The guys at River Horse attest that unfiltered beer is the way to go. This beer epitomizes the unfiltered factor with a hazy, raw honey color. The pilsner malt was immediately apparent in the nose, along with sweet wheat and a hint of nuttiness. These followed through in the flavor, which finished with a rich, gritty bite.
After seeing its foggy amber color, the BBS team agreed this could have been mistaken for a pour of Aunt Jemima’s Syrup at breakfast. Additionally reminiscent of brownies, biscuits and light chocolate, calling the aroma "sweet" would be an understatement: the scents had us bracing ourselves for beer candy. Surprisingly, though, the taste does a 180 on those aromas—upfront peppery and sarsaparilla flavors wake you up, holding their own against a hoppy background. Less surprising is the brewery's decision to call this one "special."
Hop Hazard pours a deep honey blossom color with a buttermilk head. Immediately, an aromatic sweetness evoking oranges and flowers reveals itself, but with an unexpected tinge of cheesiness. That "tinge" becomes more pronounced in the flavor, as the hoppy brew tasted similar to feta cheese-topped pita chips, cut with a hint of lemon and some pine. Given the range of hoppy flavors here, hop heads will love this beer just as they would any IPA, even with its twists and turns.
There's one thing we all definitely took away from this brew: chocolate. Pouring a raw umber with a tan head, the porter greeted us with the familiar smells and infamous thickness of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup—this, possibly due to the pound of cocoa used per barrel—along with the powdery sweetness of Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix. The taste didn't disappoint the chocoholics of the group, with flavors of egg cream and hints of tobacco welcomed by those seeking a balance to the overt sweetness. As one taster wisely proposed, "it needs a scoop of vanilla ice cream"—we'll take ours a la mode.
Pouring a gasoline-black body with a brown tan head, we knew right away this beer would be a formidable experience. Aromas stuck close to the smoky Rauchbier spectrum, including some bittersweet tobacco notes and even a bit of Jack Link's Beef Jerky. Our conjectures weren't unfounded, as the brew was in-your-face savory: BBQ and some ashy Salisbury onion sauce, as well as a hint of chocolate much subtler than its Chocolate Porter companion. We'd suggest pairing one of these bad boys with your steak or ribs.