Monday, February 27, 2012

Pumpkins in February? Totally legit.

Brewery: Epic Brewing Co. (collaborating with DC Brau)
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Name: Doesn't really have one, but it's part of the "Exponential Series."
Type: Imperial Pumpkin Porter (gourder?)
ABV: 7.3%
You read it right, this is an imperial pumpkin porter. It's also February. Trust me, I understand. February isn't really pumpkin based beer weather. BUT! I got this on sale at Total Wine and More so it's justified. Plus, I had passed this up during pumpkin beer season so that just means this was meant to happen. Was it meant to happen in February? Who knows. I'm just really enjoying typing February at the moment. Ahem. This is the first beer I've ever had from Epic and at the same time (in a somewhat ancillary fashion) it is the first beer I've had from DC Brau. However, this is not the first pumpkin porter I have ever had... And to be honest, my first encounter with a pumpkin porter was less than stellar. So how did this collaborative concoction fare? It definitely is more porter than pumpkin. Looking at the cold tar (in a good way!) gives no hint to what lies beneath and the cashew colored head sat proudly even as it eventually melted away but managed to live on as strong lacing. The nose is most definitely a porter. The aromas of delightfully bitter roasted malt takes center stage then, curiously, sweet cinnamon and nutmeg remind you that this isn't your average porter. And it isn't even an overpowering cinnamon smell, it is just enough to get you excited about what you're about to experience. I found the lighter mouthfeel yet slightly dense body to be inviting. It's not the liquid velvet an imperial stout emanates but it definitely had some weight to it. A proud porter, this is. Coffee inspired roasted malts take no prisoners. There is a solid amount of sweetness to this beer. If I didn't know any better I would say the taste is closer to a milk stout than a porter. That may have something to do with the inherent sweetness of the fresh pumpkin added or the sneaky amount of cinnamon added. Not at all lost in the haze of flavors is a nice splash of chocolate. But once all of that is gone you're back to drinking a porter. Granted, it is a quality porter that is chock full of roasted malt goodness and bitter aftertastes. This is a far better version of a pumpkin porter than the one I had in October of last year (never made it to this hallowed pages). Coming across this beer may be pretty difficult as it is A.) A super limited batch and B.) The end of February. However! Should you find it and are looking for something a little different and pretty tasty, grab this Epic/DC Brau hit that proudly boasts "Fermentation without Representation."

This is from Utah? Suck it, Brigham Young!

On golden pints.

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Location: Chico, CA
Name: Kellerweis
Type: Hefeweis
ABV: 4.8%

(I know it's called hefeweizen, I just wanted to play with words some! Chill out.) I think I might be turning a corner on the whole "I can't really drink wheat beers because they give me heartburn" thing. But I'm not ready to commit to that statement fully. What I have here is a fine hefeweizen from the folks at Sierra Nevada. Often stalwarts of quality and consistency, this beer is no different. If this beer took its name from a fable character it would be "Goldilocks." Hazy and warm in its golden glory, Kellerweis wears a clean white cap of foam proudly. The aromas this beer emits are both layered and mouth watering. While people often expect a heavy citrus punch straight away, what you get from Kellerweis is a bundle of clove and banana. The tart fragrance of yeast is unmistakable and does a wonderful job supporting the fresh citrus burst that pops up. Towards the end of the sniff I picked up on a bit of spice that rests nicely on a bed of bready notes. This all did a very good job in making my mouth water. The payoff? Pretty delicious. This beer has a medium body do it with a creamy mouthfeel that flaunts healthy carbonation. As a flavor delivery system I would say this is sufficient. The first flavors I run into are those bread notes and spices encountered in the bouquet. That lasts long enough to make the transition to the fruit/clove salad a bit more noticeable. Rich banana (but not cloying or artificial) mixes it up nicely with a touch of orange zest at its peak. This is far less citrusy than what my mind tells me how hefeweizens usually taste. The smooth body and creamy flavors make this incredibly easy to drink. The citrus is not the star of the show here, instead it's all about the wheat biscuit topped with banana and clove dusted with orange peel. As it warmed, the banana flavor asserted itself a little better which I found to be quite pleasant. I can't be too surprised. Sierra Nevada cranks out quality beer and this is no exception.

Try and steal my sunshine...see what happens. TRY!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Welcome to my 100th post!

Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Co.
Location: Denver, CO
Name: Old Ruffian
Type: Barley wine
ABV: 10.2%
100. I couldn't think of a better way to hit the 100 post mark. Just for the record (because I feel like it has to be said, lest I get accused otherwise), I am not in any way taking payment from Great Divide Brewing Co. Now that that's out of the way, I can't tell you how excited I am to get this in my gullet! It's a big bottle for a big beer, comes in sturdy at 10.2% ABV and promises to not pull any punches. The aged roughneck, as I have started to call it, pours a lush ruby tinted caramel color that builds a clingy creme colored head. Light passes it through it, though not easily so don't expect to be looking at anything other than ale when peering into your glass. I've got to be honest, there is a fair bit of hops to this nose! More than I was expecting anyway. It's the nice kind of fresh citrus hops. It is the perfect accompaniment to the rotund blast of dense malts and mouth-watering darkly sour fruits. Figs and plum act as aroma asteroids that collide with apricot and toffee. It emits a feeling of warmth and toasty JUST by smelling the way it does. It's a good thing I'm typing this and not making a recording of it. I honestly lose all sense of thought when I drink this. The unapologetic manner by which this ancient knave grants you flavor is astounding. The first taste you get is thick dark fruits bolstered by an English toffee back bone. The malt is an amazing baseline that runs throughout this beer. Past the malt is when the hops come in and they stick around for the long haul. Hops? In a barley wine? Yes, I know. I asked myself the same thing. But citrus and pine both come through cleanly and it does funny things to the aftertaste. If it weren't for the dark fruits and toffee malt beginning you would swear that you were drinking a potent IPA. I can not explain to you how much I am enjoying this beer. Everything is wonderful. The packaging has a guy shadow-boxing, the head is doing a great job lacing the glass, and the beer itself could possibly be derived from the gods of brewing. If you live in an area that has access to Great Divide beers you are honestly doing yourself a disservice if you overlook this beer. This has become my benchmark barley wine and has nestled itself firmly in my Top 5 All Time Favorite Beers. And if any of you want to know what those are, please let me know. But that's another conversation altogether. I can not find a single thing wrong with this beer. I'm sorry for those of you who may have felt a twinge of jealousy as you read this. This was the last of the Great Divides I had in my fridge and I can say, without remorse or irony, that I indeed saved the best for last.

I tried to squeeze the bottle to get every last bit.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

You only turn 18 once.

Brewery: Legend Brewing Co.
Location: Richmond, VA
Name: Hopfest
Type: American Pale Ale
ABV: 7.3%


There's something to be said about enjoying a proper amount of craft beer. There's something even better to be said about enjoying a locally brewed craft beer. The low-fi and unassuming label for Legend's Hopfest ale should not deter would be drinkers. In fact, it should encourage the drinker by hinting at something like "Hey, the beer speaks for itself." And yes, it is a unicorn. This year marks Legend's 18th year in the brewing world and I couldn't be happy celebrating that fact by drinking this beer. It poured a crystal clear amber color flirting toward the side of bronze and produced a modest, off-white colored head. You kind of have a pretty good idea of what you're going to be getting into bouquet wise when approaching a beer named "Hopfest." It's a hop-head's haven! Right off the bat you get a vivid citrus punch that smacks of grapefruit and as you inhale further, Christmas pine tumbles through the aroma door. The hops aren't shy but they do let a nice bit of sweet malt to come through. Now, as robust as the bouquet is you would expect this ale to be super harsh and unrelenting in its hoppiness. However, this beer is a pretty good balance of a smack of hops and a gentle pat on the back of malt. The hops are like they smell: shiny citrus sunshine. However, don't expect to get puckered in the face because as soon as the grapefruit (which washes into a orangey flavor) subsides a smooth wave of sticky caramel malt. The aftertaste is deliciously bitter that keeps the flavors of the hops hanging around. This is an easy to drink, but super flavorful, pale ale. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this beer is a great gateway for someone who wants to step up into bigger, bolder, slightly more potent pale ales. I would also like to throw my thoughts in that people may take to stronger citrus based hops easier than they may to the more harsh pine hops. (You know, I promise to take the time to learn the names and flavor profiles of the different types of hops you may come across in your craft beer journeys).

Leapfrog + unicorn = No winners.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

There is no reason to snicker at the name of this beer. None.

Brewery: Samuel Smith Old Brewery
Location: Tadcaster, England
Name: Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale
Type: English Brown Ale
ABV: 5.0%

Come now, children. Get your juvenile chuckles out of your system. Today we're going to be talking about Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale...heh. Quick fact about Smiths, they have been using well water from their original well that was sunk in 1758. Plus, according to Michael Jackson (the beer God, not the Jesus Juice peddler) "Samuel Smith has the richest, maltiest, and nuttiest of brown ales." I should also point out that my friend Adam left this beer in my fridge thus making it fair game. Ballyhoo and prestige aside it's time to talk beer. The ale poured a solid mahogany with a touch of red. In fact, I think it looks a lot like the color of the bottle it came in. The head was fairly thin and colored a shade lighter than tan. The aroma is pleasant and warming. A mishmash of nuttiness and malt that hints at maple syrup collides with notes of toffee that treads into butterscotch territory. I was expecting a hint of raisin somewhere in there but never found it. Definitely a light body to this one and the effervescent carbonation does little to distract from the taste. The first suggestion of flavor is one of sweet malts and that familiar toffee taste. Midway through the profile adjusts to the nuttiness from the nose and starts to dry a little. Right before the bitterness at the end I got a splash of slightly burnt grains. The bitterness at the end is a confusing blend of earth and metal. My guess is that those flavors come directly from the water used to brew this beer. Those fleeting hints of taste remind you that this beer has been brewed a very specific way for a very long time. I may have to put my two cents in against Mr. Jackson (I am by no means saying he's wrong...the guy literally wrote THE BOOK on beer) but I have had other brown ales that have delivered a richer and maltier experiences, specifically Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale (both of which are American brown ales, not English). I'm thinking that while traditional brown ales may not be my favorite, this offering from Samuel Smith's is pretty good and I would consider it an honorable starting point to see if brown ales are your thing.

So Sam Adams, Sam Smith, and Sam Jackson walk into a bar...

Pass the poi, mahalo.

Brewery: Maui Brewing Co.
Location: Lahina, Maui, HI
Name: Bikini Blonde Lager
Type: Helles Lager
ABV: 5.1%

Quick order of linguistics, "helles" is German for "light colored." Suitable choice though strange, I never thought the German population to be very high in Hawaii. Also, this is my first attempt at photographing the beer I drink so you folks can see the full container and the vessel that I'm drinking from. Criticisms are welcome. That being said, this beer is from Hawaii (but it was purchased at Whole Foods, near Richmond, VA)! Well aware that it is a lager I was expecting the frothy, clean white head. The beer, as you can see, is a nice shade of golden straw The bouquet is lager-esque. You didn't think I was going to leave it at that, did you? The bouquet is quite simple yet fragrant. Full malt ahead, captain! Once your past that you get a big helping of bread and yeast and a very small pinch of hops. I was hoping there would have been a little more a citrus note to it to help cut the sweet bread (not sweetbreads, gross) notes, but alas, there was not. I'm going to say that this was probably one of the cleaner tasting beers I've had in a while. And by that I mean it's right to the point, not too busy with its flavors and has a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. The malts are straight up front but they seem to taste a bit more mellow than the nose would have you believe. The taste of bread and earth come through pretty vividly in the middle. Towards the back end you get a nice burst of light citrus hops and a faint honey sweetness. My only criticism is that you should not let this beer sit for too long. As it warms in the glass it definitely morphs into a more bitter version of itself. This beer, while not the watered down and mass produced American lager that demands to be consumed at near freezing temperatures, should be enjoyed rather chilled. It would be a great accompaniment for a late-spring or early-summer cookout. Oh man, I just thought of drinking this beer and eating a bratwurst on a roll with sauerkraut, spicy brown mustard, and beer sauteed green peppers...

Drinking this beer will get you leid.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Epic, adjective. Also "this beer."

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Location: Chico, CA
Name: Life and Limb 2
Type: American Strong Ale
ABV: 10.2%
I just want to say that the labeling for this beer is absolutely gorgeous. I couldn't imagine this label appearing on bottle smaller than a bomber. Plus, that just means I have so much more of this strong ale to indulge in. This is a super limited release from Sam Calagione (from Dogfish Head) and Ken Grossman (from Sierra Nevada) that is liquid celebration incarnate. The label reads full of praise for those who brew craft beer and for those who love craft beer. There's love for those who are home-brewers that aspire to make the big step and admiration for the families who love and support those involved in the craft brew world; creators and consumers. I had been hanging on to this beer for months and after some cajoling have decided to open it and savor every drop of it. Such a pretty bottle has no choice but to contain such a beautiful beer. While being opaque there is a visual richness to Life and Limb. A cola and mahogany infused liquid splashed nicely into my pint glass filling quickly and capping off with a thick and generous toasted almond colored head. This filled with me a great amount of joy and excitement. The fragrances this beer put off were astounding! I was expecting something great smelling but the aromas that wafted from my glass were beyond impressive. My mortal nose was able to pick out a healthy dose of maple (due in part to the use of maple syrup in the brewing process) mixed with strong notes of roasted malts that scream of coffee and a decadent toffee/caramel note throughout. A slight hint of alcohol reminds you that this will be a beer most impressive and not to be chugged with reckless abandon. No. You are commanded to savor this beer from the care put into it. The taste was intoxicating. Pun? Maybe. The mouthfeel was much lighter than I had anticipated. While not ultra-light it wasn't the syrupy, viscus feel I was expecting. A nice balance of crisp carbonation and medium body does this ale well. The conductor on the flavor train is sweet malt. The maple is very easy to notice that does well in ushering the complimentary flavors of roasted coffee, dark and rich caramel, slight hints of tarty fruits, and a slightly bitter and warming alcohol finish. Did I mention there was a ghost of bittersweet dark chocolate floating around? Hmm... Thinking back I should have bought two bottles of this. Like I said, I have been hanging on to this bottle since April or so and it would have been nice to have something to compare it against to see if the flavor profile had changed any. As I neared the end of Life and Limb I was legitimately sad. It is beers like this that fuel my passion for this particular potent potable. Being able to enjoy something so finely crafted with an incredible amount of care helps further solidify the fact that I belong in this industry in some way, shape, or form. If you, yes you, ever have the opportunity to drink (or even smell) this incredible strong ale, it would behoove you to do so. I realize that this may read like a romance novel (shut up, Fabio said he couldn't make the photo shoot) but this beer really is that good. It's easy to get caught up in the exclusivity of drinking a limited release beer so I implore you, the next time you drink your favorite craft brew silently thank its creator. And vocally celebrate your good taste.
A pun would not do this beer justice. Revel in this masterpiece.

Monday, February 13, 2012

There are so many words on this bottle!

Breweries: Terrapin & Brasserie BFM SA
Location: Athens, GA & Switzerland-Suisse
Name: spike & jérôme's
Type: Collaboration Ale & Cuvée Délirante or "Barley Ryne"
ABV: 10.0276%

This was a Christmas gift and a super unexpected one at that. I had been eyeing this beer at a local shop but couldn't bring myself to purchase it. Thankfully, my future mother-in-law had an insider report as to what may be a good gift idea. First off, great bottle. Anything that has a levered action ceramic stopper in it is pretty awesome. And it's reusable! Not quite 12oz this fit into a goblet nicely without having to worry about run-over or left-overs. As noted on the awfully bombastic label this beer is comprised of 2/3 ale and 1/3 ale that has been matured in a rum oak barrel. This is my first ever rum barrel aged beer. I've had plenty of beers that grow up in bourbon barrels so needless to say I was a bit (OK, slightly more than a bit) interested in this beer. Also, this beer was created when Terrapin's brewmaster (Spike) took a trip to Europe and met up with Brasserie BFM's brewmaster (Jérôme) to collaborate on an interesting brew. What came of that fateful meeting? This guy, with the 8,000 word label. I kid, it's very informative and very pleasing to the eye. And the beer? Imagine the darkest apple cider you've ever seen. Now blend it with caramel and you will have a pretty good facsimile of what this beer looks like. Absolutely no head. None. I'm not joking or exaggerating. That wasn't upsetting though... I just expected some sort of thick cream colored cap for this viscous brew. The bouquet was something of olfactory opulence. Where I expected to get sugary rum notes I got tart and sour fruit notes. There is also a fair amount of rich and sticky malt to the nose. Before even drinking S&J I thought this is going to be like any other barley wine and the fact that it was brewed with 20% rye was going to have little impact. Well... I'm not sure how to put this lightly. This beer was bad. Really bad. One of the only beers I had ever tried and immediately wanted to spit out. I'm wondering if I got a skunked beer or something because there was absolutely 0% carbonation to start with. Secondly, that tart and sour note in the bouquet? That was reproduced identically in the taste. There is very little to recover from the taste after the cloud of sour fallout lands on your pallet. Now I did something I don't always do. I went to the internets to see what others had to say about this beer and I found that, for the most part, reports are favorable. My experience? Not so much. What sucks the most about this is that even if I had waited longer to drink this (due in part to the encouragement of the bottle telling me that S&J "ages well) it still would have been skunked and probably even worse. To be honest, I choked down 3 fairly small sips of this. I don't want to give it a number of mugs due in part to the presumed fouling, however, I won't be going out of my way to try another. Sorry folks, I'm chalking this one to bad luck. Now I'm going to go rinse the sour of my mouth. Bleh.

*UPDATE* After speaking with the owner of the establishment from where this beer came from, it's not at all skunked. It's supposed to be sour. I just happen to think it tastes like shit. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to my guns. You may like it if you're down with flat beers that taste like unsweetened citric acid.

0 Mugs. ZERO. As in the other half of binary code. NONE.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Totally not Smoked Mediterranen.

Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Co.
Location: Denver, CO
Name: Smoked Baltic Porter
Type: Smoked porter
ABV: 7.50%
You might have to think a little bit to figure out why I named this review what I named it. Regardless. This is the second of 3 beers that I received from Tessa that came straight from the Great Divide brewery. Even better, I had never even seen this one before! It was like seeing a solar eclipse except without having to wear those goofy "Hope I don't go blind by staring at the sun" glasses. And the crazy part? This beer is the antithesis of sunlight. Dark, thick, brooding. Not Adrien Brody...brooding. Definitely lives up to the name and touts it proudly. I couldn't tell you what color the head was. By the time I had finished pouring it had already subsided. That left me more time to smell this thing. Please, no lewd comments. This is one of the tastiest beers I have ever smelled and I'm going to try to convey that smell to you. Ready? OK. Imagine're out camping and it's time to wake up and fend off the bears. Once you've survived the bear attack the most reasonable thing to do is make some coffee over the fire. So you've got the fire going and you're getting that good "I'm making wood burn for heat" smell going on and then the coffee starts to percolate (not the dance). This is like the best coffee you've ever smelled and the next thing you know you're inhaling campfire smoke and coffee all at the same time! Throw in some dark molasses and you've got it. Once your eyes return from rolling backward you may resume reading the rest of this. This is the best smokey, darkest roast coffee, but really it's beer, ever. That's what this smells like. The taste you ask? What, the smell wasn't enough? I'm not a religious person at all but good god does this taste wonderful. Seriously. The smoke flavor slips past parted lips and rides a wave of lightly bodied roasted malt tastes that do an incredible job delivering that familiarly bitter coffee taste of a porter. There's a clean yet subtle hint of hops throughout and I suspect that does a nice job in cutting the possible stickiness that could occur from a beer such as this. I'd like to take a moment to tell you that I do not get paid by Great Divide. Though I would like if anyone from Great Divide is reading this, call me. I'll come work for you. Back to the beer... I know the idea of cold, smoked, carbonated coffee doesn't really sound appealing. But what if I told you that cold, smoked, carbonated, alcoholic, and malted coffee is really delicious? Does that help? It should! This beer will not be available to anyone in Southeast Virginia who may be reading this. To you, I apologize for rubbing it in. The aftertaste has a slight peat taste to it. Whisky drinkers, you'll know what I'm talking about. The malt isn't syrupy or terribly sweet. And the light mouthfeel makes this beer irresistible. Honestly, you take a drink. Set your glass down. And immediately want another drink. I approve for savoring this beer. I would very much like to have more than this one sitting in front of me. I'm going to Denver in August for the wedding of good friends...maybe I get lost at Great Divide? FIND THIS BEER (by any means necessary). DRINK THIS BEER (with wanton and unabashed fervor). Thank me later.

This trumps a hotel on Boardwalk.

Call me "El Hefe"weizen.

Brewery: Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.
Location: Portland, OR
Name: Hefeweizen
Type: American pale wheat ale
ABV: 4.90%
I know what you're thinking. This can't possibly be the same blog I read once and immediately forgot about only to stumble back around to it and find a review for a beer that isn't black as night or hopped through the roof. No, this can't be that site. I mean, this is a review for a hefeweizen...clearly something is amiss. If there's one thing I'm not it's ungrateful. The best part about having a gathering is seeing my friends. The second best part about having a gathering is the beer those friends bring. This is one of those beers. Thanks Brandon! In any case...on to the brew. At first glance I would say, without question, that this beer is both wheat based and unfiltered. It is as bright yellow as its label and just as hard to see through. The significant amount of haze kind of makes you think you're holding a sweltering Southern day in a glass. Sun bright with a cloud of pure white foam, this beer screams "YOU'REGOINGTOBEREFRESHED, DAMMIT!" The nose is ripe with yeasty bread and laced only with a hint of citrus. It's not incredibly pungent and that's OK. I'm not sure I'd want to have to deal with drinking liquid lemon meringue pie. The mouthfeel is incredibly light and leaves a pretty dry finish. But I'm getting ahead of myself. You do get a quick flash of lemon that seems to have been lightly dusted with sugar. It's not a sour beer and the faint hint of hops help balance out the tart. And I will take this moment to say that I did not add any fruit to this beer. Let that be a lesson to you. Ahem. Then comes the wheat. Super Wheat Man to the rescue with his amazing Bread Ray Vision (because it sort of sound like X-Ray Vision?)! It's not that bad though, honest. This is an incredibly clean and light beer. Super refreshing and incredibly drinkable. Is this a traditional, honest to gourd, hefeweizen? I don't think so. I would expect more of a banana note in the nose, perhaps some hints of clove and spice. Does that makes this a bad beer? Nope. It's a perfectly competent American wheat beer.

It got an extra half-mug for not giving me heartburn.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Because "Beery Tart" would have been sexist.

Brewery: Boston Beer Co.
Location: Bahstin, MASS
Name: The Vixen
Type: Bock
ABV: 8.50%
If memory serves me correct, this may be the first Sam Adams beer I've reviewed. Definitely not the first Sam Adams I've had though. However, this super limited beer caught my eye. I like chocolate. I like chili. I like chili infused chocolate. I like beer. What's that you say? You brewed a beer for me? Oh, Mr. shouldn't have! The Vixen presents itself in the form of creamy, melted semi-sweet chocolate looking liquid that is accompanied by a tight (and quickly disappearing) light chocolate milk tinted head. There isn't going to be a whole lot of light passing through this beer. The nose is what i like to call "interesting." I fully expected to be assaulted by chocolate and spice and cimmanin. What I got instead was just that. The malts give off a cocoa-y aroma. Midway through the cinnamon faintly comes up and it seems like that nice mixture of slightly sweet yet slightly spicy. Lastly the chili pops up only to remind you that there may be some heat to enjoy. I also got a fair amount of sweet, dark fruits. Listen, I know I use that description often but its what I've got! So if you're tired of reading it I am open to suggestions for beers to try. Now, I've had Rogue's Chipotle Ale before (AMAZING to add to chili, by the way) and I was basing my knowledge of chili infused beers off that. This isn't that type of beer. The mouthfeel is velvety with only a noticeable amount of carbonation. Chocolate comes through easily. But after that, there isn't really a whole lot of spice going on. Don't get me wrong, this beer tastes good! I don't think I'm off base in saying that a healthier dose of chili could have taken this bock to the next level. I couldn't coax a strong chili flavor out of this beer even as I let it warm up some. As a bock, The Vixen is very good. The sticky, sweet chocolate-ish malts are delicious. The slight tang from those pesky dark fruit notes provide a dry finish. A mildly roasted bitterness brings up the caboose. All in all, it's a good back. Though not a very good chocolate chili bock I do give the macro-craft brewery some kudos. They definitely packed some good flavors into this beer and I doubt a large part of the population who drinks Samuel Adams even knows they do fun and quirky one-offs like this. It just would have been a bit more fulfilling if those chili and cinnamon flavors blended (or appeared) throughout creating a nicely layered beer drinking experience.

The dame walked into my office sobbing and I could tell right away she was trouble.