Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rogue Double Dead Guy

For those familiar with the Rogue's most well known beer, Dead Guy ale, a first glance at the Double Dead Guy might cause them some dubious speculation. While Dead Guy is a fine beer when stood up against most of the major brews of the world, it lacks the imagination and the complex flavor that is a trademark of so many of Rogue's other beers. The Double Dead Guy is certainly a departure from it's namesake and almost wholly unrecognizable in comparison to it's predecessor. The body is a nice yellowish/amber color and carries tones of some sort of berry that I can't identify, perhaps juniper. There's a subtle sweet chocolately flavor that mixes perfectly with the berry taste as it moves into the back end of the pallette, intertwining beautifully all the way, and finishing with a smooth kick that's like a "do not disturb" sign on your hotel door. After having been disappointed with the single Dead Guy for many years, the Double is a welcomed success. Perhaps the flavors needed to be doubled all along.

Double Dead Guy: ****

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Port Brewing Hop-15 Ale

This double IPA claims to mix 15 different hops every 15 minutes to the boil; hence the name. Unfortunately, they don't give out the names of all the hops used, but you can gather a few in there. No doubt about it being a double IPA as both the hops and alcohol content speak for itself in that department. Port Brewing seems to love the simcoe hop, as do I, and you can detect it with a nice citrus flavor that rears its head at the front and back ends. There's also a very nice sweet malt that is mixed well into the overall palette giving the body a bright, but not overwhelming flavor. Very nicely done; Port Brewing continues to impress me with their brews.

Hop 15 Ale: ****

Brewdog Hardcore IPA

This very light colored imperial IPA has a surprisingly nice bite. When I first saw it, I was interested to try an IPA that hailed from the British Isles rather than here at home. However, having never heard of Brew Dog before and gazing at the label, I didn't have my hopes to high for how it would turn out. As far as labels go, it just didn't match the subtle particularities of American micro-brew colors and design that often key you in as to whether a beer is good or not. Also, a beer that self-endorses itself as "Hardcore!!" just seemed like it might be struggling from a small identity complex. But having been surprised many times before by other awkwardly named and dressed brews, I went for it. The beer was surprisingly complex with bits of citrus and toffee that mingle through the palette as you enjoy it. I could go for a bit more front end and a less subtle kick on the back end, but all in all a very nice blend and pleasant beer to drink.

Hardcore IPA: ***

Port Brewing Wipeout IPA

This is the first beer I've had from Port Brewing that leaves a little something to be desired. That being said, it is still quite a good beer. A west coast style IPA with five varieties of hops: Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade, Simcoe, and Summitt. Having just recently started a new home brew using 3 of these five, obviously, I'm pretty excited about them. Simcoe are some of my favorite hops, but I just don't taste enough of them coming through just a tail bit at the end, which I'll mention. The Centenniel and Cascade seem to be the predominant ones, although why they mix together cleanly, they don't leave quite as bright of a sensation as you might like from strong hops like these. It has a very even balance across the palette, finishing with nice bitters and just enough hint of citrus from the Simcoe to add a little complexity to the taste. The flavor overall has the darker tone to it making it a mellow drink. Strangest thing about this beer, no matter how I poured it, it has almost no head?!

Wipeout IPA: ***1/2