Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rye Squared Imperial Pale Ale

My wife and I have had our run-ins with the police, but almost always was because she accidentally dialed 9-1-1. We weren't married a week when she was calling her mother in Colombia--for you internationally dialing handicapped, you start those calls with 0-1-1. But my wife accidentally dialed 9-1-1, didn't get a ring, so she hung up. I was at work, so wasn't around. But 2 minutes later the Yonkers NY police were around, and knocking on the door. She finally got off the phone call she did finally make to her mother before they knocked down the door. Since she was not prompt and was stumbling on her why she dialed 9-1-1 answer, they asked if they could come in, and she said yes. Great! We were moving and packing and it looked like she was ransacking the place. But it turned out fine... until we moved to another apartment a few miles away and she did it all over again. Today this guy in my office was 2 seconds from having our local police department checking in on us. You see, he actually knows someone with a 9-1-5 area code in El Paso. I know, I couldn't believe it either. So he called, but apparently doubled up on the 1. He hung up, made the right call and then checked his voice mail to hear the 9-1-1 operator saying call now or the police will be dispatched. Just in time, he saved them the trip. Good stuff, I'll tell you other cop stories another time. Today I'm drinking a beer I picked up on the way home at Total Wine. Rye Squared Imperial Pale Ale "built" by Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, Georgia, but brewed for them by Frederick Brewing Company in Frederick, Maryland. Wow, you can outsource? And apparently, they are now owned by Flying Dog and operate under Wild Goose Brewery now. Complicated. So this beer has a malty, sweet and light citrus aroma. I initially taste a spicy and hoppy flavor, and something unique, maybe the rye. A good amount of bitterness and lemony and orange citrus flavors too. There are some sweet balancing flavors, like caramel but just a hint, and the 8.5% alcohol is completely unnoticeable except for its warming presence. Some pine and ginger and maybe black pepper take you through a decent progression of this beer. The aftertaste is nice but doesn't last forever. I really like the beer and recommend that you give it a try, just don't try to find out about it from the brewery as you may need a private eye (Magnum hated that label).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Old Stock Ale 2009

My son is a counterfeiter. At 6, he's already been making money for well over 2 years now. At first, he was going through green money-colored markers like water and not always copying the usual denominations. This kid would do fives and ones. When he realized he couldn't spend those bills, he took the tactic to mail them to grandpa with the expectation he'd get a real equally valuable bill in return. That scheme worked a few times, but eventually dried up. So then he tried it during a weeklong vacation at my office, with nothing to show for it. Now he's discovered the miracle of high quality printers. So, FBI watch out, this kid can tape the front of a $20 bill (with the COPY inscribed on it) to the back of a $20 bill with the best of them.

Made me think of that episode on The Office when Dwight came up with the Schrute Bucks idea. I'm actually printing a few Schrute Bucks now to see if those awesome people at Total Wine have a sense of humor too. The Publix folks do, as I've sarcastically tried to pass them the home-made bills, to no avail. Could be that they know me, considering my bill every Saturday for 4 years, otherwise handcuffs.

Tonight I am drinking Old Stock Ale 2009 from North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California. Actually, I already finished it, and what a great beer. The aroma has a very potent alcohol presence, I mean like brandy or something powerful. You also get some dark fruits on the nose. The first thing I thought of when sipping it was damn this is alcoholic, but wow that's a nice feature and how buttery and smooth and creamy it was. Malty, sweet caramel, lots of raisins and plums, roasted flavors also very noticeable. Considering the 11.5% alcohol content, yes it is a prominent feature, but it is so welcome and this is an excellent beer. The warm and slight burn are just now kicking in (I type fast). This is the (I don't remember the number) beer I've had from North Coast and I think that they are a terrific brewery. Go get yourself some of Old Stock Ale and the others.

The Office Dwight Schrute Bobble Head

THE OFFICE 2010 Wall Calendar

The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Smuttynose IPA

A couple of big things in the news today. Well, it was a no-brainer that Arlen Specter was going to eventually declare himself a Democrat. He's been voting Democratic and tricking the Pennsylvania party-line voters for years. Gotta pay attention to these guys, if you've learned anything from history. Isn't the approval rating of Congress lower than ever before?

Also, this swine flu. What can I say except with Jack Bauer exposed to and chasing bio weapons and the country stretched thin, can we really handle a (real-life) pandemic? Seriously, keep your heads up, don't panic, and look for people that are sick and avoid them. Hopefully it'll all blow over.

I am drinking a Smuttynose IPA, an India Pale Ale brewed by Smuttynose Brewing Company in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. As the bottle cap says, "Make Mine a Smutty!" Now I am no wordsmith, but I'm pretty sure that smutty is not something you really want to be, so drinking it? Well this is Smutty+nose, so could be different, so I guess I'll check it out.

There is a faint sweet and hoppy aroma to this beer. The tastes are very strong, however. An extremely strong and weird bitter greets you with lots of lemon and grapefruit citrus cohorts. There is also some pine, tea, hoppy and metallic flavors in there but mostly it's a very rough and very lasting bitter flavor. I am not sure if there is any alcohol in this, I didn't see it on the label, but whatever is there is totally dominated. I love very hoppy beers but this one has much too much bitterness and needs something to balance that out. Also that weird flavor, not sure what it is, but maybe that's the smutty they speak of, and now it's in my mouth.

24 The Complete Season 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 - Bundle Discount

Into Evidence: Truth, Lies and Unresolved Mysteries in the Murder of JFK

I.C.E Guy Family Emergency Response Kit

Monday, April 27, 2009

Saranac Pomegranate Wheat

I heard some politician or TV pundit speaking about a free trade agreement with Colombia. I believe something already exists, but there is a lot of room for expansion on it. Anyway, my wife would be happy about it (she's Colombian, in case you forgot). When there is finally a good trade agreement in place, believe me that Colombia is an untapped market when it comes to craft beers. The people there drink Aguila and Club Colombia and a few other lager and pilsner types that are very bland and light and boring. I think you can get some imports, but nothing major. So basically the whole country is your target market. Remember, most of us used to drink crap beer until we discovered the good stuff, just like everyone there does now. Just an idea.

Today I'm drinking Saranac Pomegranate Wheat brewed by Matt Brewing Company in Utica, New York (yep, I was surprised that the brewery wasn't called Saranac too). Another one from Utica--must be the water. Anyway, they also say they're the oldest brewery in New York. Why don't we get all the oldest ones from each state and have a competition. Yuengling, which also claims country's oldest, gets to be first seed :).

So I know what you're thinking. Another fruity beer. When I lived in NY, I had the Saranac beers a lot, but I don't remember having this one before. So I thought what the heck. The initial aroma is pomegranate and bread. Flavors also dominate with pomegranate in a very sweet yet light way, almost a little too light and watery. Good carbonation brings out the pomegranate flavors as the taste develops, and those flavors last. Refreshing, good, just not my style. But I know someone who'd love it and will pass on the info. Much, much better than that apricot one I recently had, too.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Samuel Adams Imperial White

I was watching Operation Repo on TV last night, and that dude Matt is a total psycho and basket case. And what is up with that chick Sonia with the bone in her lip? Anyway it takes all kinds, I guess. Matt probably relaxes to Ice-T's music. By the way, I did a study last week, not too scientific, but Ice-T forces anyone listening to drive aggressively. I know, I wasn't surprised either.

So just chilling here on a Sunday afternoon. I've done the yard work and kite flying and birthday party rounds already this weekend, so hopefully I can just kick back and watch the Phillies finish their sweep of the Marlins. Today I'm having Samuel Adams Imperial White, a wheat ale brewed by The Boston Beer Company in Boston, Massachusetts. I'm a big fan of the brewery, as you've probably heard, and this one will be a new one for me.

Spicy aroma mixed in with some orange. Then I took a sip--total in-your-face alcohol flavors. Those flavors did subside into nicer banana and spicy clove flavors. I guess that's what the bottle meant by pushing the limit of a witbier. The beer is also sweet, maybe with some caramel tastes. Nice warming aftertaste as well. But I must say that I can't forget every single sip of this guy for one reason--that alcoholic blast that in my opinion took over this beer.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Midas Touch

Anyone watch the Spurs play the other night? They made a great comeback (with their starters on the bench for 1 1/2 quarters) only to lose by 20 points (or so, no one cares how much it really was). Also, Tony Parker has a hot wife. Anyway, do you like to travel? Internationally? To every state? Whatever, these dudes in the NBA and the refs that enforce the rules have basically forgotten about the traveling rules. Tim Duncan surely knew at the college level about those rules, but for some reason (money and high scores) pro basketball doesn't even care to enforce those rules. But at least when an NBA player is shooting free throws, the fans are allowed to try to fuck with him. Thousands of white tube balloons waving behind the glass backboard, now that is distracting. Shaq has an excuse. The reason I say "at least" is I can't believe what pussies the pro tennis circuit is--be quiet and hush and shhh. You wouldn't want to distract them in their serve or concentration. I guess it's just the snobbery of the sport. They should be shouting "Noonan" when these guys do their toss.

Today I'm drinking Midas Touch brewed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware. This beer's been on my list for a while and finally I found it at Total Wine yesterday, the last bottle.

This beer has a fruity and mostly grape aroma. Lots of grapes and sweetness when you take your first sip. Reminds me of Grape Bubblicious gum, except much less chewy, just the flavors. You also get a nice amount of honey and spices and maybe some banana bread too. Nice amount of alcohol, actually it's 9%, noticeable but blended wonderfully to balance the sweetness. The aftertaste is also very nice and lasting. I must say this is a very unique beer and one you should figure out for yourself if it's one for you.

Bubblicious Bubble Gum, 18-Count Packages

Muntons Premium Gold 40 Pint Beer Kit, Midas Touch Golden Ale, 113-Ounce Box

Heart Shaped 24K Gold Overlay Leaf Pendant on Multi Chain Necklace

Friday, April 24, 2009

He'Brew Messiah Bold

Although it's not the US Navy (I looked forever; I guess they probably have some conduct rules), rather these guys are US Marines, this is what I think they should be saying to all of those Somali pirates. A big, gigantic "Fuck You!" And the US ship crew that they didn't capture should've lined the streets of New York and given a big Arggg! with middle finger hooks to this one in particular when he arrived.

Tonight I'm trying He'Brew Messiah Bold, a brown ale brewed by Schmaltz Brewing Company in Saratoga, New York. The label is pretty entertaining with a lot of Old Testament verses mixed in with their take on how beer fits in with the scriptures. I guess you have a lot of time on your hands when you're still waiting. These guys also make the Coney Island line, so they must be a pretty entertaining bunch to hang out with.

He'Brew Messiah Bold, aka The Chosen Beer (by Schmaltz), has a good malty aroma, very strong. This is a very smooth and creamy beer with sweet caramel and toffee flavors with a hint of chocolate. You also get a good dose of roasted nuts with a hint of hops. Although those flavors are mostly good, they are not awesome and are a little weak, and they don't last long enough for me to tie my shoe. I'd have another but this is just a decent beer.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lagunitas Special Release Sirius

Today we were working so hard at laughing about some of the spam emails we get all day long. This little gem of a subject line "You can have a mega tool like a horse or even mule" prompted one my of colleagues to wonder aloud, "How do I get the job of a spam subject line writer?" Something to ponder, a little like Deep Thoughts with that wannabe jackass maybe Senator. Anyway, that would probably be a fun job for a little while at least.

Today I am having Lagunitas Special Release Sirius, which apparently is a Hi-Gravity Cream Ale brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California. This is my third beer from this brewery, and I was on the fence with the other two, so hoping for a great beer now. I always get a kick out of the writing these guys put around the edge of the bottle, so I'll need to mention to Total Wine next time I go (tomorrow) NOT to put their own internal stickers on top of the beer bottle labels. It took me 10 careful minutes to peel this one away to read, "We brewed this special hi-gravity Cream Ale in serious celebration of the return of the salubrious spring... With the long dark days of the season of damp nearly behind us and the possibilities of the long and lazy summer ahead." Dude, am I talking to Dennis Miller here?

Sirius Cream Ale has a malty, and slightly fruity and floral aroma. My first impression on drinking it is that it is NOT that creamy, but rather a bit bitter and a little hoppy. There are, however, sweet honey and citrus orange aspects that combine nicely together with that. The smooth and malty and spicy cinnamon flavors also go well with the noticeable 7% alcohol content. A decent and well balanced beer all around, and my favorite so far from this brewery.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brooklyn Pilsner

I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, but last night my wife was commenting on my hair getting long and said that in makes the balding spot on my crown look even more noticeable. That was the first I had heard about it from her, and the only other person to say something was the stylist at SuperCuts a few months ago. So I guess it's getting more prominent, but no matter how hard I try to chase my tail, I just can't see it. I'll get over it.

No SuperGalactic Awesomeness Beer-O-Rific named beers today, so nothing to get up my hopes, just my memories of my hair and my memories of the other two Brooklyn Brewery beers I tried.

Introducing Brooklyn Pilsner brewed by the Brooklyn Brewery in Utica, New York. On the bottle they make a point of saying that this is malt liquor in the State of Texas. Funny stuff! Well, the beer smells a bit dirty, kind of like my garage. The flavors are very light, mainly lemon and some hops and malts. As the flavors come around a bit, you get more of a chemical and medicine aftertaste. So although put together it sounds like I'm calling this watery medicine, it's not that bad. I guess it's more the style than anything. You could really drink this all day long, but you wouldn't because there are so many other terrific beers.

Update 8/13/2010: The Brooklyn Brewery was kind enough to send me the nutritional content for this beer. 5.1% ABV; Per 12 fl. oz.: 155 calories, 1.7g protein, 12.7g carbohydrates, 0.0g fat.

Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery -- Sam Calagione

The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food -- Garrett Oliver

Brooklyn Brewery Bar Wall Mirror

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hoptical Illusion India Pale Ale

Are Obama and Chavez really best buddies now? Or was that a Hoptical Illusion? Ha! If you think that was corny, well, duh! But seriously, even Obama needs to see that he's being played by that dick. Enough politics.

I saw this story online about what to do when your kids eat things they shouldn't, like crayons or dirt or bugs. Seemed appropriate for me with 6 and 2 year olds at home. So I scrolled through the 16 pages of pictures, but didn't find the answer for cigarette butts. Now I can hear you thinking that I have dumb kids to eat those, but it was actually me that did that when I was 1 year old. My mom and the neighbor mom were playing tennis while I was playing with her 1.5 year old daughter in the corner of the court. Apparently that half of a year was enough for her to know better because as I was vomiting cigarette butts that night, she was sleeping soundly. Or maybe it was a boy/girl thing. Who knows?

Today I am drinking one of the beers that came back from my colleague's business trip to New York last week. Hoptical Illusion India Pale Ale brewed by Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue, Long Island, New York. Many thanks for the bring back!

This beer has a nice citrus and hoppy aroma. The flavors are more geared toward the citrus end of things, with a powerful lemon and grapefruit acidity and sourness (BTW, lemon juice takes the copper oxide off of pennies. Science fair project due Friday). For an IPA, I was expecting more hops bitterness than I got and wanted. There are some pine flavors too. This beer is more flat than crisp and the finish lets you know that there is a 6.8% alcohol content in there, like it or not. Overall, a good beer but not a great one.

Brothers in Arms - Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez Pin

Crayola Glow Station can create with Light!

The Threat Closer to Home: Hugo Chavez and the War Against America

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stoudts Triple Belgian Abbey-Style Ale

First, I must point out that the Philadelphia Sports Teams (namely, the Flyers, Sixers and Phils (Thank God the Eagles are in the offseason)) pulled off a trifecta yesterday. Pretty awesome, considering how few chances they have to all play the same day and win. Just ask the blunt Philly fans about the winning part.

A lot going on today. My 2-year old went to "school" for the first time in a week because he's been sick with a fever, and he left looking like a stop sign. Red, red, red, head to foot. I sent my other kid to his first grade class with a note for his teacher. Actually I had to sign a 33% test from school, but I couldn't help pointing out the grammatical errors in a few of the actual questions. Can't wait to open the backpack for that reply. Maybe my son is unable to answer questions that are not in English or Spanish? And finally, on the way home, the skies opened up. I mean roads were under water. My grass needed it, but picking up two kids in that was brutal. And of course the sun is out 30 minutes later. Dude, I need to move. Florida? Why?

Stoudts Triple is my first beer by my home-state Pennsylvania brewer Stoudt's Brewing Co. in Adamstown. This beer has a nice floral and spicy aroma, very pleasant. Take a sip. Bam! Loads of carbonation in your mouth, to the point of killing the experience. Once that blast subsides, you get some good flavors of orange, banana and a lot of spices, notably cloves and cinnamon. A second later, there is a strong alcohol finish which warms a bit and lingers, but it is a bit rough. The beer has a decent sweetness too, maybe a little syrupy goodness to try to balance out the alcohol, but for what it's worth, I am happy to move on to other beers.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bell's Oberon Ale

Anyone else tired of the constant tips for pairing food with beer? I certainly realize that certain beers go better with certain foods, but this is way overdone. So I just proposed on Hearst Communications' food and recipe website that someone should come up with a Beer-Only Menu that would last a whole day. Sound like a good idea? Anyone up to the task? If the monks can do it, so can we.

Today I'm going to try my second beer from Bell's Brewery in Comstock, Michigan. The first was Bell's Special Double Cream Stout, which I thoroughly enjoyed. On the other end of the beer spectrum is the one for today, Bell's Oberon Ale. I couldn't find anything out about the naming of the beer, so my guess is that Oberon is the Oberon made famous by Shakespeare, Oberon King of Shadows and Fairies. I'm not quite sure if that is a powerful position or not!

Oberon Ale is a wheat ale which has a very nice yeasty and fruity aroma. The flavors have a large wheat presence and a spicy clove, orange and peppery aspect as well. The orange comes across more in the tail end of the finish on your palate. This is a light-bodied, refreshing beer and it is extremely pleasant to drink. I don't taste the 5.8% alcohol one bit. I'd have to say that the beer is slightly overly carbonated for my liking, but all in all, it is the kind of beer you should buy in multiples.

Tree of Life Embossed Leather Writing Journal, 6 x 9-inch

What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea - Even Water - Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers

Wedgwood "Oberon" Dinnerware

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Great Divide Saint Bridget's Porter

There was this guy I knew through my best friend in high school; it was actually his college roommate. This guy was pretty goofy, to say the least. But one of my favorite stories about him was the time he fell from the third story balcony of his fraternity during a party there. No, the falling part isn't my laugh, but the medical result is pretty amazing. After he got over his concussion, he was perfectly normal (compared only to himself before the fall) with the exception that he could not smell anything anymore.

Today I am trying out my third beer from Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado. You may recall how I enjoyed the Yeti Imperial Stout and the Titan IPA, so here I am drinking Saint Bridget's Porter.

Saint Bridget, according to Great Divide (and since beer people exaggerate sometimes, like Cliff (this link is great), I checked a few other places to verify), turned bathwater to beer for a leper colony she worked with. I could've used her at a party I went to last month. Well for being such a well-regarded, selfless and giving person, Great Divide has named this beer after her. Funnily, they also put her silhouette on the bottle label where she is wearing a mini-skirt, striking a pose and trying to get her ass noticed. My kind of Saint--sexy, seductive, and loves beer!

So the reason I told you about "No Smell Anymore Guy" is because after I opened up this beer, I thought maybe I had developed his syndrome. I guess that's going a little too far, but the roasted malt and coffee aroma of this beer is very, very light. Now, the flavors are much more pronounced. You get an instant coffee and chocolate flavor in your mouth, a little spicy but balanced very nicely with those sweeter aspects. There are some dark fruit flavors, maybe prunes or raisins, as well. The beer has a light body and medium carbonation, and an aftertaste that nicely lasts and lasts. While this is not my favorite beer or even my favorite from Great Divide, it is the quality beer that I'd expect from this brewery.

Revelations of St. Bridget on the Life and Passion of Our Lord and the Life of His Blessed Mother

Saint Bridget St. Brigid Cross Sterling Silver Pendant

Little Bunny Follows His Nose (Scented Storybook)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lagunitas Maximus IPA

I had to take my 2-year old to the pediatrician this afternoon after 3 days of fever. Of course I knew what he was going to say, as I grew up in a doctor's house. But my wife made me take him. I've seen my father at work and how compassionate he is with every single patient every single day. But at home... "Dad, my arm hurts when I move it like this" got the sarcastically blunt reply "don't move it like that." And you can insert any injury or pain or bump into those sentences. With 4 children, it was a regular conversation. But Dr. Disney Tie (seriously I am not sure what this guy's name is) was very sweet except that he told me to put away the Cheerios my son was eating because of some OSHA rule and a notice posted at the front entrance of this giant medical office. I saw no such sign as I paid my $20 copay and was ushered away in 2 minutes before reading anything. This was the poor kid's first food of the day, too, one of the reasons he was there.

This is my second beer from these guys, Lagunitas Maximus IPA brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California. Finally a beer to say it like it is: "UNLIMITED RELEASE" right on the bottle in big, bold letters. This Limited stuff I really don't believe too much. Of course if you rationalize it, everything is limited to something, so I guess I am wrong, but usually Limited means limited to the amount we can get out the door.

The quote around the bottle label says, "If some is good; More is better. Instant gratification is not fast enough. 42 IBU? Why not 72! The end is near, Don't sip. A trillion What$? Imelda's Shoes. Dow @ 7392? Just buy a Senate seat?! Tats, Nipple Piercing, Cutters, Burners & Hummers. A cold MAXIMUS just makes perfect sense! Cheers!" Someone was seriously fucked up when they started writing all that. That's what I have to say. I have a piece of paper in my pocket I wrote last weekend (during a drinking time) for an idea for this blog and I can barely understand the writing or logic behind some of it, but at least I was not publishing at that point.

This beer has an aroma, a floral one. It's just very faint. The flavors are more pronounced. You get a good dose of hops, as expected, but they are more prominent as the flavors evolve on your palate, and they could be featured a little better and morer. This beer is sweeter than I expected it to be and the sweet and bitter avoid each other and don't balance out. The sweet flavors are caramel and maple syrup and there are also some acidic, pine and light fruit overtones. The 7.5% alcohol is hidden and balanced nicely with the rest of the beer, and the carbonation is just right. I'd probably try this one again if I were out in California and it was on tap, but I have others to try and others I like more.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cru d'Or Organic Belgian Style Ale

Damn. Ever since the hockey strike a few years back, regular TV has shit the bed with getting some games back in the spotlight a few nights a week. So the sport has basically died unless you go for the ultra sports ticket. I didn't even realize until it was too late that the Flyers game one was on last night. Me not watching was surely why they lost. Hey, Ron Hextall, give me a call next time to remind me. Anyway, so we're down a game to the cross-state rival Penguins. I wont miss another game, but I really can't believe I was actually on the Versus website to find the schedule. Again, real TV, sign a deal or something, will you?

So I'm trying my third beer from North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California. The others were winners (one even made Best Sixer), and I'm anticipating another winner here. All, of course, because I need a winning frame of mind going into the hockey playoffs.

Cru d'Or Organic Belgian Style Ale seems like a good one to pair with the Flyers. I mean, Gold Vintage. Yeah, that definitely describes this team. This Belgian-style Dubbel has a very fruity and somewhat malty and floral aroma. The flavors are very nicely put together in a complex way. Fruity apple and banana and peach flavors evolve to sweeter caramel and buttery tastes. And at the same time, you taste a spicy and bready flavor in this creamy beer. The alcohol is not hidden, and it borders on being a little out-of-bounds (or getting penalty minutes for slashing), but it is just fine. Overall, I really like this beer and am really finding out what a quality brewery North Coast is. Try it for yourself.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dale's Pale Ale

Not sure why, but I've shied away from this brewery. Actually, I do know why. It's because I believe in stereotypes and the one that goes with beer in a can versus a bottle. Oskar Blues Brewery located in Lyons, Colorado has 3 beers on the shelf at my local Total Wine & More and they are all in a can. Probably apart from the grain (or more) of truth in the stereotype, beers like Keystone Light and their supposedly specially-lined cans marketing further sealed the aluminum can's fate. Those beers never tasted great or like bottled beer. But the marketing was so powerful, that we even did university-level IR Spectroscopy experiments on their cans to see if they were in fact different. Imagine a bunch of nerds in their Analytical Chemistry Lab cutting up beer cans they didn't even get to drink the beer from. Nice image? Yeah, I know. That's why I am in sales now. And you know what? I can't even remember the outcome of those experiments, but I am pretty sure the differences between normal cans were negligible. Whatever.

Anyway, it's not like I wont drink canned beer, because I certainly will, but the can doesn't equate quality to me. But, I am ready for the challenge here, and I think it would be totally awesome if this brewery can set the record straight for me and start a new trend of great canned beer.

So I bring you Dale's Pale Ale, which according to the can is "A Huge Voluminously Hopped Mutha of a Pale Ale." The first thing I noticed is almost zero pop when I opened the can, like the typical canned beer. Is it carbonated? There is a decent hoppy and citrus aroma to the beer. Flavors are pretty nice too. Hoppy, but not over the top and a lot of prominent caramel, honey and other malty sweetness come around after a second or so. There is also a little citrus flavor but it's way in the background. There is some kind of earthiness to this beer, and BTW, yes, it is carbonated nicely. Not sure how they pulled that Jedi trick when I opened it up. The aftertaste is good, but doesn't last very long. Overall, this is probably one of the best beers I've ever had from a can, so Oskar Blues takes that crown. I would have preferred a little less sweetness and a little more hoppy crispness, but for sure I'd try this again and suggest you do too.

Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine

Watchmen (Director's Cut) (Two-Disc Special Edition + Amazon Digital Bundle + Digital Copy)

Popular Mechanics (1-year)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Left Hand Milk Stout

I've been doing some vacation planning for my family. There is probably a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic sometime in June or July. Does anyone know if they have any other beers there besides Presidente? Otherwise when I come back, my palate might be burned out from that pilsener taste. I might have to become Rum Drinker and write the Daily Rum Review, but that could prove just as painful.

I'm also likely to need a handful of guest writers for that week. I've got a few other smart-ass types that like a good beer in mind. But feel free to "apply" or recommend someone. I am always open to suggestions.

I wanted to branch out today to a new brewery, so I picked out Left Hand Milk Stout brewed by Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado. The bottle has a picture of a cow with black hands on it to make the cow spots, cool. But for some reason, the contours of those hands, at least some of them look like upside-down right hands. Could just be me, or the beer.

The aroma is very light, mostly chocolate. The flavors are more pronounced, first with a big dose of chocolate and roasted malts. No Shit! This is alcoholic Whoppers! And the beer is very sweet. I must say I was expecting a total wuss of a beer but there is definitely an alcoholic component grabbing at me too. Creamy, easily drinkable. The aftertaste disappears quickly, so make sure you have another to crack open quickly.

Hersheys Whoppers Mini Carton Original Malted Milk Balls Candy - 3.5 Oz, 15 / Pack

Tortuga Rum Cake Sampler - 6 Rum Cakes

Top Flite XL 15-Piece Golf Club Set

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dogfish Head Aprihop

There was really bad news today for Phillies fans in particular, and sports fans in general. Harry Kalas died before the game with the Nationals. What a shame! He and his voice and personality are an extremely large part of the Phillies organization and have been for almost 40 years, and I am sad about today's news. For those of you who are part of the Non-Sporting Group (like Poodles), Harry supplied the narration for other commercials, like here is one for Campbell's Chunky Soup.

So this one's for you, Harry! Dogfish Head ApriHop brewed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales in Milton, Delaware, an IPA brewed with apricots. Fruity beer, huh? Well, I love them dried and I am game for anything.

Not surprisingly, the aroma is mostly apricots with a hint of flowers. The apricot flavor is very prominent as well. There are hops (and there should be for a beer being called an IPA), but they are begging to overcome the apricot flavors, and they never quite make it. There is more of a sour flavor. The 7% alcohol content does evolve and show up and it is blended decently with the apricots.

Basically, this reminds me of one of the specialty Goya nectars that they try to push in the very Latino community here in South Florida, except that it is carbonated and alcoholic. I think the creators must have gotten the recipe from a few local college students experimenting with whatever alcohol they had plus the rest of their roommate's juice. Isn't that how Snoop Dog got Gin and Juice? Not a favorite for sure.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Happy Easter! The egg hunt is over and I've already been to the pool. Explaining the meaning of Easter to two unfocused kids is not that easy either.

What beer goes with a holy Sunday? Well, I didn't think about that until today, but I did manage to switch things up in my available fridge lineup to find one named after Rasputin (The picture to the left is kind compared to the one on the bottle. Wow, what a beard). I guess he's not exactly an ideal Easter figure, but at least he was a religious leader at best, and at worst a 3-month member of the Verkhoturye Monastery as a punishment for theft. So he's done his time.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout brewed by North Coast Brewing Co. in Fort Bragg, California is the second beer I've reviewed from these guys. The first was Old Plowshare Stout Organic, which North Coast actually picked up and put my review on their site. Let's see if they post the review of the review and create a vicious cycle. They probably wont need to when I'm finished with this Old Rasputin because so far it's a kick-ass beer. They can just quote that.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout has an extremely dark roasted malty aroma, with a hint of alcohol too. Flavors are excellent. You start with a creamy chocolate and roasted coffee flavor, evolving with nutty flavors as well. The alcohol is a really nice attribute to this beer and not hidden at all. The 9% alcohol content is very well matched with the sweet aspects to provide a strong flavor and nice warming sensation. Very powerful and lasting flavors, this is perhaps one of my favorites and I think just the beer to dethrone Best Sixer Guinness Extra Stout (which was on the bubble). Yes, I think it has done just that, starting now.

Bach: Easter and Ascension Oratorios

Executive Billiard Table

Speedo Vanquisher Plus Mirrored Swim Goggle

Update 4/11/2010: Almost one year later, here is a picture for you!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spaten Optimator

Ever play the game Connect 4? I'm sure you have. Since last Christmas, we've had the game here too. (Pretty sneaky, sis!)

But with the intended recipient, my almost 7 year old, the game has lost its luster. I must've beaten him 100 times in a row, but how do you lose on purpose? I just don't know. For the past month or more, my 2 year old has started playing. Playing meaning he puts all the chips in the game, then empties it and starts over. Lately, a little 3 year old from down the block has been coming over to play that with him. And this afternoon was hilarious. They were arguing over who was red and who was black, but finally the little black kid got his way. "I'm black! I'm black!" And my son, "OK, you're black!" What a gem these color-blind kids are.

It's strange but this is my first German beer, at least that I can remember. (Actually, it's my second, upon looking. St. Pauli Girl Lager was the first. Not sure how I forgot those boobs). I am talking about the Spaten Optimator, of course, brewed by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu (Spaten-Bräu) in Munich, Germany.

This beer has a sweet and malty aroma. Instant maple syrup and molasses flavors, with a slight hint of toffee and chocolate as well. Those flavors are prominent and blend nicely with the 7.2% alcohol content. The alcohol flavors do evolve on your palate after a few seconds. I can also taste a slight roasted nut flavoring. All of these sleights prove to combine into a deceptively beautiful beer. Overall, I'd like to have seen some better carbonation and something to counterbalance the massive sweetness. But a great beer and I can see why it has an awesome reputation and is often listed as a favorite by many people.

Connect Four


Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

I hope you are all having a wonderful Good Friday. I had to work, but it was relatively slow and I got to get some things done before bugging out a little bit early. I stopped by Total Wine on the way home and picked up a great sixer (I hope). This old dude in line was complaining to the cashier that he couldn't find the Budweiser (like they need this extra publicity), and while it completely stopped the line, she managed to page someone to get it for him and two other cashiers came to the line rescue. Nice job!

Anyone watching the Masters too? I always feel great when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are not on the leaderboard, so them being down 7 and 10 shots, respectively, gives me another reason to celebrate (did you already forget the first reason is Good Friday?) Personally, I am a novice golfer, but don't make a fool of myself on the course. It's the one sport that I feel takes such different skills that it can frustrate even the best all-around athlete. Anyone agree or disagree with that?

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, California seems like a good choice to get things rolling. I've had some weak IPA's this past week, and I'm really begging to reverse course now.

Now that's what I'm talking about. In your face hops aroma, perfect. Some lesser floral and citrus scents too. The flavor is outstanding. You can taste grapefruit and the hops give it a good bitter bite. The flavors evolve and last on your palate and provide a nice warm and spicy burn. Carbonation and 7.2% alcohol content are balanced beautifully for a terrific experience. If you love hops, this is your beer! Go for it!

Don't Catholics eat bread on Good Friday? I mean, I understand communion (so let's skip that comment) but is there something special about it tonight? What I'm getting at is... does liquid bread count?

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TAG Heuer Men's Link Caliber 5 Automatic Watch #WJC201C.BA0591
Nike Tour 2 Mixed Recycled B-Grade Experienced Professional Golf Balls (60-Ball Pack)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Full Sail IPA

I thought Spring Break from school this week was going to ease up on the traffic I encounter on the way to work. I thought wrong. I also thought I was going to get a reprieve from counting school buses with my kids. Also wrong. Well, there weren't many school buses so that was substituted for an equally annoying police car counting game. And considering all the towns and cities I drive through on the local roads, in addition to the large county sheriff's patrol, there are a lot. I also thought that maybe the country's most dangerous intersection, which I drive through twice daily, would be a little less dangerous. Again, again, wrong. But at least the pile-up gave us about 20 more police cars to count, so all wasn't lost. (Speaking of police, my speeding ticket was dismissed last week. Thanks to all zero of you for asking).

Please let me be right today, about my beer choice--Full Sail IPA brewed by Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, Oregon. The cap is a twist off, fine with me. The cap also says, "Stoked to Brew. Brewed to Stoke." Ok that's kind've cool. And another interesting thing is the label talks about the brewery's brewforce but leaves a blank there that they make it look like they write in an update regularly. In this case the blank has a 47 in it. I hope they keep growing and hiring.

Nice yet very subtle citrus aroma. The flavors are also very light. Light hoppiness and certainly not near the powerfulness I'd expect from an IPA. There are some hints of bitterness and grapefruit and some floral and spicy overtones, but again, all very straightforward, mainly boring and just basically missing. This is an average at best beer. One more thing, the aftertaste dries to the point where you just taste alcohol. I was wondering when that 6% was going to show up, and I found out. Sorry, there are many better IPA's and beers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

La Fin Du Monde

Met a guy over at the Beer For Chicks networking site a little bit ago. I know, a dude meeting a dude on a place that's for chicks. Yes, it's a bit weird, but I am man enough to admit it. Whatever! Anyway, this guy's profile said his favorite beer is La Fin Du Monde, which coincidentally is the only beer in my refrigerator right now and the subject of tonight's review.

Now most of you learned a practical foreign language in high school like Spanish. But I took 4 years of French in high school followed by two grueling semesters in college to satisfy that requirement. Was never so happy it was over. But I did get to try out my French in Paris back in 1996 and was able to get around on my own, sort of. And anyway, when I stumbled for a millisecond, the snotty merchants finished my sentences for me in English. But here is another chance, finally.

La Fin Du Monde (The End of the World) brewed by Unibroue in Chambly, Quebec, Canada seems like a good way to branch away to a new brewery. Better take Jack Bauer with me before he dies from his biological exposure, in case this is truly the end of the world.

This beer is a Tripel Belgian styled-ale. It has a nice orange and spicy aroma. The flavors are pretty complex and mostly great. To start, you get nothing except for a blast of carbonation that lasts at least a second. But finally that evolves on your palate. First tastes are of orange and other citrus along with spices, noticeably cloves and cinnamon. Lots of yeasty and doughy flavors as well. A nice finish and aftertaste too. The 9% alcohol warms you up but in a good way and is not annoying at all.

I'd suggest trying this on your own. It is good but I just felt like something was missing, and there are other Tripels I like much better, like Tripel Karmeliet, for example.

Rosetta Stone Version 3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1, 2 & 3 Set with Audio Companion

Kamenstein Revolving Spice Rack with 16 Filled Jars

Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses RB3025 - Click to see all colors

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lagunitas IPA India Pale Ale

Because of an upcoming NYC trip, I've been eyeing up a few different breweries that I think will have beers at the local Whole Foods in Manhattan. The main two unless you convince me otherwise are Victory Brewing Company and Sixpoint Craft Ales. Remember, this isn't my trip. So I need these beers to come back home.

My beer critic friend John LeMasney gave me some highlights about Victory Brewing when I asked him:

"Hi, Beer Drinker! Victory has seldom, if ever, disappointed me. My current favorite is Wild Devil, an IPA with a funky brett backbone. Hop Devil, Hop Wallop, Golden Monkey, Prima Pils, Victory Lager, and one of my all time favorites, Storm King Stout, are all Victory brews, and all killer."

So I'm left with prioritizing them and a few from Sixpoint for the return. Poor me!

I am still open for suggestions, too. So fire away.

Lagunitas IPA brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California has an interesting quote on its label, something reminiscent of what the Arrogant Bastard's smarter, military-channel-watching little brother might say: "Thanks for choosing to spend the next few minutes with this special homicidally hoppy ale. Savor the moment as the raging hop character engages the Imperial Qualities of the Malt Foundation in mortal combat on the battlefield of your palate!" Well with that claim, I better get ready for Stone Ruination IPA Part 2.

This beer has a nice hoppy and floral aroma. There is also a nice bitter hops flavor, with some lemon and other citrus flavors as well, but I think that it's missing a good solid bite from the hops. A little sweet fruitiness also exists. Overall, it is a refreshing beer; however, it's a little weak for an IPA and there is zero aftertaste. So I guess that means I didn't have a beer yet and need another. It is good, though. Just not great, and not what I was led to expect.

I Love Lagunitas Keychain

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fuller's London Porter

I got an email this afternoon from an internet marketing blog that I like to read. In it, Jeremy Schoemaker (Shoemoney) tells his version of what a blog should be, and I can't help to completely agree all around 100%. And very funnily put.

Read the whole thing, it won't kill you and it is relatively short. But a few of my favorite excerpts. "People give me shit all the time for talking about my kids, strip clubs, getting drunk, losing weight, LOST. People say I need to stay on topic all the time. I guess they don’t know the topic of this blog is me."

Sound familiar to any of you readers who have been here before or actually (gulp!) subscribed to this site? I hope so, because Shoemoney is right on. I hope you enjoy my sarcasm and stories and that great beer is the reason to tell them over.

Fuller's London Porter brewed by the Fuller, Smith & Turner's Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, London, England is the topic of tonight's monologue. Nice aroma of coffee and chocolate malts. The flavors are decent, mainly tasting the same coffee and dark chocolate, but there is also an annoying burnt flavor everywhere. The aftertaste also has a good toffee flavor that lingers with that burnt sensation. I don't think this is even carbonated, but I could be wrong, and get ready, it is a little bit bitter too. (I know, how quite surprising for a British beer). Well, in the end, I wish the chocolate or something would've made this a little sweeter and that there was a little alcohol kick to it as well. Not nearly in the same class as favorite Young's Luxury Double Chocolate Stout (and yes, that's the closest comparison I have).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mojo India Pale Ale

The Phillies open their repeat championship season tonight against the Braves--I really can't wait. My fantasy baseball team also opens its championship defense tonight. Fantasy is fun, but I don't understand how a lot of people let it get out of control. I can understand the competitiveness but when it dominates your life, you gotta remember that you are not the real manager of the team, you and Chase Utley are not friends, your player moves have zero impact on reality, and even if you win no one cares except you. So play for fun and don't be a dick.

I busted out the bike today to burn off some of the liquid calories I'm planning on having this afternoon and evening. And I'll probably have to go to the pool this afternoon with my kids--what a hot day it is here. But it's all good--if I can wear them out and get them exhausted, they may actually sit and watch the baseball game with me.

Mojo India Pale Ale brewed by Boulder Beer Company in Boulder, Colorado has a very hoppy and slightly citrus aroma. The flavors are great and stand out. Lots of citrus with lemon (that's the yellow one, my South American friends), grapefruit and orange rind. There is a good mid-level carbonation and while the 6.8% alcohol content seems high, it is very nicely balanced with the sweetness of the beer. The hops provide a strong and welcome and expected bite as well. The aftertaste is nice but fleeting. Overall, this is a strong IPA and worthy of drinking regularly.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Czar Imperial Stout

Be There! The Fair. Yes, today was the annual day that I got dragged to the Miami-Dade County Fair. I know you've all been there too. 88 degree weather, a passing South Florida style rain storm, the amusement roadie only giving your kid a 1 minute ride (for 3 bucks), overpriced carnival food, and a bunch of cocks (those were actually part of the barnyard judging pavilion). To tell you the truth, the animals were absolutely the best part of this year's fair. Very cool and different birds, peacocks, a cool looking goat group (although one took a piss that lasted like 5 minutes and my kids thought that was the best part of the day).

After a little relaxation, I decided to open up this really nice looking bottle of The Czar Imperial Stout brewed by Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado. There are 3 old Russian looking dudes in military or regal gear on the bottle, so I'm guessing those are the Czars. I suppose if I spent some time doing research, I'd be able to identify them. However, this is only a 22 ounce bottle. Screw it!

Big bottle, high 10.77% alcohol content. And that alcohol content is present in every single part of this beer. The aroma is very nice--malty, coffee, sweet, and yes alcohol. The flavors are mainly caramels and toffee and coffee beans, but I can get a hint of raisins as well. Rich and creamy, but also very alcoholic, which is not something I was expecting from this beer and not something that is welcome at this level. It is VERY noticeable. The bottle says I should open it right now, but should also go buy more and cellar them as they age well and become more complex. I followed instruction one, as you've read. But there are no cellars in Florida and I wouldn't do that even if there were. Those instructions are very dictatorial, though, which follows the name The Czar.

Now it's my turn to be Beer Drinker Czar. Follow me... Seriously, if you are interested in subscribing via email or becoming a follower, it is very simple. In the right column you will find both options.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout

Today's my anniversary, but I still haven't forgotten you guys. I stopped at Publix on the way home to buy some Fondue for dinner, and it was the crappy Publix that is way more convenient than my normal great one. But wait, I had a really great experience today. The store manager went out of his way to say hello to me, a guy in the bakery basically shouted me down to ask my 2 year old if he'd like a cookie, and the cashier was standing in the aisle trying to find the next person ready to check out (and I had 12 items in her 10 only lane). BTW, "10 items or less" is NOT really English and you too should become a grammar prude.

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout brewed by Bell's Brewery in Comstock, Michigan is a really nice tasting beer all around. It has a great coffee and malty aroma. The flavors are dominated by coffee and caramels, a little bitter chocolate, creamy milk and malty flavors too. It is a smooth and easy to drink beer. The 6.1% alcohol is not even slightly noticeable, and the finish and aftertaste retain the coffee flavors very nicely. For a stout, it is a little weak and light bodied, so beware of that if you like thick stouts. I have some starter-beer friends that I think will certainly appreciate this beer. But for everyone, go ahead and try it. You will like it. I guarantee it (not really, but I like that guy from the Men's Wearhouse).

Gangsta's Paradise (US Release) [Explicit] -- Coolio

One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor -- Paul Simon MP3 Download

The Leafless Tree A Sermon (0121) - Rev. C. H. Spurgeon -- Kindle Store

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mendocino Spring Seasonal Bock Beer

Not sure where the night went. I stopped by Total Wine on the way home for a few new ones to try, then to Publix for some dinner. Had some sausages on the grill and it's already time for Jeopardy? I almost made the mistake of voting for Alex Trebek for President one year during college (foreigners and/or those not in the know, Canadians or any foreign-born person can never be a US President unless there is a Constitutional Amendment). But as you can tell, I like the guy.

Mendocino Spring Seasonal Bock Beer brewed by Mendocino Brewing Co. in Saratoga Springs, NY was one of the beers I picked up on kind of a whim a few weeks back. It's been pushed aside for long enough.

For me, I have fond memories of Saratoga Springs. First, during college, arriving in time after a 6 hour drive to make last minute wager on the last horse race of the day. No fucking around--$50 on the best horse to show--safe I guess but I ended up with $70--not bad. But better was the long weekend I spent there one August around 2000. Three days of horse racing, great meals every night, drinking like a fish with our giant group out of the home-made bar in the trunk of this one guy's car.

I am guessing that's not what this beer is about, so let me start here. Malty and floral aroma. Very light and nice to drink. You can taste very light hops, a sweet caramel flavor and this beer is a little buttery, too. I can't believe there is 7% alcohol, as that is not even the slightest bit noticeable--no way. Nice beer to drink, very refreshing, very forgettable.


Betting on Horse Racing For Dummies (For Dummies (Sports & Hobbies))

Sports Pack Attachments for Nintendo Wii Console ~ Includes Tennis Racquet, Golf Club & Baseball Bat

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Blithering Idiot

I can't think of a better named beer to drink on April Fool's Day than Blithering Idiot brewed by Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, PA. Now I can appreciate the 11.1% alcohol content this barley-wine style ale has in it, but I'll be damned if I am going to pour it into a brandy snifter or wine glass, as Weyerbacher suggests. As one of my friends said to me, the furthest that beer should go is a frozen mug. So this one's going straight from the bottle to my mouth. No snobby comments please about not being sophisticated (I only let that Arrogant Bastard talk to me like that) or missing some of the true essence of the style or like comments.

I was going to write some April Fool's joke about how I really haven't tasted any of these beers on this website, that I made it all up, and everything is a lie. But then I thought about how unfunny that would be, and how none of you sleuths would fall for such a joke anyway. So there will be none of that.

Here we go. Very nice aroma, malty, a little fruity. And what great flavors this beer has as well. Sweet and fruity, I am mainly tasting cherry and apricots. The beer has a thick texture and flavor like molasses as well. There is no noticeable carbonation and the high 11.1% alcohol content is very well disguised, yet there is still a good warm feeling from it. The finish is decent but it leaves a cough medicine type flavor in my mouth, mainly because of the cherry, the syrupy thickness and the alcoholic aftertaste.

One of my favorite Weyerbacher beers, and I've had a few.

Riedel Vinum Cognac Glass, Set of 2

Margaritaville DM1000 Frozen Concoction Maker

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