Category Archives: BeerQuest

Review: Bell’s Oracle

Drink Date:
Review Date: 11/23/2010
Grade: A- (4.15 out of 5)
Top100: #66

From batch #9901. I’ve been drinking a lot of DIPA’s lately, of the top quality variety, and I have to say that this tastes like the rest. I wish I could say I see the reason why Oedipus is going to poke out his eyes or something. But it’s just… normal. Normal for great, that is.

Appearance is a murky amber, low head on initial pour, but impressive lacing throughout the drink. The smell is great – piney, floral, bit of citrus and caramel. Taste is solid. Hops forward and strong, bit of malts there, boozy finish that takes away from its strengths.

Mouthfeel is great with a medium body and a little carbonation, but the drinkability is a bit low for me. Too boozy. Even for when I have homework due.

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Review: Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (or KBS ftw)

Drink Date: 11/21/2010
Review Date: 11/23/2010
Grade: A (4.3 out of 5)
Top100: #8

Thanks to CooperEllis for sharing a bottle of this with me while we worked on the Secret Santa 2010 BIF box we’re putting together.

It definitely got me working. Appearance is thick black and ruddy, basically the same as CBS. Smell is bourbon. Although it’s tempered by a bit of chocolate and malt. Not too much though. It’s a very heavy smell. The taste is like the regular base beer … plus hints of bourbon. Could be leftover from the nose and not really in the beer itself, but the effect is the same. Finish is clean and it leaves you warm inside.

The mouth is full, carbonation low but its thick enough to coat the palate. I have to knock the drinkability though. I appreciate the regular Breakfast Stout (although a different beer) more than the CBS/KBS stouts because I feel like it got the booze right. This is too much. Without a doubt powerful though.

Side note: I want to make KBS and Brooklyn Black OPS into creatures and watch them fight.

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Review: Russian River Pliny the Elder (!!)

Drink Date: 11/9/2010
Review Date: 11/22/2010
Grade: A- (4.15 out of 5)
Top100: #2
Beerface: No

Woo! Pliny! Pretty sure I’m special now… right?

I had this one on 11/9/10, and it was a bottle date of 8/16/10. Pretty sure Vinnie would have told me to throw it out. But it was the freshest I could score and I’ll come back to update this when I have a newly minted one to review and compare.

That said, for its lack of freshness it was still a solid solid brew. A great initial bite nearly comes through the nose along with florals, and looking at the pour it’s a lovely headed amber/golden hued West Coast IPA through and through. Exactly what you would expect, and done well. The taste follows that hoppy bite with a citrus presence, and a bit of a malt backbone. Sorta sits there on the tongue like a Ballast Point Sculpin IPA.

Ahh, and a clean finish too. Although start to end I couldn’t say this stood out from other well done WC IPA’s, I can easily say that I’d drink it again. When I’m in the mood for getting slammed (that’s what she said?) with hops. Or feeling special.

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Review: Three Floyds Dreadnaught IPA

Drink Date: 11/14/2010
Review Date: 11/21/2010
Grade: A- (4.15 out of 5)
Top100: #27

Opened this bottle last weekend with CooperEllis, a solid BA who finds a way to get me passed out every time we review beers together. I’ll have to bring that up some time. Maybe today when we do it again.

This beer pours a murky bronze/amber that produces a great susaining head. A tasty head too. The smell is of strong citrus hops, with a touch of malt. It tastes the same way, with a strong hops presence throughout. But it’s not too strong, and the entire beer is well-composed. A truly smooth IPA.

Mouthfeel is solid, as there’s great carbonation and the body is solid. It’s a drinkable one, but without a doubt imperial, so be careful. Or figure out how to blame your drinking buddy for pouring you more.

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Review: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

Drink Date:
Review Date:
Grade: A+ (4.55 out of 5)
Top100: #39
Beerface: Yes

I’ve had 2008, 2009 bottles, and the 2009 on tap. Every single time it blows my mind. The vanilla version is sort of like drinking a unicorn, so the regular version is maybe… horses running through fields of poppies?

Either way, the rich and dark appearance pours nearly pitch black with little head. It stays with even less, sitting there in your glass like pitch. Great legs though. And the smell is unbelievable. Bourbon fills the nose. Also there’s chocolate and coffee. The taste is out of this world, and probably the best part about it. Dark chocolate, coffee, figs, malts, and only a hint of bourbon in the taste up front. The rest of the swallow you’re left to remember it by smell. The booziness is more and more present as it warms.

Without question it fills the mouth, and this one is as drinkable as you can handle the 13% abv. My first time having it I walked like an Egyptian to 80’s music for a couple hours afterwards. Second time pretended to be Russian and wore an aviator hat in the middle of September. Enjoy this… responsibly.

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Review: Ballast Point Sculpin India Pale Ale

Drink Date: September?
Review Date: 11/19/2010 (from notes)
Grade: A+ (4.6 out of 5)
Top100: #20

I drank this fine brew back when I was starting my quest to drink the top100. This review is from notes, but I almost don’t need them because the memory sits so well in my head. I think I still taste it.

The appearance is like many other IPA’s, golden to orange, fairly clear, lots of rich head. The smell blows you away with hops and citrus. The taste does the same. And then it sits on your tongue. And sits. You can go eat a sandwich, come back, no more sipping needed, still have the hop profile there. The only maltiness is at the start, with a bit of caramel, and the rest just carries the hops through. Forever.

The carbonation is great and its medium body drinks well. I’m not a huge fan of the hops myself, so although the taste is exceptional for me, the drinkability gets a small notch down. Overall though, this is a pretty ridiculous beer.

I even looked up Sculpin on Wikipedia. Because this beer teaches us things.

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Review: Cigar City Brewing Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout

Drink Date: 11/17/2010
Review Date: 11/17/2010
Grade: A+ (4.85 out of 5)
Top100: #9

Woo! Cigar City. This one uses the same recipe as the old Hunahpu’s recipe, so in a way, it’s a Top 100. I’ll count it, but I’ll still say I have to drink the Hunahpu’s. I had this while I was trying to fight an illness that eventually knocked me out of work the next day. On to the review…

I’ve had this on cask, and tap twice, but most recently on tap so that’s what we’re going with. Had it at the CCB event at Blind Tiger on 11/17. Some crap post nasal drip had me tackled, so I was only able to enjoy this and the Peach IPA. Argh, Novemberrr!

It pours a thick black with a dark tan/brown, almost khaki and red head. The finger thing stuff dissipates and leaves not much lacing, but keeps some decent legs. It’s pitch black. No wonder the Germans couldn’t beat this guy. They couldn’t see. The smell is just as fantastic, with coffee, espresso and chocolate predominating. Burnt notes are there, caramel, toffee. Taste is out of this world too. Everything that’s in the nose is in the drink, plus a sweetness that covers the booze.

It feels great going down, with the only knock being that there’s not much variation on the velvety smoothness. I will drink as many of these as I can get my hands on. While I’m still standing.

And if November colds don’t get in the way.

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