By William Kidder
Live Wire Staff Writer

Leaf Storm IPA
Relic Brewing, Plainville
India Pale Ale
12 fl. oz. can, 6.2 percent ABV (alcohol by volume)

Leaf Storm IPA. Photo by Topsy

The label on this can of beer described Leaf Storm as an “Ultra Dank India Pale Ale” and I’ve yet to have a beer from Relic that I didn’t like, so I gladly gave it a try.

Leaf Storm pours a hazy yellow, with a light foamy head, and has a light aroma of hops and citrus. Don’t be surprised by the sediment floating around in the beer as this is normal of an unfiltered IPA. The color reminded me of pineapple juice and the flavor appropriately matches.

The initial piney taste of hops is immediately followed by a delicious blend of citrus fruits. I tasted pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, and possibly mango and papaya. The flavors come out as this beer warms, so don’t keep it too cold, but do serve it cool to get the full range of flavors. I could not recommend this beer enough to anyone who likes a citrusy IPA.

Relic Brewing is proving to be a Connecticut Brewery you’ll want to keep an eye on.

Unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout
Two Roads Brewing, Stratford
Russian Imperial Stout
12 fl. oz. bottle, 9.20 percent ABV

Unorthodox Russian Stout. Photo by Two Roads Brewing via Twitter

Unorthodox is a Russian Imperial Stout from Two Roads that pours black as pitch with a full beige head. It has a full aroma of rich roasted malt with hints of espresso and maybe chocolate. It’s as smooth a drink one might expect from an Imperial Stout, with tastes of rich roasted malt, rye, espresso, and chocolate. I found that the malt slightly overwhelms the chocolate and espresso notes.

The bar is set very high for stout this year, and while I do enjoy this beer, I wouldn’t recommend it over a staple like Founder’s Breakfast Stout, or Sierra Nevada Narwhal. Two Roads is a great brewery, but this isn’t their strongest offering. If you’re looking for a new stout to try, by all means give this a go. Otherwise, there’s better offerings for similar prices.