#27 New Belgium Abbey

abbey

#27 New Belgium Abbey

Type: Dubbel
Container: Bottle
ABV: 7%
Sticker Price: $8.99/6-pack of bottles

We are big Belgian fans in this house. This one delivers everything we like and expect from this style without some of the cloying sweet flavors that hang a round too long. The Abbey is very interesting and yet refreshing at the same time.

  • Rating (5=best): 4.5
  • Nose: Rye grains, medicinal, yeast. Definitely Belgian.
  • Flavor: Sweet roasty malt, toffee, overripe banana, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, bubblegum.
  • Finish: Flavors darken, more roasted grain with a slightest bitterness on very end.
  • Notes: While the sweetness in the flavor might get cloying, it’s clean finish with a hint of bitterness wipes that away and keeps me coming back for more.
  • Shilpi: “It dark and rich but not heavy, which is a nice surprise.”

#26 New Belgium Ranger IPA

ranger

#26 New Belgium Ranger IPA

Type: India Pale Ale
Container: Bottle
ABV: 6.5%
Sticker Price: $8.99/6-pack of bottles

We are not big IPA fans in this house. However, I occasionally want something bitter and this does not disappoint. Delivering a train car of hops with a touch of sweetness makes this a refreshing kick in the caboose.

  • Rating (5=best): 4
  • Nose: Huge on citrusy hops. Pine, lemon and corriander notes. Over time, damp pine wood with a tiny bit of dank litterbox…
  • Flavor: Nice clean bitterness that isn’t too strong. Menthol-like tingle with subtle lemony sweetness. Burnt orange.
  • Finish: Bitterness lingers with grapefruit rind flavors. Quite dry.
  • Notes: While the nose got a bit funky over time, the flavor persisted and the finish lasts a while. Great example of an IPA.
  • Shilpi: “It smells good. It tastes bitter. I don’t like the IPAs!”

#25 Modelo Especial

Modelo Especial

#25 Modelo Especial

Type: Pale Lager
Container: Bottle
ABV: 4.4%
Sticker Price: $6.99/6-pack of bottles

I love Mexican food. I don’t like most Mexican beer but I find it up and down the beer aisle here in southern California. With some homemade tortillas, grilled corn (Mexican-style with crema, cheese and lime) and some steak in adobo this paired beautifully. However, it isn’t so “especial” on its own.

  • Rating (5=best): 2.5
  • Nose: Corn, grain, clean grassy notes. Bread.
  • Flavor: Not overly sweet corn. Quite bubbly in an over-carbonated way: the bubbles almost burn the mouth. Slightest bit of malt, nearly no bitterness at all. Quite clean and washes out the mouth well.
  • Finish: Pleasantly dry but leaving a bit of wet cardboard flavor behind.
  • Notes: Very average. Simple to the point of boring. Great mouth-cleansing counterpoint with food but can’t stand on its own.
  • Shilpi: “Mildly lightly pleasing.”

#24 Guinness Draught

Guiness

#24 Guinness Draught

Type: Irish Dry Stout
Container: Bottle
ABV: 4.2%
Sticker Price: $7.99/6-pack of bottles

I love stouts and remember when I had my first Guinness: it was heavy and satisfying, like a warm blanket or a meat pie. This is nowhere near that experience. It shouldn’t even bear the name Guinness.

  • Rating (5=best): 2
  • Nose: Canned vegetables, metal.
  • Flavor: Watery, not much character.
  • Finish: Bitter, burnt grain like burned popcorn. Bit of cardboard. Pleasantly dry.
  • Notes: If I want a Guinness, I’ll get it from a tap.
  • Shilpi: “It’s very dark-tasting. It’s like Mordor.”

#23 Miller Fortune

fortune

#23 Miller Fortune

Type: Malt Liquor
Container: Bottle
ABV: 6.9%
Sticker Price: $6.99/6-pack of bottles

I’ve never had malt liquor. I thought this was a golden lager, as it is labeled. If this is what all malt liquors taste like, count me out.

  • Rating (5=best): 2
  • Nose: Wet cardboard, malty corn. Popcorn.
  • Flavor: Incredibly sweet. Caramel, roasted grain, white wine-like sweetness. Quite cloying and very one-note.
  • Finish: Tiny bit of bitterness on the finish. Can taste the alcohol as it goes down.
  • Notes: Way too much cloying sweetness. The alcohol content is all it has going for it. For that alone, I’ll drink something much tastier.
  • Shilpi: N/A

#22 Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

SamAdamsRebelIPA

#22 Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

Type: IPA
Container: Bottle
ABV: 6.5%
Sticker Price: $7.99/6-pack of bottles

I don’t love IPAs and tend toward the darker, malty brews. They do have their time and place. After a very hot and busy month, I wanted something refreshing and bright to cool me off and cool me down. This IPA was just the ticket.

  • Rating (5=best): 4
  • Nose: Metallic, pine, grapefruit, orange zest, tiny bit of sour bread.
  • Flavor: Bright and refreshing with plenty of hoppy bitterness that’s not overwhelming. Nice orange zest flavor.
  • Finish: Nice, long finish that isn’t too complex but filled with saliva-inducing hops. Not too dry with a bit of malty sweetness.
  • Notes: Surprisingly good. Very drinkable on a hot day. A great palate-cleanser with food but is interesting enough to drink alone.
  • Shilpi: “It’s an IPA so I don’t like it.”

#21 KCCO Black Lager

KCCO Black Lager

#21 KCCO Black Lager

Type: Black Lager
Container: Bottle
ABV: 5.1%
Sticker Price: $8.99/6-pack of bottles

I really enjoy the Chive. My wife and I look at their cat pictures every Saturday morning like it’s our religion. Being such a fan, I had to try the beer they put their name on. While it will get you through Humpday, it isn’t as tasty as some FLBP.

  • Rating (5=best): 3
  • Nose: Coffee, dark bread, grilled corn.
  • Flavor: Surprisingly light. Roasted malt, chocolate, yeasty. Sweet but not too sweet. Nice carbonation.
  • Finish: Refreshing for a darker beer but not very complex or long-lasting. Tiny bit of bitterness on the end.
  • Notes: Very enjoyable but not much to savor over. Refreshing and drinkable and more interesting than most pale lagers. I wouldn’t pay for it again but if it was at a party I would KCCO!
  • Shilpi: “It’s a full-bodied coffee beer. It’s really not my thing.”

p.s. Check out thechive.com if you’re looking to have some fun and unproductive time on the internets.

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