I’ve had the opportunity to try some new (to me) beers lately. Here’s a quick rundown of what I tried (anyone who reads my twitter feed saw the long list of beers I had last night).
I’ll start with Breckenridge. It’s a brewery that’s relatively new to RI. I have to say I really like all their stuff. It’s a solid brewery. Colorado and the Pacific Northwest are probably my favorite areas for breweries outside of New England. Everyone hypes up the California breweries, but I think the mountains and northwest are where it’s at. Anyway, Breckenridge has a nice lineup of great beers. I got to try their Oatmeal Stout, Lucky U IPA, Vanilla Porter, Agave Wheat, their summer wheat beer (don’t remember the name), and their Batch 471 Double IPA. They were all very solid. My favorites were the Lucky U and the Double IPA. The regular IPA is an American IPA with an English twist. It’s easy drinking and hoppy enough to please hopheads, but balanced for people who aren’t looking for a hop bomb. The Double IPA is a hop bomb. It’s one of the better Double IPA’s I’ve had – balanced, but hop forward. The Vanilla Porter was also a standout. It had a huge vanilla flavor, but wasn’t overly sweet or overpowering. I look forward to drinking more of their beers.
Another beer I had recently was the Dogfish Head and Three Floyds collaboration called Poppaskull. I don’t know what it was supposed to be, but whatever it was, it didn’t do much for me. It was light in flavor, color, and body. I just couldn’t put my finger on it, but something about it wasn’t that great.
Cigar City’s Warmer Winter Winter Warmer was awesome. I think it’s a Barleywine. It hit me in all the right places. I really enjoyed it. Very drinkable, but very flavorful.
Mikkeller made a Coffee IPA. I saw it on the shelf in the store and actually got to try it last night. I thought it would be terrible. Coffee and IPA just don’t sound like they’d go together very well. What I forgot to keep in mind is that Mikkeller makes awesome beers, some quite creative. This was actually incredibly tasty. The coffee hit you in the aftertaste, but it was subtle. You had to look for it.
Finally, Firestone Walker’s Double Jack is easily the best Double IPA I’ve had, beating out Pliny the Elder (I’ve never had Pliny the Younger, and didn’t have enough Heady Topper, from the Alchemist, to compare it). It’s smooth, crisp, hoppy, refreshing, balanced, fruity, everything I look for in a Double IPA and then some. They’re another new brewery to RI. I look forward to drinking more of their beers. I have their 14th anniversary in my cellar.