Sunday, October 31, 2010

Agave Wheat

Today is Halloween. It's gonna take a pretty big trick to equal the one I received yesterday! On tap for today: clean the Honda well enough that it passes the end-of-lease inspection on Friday. Check. Baseball with kid. Check. Drink beer and do a review. You're reading it now. Pay a bunch of freakin' bills. Sucks. Community Halloween party. Later. (If you're there, I'll the the one costumed as the broke middle-aged man with two kids). Trick-or-Treating. Later, later. Then, a few more brews to wind down.

Please, God, let this be a treat. Today I'm drinking Agave Wheat brewed by the Breckenridge Brewery in Denver, Colorado. This is a wheat ale brewed with Agave Nectar. Not quite sure what that tastes like, but I am about to find out.

Sweet aroma, sugary fruit, I guess that interesting smell is agave. And wheat. Fruity sweet flavors also start things off. Wheat flavor and texture right behind that. Then a distinct orange-ade takes over. Just like a kid's drink, barely carbonated too. A little thin, on the lightly sweet side, and not very beerish. Interesting, decent flavors. I thought it was OK, once in a while for sure. At least it wasn't a trick!

Baking with Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature's Ultimate Sweetener

Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave, 44-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 2)

Agave Men's Gringo Classic Fit Supima Cotton Jean

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale

This afternoon I'm drinking Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale brewed by Michelob Brewing Company in St. Louis, Missouri. Unique shaped bottle, nice presentation. This is a winter ale aged on bourbon oak casks and whole Madagascar vanilla beans. Cool snowman with shades is toasting with a pint of beer.

Good aroma, malty caramel and a hint nutty. Ummm. Herbal tea syrupy to start, weird sweet. You can taste a hint of the bourbon and wood, and you will be overwhelmed by the vanilla dose you are given. I mean, next time just take it intravenously. More sweet medicinal plastic manufactured flavors and thin beer texture. Nice idea, piss-poor mass execution. I didn't drink more than half of this blech. If you can put up with the flavors, which I'm not suggesting even for my worst enemies, the 6% alcohol would give you a cheap buzz. I'm a bit embarrassed that this was sitting on the shelves next to some of my favorites. I prefer Bud Select 55 or Busch Lite every single day of the year; well, those or something good. Repeat!!! Do not be sucked in by the cute snowman on the label.

Before I started drinking this beer, knowing it's a macro that beer snobs everywhere surely love to bash, I turned to its review on Beer Advocate. You see, I had very high hopes for it. Yep, over 300 reviewers there gave this a solid C average review. I was hoping this beer was so good that I could put out some challenge to a blind taste test to prove not all macros are bad. You know what happened though? Yeah, the BA crew actually missed the grade on the "too good" end. This beer is way, way, way below C.

My glass was even pissed off that I poured this beer in it and demanded an immediate double-wash after I dumped the rest of the bottle! The end. Thank you as always for reading.

Zymurgy ~ Brewers Association -- Magazine Subscription

Toy Story 3 ~ Tom Hanks -- #1 in DVD

Silent Film about the Virtues of Beer Drinking: For Good Living DVD (1937)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cerise

So my community management company has been giving me shit for months now about cleaning the dirt and grime off of my roof so it meets community standards. I got another notice a few weeks back, called them on a Sunday and left a long message, played phone tag for another week, asked the girl for a recommendation, she needed to call back with one, phone tag again, I complained about the time limit they gave me, 60-day extension...

Well, I gamed the system long enough, apparently. Today I called the recommended company thinking I'd have at least a few more weeks to milk this out. Nope, these guys live in one of the other subdivisions in my master community, and the boss said he could be over in five minutes. Perfect. Fifteen minutes later he was already here and leaving to go pick up the shit and get started right away. Nice. Well, they've been on my roof and cleaning my walls and windows and driveway for like three hours so far. I think they wrap it up in the next hour though. Good service, though I am not sure why the dad of roof guy and their other helper stuck around to watch the roof being cleaned. Anyway, having them nearby is great in case they fuck something up. But I guess it could also backfire if he falls from the second story. Live nearby? I'd recommend them, so far.

Today I'm drinking Cerise, a cherry-fermented ale brewed by Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The label is simple, yet elegant, depicting a bunch of cherries. This beer has 6.5% alcohol and 15 IBUs. Since Ed Roberts likes some additional explaining, Cerise = Cherry in French. Clever, huh?

Fruity berry aroma. Yes, I know I'm supposed to say cherry but you can't make me! Ah, the flavors, yeah, here's where the cherries get involved. Sweet to start but instantly taken the other direction with a touch of puckering tartness. Really quite nice! I'm pretty sure this is a hard candy flavor. I like the sour and this beer actually reminds me more of a soda than anything else. Refreshing for sure. It could have used a touch more carbonation. Dry finish. For what it's worth, there is a lot of sediment left behind in my glass, too. Anyone who says they don't like beer, this is a great introduction to what is available out there. Another winner from Founders! Drink it!

Black Tartarian Cherry Tree Five Gallon

Shiseido Perfect Rouge - RD516 Cerise - 4g/0.14oz

The Cherry Tree - Songs, Carols & Ballads for Christmas

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen -- Twitter Steve Guest Post

Today, I have a guest reviewer that I met on Twitter. He's a local South Florida dude that I'll call Steve. Why Steve? Well, because that's his name, but also because I am not able to speak or type his Twitter name. It even burns my retinas. Being #FollowFriday, go check him out

What else do you need to know? I know it's hard to believe, but yeah, there are still Mets fans, and Steve is one of them. Pfft. He does much better when it comes to watching the Food Network programs, though. Oh, and as you can see to your left, a professional photographer!

I believe the reason Steve chose today's beer is because he likes his beers like his automobiles: foreign. Or some crap like that, just paraphrasing. LOL. Here you go...

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen

Let me preface this review by stating that I am not the everyday beer drinker nor do I experiment with many different labels. My favorite beers are Beck’s and St. Pauli Girl. Well on stopping at the local liquor store to buy a gift for someone I decided to grab a little something to wet my whistle with and possibly review. I choose Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen simply because it was the last bottle left so I thought it had to be good, right? Well upon getting home I popped the bottle and poured myself out a nice sample size. The color is a light amber, normal of lagers. As I go for the first taste, I notice a distinct caramel aroma which is very inviting. The taste is very similar to Beck’s but with more density. If Beck’s had a top shelf version, this would be it. I’m definitely digging this beer and would recommend it especially if you are a German lager fan and are looking to have one or two really good quality beers instead of a whole six pack.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Midas Touch

To be honest, I wasn't sure what I was going to review tonight. Have a bunch of new choices but wasn't feeling inspired. That was until I went to Total Wine and saw a new Dogfish Head glass that I really liked. And that made my decision very easy.

Tonight I'm drinking Midas Touch brewed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware. This will be the first time I drank this beer since reviewing it back in April, 2009. Simple, deep purple label says this is a "Handcrafted Ancient Ale with barley, honey, white muscat grapes and saffron". Bottled On: 07/27/10 D.

Honey, sweet fruity aroma. Honey sweet flavor start as well. Nice grape back-up with a warming burn from the 9% alcohol. Creamy smooth, lightly flat. Interesting spiciness, probably the saffron, though I need to go to the grocery store spice section to be sure. After a few sips, some other fruity complexities show up, like sweet orange and apple. You also start to feel the alcohol in your chest a bit more. Interesting, flavorful. Not my favorite and not even my favorite from Dogfish Head, but a very nice beer to try now and again.

Steve Shachter Art - CHAIN DOGFISH - Coasters

Columbia River Knife and Tool's 2370 Krein Dogfish Razor Edge Fixed Blade Knife

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two Hearted Ale

So the spousal unit left this afternoon for a few days in Bogota. Yeah, haha, I used to think the same thing. The city is actually very safe now compared to its violent not-so-distant past. Mucho kudo(s) to the last few Presidentes! How about this as well? You ask my wife if they have lots of cocaine around... and I watch her slap you upside the head so fast you wont know what hit you.

Anyway, the big third grade book report is due tomorrow, and unfortunately, so is the oral report on the same book. Well, there go the points for "speaking clearly". Didn't they get the memo to schedule this around Brace Face getting that crap in his mouth? Anyway, we had at least an hour of torture barely preparing before I then had to help four year old with his homework also due tomorrow. OMG, Jesus, and I also need to have these two in costumes tomorrow? Fashion is NOT my strong suit--my wardrobe is horrible.

Tonight I'm drinking Two Hearted Ale brewed by Bell's Brewery in Comstock, Michigan. As far as I'm concerned, this is a pretty spectacular brewery with a deserved loyal following. Haha. I reviewed this beer back in July, 2009 while suggesting that anything was available for purchase on Amazon (with lots of links; I am an affiliate). Looks like I threw out a few examples in Sex, Bondage, Apparel, Personal Health and How-To categories. Check them out again! I'm laughing to myself.

The label is fishy, LOL, with a story on the back. Batch 9836. Now I wont argue that there is a citrus orange aroma, but this leans way toward malty bready with a hint of caramel. Flavors start out much more on the citrus side than I expected based on the aroma. Lemony orange and a nice little hoppy nip instead of the malt. The bread from the aroma is there but much more in the background than I was teased to believe was coming. Refreshing, flavorful, simple. Not over the top in any way, an easy drinker, an I-want-more-of-this-beer-now beer. The 7.0% alcohol provides a light bite in the end but not too much. Nice beer. I really like it!

Michigan Breweries

Platypus Ortho Flosser for Braces

Oz - The Complete Seasons 1-6

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Claymore Scotch Ale

Today my eight year old got the nickname Brace Face. Can you guess why? If not, there are other blogs for you. So yeah, he's had this problem where he's pushing his tongue against the back of his two front teeth to the point of making them stick out and bending the bone that holds the teeth. Braces along with a little fence are the solution and will also help create room for all of his adult teeth.

During the two-hour procedure, I started reading Dogfish Head Founder Sam Calagione's book "Adventures in Entrepreneurship: Brewing Up A Business". I got about 15 pages into the book when a metal Dogfish Head bottle opener fell out. Oh, Big Mama, what a surprise! I'll be sure to break it in very soon, like now. Very interesting story so far with good entrepreneurial advice. I'm not much of a book reader, but this is my style book as I work for a small company that cherishes creativity above almost everything else. We'll see if I write a whole book review or not. That day is distant if so.

Tonight I'm drinking Claymore Scotch Ale brewed by Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado. I first reviewed this one back on my wife's birthday in March. Simple yet nice label--I like the plaid green background. There is also a story about the Claymore sword, after which this beer is named. The front of the label calls this beer "Hardy, Wee heavy, and Noble" and supposedly this beer will make me feel like nobility. Bottled On: Jun 17 2010.

Rich chocolate and caramel aroma, sweet and delicious. Even a nutty smell in the background. Very creamy texture, my first impression. Rich, malty caramel with a bit of burnt coffee flavors are first in line, with toasted bread right behind that. Sweet but not too sweet. Some hops do provide a light bitter relief from such a rich beginning. Smoke and vanilla and chocolate also weave themselves in and out of this beer, and not just as background flavors. They have a few lines in the play! Solid carbonation is interestingly prickly and this beer has a great body. The 7.7% alcohol only accentuates the rich flavors, yet is completely masked. Wonderful chocolaty flavors are left behind on the palate. Excellent! I highly suggest you pick up this beer!

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

Royal Scottish Claymore Sword 56.5" w/Display Plaque

Cycling the Great Divide: From Canada to Mexico on America's Premier Long Distance Mountain Bike Route

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown Ale

Yesterday was parent torture day in this house. Besides wallowing in Philly pity, what made the day worse was that eight year old needed to finish his book report. He had already spent a significant amount of time in the past weeks on it, but those drafts needed to become reality.

So this time... I put the wife in charge of everything except proofreading for spelling and grammar (it's a foreigner thing). And as expected, they spent 6 or more hours making it great! Almost done and due Thursday, perfect combination!

As a reward, around 5pm we went over to Target looking for the famous Chuck Taylor Converse Hi-Tops. This is probably the first fashion item that my son has really cared about. I don't think he cared so much about the brand as the style that he's seen his buddies wear. Personally, I don't see what the big deal is, but I can already hear you brand lovers cursing me, so don't bother. And, in the checkout line, the dude in front of me had on the exact same shoes, but Low-Tops. Thirty-year-old dude told my son "Cool Shoes!" which pretty much made his day.

Finally, Debbie Does Dishwashers: Part II happened over at my place this afternoon. No, it wasn't anything like that. But yes, that seriously was her name. Nice lady made my dishwasher wash dishes again. The end. Except for the beer.

Tonight I'm drinking Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown Ale brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California. First, the artwork on this wine-sized bottle is beautiful. The cap and neck were dipped in green wax as well. There are two stories on the bottle talking about how they made the beer, which I'll let you read on your own. There is no doubt they are proud of the results, calling it "one of its kind". This beer was certified organic by Oregon Tilth and the label also calls it a Wet Hop Ale.

Hoppy, citrusy lemon aroma, very fresh and very bright! Refreshing bitter start. Lots of lemon and orange citrus. Grassy with a little spice nip along with some pine. Very clean and awesomely fresh! Carbonation is also terrific. After a few sips, you will start to taste some juicy tropical fruity flavors, mainly pineapple. Also, a slightly bready component chips in to help keep the bitterness company and in check. Alcohol is 6.7% in this guy but I didn't really feel that at all. Terrific beer! A bit pricey. Everyone knows you can't just double the price just by throwing some wax on the bottle. Anyway, if I were rich, I'd drink this every day. Try it sometime for sure!

Update 10/26/2010: OK. I know I can be a bit of a dick sometimes. Ed Roberts from Total Wine shared an article from TheFullPint.com which explains the price point of this beer. The article doesn't guess--rather, it's real journalism where Sierra Nevada was questioned directly. Excellent read.

Converse Chuck Taylor Leather Hi

Chucks!: The Phenomenon of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable--Includes new bonus chapter ~ Seth Godin

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pecan Harvest Ale

Today I'm drinking Pecan Harvest brewed by Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana. There is a short story on the back of the bottle, but basically they want you to know they brewed this with real Louisiana Pecans.

Sweet, malty aroma, mainly herbal tea. I will say nutty aroma but only because my mind says they should be here. Flavors start out similarly, with tea and caramel, nice and malty. A light hoppy bitterness balances the beer, and you will taste some spiciness as well toward the end. The only time I even thought nuts or pecans was with the flavors left behind on the palate. Even then, very subtle and hard to distinguish. The body was a bit thin, flavors too faint and boring, and carbonation even a little weak. The 5% alcohol was not noticeable. Just an average beer.

Louisiana - I Louisiana Bear ~ Ty

Pecan Nutcracker

Abita Beer: Cooking Louisiana True

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oxymoron

This afternoon I'm doing some mental preparation for the game tonight. Yes, the Phillies. Watching Penn State play an extremely painful game (for both sets of fans) against Minnesota. Ugly all-around, with the exception that PSU is somehow winning.

Getting started with Oxymoron, a "teutonic india pale lager" brewed by Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado. This is the third beer in The Midnight Project (Brew IIII - 2010), which is a collaboration between Left Hand and Terrapin Beer Company. I took a picture of the little story that goes into more details for you to read; I haven't had either of the other two previous ones, don't even know their names. Interesting other-worldly planet ghostly animal label art by Charles Bloom with design by Moxie Sozo. Bottled On: Smudge--90% sure it says 08 18 10. They need a new system for that identification as it's ALWAYS smudged and mostly illegible.

Sweet corn grain, earthy aroma with hops behind that. Sweet caramel and more grain flavors start things off, with some bitter lemony citrus right there at the same time. These two components are not working well together at all. (Apparently, so it seems, they named the beer after brewing and tasting it.) Very strange so far. Next flavors included some skunky offness combined with a hit of pure alcohol and a touch of spice. Big carbonation accentuates the worst this beer has to offer. Astringent bitter finish.

Now I had already contemplated dumping this about 2 ounces into big 22 but decided to gut it out and give Oxymoron every opportunity to grow on me. Warmth showed miniscule (Blogger says that's misspelled but I don't give a shit) flavor improvements. Some of the grainy skunk went away, but not enough to matter. I'm actually considering asking Total Wine for a refund--this beer sucked that much! I usually love these two breweries, but wouldn't, if I were you.

Finally, speaking of Oxymorons. Try "San Francisco Giants emerge as NLCS Champions" on for size! GO PHILLIES!

Oxymoronica: Paradoxical Wit & Wisdom From History's Greatest Wordsmiths

Tonic Studios 839 Kushgrip 8-1/2-Inch Left Hand General Purpose Scissors

Rawlings Playmaker Series PM130 Baseball Glove (13-Inch)