Stone RuinTen Triple IPA – Orange Peel & Vanilla Bean

Total Score: 7.75/10 Orange1Bubblegum1Peppercorns1Tulipglass1

It’s edging closer to #950, and the beers are getting bigger and better, this time it’s a heavyweight brew in the craft beerosphere: Stone RuinTen Triple IPA – Orange Peel & Vanilla Bean. This 10.8% ABV Triple IPA is a triple threat with orange peel, vanilla bean, and of course a blindingly great hop bill with Magnum, Centennial and Citra® hops. Best of three worlds, or the best of all? Usually with Stone it is the latter, however this one has a June 8 2017 bottle date and is way past the “best by” for any hops, so the *hop fade* alert must be sounded [which sounds a bit like a klaxon being drowned in beer]. That said even the beers that I’ve had from Stone that were sorely out of date “shelf turds” have been pretty bitchen, and the addition of orange peel should provide a citrus boost to where the hops once were *fingers crossed*.

Poured from a 650ml US Bomber sized bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Wow, nice hazed deep orange/amber body with a thin beige head that slowly descends leaving behind splotchy lace pockets. The colour of this brew is an ominous orange, like a warning for sailors to turn back or risk ending up in Davy Jones locker (which is apparently large and watery). 8/10.

S: A highly viscous aroma, it’s like some sort of orange honey, with a peppery background note and a touch of green hop cones rounding out an impressive and foreboding Triple IPA. This is Stone doing their thing – repeatedly punching you in the face with delicious beer. Stone… Stop that Stone. No noticeable vanilla bean in the aroma is a minor disappointment. 9/10.

T: Flavour comes on strong, and slightly hot (alcohol-wise), which is no doubt due to the date on this bottle. Flavours of oranges (peel and all) with a piney, almost bubble-gum character, peppery mid, dry cracker malt, hints of pineapple, and a sweet schnapps finish. The flavour is a little bit all over the shop – which is unusual for Stone who usually craft exceptionally well-balanced beers. Still this is a 10.8% Triple IPA I have to keep reminding myself as I chow down on 5.54 standard drinks. 7/10.

M: Mid to heavy, fairly viscous bodied, with an almost flat but dense carbonation. 8/10.

D: Didn’t get the vanilla bean at all, I think it kinda got drowned out in a cacophony of flavours, but aside from that, and the flavour balance, this was a brew that I would try again (if I could get it fresh). Stone still indeed rock. 8/10.

Food match: Tough match, this beer is a bit of a meal in itself – maybe Thai food.

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Modus Operandi Future Factory IIPA

Total Score: 7.9/10 Pineapple1PapayaMango1HopFlower1Tulipglass1

Bloody Modus! Every time I think the coast is clear on their limited release brews they crack out another brilliant corker, it wouldn’t be so bad if they were adding to their core range but this stuff is produced in such limited batches and so sparsely distro’d that if you don’t get your hands on it this very instant, I mean like right NOW! Then poof it’s gone. What hope does a punter like me have? I have to buy it the very instant I see it, and this 8.5% ABV behemoth is $16 a 500ml can! Really Modus you are starting to take the piss with this constant release cycle of brilliant and very limited beers that I know I’ll love and have to buy right away you magnificent bastards. [PS: It’s a love/hate relationship with Modus, my tastebuds love them but my wallet hates them].

Poured from a 500ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: NEIPA alert confirmed, this is a code NEIPA (New England IPA), which consists of an amber-y coloured murky AF body with a cappuccino foam white head that sticks around for a while and leaves some delicious scroll-work lace on the side of the glass. I do have a soft spot for the look of a NEIPA, I love cloudy beers. 8/10.

S: Aroma is like a “best of” album for Modus’s IIPAs with a hashy/resin green hop character mingling amongst pineapple, mango and papaya, with a dash of Sauvignon Blanc grape. It’s not only bordering on the sweet side of aromas, it’s invaded the sweetness like a German blitzkrieg. From here I cant see how it’s not going to be cloying in the flavour department. 8/10.

T: Yep, it’s sweet, it’s basically an alcoholic Golden Circle tropical fruit flavoured popper (juice box)… which if you’re familiar with the NEIPA style is pretty standard. Flavours are pineapple, mango, papaya, hint of green hops, with a slight peppery note towards the finish and a sugar syrup centre. Not as cloyingly sweet as expected – it’s around the same level of sweetness as a popper. Finish has a mild green hop bitterness. The balance is pretty decent. 8/10.

M: Mouthfeel is a bit thin for 8.5% ABV – medium bodied with a thin but dense carbonation. Definitely could use a bit of work here. 7/10.

D: You’ll enjoy this based purely on if you actually like tropical fruit juice, because that basically is what you’re getting with Modus Operandi Future Factory IIPA… in a 3.6 standard drink form factor. I didn’t mind it, personally I like tropical flavours and have always been keen on punch, but your mileage may vary. 8/10.

Food match: It’s a tired cliché of mine to say “green papaya salad” but it works here.

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Clown Shoes Galactica Double IPA

Total Score: 7.3/10 Caramel1HopFlower1Biscuit1Tulipglass1

It’s been a while between drinks for me and Clown Shoes, having tried Clementine and Chocolate Sombrero back in 2014 and liking both. Well fast forward to 2017 and Galactica Double IPA popped up in my local bottle-o (Black Sheep Newmarket). I usually avoid East Coast IPAs now due to the length of time spent in transit to Australia and my 1st hand experience with ‘hop fade’ (Google it). However this Clown Shoes is in a can, and I believe cans stay fresher for longer than bottles, I’m sure there’s some sort of science behind that theory. Armed with this (fervent) belief I eagerly cracked open the can to find inside: Beer! That delicious amber fluid I suspected I would find, yay! PS: Watch this space as I am coming up to a milestone review (#950) and I always go BIG or go home for those [I chose BIG again].

Poured from a 473ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hazy deep amber/orange body with a boisterous beige head that sits tall at an inch and remains resolute for some time before dropping back. Didn’t even give it that much of a hard pour either, just a bit of agitation… a jibe or two (“yo wort so ugly even hello kitty said goodbye” that sorta thing). 7/10.

S: Hmmm, piney, caramel, toffee, biscuits, earthy note, hint of passionfruit… yep, that there’s your standard West Coast Double IPA aroma, she’ll go from 0 to 60 (IBUs) in under 3.4 seconds, with a top IBU of around 105, whilst doing about 3-4 malts per gallon (of wort). Tasty drop that. 8/10.

T: Reminiscent of SN Torpedo and Founders Centennial, though armed with the knowledge that there was hop fade in both those brews when I originally reviewed them I’m now less impressed with this DIPA from Clown Shoes. Flavours are pretty malt forward (caramel, toffee, biscuits) with a piney/earthy hop presence, and if I close my eyes and try really hard to picture it there’s a touch of passionfruit in there as well. Finish has a medicinal herbal hop note with a medium bitterness. Little indication of the 8% ABV as well. This is a decent DIPA then. 7/10.

M: Mouthfeel could be better with peers like Founders (of course!) crushing this area, Galactica has left me wanting more with a medium body and a flat dense carbonation. 6/10.

D: Overall I might sound a bit harsh, and now spoiled by ‘hop fade’ facts and all the great beers out there now, but this is a middle-of-the-road brew from Clown Shoes, who are not known to play in the middle-of-the-road. 8/10.

Food match: Gourmet pizza – rocket, walnut, prosciutto and truffle pecorino… yeah?

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Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei Bonifatius Dunkel

Total Score: 6.6/10 Caramel1Butter1Nut1Stein1

From Pils to Dunkel, like cradle to the grave we traipse onto another brew. Another day another brew, inexorably trekking onwards, ever closer to the sweet release of death… just kidding, I love drinking and reviewing beers! [FML…IA! – F**k My Life… IS AWESOME!] Still I’m going to have to take a self-imposed sabbatical soon, yet I’m so close to that constant looming 1,000 beer reviews… what does this have to do with this Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei Bonifatius Dunkel? Nothing really, can’t a man philosophise every once and a while? Seriously though I do enjoy a good Dunkel, I’ve reviewed like 5 of them… I guess out of 944 beers that makes me “not a fan” of the style, which is a shame because I definitely enjoy Dunkels more than mass-produced macro crap and I’ve definitely reviewed more than 5 macro Lagers.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a stein.

A: Deep, clear caramel/rust coloured body with a sizable beige head that takes its sweet time to dissolve [there’s a pun in there somewhere]. She looks better than the Pils by virtue of simply being a darker brew, pretty harsh bias, however the Pils did look too yellow and clear and ironically (for a klosterbrau) mass-produced. 7/10.

S: Rum-raisin character all over this aroma! [I actually hate rum-raisin… yep] Dark fruits aplenty with this Dunkel, more so than the other 5 Dunkels I tried… I think… it’s been a while for me in the saddle. Toffee and bread notes as well in the aroma, though there is no getting past old mate rum-raisin, he’s a pushy one he is. 6/10.

T: Thankfully the flavour isn’t rum-raisin but more Werther’s Original toffee… dipped in butter. The Diacetyl in this brew is pretty off-the-charts, lucky I don’t mind Diacetyl (when it plays well with the other flavours). Rounding out the flavours are a slight nutty character, maybe pecan, with a herbal leafy tobacco note in the finish. Sweet? Dry? Bitter? It’s a bit of all of those. Surprisingly good balance. Uh oh! Metallic twang in the after taste, my filings are excited now. 7/10.

M: Mid to light, almost medium bodied, with a fairly dense/creamy carbonation, some balance has been restored after the disappointment of Eucharius Pils. 7/10.

D: Damn metallic taste detracting from the rest of the brew! Otherwise I would be all over this like Sundays (and sundaes, which I am also all over). I get an impression from Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei so far as a rather hodge-podge kind of monastery that is into brewing for the fun of it and cuts corners a little to let the old monks have a go at brewing and isn’t fussed about the end product. 6/10.

Food match: Sundaes, which I am all over: “get your Dunkel sundae here!”.

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Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei Eucharius Pils

Total Score: 6.25/10 GreenApple1Bread1RedApple1Stein1

Time for Pils… ner! [let me finish my sentence before you go all “drugs are bad, mmkay” dear reader] Looks like we’re back to Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei after their pretty damn awful Cannabis Club Sud brew. God that beer was awe-inspiring in its aw-fulness. Eucharius Pils promises to be a better affair, for one there’s no weird ingredients like hemp oil in it. But mostly it’s all about a German monastery making a classic German Pilsner – heavy-bodied, softly carbonated, honey/bread driven brews, yum! Sign me up captain. I’m definitely curious about their Monk’s Fest beer with a large-set bald monk with ripe red cheeks on the front label – we know what he’s been up to, he’s been drinking all that delicious beer hasn’t he? Yep. Prost peeps!

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a stein.

A: Clear light golden body, some might say piss-yellow, but those people need to drink more water [your piss should be almost clear!] with a fluffy white head that compacts down to about a finger (a rather useless measurement as different individuals have different finger sizes). 7/10.

S: Red cider apples, hint of honey, a touch of crisp green apple, and a reasonably bready centre. Pretty straightforward German Pils, nothing out of the ordinary, just a good standard Pils. 7/10.

T: Crisp green apple upfront, which helps cut through a slight honey and heavy bread centre and lead towards a sweet cider apple note, finishing fairly crisp and floral. Reasonably bitter for a German Pils – which is low in IPA/APA terms, but nonetheless noted if you’re a keen Pilsner drinker and you don’t like any bitterness in your brew. Flavour overall is a bit “meh” TBH, needs a little sumptin’ sumptin’. 6/10.

M: Mid to light, touch watery, thin carbonation – needs more body and denser carbonation. 6/10.

D: Bit plainer than expected, needs better texture, average in all other areas, Weihenstephaner Pils puts this to shame frankly (I def underscored that Pils when I first reviewed it, coming back to that recently I was like “man this is the sheeit!”). Not much else to say about Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei Eucharius Pils – it’s just a middle of the road brew. Entschuldigung nicht leid. 6/10.

Food match: German fare is what will get you there, have some schweinefleisch or pretzels mit senf, that will definitely be the ticket mein freund.

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Stone Fruitallica Double India Pale Ale

Total Score: 8.45/10 Orange1Kiwi1Chili1Tulipglass1

Strangely enough I almost didn’t buy this Double India Pale Ale from those masters of mayhem: Stone Brewing, in collaboration with Beavertown and one of NZ’s finest: Garage Project. It struck me as an odd cacophony of flavours, however last time I thought that was Stone Mocha IPA, and we all know how well that went with me [pretty, pretty good]. Then I was speaking with one of the bar tenders at Bloodhound in the valley (Brisvegas of course), and he rated this brew very highly, so who am I to refuse another awesomesauce brew from Stone? Here’s a bit of the bottle blurb: “… with a power trio of kiwi, yuzu and habanero. Yuzu and habanero, sure, but who knew kiwi fruit could be so metal.” Well I kinda always suspected kiwi to be a little bit metal, have you seen a kiwi fruit before? It’s like a shaved head.

Poured from a 650ml US bomber bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy orange sunburst body with a nice meaty cream-coloured head that slowly drops back leaving a bit of lace on the sides of the glass. Looks pretty standard, I happen to like my DIPAs cloudy, so thanks there Stone. 8/10.

S: Aroma is BIG [Bearing Immense Gusto] and bold with a sharp citric stab no doubt provided by the yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit that is sorta half-lemon/half-grapefruit in flavour). Hints of kiwi, piney notes, and a dash of habanero round out this juicy DIPA fragrance – so looking forward to the next part. Any criticisms? Perhaps the kiwi and habanero could be a little more elevated, but it’s a minor critique. 8/10.

T: Wow, yeah! Old mate from Bloodhound wasn’t kidding – this is an absolute ripper of a DIPA! Very citrusy, that yuzu comes through well along with orange juice and pink grapefruit. Kiwi is adds a slight background sweetness, and habanero a slight background spiciness, both of those flavours could use a dial up. Piney/tropical fruit (bit of the old pineapple chunks) come through as well. Finishes a touch on the sweeter side with a reasonably mild earthy bitterness (some hop fade is noted here). Once again Stone have nailed a big juicy DIPA. Ahhh, the habanero comes through as some heat in the aftertaste. That 8% ABV is barely registered too. 9/10.

M: Mid to heavy bodied with a dense and creamy/light carbonation. 8/10.

D: Once again Stone have shown themselves to be the masters of their domain, the kings (& queens) of their castle, which is brewing great big beers that taste interesting and go down waaay too easy. Once again I must tip my hat to Stone. Cheers you big old Wookie Greg Koch! 8/10.

Food match: Malaysian or Mexican, both would work well with this.

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Brouhaha Brewery Northern Hemisphere IPA

Total Score: 7.4/10 Orange1Biscuit1HopFlower1Nonicpint1

Over to the Northside of Brisbane, which apparently includes Maleny, for this review in the battle of IPAs of Brouhaha Brewery Northern Hemisphere IPA. DISCLAIMER: I now live on the Northside of Brisbane, however I claim no bias in the much heated battles Brisbanites have “between North and Southside which is better?” due to living equally on both sides and being originally from Canberra anyhow. So let’s take a look at the hop bill for this one: Well… erm… there’s no info anywhere on the label or the interweb, so we’ll just have to believe Brouhaha on this. While I’m at it though I might take a stab at guessing what’s in this brew and maybe the brewers can get back to me if I’m right: Citra, Mosaic, Amarillo and Columbus are my guesses.

Poured from a 375ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Clear amber body with a nice cream-coloured and sticky cappuccino foam head that slowly drops back leaving faint lattice-work lace on the side of the glass. Looks much nicer than the Slipstream brew (sorry SBC team). Still, filtered IPAs? Nah mate. 8/10.

S: Interesting turn in the much vaunted “battle of the IPAs” – this aroma is much more muted than Slipstream’s IPA. Aroma is more of a figgy-jammy character [FIGJAM] with a sweet fruit fragrance from ripe fig and orange blossom honey, and a hit of piney character in the centre which leads to a tangerine note in the background. This definitely has Mosaic hops fingerprints all over it. Smells fresh, but less fresh than Slipstream’s IPA [canned on: 06/11/17 aha, that’s why then]. 7/10.

T: Hmmm, tangerine forward and all over here, with a honey biscuit and caramel malt centre, light floral/piney character and a slight grassy hop finish. Much more subdued in flavour and attitude from the Slipstream brew, however that was a part of Slipstreams problem – it was too busy. This has fewer hop voices in harmony, and again from Brouhaha’s DIPA – they seem to know how to hide alcohol, with this 6.8% ABV being quite sly. 8/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a thin, watery carbonation and very light hop resins – neither brews win this battle. 6/10.

D: Out of the 2 brews (this Brouhaha & Slipstream Southern Hemisphere IPA) I feel that the Brouhaha brew is the one that I would more likely return to – it may have less hop character, but that lessor hop character works better. 7/10.

Food match: Probably biased because I had it for dinner tonight: Greek cuisine.

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