I have tried a lot of different beers, so when I try something new, it’s always fun. Last night I went out with some friends for a pretty long happy hour, and I got to try 2 new beers. I’m pretty much a hop freak, but I do enjoy porters and stouts, which normally are more coffee or smoky flavored with a low hop content.
First off, I am not a beer expert, but I feel like I know a lot. My dad has been brewing beer for the last 15+ years, and I frequent breweries a lot! …so these are all my opinion and people seem to like to hear my opinion about beer so here we go!
So, here is what I tried: (click the images to visit brewery website)
This beer actually reminded me a lot of Oskar Blues Old Chub minus the extra hops zing you get with the Stone beer. I used to love Old Chub, and I love that Oskar Blues is such a HUGE supporter of cycling. Big time props to them. However, I have sort of screwed myself over with their beer and need a break. I drank so much of it that I got sick of it! Fail. Anyway, about the Stone beer.
It was very cloudy in appearance, and my friend Tim pointed out that it might be unfiltered. Hard to say… but you can’t see through it very easily. When it first hits your lips (it’s so good!), you taste the hoppy goodness, followed by a caramel flavor which threw me off. The finish was bitter from the hops, so my mouth was left confused. My first couple sips of it were very enjoyable, but to be honest, but the time I finished the pint, I wasn’t about to order another one. Perhaps my palate isn’t developed enough for this one. It was suprising that I wasn’t a huge fan because Stone is one of my all time favorite breweries and their IPA is to die fore. The 13th Anniversay is supposed to be super duper hoppy, but I think it’s masked by the style of the red ale used. I think it’s a beer you SHOULD try b/c it has a lot of potential. I think that people will have very different opinions of this one because it is very complex. I would try it again on another day and who knows? I may have something different to say about it. Beer Advocate appeared to give this one an A- on average. I’d give it more of a B to B-
I love Imperial IPAs. Imperial, or double-hopped IPAs are extra bitter with an IBU of 60+. IBU = International Bitterness Scale. IPAs are generally lighter in color (hence the pale part of pale ale), but they are not the same as a beer that is a pale ale. Pale ales are normally pretty light in taste (but NOT like a Coors), and can be citrusy and sweeter. They have some hops, but are a different breed from India Pale Ale. I normally don’t like pales too much, but have found some that ring my bell! IPAs have the India in it b/c the english had to add hops to their pale ales to preserve the beer while shipping it to India. Hence IPA. IPAs are characterstically pretty bitter and hoppy. I truly believe it’s an acquired taste. I HATED IPA for years! I’d take a sip and my face would crinkle in disgust. However, I came around about 2 years ago and now am obsessed. You can often pick out an IPA by smell alone. It is very distinct.
Soooo… with that little lesson, I can continue with my opinion on the Ska Decadent. I liked this beer. It is very easy to drink compared to a lot of IPAs. It is a pretty even mix between IPA and pale ale with its citrusy flavor, yet hoppy character. Most Imperials I have tried have been more biting than this, but it was still good. I’d get this beer if I was intending to have more than 1 IPA. If I were only having 1 IPA, this would not be my ideal choice. Beer Advocate gave this about a B average. I’d give it more of an A-… but I bet the “raters” are more experienced than me!
That’s it! My ride went WAY better than expected today. It’s the first time since I got sick at the Breck 100 that I have felt strong and snappy. Looong car ride bright and early tomorrow. Brrr. it’ll be so cold up there!