Monday, January 14, 2013

Hop Juice DIPA by Two Brothers Brewing Co.

I will not play hooky from work to drink beer. I will not play hooky and…. I will drink beer. I will take a mental health day from my job
The New Year is upon us, and this is beer numero dos from relieving my fridge of those ales and lagers acquired in aught twelve. The day has been, well, it has been here, and I am looking forward so much to my three day weekend, and not looking forward to my daily toil, that I have decided to call in and have some much needed Pope time.

Tonight I am popping the cap off a bottle of Hop Juice DIPA from Two Brothers Brewing Co. This bottle came all the way from Warrenville, Il, via Chicago, on a trip my brother took earlier this year.

A nice, burnt orange hue, the ale pours easily with just enough carbonation to form an excellent two finger head without much care. As the beer warms in the glass the head dissipated to a nickels thickness, but never losing a cloud like fluffiness that makes it a pretty sight to behold.

Aromas of floral, ripe grapefruit mingle with hints of bread and a slight malt sweetness.

It’s bottle boasting 100.1 IBUs, I was expecting a bitterness to knock my head off, but perhaps with age, or perhaps a more hop tempered tongue, the bitterness is just enough to make me happy, and not tearing my tongue apart or removing the enamel on my incisors.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a good deal of bitterness in this DIPA, but it finds a good place in front of a well rounded malt body that adds a nice brown sugar quality to the backend.

Also noted on the bottle is a respectable 9.9% ABV, but there is very little alcohol hotness to match.

This double India pale ale combines hop forwardness with a balanced malt body so well that this beer ranks among one of the best beers I’ve had enjoyed to date.  I cannot image a craft beer enthusiast who would find fault with this ale.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jailhouse Brewing Company’s Reprieve

Hello readers.

Today Pope, despite the whirlwind of drama that has consumed the past two weeks or so, has had just a wonderful day, filled with intoxicants, good company of my older brother, and a healthy amount of smoked beef brisket, also known as Texas Crack.

Well before I consumed the day away, the morning’s trip to Spec’s, a chain of wonderfully stocked liquor stores, provided an overwhelming abundance of options to dispense with the cash Santa so wonderfully brought to me this holiday. After dropping a fair sum on a total of 14 different varieties of ale and beer and a bottle of rye whiskey I was happy, but my wife, she was a wee bit perturbed.

I don’t need to go into specifics, but needless to say, I had some explaining to do as to why I needed this beer, when I had a fridge of beer that was off limits to my better half. To make a long story short, a promise was made to clear out the older brews, before the new guys found real estate in the ice box.

Tonight’s selection, Jailhouse Brewing Company’s saison Reprieve, is the first in a series of long overdue reviews. Picked up over the spring when visiting Atlanta, this French style ale will be the first sacrifice to Operation: Appease the Missus.

Pouring the contents of the bomber into my glass the beer initially pours out a pale hue that is remarkably clear and full of life in an effervescent deluge of carbonation.  The beer stays quite carbonated, however, perhaps picking up sediment, becomes slightly dull in appearance.  A respectable head forms, but as the beer sits and warms up during my review process, it dies to about a dime’s thickness.

The nose of this 6% abv bottle of fermentables is cider like. Carried with a fruity body, a nice mixture of floral and yeast like aromas mingle above the brew.  These aromas bridge anticipation to experience as the front end of the beer is full of tart, green apple flavors. Offering a slight banana-yeast backend, the ale leaves the palate cleanly, never exuding too much or too little sweetness or bitterness, finding a Goldilocks position on the palate. Never being too much of anything, and just the right amount of this and that, the beer is deep enough to be interesting, but light enough to be consumed in the warmth of late spring or early summer.

This is a decent example of the style, and if you have the opportunity, I suggest giving Jailhouse Brewing’s Reprieve a sip or two. A highly suggested try.   

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