RocCity Brewfest Review Part 2

by Daniel on February 26, 2012

33 Beers Journal Review

rating the beers with the "33 Beers" journal

There were lots of beers at the RocCity Brewfest.  To check the full list out, go here.  I thought rather than going through all of the 35 beers I sampled, I’d talk about the highlights.  Below are a quick list of my favorites of the night, in no particular order, followed by more in-depth reviews for the best.  I will transparently confess to you that I’m not much a fan of IPAs due to their often overpowering bitterness.  Knowing this, I tried to still judge them fairly and to appreciate them as a style, and pick out the best of them.  Fortunately, others I spoke to at the festival seemed to agree with these judgements.  The beers were judged on the 5 star scale from the 33 Bottles of Beer journal (keep an eye out for an upcoming post).  Perhaps I was a little tough on my star ratings as nothing made it above 4 stars, so just look at these relatively.

4 Stars:

  • Sierra Nevada – Ruthless Rye IPA
  • Custom Brewcrafter’s – Double Dark Cream Porter
  • Bear Republic – Racer 5 IPA
  • Lagunitas – IPA
  • Troegs – Dreamweaver Wheat
  • Nectar Ales – Humbolt Red
  • Rogue – Chocolate Stout

3.5 Stars

  • Middle Ages Brewing – Raspberry Ale
  • Lake Placid Brewery – Winter Lager
  • Dogfish Head – Chicory Stout
  • Smuttynose – Brown Dog Ale
  • Warsteiner – Oktoberfest
  • Warsteiner – Dunkel
  • Breckenridge Brewery – Agave Wheat
  • St. Benedict’s – Winter Ale
  • Wachusett Brewing Co. – Blueberry Ale

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA – 6.6% ABV – Very nice flowery/hoppy aroma, strong vanilla head.  Color is golden with a hint of brown color.  Not overly bitter at the start, with notes of citrus & pepper, rye dryness lingers on the finish.  An IPA that stood out with its unique flavors compared to many of the IPAs I tasted at the festival.  I went for a second.

CB’s Double Dark Cream Porter – 5% ABV – Dark, nearly impenetrably black color.  Healthy head, aroma is smokey and malty with just a hint of hops.  Richly smooth, creamy, roasted malt flavor with great body with an easy, nutty finish.  Entices you to have another sip.

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA – 7% ABV – Strong fresh hop aroma, golden color.  Very smooth feeling IPA compared to most.  Less bitterness due to heavier body balanced with a wheaty & malty flavor.  Aftertaste not too bitter.  As one who doesn’t always like IPAs, this was a pleasure.

Lagunitas IPA – 6.2% ABV – Hoppy aroma, good head. Flowery flavor with citrus & a bite of spice, crisp and refreshing and not too bitter, again well balanced with some body. Best of the regular IPAs at the event.

Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat – 4.8% ABV – Flower & wheat aroma, yellow color, not much head.  Strong citrus notes with clover, backed up by wheat undertones giving it a sweet finish.  I would have had more if I hadn’t been trying to get through 35 different beers.

Nectar Ales Humbolt Red – 5.4% ABV – Floral aroma, amber color.  Surprising complexity for this type of beer.  Malty & toffee flavors with a little citrus and spice.  Lightly bitter, and a great lingering aftertaste much like that of the initial flavor of the beer.  Definitely stood out as one of the best of the night.

Rogue Chocolate Stout – ABV not listed – Black color with a nice brown/caramel colored head.  Smells of chocolate, nuts, and malt.  Smokey, chocolate & caramel flavor that is malty sweet but balanced well with the burnt bitterness.  I wasn’t surprised with the pleasantness & quiet complexity of this beer from Rogue.

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