March 30, 2012

Blue Hills Brewery Black Hops

Blue Hills Black Hops (2011)
Brewed and Bottled by Blue Hills Brewery in Canton, MA. USA. 
Year Round Beer?
22 fl. oz. / $3.99 USD / 6.75% ABV

About: "This black hybrid ale is a style of its own creation. Truly original, we base the grain bill after the infamous German Schwarzbier, a drinkable beer with a depth of dark color. This is accomplished using hops to bitter the beer rather than roasted malts common in styles like stout or porter. For our masterpiece, we use our house ale yeast to produce a fuller flavor than the lager versions found in Germany. Once fermented we “lager” or cold store the ale, which tones down the aroma produced in top fermentation. What’s left is the satisfying aroma of chocolate malt and citrus, followed by a malty, hoppy, and slightly dry taste. Our Blackhops delights the ale or lager customer alike."

Thoughts: Black Hops didn't pour black as I had been expecting, but rather a lighter dark amber brown during the pour that ended up looking like a brown ale with a shade of raspberry red. The dark cream colored head exploded upon the first pour and took up half the glass with tons of very small bubbles going crazy. The head eventually ended up as a foamy froth, and as I look through the incredibly murky glass I notice tons of carbonation bubbles rising.

The smell is very interesting and unexpected. Not a lot of hops coming through at first, but rather some roasted caramel and chocolatey malts. There's a very fruity tone to it as well, not really banana as I thought at first, but instead... sliced pears in natural juices. It's kinda weird.

Taste is well... pretty bad. Yeah. It's so grassy. The flavor, whatever there is of it, disappears almost immediately and leaves a hazy film in the mouth. The fruity smell when you drink and the taste of that burnt grass just combine to form this really sour sensation and that ain't good. It really tastes like some kind of watered down soda that's gone bad. You know that scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas where Duke gets all that dust in his beer, I imagine it tastes like that, only not thick at all.

Mouth feel is very thin and watery. It doesn't taste or feel like a real beer. Considering pouring the rest out.

Went to pour the last half out and as I took a last look at it I noticed a HUGE amount of sediment in the bottom of the glass. Considering that this beer tastes dusty, sour and strange already I don't even want to know if that's good stuff or bad shit. Meh! Down the drain with you. Should I even try their Watermelon Wheat Ale now? Am I that much of a glutton for abuse!? We'll see.

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