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#30 Kona Brewing Company Big Wave Golden Ale

Kona Big Wave

#30 Kona Brewing Company Big Wave Golden Ale

Type: Blonde Ale
Container: Bottle
ABV: 4.4%
Sticker Price: $8.99/6-pack of bottles

Probably knowing this is brewed by a Hawaiian company colors the tasting notes on this very mellow and refreshing ale. Regardless, this beer does go great with the summer heat and sun.

  • Rating (5=best): 3.5
  • Nose: Mango, passion fruit. Tiny bit of wheaty nuttiness.
  • Flavor: Fruity and crisp with just a hint of hop bitterness. Grapefruit, apricot.
  • Finish: Clean and thirst quenching. Very refreshing.
  • Notes: While not very distinct on its own, this is an easy drinking beer perfect for relaxing or with food. I’ll definitely keep it in my summer cooler.
  • Shilpi: “I find it refreshing and tropical.”

#29 Shock Top Belgian White

Shock Top Belgian White

#29 Shock Top Belgian White

Type: Witbier
Container: Bottle
ABV: 5.2%
Sticker Price: $6.99/6-pack of bottles

Belgians are among my (and Shilpi’s) favorite beers. I should have known from the marketing that this is the dressed-up-yet-empty-at-the-core version. I wouldn’t even pound it just to get a buzz as the cloying flavors made me nauseous halfway through one bottle.

  • Rating (5=best): 1
  • Nose: Bread dough, bit of coriander.
  • Flavor: Fruity sweetness, grapefruit, citrus rind, white pepper. Alcohol flavor comes through.
  • Finish: Quite dry, tiny bit of orange zest. Slight corn syrupy feel that reminds me of Fruit Loops residue.
  • Notes: I like Belgians but this is like the artificial candy version. No thanks.
  • Shilpi: “It’s bitter but enjoyable.”

#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!”

#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.