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.
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.
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.
The Rare Barrel and their hoppy arm hello friend have taken the Native Land challenge hosted by Bow & Arrow Brewing.
This hazy (brewed on the ancestral lands of the Ohlone People) pours a hazy orange juice color. There is a slight brush of orange juice before a wave of pine takes over. The beer is still pretty soft texturally. I also get a gin-like botanical note as well. All very woodsy.
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.
Earlier this month, I re-reviewed a beer from Stone Brewing, now, don’t get confused, I am reviewing a beer from Firestone Walker, Hopnosis IPA.
This is yet another light and bright beauty from FW. Hopnosis pours a darkish yellow. There is a light pine earthy aroma that really pops. The bitterness is calibrated just right. As you drink, a little fruit punch flavor creeps into adding another layer.
Last of the three featured reviews is the famed Bourbon barrel stout from New Holland Brewing, Dragon’s Milk.
The Dragon pours pitch black with a nice tan head to it. Quite nearly the prototypical, approachable bourbon-barrel stout. Slight bourbon nose with a smaller, tiny alcohol burn to it. A little sweet with a hit of vanilla. A little vinous quality as well. It does not taste anyway near 11%. I would have liked to see a little more heft to it.
Our next “old” beer that I want to highlight is a dubbel from Canada, Maudite and the flying canoe from Unibroue.
This is how the brewery describes the flavor, “Velvety palate of caramelized sugar and marmalade, slightly roasted with a spicy finish.”
First off, Belgian yeast esters wave over along with a nice spice profile as well. A very full mouthfeel to this beer. Carbonation adds a playful tone to the beer as well. I also pick up a bit of red apple juice. I don’t think that Unibroue makes a bad beer.
I hope that you purchased your Infinite Wishes from Smog City Brewing, I bought two of the variants and here are my thoughts…
Coconut Vanilla – I always worry that coconut will be too overpowering. But this smells and tastes like a Mounds bar. Back when they were made with actual chocolate and actual coconut. So smooth. A little ABV and carbonation bite at the end but that just balances the books as it were. Nice lingering dark chocolate flavor.
Double Bourbon – I guess that I was expecting DOUBLE. Aroma times 2. Flavor times 2. Luxury times 2. Instead, this tasted a bit thinner than the coconut/vanilla. The aroma is nicely bourbon and the taste is nice and strong but it is a bit slight. Maybe because it is bubbly on the tongue that is cutting the strength.
Such a different duo.
More goodies came from AleSmith recently so it is time to take a walk on the beach, I am not one for running.
This time Pizza Port was brought in to partner on Beach Run IPA.
This DDH IPA has Enigma, Cashmere and Sabro hops an pours a bright lustrous yellow. And it does pack a bitterness punch. I get a little bit of catty, a little bit of fruit punch and a little bit of pine as well. No coconut from the Sabro which I usually get. There is a bit of alcohol heat as well which is kinda weird for a beer below 7% ABV. It is smack dab in classic pre-2010 West Coast IPA territory.
The next AleSmith collab IPA will be with Revision Brewing, Split Aces in a red checked can.