2005 | REVIEWS | NEW BEER RELEASES
NEW BEER RELEASES
Does your brewery have a new release or new seasonal
release? To have it reviewed here, please send at least two
bottles, a flat label and information about the beer to our
CBN offices located at: New Releases, Celebrator
Beer News, 22455 Maple Court, Lower Level, Hayward, CA 94541
Anderson Valley Summer Solstice
Anderson Valley Brewing Co., California
The new companion to Anderson Valley Brewing’s popular
Winter Solstice, this is the first year it’s been bottled.
It boasts rich aromas of butterscotch and vanilla. Dark golden
color. Soft, creamy flavors with hints of vanilla and other
subtle spices. Malt-forward with great conditioning. A very
refreshing beer, perfect for summer. 5.6% abv. Highly Recommended.
Bayhawk Ales, California
Brewed with Columbus, Centennial and Willamette hops for a
spicy, peppery nose. Dark amber color and a thick, tan head.
It’s a very bitter IPA (70 IBUs) with strong flavors
and a long, lingering finish. 7% abv. Recommended.
Deschutes Bachelor Bitter,
Bond Street Series
Deschutes Brewery, Oregon
Formerly a regular bottled item in the Deschutes line, this
is now brewed only at Deschutes Public House, the pub brewery
on Bond Street in downtown Bend, Oregon where each brewer
takes a turn making or designing a personal beer. Beginning
with this 22-ounce bottle, more of these beers will become
available throughout the year. This version of the Bachelor
Bitter has a subtle floral nose and deep amber color. It’s
an easy-drinking beer with good bittering, with all the hops
you’d expect from the Pacific Northwest. Highly Recommended.
El Diablo Pequeno
Valley Brewing Co., California
A Belgian-style saison spiced with licorice root, coriander,
grains of paradise and wintergreen, among others. It has a
very complex nose and golden-amber color. Complex tastes with
delicate flavors and spicy hints. Every sip reveals new layers.
6% abv. Outstanding.
Full Sail IPA
Full Sail Brewing Co., Oregon
Available from March through September, Full Sail’s
IPA has herbal aromas and a dark amber color. It’s a
milder IPA, on the order of an English-style IPA (60 IBUs)
with some hop spiciness and overall creaminess. 6% abv. Recommended.
Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti
Great Divide Brewing Co., Colorado
Great Divide Brewing in Denver has created a new line of big
beers to complement its regular line of excellent ales. Along
with the annual Hibernation Ale, five new beers have been
bottled in 22-ounce bottles. The Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
is, quite simply, one of the best new beers we’ve had
this year. It has a terrifically complex nose of hop aromas
and malty sweetness. Dark, deep black color and a humongous,
rich, tan head. It’s smooth tasting, creamy and very
complex, with roasted malt flavors and strong chocolate notes.
The oak adds a subtle vanilla character and, most happily,
is not overpowering. Instead, it beautifully complements the
big stout profile. The finish is hoppy (70 IBUs) and goes
on and on. Run, don’t walk to your nearest retailer
to pick up this beer — it blew us away! It really is
a monster, though it’s certainly not abominable. 9.5%
Great Divide Titan IPA
Great Divide Brewing Co., Colorado
Another of the new big beers from Great Divide. Bright hop
nose with peppery, spicy and floral notes and a pleasing copper
color. It’s a zesty full-bodied IPA with a delightfully
big hop presence and a bold finish. 6.8% abv. Outstanding.
Hofbräu München, Germany
Lightly sweet nose and gorgeous copper color. Sweet malt flavors,
a great mouthfeel and terrific balance. Smooth and refreshing,
with a clean finish. An excellent example of the style. Outstanding.
Lagunitas Imperial Red
Lagunitas Brewing Co., California
Lagunitas’s newest seasonal is a strong ale and is one
of its best. It has a big, hoppy nose with herbal notes. Deep
reddish-amber color and a thick, rich, tan head. Creamy-delicious
with big fat flavors. It just keeps getting better and better
as the glass is slowly drained. Another wow from the boys
in Petaluma! 7.6% abv. Outstanding.
Pike XXXXX Stout, Limited Release
Pike Brewing Co., Washington
Pike’s renowned “5X” stout is a perennial
favorite, with a nose of coffee and nuts. Dark brown-black
color with a deep tan head. It’s loaded with roasted
malt flavor and coffee bitterness that greets you with a perceptible
twang. Great balance and very complex. 6% abv. Highly Recommended.
Pikop Andropov’s Rushin’
Hale’s Ales, Washington
This hard-to-find seasonal beer from Seattle is worth seeking
out. Using six kinds of malt along with Hersbrucker and Mt.
Hood hops, it’s finished with oak chips and aged for
at least five months. It has a caramel malt nose with lactic
notes. Jet-black color. Fine lactic character with hints of
coconut and coffee. Complex flavors overall. 7.5% abv. Highly
Samuel Adams Black Lager
Boston Beer Co., Massachusetts
Sam Adams takes on a traditional German schwarzbier. Like
most Sam Adams beers, this one is more of a reimagining than
a strict adherence to style guidelines. But that doesn’t
mean it’s not a very tasty beer. It is. The Black Lager
boasts rich, roasted malt aromas and a dark black color with
a thick, tan head. A soft palate with rich, creamy flavors
and a long, clean finish. Outstanding.
Sanctification Blonde Ale
Russian River Brewing Co., California
One of the newest of the Russian River “tion”
(pronounced “shun”) beers, this one boasts 100%
Brettanomyces (“Brett,” to those in the know),
a wild yeast strain that is death to wine but gives life to
certain unique Belgian-style beers. Sanctification has, of
course, a Brett nose. Cloudy, pale straw-yellow color with
a huge, thick, tight, white head. It is very complex, with
soft, delicate flavors of lemon and citrus, some delightful
sourness and bready malt character. Another winner! 6.25%
Sirius, a Hi-Gravity Cream
Lagunitas Brewing Co., California
An almost mutually exclusive combination of beer ideas. But
does it work? Almost. It’s creamy, of course, with puckering
dry-hop character, a hint of spicy heat and bold malt flavors.
7.6% abv. Recommended.
S’Muttonator Double Bock
Smuttynose Brewing Co., New Hampshire
Part of the Smuttynose Big Beer Series for 2005, the S’Muttonator
has been double-decocted and uses Hallertau and Hersbrucker
hops. It boasts great conditioning and is sweetly malt-forward
with hints of raisins. Big hop character. Not traditional
as to style — more of a jazz riff on doppelbocks and,
happily, more like Charlie Parker or John Coltrane than Kenny
G. 9.6% abv. Outstanding.
Sprecher Dopple Bock Lager
Sprecher Brewing Co., Wisconsin
This brewery won Small Brewery of the Year last year at the
Great American Beer Festival. Its Dopple Bock has a soft,
peppery nose and brown color. It’s malty and sweet,
with caramel notes and a clean finish. Recommended.
Stone Vertical Epic 05.05.05
Stone Brewing Co., California
This is the fourth in the vertical epic series from Stone,
and we actually tried this one on Cinco de Mayo, its official
release date. According to brewer Lee Chase, this one is a
“Belgian-style gone mad.” It starts with a citrusy,
spicy nose. Deep brown color with a rich, tan head. Our initial
guesses were a ramped up Belgian brown (bruin) or a dark tripel
with character reminiscent of a cave-aged grottenbier. Though
it’s almost restrained, keeping its high alcohol a secret,
it is complex and finishes clean. It will be interesting to
see how this one ages. 8.5% abv. Highly Recommended.
Sudwerk Doppel Bock 2005 15th
Privatbrauerei Sudwerk Hübsch, California
This seasonal beer was brewed for the brewery’s 15th
anniversary. It has a light nose of sweet roasted malt. Dark
brown color and a thick, tan head. A rich, malty brew with
hints of molasses, mocha, vanilla and toffee. This is one
fabulous beer and a fitting triumph to celebrate 15 years
of brewing outstanding lagers. Seek it out. 8% abv. Outstanding.