Founders “Dirty Bastard”
This Scotch ale (wee heavy) has a wonderful earthy aroma with an almost tart caramel, roasted malt, mild chocolate undertones, leather, and just a touch of floral herbal hops. This uses a combination of ten different malts on the bill, so its quite complex. The flavor profile begins with sweet caramel, a panoply of fruits ranging from orange to guava, then delves into milk chocolate, and further with a touch of smoked peat. A drop of pine oil finishes out with a perfectly level 50 IBU bitterness. Additional hints of cinnamon, tobacco, vanilla, walnuts, almonds, and charred whiskey barrels. This delivers an impressive range of flavors, and each is due to one malt variety or another for a perfect mix that’s neither too sweet, too sour, or too bitter. Hops take a backseat, and that’s a good thing in this case. Mouth feel is sort of soft and mellow, well-rounded by alcohol. I actually got half way through the glass before I gasped and realized this is 8.5%, because the alcohol is just so stealthy. I think 8.5 is the perfect ABV. Founders is simply amazing and I just don’t have enough good things to say about their work.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Green Flash “Saison Diego”
Green Flash has been filling in the Belgian gaps in their lineup, including this Saison (farmhouse ale). Aromas include semi-spicy Belgian yeast (white pepper, clove), bread dough, white grapes, oranges, and bright lemon. Palate flavors begin with sweet wheat and a light use of pale malt that add bready, doughy flavors that merge with dried fruits. Next, hops bring in a grassy flavor and yeast begins to throw out hints of clove and white pepper with hints of banana. I enjoy the balancing blend of fruit (lemon zest, grapes, oranges, pears) with spices (ginger, grain of paradise, clove, and white pepper). Mouth feel is somewhat crisp and zesty, and the body is super light so it’s a session beer that’s probably perfect for spring or summer. Green Flash handles hops well, and while I really enjoy their IPA’s and stouts, their attempts at European styles (Rayon Vert, Grand Cru, Tripel) are simply off par. I think they should consider revising this recipe and upping the alcohol for me to take this beer seriously. While it’s a fine beer, it’s rather restrained and simple. Plus the $11 price tag for four beers at a meager 4.2% is simply not worth it so I’m forced withhold recommendation.
San Diego, California
my pop recently took a trip along the entire east coast of australia by boat.
he brought me back a few nice photos from the trip, so i will share them here.
photo by john bradbury