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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beer Tasting Notes {Victory Helios and Alaskan Double Black Imperial IPA}

Last night my sweet husband brought home Victory Helios for me because I love sunshine and Belgian beers, so he thought I'd like it - he's so awesome!  He has been on a Black IPA kick, so he bought himself Alaskan's Double Black IPA. 

Victory Helios
Helios is a 7.5% ABV Belgian style farmhouse ale.  Farmhouse ales (also called Saisons) aren't typically on top of my list of favorite beer styles, but he wanted me to give this one a go anyway.  The first glass poured a very clear golden orange color, which is not typical of a farmhouse ale; all of the sediment remained at the bottom of the bottle.  So we poured the whole thing to mix it up, and then returned some to the bottle - that did the trick.  Helios has a lemony sweet malt nose and a very distinct earthy, lemony, peppery sour-tart flavor.  Complex!  We decided to save most of the beer to use as a chicken marinade tonight... I'll let you know how that turns out!  I'll be honest, I probably won't buy this beer again - the earthy, peppery flavors don't do it for me (remember, I'm not a big Saison person).  But it's a solid beer for those who enjoy those flavors.

Alaskan Double Black Imperial IPA
This is an 8.5% ABV black IPA that pours a thick inky black.  There is a distinct roasty malt alcohol nose combined with unsweetened cocoa.  It has a very roasty, dark espresso flavor - Jim picked up a hint of smoke flavor.  It finishes with a mellow spicy sweet, somewhat citrusy hops on the back end.  We were both surprised that it wasn't hoppier, being an Imperial IPA.  Not Jim's favorite Black IPA that he's tasted, but a solid beer nonetheless.  I have to mention that I really dig the label, but it reminds me of Halloween, so it would be a great October beer. 

Jim wants me to try Grand Teton Trout Hop Black IPA - he maintains that all other black IPA's pale in comparison. 

Stay tuned for more tasting notes!  Cheers!


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