2016 was the year that I made a conscious effort to sample beers outside of my typical rotation of Harpoon’s IPA & Sam Adam’s seasonal offerings. Other than the occasional stout, I would rarely gravitate towards unique styles or beers from breweries I was unfamiliar with. Not to be over dramatic, but it’s a whole new world now in terms of expanding my palette and pursuing beers I would have stray from in the past. I discovered my new favorite style the double IPA, as well as discovering several local quality breweries such as Trillium Brewing Company, Hopsters, and Night Shift Brewing.
As everyone loves lists I have compiled a number of reviews I wrote over the last year of some of my favorite beers. I am always looking for recommendations, so any and all would be much appreciated.
Double Indian pale ales are quickly becoming some of my favorite beers, and The 87 from our local friends at Night Shift Brewing, is a fantastic example of why. Pouring a hazy amber body, The 87 has a medium, high hop body with notes of citrus, grapefruit, pine, and slight toasted caramel malt. Despite it’s high alcohol content, its aftertaste wasn’t nearly as biter as I expected it to be. Another local home run.
Trillium Brewing Companies Fort Point Pale Ale is second to none with it’s hoppy base infused with citrus fruity hints of apricot, pineapple, and a distinctively smooth, piney dry finish. Before even raising the glass, Fort Points pungent citrus fruit aroma enthralls the drinkers nostrils. Despite it’s strong fruity flavors it’s not an overly sweet beer, which is a testament to its pale ale backbone and its superior non bitter drinkability. I consider it to be one of the best “standard daily-drinker” beers I have had the pleasure of drinking, and would recommend to even the most casual of beer enthusiasts.
Easily my favorite Fall beer of the year, Roadsmary’s Baby is a near perfect pumpkin ale. Roadsmary’s Baby is a medium bodied pumpkin ale with heavy notes of vanilla and seasonal spices with a pleasant dry finish. It has a slight bite that is indicative of the beer being aged in rum barrels, which gives it a nice , warming finish. By and large it stands out from the number of other pumpkin ales I have had so far this year.
Despite it’s mysterious name, Jack’s Abbeys Smoke & Dagger Black Lagger is an excellent medium bodied dark lagger. Pouring a thick creamy body, with aromas of bread and a smokey dark chocolate, it has the consistency of a smokey chocolate milkshake. With hints of chocolate, wheat, oatmeal, coffee and slight smokey after taste, this is very smooth and drinkable black lagger. I wish the smokiness was a tad more prominent, but this is a new favorite for sure.
Hands down my favorite stout. Pouring a deep black, with a decent clingy head, that despite its appearance is a surprisingly airy stout. Smooth and creamy, with heavy notes of malt, sweet chocolate, vanilla, heavy cream, and dark roasted coffee. Despite this being one of the sweeter stouts I have had, it’s sweetness isn’t overpowering, so you’ll savor every sip. This is an incredibly approachable beer for those looking to explore new styles of beer, even for those who already enjoy rich stouts.
Despite its pitch black body, this is one of the creamiest, richest, and silky smooth coffee infused porters I have had. The consistency and mouthfeel of this beer is almost that of a milkshake, while not overpoweringly sweet. Strong notes and aromas of dark-roast coffee, chocolate, toasted malts , and a slight nuttiness. Despite it’s robust and strong flavor, this doesn’t compromise it’s drinkability.