It was a holiday weekend, which of course led to numerous drinking opportunities, and a fresh set of beers to review. Let's dive in!
We start with the Coulter IPA from Cismontane Brewing Company, which pours a deep gold color and has very little head when poured. Strong citrus and pine hops notes are the first things to hit my palate when I take a sip, along with a strong but overpowering bitterness. It's fruity with, to me, a juicy mouthfeel. There is a slight bit of booziness (the beer checks in at 7.2% ABV), and the beer finishes quite clean, given how powerful all the flavors are.
Next up is Unknown Brewing Company's Bound for Carolina Imperial Brown Ale. The ale had a light cola color, and amazing powerful flavors, including tons of cocoa and chocolate, dark fruits, and cola. I also got some brownie or chocolate cake notes and a toasted note that crossed with the brownie to taste like the burnt or better-done edges of the brownie pan. Despite a fairly high ABV of 8.7%, there was no booziness to detect--it likely blended well into the numerous sweeter flavor notes. I also want to say that despite these numerous sweet flavors, it wasn't too sweet. It was close, but Unknown did a really nice job hitting the apex of tolerance, at least for my palate.
Next is Red Banshee by Fort Collins Brewery. Pouring a reddish-copper color, Red Banshee has straight forward flavors, including chocolate malts and hints of cola and possibly sweet caramel or some other sugary substance. Very malty, which is right up my alley.
Finally, from Founders Brewing Company, I had the Mango Magnifico con Calor, a part of Founders' experimental Backstage Series. A fruit beer (mango, obviously) brewed with habanero peppers, the result is a beer that is quite sweet, and can push that edge into overpowering. Fortunately, the mangoes have a cozy relationship with the peppers, each tempering the other just enough that neither the sweetness nor the spiciness kills the beer. There is a spice note that starts out as slight and grows perfectly, never going overboard, as so many pepper-infused beers do. Clocking in at 10%, there is also a slight booziness, especially as it warms, but most of that booziness blends into the sweet mango notes. This is a fantastic offering from Founders.