Sunday, July 31, 2011

Medalla Light

Today I saw this big dude in Publix grab a six pack of mini Bud cans. This guy looked like he could just take care of the can with the beer in one bite. I hate those cans, more for the size than even for my disinterest in Bud being inside of it. Six ounces? Is that what is in them? That's like one sip. Why even bother?

Anyway, that reminded me that Ed Roberts gave me a can of today's beer at his store yesterday. I had dropped off a coworker at Fort Lauderdale International and Total Wine is a must stop after any airport runs, it's so close! Ed didn't know I was making an appearance and still surprised me with a can of what he said was Puerto Rico's best selling beer. Imagine my excitement for just a moment. It was also fun passing the Total Wine cashier's probing about the mystery beer I wasn't paying for.

Today I'm reviewing Medalla Light brewed by Cerveceria India Inc. in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. This beer came in a baby-sized 10 ounce can, so cute. Since it's a Light, they were sure to include the nutritional analysis. For 10 oz: Calories, 83. Carbohydrates, 2.5g. Proteins, 0.65g. Fats, 0g. ABV: over 4%, not more than 6%. I LOVE that part, the alcohol range. Best by 30SEP11.

Big head. Sweet corn aroma, maybe some faint citrus. Sweet corn flavors as well and a little flowery to start. After a couple sips (which is all this can held, incidentally), you could really feel a full vegetable garden of flavors in the mouth. A light hoppiness toned the sweet just a little. Pretty thin, decent carbonation. Too sweet to be refreshing. I could have used a little more carbonation as well. About what I expected. If I were vacationing in Puerto Rico, I'd drink 1000 of these. Otherwise I wouldn't ever drink it, available here or not. If you do decide to drink it, make it cold. It was less desirable as it warmed up.

2007 George Washington Presidential $1 Coin - First President, 1789-1797

Fodor's Puerto Rico, 6th Edition (Full-Color Gold Guides)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Napa Smith Amber Ale

Today I'm drinking Napa Smith Amber Ale brewed by Napa Smith Brewery in Napa, California. The label is elegant, showing the brewery with some mountains in the background, done in gold and silver colors. Master Brewer Dan Barkley also signed the front and offered this quote on the back: "If wine is the nectar of the gods, then beer is the mother's milk of humanity."

Caramel aroma, sweet. Malty sweet flavors in beginning as well. Caramel and brown sugar pretty much dominate everything. After the initial flavor rush, things calm down a bit and you are able to get a grip on the beer. The texture is silky and the body is on the light side of medium. The 5.7% alcohol is noticeable and warming, but not really anything more than that. On the under-carbonated side. You will finish with just drop of hops. The beer remains sweet but not so sweet as to be bothersome. A little one-dimensional, but with good flavors and balanced enough to work. Not a bad beer, and way better than the one I had a few days ago.

Frommer's Napa and Sonoma Day by Day (Frommer's Day by Day - Pocket)

Chardonnay Grape Vine One Gallon

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Today I'm drinking Sierra Nevada Pale Ale brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California. I know I'm not alone, but I'll go on record as saying this is one of my absolute favorite breweries. Took a lot of balls to say that, right? This beer is a regular staple in my home. Great flavors, refreshing, consistent, awesome value, what more can I say?

Well, this is what else I can say. Over the past month or so, I've been talking about this beer more than usual. First, my wife has actually taken a liking to it and had a few glasses when she'd normally have some wine. Could this be her craft beer epiphany? I'm thinking YES, though she did have a few Hatueys last month as well. I think she digs the Pale Ale!

At the same time, another of my online friends who didn't "do beer" had a few Sierra Nevada Pale Ales and is equally in love. She told me she has a few in her fridge right now. Hey, me too! Is there anything else that could explain this recent phenomenon? Well, they are both Colombian chicks, but that's probably not it!

Online friend asked for my review and I gave her one in around 100 characters, but I was a little surprised I don't have a good review of this beer on this blog. I did do one almost three years ago, right at the beginning of this blog's existence, but it's a little weak and I'm not even going to bother linking it here.

So... malty, bready aroma with some citrus, quite pleasing. Hoppy orange and lemon citrus flavors to start. Nicely bitter but not overdone. Some grass and a touch of pine are met by just a touch of bread. Well-balanced. Excellent prickly carbonation. Great lingering aftertaste. The 5.6% alcohol may add a little dryness to the finish, but mostly it just lets you know this isn't a virgin drink. Terrific beer. Pick up a 12-pack today!

Hops and Dreams: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Mountain Range Beer Soap - Made With Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet

Today I'm drinking Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet, A Black IPA brewed by Mercury Brewing Company in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Of the five beers these guys sent to South Florida, this is the last one for me to try. It also has the tamest label of the bunch. This one depicts a guy on his balcony watching the sunset in the distance. He's relaxing with a pint of beer and his feet propped up on the railing. That's where I want to be right now! Even the clown shoes he's wearing are barely noticeable--wouldn't have even caught my attention if I didn't know the brewery theme. Bottled 6/14/11.

Nice Head! The aroma is chocolaty with some citrus hoppiness, a little roasted but not too much. Quite a malty start, with lots of roasted flavors that you may initially think might make it all the way to annoyingly harsh. But just in time, they smooth out nicely. A bit on the smoky, campfire, burnt side, but again, not overdone.

Guess what? The 80 IBUs these guys put in this beer are equally prominent from start to finish as well. Plenty of bitter hoppy citrus. Grapefruit, lemon, yep. Quite the bitter bang, but unlike yesterday, this bitterness is accompanied by that interesting malty balance. Nice carbonation, good creamy texture, not overly prickly. A dry roasty finish with some slight 7% alcohol warmth is how this beer winds down. A winner in a category that isn't my favorite and a strong ringer for the style. I downed all 22 ounces easily. My second favorite of the five I've tasted after Tramp Stamp Belgian-Style IPA. Check it out!

Bunnies by the Bay Blossom's Hoppy Feet Slippers, Pink, 3-6 Months

Ped Egg Pedicure Foot File, Colors may vary

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Clown Shoes Eagle Claw Fist

Today I'm drinking Clown Shoes Eagle Claw Fist, an Imperial Amber Ale brewed by Mercury Brewing Company in Ipswich, Massachusetts. I'm looking for some art controversy in the shirtless Kung Fu dude on the front, but I can't even invent an issue here. The pose looks like the Crane Kicker, so I checked in with him and received this quote, "That looks delicious. And nutritious."

Anyway, I'll let you read the story on the side yourself (see photo below), but the "over 100 IBUs" caught my attention. That's over 1250 Maries (and namesake Marathon Marie is just as bitter as ever with no alcohol and a baby on the way).

Light caramel, strong orange citrus and a very hoppy aroma. Strong citrus flavors, lemon and orange, along with pine start things off. I thought I hit a touch of sweet before a massive reversal of bitter fortune came and washed over my entire mouth. Wow! Besides just a little caramel and bread dough, this is an entirely bitter beer. The 8% alcohol is not hiding its face either, heightening the bitter flavors even more as it dries things out.

On the back side of this beer, things tasted a little medicinal with some astringent citrus and sourdough bread aspects. I swear I wasn't half way through Big 22 here when I almost dumped the rest, but after letting this thing warm up a little, I liked it a bit more. A little warmth and it lost some of that medicinal yuck, so keep that in mind. Still, the unbalanced nature and lashing aggressive bitterness were a little much for this cowboy. I guess this is the kind of beer they say puts hair on your chest! Not as bad as my review! Check it out.

As far as bombers go, decently priced, though bombers are all rip-offs as I've mentioned, including this one at $5 or $6. My very expensive Stone IPA six pack awaits, but if I compare it to this bottle by multiplying 2X12 ounces, it cost me $3.33 for an almost equivalent volume. Please find me a $3.33 bomber of even the shittiest craft beer around, let alone the Great Stone IPA (which by the way was a Malty Extravaganza compared to Eagle Claw Fist).

The Secrets of Eagle Claw Kung-fu: Ying Jow Pai (Secrets of Series)

Red Yellow Clown Shoes Adult Costume Accessory

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

June 2011 Top Five

June was fun. Nothing like waiting until the last week of July to get around to picking a Top Five for it.

I finished the Latitude 48 Deconstructed IPA series. Glad that's over! In the middle of the month, I attended a great event--the relaunch of Hatuey Beer at a party in South Beach.That beer is now on the shelves in Miami. Hopefully it will make its way to Broward later this summer.

I had two guests step up to the plate. First, Ed Roberts reviewed Wild Dog Series Coffee Stout. And toward the end of the month, The Beerlyweds took on Bourbon Barrel Aged Lake Trout Stout.

Oh, yeah. And I spent a week at Disney. It rained a lot, but water parks are made of water. Feel free to quote me on that. We also saw Cars 2 in 3-D one ultra rainy afternoon, and my kids fell in love with Perkins. Go figure.

Mickey and Buzz say Hello to all of you, by the way.  Really!

Anyway, Here you go.

June 2011 Top Five

5. Rocket Dog Rye IPA

Honorable Mentions:

Here is the Master List of Top Five Lists if you're looking for some light reading material! And here is a full list of all the beers from June. As always, let me know your thoughts and pass on the good news if you have enjoyed your time here. Thanks a lot!

Cerveza Hatuey Beer Dark T-Shirt by CafePress

Woolrich Trout Lake Hat, KHAKI (Off-white)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Burton Baton

Today I'm drinking Burton Baton brewed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware. This is "an oak-aged Imperial India Pale Ale [that is] lush & enjoyable now [and] ages with the best of 'em". I learned recently from Sam's blog that this beer is brewed as a tribute to Ballantine's Burton Ale, as he and some other beer geeks were opening up a few 60 year old bottles. Yes, I've had this before and reviewed it twice already, but it's certainly a worthy re-repeat. This time, however, I'm wondering if the cowboy guitar player on the front has anything to do with the Ballantine tradition. Hmmm.

Caramel and sweet fruit aroma, lightly tropical, with a touch of wood too. Orange and pineapple tropical fruit flavors to start. And even more sweetness with a dab of caramel on top, quite the malty start. The oak is much more prevalent here in the flavor profile than in the aroma, definitely adding some quality interest. The 10% alcohol is first noticeable right around now as it really accents some citrus and spicy black pepper that keeps nibbling on my palate. That aspect is really a welcome relief as it cuts the sweetness significantly, nicely marrying one another.

More alcohol warmth comes next, in a really nice way, borderline burn. Creamy carbonation and excellent texture throughout. If I had to say one negative, it would be that I wish this beer had just a touch more hoppy balance, but who am I to knock such a great beer. Grab one or two when you see them!

Set of 12 ALICE IN WONDERLAND Tim Burton PINBACK BUTTONS 1.25" Pins / Badges

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lost Dog Red Ale

Today I'm drinking Lost Dog Red Ale brewed by Napa Smith Brewery in Napa, California. I had never heard of this brewery until yesterday when I spotted three of their beers on the shelf at my local Total Wine. Of course I grabbed one of each to check out. The label depicts a man calling for a his lost dog in the wilderness mountains. The dog is front and center and doesn't appear to be lost at all; he's actually reading a posted sign that says Lost Dog, snickering. The dog theme continues as they describe the "hoppy finish that practically rolls over and begs for another taste". The back label quotes the Lost Dog upon being found as saying, "Woof, Woof" which I think loosely translates to something like "Suckers!"

Sweet caramel, very malty aroma with perhaps just a faint citrus aroma. Quite the malty flavors to start as well. Toasted grains and rich caramel. But some metallic flavors take over in the middle while the beer thins out at the same, making for a double whammy. You know, this tastes like the kind of brown ale I never like. Roasty, a bit nutty, with some ugly bitterness. Those flavors seem to be accentuated by the 7.2% alcohol as well. Carbonation is good but a harsh metallic bitterness is left behind for an aftertaste. I'd skip it and hopefully the novelty of a new brewery name wont trick you too.

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption

Death Row: The Lost Sessions, Vol. 1 -- Snoop Doggy Dogg