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And the Valley Drinks: Offseason Outtakes

Sorting through the rest of my year of beer.

Billy Gomila

So with the offseason coming to an end, now’s a good time to recap some of the other beers I tried over this offseason, but never got around to posting on their own.

We’ll start with a collection I picked up from the Lonestar State.

Infamous Brewing

My wife made a trip to Austin with her best friend back in the early part of the spring, and came back with a nice care package of beers from this outfit. She raved about their tap-room crew and said they had a lot of fun there, so if you’re out there go check them out.

Double-Tap Imperial IPA

This is a hardcore IPA in terms of the heft, with a 10-plus percent ABV, but very nice. Extremely floral bouquet, almost pollin-y, but with a nice malty open that fades into a sweet middle to set up the hoppy kick at the end. Balanced and never overpowering with any one flavor. Well-made, with just enough bite for the style. Similar to NOLA’s Hopitoulas. Good starter IPA, which is weird to say for an imperial, but still. And perfect for a seafood boil. 4 out of 5 stars.

Camacho All-American Stout

Bit dry on the open, but nice rich texture and coffee flavor. Well-balanced, never too bitter from the roasting, with an appetizing bouquet. Small bit of bitterness on the finish like a good piece of dark chocolate. A strong stout that is filling, but not so much that you couldn’t drink more than one on a cold night. 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Foghorn Redhorn Amber/Red Ale

Very malty bouquet, with a cloudy finish on a brownish, orange, amber color. Much more of a traditional amber flavor, with that malty backbone that isn’t quite sweet. Very hefty — I received this is a 22-oz bomber, and could barely finish. There’s a hint of bitterness, almost like light coffee on the very end. A good comparison would be a thicker, more hefty Abita Amber with more intense flavor. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Infamy Old Ale

The bouquet is a bit boozy, which is normal for old ales. Malty open with a little bit of sweetness on the back end that makes it intriguing. Bit of smokiness in the middle, which adds some contrast. Not what you expect. 4 out of 5 stars.

Running the gamut:

Southern Prohibition Devil’s Harvest

This may be my new favorite IPA. Super-drinkable. Very floral on the bouquet, with a warm, malty open and a light roll over some light, citrus-y notes on the back end that hit a really good midpoint between sweet and the bitterness you’d expect from IPA. The “Breakfast IPA” moniker its because its almost like a glass of orange juice, only without the sweetness. And at 4.5 percent Alcohol by Volume, easy to drink in a session. A strong 4 out of 5 stars.

Cajun Brewing Bayou Brunette

This is a relatively new outfit out of the Lafayette area, and it can be a bit tough to find outside of kegs, but it was strong. Thicker, almost a ruddy brown color and a nice roasted bouquet. Thicker than the average brown ale — a little too much to session-drink. But there’s a nice, warm toffee flavor with an almost boozy kick. Not my favorite of the genre, but a nice brown ale. 3.75/5 stars.

Tin Roof Barrel-Aged

This isn’t canned or bottled, but Tin Roof pulled out this special release in their tap room in the spring and it was a solid change-up from their typical stuff. Not something you’re likely to be used to. The bouquet was kind briny, not sweet and boozy like you’d expect from something barrel-aged. And after an opening round of dark chocolate, you get a sour flavor, almost like a gose. And then a nice closing kick of sweetness from the barrel that balances the flavor out well. Beers like this are a bit of an acquired taste, but it’s a welcomed pace change. 4 out of 5 stars.

Evil Twin Even More Jesus

Almost the platonic ideal of an imperial stout. Thick on the pour, very dark and rich in color. There’s almost a hint of licorice in the bouquet but you never get that on the taste. Neutral open with a deep, roasted flavor of dark chocolate that balances just enough sweetness to avoid ever tasting bitter. Well-balanced, full-bodied and a great after-dinner drink. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Even More Coco Jesus

A boozy bouquet and a rich, dark flavor. Not as sweet as you might think when you read that it has maple syrup and coconut, but it is still sweet.. Well-balanced though, with a hint of the coconut on the back end to cut the dark chocolate bitterness. The middle is a bit more of that lighter toffee flavor versus chocolate. Not as good as the original, in my opinion. Tries a bit too hard. 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Burial Beer BOLO Brown Ale

This is a brown ale with coconut — which sounds really sweet but honestly, isn’t. There’s just a subtle bit of it on the back end, which cuts through a bit of bitterness from the roasted malts. Flavorful, and relatively light in texture. Could definitely session this. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

St. Arnold’s Bishop’s Barrel 17

I was expecting more of a stout, but this was version was what’s called an Adambier, a sour, hoppy type of beer that originates in Dortmund, Germany. It has a lighter brown color and you really catch the bourbon barrel on the bouquet. Sweet and boozy. It starts out sweet and then kind of mellows out with the sour a bit. Thin, but heavy on the flavor. 4 out of 5 stars.