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Strong Beer Quick Takes: Terrapin, Portsmouth Brewery, Duck-Rabbit, Smuttynose & Mad River

Author // Jeff Wharton

Terrapin Side Project Volume 1 - Hop Shortage Ale

Appearance: Orangy amber with very light white head. Heavy lacing as the head disapates
Smell: Floral hops with a nice fruity finish...this smells REALLY good.

Taste: Mmmmmm hops...delicious delicious hops. Very crisp and clean with a nice balanced malt sweetness. One of the best hoppy beers we've had in a long time. It's just bursting with hop flavor yet isn't overdone at any point. Its perfectly bitter, with a complex hop flavor and citrusy finish. If you were lucky enough to buy this drink it; if you see it buy it, it's that good. We really wish this was in 6 packs, and available all the time.

Portsmouth Brewery Kate the Great Imperial Stout February 2009

Appearance: Black
Smell: roasty

Taste: Roasty sweet chocolate, slight hint or dried fruits. Much sweeter than a lot of imperial stouts, but not too sweet. It actually comes over as incredibly smooth with a really nice mouth feel. Dangerously drinkable given then abv which is unknown but assumed to be around 10%. We'd split this 3 or 4 ways, it's really good, but the sweetness can get a bit overwhelming after 8 ounces or so, almost to the point it feels a little sugary.

Quick Takes: Founders, New England Brewing Co. & Berkshire Brewing Co. Imperial Stouts

Author // Jeff Wharton

Founders Imperial Stout

Appearance: Black with milk chocolate head

Smell: Iced mocha and booze. It smells like a Starbucks Frapuccino.

Taste: Really chocolatey and smooth up front with a super dry, almost chalky finish. It reminds us of the Taza 80% cacao chocolate, with dark berry notes despite the complete lack of fruit. There is definitely some alcohol in the finish of the flavor. While this is a very good imperial stout, there are definitely some better ones out there.

Note: This is one we've been wanting to try for a while. It's always been on their website, and we saw information about it when we hit the Founders tap room in Grand Rapids, MI back in September of 2007. We had it when it was totally fresh, so we're going to retry it down the line and see how it does with a little age on it.

January Beer of the Month Club Review - Gourmet Monthly Clubs

Author // Jeff Wharton

Hey all you craft beer drinkers! It's that time again! What time? New Beer of the Month from Gourmet Monthly Clubs time! Yeah... we know, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. But the beer... The beer tastes good. So let's get to it!

This month, we've got beer from Mercury Brewing Company and Abita Brewing Company. Mercury sends their Ipswich Original Ale and Nut Brown Ale, while Abita has their Jockamo IPA and Turbo Dog. On a side note, Mercury Brewing Company is quite local to DrinkCraftBeer.com. They're just about a half hour away in Ipswich, MA. They brew some delicious beers, so we're stoked to get reacquainted with these local brews (especially twice this month as we got Mercury beers from both of our Beer of the Month Clubs). With that in mind, let's get to the beer!

And, as always, if you want to get the same club as us go here: Click to Join

Mercury Brewing Company Ipswich Nut Brown Ale

Appearance: Wow, that's a beautiful brown beer! Clear, reddish brown with a chocolate milkshake head.

Smell: Sweet malt with some molasses.

Taste: That's a pretty good brown ale! It's a little nutty. Actually, it's peanuty, which would make it a legumey beer. But that doesn't sound nearly as appetizing as this beer is tasty, so let's go with nutty. It goes very well with roasted unsalted peanuts. The malt really makes this beer, as it's lightly toasted with a hint of nut. A nice session ale at 5.4% abv.

January Beer of the Month Club Review - Amazing Clubs

Author // Jeff Wharton

Hey all you craft beer drinkers! It's that time again! What time? New Beer of the Month from Amazing Clubs time! Yeah... we know, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. But the beer... The beer tastes good. So let's get to it!

This month, we've got beer from Pennsylvania Brewing Company and the Stone Cat line from Mercury Brewing Company. Pennsylvania Brewing Co. sends their Penn Weizen and Penn Gold, while Mercury has their Stone Cat ESB and Stone Cat Blonde Ale. On a side note, Mercury Brewing Company is quite local to DrinkCraftBeer.com. They're just about a half hour away in Ipswich, MA. They brew some delicious beers, so we're stoked to get reacquainted with these local brews. With that in mind, let's get to the beer!

And, like always, if you want to join this club go here: Click to Join.

Pennsylvania Brewing Company Penn Gold

Appearance: This beer pours with a white thick head and a straw pale, clear body.

Smell: Clean and crisp with a hint of biscuity malt.

Taste: This helles lager is clean and crisp, just as it should be. If Budweiser was done very well, it would taste like this. This is a perfect lawn mower beer for a hot summer day. Dry, crisp and refreshing. Penn Gold would be GREAT from a can. This is a good camping or boating beer. We would have rather been sent this beer in the summer, but it's still a mighty fine beer.