February was a pretty good month, beerwise and otherwise. I got a new job that’s really awesome so far, and I was able to try some delicious new beers and enjoy some old favorites. My plan is to write up the beers I’ve had every month and pick a winner. Keep in mind that I’m the very definition of an amateur beer reviewer, so I apologize in advance if my descriptions lack depth or wax poetic or both. I can’t promise it will always be something different, but maybe it’ll help you next time you’re at the bottle shop trying to make a decision. If you want to see my ratings as they happen, feel free to follow me on Untappd.
- Widmer Brothers Marionberry Hibiscus Gose – bottle – 5.5% ABV – A very pink beer. It’s a bit weak in the flavor department, although what there was was pretty good. Floral and just the slightest bit tart thanks to the hibiscus. Most of the flavor comes in the finish, which is a little unusual and makes for a slightly difficult drinking process. On the one hand its light ABV and champagne-ish look and feel make you want to drink it quickly so you can get to some real beer, and on the other hand, the longer you wait between sips, the more flavor you get. I’m not likely to buy this one again.
- Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout – bottle – 9.5% ABV – Drank this out of my Great Divide tulip glass, because what else would I use? Wonderfully oak-y as usual, and always a winner in my book. Definitely the best of the Yetis that I’ve had, though Espresso OAY is a close second. It’s a slow-sipping beer for me, one I like to savor, especially considering its gravity. My advice is to let it warm up a little before digging in, it’s worth the wait. I would love to try this one on a nitro tap.
- Belhaven Scottish Ale – draft – 5.2% ABV – I have to say I didn’t really enjoy this one all that much, but after some research I realized that a Scottish ale isn’t the same thing as a Scotch ale, which is what I was expecting. All in all, this one didn’t get a fair shot and I may have to try it again.
- Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA – draft – 7.2% ABV – A very solid IPA. I’m going to level with you, this was my second beer while catching up with friends and I remember very little about it. Mea culpa. It was certainly good enough to get it again, and I promise to pay better attention next time.
- Brooklyn Monster Barleywine (2007) – bottle – 10% ABV – A little different from the last batch of Monster I had, which I think was born in 2011. I liked the ‘11 considerably better, but I can’t remember precisely why :\ This one was super boozy, and while the alcohol bite was there on the ‘11, I don’t remember it being quite this harsh. Still, I love barleywines too much not to savor the bottles I have. Considering the fickleness of this one I probably recommend getting your barleywines elsewhere, unless you really go for that alcohol bite.
- Rodenbach Grand Cru – draft – 6% ABV – It must have been my lucky day! I went into the bar expecting Rodenbach’s Original, only to find out that the distributor had run out and sent the Grand Cru keg instead, and I got it for the same price. Tart and wonderful, though New Belgium’s La Folie still holds the keys to my sour, sour heart.
- Yuengling Lager – can – 4.9% ABV – The old standby, a very drinkable lager, and one of the best values for the money I’ve found. I doubt this will ever win a month, but I said I’d list all the beers I had, so you should probably expect to see this one pretty regularly.
- Sierra Nevada Rye IPA – bottle – 6.6% ABV – Super-flavorful IPA, can definitely taste the rye. It’s a bitter beer, so if you’re on the fence about IPAs in general I’d skip this one. There’s another one in the fridge, so next month’s BotM post will have more detail.
- New Belgium Trippel – bottle – 7.8% ABV – I love Belgian Goldens, and the coriander in Trippel is just wonderful. This beer is aromatic, with some banana in the nose that turns into a more generic floral flavor on the tongue. The coriander really anchors it, preventing it from becoming a glass of flowers. If you’re not a banana fan, don’t worry, the banana isn’t nearly as strong as in NB’s Abbey Ale, which is another favorite of mine. Just don’t smell it.
- Magic Hat Pistil Dandelion Ale – bottle – 4.5% ABV – Not much on the nose, what little is there smells very close to a wheat beer. Taste is grassy and a little bitter, but more of an earthy bitter than a hoppy bitter. This is a sipping beer for me, and I’m not sure I’d even eat anything with it for fear of losing the flavor in whatever I was eating. Maybe eating some dandelions while drinking it would work.
- Lonerider Shotgun Betty Hefeweizen – bottle – 5.3% ABV – It’s been too long since I’ve had a hefeweizen, and I don’t know why. Shame on me. Well, Betty has brought me back to them in a big way. It’s a fantastic beer, it smells like freshly baked bread, but the head dissipates quickly, so sniff while you can. It’s a little citrusy, especially in the finish, and overall highly delicious. Expect more hefeweizens to come.
- Foothills Hoppyum IPA – bottle – 6.3% ABV – I’m a terrible beer reviewer. I don’t remember anything about this one except that I like it a lot. It’s very hoppy as expected for an American IPA, but that’s all I got. I’ll do better next time.
Shotgun Betty! It was the only beer I had this month that made me kind of stop and regard it for a minute, amazed at how delicious it was. I know the RateBeer snobs don’t think much of it, but galldernit, I like it. And maybe it’s only fitting that a local brew wins the first round, although I promise it didn’t get preferential treatment. And that’s it for the first BotM, thanks for sticking with me. If you liked it, hated it, or have a suggestion for me, please leave a comment below!
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