Blue Point Brewing is a 22 year old brewery from Long Island, NY.  Best known for their Toasted Lager, they distribute throughout NYC and have a variety of different beers.  Frankly, I’ve never been a huge fan.  Lager’s not really my favorite style, and the other “popular” beers from Blue Point include their Blueberry beer.  However, as I was perusing the beer list at one of my favorite drinking establishments, Rattle N Hum on 33rd street, this brew jumped out at me.  After all, why would anyone name a beer Toxic Sludge?

Well, it turns out the name has a perfectly reasonable explanation behind it.  In August 2010, Blue Point announced that they would be releasing the Toxic Sludge and that 100% of the proceeds from sales of the beer would go to a Delaware non-profit, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research.  The charity’s “Spreading Their Wings” campaign is attempting to build a Wildlife Reserve Annex to help save birds affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  Pete Cotter, the president of Blue Point, said in a press release that, “While others are focused on cleaning up the beaches and water, our efforts are purely for the birds.”  It’s an interesting choice of words, I suppose, but the idea of saving the birds and trying a new Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA/Whatever the heck you want to call it seemed like a good combination.

NOTES: Growler from Rattle N Hum, 33rd Street, Manhattan, poured into imperial pint glass.

STYLE: Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA

ABV: 7%

APPEARANCE: Dark.  Black.  Well-named.

HEAD: About an inch of two off-white foam which subsides within about a minute, leaving behind excellent lacing.

NOSE: Chocolate and malty flavors.  There’s a bit of coffee smell, and a nuttiness that reminds me of almonds.

TASTE: Strong malt/chocolate/coffee flavor.  Maybe even a little too strong — the hops get lost in the beer a little bit.  However, if you’re going to have a strong flavor, better this one than, say, feet.  I would’ve liked a little more hoppiness to it, but on the whole it’s a really tasty beer.  I especially enjoyed the little bit of almond flavor on the back end of the beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Not too thick.  Pretty standard for a CDA.

DRINKABILITY: There’s not much I don’t find drinkable, but I will say I had no problem polishing off a growler of this while watching the Phillies lose.  It’s really a very solid beer.   Maybe not spectacular, but it’s enjoyable for sure and I would definitely get another pint or two of this if I saw it at the bar.  Plus, it’s always nice for an Alehead to help others, even if they are birds.

RATING: 3 Hops.

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