Tenaya Creek Brewery…it’s a three-fer!!

I’ve been away for a while.  In that time, we have moved from Florida back to New England, currently hunkering down on the Maine/New Hampshire border.  Lots of things from that trip will make it into this blog, but that is for later on down the road.  At this time I am offering a multi-beer review as an apology for being away for so long.  The three beers I will be reviewing here are from…….drumroll please…………………….

We were in Vegas for a weekend visiting some friends, and I was able to pick up three bottles from a local liquor store.  Due to it being our first time in Vegas, we didn’t visit the brewery, as time was spent gambling, seeing a show, gambling, walking around, gambling, eating, and gambling.  Actual stops at breweries were limited, but I was happy enough scoring a sample from the bottle.

Calico Brown Ale

The first brew I tried was the Calico Brown Ale.  Poured from a 22oz bomber, the beer settled up with a minimal, scant head to top off an extremely light and translucent brown colored brew.  Hints of nut and hops in the nose, but not much else of anything.  The aromas were muddled and light, overall.  The beer tasted strongly of nut sweetness, but was heavily carbonated, which made it a difficult drink.  The carbonation also makes the beer sharp and unpleasant on the tongue, and in your mouth.  The body just cannot hold up to the level of carbonation in the brew.  I would not be quick to recommend this particular beer to anyone.  The aftertaste is a weak sweetness, with a slight roasted character, and the finish lingers and dries a bit.  Again, I would avoid if I were you.

Hop Ride IPA

This beer was also served from a 22oz bomber.  It pours with almost no head (despite the picture to the left), leaving a light yellow, lager-ish color instead of the typical darker, copperish colors of most IPAs.  The beer did leave a nice lacing along the glass while drinking, which is a good sign in the body department.  There was a pleasant fresh-hop flavor, with a lightly sour aftertaste.  Well balanced, with a light citrus sweet flavor, as well.  The beer was light and unremarkable in the mouth, remaining smooth throughout.  The beer had a clean and crisp finish, again leaving little to no trace behind.  A good, clean drinker like this would easily pair with almost anything for foods, making it a safe brew to ‘go-to’ when all else fails.  Beyond that, there are much better IPAs out there, and there wasn’t a whole lot that stood out while drinking this.  Strong, tasty brew, but not earth-shattering.

Monsoon

To complete the trifecta (of being underwhelmed), bring on the Monsoon.  I mean, with a sexually loaded label like that one above, this has got to be a step in the right direction, right?  Once again, served out of a 22oz bomber (apparently that is the Tenaya Creek M.O.), the beer pours with a thick and foamy head, off white in color.  At this point I am just utterly shocked and relieved that I got a beer from them with any type of head at all!  The beer is a very pleasant copper-gold color, so we are two for two here.  There was a disappointing lack of aroma on smelling the fresh pour, so this is where doubt just starts flooding back in.  I mean, the excitement was fun while it lasted, but what can you do?  The flavor of the beer was hop-forward on the tongue, but it was an over-bitter hop flavor.  It tasted “green”, if that makes sense.  There was a strong malt backbone, with a boozey characteristic, all of which helps to balance the beer out.  Typical IPA aftertaste, with a subtle sweetness and spicy hopping, but the bitterness and alcohol make this beer one to enjoy slowly, and in moderation.  It would be difficult for me to consume more than 2 or 3 in a sitting, and that is saying quite a bit.  Very enjoyable, so I guess that keeps this venture from being a total bust.

Overall, the sweep was avoided, but one out of three is far from Hall of Fame numbers.  The Monsoon was more than decent, and in fact good enough to pique my interest in trying some of the brewery’s other offerings, but only if they happen to be available.  There are far more breweries out there that I thoroughly enjoy to go on an in-depth search for Tenaya.  If I’m in a store and there is a bottle or two of some different styles on the shelf, and no one’s looking, well in that case…

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