Archive for January, 2011

Ninkasi Total Domination IPA

Posted in ale, ipa on January 30, 2011 by Mick

A beer Vader approves of...

Right there. LOOK! Right on the bottle it reads: “Beer is a staple of civilization”. Fuck yeah it is. Especially if I were to run a country…like Mickaragua!


Pretty brilliant people, those Oregonians. Its pretty awesome to name your brewery after the Sumerian Goddess of fermentation, Ninkasi. I mean, if not awesome, but lofty. Especially if you can stand behind it.


I first had this IPAIn Seattle,  purchased for me by my friend Jeremy. He knew I was a fan of hoppy beers, and he being a fan himself, I knew I could trust his judgment. He warned me that it wasnt the most severly potent of IPA’s at 6.7% abv, which is fine. Because as you all may or may not know, to me its MOSTLY about the flavors. I popped the cap on this one, and I could immediately get a sense that I was in IPA country. The hoppiness was direct right off the bat, and the citric “taste” I was about to throw down with, punched me in the nose. This, is always a good sign to an amazing start.


I take the first sip and immediately, I am reminded of hoppy IPAs like the Big Daddy’s and the Racer 5’s. But further milling this around my mouth takes me to a level that has the SLIGHTEST of nutiness, akin to a brown ale. Now, I will be the FIRST person to refuse a Fat Tire (review coming soon, I promise. Its just such a vile beer) because of the OVER-nut flavor of it, but I learned that in very SMALL SMALL quantities, a nutty flavor…well, aint that nutty!


This beer is quite filling too, and very enjoyable. As if the Goddess Ninkasi herself, was wrapping her matronly arms around my shoulders and hugging life and sweet sweet fermented love into me, sip by loving sip. Matter of fact, the more I drink this fine IPA, the more I feel WARM and cozy inside. Looking at my thermo, its now 48 degrees in Oakland, California. And funny enough, Im comfortable.


I decided this. This is a brewery I can get behind. I can follow these folks, and hope for the best. Because I expect the best. Perusing their website, I got a beer boner of their library. Tricerahops Double IPA, SLEIGHER Dark Double Alt Ale (used in the typeface, as in Slayer the metal band) and Maiden the Shade (using the Iron Maiden typeface).


Beer and metal? That’s is some serious sexual coupling I can get behind. Im glad a brewery like Ninkasi can not only look over mental porn for me, but the general fermentation of all good things. Speaking of good things, I expect to be seeing a few more good high scores here on WTFIMD from Ninkasi.


No pressure of course, Goddess.


My score  – 94 out of 100 glorious points.

Jarful of Goddess....

Drake’s Denogginizer Imperial IPA

Posted in ale, Imperial, ipa on January 30, 2011 by Mick

Taken by yours truly, at my desk

As you may have read in my previous review of the Black Diamond Brewery Rampage Imperial IPA, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of hoppiness and malt for what was called an Imperial, or in other words, a “double IPA”. Since I have been on a big beer kick lately (that is, beers sold in 22oz bottles) I also picked up this son of a bitch. To be quite honest, I had left this one on the fence to try because my work week needed the utmost attention. And with a beer called the Denogginizer, weighing in at a liver-bruising 9.75% abv, I needed a very lazy Sunday.


And glad I did. Sundays are usually reserved for big dinners and laying around. Which, is this IIPA’s raison d’etre.  I say big meal because when I popped the cap off of this badboy, there were like a million scents and smells that corrupted my entire olfactory system. (Speaking of “olfactory”, Drake’s distills their beer in an old factory, literally. The old Caterpillar factory in San Leandro, CA. Yuk yuk). The tastes I would get would only exaggerate my senses.


As I poured this big feller into the Sally Jar (that is, a mason jar given to me by Sally Kuchar, which I do ALL of my beer testing with), immediately I saw how dark and malty the head was. I got…EXCITED. Having an IIPA at 90 IBUs (that is, the measurement for hoppiness) its a pretty good indication that I was to get what i predicted. Strong citrus tastes, grapefruitiness, and just the perfect mount of TANG from the FOUR (count them, four) different varieties of hops used; Simcoe, Columbus, Cascade and Amarillo. What I did not predict, however, was the super malty balance to the hoppiness. I think maybe it was a bit too malty, as their use of the Crystal and Munich malts went a really long way. I expect my IPAs and IIPAs to be flavorful, but a little refreshing, but this malt-heavy brain flasher tastes like no other IIPA Ive ever had. Im not turned off in the least, its just completely different than what Im used to.


This, Black Diamond Brewery, is what an Imperial IPA is. Take notes. A flavor that punches you in the sense and jars your brain into a new world of mouth sensations.  Dare I say, it DENOGGINIZES you.


My score is 93 out of 100.


Sally Jar of Brain Fuzz



Black Diamond Brewery Rampage Imperial IPA

Posted in ale, ipa on January 29, 2011 by Mick

Dont let Dumbo fool you....

I live in an area where local beer is quite the luxury…Russian River Brewery, 21st Amendment, Speakeasy, Anchor, Rogue…you cant go wrong. After parusing WholeFoods’ olive bar* (I like to “test olives and consider them for my next social event”. This makes it ok to eat a 1/2 pound of them for free) I recently discovered that Black Diamond Brewery, out of Walnut Creek, CA makes an Imperial IPA. Well hell. I have a powerful thirst, and this badboy elephant label looks like it might be a contender for smashing said parchedness. It says Imperial. It is called RAMPAGE.  Thats fucking badass, right?

Well, if you WANT to Rampage, sure. At 9.0% abv, it can knock you silly. But damn kid, Im 36. Im refined and shit. I need some flavor. When i drink an Imperial IPA, i expect something just a little more than an IPA…like i dont know…an “Imperial” more. Rampage didnt quite do it. Ive had regular IPAs that poach this pachyderm.

Dont get me wrong, its a decent beer, if it werent for its lofty title. By definition, Imperial IPAs denote more hops and malt than an IPA. So I am not too far off in complaining here. I think if Black Diamond were to market THIS beer as its regular IPA and shoot higher for the specialty beers, they could be a contender in the local Bay Area market.

For now, i give this “Imperial IPA” 72 out of 100.

If it were an IPA, it wouldve been scored much higher. This is a perfect example of how marketing can tusk you in the ass.

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Posted in ale, ipa on January 29, 2011 by Mick

Dont take me lightly, puny human...

Have you ever been punched in your fat face by a gargoyle with a grapefruit for a fist? Anyone? *crickets* Fine. Well I have. And it was from this beer. Stone rarely does wrong, and they rightly did no wrong with this one.


Originally brewed as their 11th anniversary ale in ’07, the SSRA was never intended to be, well, so self-righteous. But do to the success of the ale, and the public demand for MORE MORE MORE! they had no choice.

They didnt change a thing about the recipe, using the Trio of Hoppy Triumph (Chinook, Amarillo and Simcoe hops) to make a lip puckering, 90 IBU bitterly deep ale that will roundhouse your sorry ass at 8.7% abv.

And if the hops dont get you off of the first smack, the cornucopia of flavors that follow will. Im going to go out on a limb and say this…it is hands down, my jam at the moment. I am in love with a beer. Im not going to tell you the filthy things i did with this self-righteous bitch, but man. I felt like a dirty dirty man afterward.

That of course, could have been the insane buzz I got. Its like they say, something something beer, then something hangover.

My score – A sublimely 98 out of 100 self-righteous choral “Ahhhhhhhh”s