Craft breweries like to put their beer (especially seasonal and specialty releases) in the bigger 22-ounce format. Two new-to-Boise Oregon breweries recently arrived on the scene with a trio of bombers. Alameda Brewhouse hails from the micro-brew mecca of Portland, Ore., while Cascade Lakes Brewing Company is originally out of Redmond, Wash., but also has a presence in Bend, Ore. Here's what's new:
Alameda Black Bear XX Stout
No light passes through this black-as-night ebony pour, which has a thick mocha head that collapses fairly fast but leaves a nice crema-like lacing. The aromas are a mix of chocolate malt and cappuccino with a soft bit of spice and rye. Smooth and silky in the mouth, you'll taste creamy dark chocolate, sweet espresso and berry, backed by a pleasantly bitter hit of hops. The finish is light but lingers nicely.
Alameda Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA
This beer pours a bright yellow with an orange tint and a thin but persistent head. The aromas are a balanced mix of floral hops and smooth, biscuity malt. The hop profile on the palate is definitely robust but not overly bitter, and it's backed by soft citrus and just sweet malt. Those hops definitely hang around on a finish that's colored by touches of orange zest and pine resin.
Cascade Lakes India Pale Ale
This clear, light gold pour is topped with just a hint of cream-colored froth and features subtle aromas of pine-laced hops and grain. It's low in carbonation, which explains the thin head, but it makes for an easy-drinking ale that won't fill you up. The hop flavors are smooth and floral but a little on the soft side, especially for a Northwest IPA. Malt and grain lurk in the background, and there's a nice touch of grapefruit on the finish.