Christmas Beer Review – Our Special Ale 2022 from Anchor Brewing

You’ve at least ordered the Anchor Brewing Story, if not devoured it by now, so let’s dive into their 2022 Our Special Ale.

Right off the bat, the 2022 smells really malt. Just opened malt bag, malty. There is a bit of spice and a bit of apple cider here. To be honest, it tastes a little under done to me. I notice a little black licorice note as well. It doesn’t not say Christmas but it seems tilted to, dare I say, pastry stout? Apple cider and a yeasty bread roll version.

Review – Dead Guy Ale from Rogue

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.

Beer Review – 1970’s Lager from Faction Brewing

This plus sized stubbie bottle brings back memories, of the 1970’s when I was a wee lad in Portland and of my Dad getting a case of some near generic beer like Buckhorn in the tiny bottles.

Let’s see what Faction Brewing thinks the 1970’s taste like…

Pours a super clear light yellow color. Nice foamy head too. Initially a sweet taste. Not as crisp as I was expecting. More silky in texture while still a bit bubbly. Getting some lemon and lime notes mostly. There is a tiny touch of bitterness as well.

Review – Birthday V Cold IPA from Wayfinder with Firestone Walker

Whichever side of the debate over Cold IPA you are on, you have to admit that Wayfinder Beer is the progenitor of the sub-style and pairing them with hop darlings Firestone Walker is a good call.

But let’s dive into the liquid for Birthday V and see what I think…

#5 pours a bubbly clear dark yellow. First sip is grassy and a bit medicinal to me. The aroma has a bit of the cat pee to it while the second sip shows some floral character to it. The bitterness is heavy and lingers on the palate.

I think a little burst of orange flavor would really ties this up into a neat bow.

Anniversary Report – Far Field’s 1st

A great way to finish July. That is the main takeaway from the 1st Anniversary party at Far Field Beer Co.

It took a year but I finally was able to have a drink at Far Field in their second floor space with pretty seafoam green tables and barrels that allowed one (me) to look over the 1st anniversary crowd that arrived to celebrate the brewery among the car repair shops on Rosecrans.

And to start with, Hyper Link their dry hopped pilsner.  The pils pours a darker yellow color with an aggressive hop hit that the style holds up pretty well without tipping out of balance. The draft list was nice and big for the occasion with an oyster stout, Italian pilsner as well as their new Triple IPA, Triangularity.

The brewery section was open as many vendors were open from warm cookies to flowers to tea were on hand.  The music was pumping forcing conversation up a notch and dogs and kids were underfoot lending a backyard family gathering feel to the sweltering day.

The beer line was a bit slow but never aggressively long though a second line might have helped as would an ixnay on flights, of which I saw many.

TRIPA was my second choice.  Both silky and spiky at the same time.  The alcohol was softened though it did have a tiny touch of butteryness to it underneath along with a tropical fruit note as well. 

Review – Unity 22 IPA from Highland Park Brewery

Time to give the verdict on the 2022 Unity beer, an IPA from Highland Park Brewery.

The label has a Muppet feel to it which is cool with the logos on the left but not so much with the reaching hands from the word Unity.

The beer pours a dark orange and right off the bat loads of Concord grape here. A lemon note backs that up. Medium to low bitterness level to me. This review is from first day of release so it was at freshness peak. It is light and refreshing and as it warms up more tropical flavors appear.

Featured Review – Sting from Nectar Creek Mead

I have mini-dabbled in mead in the past year so when I got the opportunity to taste a Ginger Mead from Nectar Creek Meadery, I jumped at the chance.

Sting is from their core line-up and is described as, “Fresh ginger and pure Oregon honey combine for a sting of warmth and a tease of sweetness in this refreshing session mead.”

The big flavor here is vanilla. Like pastry shop baking vanilla. Ginger is kinda there. But this slightly bubbly yellow hued mead is big time vanilla. To me less sting and more pillowy. The honey has won this battle royale with the ginger convincingly.

Take away the ginger root on the label. Take away the name. And this is delicious. The pastry heads in attendance would love this. I quite enjoyed drinking it myself and would not hesitate to buy another mead from Nectar Creek. That is saying something because I look at media samples much harsher.

Review – Two from Aslan Brewing Co.

Today I tackle two different styles from Aslan Brewing in Washington State.

Frauenbier – This schwarzbier pours with a lovely tan foam. I am catching a bit of light rauch to it. A pretty strong near coffee bitterness. There is an additional caramel layer to this as well.

Cosmic Dreams – pours a truly hazy orangey / near brown. Tropical fruit notes. A bit of mango and pineapple. But also quite earthy as well. Bitter at the back end to boot.

Double Double Review Day – Paraboloid and Royal Street from Firestone Walker

Our next double are big barrel-aged beers from Firestone Walker that I have posted about earlier…

Royal Street – I often wonder when blenders think too many barrels has been achieved. Cognac, Rye, Bitters AND Absinthe. That is a serious flavor overload. Box reading aside, how does RS taste? It is quite bubbly. Getting cola and licorice in equal measure. Lemon acidity cuts through as a minor creek. As it warms, I am getting a major amount of honey. If I was handed this as a cocktail, I would be fooled for a bit.

Paraboloid – The newest Parabola variant. Has that Firestone Walker bourbon smell. After enough vintages, you can sense their signature barrel style. This is chocolate and cherry to me. Has a See’s Candy hit to it. More bubbly than expected and less Bourbon than expected but it is a dreamy beer to me.

Royal was an experiment that didn’t fire on all cylinders but the Parabola, damn, that is good stuff.