The theme for the brewery tour this month is meant as a starting off point. Which breweries have a well known nitro offering and from there talk all of their beers. So we start with the most known in my book, Left Hand Brewing.
Perusing their tap list, I see quite a few Nitro options such as Galactic Cowboy Imperial Stout, Milk Stout and Flamingo Dreams Berry Blonde but let’s have the following in a taster tray…
1265 Pilsner – “Crisp & lively with delicate citrus hops and light bready malts.”
Fade to Black Foreign Stout – “3x Gold Medal winner a time the Greatest American Beer Festival in the Foreighn-style Stout category”
Pint of Paradise Sour NE IPA – “From the Brewer, Tanner: The heart of this beer is the experimental yeast, Lallemand’s Philly Sour, which naturally produces lactic acid during fermentation. Light body, slight haze, Citra & Galaxy hop aromas of tropical fruit & a tart, juicy mouthfeel.”
Found Fortune DIPA – “A treasure trove of tropical fruit & citrus from El Dorado, Galaxy, Citra, Comet & Cascade hops.”
I am pretty scattershot with my coffee buying. Most times, I get the latest seasonal offering from Trader Joe’s but when I saw this bag at my local Whole Foods of the Amazon, I decided to give it a whirl since donations to charity always work on me. And this was really good. I will have to look around to find the Hard Wired beer from Left Hand to compare but this was light and a bit fruity without too much acidity to it.
Left Hand is the leader in the nitro can beers but their newest one is of the most interest to me….
…adding nitro to this style seems a nice match that should bring out some soft notes from the malt.
I am a sucker for beers that are aged in or try to mimic the flavors of gin, and now I have another one to look for…
Coming this month (or next, depending upon distribution), is Saison au Genièvre part of the Les Quatres Saisons series from Left Hand Brewing. It is “brewed with native Colorado ingredients, each beer in the collection highlights a unique addition. Saison au Genièvre features juniper berries to bring a mild tartness to the dry and crisp farmhouse-style ale.”
When I saw that Left Hand Brewing was releasing a Session IPA under the Introvert name, I knew that the Extrovert probably wasn’t far behind. And the much more assertive IPA with a blend of Jarrylo, Cascade, and Comet and expansive dry hopping is much louder.
The literature on the beer makes claim to tropical flavors, pineapple notes, mango, and orange blossom. Plus a bite balanced by biscuit malt. To me that initial bitter bite obscures fruit notes underneath. Creating more of a fruit peel taste as opposed to the juicy sweetness of the fruit. the aroma is the real puzzler here. It has a grassy top note with more of a spent grain profile to it. The aroma does not lead into the bitter taste. As the beer warms up, a serious grapefruit pith note takes hold leading to a quite dry finish which I like. I just wish that the aroma wasn’t such a mis-direction. In the end, this beer tastes quite stronger than expected and could probably easily slip into a Double IPA category.
For the first of four OktoFest beer reviews we start in Colorado with Left Hand Brewing. And to change things up, I am tasting this Marzen Lager paired with three cookies from the famous Diddy Riese in Westwood.
When tasting with the peanut butter cookie, the beer really helps lighten the buttery and heaviness of the peanut butter. The dark roast is a little too much for the peanut flavor though.
When it comes to the classic chocolate chip cookie, the match-up is a little too adversarial for me the beer wants to be lighter but the chocolate is too rich and sweet and doesn’t give up
Oddly, the chocolate chocolate chip works much better. The added sweetness gives a proper foil for the malt and carbonation.
Overall, the Left Hand Oktoberfest is light and lively with a bit of spice to it. A solid beer.
We have reached the JuJu portion of Left Hand Brewing review month.
Here is what the brewery has to say: “A little Juju voodoo – fresh ginger kisses the lithe malty body, copulating with the hop in this pale ale ancestor.”
Well, I agree with the kiss of ginger. This garnet hued beer has a nice touch in the nose and the taste is there too with the trademark bit of heat and spice to it. Then the beer plunges from view. There is a little tiny bit of toast flavor and then it’s just sort of watery. I have to disagree with the pale ale and malty body idea. Granted the ginger is left to be the star but it is a one person show to me.
Big eyes adorn the label of 400 Pound Monkey English-Style IPA from Left Hand Brewing. Except for the monkey in the center who looks rather serene.
I find it funny that we Anericans took IPA and spun a whole cottage industry out of it, to the point where we find ourselves back at the source.
This beer certainly tilts the equation back towards an even split of malt and hop. And the earthy hops also add to the grain-centricity. The bitterness is there at the front. Part of a dual front with the malt. And this beer still has zip to it as well. Almost a flavor memory of honey on toast here.
The Session IPA craze shows no sign of abating but at least the offering from Left Hand Brewing has a catchy name. Or at least catchy for an introvert like me.
Introvert Session IPA has a little bit of everything, hop wise. Pine notes mostly, followed by a bit of citrus and fruit. The body is nice and light and bears up the load of bitterness well but this could be easily labeled as a pale ale in my book.
My hallmark of the style is Ponto and/or Easy Jack. Lighter, fruitier options that are quite differentiated from their bigger brethren. Having Introvert before 400 Pound Monkey for the first time might skew me a bit but this seems too big a start.
That being said, the overall taste is great if you are looking for a bold Cascade-y type beer.
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.