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Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


DevESTATEtion is a Black IPA by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chico, CA.  Or is this a Cascadian Dark Ale?

Behind the name: Every year Sierra Nevada releases their Estate Ale, which uses organic barley and hops grown by Sierra Nevada. This year, the dry weather (it's not yet an official drought) killed off much of their harvest, so they had to buy organic ingredients from another local farm. To mourn the death of their beloved barley they dressed up their annual release in black.

I found this at BevMo, it has an ABV of 6.7%.

The aroma has roasted malts, some earthy notes and hints of citrus rind. The flavor has layers of roasted malts, assertive pops of chocolate, earthy hops and ends with the bitter citrus, although they never over power the dark malts. It has a creamy mouthfeel and a medium body that is lightened even more by the carbonation.

I really like Sierra Nevada's take on a Black IPA. There's a great mix of balanced flavors and not too much alcohol. Sierra Nevada's standard beers stay within the same malt flavor profile and core hops. I guess if you find a successful mix, why change it. However, it does get old so it's nice to see a brew from them that goes in a different direction. I still get hints of their core flavors, but just hints.

This is a limited release and a good beer, so it's a Must Have It.

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