Tag Archives: California

The Target: The Bruery’s 5 Golden Rings

Brewed by: The Bruery
Placentia, California USA
Style: Belgian Golden Strong Ale
ABV: 11.5 %

Commercial description: 5 Golden Rings is the 5th verse in our ’12 Days of Christmas’ winter seasonal ale series. This is the only golden ale in the bunch but it definitely packs a holiday punch. We spiced up this 11.5% ABV ode to winter with cinnamon, allspice and ginger along with some delicious sweet and tangy pineapple.

APPEARANCE (4/5)

Pours a slightly hazy marmalade color with peachy highlights with a finger’s worth of ivory head that didn’t persist. A minimal amount of patchy islands of lace are left behind as I drink.

AROMA (10/10)

In the aroma I’m getting a slighly tart and funky Belgian yeast notes, along with some winter spiciness… allspice, cinnamon and ginger. Waves of pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, and a little boozy sweetness are also noticeable. As the pour warms a bit I’m getting more and more of the ginger.

FLAVOR (17/20)
No surprises here. Much like the nose, I get some tart yeast notes, along with huge lush pineapples. A sweet and sour thing going on here. Finishes with the slight warmth of booze and spices. Allspice, cinnamon and ginger as noted on the nose. I like the use of spices here; however the whole taste profile seems a bit disjointed. Maybe time would help balance it out.

MOUTHFEEL (3/5)

A slightly thick and syrupy body with moderate carbonation which had a sweet, mild fruity, spice, herbal, slightly grainy and crisp/slightly dry finish.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (8/10)

Not bad, but it seems like this beer has a lot of potential to improve. It’s a bit too sweet and the flavors don’t mesh well. The alcohol is spicy, but not quite hot and the malt is just a bit too thick for my taste. I would take a chance in buying it and laying it down for a while. Age this one for sure.

FINAL SCORE (42/50)

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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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Beertography and Review: Sierra Nevada Imperial Red Ale (2012 Beer Camp #65)

Brewed by: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Chico, California USA
Style: Imperial Red Ale
ABV: 8.1 %

Commercial description: This imperial red ale takes the intense hop profile found in traditional double IPA and turns up the malt. It has big aromatic hop notes of grapefruit, peach, and melon–balanced by a smooth and surprisingly robust malt body.

APPEARANCE (5/5)

Clear dark amber with slight ruby highlights, topped with a two-finger fluffy khaki head. Head is long lasting and generous sticky lace.

AROMA (8/10)

The aroma was very good and surprisingly well-balanced. The aroma is full of caramel from the crystal malt. There is a nice note of floral hops in the nose as well.

FLAVOR (16/20)

The flavors started out with a bit of malt sweetness, then the hops came on strong The hops were tart and citrusy with a tangy finish. Finish is a slight hop bitterness being washed away by sweet sugar and toasted caramel malts and them a final bitter hop bite to close things out. It is an odd finish, not unpleasant but odd.

MOUTHFEEL (2/5)

The body is a bit heavy with good carbonation. A tad sugary and sweet in the back of the throat. That goes with the style but it is not my favorite feeling on the palate. Overall this one is mediocre. It’s fair enough, but my least favorite so far of the beer camps.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (7/10)

This is an easy to drink red ale. It’s solid and balanced, but unfortunately it’s not very flavorful. It’s malty with some light hoppiness. It’s good and worth trying,  but I don’t think I would purchase it again..

 FINAL SCORE  (38/50)

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Beertography and Review: Sierra Nevada Imperial Pilsner (2012 Beer Camp #43)

Brewed by: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Chico, California USA
Style: Imperial Pilsner
ABV: 5.6 %

Commercial description: Produced especially for the OBF, Beer Camp’s golden color and medium bodied sweetness comes from pale, Europils, Munich and acidulated malts. Magnum, Crystal and Pacifica hops provide a distinctly American bittering and hop flavor profile without going over the top. The result is a refreshing, balanced, crisp pilsner, easy to drink on a hot summer festival day – or to take with you to beer camp.

APPEARANCE (5/5)

Pours a crystal clear golden yellow color with a two-finger head that slowly falls to spotty foam. Minimal lacing present.

AROMA (9/10)

Aroma of pils malt and noble hops with a touch of lemon. Backed by some zesty, slightly grassy hops as well.

FLAVOR (17/20)

Overall, the taste reflects the aroma, but more subtly, which is appropriate. The taste has mellow bready malt character. This quickly turns into zesty spicy hops with some decent grassy character. Sweet malt base, grass, some biscuit, and a bit of lemon zest is nicely balanced by a moderate bitterness.. Ends with a touch sweetness similar to raw honey.

MOUTHFEEL (5/5)

Medium bodied beer. Crisp throughout with a bit of dryness late. Short lasting aftertaste. Alcohol is well hidden.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (8/10)

This is a first rate pilsner. The feel is smooth, subtle and easy drinking.

FINAL SCORE  (44/50)

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Beertography and Review: Sierra Nevada Oatmeal Stout (2012 Beer Camp #45)

Brewed by: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Chico, California USA
Style: Imperial Stout (Oatmeal)
ABV: 9.0%

Commercial description: This big oatmeal stout is midnight black in color–with a big roasty, mocha-like aroma. It has a silky body from the use of rolled oats, and a round and lasting finish. Perfect as an after dinner treat.

APPEARANCE (5/5)

Pours a viscous dark brown, nearly black with a thin mocha 3/4-finger head and no lacing.

AROMA (8/10)

I’m getting a good amount of roasted malts and baker’s chocolate. Hints of toffee, molasses and deep plum as well. A faint, pleasant roasted character. Pretty nice aroma overall.

FLAVOR (18/20)

The taste pretty much follows the nose. Some hints of vanilla with slightly sweet caramelized sugar notes on the front., Deep plum and dark fruits in the mid briskly transitions into a distinct roasty bitterness. Seems about right.

Light carbonation entices the.. Good!

MOUTHFEEL (3/5)

This would be my biggest criticism for this beer. Mouthfeel seems a bit light for the style. I wanted a touch more creaminess and weight. Soft carbonation. Alcohol is well-hidden.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (9/10)

An excellent example of an oatmeal stout…silky smooth! My only concern was the mouthfeel but that’s just a personal preference. One thing is certain – one would never guess this is a 9% beer.

FINAL SCORE (43/50)

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Beertography and Review: The Bruery Saison Rue

Brewed by: The Bruery
Placentia, California USA
Style: Saison
ABV: 8.5%

Commercial description: Belgian Style Ale Brewed with Rye and Brettanomyces Our rustic, deep golden California farmhouse ale is brewed just a few times a year to celebrate the change of the season. Enjoy!

APPEARANCE (5/5)

Pour results in a beautiful golden honey/amber hue with slight haze presents. The head an enormous fluffy and creamy three finger head with excellent retention.  The lacing is also amazing, some of the best I’ve ever seen on any beer clinging all the way to the rim of the glass.

AROMA (10/10)

Nose is complex, and so delicious! Brettanomyce funk lands the first lab squarely on your nose. Old wet hay…classic barnyard funkiness.  Brett is followed by sharp, zesty lemon, banana and bubblegum. Some biscuit and toasted bread, with a subtle spiciness. An orangey marmalade note and a hint of sweet vanilla lingers at the end.

FLAVOR (18/20)

Taste is equally fantastic. The traditional phenols of a classic Saison are there along with some very slight undertones of earthy, brett character. A crisp but lightly sweet pale malt body, with light, sharp lemony citrus notes and a hint of barnyard funk overlaying the peppery yeast and sweet orange notes.  Just a bit of crisp hop bitterness towards the finish. The spiciness of the rye really comes alive as it warms up. Amazing.

MOUTHFEEL (5/5)

Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style. Nicely dry, effervescent and clean–though perhaps just a bit too hoppy to be as clean as a great Saison should be.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (9/10)

Overall, one of the most interesting Saisons I have ever tried. It is complex. Brewed with the unique elements of rye and brettanomyces, this beer is so well balanced, it takes the Saison style into a richer, more complex direction

FINAL SCORE (47/50)

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Beertography and Review: Stone Ruination IPA Tenth Anniversary

Brewed by: Stone Brewing Company
Escondido, California USA
Style: Imperial/Double IPA
ABV: 10.8%

Commercial description: And as Stone Ruination IPA turns 10, we thought we’d make ourselves a nice little birthday present to celebrate. But what kind of selfish jerks would we be if we didn’t share?! Behold, the Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA. (Clever name, eh? That’s why us folks in the Marketing Dept. get the big bucks!) It’s an amped-up version of Stone Ruination IPA, with a bit more malt to bring the ABV up from 7.7% to 10.8%, and a very heavy dose of hops. “Classic” Ruination uses 2.5 pounds of hops per barrel–which is more than double the amount we use in any other of our core beers–but for Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA, we went double again, using an impressive 5 pounds of hops per barrel, including about a pound each of Citra and Centennial in the dry hop. (Hell. Yes.)

APPEARANCE (5/5)

This beer pours a clear golden color with amber highlights and is crowned by a big fluffy two finger head with good lacing and retention.

AROMA (10/10)

Outstanding aroma! Really fragrant and fantastic. Big, juicy and tropical. Pineapple, candied orange peel orange, grapefruit, peach, apricot backed by some dank pine, caramel malts, and a bit of biscuit. The alcohol is not very prevalent in the nose.

FLAVOR (19/20)

The palate opens bitter with rather pungent orange peel, grapefruit zest, orange zest, tropical fruit (mango and papaya.) The hop profile follows the smell and is seriously complex. Mild sweetness is present on the mid-palate, and is complemented (and then dominated) by the hoppy flavors. Some sweet malt sneaks through, followed by a perceptible, but clean alcohol. There is enough malt and booze to balance it out and help clean the palate. Alcohol presence is stronger in the finish and it gets to be a bit much when the beer warms up.

MOUTHFEEL (5/5)

Smooth texture, full-bodied, with medium carbonation and a super dry finish. Plenty of oily hop resins linger on the palate. Some alcohol warmth reveals the double-digit ABV.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (10/10)

For me, one of the best beers to come out this year. A very satisfying DIPA that is unfortunately a limited release. Complex, delicious, and rich. This is one of those rare beers that makes hopheads and non-hopheads happy. Buy this one before it’s all gone!

FINAL SCORE (49/50)

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