I had heard the drama, but I hadn’t yet seen the result.
I have a LOT of beer blog drafts saved and poised to be posted, but here’s a nice blog entry by the Solemn Oath dudes about the everlasting controversy over being Chicagoan, being a craft beer drinker, and continuing to support Goose Island since their “buyout” by Anheiser Busch.
I have been trying to educate the masses at every turn on this matter. Yea, at first it was like “OMG BUD BOUGHT GOOSE!” but of course many people failed to realize that it was mostly a financial win-win for both parties. And it was really just the more ubiquitous Goose beers got the shaft, not the high-quality, low-production or seasonal offerings.. The good stuff is still mostly made here in The Chi.
Plus, no one else in the nation has the Clybourn street brewpub. The brews coming out of there are just plain AWSM.
First thoughts: “Oh man this is good. Great body and mouth feel.”
Second thoughts: ‘Yum.”
Yea right off the bat I really like this imperial stout from Ballast Pint. Of course I’m already quite the fan of Ballast Points beers, but being a pretty new brewery to the midwest, there’s still plenty for me to discover and appreciate.
The aroma has some hints of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and coffee, but all are fairly faint. Furthermore, each one fights to be noticed more than the other. They all mix together in a way that makes them hard to pick out individually. Overall its a mostly sweet aroma.
Taste-wise, the coffee and chocolate come through the most, but, like the aroma, they are somewhat subtle notes. There’s also a noticeable hoppiness somewhere up front. It’s reasonably thick-bodied, but not so much that it stops me from throwing it back. And at 10% ABV, that can be dangerous.
Other than that, there’s not much to it that’s exactly “special” or unique, but it is an incredibly solid imperial stout.
I like this one a lot- I give it a high “A”.
Pipeworks Brewing - Raspberry Truffle Imperial Stout
Well here we have an aged (one year) bottle of a pretty good imperial stout from Pipeworks Brewing Co.- and I fuggin’ spilled half of it! For cryin’ out loud I’m such a bumblefuck!
Anywho, this is nice and easy drinking imperial stout overall. The taste is a little bracing up front in a somewhat over-fermented flavor kind of way, but it really settles down quickly in the back where a very sweet and somewhat tart raspberry flavor comes through. This bit of fruit flavor does leave out a bit too quickly, if you ask me, but it is very very pleasant.
There’s also some chocolate notes that come through all over. Once the raspberry flavor kicks in, it’s almost akin to a raspberry flavored chocolate bar- very nice.
Somewhat fruity and tart on the nose, but in the end the aroma isn’t very powerful. Medium body, small-to-medium head, dark black body with ever-so-slight tint of red around the edges.
This was a fun beer to try. Brewed by two breweries, Evil Twin and Omni Pollo. Both breweries make their own batch, one makes a pale IPA while the other makes a black IPA, and they use the same label so they look all look the same and you never know what you’re getting. Unless you hold a bottle up to the light of course.
A very fruity, sweet citrusy tasting pale ale. Very orange in color and tastes like hoppy clementine orange. Personal favorite and hope to have it again one day.
Revolution Brewery - Thee Destroyer double IPA
Goddamn this is good! A whole lot of fruit on the nose and a great, sweet hoppy flavor that is like some kind of hop candy. Plus its oddly strong on malt character both in the very front and on the finish.
Awesome, awesome stuff.
Pretty Things Beer and Ale Projects - Jack D’Or Saison Americaine
Got this in a recent trade with a homie out east (in Massachusetts)..
A very bitter saison ale here with none of the expected hint of sweetness I’ve experienced in the majority of the saison ales I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. It does pack some nice sourness on the front of the tongue in its aftertaste, but overall is a very, very dry beer, so I couldn’t see this in the hands of an inexperienced beer drinker.
That dryness, by the way, seriously stays with you long after you sip this brew. And it just seems to multiply the also lingering bitterness that you get up front. Finally it eases up into the sour notes and the dry, bitter hold on your tongue subsides.
Pours a thick head that thins out and diminishes quickly. Body is a bit foggy mostly yellow, edging on bright orange, and the aroma is just as ester-filled as your average saison, with maybe a somewhat stronger malt presence than most.
Not bad, I do say.. Thanks, Roofcano!
The Alchemist - Heady Topper
Right off the bat, I notice a VERY piney aroma.
The beer pours a decent, creamy head that doesn’t last long, but of course I didn’t expect it to. The color is a beautiful bright orange with a minute bit of amber to the tint that is almost completely opaque- reminds me somehow of a Dreamsicle
Aside from piney hops in the aroma, there are also some subtle hints of grass and bread. Also maybe just a slight, slight hint of something citrus.
On the tongue, however, this baby is almost all bitter, bitter hops. Yet the bitterness is somehow subdued and reasonably easy-going. There’s certainly that pine-resin thing going on in the flavor, but it is mostly excluded from the body. It’s definitely not as heavy on the palate as the aroma and initial strength of bitterness on the tongue would suggest.
There’s something light and crisp about the body that makes it easy to sip on and might lead to a bit of lip-smacking. It’s hard to pick up on, but it’s because of this little bit of somewhat fruity, tangy sweetness in the flavor that makes it so easy to drink.
Don’t get me wrong, the flavor alone will most likely put off non-Hop-Heads, but it is a fairly drinkable beer by that standard. It’s somehow refreshing even in it’s blaring bitter taste.
Solid “A” beer here.