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The Lake News Online
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries.
Beers from Boulevard, Victory and the Spencer abbey reviewed
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About this blog
By Norman Miller
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries. Norman is a reporter and beer columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email ...
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The Beer Nut
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries. Norman is a reporter and beer columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email nmiller@wickedlocal.com or call 508-626-3823. Or, follow the Beer Nut at his Twitter page at www.twitter.com/realbeernut.
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By Norman Miller
Jan. 23, 2014 5:08 p.m.



A fantastic double IPA, 12-pack exclusives and the first beer brewed by the only U.S. Trappist monastery were all sampled this past week.

First up, is two new beers from the Boulevard Brewing Company, the Mid-Coast IPA and Westside Rye. These two beers are only available in the Boulevard sampler 12-pack (along with the 80-Acre Wheat and the Unfiltered Wheat Beer.

First up is the Mid-Coast IPA. This is a 5.6 percent IPA, billed as having the most IBUs (more than 100) of any Boulevard beer. Don’t worry about that. It isn’t an enamel removing beer. It’s very aromatic, with the scent of fresh tropical fruit like pineapple and grapefruit.

It tastes excellent, like ripe fruit, with a slight grassy flavor. The dough-like malt flavors provides a more than adequate balance for this beer. If it were available in six-packs, I’d probably buy it.

The Westside Rye is a 5.2 percent rye ale. The beer is made with 25 percent rye, and it has the classic rye spiciness with a nice piney hop compliment.. The beer has a dry, peppery finish.  This beer is another winner for Boulevard.

Everyone is talking about the new Spencer Trappist Ale from the monks at the St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Mass., and now the beer is widely available for everyone to try.

Is it worth the hype? Yes and no. I like the idea of being able to try the first beer from a Trappist monastery and the first in the U.S. But, it’s not an $18 a four-pack, rush to the store kind of beer.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s quite good. It’s a 6.5 percent ABV Belgian blonde. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this beer. It’s crisp with flavors of banana, pear and other fruitiness, with a little hop bite in a dry finish. It’s a pleasant beer and I’m looking forward to see the future of St. Joseph’s beers.

hopranch-featured-imageFinally, Victory Brewing Company’s Hop Ranch is a must-have beer for hop lovers. This 9 percent ABV double IPA is fabulous, the best new double IPA I’ve had in awhile.

You know you’re in for a treat when you take the first smell of this beer. This is full of tropical fruits, all invading your senses. That continues into the first sips of this beer. The tart grapefruit is most dominant at first, with a little mango and lemon mixed in, finished with hints of pine.

Despite all of the hops, this beer isn’t a bitter punch in the mouth. It’s balanced and crisp. It’s a joy to drink. I bought a four-pack this past weekend and I want more.

 

 

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