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2013 Small Batch Collection – Samuel Adams

2013 Small Batch Collection – Samuel Adams

Spotted in August 2013 – the Samuel Adams “Small Batch Collection”. Four bombers in a cardboard box – suggested retail was about $19.99. At $5 a bomber – that’s an economical way to sample some of their special batches. The four beers included are:

  • Merry Mischief – Gingerbread Stout
  • The Vixen – Chocolate Chili Bock
  • Norse Legend – Sahti
  • Griffin’s Bow – Oaked Blonde Barleywine

All are intended for immediate consumption or to be aged. I didn’t pick up the set, as none of those styles typically interest me, but if I was offered any of those beers to sample first, I’d go with The Vixen.

Hop Crisis – 21st Amendment

Hop Crisis – 21st Amendment

A double IPA in a can, brewed during the hops shortage a few years back. Aged on oak spirals, it lends a woodsy and smoky character to the beer. Blend of Columbus, Centennial, and Cascade hops – nothing special, just a typical pine-citrus flavor blend. Medium bodied, but drinks rich. Head is excellent but doesn’t lace well. Mainly malt-forward. Good attempt at a DIPA, even better when you consider you can get it in a can.

Overall: 83

2012 Hoptimum – Sierra Nevada

2012 Hoptimum – Sierra Nevada

Hoptimum is a double IPA at 10.4% ABV that’s bordering on “extreme”, especially when you consider that it’s a whole-cone hopped beer. Hopped, dry-hopped, AND torpedoed for an ultra-intense hop explosion. Not for the faint of heart, utilizing new hop varieties for a spectrum of flavors throughout every drink. Notes of melon, rose, lilac, cedar, mango, papaya, resin, and a spicy finish. Boozy but in a good way – it hits at the end of the hop cavalcade, leaving a mouth-puckering spicy finish that isn’t very sticky. Well balanced, as the brewers at Sierra Nevada always attempt to do with their beers. Malt is lurking beneath the hop-festival that was expected and delivered on.

Rating: 95

1000 IBU – Mikkeller ApS

1000 IBU – Mikkeller ApS

1000 IBU (nee IPA) is a rotating DIPA offering from Mikkeller, a Danish brewer well known by beer aficionados in the United States. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a beer of theirs that I enjoy yet. This one was no exception. Didn’t enjoy the hop profile at all. 9.6% ABV and it shows. Hops is listed thrice on the label, but what kind of hops isn’t mentioned.

Dark red-yellow DIPA, malty, and clashing flavors produce a grassy biscuity and malty taste, not resiny or pine or hoppy as would be expected. Yeast is present, but the flavor / sensation of hops is not. Simply put, it’s a bitter malty DIPA. Definitely not one that I would recommend or try again, especially with world-class DIPAs being produced locally in Columbus. Pass on this one.

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Rating: 55

Reckoning – Tröegs Brewing Company

Reckoning – Tröegs Brewing Company

Vintage: 2008
Sampled: 2009

Lovely light (ABV-wise) porter from Tröegs. Pitch black with a quick-dissolving white head that laces the sides of the glass, this is the way a porter should look. Still a decent amount of hops despite being aged for roughly a year. Still a robust chocolate malt backbone that stands up to the hops. If you like your porters hopped – Reckoning is a good choice. Excellent choice as a sessionable porter as well.

Rating: 85