1103-1107. Beers in Texas

I had several new beers on my trip back to Texas during December. As usual I tried to focus on Texas beers, or beers that aren't readily available in Massachusetts.

1103. Bombshell Blonde

Ward always sets aside a couple of beers for my Texas visits. This time he brought a can of Southern Star's Bombshell Blonde, and a bottle of Shiner Smokehaus.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Southern Star Brewing Co.
Alcohol: 5.00%
Serving: Can
Style: American Blonde Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.0 | Smell: 3.5 | Taste: 4.0 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 4.5

Overall: 3.95

Bombshell Blonde pours a cloudy golden, and is topped by a shiny, white head that fades to a film and leaves lace that clings to the sides of the glass. The aroma is fruity with lighter notes of toasty malts, and herbal hops.

There's a toasty, bready sweetness upfront that is constant underneath the building flavors. A mild banana fruitiness appears in the center, and moves into a a mild, grassy bitterness in the flavor. I thought this beer had a pleasing sweetness that was offset by a good depth of flavor. This blonde ale is medium to light-bodied, and has a nice crispness that's accentuated by the carbonation.

I was very pleased with this beer. It had a nice amount of flavor, and would make a great session beer.

1104. Shiner Smokehaus

This was another beer that Ward brought to Waco for me to try.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Spoetzl Brewery
Alcohol: 4.89%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Smoked Beer, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 3.0 | Smell: 3.5 | Taste: 3.5 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 3.45

Smokehaus pours a crystal clear golden, and is topped by a short-lived, bright white head. The aroma has a mild, malt sweetness, a slight grassiness, and a mild, mild smokiness.

There's an initial, crisp maltiness that moves into a slight, fruity sweetness in the center. The finish has a mild smokiness and an herbal grassiness. This beer is crisp, light-bodied, and has a good dose of carbonation.

The smokiness is fairly mild, making this surprisingly drinkable for a smoked beer.

1105. Buried Hatchet Stout

Win, Ward and I spent a bit of time at The Dancing Bear, which is still Waco's best beer bar.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Southern Star Brewing Co.
Alcohol: 8.50%
Serving: Tap
Style: Foreign / Export Stout, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.0 | Smell: 4.0 | Taste: 4.5 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 4.15

This beer pours a cloudy brown up to the light, but sitting in the glass it's an opaque black. It's topped by a fluffy, brown head that fades to a film, leaving good lace. The aroma is roasty with mild, coffee notes, sweet chocolate, and dark fruit.

There's a strong, roasted bitter undercurrent just underneath the surface. The sweetness is very mild, really only making an appearance in the center with notes of dark fruit. The finish has a mix of chocolate and coffee that's intensely bitter. This stout is full-bodied and moderately carbonated.

This is an excellent stout. It has an intense bitterness, so it's not as much of a sessioner as many others.

1106. Hopsickle

This was another beer at The Dancing Bear.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Moylan's Brewery
Alcohol: 9.20%
Serving: Tap
Style: American Double IPA, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.0 | Smell: 4.5 | Taste: 4.5 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 3.0

Overall: 4.2

Hopsickle pours a cloudy copper color. It's topped by a creamy, off-white head that retains well, and leaves good lace. The aroma is intensely hoppy with notes of citrus, juicy fruit, apricots, a bit of pine, and slight, bready malts.

Sweet notes of caramel and raw sugar upfront are quickly met by a strong, hop bitterness in the center, which moves into a resiny finish that leaves a lingering bitterness. This Double IPA is medium-bodied, oily, and has a nice, prickly carbonation.

The hop aromas, bitterness, and flavors in this beer are insane.

1107. Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #9

The Divine Reserve series is Saint Arnold's limited release line of beers. Their #9 is an Imperial Pumpkin stout. These disappeared quickly in Houston, but the HEB in Woodway had several cases. I bought a six-pack. Ward bought two cases.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Alcohol: 11.0%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: American Double Stout

Appearance: 4.5 | Smell: 4.0 | Taste: 4.0 | Mouthfeel: 4.0| Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 4.05

Divine Reserve #9 pours an opaque black. The carbonation sounds oda-like upon pouring. The head is light brown, retains well, and is fed by a nice stream of bubbles. Pumpkin pie spice aromas are immediately noticeable with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. The effect of the malts and spices give an impression of ginger bread. There are mild, roasty undertones.

A mild roastiness opens up into a spicy center with notes of cinnamon and ginger. The roasty flavors come back in the finish, along with a warming, alcoholic spice. The sweetness is strong, so there's only a hint of lingering bitterness. This stout is full-bodied, with moderate carbonation

This beer is a sipper. It's alcoholic and spicy.

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