Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Fling Ale

Today I'm drinking Spring Fling Ale brewed by Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue, New York. The brewery refers to themselves on the label as "long island's brewery" atop a nice spring scene filled with lots of green grass and a handful of hummingbirds. A badge says "Craft Brewed, Extremely Fresh" with an umbrella in the middle.

Malty bread and spicy aroma. Caramel and bread malty flavors start things off but a lemony citrus bitter burst is right around the corner waiting to pounce. The carbonation is high and noticeable right from the beginning as well, a little prickly. There is a small medicinal flavor and a hint of spice in there before you end with a dry bitter aftertaste. Refreshing. Not bad.

Pro Tan Spring Fling Advanced Triple Bronzing Tanning Lotion 9.5 oz.

Spring Fling -- Sabrina JamesChildren's Friendship Books)

Golden State Spring Fling Fruit Tower

Friday, April 29, 2011


Today I'm drinking Tiny, a Belgian-Style Imperial Stout brewed by Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, Pennsylvania. First, this comes in a Giant wine bottle, so I guess this is like some kind of ironic name. There are other reasons it's ironic, which you can probably guess, but if you can't, read on...

The label has a black and silver background. If you look seriously closely, you will see the silver seems to make out what appears to be the side profile of playing-card royalty. (Yes, take that comment as my contribution to today's royal wedding.) A large shiny red TINY stands out in front of it all, the color of Prince William's suit. "This velvety concoction excites your senses with bottomless roasted, earthy and vinous notes." It's easy to guess 030411 is the bottled on date and 030416 is the drink by date, both stamped on the neck. Too bad beer was banned from the royal ceremony and reception. So stupid! I bet Kate would have enjoyed a glass of this.

Did I mention the bottle is corked and caged? Big pop! At that moment, the aroma spilled out everywhere, even outside where I was taking photos. Rich roasted chocolate, nutty, licorice and vanilla, a really nice and welcoming aroma. Milk chocolate flavor start with a solid 11.8% alcohol nose-and-chest cleansing backup. Silky smooth texture, but a little lot hot at the beginning. Pronounced raisin flavors along with a large dose of vanilla take over next. Perhaps a hit of coffee, too, but not too much.

There is a definite Belgian yeast quality that adds a nice texture and at the same time accentuates the chocolate flavors. The beer is a bit spicy as well, maybe some cinnamon along with the vanilla. Did I mention the alcohol is a hot player? The players this HEAT team brings could easily out-dunk Lebron James and Dwayne Wade combined! Needed to say that as my (sometimes, and least-favorite Philly sports team) Sixers lost their final playoff game to them a few nights ago. Here is where I'd curse if I cared more, like if it were the Flyers or Phillies.

Well-balanced beer. Sweet wins by a little, but the alcohol keeps it in check. Rich, chewy, sticky body. Medium carbonation. Although this beer was on the "pretty hot" side (like the princess), it was otherwise delicious. As the beer warmed a little and the bottle got emptier and emptier, the booziness seemed to disappear a little bit. That could either mean my taste buds are fried or better, I'm buzzed.

As I dreamed out loud on Twitter earlier (beware of me on Twitter, even more than here), the perfect beer for a 94 degree April Miami day (or some wedding in England)! Never want to miss another post on Daily Beer Review? I don't blame you! Sign up now for one email to brighten each and every morning!

HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton Bone China Wedding Mug -- Staffordshire Pottery

Royal Wedding Prince William and Kate Middleton Silver-plated Commemorative Coin

Kate Middleton's Replica Engagement Ring, The Most Famous Royal Engagement Ring

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Samurai Rice Ale

Today I'm drinking Samurai Rice Ale brewed by Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado. Between the name and red dot on the label and the Rice and the suggested "Asian food" pairing, I'm sensing a theme here. Bottled on March 16, 2011. "This is definitely not your everyday unfiltered beer," says the label. No shit! There's a huge glob of sediment at the bottom.

Distinct and interesting aroma, and I'm going to assume it's rice because it smells like this awesome restaurant where I ate at least 30 pieces of sushi yesterday for lunch. At. Least. The flavors are really different too. Lemony citrus with a hoppy little bitterness start things off; however, lots of rice flavors come next and add a component that is not typical in most beers I've had. A little sour, a little dirty socks, earthy. I was going to say that it wasn't my thing at first, but this beer grew on me by the end. The yeast adds further dimensions, too. A little spice. Lots of carbonation. Check it out for the experience. Let me know what you think.

Samurai 7: Box Set (Viridian Collection)

Dragon Samurai Sword Set

Way of the Samurai 3 -- Video Game

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Samuel Adams East-West Kölsch

Today I'm drinking Samuel Adams East-West Kölsch brewed by The Boston Beer Company in Boston, Cincinnati or Breinigsville, Pennsylvania. A pair of these beers was in one of their summer styles packs. The label looks out of date, and I'm not sure why they even bothered with the blurry photo buried behind enormous brand lettering. I don't even know what is supposed to be depicted. The neck label describes the beer. "Alsation hops and night-blooming Southeast Asian Jasmine Sambac flowers." I knew it when I tasted them! LOL. Enjoy before September.

Floral, lemony citrus, clean and a little sweet aroma. Very flowery to start, yet not overdone, and nicely matched with some crisp lemon flavors. Fresh, too. Bready malt does answer that initial hoppy bitter burst. Carbonation is strong and prickly, adding to the beer's refreshment. The finish is spicy and tangy, lightly bitter, and a great way to finish. I enjoyed this terrifically!

Jasminum Sambac 'Maid of Orlean' ~ Live Jasmine Plant

Farmhouse Ales: Culture and Craftsmanship in the Belgian Tradition

This body needs a Kolsch transfusion Black T-Shirt

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Diamond Bear Presidential IPA and Two Term DIPA -- Ed Roberts Guest Post

Yep! Ed Roberts came back for the second day in a row, this time bringing two more beers from his Diamond Bear Series. To answer your first-paragraph question, Ed, yes, there are many times a few beers were presented in the same review: head to head, different vintage, bottle v. can, one was so bad I had to put up another, and most notably, all of those Beer Tasting Extravaganzas that you organized! Thanks again!

Diamond Bear Presidential IPA and Two Term Double IPA

I bet you already read my first Diamond Bear review of their Paradise Porter. If you didn’t, click here.
Today’s review was supposed to be the finale of my Diamond Bear series, a side by side comparison of a fresh Two Term Double Imperial Pale Ale and one aged for about one year. Life often throws you a curve ball and in this case, I got a beer review version of a curve ball. I sat down with my bottles and a realized I had a fresh Presidential IPA (pictured) and an unlabeled year old Two Term DIPA (no picture). Oh well. I decided to continue with my planned tasting. I wonder if this going to be the first time two beers are reviewed in the same post on

Presidential IPA

This one pours a clear auburn red with not much head. It has a light but attractive nose with definite grapefruit presence and malt sweetness. Big juicy grapefruit and sharp hop bitterness on the palate. The malt I thought I was picking up on the nose is barely present when tasting it. There are really bready notes more than a malt presence. Not sure what hops are used but they are fairly earthy. The carbonation is a bit on the light side and the body is a bit thin. According to the Beer Advocate website, the ABV is 7.37%, which is hard to believe. I was going to guess less then 6%. Solid, but unspectacular. If this was my local IPA option, I would be drinking it. In the sea of good hoppy options available in a lot of places I am afraid this would get lost in the shuffle.

Two Term DIPA (aged one year)

According to the brewery this beer is probably at its peak or just past its peak. It will be poured fresh at SAVOR, which I will be attending in June. I look forward to trying it there. I normally drink DIPA’s as fresh as possible.

This also pours a clear auburn red. In comparison to the Presidential IPA, this one has a good amount of head and lacing. It has a stronger nose than their IPA. There is a strong malt and pine nose. No grapefruit picked up here. I get some honey maybe? The ABV here is 8.5% ABV. There is a bigger body and carbonation than the Presidential IPA. This beer is drinking nicely. The balance in this beer is starting to tilt towards the malt characteristics. Nice long lingering finish with a fun interplay between the hop bitterness and the malt sweetness. I’m digging it. This is not a session beer but it is on the lighter side for a DIPA. From the few Diamond Bear beers I’ve had now, I would say it appears good balance and drinkability are goals of the brew master. I think Diamond Bear is representing Arkansas well and if I make it there in my travels I will definitely check out their brewery and more of their beers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Diamond Bear Paradise Porter -- Ed Roberts Guest Post

Today, Ed Roberts makes his second guest appearance after almost a year away. Last year he did a review of Holy Mackerel Panic Attack. What? You've never heard of the famous Ed Roberts? You really need to read more frequently. Anyway, here you go... and thanks, Ed.

Diamond Bear Paradise Porter

Diamond Bear is a small craft brewery based in Little Rock, Arkansas. You probably haven’t heard of them. I hadn’t until I met one of their four employees in my store recently. He generously provided me with a sample. He also gave me a sample of a fresh Two Term IPA and one that has aged for a year. I may do reviews on them as well. They will be pouring their beers at SAVOR in Washington, DC in June, which I will be attending. I look forward to meeting one of their owners, Russ Melton, there.
I must say I am a huge fans of porters which may have affected my opinion. I think they are terribly under appreciated as a style. Two of my all time favorite beers are Anchor Porter and Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter.
Paradise Porter has a simple but colorful and eye catching label. Pours black with a small persistent head. Has a pleasing nose dominated by a roast flavor. A complimenting aroma of chocolate and a slight hop note. Wow, this is delicious! There is an immediate roasted malt flavor that matches the aroma that hits me. It immediately subsides but lingers on in a long smooth finish. Chocolate, let’s qualify as cocoa, appears in the background. A slight hop note makes a guest star appearance. There is a slight smoky quality to the roasted malt and I found it lingered long after swallowing the beer.
This is a beer where the flavors really match the aromas. I’m enjoying rolling a sip around my mouth and savoring it before swallowing. It is sufficiently carbonated. Great mouth feel and balance. Some might say the body is a bit thin but it works for me. Not overly complex but delicious and really drinkable. I could easily down two or three of these in a sitting and I don’t do that often. Nice job Diamond Bear! The slogan on the bottle says “Paradise in a glass!” I agree.
I look forward to trying more of their beers. Check out their website at

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pepe Nero 2011

First of all, Happy Easter!

I'm drinking Pepe Nero 2011 brewed by Goose Island Beer Company in Chicago, Illinois. This is a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale brewed with peppercorns, this particular one being bottled on 01/07/11 1030. This beer came home from my friend's recent Chicago trip. Thanks again!

I wanted Lolita, Juliet and Madame Rose, but those are only sold at bars and restaurants. At least that was the case when he was there. Since then, Budweiser bought the brewery. That purchase brought on a shit-storm of bellyaching about never buying Goose Island again because the corporate monsters are evil. I took some shit myself and a few underhanded jabs for being honest because I didn't see it as a sad day in America. A famous filmmaker wrote a piece that there was "almost universal dismay" about the news. I completely disagreed based on what I read and a lot of comments. So I launched my own (not) scientific poll. I will say I was fair as possible, even begging the dismayed ones to say so. Without further ado, the results of that poll.

How you feel about the Anheuser-Busch purchase of Goose Island Brewery?

Awesome--I can't wait for AB to deliver GI to me.
  4 (9%)
Optimistic--I think AB can keep GI brand high quality.
  9 (20%)
Neutral--Not good or bad. I'll wait and see outcome.
  17 (39%)
Pessimistic--Skeptical about GI ability to continue brewing quality.
  6 (13%)
Dismay--I hate AB and will never buy GI beer again.
  7 (16%)

I'm pretty dismayed myself that this was a nearly perfect Gaussian Curve. For the record, my vote was Optimistic. But Bud better get me those three sisters if it wants to keep that vote. OK, beer time.

Raisins, caramel, sweet and roasted malty aroma. A little more powerful as it warmed up. Quite different flavors from the aroma. Roasted coffee and peppery spicy beginning. Those are swiftly followed by an orange and lemon rind citrus bite. Sharp carbonation takes jabs at the palate as well. Pepe Nero definitely leans bitter.

Now there is a secondary underlying flavor profile that really shows itself as you enter the second half of big 22. At first I was like, "Belgian-style whatever? Pfft!" But some yeasty funky spicy pepper thing-a-ma-jig starts to grow and multiply. There is a distinct peppercorn flavor, especially in the aftertaste. A subtle tang is definitely present, and when I think about it, that flavor was really there all along. Eerie! The 6% alcohol wasn't really noticeable, except perhaps as it aided in delivering a dry finish.

Anyway, a pretty good beer, definitely interesting. However, it's my least favorite of their Belgians so far. I love me some Sofie, and Fleur and Matilda rock the casbah too! If you don't need to import it to unlucky states like Florida, check it out!

Three Novellas: The Nun & The Partisan,Runners In The Night,Vito's Big Score -- Pepe Nero

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe TeetherTeethers & Rattles)

Matilda (Special Edition) -- Danny DeVitoFamily Films)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sea Bass

Today I'm drinking Sea Bass brewed by Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida. I first tasted this at Beer Tasting Extravaganza: Big Bear Brewing Edition last month. Even though I had way more than my share of the wine bottle that night, today I do have the full thing all to myself. The label says this is "A Pugilistic Dark-Bodied Farmhouse-style Ale." The label was designed by Geiger Powell and it also supplied this weird website for him. "Unfiltered and bottled conditioned" (yes "bottle" does have the extra d). "Very funny, guys." I am still trying to figure out how to get in on the joke because I can't for the life of me figure it out. Anyway, there is a Sea Bass illustrated around the bottle, tough to grab in one photo, though I tried.

Enormous head! Fruity and yeasty aroma, along with some hints of caramel. It also smells a little like wine. Very tart berry flavors kick your mouth into another dimension! Lots of sour grapes and maybe some apple come next, very sour and puckering flavors. Prickly with big carbonation. Yeasty and somewhat funky, too. Plenty of drying wine tannins come around toward the end as well. That fruity sourness is extremely dominant and takes this beer to the edge of one-dimensionalism. But it is seriously addictive. It probably takes a special person to totally enjoy this creation, but I'm up for the task. Step with care but for sure give this beer a go!

Chilean Sea Bass - 2lbs

Shimano Xtreme FishingWii Games)

Norcross Hawkeye D10D Depth Sounder

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blind Faith

Today I'm drinking Blind Faith brewed by Magic Hat Brewing Company in South Burlington, Vermont. As I learned from reading the story in 4 pt font on the neck of the bottle, this is part of their year long "Tour of I.P.A.s!" Yep, four features in their "quarterly cabaret of I.P.A.s." The label has a blue swirly theme to it. Best enjoyed by June 30, 2011.

Malty and hoppy aroma, combined. Bread, tea, malty flavors in the beginning. Subtle and not very strong. Some hoppy citrus, lemon rind, spicy flavors come next, taking over until the very end of the beer. Very earthy, a little bit like drinking some crunchy tofu bar's vegetable garden blender concoction. Balanced though bitter barely wins. The 6.2% alcohol dries out the finish and adds a sprinkle of medicinal aftertaste to an otherwise strange little brew.

Carbonation is good. Not really what I was expecting from an IPA, though all ideas come to mind when cracking open any Magic Hat beer. Thick with no real bitterness, not refreshing, not clean but instead rather dirty texture-wise. I'd find something else.

My First Magic Hat with DVD Instructions

The Photographer's Guide to Vermont: Where to Find Perfect Shots and How to Take Them (The Photographer's Guide)

Blind Faith -- MP3

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Longshot Blackened Hops

Today I'm drinking Longshot Blackened Hops brewed by The Boston Beer Company in Boston, Cincinnati or Brein (NO I) gsville, Pennsylvania. I've had their Friar Hop Ale and Honey B's Lavender Ale, hating one and not loving the other. Please let this be a winner! American Homebrew Contest winner Rodney Kibzey from Illinois created this beer and has his picture on the front of the bottle. Enjoy before September, 2011.

Roasted malty and very hoppy citrus at the same time--quite the mixed-signal aroma! Roasted, nutty, malty yet orange and citrus flavors battle in an all-out civil war right from the start. Chocolate and coffee and bitter lemon. Cain v. Abel like you don't see too often. Medium carbonation, decent body, pretty smooth for all the animosity. Bitter does finally win though this is a mostly balanced beer. Dry finish, presumably aided by the 7.0% alcohol. You know, I get it. I guess Black IPA's just aren't my gig, though I think this beer can hold its own against most I've tasted in the category. By far the best of the three in this year's Longshot series. But for sure I am waiting for next year's competition and not lingering on 2011.

Nerf N-Strike Longshot CS-6

Longshot -- DVD -- Tony DeCamillis

Marvel Legends Series 14 Action Figure Longshot

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

March 2011 Top Five

March was a great month! Started off right with Beer Tasting Extravaganza: Big Bear Brewing Edition, the fourth in the series. Word on the street is that the next one will be at the Funky Buddha, where they will probably at least be expecting us. Toward the middle of the month, I participated in a whisky class at Total Wine, featuring expert Marcy Rudershausen. That was a very fun experience.

What else? Paige Deckert returned with another guest post, this time with a review of Poppa Skull. I drank and reviewed beers from both halves of the Shvitzing Matilda brewing team. Homebrew Brent let me try his Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout and Homebrew Vanessa gave me a bottle of her award-winning Shvitzy Bitzy. Nice job, guys!

And oh yeah! What a terrific bunch of beers I drank in March. It is going to be impossibly difficult to make a short list this month, which is why I'm going to (dishonestly) say you had to wait this far into April for a March Top Five. But here we go...

March 2011 Top Five

1. Deliverance Ale

2. Pliny the Elder

3. Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA

4. Bohr

5. Fleur 2010

Honorable Mentions: I had a hard time with this Top Five because it's so difficult to compare awesome more sessionable beers like Headwaters Pale Ale and Gossamer Golden Ale with the rest, but I thought they were terrific.

Cuvee de Tomme

Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale 2011

Headwaters Pale Ale

Gossamer Golden Ale

Here is the Master List of Top Five Lists if you're looking for something to keep you busy! If you'd like to see what I was up against in March or to help me figure out my mistakes, here are all of March's reviews. Thank you for reading and GO FLYERS! GO PHILLIES!

Michael Jack Schmidt -- Harry Kalas --MP3

World Whiskey -- Charles Maclean

Funky Buddha -- ESS -- MP3