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Nitro Draft at McMenamins Queen Anne
Draft at McMenamins Queen Anne
Draft at McMenamins Queen Anne
Draft at McMenamins Queen Anne
… and an even straighter stout. It’s not as sweet as the Kali Ma, but it is on the sweet (cocoa? butter?) side. I had somewhat hoped for at least one beer today to be firmly in the humorless roasty category but looks like I didn’t choose well for that.
Hits the notes that Hubbard’s Cave missed. Sweet coffee with a light bodied stout, no weird, extraneous flavors. Still a bit on the sweet side and no roast to balance it, but positively normal after the past two outliers. Firmly in what I would consider breakfast stout territory.
Undrinkable! Intensely flavored, almost like dry cola syrup. Forward sweet, tacky, more unpleasant than the Hubbard’s Cave, which is saying something.
Lack of checking maltlog bit me here. Not good. Vegetal, weirdly smoky, super sweet. At least it’s not sour to boot, but more on that in a sec.
Thickish as you’d expect from Parabola. Strong mocha, fainter coconut… something of a stronger bitterness than expected to finish.
Just a bit overly alcoholic for a session beer at 4.7%. But tasty and not generic like so many IPAs
Can at Home
Slightly smoky, deep roast, medium thick mouthfeel that has a creamier and more caramel smoothness than you’d expect from the opening. Clearly very strong.
Wet - Grassy - Cereal - Sweet - Candied lime rind - dry - perfume
Dry roasted biscuit, yeasty bitterness, leaves throat fairly dry. Caramel.
Refreshing, tart, but clean sour raspberry. Only the tiniest hint of funk, this really doesn’t resemble a beer. Only knock is that off all the berry flavors, raspberry is my least favorite.
IPA just like every other.
Draft at Seabreeze on the Dock, Oakland CA
Clean, tasty. Fantastic sour profile.
Bottle at Mox
Can at Arlington Boys & Girls Club Havana Nights
Can at Arlington Boys & Girls Club Havana Nights
This is an excellent sour. Which coming from me is high praise. The fruit is just enough.
Draft at Blast 825 Brewery, Santa Maria
Single hop which actually agreed with me!
Draft at Blast 825 brewery, Santa Maria
Cinnamon actually goes really well in this stout. And nitro of course. Yum.
Nitro Draft at Blast 825 Brewery, Santa Maria
Only had a sip, it was pleasant, a bit funky, but I didn’t have a chance to make a real impression.
Not exactly a robust stout, but very pleasant. Thin-ish, creamy coffee with sweet-ish caramel notes. Has the same lingering sweetness as the other beers. Not syrupy.
Strong grapefruit-pine hop juice. Sweet sheen, but not very much body underneath to counteract it. My least favorite of the flight.
Definitely the same lineage as the wit; just as bright, lightly fruity, but instead of the Belgian flavors you have a strong cereal body. There's a bit of a noxious sweetness that I think is a characteristic of the yeast and has built up - after two tasters it's a bit strong.
Light, fruity, bright, clear banana notes with subtle clove and ginger on top. Very drinkable, super refreshing.
Pretty good; flavored like some other dry-hopped sours but on the more puckery side. Very dry, but with a profound, somewhat funky cereal body.
Whiskey forward. Light cream stout flavor, hints of cacao and coffee but also a base tartness that comes to be the primary characteristic of the beer. Definitely strong.
Dry and fizzy, initial tartness mellows into a brett-funky, vinous flavor. The finish is almost uncannily clean. I would call this extremely tasty although maybe just adjacent to my ideal.
Extremely carbonated, faintly sweet, otherwise a mix of toasted malts, subtle acidity, and a background of cloudy duck. Sort of somewhere between an Irish red and an Oktoberfest.
Juicy orange/grapefruit citrus reminiscent of a hazy pale, but with a kind of buttery, brett-like funk over it. Finishes clean, just a touch uric. I imagine I wouldn't always be in the mood for this but today it was very nice.
Bottle at Home
Seems to bear out the earlier reviews, which is that in the can this is more assertive than on draft, though still very tasty. The sweetness kind of fades into a raw alcohol flavor by the bottom fo the can, but overall it hit the spot.
Can at Home
Also weirdly sweet. Like a watery chocolate milk stout, a bit tart/metallic on the finish.
Sweet with a hint of cinnamon, reminds me of a holiday stout except I totally wasn’t expecting it. Unfair minus, maybe, but it was a minus.
Smooth, lightly sweet, reminds me of a malt liquor. No edge.
Pretty much what it says. The cherries give it a bit of a barrel aged flavor, bit it's pretty reasonable. Last beer from the advent box!
Bottle at Home
This went well with Portillo’s. Cut through the greasy well.
Can at Home
So. I’m trying not to let the earlier IPA color this but a little fatigue is setting in. Dark and brooding, the way this sort of thing should be.
Bottle at Home
Really smooth, you can tell there was roast but the edge is definitely taken off. Nice rum flavor, don’t know if the wood comes from the rum or the cherry bark here.
Bottle at A Friend's
So complex… one of the early rum aged stouts right? There’s something strange about rum aging, where you’d expect a sweetness but i actually find it brings out the wood more than whiskey barrel aging.
Bottle at Home
Whatever I didn't like about this before I had the opposite reaction to it this time. It's bold and grassy, flavorful, bitter finish.
Good balance between chocolate milk and roast, thin mouthfeel, somewhat cola-like. Barely tart aftertaste, overall very nice.
Pretty tasty. But I had a problem in that it partially froze. So I'm not sure the character here is justified. It's sort of sweet and surypy and has no carbonation left. There's a hint of barrel taste. I wish I had an unadulterated bottle . . .
Bottle at Home
December 22nd from the advent box
Bottle at Home
A balanced malty/hoppy amber but on the sweeter side. Light roast. Seemed pretty generic.
My notes say "tastes more like a soda than a beer." Surprise! Found out after the fact that it was a hard seltzer. Sweet, fruity, not tart at all... like an Italian soda but slightly more watery.
Good coconut flavor, an almost bourbon-like caramel. Some strength of hop and roast that makes this a lot less smooth than most coconut beers and puts it maybe on the more idiosyncratic side than purely enjoyable. I did really like this last time so I wonder if this suffered in context.
Similar to the Oswald in flavor profile but with amped up juice and hop sweetness. Not nearly as well-balanced.
Piney IPA, a bright flavor with fruity grape/apple notes. Clean finish.
Slightly yeasty, clean, light hop notes and some sweet cereal. A really drinkable, refreshing blonde ale.
Again, murky. But my palate may have been corrupted.
Murky, and yeasty, somewhat tacky in the throat. There's definitely a sweet coffee character, but it's more lost in the murk rather than elevating it.
Hoppy, smoky, but more ashy than woody. Somewhat sour on the finish, which ended up being a theme here today.
Started off nice, bright, pine-hop forward, just a hint of sweet cereal, it seemed well-balanced. Bubbly. There was a hard note of resin that grew over time into something more acrid, which knocked my enjoyment back down, but it was nice at first.
Smells of sweet chocolate, almost minty. The first taste is a bit of a shock, dry, a touch tart, and then resolves into a smooth, subdued dark chocolate. If there’s Bourbon it’s mostly showing up as sweetness. There’s a slight soapy quality from the nitro but otherwise a nice light stout.
Bottle at Mema’s House
Light, notes of coffee, a bit like an old Dick's Cream Stout but with the somewhat sour character of an English Taddy Porter. A bit of a punch at the end, not sure if it was hops or rye.
Strongly sour, dark, plummy, bit of molasses. Bubbly. More of a drinking vinegar character which made it a bit hard to keep drinking, and overpowering enough that I didn't get any of the "Black IPA" part of it. I didn't hate it, but also did not finish mine.
Fair Isle Isabelle (Batch no. 1)
This was a super interesting beer, and I was at the collaboration winery so it was a natural choice. This is syrah-dominant -- basically it's wine, but lightened by the beer and given a moderate effervescence. The overall effect is a red champagne, airy but still dry and tannic, hints of raspberry. Felt perfect for a Valentine's dinner.
Nice flavor but somewhat watery, dry and nutty/sour on the finish. Hazelnut and lemon are the most noticeable flavors, if there is raspberry it's more in the smell than the flavor. I appreciate it's not syrupy, but it does seem slightly under-bodied.
Thick and sweet, hints of ginger and other cola spices but who even knows since it's so sweet it just overpowers any other flavor. Finishes syrupy and tacky in the throat. Just way too much.
Bottle at Home
Sour base like the other P-51s, a little smoky, although that's balanced out really well by the peanut butter and especially raspberry notes in the mix. It manages to taste dessert-like without being actually very sweet. It's not superb, but it's interesting and enjoyable enough.
Can at Home
Molasses, biscuit, a very assertive brett-like dryness that verges on the sour. Finishes clean and a little funky. I honestly don't know what a Burton ale is supposed to taste like, but if this it, then "Brett saison" is a pretty close match. Just a little too much on the sour side to purely enjoy.
Bottle at Home
Spicy, fruity, not quite sweet. The flavor is really striking, it sparks on the tongue. 21st from the advent box
Bottle at Home
Subtly fruit angel, very light body, clean tack-free finish. A bit of funk in the middle as I didn't chill it but with light flavor and at 5.4% ABV it's a good dinner beer.
Still good. Almost sweet and spicy
Bottle at Home
It's mostly just a porter. It seems like a pretty decent one, but there's only a subliminal hint of any peppermint bark. Actually, I guess I can smell it after hiccupping. So that's weird. 19th from the advent box.
Can at Home
Orange/grapefruit and pith, bitter finish, drinks very dry. The alcohol flavor pokes through very strongly in this one, especially later in the glass.
This is actually really tasty. Hop-juice and a bit of sweet. I think this was the 17th from the advent box. Which means I'm officially over a month behind. Where's your alcoholism now!?!
Can at Home
More in the vein of a wheat IPA, dry and citrus, with a lighter ABV and flavor profile. Basically, not at all an American Hefe. Very drinkable, needed with the super salty takeout it accompanied.
Draft at Home
I don't know. There's a little sour, it's not really sweet, but there's also just not much there. It's like a pineapple Bubly that I guess is alcoholic. (December 18th from the advent box)
Can at Home
Lightly hoppy pale with an unpleasantly perfumey orange zest flavor. This is a recurring problem for this brewery when the word “orange” is involved. Not sure how different this is from the old Blood Orange IPA but my notes then were similar.
Interesting, sort of spicy with a definite IPA base
Bottle at Home
A nice combination of juicy and dry
Can at Home
Wow. It really is peanut butter and banana. Peanut butter on the nose. Not too awfully sweet, but not dry peanuts. Banana and peanut butter on the flavor with a little efforvecence. I think this was December 14th from the advent box. Clearly I have failed at my alcoholism.
Bottle at Home
Not sure what makes this winter. Thick in appearance, like a mango nectar. A profound citrus IPA, orange/grapefruit and maybe a hint of passion fruit. Very bitter and woody to finish, though not as much as the Jolly Roger.
Bready, caramel, quite hoppy with an intensely bitter buildup on the finish. A little too much of that to love, although it has an appealing foundation. Lightly carbonated.
Bottle at Home
Molasses is the forward thing here. Thick heavy and stout.
Bottle at Home
Shockingly bad - intensely sour with a musty berry flavor but around the edges, a strong off flavor that I eventually pegged as super-earthy mushrooms, like black truffles or porcinis. The kind of beer that makes you feel queasy almost immediately.
Bottle at Home
Medium tart cider, although this is juicy rather than dry, so the lemonade comes right through. Vanilla is strong at first but the second half of this cider is dominated by the florality of the chai. Unusual, yes, though not sure the flavor really came together for me.
Bottle at Home
Tart, apricot-like, going into a lightly bitter, pretty funky Brett character. Finishes buttery and mellow, very much the prototypical ideal for a sour for me.
Bottle at Home
Light, schwarzbier-like, very easily drinkable.
Bottle at Home
Why do I do this every year? I remember I don't enjoy it. The data indicates that I don't enjoy it. Yet here we are. This beer is a metaphor for online dating.
Bottle at Home
This was really weird and surprisingly compelling?? Easily the best Thai curry-inspired beer I’ve had, and I’ve had more than you’d expect .
Bottle at San Jose, CA
So cloudy it stains the side of the glass. Extremely sweet, banana at the forefront with lighter flavors of peanut butter and toffee following. Ends syrupy and could have used a bit of roasty backbone, anything, to balance.
Much fruitier than the Laughing Monk, almost grape-like. Lots of hop resin, very lightly caramel. Bitter.
Vanilla, whiskey. Dry, noticeably hoppy followthrough with a hint of coffee. Advertised as a blonde but definitely a barleywine.
A nice find at the unusually well-stocked grocery near the Airbnb. Very nice! I think my recollection of a sweet, creamy stout that was kind of one-note is here balanced really well with quite a roasty and dry finish. Not overly boozy, although you can tell it's there.
Bottle at San Jose, CA
Hard bitterness with nothing else. So much for the 13th. Very belated.
Bottle at Home
This was good. Nothing exciting, just reasonable beer.
Bottle at Home
Maybe this is because it was the end of my flight, but this was a very pleasant surprise. Remarkably clean and easy drinking while still being fairly tart. Effervescent, grapey, dry in a kind of brut champagne way but finishes super-clean. Well balanced with a bit of hop florality.
Sweet, medium thick, quite a lot of whiskey character. The sweetness comes from the whiskey rather than any kind of inherent or syrupy flavoring and there is a medium bitterness that follows on from a combination of roast and light hops. It's been a while but this seems more in the mold of a Big Bad Baptist or a Lagunitas Willettized than, say, a Parabola.
Smells sweet. Buttery, toffee, coffee, although at its center it is not sweet at all, and in fact a bit dry. Roasty finish. Really nice.
Light and caramel, but backed by a strong grassy bitterness. A little bit roasty. Anyway, I appreciated the assertiveness of this beer, took it up to enjoyment.
Standard problem of something good with something bad. Oh well. Plus it's six days after the 11th
Can at Home
Bready, lightly sweet, caramel, just a little dry sourness at the bottom of the flavor which kind of enhances that “Cheesecake Factory dark loaf of bread” character.
Light, with a recognizable but not overwhelming barrel/whiskey flavor. I realize I was six drinks in and my taste buds were probably shot, but this is the one that probably most suited the goblet (and pairing with lunch, which was a quite serviceable philly cheesesteak equivalent).
Medium tart, unrecognizable fruit (berry?) but really lets the Syrah come through. Only had a taster’s worth.
I just didn’t really like something about this… it’s hard to place but almost reminiscent of old laundry… a dank mustiness that did not appeal.
Tart, clean, pretty good but absolutely tasted nothing like lychee.
Yeah this is nice. The coconut is not too overwhelming, it’s quite drinkable. Not too heavy.
I’m surprised I’m giving this such a low rating but it just seems over the top after the Georgetown. Not integrated in its strength yet.
You know there’s this weird subtle under taste here that doesn’t sit well with me. Otherwise it’s fine.
Light, creamy porter with fruity liquor overtones - cherry, caramel, slightly vegetal. The lightness really helps here.
Creamy opening, almost smoky, dries out to a bit of a metallic sourness that I didn’t find very pleasurable.
Brackish opening, lightly grassy and bitter but finishes with a lightly sweet, buttery cereal finish. Kind of like an Italian/German hybrid.
Nicely paired with the Cuban sandwich. A hearty, tad sweet stout that warmed on a cold rainy day.
Wow, this punches one in the face. Super bitter, a burnt woody flavor, if you can sense past the bitter. I believe this was day 10 of the advent box. Clearly I've fallen off the wagon.
Bottle at Home
Too thick, too young, too sweet, and here's my first rule of cinnamon (or cassia) beers, it doesn't matter what else you put into it, it just tastes like cinnamon. This might as well be a second-rate Mexican cake stout. And for being based on a legendary beer, I just wanted to taste some coconut.
Bottle at Home
Like I've said before. Caramel, barrel, bit of aged bitterness.
Can at Mom's
On the eighth day of Christmas, I skipped one beer, and had it all the next day. This might qualify as a pale at this point, but it's still not an IPA.
Can at Home
Tasty, but nothing in particular to write home about.
Interesting contrast with the Schwarzbier. Starts milder and sweeter, chocolate and alcohol. Less lactic, bitterer finish. Decent but the lesser of the beers.
Actually this was great. A bit of cola-like brightness to start, almost fruity, but the perfect amount of milky-smooth creaminess carries the flavor through to a slightly roasty finish. Really enjoyable.
Yeah, pretty much. . It's rather fruity and sweet, though I can taste the IPA bitterness underneath. I dunno. Faking it with actual fruit is kind of cheating when it comes to beer. It's not bad or anything, it's just not super exciting.
Bottle at Home
Tastes more barrel aged than I remember. Okay for day six
Bottle at Home
Bitter, smooth, and a head that won't go away. Seems like a pretty decent IPA. Nothing particular to state about the flavor profile. Middle of the road on the dry/juicy spectrum. Maybe slightly on the dry side. Day 4 of the advent box (belated)
Can at Home
Pine hops, bracing, pithy bitterness. It doesn't linger, though. A pretty fine example of the style.
Clean, cereal blonde with a lightly bitter finish. Very nice. I think the brewery is right; same owner and the server told me these beers were brewed in Alaska.
Bitter with this odd dry spice flavor that I can't place. Day three is not the best
Bottle at Home
Good but not sure if it's an actual decline in quality or the Rum Coco Jones was just that good, but it suffers in direct comparison. Seemed thinner than I remember, a little more fruity and less balanced. Definitely got that Bourbon though.
Not a ton of rum in the flavor (although you can smell it), but this is pretty much as enjoyable as the base beer. Hard to say exactly, though, since I haven't had Coco Jones in a while. Lightly sweet, smooth, coconut. Nothing poking out around the edges.
Day two of the advent box
Can at Home
Quite firmly in the IPL category, but I think I may be tasting the hops more because a lager isn't going to stand up so well after a strong barrel-aged stout.
Dry, smooth without being thick. A bit more surprisingly bitter at the end than I expected but otherwise very good. I should have written notes down on the day.
Fruity, almost orangey, with a kiss of acid right before it mellows into a funky sweet cereal. Seems better than the last time I had this (in fact, it appears completely different), but I still think it could have been a little more assertive.
This was darkly flavorful like a bourbon barrel aged beer, but without the parts that stab at your tongue like the proverbial scorpion. I was really surprised to like this. Hooray for the Two Brothers Advent box.
Can at Home
I was waiting for the right occasion to open this beer that Gene brought us over the summer, and I’m happy to say that I shared it with Mike during his visit (first since lockdown) and that the beer is wonderful, a really pleasant sour that is complex and woody and fresh at once.
Bottle at Home
Light, citrus, tropical, very hazy. Juicy but not bitter, finishes clean.
The wax top on this bottle was crazy hard, the cap tore before the wax did! Erupted ferociously upon opening. Profoundly dark, roasted. You get a lot of malt but the beer is also fairly sour, making it somewhat unpleasant to drink. Not sure if it this was by design or something went wrong in the bottle. My least favorite beer of the night.
Bottle at Home
This was good, and the mouthfeel was right - not too thick, but flavorwise probably a bit too sweet. You'd have to like marzipan a lot, I think. Didn't taste the salt - primarily a cacao-coconut into marzipan kind of thing going on here - and for me, not much wood.
Bottle at Home
My favorite beer of the night, although you'd have to be into the idea of something unusual. A mellow apple flavor crossed with a cloudy cereal funk, with a lot of barrel/wood to smooth it out really nicely at the end.
Bottle at Home
Was afraid this was going to be too far gone at 11 years in the bottle, but this was actually quite good! Medium stout, seemed mellowed out. Caramel, wood, vanilla. Mostly flat, which was unsurprising, but I did wish it had more fizz. Very clear Scotch overtones with just as much peat as you're looking for (I got it, others didn't).
Bottle at Home
Like Apple-y beer.
Bottle at Chez Kim
Bottle at The Kim’s

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