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Category: Four 12 oz bottle packs

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

Foreign Extra Stout – Guinness

Foreign Extra Stout – Guinness

Originally released to foreign countries (ie: not the US or the UK), Foreign Extra Stout from Guinness was well known to international travelers. I was able to enjoy a variant of this beer on a beach in Bermuda, but it was finally introduced (as a different recipe) to America in 2010. This recipe far surpasses the original variant that I sampled (which as it turns out is because the Bahamanian version’s brewed in the Bahamas itself). After its introduction in 2010, it’s been generally available year-round (but may not be always available in your market). 7.5% ABV and it packs more flavor in than normal “Guinness” does. It’s a Foreign Extra Stout, not an Irish Dry Stout (as Guinness Draught is). Some hops flavor, plenty of punch, chocolate-caramel-coffee flavors, and isn’t boozy. Finishes clean. Overall, an excellent beer and one you should probably consider as being way better than you’d think it is.

Overall: 95

Lake Erie Monster – Great Lakes Brewing Co

Lake Erie Monster – Great Lakes Brewing Co

Lake Erie Monster is Great Lakes Brewing Co (GLBC)’s rotating Double IPA. Weighing in at a whopping 9.10% ABV and 80 IBU, this beer packs plenty of punch. Brewed with Simcoe and Williamette hops, they provide a muted presence for a DIPA. You’ll find that this is more of a caramel-malt forward balanced DIPA that happens to be highly drinkable as well. Usually released in the summer only – and not even every year, it’s always an event when this beer hits the market. Has a sweet flavor which is a bit surprising, especially as you’ll expect some sort of hop assault that never comes. Bitterness from the hops nicely counterbalances the sweet notes, creating a smooth mouthfeel that ends up being a bit sticky. Appearance is lovely as can be seen from the photograph. Head is excellent, long-lasting, and laces beautifully Recommended, but if you’re a hop-head, give this one a pass.

Rating: 85