Captain Lawrence IPA

Posted in IPA with tags , on September 15, 2013 by Steve

IPA – Captain Lawrence Brewing – Elmsford, NY – 6.5% ABVcaptain_lawrence_ipa

“…full sensory assault on your taste buds” – smells like a Christmas tree, I’m guessing from the dry hopping but what do I know (Bart, fill me in on this shit). This is phenomenal stuff. Don’t let the smell throw you off. No harsh bitter aftertaste, goes down surprisingly smooth, and I could drink this all day long. I really don’t know if a beginner IPA drinker should start with this. It doesn’t have that bite  that most people who don’t like IPAs hate.

I don’t know. I’m sitting here trying to find something wrong with it, but I can’t. This very well could take the spot as one of my favorite IPAs. As more of a pale ale fan, I’m not a HUGE fan of IPAs, but I do enjoy the good ones, and this is good. Pardon me, I have a glass to finish…

Final Rating – 4.5 Pints (4.5 Pints)

Great Divide Brewing – Titan IPA

Posted in IPA with tags , , , , on September 8, 2013 by Steve

Titan IPA – Brewed by Great Divide Brewing out of Denver, CO. – 7.1% abvgreat_divide_titan_ipa

Well first, it’s good to be back. I know we’ve let this fall to the wayside before, so we’ll try an be better about it. Busy lives, etc etc, same ol’ excuse. And before everything else…WELCOME BACK NFL!!

Now, Great Divide Brewing describes this brew as “aggressively hopped…brewed for hop disciples” as well as “assertive and aromatic”. They are dead on. For a comparison, if this were brewed by Dogfish Head, it would be their 100 Minute IPA. Yes, I know it doesn’t exist. What I mean is it tastes a bit stronger then the 90 Minute IPA, but not quite as strong as the 120 Minute IPA.

Has a real malty finish on it which I think helps with the hoppiness/bite. This definitely is for the more experienced IPS drinker, or, the “hop disciples”. Seriously, if you’ve never had an IPA before, don’t start with this. You’ll never want to drink an IPA again.

On that note, about halfway through, it starts to mellow out and become quite tasty. It’s probably from all that malt coating your mouth. Regardless, I enjoy it and would definitely drink it again. If you’re an IPA fan, try it.

2007 European Beer Star, Nuremberg, Silver Medal, IPA
2007 Australian International Beer Awards, Silver Medal, IPA
2008 Australian International Beer Awards, Silver Medal, IPA

Final Rating: 4pint(4 Pints)

Birra Moretti; Heineken International.

Posted in Lager with tags , , , , on August 11, 2013 by bizzlepop

Stepping a bit out of my comfort zone tonight, I am about to dive head first into an ice cold Birra Moretti. I picked up this little bundle of joy at my local Italian deli. After noticing a new sign out front advertising their revamped beer selection, I went in to browse the new cooler of single bottles. Looking specifically for something Italian so I could broaden my horizons and bring something different to the table here in our blog. So, without further ado, cue the history lesson. Originating in 1859 in Italy, this “premium” lager is now owned and brewed by Heineken International. As soon as I opened it, the first thing I thought was that it smelled exactly like Heineken. I immediately proceeded to research the brand and boom, to my lack of surprise it is in fact a Heineken product.
Now, here’s a little fact about myself: my favorite beer type is Pale, my second favorite is an IPA, and my third is anything else with a good hop character. These skunky smelling “premium” euro beers (now that’s twice I put quotes around their idea of a premium beer) rarely tickle my fancy, however, it is my duty to taste, attempt to appreciate, and relay my thoughts to the reader no matter what the beer is.
So here we go. My first few sips are very refreshing and incredibly smooth. The aroma was a lot of skunk, but thank God it didn’t transfer to the palate. No skunk at all to the taste, and even a bit of pleasantry at the end. I can’t figure out what is, it’s kind of fruity, but not fruity. Maybe a tad sweet? Eh kinda, but not really. The best way to describe it is that I can’t describe it. It’s almost like eating the white Air Heads candy. So good but you couldn’t figure out for the life of you what the hell the MYSTERY flavor was, no matter how many you bought during your childhood summer camp years.
Unfortunately, reading that last paragraph is 15 seconds of your life you’ll never get back. So indecisive, yet, so oddly direct. My self-appointed and unpaid “job” is to inform my friends and small amount of the general public that actually takes the time to read our jibber jabber here at Beersighted of what to drink and what not to drink. This is one to drink. It’s not really for the hopheads, but more for anyone looking for a nice, light (4.6% abv) beer for a hot summer day. I can say with full confidence that I will be buying more of this premium European lager, and I suggest you give it a shot (no more ” “, now that’s growth!). -BW

Final Rating – 3 1/2 pints


Shock Top Lemon Shandy, Shock Top Brewing Company

Posted in Wheat with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2013 by bizzlepop

Well, how about that heat wave huh? It seems to be cooling down a bit now so it’s actually enjoyable to sit out on the patio. Tonight’s offering, Shock Top’s version of a shandy. For those who don’t know, a shandy is traditional European wheat beer mixed or brewed with lemonade. The story of its inception starts with a local pub owner and a hot summers afternoon bicycle race. When the pub filled up with thirsty post racers, the owner realized his beer stash wasn’t going to hold up, so he cut it with some ice cold lemonade, and the rest is history.
Now I fancy myself quite the shandy drinker. I’ve enjoyed probably a dozen or so different breweries attempts, and the Shock Top one is definitely near the top of the list. Weighing in at 4.2% abv, it is very smooth and refreshing, and just enough sweetness to keep it in my regular summer rotation. It’s not so sweet that it bothers your stomach after 3 or 4, combined with a nice wheat taste up front, this is a great beer for any level of beer drinker. At the end of the day, this is a great beer that just keeps you coming back for more all summer long. Cheers! -BW

Final rating – 3 1/2 Pints


Cream Ale, Newburgh Brewing Company

Posted in Ale with tags , , on October 5, 2012 by bizzlepop

Finally, a long overdue tribute to my hometown brewery. Since I started contributing to Beersighted a few months ago, I have been planning on writing this review. It’s not that the beer isn’t good, or that I don’t want to promote the newest member of the Hudson Valley craft beer scene, I think it’s just because I’ve been lazy. I’d rather throw back a few pints of Newburgh at their gorgeous 4th floor taproom overlooking the river than to get a growler and sit in my living room typing this up. Bring my laptop there maybe? No way. They’ve got indoor cornhole and ping pong. Wednesday night is trivia night, and on the weekends they have live music. Who can concentrate on work when theres so much to do to entertain yourself? Not me, that’s for sure!

Wait, there’s a brewery in Newburgh? That is correct. The brewery first started distributing April 19, 2012, and opened their taproom a few months later. If you’ve never visited, I strongly suggest you change that very soon. They offer several choices including cream, brown, bitter English, smoked porter, IPA, saison, gose, and recently created strong Belgian (10.2% abv, yikes!!). With the exception of the IPA (7.1% abv) and the Belgian, all of their beers come in between 3.4% abv and 4.2% abv. Why such a low abv you might ask? Well, Newburgh prides their creations on being “sessionable”. This meaning you can enjoy multiple pints without going over the edge. Low abv, still big taste. Now, on to the beer…

Tonight, I have sitting before me, a nice frosty pint (or 2) of Newburgh Cream Ale. Weighing it at 4.2% abv, this is ridiculously flavorful for such a light beer. It has a slightly bitter start that leads into a smooth, and as the name suggests, creamy finish. There is nothing fancy here. No fruity aromas or aftertastes, minimal hoppiness. This is just a clean tasting, hard to put down beverage. Newburgh’s brewmaster Christopher Basso, in a recent interview with “The Session Beer Project” blog clearly described what his visions are. (Keep in mind this is my paraphrasing) He was sick of beers having to be super high in abv and include rare, random, and multiple flavors and additives to be considered a high-end craft beer. In his time brewing for Brooklyn Brewery, he always thought you could brew a simple, low abv session beer and put it on a pedestal. And did he ever hit the mark with this one. The beer is simple. It includes mostly locally grown ingredients. It’s delicious. What more could you ask for?

Final Rating –  (4 Pints)

Ommegang Three Philosophers

Posted in Ale, Strong Ale with tags , , , , on September 21, 2012 by Steve

Ommegang Three Philosophers – Brewed by Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. – 9.8% abv

Let me preface this review by saying, I love Ommegang. I’ve only had a handful of brews by them (look for a review of their amazing Rare Vos next week) and they’ve all been great. Until now… (I can already hear the beer snobs at Beer Advocate digging for their pitchforks now)

Three Philosophers is a “unique blend of a Belgian-style strong dark ale and Liefmans Kriek, an authentic cherry ale from Belgium.” It’s described as being 98% ale, 2% ale with cherries. Naturally, I purchased the bottle based on the reputation of Ommegang, the other brews by them I’ve enjoyed, and all the good things I’ve heard about Three Philosophers. It’s cherries for gods sake, who doesn’t like cherries?!

Well, I can honestly say I can’t remember the last time I cringed at the first taste of a beer. I can also honestly say, I can’t remember that last time I couldn’t force myself to muscle down the rest of it. I got to about half a glass before I tapped out. It’s something about the taste. It reminds me of the Dogfish Head 120 min IPA, with it’s real strong alcohol taste, but 120 min IPA is closing in at 20% alcohol for god’s sake, not 9.8. You expect it with the DFH 120 min. I’ve had PLENTY of beers around the 9-10% range that don’t give you that pure alcohol taste. Maybe my man card isn’t up to snuff, but I like to enjoy my beers, and my palate just wasn’t ready for this one.

Please though, don’t take my word for it. Give it a try. Despite them being beer snobs, they are pretty knowledgeable, and Beer Advocate currently has this as one of the top rated beers there. Maybe you’ll enjoy it, plenty of people do! For me, though, thank goodness I had a bottle of Rare Vos on hand to help fix my thirstiness.

Ommegang, if you read this, I still love you. Your Rare Vos and Witte are delicious!

Final Rating – (1 Pint)

Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut Down Ale

Posted in Ale, American Ale, Imperial Ale with tags , , , , , , , on September 11, 2012 by Steve

Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut Down Ale – Brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company out of Petaluma, CA – 9.8% abv

First, lets give a little back-story. This beer was brewed by Lagunitas in remembrance of the “2005 St Patrick’s Day Massacre”. Massacre you say?! Nope, calm down. As it turns out, in 2005, Lagunitas was having one of their regular Thursday night tastings when a “good samaritan” (read: asshole) spotted someone outside the brewery enjoying a little reefer (medical marijuana was/is “legal” and the stuff accounts for a major % of the economy in that area) and called the cops. For the following 8 weeks, the police conducted an investigation into the brewery, thinking they were selling weed out of it, sending undercover cops in there on Thursdays trying to score some pot.  Many offered it to them for free, but nobody ever tried to make a sale. Needless to say, it failed, cops got pissed, and on St. Patrick’s Day arrested a few people on some minor pot possession charges (later dropped). They then suspended Lagunitas’ alcohol license for 20 days.

“We brewed this especially bitter ale in dedication to all the world’s would-be astronauts, in remembrance of the 2005 St. Patrick’s Day Massacre on the Brewery Party Grounds and also in joyous celebration of our 20-day suspension that following January. Do the crime. Do the time. Get the bragging rights. Cheers.” – Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale label

So now onto the beer. The brew itself is pretty freaking good. Not as bitter as I was expecting. Definitely has that hoppy taste but no real aftertaste or bitterness one would find in an IPA or other ales. To be fair, this isn’t an IPA but you never know with Lagunitas. Very good ale right from the start. It’s self described an “oxymoronic imperial mild ale”. It makes sense. It has those tastes one wouldn’t expect from an imperial or IPA but right no bite.

Has a nice red color, some hints of caramel and toffee right before you get that warmth from the alcohol itself (it is 9.8% after all). A couple swigs and I can feel a slight buzz already. This brew is actually considered an American Strong Ale, or an Imperial Red Ale. Halfway through, it starts to get even tastier. Maybe I’m just thirsty but its starting to go down quicker. For the amount of alcohol, it  isn’t overbeating either which is nice.

I love Lagunitas. I’ve had multiple offerings from them and they are generally on top of the game. This beer doesn’t wow me, but it’s another solid offering from a brewery that just can’t help but create delicious beers.

Final Rating – (4 Pints)