All our Craft Beer Reviews

Ballast Point – Big Eye IPA

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As a huge fan of Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA, I was prepared to be a bit underwhelmed by Big Eye.  That is far from the case.

Big Eye starts off with an earthy, bitter taste.  While sampling Big Eye, I had a few other IPAs lined up to taste and this one was darker, more of an amber than golden in color.  As it warmed up, not much changed.  This beer is just pure West Coast hops, without blowing away your tastebuds by overdoing them.  As a fan of the West Coast hop style, I enjoyed it.  I still prefer Sculpin,…

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Columbus Brewing – Bodhi

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I am in love with this beer.  Being a huge fan of citrusy hops, I constantly order the Bodhi.  If it’s on tap, I’m getting it, pretty much without fail.   Bodhi is a DIPA, so I can’t really put it in the same category with the other IPAs that I review.  That would be like comparing Kelly Rowland to Beyonce.  While they were both in Destiny’s Child and Kelly on her own is a fine singer, there is just no comparison between the two and there probably shouldn’t be.  This beer does so much right.  That citrusy hop smell would be all I need…

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B. Nektar – Zombie Killer (Cherry Cyser)

Zombie Killer

I’m going to be honest.  I’m not normally a huge fan of mead.  Every time I think of mead, I envision large, hairy Vikings sloshing beer from huge silver mugs onto their trenchers of goat meat and into their beards.  Whether this is an accurate depiction or not, it is so clear in mind that I can hear their chanting above all else in the room.  Zombie Killer is not that kind of mead.

Zombie Killer is not thick and syrupy like many meads I’ve sampled.  Instead it semi-reminds me of cherry cola that I used to drink as a…

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Ithaca Excelsior! Thirteen

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This beer is described as a double hoppy wheat, which led me to picture a summer beer good for sipping on the patio.  Not so.  This is definitely a fall beer, as it is not light.  There is a crisp citrusy finish that is perfect for a cooler evening.  Its taste resembles an IPA more than a wheat beer.  There is that clear bitter hop finish that is prevalent in all IPAs.  The aroma is piney, while the flavor is citrusy due to orange and lemon peel being added during the brewing process.  Even though this one goes down really…

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Founders Dirty Bastard

Founders Brewing Company Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale

This beer is classified as a Scotch Ale.  Most scotch ales have a reddish hue and have a malty richness at the end.  Some of them are overly smoky or have a unique spice flavor that I think resembles weeds.  Most times, I don’t go for this type of beer.  Some are great and some are bad, but I don’t always want to take that chance.  Dirty Bastard is the best scotch ale that I’ve had the pleasure to sip and falls into the great category on the spectrum of scotch ales.  It is overly malty with what I identified…

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Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black Ale

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I’ve been a huge fan of black IPAs this year.

This is one of my favorite IPAs, including the American and Indian more common varieties.  It is so unique in flavor and all-around texture, aroma, and mouth-feel, that it almost falls out of the category.   This is thicker than your typical IPA, but not so thick as a stout or porter.  It has a coffee, chocolate and caramel flavor, similar to what is often found in stouts, in addition to the hoppy finish that lingers.  15th is not overly bitter though.  The hops perfectly match the initial sweetness.  While there…

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Nogne O Peculiar Yule

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I would like to stop and warn you.  I’ve had this beer in a bottle in two different locations this past winter.  The review below describes my first tasting.  My second tasting was not similar at all.  I’m not sure if I had an old bottle at the second location, but all of the things that made this beer delicious were not present in that second bottle.

This beer is an amazing replica of Christmas.  The smell and flavor conjure up images of decorating the Christmas tree.  While this is a piney beer, it isn’t bitter, but more…

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Scaldis Noel

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This is one of my favorite beers to have during the holiday season.  I have an affinity for Belgian Strong Ales to begin with and this particular beer sure doesn’t disappoint.  It is deeply malty, from the smell to the flavor, yet it is still very smooth.  I know that it isn’t really classified as a Christmas beer, but it my mind it means that the holidays are right around the corner.  And the 12% ABV certainly makes it easier to take the holiday season and the upcoming family get togethers.  One note of caution: this beer is…

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Terrapin Gamma Ray

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Gamma Ray has been retired from the Terrapin Beer Company’s rotation.  If you can find one, they are still worth pulling out of a cellar and popping open.  The initial flavor is unique.  I
almost can’t place my finger on it.  There’s some hoppiness, but it turns to a kind of sweet aftertaste.  There is no carbonation so it seems kind of thick for a wheat beer.   As it got warmer, I initially began to taste the honey.  The hops totally went away and left me with a sweet, thicker beer which had me envisioning drinking straight…

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Green Flash Silva Stout

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If you spy this limited release beer named after the brewmaster within a 100 mile radius of your home, I highly recommend taking a day trip to experience it.  This beer is normally only released in the brewery and isn’t even listed on the brewery’s website.  I have a long list of adjectives that I can use to describe this beer.  Sweet, Strong, Dark, Smooth, and Chocolatey are just a few of the most prominent tastes found in the Silva Stout.  This beer is potent, so make sure to have a driver or rent a room if you’re planning…

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