Recently in English Dark Mild Ale Category

Tired Hands Anniversary

| 5 Comments

Today was Tired Hands' one year anniversary, and they had a big shindig featuring lots of fantastic beers. As per usual, their events are a bit of a madhouse, but they did a good job keeping up with the demand, and it helps that the new and special beers they were serving were nothing short of spectacular. Big congratulations to Tired Hands for living up to lofty expectations and establishing themselves as the best brewer in the area.

Lunch of Champions: Only Void and an Everything Pretzel
Yummy Everything Pretzel paired with Hophands mustard and Only Void

I had quite a few things today, and for shits and giggles, I'll include stuff I've had from the past few months as well, because why not? Yeah, I suppose the fact that most of them are already gone forever is a pretty good reason not to dwell on them, but how else am I to make my readers jealous?

St.Oner - No picture! Sorry about that! One of Tired Hands' typically fantastic IPAs. It's getting very hard to judge these against one another, as they're all so damn good. The big twist with this one is a very juicy citrus character, presumably from the hops but also maybe some fresh fruit. Pleasant bitterness, and at 6.5% ABV it was downright quaffable and refreshing on a hot day. A-

Romulon

Romulon - Wow, this is a beautiful gueuze-like sour blend (wine barrel fermented Saison and fresh Saison). Very nice oak character, a bright but not overwhelming sourness, tart fruits, just fantastic! While technically a saison, I'd put it right up there with some of the fantastic gueuzes I've been having lately. Indeed, this is probably a contender for my favorite Tired Hands beer ever (even though that's a sorta impossible choice!) A

Only Void

Only Void - Tired Hands has a little fermentation chalkboard and I feel like this beer has been sitting on there since last year. A massive 12% imperial stout conditioned on stainless steel (there are some barrel aged variants coming), pours black with tan head. Nice roasty nose, dark chocolate is there too (and becomes more pronounced as I drink), maybe a hint of coffee in the nose too. Taste has that well balanced roast and coffe note, some earthiness, but also lots of chocolate and some rich caramel and maybe even some hop bitterness in the finish. Really well balanced flavors for such a monster beer. Mouthfeel is rich, full bodied, and smooth. It's not quaffable or anything, and it would work as a dessert sipper, but it's pretty easy going for something this big. Only a slight alcohol warming in the belly... Because I drank too quickly! Overall, it's a fantastic imperial stout. A

Our Berry Vest

Our Berry Vest - A blend of the aforementioned Only Void and a strong brown ale called "So It Goes" (which I've never seen or had before) conditioned on fresh strawberries. At 11.5% ABV, this is no fru-fru beer, and it actually has some sour notes to go along with the fruity strawberry. Really interesting beer, it's got the Only Void notes of roast and dark chocolate softened considerably by a sour fruity character, strawberries coming through clearly, much lighter body than Only Void, but still a big beer. An almost chocolate covered strawberry feel (ok, perhaps not quite like that, but still really good). Great variation on the theme. Glad I sprung for this one. A-

And that covers what I managed to greedily gulp down today. In order to fan the flames of jealousy, here's some more stuff that I've had over the past couple months...

The Light That Spills Out of the Whole in Your Head - In the running for weirdest/awesomest beer name. A 6% citrus pale ale, great juicy hop character full of citrus, really easy drinking and refreshing. One of the few beers Tired Hands has brewed more than once (I think! I know I had this before, but for some reason, never recapped it). A-

Tralfamadorian - They called this a 6.8% barrel fermented biere de garde, but it basically feels like a lighter bodied Flanders Red. Whoa, robey tones, dense tan head, pretty. Taste is reminiscent of Domo, sorta a Flemish red, but with slightly less body. Light on the oak, some sharp sourness, but not overwhelming. Nice sour cherry notes, really well done. A-

Station - A 5.8% Simcoe IPA? Sign me up! Cloudy straw yellow, beautiful grapefruit citrus nose, ditto in taste, with some light herbal notes too. Light and quaffable, very nice! Grading on a curve: B+

Wiggle Wurm - 9.2% DIPA, clear golden yellow, citrus & pine hop aroma, very sweet on the palate, sticky but not cloying. Solid! B+

Wisdom Teeth - Darwin Solera series number 4, a 6% Brett pale ale. This series is seriously mellowing out with each new installment. It's still got that funky salinity, but it's more well rounded and integrated. It's a fun series of beers, highly drinkable stuff and getting better with each iteration. B+

My Briefcase Says "Time Is Money" - Another fantastic name. It's a 5.7% Black IPA, nice drinkable beer, not as hoppy as you'd expect, but not super roasty either, striking an interesting balance. B+

Eye 4A Face - A 4.5% dry hopped farmhouse mild conditioned on oak. Dark golden hues, nice citrus hops in the nose, taste more malt focused, maybe a hint of oak, plenty of bitterness, easy drinking. B+

CuzCuz - Southern Hemisphere IPA filled with New Zealand hops, etc - Super cloudy straw yellow, bright citrus and herbal hops, floral too, really nice, easy drinking stuff... B+

Tabula Rasa - Classic modern saison at 6.2% ABV. I got a super yeasty pour, almost milky looking, Jean said that happens sometimes and it's really annoying because he has to sacrifice a bunch of beer to get past the yeast plug. It was drinkable, but he gave me another glass after he cleared the line some. Once I got a proper glass, it was still super cloudy, but at least it was yellow! Nice peppery yeast in the nose, a lot like Farmhands. Taste has that big saison yeast character, spicy sweet, similar to Farmhands but a bit more body. Medium bodied, smooth, spicy, very nice. Overall, really nice. B+

Pineal - Mosaic Amarillo Simcoe IPA at 6%, this may be my first real Mosaic hopped beer? Can that be? Well if this is any indication, I'm going to have to seek out some more! Bright cloudy yellow, beautiful nose, citrus, pine, nice floral aspect, great nose. Taste has nice sweetness, big juicy citrus notes, pine and floral notes too. Great beer. A-

Caskette - Hoppy golden mild at 4%. Yellow color, fantastic juicy hop nose, biscuity malts make a nice platform for those hops, compulsively drinkable. Would have loved to tried the one they actually put on cask! B+

Jittery Tiger - An oatmeal stout brewed with espresso at 6.6%. Black with tan head, big roast coffee nose, strong coffee in taste, roasty, bitter. Coffee beers are not normally my thing... but I like this. Not my favorite evar or anything, but good, and goes down easy... B+

Yellow & Green - A 4.5% all Cascade Keller pils. Nice yellow color, some herbal hops, plenty if citrus too, classic Cascade hop character. Feels more like a pale ale than a pils, but it's really quite nice... B+

Carpathian Kitten Loss - An 8.8% DIPA brewed with rye. Citra & Simcoe hopped, this has an amazing aroma, bright oranges up in my noseballs, citrus hops all they way... Taste is fantastic too, lots of citrus hops, bright, nice spicy rye or caramel note, a hint of booze but well balanced, way too easy to drink for the ABV, smooth. Delicious, better than the last couple DIPAs that they've made... A-

Phew. That's a lot of beer (spread out over the past few months, I assure you!). I feel very lucky to have Tired Hands out here in my backyard (ok, a half hour away, but still). Really looking forward to the Only Void bottle release (coming soonish, I think), especially those bottle conditioned variants.

Tired Hands Omnibus Post

| 4 Comments

Another Tired Hands bottle release today! However, the bottles being released had all made appearances on tap earlier in the year (or late last year), with no barrel aged components or anything, so while there was still a line, it was not anywhere near as crowded as it was for the last couple releases. The bottle was for ArtiSnale, a beer I already covered a while back. But I also have two months or so of notes on Tired Hands beers that I'm sure will interest everyone, since most of these will never see the light of day again. So I figured it was time for another omnibus collection of notes. Check it:

Tired Hands Mrs. Pigman

Mrs. Pigman - This beer came out right around when Pliny the Younger was making the rounds in Philly, like Jean was sorta counter-programming his beer nerd calendar. It's a huge, hoppy monster of a beer (really glad I got a growler of this 11% ABV sucker, rather than sampling 4 ounce pours). Big citrusy floral hop component, very little in the way of malt character. Overall, not as overwhelming as you'd expect from something clocking in at 11.5% ABV. A delicious "triple" IPA, a worthy competitor to Pliny (though I may still prefer the Younger to this). I tried the growler over the course of a couple days, and it was significantly better on the first night (the night I got it filled), while the second night had become more sticky sweet and less hoppy. Not surprising, but still. That first night was a solid A-...

Perfect Touchdown - More counter-programming here, this one was released right before the Super Bowl... and it's a superb 9% ABV DIPA! Big juicy hop character, lots of citrus, perfect proportions, nice solid malt backbone, more so than most tired hands beers. Really fantastic brew! A

StrangeOwl - A very pleasant hoppy red ale, very drinkable, not going to blow the world away or anything, but I really enjoyed this one. B+

Liddle Fiddle - Reminiscent of the singel hop saison Amarillo, gorgeous juicy hop aroma and flavor, with a distinct farmhouse saison yeast character. Well balanced, really well balanced carbonation, compulsively drinkable. A-

Ancient Knovvledge - A very trangely spiced saison, it's got some peppery notes, but also some aroma/flavors I can't really place... (thanks to the internets, I've got a full list here: "hemp seeds, nori, black & white sesame seeds, tangerine juice & zest, schezuan peppercorns, and long red hot peppers.") An interesting brew, glad I tried it, but not something to go nuts over. B+

Heaven Dream - A straightforward, perhaps above average pale ale, very light and quaffable, solid. B+

Entropic - The first in Tired Hands' Darwin Solera Series, this is a Brett fermented pale ale (using yeast from Crooked Stave). Pours a very cloudy yellowish color witha couple fingers of white, fluffy head. Smells slightly funky, with an odd salinity? Yep, that saltiness shows up in the taste too, kinda like a shellfish salinity, really interesting... Light funk, maybe some lemon lime action... Mouthfeel is nice, medium body, easy drinking stuff. Overall, I don't really know what to make of this, except to say that I like it! B+

Galapagos - The second in the Darwin Solera series, this is a new Brett fermented pale all that was blended with Entropic. Cloudy yellow orange, smells of funk and saline, very similar. Taste seems to be evening out a bit, more subtle but still complex. This really isn't that old, but it seems a bit more mellow, less brackish and salty. I actually like this better than entropic, but they're both pretty darn good! B+

Dinner of Champions: Tired Hands AromaFlavor and Candied Bacon
Dinner of Champions: Tired Hands AromaFlavor and Candied Bacon

AromaFlavor - FlavorAroma was one of my favorite Tired Hands beers, so I was super excited for this one. It's a similar recipe, but the hops are different. Pours a deep golden color with a couple fingers of fluffy white head. Smells delicious, tons of citrus and pine, and plenty of floral notes too. Taste has that same hop component, but also an earthy, floral, almost spicy hop flavor that is well integrated with the traditional citrus/pine/floral notes... I'm betting significant Centennial involvement here. Mouthfeel is smooth, lightly carbonated, quaffable. Overall, really fantastic stuff, but I think I preferred FlavorAroma a bit more... A-

A Cold Freezing Night - A pretty straightforward 6.2% stout. Black color, nice roasted malt aroma, some light coffee notes, a relatively straightforward, normal beer. Probably grading on a curve, but this is a B sorta effort. Solid, competent, but not mind blowing... (but then, I like my stouts huge and chewy, so I'm sure others would love this.)

Liverpool - A "magical" dark mild ale, this pours a brown color with a couple fingers of off white head. Smells... British! Light caramel and toffee notes. Also tastes British! That caramel and toffe from the nose, but some nice biscuity character too, maybe a faint hint of subtle toast. Mouthfeel is pretty big for such a small beer (only 4%). Low end of medium bodied, with ample carbonation (more so than most Tored Hands stuff). Overall, a fantastic sessionable beer, if not one that really rocks my world (not that it's trying to...) B

HeavenDream - Yet another in a long line of solid pale ales from TH. Light yellow color, couple fingers of white head. Surprisingly muted aroma, lightly hopped taste, citrus and pine. Mouthfeel is nice and light, quaffable... Overall, solid... B

Stare At Yourself in the Mirror Until You Feel a Burning Sensation - Quite possibly the best named beer ever. Pours a super cloudy orange color with a couple fingers of white head. Smells of bright, juicy hops along with a sorta yeasty character. Taste is lightly sweet, delicate hop flavor, a little citrus but also almost spicy too. Mouthfeel is surprisingly big considering the abv, medium bodied, but smooth and almost creamy. Not entirely sure what to make of this, but it's good! B+

???
Honestly not sure which beer this is a pic of - one of the pales that's around this point in the post, I think!

Say It Muy Fabs - A 4% pale ale that I found to be supremely good for such a slight beer. Weird that it does not seem to exist on RateBeer or BeerAdvocate, but I love it anyway. Cloudy yellow, tons of lacing, huge citrus and fruit nose, perfect balance of flavors, utterly quaffable, light, refreshing body, really amazing depth for such a small beer. Maybe I just really needed a drink at that point, but I was very impressed with this one. A-

MagoTago - An IPA made with mangos, this pours a cloudy light yellow color with a finger of head. Huge citrus nose, mango coming through strong, but plenty of citrusy floral hops too. Flavor follows the nose, sweet, floral citrus hops, and that mango coming through loud and clear in the middle and finish. Nice light mouthfeel, quaffable, just really nice. Overall, this is right up there! A-

Bokonon - A hoppy brown ale, as the style goes this is nice, though its hard to compete with some of the other stuff (see previous two beers)! B+

Tabel, Printemps - A saison made with lime and cilantro, this is light and refreshing, really nice little beer, that lime/cilantro combo is prominent but not overpowering... B+

Singel Hop Saison, Pacific Jade - Wow, super "green" hoppy character, like Saaz or Golding, but a little brighter and more intense. Feels super fresh. Mixes well with the spicy saison yeast. An interesting entry in the series, though not my favorite... B+

Tired Hands Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone - Pours a super murky, cloudy, almost chocolate milk looking brown color with a couple fingers of tan head. Smell has that chocolate milk character, but also the lighter saison fruit and spice... Ditto for the taste, which has a very yeasty character that overrides the dark malts... Overall, a nice, yeasty dark saison, but nothing to write home about. B

Phew, that's a lot of great beer! I usually end up over there every week or two, so I think you can expect to see more posts about these guys...

Beer Club: May the 4th Be With You

| 3 Comments
Today is Star Wars day! And Beer Club! Due to schedules and various other factors, this month's beer club was a rather small gathering, but there were still some great beers to be had, as well as some wine and even homemade hard cider.

May Beer Club

The theme this month was local brews, but as you can see from the picture, there were really only 4 beers on the docket this month (again, this was due to the fact that less people came and not because of any difficulty finding local beers). For reference, here's what we had:

  • Dogfish Head ApriHop - A fellow beer clubber had visited Dogfish Head's brewpub earlier in the week and got themselves a growler of ApriHop. It survived the trip reasonably well, though the brew was a bit light on the carbonation. It was still quite good though. It was quite a pleasant IPA, with a ton of fruity citrus character (apparently from Apricots added during the brewing process). B+
  • Dogfish Head Hellhound On My Ale - A play on famed blues guitarist Robert Johnson (who, legend has it, sold his soul to the Devil to create the amazing music he did), this was actually the first beer of the evening, and I don't know if it was because I'd had a particularly long day, but this was amazing. It tasted like a very refreshing pale ale, along the lines of, say, Dale's Pale Ale. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found out that it was a 10% ABV double IPA with 100 IBUs. Astounding! The alcohol was incredibly well hidden, and despite the high IBUs, it wasn't overwhelmingly bitter (again, I thought of it more as a regular pale ale rather than an IPA and would never have guessed that it was a DIPA). Very sweet with lots of citrusy hop character and a nice bitter kick. There's something else here that I can't quite place, but in the end, it's a very complex and yet well balanced beer. As it warmed, the alcohol seemed to become a bit more prominent, but it was still a triumph of a beer. A-
  • Sly Fox Saison Vos - My contribution for the evening was a pretty well crafted saison from local Sly Fox brewery. Nice clear pour with lots of head, a spicy Belgian yeast aroma, and that sweet and spicy taste with a harsh mouthfeel that I've come to love about saisons. There's a bit of a bite to this beer that isn't particularly pronounced, but which adds a welcome bit of complexity. If my upcoming saison homebrew turns out this well, I'd be over the moon. B+
  • Yards Brawler - Labeled as a "Pugelist Style Ale", this one is probably more accurately described by the Beer Advocate style of English Dark Mild Ale. I've actually had this a few times before, and I've always thought of it as a solid if unremarkable beer. Tasting it after the above was a bit of a letdown though. It's a bit thin and subtle, but it would make a good session beer and would probably stand out better if it didn't have to compete with the likes of Dogfish Head or Sly Fox. A tentative B-
And that just about covers it for the beer. I had a couple of the wines (including a Chaddsford Spiced Apple Wine that sounded and smelled great, but the taste was quite off for me - would have wanted some sort of carbonation there) and the hard cider, but none of those really stood out as much as the beers.

Despite the small session, good times were had by all that managed to attend, and I'd count it as yet another success. As usual, I'm already looking forward to the next meeting!

Categories

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID

About

Hi, my name is Mark, and I like beer.

You might also want to check out my generalist blog, where I blather on about lots of things, but mostly movies, books, and technology.

Email me at mciocco at gmail dot com.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the English Dark Mild Ale category.

English Brown Ale is the previous category.

English Pale Ale is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.