A Six-Pack from Bent Hill Brewery

Bent Hill Brewery Beers

I stopped by one of my favorite local beer retailers, Stowe Public House, and asked the owner, John, “Do you have a selection of 4 to 5 different … but good … beers from a single Vermont brewery that I can do a little home taste-testing on?” As usual, John did not disappoint, and we headed for a corner of the store stocked with beers from Bent Hill Brewery, based in Braintree, Vermont. “The Bent Hill gang has been prolific lately … give these a try.”, and he set up a six-pack with a fascinating variety of beers.

Over the next several days,  I popped each can open and gave them a try.

Backcountry Stash Ale (5.6% ABV).
    Appearance: 1.5 – surprisingly root-beer like color with a foamy head
    Aroma:           2.5 – malty, caramel
    Feel:                1.5 – not pleasant; had a strong tingling sensation
    Taste:              2.0 – slight coffee taste
    Overall:          2.0 – even if someone gave it to me, I probably would’t drink it

3030 American IPA (5.4% ABV).
    Appearance: 3.0 – burnt-orange glow; slightly flimsy head
    Aroma:           3.0 – not much … maybe a slight hoppy aroma
    Feel:                3.5 – medium body with a sharp finish
    Taste:              3.0 – displays a bold, but not overpowering, bitterness
    Overall:          3.0 – if someone gave it to me, I would probably drink it

Blood Orangle Imperial IPA (8.2% ABV). This double IPA uses the zest of blood oranges, and Cascade, Mosaic, and Belma hops.
    Appearance: 3.5 – nice hazy-orange pour
    Aroma:           3.5 – definite aromas of the orange zest
    Feel:                4.0 – good, full body
    Taste:              4.0 – again, a distinguishing orange finish
    Overall:          4.0 – I would definitely buy it and drink it

Beet Red Ale (5.0% ABV). Lightly sweetened (and colored) with organic beet juice.
    Appearance: 3.5 – a nice red glow; slightly thin head
    Aroma:           2.5 – I was searching for it, but couldn’t find it; seemed like zero aroma
    Feel:                3.0 – has a tingly bite
    Taste:              2.5 – slight bitterness; again, no beet taste
    Overall:          2.5 – if someone gave it to me, I might drink it

Rural Illumination Imperial Porter (8.2% ABV)
    Appearance: 4.0 – impressive dark brown with a good head
    Aroma:           4.5 – smell the chocolate!
    Feel:                3.5 – very creamy and a little lighter than expected
    Taste:              3.5 – chocolate and coffee aftertones
    Overall:          3.5 – if someone gave it to me, I would definitely drink it

Hippies in the Hills Blonde Ale (4.0% ABV). This ale is dry-hopped with Citra and Mosaic.
    Appearance: 3.5 – lemony-yellow; full sudsy head
    Aroma:           3.5 – Citra and Mosaic hops on the nostrils
    Feel:                3.5 – spirited tingleness
    Taste:              3.0 – dry and sharp, but I was left wanting more flavors
    Overall:          3.0 – if someone gave it to me, I would probably drink it

The Cicerone says: I strongly recommend the Blood Orange Imperial IPA … there is just enough of a fruit taste to keep you engaged, and yet not so much that you couldn’t have a second (or third!).

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