April Dirty Thirty Day 1 – Adroit Theory B/A/Y/S Ghost 003

Well here we are. April 1st is upon us. Baseball has started and so has the April Dirty Thirty! First up to bat is…

Adroit Theory B/A/Y/S Imperial Stout

Adroit Theory B/A/Y/S Imperial Stout

Adroit Theory Brewing Company B/A/Y/S Ghost Batch #003

Imperial Stout

The Mud Hound Sessions

Critical Information:

  • 9.1% ABV
  • 80 IBU
  • 38 SRM

My Experience:

– Pour

Poured from a corked bottle into room-temp mug. Beer warmed up to about 50 degrees (recommended 52-56). Deep, dark black color not even penetrated by iPhone flashlight. Small head with not much to hardly any carbonation.

– Smell

Strong smell of cherries accented with some rubbing alcohol and hazelnut (a little angry that it says cherry and hazelnuts those on the bottle. I got the cherries right off the bat before I read it then was able to find the hazelnuts after).

– Taste

Potent. But hey, it’s an imperial stout. I could really taste the cherries and some woodiness. I sensed some black licorice too.

– Mouthfeel

It coats the mouth very smoothly without any carbonation.

– After taste

I’m typing this while drinking it so as I write this I feel the alcohol content and cherries lingering. The coating left from the previous sip/gulp keeps the flavors active for 2+ minutes.

– Food

This would be an after dinner dessert drink. I could see it being paired with an ice cream or anything with whipped cream.

– Overall thoughts

This beer is 80 IBU but you wouldn’t know that unless you read the bottle. It is also, as I said earlier, potent. The strength of the flavor is definitely in conjunction with the beer style. Personally I’m not the biggest fan of the high-alcohol content imperial stouts (even though I will gladly drink a regular stout any time of the day). However this is a local beer made by a new brewery and real, regular people. That definitely helps me enjoy the beer more.

Score: 5/10

Brewery and B/A/Y/S Information

Adroit Theory was started in 2011 by Mark and Nina, the owners, and Greg joined this March as the brewer. Nina decided on Adroit which means “clever” or “skillful with the hands.” Mark chose Theory because, “it captured the theoretical, boundry pushing concepts we try to put into our recipes.”

They hope to have the build out of our warehouse done later this summer, and with the proper licenses in place, have a few soft openings this fall.

B/A/Y/S is, “an acronym based on the lyrics “Black As Your Soul” taken from a lyric by a Nine Inch Nails song. Given the mysteriouos and multi-layered dimensions in the bottle artwork, we thought it was a clever turn of phrase. Plus it perfectly describes the pitch black aspect of the brew.”

What’s different about B/A/Y/S from other imperial stouts is that it’s aged on Chestnut wood. “Chestnut is virtually extinct, and we have to take reclaimed wood from old barns etc, and plane them down into staves. The Chestnut gives an earthiness to the stout that I have not tasted anywhere else. When paired with the cherries and hazelnut additions, I think it really works.”

Thought for the Day

One thing I truly believe is that beer tastes better when you can connect with it on a personal level. Knowing who the brewers are and what went into making the beer makes any beer better. I hope Adroit Theory keeps pumping out new batches and continues to succeed. This was a great start to April Dirty Thirty. What did you start #AprilDirty30 with?

Wednesday Review: New Belgium Trippel

New Belgium Trippel bottle poured into glass

The beer of the weekend – New Belgium Trippel

It took 20 minutes of pacing the beer aisle of Harris Teeter last Friday but I decided to pick up a six-pack of New Belgium Trippel, which I had never had before.

New Belgium, out of Fort Collins, Colorado, has brought us great beers such as Fat Tire, Snow Day and one of my favorites, the retired 2˚ Below.

Critical information:

  • Started being produced in 1992
  • 7.8% ABV
  • 25 IBUs
  • 221 calories
  • Hops: Saaz, Liberty, Target
  • Malts: Pale, Munich, Victory
  • Spice: Coriander

My experience:

I poured the Belgian style ale into a Weizen glass. It had a white head that lasted two or so minutes. It was very carbonated and bubbled for a long time. It had an orange-brown color and was extremely see-through, helping to accent the bubbles.

It smelled of coriander and oranges.

It tasted toasty ending with the hops. It had a light/airy texture. I could really taste the spices. The aftertaste resonated for a while after each sip.

Maybe I was craving bacon at the time but I think it’d go great with a BLT on white. Also I think I’d go well with a hard, sharp Parmesan.

Even at such a high alcohol percentage, I could have quite a few of these in a row. I was pleasantly surprised in how much I liked it and have already bought another six-pack.

Score: 9/10

What new beers have you had recently that you’ve enjoyed?

Triumphant by Chance

Triumph Brewing Company

Triumph Brewing Company

A college reunion with some friends in Philadelphia landed me at Triumph Brewing Company. This definitely wasn’t the first brewery I was planning to review on this blog since I’ve barely heard of them and never had anything by them before but nonetheless the opportunity presented itself so I took it.

As stated in Lesson One: Cleansing the Palate, I have no idea how to properly taste beer, but after receiving a heartfelt pep talk from a fellow beer blogger, Joshua Dion of Lost in the Beer Aisle, I figured there’s no better way to learn than by doing it. Let me also add the disclaimer that I was completely unprepared and am basing this all from memory from a sleep-deprived weekend out with friends.

The Beer:

We did a flight of eight beers. The most notable were Johnny Sage, Smoked IPA and the Bengal Gold IPA.

  • Johnny Sage – Herbed / Spiced Beer with 6.9% ABV. It went down easily but tasted like Thanksgiving stuffing. It seemed like it was trying too hard to be different and that didn’t help. Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Pumking does something similar – and much more successful – with the potent spices. I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending this one unless it was the fourth Thursday in November.
  • Smoked IPA – American IPA with 6.6% ABV. The first 4oz was awesome. All you could taste was bacon and hops. We had the option of getting a repeat of one sample and this was the one I chose. The second 4oz was well, boring. I had my fill of bacon and it again tasted like it was trying too hard to be different. I could do 12-18oz – maybe – but definitely not anymore.
  • Bengal Gold IPA – American IPA with 6.5% ABV. I was too excited over the bacon-flavored Smoked IPA to appreciate the Bengal Gold IPA the first time around. I was fortunate to have a sample donated to me. It had a nice golden color and could taste the malt and wasn’t overpowered by hops like a lot of IPAs. This was the one beer that I would buy on a regular basis.

The group I was with – 2:11 male-to-female ratio – all seemed to agree that most of the beers we sampled weren’t anything special.

The Place:

I only took in the atmosphere on a few trips to the men’s room. The artwork is definitely unique, interesting folkish art work on the walls, and there was a stage, but I was there mid afternoon, so no live music. Our server was friendly but didn’t share any knowledge about the beer, which left me disappointed. The food was good, I sampled their soft German pretzels with house-made Triumph Ale mustard and would order it again without hesitation.

The Rating:

3.5 out of 10. Seeing that this is my first review, maybe that rating categorizes me as a pretty tough judge, but the place was clean and served me beer in a timely manner with good food so I won’t whine too much.