Amager x Surly Todd the Axe Man IPA

Brewery: Amager Bryghus x Surly Brewing Company collaboration
Country: Denmark
ABV: 6.5%
Style: American IPA
Other Notes: Malt – Golden Promise. Hops – Hercules, Citra and Mosaic.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) For quite some time the Amager crew has been discussing the question: which person is the most rock’n’roll in the whole craft beer world – is it Barnaby Struve of Three Floyds or is it Todd Haug of Surly Brewing? In the end it wasn’t really all that difficult to decide since only Todd has played for Laura Dern in a David Lynch movie (yeah, Nicolas Cage was in that same movie, but since when did he count?) AND Todd plays the guitar in both a speed metal band and a stoner band. Add to that that Todd and his wife Linda are some of the nicest people to hang out with. So Todd, here’s to you: “Todd – The Axe Man” – a potent IPA loaded with fresh American aroma hops on a base of rich Golden Promise malt, Surly’s signature malt. Raise a glass to Todd, world class brewer – and master of the axe! Bonus facts about Todd: yes, he DID actually have a perm in his younger days (his wife confirms) and he does indeed love cats an awful lot.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.19
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.2

Intro: A 500ml bottle from batch #911 with a best before date of November 2015 and poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
Appearance: A slightly hazy golden orange colour with a three finger fluffy white head that has pretty good retention and leaves thick sticky lacing.
Aroma: Tropical apricot and peach aromas, with some pineapple, orange and hints of lemon.
Taste: Light caramel malt sweetness gives way to citrus bitter grapefruit and orange peel. There’s even a hint of tropical mango.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied with medium carbonation.
Overall: I have not tried the Surly version yet, so I can’t say which I think is better, but apparently the difference is that Surly chose to use Warrior as the bittering hop whereas this Amager x Surly collaboration version uses Hercules. In any case, this collaboration version was a great IPA and very drinkable.

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Stone Ruination Double IPA 2.0

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 8.5%
Style: American Double IPA
Other Notes: 100+ IBUs. Hops – Magnum, Nugget, Centennial, Simcoe, Citra and Azacca.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) When this double IPA first hit the scene in 2002, the hoppy beer landscape was far different that it is today. Ales offering an onslaught of resinous humulus lupulus were virtually unknown. Thankfully that is no longer the case. Terms such as “lupulin” and “IBU” are well established in the craft beer lexicon. And with the knowledge of all that hops have to offer comes the desire to go beyond bracing bitterness. Fortunately, Stone Ruination IPA has always been crafted to celebrate all facets of the hop – its beauty and poetry, its boldness and might. As craft beer has evolved, so too have techniques for extracting the best and the most out of hops. So we modernized Stone Ruination IPA, coaxing every last drop of piney, citrusy, tropical essence from the Centennial, Citra, Simcoe and Azacca hops that give this beer its incredible character. Join us in cheering this, the second stanza in our “Liquid Poem to the Glory of the Hop.”

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.2
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.2

Intro: A 22 fl oz bomber bottled on 17th July 2015 and with an enjoy by date of 15th October 2015. It was poured into a Duvel tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear golden orange colour with a two finger white head which dissipates quite quickly but leaves lots of sticky lacing.
Aroma: Clear tropical fruit aromas to start mainly of mango, papaya, peach and pineapple before settling on pine hop and some citrus orange peel.
Taste: Starts with citrus orange, orange peel, sweet mandarin, maybe even a little soapy. Towards the middle there is a hint of tropical fruits but not much before it quickly finishes with a lasting grapefruit bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.
Overall: Great aromas coming from this beer and although I prefer less citrus orangeyness and more tropical fruit, this was still a very good DIPA that I would continue to drink.

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Jack’s Abby Jabby Brau

Brewery: Jack’s Abby Brewing
Country: USA
ABV: 4.5%
Style: American Pale Lager
Other Notes: 20 IBUs. Malt – Pilsner, Munich.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Deep golden in color, this lager balances Pilsner and Munich malt with aromatic American hops. This beer starts hoppy but finishes unexpectedly malty with very low bitterness. Impressively flavourful and drinkable, we dub this beer a “Session Lager.” Jabby Brau uses locally sourced ingredients.

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.3
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.1

Intro: A 12 fl oz bottle with no bottled on date and poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: It poured a slightly hazy golden colour with a light one finger white head that dissipates to a foamy layer with only very light lacing.
Aroma: Bready malts, pine and some light citrus orange peel, lemon and lime.
Taste: Grassy, honey and brown sugar sweetness, caramel and bready malts, corn and light hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, light bodied with medium carbonation.
Overall: I’m not normally a lager person, but Jack’s Abby are definitely changing my views and showing me what can actually be done with lagers. In this case, Jack’s Abby has produced another lager that would better most, but still falls a little flat.

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Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co. (Arrogant Bastard Brewing Co.)
Country: USA
ABV: 7.2%
Style: American Strong Ale
Other Notes: IBU – classified. Hops – classified.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.

At Stone Brewing, we believe that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny–a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Brought forth upon an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste. As the progenitor of its style, Arrogant Bastard Ale has reveled in its unprecedented and uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many nods to Arrogant Bastard Ale…even outright attempts to copy it… but only one can ever embody the true nature of Liquid Arrogance!

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.15
My ratebeer.com rating: 4

Intro: A 22 oz bomber with an enjoy by date of 9th October 2015 and poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: Poured a very nice clear dark copper amber colour with a one finger tanned head with low retention but leaves spotty lacing.
Aroma: Strong caramel malt aromas followed by maple syrup, toffee, almond and pineapple. There were also hints of minerals and also piney hops towards the finish.
Taste: Sweet-ish roasted caramel malts mixed with grapefruit and pine hop bitterness. The finish is a very nice long lasting bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Mid to full bodied with medium carbonation and nice light alcohol warmth.
Overall: I haven’t had the chance to try many American Strong Ales, but this one was really good. Great balance and the lasting bitterness at the end along with the light alcohol warmth make it really enjoyable.

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Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp

Brewery: Clown Shoes Beer
Country: USA
ABV: 7%
Style: Belgian IPA
Other Notes: Brewed and bottled by Mercury Brewing Co., Ipswich, MA.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Like a stamp on a tramp, this beer is about not so subtle seduction. Soft but complex malts, Chambly yeast, sweet orange peel, Columbus, Amarillo and Centennial hops have merged to create a bodacious Belgian IPA.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.6
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.5

Intro: A 12 fl oz bottle with a bottled on date of 23rd March 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a slightly hazy dark amber orange colour with a thick almost two finger off white head that has great retention and leaves thick foamy lacing.
Aroma: First thing that comes to mind is Tropicana orange juice. It is strong orange juice with hints of caramel malts, citrus orange zest, grapefruit and lemon.
Taste: Citrus orange peel hits you upfront followed by grapefruit, pine, caramel malts and some kind of funk (in a good way).
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high tingly carbonation.
Overall: Admittedly, this is my first Belgian IPA, and its interesting and decent, but there is just way too much orange in this for me.

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