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It's another grand array of Colorado beers for you today (I did Odell a few weeks ago) and this time Left Hand is the brewery bringing the goods.

We'll begin with the basic styles, and a pilsner kicks off proceedings, one called 1265. It's on the strong side at 5.2% ABV but looks light: a limpid white-gold shade. There's a faint lemon aroma and the flavour, too, is citrussy in a very new-world way. This is no faithful recreation of anything Czech or German. It's fine, though. While the alcohol is high, it still comes across light and easy-going, which is a valid way to approach pils. Needs more Saaz, however.

The companion pale ale is called Colorful Colorado, 5.6% ABV and a hazy orange, but not quite opaque: brewed to look unfiltered, not unfinished. It smells of orange candy and the flavour is very much a throwback to old-school APA. To explain, there's a heavy crystal malt sweetness giving it a toffee and caramel base, and then a seam of sharp grapefruit running through this. It's not balanced, exactly, but the contrast is pleasing, with the hops gradually rising to dominate by the end. This is almost quaint in how it's put together, and while it's not very exciting, it's a reminder of happier, gentler, more grapefruit-forward times.

Before we fire up the fancy gas, a porter on straight CO2. It's called Death Before Disco and is 6% ABV. "A full bodied classic with rich chocolate malt and dark berry notes" says the can, and I wish I hadn't read that before starting to drink, because yes it is full-bodied, and yes it does taste of chocolate and yes there are dark berry notes too. What's left for me to say? Well... the berry has a touch of black cherry about it, and there's an almondy marzipan paste quality as well. There's a substantial edge of roast coffee around the chocolate as well, bringing a balancing dryness. The finish is a bit of a let-down as none of the complexity builds, just clearing off the palate instead: I prefer something this strong to hang around longer, for improved sippability. Overall, though, it's very decent. A solid and unfussy porter with just the right level of complexity.

"Your nitro passport to paradise" sounds like a threat, but that's the actual strapline for Gettin' Tiki With It "piña colada wheat". It's been around since the spring, there was a lot left over, it was cheap, and that's my excuse, your honour. Wheat beer with pineapple, coconut and lactose: OK fine, but 7.5% ABV? That seems excessive. A hard pour yielded a mildly hazy glassful of spun gold, topped with a sturdy hockey puck of cream.

The aroma gives little away -- because nitro -- and the flavour is very muted too. The coconut is most apparent, its oily sweetness not dependent on carbonation to push it out. Beyond that, just a vague sickly blandness, not at all different to nitrogenated pale English bitter, like the zombie horror Boddington's has become. I can say officially I am not tiki with it. The blandness means it's inoffensive and I think the alcoholic power is about the best thing going for it: it's still easy drinking despite that. But this looks like an attempt to do something complex and fun, completely undermined by the decision to use novelty gas. Not a beer for beer-drinkers.

I expected better things from the next nitro can, Hard Wired. It's a coffee porter and it's hard to go too far wrong there, even when pumping it full of unnatural gas. The coffee aroma escapes the pillowy head, smelling fresh and sweet, like a latte or frappucino. There's an edge of roasted bean in the flavour, a sprinkling of brown sugar, but that's your lot. I'm sure there's a decent, solid porter under there, but the nitro and coffee have buried it. The creamy texture makes this sweet coffee feel like it has too much milk in it. I was very surprised to discover that despite the coffee kick there is absolutely no aftertaste once the initial effect fades. Weird. That at least makes it, again, easy and unchallenging to to drink. It's not a bad beer, but very one-dimensional.

We finish on a 10.2% ABV nitro monster: Wake Up Dead. This one does the best impression of draught nitro beer, the pale-beige cream making me actually nostalgic for pints of stout in the pub. The deadening effect of nitrogen on flavour helps conceal the alcohol here, making for some dangerously easy drinking this time. I wonder if that's deliberate, attracting a crowd that wants macho strong beer but can't usually handle the hot sharp edges? And there is a proper old-school imperial stout under here, with a decent level of leafy bitterness. Some sharply roasted espresso arrives after that, not too loud but definitely present. It's good but, once again, take away the nitro and it could be superb.

It was always going to be tough for Left Hand to convince me that adding nitrogen is any kind of enhancement of their beers, and I should note that I know how much skill goes into it, having tasted the results from other breweries who haven't been so successful nitrogenating their own packaged beers. I'll just say that beer is better off without it, and leave it there.