Ted’s Beer of the Month: Oct 2014

Sierra Nevada Snowpack

Whoops, looks like I lost a month there. September wasn’t very interesting anyway, I mostly drank a lot of Big Boss Harvest Time, because it’s Fall and it’s delicious and I do what I want. On to October! This month I came across  Sierra Nevada’s Snowpack 12-pack, which contains these 4 winter-friendly brews…

stoplight_grnCoffee Stout – 6.2%

A thick, dark beer, this simply-named coffee stout smells great, with the coffee aroma coming through first, followed by a combination of dark roasted malts and fruity smokiness. Fruity smokiness may sound crazy, but its my nose, so stop judging me! I forgot about it let it warm up a bit before drinking it. Because I’m fancy. The flavor is understandably coffee-heavy, but there is a delicate caramel sweetness that comes along with the mild piney bitterness. I’m still not a fan of smoke flavor in beers, so this is not my favorite coffee stout. Still, it is well-balanced and a nice wintry beer.

stoplight_grnBoomerang IPA – 6.7%

The aroma is dank and herbal, and it has an impressively bitter punch right off  the bat. It’s very hoppy and resinous from start to finish, with grapefruit peel and pine flavors taking turns at the forefront. The malts provide a baseline sweetness, but mainly get out of way to let the hops shine. The finish is dry, and the bitterness lingers a long time. I wouldn’t put this IPA in my regular rotation, but it’s a good occasional beer for when you’re feeling especially bitter.

stoplight_grnPorter – 5.6%

Starting out with a malt-forward aroma with notes of chocolate and floral hops, this is a balanced porter with  great carbonation and a dry mouthfeel that just keeps pushing those malts to the forefront. More chocolate and coffee flavors come into play as it warms, with the hops giving a bitter nudge that’s just enough to offset the mild sweetness. The finish is moderately dry, and bitter. It’s a great example of the style, and maybe my favorite of this bunch.

stoplight_grnPale Ale – 5.6%

A good old standby, it has a snappy pine aroma underscored by caramel malt sweetness. The flavor has a mix of piney and mild citrusy hoppiness and caramel sweetness, with moderate bitterness coming in about halfway through and lingering for a while. The finish is sweet but well-balanced. I don’t like it as much as Torpedo, since as an American in my 20s I’m conditioned to love gratuitous levels of hoppiness. Still, it’s a good anchor for this 12-pack, and a good, easy-drinking beer to have around.

The Verdict

First of all, Happy Halloween! Also, I have no major complaints about any of these beers, they’re all pretty great! This is an excellent variety pack, particularly if you’re as ready for winter as I am.

And while I’m not a huge football fan in general, I’m incredibly proud of my Mississippi State Bulldogs, for getting our state and our university some of the recognition it deserves!


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