I didn’t make it out to San Gabriel for the actual Ogopogo Brewing anniversary party but I did drop in to snare the anniversary beer.
First off, kudos to doing a pale ale even if 6% is closer to that styles ceiling than floor. There is a bit of swirling haze in the glass but not a super murky appearance. Has that tongue scraping hop character that I kinda now expect from a hazy. It could also be that I see the word Phantasm and my mind fills in the blank with a powdery texture. There is a bright fruit punch note at first but that quickly transitions to a less bright earthy flavor.
Overall, I really like that switch. Both sides of that flavor coin are really good.
Time to welcome another brewery to Los Angeles via my beer review. Today it is Los Barbones Cerveceria and their Hazy Double IPA, Olor a Kush.
First off, not a fan of the imagery on the label. Especially if it is not indicative of what’s inside the can. Setting that aside, OAK pours a dark orange color with some haze to it. I would say medium to low. It is a little too sweet. Getting a Sweet Tart rush with an odd raspberry note. Has the needed Hazy softness and a nice DIPA level of malt structure but the hops are playing third string here when they should be number 1 or 1b.
If anything screams Halloween, this treat from Ommegang Brewing does…
My first two words for this beer are sweet and sweet. This is a Halloween treat yo’ self for damn sure. The beers pours pitch black and initially has a big chocolate aroma. Flavor wise, it is a mix of milk and dark chocolate and quite roasty. For me, the peanut butter promised on the label us too faint. As it warms, more peanut aroma and taste arrive, but it is not peanut butter.
Been a long while since I have had a Rogue beer and even longer since a Dead Guy even though that is really the only one available in SoCal.
Here is my review of the Dead Guy variant Dead ‘n’ Dead.
Whiskey barrel chips meets Maibock amped to 9.5% abv. Oak and alcohol on the nose. Kinda hoppy red ale initially before the Germanic influence creeps in. Was not expecting the bubbly nature, thought it would be more placid on the palate. Even so, you can tell this is strong beer. Nothing hidden here. The whiskey chips do their job, adding the spirit without bowling over the beer underneath.
I found two different IPAs from Anaheim’s Unsung Brewing at one of my bottle shop haunts (Talon) and thought it time to review their new hoppiness with a bit of a spooky season theme to the beer names.
Strange Tentacles – lot of hops going on here. Simcoe, Mosaic, Chinook, Amarillo and New Zealand Cascade. New and classic together. pours a dark yellow color. fruity on the nose with a pine accent. medium to low bitterness and light on the palate. summer IPA vibes here.
Alter Ego – into the haze, a light orange one nowhere near murky. super big coconut here which I blame on the Talus hops which are paired with Citra and Strata. a vinous mouthfeel on this one. bit of a milkshake quality as well. falls firmly into weird territory.
Who will be the Fest Winner? California, the U.S. or Germany?
Smog City Smogtoberfest – dark orange in color. smells hoppier than the other two. simple and crisp. lots of malt flavor here with a bit of a spice kick.
Half Acre Lager Town – pours a dark orange with a malty and orange peel taste. a bit heavy to me with caramel notes. minerality here too as well as a viscousness.
Weihenstephaner Festbier – the lightest of the trio. bubbly in the glass. a bit of malty sweetness with a tiny touch of minerality. very clean and crisp.
I think I have to choose the SmogtoberFest. It is the lowest ABV but also the fullest of the three beers.
Did you think I would NOT review a bourbon barrel-aged beer this month? I specifically hunted a good choice to start with and who better than Firestone Walker who collaborated with Highland Park Brewery on the excellently named, No Ends, Only Beginnings.
This is a simple and effective beer. No bells. No whistles. There is a lovely sugary, caramel aroma here. Not much in the way of oaky barrel. I could see comparisons to brown sugar or a restrained vanilla cupcake. The booziness is really held in check by the sugar. If tasted blind, I would not say bourbon but I would rate it highly.
Stone released their first anniversary beer under Sapporo and surprise, it is an Imperial IPA.
This triple dry hopped imperial IPA pours a surprising dark orange color. It is a shade under 10% ABV so it is quite a big beer with a very creamy malty mouthfeel to it. The hops coat the mouth with each sip. To start I get berry notes but that moves to a more lemon lime flavor as it warms up. Stone has a few hop tricks for what some might think is just another big IPA.
Fremont Brewing of Seattle (and Earth) has a pretty solid reputation and thankfully we get a bit of their beers here in L.A. Specifically a couple of IPA collaborations with sone equally well-known breweries…
Let’s start with Specific Void the ominous sounding IPA with Burial Beer Co.. Even the NW Fremont bird on the label has a museum exhibit quality to it.
This smells very NW to me. Pine backed by a slight fruit note. Very precisely targeted. Little banana on the taste. More malt than hops initially. Has a soft quality to it. Tastes closer to a Belgian Pale Ale to me and not in a bad way.
The next partner is Bale Breaker who also farm hops, so why not put those hops into a Cold IPA, Cultivision. Bird seems a little less goth on this label. Great aroma here. Quite earthy and dank to start. Very crisp. A bright yellow color to this one. Grassy overall.
I would take the Cultivision over Specific Void based just on crispness alone.
I posted about HopSaint getting into cans, so without further ado, let’s try Bring the Noise.
This Torrance brewed beer pours a yellow hazy shade. Aroma has a little orange peel to it. Initial sips show off citrus and a tiny bit of pineapple to me. Has the hazy texture to it, giving the palate a bit of a hop scrape. Getting secondary grassy notes behind the fruit. No one flavor is taking the lead.
Bonus points for the glittery disco label.