Funkwerks Solenna (Bastogne) pours up with a rich head that clings to the glass. It has a clear copper color that hints of golden colors at the edges. The lacing is very nice.
The aroma has fruit overtones with a mix of hops hiding in the background.
The taste starts out with an alkaline aspect that holds on past the finish. But quickly, the flavor shifts to spices and peat flavors. The malty flavor come in during the finish as a nice surprise.
The mouth feel is driven by the clinginess of the flavors. The medium body holds on only for a bit and fades quickly in the finish.
Overall, Funkwerks Solenna is a very enjoyable beer. I could enjoy this beer while sit on my deck and sharing it friends to push their beer boundaries.
Zebulon pours up nicely with a rich head that slowly fades while holding on to the glass all the way to the finish. The color is a deep brown with hints of tan hiding in there. The head shows the tan colors well with it being a dark sandy color.
The aroma is first of a dark chocolate malt and hint of bitterness or peat in the aroma. It makes you expect a drier beer before the taste even arrives.
The taste starts off with a welcome to your pallet due to cellar temperature. Chocolate malt flavors are there right away with the mild bitterness. Chocolate tones turn to bitter cocoa in the finish. While, the warming of the beer brings out the bitterness. The flavor doesn’t want to leave the mouth long after the sip.
The mouthfeel of Zebulon is heavy on pallet with a take over the taste buds kind of attitude.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer. The full body and the rich flavors make this a great beer for enjoying in Colorado Springs’ typical winter weather. The 6.1% ABV won’t slow you down, but a session beer this is not due to the other characteristics. If Phantom Canyon had a fireplace, Zebulon’s Peated Porter would be the beer of choice to drink while setting in front of it. I would suggest the Colorado Lamb Sirloin or the Center Cut Ribeye to complement its flavor.
Founders Devil Dancer is a triple IPA. It poured up nicely with a rich copper color and minimal head.
The aroma shows the presence of the high alcohol right away. The hops bouquet is nice but not too floral as was expected.
The taste of this beer is driven by the big characteristics of it with a high alcohol, big hop profile, the bold malt flavor, and heavier body. Finish presents with the heat of the alcohol. There’s a nice sweetness throughout the whole beer’s flavor. But the hops, they hold on throughout the taste, but they’re not over-the-top.
The mouth feel is driven by the strong malt backbone giving it a deep thick body, that is for I PA. The high ABV creates an interesting character in the mouth feel especially in the finish.
Overall, Devil Dancer is a very impressive beer. The 12% ABV makes this beer something to be enjoyed gradually so that you fully appreciate all the characteristics from the beginning to the end. I appreciate that there’s quite a few more of these waiting in the refrigerator.
Cigar City Brewing Black Whole poured up very nicely with a head that faded quickly to a minimal amount of head that stayed throughout the drink. The color is a rich brown to deep dark copper.
The aroma is rich in chocolate and a spice that can’t be placed.
The taste is dry with chocolate flavors throughout. The chocolate is not too much in that it will not overwhelm. The alcohol heat is barely detectable.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer. The chocolate flavors would make this good with a dessert or as an after drink beer.
Sprecher IPA2 poured up nicely with a good head that faded slowly. The color is a rich copper color. There are particles in suspension in the beer with some being large and some being small.
The aroma is mild for what I would’ve expected from a double IPA. There is a hint of pine in the aroma. Given the limited hops in the aroma, I wonder if the beer is old. There is no obvious date on the bottle, but there is a code which I guess the brewery could figure out.
The taste is kind of mellow. There are hops flavors throughout, but they are ill-defined.
There is a medium body to the beer. The body seems about right for what I would expect from a double IPA.
Overall, I was hoping to be more impressed with a double IPA. The ABV is 7.72%, which doesn’t put it too of outreach for drinking a couple of them with friends. I am concerned that this was just not a fresh batch as I picked it up at a local grocery store.
Left Hand Brewing’s 400 Pound Monkey has a small amount of haze in the deep gold to a light copper color. The head fades with a good bit of lacing left behind.
The aroma is very mellow for what was expected. Hops characteristics present nicely with slight pine flavor. No wheat is detected in the aroma, but I’m not sure how much is in the beer to contribute to the aroma.
The flavor starts out with a mild bitterness with a small amount of sweetness. The finish holds on for just a bit with a kick of more bitterness. The flavors fade fast in the mouth and leave behind a slight bitter after taste.
The mouth feel of Left Hand Brewing’s 400 Pound Monkey is heavy for what the appearance would lead you to expect.
Overall, this an enjoyable beer with a interesting mix of characteristics. The finish leaving behind a bitter after taste leans this beer to not be a session beer, but it would be great with a mix of other beers.
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA is a seasonal. It pours up with a nice head that fades slowly with nice lacing. The color is a light copper color that is very clear. The carbonation is rising up nicely in it.
The aroma is rich with rye and hops. For comparison, the rye aroma is much stronger than Terrapin’s Rye Pale Ale.
The rye presents boldly at the beginning of the taste. The rye adds a different dimension that the traditional IPA profile wouldn’t have by itself. A fan of hoppy beer is likely to enjoy this new dimension.
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA has a medium body that compliments the flavors of the rye.
The rich flavors of this beer makes it very enjoyable, but the flavors don’t overwhelm. It would make for a good session beer with the 6.6% ABV. I will be looking forward to this seasonal coming around again.
There are currently seven authentic Trappist breweries in the world (six in Belgium and one in the Netherlands). To bear the Trappist logo, the beer must be brewed within the walls or vicinity of a Trappist monastery, the monastic community determines the means of production, and any profits are primarily intended for the needs of the monastery or for social services. The smallest and most recently recognized Trappist brewery is Achel Brewery (Brouwerij der Sint-Benedictusabdij de Achelse Kluis) in Achel, Belgium. Achel currently brews five beers (Achel Blonde 5°, Achel Brune 5°, Achel Blonde 8°, Achel Brune 8°, Achel Extra (Brune), Achel Extra (Blonde). Only the Blonde 8°, Brune 8°, and Extra (Brune) are distributed beyond the abbey walls.
Achel Extra (Brune) (Belgian Strong Dark Ale, 9.5% ABV) is distributed in 750 ml bottles. It pours a dark brown, with golden-red highlights visible in light. It has a fine light brown head and exhibits excellent lacing. The aroma is a little yeasty, but as the beer warms dark roasted malt dominates the smell. When I initially poured the bottle, I detected a slightly sour roasted malt flavor, but as the beer warmed a little, the sourness diminished and the toasted malt, prune, and raisin flavors were outstanding. It was at about 60°F that the superior flavor of this beer really became apparent. Some other reviewers have noted low carbonation levels, but this bottle was fully carbonated and a world class beer.
I took another picture of the empty glass to highlight the thick lacing that was present to the end. In addition to the Achel Extra, I also highly recommend the Achel Blonde 8° and Achel Brune 8° — they are a little harder to find than most other Trappist beers (except Westvleteren), but worth seeking out.
Bell’s Brewing’s Hopslam poured up from a firkin so there was minimal head, but what there was came primarily from the pouring. A deep golden color almost turning to a light copper with a SRM scale reading between 8 and 10.
Hopslam’s aroma is rich hoppy mixture from the numerous hops. It is like a potpourri of hop smells.
The initial flavors are sweetness likely from the honey followed by a hoppiness that fills your mouth with citrus and floral. The finish is mixed with a little alcohol heat showing up right it the end of the all of flavors.
The flavors cause the mouth feel of this beer to be driven by the hold that the flavors have on your mouth. The sweetness and body of the honey help to give this beer a nice medium body, which compliments the favors.
I would say this a classic for the hophead to include in their annual rotation of beers. The highly limited availability of this beer here in the south makes this beer something to mark on your calendar for each late January.
New Belgium Fresh Hop india Pale Ale from the Lips of Faith Series jumps out of the bottle as it is uncapped with hops aroma being pushed out as the pressure rushes to equalize.
The appearance is very golden with orange to copper colors. The head is big at the start and fades slowly with thick lacing.
The aroma is very strong and full of citrus and grassy characteristics. A little bit of a pine aroma is present, too.
The taste is mellow compared to the aroma. There is a very even hop flavor throughout the mouth, but a pine flavor returns to provide a stronger hops finish to the beer.
Overall, this is a very good fresh hop beer. Some would appreciate a taste profile that is richer in flavors. The 7% ABV helps make the beer very drinkable.