Aroma: Resiny and grassy hops, and nice malt balance.
Appearance: Copper in color, small head.
Flavor: Citrus and grapefruit hop flavor, slight malt balance, and a nice citrus hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium/light bodied, nice carbonation.
Overall: Not bad for an IPA. Pretty strong hop profile and bitterness, but without some of the more prolific grass and citrus flavors in some other IPAs. It’s not bad, but was hoping for better aromas and balance.
Aroma: Hints of lemon, grapefruit and banana. Nice fruity aroma but not too intense.
Appearance: Pours a hazy gold, very small white head (could’ve been a glassware issue).
Flavor: Fruity up front, banana with a fairly strong wheat and tart/hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium light body, nice carbonation.
Overall: Nice aroma, fairly tart and bitter flavors for a wheat beer, which was somewhat unexpected. Not sure I really dig this as a summer style. The flavor is just a little hard to get used to and too intense for a summer beer.
Pistil, Magic Hat Brewing Company
Herbed/Spiced Beer, 4.50 %ABV
Aroma: Grassy, fruity and lemony, sweet on the back.
Appearance: Light, clear golden, small head of white foam.
Flavor: Nice light hops up front, hint of sweetness and malts and a grassy finish. Not as much fruity taste as the nose would suggest.
Mouthfeel: Incredibly light, carbonation isn’t low, but not too intense. Feels very airy.
Overall: Definitely a summer session beer, but I think it lacks a little in flavor. I could drink a bunch on a hot day but my palette would probably prefer something else with a little more profile. For the ABV, not a bad effort.
So yeah, long hiatus due to moving, travel, and dissertation research. But I’m back and I’ve got a summer sampler of Magic Hat so I’m diving in and the next few reviews will be from that pack. I assume most East Coast crafties have had #9 before, but since I’m trying to document everything and I haven’t reviewed this yet, here it goes. Plus, the Artifactory is like the Willy Wonka version of a brewery, so you owe it to yourself to visit.
Aroma: Strong presence of fruit, apricot, hint of lemon.
Appearance: Pours clear gold with a wonderfully large head of white foam. Excellent lacing.
Flavor: Apricot up front, followed by a nice citrus hop flavor, and then a slightly sweet and fruity finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, nice carbonation, smooth but not slick.
Overall: It bills itself as a “not quite pale ale” but the beer world classifies it as a fruit beer with the pale ale as the underlying trait. For that style, I think it’s a pretty solid example. The fruit might be too aggressive for some seeking more hops and pale ale traits, but to me the profile fits Magic Hat’s billing. At 5.1% it’s a solid summer session beer.
My last encounter with Erie wasn’t quite what I expected, but since I believe you should try everything twice, I opted to check out their IPA. Here it is, the Misery Bay IPA from Erie Brewing Company.
Aroma: Citrusy hops, with almost a hint of sweet chocolate malts.
Appearance: Pours golden amber, almost no head.
Flavor: Grassy hop taste, warming alcohol, with some earthy malt and a nice, full and bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, medium-bodied.
Overall: Odd aromas to this beer out of the bottle, but the taste is really nice. The lack of a head is disappointing though, although maybe it’s an aspect of my glass. Aside from the appearance aspect, this is a pretty nice IPA.
*This is a day early because I missed last week and have a Stanley Cup Playoff prediction post coming tomorrow night.
Apocalyptic thrillers usually fall into one of two categories, the “road” movie or the “hideout” movie. Great example of the “hideout” movie would be “Night of the Living Dead” and “Dawn of the Dead.” The “road” movie involves well, “The Road” and other films in which characters try and reach some sort of destination. “The Road” was essentially a zombie film, with dangerous cults filling in for the zombies. To imagine “Stake Land“, think “The Road” which vampires. There’s actually a lot of similarities. There’s a man, and a boy. The man’s name is “Mister”, that’s as close as we get to a name and although the boy with him isn’t his son, he’s essentially taken the role of father/protector.
And yes, the movie has vampires. In the opening scene, we’re treated to an incredibly NASTY attack on a family, which really surprised me in that it sort of involved an unwritten (kind of) rule about horror movie kills. Let’s just say this moment tells you that this movie is for real (as real as you could get anyway in a movie about vampires) and it won’t hold back in terms of killing anyone.
The boy and Mister set out for a location called “New Eden”, which is fitting considering the dangerous religious fanatics they encounter along the way. Since vampires themselves are usually just scary, and not so much evil, the movie uses the religious group to add some psychology to the savagery, much like “The Road” made it scary because the cults were cannibals and you didn’t want to be eaten by other human beings.
Like “The Road” much of the film is set in dark tones, there is a lot of darkness, grays, browns, no real signs of anything living, very little vegetation. It’s a cold “literally” world that involves some small towns/pockets of survivors, but there is fairly little dialogue, characters aren’t expanded upon that well. I guess that’s the one flaw of this film. We like horror movies because they put characters in danger, but if you don’t really care about/get to know them, then it’s a wasted exercise. I enjoyed the film, but some moments would have been heightened simply had I known more about certain people.
However, I will say that the ending is satisfying and carries with it some not so subtle religious undertones, which is interesting because of the way the film handles religion earlier. There is actually a really poignant moment during the final showdown, which I had to watch twice to make sure that I had seen what I thought I’d seen. While “Stake Land” isn’t perfect or prophetic, it’s a more than competent genre exercise. It’s only drawback is that it has come after so many others, that it seems like it’s simply retreading old territory. If you can get past the fact, and if you’re in the mood for a movie like this, then it’s pretty darn good.