Endless Brewing (Montrose, PA): Jack’s Mountain Hop and Burning Comet

About the Brewery (from facebook.com/pages/Endless-Brewing/238527039560668):
Mission: produce local delicious handcrafted ales! Brewery open! Located north of Montrose about 6 miles on state route 29 . From Binghamton,NY take I 81 S to exit 1 take a right and go to the light and take a left to a blinking light and take a right on ny7/Rt 29 approx 7 miles. Complimentary Samples , Fresh Growlers Fills, Single bottles up to a full case !

Endless Brewing
Endless Brewing

I got a chance to check out Endless Brewing on a recent trip to visit my Dad in Pennsylvania. I told him I’d like to spend a day and check out a local small brewery, he took me to two. We went first south of his house near Scranton (yes, that Scranton, where Dunder-Mifflin is) to Barley Creek in the Pocono Mountains (reviews here), and then we went north to Montrose PA, which is nearly NY, and checked out Endless Brewing. When I said “small brewery,” this place takes the cake! Endless is run full-time by Jon Winans, and assisted part-time by Morgan Kelly, and that’s it. They do it all, in a small metal building that cant be more than 1,500 square feet, including the taproom. Jon was an engineer, and took a chance on his love of beer, and so far is still paying his bills! Endless is the epitome of start-up, and they are something for any homebrewer looking to take the next step to look up to.

Jack’s Mountain Hop

About the Beer (from endlessbrewing.com/beers.html):
Big, bold, malty and hoppy, this Imperial IPA is brimming with flavors.

Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 10%
IBU: 100

 

IPA is one of my favorite styles of beer, and the Imperial IPA is basically just an IPA on steroids. Usually the ABV is at least 7.5%, though most IIPAs you’ll find are 9% or higher. Many are hop bombs, just over the top bitter, with IBU counts of 100 plus. Others are more reserved, and use more of their hops in the aroma function rather than for bittering, which is how I prefer my hops. I love bitter beers; I didn’t always, but over the years I’ve come to appreciate the high IBU beers, and love a bitter bite at the end of my sip. However, I think as a bittering agent, hops are kind of one-dimensional; it’s hard to tell a whole ton of difference from one bittering hop from another. Hops shine when used in the final minutes of the boil, or even better, when they are added to the secondary fermentation vessel… it’s at this point that you get all the aroma characteristics of the hops that make one hop stand out from another, and make one IPA stand out from another.

JACK’S MOUNTAIN HOP pours a deep reddish-copper that is a very visually appealing tone for an IIPA. One of the things I love about this style is the variances in it; this one is much further on the red end of the spectrum than a lot of others, but in tasting it JMH is still completely and obviously an IIPA. The pour presents a fluffy, off-white head that sticks around for quite a while and coats the glass nicely. Taking JMH up to my nose, I get a hoppy, bittersweetness; there is an earthy pine scent to the hops, and the alcohol content makes itself known right from the smell, which vaguely reminds me of cognac. There is also a bit of a toffee and vanilla hint to the flavor, which comes from the heavy malt bill. JMH’s aroma has a nice rounded sweetness that helps to balance the hop twang, but never gets over the top and becomes jam-like.

Jack's Mountain Hop: Imperial IPA
Jack’s Mountain Hop: Imperial IPA

Taking that first taste, the hops dominate. Sure the malt is up front, and the JMH is again sweet without being overly sweet, but the hops make themselves known right away, which you’d hope for if you like IIPAs. The hops are strong without being overwhelmingly so, and the piney hops take the forefront, though there is some tropical notes to the hop profile as well. Personally, I’d really like JMH better if it had a little less of a bittering hop bill and an bit more of an aroma hop bill, or if the sweetness were amplified; overall it is decently well balanced, but it could just take a little tip one way or the other to make it that much better. The alcohol content makes an appearance on the back end of the taste as well, but it is pretty reserved for a 10% ABV beer, and certainly does not get into the astringent alcohol burn that some big beers can present.

In the mouth, JMH is thick, but not overwhelmingly so. IIPAs are a strange bird when it comes to how you expect them to feel; some are very thin with very light carbonation, while others border on syrupy thick. JMH is on the thicker end of the spectrum, but this is not a stout for sure, and the carbonation is very well matched to the style. This beer is not to be chugged – the heavy bitterness and alcohol will slow anyone attempting to polish one off overly quickly – but JMH is pretty easily shippable for a 10% ABV beer. Overall, this is an awesome buy at $6.75 a bomber, and if I lived in the area Jon would be getting a lot of my money for this particular elixir.

 

Overall 7.5 / 10

Brewery site: http://www.endlessbrewing.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Endless-Brewing/238527039560668

Beer page: http://www.endlessbrewing.com/beers.html

 

 

Burning Comet

About the Beer:
No description yet

Style: American Barleywine
ABV: 8.75%
IBU: 85

 

While IPAs may be my favorite style, a close second are Barleywines. This is a less-common style in the beer world; don’t get me wrong, it’s not unheard of or anything, but right now it seems that every brewery has at least an IPA and an IIPA, and maybe a Rye IPA and a White IPA, and a specialized IPA and… IPAs are the thing. Barleywines are not as popular, and for good reason. First off, they are not cheap; they take a lot more work and a lot more malt than your average beer to produce, and they take a lot more time than your average beer to enjoy. Many connoisseurs of Barleywines recommend letting them age 2 or 3 years or more before even trying them. I personally try to buy two bottles at minimum, so that I can try one when it’s “green” and then compare the results to when it has had some time to age. I really wish I had two bottles of BURNING COMET!

BC pours a deep reddish-purple with some mahogany undertones, and overall is pretty beer to look at. I really enjoy the color that good Barleywines present, and BC has a very nice tone, visually. The body of the beer is capped with a frothy, fluffy light tan head that hangs out for a bit and then leaves nice lacing behind on the glass. Giving a whiff of the BC, I’m surprised at how mild the aroma is overall. Barleywines usually have a very strong nose to go with the very strong flavor they present; as I am a fan of “big” beers, this is one of the things that has always drawn me to this style. Barleywines just don’t back down. BC shows a little dark fruit, like figs and black currants, a little licorice, and a little underlying sweetness in its aroma, but overall is very reserved for a Barleywine.

Burning Comet: American Barleywine
Burning Comet: American Barleywine

The taste follows the smell pretty much as expected, as it is again pretty mild for a Barleywine. There is that dark fruitiness, some blunted malt sweetness, a decent hop bite that wasn’t so obvious in the nose, and a little alcohol burn on the end. Barleywines are known for being high in alcohol content, usually ranging from 8 – 12%, and that high alcohol content is provided by a much higher than average malt bill. This is then balanced with a high amount of hops, and American Barleywines can clock in anywhere from 50 to 120 IBUs. I think that BC is probably again on the lower end of that spectrum, and overall is just a lighter than average Barleywine. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, on the contrary for a “green” Barleywine this was much better than many I’ve had. I would really love to see how it develops, but as a fresh beer BC drinks much easier than many other beers in this style.

BC is smooth, an somewhat velvety, and a bit thinner than what I would expect from a Barleywine. This is not average for the style, but it is not to be expected since BC seems to be almost a Barleywine-lite. The carbonation is present, and it is made up of small, zesty bubbles that don’t hand around too long. For a Barleywine, and especially for a “green” Barleywine, BC is very easily drinkable. I mad it through my bomber much more quickly than most beers in this style would allow. Overall this is a good beer, and a tasty beer, but it is not as “big” of a beer as I would expect for the style. I enjoyed it, and would really like to see how a year or two (or three) in a cellar would treat BC.

 

Overall 6.5 / 10

Brewery site: http://www.endlessbrewing.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Endless-Brewing/238527039560668

Beer page: None

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2 thoughts on “Endless Brewing (Montrose, PA): Jack’s Mountain Hop and Burning Comet

  1. I am west coast IPA lover and the Blond Bombshell IPA is very delicious, Not so over the top hoppy that non IPA fans pucker and refuse. I had a 1/4 Keg from John and Morgan and all enjoyed it.

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