Mike Castagno

Mike Castagno's picture
Beer Judge

Mike was born and raised in the Philadelphia area before going to school at Furman University in Greenville, SC for Chemistry. There he discovered craft beer from all of the local and nearby Asheville breweries. After moving back up north to Wilmington, DE, Mike stumbled upon an AHA Rally at a local brewpub and discovered that people were making high quality beer at home. He quickly jumped into the hobby and developed a passion for beer making. He’s been brewing since 2005 and has won a number of awards over the years. He relocated to Atlanta in 2007 and works in the field of polymer research & development. He loves to apply his chemistry and engineering knowledge to his brewing set up, always testing and optimizing. He decided to begin beer judging in 2009 to help make better beer and with dedication he has advanced to the rank of Master Beer Judge.

My reviews

Steampipe

Otter Creek Steampipe Cali Common beer
Judges Rating:
87
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

The beer here seems to deviate a little from the traditional expectations of the style. California Common is an amber-colored beer that is hallmarked by the use of Northern Brewer hops and fermented with a lager yeast at warmer, ale-like temperatures. The beer here is much lighter in color,... Read More

Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Intense notes of dried fruits are immediately apparent upon pouring: raisins, currants and figs with a touch of dates. A moderately oaky character melds with caramel, toffee and a bit of chocolate to create a pleasantly complex bouquet. Hints of coffee appear upon warming. The bitterness is soft... Read More

The Love

The Love
Judges Rating:
86
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
6 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Bright aromatics of citrus, pear and apple marry with a light grainy note and a faint hint of spice. Although commonly associated with the Hefeweizen style, banana and clove characteristics were nearly completely absent. This is clearly more of an American Wheat than a German one. There is... Read More

Champagne Velvet

Champagne Velvet Lager Upland Beer
Judges Rating:
79
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
18 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
7 / 10
Overall Impression:
15 / 20

Lactic acid, sulfur dioxide and isovaleric acid are the initial aromatics here with lemon, grassy hops, and a winey Sauvignon Blanc character to follow. Brilliant clarity allows the straw-yellow color to radiate. There is a strong flavor of tetrahydropyridine, which presents in the form of bran... Read More

20 Year Storm

Heavy Seas Beer 20 Year Storm
Judges Rating:
96
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Pouring reddish-orange with brilliant clarity, this beer offers an incredibly complex aroma chock-full of caramel, toffee, oak and bourbon. There are hints of cocoa with a touch of dried figs and a subtle, spicy and soft alcohol note. While an ESB may lead you to expect some earthy hop notes,... Read More

Judges Rating:
93
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Full of roast, this stout packs a punch. While cold, the roast notes are ashy with a bit of coffee to follow through. A moderately high spicy hop character accompanies. Moderate bitterness balances the soft sweetness in the finish. As the beer begins to warm, its true character shines; subtle... Read More

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