Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly

oakipa

That’s a mouthful, eh?

Sometimes I just dive into a beer without really thinking about it.  We watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall tonight (very good, by the way) and I opened a large bottle of this brew to enjoy while watching the flick.  I should have paid a bit more attention to the bottle, because this was definitely one to savor.

It’s an Imperial IPA, and Imperial generally means big alcohol.  This didn’t disappoint.  It comes in at a hefty 11.0% ABV and it packs a punch. But at the same time it is also very drinkable.  I love a good contradiction.

The kids at Southern Tier really get it when it comes to specialty brews.  This one excites, enhances, and any other “e” word you can think of.  It’s THAT good.  Big hoppy first bite that mellows (must be the oak) as the beer warms up.  One of the reasons that I wish I had read the bottle before starting it is that they recommend drinking the beer at a slightly warmer temperature.  That’s when it excels.  Ohhh…another “e” word.  Excellent!

Like the picture above suggests, I would imagine that it would go great with cheese.  I wasn’t eating anything as I already had a belly full of BBQ from a local joint.  Deep fried pickled jalepeno slices, waffle fries and a great jerked chicken sammy.  So this IPA was more of a dessert for me.  That’s how I roll.

My Rating: 9 out of 10

Elysian Avatar

Man, I love this beer.

The kooky kids over at Elysian took a normal IPA and jasmined it up (yeah, I went there).   Pretty bottle, too.  This is an extremely floral IPA that tastes like a bowl full of flowers.  In a good way.  A drinkable brew with an ABV of around 5.60%, this big-flavored IPA is only sold in, well, big bottles.  Good for sharing, I always say.

Had a couple of these on Saturday night to go along with a bunch of these so it was a fairly drunken night.  But that didn’t stop me from appreciating the wonderful flavor of this brew.

We have a few left over from the night and I am going to cherish them over the next few weeks.  Yum!

My Rating: 9 out of 10

Magic Hat hI.P.A.

I’ve never really been a big fan of the beers out of Magic Hat Brewery in Burlington, Vermont.  Their #9 is a seminal brew carried by just about any bar, pub or restaurant that you can find on the East Coast.  It’s an apricot-tinged pale ale.  OK…nothing great.  But some folks absolutely adore it.  Circus Boy is a decent hefeweizen.  Again, nothing spectacular.  Jinx, Rocky Rolles, Fat Angel, Lucky Kat…all decent.  Just nothing that I would faun over.

However, I really do love their hI.P.A. after trying it for the first time this past weekend.

hipa

As the cutesy name suggest, hI.P.A. is a seasonal Spring IPA from Magic Hat.  The “hI” is also short for “highly hopped” as the hops on this one come on strong early and often.  Very floral nose full of fruit becomes a medium-bodied rich looking brew in the glass.  What was nice about this IPA, as compared with some of the other hi-hopped brews out there, is that it wasn’t overly bitter in any way.  The bitter was there at the end, but it was balanced very nicely.

Oh and the ABV is 6.80%, so it isn’t too strong.  Not that you can’t handle strong beers.  I’m just sayin’.  Definitely one of my favorite IPAs on the market right now.  Check it out.

My Rating: 9 out of 10

Butternuts


Instead of focusing on one beer today, let’s talk about the selection of canned beers offered from Butternuts Beer & Ale out of the great state of New York.

As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of canned beers. Especially in the summertime. It just seems to go better with an outdoor setting, having some barbecue or sitting at the beach. Cans just make sense. And I think they keep the beer colder. Maybe that’s not true, but it feels right to me at least.

Butternuts currently makes four different style of beers and ales. They are:

Hennieweisse– Their take on a Hefeweizen.  Very drinkable and fun.  Like all wheat beers, I prefer to drink this one out of the glass and observe the cloudiness and smell the rich aroma.  I think it stands up very well to its German ancestors.

My Rating: 8 out of 10.

Porkslap– I love the artwork on the can on this one.  Very whimsical and fun.  Great for a BBQ.  There shouldn’t be a barbecue joint in the area that doesn’t serve this brew.  It tastes great on its own as well, a really rich and surprisingly malty Pale Ale.  Delicious!

My Rating: 8 out of 10.

Moo Thunder – I’m not a stout guy.  Let me clarify.  I love Guinness Stout, but I’ve had a hard time accepting any other stouts over my long history of beer consumption.  This one is no exception.  Maybe the reason is the time of the year.  Stouts and summertime just don’t go together well for me.  I’ll give it another go in the Fall.  OK?

My Rating: 5 out of 10. (for now)

Snapperhead– A very, very drinkable IPA with a lot less bitterness than most.  Tasted great right out of the super cold can on a super hot day.  I love IPAs in the summertime!  Gotta say my current favorite out of the Butternuts Barn. 

My Rating: 9 out of 10.