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Michael Heniff

Michael Heniff's picture
Beer Judge

Mike brewed his first few homebrew batches in college in 1994 and began regularly brewing in 1997.  Since then, he has brewed over 150 batches of beer, mead, and cider.  He has won over 200 medals and numerous major awards in competitions across the country.  His highest accomplishments include winning the Templeton Award (most points) of the Dixie Cup (one of the largest single-site homebrew competitions in the world) a record four times, Gulf Coast Homebrewer of the Year, and Lone Star Circuit Homebrewer of the Year.  He has had his recipes brewed at commercial breweries seven times.

Mike particularly enjoys traveling to find new beers.  He has made numerous travels abroad to find great beer, most frequently to Belgium and Germany.  He has logged over 6800 beers in his tasting journal, including over 620 beers from Belgium alone.  Mike has had brewing and beer travel articles published by Brew Your Own and Zymurgy magazines.

Mike is a current member of the Houston Foam Rangers Homebrew Club where he has held numerous officer positions.  He was also the founding President of the Lone Star Circuit and a former long time officer. He currently ranks as a Grand Master III BJCP judge.  He has judged in over 70 competitions across the United States, frequently serving on Best of Show panels.

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My reviews

Snowmelt Hard Sipper Lavender Lemon Flora

Snowmelt Hard Sipper Lavender Lemon Flora

Colorado
United States
Snowmelt Hard Sipper Lavender Lemon Flora
Description 

Cocktail Hour is about to get a lot cooler. Who said we have to keep drinking the same drinks everyone else is drinking? And who said a great cocktail has to be so complicated? Let’s keep it casual. That’s why we set out to create a craft cocktail our way, with our Spiked Snowmelt base and fresh ingredients. Kick back with a drink made without the pretense, without the puffery, and without the pain in the ass mixologist. A drink you’d enjoy with friends, with your feet up and the laughter rolling.

Hard Sipper is a 12% ABV cocktail-inspired libation. These high-octane creations are intended to be sipped slowly and are best enjoyed over ice. Lavender Lemon Flora is made with our Spiked Snowmelt, sugar, lemon juice, honey, and lavender.

Beverage Profile
ABV: 
12.0%
IBUs: 
0
Served at: 
34 - 38º F

 

 


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Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Snowmelt Hard Sipper Lavender Lemon Flora by Upslope Brewing Co. is being evaluated as a Fruit and Spice Seltzer based on The Beer Connoisseur's 2022 Hard Seltzer Style Definitions & Judging Guidelines. Fruit and Spice Seltzers are noted for the harmonious balance... Read More

Five Week Sail

Five Week Sail

Georgia
United States
Five Week Sail, Arches Brewing
Description 

This unique style combines the bold flavor of an English Porter and richness of a Russian Imperial Stout. It is the only porter that is a lager, as cold fermentation was necessary to preserve it during the long voyage across the Baltic Sea. This strong style boasts a roasty, caramel profile accompanied by mild chocolate undertones.

Beverage Profile
ABV: 
8.0%
IBUs: 
35
Served at: 
38 - 40ºF
Malts: 
Locally-sourced Munich Malt, Vienna malt, Specialty Malts
Hops: 
Magnum, Saaz

 

 


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Judges Rating:
87
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
19 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Five Week Sail by Arches Brewing is a Baltic Porter and is being judged as a Baltic Porter (category 9C from the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). Baltic Porter is a style that originated in countries along the North Sea with historical ties back to the porters and stouts that were being made in... Read More

Decadent Imperial IPA

Ska beer Decadent Imperial IPA
Judges Rating:
95
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
20 / 20

This has everything that you want to see in a double IPA: plenty of hops abound with enough malt character to lend support. This beer starts appropriately hop-forward with aromas of resins, grapefruit and citrus fruits. In the flavor, the hops continue to be upfront: tons of citrus, with... Read More

Juiced Lychee IPA

Juiced Lychee IPA

Illinois
United States
Juiced Lychee IPA, Moody Tongue Brewing Co.
Description 

This medium-bodied, 6.0% American IPA showcases flavors and aromatics reminiscent of lychee, grapefruit zest and pineapple.

Beverage Profile
ABV: 
6.0%
IBUs: 
55
Served at: 
40 - 45º F
Malts: 
Pale, White Wheat
Hops: 
Galaxy, Simcoe, Amarillo

 

 


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Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Juiced Lychee IPA by Moody Tongue Brewing Co. is an American IPA and is being evaluated as an American IPA (category 21A from the 2021 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). American IPAs are hop-forward beers typically expressing American or new world hop characters that are... Read More

Samuel Adams 2019 Utopias

Samuel Adams 2019 Utopias

Massachusetts
United States
Samuel Adams 2019 Utopias, The Boston Beer Co.
Description 

Samuel Adams Utopias is America’s most extreme (and expensive) bottle of beer, reminiscent of a rich vintage Port or fine Sherry thanks to its unique barrel-aging process and proprietary brewing techniques. This special biennial release has earned credibility among the craft beer community and built a strong following since its evolution from Triple Bock when Samuel Adams first pioneered the practice of aging beer in used spirits barrels. Using only the world’s finest ingredients, this time-intensive, multiyear brewing and aging process is well worth the wait.
Like its predecessors, 2019 Utopias is a blend of earlier batches of Samuel Adams extreme beers, a catalog dating back over 25 years, which have been aging in wooden bourbon casks from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Brewers took portions of this beer and transferred them to Aquavit, Carcavelos and ruby port barrels to impart complex flavors to the beer.
This year, brewers experimented with Cognac and Madeira finishing barrels which enhanced 2019 Utopias with distinct vanilla notes and subtle nutty and elegant dark fruit aromas. As a final step, and to add a slightly tart note, brewers blended in a touch of Kosmic Mother Funk (KMF)®, a unique wild ale that is fermented for two years in Hungarian Oak foeders at the Boston Brewery. Only 77 wooden casks of Utopias were brewed this year.
How to Enjoy Utopias: Samuel Adams Utopias is botted in a custom, 25.4-ounce ceramic decanter modeled after the iconic copper brew kettles. A brew as unique and complex as Utopias should be enjoyed in a glass that enhances its aroma and flavor, like a small-bowled Cognac or snifter glass at room temperature in one-ounce pours. Unlike other beers, drinkers can have a portion of Utopias now and save the rest for other occasions.
Pricing & Availability: 2019 Utopias is available nationwide, where laws allow, in specialty beer and liquor stores starting October 15 for an SRP of $210 per bottle. Price varies by market and availability is limited.
For the first time ever, drinkers can exclusively enjoy 2019 Utopias on tap on November 15 to celebrate the Samuel Adams Cincinnati Taproom’s one-year anniversary. This tasting event will take place in the taproom located across the street from where Utopias is barrel-aged at the Samuel Adams Cincinnati Brewery. Tickets and event information will be available soon.

Beverage Profile
ABV: 
28.0%
Served at: 
Room temperature
Malts: 
Samuel Adams Two-Row Pale Malt Blend, Munich 10, Caramel 60, Samuel Adams Octoberfest Malt
Hops: 
Spalt Spalter, Hallertau Mittelfrueh, Tettnang Tettnanger

 

 


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Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
20 / 20

Samuel Adams 2019 Utopias by The Boston Beer Co. is a barrel-aged, very strong ale and is being evaluated as a Wood-Aged Beer (category 33A in the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). The best examples of Wood-Aged Beers have a "harmonious blend" between the base beer and the wood/spirits resulting... Read More

Rocky Road Ice Cream Stout

Rocky Road Ice Cream Stout

Rocky Road Ice Cream Stout, Wild Leap Brew Co.
Description 

Thick, sweet, and creamy milk stout with cocoa, vanilla bean, almond, marshmallow, and lactose.

Beverage Profile
ABV: 
10.5%
IBUs: 
35

 

 


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Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Rocky Road Ice Cream Stout by Wild Leap Brew Co. is an Imperial Stout with spices and is being evaluated as a Spiced, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (category 30A in the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). Spiced, Herb, or Vegetable (SHV) Beers are beers brewed with spices, herbs and/or vegetables. The... Read More

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