BEERS OF APRIL:
Unibroue Grande Reserve 17 (2 consumed)
This was an absolutely marvelous beer, as you can tell by my grade. Dark but not overwhelming, nicely balanced, strong but easy. It’s a limited edition so I would recommend seeking this out. I think there’s a good chance Unibroue is the best brewery in the world.
Newcastle (12 consumed)
Unibroue Trois Pistoles (4 consumed)
Again, dark but easy, with a bit of spices. A bit thinner than the Grande Reserve, as I recall, but it’s fine drinking all around.
Ladyface Russian Lullaby Russian Imperial Stout (2 consumed)
You’re going to hear a lot about this brewery in this write-up, as it’s down the street from my mother’s and we went there several times while I was at her place for Easter. This was the cream of their crop. Very rich and tasty, and you can feel how strong it is, but in a good, hearty way, not an overwhelming way. Is Russian Imperial the King of Stouts? It might be. I need to go out and seek it out specifically more often.
Allagash Tripel Reserve (1 consumed)
I’m not historically a big Allagash fan, as their most-distributed beer (at least out here) is the White, and I’m not a fan of whites. But as a fan of tripels I thought I’d check out this limited edition, and I’m very, very glad I did. It is similar to a Delirium Tremens in many ways, though less fruity, but with the same crispness and coloration. I see they also have a Dark Ale out now, I’ll have to check it out, as this brew makes it clear to me that Allagash knows very well what it’s doing, it’s just that before I’ve experienced them doing well things I don’t really like.
DeSchutes Black Butte Porter (2 consumed)
Firestone DBA (2 consumed)
Cismontane Classified Doppelsticke Double Alt (1 consumed)
The craft place up the street from me had a few alts a few weeks ago, so I tried a few. I liked this one the most. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep any notes as to why.
Ladyface Picture City Porter (1 consumed)
Another coffee-leaning porter, and they even sprinkle coffee grounds on it to accentuate the flavor. I think it works very well, and the grounds bring up the scene without making the beer itself overly coffee-esque in its flavoring.
Ladyface Trebuchet (1 consumed)
A “farmhouse ale”, or saison, I guess. I usually dislike saisons—way too fruity without any balance—but this had a tart, sour, almost lemon taste that I found beguiling. After having had one, I thought I was done with it, but its combination of uniqueness and success actually makes it the most memorable to me out of the Ladyface offerings I had. I didn’t love most of their lighter fare, actually (I had a quick sip of both their pale ale and IPA, which were uninspiring), but that might be more about my tastes than their skills, given how good they are with the dark beers (their Quad, which I had elsewhere in March, was spectacular) and specialty brews such as this.
Pranqster Belgian Golden Ale (1 consumed)
Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout (1 consumed)
I’m not sure I’ve had an oatmeal stout before. It was worthy. Rather thin in the body, but with good flavor. Did not feel strong.
Heineken (5 consumed)
DeSchutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale (3 consumed)
A solid but unexceptional pale. A little bit of a letdown from DeSchutes, but not as much as the IPA, which will be below.
Moretti La Rossa (3 consumed)
Abita Turbodog (2 consumed)
A hint of chocolate livens up what is otherwise a solid but unremarkable dark beer. Very drinkable, if not cravable.
Redhook ESB (2 consumed)
Alaskan Amber Ale Altbier (1 consumed)
Again, I didn’t take notes, but apparently I liked but didn’t love it.
BJ’s Nutty Brewnette (1 consumed)
BJ’s brown. I remember it being better. They used to brew on-site but don’t anymore, I’m not sure if that’s a factor, or if having had more beers since I was last there made this one stand out less.
Enegren Valkarie California Altbier (1 consumed)
Hey, I kept notes on this one! “Dark with IPA bite but without hoppiness.” That sounds pretty good, actually.
Ladyface Blind Ambition Abbey Ale (1 consumed)
“Smooth, a bit of spice.” Sounds pretty good, too, though I don’t recall it being as easy-drinking as some other abbeys.
Ladyface Blonde (1 consumed)
I like blondes for the easy drinking, and this fit the bill. It wasn’t as flavorful as some other blondes I’ve had in my day, but it satisfies the minimum requirements of the style.
Ladyface Trois Filles Tripel (1 consumed)
I really need to learn to start taking more detailed notes. Though I tend to love tripels, I didn’t love this one. I feel like it was lacking in flavor relative to some others. Again, this brewery really excels the darker the beer gets, imo.
Monkish Crux Belgian Ale (1 consumed)
This one grew on me. When I first sipped it, I wasn’t really into it. Again, lacking in flavor, or at least relative to what I was expecting. The brewery describes it as being crisp and spicy, but I think it was a bit heavier than crisp and the spices didn’t make an impact on me.
Stella Artois (1 consumed)
DeSchutes Inversion IPA (4 consumed)
This had a slightly weird creaminess to it, almost. The bonus was that it wasn’t overly hoppy, but it was a strange combination of tastes that I don’t think coalesced into a top-notch IPA. Given how good some of DeSchutes’ other brews are, that was a bit surprising, but from here on out if I want any of their lighter fare, I’d definitely choose the pale over the IPA.
Dos Equis Lager (3 consumed)
Bohemia Clasica (1 consumed)
This isn’t very clasica. My grade may be generous.
Hangar 24 Amarillo Pale Ale (1 consumed)
I don’t know why you’d fruit the pale ale, but adding citrus to this was a nice touch. I wouldn’t go out of my way for it but it’s functional.
Moretti (1 consumed)
Full Sail Phil’s Existential Alt (2 consumed)
A bar near me often was Full Sail on special, and I’m ready to give up on them. It’s drinkable in a pinch, but…