April 25, 2010

Brew Free or Die IPA

This is my second experience with 21st Amendment. Brew Free or Die IPA is unlike any IPA I've had before. Pours a hazy golden-yellow (not deep orange... the photo is a little dark, sorry) with a thick white head. Huge citrus on the nose, grapefruit, pine, apricot, and even a little mango. I was amazed how the "citrus" aromas of this brew were different than so many others of the same type. Prickly carbonation on the tongue, making it very refreshing, but leaving a sticky feeling in the mouth after each sip. It left some nice, thick lacing down the glass. From looking at the can, you'd think this beer would be in your face, at 7% ABV and 70 IBU's. However, this has got to be one of the most subtle IPA's out there. You can't tell that it's 7% at all, and as for the bitterness, it practically isn't there. If you were a real stickler for IPA's, you may consider Brew Free or Die to be "bland", seeing as it doesn't have the kick most IPA's are known for. But, if you enjoy beer as much as I do, you'll enjoy this interesting take on the style.

April 6, 2010

Nøgne Brown Ale

I just can't get enough of Nøgne's beers. They are so delicious! I bought this bottle of Brown Ale from Charleston Beer Exchange back in February, and I'm glad I waited until yesterday to drink it. The evening was warm and Robin and I decided to eat outside. I opened up the Brown Ale to go with the shrimp boil we made.

Nøgne Brown Ale pours a deep, murky brown, with a small amount of sediment, and a generous off-white head. It has a rich, malty, bready, chocolately aroma, and makes you want to take huge gulps before you even have your first taste. Flavors of milk chocolate, roasted nuts, and a little espresso are present, as well as a hint of brown malt, and maybe a little dark fruit. The body is fairly light, but is surprisingly creamy and almost reminds me more of a stout. The carbonation is smooth and not very prickly, but is very refreshing. The hops are not noticeable... it's all about the malt (Maris Otter, wheat, chocolate, brown, amber, and caramel). Brown Ale isn't strong, just 4.5% ABV, so I didn't have any trouble finishing the bomber bottle and unlike Nøgne's #100, I didn't have to worry about the alcohol sneaking up on me.

Once again, a superb brew from Nøgne, which has become one of my favorite brewers. I can't wait to try more from them.