02 June 2014

Coast to coast

Two from stateside which arrived courtesy of Richard (looking contemplative on the left of the photo). First up, Yellow Wolf, an imperial IPA from Alameda Brewing in that there Portland, Oregon. It's a stern 8.2% ABV but refreshingly pale. Yes, there's a certain toffee sweetness -- the Achilles heel of strong hoppy American beer -- both in the aroma and flavour, but not too much. Certainly not enough to spoil the deliciously piercing lemon rind flavour from the hops. Despite the strength and bitter intensity it remains nicely drinkable and I think we have the pale malt to thank for that.

Rockaway Brewing on Long Island in Queens don't normally bottle their beers but Richard managed to wangle an unlabelled one of High Plains Drifter out of them. Another 8.2%-er, this is a Bourbon-barrel-aged scotch ale. The bourboning isn't overdone and imparts a pleasant sourness from the whisky to counterbalance a fairly intense caramel sweetness. It would be spot-on except for a minor cardboardy whiff which may have something to do with the bespoke bottling process. Still a decent effort, if not hugely exciting given the effort that presumably went in to making it.


  1. Rockaway Brewing is in Queens (Long Island City, just across the river from Manhattan) which is on Long Island, but not. Lemme 'esplain:

    Geographically, there are 4 counties on the island - Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk. Politically, the former two are NYC, so for New Yorkers "Long Island" invariably refers to the two suburban counties.

    Like with "Ireland", but with fewer murals. ;)

    1. I think my choice of phrase comes from the friends of my parents who live in The Rockaways and always referred to their home as being Long Island rather than Queens. For reasons of snobbishness, I assume.

    2. True, that! Rockaways have always thought they're something special - thus The Ramones "tribute". Of course, you can't tease them now that Sandy turned the whole place into a war zone.

      Confusingly, Rockaway Brewing is about as far from the Rockaways as possible while still being in Queens.