Tombstone IPA – Tombstone Brewing

 

 

Every once on a while I get completely surprised by a beer that I have never heard of. That was the case with Tombstone IPA, that was sent my way by a couple of awesome beer guys Nick & Shane out of Arizona.

From the Website Tombstone. – Tombstone Brewing Company is committed to bringing world class beer to the Town Too Tough to Die. Located in legendary Tombstone, Arizona, we seek to create an inviting, laid-back environment where people can casually gather for a pint as well as an exciting destination within a destination for beer lovers, crafting ales and lagers that range from the traditional to the far reaches of what beer can be.

 

Tombstone IPA – 7.1% ABV


APPEARANCE:  Pours a hazy, rich, burnt orange color, with a large foamy egg shell colored head. The head stands tall and proud like its daring you to take the first drink. Slowly fades down to nice halo ring of foam leaving tracks of its travel down the glass. Color is spot on for the style, and exactly what I was hoping for when I cracked the growler open.

 

AROMA: Pouring from the growler the huge, intense aromas come shooting out of the glass. Right away I get a blast of grapefruit, fresh pressed orange juice, over ripe peaches. As it settles down a delicate layer of melon, passion fruit and canned lychee begins to pop through. The nose ends slightly earthy and floral, like a field of newly sprouted wild flowers. Such a great layering of smells going on in this beer.

 

TASTE: The nose on this beer really paved the way by showcasing the amazing hop profile used. The taste decides to pave the way by letting the light sweet malt base come in first, then letting the hops start their dance. The delicate floral notes I got on the nose present themselves up front, just long enough to let you know this isn’t a one trick pony beer. The next wave comes crashing down with the huge juice bomb I was hoping for. Fresh squeezed orange, grapefruit, peach and slightly bruised stone fruits.The mid palate brings with it a grassy, earthy layers  leading into the slight hop bitterness.Right at the second the soft hop bitterness rears its head you get greeted by a splash of honey that has been stirred in that completely balances and ties the flavors of this IPA together.

 

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and medium carbonation with a soft creamy body that completely coats the mouth. No detection of the 7.1% abv whatsoever. Finnish is clean with a slight hop oil resin that really begs you to take the next drink.

 

OVERALL: A really well crafted and delicious NE style ipa, coming out of a small town in AZ. It is everything i have come to look for in the style. Juicy, slightly sweet, not to bitter and easily crush able. I will 100% be looking forward to whatever the guys at Tombstone put out next!

RATING: 4.3/5 Zombie Heads!

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Best beer brewed in Las Vegas?

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I get asked this question a lot, what is your favorite Las Vegas brewed beer? To be fair I think it needs to be broken down into two separate questions. What is your favorite Las Vegas brewed beer, that isn’t available year round or packaged? The answer to this first question I actually did a blog post on for 2015 which can be found here. The second question to be fair should be, what is your favorite Las Vegas brewed beer that is packaged and available year round? The answer to that is:

 

Joseph James Citra Rye – 5.4% ABV 55 IBU

American Pale Ale

APPEARANCE: Citra rye pours a brilliant honey amber color, with star bright gold rim variations that make the color of this beer pop with vibrancy. The head builds upon itself bringing a pillowy porcelain white frothy foam that slowly dissipates into a soft halo that sticks around throughout drinking.

AROMA:  The nose is a delicately layered bouquet that brings aromas of  grapefruit, melon, lime, gooseberry, passion fruit and lychee from the Citra hops. The Centennial hops layer in soft but bright lemon and floral notes. The rye on the nose adds a dose of peppery spice and warm oven baked breads into the mix.

TASTE: Where the nose lets the hops lead the way, the taste brings forth the rye and light malts first. The flavor never exhausts the taste buds or gets boring in anyway. It opens up with slightly sweet bready malts, light spice and a dusting of pepper. Caramel wafer cookies swirling around that make way for the fruits to play. Dancing lemon zest, grapefruit, sweet over ripe lychee, with a light pine all flowing through a field of lemon grass and wild flowers. The beer tip toes across a high wire balancing itself perfectly between the malts and hop flavors to deliver an extremely well balanced american pale ale.

MOUTHFEEL: Light plus body, with a medium prickly carbonation. The rye adds a crispness to the creamy texture of the beer. Love the way the long citrusy finish ends with that sharp rye spice.

OVERALL:  This is my favorite Las Vegas brewed beer that is packaged and available to me year round. All bottle shops in town carry Citra Rye and it is stocked in most grocery stores as well. If you are visiting the Las Vegas area be sure to keep an eye out for it on draft in many strip locations. Joseph James won a well deserved Bronze Medal for Citra Rye in the 2013 GABF awards for American Pale Ale. Its such a easy drinking, well rounded APA that I highly recommend trying out whenever you visit us here in Las Vegas!

Joseph James Website

Photography Credit

Beer Review -Summoning Lupine – Brujos / Fuana

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Summoning Lupine

American Triple IPA

10% – ABV 

90 – IBU

Before I get into the beer itself a little backstory.  This was a collaboration between Brujos and Luis Larios, head brewer of Cerveza Fauna in Mexicali, MX.

 

APPEARANCE: Grabbed this bomber and mumbled a spell I think I learned from Harry Potter to try and brace myself for what I was about to experience. Slowly began pouring into a tulip listening for the sounds of werewolves howls and wizard laughter. Instead I saw a gorgeous unfiltered beer filling up my glass. A murky, fresh pressed orange juice color with hints of sparkling gold, topped by an egg shell white head that billowed up with passion. The head settled down into a nice ring of loose bubbles leaving spotted lace on the glass.

 

AROMA:  Big blast of over ripe peaches, apricots, passion fruit and mango hit me like a lighting bolt. Right away I can tell this will be a super wet and juicy beer. Slight earthiness and pine aromas are present as if they have been waved gingerly across the glass as not to interfere with the fruit dominate nose. The malt profile is lightly toasted bread with a dab off honey, not over powering just enough to provide an elegant balance.

 

TASTE: The combination of the look of the unfiltered beer, smell of the fresh juice and that first sip made me sit the glass down. I had to remind myself this is a big beer 10% I feel like I could crush this bomber without even thinking about it. Intense fruit flavors have been created, peaches and apricots that are almost about to turn. They deliver that juicy dense sweetness upfront. The middle palate opens up into an open air bakery set in a garden of flowers, a lot of delicious flavors going on here. Right when I think ive tasted it all the bitterness kicks in to remind me this is a TIPA, just what I am looking for to really round out the whole tasting experience.

 

MOUTHFEEL: Medium plus body, medium prickly carbonation. Lovely expansive creaminess that coats the whole mouth leaving you longing for another thirst quenching sip.

 

OVERALL: This one cast a spell over me, an excellent offering from Brujos/Fauna that really nails the unfiltered juicy wet triple IPA style they where going for. I like the collaborative brewing and the awesome art work as well! Really excited to see whats next up if its anywhere near the quality of Summoning Lupine it will be amazing.

 

RATING: 4.1/5 Zombie Heads!

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Beer Review – Ninja Vs. Unicorn – Pipeworks Brewing

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn – Pipeworks Brewing 

American double IPA , DIPA

8.5% ABV

50 IBU

APPEARANCE: I imagine if a ninja’s sword where to chop the head of a Unicorn, he would wipe his blade clean on his ninja pajamas. The color on his ninja costume would be reminiscent of the way this lovely beer poured. A beautiful golden amber, with sparkling highlights that really hypnotize you when you stair into it. Produced a nice big loose white head that lingering cap.

 

AROMA: Drinking this out in the forest has intensified the pine aromas, all around me the pine cones are falling. Getting tons of sticky pine and huge resinous piney hops coming off the pour. Fresh sliced juicy grapefruit, like the ones on “fruit ninja” game from my iPhone. Followed by some over ripe orange and tangerines. There is a wonderful maltiness that translate into toasted bread and sugar cookies. The nose on this beer is amazing. I imagine this is what a unicorn fart would smell like!

 

TASTE: After the ninja chopped the head off of this mythical beast, the blood spilled and filled bottle upon bottle of this beer. Usually when a beer has such an outstanding nose the taste doesn’t live up. Not in this case, the flavor layers are all right there in line with the aroma. For a beer that claims 10 ibu it inst a palate wrecker at all,  Its actually very easy drinking. The piney hops come flying at you like a ninja star. Super dank that’s followed up with a big bursting citrus flavor. The sweet malts do make an appearance like a piece of toast with a grapefruit/orange marmalade. There is a some heat on this beer, which is odd with the abv coming in at 8.5%.

 

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. there is a very pleasant syrupy creaminess that makes this a really smooth drinking ipa. Lots of that resiouness pine comes through on the mouthfeel, really coating the entire mouth. Leaves the mouth with a long lasting lingering finish.

 

OVERALL: Not sure if Ninja Vs.Unicorn  is a the name it should have. Its so balanced that it should be called Ninja Sex Unicorn. Huge fan of every aspect of this beer, including the little heat that comes out i’m assuming from the battle. Speaking of battles I think the real winner was me! I just saw that they are going to start canning this beer, when that happens I will be trading for a case at a time. Truly everything I would want and ask for out of a dipa.

 

RATING: 4.5/5 Zombie Heads!

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Beer Review – Blind Pig – Russian River Brewing Co.

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Blind PigRussian River
American IPA
6.1% ABV
70 IBU 
APPEARANCE:  Pours a shimmering golden orange, clear and vibrant. Two glorious fingers of white frothy head that settled into a nice dense cap.
 AROMA: Big ripe and juicy citrus with a delicate resinous hop profile. Not in your face but pleasant and inviting.Tons of fresh fruits, pineapple, mango, grapefruit and lemon zest. A slight bit of grassy aromas lingering around as well.
TASTE: Follows the nose very well, that nice subtle hop profile is right there on the first sip. The juicy citrus really comes in and brings that resinous piney hop flavor along for the ride.A wonderful  bit of caramel maltiness comes in towards the middle before the slight grassy ending that rounds out the lovely layers.
MOUTHFEEL:  Medium body with a medium carbonation.Slight oily texture with a long wet finish.
OVERALL: Extremely well made and easily drinkable IPA. Not in your face, or over the top just a very well rounded balanced beer. This drinks to me like it’s the base for the big brother Pliny the elder. I know a lot of people compare the two against each other, even though they are entirely different beers. As a stand alone single IPA this is in the very pinnacle of the style!
RATING: 4.4/5 zombie heads!

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Beer review – Galaxy Unicorn – Pipeworks Brewing

 

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Galaxy Unicorn – Pipeworks Brewing
Double IPA
9.5% ABV
APPEARANCE: Pours a murky, hazy orange with golden peach hues. Unfiltered but not finding any sediment in the initial pour. Big sudsy off white head that stuck around for the long haul, Leaving nice lacing all around the glass as it slowly dissipated.
AROMA: Big burst of over ripe oranges and grapefruit rind. Followed by a tropical cereal like aroma, almost like that special k with the dried fruit in it. Tons of hoppy, floral notes with a slight spicy earthiness, back end is grassy, slightly catty. Very interesting and inviting bouquet on this beer.
TASTE: Wow I knew the nose had fruit on it but the taste is a tropical fruit bomb! Fresh, juicy, ripe tangerines, pineapples even a bit of berry flavor. Toasted warm bread with honey butter on it. For sure getting some heat from the abv but I actually enjoy that especially when it’s balanced out with the big bitterness from all those hops.
MOUTHFEEL: Medium creamy body with a nice medium carbonation.Wonderful lingering oily finish. Super drinkable for a 9.5%.

 

OVERALL: This was my first Pipeworks beer I thought it was outstanding,I really enjoyed the galaxy hops flavor profile. The addition of wheat was very interesting as well. I found that all the sweet fruits where balanced nicely and not over powering at all.

RATING: 4.5/5 zombie heads!

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Beer Review – Zombie Dust – Three Floyd’s Brewing

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Zombie Dust – Three Floyd’s Brewing

American pale ale

6.4% ABV

60 IBU

APPEARANCE: Poured a hazy, burnt amber color. Bright and beautiful looking beer. Nice big off white pillowy head, great retention that leaves sticky lacing down the side of the glass.

AROMA: Very dank, herbal and hoppy. Bright fruits, grapefruit lots of lemon. Hints of wet grass, with bready malts on the backend. Bouquet is super inviting cant wait to taste this beer.

TASTE: Lots of grapefruit on the front. Very oily like a zombie stirred this with his finger. Citrus notes pop again in the middle with the hops before finishing with Carmel and pale malts.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body with medium carbonation. Slick and oily with snappy finish that leaves you wanting another sip.

OVERALL: I had to keep reminding myself this is a pale ale. It drinks wonderfully and has such a good hop presence that it could be a mellow ipa. Lived up to the hype that surrounds it. The art work is amazing!

RATING: 4.5/5 Zombie Heads!

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Beer Review – Triple Sunshine – Lawson’s Finest Liquids

 

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Triple Sunshine – Lawson’s finest liquids

Double/triple IPA

10.5% ABV

APPEARANCE: Pours a hazy over ripe tangerine fruit color, with bright 24k gold sparkling highlights. Has a beautiful loose, billowy off white head that sticks around for the long term with some super retention.

AROMA: Fresh squeezed tropical fruit juice that has spilled onto a damp jungle floor. Pineapple, mango, guava peel. Some very interesting earthy, minty notes that get rounded out by sweet bready, doughy malts.

TASTE: Wow ! Juicy mango burst right away. Followed by sweet ripe pineapple and peaches. Huge dank, wet earthy flavors that give way to a very layered hop profile. The malty sweetness on the nose comes into play only to give way to the crashing bitterness that hits on the backend. I can’t believe this is 10.5% absolutely no heat and so easy to drink.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body, medium prickly carbonation. Lovely expansive creaminess that coats the whole mouth before retracting super quick with the dry snappy finish.

OVERALL: I received this a few months after release it had been properly cellared. I honestly can’t imagine how good this must have been fresh. This has blown my mind. This may be the best double/triple ipa I’ve had to date. So balanced but full of explosive flavors at the same time. I super confident in my rating of this truly masterful work of art!

RATING: 5/5 Zombie Heads!

Review – Hop Drop N Roll – NoDa Brewing

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Hop Drop N Roll – NoDA Brewing Company

ABV 7.7%

IBU 81

APPEARANCE: Pours a clear burnt orange copper color. With slightly muddy brown rim variation and an Intense dark yellow center to the beer. Small but dense khaki colored head, that really left some interesting lacing patterns down my glass.

AROMA: Unlike most IPA’s I have been drinking as of late, this one starts off very strong in the sweet malt profile. Warm fresh out of the oven sugar cookies laced with toffee and caramel. Lemon zest, tropical citrus profile with a tinge of mint in there as well. Lots of leaf floral hop aromas that round out the back end.

TASTE: Just what I was expecting after the the nose, honey spread on toast. A bit on the sweet side of the ipa style. Very malt forward, the malts set the stage for the hops to dance on. Middle of the beer has some wonderful bright tropical fruits, before ending with a bitter grapefruit and piney medley.
MOUTHFEEL: Medium sticky body paired with an aggressive medium plus carbonation.Oily, creamy and very enjoyable on the mouthfeel aspect.

OVERALL: I respect this ipa for not following in the paths of others and really trying to be unique. I do feel the candied malt sweetness is a bit overpowering. If the caramel and toffee were toned just a bit I think the hops would really get a chance to dance on the stage that is Hop Drop N Roll and add a much needed balance to the beer.

RATING: 3.9/5 Zombie Heads!

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Review – Double Sunshine – Lawson’s Finest Liquids

 

 

 

 

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Double Sunshine – Lawson’s Finest Liquids

Double IPA
ABV 8%

APPEARANCE: Very interesting pour starts of a starbright sunrise orange color. Half way through the pour color starts to darken and get slightly hazy. End of pour continues to add haziness and ends up a over ripe peach hue. This even after I gently rolled the bottle before opening. Attractive soapy, loose off white bubbly head, with a decent retention.
AROMA: I was expecting to be instantly blown away by the nose .I was actually a little bit disappointed, I felt it was slightly muted. Decided to let it sit and revisit a few mins later. Now I could get nice sweet pineapple, mango, peach followed by some really interesting sour grapes and bright crisp green apples. Slight earthy, vegetal ending. I don’t get any maltiness at all.
TASTE: I’ve never had an ipa that has tasted like this. So fresh and juicy loads of tropical fruits that swirl around with that subtle sour grape I got on the nose. Crisp snappy green apples with a floral rose petal and honeysuckle in the middle. Nice earthy, herbal notes that come in right before the slightly sweet bready malts.
MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and carbonation. One of the craziest snappy quick dry finishes I’ve had to date. This beer drinks so wet and juicy and literally when I swallow it sucks all the moister out of my mouth begging me to drink more.
OVERALL: Having the opportunity to have the top 3 rated ipas back to back to back in the same night was mind blowing. I truly think that DS is an outstanding beer. The taste is super unique and delicious. I feel like I could smash multiples of this no problem. With that being said I feel like it lacked that in your face aroma that heady topper has.The flavor profile I would put above Pliny so results for me would be:
1. Heady Topper
2. Double Sunshine
3. Pliny the Elder

RATING: Hard to give this anything but 5/5 zombie heads!

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