93 Alba Scots Pine Ale, Williams Bros. Brewing Co. (Scotland). 5% ABV (3/10)
Pretty amber color. Bright aromas of spicy poached pear, apple vinaigrette, eucalyptus honey and maple syrup follow through on a rich supple entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body with brown sugar, ginger and peach cobbler notes. Finishes with a long juicy, spicy buttered golden raisin toast fade. Deliciously fruity and spicy.
90 Kelpie Seaweed? Ale, Williams Bros. Brewing Co. (Scotland). 4.4% ABV (3/10)
Deep russet brown color. Aromas of melted dark chocolate drizzled on nuts and frisée lettuce follow through on a round, supple entry to a dryish medium body with tangy kiwi skin and starfruit notes. Finishes with an earthy, briny kelp, coffee bean, and dark roasted nut fade. Nicely styled and balanced with great drinkability.
89 Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale, Williams Bros. Brewing Co. (Scotland). 6.5% ABV (3/10)
Deep brown color. Aromas of chocolate covered coffee bean and delicate dark berry jam follow through on a soft, supple entry with creamy chocolate soufflé, clove, and nut brittle notes. Finishes with a chewy, tangy fade.
88 Infernale, Bastone Brewery (MI). 5.5% ABV (9/10)
Pale golden yellow color. Bold chipotle, hominy, and pickled pepper and okra aromas. Frothy and punchy with a sharp, dryish light-to-medium body. Hot pepper seed and skin and bell pepper garden notes lash across the tongue. A bit of a fun, dare we say refreshing, S&M beer excursion for those so inclined.
87 Nutface Ale, Bastone Brewery (MI). 5.5% ABV (9/10)
Misty yellow color with no head and oily rim. Unusual aromas of oily peanut brittle and edamame. Crisply sharp and frothy with a dryish light-to-medium body. Almost creamy on the finish with a peanut butter crème brûléeand astringent nutskin and hay finish. This is a crazy beer, but fun too. Pair with chocolate for best results.
86 Carpe Noctum “Belgian Chocolate Stout”, Bastone Brewery (MI). 6% ABV (9/09)
Opaque murky, particulate brown graphite gray color with a wispy tan head. Roasted nut, unsweetened chocolate and chicory aromas follow through on a round, supple entry to a dry medium body with a smooth texture and hint of fruit wood on the gentle finish. Not very well defined, but pleasant.
84 Spyhopper Honey Brown Ale, Vancouver Island Brewery (Canada). 5% ABV (9/09)
Brilliant clear amber color. Very pleasant aromas of honeyed raisin toast follow through on a soft, satiny entry to a dryish medium body with a toasted grain, light molasses and strawlike hops on the relaxed finish. An easy going, mellow beer to chill with.