craft beer

Swallowed by the Sea Monster

Ballast photoFolks, put on your sea legs! This week I am reviewing Sea Monster Imperial Stout by Ballast Point Brewing of San Diego.

While fishing around for a dark beer, I was lured in by the bright color of an anglerfish. At that moment, I wasn’t sure if I was hunter or the hunted. So I defaulted in confidence that I was the hunter, reeled in a bottle of this Sea Monster, and hurried home to give it a shot.

Upon opening the beer I got hit with pleasant scents of coffee and light chocolate. When I poured the beer into my glass, I wished I had my eyes shined like Riddick, because this monster poured pitch black. At the top of the glass, caramel brown foam formed, giving it a very attractive dual tone appearance.

When this beer first hit my lips, I was immediately taken aback. The scent definitely matched the flavor. Coffee and chocolate were the first things I recognized followed by a slight bitter finish. I relaxed and enjoyed it to the very last drop. That was until I noticed I was a little too relaxed. I ran back to the bottle and looked for the ABV. That’s when I knew, I was the hunted. At a healthy 10% ABV, this Sea Monster had me right where it wanted me. Yet, I had no regrets.

Overall this is a good beer for all of us dark beer lovers out there. Proceed with caution on this one. It will not be an all-night beer but, it is definitely a good beer to have 1-2 of without over doing it.

Ruffians I recommend you go pull this Sea Monster from the “drink”. Just don’t let it drink you. Cheers

 

Rating: 4 ½ / 5  Pints

ABV: 10%

Brewery: Ballast Point Brewery

Website: http://www.ballastpoint.com

Flying Dog Brewery’s Pearl Necklace

IMG_0282Pearl Necklace is an American stout brewed with local Rappahannock River Oysters. Flying Dog originally started Pearl Necklace as a seasonal brew but launched it into the market year round in May of 2012. In the production of this beer Flying Dog has partnered with Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) and proceeds from this beer are donated to them to help restore oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to helping the ORP in their mission they also managed to make a great tasting stout.

The color of this beer was as dark as expected, close to that of cola or mud. It left a nice dingy colored head about 1.5 fingers think that lingered for a respectable amount of time. The smell of malt was clearly present along with that of coffee and a hint of sea air in the background.

The flavor was full and complex but not heavy. It started with a rich dark chocolate flavor that shifted to coffee and nut flavors with a hint of honey. Only at the end was there a small amount of brine flavor. The carbonation was what I would consider to be average, which kept the feeling of the beer light on the tongue giving a good balance from the full flavor. A good amount of lacing could be noticed on the glass while drinking as well.

As stouts go this is a well crafted beer. Not only is it pleasing to the nose, but also has a drinkability that won’t limit you to just one or two beers. In addition to it being a good beer it is actually doing something good in their community by helping the ORP. It would be hard to find a reason to not recommend this beer.

 

Brewer: Flying Dog Brewery

Website: flyingdogbrewery.com

ABV: 5.5%

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints.

Photo by @syndie_marie

Left Hand Brewing’s Good Juju

IMG_0294Good Juju is one of Left Hand’s seasonal brews. It’s based of off a standard pale ale but has organic ginger added to it. I’ve enjoyed most of the beers by Left hand and happen to really enjoy ginger so I decided to give it a try and I wasn’t disappointed.

The over all look of this beer was a clear but dark copper. There was an average amount of carbonation, which gave the beer about a finger high head that quickly subsided. Minimal lacing could be noted on the glass during drinking. On the nose it had a full scent of hops with a rich amount of ginger.

I took the first sip reluctantly not knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. It was full but not heavy, with sweetness from the malt and touch of bitterness. The ginger allowed for a crisp and clean finish and made this an easy beer to drink.

For a spiced beer this was very enjoyable. It was easy to drink multiples of this beer and they consistently tasted great. The aroma given off provides for a greater drinking experience and enhances the beers flavor. If you’re in the mood for a light but flavorful beer this is the direction you should head.

 

Company: Left Hand Brewing

Website: lefthandbrewing.com 

ABV: 4.5%

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 pints