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Category Archives: Ale

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

5.6%

Bottled

Pours very straightforward amber. The smell is great, nice sweet maple flavor and a noticeable bacon kick at the end. The flavor does not follow through with the promises that the nose makes. You get an opening smoke flavor that has just a hint of old gym shoe. The mouth feel is shockingly weak. The main flavors are cheap smoke, fake syrup, and microwave bacon steam.

Impression: This is one of the most disappointing beers I have had in quite a while. Not because it didn’t work, a beer like this really shouldn’t work. What it really needs to do is crash and burn trying to push the limits more. By trying to keep this beer a little bit simpler and more palatable they ruin it. If they had tried to add a bit of doughnut flavor and given this beer a nice strong body it would help a lot.

For a beer with such an impressive title there needs to be a decadent richness in this beer for it to work. The maple does not get the rich sweetness that it needs and focuses only on the sappiness. If it had a syrup style flavor and mouth feel it would help a lot.

I really expected this beer to disappoint me, unfortunately I thought that it would be fun along the way. This is a missed opportunity if there ever was one. There was so much that could have been done here. It could have been great, or an all time great failure at least, unfortunately all they made was a mediocre beer that left a lot to be desired.

Grade: D+

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

8.2%

Bottled

Pours a clear light amber, very light head. Smells sweet, and strongly of bourbon. A good strong whiff of the oakiness comes through well, with a strong amount of vanilla. A good strong flavor up front, a nice sweet malt flavor up in the beginning. A bit boozy on the end, but it is about what you would expect from a beer like this.

This may not be an every day drinking beer. The flavors are really intense it in, but it works well. The booze taste on the back end would usually be a put off, but because it brings through the bourbon flavors.

This beer is nice and creamy, though leaves a bit to be desired in terms of carbonation. That doesn’t keep it from being a good beer, it just seems like it would make  it a bit better.

Grade: B+

 

Slumbrew My Better Half Imperial Cream Ale

7.2%

Bottled

Pours a dark honey color with a very mild smell, just a little bit of sweetness. At first taste you may be a bit shocked by this one. The sweetness really kicks you in the teeth while the creaminess holds you down. It fades quickly though, and you get to the aftertaste.

Impression: Once you get to the aftertaste this beer comes into its own. The sweetness at its start fades quickly, once you expect it, it is actually pretty nice. As it lingers a bit, you get the creaminess, the sweetness, and just the tiniest bit of acidity. It all blends together, and after a while, we decided it tasted like you just took a bite of key lime pie. Not to say that this beer is a dessert, but the similarities are there. The cream, the sugar, and just that little bite at the end, and next thing you know you think you are eating pie. Now, don’t judge this beer to harshly because of my round about description, it mellows out as you drink it. Overall this may not be the best beer in the world, but it is FAR from the worst. I may not drive half an hour to get this beer, but if I drove there for something else, and this was sitting on the shelf next to it, I may well pick it up.

Grade: B

Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale

7.7%

Bottled

Pours nearly black, somewhat translucent. Burnt roast malt smell, a bit of sweet bread scent. Taste is a lot smother than the smell would make you think. Very creamy, a bit on the sweet side, with just a tiny bit of smoke. Starts lighter than you would expect from the alcohol, than warms a bit on the back end.

Impression: This is a pretty good offering, not the best wee heavy on the market though. It is a great beer to throw one or two in if you are mixing a six pack, but I would not go out of my way to find it. If you throw it into a pack of lighter beers it will be a good one to mix it up. Like many of the beers from Great Divide it is on the better end the styles, but stays away from the very top. The wee heavy is a good style to try if you want to get into stronger beers but are not quite sure where to start. The Claymore is a bit on the pricey side, but if you are getting a decent wee heavy you are not going to find one that is dirt cheap from the start. Throw down the extra cash to try this, it deserves that much, but don’t go too far out of your way for it.

Grade: B

Peak Organic Winter Session Ale

5%

Bottled

Fairly dark amber as you would expect for a winter beer. Smells a tiny bit sweet, but mostly of hops that have been kicked around a pine forrest for a few days. First taste is a mild hops, though the hop flavor itself is intensely piney. The finish of malt rounds it out nicely.

Impression: For a session beer this is very nicely complex. It is easy to make a session beer that is bland but drinkable. What Peak has done here is make a beer that you can drink as a session beer, while still enjoying it from the first beer to the last. The complexity makes you want to come back for the next sip for reasons other than trying to throw back as many beers as possible all night. The taste of this beer nails what you want for a winter beer perfectly. There are plenty of heavy winter beers out there, but this is a beer that you can come inside from a day on the mountain, put one back, and not feel like you have just had a loaf of bread stuffed down your throat. If you are looking for the most intense beer, the beer that has everything you have been trying to find for a long time, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a nice drinkable beer that is not going to wear on you when you start your second, try the Peak.

Grade: B+

Great Divide Samurai

5.1%

Bottle

Great Divide’s Rice Ale, smells sweet with a bit of rice, taste a bit lacking, not much there, water, with a bit of grass and a faint hop. Not the worst beer, but not for winter.

Impression: I think that this beer would be great in the summer. Still tastes like beer, but ultra light so you could drink them sitting on the beach in the summer. The problem is that Great Divide puts this in a winter time variety pack. As you drink it the beer will grow on you, and if you wanted to treat it like a session beer it would work well. If this were treated as it should, it could be a very good beer. Overall it is hard to give this a passing grade, but the beer is actually quite good…on its own…in the right season.

Grade: B-