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JUNE/JULY 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 Cerveza Crema
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 IPA
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 Imperial Stout
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% abv. Outstanding.

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 Maibock
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’ Imperial Stout
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 Recommended.

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% abv. Outstanding.

Sirius, a Hi-Gravity Cream Ale
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 Beer
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 Anniversary
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.

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