Today's review features beers from 2 North Carolina breweries and one from Charleston, SC.
The first offering comes from Palmetto Brewing Company's 843 limited-release series, named for the Charleston area code. The Ghost Rider IPA features citrusy hops spiced with ghost peppers and maraschino cherries. Now, to me, the peppers and hops combined for a fairly bitter hop taste. Also evident is a mild burn from the ghost peppers, but it is not overpowering like I've tasted in some other pepper-infused beers. The ghost pepper use should not cause people to shy away from this beer. The front end also had a bit of fruity sweetness from the cherries.
Carolina Brewery's award-winning Oatmeal Porter is a very solid offering style. The beer is hearty, but not super-thick, as some darker beers can be. It also sports a nice creamy head. The aroma and taste tend to feature cocoa/chocolate notes. Despite it being only 5.9% ABV, I found it to have a bit of a boozy aftertaste. But overall, I found this beer to be a strong contribution to its style.
American Pales have arguably become my style of choice. While I can appreciate, and even want, the heavy-hopped IPAs often, I appreciate the better balance of flavors that tend to come from APAs, and Unknown's Over The Edge was no different. It definitely shows its Paleness, with piney hops being a strong part of the flavor, especially early on. The hops give way to sweetness, and I what I identified as cherries, in the middle, before resolving to a pretty clean finish. Another enjoyable example of style, and my first time experiencing Unknown Brewing Company. I may need to seek out some more of their collection.