Friday, December 31, 2010

Left Hand Milk Stout

from Boston.com
Going to see Cirque du Soleil's Kooza later this afternoon and then to a party later at a friend's house. Should be a nice day. I hope all of you have a very Happy New Year. Whatever you do, though, don't be a dick and drive drunk! Since I have an iPhone now and am starting to figure it out, you may possibly hear from me later on Twitter. Pay attention! Also, do any of you have New Year's Resolutions you're willing to share?

Lacking time, I decided on a repeat from long ago. Left Hand Milk Stout brewed by Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado. Actually this is a re-repeat, and the last time wasn't so long ago, like four or five months, but forgive me for not remembering it over that Mary Poppins debacle! The label depicts a hand-printed cow on a purple background--quite the upgrade from the old label. Bottled on 07 14 10 and smudged, but not enough to be unreadable--this time.

Nice rich chocolate aroma, a little roasty with vanilla bursts. Flavors showcase the burnt side of malty chocolate much more. Sweet and creamy smooth, but there is definitely a bitter nip from coffee beans. The vanilla shows though as well in the flavor profile. Now, if Starbucks goes through with its plan to sell beer, they should start with this guy. It'd be a #1 seller day one. Personally I'd put one more Splenda in my glass but that's because I like my coffee sweeter. No, not ridiculously Cuban sweet, just a bit more than black. Anyway, this is on the barely-sweet side of neutral, nicely balanced. Slightly flat. Good beer. If you've never had this before, you must try it. You will like it. Happy New Year!

A Thrilling Ride Through Kooza: Rires Et Frissons [Cirque Du Soleil] DVD

Champagne Bottle Saver Stopper

Jillian Michaels Quickstart Rapid Weight Loss System Introductory Starter Pack 1 starter pack

Thursday, December 30, 2010

World Wide Stout

BTW I fucking HATE Hennessy!
Today I'm not fucking around! That's right, no work until next year!

Therefore, I decided to open up a World Wide Stout brewed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware. And I better type fast before this guy makes me lose the will to do the review. And for those of you that bother to pay attention to what I say over on Twitter in the evenings, watch out tonight! This beer was bottled in 2010 F2 and has the bright neon green cap signaling you to beware. Of what? The 18% alcohol. Around $9 for this 12 ounce bottle and I am expecting a lot!

Chocolate and vanilla aroma, with a little booze. I thought I'd get much more on the nose. Wow! Flavors are dynamite! Rich molasses and chocolate and caramel and brown sugar with an incredible blamo of everything-accentuating wowsy punch of alcohol. Sweet brandy, licorice. And the heat and warmth in the chest is pronounced. Creamy and smooth. Lowish carbonation, huge body and gigantic alcohol. For as big as 18% is though, this beer is not nearly as boozy or seemingly potent as you might expect. I mean, do I know it's there? Sure. But the alcohol is remarkably incorporated. Lusciously sweet with enough hoppy balance to not be annoying. Complex and KICK ASS! A massive sipper if ever there was one. Loved it! Worth every penny. I have officially started a Christmas list for next year if you're keeping track. Ah, man, my eye is starting to twitch.

If you liked this review, how about letting me know in the comments below. And then make your next action to sign up for a daily email lovingly delivered by BFF Google each morning. What would go better with your morning coffee? And if you hated this review, well, fuck you, but still let me know. I can take constructive criticism!

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

Love Potion - The Bellydance Workout

The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So Fresh & So Green, Green

Today I'm drinking So Fresh & So Green, Green, a fresh hop beer brewed by Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, Georgia. First let me comment on the beautiful illustration on the label. It depicts some old time overall dudes in a field harvesting hops and putting them on the back of a tractor. Deep rich colors. I think the name Pinkerton in the corner is the artist.

Speaking of label art, I just ran across a site I really like called The Pour Curator which is dedicated to beer and art. Check it out!

Back to this beer. The short story on the site suggests that this beer will "encourage you to drink fresh, drink local and drink now". The 22 ounce bottle has gold foil over the cap. Very nice presentation.

Aroma is mainly fruit, apricots and peaches but some fresh cut trees are behind that. Sweet, fruity flavors kick things off, again mainly peaches. Not tropical like others in the category, just a sweet delicious ripe fruit flavor. There are, however, definitely enough hops to balance this beer and give it a small spicy nip. Light pine and a little orange citrus add to the really nice flavors in this beer. A dry finish, courtesy of an entirely disguised 6.6% alcohol, rounds this beer out. Simple, very tasty, not overly hoppy, fresh, great. All 22 ounces of this beer disappeared so lightning fast it's scary. Go grab it NOW!

Gonzo: The Art -- Ralph Steadman

Norman Rockwell 332 Magazine Covers

Beer, Art and Philosophy: The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends Is the Highest Form of Art, a memoir by Tom Marioni

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blue Point Toasted Lager

Today I'm drinking Blue Point Toasted Lager brewed by Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue, Long Island, New York. The label touts this as "The best American style amber lager in the world" based on their World Beer Cup Gold Award. Nice. 1.054 OG for you geeks. 28 IBUs and 5.3% alcohol.

Smells like toasted bread and buttered biscuit. Aggressive carbonation start; in fact, a bit harsh. Hoppy and bitter-ish in the beginning, very cleansing. Some herbal tea flavors come next along with the expected toasted bread. There is a bit of spicy play from the hops and accentuated by the carbonation. Toward the end of each sip, there seemed to be a buttery flavor coupled with a soapy texture leading to the finish. It isn't super prominent, but it is the final flavor by which you'll remember each and every sip of big 22. I didn't like that part. Overall, an OK beer. For the record, it was $1.99 for the big bottle so hard to complain that much!


The Beer Book -- Sam Calagione

Historic Photos of Long Island

Olympic Style - Gold Medal 1 ct

Monday, December 27, 2010

Five Foreign Beers (Taking Up Space In My Fridge)

So I have a handful of foreign beers that have been sitting in my refrigerator for a while. Why? I guess it's because I'm not very excited about any of them at all. Perhaps that's unjustified. Some I purchased, some were left behind by guests, some were given to me by friends. All of that is cool, but I just decided today is the day to give a thumbs up or thumbs down on each.  Not sure if I'll drink all of any of them, but each deserves its day! Wow, I'm about to travel around about as much as Santa!

Oh, and I just got off the phone with my wife who is at the mall with her mother, just to see how long I have for this experiment. We better get started! One other comment. I took some additional pictures, but something seems to be wrong with my camera. It wont focus from any distance. So you guys are the losers. Luckily the one above came out OK. Say a prayer for 2002 antique Sony.

1. Efes Pilsener. From Turkey (BTW I cooked a 14 lb. turkey for Christmas Eve. I know you are groaning at this stupid comment, but I don't care!) The 33cL bottle is cool with EFES stamped into the glass all around the bottle. The label on the neck says I should be able to find the Best Before date there, but nope, I couldn't find it. I bought this one probably at least a year ago, so my bad on that. Golden color. Faint grainy aroma with a little sweet fruit. Sweet grain flavor start with a noticeable hoppy bitter component immediately doing a balancing act. Lemon, a little floral. Decent flavor and body, nice carbonation, refreshing. 5% alcohol.

2. Club del Gourmet Cerveza Especial. From Madrid. I'm not even sure this is the name of this beer. If I recall, this is a super local beer according to the guy who gave it to me. Again, the 33cL bottle size. Dark honey color. Grainy with pear and apple aroma. Fruity flavors, apples and pears. A little buttery though, which wasn't awesome. The 7% alcohol is apparent and drying. Lightly spicy. Manufactured and medicinal flavors toward the end, and worse by the halfway mark. A definite pass, though not absolutely horrible.

3. Radeberger Pilsner. From Germany. There is a stamp that says 19.08.11 which only can mean August 19, 2011 as a best by date. 33cL; 4.8% alcohol. Light pale golden yellow color. Faint bread, hoppy, not very strong aroma. Light toasty flavors start things off. Very nice! A pleasant little bitter bite comes in and adds some value. Hoppy with some spice comes next. Light body is an understatement, but the flavors are great and so delicate. Clean, refreshing, toasty finish. I really liked this beer. Best so far!

4. Coopers Sparkling Ale. From Australia. First, it's Kosher. Thank God! Second, it comes in a 12.7 ounce bottle which kicks ass. Finally, they use a best AFTER date of 01 SEP 09. So forever? Murky dark orange color. Quite fragrant, floral, hoppy, lemony aroma with bubbles bursting everywhere. Champagne like. Truly sparkling. Lemon and orange citrus with aggressive carbonation? Yes, please! Hoppy and floral, yet not overly bitter and actually balanced by some faint yet sweet fruity flavors. Yeasty texture. Prickly spicy carbonation bite and a pleasant nondescript aftertaste. 

5. Budějovický Budvar. Czech Republic. Somewhere online I read that this is the "Original Budweiser" though I am not very certain if this in any way affiliated with them. Considering the spelling and accent and pronunciation challenge, coupled with a bottle that doesn't have a drop of English on it, well, I'm in the dark. Except for the drinking part. Gold foil over the cap. Consume before 09.08.2011 ( I think). www.budvar.cz (good freakin' luck). 5% alcohol. Clear, medium orange color. Not much aroma, lightly malty. Smooth with orange and sweet grain flavors. Clean and way better than US Bud, bud! Enough bitter to matter. Carbonation on the high end, actually burning my lips a bit for some reason by the end. Good but I'm not in love.

I finished the Radeberger and Coopers, despite the total volume here. Those were my favorites of the five. The others were probably not dump beers except I was on a mission. Five countries 55 minutes. Took me longer to type this shit out. I hope you appreciate it!

Complete Coopers Brewery Sparkling Ale Beer Kit Package

Beer (EYEWITNESS COMPANION GUIDES) -- Michael Jackson

The Beer Lover's Rating Guide: Revised Edition -- Robert Klein

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Or

Today I'm drinking Or, a Black Ale brewed by Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida. This beer is Part 2 of 2 with Either being Part 1. I have Either as well but I plan on trading it with Marathon Marie. So perhaps she can write the beginning of the story that ends "...try this beer. This recipe was conceived by the brewers of Hill Farmstead [in] Vermont and Grassroots Brewing [in] Denmark and brewed in Collaboration with Cigar City Brewing." I think the plan is that those two collaborators will brew Neither and Nor in their breweries in the future. The label, designed by Juan Alvarez of HumbleWear (I think), depicts some kind of belt buckle (I think). This beer was brewed with Ty Ty Honey and aged on Spanish Toasted Cedar.

Hoppy aroma with a ton of cedar. The cedar almost has a lemon rind citrus kind of quality to it, very sharp. Some roasted scents hide out behind that as well. Bitter hoppy start, which was immediately challenged by some sweeter caramel flavors, and the honey also is an apparent ingredient. The cedar is intense throughout and is even more accentuated by the 11.2% alcohol, which warms you up at the same time. Sugary, with some burnt flavors, a bit of herbal tea qualities. The wood and hops give a very distinct flavor that come across in a citrus and pine way, providing a tart zing all over your mouth.

Very unique, hard to describe this beer. Bitter, sweet, bitter, tart, sweet, bitter, not sure. Not really similar to other Black IPAs, and for sure I am happy there is no roasted burnt malty ugliness. This beer grew on me more and more as I drank it, and it was very enjoyable. Now, it was like $8 for a 12 ounce bottle, so I'd think at least three times before buying it again. I probably didn't like it that much!

TY Classic - Honey - Golden Dog

CedarAmerica Cedar Hang Ups 8 pk.

The Elegant 25-50 Cigar Glass Top Humidor

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Terrapin W-n-B Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

Merry Christmas! I spent the last five hours playing with my kids and their new toys, reading directions, being battery god, etc. I had a really nice morning. Don't forget Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' Birthday!

Today I'm drinking Terrapin W-n-B Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout brewed by Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, Georgia. There is a story on the side describing how Terrapin and Jittery Joe's teamed up to create this beer. At the end it suggests "Why Not Beer!" Now you could probably logically surmise that's what the W-n-B stands for in the name. Good thinking. But this beer has a nickname: Wake-n-Bake! I don't recall the W-n-B on the label when I reviewed this last year, but I could be wrong. There is a turtle baking cookies on the front and drinking a pint of stout. Seasonal 2010 and part of their Monster Beer Tour.

Thick pour, motor oil viscosity. Sweet milk chocolate and toffee aroma, slightly roasted, and excellent! Rich, luscious chocolate flavors right from the beginning, creamy smooth. Slightly roasted coffee action comes next and is a second dominant flavor, working perfectly with the chocolate. There are hints of vanilla and a light warming burn from the 8.1% alcohol. Really nice flavors all around. Great body, low to medium carbonation. Coffee and toffee left behind, and more of that alcohol warmth. Fabulous! Delicious flavors! Try it for sure! Now!

Wake 'N Bake T-Shirt - Large

Grateful Dead Terrapin Dance Tapestry 60x90"

Hawaii Roasters 100% Kona Coffee, Medium Roast, Whole Bean, 16-Ounce Bag

Friday, December 24, 2010

Blue Point American Pale Ale

Got roped into cooking a turkey for a party tonight. Not only do I need to cook it, but then I need to drag it halfway across South Florida. Not cool and not very practical. Who thought this idea up? Oh, yeah, my wife!

Today I'm drinking Blue Point American Pale Ale brewed by "Long Island's Brewery", Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue, New York. Big 22 comes with a simple green label with a few hops buds on the front. Their "Extremely Fresh" seal is double prominent on this one. There is a story on the side in 2pt font which actually made me permanently cross-eyed. The story ends with, "American Pale Ale is a deliciously fresh, all-seasons-all-people-beer". I hope my iPhone picture will be good enough to read. I recently enjoyed their Rastafa Rye Ale, so I'm hoping for another winner. OG 1.054; IBU 37.

Lemony citrus and orange aroma, fragrant, hoppy, fresh. Hoppy bitter lemon rind is the first sensation. Quite the bite, even to the point of being more astringent grapefruit-like and sour. A faint bread comes in and gives the bitterness a weak massage, but pine and hoppy floral flavor bosses just get fed up and fire the terrible masseuse. Fresh, crisp, refreshing. Big carbonation and good flavors. I do wish there was a little more fruity sweet balance but this is a solid beer all around. In fact, it reminds me very much of the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale I was drinking last night. Oh, and for $2.99 a big bottle, can you say no? I think not!

Blue-Point ETPR9 Pocket Rocket 9-Volt Mini Screwdriver

Canon PowerShot SD1300IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Blue)

Fissler 021 674 10 000 Blue Point 10-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker



Not very good photos, courtesy of my new phone.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hibernation Ale 2010

Got Cirque du Soleil tickets today for Kooza on New Year's Eve; well, at 4 in the afternoon. I got these tickets for 40% off because it is a matinee and I think because I subscribe to their newsletter. Well at least that's how I found out about it. Still $70 each after all the BS fees is pretty steep. I previously went to see Corteo and Varekai with my wife. For both of those, we sat in the front row, but these dudes reorganized the prices to make front row tickets ultra premium, over $200 each. Front row was so cool, so close you can see the facial expressions. Still, for $140 I will see a great show with my love, we will pee in premium port-o-potties, and get to see beautiful downtown Miami! This is a fairly small place so I'm not too concerned with the seats not being good. They are all good! Can't wait!

Today I'm drinking Hibernation Ale 2010 brewed by Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado. I reviewed this one year ago, almost to the day. Funny, looking back I embedded a YouTube video of Mr. Garrison's Merry Fucking Christmas in last year's post. Take a look--hilarious! The label depicts a cross country skiier. Elsewhere around the label you will find the medals this beer won, potential food pairings, and MALTY & ROBUST descriptors. Bottled Oct 6 2010.

Malty aroma highlighting dark fruits and caramel. Flavors start out pretty much the same. Caramel richness meets fruity raisin and cherry and fig newton sweetness meets 8.7% alcoholic prowess. Brandy booze eventually cuts up any hint of sweet and ushers in some vanilla and wood and brown sugar flavors. Lightning bolts and unicorns come next, seriously. The warmth from the alcohol should be noted again. And there is just enough bitter and spice on the back end to add some extra interest. Good body, nice carbonation. For best flavors, I'd recommend letting it warm up a little out of the fridge. Enjoyable, flavorful, warming beer. Try it when you can.

Cirque Du Soleil Anniversary Collection (1984-2005)

Cirque du Soleil - Varekai

Cirque Du Soleil - Corteo

Playboy Cover to Cover Hard Drive - Every Issue From 1953 to 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

November 2010 Top Five

Oh, man. I have really been slacking. It's almost Christmas (have you already picked out what you'll be sending me?) and I still need to write my Top Five for November?

So what happened in November that was interesting? I had three guest reviewers: Beer Pancakes made a triumphant return with Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout; Paige Deckert reviewed Three Floyds Alpha King; and Miles Wilhelm reviewed AleSmith IPA. Thanks to all three of you!

Next, I gave in to peer pressure and reviewed Four Loko Watermelon just before it was banned from the market. Don't worry, you didn't miss anything! And I was finally able to grab the fourth Marq Spusta Dogfish Head print to complete the series. Finally, the blog passed its second anniversary as I drank a beer that was already retired. What a fun little month!


November 2010 Top Five






5. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2010

Honorable Mention:

Grimbergen Dubbel





Old Chub Scotch/Scottish Style Ale





I just had a very difficult time putting these in order, but I'm happy with the result. Very different styles and flavors and colors and, well, you know... Here are my prior 2010 Top Five lists. All of November's reviews can be found here. Let me know what you think, good or bad or whatever, and thanks as always for reading and spreading the gospel! LOL. Merry Christmas if we don't speak before then!

Toy Story 3 -- Tom Hanks

Despicable Me (Single-Disc Edition) -- Steve Carell

Inception -- Leonardo DiCaprio