Whoa, WHOA, WHOA. I totally overshot the 21st and I am terribly sorry. I know you all wait for these posts with bated breath, so I hope no one suffocated this weekend. The last 11 days of October were good ones, so enjoy, and let me know what you think if you try any of these brews!
10/21: Carolina Brewing Oktoberfest Lager – 5.6% ABV – bottle
I drank this one out of the bottle, so I can’t speak very well to the color or aroma. I liked the heavy maltiness of it, and the mouthfeel was crisp and clean. I always like finding lagers I enjoy, since I primarily drink ales and I don’t want all the lagers to feel lonely and neglected. I don’t really like the style all that much in general, so I doubt I’ll get this one again, but as märzens go, it’s a good one.
10/22: Boatswain H.L.V. (Heavy Lift Vessel) Ale – 7% – bottle
Another bomber I bought at Trader Joe’s for just a couple bucks. It pours dark brown with a one-finger head that leaves moderate lacing. Aroma is roasted malts, raisins, and a good bit of booze. Flavor is a little bland, mostly dark malts and mild bitterness. It hangs around a good while, slowly fading away into bitterness. For the money, it’s a fine beer. No award winner, but it’s sure better than Simpler Times – not that that’s hard.
10/23: Duck Rabbit American Brown Ale – 5.6% – bottle
The first non-milk-stout I’ve had from Duck Rabbit, the ABA is billed as “hoppy and beautifully bitter.” The aroma is malty and bready with just a hint of hops. The flavor is very typical of brown ales, full of hop bitterness and focused on roasted malts to carry the rest. It’s also a bit nutty. I think I’ll stick with the milk stout.
10/24: Finch’s Golden Wing Blonde Ale – 4.7% – can
This is my first beer from Finch’s, and while I’m not terribly impressed, I’m not ruling out their other offerings either. The pour is pale gold and the white head leaves just a hint of lacing. The aroma is grassy and grainy, with a hint of citrusy hops, but there’s also a bit of a cloying off-note there that I can’t quite place. The taste leads off with light bready malts that give way to citrus and grass. The finish is mildly bitter and fairly dry. I doubt I’ll buy this again. Let me know in the comments if there’s another of Finch’s beers I should look for.
10/25: Avery Old Jubilation Ale – 8.3% – bottle
Pours a deep amber with a short tan head that leaves moderate lacing. Smells a lot like a red – very malty, and forcefully boozy. There’s a half roasted, half smoky scent that underpins it all. The taste is primarily toffee and raisins, with a hint of smoke as well. The mouthfeel is smooth and the finish is mellow and sweet. It’s a really nice winter beer, and lighter than the typical stouts that proliferate during the season.
10/26: 21st Amendment He Said (Belgian Tripel) – 8.2% – can
Today’s a double-beer day! 21st Amendment’s fall seasonal He Said/He Said is a 4-pack containing two very different beers. This one is the Belgian Tripel. Aroma is really nice, a little banana and spices, mostly bready malt. It’s a standard tripel, and very very good. Looking forward to trying the other He Said.
21st Amendment He Said (Baltic Porter) – 8.2% – can
Smells like really strong pumpkin pie, very spicy. Excellent sweetness and a good bit of smoke. Lots of spices, nutmeg and allspice and cinnamon, but the dark malts balance it pretty well. I doubt I’ll get this one again, but it’s a good one for pumpkin lovers.
10/27: Great Divide Hercules Double IPA – 10% – bottle
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Smells like grapefruit peels and freshly cut grass. Tastes amazingly hoppy, with a fantastic bitterness that lingers through to the finish. I will always love this beer, and I intensely miss being able to just drive down to Denver and visit the brewery.
10/28: Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro – 6% – bottle
Hands down, the most fun you can have just pouring a beer. Just turn it upside down and enjoy the show. This, friends, is my favorite stout. Smells like caramelized sugar and dark roasted malts. Tastes very sweet, with coffee and toasty bread flavors. The lack of carbonation makes it incredibly smooth, and the finish is very soft with a lingering hint of coffee.
10/29: Uinta Hopnotch IPA – 7.3% – bottle
Bright orange color and short off-white head that leaves thick lacing. The aroma is heavy with soft fruit and citrus, along with some pine. Taste is bright citrus that hangs on the tongue as it fades into bitterness and a dry finish. This is a great IPA, very hoppy and well-balanced with light malts that allow the good stuff to shine through.
10/30: Boatswain Twin Screw Steamer Double IPA – 8.4% – bottle
Cloudy and orange with a weak cream-colored head; my expectations are not high. Another Trader Joe’s find, while it only cost $3 for the bomber it smells like biscuity malts and light grains and…pennies. The beer is too sweet, and I can barely taste any hops. I wonder if anyone told them they needed to put those in. Maybe there’s a little pine on the backend, but the finish is syrupy and sours quickly. Do not buy.
10/31: The Bruery Sour in the Rye – 7.8% – bottle
Happy Halloween! I’m finishing off the month with my final birthday bomber. The aroma is, naturally, sour; There are notes of cherry and oak and alcohol as well. The first sip is so tart my mouth puckers, but it mellows out (a little, at least) from there on out. The flavor is tart lemon, sour cherries, and oak. The finish is smooth and sweet and lingering. I recommend letting this one warm up a bit before drinking it. A fantastic way to end the month.
And the winner is…
Hercules Double IPA! This was a tough decision, because I also really loved Sour in the Rye. However, the drinkability factor of the Hercules tipped the scales in its favor. Maybe that’s not really fair, but it’s my blog, dammit, and I can do what I want! It won’t be long before the November post goes up, so until then, keep drinking awesome beer!