Evil Twin Brewing Evil Twin Yin Imperial Taiji Stout Double/Imperial Stout at 10% ABV
Pours a true solid black without a hint of colour, with a short mocha head diminishing to a thin skim and no lacing. Nose is deep roast malts, hint of smoke, coffee, very slight booziness. Taste leads out with roast malt and faint chocolate, giving way to booze-soaked dark fruit. Medium to heavy body, slick and smooth, with low persistent carbonation and a lingering boozy finish.
Quite nice. A very well-behaved Imperial, not too boozy but enough that there’s no doubt about what you’re drinking. Almost like a rum-soaked dark fruitcake and definitely a great beer for a cold winter night.
And if you’re thinking about commenting on the glass? Don’t. There’s a method to my madness – stay with me.
Evil Twin Brewing Evil Twin Yang Imperial Taiji India Pale Ale Imperial/DoubleIPA at 10% ABV
Pours a slightly cloudy copper with a creamy one finger head with good retention and moderate spotty lacing. Nose is sweet malt, tropical fruit and piney hops. Taste leads out moderately to strongly sweet leading to moderate bitter, finishing with nicely balanced bitter and sweet. Medium bodied and slightly creamy, with moderate sustained carbonation and a slight warming.
A little more malty than I prefer my DIPAs, but a solid performer regardless. A nice balance of malt and hops on the finish makes up to some extent for the malt forward nose. Not world-class, perhaps, but definitely very good.
Oh, look, there’s that wrong glass again. You see where I’m going with this, right?
Evil Twin Brewing Evil Twin Yin & Yang Black and Tan at 10% ABV
Dammit, they mixed! After me going through the effort of making a black & tan spoon and everything! I guess it’s fine that they did, seeing how they sell it that way, but still, I’m peeved. Ahh, well – just gonna have to practice it some more. Work, work, work, that’s all I ever do around here…
Surprising. The nose behaves much like I’d’ve expected – lots of malt from both the stout and the IPA halves, with just a faint undercurrent of hops. The taste, however, has behaved… unexpectedly. There appears to be less sweet malt on the outset than was present in either the Yin or the Yang. It’s like their sweetnesses didn’t add, but the bitter did. I want to try this again with a proper float, but it’s pretty serviceable just as it is.
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA at 8.3% ABV
Pours a deep cola red/brown with one finger of persistent tan head, minimal lacing. Nose is dominated by piney hops, with dark roasty malt tones of coffee and chocolate in the background. Taste is similar, with a distinct rye edge and a pleasant coffee bite playing against the hoppiness. Mouth feel is surprisingly light for the colour, but still tends towards a fuller body, with a pleasant warming and lingering bitter finish.
Another really good beer from Firestone Walker. Lots of depth, interesting hop bitterness and rye sourness without being palate-wrecking aggressive, and just enough ABV to be felt as a gentle warming, without any aggression at all. To the extent I have any criticism at all, the nose could be just slightly more emphatic.
Lagunitas Brewing Company Lagunitas IPA American IPA at 6.2% ABV
Pours a clear straw gold with three fingers of fluffy head on a moderately aggressive pour, good retention and moderate sticky lacing. Nose is light – pine and floral hop, and sweet malt in the background. Taste is pleasantly bitter up front, followed by sweet malt. Mouth feel tends to the light, with light sustained carbonation.
Decent IPA without the emphatic presence of their higher ABV products like Maximus, Little Sumpin, or Hop Stoopid, but still possessing sufficent hops to keep me interested. Fairly sessionable, actually, with a decent bitter finish.
Latest haul. All new to me except that La Folie – it’s so good I couldn’t resist picking up another.
Do I have a drinking problem? Yes. I can’t drink fast enough to keep up with all the beautiful beers out there!
Hop City Brewing Co. Hopbot IPA American IPA at 7.1% ABV
Pours a clear copper with good persistence of an aggressively poured fluffy three finger head, moderate sticky lacing. Nose is pleasantly hoppy, pine and grapefruit, with faint caramel malt. Taste is similar, but the sweet caramel malt is somewhat more pronounced, with the pine and grapefruit notes coming in late. Medium body, good sustained carbonation, and slightly creamy mouth feel, with a resiny finish.
Definitely a far better product than their lager, which was disappointingly bland. Decent hop presence in the nose, slightly less pronounced on the tongue. A very decent option for a locally available brew, and a welcome addition to the NLC lineup.
Stone Brewing Co. Kyle Hollingsworth / Keri Kelli / Stone Collective Distortion American DIPA at 9.2% ABV
Pours a clear golden orange with one finger of short-lived head and spotty lacing. Nose is predominantly pine resin hops, with a faint tinge of savory, almost onion-like character. Taste is… bizarre. Initially harsh, with an aggressive bite, but relaxes considerably with warming and additional tasting. Medium-bodied tending to heavy, on the chewy side, with low carbonation.
Can’t say I’m a fan. The nose isn’t bad, and in fact is very similar to the latest Enjoy By, but the flavour is, if not actively unpleasant, less approachable than Stone’s other offerings. Not sure I even want to finish my glass – and for a Stone beer, that’s approaching heresy.
Rockbottom Bar & Brewery Jacktar Stout American Stout at 6.7% ABV
(Tasting flight) Pours a deep cola red with minimal head and lacing. Nose is dark malt with a hint of anise and dark fruit. Taste is similar, but surprisingly sharp, with a distinct alcohol bite. Mouth feels tends to the watery.