Next up from the prolific AleSmith is a hazy IPA that is a jam.
Well, actually a marmalade.
This new release from San Diego pours a light yellow color with not much in the way of haze on view. Getting mango and pineapple on the nose, so checkmark for tropical.
Very light body with a solid kick of bitterness that does linger a bit. Getting a bit of raspberry and orange flavor after the bitter. The end brings a touch of alcohol heat mingling with malt character.
There is a nice juicy mouthfeel and indeed tropical but the haze and the softness I associate with it are not. Nix that word from the label and this beer is spot on.
It has been a bit of a NZ Hops month, so I turned to a style away from IPA from Third Window in Santa Barbara, Nelson Saison.
Here is my quick review – Pours a yellow / absinthe light green color. Very dry with a champagne flavor profile. Pronounced wine grape aroma that follows into the flavor. The Belgian yeast esters slide underneath.
Time to review New Zealand hopped beers via Paso Robles and Firestone Walker.
Let’s start with Nelson, a West Coast IPA. It pours a dark orange color. I get grape must and a slight tannic quality on the first sip. A little cat pee in the aroma. Further sips reveal a Concord grape note. There is a good hit of bitterness. Finishes with a combination of herbal and spicy.
Elenna is a hazy and a higher ABV than most FW beers which usually land in the 5.6% range. It pours a murky yellow color in keeping with the style. Aroma is forest like. Quite soft on the palate. Little bit of a cream texture. At the end I get a mixture of cherry and citrus.
Two more from Eureka Brewing to review (one of which is a bit long in the date tooth)…
West Coast Drift – big, big pineapple aroma and flavor. Like opening a can of pineapple in pineapple juice. Medium low haze in the glass. Overall nice strong bitterness to balance the juice notes.
Double Bogey DIPA – This one was canned in late January so a tad out of date. Sweet tart meets alcohol. Strong but not super bitter. I would like to taste a fresh one for comparison.
I have been really enjoying the best of California breweries boxes that I have bought through the California Craft Brewers Association. And this month, the summer box arrived so it is time to dig into reviews of some of the noteworthy beers from it.
We start with two styles that are off the beaten track. A double named beer from Sierra Nevada and a cream ale with a candy twist from High Water Brewing.
I was psyched to have the pale bock but the yellow / orange hued beer was a little one note. A nice malty note with a touch of apple cider but not much else and for a beer that is 6.8%, it tasted bigger alcohol wise. A twelve ounce can would have sufficed.
Break Apart was as advertised. Big orange aroma and flavor. Soft, giving it a creamsicle taste that was quite nice. I didn’t get a large hit of chocolate but the little amount there conveyed that Christmas orange taste.
Two shots down and the world is opening up. Took more time to get here than I thought last year but plans for trips are already being made and they will probably include some beer. Now let’s take a trip into what is coming up on the blog.
~ e-visits to (3) breweries NBA Playoff cities.
~ special featured reviews of beers from Eureka Brewing
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (not as far in the future now, events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Time Lord Victorious – All Flesh is Grass
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to My Dad Wrote a Porno
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.
I went straight up the ladder you 10 since Trappistes Rochefort does not have a 9 which is my favorite number.
10 – pours a dark amber red color. The head just doesn’t diminish. I watched as it took many minutes to flatten down. Yeast esters on the nose headlined by banana. Not so much spice though that I would expect. Quite bready and sweet. A dessert quality to it. A “wet” beer but not viscous.
We head to Topa Topa for another Pink Boots blend. The boot imprint is on the label of this IPA which makes it hard to miss.
I get a bit of raspberry aroma off of this beer. Fruity bitterness as well. Very west coast IPA in the execution. Tastes stronger than the ABV. As it warms, there is more grassy notes that come through. It is a different mixture of flavors and aromas from the typical IPA for sure.
Whichever High Seven reaches higher? Let’s dig into the two anniversary IPA’s from Highland Park Brewery.
H7 – pours a darker yellow color. Spicy and grassy aroma. Light and lively for 7%. Grapefruit pith is the first flavor identified. Getting a rye character as well. Has a medium hop bite to it.
DH7 – this was a gusher. I set the can down, turned away and eruption. After the cleaning, the beer was super hazy. Sweet tart and lactose. Soft with a fruit punch spike. Tongue scrape action like in my first hazies.
Kievit bound for Zundert 8 an “unruly” brew according to the brewery. Let’s dig into this ale brewed with spices. And it was true to the adjective. This beer wanted to escape from the moment it was opened. Once the foamy head settled, I was left with an amber hued brew that was spilling Belgian esters. A little banana. A little clove. The standards. A bit of a cola taste as well. There is a bit of spice lingering in the far background as well. This bottle does taste a skosh old though. I will have to find a newer bottling to make sure.