2015 Power Plant by El Segundo brewing

11018071_10102431772944490_2684196203102530682_o 11018963_10102431773543290_7342219544572952121_n 16463_10102431773842690_2686152894070886260_nRating: 6/5

2015 Power Plant by El Segundo brewing is an 11.1% ABV Triple India Pale Ale.

Label:
This behemoth of a “Triple” India Pale Ale gets a dose of Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe, and Amarillo in the kettle and in the dry hop. Up front on the nose is straight fruit cocktail with such a complexity it is impossible to distinguish just one note. Monstrous, yet deceptive in the same breath. Don’t let this one sneak up on you, lest you’ll be ‪#‎PowerPlanted‬.

Description:
We know it’s not exactly something new to brew big giant IPA’s, but we really love this opportunity to be able to compete with the likes of Pliny the Younger, Green Bullet, Hopocalypse Black Label, etc from the best breweries in the game. And what a challenge! To brew a beer so big (it fermented all the way to 11.1%), but have it drink light and easy. We are busting out all the big guns for this monster, a hop punch of Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, Nelson, and friends will all be making an appearance in at least one of the several rounds of dry hopping.

==Introduction==

The 2015 version is here and in limited quantities. This time, they are selling it to the public so definitely get this one while it last. While I was unable to get a growler fill like I did the first time I tried it, I settled for the bottle. This is the first Triple IPA I had ever tried, or I mean second, as Dogfish Head 120 at 18% ABV is considered much more, however, that is another beast all together. So in terms of the Triple IPAs that can compete with the best beers in the world, this one grew with its satisfying and rich tropical flavors that are so rich that it is literally a dessert of an IPA. I would definitely recommend this one but let us see how the 2015 version is.

Aromas:
Rich bouquet of tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, prickly pear, passion fruit, dragon fruit, tuna fruit, papaya, honeydew melon, apples, pears, stone fruits like peaches apricot, raspberry cream, whipped cream, Danish cookies, strawberry shortcake, strawberry cheesecake, lychee fruit, raspberries, cherries, piney, grassy, floral, herbal, oniony and citrus hops, wild flower honey, coconut, almond milk and sweetened condensed milk.

Flavors:
Sweetened condensed milk, biscuit bread, Rich tropical fruits of mango, prickly pear, honey dew melon, grapefruit, papaya, kiwi, oranges, tangerines, passion fruit, dragon fruit, apples, pears, stone fruit peaches, apricot, raspberry cream, whipped cream, Danish cookies, strawberry short cake, strawberry cheese cake, lychee fruit, biscuit bread, vanilla, caramel, lemon drop, orange gummy bears, tangerines, cherries raspberries, herbal, floral, grassy, piney and dank oniony hops, honey, coconut, almonds, macadamia nuts and three milks cake hints.

Aftertaste:
Rich tropical fruit cocktail lingers with grapefruit, floral, piney and herbal hops, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk and rich stone fruits. No alcohol in the taste, silky, refreshing and smooth mouthfeel, easy to moderate drinkability despite the ABV.

Overall:
Not sure if the recipe was done way better than before, but the sweetness of this hits tropical atmospheres of taste that not many IPAs can ever see. The crazy part is that unlike Surebet which uses Mango and Honey, this beer somehow hits tropical nirvana without any added ingredients which is totally insane. The rightful name of Pliny the Younger Killer is well deserved and I think for that it deserves the highest rating and a super high recommendation.

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill was the right pairing for this beer because I wanted to show that the height of power plant smokestacks (in this case a tower) represents the height of evil corporations (hype in the craft beer community) as well as how power plants pollute the earth and cause acid rain to fall (Beer Snobery). Ryuko is there to represent this Triple IPA and to show that even at the height of all the IPA hype out there (Pliny the Younger, I am looking at you), one will stand up to it to bring it down. Like in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud Strife helped to take down the Mako power plants, Ryuko would do the same and bring the level of “IPA Hype” away from the overly hyped brews and back into the roots of the local community microbreweries. YES! And this is why I chose this one.

Sources:
http://waaaghork.deviantart.com/art/Ryuko-Matoi-408238193
http://i.imgur.com/bwYViCj.jpg

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Sure Bet by Pipeworks brewing

10504987_10102414844688850_6179940178280750143_oRating: 6/5

Sure Bet by Pipeworks brewing is a 9.5% ABV World Class Double India Pale Ale brewed with honey and mango puree.

Label:
Just the mere thought of the talk of a Citra and Mosaic hopped IIIPA brewed with honey and mango fills the Unicorn with too much joy and happiness for one horn to handle. The closest The Unicorn has come to this level of joy was when once, while skipping over rainbows, he encountered a cloud shaped like a rainbow! The Unicorns #1 favorite food is sunlight, but his #2 and #3 are honey and mangos respectively, and this brew has ’em both! The only thing that The Unicorn loves more than keeing something for himself, is sharing! So pour yourself a glass, because this beer’s a SURE BET!

==Introduction==

I obtained this beer through my online resources. I was unable to find this at any online shop. Seeing as this was a rarity and a highly rated beer, I really wanted to try it and bring it to the site. This is an IPA that can compare with some of the best IPAs out there and the fact that it has mango puree and honey. Well that just speaks tropical heaven to me. Let us see what this beer has to offer and see if this one is worth the buzz. Cheers!

Aromas:
A bouquet of rich tropical fruit fills the nose reminiscent of Power Plant and other awesome Tropical IPAs I have had before. Mango, Guava, Passion Fruit, Dragon Fruit Lychee, Papaya, Pineapples, Apricots, Strawberries, Prickly pears, raspberries, cherries, tangerines, tuna fruit, peaches, creamy vanilla, agave nectar, piney grassy, grapefruit, floral, herbal and dank garlicky hops, Sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, flan, caramel, gummy bears, citrus, orange and mango preserves, coconut hints and marshmallows.

Flavors:
Ridiculous amount of tropical fruits from all over the spectrum such as oranges, grapefruit, lychee, apricots, mangos, guava, papaya, dragon fruit, passion fruit, honey dew melon, strawberries, prickly pear, tuna fruit, raspberries, cherries tangerines, apples, peaches and cream, agave nectar, piney, grassy, herbal, floral, earthy, dank oniony, garlicky and grapefruit hops, sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, mango flan, caramel, gummy bears, citrus and mango preserves and orange preserves on rye bread, toffee, butterscotch, blue basil, peppercorn hints, lemon candy, coconut hints and marshmallows.

Aftertaste:
Very rich tropical fruits, variety of citrus fruit, rich mango, honey, dank piney, garlicky oniony, grassy, floral, earthy and herbal hops linger. No alcohol in the taste, golden medium body, creamy, crips, refreshing and silky mouthfeel and an easy to drink beer despite the ABV.

Overall:
Talk about rare GEMS no one knows about. Supremely righteous of tropical gods! This Double IPA blew me away into the stratosphere. I have to agree that addition of mango and honey dynamically changes the beer from its highest potential on its own. This is why Power Plant by El Segundo brewing can be the best triple IPA in the world to me, but this one is beyond that with the addition of the ingredients that take it to the next level. Holy Shit! This beer is like the absolute Trifecta of the IPAs. Meaning, you get a huge balance of the herbal, the orange malty and the rich tropical aspect found in many IPAs. If I find the right recipe for this, I will have to make this one for sure! For now, you better make DAMN SURE BET that I will recommend this to the masses! The Pliny and Heady killer of the midwest.

Anime Corner:
Twighlight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash from MLP were used in this pairing to pair two of the best sides of an IPA. The malty sweet side represented by Twilight sparkle and the citrus and tropical fruit flavors represented by Rainbow Dash. Since this beer has a unicorn and has so many colors representing the flavor spectrum of the delights that is this beer, the ponies were the right choice to compliment the beer and label. That and this is the most bad ass I could find these characters.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/EW4mNmZ.jpg
http://nyuuchandiannepie.deviantart.com/art/Rainbow-Auditore-da-Firenze-303474835
http://nyuuchandiannepie.deviantart.com/art/Diablo-3-Twilight-304708395

(Double Review: Battle of The IPAs) 2014 Heady Topper by Alchemist Brewing VS. 2014 Power Plant Triple IPA by El Segundo Brewing

10632614_10102104099779140_7752673200776729490_nThe battle of the best India Pale Ales in the world can only be foreseen by the biggest hop heads and many will always come to disagreements. Others will just drink as fresh as possible while others won’t drink nothing else BUT IPAs and those with an open palate to be a little more considerate will take a step back and try to figure out, which is the best as objective as possible. While not many will come to an agreement, we all have to remember, hops aren’t everything. They are vital to a beers bitterness but as the origination of the IPA would say, it was mainly used as a natural preservative for long voyages in the old days. Today’s hop variety has made it possible to make them super complex and this is why I think a lot of people really love hops. I can’t really hate as a part of me really likes IPAs but I refuse to pour any “unfresh” ones (Barleywine anyone?) nor do I accept that the best beer in the world happens to be an IPA. I agree with my friend Richard on this one since as he put it, “how can an IPA beat centuries of brewing especially from monks in Belgium who have perfected these brewing arts”. That and the fact stands I lean toward heavier beers but enjoy all beer styles. Either way, I bring you forth a challenge review today. The up and coming champion or “Pliny Younger Killer”, El Segundo’s Power Plant Triple IPA and “East Coast’s Response to Pliny a.k.a beer advocates Best Beer in the World”, Alchemy’s Heady Topper. Why did I decide to do it like this? Well, for those that wonder, both beers are very fresh, one bottle released 9/27/2014 and the can 9/22/2014. I really wanted to see what the hype was all about. Don’t get me wrong, both are freaking epic beers and I have reviewed both in the past but a chance like this, you don’t ever really get. That and the fact that I really believe Power Plant can destroy the Younger. That and I would like to see, if this new up and coming favorite can really stand up to the monster that is Heady Topper. So here we go, cheers and hope you enjoy my double review…

Alchemist Heady Topper Review*
———————
10509554_10102104101161370_5153420559304412663_n
2014 Heady Topper by Alchemist brewing is a an 8% ABV World Class Double India Pale Ale. Now considered the Best Beer In the World By Beer Advocate.

Label:
From the CAN: “DRINK FROM THE CAN! [x3 for added emphasis]“; “Heady Topper is an Ameri[CAN] Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of Ameri[CAN] hops will creep up on you and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it’s scary. Sometimes I wish I could crawl right into the [CAN]. Freshness and control have always been my main concern[s] when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience. Why do I recommend that you drink it from the [CAN]? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful, [sic] hop experience. The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom – leave them in the CAN when pouring. This beer is perishable, and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy. Keep it cold, but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more. [Undersigned] John Kimmich, The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont”; “Don’t be a D-Bag, recycle this [CAN]!”.
___

Aromas:
Honey dew melon, biscuit bread, oranges, grassy, piney, citrus, flowers, guava, citrus, oranges, tangerine candy, mango, prickly pear, hazelnut hints, sweet grapes, stone fruit peaches, apricot, guava, dragon fruit, passion fruit, dank hints, vanilla and caramel.

Flavors:
Honey Dew Melon, Cantaloupe, Grassy, piney, citrus, biscuit bread, vanilla, mango, oranges, prickly pear, hazelnut hints, sweet grape, stone fruit peach, apricot, guava, dragon fruit, passion fruit hints, flowers, kiwi, pine apple, sugar cane, biscuit bread, Mandarin candy, apples, herbs, dank garlicky onion hints but subdued by more oranges and honey.

Aftertaste:
Lots of orange, biscuit bread, tangerine, caramel, vanilla, grapefruit hops, piney, grassy and herbal hops. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink despite the ABV, medium mouthfeel, hazy body, crisp and refreshing.

Overall:
Supremely Perfect IPA. You pretty much get everything in terms of every range of IPA but mainly on the orangey side. A perfect balanced blend of all the IPA ranges in one. Complex range of tropical, hoppy notes and rich oranges go all over the place. The difference in the can and the glass is mainly with the balance. It is way better in the can as the less air does not allow the flavors to dissipate but when poured into a glass, the orangey side tends to be more pronounced for sure. Either way you have it is fine. The best IPA in the world, why wouldn’t I recommend this? Find it and Find it fresh or just find it either way, you can’t go wrong.

Anime Corner:
Shiryuu Chou-un from Ikkitousen/Battle Vixens makes a return from the last time I reviewed Heady Topper. The original premise of using her for heady topper had to do with the silver label, the color and flavors of the beer pairing with Shiryuu’s hair, outfit as well as the bad assery with a sword. For being considered the World Class beer that Heady is, I really had to choose a true bad ass samurai girl from the series I watched long ago. Shiryuy usually keeps her eyes closed but in the sight of an epic bottle, her true beauty is shown and that is what represents the the rarity and awesomeness of the beer.

El Segundo Power Plant Review*
————————
10641032_10102104103217250_4028812065206472597_n
2014 Power Plant by El Segundo Brewing is an 11.3% ABV Triple India Pale Ale.

Label:
This behemoth of a “Triple” India Pale Ale gets a dose of Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe, and Amarillo in the kettle and in the dry hop. Up front on the nose is straight fruit cocktail with such a complexity it is impossible to distinguish just one note. Monstrous, yet deceptive in the same breath. Don’t let this one sneak up on you, lest you’ll be #PowerPlanted.
___

Aromas:
Tropical fruits off the charts, grapefruit, honey dew melon, kiwi, guava, oranges, dragon fruit, passion fruit, papaya, mango, raspberries, cherries, pineapple, pears, lychee, biscuit bread, lemons, tangerine, apples, stone fruit peaches, apricots, piney, citrus, grapefruit, herbal and floral hops, sweetened condensed milk and flan hints.

Flavors:
Rich tropical fruits, grapefruit, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, mango, guava, honey dew melon, passion fruit, strawberry, papaya, apples, pears peaches, lychee fruit, sweetened condensed milk hints, biscuit bread, vanilla, caramel, lemon, orange gummy bears, tangerines, raspberries, cherries, honey, herbal notes and minor honey oniony dankness.

Aftertaste:
Rich Tropical fruits aftertaste with very nice grapefruit hop resin, biscuit and caramel. No alcohol in the taste. Very smooth, easy to drink, crisp and refreshing despite the high ABV.

Overall:
Just as extraordinary as the first one I brought home with me. The bottle bottle make version seems more awesome. This beer is really out there and really ridiculous. Balance is insane but tropics are supremely pronounced and super complex. This beer was released for a limited time during the LA craft beer week and they had plenty of bottles. I am unsure if they will have enough for distribution but for a beer that truly took everything I believed about IPAs and took me to another dimension of sweet tropical proportions, there is not damn reason why I would not recommend this to my highest of standards.

Anime Corner:
Ryuoko Matoi from Kill La Kill was the right pairing for this beer because I wanted to show that the height of power plant smokestacks (in this case a tower) represents the height of evil corporations (hype in the craft beer community) as well as how power plants pollute the earth and cause acid rain to fall (Beer Snobery). Ryuoko is there to represent this Triple IPA and to show that even at the height of all the IPA hype out there (Pliny the Younger, I am looking at you), one will stand up to it to bring it down. Like in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud Strife helped to take down the Mako power plants, Ryuoko would do the same and bring the level of “IPA Hype” away from the overly hyped brews and back into the roots of the local community microbreweries. YES! And this is why I chose this one.

Final Judgment:
It would basically be a tie if it wasn’t for the fact that it is almost like comparing apples and oranges. Speaking of apples and oranges, it really is easy to determine why one would prefer one over the other. I once described IPAs falling into 3 categories. Those that are tropical, those that are herbal and grassy and those that are caramel or more orangey like those that can harness all 3 into a perfect balance. Heady topper is a hybrid of all 3 when drinking from the can but more orangey and citrus from the glass while Power Plant is at the extreme end of awesome tropic Nirvana and yet still maintaining the balance of the 3. In this sense, It would only be fair to say that the winner of this battle is Power Plant!!!

This because of my personal preference and opinion on tropical IPAs, I love tropical IPAs. Nevertheless, to those that truly like IPAs to take them for a crazy ride, Heady Topper is no joke and reigns supreme. I can respect and love both beers. While Power Plant caresses the ultimate IPA sweet tooth, Heady Topper is there to remind you of an ultimate form of IPA. I have never tried Pliny the Younger, some day I will. Only then can I truly say if that can really topple these 2 beers. Until then, Both of these beers take the cake easily. Pliny the Younger, you met your match!! HELL YEAH!!

Sources:
http://en.tsundora.com/image/2014/09/ikkitousen_109.jpg
http://digwall.com/wallpaper/2014/09/629402-ryuko-matoi-kill-la-kill.jpg
http://konachan.com/post/show?md5=07600bde13b34835846d710088019553
http://waaaghork.deviantart.com/art/Ryuko-Matoi-408238193

Rating: 5.25/5* El Segundo Power Plant
Rating: 5/5* Alchemist Heady Topper

Greenshift (Three Year Anniversary Ale) by Beachwood Brewing

10489865_10101935633347220_2268094347154339343_n 10525829_10101935634065780_6656750052035895626_nRating: 4.8/5

Greenshift (Three Year Anniversary Ale) by Beachwood Brewing is a 10% ABV Double India Pale Ale.

Label:
Greenshift is a gargantuan double India pale ale with a wide spectrum of hops. Citra, Amarillo, El Dorado, Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy, and Warrior varieties in the kettle create a planetary array of flavors. An infinite wavelength of aromas come from a supernova-sized charge of Citra, Mosaic, and Nelson Sauvin.
___

Celebrating their 3rd year in brewing, Beachwood released this huge double IPA to the masses during their anniversary part. I am unsure if this beer will see distribution but I hope it does. I did not get a chance to try it while I was there and they recommended I grab a bottle to go. So I was like screw it! Let us see how good this beer is.

Aromas:
Herbal, floral, grapefruit, grassy and piney hops, garlic, and oniony dank notes. Mild caramel, biscuit bread, some tropical fruits coming through like mango, peach, apricot, hop oils, kiwi, strawberry, honey and herbal spices.

Flavors:
Herbal, grapefruit, floral, grassy and piney hops, garlic and onion notes, basil, caramel, biscuit bread, citrus, pineapple hints, tropical fruits like mango and peach, hop oil resin, herbal spices, mild brown sugar, apricot and all sorts of hop bitterness.

Aftertaste:
Leaving with dry finish only herbal hops, citrus and some caramel remain along with hop bitterness. No alcohol in the taste, but sipping drinkability. It is also very crisp and refreshing having a medium mouth feel.

Overall:
In the flavor profiles of IPA, this one falls strongly with the herbal hop type than the caramel citrus or intense Tropical fruit aspects which I really love and seek in IPAs. While it is a very delicious beer, I prefer the other kind of IPAs. Although, this one did have some tropical and malty caramel elements to it at different temperatures.. True hop heads can’t get enough of this one. At least in terms of the true hoppy and grassy style of IPA, this one knocks it out of the park for sure. Highly recommended if Grassy herbal dank IPAs is your thing.

Anime Corner:
Rydia from Final Fantasy 4 was used in this pairing to pair with the label colors and the whole green shift aspect. Rydia is a Summoner and a Black Sorceress so the whole Greenshift and aspect of change in one’s environment is what it is all about. That is what she does. So when you have a beer that shifts in all sorts of flavor profiles, nothing short of magic here.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/view_post/57558?lang=en
http://www.zerochan.net/full/221561

The Devil Within DIPA by Iron Fire

10434316_10101855187331680_6635156255854538401_n 10370810_10101855187576190_5188098076390666121_n 10305956_10101855187745850_1063827372412053589_nRating: 5/5

The Devil Within DIPA by Iron Fire is a 9.5% ABV Double India Pale Ale.

Label:
ALES FOR OUTLAWS
Upon first quaff, Devilish amounts of hops assault you with citrus and stone fruit flavors and aroma. Add in just the right amount of malt to bring this beast of a DIPA to 9.5% alcohol by volume and what you get is an ale that is sure to bring out the demon in any outlaw. Be sure to call your exorcist before imbibing, for the devil within will soon become the devil without.
___

My friend Aaron told me about picking this beer up for a beer trade. I got him one but I figured, what the hell, I will give it a try to see watsup too so I got an extra bottle. This beer is pretty new and it seems to be holding its own among some of the great IPA and DIPAs in the world. Let’s see just how much this bad ass of a beer really is.

Aromas:
Lots of tropical fruits, mango, papaya, pineapple, dragon fruit, kiwi, passion fruit, prickly pear, tangerine, oranges, grassy, piney and grapefruit hops, honey dew melon, caramel, biscuit bread, stone fruit like apricot, peaches, lychee, tangerine marmalade, lemon zest, floral notes and toffee.

Flavors:
Definitely a rush of tropics, mango, papaya, pineapple, stone fruit lychees, apricot, plum notes, peach, dragon fruit, kiwis, prickly pear, caramel, toffee, biscuit bread, gummy bears, tangerine marmalade, oranges, honey dew melon, cantaloupe and guava.

Aftertaste:
Hoppy Bitterness in the finish with lots of tropical fruits lingering, caramel, grapefruit, honey dew melon and biscuit bread. No alcohol in the taste, a medium to sipping beer. It is very refreshing and crisp with a medium mouthfeel.

Overall:
A perfect IPA with the best representation of it’s style. Pin pointing a difference from other delicious IPAs is a difficult task but since I like tropical IPAs, just expect this one to be more tropical than grassy, malty or dank like some other IPAs go. So definitely highly recommended if tropical IPAs. This one is great!

Anime Corner:
Original character from Yone Kazuki, Dark Summoner by Masamune Shirow, and original character from Himoto Onoki were used in this pairing to pair with the label showing the skeleton and the devil . Mainly showing the devil within as how even as you have good in you you also have the other half which can do evil. So this beer aspires to unleash holy hell and a demon within but for me, this bitter sweet collision is one that is mainly one of balance. A lot of sweet tropical aspects along with bitter hoppy finish.

Source:
http://konachan.com/post/show/149656
http://www.a-tm.co.jp/news/service/2013/05/01dark_gw.html
http://www.zerochan.net/570333

Power Plant by El Segundo Brewing company

1907557_10101679552879530_1521022671_nRating: 5.25/5

Power Plant by El Segundo Brewing company is an 11.3% ABV Triple India Pale Ale.

Picked up a growler after my first visit to the El Segundo Brewery in El Segundo California. A small facility with a giant power house of flavors. I tried several beers which I really liked while I was there like the Standard Crude in bourbon and oak along with the range of great IPAs, pale ales and porters. This is the second beer I review from them since I really loved the White Dog IPA, but this beer, was in another level altogether. First of all, I have never tried an IPA that is over 10% ABV (Barrel Aged IPAs don’t count). This one is 11.3% and I must say, it sure doesn’t feel like it.

Aromas: Grapefruit, melon, kiwi, oranges, dragon fruit, grassy, piney and floral hops, honey dew melon, strawberry, apple, pear, mango, peach, pineapple, biscuit bread, caramel, lychee fruit, prickly pears, passion fruit, papaya, apricot, herbs, lemon peel and tangerines.

Flavors:
Lots of tropical fruits like grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple, oranges, honey dew melon, mango, papaya, strawberry, apples, pears, peaches, lychee, prickly pears, passion fruit, papaya, apricot, passion fruit, biscuit bread, caramel, grassy, piney, herbal and floral hops, orange gummy bears, lemon, tangerines, raspberries and honey.

Aftertaste:
Tropical fruits aftertaste with very nice grapefruit hop resin, biscuit and caramel. No alcohol in the taste. Very smooth, easy to drink, crisp and refreshing despite the high ABV.

Overall:
Extra ordinary beer out for a limited time. This is one of the finest examples of great IPAs I have ever tried and is the definition of how great IPAs should be. I think it also helps that it is super fresh. If you have ever tried the hoppy wort left over from when making beer, it would most likely be very similar to the hop bitterness but ofcourse, the bitterness does not linger for too long and mainly the tropical fruits do. So if you get a chance to go, definitely try this beer out.

Anime Corner:
Ryuoko Matoi from Kill La Kill was the right pairing for this beer because I wanted to show that the height of power plant smokestacks (in this case a tower) represents the height of evil corporations (hype in the craft beer community) as well as how power plants pollute the earth and cause acid rain to fall (Beer Snobery). Ryuoko is there to represent this Triple IPA and to show that even at the height of all the IPA hype out there (Pliny the Younger, I am looking at you), one will stand up to it to bring it down. Like in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud Strife helped to take down the Mako power plants, Ryuoko would do the same and bring the level of “IPA Hype” away from the overly hyped brews and back into the roots of the local community microbreweries. YES! And this is why I chose this one

Forgotten Island by Cigar City brewing

1374901_10101457321912170_1203501524_nRating: 6/5

Forgotten Island by Cigar City brewing is a 15% ABV Belgian Quadruple aged in Jamaican Rum Barrels

Label: 
This dark complex style of ale originated in the Trappist monasteries of Belgium. It was sipped by monks during fasting and winter months. Forgotten Island adds a tropical twist via aging in Jamaican rum barrels. The barrel lends notes of vanilla, molasses, orange peel, cocoa, brown sugar, nutmeg, hazelnut, apricot and peach. This plethora of flavors and aromas from the rum barrel intermingles with banana, clove, cinnamon,fig, plum and brown sugar aromatics and flavors from the quadruple, creating a contemplative ale perfect for introspective moments far from the cares of the world beyond. 
___

Released exclusively for the Cigar City Catador club. A hard to get beer unless you know some one who is in the club or can trade/buy from someone online. This is the first time I try a rum barrel aged quad. I have tried a good number of Bourbon barrel ones but never a rum one. Good luck in getting this one

Aromas are very sweet. Velvety dark fruits, currants, plums, raisins, chocolate notes, dulce de leche caramel, figs, raisin bread pudding, oak, rum, rich coconut, vanilla, pecans, bananas, cloves, cherries, blackberries, boysenberries, blackberry marmalade, brown sugar, cinnamon, hazelnut, oranges, apricot, peach, piña colada, tropical fruits like papaya, melon, dragon fruit and other fruit and spices

The flavors are freaking amazing! This would be a great response to the Bruery’s Cacaonut, except it is rum and quad and has more dark fruits than Cacaonut. Yet each is freaking amazing and I can tell you this beer has already exceeded my expectations once again. Rich plums, rich curtants, figs, cotton candy, raisin bread pudding, pecans, peaches and cream, apricot, boysenberry marmalade, toasted coconut, oranges, dragon fruit, melon, papaya, piña colada, nutmeg, hazelnut, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, oak, blackberries, bananas, clove spice, cherries, molasses and other complex flavors. Diabetes in a bottle!

The aftertaste leaves with very nice caramel, dark fruit and tropical fruit flavors with oak rum and spices lingering. Good Luck finding the alcohol. Even at 15% ABV, it is one dangerously smooth and tempting Siren. Does not drink like a 15% ABV, holy crap. Take it easy with this one. Even if you want more, save some for later and share.

Overall, it is exceptionally wonderful and delicious. Think of a Quad that is tropical with rum flavors, coconut and piña colada. Let me put this in comparison with Cacaonut from the Bruery. Cacaonut from the Bruery is liquid Almond Joy with tropical fruits. This is a Dark Fruit Coconut Rum Piña Colada raisin bread pudding. Combining the fact that it is barrel aged, chocolate, quad and exotic is what make this one qualify for the top score which I give to either my best favorite beers or beers that have met the eligibility to be my favorites, even if rare. If I could, I would probably drink this everyday. That would be good, but would not be good for me, but would definitely be good. Cigar City is definitely the East Coast’s Bruery. As far as recommendation, HELL YES!! If you happen to find this parable paradise of an ale, set sail!! You will not regret this one.

Maiden The Shade by Ninkasi Brewing

1236326_10101382483139670_1161652118_nRating: 4.25/5

Maiden The Shade by Ninkasi Brewing is 6.8% ABV Specialty India Pale Ale

Label: 
In salute to the playful side of summer, we had fun with this beer! Maiden the Shade has a big robust hop character from the liberal use of 7 different varieties of hops. It s completed with a light colored malt backbone to stay in balance. Kick back and enjoy!
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This is the first Ninkasi beer I have ever tried. Recently Ninkasi started to show up locally at a very prominent rate. They bring forth some interesting sound beers. I will try and review a couple as I come across them. For now, I picked this one up because back in 2010 I had remembered this label. It was a beer that had the Iron Maiden font and and while it may no be the Iron Maiden beer which came out earlier this year, it has some interesting influences. 

Aromas are of floral,herbal and piney hops, peppercorn hints, tropical fruit like pineapple, mango, kiwi, grapefruit, citrus, honey and biscuit bread

The flavors are of citrus, flowers, grapefruit, piney and grassy hops, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, kiwi, biscuit, peppercorn hints, biscuit bread, caramel notes and peach notes.

Aftertaste is tropical sweet with a bit of hoppy bitterness. Quite the refreshing IPA and easy to moderate drinkability

Overall this is a very good IPA. This IPA bring out floral and tropical notes from the range of hop flavor spectrum. Those that enjoy these aspects as well as a nice dose of bitterness will enjoy this one. Quite the interesting first review for one of the Ninkasi beers. Very good stuff.

Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewery

945978_10101346419112270_122286693_nRating: 5/5

Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewery is a 6% ABV World Class India Pale Ale

Label: 
This mouthwateringly delicious IPA gets its flavor from a heavy helping of Citra and Mosaic hops. Don’t worry, no fruit was harmed in the making of this beer. 
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Picked this up recently at the local Bev-Mo near work. Heard that there was a lot of talk about this beer. Normally for me, I try to look at different IPAs and see what are the most tropical, the most hoppy, the most herbal or even the most orange juice and caramel I can find. Every single IPA or DIPA brings something to the table. As best as I can, I will try to analyze this one. Hell even, the label makes it look like its gonna be a tropical thunder. 

The smell is like grapefruit juice or Squirt Grapefruit soda. This is quite different already as I never seen a more grapefruit forward IPA. There are also aromas of biscuit, caramel, lemon candy, orange jolly rancher, pineapple, orange, subtle piney and grassy hops, kiwi almost like a strawberry or a berry note and mango.

Flavors are quite different but awesome. Lots of pineapple and grapefruit juice, oranges, caramel, piney and grassy hop notes, mango, kiwi, strawberry notes, dragon fruit, orange jolly rancher notes, pecan notes, buttery biscuit, tangerine marmalade, peaches and cream, orange cream popsicle, grapes, raisins, blueberries and papaya.

The aftertaste is awesome. A well balanced bitterness of the piney hops with nice grapefruit and pineapple tropics. I think what really makes this beer great is the balance and drinkability. Very awesome for sure.

The talk wasn’t just that, all talk. This beer is an awesome IPA. I love sweetness of beers and hoppy as well. This one brings both together is such an awesome way that literally works extremely well. This is something I wish I could drink for breakfast everyday. Right next to the Heady Topper, almost, except this is the sweet pink grapefruit where as heady is the orange juice of IPAs.

The art work is sort of like a surprise. Matching the label as best I could, think of it as Master Chief (Green for hops) unveiling the secret sweetness inside :3

Robert & Ryan / Rip Current / Stone R&R Coconut IPA

76035_10101316762155050_928126366_n 46375_10101316761037290_1434459790_n 1004846_10101316760233900_1743591119_nRating: 3.8/5

Robert & Ryan / Rip Current / Stone R&R Coconut IPA Collaboration is a 7.7% ABV India Pale Ale brewed and flavored with coconut

Label: 
This collaboration beer is a celebration of the homebrewing spirit and an example of counter-intuitive thoughts coalescing beautifully into something exceptional. Case in point is the seamless marrying of toasted coconut and a hop bill brimming with tropical fruit notes. Longtime homebrewers Robert Masterson and Ryan Reschan teamed up to enter this beer in our annual American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned brewing competition and, though it was the first beer they’d ever brewed together, they sailed past the competition like a tropical ocean breeze on a pleasure cruise bound for India. After winning, the duo reached out to their friend, highly decorated homebrewer and 2011 AHA Ninkasi Award winner Paul Sangster of the newly opened Rip Current Brewing Company, to assist in dialing in the recipe. Together with Sangster’s skilled partner Guy Shobe and Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele, Masterson and Reschan present fellow craft beer enthusiasts with a most delicious and original style of IPA. Open, enjoy, rest, relax and repeat as needed.

“On the nose, you get lots of tropical fruit—mango, passion fruit, pineapple—with some sweet orange and stone fruit from the hops along with toasty coconut sweetness.” Ryan Reschan /I Winning Homebrewer 1 love the tropical spin that Robert and Ryan added to an already great IPA recipe.” Mitch Steele II Brewmaster, Stone Brewing Co. “The true lest of a beer like this is the balance between the fruity hop and the coconut flavors and, with this one, you feel like you’re drinking a tropical drink on the beach.”

Paul Sangster // Co-Founder/Brewer, Rip Current Brewing Co.
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Aromas of this beer are a very nice mix tropical and hoppy. Mango, grapefruit, kiwi, dragonfruit, apricot, pineapple, grassy, floral and piney hops and some coconut notes

The flavors are very tropical and hoppy as well. The break down is more tropical than hoppy though. Leading in with some prickly pear, mango, citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, hints of toasted coconut, piney and floral hops.

The after taste leaves hoppy and tropical as well but instead of more tropical in the end, it fades out with citrus and grass hop goodness with minor coconut hints. 

This beer is pretty good but it is somewhat fair in terms of finding the coconut. While it is hinted, I think I got more coconut as I drank more but the coconut is consumed by the hops. Not a bad thing at all as I really like tropical and hoppy IPAs but in terms of coconut it is only hinted slightly more than other IPAs. I remember watching the video about the collaboration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqPDASoFJDA) and they specified that this was like a piña colada in a bottle. The truth is that it is true, but only to a minor to moderate extent. This beer does not boast lots of coconut and piña colada flavors but the notes are definitely there. Do not get your hopes up and expect a head on piña colada tasting beer but do expect an IPA that does have hints here and there of the flavors and aromas.

Overall, the beer does a pretty good job and bringing some very nice tropics to the scene and some nice hints that would not be found in some other IPAs. Either way, it is a pretty good beer and should still be tried. Maybe you can find more flavors than I can’t 🙂

Café Racer 15 by Bear Republic

1010393_10101308962420780_820626949_n 643973_10101308962919780_1939417553_n 524311_10101308961263100_1438719848_nRating: 5.25/5

Café Racer 15 by Bear Republic is a 9.75% ABV Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

Label: 
Café Racer 15™ features aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine from the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish. The result is a high revving Double IPA that is loud and assertive, much like the rebellious street racers who inspired it. Never ride alone…
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Just in time for IPA day, this version of their double IPA is supposed to be more west coast (more hoppier due to the greater variety of hops as stated above) than the Racer X which was more English tradition plus hops. This beer won the Great American Beer Festival Silver award in 2012.

Aromas are very hoppy and tropical. Grapefruit, mango, kiwi hints, citrus, prickly pear, pineapple, floral, dank, piney and grassy hops, lemon peel, biscuit bread, honey notes and caramel

The flavors are awesome as well. Lots of flowy, oily, dank, piney and floral hops, grapefruit, pineapple hints, mango, honey dew melon, kiwis, passion fruit, papaya, peach and apricot notes, dragon fruit, blood oranges, lemons, caramel and biscuit bread with tangy mandarin jelly

After taste lingers in the tropics. Almost like I just got drinking some type of hoppy bitter fruit punch. Kinda hard to find the alcohol in this one as well. It is also very refreshing, surprisingly smooth and well balanced both in the hop, malt and tropical aspects. 

Just like Racer X, definitely as close to Heady Topper, maybe closer. I honestly think the difference from the 2 IPAs is that Cafe 15 is way more tropical. Simply amazing and gets more tastier with every sip. Seems to be way better than Racer 5. I am sure this beer will soon be coveted, so if you find this savor it!! It really is an amazing IPA. Happy IPA day everyone 🙂

Michigan Hatter by New Holland Brewing

971526_10101267891836560_1974819404_nRating: 4.25/5

Michigan Hatter by New Holland Brewing is a 4.8% ABV Michigan India Pale Ale

Label: 
Michigan Hatter celebrates our local agriculture with its Michigan-grown Cascade hops from the Leelanau Penninsula. Bright and aromatic, with delicious malt notes underneath a citrusy showcase of hops. Pairings: sharp cheddars, herb-roasted poultry and curry.
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New Holland has many beers in the Midwest. This is the first time I try a beer in their “Mad Hatter” series. Yes, the label had a good role and me wanting to pick up this beer. That and I heard good things about this series. I am familiar with New Holland as they make the awesome Dragon’s Milk Stout. A very awesome aged stout at that. Well on to the review.

Aromas of this beer are of grapefruit, citrus, floral and piney hops. Some tropical fruits like mango and pineapple can be sense as well as caramel honey and biscuit from the malts. 

The flavors are slightly malt driven with lots of grassy, herbal, floral and piney hop presence. You get a good amount of grapefruit, orange peel, citrus, herbs, caramel, honey, rye, biscuit, hints of mango and pineapple.

The aftertaste leaves nice and dry with minor bitterness and sweetness. This goes down well. It is crisp and refreshing and very well for the summer for sure. A very good session beer. What really hits with this one is that is a nice balance of sweet and bitter. The tropics are hinted while the hops are present and the malty taste events it out. If you like session beers and one that is awesome, this one is awesome for sure. Very nice flavors at a low ABV 

Otiose by the Bruery

935014_10101146739631550_1924334654_n 427812_10101146739252310_1507309113_nRating: 4.45/5

Otiose by the Bruery is a 8.2%ABV Sour Brown Ale Aged in Oak with Guava.

Label: 
Created for no purpose besides satisfying an intense craving. Pleasantly tart with tropical notes balanced by roast malt.

Description:
Defined as “serving no practical purpose”, the recipe for Otiose was developed during a rare break in the brewing schedule; a recipe we came up with to satisfy our own desires and nothing more. The result is a sour brown ale aged in oak barrels to which we added guava. Riddled with tropical notes which are balanced by it’s malty backbone, Otiose is a rich and decadent sour ale. 8.2%, Cellerable for up to 3 years.
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The fragrance of this beer are of sour wine grapes, notes of caramel, guava, lemon citrus, passion fruit, plum notes, apples, cranberry, raspberry, oak and vanilla. Aside from the sour grape wine flavor, this beer has some nice sweet notes. Flavors of pecan, guava, banana notes, cherry, raspberry, caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, citrus, lemon, grapefruit, honey, some toasted rye bread and some sour funkyness. The beer is quite balanced. There is enough tart and caramel notes to make it pretty interesting. This is similar to some of the great Jolly Pumpkin ales. So if you love sours, have fun trying this one 😛

Dayman Coffee IPA collaboration by Aleman, Two Brothers and Stone

45259_10101119923037220_220044310_nRating: 4.9/5

Dayman Coffee IPA collaboration by Aleman, Two Brothers and Stone is a 8.7%ABV India Pale Ale brewed with roasted coffee beans

Label: 
Jim Moorehouse, Nate Albrecht and Brad Zeller, three pals planning #to open a Chicago brewpub under the moniker of Aleman, won first place at last year’s Iron Brew homebrewing competition in the Windy City (judged by none other than Greg Koch, Jason Ebel of Two Brothers Brewing, and celebrated Chicago brewer, designer and author Randy Mosher). Their style-bending IPA artfully married the assertive tropical bite of Citra hops with amazing coffee flavor and aromatics #to create something truly unique and exceptional. Serendipitously, Two Brothers recently kicked off a new adventure roasting their own coffee beans, and provided just-in-time freshly roasted java for the brew. The result is an innovative IPA that’s well balanced and intensely flavored thanks to the felicitous blend of hops and fresh roasted coffee.
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This is an interesting combination. I never thought such a combination would be possible inviting the citrus and coffee to combine in such a way. The aromas are such that you get citrus, mango, grassy hops, but the coffee and java roast brings out some nice caramel and sugar notes. Strange, it is like smelling a porter but brought the level of citrus and hoppy IPA. Very unique indeed. The flavors are something else. They really got the balance correctly on this one. It invites rich flavors of piney grassy, orange citrus, grapefruit but also balances the extra bitterness with caramel, coffee, chocolate, mocha, pecans, walnuts, hazelnut nectar and vanilla. You can also get some mango, tangerines and papaya out this. I think this beer would be close to like a tropical latte almost. Of course you have to remember the hop bitterness adds some rich notes that will please IPA lovers. I honestly think this beer would probably be a gateway into the world of IPAs because it starts of with the sweetness of the coffee and slowly takes you in the hoppy and tropical realms of the IPA world. Yet another unique master piece. For something that probably would mix, like sweet and bitter, they really got a way with this one. Loving this one for sure.

Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute

576232_10101102354464780_1791536487_nRating: 5/5

Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute is an 7.85% ABV Double India Pale Ale

Description: 
AKA Holiday Ale
AKA Holiday Leftover Ale
AKA Brown Sugar Substitute 

This sad holiday season we didn’t have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared BrownShugga’ Ale. You see we had a couple of really good years (thank you very much) and so heading into this season while we are awaiting the January delivery of a new brewhouse we are jammin’ along brewing 80 barrels of IPA and PILS and such every 3 hours. A couple of months back we realized that since we can only brew a mere 60 barrels of Shugga’ every 5 hours, that we were seriously screwed. For every case of Shugga’ brewed, we’d short 3 cases of our favorite daily beers. It’s a drag. This year, we brewed something that we think is also cool and brews more like our daily brews. The new brewhouse will help insure this kind of failure never happens again. It’s a mess that we can not brew our BrownShugga’ this year and we suck for not doing it. There is nothing cool about screwing this up this badly and we know it. Maybe we can sue our own sorry selves. There is no joy in our hearts this holiday and the best we can hope for is a quick and merciful end. F*@& us. This totally blows. Whatever. We freaking munch moldy donkey butt and we just want it to be all over… 
So this substitute beer is a ‘Cereal Medley’ of Barley, Rye, Wheat, and Oats…. Full of complexishness from the 4 grains, and weighing in at 7.85% abv, Then joyously dry-hopped for that big aroma and resinous hop flavor.
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Many have advised that this one was a highly acclaimed IPA. I was able to find some which it is strange as some of these beers go by quick. It is seasonal and some places like Bevmo and Total Wine should have it. The aromas are really nice. Fragrances of rich tropical fruits, like mango, papaya, mandarins, pineapple, rich peach, grapes, honey, caramel, lychees, prickly pears, grapefruits, grassy, piney, floral, oily hoppy goodness, herbs and cherries. The flavors are of grapefruit, grassy and piney hops with a rich tropical sweetness like pineapples, mango, peach, lychees, dragon fruit, oranges, lemon, honey, slight bready and floral notes and some brown sugar notes. As humble as Lagunitas tries to talk about the beer, they really struck gold. This is a very fantastic IPA. One that would probably be over the top on tap and well, maybe to the pliny the younger realms? Well, regardless, it is easier to get at least for now. Also, you don’t have to stay up at 3 to 5 in the morning just to stand in line to try Pliny the Younger. Not sure if I will ever review that beer, but I have had plenty of IPAs including Heady Topper to find it hard to find a difference. Nevertheless, who knows?

Elysian Doom

734946_10100969364807120_1108964645_nRating: 4/5

This is a series from Elysian, The 12 Beers of the Apocalypse. “The End is Beer”
Beer#12 (December) Doom is a 6% ABV Golden Treacle Pale Ale brewed with oats and fermented with golden syrup and raisins. Doom is the End.
This is the final installment to the series depicting the End has come…

Doom is in reference to the final apocalyptic event of ultimate judgment. Whether it was the good deeds or bad that had set fate in motion or simply predetermined at birth, the final stage in which will result into the ultimate judgment of that fate will be sealed. We have already passed 12-21-2012 which was set as the Mayan Apocalypse to be the end of the world. Since it did not happen, does not mean that humanity itself is invulnerable to each individuals fate. We are mortals, we will face death one day and what comes after is the unknown. However, it is believed some type of fate or judgment will come after. Whether you are brought back as a speck of energy, a fly, another person, whether there is a heaven or hell OR whether your existence becomes another piece to the molded universe of this reality…nothing is certain. Things happen for a reason and all we can do is wait and see what happens. Till then, pass the time and drink some phenomenal beers 😛

This is it, the final beer in the series. Upon opening the beer, there was some tropical fragrances reminiscent of a double IPA or an Imperial Pale Ale. Aromas of mango, orange, papaya, pineapple, hop grass, grapefruit, treacle syrup, honey and caramel. There is no aromas of raisins in the fragrance though. The flavors are of orange, tangerines, mango, lemon, pine, grassy and grapefruit hops, honey, caramel, treacle syrup, matured bananas, raisins and a little bit of biscuit bread. The matured banana dryness and hoppy bitterness remains in the aftertaste along with the notes from the tropical fruits. It is pretty good ale and reminiscent of a more Tropical IPA but with lower ABV. Recommended to those that like tropical hoppy pale ales.