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.
Next up from The Bruery is the fabled White Chocolate…
This wheat wine pours a lovely orange color with nice white foam. I find it is better drunk a little warmer. Both velvet smooth and spiky with carbonation. Lovely spirit aroma to this. Mellow but easily evident. It is a nice interplay between bourbon and light chocolate notes. Sometimes simplicity is the best avenue. ABV is masked extremely efficiently. Zero burn.
Barrels aplenty today as I dive into the 25 year old DBA and then the brand new 2021 Double Barrel Parabola Imperial Stout from Firestone Walker.
Starting with the slightly smaller ABV’d DBA (Double Barrel Ale) which pours a lovely dark orange color. First flavor is minerality, a slight salt hit. There is a corresponding sweet aspect to the beer as well. A bit of apple and oak finish the profile.
10.5% higher is the Double Barrel Parabola Imperial Stout. A combo of bourbon and wheated whiskey barrels were used on this stout. It is super smooth and there is not much burn at all on this. It is a quick cheek warmer though. The dominant flavor is toasted coconut.
Let’s dive into three beers that venerable San Diego brewery AleSmith sent me recently….
Starting with Cloud Stream Hazy IPA, I would label this as medium hazy in appearance. A dark orange color. The can describes it as red currant, mango and passion fruit. I see the last two tropical descriptors frequently but red currant is a new one. But I do get that flavor front and center even though the aroma is fairly muted. Fruit punch plays a minor background chord.
LimeBerry Twist pours with a big pink foam. Lovely red color. Beginners level of tartness. Raspberry and lime flavors mix together really well. Refreshing with a touch of wheat at the back.
KickBackRelax Session IPA really bright light pine aroma to near dankness. 4.2% is super duper low. I was expecting watery but this avoids that trap. Not super hoppy tasting as the focus turns to the malt flavor. Perfect for watching sports without losing yourself before halftime.
Ranking the three would start with KBR move to LBT and in third CS.
Try as I might, I cannot remember having a beer from the Frucht series that The Bruery has been making. Now I remedy that situation with passion fruit.
Pours into my Bruery tulip a vivid orange color. Oh boy, this is tart and the video said it had been dialed back. That aroma tells you instantly that this is German Sour territory. Oddly the passion fruit is fairly muted. The label for this sorts looks like sea creature suckers and lemons.
Pours with a big fluffy espresso head. Very spice forward this year. Touch of woodsy here as well. Little sharp astringency as well. Like the roast character which adds a nice heartiness without making it too rich. This is the opposite of a dry beer. I think this is a higher ABV than in years past hitting the 7% mark. Really like the Three Graces on the label. Such simple and effective artwork.
I ventured out on a smoke filled sky Saturday to Signal Hill to pick up beers from Ten Mile Brewing who seem to have just what is needed for fall beer drinking.
First up to review is their Oktoberfest beer, Evidence of Autumn. This garnet colored gem is a really excellent example of grains being the star flavor of the show. Crackery and toasty yet crisp . It is a filling beer but not in a can’t have another pint way.
Dark Side of the Moo. Sitting on the line of dark brown and black this six percent milk stout is smooth except for a carbonated prickle mid sip. No dark coffee or chocolate or even vanilla here. Not super sweet either. There is a touch of the cream here but it is faint.
I was so taken by Canopy Pale Ale from Fieldwork that came in my Summit Experience package from the California Craft Brewers Association that I went to their website and saw that they had better shipping options than some of my locals, so I picked up two divergent styles.
Next up is a hazy, Trend Vampire…
Super low ABV. Love the name and all the DDH, hazy, low-cal descriptors. Has that scrappy tongue feel. More OG hazy, less the current fruity bombs. A bit minty. Certainly doesn’t taste low ABV