With a name like Old Capital, this brew's status as a classic golden ale was all too fitting. Pouring the brew from its bottle, a bristling, pale-yellow body coalesced into a white head. It was clean in the nose, with grainy hints of the Upstate farmland—slight corn and hay, in particular. The beer's flavor focused more on the grain and less on the hops, and was easy drinking, described by several tasters as "the perfect lawnmower beer" for 100 degree weather.
The story goes that Keegan's grandmother—the real Hurricane Kitty—earned her namesake by driving her kids to and from the Long Island Ferry like a bat out of hell; and she had the police record to prove it. As an homage to Nana Kitty, what beer reflects such feistiness more so than an IPA? The bubbly caramel body emerges with a creamy tan head, already proving itself an anomaly from your run-of-the-mill IPAs. Sweet malts of honey biscuits quickly came through in the nose, but the more interesting woodsiness—wet pine and herbs—were quite impressive. And of course, being the hard-headed, tough-as-nails woman she was, the IPA's taste was dominated with resin-y grapefruit pith and caramel flavors that stuck around long into the finish.
The award-winning Mother's Milk—Gold Medal at The Hudson Valley Microbrew Festival, and NY Times Top 10 Stouts in North America (2010)—definitely proved its worth. The root-beer cola body, capped with a beige head, had us swooned from the get-go with its sugary chocolate icebox cake, Oreo, and slight coffee aromas. Keeping ourselves from immediately diving into the taste took some discipline, but it was worth the wait. The first sip was extremely smooth and light with a mouthfeel reminiscent iced cold coffee. And alongside the bittersweet chocolate malt roast, there were strong notes of more cold coffee and lactose. We felt this beer was definitely worthy of its award!
Apparently the guys at Keegan love coffee, as they decided to shake things up by mashing our favorite morning caffeinator with Mother's Milk for a java treat. The guys whipped up this beer by adding brown sugar and some cold brew extract from the local Monkey Joe's Roasting Coffee to Mother's Milk. The stout pours a pitch black color like, well, cold-brew coffee, and strong aromas of smoky flavors dominate the nose. Still, some sweetness manages to sneak in with caramel-coffee candy aromas akin to a Mocha Frap. And of course, given all the aforementioned coffee, it's no surprise that Joe Mama's Milk tastes like roasted coffee. To all those coffee addicts out there, this one's for you.
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