Stone Brewing is known for their hop forward, assertive IPAs, and they have just released a new “session” IPA – Go To IPA (4.5% ABV, IBUs 65). I picked one up this past week and here are my thoughts on it. The first surprise that I noticed was the light honey, straw color. However, there was much more flavor in this beer that what I usually associate with other beers with a similar light color. Plenty of dank, resinous pine hop aromas greeted my nose, along with some mango and apricot. Flavor followed pretty much the same as the nose, with some piney bitterness on the end. Overall, a nice enjoyable, low ABV, hoppy beer.
Another hoppy beer that I picked up recently was Southern Tier 2XOne. This beer takes a different direction from Stone's Go To IPA in that it is an American Pale Ale, using a single specialty pale malt and single hop, Mosaic, but with a higher ABV at 8.1%. I got some tropical fruit and peach on the aroma, but more earthy tones in the flavor from the Mosaic hops. I enjoyed both of these beers and would recommend them to anyone who enjoys hoppy beers.
Some other new things have just arrived in the area that I'm really excited about. First off are some products from New Day Meadery. About a year ago, I was lucky enough to meet Brent Canady of New Day Meadery at the Constant Spring. At that time, he was offering some samples and explained that their products would be soon coming to our area. I have seen a couple of their meads on tap since, but I have not seen any of their bottled products until last Friday. (just because I haven't seen them doesn't mean that they have not been around) Johnny Chapman (4.5% Sugar, 6% ABV, cider with sorghum), Breakfast Magpie (4.5% Sugar, 8% ABV, blackberry mead brewed with coffee), and South Cider (3% Sugar, 6% ABV, cider with honey) have all arrived in 500 ml capped bottles.
I remember really enjoying the Breakfast Magpie. At the time I was a bit skeptical about the blended flavors of blackberry and coffee, and I was completely surprised how well they complimented each other. Generally, I do not like flavored coffees and avoid them at all cost. As expected, there was a huge espresso aroma, with rich blackberry, coffee and chocolate flavors. This is not a still mead, so there is a bit of carbonation which helps with the fruity flavor.
Also just in this week, Goose Island The Illinois (imperial IPA, 9% ABV, IBUs 95).
Finally on Michiana shelves (I have been waiting for this!), ciders from Virtue – Cidre Nouveau (sparkling dry French-style cider), Sidra de Dava (tart, lemony Spanish-style cider), and The Mitten (a winter cider blended from the last season's best, aged in bourbon barrels, blended with the new season's fresh pressed apple juice). With my huge love of barrel aged beers, I decided to pick up a bottle of The Mitten. I'll review it soon after I have a chance to sample it.
Two new beers from Three Floyds – Man-O-Awe (American Pale Ale, 6% ABV) brewed exclusively with Michigan grown hops, and Topless Wytch (Baltic Porter, 9% ABV).