Got the pleasure to visit some friends in lovely Sacramento, California recently and I drafted my buddy Kevin into the beer tasting service. So, we ended up getting a number of them in, but here are the high (and low) lights...
First off was this delicious IPA - the Green Flash Brewing Imperial IPA. We were checking out the variety of bombers at the Nugget and was looking for the most IBUs we could. The Imperial IPA came in at 101 IBUs (yikes!) and a sturdy 9% ABV. You really got that delicious hop bitterness in the beer. If you were doing a blind taste test, you could just smell this sucker and know it was an IPA. Suprisingly enough, it's a smoother beer - you just have a really strong bitter taste with it.
On the other end of the spectrum, we had the Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA. Ah...yea...not so good. It looked, smelled and tasted like an IPA...just not a very good one. While a number of IPAs I've tried have a decreasing bitter taste (so, starts strong, then phased down), this did the opposite and I didn't care for it.
The Black Boss Porter was a good way to end this, as it was a really delicious porter. This thing was pitch black - it was almost like trying to look into a black hole. No light was escaping the gravity of this beer. It's a Polish beer - Hey, what is long and hard that the the Polish bride got on her wedding night? Her new last name.
Anyway, lots of malt and coffee aroma and taste to this porter. You can even get a hint of chocolate if you look for it. It went down really smooth and quickly...heh heh. At 9.4% ABV, you can really taste the alcohol on this one, but fortunately the malt doesn't make it overwhelming. Definitely go pick this one, even if just for an one-time taste.