DSBC Hat Trick is a weekly series dedicated to those craft beers from beyond the Land of Enchantment. Want to know what’s new and tasty in coolers gracing your favorite craft beer retailer? We’ve got you covered! Check out our three favorite picks for the week; you can’t go wrong with anything out of this trifecta. All beers located here are available at your local fine package liquor store, or other craft beer retailer. Onward to beer!
Remember that age old series called the Saturday Night Sixer? Yeah, me neither, probably because it has been dead for some time. However, we are returning with this new series to highlight three of our top picks for the week for craft beers from out of state. If you can’t find your favorite beer from around the state on shelves (pick a new store to shop at!) or can’t make it in to fill a growler at your local brewery, check out one of the fine selections we will be pimping out each week. This week we highlight two new breweries to shelves of NM craft beer retailers, Evil Twin and Stillwater. (Updated editor’s note: These beers are available at Jubilation and the Kellys on Juan Tabo in Albuquerque, as well as Susan’s and Kokoman in Santa Fe. — Stoutmeister)
We like our beers big
WHO: Mono, by Stillwater Artisan Ales, 5.2% ABV
WHAT IS IT: A Galaxy dry-hopped pilsner, can’t get more refreshing than that for the dog days of summer.
SMELLS LIKE: A combination of forest and tropical. Citrus notes are abound with lemon zest and grapefruit, with a subtle hint of biscuit malt, grass, and pine.
TASTES LIKE: A crisp refreshing punch in the mouth. A mildly sweet and biscuit malt backbone paves the way for the burst of dry hopped goodness. Notes of pine, grapefruit, and lemon dominate, but in a pleasant way. The hop bitterness is punchy with each sip, but not enough so to be overwhelming or unpleasant. Finishes with a slight piney pop and orange notes. An extremely palate-friendly beer that even those who may not like their beers too hoppy can enjoy.
OVERALL: A pilsner that wants to be just a bit more adventurous and refreshing, Mono does a great job of showcasing the nuances of the Galaxy hop while maintaining that classic, refreshing pilsner style. This is a wonderful beer for the final stretch of the scorching days of summer.
WHO: Molotov Cocktail, by Evil Twin Brewing, 13% ABV
WHAT IS IT: An Imperial IPA that drinks like a barley wine … very much an East Coast-style IPA.
SMELLS LIKE: Well … smells like a barley wine. The hops are mostly prominent in this beer, with the majority of aromatics comprised of citrus, lots of earthy pine, some subtle apricot, and lots of caramel malt.
TASTES LIKE: Again … like a barley wine. Slightly rich in the mouthfeel, with a honey-like texture. A very complex malt bill, comprised of a lot of caramel notes, dried fruits, and biscuit. The hops on the palate are very mild; the pine and citrus notes gave out and I only picked up a hefty dose of apricot hop notes. Slight alcohol warming in the middle, which seems to help temper the sweetness of the malt bill.
OVERALL: This is actually a really delicious beer if you aren’t looking for a NM-style hop bomb that a lot of people are accustomed to. Grand hop aromas and a complex malt bill make up something that is deceiving for those who want to kill their palate, but give this a try and prepare to pick apart the complexities.
WHO: Soft Dookie, by Evil Twin Brewing, ABV 10.4%
WHAT: A rich bastard of an Imperial Stout that you may give a second thought to drinking after reading that name. Don’t be scared, though.
SMELLS LIKE: The complexity of quantum physics. Lots of roasted barley, caramel, dried fig notes. More subtle are the notes of licorice, dark chocolate, molasses, and vanilla (although the latter of those three pops more as the beer warms).
TASTES LIKE: Well, it doesn’t taste like dookie! Initially you will get a ton of roasted barley, caramelized sugars, and dark chocolate. The vanilla pops a lot in the middle and leads to a velvety smooth finish. But like pretty much all imperial stouts, this beer is best when warmed a bit; the dark chocolate gives way to more milk chocolate notes, and a delicate touch of coffee and other dried fruits. The vanilla aromatics increase the appeal of this beer as it warms, as well, and pair well with the rich molasses finish.
OVERALL: Get past the name, folks, as it does not taste like dookie … although that may be what it is supposed to cause if you have had too many of these. Anyway, a wonderfully complex beer for those who like their beers big and burly.
That’s all for this week’s edition of the DSBC Hat Trick, check in next week for more reviews. As always, if you have a suggestion for us, feel free to drop us a line. Until next time …
— Brandon Daniel