Hop Ottin’ IPA

Hop Ottin IPA CapHop Ottin’ IPA – the beer brewed by hippies. I have no idea if this was actually brewed by hippies, but the skunky scent that hit me when I cracked this beer made me think the bottle might be packed with gooey high-grade. And, it was brewed in a solar powered brewery. Only hippies want to save the world from oil domination, right? At least this beer doesn’t have hemp seeds floating in it. In all seriousness, we need energy independence. Politics done.

Hop Ottin IPA Bottle

As I took my first sip of this beer, I thought, “Damn! I just poured hops juice in mouth.” This is a hoppy, hoppy beer. As I adjusted to the shock, I began to enjoy the hops juice. It’s bold though. This is a full-bodied beer that’s a bit overwhelming.

Would I buy this beer again? No, I don’t think so. It’s a bit too much for me. I liked it, but it’s not something I think I’d enjoy repeatedly. Should you try this beer? If you like hops, this will blow you away. If not, try it to remind yourself why you don’t like hoppy beers.

I enjoyed the experience of Hop Ottin’ IPA, but it’s too strong to give more than 3/5 caps to. However, it’s a high 3/5 caps.

Guinness Extra Stout

Guinness Extra Stout Cap Guinness is as Irish as St. Patrick’s Day, and the two often go hand in hand. It’s a beer that has risen far above the brew to become an icon of Ireland and hoity-toity beeriness. I’m not sure if I should drink it, use it as a key ring, or wear it as a t-shirt. As you can see, I’ve already poured it in a Guinness glass.

I think I’ve been holding a grudge against Guinness. In Seoul, Guinness would sell for between $6 and $9 a pint. All the foreigners I hung out with the first year or so had no problem spending $50 or more for a casual evening out. I’m a cheap-ass, and Guinness didn’t jive with me. This is the first Guinness I’ve had in about six years.Guinness Extra Stout Bottle

There’s a trick to pouring Guinness. If you pour it too fast, the head shoots up and drowns you and all your friends. If you pour it too slow, it doesn’t mix right. After you pour it, you need to let it sit so it’ll settle. It’s a beer with a ritual, like a fancy tea party in a glass.

It’s a bitter beer. Dark and heavy. Bold as brass and thick as pitch. But don’t be intimidated. Guinness is creamy and delicious. It’s a good dark beer that a beer fan would enjoy. If you’re a beginner, you’d want something else. This is not a beer I’d try to give my wife.

Would I buy Guinness Extra Stout again? I don’t think I’d be willing to make it through life never having another Guinness. Should you try Guinness? If you’re a beer fan who has never had a Guinness, you’re doing it wrong. Buy one today.

Guinness Extra Stout gets 5/5 caps.

Budweiser Black Crown

Budweiser Black Crown Cap I learned, when I reviewed Budweiser, that I was prejudiced against this brewery. I’m humble enough to admit that I was wrong. There’s nothing wrong with Budweiser’s classic brew, and for the value, I’d actually say it’s a good beer (not fantastic, but good). So I wanted to be fair and try some of the other beers this brewery offers.

I picked up a 12-pack of Budweiser Black Crown. Again, this was a purchase for my father-in-law and myself to enjoy without the pressure of writing reviews. I only have to review one. The other eleven can be enjoyed at our leisure. And, this beer has cool caps. And, chic bottles. …what is this beer?Budweiser Black Crown Bottle

With a name like Black Crown, I expected this to be a dark beer. And it was… compared to Budweiser Classic. It’s kind of like saying your 25 watt light bulb is bright when compared to a glow-in-the-dark sticker. It’s a pretty color, but how about the taste? It’s bitter, but not badly so. Once you get past that, there’s not much else there. It’s unfortunate. It’s not bad, but there’s not much to comment on. It wouldn’t be a bad beer to have in the second cooler after your guests have had a few and are just looking to tie a few more on.

Would I buy this beer again? No, but I wouldn’t turn one down if offered. Should you try this beer? I wouldn’t go out of the way to, but it won’t make you sick or anything. Give it a try when your friends break out their second cooler.

I give this beer 3/5 caps.

Grolsch Premium Lager

2013-04-08 12.53.05Grolsch has that certain kind of name. You know, a name that you pronounce the same before and after drinking a twelve pack of the stuff. It’s also probably the only beer that your dog could successfully order.

This beer came in my 18 pack of international beers. My wife asked that I review this beer to guest blog on her blog page. She’s doing the alphabetical days project. Today is G. G is for guest blog, and G is for Grolsch.

Grolsch has been brewed in Holland since 1615. Grolee, where this beer was first brewed, was known for its greenwood forests. In fact, I understand that ‘grolsch’ means ‘beer from the green woods.’ The water source for this beer has always been a natural spring, but since 2004, the water travels out of the spring and down a 7 km pipe before reaching the location of the ultra-modern Grolsch Brewery.

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The first taste of this beer was slightly flowery, but that devolved into a light, thin beer. I would believe it if someone had told me this beer was cut with water, or even club soda since there was a quality to it similar to that. When the beer was held in the mouth, it was almost astringent. When it was consumed quickly, it had almost a metallic flavor. I can’t say that I enjoyed this beer.

Would I buy this beer again? No, and I’d choose a different one if this beer had companions in a friend’s cooler. Should you buy this beer? It’s not the worst beer out there, but with so many good beers available, I can’t recommend spending your time with this one. Of course, you might like it. If you do, please tell me what you like about this beer in the comments. Maybe I can try it again paying attention to the points you make.

I give this beer only 2/5 caps.

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale

2013-04-04 11.03.34I’m hesitant to try fruity and nutty beers. Too often I’ve had nasty experiences with these. When I picked up this beer, I had focused on the ‘Brown Ale’ in the title and completely overlooked ‘Hazelnut.’  As I focused closer on the label, I began to worry.

This beer is brewed by the Rogue Brewery for “the rogue in each of us.” I played a rogue in World of Warcraft, but that was a while ago. I’m not sure how much rogue I have left in me. Apparently, it was enough to appreciate this beer.

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This beer was sweet, but was countered nicely by bitter. It did have a nutty flavor, but I wasn’t able to tell specifically what nut it was meant to be. However, later in the drink I began to get the sensation of a coffee. Perhaps this was the hazelnut showing its identity. At times, the aftertaste of this beer was almost soda-like.

Would I buy this beer again? I guess so. It really wasn’t bad, but thee are many offerings from Rogue that I enjoy much more. This beer was better than average. Should you try this beer? Yes. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

I give this beer 4/5 caps.

Left Hand Milk Stout

2013-04-02 09.14.25It’s been a while since I’ve had a stout, and I’m not sure why. I really like these thick, chocolaty beers. Milk stouts, or sweet stouts are quite a good selection among the stouts. When I was living in Seoul, there was a bar chain called Cream Beer that served pitchers of milk stout. It was a fantastic place to go, but they were insistent that you buy food when you went. With the cheapest item on the menu being 15,000 W, I didn’t go very often …but I should have.

This milk stout was a product of the Left Hand Brewing Company, and it’s a beer they’re very proud of. Unfortunately, it seems as though this will be the only of their beers I sample here since all of their caps are the same. Oh well. At least I got the bottle with the cow on it.

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I poured this beer and was met with an off-putting aroma. Once I held my nose and tasted the beer, I was quite happy. The full-bodied chocolaty taste was quite rewarding. The texture of this beer was not creamy as you might suppose from something called milk stout. In fact, it was mildly crisp.

Would I buy this beer again? Yes, quite happily. In fact, I’m going to be looking to try more stouts, especially milk stouts, in the near future. Should you buy this beer? Yes. Do it now.

I’ll give this beer 5/5 caps.