James and I went to breakfast yesterday at our local favorite 44 Stone. First, I wanted to spend a little Father/Son time with him watching sports before my trip to London, but I also saw (via the Tap Cams) that they had several new beers up.
It was a slow morning, and it was actually great to sit and talk with Mark for a change (discussing my Guinness Black Lager vs McSorley’s review).
Food was excellent as always, and here is a quick write-up about the beers -
SKA “Decadent” Double IPA – SKA Brewing is another brewery that has made multiple appearances here on S&B (Modus Hoperandi and Euphoria Pale Ale). They are quickly becoming one of my favorite independent brewers, from their Open Source Brewing (they’ll give you the recipes), Good Will Brews and they great beer they put out – These Colorado Craft Brewers are really making a name for themselves.
The tradition continues with my trip in to Decadence -
SKA “Decadent” Double IPA -
Nose-More citrus that floral, sweet malt and raisin really piqued my interest.
Taste-A lot smoother than I would have expected from a 10%. Very drinkable, with a complex Hops/Citrus/Pine flavor. Everything is brought together by a creamy mouthfeel combined with a slight vanilla finish.
Overall- I could drink this beer every day, all day – I liked it that much. A great way to start my drinking experience of the day – and maybe a few of the beers fared worse because of it.
An excellent 4 out of 5 product that might have scored higher if I drank more.
Rogue Double Chocolate Stout - I like most of the offerings from Rogue Ales- the Rogue offerings(In particular – Double Dead Guy Ale), so I was happy to see the Double Chocolate on the board -
Rouge Double Choclate Stout
Nose- Not as up front chocolaty as I thought it would be, more subtle and in line with Baker’s Chocolate vs a sweet milk style. There is a good mingling of roasted malts and coffee as well – just as you would expect from a stout.
Taste- A smooth mouthfeel with not as much of a chocolate taste as expected. The chocolate flavor was more subtle, and on the bittersweet side. I really liked the long dry finish.
Overall- Not the best Chocolate Stout on the market, but very passable. I would really like sit this side by side with their regular Double Stout to test the differences (I suspect that this is the “drier” of the two). A good starter beer and it paired well with my breakfast. Two or three pints would be the most I drink of it though, as I am afraid I would get bored with the flavor.
Solid 3 out of 5
Rockbridge “Lizard Fish” – Rock Bridge Brewing Company is a new brewery based right here in CoMO. When I say new, I really mean new – as their first real appearance was at the 2012 2nd Annual Missouri Beer Festival. The Lizard Fish offering is also fairly new, having just released as as well.
Rock Bridge “Lizard Fish”
Appearance-A cloudy pale orange with a generous off yellow head.
Nose- Sadly, almost non-existent. It actually reminded me of a Miller Lite than an APA.
Taste- Not much to this beer – I found it fairly lite, with only a hint of citrusy fruit and faint hops. If I had to sum it up in one word – Bland.
Overall- I’ve been a fan of Rock Bridge since day one (actually prior to Day one when I met one of the owners at a bar) and I really really want them to succeed. However, it seems that they are really trying to rush product to market – and many of their beers could do with a bit more aging (especially their IPA). These are the reviews I hate to write, because I have a personal interest in the product, but I have to give my honest opinion. While I find their product line to be fairly solid, I really think they need to focus on improving the three flagship beers before branching out into other areas – as this affects quality across the board, which is apparent here. I have found this to be their worst beer yet, and would give it 2 out of 5.
Southern Tier “Hop Sun” Summer Wheat – I’m not a big fan of the current Summer Wheat beers on the market right now. Maybe its due to my palette evolving over the years, or the fact that I grew up drinking wheats in Germany – and everything else pales in comparison. That being said, I’ve had some excellent experience Southern Tier in the past (un-earthly Imperial IPA), so I thought I would give it a try – I’m glad I did.
Southern Tier “Hop Sun” Summer Wheat -
Nose-Definate citrus (lemon) opening with a nice “just cut the grass” hint.
Taste- With a slightly watery mouthfeel, I was pleasently surprised by the mild (yet complex) flavor profile. Starting out with a sweet beginnig, the floral and citrus kicks in with hints of pine.
Overall- A very refreshing beer (and I mean that), I was impressed all around. This would be a great beer for sitting in the heat, especially after doing some yard work. I really enjoyed it. While not my typical style of beer, it did play to the IPA fans out there, and that is why I give it Four out of Five -
What a great lineup. Since 44 Stone is closed on Monday, all four of the above beers SHOULD be on tap Tuesday – head on over and give your opinions below in the comments section. We always enjoy feedback.
Cheers - E