Forgotten beers of Summer

Posted on 12. Oct, 2009 by in Beer Reviews

Summer is over and wow did I drink a ton of great beers during my second favorite season (fall being my favorite)  Along the way some of those beers were just forgotten about or well I was to lazy to write about them.  So here’s some quick thoughts on some of those forgotten beers.

Stone Vertical Epic 07/07/07 Aged in Red Wine Barrels – When I visited Stone,  it was my goal to bring back some one off brews that I could enjoy in the hotel room.  I came back with two growlers.  One of them was the beer you see above.  I love their Vertical Epic line.  I enjoyed what the Red Wine barrels gave to this beer.  It added a bit of a sweet taste with a mixture of a smokey aroma.  Very nice to try something that you can’t buy in the stores

Rating: B+

Stone Old Guardian Aged in Red Wine Barrels -This beer was a little bit of a disappointment.  But it was still really nice to try.  The Red Wine gave the beer kind of an off taste.  I enjoyed the Vertical Epic just a tad bit more. Old Guardian is one of my favorite Barleywines ever.  I don’t think the Red Wine made it any better.

Rating: B

Alpine Exponential Hoppiness -This is one of the beers I came to San Diego to get.  The girlfriend and I took the 35 minute drive to Alpine on  one of our last days there.  I plan on posting some pics of the actual brewery soon but let me just say that it’s small.  Very very small.  If you blink, you miss it.  But size matters not as Yoda says.  In my opinion, Alpine makes the best bunch of IPAs on this Earth.  Duet, Nelson, Pure Hoppiness, Bad Boy, O’Briens and well this beer right here.  Let me have Alpine explain this beer because well, it’s right on.  It’s amazing and it belongs on the top 100 of Beer Advocates best beers in the world.

Very popular. A complex hopping method where each hop addition is double the previous amount. More hops in the hopback and then two dry-hop sessions. The second dry-hop session is with whole hops and oak chips. 1.093 OG 10.75%ABV

It’s a mixture of hoppy goodness with a beautiful smokey flavor.  It’s dangerous.  It’s so easy to drink.  I was just estatic to try this brew.

Rating: A+

Ballast Point Dorado Double IPA -Ballast Point makes a ton of beers but this is there only Double IPA and its a really good one.  A great mixture of floral, citrus, and piney hops.  Easy to drink and crisp.  These guys are just amazing.  The one – two punch of Sculpin and Dorado is one of the best out there.

Rating: A-

Ballast Point Victory at Sea -This is the second brew I tried at the brewery and wow it just blew me away.  Dorado was very good but this was just fantastic.  I wish I would of bought a bigger glass but I was already feeling a little buzzed and I had to drive around San Diego.  A place I really don’t know to well.  The mixture of coffee and vanilla in this porter is just spot on and the mouthfeel is amazing.  Easily my favorite porter.  See this somewhere, you make sure to buy a glass

Rating: A+

Stone Sawyer’s Triple – The reason this beer exists is a sad story.  You can read about it here But there is a happy ending.  100% of the sales of this beer go to fight ALD.  So if you are at the brewery, pick up this beer.  Not only are you helping a good cause but hey this is actually a pretty damn fine beer.  Taste is full of candied sugar, fruit, and honey.  A real treat.

Rating: A-


Starr Hill Northern Lights – What you see here might be the worst beer I had all summer.  I had it while I was at the Dave Matthews Band concert.  It was a bitter mess.  I would of thrown it away if it didn’t cost me 12 dollars for the plastic cup you see above.  Maybe I’ll have to try this beer again in bottle.  I see it all the time around my area.

Rating: D

Dogfish Head Goser the Gosarian -Yes this is definitely a Ghostbusters reference.  I had this brew at the Rehoboth DFH Brewpub.  It’s a brewpub exclusive and I don’t know if they will ever brew it again so I’m really glad I got to try it.  Hey look it’s even smiling at me! Gozer is classified as a Gose.  Beer Advocate says this about the style:

An old German beer style from Leipzig, Gose is an unfiltered wheat beer made with 50-60% malted wheat, which creates a cloudy yellow color and provides a refreshing crispness and twang. A Gose will have a low hop bitterness and a complementary dryness and spice from the use of ground coriander seeds and a sharpness from the addition of salt. Like Berliner Weisse beers, a Gose will sometimes be laced with various flavored and colored syrups. This is to balance out the addition of lactic acid that is added to the boil.

Somewhat recently, Gose has seen a mini-revival with a handful of breweries bringing back the style in the Leipziger area and pubs like Gosenschenke “Ohne Bedenken” serving traditionally brewed Gose.

The writeup was pretty much right on.  It defintely had a little sour twang to it.  Not much, just right for me.  Mix that in with a decent amount of coriander, wheat, and lemon and you have a nice small tart brew.

Rating: B+

Stone 10th Anniversary and Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans (sitting right behind the glass of 10th =) – One of my first nights in San Diego the girlfriend and I went out to visit Joey from South Bay Drugs.  We met him at a bar that was holding a Stone night.  Joey also brought in some Stone brews.  I got to try Juxtaposition for the first time but the highlight was trying Stone 10th Anniversary.  I missed the 10th anniversary beer because I really only got into craft beer with the 11th anniversary beer came out.  Stone 10th was classified an American Double/Imperial IPA when it first came out.  But after all the years of aging this beer is tasting more like a Barleywine these days and wow was it just fantastic.  Thanks Joey!  Also I got to try an tap only Stone beer.  Their Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans.  Wow!!!  Smoked Porter is ok by itself but with the vanilla it’s just out of this world.

Stone 10th Anniversary Rating: A-
Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans Rating: A

4 Responses to “Forgotten beers of Summer”

  1. Mike - 12 October 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    There is some good looking stuff on there. I’m jealous of all the special Stone variants you tried.

  2. spoon 13 October 2009 at 9:22 am #

    I was ready to take a small break from beers after this past weekend but goddamn this post makes me thirsty

  3. Aaron 13 October 2009 at 9:54 am #

    Awesome post. I’m jealous.

  4. Jim 14 October 2009 at 10:14 am #

    Talk about a mega-post! The Stone Porter with vanilla beans looks exceptionally tasty. I’d love to wander into a Stone tasting some night. The first thing I’d do is call a cab and then roll up my sleeves and start a’ samplin’!

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