Brewery: North Coast Brewing Co.
Style: Irish Dry Stout
Other Notes: Named for a retired steam engine on the California Western Railroad Redwood Route.
Brewer Description: (from bottle) Old No.38 Stout is a smooth, firm-bodied stout with the toasted character and coffee notes of dark malts and roasted barley.
My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.52
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.5
Intro: Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. There was no bottled or best by date on the bottle.
Appearance: The beer poured a rich opaque black colour with a bit less than one finger caramel tan head that dissipates quickly leaving a small amount of lacing.
Aroma: Aromas are a bit weak, but mainly of roasted malts, cocoa dark chocolate and brown sugar. There is also a slight amount coffee mixed in.
Taste: Sweet cocoa and roasted malts followed by brown sugar, milk chocolate, coffee and maybe a small amount of caramel.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, sticky, light to medium bodied with light carbonation and a small alcohol kick.
Overall: Overall this was a decent stout that may be a little bit on the sweet side. However when compared to Guinness, I have to say that I’m leaning towards Guinness for a variety of reasons. It’s not as sweet, only one-third of the cost, and a lot easier to find in Hong Kong since its available in every supermarket.
Brewery: Brasserie d’Achouffe
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Brewer Description: (from website) Mc CHOUFFE is an unfiltered brown beer which is refermented both in the bottle and in barrels. Its fruity bouquet conceals a hint of bitterness.
My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.57
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.4
Intro: A 330ml bottle dated best before September 2016 poured into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance: It poured a medium to dark brown with a slight reddish tint. One finger creamy tanned head with nice looking bubbles that dissipated slowly leaving nice stringy lacing.
Aroma: Main aromas of dark fruits of fig and raisins along with some pear and grapes. As it warms, the grape smell became really prominent.
Taste: Strong tastes of dark candied fruits, plum, fig, grapes and raisins with hints of caramel and brown sugar.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.
Overall: Overall, this was very good. Both the smell and flavours actually improve as it gets warmer. It is not too sweet and I especially enjoyed the dark fruit flavours. This is so close to being a must buy beer for me.
Style: Double IPA
Other Notes: Brewed by Omnipollo at De Proef Brouwerij (Belgium)
Brewer Description: (from website) “Neb” is a home brew recipe that has been scaled up with no consideration to economies of scale. Some say idiotic, and as an economist I would have to agree. Get fresh or die trying.
My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.42
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.4
Intro: This was an 11.2 fl oz bottle dated best before 7th August 2016 on the bottle cap and poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: It poured a hazy golden orange colour with a one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly leaving nice spotty lacing.
Aroma: Right from the pour you get a strong tropical fruit aroma. Mainly mango and pineapple followed by some citrus grapefruit, zest and pine. I thought the smells were amazing and raring to burst out at me.
Taste: Citrus hop bitterness up front of grapefruit and mandarin orange followed by some light tropical fruit… maybe pineapple and peach, but still the bitterness pushes through. There’s also a strong malt caramel background and slight sweetness from this, but it gets covered by the bitterness quickly and the lasting aftertaste is bitter with a small hint of tropical fruit.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation and dry finish.
Overall: This was a very nice DIPA. The strong aromas set a high standard to begin with. I find most DIPAs have too much malt caramel sweetness in its taste for me, but in this case I absolutely loved the hop bitterness shining through. The slight fruitiness also helped here. Its on the expensive side, but I will definitely consider buying this again.
Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Style: Oatmeal Stout
Brewer Description: (from bottle) A classic example of oatmeal stout: Deep garnet-tinted ebony in hue with a dense, voluptuous mahogany head. Aroma of fresh-baked bread, toffee, raisins, dried cherries and dark coffee. Pleasantly creamy, rich body with pleasing dark malt and freshly toasted bread aromas, finishing roasty and dry.
My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.96
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.9
Intro: A 12 fl oz bottle with unfortunately no bottled or best by date, poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: Pours a deep black with a one finger light caramel head that disappears fairly quickly leaving some spotty lacing.
Aroma: There’s chocolate, toffee, raisin, some light coffee and a strong smell of something that I just could not describe. Admittedly I needed some inspiration to figure this out and then I saw steamed milk… wow, that is exactly the perfect description.
Taste: Sweet dark fruits followed by chocolate, roasted malts and a slight smokey finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, smooth and creamy, light carbonation and dry finish.
Overall: Overall this is a pretty good stout that’s not too sweet. I enjoy this style and although this may not be the best, its still something I would buy and drink to add some variety.
Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
Style: American Imperial Stout
Other Notes: Double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout. 60 IBUs. Seasonal availability from October to December.
Brewer Description: (from website) The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and two types of coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.
My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.75
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.6
Intro: A 355ml bottle with a best by date of 7th August 2015 and poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: It poured a deep dark brown to black colour with a very thin caramel head that disappears quickly. There is also some light spotty lacing.
Aroma: Strong roast coffee aromas with bittersweet chocolate along with a little root beer, toffee and caramel.
Taste: Amazing taste. First thought was that it tasted like biting into freshly roasted coffee beans… so good! It was then followed by bittersweet chocolate and hints of bitter hops.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, silky smooth with light carbonation.
Overall: This was really good and over the last few years my favourite non BA coffee based stout. Each year I buy at least a case of this just for myself to enjoy over the winter and over the course of the year until the next yearly batch is brewed. A must buy for me.