Featured Review – Free Wave Hazy IPA from Athletic Brewing

Hazy and N/A? Let’s dive into the next Free Wave from Athletic Brewing

First item of visual business is that it is not holding the haze very well. It isn’t crystal clear but a little added murk is in order. The aroma is very much orange candy or soda. That carries over into the taste which has a pretty good level of piney dank bitterness but I am not getting the pillowy quality that should be in the style. Then the body fades at the end a bit. If this was labeled West Coast, it would get higher ratings but for a hazy, it misses too many marks

Featured Review – Flying Cat IPA from Strand Brewing

The Curious and Fantastic Flying Cat pours a dark yellow, orange color. Wet mouthfeel up front but a firm kick of old school hop bitterness at the back from this Strand Brewing beer. But for an IPA labeled ad “brewed with Citra hops”, the citrus element is not really there. Way more earth and tree to my palate. With a touch of dried fruit note (pineapple). Don’t quite know why the cat has armpit hair and is flying to close to the sun.

Featured High ABV Review – White Rabbit from Eagle Rock Brewery

To add to the degree of difficulty, the featured high ABV beers will also come from my cellar and be local.

First up is White Rabbit, an imperial Wit bier that was the 4th Anniversary beer for Eagle Rock Brewery. Let’s just say that was a “few” years ago.

The bottle was helpfully stamped with a born on date in 2014. Wine sour smell on the initial cap open. Considering this is a four year old beer in a style not known for keeping, it is not too bad. Once warmed a skosh, it settles down into a spicy fall beer. Certainly a Wit but it does not taste like 11%. Getting hefeweizen like esters of clove here. A tiny amount of warming as the bottle goes on. Some vinous notes at the very back along with a slight menthol touch.

Featured Review – Oakspire from New Belgium

This month, I am looking outside CA for the featured beer reviews and we start with New Belgium and their recent collaboration beer with Knob Creek, Oakspire.

This is a well crafted and balanced beer. Why? It is a barrel-aged stout without the stout. To be able to pull off the oak on a lighter beer is quite the trick. The burn is there but it just lingers in the corner, more as a reminder. You get malty Fat Tire-ness, you get toasted oak and the coconut from the spires. I am also getting some vanilla at the back to round the picture out. Amazingly there i zero sweetness. A barrel aged beer you want to buy a six-pack of.

Featured Beer Review – Punkin from Dogfish Head

Going back to the basics for this autumnal beer review with the Dogfish Head Punkin beer.

Haven’t had this in years it seems like. Comes across strong at first. Picking up vanilla first with the pie spices coming in after that. There is a heavy layer of gourd that sits on the palate after the spices depart the scene. Weird sort of almost burnt bitterness. Nice lacing on the glass after a few sips.

Featured Review – Pecan Ale from Abita

Switching from gourd to nut, here are my thoughts on the Abita Pecan Ale.

Here is the website description, “Pecan Ale is made with real Louisiana roasted pecans for a subtle, nutty flavor and aroma. It’s brewed with pale, Munich, biscuit and caramel malts, and Willamette hops.”

Pecan Ales is on the border of dark orange and brown . This nutty beer tastes light upon first sipping. It has some sparkle to it though. I like pie but the one I avoid is pecan pie. This has none of that sweetness. The roasted nut flavor takes the place of hops and there are no spices added to muddy this up. Just a straight up light brown ale with pecan notes to it. I didn’t geaux nuts but this is an easy sipper with personality.

Featured Review – A Tout le Monde from Unibroue

The second beer from Unibroue that I want to review is A Tout le Monde – The Megadeth edition.

Not a metal fan but I am interested to see how the creativity from one artistic endeavor fits with another. Let’s taste this Saison

Under the silver foil neck wrapper is a sprightly and quite good saison. Now, would I drink this blindfolded and think Megadeth? Probably not. Only 4.5% so not a head banger. The initial aroma is floral specifically rose petal. Above average carbonation lends to a sparkle. Potpourri flavor notes. A little coriander with wheat tucked into the bottom. Even non-fans would be happy with this solid beer.

Featured Review – Beer for Breakfast from Dogfish Head

At the start of the month, I made a special trip to my local craft beer store, Craft Beer Cellar – Eagle Rock, to spend my gift card bounty from Christmas.

Here is the first review. A beer that I would not normally run out to buy (due to the ingredient list that includes Guatemalan Antigua cold press coffee, Maple syrup harvested from Western Massachusetts and for the quintessential Delaware breakfast touch – Rapa Scrapple and their secret blend of spices), but since it was technically free, I could take a flyer on this hearty stout from Dogfish Head, Beer for Breakfast.

Pours black with a quite foamy espresso/latte head to it. A bit scared of this due to the “scrapple” element. Aroma is pure smoke as in that friend who came in from a smoke break. Off putting to me for sure. Taste is quite strong rauchbier. No ham-iness to it for me. Just smoke. Some coffee grounds poking through but not really bitter. Desperately calls for a 10oz bottle. Quite a warming down the throat bite to it. In the end, I cannot recommend because the aroma is just so off-putting to me.

Featured Review – Polestar Pilsner from Left Hand

I had to wait for the chilling effects of the right out of the ‘fridge Polestar Pilsner.  But when I did, the bright yellow beer was a sight to behold.


Right off the bat, this beer is primarily mineral driven there are undertones of citrus and hops but they are well underneath that mineral taste. This Colorado Pilsner is crisp but doesn’t fade away quietly. The taste lingers on the tongue. Right at the back you get some grain tastes clocking in.

This is a solid pils and a great start to the Left Hand Brewing line -up.