Tag Archives: Beertography

The Target: Hoppin’ Frog Frosted Frog

Brewed by: Hoppin’ Frog Brewery
Akron, Ohio USA
Style: Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer
ABV: 8.6 %

Commercial description: The essence of Christmas is captured in this very bottle you are holding. Perfectly blended spices compliment Frosted Frog’s rich malt flavors, creating the ultimate Christmas experience. Celebrate the holidays as you savor this very special seasonal offering.

APPEARANCE (4/5)

Pours opaque brown with some amber highlights. Minimal head and decent retention and lacing.

AROMA (8/10)

Aroma is beautifully festive. Now the first whiff…man, they weren’t kidding about the spices. Strong cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in the nose. A bit of bready malt in there too.

FLAVOR (17/20)

Taste was similar to the aromatics, though not as intense. The ginger is more dominant than the cinnamon that was so strong in the aromatics. The combination of the two gives this beer a decent balance. You’ll either love or hate this because it’s heavy on the spice. It starts out with some apple-cider sweetness and cinnamon, then a nice amount of malt supports a takes over and lets the graham cracker and other spices take over.

MOUTHFEEL (5/5)

Drinkable and medium body that is nice and smooth. Carbonation is dialed down to just the right level. It’s not quite thick enough to be creamy, but that’s not a big knock on it. It has a nice feel. This is tasty stuff that’s deceptively strong.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (7/10)

Very drinkable and solid winter warmer. At times the spices got a little over whelming which results in a bit of palate fatigue. Not something I would generally drink in mass quantities but a great holiday brew that really delivers the Christmas spirit.

FINAL SCORE (41/50)

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The Target: Pipeworks Blood of the Unicorn

Brewed by: Pipeworks Brewing Company
Chicago, Illinois USA
Style: American Amber / Red Ale
ABV: 8.5 %

Commercial description: In this epic battle, the Blood of the Unicorn has been shed by the sword of the deadly assassin of the east. One sip of this aggressively hopped red ale clearly reveals what drives these, the greatest of, hop heads of lore. Is this the end of the mythical horned horse? Or will he rise like the phoenix to fight another day?

APPEARANCE (5/5)

Pours a dark, murky ruby red with some brown hues mixed in. A thick, light khaki head forms on the pour and sticks around for quite some time. It recedes very slowly to a thick cap and collar that leaves some sticky sheets of lace behind..

AROMA (9/10)

Lots of dank, herbal hops up front on the first whiff along with some spicy black pepper and earthly peat. Generous dried biscuit malts, some sweet caramel and berry fruitiness on the finish.

FLAVOR (18/20)

Follows the nose with loads of herbal hops, nice fruity flesh and citrus grapefruit are up front, but it gets really down and dirty with some earthy peat and subtle pine. The malt bill comes on strong at the finish with some nice caramel notes, dark spiced bread and a slight toasted bitterness. Finish has lingering bitterness with dank hops and spicy black pepper.

MOUTHFEEL (5/5)

Medium bodied with a slight bit of oily slickness. The finish is sweet and creamy with a nice medium carbonation level. Semi-dry finish with a hint of booziness detected but is generally well-hidden.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (9/10)

These guys are definitely on my beer radar. A really nice Imperial Red. Drinks like a Brewdog 5 AM Saint on steroids. Although on first sniff this beer seems like it’s going to be massively dry and hop-centered, the malt profile was ample enough to level things out and make a wonderfully balanced imperial red. Another wonderful offering by Pipeworks!

FINAL SCORE  (46/50)

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The Target: Evil Twin Disco Beer

Brewed by: Evil Twin Brewing
(Brewed at Brouwerij de Molen)
Copenhagen / Brooklyn, Denmark
Style:Imperial/Double IPA
ABV: 10.5 %

Commercial description: Disco Beer is a vinous IPA thoughtfully blended with 10 % Chardonnay white wine. This Champagne of beer is a real party starter, no more shy beer geek. Drink it and you will own the dance floor.

APPEARANCE (5/5)

Poured a deep dark amber orange with a fluffy three-finger white head. Subsided to a compact and loose head slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass.

AROMA (10/10)

Nose is of floral and herbal hops. Lots and lots of sweet citrus–lemon, orange, pineapple, and grapefruit. It has a candy-like aroma. The wine comes through with a kiss of alcohol with a lightly sweet caramel and nutty malt backbone. Smells absolutely great!

FLAVOR (18/20)

Taste is similar to the aroma, but there’s also some herbal flavors and peppery spice noticeable. Piney hops, sweet grapefruit, bready malts and strong oak notes. Some hints of apple, grapes, vanilla, and spice in the background. Slightly grainy backbone tries to poke out and balances it very nicely; never letting the hop character overtake it. Lightly bitter finish but it remains very smooth and robust.

MOUTHFEEL (4/5)

Average carbonation, an appropriate amount of dryness on the palate, some stickiness, rather light-bodied for the style. Extremely smooth, but with a slight tingling from the alcohol, and a tiny burn on the lips, but it faded away nicely as it warmed up.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (8/10)

Adding actual chardonnay to the blend gives it a completely interested and different character. The wine truly does make itself present and obvious, and the IPA is formulated in a way to allow this to happen. I enjoyed this beer immensely. It does not fall in line with what I tend to look for in a DIPA, but an interesting journey off the beaten path.

FINAL SCORE  (45/50)

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The Target: Boulevard Double Wide I.P.A.

Brewed by: Boulevard Brewing Company
Kansas City, Missouri USA
Style:Imperial/Double IPA
ABV: 8.5 %

Commercial description: The classic India Pale Ale is a traveler’s beer, aggressively hopped to withstand the long, hot ocean voyage to the British East Indies. Our Double-Wide I.P.A. also travels well, and is right at home in the most exotic ports of call of the Midwest. While this modern-day prairie schooner may not resemble a graceful sailing sloop, our liberal hopping regimen does make her virtually “twister-proof,” with toffee and caramel notes balancing out the lingering bitterness. Enjoy this beer fresh to best appreciate the complex blending of hop aromas, ranging from minty to citrusy, with subtle hints of pine.

APPEARANCE (5/5)

Pours a golden copper color with ruby red highlights. A huge, billowing and foamy egg-shell colored head. The lacing is spectacular and the retention is about the best one can expect: the one finger sized head lasts for the entire trip.

AROMA (10/10)

Nice big hop nose with a solid caramel malt backbone. Its a nice mixture of apricots and pine in the nose, although the pine seems the more dominant and noticeable and the duo. Slightly sweet form the malts with light tropical fruits.

FLAVOR (19/20)

Very well balanced. The sweet malt profile hits the palate up front followed by a rush of hops bliss. Predominantly piney hops, but there is also some nice grapefruit citric bitterness as well. A hint of lemon zest and bubblegum, even.The balance is obviously more favorable to the hops than the malts, but for the style it is dead center. The finish is piney, lasting and makes you want to go right back for more. Some hints of alcohol warmth creep in at the end, the only indication of the alcohol content.

MOUTHFEEL (5/5)

The body is medium with a nice pleasant carbonation. Feels a bit creamy. This beer is very dangerously drinkable.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (9/10)

A truly great beer. Hoppy then sweet then bitter at the end; one of the most solid and least agressive DIPA’s I’ve had.  Complex enough to hold my interest, but subtle enough to refrain from taxing the tastebuds. This probably qualifies as a hop bomb, but not to the extent of some tongue searing DIPAs and powerful IPAs. Damn fine beer. Kudos to Boulevard for making some really outstanding brew.

FINAL SCORE  (48/50)

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The Target: Stone Enjoy By 11-9-12

Brewed by: Stone Brewing Company
Escondido, California USA
Style:Imperial/Double IPA
ABV: 9.4 %

Commercial description: You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers- especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs- we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the bottle, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and beer fans. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA.

Batch List:
Enjoy By 09-21-12
Enjoy By 11-09-12

APPEARANCE (5/5)

Pours brilliantly clear pale gold body capped by a big frothy head. Perfect transparency and two fingers of off-white froth that lingers for a few minutes, eventually receding in a rocky head. Lots of lacing.

AROMA (10/10)

Strong Nelson hop aroma; very floral, pineapple, mango, lemon, orange, grapefruit.  Light malts, and some yeasty sweet sugar aroma at the end. There is a deep, dank smell which adds a bit of charm without being unpleasant. There’s even a bit of hop spice aroma to even things out. There is a good amount of sweet malt, but there’s no mistaking it – this beer is all about the hops.

FLAVOR (19/20)

Tastes follows the nose. Extremely dank hops dominate, with a few citrus notes in the beginning. Citra and Nelson Sauvin goodness dominate. Notes of lemon zest and orange midway through the taste, and the hops seem to linger in the background, but are very well kept under wraps until the swallow finishes, and then you can taste that dankness. As you drink it, the complexity heightens, and that lemony citrusy goodness comes through until you finish it, never really losing any momentum. Hints of lavender, onion, chive and basil? Awesome.

MOUTHFEEL (5/5)

On the lighter side of medium, this feels light and bright with an almost silky smoothness in the mouth – carbonation is plentiful but not harsh; begins smooth but then has some bright, nearly sharp edges near the back of the tongue. Finish is on the dry side with some slight hop oils on the palate.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (9/10)

The complexity of hops here is beyond description – huge citrus notes, floral and herbal hop and just enough sweetness. Your mouth will be alive after each sip. One great DIPA! The entire experience was enjoyable because no one aspect dominated; it’s bitter and hoppy while being sweet and tropical at the same time.

FINAL SCORE  (48/50)

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The Target: Mikkeller Beer Hop Breakfast

Brewed by: Mikkeller (brewed at Amager Bryghus)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Style: American Stout
ABV: 7.5 %

Commercial description: [translated from Danish] An Oatmeal Stout brewed with: water, malt, hops and yeast. Special version dry hopped with Simcoe and Columbus hops. Idido region coffee from Denmark’s coolest coffee guys at the Coffee Collective.

APPEARANCE (5/5)

Pours a really nice opaque and sludgy brown/black color, one finger deep mocha rocky head the holds its shape similar to whipped cream. Some sticky leggy lacing is left on the glass.

AROMA (9/10)

Dark roasted coffee beans, the slightest amount of citrus and pine. Faint hint of hops with a backing of earthy cocoa and dark roasted malts. Little bit of tobacco in there too. A near perfect marriage of dark or espresso roast coffee, toasted rolled oats, and tarry pine sap hops.

FLAVOR (19/20)

Starts off with a pleasant sweetness of milk chocolate followed up with a slight coffee bitterness. In the middle there is a smoked wood flavor coming out. In addition, the citrus hop profile starts to come through. On the back end the citrus and earthy hops come through and really balance out the malt. The combination of the hop bitterness with the roasty grains and the strong coffee taste is superb.

MOUTHFEEL (5/5)

Medium to low level of carbonation combined with a silky mouthfeel from the oats gives a big, rich feeling as it slides down the palate. No overt residual sweetness or cloying qualities. This, combined with the prominent hop bitterness, makes it quite a clean, sharp finish. Strong notes of pine sap and black coffee remain for a long time after you finish a mouthful.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (9/10)

This is a really well put together Stout with just enough hop character to balance out the rich thick malt flavors. One of my favorite Mikkeller offerings.

FINAL SCORE  (47/50)

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The Target: Elysian Bête Blanche

Brewed by: Elysian Brewing Company
Seattle Washington USA
Style: Abbey Tripel
ABV: 7.5 %

Commercial description: Belgian-style Tripel. A twist on the French expression “Bete Noire”, Bete Blanche is extremely drinkable, blonde and somewhat treacherous.

APPEARANCE (5/5)

Large pillowy white head forms quickly. It doesn’t stick around very long, settling into a generous amount of picturesque lacing. Body is a very deep hazy gold with an orange cast.

AROMA (8/10)

A sharp, spicy aroma greets the nose with notes of ginger, tart citrus, earthy coriander and nice honey-like notes. The classic candy sugar aroma is here in spades as well. A backbone of solid, clean malt character is found with notes of biscuit, soda crackers and even some sweet malt aromatics.

FLAVOR (14/20)

This is where the beer starts to come undone for me…at least from a Belgian Tripel stylistic point-of-view.  Too much sweetness up front. Followed by pear and apricot and to a lesser extent by banana and clove. Mid-palate, plenty of bitterness arrives, with some woody pine. I find the hop bite should have been more on the spiced side as opposed to the bitter side. It’s lacking that pleasant pepper spicy finish of a classic Tripel.

MOUTHFEEL (3/5)

Light body. Moderate carbonation. Fruity and a tad too sweet. Really could use some balance overall.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (7/10)

Based on it’s own merits it’s a pretty nice and drinkable beer…nothing too exciting. Judged strictly as a Belgian Tripel, it’s on the sweet side which the style dictates it should never be.  The esters are somewhat there but I would have liked to taste more banana, clove and pepper spiciness.

FINAL SCORE  (37/50)

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