Victory Summer Love

Victory Summer Love is a 5.2 ABV blonde ale with a hazy gold appearance and sweet, lemongrass and zest nose.  The sweetness and lemon is clear on the palate along with a grainy, grassy bit of funk from the German malts.  I also appreciate the hoppyness on the back end.  Mouthfeel and carbonation levels are average with more creaminess as it warms.  It’s not a bad blonde ale or summer beer at all even if nothing here is truly inspiring.

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Firestone Walker Wookey Jack

Firestone Walker Wookey Jack is an unfiltered 8.3 ABV, 80 IBU black rye IPA.  Appearance is almost black with a nice head and the nose spice and rye.  The palate is mellow sweetness finishing bitter and spicy.  The rye is the strongest flavor along with roasted malt, citrus zest and herbal hop.  The carbonation isn’t aggressive but high enough to really bounce around those flavors.  Fantastic, a must try from a great brewery.

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Breckenridge Lucky U IPA

Breckenridge Lucky U is a 6.2 ABV 68 IBU AIPA.  The appearance is orange and the nose malt and pineapple hop.  The flavor is sweet malt turning into bitter citrus, pineapple hop.  The hop package includes amarillo, magnum, perle, cascade, apollo, fuggle and goldings.  It’s a solid AIPA but the category is so oversoaked you have to be really outstanding to stand out.

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Sixpoint Brownstone

Sixpoint Brownstone is a 6 ABV 45 IBU American Brown.  The appearance is mahogany and the nose nutty, cocoa and caramel malts with fresh hops.  Those flavors are present on the palate along with some roasted characteristics, coffee grounds, and finishing with a dry bitter hop.  This is just a really well crafted beer and the carbonation level is perfect to bounce around all those flavors.  The relatively low ABV encourages you to try out a few so you can fully appreciate the layers of flavor.  I’ll be sure to find this again and you should to.

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Spaten Optimator

Spaten Optimator is a 7.6 ABV doppelback, or double bock and from the Spaten Franziskaner Brau in Germany.  The appearance is a dark reddish brown and the nose prune and other dark fruit.  The palate is mostly those dark fruit malts including prune, raisin, and maybe some plum.  The mouthfeel overall is a bit thick because of a lower carbonation and it finishes smooth dry and sweet with a burnt sugar.  A solid import from SFB, I always enjoy Franz and Spaten when I get it.

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Uinta Baba Black Lager

Uinta Baba Black Lager is a 4 ABV 32 IBU Schwarzbier.  The appearance is cola brown and the nose roasted caramel sweet.  The flavor has those roasted coffee and chocolate malt notes you’d expect with some sweet toffee and caramel.  The finish has just a bit of a stickiness.  Baba is very mild, not surprising given the low abv.  You could drink a few of these without it getting very heavy so it’s nice to have a sessionable dark lager.  This is also a certified organic beer.

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Magic Hat Hocus Pocus

Magic Hat Hocus Pocus is a 4.5 ABV 13 IBU American Pale Wheat.  The appearance is bubbly orange and the nose grainy with light lemon.  The taste fairs much the same, mostly wheat grain with lemon citrus undertones.  The finish is a quick and easy bitterness without a very long aftertaste.  It’s a nice summer seasonal and very sessionable, especially given the low ABV.  I’m seeing a lot of light and crisp wheats as the summer starts and while this one doesn’t stand out it drinks just fine.

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Kona Longboard Island Lager

Kona Longboard Island (American Pale) Lager is 4.6 ABV with a light and bubbly appearance and biscuit cereal grain nose.  The flavor has those biscuit grass and grain notes finishing with a quick spicy bitter finish.  This is a decent little lager, all those notes balance out nicely giving to a more complex palate than one might expect at first.  The mouthfeel is crisp but has a creaminess as well.  This has all day summer session drinking all over it.  Huli Pau!

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Ommegang Art of Darkness

Ommegang Art of Darkness is a Belgian Strong Dark, 8.9 ABV and pours a deep dark brown with a dark fruit nose. The flavor hits you with dark and tart fruit  immediately; mosty cherry and raisin.  A subtle licorice note is present throughout the palate.  The abv comes through with a warm booziness on the finish. This is brewed only with barley, wheat, oats, and Ommegang’s proprietary yeast, no other flavorings or spices. This is a big compliment to and showcase of Ommegang brewing.  Courtesy of Tbone.

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