Welcome to the first He Said/She Said Beer Review. The goals of He Said/She said are to have a beer reviewed by both a male and a female. For the first few, I may be reviewing them with family or friends, but I hope eventually to have local beer people doing the He Said/She Said reviews. Occasionally we'll have someone who doesn't drink a lot of craft beer, sometimes we'll have someone who only buys craft beer, and sometimes we'll have major beer nerds. It will hopefully be a good mix of different ideas. I hope you enjoy the format, and if you want to do a review, please get in touch.
For tonight's review we are tasting Twisted Pine's Hoppy Knight, classified as a Black IPA, or a Cascadian Dark Ale, if they used Pacific NW hops. Twisted Pine is located in Boulder, CO and their beer should be available in Colorado Springs at Coaltrain's or at Spring's Liquor Outlet. These both should carry Twisted Pine beers, so maybe try calling them to see if they've got Hoppy Knight.
For tonight, "She" is Stephanie, living in Colorado Springs. She does not consider herself a beer nerd at all. She loves wine, and when she drinks beer she prefers Lagers, Hefs, Blonde's,
Creams, and occasionally Amber Ales. She might enjoy a couple sips of a porter or stout but generally they are too syrupy. Her least favorite beers are anything hoppy, including all combinations of IPA's (even Pliny) and pale ales, although she can always tell if it's "well made."
The smell is very hoppy! Nooo! It's extremely dark in color and the head is really nice and stays a while. "I probably won't like it," she says. She goes to drink it and quickly decides the hops are too much. It's easy to drink though, and not as thick as expected, it looks like a porter or stout, but it doesn't come across as one in texture. She can't tell if the aroma and flavor are roasty, but she thinks so, it's just really masked by the hops. She does not like the Twisted Pine as much as a porter and couldn't drink a whole lot of it, but there were characteristics, such as the lightness of the beer that were better than a porter. She says it's definitely a well crafted beer.
For tonight, "He" is me...and "he" really enjoys almost all beers. He does consider himself a beer nerd. His favorite style changes a lot, but currently it's probably vegetable and spice beers and Farmhouse ales. He is currently a bit burnt out from IPA's and his least favorite styles are Barleywines and Dopplebocks, but that could change any minute.
He's had a number of Black IPA's (or Cascadian Dark Ales) and he really enjoys the style, so this time he opened up an Avery IPA so he could get a better grasp as to some of the major differences between the two styles. The nose on the Twisted Pine beer is definitely darker than an IPA, with slight coffee notes and maybe a faint toasted nut smell. There's definitely a hop presence in the nose as well, although it seems much less upfront than a typical hopped up IPA. He's drinking the beer as it becomes a little warmer, it's quite smooth and definitely a taste of dark chocolate underneath those hops. The hops are dirty tasting, and he think's that's from the roasted malt, but he's reminded mostly of pine and evergreen and hunting for mushrooms in a wet forest in Oregon...and that's a very good thing. The hops aren't as pronounced as I might have thought when smelling the aroma though. Pretty sure it's dryhopped, which would be a good explanation for that. As it warms up the malt shines through stronger, and the slight roasted malt characteristics become much more pronounced, somewhere in between a brown ale and a porter. The finish is wet, and it lingers on the sides and front of my tongue. In the end, he loves a Cascadian Dark Ale, his favorite being Hopworks Secession Black. He became burnt out on IPA's after attending a Fresh Hop Fest in Oregon over a year ago and rarely drink them now, but this style revives his interest in hoppy beers. He thinks this one could have used more bittering and flavor hops but definitely enjoyed it. He would be happy to buy it again and share with friends, or drink it alone on a night when needing something slightly heavy, slightly bitter, but not overly heavy and bitter. It's a good beer. (Just decided to read the description on ratebeer.com and it says to look out for grapefruit notes in the hops...but the reviewers tonight both agree they DEFINITELY did not get that...)