Hobbit Beer

There’s been a rush of craft beer this holiday season. And with craft beer, variety and obscurity seem to be the thing to draw you in. So I want surprised when these started to pop up in stores for $15 a bottle. 


No, I didn’t give in and buy them as soon as I saw them. I did laugh though. Now here it is, a few months later and lo and behold, they are still in stores. Only now I did buy 5 bottles. But that is for two reasons. 

1. They need to be moved and are marked down to $2 a bottle. 

2. If they turn out to be horrible beers, they were only $2 a bottle. 

3. If they turn out to be horrible beers, it’s ok, cause at least they are 8 and 9.5% abv respectively.

Smaug Stout with chili peppers
(brewed by Fish Tale Ales brewery)

At 8.5 % abv, you can taste the alcohol. Probably the first thing I noticed. It has a pleasantly  smooth aroma that is welcoming to my nose. It smells almost chocolately. Quite lovely. The mouthfeel is lighter than I expected. Kind of pleasant. Especially since they are 1 pint 6fl oz. bottles. At 65 IBU, it leans more towards the bitter side, which I don’t prefer in a stout. That said, I don’t know what hops were used, but they do blend nicely with the roastiness of the barley. The beer claims to have chills in it, but if it did, I didn’t notice. The roasted flavor was a little overwhelming and probably washed out the pepper. 

Overall, a fairly tasty beer, though a bit too bitter. One is all you really need with this one though. Which is too bad for me cause I still have to try the Belgian style tripel. 

look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.69/5


Belgian Style Tripel:
(brewed by Fish Tale Ales brewery)

I admit, I don’t have too much experience with tripels and I’m writing this with my BJCP style guides open. I hope that helps in my rating beer.

Because I have no experience with Tripels, I feel like I’m not giving this beer a proper chance. I don’t feel like this accurately represents a tripel. It’s color is about all I see in similarity. And maybe it’s effervescence. But there is not much clarity. It poured hazy with a 1.5 inch white head.

 I was expecting some spicy and peppery, but I catch very little of that. It’s moderate fruity esters are more than moderate. The guidelines clearly state “Marriage of spicy, fruity and alcohol flavors supported by a soft malt character”.  I taste no marriage here. The alcohol, though high at 9.5% abv, is low and sneaks in at the end, but not as low as the spiciness. By far the fruity esters wear the pants in this “marriage” with hints of coriander peel and banana. There is also a sense of wheat as well which I int think is characteristic of tripels. 

I’m sorry, but I’m just not a fan. No, I don’t have experience with Tripels, and after drinking this, I think I can still say the same. 

look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.18/5