A very hectic January that led to a lot of beer notes and not a lot of beer reviews posted. Here's a round-up of favorites from the month, with some review notes.
Smuttynose IPA, 6.9% ABV - bitter yet refreshing citrusy hop bomb. There's a hint of pine as well, and some fruity esters in this cloudy unfiltered IPA. Currently my favorite IPA from the east coast. There's a hint of booziness I don't think a regular IPA should have.
Smuttynose Porter, 5.7% ABV - Smooth and creamy, leaning sweet for my kind of porter. Big suggestion of roasted coffee beans and chocolate. Very stout-like, with a hefty full body and a darker fruitiness. Sometimes with a beer like this I wonder what's the point of stouts.
Goose Island Dominique, 8.5%ABV - For those into an accidental Matilda experiment, think belgian style pale ale, already fruity and spicy, aged in bourbon barrels, and soured! This is a fantastic, slightly fuller body and sour version of Matilda that I prefer to the original.
Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale, 8.0% ABV - Before this brand got renamed, I really dug it as a solid example of the style. I can't tell you if it really got better since it was 6 months between trying the old and the new, but it has a cool new label, and is still a delicious example of the Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy style. I'd add to that style description that there's often a hint of dark fruit flavor as well from the heavy level of dark caramel malts and dark roasted grains.
Bell's Hopslam, 10.0% ABV - one of the most outstanding Imperial IPAs of the year. I don't know how much the recipe changes per year, but the honey this year is just the right amount of sweet balance to a fantastic beer. I had this the same day I had an Imperial IPA that will get highlighted in Beervana #2 and the two combined blew my mind (quite literally). The Alstrom Bros review on Beer Advocate says it well, give us more.
Flossmoor: Rail Splitter IPA and Intercontinental Pale Lager