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Tuesday, March 30th 2010

Surly's Abrasive Ale (aka 16 Grit Ale) to hit shelves soon!

Weighing in at 9% with 110 IBUs, this is a step up from an already very hoppy Furious! Abrasive Ale was formely draft only and known as 16 Grit Ale. This will be a spring seasonal for Surly and I can't wait to find some way to get some of this stuff!

From the Surly site:

"Sure we’re abrasive. We were abrasive long before we were Surly. If you visit the brewery you can still see remnants of the industrial manufacturing factory Omar’s parents ran for 35 years within those same 4 walls. Bandsaw blades, grinding wheels, and sanding discs came long before ales and lagers. But let’s be honest, this is a lot more fun. Pale in color, this over-hopped, under-brewed Double IPA has almost twice the amount of hops & malt crammed in the can."



Posted by Russ



Tuesday, March 30th 2010

Harpoon to can both their IPA and Summer Ale this summer


Posted by Russ



Saturday, March 27th 2010

GUBNA Imperial IPA
(Oskar Blues Brewery)

Described on the OB site as "a colossal, 10% ABV, 100 IBUs hop grenade in a can!" Sounds good to me! I've been looking forward to trying this latest canned release from the pioneers in canned craft beer since the second I heard about it. Let's do this!

From the Oskar Blues site:

"Emphasizing that complexity of character can arise from simple elements, this ale is made with 3 malts and 1 hop. Its light amber color and slightly spicy malt character are derived from the use of German Dark Munich Malt and Rye Malt respectively. North American 2-row barley combines with the other grains to lay the foundation for the hop onslaught to come. Summit hops are used exclusively in the boil for bitterness, flavor and aroma but it doesn’t end there. Post-fermentation dry hopping allows the 10% ABV monstrosity to gently coax the citrus rind and grapefruit aroma to join the 100 IBUs already present. This beer will greet you with a pungent citrus blast, provide a spicy yet round middle and finish with a brisk, clean bitterness."

Here we go...

Pour - strong golden color with some bright orange hues. Almost an inch of bone white head on top. Pours damn nice out of the can.


Aroma - i'd be lying if I didn't say that the first smell that hit me full force was that of marijuana. My god, this smells like some seriously potent (and probably quite "dank") weed and I am not exaggerating at all (at all). It quickly becomes piney and ridiculously citrusy with an eruption of grapefruit that practically burns the nose. This has all the aromatic makings of one hell of a hoppy brew. 


Taste - big and sweet up front, almost fruity, sort of like strawberry. That was rather unexpected. The hops kick into overdrive soon after the initial flavors and the full on resiny, piney bitterness truly takes over. The warmth from the alcohol accompanies all those strong flavors quite nicely. Lots of tropical fruit flavors abound, think Cara Cara oranges, mango, pineapple and passionfruit. This is also a bit syrupy but hell its 10% so its got to have some thickness to it. My tongue is going numb but my insides are nice and warm. My hop fix has been more than met. 


Overall - this reminds me a bit of their Gordon but much better in my opinion. Its strong and a bit sweet but has way more hop flavor and balance, even at a higher ABV. I really am amazed how smooth and easy drinking this is at 10%. Similar to Bell's HopSlam in that regard. Great stuff and definitely worth a try.


Note - Summit hops are a categorized as "dwarf hops" and are grown on low trellises. They have only been produced commercially since 2003. They provide a characteristic citrus or grapefruit flavor to a beer and are commonly used in bittering as well as dry hopping. 




Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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GUBNA Imperial IPA
Style: Double/Imperial India Pale Ale
Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
City: 
Lyons, Colorado  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: American Two-Row, German Dark Munich Malt and Rye Malt
Hops: Summit
ABV: 10.0%
IBUs: 100
Date: March 27th, 2010

Posted by Russ


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Friday, March 26th 2010

Furious
(Surly Brewing Company)

Furious is a BIG hoppy IPA that comes in a big can. Furious doesn't want to be your friend but unfortunately you really, really want to be friends with Furious, so much so that you're willing to invite him over a lot in the hopes that he'll loosen up and stop being so damn intense. No such luck though, Furious is just that type of guy. One mean, bitter, intense, hop-tastic guy. 

From the Surly site:

"A tempest on the tongue, or a moment of pure hop bliss? Brewed with a dazzling blend of American hops and Scottish malt, this crimson-hued ale delivers waves of citrus, pine and caramel-toffee. For those who favor flavor, Furious has the hop-fire your taste buds have been screeching for."

Here we go...

Pour -  beautiful dark amber, almost honey colored with little tiny bubbles making their way north to be part of a half inch of tightly packed off-white foam. Hold this to the light, take it in and breath deep because the ride is just beginning.


Aroma - head-jerking amounts of pungent, piney, resiny, grapefruity, pineapply, resiny hop aroma. Wow! The smells just explode out of the can and envelope the glass before this beer is fully poured. I can't say enough about how great this beer smells. Its hops to the max and its just plain fantastic. 


Taste - pine, grapefruit and other citrus, intense bitterness on the tongue, brown bready malt and raw sugar syrup on the backside to even things out. Furious stings the tongue like a hop-scorpion (hopion?). This stuff is sticky and resinous in the mouth, plenty of hops packed into an IPA that clocks in at under 6.5%, not too mention the balance it has despite the pleasurable tongue lashing I've voluntarily taken. I can't imagine what their dIPA is like. Love this stuff!


Overall - I could drink a 4-pack without a problem. Its that good and that easy to drink. I guess that says I could sit down and drink an entire growler of Furious without sharing. That would be sort of selfish, but damn is this stuff good.


Note - Surly has also released (on several occasions) a very limited "Tea Bagged" Furious. This is Furious that has been dry-hopped in a firkin cask with various hop varieties. Surly frequently changes the type of hops used for the dry-hopping but usually uses a full pound of hops for the dry-hopping.

 



Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Furious
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
City: 
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Pale Ale, Golden Promise, Aromatic, Medium Crystal, Roasted Barley
Hops: Warrior, Ahtanum, Simcoe, Amarillo
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 99
Date: March 26th, 2010

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Saturday, March 20th 2010

Caldera IPA
(Caldera Brewing Company)

We finally managed to get our hands on some of this much talked about, hop laden, aluminum imprisoned, IPA from the hippy town of Ashland, Oregon. I can remember going to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland on a Junior High field trip and thinking to myself what a cool and funky town. Now, quite a few years later I am intrigued by the beer from there and Caldera's canned offerings.

From the Caldera site:

"An American-style India Pale Ale brewed with plenty of body and an assertive hop profile."

Here we go...

Pour - bright, bright, glowing orange and yellow in color. Wow, it is a sight to behold. Big, fluffy, stark white head rests on top protecting the "goods".


Aroma - pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, mandarin orange, lemon, powdered sugar and caramel malt. Lots of nice citrus and tropical fruit flavors but not so much piney-ness. 


Taste - graprefuity, tropical fruity, bittersweet and tongue drying. Plenty of malty sweetness backing up this dry mouth inducing IPA. The hop profile is very pungent and fresh coming from the can and this one lives up to its billing as one of the better canned IPAs on the market (of which there are more and more). Great job to all those at Caldera! Keep up the good work and I look forward to trying your other canned offerings. 


Overall - great IPA in a can! Very drinkable and well balanced (which is what really makes this one stand out). Fresh hop flavors is well preserved in the can and the overall drinkability is excellent.


Note - Do you like hoppy beers? Do you like good beer in cans?




Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Caldera IPA
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Caldera Brewing Company
City: 
Ashland, Oregon  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Premium two-row, Munich and Crystal
Hops: Simcoe, Centennial and Amarillo
ABV: 6.1%
IBUs: 94
Date: March 20th, 2010

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Labels: , American IPAs


Friday, March 5th 2010

Coffee Bender
(Surly Brewing Company)

The first coffee beer to be canned. Surly certainly has done its share to rid the world of canned beer phobia, especially by being the first to can numerous different styles. Once you open a can of this, or any of their other beers, you are well aware that you have something special in your midsts and it should be taken seriously. 

From the Surly site:

"Coffee Bender refreshes like an iced-coffee, is aromatic as a bag of whole beans as satisfies like your favorite beer. The Surly brew team has developed a cold extraction process that results in intense coffee aromatics and flavor bringing together two of our favorite beverages. Your only dilemma will be whether to finish your day or start it with a Coffee Bender. "

Here we go...

Pour - out of the can this floods my glass and settles as a reddish brown color with a big, thick, off-white foamy head. Looks like a nice beer right out of the can. 


Aroma - wow. Once you pop that tab it smells like you cracked one of those little Doubleshots from Starbucks. The smell is that of super fresh roasted coffee and can easily be detected from across a room. Hay-soos! Coffee galore when it comes to the aroma, not much else to say. Hooray for coffee!


Taste - a big wave of bitter, dark-roasted coffee heaven takes center stage followed by some sweet malt and some tangy flavors. This is a very solid brown ale mixed with some ridiculously fresh (and quality) tasting coffee. 


Overall - I had this once before and wasn't all that impressed. For some reason the second time around is a totally different experience. Maybe Surly changed things? Maybe this can was fresher? Who knows. All I know is that the coffee flavor in this beer is intense and makes for one hell of a great tasting beer. 


Note - The coffee used to brew this beer is Guatemalan Finca Vista Hermosa Full City Roast (which is a roast level) by Coffee and Tea Ltd.

 




Coffee Scale:
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Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Coffee Bender
Style: American Brown Ale
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
City: 
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Pale Ale, Aromatic, Medium Crystal, Dark Crystal, Oats and Chocolate
Hops: Columbus and Willamette
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 45
Date: March 5th, 2010

Posted by Russ


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