Eccentrically compelling black-bodied tan-headed fruited stout holds up well as ripe blueberry sweetness contrasts charred hop roast to strong black coffee finish. Blueberry muffin, pie, and jam illusions sometimes play second fiddle to blackened tar, nicotine, and cinder bittering that gums up expansive black chocolate-y coffee thickness, but rich dessert beer should be tried by all hearty beer lovers. Another similarly harsh-fruited California dark ale is Mendocino Imperial Stout.
Elegant sweet wine effervescence sidles surging caramel-malted prune-fig creaminess typical of most bocks (since they are heavier and more compressed than basic ‘ales’). Fresh-pressed cherry tang, mild grape dryness, and spicy nutmeg pinch inform judiciously hopped alcohol burn, precluding accessibility to junk beer drinkers but curing all pains.
Not nearly as aggressively bitter as most alimony sufferers. Mild copper-hazed IPA anchors floral-hopped citric spritz and sour green apple tartness to sticky mocha malting. Though not as creamy, strong, or daring as California’s more familiar pine-needled IPA fare, seasoned pale ale fans will enjoy it as a lighter, cleaner alternative.
Adequate rocky tan-headed chestnut amber pale ale (given boost by costly ’08 ad campaign) maintains dry spice-hopped barley-roasted theme, but distant lemon-peeled orange-singed fruiting gets diacetyl. Caution: befuddling ‘full body’ labeling.
Musty yeast-scented clear-bodied Heineken ‘light’ maintains white bread signature, gentle hop fizz, crisp water flow, and wheat toast finish for amiable simplicity bettering most astringent or metallic non-alcoholic rivals.
Mocha-fruited hazy brown ‘abbey dubbel’ with lucid port-burgundy nose enriched by sweet ‘n sour prune-dried chocolate frontage. Raisin-date-fig midst and ester-y black grape footnote fight back dank cellar mustiness to sharp nutty bottom, insulating lactose malt sinew.
Mediocre pale-yellowed lager lacks sufficient grain character and jaunty hop fizz, settling into watery blandness by lackluster lemony hop finish.
Swell barley-toned pale ale with buttery malt pleasantry, candy-coated chocolate elegance, and mild prune undertones. Exquisite crystalline water suits moderate-bodied softie worthy of pilsner or lager crossover.
Carbolic champagne fizz nearly overwhelms candi-sugared yeast zest and honeyed butterscotch modesty of middling pale ale. White peppered hops spice up lemony clementine-pear-peach tang and musty horse-blanket reminder. Wavered banana-clove clip and bitter orange rind snip need deeper penetration.
Buttery whiskey malts relax grain subtleties, but inconsequential adjuncts and moderate-bodied character keep this too light for tripel designation.
Explosive carbonation (typical of Belgian ales) blew the cork right off the bottle when protective cap of puffy white-headed pale yellow ale was unsealed. So it was not necessary to have corkscrew handy. Wheat-laced ambiance, fruity resonance, and spicy notes combine with brawny grains to sharp tart apple core. Let it swirl ’round your tongue for full effect.
Lacking robustness of better German rauchbiers, this Hudson River knockoff gets soapy when promisingly stylistic Band-Aid waft, beechwood char, and cured meat barrage prove fleeting. Instead, bland lemony orange sourness overwhelms dwindled salami, sausage, and glazed ham illusions.