Tag Archives: ale

Johnny Rails Pumpkin Ale – Erie Brewing

What better for the first day of spring than the first day of march madness and pumpkin beer?  Strange, I know – well, not the basketball, but the pumpkin beer.  We tried a pear saisson earlier and it was a bust.  This was a pretty safe bet.

I am a fan of most things pumpkin but with Little Bug’s cinnamon allergy, I rarely partake in cinnamon-laced anything.  Except beer.  I am fairly certain that she’s not going to end up in my beer since we usually drink it once she’s in bed.  This makes pumpkin beer an extra special treat.

My favorite is still O’Fallon’s Pumpkin but Erie Brewing’s Johnny Rails is a close second.  It’s spicy but the pumpkin flavor is clear.  So many times all you get is the spice and no squash – that can be so disappointing.  The balance is good but it is lacking a bit of the creaminess that I like.  I could drink a few of these given the chance.

Good luck with your brackets and cheers friends!

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Magic Hat Heart of Darkness

Mister and I are splitting a beet as usual.  He handed me this and it smelled roasty-toasty.  I could smell the coffee.  I didn’t hold out much hope.

I sipped.

I tasted toasty-roasty.  It wasn’t too bitter.  I actually got some banana.  It was surprising.  Not bad.  

Then the char hit.  Wow.  I wasn’t sure I could drink any more.  

But alas, I had another sip.  The char took a back seat and all in all, it wasn’t too bad. 

Magic Hat’s Heart of Darkness is a dark, chocolatey ale that isn’t terribly bitter.  It would make a porter-drinker pretty happy.  I couldn’t slam 6 of them (then again, I don’t think I could slam 6 of anything), but I thoroughly enjoyed my snifter tonight.


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Short’s Honey Badger

An American Black Lager brewed with Orange Blossom Honey…1553162_10202874701296266_699510632_o

It’s dark, no doubt.

The flowery-ness is very forward and the orange blossom comes through pretty clearly.  The beer itself isn’t bad but I don’t care for the finish.

Mister like it.  He can have it.

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Short’s Gingersnap

Mister’s brother gave us a bottle of Short’s Gingersnap to try.  It’s a brown ale with spices and molasses.

We didn’t like it.  In fact, it went down the drain.

The ginger is really strong.  I thought it was bitter.  Mister said doughy was coming through for him.  I didn’t get much cinnamon.  Something else was coming through funky.  I know Mister’s brother liked it so give it a shot and let me know what you think.

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Smithwick’s Imported Irish Ale

When Mister dumped the Red’s Rye, he picked this one from the stash.

Smithwick’s Imported Irish Ale (by Guinness).

Creamy. Slightly bitter.  Smooth.  Irish Ale.  Bonfire beer.

Need I say more?



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New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale

New Holland.  A Michigan Brewery.  Not our favorite – we do like some better than others, though.

Ichabod is a pumpkin ale.  When you sniff it, you can really smell the spice, nutmeg and cinnamon, for sure.  It has been aged in rum barrels and you can almost taste it.  The spice is very pronounced and the pumpkin isn’t.  This ale isn’t strong tasting or bitter but I think the run barrels really help.  There’s a hint of vanilla left on the palate.

It isn’t bad but I don’t think we’ll be drinking a lot of this.  It might make a really good beer float with some really good vanilla ice cream.


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Arcadia Ales Cocoa Loco

Sweet.  Slightly metallic.  A hint of coffee.  This beer smells delightful and looks amazing poured into a snifter.  It’s a chocolate brown-black with a few creamy bubbles.

Arcadia Ales Cocoa Loco is a dark ale made with 3 types of chocolate.  It surprisingly isn’t bitter, even for a 39 IBU.  Strangely enough, as the beer slides over my tongue, I get a strong sense of banana – not fake banana like the candy we had as kids, but a bite of a real banana.  It doesn’t stick around long enough to be annoying but slips away quickly.  The beer itself doesn’t linger long on the palate.  The chocolate is very muted, too.  If I had to pick one flavor it’d be coffee.

This seems to be one of those beers that doesn’t have any one thing outstanding but melds well as a whole.  While I’ve enjoyed my 1/2 bottle, I don’t think it’s one that we’ll be drinking much of.


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O’Fallon Black Hemp

There’s a storm a’brewin’.  We’re supposed to have a crap-ton of snow tonight. No, I don’t know how much a crap-ton weighs but I know it’s a lot.  I’m a teacher.  You know I’m more excited for the potential day off than the kids are – even if it meas that we have to go a day longer in June.

O’Fallon Black Hemp.  Different.  Delicious.  Delightful.

It’s a beautiful black just as the name suggests. It pours with a beautiful creamy bead around the top.

Mister’s thoughts?  “It’s fruity but really roasty.  I like it but I don’t know if it would be my favorite”

It’d say it’s on the heavier side for an ale but it isn’t undrinkable.  The nose is sweet and fruity.  You can taste the roasted grain but it doesn’t have a burnt or java flavor.  There’s a hint of bitterness but it isn’t off-putting and dissipates quite quickly.  I agree that this isn’t a favorite but I’m glad I tried it.  I have a feeling that by the time I finish my half of the bottle, I’ll have had enough.


OFallon Black Hemp

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Saugatuck Brewing Company Double Black Ale

Short and sweet tonight.

Saugatuck Brewing Company’s Double Black Ale is 8.2% ABV and rates a 93 IBU.  Bitter.  Bitter.  Bitter.  I didn’t even want to try it.

It was a pour-out but it was close.  Ok, I liked.  It’s dumpable.  The third sip was it.  I can’t do it.  It’s very dark and bitter.  The back-of-your-throat-disgusting kind of bitter.  I will say that it doesn’t linger as long as some of the others and the bitterness goes away more quickly than some of the others but I still couldn’t do it.

It doesn’t taste of coffee or smoke.  It doesn’t have a particularly roasty flavor.  Strangely, it’s quite citrusy.  Mister thought it was quite flowery. It doesn’t smell like much of anything but sweet to me.  Good luck with this one.  Unless you really like dark and bitter beers, don’t bother.  It’s just strange…

Cheers…I think…


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Fort Collins Red banshee

Drink #3 – Princess’ night

Location change – from local pub to downtown cozy wine bar with our closest group of friends

Drink choice – Fort Collins Red Banshee

Type – red/amber ale

Smooth, flavorful, slightly bitter but not offensive

Slightly heavy but incredible with creamed brûlée



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