Beer by Variety

Quick Pour: Adroit Theory Don’t Believe the Hype (Ghost 241)

Producer: Adroit Theory Brewing Company; Purcellville, VA Style: IPA/Double IPA Price Range: $12.99 / bottle (12.7 oz) ABV: 10.6% Appearance: Aroma: Virginia Pour House Review: The other Adroit Theory beer I picked up at Crafted is a new one that even the owner of the store hadn’t had a chance to try yet. This is bottle #110 out of 450, so I’m guessing this particular batch is pretty limited. It pours a deep amber with red and orange hues and very little head. The aroma is sweet and malty, with hints of maple syrup and earthy notes. The first sip is heavy and malty, with a big boozy middle and finish. The hop character is pretty well balanced with the malt, but the malt backbone is huge on this beer. It’s almost a cross between an IPA and a barleywine. The beer coats the palate with sweet syrupy notes and …

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Quick Pour: Adroit Theory Angel’s Trumpet (Ghost 164)

Producer: Adroit Theory Brewing Company; Purcellville, VA Style: IPA w/ mangos Price Range: $14.99 / bottle (12.7 oz) ABV: 7.0% Appearance: Pale cloudy straw, small foamy white head Aroma: Grass, straw, hint of mango Virginia Pour House Review: I stopped in at a craft beer store down in Haymarket, VA called Crafted to pick up some beer for my trip to Asheville, NC. The owner told me they had been open for about a year and a half but I just recently found out about them from a neighbor. It’s a cool little store and they had a great selection of hard-to-find beers. While I was there, I picked up a couple beers from Adroit Theory, including Angel’s Trumpet. This is a beer that I have been coveting for a while now so of course I was excited to finally try it. It pours a hazy pale straw color with …

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Quick Pour: Lost Rhino My Imaginary Girlfriend (MIG)

Producer: Lost Rhino; Ashburn, VA Style: India Pale Ale Price Range: $8-10 / bottle (22 oz) ABV: 6.1% Appearance: Cloudy straw color, small foamy white head Aroma: Grass, straw, orange, grapefruit, mango Virginia Pour House Review: Lost Rhino recently released this year’s batch of My Imaginary Girlfriend, or MIG for short. The beer pours a cloudy straw color with a small foamy white head that quickly dissipates. The aroma contains hints of citrus in the form of orange, grapefruit, and maybe mango. There is also an earthiness with some grass and straw coming through. The citrus notes pop out right at the beginning of the first sip but there is an earthy middle and finish, with a lingering bitterness. I love this beer because it presents a perfect balance of hops with a strong malt backbone while remaining pretty light at 6.1%. Lost Rhino makes some great seasonal IPA’s and …

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Quick Pour: Stone/Ecliptic/Wicked Weed Points Unknown IPA

Stone’s latest entry in their collaboration series includes contributions from Ecliptic Brewing in Portland, Oregon and Wicked Weed in Asheville, North Carolina. It is not clear by the description what each brewer contributed to this beer, but it is highly complex. This is a blend of two beers: a hoppy double IPA and a Belgian tripel. The tripel was transferred into barrels that originally housed red wine and were subsequently used to age tequila. After four months, the tripel was blended with the freshly-brewed IPA at one-fourth tripel to three-fourths IPA. It is definitely unlike anything I have ever heard of. Onto the review! Producer: Stone Brewing Company; Escondido, CA; Ecliptic Brewing; Portland, OR;  Wicked Weed; Asheville, NC Style: Double IPA/Belgian Tripel/Barrel-Aged Beer Price Range: $10-12 / bottle (22 oz) ABV: 9.5% Appearance: Clear, deep golden, small white head Aroma: Grass, straw, spice, coriander, grapefruit, orange, wheat Virginia Pour House …

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Quick Pours: A Trio of Local IPA’s

GRAFFITI HOUSE  Producer: Old Bust Head; Vint Hill, VA  Style: IPA  Price Range: $2 / bottle (12 oz)  ABV: 7.5%  Appearance: Deep amber, clear, with small white head  Aroma: Malty, faint earthy notes  Virginia Pour House Review: The first IPA is from a small brewery near Gainesville  called Old Bust Head. This is brewed in a West Coast IPA style so it promises to be very  hoppy with citrus and pine notes. The beer pours a deep, clear amber with a small white  head. The aroma is faint, but there is some malt and earthy notes. The first sip is big and  bright, with a nice citrus up front and earthy tones the middle. The beer finishes super bitter  with a lingering pine bitterness. For a base IPA, this beer has a lot of flavor and really good  bitterness. It is reminiscent of a West Coast IPA with subtle citrus and big …

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Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Bigfoot (2015)

Producer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company; Chico, CA Style: Barleywine Price Range: $15 / bottle (750 ml) ABV: 11.9% Appearance: Clear burgundy, foamy white head Aroma: Virginia Pour House Review: Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Ale is one of my favorite barleywines. So when I saw that they were releasing a barrel-aged version this year, I got excited. This is their big, bold seasonal barleywine aged in Kentucky whiskey casks for nearly a year. The beer pours a deep burgundy but is clear with a healthy white head that dissipates upon sitting. The aroma is faint, but some malt and dark fruit stands out. The first sip is big and bold. It attacks the palate with big bitter whiskey notes, with some bitter dark malt in the middle and a lingering overall bitterness. Subsequent sips aren’t quite as alarming and more of the flavor pops through. There’s a lot of whiskey flavor here, …

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Beer Review: Alewerks Bitter Valentine

Producer: Alewerks Brewing Company; Williamsburg, VA Style: Double IPA Price Range: $10 / bottle ( oz) ABV: 8.3% Appearance: Rich orange amber, small white head Aroma: Citrus, pine, grass, hints of orange, mango, pineapple Virginia Pour House Review: Alewerks releases this big double IPA every year around Valentine’s Day. This year I found it a little later than normal, but judging by the appearance and aroma I don’t think anything will be lost here. The beer pours a deep rich amber, almost orange, with a thin white head. I get big citrus and floral notes in the aroma, with hints of orange, mango, and pineapple, but also an earthiness and some pine. The first sip is super bitter, but there is a lot of flavor here. Lots of citrus bursts through first, but also some floral notes and an earthy finish. The big citrus notes dominate the flavor, with some …

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Dogfish Head Alehouse Off-Centered Beer Dinner

Last week was American Craft Beer Week and so the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Fairfax had a special beer dinner for the occasion. It was a five-course dinner, each one paired with a beer, and each pairing off-centered. What does that mean? It means that the food was a little off the wall and the beer pairings were not quite what you would expect for the dish. Here’s a quick review of each of the five courses. First Course: The Great Grapefruit Salad with Aprihop The Great Grapefruit Salad consisted of fresh spinach, chopped grapefruit, walnuts, sliced radish, and feta cheese, tossed with a grapefruit vinaigrette. The salad was actually served in half grapefruit rind. The salad had a nice subtle citrus flavor, slightly bitter but not overwhelming. The subtle citrus brought out a citrus in Aprihop that usually isn’t there. The feta offset the bitterness of the citrus and …

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Beer Review: Founders Blushing Monk (2015)

Producer: Founders Brewing Company; Grand Rapids, MI Style: Belgian Style Fruit Ale Price Range: $15-20 / bottle ( oz) ABV: 9.2% Appearance: Deep, bright red with a small fizzy white head Aroma: Raspberry, faint grass and straw Virginia Pour House Review: Founders Blushing Monk is one of the brewery’s seasonal releases that you pretty much have to get lucky in order to find. I did just that, spotting a bottle in the wild while picking up a keg. It is a Belgian-style ale fermented with pure raspberries. It pours a bright red with a fizzy white head and smells mostly of raspberry, with faint hints of grass underneath. The first taste is mostly raspberry and there’s a nice sourness to the berries. Upon subsequent sips, the raspberry is almost more apparent and the sourness really shines through. I could also discern some of the characteristics of the Belgian malts, with some …

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Beer Review: FiftyFifty Eclipse Imperial Stout (Buffalo Trace)

fiftyfifty eclipse buffalo trace

FIFTY FIFTY ECLIPSE (BUFFALO TRACE) Producer: FiftyFifty Brewing Company; Truckee, CA Beer Name: Eclipse Imperial Stout (Buffalo Trace) Style: Imperial Stout Price Range: $35 / bottle (22 oz) ABV: 11.9% Appearance: Solid black, foamy tan head Aroma: Dark malt, cocoa, whiskey, faint honey sweetness Virginia Pour House Review: Light bitterness from dark malts, cocoa and coffee notes with nice blend of whiskey in the middle. Some bitterness and slightly boozy from whiskey but blends nicely with the dark chocolate and cocoa notes. Very faint sweetness from the honey, but almost indistinguishable. Nice mouthfeel, not thin and very little bitterness in the aftertaste. More honey notes come through the longer I sip. This is one fantastic beer. FIFTY FIFTY ECLIPSE (BUFFALO TRACE) Producer: FiftyFifty Brewing Company; Truckee, CA Beer Name: Eclipse Imperial Stout (Buffalo Trace) Style: Imperial Stout Price Range: $35 / bottle (22 oz) ABV: 11.9% Appearance: Solid black, foamy …

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