Sin City….without Mickey Rourke…

No, no, no, NO!!!  Not THAT Sin City!  Don’t get me wrong, not many people hold Frank Miller in higher regard than yours truly (‘Batman Year One’ is as close to a bible as you can get, and the ‘Dark Knight Returns’ is unreal!), but this blog is not about comics (unless Alfred Pennyworth starts churning out Belgian Dubbels), it’s about beer.  Now, I’ve been gone for a little while, so I wanted to post something with a handful of reviews to make it up to my faithful reading audience.  That being said, let’s visit the brews of Sin City!

While my wife and I were visiting Las Vegas, we happened upon the Sin City Brewing Company while we were roaming through the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian.  I had already tried their Say Hello To Amber while we were at Yard House, and it tempted me enough to venture over and belly up to the rest of their offerings.  Alright, I’ll be a little more honest…the sight of a brewery amidst a gaggle of shops that sell items more valued than my current retirement package absolutely excited the shit out of me!  It wasn’t the largest of fronts, but very quaint, and the bartender was extremely informed about the company and their products, as well as enthusiastic, which is always a bonus.  There were a couple of young ladies from the Austin, TX area sitting at the other end of the bar that were big craft beer fans, so between the five of us we were able to have quite the chat session.  The beers were very decent (I will include reviews of the brews we tasted later), and in fact tasty enough that my wife and I made a trip out to the parking garage to pick up our growlers and get them filled.  Yes, we carry growlers in the car when we travel.  No, we don’t think it’s the first sign of a problem.  Yes, growlers are economically responsible and sensible.  No, we could not ‘just give up beer,’ what an absolutely horrible idea, and why would anyone reading this even make such a suggestion?  The bartender was unsure of their growler fill policy for outside vessels.  There is no Nevada law restricting outside glass fills, but some places will have their own policies.  Being unsure of the policy, but listening to our story of beer pilgrimage around the country, she decided to fill ours up at regular cost.  FYI, my wife filled her growler with the The Dark Side of Sin Stout, and I filled mine with the Sin City English style IPA.  They have a plethora of apparel, as well, which most of was pretty humorous.  Great little stop, and I hear there are two other locations on the strip alone.  More info can be found at http://www.sincitybeer.com/lasvegasmicrobrewery.html  Well, how about we get down to the liquid good stuff?

Say Hello To Amber

Normally, I would post the beers in order of common drinking, but I had this one first, and it’s the lure that got us to bite the hook.  The beer was a very deep copper-red color, with a nice, foamy 2″ head.  Aromas of sour mash and malt, and you can’t really go wrong with that.  The flavor was malty and crisp, with a slight hopping at the end, and the finish reminded me more of a lager than an amber.  The beer was light and smooth in the mouth, and very pleasant to drink.  This one could easily get you in trouble outside on a hot day, or at the blackjack table on a ‘cold’ day.  (On a side note, can we all take a look at how kick ass that bar is!!!)

Never Pass Up a Blonde Lager

My apologies for posting a pic of Hef’s seconds, but it was the only one of the beer I could find.  The Lager has a thin, sparse, foamy head.  The coloring of the beer was very bright and bold.  Scent was light roasted barley, and there was a toasty barley  characteristic in the flavor, as well.  The beer has high carbonation, but not so high as to make it unpleasant.  A very light and crisp beer, it was reminiscent of Heineken.  Very tasty, and it would be wonderfully consumed on hot days spent outdoors, again, or when you just blew your kids’ college funds on the Baccarat table (do people really play that?).  Anyway, this household is not commonly a fan of the lighter, crisper side of beer, but this is worth a taste!

Weisse is Nice

The beer is unfiltered, giving it a cloudy, almost opaque, yellow color.  The nose is full of citrus and spice, similar to the Pyramid Haywire and other flavorful Hefs.  The flavor is heavily spiced, with a decent balance of citrus and bready qualities to counteract.  The full-bodied and round flavor of the beer made it extremely smooth and drinkable.  Finish was smooth, and the spice notes lingered into the aftertaste.  A very decent Hef, even though its not rocking the shag bathrobe and the naked chicks in tow.  No need to wedge this one with orange or lemon…this beer does just fine stating it’s case without a fruit salad attached to the rim.

Sin City Englsih-style IPA

This beer is a deep and vibrant copper-brown color, with a nice, dense, fluffy, white head.  It has a lighter hops aroma in comparison with American IPAs, especially west coast IPAs, but still very inviting.  On initial tasting, the flavor of hops hits the back of the tongue instead of the front-tongue assault of most American IPAs, which is very interesting.  The hops are balanced with a smooth and mild sweet malt backbone, and some very faint floral and citrus highlights.  There is a very mild, but hoppy, aftertaste, which is pleasant.  Very smooth in the mouth, and extremely easy to drink.  One of Sin City’s brews that warranted a growler fill on our way home, and this one was going into my personal vessel.  I can tell you, as we took this home with us a couple of days later, and this IPA was super smooth after a couple of days to settle and round out.  The subtle flavors and aromas were still present, and the balance was even more complex and smooth.  This is a very tasty representation of the style, and a very different offering of an IPA from our Western side of the country.

The Dark Side of Sin Stout

This beer is black, with a thin, bright, creamy colored head.  There is a wonderfully entertaining cascade that you get to watch while your mouth waters over the brew.  There is a nose of coffee and earth, both aromas very deep and rich.  The flavors are very smooth; a good creamy blend of coffee, caramel, and nut.  There is a very slick, short aftertaste of coffee as the beer is leaving your mouth.  The lightness and crispness of the beer is unusual for a stout, but very enjoyable, and actually increases the drinkability of the beer.  This beer also ended up “to-go” with our growlers, this time my wife’s.  Again, this brew got some time to hang out a bit and settle, and again it was just as tasty.  The beer was in the growler almost a week before we cracked into it, and the smoothness was incredible.  The beer seemed creamy, almost like a rich chocolate milk.  The coffee bitterness actually intensified a bit, but more of a foundation flavor instead of a frontrunner.  Delicious brew!  Would likely make a great ice cream float.

So, there you have it.  This was our experience with the wonderful Sin City Brewing Company while we were visiting the sensory overload that is Las Vegas.  I would highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in the area.  The brewery is young, and they seem to be trying new and different things from time to time, and I look forward to their continued success.  Distribution might make this a tough cache to get your hands on east of the Rockies, but only time will tell what expansion and success could bring.  Until next time, I raise my glass to you all!

GODDAMMIT!!!!  I SAID NO MICKEY ROURKE!!!!  Shit….

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