Ted’s Beer of the Month: Oct 2013 (1 of 3)

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Since last month’s post was so slim, I’M GIVING IT ALL I’VE GOT this month. Every day I drank one of the beers from the stash given to me by my loving wife for my 27th birthday back in August. I didn’t have a full month’s worth of new beers, but I found a few others to fill in the gaps; it was tough, but I made it through somehow. Since it’s such a long post, I’ve broken it up into three parts. I’m trying out a slightly different format this month, so let me know if you like it. Here are the first 10 days’ worth of beers:

10/1: Uinta Hoodoo Kölsch – 4% – bottle

Grassy and mildly citrusy on the nose, with a tinge of yeast underneath. The taste is fine, but nothing to write home about. I’m not typically a kolsch drinker, so maybe my palate’s been tainted by all the strongly-malted and hopped beers I so love. If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

10/2: Uinta Detour Double IPA – 9.5% – corked bottle

img-detour-bottleSpeaking of strongly-hopped beers, this beer presents a stark contrast to last night’s selection. It pours a hazy amber with a short white head that dissipates quickly and leaves heavy lacing. The aroma is beautifully hoppy, a mix of grass and citrus with a sweet caramel backbone. There’s a lot of bitterness in the taste, and it lingers on the tongue. There are a couple sour off-notes in the finish that I’m not a fan of as well. The high alcohol content, something I look forward to in DIPAs, is overpowered by the harsh bitterness of the hops. Sadly, I can’t recommend this beer, and will be sticking with old standbys like Foothills’ Seeing Double in the future.

10/3: Rodenbach Red – 5.2% – bottle

Light brown sugar and yeast on the nose. Smells like a mild sour. Great tartness when it hits the tongue that’s backed up with a nice woody flavor. If I’m being truly honest (and when am I not honest about beer?), I much prefer the Grand Cru to the Red. Still, a wonderful beer.

10/4: Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter – 4.7% – bottle

One of my go-to porters. Very sweet and malty. I love the strong vanilla flavors. It’s not one I’d have more than one of in a sitting, as its sweetness pushes it into dessert beer territory, and can be a bit much after a while.

10/5: Left Hand Milk Stout – 6% – bottle

Pours thick and dark with a short tan head that barely fades at all. Smells like dark malts and nutty grains, and those aromas carry through to the flavor. The milk sugar gives it a great, smooth mouthfeel. This is my second favorite milk stout, first being the same beer on nitro…stay tuned…

10/6: Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale – 7.7% – bottle

Dark, with minimal head that fades to light lacing. Sweet-tasting with caramel and roasty malt flavors, and a nice stiffness from the alcohol content. I still think I prefer Oskar Blues Old Chub on draft, but this definitely sits at my second favorite.

10/7: Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA – 9.2% – bottle

Pours deep black with a one-finger tan head with fantastic retention that leaves thick lacing. Lemon and grapefruit on the nose, along with some roasty malts and maybe a touch of pine. Tastes strongly of hemp (hence the name) and dark roasted, almost burnt grains. The finish is smooth and bitter, and lingers on the back of the tongue. This is my favorite black IPA right here.

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10/8: 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA – 7% – bottle

Pours translucent gold with a thick foamy head that leaves heavy lacing. Smell is all hops: citrus and pine and hemp. The taste begins with strong orange flavors that give way to slight woodiness. The mouthfeel is a little thin, though that’s not unusual for an IPA. The finish is bittersweet and piney. I don’t think I’d buy it again, simply because my refined IPA-drinker’s palate prefers other beers to this one, but it’s a good solid IPA, especially if you love the big hop flavors all mingling together. Plus, you just gotta love that can artwork.

10/9: New Belgium Rampant Imperial IPA – 8.5% – bottle

Pours clear and golden, with a thick head and heavy lacing. Pine-forward aroma with citrus notes, and major pine and grass flavor. Finish is dry and clean, with that lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue that comes with all hop-heavy beers. This may well be my favorite offering from New Belgium, and it’s definitely better than Ranger, their single IPA. However, if you find Ranger to be too bitter for your tastes, I’d steer clear of this one.

10/10: Dogfish Head Midas Touch – 9% – bottle

Pours a nice copper color with a very thin head that leaves no lacing. The aroma is somewhere between champagne and a pale lager, with very fruity notes consisting mostly of light sweet grape and maybe a touch of melon. More grape presents in the flavor, along with some honey. The finish is clean and dry.When the brewer claims their beer is “made with ingredients found in 2,700-year-old drinking vessels from the tomb of King Midas,” my first thought is how cool that is, and my second is that I hope the ingredients in this aren’t 2,700 years old. Presumably they just copied the recipe rather than scooping out what was inside. Either way, I hope there’s more where that came from, because it’s delicious.

That’s it for part 1, I’ll post the next one on the 11th. And because I’d hate to leave you without a winner even though there are two more posts in the pipeline, this post’s winner is…

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New Belgium’s Rampant! I can’t speak highly enough of this magnificently hoppy beer. While I love Trippel and Abbey a whole lot, Rampant simply wins out where my palate is concerned. Leave a comment to let me know what you think about my selection, and if there are any others you think I should try!

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