Posts Tagged ‘American IPA


Beer Reviews: Sweetwater Happy Ending, Terrapin Hopsecutioner, North Coast Old Rasputin

I let some of my beer reviews ‘pile up’ and though I’d do a quick dump of them here. These were taken from my BeerAdvocate where I do most of my reviews. The ones here are supposed to be more pictorial in nature, need to get on that… As a side note, Terrapin is another company that is being played around with by a Macro with MillerCoors owning a minority share in the brewery.

SweetWater Happy Ending, American Imperial Stout

22oz bomber (wax top!) into New Belgium snifter, 2012 batch
Appearance is an almost black color with a brown head. Leaves a strong brown and creamy lacing. Smell is lightly roasted malt and lots of bright, citrusy hops. Taste is some nice mellow roasted malt (some coffee, some vanilla) riding on top of a dark hoppy wave. Hops are citrusy, lemon and grapefruit, has some of that almost metallic RIS tone and medium alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is full body and extremely creamy, all together a very pleasant and soft mouthfeel.
O: This one surprised me with its hoppiness given the RIS branding. It manages to stay out of Black IPA territory with its creamy mouthfeel is heavy body. Altogether a substantial beer with lots of hops that keep it from being oppressive.

Rating: A-

Terrapin Hopsecutioner, American IPA

on-tap in tumbler at Flying Saucer in Raleigh

Appearance is a clear amber with next to no head, more of a skim really. Some lacing in the beginning. Smell is lots of hops, as to be expected, that are mostly citrusy: a tendency towards grapefruit. Taste is hoppy with the grapefruit tones dominant and a hint of pineapple. The surprise in the taste is that there is a actually a ton of malt (caramel?) presence in this beer, maybe too much? Mouthfeel is somewhat heavy for the style with medium-low carbonation and lots of hop oils.
O:This is quite similar to Bell’s Two Hearted in profile, but not as good. A good IPA but not a great one, the malt sorta weirded me out.

Rating: B

North Coast Old Rasputin, Russian Imperial Stout

on-tap (nitro) in tumbler at Flying Saucer Raleigh

Pours a beautiful three layers: a black bottom, a black/brown middle where the nitro effect is on full display with large round bubbles cascading downwards, and a creamy tan head that leaves extremely strong speckled creamy lace. Wow. Smell is a good amount of roasted malt: some dark chocolate, cream, hints of coffee. Taste has lots of the Russian Imperial Stout metallic sharpness and a big warming alcohol presence. Good amount of roast malt, coffee, in the taste with some nice liquorice. As it warms the liquorice really comes out and complements to beer nicely. Mouthfeel is ├╝ber creamy and quite low carb.

O:This is the prettiest beer I have ever seen and definitely the best RIS I have had a chance to drink. In the dark world I think I prefer Founder’s Breakfast Stout, but when compared to Old Rasputin, Breakfast Stout’s coffee, oatmeal, and chocolate almost come off as gimmicky. Old Rasputin is a legend and must have.

Rating: A+


21st Amendment Brewery, Brew Free! or Die IPA

So tonight I cracked open the last of the awesomely named Brew Free! or Die IPAs I had in the fridge. They were picked up at Sam’s Quik Shop in Durham about a month ago. (Side note: if you like beer and live in Central NC you owe it to yourself to go and visit). The can features some sweet artwork that features Lincoln busting out of Mt. Rushmore to, I can only assume, grab a brew. Canned on 11/14/11, 7% abv, “IPA with a solid malt backbone & hoppy flavor.” Looks like we can expect a malt forward IPA which should be a nice change from the light and uber-hoppy IPAs I’ve had of late.

The beer pours a clear amber/copper with a nice white head. Lookin’ good so far. The smell is surprisingly malty for an IPA with some nice biscuity/bready tones. At the end of the nose, some earthy pine-like tones emerge from the hops. Taste is deliciously hoppy and bitter with the mellowing malt coming in midway to chill things out. Hops are mainly citrusy with grapefruit tones. I’m really digging the maltiness of this (caramel) which almost leans it towards an English Style IPA but the hops bring it back across the pond. Ends with the nice clean IPA bitterness I’ve come to expect. After a few sips there is some very strong lacing coming from the ring that has replaced the head. Mouthfeel is medium weight with a certain hop oil presence and a mild alcohol presence.

Pic taken on so's Macbook, please excuse image quality

So, this is the only IPA I’ve had in a can, although the super-pale-ale that is Dale’s Pale Ale comes close. It’s still somewhat unusual to see craft beer in a can though this is changing, especially now that Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are rolling out beer in cans. This is an excellent IPA that stands out from the crowd with its DIPA strength malt, definitely something I’d pick up again. Only downside I can find is that the hops are a bit one dimensional.

Rating: A-


May 2018
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