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Oskar Blues Brewery

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Back in 2002, Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colo., started packaging Dale's Pale Ale with a tabletop machine one can at a time. It was the first craft brewery to eschew the bottle in favor of cans, the perfect container for beer. Lighter than glass, highly portable and eminently recyclable, cans also keep the brew fresher. With the introduction of a few new offerings, Oskar Blues has kicked things up a notch.

Oskar Blues Gordan Ale

Named for the late Gordan Knight, a Colorado craft-brew pioneer, this is billed as a cross between an imperial red and a double IPA. It boasts six different malts and three separate hops that come together to make a delightfully well-balanced blend. Earthy citrus and hops on the nose, nice and dry in the mouth with a smooth bitterness from start to finish. Creamy malt backs the spicy pine and citrus flavors.

Oskar Blues Imperial IPA

This brew pours a golden amber with aromas of fresh grass, soft citrus and light hops. The palate is a complex mix of resiny hops up front that play against spicy pineapple, tangerine, mango, grapefruit, caramel and pine nut. This is a smooth brew that goes down a little too easily, considering its deceptive 10 percent alcohol level. Can you say designated driver?

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

Here is another potent brew, named for the fact that it weighs in at a hefty 10.5 percent alcohol. It's a dark chestnut with a chocolate-colored head and sweet mocha-laced malt aromas. The flavors are sublime with rich, spicy chocolate and toasted malt backed by fruity undertones and touches of smoke. You don't really taste the alcohol, but you are bound to feel it.

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