Snowed in = Beered in

Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm ET

The Rest

Frumped by


I’m visiting the Arlington, VA area this weekend and it just started snowing in the past hour or so.  Normally it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except the NWS has just released an updated forecast of 20-30 inches over the next 30 hours!  Some areas are supposed to exceed 30 inches!  This should definitely be the largest snowstorm I’ve even been involved with.

In preparation, yesterday I went to the grocery store and of course the beer store!  I got your usual suspects but I also hand-picked a 6-pack of well reputed, tasty craft beers.  Most of these I’ve never had before, one I had to get again because it’s just that good and out for a limited time.  I felt ambitious about this 6 pack and decided I’d grade these brews and write a bit about each as I partake.  After all, I don’t think I’m going anywhere anytime soon. I will follow the rating rules of the BeerAdvocate: Appearance, Smell, Taste, Mouthfeel, and Drinkability. Each category scores out of 5, then averaged for the total.

Be sure to check back after the jump throughout the weekend as I pop these bottles.  I may have all of them tonight, I may spread it out.  Haven’t gotten that far yet.  Frump on for the lineup of culprits.

*update* 2/9/10 5:45p.m.– It just started snowing again and we’re supposed to get 10-20 more inches, so I just opened the last one!

Reminder: I haven’t had any of these before except for the Bell’s Hopslam.  It’s just really good and a limited release(one 12 oz. bottle per customer where I shopped).  Come to think of it, I may have had this particular Unibroue at my local watering hole as well, but can’t recall.

Green Flash Brewing Co.(Calif.) – West Coast IPA – Style: American IPA – ABV: 7.3%

A: 3.8: A hazy, copper color once poured.  A nice, frothy head.  Alive for sure.  Once head subsides, you’ve got the nice hoppy collections at the top.

S: 4.3: A nice, sweet, perfumy, hops smell.  Hints of fruit and berries.

T: 3.5: Quite a bitter, hoppy taste.  Smells much sweeter than it tastes.  Hops dominate.

M: 3.4: Mediumly carbonated.  Mediumly a word? Definitely alive in your mouth.  Bitterness dominates this brew…almost too much…notice I said almost.

D: 3.8: “Extraordinarily Hopped” is the motto and I believe it.  If strong hops and bitters is your thing, this would be your beer.  I like it, just like other IPA’s better.

Total: 3.76 B+

Clipper City Brewery(Mary.) – Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 – Style: Amer. IPA – ABV: 7%

A: 4.0: A golden hazy color.   A lot lighter than I had anticipated. A nice finger height head which seems quite alive.

S: 4.4: A fruity, perfumy smell, which is consistent with IPAs.  Almost a grapefruit hint.   Also a hint of malt.

T: 4.3: At first I think of a piney hop taste.  After a moment, I feel it’s the grapefruit taste.  A bit of a caramel malt taste.  Pleasant, bitter finish.

M: 4.1: Moderate carbonation.  A sweet core, but a bitter finish.

D: 4.5: This beer is the definition of something where the sum is greater than it’s parts.  A nicely balanced IPA that I could definitely drink for a few.

Total: 4.26 A-

Victory Brewing Co. (Penn.) – HopDevil Ale – Style: American IPA – ABV: 6.7%

A: 3.8: A clean, clear reddish color with a bit of an orange hue.  A 1.25 inch head initially that goes down to .5 inch. Very inviting color.  Very alive at first, but loses the head quickly.

S: 4: Of course a hoppy smell.  You also get floral, citrusy, and perfumy scents.  Not overwhelming but inviting.

T: 4.3: A nice mix of sweetness and bitterness.  You get the perfumy feeling through the taste. This fits w/ your typical hoppy IPA.

M: 4: It’s got a light, yet quite carbonated feel to it. Quite smooth.

D: 4.5: It’s bold, yet smooth enough to be quite drinkable.  An example of how hops should be incorporated.

Total: 4.12 A-

Bell’s Brewery Inc. (Mich.) – HopSlam Ale – Style: Amer. Dbl/Imperial IPA – ABV: 10%

A: 4.2: It has a golden hue to it, with waves of haze that swirled to begin with.  A bit over an inch of a nice frothy head.

S: 4.5:  Nice citrusy, hoppy smell.  Very perfumy.  I get a grapefruit smell.  My girlfriend says she would put on lotion that smells like this.

T: 4.6: You get a nice citrusy hop punch in the face(a slam if you will) but with a nice mix of honey and sweetness.

M: 4.8: It is silky smooth.  Almost “milky” if that’s possible.  I would drink this all day if I were a millionaire.

D: 4.8: You get the hop “slam”, but what differentiates this from other hop-strong brews is the brilliant mix of honey and sweetness along with the hops.  Add the fact it’s 10% and you can see why it’s so anticipated each year for it’s limited release.

Total: 4.58 A+

Unibroue Brewery (Quebec, Can.) – La Fin Du Monde – Style: Tripel ABV: 9%

A: 4: A hazy, golden color that is quite alive after the pour.  A strong, frothy 1 inch head. You can tell it’s strongly carbonated.

S: 4: A sour, slight citrusy smell.  Also, a bit metallic, malty.

T: 3.5: Slightly bitter taste, spicy.  Also sweet and very malty.  This tastes quite belgian(expected), also a bit watered down than most belgians.

M: 3.8: Medium to  high carbonation. Spicy and sweetness.

D: 4: It’s not as complex as my favorite belgians, however it’s got a nice mix of sweet and bitter.  I’m not always crazy about high carbonation but would definitely drink again.

Total: 3.86 B+

Founders Brew. Co. (Mich.) – Breakfast Stout – Style: Amer. Dbl/Imperial Sout – ABV: 8.3%

A: 4.5: Pours dark brown and thick.  Can’t see through it holding it up to light.  Very thin, caramel brown dull head.

S: 4.25: True to it’s description through smell, strong chocolate, coffee, and oat smell.

T: 4: A strong punch of coffee at first, with a nice balance of nutty chocolate and oatmeal afterwards.

M: 3.75: It’s got a thick, smooth, nice heavy feeling.  Hits the back of the throat hard.

D: 4: This is a heavy stout, not surprisingly.  Perfect for a snowy day like today.  I’m not a huge stout drinker, but this one is worth a shot.

Total: 4.10 A-

I probably won’t go in this order as to not compromise my palate.  Also, so it’s not incredibly clear how far downhill my writing skills go after a few of these.  I hope you enjoy!(although I’ll probably enjoy it more)

UPDATE: So, I finally finished the 5 brews.  I opted to only review 2 each night, because as with most snowed-in parties, there were other drinks to be had and I didn’t want to compromise my palate.  The beers all got pretty good scores, but that’s expected since I picked highly regarded brews to begin with.  Regardless, I have enjoyed this thoroughly! (I’ll probably do it again at some point)

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11 Responses to “Snowed in = Beered in”

  1. dt Says:

    Love the Victory HopDevil, interested to hear (read) your thoughts on the HopSlam

  2. B Diddy Says:

    dt, thanks for reading, just cracked open the HopSlam!!!

  3. Bronce McClain Says:

    RT @YieldToFrump: After pancakes & mimosas, I've moved to 'La Fin Du Monde' from @unibroue_biere for my snowed in article http://is.gd/7PukH

  4. Bronce McClain Says:

    RT @YieldToFrump: I'm back on the hop train!! @GreenFlashBeer & their West Coast IPA is keeping me warm in the snow! http://is.gd/7PukH

  5. Bronce McClain Says:

    RT @YieldToFrump: Just cracked open the #HopSlam from @BellsBrewery and it has made my smile wide! Lea mis vistas aqui: http://is.gd/7PXSs

  6. Cory Davis Says:

    RT @YieldToFrump: @VictoryBeer & their #HopDevil Ale is the next beer on our 'snowed in/beered in' feature. I'm already having tons of fun http://is.gd/7MfvD

  7. hackles10 Says:

    You channeled Jenna Haze on the Breakfast Stout review….

    Shouldn’t it get an extra bump for “hitting the back of the throat hard”

  8. Ciaran Says:

    Hackles10, 1 : B Diddy, 0. Game on…

  9. B Diddy Says:

    I was actually channeling Linda Lovelace.

  10. Bronce McClain Says:

    RT @YieldToFrump: started snowing again & I have concluded my 'snowed-in/beered-in' column w/ hop3 from @HeavySeasBeer http://is.gd/82CwA

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by YieldToFrump: I’m getting snowed in this weekend, so I’ve got some tasty craft beers I will partake in & write about! http://is.gd/7MfvD #hopslam…

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