What We're Drinking | December 2017 Edition - The Iowa Beer Blog

A blog about the beer produced, distributed and consumed in the great state of Iowa.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

What We're Drinking | December 2017 Edition




So, I've finally been able to get out and about a little bit and try some of those beers I've been writing about. Here's my thoughts on a few. Beers are ranked on a 1-5 bottle cap score (shamefully stolen from Untappd).

BACK ROAD – MUDSLINGERAmerican Stout 5.2% ABV 54 IBU

My first taste of one of Iowa’s newest breweries. Mudslinger is an easy drinking stout at 5.2% ABV. The color was spot on and the mouth feel just right. It’s described as a “smooth chocolate stout with English and Belgium chocolate malts and cacao nibs.” It was just that and not too chocolate-y but just right. A very solid Porter. Especially on a cold Iowa winter day. I look forward to trying more offerings from the Carlisle, Iowa, brewery soon. Overall, 3.75 bottle caps.

12 Point Buck and Mudslinger


FRANKLIN STREET – MANTICORE Russian Imperial Stout 9.6% ABV

I didn’t realize this beer packed a near 10% ABV punch at all. I did get a hint of brewer’s licorice and that’s not my bag, baby. I’m sure it appeals to some and it’s also not to say it’s not a well-made beer but I’ll pass on the licorice. It pours black with a light carb, little head. Overall, did not score


BIG RACK – 12 POINT BUCK American Porter 6% ABV

My first Big Rack beer and I must say I’ll try again. There’s nothing fancy here, just a solid American Porter. My pour was slightly over-carbed but that could have been the bartender. In a five ounce glass I got an inch head of foam. The mouth feel was creamy and the roasted malts really stood out. Overall, a very solid beer. 3.75 bottle caps.

LAKE TIME – COCONUT PORTERAmerican Porter 5.7% ABV 33 IBU

I’m a huge fan of Lake Time’s Peanut Butter porter so naturally, the coconut was a must buy. Coconut can be a real hit or miss for my palate. If it’s subtle, it works. If there’s too much, it tastes overpowering and as if I have some Hawaiian Tropic in my beer. This leans a little towards too much, almost artificial to me. That’s not a damnation of the beer but rather a statement about my personal palate. I mean, it says “COCONUT” right in the name and there’s plenty of it if that’s your jam. Overall 3.5 bottle caps.

RECLAIMED RAILS – ROOK’S COFFEE PORTER American Porter 5.6%

My flight winner for the day in the dark beer category. Full disclosure, I’m a sucker for anything with strong coffee flavors. The coffee here is present on the nose and smooth going down. It doesn’t overpower the solid roast-y backbone. I'd prefer coffee with a milk or oatmeal stout for that creamy mouth feel but this works too. Yet another solid beer from Reclaimed Rails. Overall 4 bottle caps.


Coconut, Mint, Manticore, Coffee


BRIGHTSIDE ALEWORKS – ENLIGHTEN-MINT STOUTStout – 7.5% ABV 45 IBU

Another first impression from another new Iowa brewery. I probably didn’t plan very well mixing mint and coconut and black licorice and coffee beers all in one setting. I thought the beer was well made and the mint really stood out. It didn’t mix with the small buffet but I would purchase again in pint form. This is desert beer that might be perfect for the holiday season. Overall, didn’t score.

BACKPOCKET – IC WAVE IPA 5.5% ABV

Not the new strawberry version, but rather “peach.” The fruit flavors are very subtle and the beer a smooth drinker overall. The haze makes this a pretty beer but I wonder if it was getting a little long in the tooth. Overall, 3.75 bottle caps.

Citra Storm, IC Wave, Dangler


LION BRIDGE – THE DANGLERNE IPA 5.9% ABV

Marketed as a NE Style IPA, there’s less haze than say BT's Fields of Dream. The combination of Mosiac, Simcoe and Idaho 7 hops dance well together. Like IC Wave, I’m curious how long the keg had been on tap. Freshness is key with the NE Style and while this beer wasn’t skunk, it left me wanting fresh from the source on day one. Overall, 3.5 bottle caps.

MADHOUSE – CITRA STORMNE IPA 7.8% ABV 69 IBU

I was excited to try this one as it’s Madhouse’s first attempt at the NE Style IPA. Plus, it’s my favorite flavorful hop: Citra. I won’t say I was disappointed but I do want another run at it in full pour form soon. Perhaps, this beer needs a dry-hop Citra week or two. It was nice and simple but not overly flagrant or juicy and I had hoped. The ABV is hidden well but it was a little plain. Overall, 3.75 bottle caps.

ALLUVIAL – LONTRO DOUBLE PALE ALEIPA 6.2% ABV 71 IBU

My flight winner of the pale beers for the day. Slightly hazy but super bright. The release for this double APA was late October but the Simcoe and Amarillo hops hold up well. This pale packs a nice punch with its 6.2% ABV but you never taste it. Just another typical winner from Alluvial. Overall, 4 bottle caps. 

Saftig, Dave-O, Lontro, Drugstore Cowboy


PULPIT ROCK – DAVE-O Pale Ale 5.8% ABV 25 IBU

This was another new beer to me from one of my favorite Iowa breweries. This American Pale Ale was had a light sunflower color and light carbonation. The ABV of 5.8% is right in the wheelhouse for a nice Sunday afternoon APA. The hop bill is Citra, Mosiac and Simcoe and that combo hits all the right flavor buttons. I would have liked more hops on the nose and a little more fruitiness on the way down. Still, a very solid 4 bottle caps.

BARN TOWN – FIELDS OF DREAMNE IPA 5.9%

Yet, another super-hazy NE Style IPA from Barn Town. This one has an Iowa flavor, brewed entirely with Iowa hops from Madison County. This beer is as pretty as it gets. The flavor is slight lemon grass with nearly zero bitterness. It’s a smooth drinker but not overpowering with citrus or melon flavors if that’s your thing. Overall 4 bottle caps.

Fields of Dream


TOPPLING GOLIATH - KING SUE - DIPA 8.5% ABV 100 IBU

When did the King change crowns? What was once a sunset orange hazy DIPA is now straw yellow. The haze is still there. Perhaps, even more so. But, gone is the exploding Citra hops that fills your room with aroma like a Wall Flower air freshener. TG is in the middle of a transition and I'll chalk it up to that. New brewing systems take a little time to figure out. Overall, 4 bottle caps. 


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