Last night we had dinner at our friends Sean & Kerry’s place, played some games, and planned out more of our Vegas trip, which is now 2 and a half weeks away! Today, some silly breeder friends of ours are holding a Bday party for their 2 year old. Later tonight, we are having a couple over (non-breeders) for dinner and card games.
While I’m off singing happy birthday, Silvio does the something quite un-douchey – gives a brewery a second shot. And now, Silvio….
I must admit, I’ve been feeling pretty badly about my negative review of a Dominion beer a few weeks ago. I’ve come to appreciate their brews – they’re brewed in my state, generally available in bars and stores, and all around good beers. Prompted by one commenter who asked what Dominion brews I would recommend, I’ve decided to give the brewery another shot on LIBA by reviewing two more varieties, one I’ve had many times and one that is new to me.
I started out with the Dominion Spring Buck Blonde Ale. As dedicated readers can tell, I get into thematic reviewing trends, and the awful summer heat has led me to light summery brews. I’ve never tried the Spring Buck before, but I was quite happy with the results.
A thick foam head resulted from my pour, and I really had to wait around for it to dissipate. No problem there, though, because this beer has a ton of interesting smells going on. I detected honey, citrus, fruit, and spice. It’s also got a really pretty color, a pale golden opaque hue. Once the foam had died down, I dove in for my first taste and was rewarded with a spicy mix of sweetness and fruit. I taste nutmeg to start, with grapefruit or orange backing it up, before finishing with a hoppy finish. This is an interesting combination of several types of flavor I love, with a good dose of carbonation, and a distinct alcohol undertone. I wasn’t surprised when I saw the 7.8% ABV. In summary, this is a really good beer and a really great summer beer. Even though it’s got so many different flavors, they’re quite complementary and balanced.
Second up, the Dominion Hops Mountain Pale Ale. The grocery store in my apartment building sells this, so it’s become a stand-by staple for wifey and me over the past few years. But like that piece of public art you walk past everyday without noticing it, I’ve gotten accustomed to overlooking what a good pale ale it is. Time to change all that!
The pour is modest, with just a hint of foam, and hardly any carbonation. The color is dark, cloudy and amber. This beer has a heavy hops smell, and reminds me of a traditional IPA. My first taste is fantastic – it’s got a rich hoppy flavor, but without being overly bitter. On subsequent tastes I detect malts and a touch of the stanky floral aftertaste you’ll get on the really heavy IPAs. It’s also got a long alcohol aftertaste, and is an all-around solid pale ale for any occasion. Surprisingly, the 5.6% ABV is lower than the Spring Buck, but contributes to the Hops Mountain’s everyday-type beer status.
So maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I feel like Dominion redeemed itself to me with this review. One interesting note to pass along is that both beers got much tastier as I left them out, half-drunken, when I typed up my review notes. The Spring Buck got much fruitier, and the Hops Mountain got much hoppier. All in all, I heartily recommend either brew.