Beers in Review: Playing catch-up

After Sunday's little party, I have whole bunch of beers about which to write, but I'm still playing catch-up from the previous week! We'll see if I'm feeling frisky and want to write about a couple beers more than usual. Let's get started.

Leading off is Picture of Nectar Double IPA from Southbound Brewing Company. It pours a yellow-gold color, and features peach and peach skin flavors, along with some floral aromatic notes and piney hops. I got a mild bitterness on the back end of the drinking experience, as well as some earthiness towards the end. It wasn't too sweet, and also not really boozy, which was a slight surprise for 9.3% ABV. A very drinkable DIPA.

It seems like I've covered a lot of Bell's Brewery lately--the Octoberfest series has aided that perception--and the latest in a series of very good beers from Bell's is their Special Double Cream Stout. As expected, it pours a near-black color, and offers notes of coffee as well as some cocoa and perhaps even a hint of smokiness. It's very tasty overall, with a fairly smooth mouthfeel (again, as expected from a DOUBLE cream beer).

Third up is the highly-regarded Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. This beer is pretty much pitch black, with some quite tasty flavor notes, including dark fruit, raisins, plums, sweet chocolate and vanilla, and sweet maltiness. It has an incredibly complex flavor profile, with a moderate amount of booziness. This my first tasting of Narwhal, and it lives up to its reputation.

Finally, let's jump into one beer from Octoberfest on Sunday. This Brewdy Peach/Habanero IPA was brewed by Low Tide Brewing Company for The Fat Hen, a French Low Country restaurant just outside Charleston, SC. Pouring a cloudy orange color, this IPA brings plenty of pepper. The Habanero kick is evident from the outset, as a just-uncomfortable-enough spiciness invades the throat upon the first sip and persists even after swallowing. A black pepper note joins it early on, before being joined by the peach and maybe a funk note, as well. The hops come through in the back half of the drinking experience, an experience which includes a bit of a creamy mouthfeel. This is an impressive beer, and the first I had at Octoberfest. It was a hell of a lead-off hitter.