Been too long

First off, I’m sorry to have been away from this for three years. I could make up some bullshit excuse, but honestly, I just grew tired of it. Life has started to even out a little lately, so I’m going to give this another try. Instead of trying to force myself into multiple posts a week like most blogs, I have decided to try to maintain a once a week update, but fully knowing that’s not going to happen and not beating myself up over it. 

I’m happy to announce my new endeavor, Sunday Suds. In this reinvented blog, I’m going to take part of my Sunday, when I have the free time, to sit back, relax, and review a brew. Really take my time and enjoy every sip. I realized that over the last few years, I was drinking beer as a way to unwind after the workday, and wasn’t actually tasting the beer. I think that at least a few Sundays a month if I can just focus on the beer I’ll be able to better enjoy my weekday drinks as well. So, for better or worse, here we go!
Sunday Suds #1. January 20, 2019. 

As you may recall, one of my favorite ways to buy beer is because I like the name or the packaging art. For SS1, the name won me over. Scottie’s IPA. For a period of my youth, I was known as Scottie (or Scotty, I was a never really sure how people thought to spell it), and while that’s gone, one or two people still call me that on occasion. It may be from a bygone era, but I still embrace the nickname when I have to. But enough about my past.

Moat Mountain Brewing Co., in the Mount Washingotn Valley town of North Conway, NH recently brought this one to market. They report that this is the brewer’s favorite recipe that, over the past eight years, has been honed to balance American and Australian hops. I think they’ve done a fantastic job. This isn’t a very strong smelling beer, giving off only a slight grapefruit accented pine nose. The first sip really opens things up, though. The pine gives way to a pleasant and mild green melon flavor and a slight effervescence that reminds me of the newest wave of haute-couture IPAs, the Brut IPA. (Writer’s note – I’m still on the fence about those). 

After a few minutes to warm up from my slightly-too-cold beer fridge, the melon yields to a pleasant hop resin mouthfeel. It’s the right amount. Sometimes the resin sort of sticks to your palate and it dictates the entire beer. This rolls around a little then wears off, allowing the other flavors to be experienced as well. Moat reports this brew to be only 45IBU, but it comes off feeling more like a 65-70. I’ll openly admit that I understand IBU as far as being a 0-100+ scale, but I have no clue how they measure or rate or whatever. I just base my feelings off of other 40-50IBU beers that seem less bitter than this. If anybody out there in interwebsland can enlighten me, I’d be happy to learn something new. 

Further into this beer, the flavor is still evolving, with mild lemon and grapefruit coming to the forefront while leaving the melon behind. As the temp comes up more, the resin subsides slightly, leaving a lemon-y tang with the pine. Overall, Scottie’s IPA is an amazing and eclectic beer that deserves any and all praise it receives. The flavor has evolved drastically, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this latest offering from Moat Mountain. 

I would 100% recommend Scottie’s IPA to anyone looking for a solid IPA that really shows what the style can offer.

<>BM
P.S. WineyWoman just handed me a Vermont Maple Puffed Corn, uh, thing, and it really complemented this beer!

Long Trail Brewing – Limbo IPA

Spoiler Alert — I know at the start we stated that this blog was going to be for the Average Joe, with no snobbery. I’m breaking that rule on this one.
Limbo IPA is a special new brew from Long Trail. They’ve used a “new variety” of hops, coming from Australia and the Pacific Northwest. Why. Why are they importing hops from across the country and half way around the world??? They’re ruining their “small-town brewery” image here. They could have found a local variety of hops, grown in the northeast, that is comparable to whatever they’re using from around the world (they conveniently don’t mention what “new varieties” they’re using). Many, no, most, of the other breweries I’ve been enjoying lately are clearly proud to let their customers know what hops they’ve used in their beers, but Long Trail is being secretive for some reason.

The beer isn’t bad, despite what my above diatribe may have indicated. There’s a quite strong nose of orange, with a little hint of herbs, too. The first sip offers up a nice hoppy fizziness on the tongue, followed by a slight bitterness. It’s not so bitter that you pucker up and reconsider what you’ve gotten yourself into, however. The overall mouthfeel is smooth with a slight bite from the new “mystery” hops. I did like it, but I’m just disappointed that they couldn’t be bothered to use local ingredients. I’d have to say with this gaff, Long Trail has now graduated from micro-brewery to craft brewer; and I’m sad to see this happen.

<>Beer Man

White Birch Brewing – Double IPA

Awesome. Despite being a double IPA, it’s really smooth. I was expecting a somewhat harsh brew, but this is well balanced. There’s a big wallop of hops right on the nose, and where a typical heavy IPA hits you with bitterness, this doesn’t. It’s more of a sweet bitter, if that makes sense. There are a bunch of flavors going on – plenty of the obvious sweet citrus from the hops, but also some savory, herbal notes. And it’s right up there on the abv scale, too. Not even half way though the 22oz bottle and I’m feeling pretty good 🙂 Because it’s a big bottle, you don’t have any choice but to nurse it a little, and as it warms up, the beer loses a lot of bitterness, letting the sweet and savory shine, as I’m sure the brewmaster intended.

<>Beer Man

Super Kitty!

Super Kitty. I’ve never seen such a great name for a beer. Too bad the beer isn’t so super. An ale aged with honey and oak chips, it is quite sweet for something that is traditionally a brew on the dry side. I think being aged in some sort of tank, likely stainless, with oak chips added makes for a less woody taste, as I’ve found some of the oak barrel aged beers come off like you’re chewing through an oak stave instead of drinking a beer.

Super Kitty

Super Kitty (photo credit: Winey Woman)

OK, now that I’ve completely turned you off to trying this one, let me focus on the good part, because it does have one. Super Kitty is well-rounded, even if a little sweet. This sweetness cuts though some of the bitterness that usually accompanies an oak-aged beer, which is a nice change. I’ve got three more bottles of S-K awaiting my glass, so hopefully my feelings on this one change. Hudson Brewing has come up with a unique offering, and I’ll certainly seek out more of their beer in the future.

<>Beer Man