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The best beers we tasted this week

DRAFT’s editors taste dozens of beers each week. These are the four that stood above the rest.
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Block 15 Sticky Hands, Tired Hands Mandarin Bergamot Milkshake IPA, Peak Organic Super Fresh, Abnormal Tummy Cuddles

Sticky Hands
Block 15 Brewing Co.
Ever rubbed hops between your palms? The cones do indeed leave behind a sticky residue, and a pungent aroma that’s tough to clean off (but why would you want to, anyway?). Corvallis, Oregon’s Block 15 captures that sensation and transfers it to a glass with this 8.1% IPA. The nose layers spearmint and garlic powder atop sweet crackers and cucumber-melon; the flavor glues woody pine and spruce to the tongue before sweet caramel and melon rind arrive at the swallow.

Mandarin Bergamot Milkshake IPA
Tired Hands Brewing Co.
Tired Hands has crafted more than a dozen variations on its lactose- and vanilla-flavored, dessert-inspired Milkshake IPA since the first iteration—a strawberry-spiked edition brewed in collaboration with Swedish gypsy brewery Omnipollo—was released last year. The smooth, sweet Mandarin orange is most perceptible in the aroma, where it melds with peach, vanilla and fresh green grass like fuzzy reverb, while the Bergamot (a type of orange that looks more like a lime) imparts a tangy, almost tart citric pithiness to each sip.

Super Fresh
Peak Organic Brewing Co.
Peak calls this beer a pilsner, but at 7.6% ABV and dry-hopped to the bejeezus, Super Fresh is really more of an IPL. Call it what you want; the snappy lager quality and clean oyster cracker malts in the nose are pleasant foils for powerful sweet onion, garlic and chive aromas, while bold tangerine and lemongrass meet more herbs on the tongue for an impression like an onion dip-dipped potato chip.

Tummy Cuddles
Abnormal Beer Co.
San Diego’s Abnormal Beer Co. wowed us with its adjunct-laden imperial stout M2; Tummy Cuddles is less complex but more focused. And what it’s focused on: chocolate. Semi-sweet cocoa rules the ale from top to bottom. Accents of hazelnut liqueur, toasted oats, sweet plum and barbecued ribs do pop up, but they can’t obscure the rich chocolate flavor—each sip is like a handful of chocolate chips you stole from mom while she was baking.

 

Author
Zach Fowle is DRAFT's beer editor. Reach him at zach@draftmag.com.

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