Sunday- New Hampshire
Sunday afternoon, we headed to Mags’ uncle in New Hampshire. When we arrived at his house, it looked like a giant tree house, circular in shape and built by hand. As we settled in, I had to open at least one of my Green cans. The beer pours a hazy orange like color, with tons of floral, and fruit juice on the nose. The taste is almost like a hoppy mimosa. I got a lot of orange and citrus fruit on the taste, with a balanced hop bite, creating an outstanding beer (99/100).
On Monday we had the afternoon to explore the area, and why not keep the beer trip going. Our first stop was Stoneface. I have had their IPA a month or two and remember it being really solid, so I naturally had to get a growler of that. I would describe the beer as “Heady Topper’s Little Brother.” It has all the same qualities as heading, but a little more muted on the hope profile, none of the explosion of hops you get with Heady (96/100). I also was able to try their APA (90/100) and Porter (94/100). The APA was a little too bland for me with the hop profile, and the porter while solid, it was a little on the light side, and a tier below Founders
The next and final stop of our trip was Portsmouth Brewing Company. You might be thinking, “why does that name sound familiar?” It’s because it’s where the former #1 beer in the world “Kate the Great” (KTG) came from. Brewer Todd Mott, first came to Portsmouth brewing company in 2006 to release his KTG stout, named after Catherine II. The beer remained on tap for months at Portsmouth, until word got out, and KTG became the #1 beer in the world according the Beer Advocate. From then one lines were down the block at Portsmouth from open till close on what became known as KTG Day, the first Monday of March, with people lining up as early as 2am!
Okay, now let’s take it back to present day. We arrived at Portsmouth for lunch, and while there is no KTG on tap (hasn’t been brewed since 2013), they have the next best thing, Royal Impy Stout. This beautiful SOB pour like used motor-oil with a small amber head. The beer gives off a nose of dark fruit and vanilla. The taste is phenomenal with a ton of vanilla on the mouthfeel, caramel, and a little toffee. It is a tad bit on the sweeter side, but I can imagine this beer would get even better with age (99/100).
Now back to KTG…Head Brewer Todd Mott has no relocated to a new brewery by the name of Tributary, just over the New Hampshire border in Maine. Over this past fall there had been rumors that KTG would be making a comeback at Todd’s new brewery. When I came to New Hampshire, a local told me that I had unfortunately come a week too early, and that on April 1st, Todd will be releasing bottles of his RIS (KTG recipe). Will check back soon if I am able to find a bottle to review.