Central Coast Okto Showdown

Today we compare / contrast two Central Coast Oktoberfest beers.

Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest, an oak aged lager, pours a pretty orange hue.  You can smell the malts from arms distance away. Crisp with malt taking center stage. Simple and straightforward.  A slight metallic note at the back but this is a lovely fall beer.

There Does Not Exist Oktoberfest Lager is another orange gem but this version is say more silky and missing some of the crispness.  I get an Navel orange citrus note as well that mingles with the malt notes.

Winner – This is a tough call. I would like to merge the crispness of the Oaktoberfest with the TDNE complexity.  But if asked which I would get seconds of, it would be the Firestone Walker.

Review – We’re Out of Dynamite by Great Notion

I haven’t had a Great Notion beer in awhile but SoCal has been getting quite a few beers from the PDX brewery that I thought the time was right for some dynamite, or lack thereof.

You will read about where I bought it later today, but here is the review from me and two fellow tasters…

This was not a well loved beer. One gave it the lowest rating she had given a beer and the other found it not to his taste. Me well, I found toasted coconut big time with a neapolitan ice cream aroma.  There was some tropical notes but more strawberry.  It was almost like a sour stout in which the ABV over 11% does not really show.

It may be another while before I have another pastry stout

Review – MacLeod Ales 7th Anniversary Stout

Time to crack open the impressively packaged Imperial Double Mash Stout from MacLeod Ales

This is a gentle giant of a beer. Pours dark brown in color with just a few, fast dissipating bubbles on top. I get cherry, chocolate and a slight nutty taste at first. This is a smooth beer. The ABV is not showing. As it warms, I get Dutch chocolate pudding with a bit of coffee bean bitterness.

Featured Review – (3) from Ruse Brewing

Thanks to City Beer Store of San Francisco, I snared a couple beers from Ruse Brewing in Portland.

Static Equation – pours a hazy yellow color.  label claims apricot, grapefruit and dankness from the Citra-Simcoe-Mosaic hop trio.  I get a dank Meyer lemon taste with a pillowy feel to it.  Bit of a hazy burn at the back of the palate.

Ghost Coast – clear and yellow in color.  has a good strong lemony bitterness.  lot of malt chewiness here as well. gettin a bit of grassy character as well.

Thought Frequency with Great Notion – lightly hazed yellow color. quite spicy and herbal driven.  light in texture. pine aroma to me.  a bit of a toasted malt character here that is different from most hazies and not what I expected from a Great Notion collab.

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

Up From The Cellar – Bourbon County Stout 2014

I have found a beer that I guess I hid out of spite for SABInBev. Time to open this 2014 pre-variant heavy slate of Bourbon County Stouts.

BCS14 – Pours a murky dark brown.  Light bourbon on the nose.  A little cherry in the taste but this is not heavy at all.  Some chocolate and wood notes as well with a tiny touch of sour at the back. Alcohol doesn’t really show.  Thinking that maybe 7 years was too much time? Just amazed at how thin it is overall

Featured Review – Deep Thoughts About Hops

I got a nice care package from Three Weavers Brewing with an exciting single hop beer, featuring Simcoe.

This pale ale pours a vibrant yellow. Pine and earthiness are first to make their presence known followed by a minor note of grapefruit. For a pale ale, Deep Thoughts has a strong layer of bitterness to it while still being lighter in body. Additional citrus notes come through as the beer warms up making the flavor profile more complex.

I am hoping that maybe, down the road, there will be a mixed 4-pack each can featuring a different hop.

Featured Review – Nature Nut from Athletic Brewing

Peanut butter beers are the rage right now, but what would an N/A one taste like? Let’s see what Athletic Brewing can do with Nature Nut a collaboration with Justin’s Nut Butters.

Double N pours a nearly black color. The aroma has a slight peanut butter aroma to it. Akin to the smell when you stir up a natural peanut butter when first opened. Again, Athletic has made a beer that does not taste thin like others in this category. There is a bit of a cherry note amidst the carbonation that hits upon first taste which quickly leaves and then a pleasant but light peanut tastes lingers.

Review- Elevensies from Eagle Rock Brewery

Happy 11th birthday (a little belated) to trailblazing LA brewery Eagle Rock and now let’s check out their celebration of 11…

Elevensies pours a close to dark orange. This is a cheek warmer for sure. 11 hops including the new Altus were used for this anniversary Triple IPA that tops the scales at not 11 IBUs but 111 of them. Initially a little hot and that ABV obscures a dark cherry type of flavor that I am getting.  Maybe caramelized pineapple?  Either way it is nicely sharp at the beginning of the sip and then glides into the slight burn.