IPAs and you can find it in a store near you, you need to try this beer.


Still More Beer Blogging!

That's right, I'm still going. It's Sunday, football is on the TV, and I'm ignoring everything else in my life except the beer in front of me. Life is good.

So if you pay attention to strange news stories, you may have heard about the strange case of Santa's Butt Winter Porter. Short story: it's been banned by the Maine state liquor agency because, since it has Santa on the label, it might be attractive to kids. It's also possible that they object to the word "butt", which refers to the barrel (called a butt by brewers) on which Santa sits in the label art but has a more obvious connotation.

Whatever the reason, this ruling is really stupid. In what store can a young kid pick up a beer, open it and drink enough of it to be dangerous without an adult seeing it? Anyway, when I saw a bottle of this in my local liquor store, I knew I had to have it. And this afternoon, I decided I had to drink it.

The pour promises a rich, flavorful beer. It's a deep brown as it comes out of the bottle; if you hold it up to the light you can maybe see some amber, but it pretty much just looks really dark. There's not much head to speak of. The aroma is roasted and spicy, as expected for a winter porter.

The first thing that surprised me about drinking this beer was that I only got the smallest hint of carbonation. It almost feels flat in the mouth, a feeling that's compounded by the slightly sweet first impression. I think what mostly surprised me is that it doesn't really drink like a porter. It kind of reminds me of a black lager or a really dark winter lager. The aftertaste sticks around for a long time, and tastes like a mildly spiced ale more than anything else. It's kind of confusing me, but the Santa's Butt Winter Porter is interesting and enjoyable. It's very mild for a porter, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Rating: 5/10. Recommended for fans of darker lagers and non-bitter ales, even if you normally wouldn't buy a porter. I don't know if I'd go out of my way to buy this one again, but it's an OK beer and the label kicks ass.



Extra Special Bonus Beer Blogging

Wow, another beer blogging post! This morning, I went to the greatest liquor store there is, and came home with a whole bunch of interesting beers that I can't wait to drink. This afternoon, I will be drinking The Famous Taddy Porter, from Samuel Smith's Old Brewery at Tadcaster.

Befitting a porter, this beer is as black as night when poured into a pint glass, with a nice foamy head. The smell is nice and complex: you can smell some bitterness, but the aroma is mostly of sweet, lightly roasted malt. From the smell, you expect a sweet beer that's not too overbearing.

And the first taste bears that out. This is a very malty beer, to the exclusion of that hop smell - I barely taste any hops at all. That's not necessarily bad, though. The Famous Taddy Porter is a surprisingly creamy beer that goes down very easily, so bitterness might be out of place. The aftertaste is more sweetness, and any bitterness there is comes in the form of a hint of dark chocolate and maybe some coffee. The overall effect is very pleasant and quite drinkable.

Rating: 7/10. Recommended for fans of chocolate stouts who are put off by strongly roasted porters.



Beer Blogging

In celebration of a long week of lab-related failure, I bring you a sure success: another beer blogging post. This one is a review of Full Sail Brewing's Sunspot IPA.

Full Sail Sunspot IPA

The Sunspot IPA pours into the glass with a big, frothy head that disappears slowly. It's a deep, golden-red color - a good sign for an IPA. What's unusual for an IPA is that it's cloudy; that can only mean lots of flavor. The smell is citrus-y, with a little hint of bitterness, but not much.

The first taste is, in a word, delicious. There's a little hint of hops on the front end, and as you go to swallow you get a big wallop of grapefruit in the back of your mouth. The grapefruit taste sticks around for a little while after swallowing. I can also taste a little bit of flowery perfume, but mostly the citrus dominates. The Sunspot IPA definitely isn't as bitter as some IPAs I've had, but there is some bitterness there. Overall this is a very well crafted beer, highly recommended for people who like beers with citrus (but not really fruity) flavor and some bitterness as well.

Rating: 8/10

UPDATE: I like beer, so I'm still drinking it. Specifically, I'm drinking this:

Trader Joe's Winterfest

That is Trader Joe's Winterfest beer. Yes, Trader Joe's has their own line of beers (actually brewed by microbrewer Gordon Biersch), and they're often pretty decent. This one is described as a "Dark, Double Bock Lager", and it is in fact dark when poured into the glass; very little head is present.

The aroma is strong, but fairly simple. It's basically just malty. Despite the dark color, this beer is actually pretty sweet when you first taste it. There's a very slight hint of chocolate; it's not dark chocolate like you usually get in a stout, but almost more like semisweet chocolate. Most of the sweetness is more like molasses and maybe caramel, and it's that flavor that sticks around into the aftertaste. You barely even taste the large amount of alcohol (7.5% abv).

If you have a Trader Joe's near you, I'd recommend picking up some of this while you can, since it's seasonal and it won't be around for long. Recommended for people who like sweet beers that sneak up on you with their high alcohol content.

Rating: 7/10