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And the Valley Drinks: Offseason Out-Takes

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Last weeks of the offseason, can’t hold anything back -- let’s review some of our final beers of the season.

Billy Gomila

We're about to hit the two-week mark until the season begins, and with offseason winding down here are some outtakes from our Drinks series. A roundup of some of the beers I tried over the offseason that didn't wind up making their own post.

Abita Wrought Iron IPA

Abita broke out this new IPA in the spring and honestly it's...not great. Kind of an example of what most people talk about when they talk about why they don't like IPAs. They really hit you over the head with the hops, and the bitterness kind of lingers. Not my jam. 2 stars.

Florida Ybor Gold Amber & Key West Southernmost Wheat

Florida Beer Company's website is down, but I was able to get ahold of these two offerings via the Beer of the Month club earlier this year, and both were pretty solid. Ybor Gold is similar to the typical English brown, like a NOLA Brown or a Newcastle, with a balanced combination of roasted malty sweetness and a crisp lager-y bite. The Key West is likewise very representative of the typical malty wheat beers, a smooth texture and a light citrus bite, with just enough sweetness to go down quickly on a hot day. Both get a strong 4 stars.

Shiner Prickly Pear

Another great warm-weather beer that Shiner just recently started to issue in six-packs. There's a light malty texture and a quick blast of fruity sweetness that avoids overpowering. If you're a fan of Purple Haze, you'll like this one. A solid 3.5 stars.

Magic Hat Stealin' Time

Very lager-y bouquet that is a little lighter and sweeter than the typical wheat beer. Very similar to Parish's Canebreak. The sweetness is subtle. Kind of fruity, but not overpowering. 3.75 stars.

Lake Placid Ubu Ale

One of the flagships of the Lake Placid brew pub, and if you have a chance to maybe grab some on the Syracuse trip this fall, I highly recommend. This is a fantastic beer with a strong depth of flavor with a warm roasted flavor that pairs well with a little sweetness. Almost chocolaty without being too sweet. Comforting, especially in cool, crisp weather. 4.5 stars.

Southern Prohibition Hipster Breakfast

This one was a bit of a let-down. The bouquet is a tease -- smells like oatmeal, with some hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. But the flavor kind of lets you down. Very stereotypical stout. Just roasted flavor, not much else. I had high expectations for this, and it kind of let me down. Did make a nice boilermaker though. 3 stars.

Goose Island Muddy

Now this one is a bit complex. This is a rich, dark stout that smells like...licorice. In some ways, it almost tastes like root beer. The flavor kind of slides away behind the rich, roasted stout flavor and then kind of rebounds on the aftertaste. Makes for a complex drink. Kind of comforting in cold weather. Not something you can session, but something I would definitely try again. 4 stars.

R.J. Rockers Brown-Eyed Squirrel

Another great brown ale, although for the price you might be better off sticking with NOLA Brown. Smooth, soft bouquet that kind of invites you in. The texture is a little thick for a brown ale, but there's a great, balanced flavor of roasted malts and a hint of coffee. Strong 4.75 stars.

Not Your Father's Root Beer

This is different. Honesty, it's a straight root beer that...just happens to be 6 percent alcohol by volume. If you're a big root beer float fan, I highly recommend. Otherwise, it's not really for your typical beer drinking. Still it was something different for after dinner. Be careful though, because these things go down really easy. If nobody told you there was alcohol in there, you'd never know.