Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Here’s a nice offing from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company:  Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout.  I don’t know who this Big Eddy chap is but he must be huge, based on the massiveness of this beer.  Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout is black with a rich putty colored head that would float a fifty cent piece, if you had a fifty cent piece.  Is that a term from the 1880s?  Fifty cent piece.  Hmm.  Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout will leave lashings of Brussels lace on your glass once that head starts to dissipate. The bouquet is smokey and has a Graham cracker sweetness to it.  Thick, oily, sharp, bitter and earthy with a huge roasted black patent malt foundation.  There a lot going on with this 9.5% ABV beauty, and as the warm days get shorter and the cool nights get longer this one will be nice to enjoy next to a fire.

85/100 Russian Imperial Stout


Ruthless Rye IPA

76/100I’m not a traditional Reinheitsgebot kind of guy, but there are certain extra ingredients that do work well in beer and other that definitely do not.  I remember trying a jalapeno lager a few years back.  Rancid.  Lately more brewers have been introducing beers brewed w/ rye malt, and these I tend to like.  Hop Rod Rye, Red’s Rye PA and Biersch’s Rogenweiss all come to mind.  Rye gives a spicy, earthiness that adds to the complexity of the beer.  Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye IPA is one such beer.  It pours deep amber-red with a generous head and is loaded with of piney hops of the Bravo, Chinook, Citra and experimental variety, with rye’s earthy, grassy qualities in addition.  At 6.6% ABV you can expect a light alcohol tang, but that helps temper the spicy, peppery rye, a flavor unusual to typical IPAs.  Ruthless Rye IPA is bitter, sharp and all-in-all an agreeable beer, but it is a sipper, not a quaffer.  It would go well with flavorful meats like lamb chops.  Not for the faint of heart.

Summit Black Ale

Image courtesy of Summit Brewing Co.

Yes, Summit Black Ale is really black, and the head looks like the surface of the moon, the lacing like the Himalayas.  An impressive start!  The bouquet is robust, roasty and hoppy, creamy and coffeelike, with a hint of yeast.  The taste follows the bouquet, but with a touch off earthiness and some green grass.  The finish is expectedly bitter.  I don’t see myself craving another one down the line (which is good, as this is a limited release), but as this may be the only Black Ale I’ve tried, I’d have to give Summit Black Ale a “not bad” rating.

Mission Street Brown Ale

Available at Trader Joe’s via Steinhaus Brewing Company in Paso Robles, CA, Mission Street Brown Ale is medium brown and produces a big, splotchy head.  Not a lot of carbonation is visible,  but it’s not flat by any means.  The bouquet is nutty, yeasty, malty, with additional notes of toasted bread and perfumey hops.  The taste is earthy, similar to old coffee grounds.  It’s thin-bodied and bitter, kind of…I don’t know…not good?  Yeah, it’s not very good.  Far too earthy, almost dirty.  If you like dry finishes, it has one of those.   45/100 Brown Ale

Red’s Rye P.A.

Red-orange and clear, Red’s Rye P.A. from Founders Brewing Company in Grand rapids, MI doesn’t display much of its carbonation, although you can feel it on the tongue.  The whispy white head leaves some lacing, but not a lot.  The bouquet is a good balance of hoppy and malty with a touch of earthiness thanks to the rye malt used in the brewing process.  Red’s Rye P.A. is sharp, piney and mouth-puckering with a thinnish texture.  It tastes a little flowery, and there is some bitterness and dryness in the finish.  It doesn’t seem to hit too hard for a 6.6% ABV beer, which is good.  It’s good, and it would go well with spicy Indian food.  I recommend it, it’s very drinkable and doesn’t put on any false airs.

Schloss Eggenberg Doppelbock Dunkel

This Austrian brew is deep brown with red-orange highlights and floats a sparse but consistent tan head.  The bouquet is fabulous:  malty, eggenberg doppelbockroasted carmel, licorice, coffee, raisins…and all well-balanced and very appealing.  Schloss Eggenberg Doppelbock Dunkel has a creamy mouthfeel, really smooth-edged.  It is sweet tasting, malty and earthy with a touch of hoppy resin in the finish.  Be ready for your salivary glands to go full tilt.  The overall flavor is not strong, just well crafted and well balanced.  Finish up with a slight whiff of alcohol in the final exhale and you have one very good doppelbock.

Organic Revolution

New Glarus Brewing Co. continues to produce fine beers.  Organic Revolution is a bottle aged golden ale.  It’s mildly hazy and golden orange in color.  This beer has a consistent 1/4″ head and leaves a lot of lace, a testament to the quality of the malt.  The bouquet starts sweet and malty and finishes with a mild hoppy bite.  There is a hint of yeast, earthy and not stinky, which I dig.  The carbonation is not vigorous, but it makes its presence known.  Rich and creamy on the palate, a touch of sweetness and spicy hops on the exhale, and ditto that in the finish.  Get some, and make your summer evenings special.