Raison D’être – Dogfish Head (Milton, DE, USA)

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  • My Rating: B

Raison D’être – Dogfish Head, 8% ABV –12 fl.oz., (Milton, DE, USA)

on the front label:

“A deep mahogany ale brewed with Belgian beet sugars, green raisins & a sense of purpose. (good pun)”

  • Style: Belgian-style Strong Ale
  • Taste: Heavy brown sugar raisin/date malts
  • Where I got it : W. 16th (?)
  • How much: ~$16/4pack x 12 fl.oz., sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: (Note: this is an ancient beer I had in the fridge; printed bottled 11/29/10). Pours light root beer brown with barely any head, thin ringed retention, several streams of varying speeds.

Nose: molasses, brown sugar malts, like a typical Belgian dubbel. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: alcoholic detection, fruity sweetness, fizzy-tingly

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) candi/brown sugar malts, molasses, fig/date

Finish: sweet raisins, mild cola, malty sweet finish.

Summary: Overall quite a decent brew and something I could easily drink 4 of. A bit heavy on the palate to be supreme, however good balance and flavour nonetheless.

Mischief Belgian-Style Ale – The Bruery (Placentia, CA, USA)

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  • My Rating: A

Mischief Belgian-Style Ale, unfiltered, bottle-conditioned – The Bruery, 8.5% ABV – 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., (Placentia, CA, USA)

on the front label:

“Not quite evil, yet not to be trusted, this Golden Ale is effervescent, dry, hoppy and crisp-you’ll want to keep an eye out.”

  • Style: (Belgian-style) Strong Ale
  • Taste: Creamy/fizzy stone-fruity malt beer, alcohol well-hidden
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $11 (after 10% off) – 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes!
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: In a quality, thick, hefty bottle. Pours slightly translucent bright golden orange, with a massive lasting ultra-creamy head, sticky lacing, tons and tons of fast activity. Beautiful Visually.

Nose: Enticing fruity peach-apple. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: half creamy/fizzy, incoming dense malts

Mid-palate: light tangy, continual tingly/fizzy texture, (lvl-6)-fruity sweetness, (MAIN) malts, honey, apricot, alcohol detection+bitterness

Finish: cuts off-dry, light-medium hopped bitterness + dense fruity malt finish.

Summary: Clean fruity flavours with excellent textural mouthfeel from start to finish. Recommended, especially chilled.

Mielcke & Hurtigkarl – Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark)

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  • My Rating: B-

Mielcke & Hurtigkarl – Mikkeller, 8.7% ABV – 375ml., (Copenhagen, Denmark)

(non-descript bottle, just artwork)

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  • Style: (Belgian-style) Strong Ale
  • Taste: smooth creamy-crisp -> honeyed malts/caramel/chamomile -> sweet/light bitter hopped finish.
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke Liquor Store
  • How much: $17 (after 10% off) – 375ml., June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: probably not for the price
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: White foil covering a corked top. The label is pretty basic with simple artwork and the ingredients listed in Danish. Pours very cloudy dirty brown-orange with tons of activity, a nice lasting small ultra-creamy head, sticky lacing.

Nose: Floral honeyed citrus malts, cane/brown sugar. (6/10-pungency)

Attack: sweet-creamy-smooth-crisp mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (8/10)-sweetness, (MAIN) honey, caramel malts, chamomile

Finish: lingering honey-sweetness, light hoppy bitter finish.

Summary: A very nice Belgian-style tripel out of Denmark. The first sip surprised me with its incredible smoothness and texture. Halfway through the sweetness gets heavy.

Belgian Tripel – Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark)

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  • My Rating: B+

Belgian Tripel – Mikkeller, 9.0% ABV, 330ml, (Copenhagen, Denmark)

on the back label:

“Tripel brewed with: water, malt, OAT, WHEAT, candy sugar, SWEET ORANGE PEEL, CORIANDER, and yeast.”

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  • Style: (Belgian-style) Abbey Tripel
  • Taste Profile: sharp crisp malts -> silky/malts/honey/citrus -> coriander/peel bitter/alcohol/malty finish
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke (EDM)
  • How much: $5 (after 10% off), June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Kiddish artwork, still cool in my book. Pours cloudy golden orange with lots of suspended chunky sediment, decent-sized dissipating creamy head, thin layer of retention, some visible slow-moving streams.

Nose: sweet HONEYED malts (typical tripel-style), mild citrus & floral notes.

Attack: dense incoming sweet malts

Mid-palate: ultra-silky creamy mouthfeel, (MAIN) toffee malts, honeyed sweetness(8) orange citrus, (HINT) mild sour/tanginess

Finish: burpy CO2, coriander/yeasty, orange peel bitterness(5), alcohol detection(9), malty bittersweet lingering finish.

Summary: It packs a potent punch. Flavourful and drinkable, another good brew from Mikkeller. (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

It’s Alive! – Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark)

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  • My Rating: A-

It’s Alive! (grey label, original version) – Mikkeller, 8% ABV, 750ml, (Copenhagen, Denmark)

from ratebeer.com:

It’s Alive! is Mikkellers answer and tribute to the trappist beer Orval. It’s Alive is an easy-to-drink beer, with a lot of hops. The color is amber, the foam is high, white and dense. The potent Brettanomyces culture makes It’s Alive continue to develop in the bottle.
Ingredients : Water, malt (pale and cara), light candy, hops (hallertauer and styrian goldings), yeast and brettanomyces.”

  • Style: (Belgian-style) Strong Ale
  • Taste Profile: creamy sweet/sour -> caramel malts/grapefruit -> grapefruit hoppy bitter finish.
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke (EDM)
  • How much: $14 (after 10% off), June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Cool name, it makes you think of the yeast and bretts used to make this beer. Mikkeller has never let me down, and I highly doubt it would start to do so tonight. Pours medium-light brown with a MASSIVE ultra-CREAMY head, very sticky lacing, lots of foamy retention, and a plethora of activity = all top notch.

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Nose: (First have to sip off all that foam to get to the meat… ) Partial red fruity caramel sweetness (almost strawberries) and cereal, rather muted in comparison to the visual. (3/10-aromatic strength).

Attack: incoming sweet and sourness, ultra-creamy/light fizzy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (MAIN) sweet(8/10) caramel malts, cane sugar, grapefruit (HINTS) chamomile

Finish: light burpy, yeasty, soft/gentle grapefruit hopped bitter end.

Summary: Superb visual and excellent clean flavour. Excellent drinkability and balance. It would need a bit more depth to make it in the A, A+ range, but still highly recommended.

Golden State Ale – Uncommon Brewers (Santa Cruz, CA, USA)

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  • My Rating: B

Golden State Ale (w/ Poppy Seeds) – Uncommon Brewers, 6.4% ABV – 16 fl.oz. (1 pt), (Santa Cruz, CA, USA)

On the front side of the can:

“Two signatures of our Golden State are the mountain quail and the poppy flower. We haven’t figured out how to make beer with qual, so we settled upon the poppy.

How better to enhance the flavor of a traditional Golden Ale than to include the tanginess of toasted poppy seeds? Our Golden State Ale blends the sweet bite of toasted poppy with the aromatics of a Belgian yeast. It’s pale and crisp, but carries enough body for the self-respecting beer drinker to think, ‘This is an uncommon ale’”

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  • Style: (poppy seed) Belgian-style Ale
  • Taste Profile: cream-fizzy sweetness -> bitter poppy seed/honeyed malts/peach -> crisp bite/hops/sweet-bitter malty finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $4 (after 10% off), January 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Consistent artwork with their other Baltic Porter, the can features a drawing of the yellow poppy flower. Pours translucent golden orange with a decent-sized lasting foamy head, lots of activity and lacing.

Nose: sweet hoppy malts with some chamomile undertones

Attack: very cream-to-fizzy mouthfeel, 5/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: bitter yet clean poppy seed, honeyed malts, hints of PEACH, RED APPLE

Finish: crisp bitter bite, mellow hops, light sweet-bitter tingly malty finish.

Summary: Another good beer from Uncommon Brewers. This one is much lighter on the palate than the Baltic Porter and is balanced from start to finish, first sip to the last. Though not particularly complex or rich, it is quite drinkable.