Thursday, August 20, 2009

Three brief reviews

Brief reviews of three newish beers:

Soggy Coaster really enjoyed Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale. This full-bodied strong ale (8.7 percent ABV, 90 IBUs), pours very dark, with a big head that recedes quickly. It's got a big hop flavor up front that yields to a nice, subdued smoky note. Sublimely is similar to, but better than, Stone's very popular Arrogant Bastard Ale. The flavor profile is more interesting. Sublimely is available in 22-oz. bomber bottles in liquor stores and, as of last weekend, on tap at Lady Falconburgh's Barley Exchange in Durango. A-

In constrast, Great Divide Brewing Co.'s Belgica was a huge disappointment. A summer seasonal from the Denver brewery, Belgica comes in at an aggressive 7.2 percent ABV. The idea was allegedly to create a Belgian-style IPA. Belgica more or less slams together an abbey ale with a big IPA like, say, Modus Hoperandi. An interesting gamble, but unfortunately the flavors clash in a most unwelcome manner. It tastes like an industrial cleaner - I kept being reminded of Windex, ammonia and powdered soap. Belgica was disgusting, and I struggled to finish a 12-0z. bottle. One of the worst craft beers I've had in years. F

The third newish beer to pass Soggy Coaster's lips lately was Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Extra IPA. Sierra Nevada, of Chico, California, is a well-respected industry elder, having been around since 1980. They're known for their commitment to quality ingredients, using only whole-cone hops, for example. Torpedo is a big, hoppy IPA, coming in at 7.2 percent ABV and 70 IBUs. Although Soggy Coaster isn't a hophead, he recognizes this is a fine example of the style. I prefer slightly mellower IPAs, like Avery's version. But the hopheads among you will love it. B+

1 comment:

  1. I had the same reacion to Belgica. I've only had two Belgian IPAs (Belgica and Stone's Cali-Belgique). I loved Cali-Belgique though, much better flavor. I've seen it at Star Liquors recently.