Highland Ambush! (7.5)

name: Highland Ambush
% alc: 6.8
type: Scotch Ale
vendor: Bridgeport/Molly
price: Free! Would be $5.99 (22oz)

first impressions:
They marched not in single file but in troupes. Onward, upward through the Highland to a summit upon which they would last as long as they could. The bubbles, I mean. I've never seen rows of carbonation like this (sadly not pictured) and what they produced together was a velvety, pillow-topped head. I can only imagine this beer on a nitro tap, (hint hint Bridgeport). I love the name of this beer although I didn't find it to ambush me the way some other scotch ales can. This is a good thing. I find some scotch ales can be just a bit too much, too alcoholic tasting or too rough around the edges. This one was mellower and by that virtue more drinkable. It was smooth and slightly smokey with a present tang. The word spacious came to mind... ? Maybe I should have that checked out... 
Anyway, I enjoyed the bottle all to myself and it was pleasant. 

This beer came in a little sampling package sent to me from Bridgeport thanks to my friend Molly Gilbert who does PR work for them. Sorry it took me so long to feature one! Alas my fridge is full of many bloggable brews but another special Bridgeport is likely to show up again sometime soon. 
Thanks & Cheers!

review (/10): 7.5
recommended setting: Honestly if there is a setting in which I can safely have a silhouetted sword-fight like you see on the bottle, that's where I'd take my pint. Drinking and swords?

extraneous ramble (optional): Foreshadowing my future post: Best Of #1: Affordable-Widely-Distributed-Microbrewed-IPA-In-SixPack-Form, I'm pretty sure the Bridgeport IPA will be in contention for sure. Suggestions for a shorter title will be sincerely considered.


Double Rainbow = 2 pots o' gold (7.0)

name: Double Rainbow (two pots o' gold in ur mouth)
% alc: 7.0
type: Sweet/Mellow Red Ale?
vendor: QFC, Seattle
price: $4.99 (22oz)
first impressions:
Although this cloudy beer shone a fiery red like the hair of the diminishing Irish breed, 
it took me a while to even begin to entertain the idea that this was in fact a Red Ale. The Iron Horse Brewery out of Ellensberg, WA calls it not quite a red not quite an IPA. Assuredly this is not an IPA. For me it was a malty, somewhat sweet and heavy beer that eventually came to a conclusion of bitterness. It was half way through the pint that I began to flip/flop from thinking it was a red malty unfiltered ale to a malty unfiltered red ale. 

Strained definitions aside, 
Double Rainbow was a delicious-viscous-carmelly pint. It was a treat for sweet seekers and had a bittered body for brewheads. That said, it is a really nice single pinter but I wouldn't recommend any bar fightin' with stomach full of it.

review (/10): 7.0
recommended setting: On the way from Seattle to Ellensberg there is a mound-like hill that sometimes becomes an island in winter and likely remains so in March. Ferry across the loch (pint between your knees), and climb to the secluded summit of the hill, you might just find a pot of gold while you're at it.

extraneous ramble (optional): Iron Horse Brewery is one my favorite local micro-breweries that isn't available all that widely. For St. Patricks Day you might also try their Irish Death Ale. 


Bitter American (5.5)

name: Bitter American
% alc: 4.4
type: American Session Ale
vendor: QFC, Seattle
price: $8.99 6pk
first impressions:
Great Cans! But the rest of her...
I wanted to love this beer, it sounded just right for an everyday bitter, but not overboard type of ale. And for the first few slugs it might be just that, but suffice it say I had to drink 3 cans of it on separate occasions to compile enough notes to write about it. This beer tends to lose its character very quickly, like a stick of juicy fruit gum but instead of the beer physically losing its flavor I think your tongue just gets used to it very quickly.
What I did taste of it was nicely bittered and malty with a rye type component. For a session ale, which I've admittedly not tasted the gamut of, it was definitely hoppier. I would have scored it near a 7.5 if it had only held my attention and kept its initial flavor. Alas one might find it hard to continue to love if that love is not returned.

So being that I cannot really say more about this beer's flavor I will segue into a discussion of the Craft Can Revolution spurned on by a list on the box the Bitter Americans came in. I will recap it with my reactions in a sort of call & response format:
Why Cans? A Six-Pack of Good Reasons

1. Cans use less energy to produce, to transport and to chill.
Great, great, and great, except while they chill faster than bottled they also warm up faster.
2. Cans are easier to recycle and are recycled more often.
Seriously, my ears could totally do without the ear spitting clatter of dropping bottles in the bin.
3. Exposure to light ruins a good beer-Cans keep the light out and the good in.
True, you don't have to worry at all but isn't that why we have brown glass? Also there is something almost nice about the skunky aroma of pint enjoyed in the sun that feels like summertime to me.
4. Cans are lined so they don't affect the flavor of the beer.
Maybe so, but I still taste the cool tin rim against my lips and it does in fact alter what I taste.
5. Feel that? Cans weigh less than glass.
Drinking usually means I'm not at the gym, so why not make up for it with a heavier bottle? Although for backpackers who enjoy a summit swig it's a no brainer.
6. Cans go where glass is banned-Pools, beaches, boats, golf courses, stadiums, parks.
Indeed. Not sure about stadiums letting you bring it when they can have your $13 for plastic-rimmed pint.

review (/10): 5.5
recommended setting:  While participating in a Jam Session, (because this beer's taste seems get lost pretty quickly you won't mind that you've consumed the whole can without realizing it).
extraneous ramble (optional): 


Hoodoo Voodoo: A Universal IPA? (8.0)

name: Hoodoo Voodoo IPA
% alc: 6.0
type: India Pale Ale
vendor: John's Market, Multnomah Village, OR
price: $3.99

first impressions:
First of all,
you will undoubtedly be seeing a good frequency of IPA reviews in this blog. However, before you dismiss me as a hop-head whose only goal is to find and endure beers with enough hop content to embalm a house-hold pet, I would like to introduce you to a utopian idea. (To be read in a British wildlife host accent) I give you The Elusive Universally Delicious IPA. A beer that appeals to both those with only the aforementioned goal in mind and those who generally do not enjoy hoppy brew. Can it be found? Can this creature be documented somehow?

Cut to:
The Hoodoo Voodoo IPA by Three Creeks Brewing out of Sisters, OR.
Ok, so it may not be quite this utopia I speak of, but it is balanced in a way that will appeal to a wider audience. A mellow opening hop with an immediate nutty follow-up keeps the palate clean and doesn't linger the way a spicy hopped ale can. This is a beautiful beer to compliment a meal because it doesn't interfere but still provides the crisp and tangy intermission we often crave. Hoodoo may be harder to find in Seattle but if you see it, pick it up and give it a try, even my seemingly hop intolerant european drinking accomplices might finish their glass.

review (/10): 8.0
recommended setting: Sisters, OR. Beneath a towering Ponderosa, mind the quilt show traffic.
extraneous ramble (optional):