Thursday, March 28, 2013

Beers #78-81: San Francisco Day #3

We decided to have breakfast at The Grove again, since it was both enjoyable and convenient. Today we decided that we would take a ferry over to Tiburon, have lunch, and then grab a bus up to Muir Woods to see some Redwoods.

We grabbed a streetcar near the hotel in order to get to Pier 39.  As luck would have it, it took over 30 minutes to get there. We arrived at 11:45 to take the 11:40 ferry (last one until afternoon) ... and found that they had some issues and were still docked!  Waited about 15 minutes and took off for a boat ride over to Sausalido, passing Alcatraz Island.  From there, we rode to Tiburon.  Quaint little town with shops and restaurants, not as touristy as Sausalido.  However, we found out too late that the buses that run up to Muir don't start until May ... no way to get there from here, as it were.

Since we couldn't get a boat back to town for a couple of hours, we had a lazy lunch at Sam's Anchor Cafe, sitting on the dock and enjoying the sunshine (while also keeping an eye out for greedy gulls). They boasted about their New England clam chowder. It was OK but nothing special.

78/365: Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin:
Light chocolate, coffee, licorice, and burnt-roasted malts. Mild hop character and a little tang. Dark brown-black with thin tan head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Starts dry with roasted malt and light burnt character. Carbonic and sugar tang with mealy-meaty soy finish. Nutty mild sweet after.  Stout  64/100

After lunch, we walked around town, then sat by the docks and waited for the ferry.  The ferry ride back first went to Angel Island, then Sausalido, then finally back to the city.  By this time it was pretty cloudy, so I caught a nap inside the boat.

Since the redwoods didn't pan out, we decided to take a GPS-guided tour through the city on a little go-cart ... you look really cheesy driving around with the helmet, etc., but it was really a lot of fun. Found in San Diego, Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon, the GoCar allows you to putter along the streets while a GPS-tour guide gives you the low down about the sites you're passing.  We took a two-hour tour and drove up to the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Presidio and various neighborhoods, and down Lombard Street before returning to the shop. It was a little chilly and a few of the hills were almost too much for the little thing, but we had a great time - I'd highly recommend it!

Not wanting to wait for the bus again, we splurged on a cab back to the hotel to get changed.

For our last dinner in town, we went to the Abbot's Cellar in the Mission. Same folks who run the Monk's Kettle have this place, though the Cellar is a bit more upscale. It was a Monday night, so even though we'd made reservations, we didn't really need them.  Small but quality food menu, including a four-course tasting menu paired with beers. Beer menu was eclectic, not huge, but of very high quality.  It was nice that they allowed bottle pours from 750 mL bottles, but a lot of them were overpriced considering the sample size.  Over dinner, I enjoyed:

79/365: Firestone Walker Pivo Pils:
Really aromatic nose, malt and grains, jasmine, soap, and tea. Fruity-herbal hoppy notes. Golden clear with roomy lacing white head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Starts with terrific herbal hops and beany mash. Pilsner malt sweetness, but finishes dry with great grassy hop bitterness. Tasty beer. Very drinkable with lasting bitter after.  Pilsener  84/100

80/365: Heretic Shallow Grave Porter:
Roasted toasted coffee, licorice, chocolate, and lactose. Really nice sweet and salty porter aromas. Dark black-brown opaque with lacing tan head. Medium-heavy body with medium carbonation and some warmness. Starts sweet and rich with chocolate, coffee, lactose, and molasses. Chocolate malted milk, sweet finish with nutty sweet bitter after. Nice porter.  Porter  84/100

81/365: Freigeist Abraxxxas:
Nice smoky nose, a bit of tart with a hint of lactic. Airy, fruity, oranges. Cloudy pale amber with thin white lacing head. Medium watery body with medium carbonation. Starts with a little orange sweetness. Nice smoky flavor throughout - more like a lichtenheiner than traditional Berliner, could be tarter, but nice.  Berliner Weisse  76/100
We grabbed a taxi back to the hotel, packed, and got ready to get up at 3:30 for our 6:00 flight home. All in all, a great trip - not really that relaxing compared to sitting on a beach but enjoyable.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Beers #73-77: San Francisco Day #2

On Sunday, we slept in.  After getting ready, we walked a few blocks over to have a late breakfast at Blue Bottle Coffee.  Apparently a popular place, as there was a 20-minute wait to order.  The coffee was good, don't get me wrong, but I didn't see anything substantially better in it than we can get right here at home at The Commonplace.  From here, we strolled over to Market to get a bus and headed up Haight on our way to Golden Gate Park.  Of course, I can't ride up Haight without stopping at Toronado for a few short pours!

73/365: Moonlight Bombay by Boat IPA:
Nice hoppy aroma. Fresh and grassy, caramel, and toasted malt. Pale golden amber clear with thin rocky-foamy white lacing head. Medium body with cask carbonation. Starts medium dry with some caramel and roasted malty character. Tons of hop flavor and bitterness from start to finish, though not completely overpowering. Nice cask IPA.  India Pale Ale  78/100

74/365: Dupont La Bière de Beloeil:
Aroma is rich and malt with a lot of dark fruit notes, vinous with plum and Concord grape juice. Candy-like. Dark golden amber clear with thin lacing head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Starts malty and slightly sweet. Dark fruit sweetness with mild orange notes and grape juice. Finish is light bitter with good sweet notes and nutty bitterness. Tasty.  Bière de Garde  82/100

75/365: The Bruery Sour in the Rye:
Light tart-lactic nose with oak, light spicy character, and a hint of sweetness. Hazy lustrous orange-amber with thin white head. Medium body with heavy carbonation. Tarts and lactic with chardonnay, mild spicy notes and touch of vanilla. Great sour ale with woody funky finish and lasting tart after.  Sour Ale/Wild Ale  84/100

76/365: Moonlight Death and Taxes:
Great chocolate malt, roasted barley, light smoke - sweet and nutty. Dark black opaque with thin creamy lacing tan head. Medium body with high carbonation and a bit of fizz. Starts rich, malty with roasted barley, light smoke, and chocolate. Ground coffee notes with light carbonic tang. Nutty sweet finish with some light smoky after.  American Dark Lager  82/100

We got back on the bus and went up to Golden Gate Park. After a pit stop at Whole Foods, we entered the park and walked for about an hour, then exited on the northern side to catch another bus to the beach.  We walked along the beach for a bit, enjoying the sun and views.  Our plan was to do some hiking along the Coastal Trail, but we decided to have a light lunch before the hike.  Up the hill from the beach was the Cliff House, a nice (a bit pricy) restaurant on a cliff overlooking the Pacific.  In addition to a Deschutes Black Butte Porter, I had

77/365: Pyramid Hefeweizen:
Very mild aroma with the faintest hint of clove and esters. Not a very strong nose. Looks nice, with cloudy golden amber body topped with a thin white head. Medium-light watery body with medium carbonation. Starts a little sweet with mild fruity esters and a bit of clove and wheat. Mainly kinda bland, watery - but not off. Orange is probably the biggest flavor component. Refreshing but not really much towards the style.  Wheat Ale  48/100

After lunch, we walked up the hill and got on the Coastal Trail, which leads up around the bend to provide spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the coastline.  A bit windy, but a nice hike for a few miles.  We ended up in a residential neighborhood and walked down to China Beach, then grabbed a bus and headed back to our hotel.

We got warmed up, took a break, then decided what to do about dinner.  After tossing around options, we decided we were hungry for Chinese again.  We took the bus to Chinatown and ate next door to House of Nanking at a place called Chef Jia's.  Great food and less expensive than House of Nanking - can't figure out why they don't gather the crowds like their neighbor!

After all the walking, we grabbed a bus back to the hotel and called it a night.

Up next ... San Francisco Day 3

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beers #68-72: San Francisco Day #1

On Saturday, March 16, my wife and I caught a 6am flight from Pittsburgh to San Francisco for a three-day vacation.  The flight out is direct, but coming back you have to fly through Chicago (O'Hare) ... no idea why ... guess not enough people want to fly from San Fran to Pittsburgh?

Anyway, we enjoyed three days of sightseeing, walking, and enjoying a lot of great food and beer.  If you've never been, San Francisco is a GREAT beer city.  Tons of local breweries/brewpubs, and of course, access to a lot of West Coast products that never seem to quite make it back to Pennsylvania.

We arrived around 8:30 and caught the BART train to downtown.  After dropping of our luggage, we grabbed breakfast at The Grove.  Had a terrific steak & eggs dish similar to huevos rancheros with copious amounts of coffee.  From there, we walked up Market Street and watched the crowds gather for the St. Patrick's Day parade.  I bought some three-day travel passes while Dana held a place in line to catch the cable car over to Fisherman's Wharf.

We walked around some of the piers (not 39, however) and just sat by the ocean for a bit and enjoyed a sunny, albeit windy, late morning.  Great views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and downtown.  From there, we walked over to Chinatown and had lunch at House of Nanking, home to award-winning chef Peter Fang.  He waited on us, and suggested a tasting menu.  Kinda pricy for lunch, but a cool experience. And like many of the places we seemed to end up in SF, it was cash only.

We walked through the city, back to our hotel on Market and 4th, checked in and took a break.  Dana decided to have a nap, so I walked on over to City Beer, a superb beer bar and bottle shop on Folsom St.  In addition to a Russian River Salvation, I tried:

68/365: Local Option Dampf Loc - Neue Welt Hefe Gerste:
Mild grain and mash sweet notes, dusty and mealy. Very light hop character in the nose. Dark golden amber clear with medium haze, topped with thin off-white creamy lacing head. Medium watery body with medium carbonation. Starts nutty and sweet, with light mash flavors, alcohol, and some mild astringent woody parts. Easy drinking, fairly well balanced with smooth nutty-sweet finish and after.  Traditional Ale  70/100

69/365: Ölvisholt Lava:
(My first beer from Iceland) Nice rich smoky nose, with coffee, chocolate, juniper smoke and molasses. Alcohol sweetness. Dark black opaque with thin tan creamy head. Medium-heavy body with high carbonation. Light warming. Carbonic tang and fizzy. Starts medium sweet. Rich with licorice, juniper smoke, chocolate and molasses. Carbonic acidity, alcohol sweetness and good bitter finish. Smooth sweet finish with light smoky after.  Smoked  80/100 
After getting back to the hotel and hanging out for a bit, we decided to catch a bus and head out past Chinatown for dinner at La Trappe Cafe, a nice Belgian-themed gastropub with a nice beer selection.  Over curried mussels and frites, I tried:

70/365: Engelszell Gregorius Trappistenbier:
Very mild nose, plum and roasted malt. Sweet with a subtle richness. A hint of fruity red wine. Dark coppery amber clear with thin off-white lacing head. Medium-heavy body with medium carbonation. Light warming. Starts sweet, alcoholic. Plum, rich malt, sugary - leans towards a Chimay Bleu but not overly complex compared to other quads. Sweet after with light alcohol warming and fruity after.  Abt/Quadrupel  76/100

71/365: New Belgium Lips of Faith - Heavenly Feijoa Tripel:
Big fruity nose, kinda funky and tart, cheesy. Not bad. Dark golden clear with thin foamy-rocky white head. Medium body and carbonation. Starts fruity and tart with some apples and sour peach. A little funky and cheesy, with crisp fruity-tart finish and after. Not bad.  Abbey Tripel  72/100 

72/365: Baladin Wayan Sour Edition:
Sour nose with chardonnay and oak. Light acetic acid, fruity, light, and enjoyable. Golden dark clear with no head. Medium-light watery body with light carbonation. Starts mild, kinda sour with oak and chardonnay. A bit of sweetness in the finish and mild acetic character. Overall, a bit watery and not worth the price.  Sour Ale/Wild Ale  66/100
After dinner, we walked back to the hotel and called it a night.

Next ... San Francisco Day 2

Beers #60-67: Nice Beer Weekend

One of the March bottle offerings at The Coney is a Vienna from Hop City Brewing in Canada ..
60/365: Hop City Barking Squirrel Lager:
Very mild caramel aroma with a bit of toasted malt and light hop essence. A hint of coffee. Deep amber clear with thin head. Medium body with medium-mild carbonation. Starts medium sweet with caramel and biscuit. Carbonic bite and quite a bit of bitterness in the finish. Nutty sweet and astringent bitter after.  Vienna  48/100
On Saturday, March 9, we had lunch at The Knick in Altoona. As usual, they had several new ones for me to try:

61/365: Flying Dog Chipotle Dark Ale:
Mild chocolate nose, roasted and slightly burnt malt. A hint of earthy-fruity-smoky chipotle with no discernible hop presence. Dark rusty red-brown opaque with creamy light tan lacing head. Medium watery body with vigorous carbonation. Nice dry porter to start, with light carbonic bite, a hint of heat. Earthy and fruity pepper character. Chocolate and roasted malt, light hop bitterness with smooth peppery bitter after.   Stout  70/100

62/365: Goose Island Sofie:
Herbal, peppery, citrus rind, sweet with honey and orange blossom. Oak and chardonnay. Tart fruity character. Golden clear with light, light haze and very thin white head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Starts medium sweet with grapefruit, coriander, light chardonnay, and herbal notes. A bit of yeasty funky note but not outrageous. Nice tart finish with fruity chardonnay after; mild chalky bitterness component.  Saison  76/100 

63/365: Innis & Gunn Winter Treacle Porter Oak Aged Ale:
Nose is a mix of Twizzlers, oak, Flemish brown ale, caramel and treacle, marshmallow, and vanilla. Terrific aromas. Dark coppery caramel-brown clear, with creamy off-white lacing head. Medium-heavy body with medium-high carbonation. Starts sweet with lots of treacle, oak, caramel. Smooth and well rounded with very little bitterness at the finish. Has a nice oak-sweet after. Not as dark as I’m used to for a porter, but really nice.  Baltic Porter  80/100

64/365: Widmer Brothers Reserve Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout:
Chocolate covered raspberry truffles with light carbonic tang, light melon, coffee, and toffee. Dark black opaque with creamy light tan lacing head. Medium chewy body with medium carbonation and light alcohol warming. Starts sweet with tons of roasted malt, light coffee, a hint of smoke, some raspberries, and a nice finish of nutty bitterness at the end.  Imperial Stout  82/100

That evening, we met a high school/college friend of Dana's and her husband for dinner at Amici's in Ebensburg. Really nice place to eat - great food and a very nice, though small, tap selection.  Over a great dinner, I enjoyed:

65/365: Southern Tier Eurotrash Pilz:
Clean, if not crisp, light noble hop aroma on top of sweet corn-grain malt notes. Like a mild German pils or Bohemian pils. Medium amber clear with foamy-frothy white lacing head. Medium watery body with medium to heavy carbonation. Starts medium dry with nice pilsener malt sweetness, good noble hop character, and a touch of sulfur. Overall, clean and refreshing, with light to medium bitter finish and smooth after.  Pilsener  68/100

66/365: Great Lakes Alchemy Hour Double IPA:
Sweet nose with lots of brown sugar and caramel. Big hoppy nose, funky and herbal with grapefruit and pine. Dark amber clear with foamy off-white lacing head. Medium to heavy watery mouthfeel, with medium carbonation. Starts pretty sweet, but not cloying, before you get smacked with a good dose of bitterness. The two don’t quite meld together as well as they could, but it’s still a nice IIPA.  Imperial/Double IPA  84/100

67/365: Southern Tier Choklat:
On tap at Amici’s (in one of the largest snifter portions I’ve ever had). Dark chocolate, light caramel, some licorice, coffee and sour smoke. Sweet with light carbonic tang, oak and vanilla. Not too boozy. Dark back opaque with cocoa-tan, slightly lacing head. Medium to heavy water body, not quite chewy, with medium carbonation and nice alcohol worming. Starts and stays pretty sweet, with chocolate, coffee, licorice and molasses. Mild oak, light hop bitterness, nutty character, and just a bit of carbonic tang. Finish is smooth, sweet, and lasting.  Imperial Stout  90/100

Up next ... Spring Break in San Francisco! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What's On Tap: March 14, 2013

So unless someone wants to start sending me updates, this type of post will be sporadic and dependent on my ability to visit various bars in town ...

However, this past Tuesday, I was at The Coney for our monthly homebrew club meeting, followed by a round afterwards at Benjamin's.  There were some great offerings at both places worth mentioning.

This month at The Coney, you'll find Penn Maerzen, Franziskaner Hefeweizen, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, and a few of the usual suspects on tap.  In addition, the three bottle specials for March are: Troeg's Nugget Nectar, Southern Tier 2XIPA, and Hop City Barking Squirrel Lager (a Vienna).

On tap of note at Benjamin's: Troeg's Nugget Nectar, Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' IPA, Bells Hopslam, Great Lakes Alchemy Hour Double IPA, Yards Brawler (brown ale), and a few other regulars.

Some great offerings in our tiny little town!

UPDATE: The Ironwood Grill just announced that they have tapped a keg of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA and should also have some bottles.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Beers #41-59: Tired Hands Tasting and Catching Up in My Backlog

It's day 66 of 2013 and I'm a little behind in my goal - 59 new beers to date.  This post will catch me up on my backlog of beer notes, including an awesome tasting of Tired Hands beers.

We were invited to a Chinese New Year's Party (Feb. 9) in town, and the husband of the host couple is a really good homebrewer and beer aficionado. In short, there's always something good to drink at the party.  This year was no exception, but for me there was only one new beer:
41/365: Samuel Adams Dark Depths:
Nice fresh and floral-grassy hops with light chocolate, coffee, and roasted bitterness. Dark brown-black with medium sized light tan lacing head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Starts medium malty and sweet with chocolate, toasted barley, and soy sauce. Big floral-piney bitter hops and lasting bitterness. Smooth nutty bitter finish and after.  Black IPA  78/100
 The next couple of beers were ones I had in the basement, one from a sampler pack brought to me by my father-in-law, and the other part of a '24 Beers of Xmas' mixed case I bought from a fellow homebrewer.

42/365: Rickard's Dark:
Dull dusty grain, a bit of oxidized caramel and no discernible hops. Coppery dark brown clear with creamy-foamy lacing tan head. Medium-light body with medium-light carbonation. Starts medium sweet with brown sugar, caramel, and light grain dust. Mild astringency with nutty bitter finish and some lingering sweetness. Chalky after.   Porter  48/100

43/365: Uinta Hop Notch IPA:
Very nice nose - spicy-floral hops, oily and resinous. Mild caramel and malt sweetness. Orange peels. Deep orange-amber clear with creamy off-white, huge lacing head. Medium body with medium-light carbonation. Starts fairly dry. Big hop flavor from start to finish. Bursts of resin, orange peel, and apricot. Light nutty caramel malt notes. Big bitter finish with lasting bitter after.  India Pale Ale (IPA)  80/100

 I visited Marzoni's Brick Oven & Brewing in Duncansville for lunch one Saturday in February, and in addition to a few old favorites, I tried Bill's new Red Ale brewed with El Dorado hops.

44/365: Marzoni's Red Ale (El Dorado):
Spicy hop nose, a bit pungent and resinous. Some toasted malt and light caramel. Deep coppery brown clear with thin off-white head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Starts lightly sweet with toasted grain, caramel, and brown sugar. Big herbal-spicy hop notes, light carbonic acidity. Big bitter finish, spicy and piney with lingering bitter after. Amber Ale  72/100

One of our homebrew club alumni, Jon Defibaugh, left Indiana a few years back to pursue a career in brewing.  He brewed his first beer with my equipment in my kitchen, and went crazy from there by cranking out terrific stuff at his house.  He moved to Philly, and started by working with Tom Baker at Earth Bread + Brewery.  Last year, he moved over to Ardmore and has been head brewer for Jean Broillet at Tired Hands. Well, towards the end of February, Jon came back to Indiana for a visit a brought a bunch of goodies - cheese, bread, and beer, beer, and beer.  A few of us got together and had an amazing evening.

45/365: Tired Hands HandFarm:
Great yeasty funky nose - Brett, light lactic notes. Awesome bouquet with a hint of lime zest. Light yellow-amber clear with light head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Starts and stays dry throughout, with citric-lactic acidity. Tons of Brett and yeasty bitterness. Big hop bitter finish with grapefruit. Great saison with a little bit of oak, too.  Saison  84/100

46/365: Tired Hands Guillemot Nebula:
Bourbon, red wine, fruity acidity, light funk, mild lime and peach, vanilla. A beautiful marriage of aromas. Dark brown-black clear with thin lacing head. Heavy body with medium carbonation. Starts tart with red wine, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Wonderfully tart and complex but not cloying or overpowering - well rounded.  Saison  90/100

47/365: Tired Hands Guillemot Prunus:
Great nose with tons of cherry. Fruity, woody, and tart, with light funky notes, vanilla and oak. Coppery brown clear with thin tan lacing head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Starts tart with cherries, oak, vanilla, and citrus. Nice tart funk, with some chocolate and soy sauce. Light bitter chocolate finish with lasting, mildly astringent tart after.  Saison  86/100 

48/365: Tired Hands Singel Hop Saison, Amarillo:
Great hop aroma, fruity with onion and light pale malt sweetness. Pale golden yellow clear with thin white head. Medium-light body with medium carbonation. Starts medium dry, peppery with fresh hops. Grassy, herbal, clean. Medium acidity at the finish with great hop flavor. Light bitter after.  Saison  82/100

49/365: Tired Hands LiddleFiddle:
Funky-nasty hop aroma (nasty in a good way) that is just fantastic. The nose gives me the munchies. Mild sweetness and tons of pine, funk, and ozone. Pale golden clear with light haze, topped with thin foamy head. Medium body and carbonation. Nice dry saison with tons of fresh hop character. Big bitter finish and funky after. Delicious.  Saison  86/100

50/365: Tired Hands Entropic:
Bretty, hoppy, and meaty. Light lactic and mild sweetness. Hazy pale with thin white head. Medium-light body with medium carbonation. Medium bitter start. Lots of Brett in this one. Light funk and big bitter notes but not harsh. Astringent finish with mild bitter after.  Sour Ale/Wild Ale  80/100 

 51/365: Tired Hands Ego Disillusionment:
Aroma is a mix of apples, sauerkraut, and milk with tea. Chardonnay and carbonic brightness. Hazy-cloudy pale straw with thin rocky head. Light body with medium carbonation. Tart, funky, sour and lactic. Kiwi chardonnay and apple cider flavors. Just a nice, tart weisse. Bright.  Berliner Weisse  80/100

52/365: Tired Hands MotherAnimal:
Smells of roasted barley and spent coffee grounds. Caramel and sweet with light alcohol and broth. Coppery brown with thin creamy lacing head. Medium-heavy body with high carbonation. Alcohol warming. Vanilla, coffee, toffee, and caramel. Sweet and thick with light alcoholic coffee. Big sweet after. Not cloying, but a little too sweet.  Barley Wine  76/100  
The day after this awesome tasting, I had lunch with a colleague at Benjamin's here in town. They have a pretty good tap selection now, and I went with a new IIPA from Victory.

53/365: Victory Ranch (Centennial):
Nice grassy-fruity fresh hop nose. Apricot, grapefruit, sugary syrup and light caramel. Medium golden amber clear with thin foamy off-white lacing head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Starts medium sweet with caramel and brown sugar, neutral fruity character but also with notes of apricot and tons of hop flavor. Big bitter finish and lasting bitter after. The higher gravity was not apparent.  Imperial/Double IPA  78/100

Every year, in February, to celebrate both Dana's and my birthrdays, we usually go to Pittsburgh for a Friday overnight, with a dinner at Casbah, followed by touring around Pittsburgh on Saturday. Casbah is part of the Big Burrito restaurant group, and for your birthday they'll send you a $30 coupon to use the week before until the week after your birthday. Unfortunately, our birthdays don't quite overlap, so we never get to use both of them. (oh, and you can't use it on Saturdays)  On Saturday, we had lunch at Mad Mex (another Big Burrito restaurant), which always has good stuff on tap.  I enjoyed two draughts for lunch:

54/365: Helltown Idle Hands:
Great fresh hop aroma, sweet and grassy with apricot and pear. Some pine and herb notes, too. Hazy medium amber with thin white lacing head. Medium body with medium to heavy carbonation. Starts nice and sweet with apricot and pear notes. Light brown sugar and caramel, too. Sweet bitter finish with nice lasting bitter after that’s not too harsh.  Imperial/Double IPA  82/100

55/365: Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout:
Sweet espresso nose with vanilla, oak, chocolate, light molasses, and a hint of smoke. Dark black opaque with dark brown lacing foamy head. Medium heavy body with heavy carbonation, fizzy and alcoholic warming. Light chewy. Starts sweet and roast with burnt malty caramel, smoke, oak, vanilla, and chocolate. Rich, malty, and hot. Big warming. Big bitter chocolate finish with roasted burnt malt tang. Oak and smoke after, with lingering sweetness and carbonic tang.  Imperial Stout   80/100

And finally, to catch up on the rest of my new beer notes to date, I had the following in my cellar at home (except the St. Stefanus, which Dave and I shared courtesy of Tim at the Coney).

56/365: Rickard's Blonde:
Pale lager aroma, beany with some noble hops and a light corn or vegetal aroma. Mild oxidation. Orange amber clear with thin off-white lacing head. Medium light body with medium carbonation. Starts a bit dry with some caramel sweetness, mild papery notes, and little hop presence. Finish is smooth with light sweet after.  Pilsener  50/100

57/365: St. Stefanus Blonde:
Light Belgian wheat ale nose, mild esters and yeasty notes. Some honey and orange blossom sweetness. Golden clear with creamy-pillowy white lacing head. Medium to light bodied with medium to heavy carbonation. Kind of weak in flavor but medium sweet with light fruity esters and mild carbonic bite. Yeasty chalky finish with medium sweetness and very little bitterness. Mild after.  Belgian Ale  64/100

58/365: Rickard's White:
Nice fruity aroma with apricot nectar, orange peel, and coriander. Kind of sweet with mild floral notes. Cloudy medium amber with thin white head. Medium to light watery body with heavy carbonation. Starts with fruity and floral notes, orange peel and coriander. Pale malt and wheat sweetness with light dry finish. No discernible hop flavors. After is a little chalky but pleasant.  Belgian White (Witbier)   58/100  

59/365: Fat Head's Bumbleberry Honey Blueberry Ale:
Mix of real and fake saccharin blueberry aromas, fruity and a bit earthy. Sweet with no discernible hop character. Light honey. Medium golden amber clear with huge creamy-pillowy lacing off-white head. Medium bodied with medium to heavy carbonation. Starts somewhat dry despite the sweetness of the aroma. Notes of blueberry, honey with a berry-skin bitterness in the finish along with some hop bitterness. Light sweet albeit watery after.  Fruit Beer  56/100

Whew!  Finally caught up.  Next up ... ??