Multiple Beer Reviews: No Use For Smugglers (Brick and Feather Brewery), Strong Suit, Glimpse (River Roost Brewery), Realism, Double Obsession (Obercreek Brewing Company) [Toeny’s Travels Flight]

Multiple Beer Reviews: No Use For Smugglers (Brick and Feather Brewery), Strong Suit, Glimpse (River Roost Brewery), Realism, Double Obsession (Obercreek Brewing Company) [Toeny’s Travels Flight]

Toeny’s Travels Flight (July 2019)

Wednesday last week (July 10th) kicked off a nice three day weekend for me (Thursday, Friday, Saturday), with beer events on Friday night and Saturday night, and getting to try new beers each day of the weekend (including what was my Friday night – Wednesday). Got out of work at 6PM, drove immediately to the Willowood Swim Club for my oldest two daughter’s swim meet and then as that ended at 9PM I found myself in Elizabethtown for a little while with nothing to do.

Moo-Duck closed at 9PM, so that nix-nay’d the idea of trying out their brewery (haven’t been there in quite a few months) and knowing that I was going to be at the Funk Brewery on Friday for the Moo-Funk Homebrew Event, I decided to try out the Black Gryphon.

The Black Gryphon in Elizabethtown during the day.

So at 9PM on Wednesday I got to kick off my weekend of beer events and beer fun and shenanigans in a great way. Stopping in at one of the preeminent craft beer bars in the area will certainly do that.

Upon arriving and walking in I immediately run into a good friend Christopher d’Puia (who happened to be out on a date). After a brief chat where we discussed upcoming beer events (Moo-Funk Homebrew and the Ffej of July) I went and grabbed a seat at the bar and started chatting with Toeny Morgan.

From the article about the Black Gryphon’s reopening from their fire, source:

The Black Gryphon has a very impressive tap, can, and bottle list, as well as a few specialties and limited items that pop up from time to time, like the flight (one of two) that I ordered.

Toeny Morgan had recently done a vast trip to the North East (VT, NH, CT, etc, etc, etc) and brought back many gems from the various breweries he hit up there. (Anyone following him on Facebook or Untappd could have seen his travels and the various breweries and craft bottle shops he hit up.)

Deciding to take advantage of that and to get to try some breweries I haven’t been to (and most likely won’t be visiting anytime soon, and also, one of which I frankly never even heard of), I decided to order the flight.

Toeny’s Travels’ Flight. 12$ for five 5oz samplers.

For someone who likes to try out new beers and breweries and doesn’t always have a chance, this was a great opportunity and one I couldn’t pass up. It was five 5oz samplers for 12$ from three different breweries; Brick & Feather Brewery, River Roost Brewery, and Obercreek Brewing Company.

If you are a hoppy IPA fan, then this was a wonderful flight for you. So let’s tackle it and jump right in and enjoy the juice.

No Use For Smugglers by Brick & Feather Brewery

Beer: No Use For Smugglers
Brewery: Brick & Feather Brewery
Style: IPA – Imperial / Double
ABV: 8%
IBU: (blank)
Untappd Write-Up: (blank)

Brick and Feather Brewery is a small, micro brewery, out of Turner Falls Massachusetts. According to Untappd they currently have produced 52 unique beers and have an average overall rating of 4.13.

No Use For Smugglers looks like a juicy, pulpy, hoppy, DIPA, and that is exactly what it is. The appearance of pulpy orange juice is unmistakable and certainly a characteristic of can poured NEIPAs with the floaters and hop bits all circulating and going around. If you love the style or at least enjoy the style, its nothing to be worried about and you’ll find yourself loving and enjoying it. If you are not a fan of the style, usually this won’t be for you then.

The aroma is pure hop, pure dank, pure citrus. You get the upfront hop smell right away with it trailing off into the typical citrus notes of the hop varieties like Citra.

Immediately you get a hop bite and bitterness but this quickly fades into just a pure juicy NE(D)IPA that tastes completely wonderful. Just like many of the juiciest IPAs/DIPAs this gives you a full body, full mouthfeel, fully textualized hop drink with the floaters providing some nice added hop bite throughout. The citrus hop notes are the most prominent feature and you don’t get much bitterness as you drink it through as it faded into the juicyness after the first sip.

My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 4.25 (as of 7.18.19)

Strong Suit, a DIPA, from River Roost Brewery.

Beer: Strong Suit
Brewery: River Roost Brewery
Style: IPA – Imperial / Double
ABV: 8.2%
IBU: (blank)
Untappd Write-Up: (blank)

Moving on to the second sampler and the second of three breweries of this flight; River Roost Brewery. River Roost Brewery is another small microbrewery. Located in White River Junction in Vermont. Untappd lists them with 70 unique produced beers and a global average rating of 4.22.

Strong Suit is another strong, powerful, NE(D)IPA that is full of flavor, full of juice, and full of hop. This one is a bit lighter in color in comparison to Brick and Feather’s No Use For Smugglers. There’s also not quite as much in the way of floaters and pulpyness but its still hazy.

Again the aroma is spot on super hoppy and smells like the backend of the brewery, which I still believe is one of the three best smells in the world.

The flavor profile is very similar to that of the previous, but it is a bit sweeter. There is not quite as much of the hop bite to it, but more of a floral and sweeter hop characteristic that makes it have a smoother and more sweet taste as you sip her down.

My Untappd Rating: ****.25
Global Untappd Rating: 4.32 (as of 7.18.19)

Glimpse, another DIPA from River Roost Brewery

Beer: Glimpse
Brewery: River Roost Brewery
Style: IPA – Imperial / Double
ABV: 7.8%
IBU: (blank)
Untappd Write-Up: (blank)

Another DIPA from River Roost Brewery, their second of the five in this flight. This one fits the bill pretty similarly to the previous one from them, and like the one prior to that from Brick and Feather.

Coloring looks more similar to No Use For Smugglers, a darker, normal DIPA coloring, than Strong Suit’s lighter more OJ styling. But the taste is very similar to all three, but more on the hoppy bitter side of No Use For Smuggling rather than the more sweeter side of Strong Suit’s. The aroma is super hoppy perfection for all three so far.

My Untappd Rating: ****.25
Global Untappd Rating: 4.31 (as of 7.18.19)

Realism, a Blonde Ale from Obercreek Brewing Company

Beer: Realism
Brewery: Obercreek Brewing Company
Style: Blonde Ale
ABV: 5.2%
Untappd Write-Up: (blank)

Obercreek Brewing Company is a Nanobrewery from Wappingers Falls New York. Untappd lists 68 produced (unique) beers, and a global average rating of 4.3.

Our first, (and only) non-IPA beer on this flight. Still a light hued, pretty, golden/blonde straw colored beer that is crisp, fresh, and refreshing. So far, four for four on excellent patio sippers during a hot muggy summer day watching a storm blow through.

The aroma is a bit more wheat-ish than the hoppy previous beers, and it has a good grain smell to it. Not quite like a full baked loaf of bread, but just a dough smell with some hop notes and some various lighter smells. This is a nice change in pace to the prior three.

The color is like light straw, bright, but noticeably different from the IPAs prior in this flight (and the one after this). Similar but still a stark contrast to the others in the flight.

Taste is clean, crisp, refreshing, a smooth non-IPA to clean the palate a bit. There is a creamy smoothness to it, that makes me wonder if there is some lactose involved, possibly to help the coloration and to give it some of that hazyness as well as make it a smooth creamy blonde ale.

My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 4.13 (as of 7.18.19)

Double Obsession a DIPA from Obercreek Brewing Company

Beer: Double Obsession
Brewery: Obercreek Brewing Company
Style: IPA – Imperial / Double
ABV: 8.6%
IBU: (blank)
Untappd Write-Up: (blank)

Back to the DIPAs and back to the hops. This hazy, cloudy, NE(D)IPA appearance, but with a mixture of a West Coast and an East Coast IPA taste. It has the juicy and hop bite at the same time, both refreshing and crisp, and bitter and hoppy and a punch in the mouth with hop flavor.

This was my favorite of the five, with probably the best mouthfeel, best flavor, and the best hop combination of the flight.

The look is hazy and cloudy but not as light colored as some NEIPAs and NE(D)IPAs. Not a true OJ juicy look to it, but there is some haze here, and some hop floaters and particles. Neither truly opaque nor translucent.

The aroma is a massive kick of hops right up your nostrils and into your brain stem. Like standing under a hop arbor with a rain and letting the water run through the hops and right on you….. (what, none of you have ever done this before? Oh man…. you guys need to live a little!). This probably has the best aromatics of the five tasters and much more upfront hop aroma than the others (which isn’t saying they don’t have it, just saying this is x2 their level).

From first sip there is much more hop to this than the prior ones too. Would be interested to see the hop combinations used and what the level of IBUs on this, especially in comparison to the prior ones of the flight. There is some citrus here but its more earthy hop, good hop pine flavors as well as the smoothness and some juiceness that one would attribute to being a NE(D)IPA.

This is certainly one to seek out. I mean, granted, all five were excellent beers, and I would gladly drink all of them again, but definitely this fifth one (Double Obsession).

My Untappd Rating: ****.5
Global Untappd Rating: 4.31 (as of 7.18.19)

Following this wonderful flight, I stuck around for some more time chatting with Chris and then Toeny, and getting to enjoy a totally different style and bent, a Roggenbier from Oxbow Brewing. I have already done the review for that and posted it, which can be found here: . So please be sure to check that out as well.

I would like to thank Toeny Morgan for the wonderful hospitality. Black Gryphon is a must-stop if you are in the Elizabethtown area. I would also like to thank Christopher d’Puia for buying a round. Good luck on your endeavors after Warwick. I’m sure we’ll run into each other at many future beer related events.

Look for upcoming articles about some of the recent events I got to try out:
* Moo-Funk Homebrew
* Ffej of July: 17

As well as for several upcoming beer reviews, including a side-by-side comparison beer review of the Tattered Flag pink starburst beer and the Rotunda Brewing pink starburst sWheat Tart.

-B. Kline

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