and sometimes…

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Like you, I love to read beer reviews in order to figure out what to try next. And most times the reviews are sparkly praise. Most times… This will not be one of those.

Sadly, a lot of today’s craft beer is, well,, off the mark. Almost feels like we are in a zone of indecision or in a mode of exploration of new fads that just aren’t panning out. But the reviews of these beers are still just as sparkly. And I find that very disappointing. If crap is crap, call it crap.

For example, today I had a Bourbonic Plague from Cascade brewing. If you were looking up reviews for this beer you would be led to believe that this is one of the greatest beers ever created.

And that was basically the line I was given when I asked about it. Oh its phenomenal, you gotta have one… Ok so I did.

bourbonicplague

Whoa..bad pic

Bourbonic Plague- Sour Porter aged in Bourbon barrels with spices. At $15 a 9oz pour I was fully expecting to be amazed. I was not. What I got was a small snifter of raisin water. That is about the only description that fits this.. beer.

Smells like raisins, tastes like prunes. No spices, no Bourbony effects, barely enough sour to be called a sour.  Almost dead flat, murkey looking. Even the +10% wasn’t noticeable.

I half heatedly joked about the bartender coming back and tell me that they were kidding and giving me the real beer. But nope. This is it.

I started looking at some of the reviews for this and had a thought. Are people praising up this beer so they don’t get embarrassed by the fact they paid a lot of money for a very poor beer? There almost can be no other explanation.

As always,  what ever a review a beer needs have, it what I’m gonna give. Whether its good, bad, or mediocre, its gets what it deserves.

I feel dirty even giving this a 1/5

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Mudpuppy Porter

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On tap. Mudpuppy Porter, Central Waters Brewing.

This American Porter is a genuine fantastic beer. From the dark chocolate slight coffee aromas, to the full, silky body and perfect balance of roast.

I always enjoy this beer, and was happy to see it on tap. First time having it nitro though. And as usual, the non nitro bottle version is a bit fuller in all the sensations, but this tapper was quite good as well.

Always rated this one pretty high. 4.25/5

I need a real stout!

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Been in somewhat of a rough rut with Stouts lately. The last couple I’ve reviewed have mostly missed the mark.

So to get back on track let’s go pull one off my own taps.

What we have today is a Foreign Extra Stout. 7% abv, 65,IBU.

A casacading pour leaves a fairly dense tan head that really hangs around.

Coffee and other burnt roast with a low earthy hop hit right away, but stop short of harsh. Further back in there is a grainy thing and a bit of darker chocolate. But the roast barley and Black Patent is the main thing here.

From as black as this looks in the glass it does not come across as acrid or rough. The agressive roast and hop bittering are not overboard, but very much in balance with the back ground sweetness.

Maybe a bit over carbonated. But that is keeping the lighter body feel much fuller that it probably is. The amount of roast in here let’s the beer finish with a dry feel which is really welcome after the last few over sweet heavy stouts I’ve had the past few days.

While not a big beer and the alcohol is not predominant, you do notice it while looking at the lacing of that tan head work it way down the glass.

Its good to get back to a stout that’s actually stouty. Very solid beer here. 4/5

Ten Fidy draft

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I had time to get one more in during #GBCBW Green Bay Craft Beer Week.

Gonna go with the Ten-Fidy by Oscar Blues. American Imperial Stout 10.5%

The small snifter tap pour came about as lifeless looking as you could make it. No head. No signs of carbonation or cascading pre show. Just a black blob with a swirl of an oil slick.

However. Just as it’s sitting there I’m starting to pick up lite chocolate and bits of caramel malt. The pour feels a bit cold so I’m gonna let warm it a bit.

I don’t really get much in the roast Dept. Light coffee, dark chocolate with just background burnt roast. A heavy sweetness is more prominent than any roast. For a self proclaimed American Imperial Stout I was sure expecting alot more of everything. But everything we do get is appealing.

The mouthfeel is pretty much what you see is what get. Lifeless. Heavy. Almost no carbonation. It sits pretty heavy on the tongue. And that makes it very hard to look past the sweetness. Like the aroma, the lite slightly burnt roast, chocolate, and caramel notes are smothered by the sweetness. It’s not heavy heavy sweet,, but it is what you are forced to focus on.

Slight dank hop taste is subtle, but there. But the bittering charge is noticeably low again letting the sweetness dominate.

I would probably put this more as a dessert stout. As it’s good as a single, a bit sweet to have more that one at a time. Being labled as an imp stout, descriptors like, notes, light, subtle shouldn’t be here as much as they are.

Disappointed in this one. Heard decent things about it. I am going to look for the can version. But until then 3/5.

Good Dog Porter

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We have another local beer today. Good Dog Porter from Zambaldi Beer.

A tall shaker pour from the nitro taps of Need Kelly’s Pub. A short cascade show as the pint arrives, leaving behind the tell tale nitro head. A bit thin but stays right to the end.

As per that nitro head, the aromas are concealed. But a cautious swirl does reveal just the slightest hint of roasted malt. Somewhere between a roasted barley and a black Pat. Grainy is about all I can really say about the nose of this. No hop, nor yeast comes through.

From the lack of nearly anything in aroma, I was hoping the taste would make up it. But sadly, I cannot say that it does. Very grainy, like victory malt overdose, and very light roasty with a very black patenty feel.

Dry on the tongue, yet does have a decent body from the nitro. Bittering is not noticeable at all, which is ok here because the black malts help out a little.

Just for a second, I got a flash of hops but so faint, as with nearly everything about this beer. I don’t wanna say watered down, but more like a shadow of a beer.

It’s not bad by any means, but just too subtle in everyway. Low aroma, low taste, low carbonation, low hop. It just needs something… anything. somewhere.

I personally think this beer suffers being on nitro. Everything about it is masked and hidden. Maybe a Co2 push through a regular tap would let it open up?

But as it sits right now in from of me, I can only manage a 2.5/5 and that might be a bit high.

Deth by Currants

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Well it’s Craft beer week 2019. Let’s grab a couple.

I hit Ned Kelly’s Pub for a Revolution Deth by Currant stout.

Poured from tap 54 out the 100. And it’s looks delicious.

Thick tan head with a black body. Nice Ruby highlights.

First thing I get from the aroma is a mix of berries and alcohol.. but not hot like, just a soft alc note to let you know it’s there. Then comes an even softer chocolate. Reminds me of those craft raspberry chocolate bars.

By now the head has gone away except along the edges. But that would be expected with the higher alc.

First sip is exactly what the aromas were. Soft chocolate and berry like but almost no roast.

A silky or oily, but much lighter body than I expected though. But that is good because it plays with the very low bitterness and the low carbonation. And it definitely does not feel like the 13.5% its claiming. This is one dangerously easy drinking beer for sure.

As its now starting to warm a bit I’m getting some raisin/grape, as well as .. vanilla(?) notes in both the taste and aroma.

Is a fairly complex beer that takes a while to give everything up. But that being said.. it’s just doesn’t grab my attention the way I was expecting. If you put Death in the title, there better be something, anything, that jumps out at you.

Then we come to the price point. Again. It’s a nice beer, but to be almost 3x the price of similar tasting beers? Even the 13% doesn’t even it out.

I would surely drink more of these, but you would need to come down a tax bracket on them.

Good beer here. 4/5 untappd

Ludicrous Lager

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Another local beer. This time it’s Titletown Brewing’s Ludicrous Lager.

I guess this is supposed to be an imperial version (9%) of their Dark Helmet Schwartz beer.

On tap of course. Was poured very thick. With even thicker head. If you spilled the mug, I’m not sure anything would come out. Probably the blackest black I’ve seen in some time. No Cascade or any other signs of carbonation up the glass.

The beer seemed pretty cold for some reason. Could explain the lack of much aroma. But there was caramel and grainy pilsner-like followed by a bit if bitter sweet chocolate. And definitely sugar. Not like burnt sugar or syrupy, but like a bag of white sugar.

Thinking of that sweet smell and looking at how thick this beer moves as I’m taking the first sip, I am expecting a gloopy mess of sugar. But that is not what I get.
Thick yes, sweet yes, but countered by the alcohol. There is no doubt this is a strong beer.
Then quickly the chocolate takes over like a warm brownie made with pilsner and black malt.
When the beer is cold and all these things are hitting you at once this beer shines.

The sweetness is pretty potent but the roast and alcohol do their best to keep it in check. And they do while the beer is as cold as it is.. but once it starts warming it’s tough to think about anything but how over sweet it is.

In small doses this beer is fantastic,, but a 20oz mug it a bit much. In fact maybe mixing this Ludicrous and the Dark Helmet might be just the thing to balance it out.

So to give it a score is difficult because between the cold serving temp, and the warmed up beer, it almost felt like 2 different beers. Very good to ok within a few degrees.

But think I’ll give it a 3.5/5

Go get this one and let me know what you think

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