1248. Bumper Crop IPA


Jadyn and I had dinner and beers at the CBC on October 28th. They had a new IPA that decided to give a try.
An overabundance of hops here at CBC has permitted your local brewers to go a bit hop-wild! Hops are at their best when fresh, so all their myriad flavors and aromas come through in your beer. But, our Brewmaster over-bought for the year, and now we’re forced to brew IPA after IPA. Terrible news, right? Expect to see a rotating IPA on tap almost full-time until Will has finished his penance. Bumper Crop IPA was brewed with Pilsner malts and a variety of hops including: Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo, and new-hop-on-the-block Citra. An outstanding citrusy aroma and flavor dominate this beer, while clean malt character provides a modicum of balance through the finish. Cheers!
Beer Stats:  
Brewery: Cambridge Brewing Company
Alcohol: 6.80%
Serving: Tap
Style: American IPA, BJCP Style Guide

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

Overall:  4.05

Bumper Crop IPA pours a lightly hazed, bright, copper color. It's topped by an off-white head that fades to a film. The aroma is bright and hoppy with notes of resin and citrus. There's also an undercurrent of grainy malts.

Toasty malts upfront provide just enough balance to the hops without detracting from them. Resiny, grassy, and citric hops  appear in the center and move into a strongly bitter finish. The beer is light and crisp on the palate with carbonation that provides a good bite.

This is a nice hoppy IPA.


1247. Pere Jacques


Bennett had given me several bottles of beer at my defense celebration. This one had been in my fridge sine then, and Jadyn and I split it with dinner on October 24th.

Beer Stats:  
Brewery: Goose Island
Year: 2009

Alcohol: 8.00%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Dubbel, BJCP Style Guide

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

Overall:  3.65

Pere Jacques pours a cloudy brown, and is topped by a creamy, light-brown head that fades to a sudsy film. The aroma is clean with notes of dates, figs, and a mild hint of alcohol.

Mildly sweet malts upfront have notes of bread and chocolate, which move into a sweet center with notes of dark fruit. The finish has powdery yeast notes, spicy alcohol, and a moderate bitterness. This beer is crisp, and surprisingly light-bodied for a dubbel.

Overall I thought this was a decent Dubbel, but seemed somewhat subdued compared to many others.


1246. February 27th, 1832 Mild Ale


I've had this beer in the fridge for awhile, and I decided it was finally time to try it.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project 
Alcohol: 10.50%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: English Strong Ale

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

Overall: 3.75

This beer is the first in Pretty Things' "Once Upon a Time..." series, in which they brew beers according to very old recipes.  Despite the fact hat this beer was labeled as a Mild Ale, the alcohol content certainly indicates that it's not a mild in the sense that we think of today.

This beer pours a lightly hazed, amber-copper color. It's topped by a fluffy and creamy, beige head that leaves sticky lace. The aroma has malty notes of bread, caramel, and toast. There's a bit of fruitiness in the center, almost a banana flavor. The fish has a peppery spiciness from the alcohol, and a good dose of bitterness. This beer is medium-bodied, and moderately carbonated, but has a light, crisp finish.

This beer is definitely not mild, but it's a decent strong ale that's pretty malty, but not overly so.


1245. Flower Power IPA


Jadyn and I had dinner at Cambridge Common on October 20th.  I had a couple pints of Ithaca's awesome Flower Power IPA.

Beer Stats:  
Brewery: Ithaca Beer Company
Alcohol: 7.50%
Serving: Tap
Style: American IPA, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.5 | Smell: 5.0 | Taste: 4.5 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability:  4.5

Overall: 4.55

Sometimes you have an IPA that reminds you how wonderful hops are, and how a lot of IPAs have hop bitterness, but sacrifice hop flavors. Ithaca's Flower Power IPA captures the essence of hops.

It pours a very nice, hazed, orange-copper color, and is topped by a thick, creamy, off-white head that fades, leaving the side of the glass coated with lace.  The aroma is intensely hoppy. There are floral and citric notes, as well as a pungent, resiny bite. This really smells like sticking your nose in a bag of hops.  Swirling the beer brings out the malts, which are predominantly bready and biscuity.

There's a mild malty sweetness upfront that's bready and sugary. The hops begin to assert themselves in the center, first with favors of citrus and grass, and then a strong resiny bitterness appears in the finish. The hops oils are evident on the palate, but are balanced by the crisp carbonation.

Overall I thought that this was a fantastic IPA.  It really showcased both the hops bitterness and flavors.


1244. Penumbral IPA

1244. Penumbral IPA


Jadyn and I had dinner at the CBC on October 13th. I passed up pumpkin beers to try this one. From the website:

CBC inaugurates it’s new Tabula Rasa specialty beer series with Penumbral I.P.A., an almost black Belgian India Pale Ale. The Tabula Rasa (blank slate) series will celebrate outside-the-box creative brewing as informed by ancient history, poetry, philosophy, conceptual art, and rock ‘n’ roll music. Releases will be irregular but inspired.
A penumbra is a partial shadow, as in an eclipse, between regions of complete shadow and complete illumination. Penumbral I.P.A.’s depth of color sends you into the shadows only to be illuminated by bright floral hop notes in the nose and on the palate, balanced by spice and earth notes from our house Belgian yeast. Some of you may find yourselves confused by the apparent contradictions of this beer. Belgian brewers had made nearly black beers for centuries, but they’re not known for super hoppy brews and only recently have “Belgian stouts” appeared. Leave it to American craft brewing ingenuity to combine Belgian character with an I.P.A., and then paint it black.
Amarillo and Glacier hops provide fruit and floral notes while a backbone of Belgian pale and aromatic malted barley is augmented by German CaraFa, a specialty malt which provides color without excessive roastiness. Blend in a little Belgian funkiness and your palate will plunge into the shadows of this dark-but-brilliant beer.

Beer Stats:  
Brewery: Cambridge Brewing Company

Alcohol: 6.8%
Serving: Tap
Style: Belgian IPA

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

Overall: 3.9

Penumbral IPA pours a cloudy, dark brown that almost looks black. It's topped by a creamy, light-brown head that fades quickly, but leaves good lace. The aroma is surprisingly malty. There are strong notes of caramel and chocolate, notes of roasted grains, and grassy hops.

A caramel malty sweetness upfront is undercut by the roasted malt flavors in the backbone. The sweetness mellows towards the center with a roasted dryness appearing. The finish is roasted malts and a mild, hoppy bitterness. This beer is crisp with a mild dryness in the finish.

Having not seen the description of the beer, this is not what I was expecting. I thought it was a pretty interesting take on a Belgian IPA.