Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Color: deep amber in color, Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale looks a lot like an amber ale.  The head is frothy and white with little to no lacing as it settles.

Aroma: Bready notes of malt and a little biscuit without any suggestion of hops.

Taste: Sweet and malty with hints of honey and cane sugar.  There are some slightly floral hop characteristics backing it up but the finish is smooth and clean.

Body: Medium bodied and slightly sticky this is an easy drinking beer.

Other Specs

  • ABV: 6.8%
  • No date visible on bottle or packaging but it’s the new label so we’re pretty sure it’s fresh.

Why That Glass?

Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale is an ale in the maibock style which gives us couple of different options for a Maibock. For Maibocks I’ll typically look for either a pilsner or a seidel.

For presentation purposes the pilsner is the way to go. You get a good look at the beer’s color while the narrower body and mouth help with head retention.  With it’s spicy notes, the Dead Guy Ale, would go really well in a pilsner glass.

So why did we go with a seidel?  When I opened the bottle and got my first whiff of the beer’s bready aroma I knew I was gonna have two or three of these. I could have gone for a pint but the aroma was so inviting I really wanted a little extra sense of it.  Hence, seidel.

More About this Maibock

The Dead Guy Ale is a beer that I’m kind of surprised I haven’t had before.  I’ve tried a lot of Rogue’s beers but  for some reason this one has alluded me (or didn’t make an impression).

Breckenridge Brewery NVP (Nitro Vanilla Porter)

Breckenridge Brewery's NVP (Nitro Vanilla Porter)
Nitro Vanilla Porter in a Pint Nonic Pint

Breckenridge’s NVP pours dark brown to almost black with about a finger of off white head that’s creamy like you’d expect from a nitrogenated beer. A thin layer of this head sticks around all the way down to the end of the glass.

The aroma is what you’d expect from a vanilla porter. I’m mostly getting roasted coffee, hints of chocolate milky-goodness, and bits of vanilla. As a dark beer guy, this is what I crave.

The taste is all malt – coco, roasted coffee – plus hints of vanilla. It’s sweet and it’s smooth and it’s everything I want out of a porter. No hint of hops – just silky smooth goodness.

Nitro style beers are silky and smooth and the NVP is no exception. It’s the right kind of creamy with a little bit lingering between sips.

This is another one of those beers that I treat as a dessert. Skip the ice cream, skip the brownies, have a couple of these and relax.  Actually, a scoop of vanilla or coffee ice-cream would be a great companion!

Other Notes

  • ABV: 5.4%
  • IBU: 16
  • A date of some sort appears on the bottom of the can as Month B Day (backwards-“B”) Year. (more on this below)

Why that Glass?

For stouts and porters I usually reach for one of three glasses, a pint (nonic or tulip), a seidel, or a snifter. With an ABV of only 5.4% the NVP falls into “sessionable” territory which narrows that down to seidel or pint.

Nitro beers look and taste better in pint glasses, so this was an easy choice.

More About This Nitro Vanilla Porter

Breckenridge’s regular Vanilla Porter is a beer I stop for often.  It’s a go-to sessionable porter that’s great for winter months or pairing with cold desserts. Having a chance to try it as a Nitro beer was definitely worth it!

I picked up this four-pack at O’Hara’s liquors in Worcester for about $12.  As of early March 2017 it was also on one of the Nitro lines at The Fix in Worcester.

Tröegs Troegenator Double Bock

Tröegs Troegenator in a Pilsner Glass
Tröegs Troegenator in a Pilsner

Troegenator is deep ruby red moving towards brown with a thick fluffy toffee colored head.

It smells sweet and malty with hints of cherry, dates, and raisins.  You can tell right away that this is going to be a rich beer.

Up front I’m getting some bready malt flavors which are followed by dark cherry, raisins, and maybe a little beet sugar. It’s sweet but not overly so.

I’d call it medium bodied with medium carbonation. It lingers briefly with a mild sweetness.

Overall Troegenator is very tasty but a bit rich for extended drinking.  This falls into the realm of what I consider a “dessert beer.”  One, maybe two, after dinner and look forward to more tomorrow.

Other Specs

  • ABV: 8.2%
  • IBU: 25
  • A “Freshest By” date is printed on the label.
  • Troegenator is a year-round offering from Tröegs.

Why That Glass?

Doppelbock beers are best served in either a seidel or a pilsner glass. I personally prefer a pilsner because it kind of slows down how quickly I drink them.

With a rich, higher ABV, beer I like to move a bit slowly so I can really get a chance to experience it fully.  I’d end up drinking it took quickly from a seidel and my palate would get overwhelmed.

More about this Double Bock

Among the beers I’ve sampled since launch Tröegs has one of the more informative labels I’ve seen.  It offers up a suitable amount of info for your average beer geek and clearly offers up a “Freshest By” date which is excellent.

This info is easy to find and made grabbing this six-pack go much faster.

The Portion of a Troegenator Label Showing basic Info
Troegenator Info Block

Pop on over to Tröegs’ official page for this beer and you’ll find something really cool.  Towards the bottom of the page there’s a link to a PDF file providing food pairing notes.  Tröegs lists Complimentary, Contrasting, and “Adverse” flavors.

I might have to revisit this beer and try some food pairings!

Cold Harbor Bilbo’s Brown Ale

Cold Harbor Bilbo Brown Ale in a Pint Glass
Bilbo’s Brown Ale in a Pint Glass

Hazy, dark brown with a head of fine ivory bubbles.  For a brown ale it’s a bit on the dark side reminding me more of a porter. I’m used to brighter, more clear browns so I’m a bit surprised by how hazy it is.

As it pours I’m getting smells of toasted oats, maybe some tobacco, and hints of black coffee.  When I go to take my first sip that tobacco is more up front.  This beer is dark and smoky and very inviting!

The taste complements the flavor and matches it pretty closely.  It’s slightly nutty but burnt tobacco and coffee flavors are the main attraction.  This beer is sweet and malty with a very mild hop finish.

Bilbo’s Brown is medium bodied with mild carbonation.  It’s soft and sweet with a slight hint of tangy-ness on the finish.  All-in-all this is a very pleasant and sessionable brown ale.

Other Specs

  • ABV: 4.8%
  • IBUs: 26
  • Poured from a 32 ounce growler on the same day purchased.

Why That Glass?

For a brown ale you can rely on either a seidel or a pint glass.  Browns are usually sweet and malty with very low ABVs.  As a result a pint or the seidel are ideal for serving.  I think you could also get away with a goblet.

More About This Brown Ale

There’s not much more to say about this brown ale. Cold Harbor doesn’t list many details regarding this beer’s availability or style on their site.  Next time I’ll have to get a picture of their board.

Sixpoint Brewery Hi-Res Triple IPA

Sixpoint Brewing Hi-Res IPA in a Tulip Glass
Hi-Res Triple IPA in a Tulip

Light copper colored with a thick ivory head of fine white bubbles.  Visually this is pretty much identical to the Resin Double IPA.

It’s got a strong pine aroma with some mild floral hops backing it up.

Up front I’m picking up some mango and grapefruit and a little orange peel but the main attraction is the earthy, resinous pine that follows it.  Rounding it out, and balancing things nicely, are some biscuity malt flavors.

At 10.5% I was expecting a bit of an alcohol kick in the finish but it’s not there. It’s smooth and medium bodied with just a hint of a sticky finish.

This is another strong one that’s easy to drink so be wary where it takes you!

Between the two, this and the Resin, it’s a hard fought race.  I think the Hi-Res narrows it out but both are excellent options!

Other Specs

  • ABV: 10.5% (previous releases look a bit higher)
  • IBU: 115
  • SRM: 11
  • Availability Varies
  • Available in 4-packs of 12 oz slim cans.
  • Best By Date located on bottom of can and outside of box

Why that Glass?

For imperial IPAs I prefer to reach for a tulip glass.  It’s great for displaying the beer’s color and clarity and tall sticky head.  The tulip is also great for helping me pick out some of the more subtle aromas and flavors that these stronger beers have.

In a pint glass my palate would likely be overwhelmed too quickly. Despite this Imperial being so well balanced I’d miss those delicate citrus notes and get stuck on the pine and hops.

More About the Hi-Res Triple IPA

As I mentioned in my post on the Resin Double IPA, Sixpoint Brewery is fast becoming one of my safety breweries.  If I hit up a liquor store and can’t make up my mind I can just grab anything from Sixpoint and I know I’ll be happy.

Unlike the Resin, which is a regular offering, the Hi-Res falls under Sixpoint’s line of “cycliquids” – that is, beers that essentially come out when they come out. The Hi-Res appears to have had a few releases, it’s just not on a regular schedule.

If you’re in or around Worcester you can find this at Total Wine (as of 3/4/17) it’s worth checking out!

Sixpoint Brewery Resin Double IPA

Sixpoint Craft Beer Resin in a Tulip Glass
Sixpoint Resin Double IPA in a Tulip Glass

Copper colored like a brand new penny and sporting a slight haze.  The Resin Double IPA has a frothy white head which leaves sticky lacing along the glass as it settles.

As soon as I poured this beer I picked up an aroma of floral hops with hints of pine. The smell bursts from the glass but it’s not overwhelming at all.  It’s very inviting.

First taste is spicy, floral hops with hints of sweeter malts.  They linger slightly as mild malty sweetness follows. It’s the perfect balance of hops and malt making it easy drinking. There’s virtually no trace of alcohol to warm of the beers higher ABV.

It’s got a medium body and the mild bitter finish you expect from an IPA – not nearly as bitter as I expected.

All-in-all it’s well balanced, easy drinking, and easy to recommend.  Up next, the Hi-Res!

Resin Double IPA Specs:

  • ABV: 9.1%
  • IBU: 103
  • SRM: 9.5
  • Available in “sleek” 12oz cans packaged in 4-packs and 6-packs.
  • Best By Date located on the bottom of each can.

Why That Glass?

With a name like “Resin” I had a pretty good idea of what kind of flavors I should expect from this beer.  A tulip glass (especially one with a taller neck) serves well for showcasing a beer’s more delicate volatiles and it helps retain the kind of dense sticky head you expect from an Imperial IPA.

More About the Resin Double IPA

Sixpoint Brewery is located in Brooklyn, NY but their beers are readily available at many Central Mass liquor stores.  You’ll recognize them instantly for their cans which feature their sixpoint star logo and brightly colored metallic schemes.

The Resin Double IPA is part of their core line of beers including the Sweet Action, Bengali, and The Crisp.

Along with the Resin Double IPA, Sixpoint also brews a Triple IPA that they call Hi-Res.  The Hi-Res is part of their Cycliquids line – we’ll be reviewing that in the next couple days.


Cold Harbor Indian Summer IPA

Cold Harbor Indian Summer IPA in a Snifter
Cold Harbor Indian Summer

This juicy, or New England-style, IPA pours a murky golden yellowish-orange.  The head is a frothy off-white color composed of small to medium bubbles.

First smell is grapefruit and citrusy hops. Behind that are some hints of grain and, rather distinctly, corn kernels.

Sipping from the glass reveals bright citrusy hops with hints of orange peel and grapefruit.  As the beer warms I’m getting more of that grain / corn aroma and flavor.  It’s not overwhelming or off-putting but it’s definitely there.

This beer is thick bodied and almost pulpy with the occasional hint of some grit in the finish.  There aren’t huge pulpy particulates in it, it’s more like a thick orange juice.

Other Specs:

  • ABV: 6.5%
  • IBUs: 61
  • Available in the tap room as snifters, 32oz and 64oz growlers.
  • No brew date was easily visible in the tap room or on their site.
  • Growler consumed day of purchase.

Why That Glass?

Cold Harbor serves this beer in tulip glasses at the tap room so we decided to follow suit.  Because of the visual aspects associated with this beer I think either a seidel or a pint glass would also work well.  Both provide a good look at the beer’s thick, dense, haze and showcase it’s rather frothy head.

About this Juicy / New England Style IPA

Indian Summer is brewed by Cold Harbor Brewing Co. in Westborough, Ma.  Cold Harbor dubs this a Juicy IPA on their website but in their tap room they list it as a New England Style IPA.  Given its relative newness I believe that either of these terms applies.  I’ve also seen them referred to as Hazy IPAs, Hazy Pale Ales, and Milkshake IPAs.

Cold Harbor sells pints in their tap room along with 32 & 64 ounce growlers.  (I had a pint and brought a 32 home.)  I couldn’t find any reference to whether it was a seasonal, special or year-round offering.

Other Notes

Cold Harbor’s Indian Summer IPA is kind of serving as my introduction to this particular style.  As a result I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect.  Standing in the tap room, sipping a pint and chatting with friends I found it to be a really interesting beer.  As the smell of fresh BBQ wafted in from the food truck out in their parking lot I was quite content.

Getting home and tasting the beer in a more controlled setting I was still interested by the beer but was also slightly surprised by what I was tasting. Still an intriguing brew, but less inviting and kind of leaning towards “not my style.”

Not bad, just maybe not for me.  Of course that’s kind of how I felt the first time I drank a beer or had coffee.  Of course I’m still intrigued by this style, though, and am looking forward to finding more AND trying more of Cold Harbor’s Brews.

Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale Session Sour

Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale
SeaQuench Ale in a Tulip Glass

The SeaQuench Ale session sour pours cloudy straw yellow with thin bubbles that cling to the side of the glass. Crisp bright bubbles form a very thin head which dissipates quickly.

I’m getting a kind of candied lime aroma – bright and summery but also sweet.  This sour ale is clean bodied with a fresh mouthfeel yet only a hint of carbonation. It’s sweet and tart but with the slightest touch of saltiness and little bit of a yeasty twang.

For reasons outlined below we’re tasting using a tulip, again with a stange, and then again with a chalice.

The tulip glass brings out the beer’s sweetness a bit while the stange brings out more of the tangy sourness.  The head remains slightly longer in the stange but still ends falling to just a rim of medium sized bubbles.

In the chalice… wow… the sea salt is much more prevalent.  I didn’t really taste it in the other glasses but here its a much bigger part of the flavor profile.  A little crisp, very refreshing.  This would definitely be a great beer at a backyard fish fry or clam bake.

Dogfish Head bills this as a “session sour” I can definitely see this being the case if you’re out on the beach.  Sitting inside on a warm spring day one or two of these is likely my limit.

Other Specs:

  • ABV: 4%
  • IBUs: 10
  • Release: April – December
  • A “Born on Date” is located in the bottom corner of the label.

Why That Glass?

In their promo for this beer (below) Dogfish head calls this a hybrid beer consisting of three styles brewed in sequence: kolsch, gose, and berlinerweisse.  In recognition of their creativity we’re tasting from three glasses.  A tulip glass (common for a sour), a stange (common for a kolsch & gose) and a chalice (common for a berliner weisse.)

On the beer’s spec-site they mention a pint glass but in all honesty I think a chalice is the way to go, especially if you have one that features any kind of etching for nucleation.

More About the SeaQuench Ale Session Sour

SeaQuench Ale Session Sour is brewed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery LLC. While the beer is listed as a Session Sour Dogfish Head refers to it as being a hybrid beer.  You can see their “Quick Sip Clip” below.


New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale

Fat Tire Amber Ale in a Pint Glass
Fat Tire Amber Ale

This amber ale has a clear copper / amber body with a head of dense white bubbles.  On the nose I’m getting a very mild hop character that plays second fiddle to sweeter smells like green apple and … maybe a little graham cracker.

Fat Tire is light bodied with mild carbonation and goes down very smooth.  Light, tingly carbonation fills out the mouthfeel and tickles a bit going down.

Mostly sweet and malty with a bit of biscuit-y tartness there’s only a mild hint of hops in the finish.  This is a well balanced beer that is easily session-able.

Why That Glass?

Amber ales (and red ales) which tend to be more balanced beers with even representation of both malt and hop flavors.  These beers are usually easy to drink and, with lower ABVs, can be enjoyed in larger quantities over longer periods of time.

That points us towards two glasses: either a pint glass or a seidel.

More About this Amber Ale

Fat Tire is the flagship brew of New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Co.  Like Yeungling before it, it’s a beer that has a bit of a cult following.  It’s like Taylor Ham or Poutine in that its regional popularity makes it a kind of comfort food.

Now that distribution has reached Massachusetts I highly recommend going out and finding a six-pack or case to see what all the fuss is about.

Stone Enjoy by 02.14.17 Chocolate and Coffee IPA

Stone Enjoy by 02.14.17 Chocolate and Coffee IPA
Stone IPA in a Tulip Glass

This chocolate & coffee IPA pours dark amber with lots of particulate bits floating around.  It starts with about a half inch head that settles pretty thin.

The first thing I’m getting in the nose is a pretty basic citrus hop aroma but over time a mild hint of chocolate milk is noticeable.

First sip is a sledge hammer of black coffee flavor right to the face. Up front, strong and unmistakable. As the tasting progresses the coffee flavor gives way and a spicy, floral, hoppy flavor takes it’s place.

It’s mild bodied and not nearly as sticky as other sweeter IPAs.

At 9.4% ABV you’d expect a bit of an alcoholic bite but a bitter hoppy-ness and dry finish round out this beer’s finish.

Ultimately, I might recommend this for a mix-six addition just to give it a shot.  Not sure I’d go out of my way looking for it, though.

Why That Glass?

The last IPA we reviewed was the FAT BOY Double IPA for which we chose a nonic pint glass.  At the time I mentioned that there was a toss-up ultimately decided by how big the can was.

For this Chocolate & Coffee IPA we’re going with a tulip glass.  This is kind of my go to whenever I know a beer is going to have moderate to heavy carbonation and any sweet flavors (like chocolate.)

You could also very easily go with a snifter glass for this beer.

More About this Specialty American IPA

This beer is part of Stone Brewing Company‘s Enjoy By Series.  Chances are that this is a limited run that won’t see a future batch (totally a guess on my part here).

It’s available in six packs of 12 ounce bottles or as 20 ounce bombers.