Tag Archive: beer review


Night Train Ale

O’so Brewing Company

Plover, WI

http://www.osobrewing.com

ABV – 7.2%

IBU – 86

O’So Brewing Company prides themselves on what they refer to as “Freestyle Brewing”. Their Night Train Ale is a perfect example of freestyle brewing success.

 Night Train Ale is a pitch black oatmeal porter. There is very little head or foam, just a bit of film that floats ontop of the blackest of beers.

 Night Train’s aroma is mouth-watering. Coffee and chocolate with a hint of black liquorice.

 The flavors are rich and malty, roasted coffee flavors blending nicely with a hint of chocolate. There is a pleasant hop bitterness that clings to your tongue. There are also the slightest of alcohol flavors…though it in no way detracts from the beer. The finish is dry.

 Night Train is a complicated ale…most likely a Robust Porter if we really need to apply labels to things, but really who needs labels. I thoroughly enjoyed Night Train. It might be hard to drink more than two or three in a night and still maintain any sort of coherent thought process, but I’d recommend that you give it a try. I know several of my friends who would love this beer. Pick up a six pack or two of this fine porter

Cheers.

Josh Frank

jfrank2264@gmail.com

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Kilbourn Hop Ale

Wisconsin Dells Brewing Company

Wisconsin Dells, WI

ABV- 5.5%

IBU – Unavailable

When visiting the Wisconsin Dells, you’ll find Wisconsin Brewing Company’s Kilbourn Hop Ale on draft at both the Moosejaw Restaurant & Brewery and Buffalo Phil’s.

 This particular day we were having lunch at Buffalo Phil’s. My Kilbourn Hop Ale arrived in a frosted mug. It is golden or possibly bronze in color. It has no real head to speak of, just a slight film floating at the top of the glass.

 Kilbourn has a piney hop aroma mingled with a slight sweetness.

 The first sip is all malt and the hop flavor is  vague and hard to define. The ale has a clean finish with no lingering aftertaste.

 Kilbourn Hop Ale is a decent beer , not great by any means, but certainly the high point of a pretty lackluster line up.      I wish I had more to say about this one.  It’s really just not a noteworthy beer.  Kilbourn Hop Ale is an American Pale Ale that is average at best,  made by a brewery that is lucky enough to be the only microbrewery in the Wisconsin Dells.

cheers,

Josh Frank

jfrank2264@gmail.com

 

Contorter Porter

Ale Asylum

Madison, WI

www.aleasylum.com

ABV- 4.8%

IBU – Unavailable

I’ve been a fan of Dean Coffey’s brewing since his days at Angelic Brewing Company.   I’ve had a couple other Ale Asylum beers. My favorite is a hoppy as hell amber that bears the name Ambergeddon.

 I had high hopes for Contorter Porter. I opened the bottle and poured the dark brown ale into an imperial pint glass. An inch thick, frothy beige head quickly formed.

 I held the glass to my nose and found the aroma to be sweet with hints of chocolate.

 However, Contorter Porter actually seems rather bland.  The malt flavors were distant and almost non-existent and were followed by a ever so slightly bitter aftertaste.

 It was actually pretty disappointing.  I’ve enjoyed some of Ale Asylum’s other offerings and have been looking forward to cracking open this bottle of Contorter Porter.

 The Ale Asylum website describes Contorter Porter as complex with a rich flavor and silky smooth finish. Maybe it’s just over my head or something. Maybe my tastebuds just aren’t equipped to handle the “complexity” that Contorter Porter brings to the table…who knows.

 I really wanted to like this one. I took each sip with great care… I tried to find something, but all I really found was disappointment.

 While I would happily recommend other Ale Asylum beers…for instance, Ambergeddon is fantastic…I’d recommend that you steer clear of Contorter Porter.

Anyway…

cheers,

Josh Frank

jfrank2264@gmail.com

IPA

Stone Brewing Company

North County San Diego, CA

http://www.stonebrew.com

ABV – 6.9%

IBU- 77

 I’ve personally enjoyed many of the beers I’ve tasted from Stone Brewing Company, but I never understood how they’ve garnered such a devoted following. I honestly went into this review with a much more critical eye…hoping for some flaw…but it was not to be.

Stone IPA is golden in color with a frothy white head.

It had a floral hop aroma that is intermingled with what smells a bit like toasted malt.

Stone’s IPA is crisp and satisfying. The grassy hop notes hit immediately while a subtle malty sweetness fades in behind it. The finish is bitter and leaves you longing for the next sip.

Stone’s IPA is a well-balanced ale. It’s quite tasty actually. I think now I finally understand the hype. I enjoyed the experience from first sip to last…and I think you will too. So…if you haven’t had the opportunity to try Stone IPA, what are you waiting for? Get off your butt and go get some!

Cheers.

Josh Frank

jfrank2264@gmail.com

Bitter Woman IPA in Tulip Glass

Sorry it’s been a while, I’ve been camping in Door County in Wisconsin…and will actually have a bunch of new reviews related to that trek in the coming days…but here is my latest review.

Bitter Woman IPA

Tyranena Brewing Company

www.tyranena.com

Lake Mills, WI

IBU – unavailable

ABV – unavailable

Tyranena Brewing Company calls Bitter Woman IPA a “Wisconsin version of an IPA”. It is named in honor of an early Lake Mills, WI resident named “Aunt Cal” who was romantically linked to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

 I grabbed my trusty tulip glass and poured my bottle of Bitter Woman. The ale was golden, almost orange in color, sporting a thin white head that clung to the glass.

 The aroma is sweet yet with a strong floral hoppiness. Not to get too sappy here, but I sometimes think that if there’s a heaven, I hope it smells like Bitter Woman IPA.

 The first thing to hit your tongue is the sweetness of the malt…which is quickly swept away by an intense hoppy bitterness that lingers in your mouth, teasing the goodness that awaits you in the rest of the glass.

 This IPA has long been one of my favorites. I think I’ve recommended it to everyone I know that drinks beer at some point. It’s a beer that hopheads will love instantly but might be a little bit intense for those that are new to the style.

 Bitter Woman IPA is a beer that I personally look forward to drinking on tap every year the Great Lakes Brewfest. It is a beer that I know I can count when I am in need of a crisp, refreshing IPA.

In my opinion…this is a 5 star beer.

Track it down, give it a try. I think you’ll love it.

Cheers.

Josh Frank

jfrank2264@gmail.com

 PS.

If you have any beers you’d like for me to check out and review here, drop me a line with the name of a  shop where I can find a bottle or two