Saturday, August 29, 2009

Custom Brewcrafters and Movin In

I write to you, you few and cherished readers, while amidst the wallows of an epic food-induced coma. Nothing says "filling" like dining with Italian friends. I also write to you from my new location, located about 500 feet from the scenic (and disgustingly filthy) Genesee River in Rochester, NY. Oh yeah!

The move-in was nothing sort of a catastrophe but it always is. I'm missing some furniture but have extras of others so I can't unpack yet. I'm sitting in a room filled with boxes. My room reminds me of the archives at the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Raiders of the Lost Ark huge government warehouse
Courtesy of

See that guy with the cart? Imagine that cart is a computer. Badda-bing.

Regardless, I've moved into a significantly more awesome area in terms of fine beverages. Yesterday I perused the local liquor shoppe and bought a bottle of Jim Beam Distillers Series, which I haven't opened yet. I also bought a 6'er of Woodchuck Cider which turned out to be unfairly awesome. It was pretty much apple juice for grown-ups. But the crowning glory of my day was the trip to Honeoye Falls. It was supposed to be a short jaunt for my dad to go see the glory that is the GM Fuel Cell building but it was quickly hijacked into a booze-cruise. The place was extremely nice. No fucking around with food or fancy shenanigans. It was simply a huge cooler that had taps on all sides, with merchandise clustered around the outer rim of the overly large room, so as not to get in the way of the alcohol-induced bolt from the door to the counter. The price for six samples was $3. It seems steep, but you got to try six of their beers, the card was good for $2 off any 220z., six pack, or growler AND you could fill out your name on the back and enter in to a raffle for all sorts of goodies. Its pretty win-win-win. There is no lose in there.

The list I tried was actually seven beers: Old Toad Nut Brown, Bug Jar Brown Hornet Ale, Spring Fling, Signature Series: Barry, Raspberry Wit, Canandaigua Lake Ale, and Cream Porter. The Lake Ale (I'm not fucking spelling that out again, sorry folks) was a freebie for god-knows-why but I was exceedingly happy for it. Bless the man that gave me it for it tasted sweeter than any beer I've had. Remember that folks. Free beer always tastes better than purchased beer. It's a law of physics. Or chemistry. Something along those lines. Of the beers up there, the Hornet Ale, Signature Barry, and Cream Porter were the best, with the Barry being the most interesting. A Belgian double wit infused with wildflower honey and juniper berries, it sounds like a crime against humanity but it was quite pleasant. Resplendent with a banana/clove taste so commonly associated with hefeweissens, this had a deeper flavor of buttery licorice and a slight tinge of gin on the aftertaste. It was so good, I bought a bomber. I also managed to purchase a tin of cigars as well. None of you know how many cigars I smoked over the summer and its better that way. To say that I am a fan of cigars is a slight understatement. To say that I am a fan of Scottish Wee Heavies is also a gross understatement as well. Thus, when I spied a tin of short Dominican cigarillos that had been hand-dipped in aged Wee Heavy...I was close to needing a new pair of pants. All-in-all, an excellent day was had and when I go back (not IF) I'll sign up for the Super Club of Awesome which, for $20 a year, gets you 6 free samples every time you come in as well as a collectible tasting glass to keep, $1 off IPAs and Custom beers every Monday-Wed, and a growler card. Said growler card can be entered for another raffle once a prerequisite amount of growlers are purchased. Score-a-palooza.

As a side note, an interesting link came across my desk(top) the other day. Apparently, you can make your own wine, with help! I'd really love to do it but it seems expensive. I'd throw up a donation bar somewhere but I know that I'm lazy and no one would donate anyway, so we'll see what the winds blow my way in terms of cash. I'll give you a hint. It's typically nothing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good luck movin' up because I'm movin' out.

Sitting here, drinking a Great Barrington Brewery Pale Ale and I figured I'd give you a heads up. I'll be preocupado the next few days moving back into my shanty-slash-hovel up in Rochester (semi-affectionately known as the Roch-cha-cha). Soon enough, you can expect newer and better things from the beverage front as I move to a city that actually has a decent liquor store and an amazing beer store. High fives around the blog.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Guinness 250th Anniversary - Sunday, August 23

*Insert Sabbath Day joke here*

Now that we've gotten all of that religious jokery and shenanigans aside, onto the actual review. Tonight was the highly anticipated (by me at least)...Guinness 250th Anniversary Stout! Fuck yeah! I've always been a big fan of stouts and, while many scorn the lowly Guinness as a sub-par representation of the broad and robust stout category, well, they can rot in hell. I love Guinness and I credit Guinness for really turning me onto actual beer. While I will agree, unfortunately, that its NOT the best stout out there (like...oh...I dunno...Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout), its an easy-drinker and its mild enough to have a few pints and not feel like I've been drinking used motor oil strained through a campfire. This said...I have a problem. But first, here are the notes:

Pours pitch black with a one and a half finger brown head. Extremely opaque, with very little light getting through except on the edges. What is illuminated is a ruby reddish brown. Leaves minimal lacing down the glass.

Smells like traditional stout: chocolate and coffee. Slight vanilla smell as well. Little hops present, but rather a toffee-sweet malt tones. Slight campfire elements. Very muted; not a very strong nose, but an interesting one.

Tastes of toffee, creme brulee, coffee and baker's chocolate. Finish is black Italian espresso with creamy overtones. Slight prune and raisin.

Mouthfeel is slightly watery and slightly overcarbonated.

My problem is...this stuff tastes almost exactly like normal Guinness. It's not as creamy (since its not nitro-canned) and its a pinch more robust (I guess)...but it's still so damn close it doesn't really warrant a fancy label. When it said "250th Anniversary Stout" I immediately became so happy I almost hyperventilated and passed out. Not exactly but it was close. I did a happy dance. But, upon drinking, its definitely not what I was expecting. I was expecting a stout that was borderline Russian Imperial and barely an Irish Dry. I was expecting crazy flavors like balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, dark chocolate and French Press coffee. The only thing that really jumped out at me was the slightly Italian espresso crema like flavor that flitted in and out of my taste range faster than a one-legged man tiring out in an ass-kicking contest. It was pretty much just Guinness with a fancy label. Oh, and a price premium. One bottle was about 3 fucking dollars. Yeesh.

Tomorrow is another glorious jaunt to the tea store, so expect reviews up the ying yang. Oh, and sorry for my absence. I was ur New York City, drinkin ur bubble teaz.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Road Less Traveled (in the Summer)

My latest absence has been due to general maladies et. al. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday with my surgeon who said that, yes, I am doing significantly better and, yes, I may be cured for a significantly long time. Thus, beer (Pork Slap out of a can) and wings (Max's Memphis BBQ wings, a dozen and the hot wings, a dozen) were in short order to celebrate my victory against the gods that are trying to keep me down and out. The morning before was a magical tour of my favorite portion of the east coast. Now, I've been up and down this fucker a good many times, but my favorite place is, and probably always will be, The Berkshires in western Massachusettes. Normally, we typically head to Stockbridge, MA in the winter for a Christmas stroll and feast at the Red Lion Inn. We decided to head out to Great Barrington, MA (close by) but this time we did it in the summer; a new experience for me as I have only seen the journey in its snow-robed glory. Great Barrington is a quaint town with an excellent selection of eclectic shops, such as professional cookingware and used vinyl (hell yes), as well as a crowning achievement of all civilization, a brewery. Really, a brewery (or at least a local beer) is a mark of a quality region. It was once said by Frank Zappa (a personal hero that I would have gladly taken a bullet for) that:

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some sort of football team or some nuclear weapons - but at the very least, you need a beer."

I am inclined to agree with the masterful lyrical poet that came up with the likes of Muffin Man, Joe's Garage, Titties and Beer, and all of the Apostrophe album. Seriously, St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast is amazing. However, I digress.

Our trek lead us to the Great Barrington brewery, a bastion of fine beverages and GIGANTIC GODDAMN MEALS. These weren't just "healthy" portions, they were of the "hungry lumberjack" variety. We started off with the ever-popular mozzerella sticks, which were beer battered (probably in the pale ale). They rocked, even though the marinara sauce was a little too thin. My friends ordered burgers, which seemed pretty good, although they didn't ask how you wanted it. I crave my burger barely cooked, somewhere in the rare to medium-rare stage, so when they got something about medium-well, I was glad I went with the NY Grill. A huge slab of seeded rye bread, topped with a generous portion of both corned beef AND roast beef, slathered in russian dressing and coleslaw, with a frosty-peak like coating of melted swiss. This thing looked like half a damn cow coated in cheese and it tasted awesome. This, of course, was paired with this beauty:

Yeah, sweet huh? The Brewer's Choice, clocking in at $4.50 for 5, count 'em, 5 3oz. tastings of beer brewed in the pub. From left to right we have the hefeweissen, the stout, the brown ale, the pale ale, and the pilsner. The top favorites for the others were the stout, but we all agreed on the excellent pale ale. It was a standard pale ale, hoppy and crisp, but it had a remarkable aftertaste of beautifully clean and fresh malt. It was first hoppy, then it was like biting into a fresh baked piece of bread. I couldn't get enough of it, so I brought home a bomber (22 oz. bottle). The pilsner was excellent as well, very clean, crisp, and damn easy to drink. The brown was too similar to a stout for me, all deep roasted malts and not enough hops. The stout was like an Old Rasputin, but without the alcohol, and not as good of a balance between the coffee and chocolate flavors. The wheat was not bad, with prominent clove and banana, but it was rather sweet, almost toffee-like. The mention of toffee brings us to the latter part of the meal: dessert. We opted for two desserts to share: a slice of chocolate stout cake and a bowl of cobbler. Here they are in their half-eaten glory:

That piece of cake is only 2/3rds of the slice we got. The cake was actually drooping slightly over the sides of the plate, as referenced by the gigantic chocolate smears all over the plate that make it look rather unpresentable. The purple tinted bowl was the bowl of blueberry-rhubarb cobbler which was fucking amazing as hell. I'd never really gotten into the "fruit + rhubarb" combination as a dessert before but that bowl of sweet, sweet fruity justice rescued the mix in my mind.

At this point in time, I'd like to reflect that you should probably go and get a drink, maybe a snack, take a bathroom break, or just avert your eyes for a few minutes to avoid strain. This was a long-ass day, and I'm not fucking stopping now. Oh no, this is going to be a whopper of a post. So, take your intermission and rejoin the Drinking Train.



Choo chooooo, all aboard!

Ok, so. After our run to the brewery, we had to run a few errands (one of my comrades had a doctor's appointment). We decided to hang out in the waiting room, as it was about 90F out with probably the same percentage in humidity. I browsed through a copy of Food and Wine that I enjoyed so much, I snuck it into my back pocket. It was from October '08, so I don't think it'll be missed. But yeah, score-a-palooza on that one.

With the remaining hours of the day burning themselves out like a fading lightbulb, we decided to bring civility, class, and respect to our generally slovenly selves. I am, and always have been, not JUST a big fan of alcoholic beverages. I typically drink my weight in tea in a year. No joke either. So we decided to go to Harney and Sons, a world-famous tea shoppe. Yeah, shoppe. It's that fancy. And they let us in! This isn't your ordinary tea place though. This is an amazing wonderland of fragrant teas. And the best part is? You can try them. There is a wall of teas that you can choose to try from. Don't believe me? Here:


And that's not the entire room. There's about 6-8 feet on each side of what I caught with my camera. I couldn't fit it all into a 10 megapixel camera. Let that sink in.

Each of those tins is filled with tea that they pour out into the lid, scoop some into one of their Harney and Sons Brewing Apparati and Hearty Quaffing Bowl setups. That little spigot in the middle (one of several), contains the correct temperature water for the tea. This is poured into the brewcup, a timer is set and the tea is ready when you hear the beep. Like...Supermarket Sweep? Here's a pic:We did a mini-flight of Assam teas (some of my favorites due to their intrinsic honey-like sweetness) as well as mini-flight of Darjeelings, both first and second flush. That's the Gunpowder Green that my friend Pat tried, which is excellently smoky yet vegetal at the same time. It was an exciting time for all and I walked away with a new tin of Genmaicha Matcha, a Matcha form of Genmaicha, or Japanese green with puffed rice.

Pat made a comment back to the car that I should start adding tea into the blog, so I probably will. I drink far more tea than I do whisky and beer (which should tell you something), so I'll probably throw some reviews of my current stashes up soon. All in all, however, an excellent day. And I got a sunburn on my arm for the first time in years. I don't leave my room much. all. Pretty much just to go get more tea, whisk(e)y, and cigars. Also, I'll have a formal review of the Balvenie DoubleWood up by the weekend, hopefully. Its been an interesting nosing session, but the tasting is fucking me up hard. I think I need to water it a bit, because I'm really having trouble distinguishing flavors through the alcohol. If anyone has any ideas on that, let me know. Email is, as always, in the profile thing on the side.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Last Night's Event - Saturday, August 16th

So last night was the much revered Cigar and Scotch Night out on my porch. The motley collection of ruffians, toothless hobos, and staggering drunkards/pickpockets I call friends arrived on my porch, salivating over the thought of splitting a bottle of rotgut and cigars that could only be fairly deemed "rolled up, piss soaked newspapers".

Well, actually...

Part of that is right. Most of my friends are the scourge of society. Working class Joes with jobs that no ones wants (like political consultant, ba-dum-pish!), janitors/maintenance, mechanics and general lackeys for the richer, snootier city fucks that slovenly drive up here, using my fair city as a place to dump their kids and problems when they don't want to deal with them for a weekend. You know the kind. The "three-martini-lunch-then-hop-in-my-Aston-Martin-while- blitzed-doing-120-down-roads-I-don't-actually-know-and-bribing-my-way-out-of-my-16th-DUI" kind of people.

It can be generally said that most of the stuff we drink and smoke is significantly, if not outright, classier than we are. Cigars in the range of $8-$10, bourbon and scotch on the middle of the road price range and beer that, if it were a guy competing with us for a woman, would win hands down and leave us drowning in the bottom of a bottle at 3am in a bar that's far too nice for us. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't saying that I don't like the cheap stuff. Jim Beam White Labe, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Gordon's gin in a plastic bottle are excellent friends of mine. But we tend towards the affordable, easily disposed of luxuries instead of $80,000 cars (or politicians, ba-dum-pish!).

So, that night we staked out on my deck like robbers casing a jewelry store, bottle of The Balvenie DoubleWood and a tin of Don Lino Africa Kuro cigars. I will be honest, the conversation was of a manly nature, about women we've courted and nights of revelry long past, so I wasn't exactly focused exclusively on the scotch. What I did note is that it was rather pleasant. A nice golden, bordering on amber liquid with an oaky and ripe fruit nose that had little to no smoke. The taste exhibited some of the sherry cask it had sat in with rich cranberry-like spice. A nice drink. The cigar was equally as tasty. Very spicy, with leather and cedar and slightly nutty. And the filtered French Lucky Strikes were damn tasty. Nom.

That was our night. A night of drunken revelry with good company. And no one threatened harm or death on anyone, so that was a first.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ommegang Abbey Ale (Group Review)- Friday, August 14th

So yesterday we had a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons, in which we beat the hell out of several medium and large zombies, stole from people, killed wantonly...and slept a lot. During the course of playing, I decided to invoke the age old practice of "group review". I had brought a bottle of Ommegang Abbey Ale that I'd had aging in my cellar since Christmas when I got it as a Christmas present (score!). The reviewers are myself, Pat, and Steve (who will be referred to as Woisin). This went fairly well and had hilarious results. I'd just like to thank Pat for giving me a piece of paper to write said notes down on (as per his request). Anyway, the review:


Me: I put the color as a hazelnut brown.
Pat: Caramel/burnt caramel
Woisin: Molasses


Me: I got sweetness and molasses, with a slight hint of alcohol. Dark fruit like plum and raisin.
Pat: "It smells like victory." and "It smells like cornbread cooking."
Woisin came up with some good ones for this. He came up with maple, in which Pat said "I'd buy maple". He also said that the malt sugar was really apparent and it was quite hoppy.


Me: I tasted a tinge of hot alcohol, followed by a confirmation of the malt sweetness and the dark fruit. Also tasted slightly like soy sauce, but I couldn't really be sure.
Pat: "Definitely sweeter side."
Woisin: "Hoppy" and "Maybe smoky?"


Me: It was nice. Slightly thick with medium carbonation.
Pat: "It was a wee bit tingly."
Woisin: "Alcohol" was apparent even in mouthfeel. "Crisp" but a "thicker brew."

All in all, it seemed like it was well received. All parties enjoyed it immensely and, even though we didn't focus on it for the entire night, it was quite enjoyable. Also had a Kona FireRock Pale Ale as well, which was delightfully hoppy and cut through the thick sweetness well. It was a tasty tasty night. Tomorrow I'll throw up a picture and a review of our very delicious "Scotch and Cigar Night" tonight with the much looked forward to....Balvenie DoubleWood!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Brooklyn Summer Ale - Thursday, August 13th

Ah, the wonders of summer. Last night was spent in a quite serviceable night of Company of Heroes (a WWII Real Time Strategy game that I highly recommend) and a bottle of Macallan 12 year. I've had significantly worse nights. On for tonight is a bottle of Brooklyn in my beer stash that had to come home from college. I decided to pull out the Macallan yesterday and remember that I had several damn good beers that I never really got around to during the year. So, what better time to catch up on work than the summer? Up for tonight is the Brooklyn Summer Ale:

Pours a caramel color with two fingers of snow white head. Leaves medium amounts of lacing down the glass as it's drunk.

Smell is tasty and very crisp. Clean, fresh malt; not exactly bready but more sweet and clean. The crispness comes from a rather delicate but fruity and floral hop smell. Light citrus/grapefruit with pineapple and maybe apple.

Taste is softer than I expected. By the smell, it seems like it'll be really hoppy and pungent, but instead its far more gentle than I thought it would be. Cracker and fresh bread are more prominent, with only a very light bitterness and slight pine taste. I'm legitimately surprised.

Mouthfeel is slightly watery and too carbonated for my tastes.

It was honestly....mediocre. Its clearly one of those beers that you would be non-plussed if you drank a sixer on a hot day. Its more of a "just there" beer. Its got an alcohol content, its made with hops and malt, its fizzy, and when cold you can drink quite a few. Definitely a few steps up from most beers of that nature but not something I'd go for when I want something with lots of character and flavor. Like a real beer. No, I kid. Its really not bad. I'd probably get it again for something easy-drinking that I could give to my Busch/Miller/Coors friends if they want to try something more craft. It'd make for an easy, easy transition.

So, tomorrow is a run to the local cigar store as well as getting a few pints at a local brewery. I've thrown up a few reviews on Keegan Ales, but tomorrow we're going to the Hyde Park Brewery, a fine place to get a homebrewed (if a little lacking in body) beer and a GODDAMN fine burger. Seriously, you get the Canadian. It's got Canadian Bacon, some sort of mustard, and thick cut chips. You get the fucker rare or medium rare and it comes out smothered in America's Hat bacon and mustard. Oh, and its pretty much still mooing. It rocks so hard.

Also, as a side note, I'd like to get a digital camera for general shenanigans and, more importantly, putting pics on the ol' bloggo. If anyone's got any recommendations of a relatively cheap but decent brand, hit me up. Seriously, please, hit me up. I gotta know if SOMEONE reads this fucking thing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

George Thorogood or How I Stopped Caring and Learned to Drink Like A Man

So, I've been thinking.

This, for future reference, is a statement that's NEVER followed by something intelligent nor well thought out. This phrase is my catch-all for the proverbial "let's see what happens", usually followed by a lengthy description of some hare-brained idea, closed with the convincing utterance of "doing it for science". I've done a lot for science and science has NEVER benefited from anything I've done. Well, maybe making Listerine bottles explode and ridding the world of hornet's nests, one clusterfuck of black powder at a time, but, hell, anyone can do that. Heh, that hornet's nest never knew what hit it though.

Regardless, I've been thinking. And, namely, listening to music. The topic of today's discussion is George Thorogood and his influence on my alcohol consumption. He is not just a god of drunken debauchery and cigar smoking at a gas station ladies and gentlemen. He is also a damn fine performer. I'd know. I saw him in concert. Sober. Yeah, he was good sober. I said it. His crowning claim to fame may very well be Bad To The Bone, but One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer will always be my favorite. While borrowing heavily from John Lee Hooker's One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer and House-Rent Blues (can't find it), his increased tempo and drunken slurring through the song make it something more than the older, bluesy feel that Hooker put on it. Hooker gave it life and Thorogood gives it this beautiful, drunken, bottom-of-a-bottle polish. However, I digress.

I find myself lately wanting to create a drink to honor Thorogood. While I cannot make any drink as profoundly honorable for the late, great Hooker or any of the blues legends (*cough*MuddyWatersBlindLemonJeffersonHowlinWolfRobertJohnson*cough*) as the age old bourbon and slide guitar combo, I feel that Thorogood needs something significantly more...alcoholic. My friend and I have toyed with an extremely liver punishing marathon of intense binge drinking known as the Thorogood Challenge. While not as taxing as the Bruce Springsteen Liver Donor Challenge, it ranks up there. The main idea is to do a shot of bourbon and scotch, and a glass of beer every time he mentions them in the song. This equates to about 9 shots in 8 minutes, with the majority of it being crammed into the 4 minute section that follows his House Rent Blues preface. So its essentially 9 shots in 4 minutes. This also assumes that its just ONE shot, even though Thorogood specifically goes for a "triple" and even throws in a gin for good luck. Or liver failure. So, if we go through the fact that each "shot" is actually three, coupled with a pint of beer, we're looking at 21 shots in 4 minutes or 24 with that triple of a gin-soaked cherry to top off this liver bruising sundae. Ouch. Just thinking about this is giving me the dry heaves.

So, how to properly honor this legendary frank and open alcoholic? I propose The Thorogood. Now, let's face it. You have no rent money, you're friend's old lady won't let you stay at their house, and you're packing a box full of your shit and a sober look on life. You're not going for a fine Glencairn glass of Glenlivet 21 at a soft jazz bar. You go for the cheap stuff, in large quantities, and hopefully served fast enough that you don't have time to pass out before the next drink comes. So The Thorogood should be appropriately scaled. I'm thinking this should be the recipe:

1 can Pabst Blue Ribbon
1 shot Cutty Sark blended scotch
1 shot Jim Beam White Label

Now, for a hardcore alcoholic, this pansy shit of "half of a shot of this, half of a shot of that" is bullshit. Its easier for the bartender to pour two shots and there's more alcohol. The construction of said drink is easy. Pour the two shots of liquor into the Pabst Blue Ribbon and chug/drain at your leisure. This will probably taste godawful, but if you don't get wrecked after a few of these gut-wrenching booze bombs, then you're either Russian, Irish, or not trying hard enough. The alcohol chosen is relatively tasty, a decent proof, and decidedly working-class and, subsequently, awesome. For a cheap beer, PBR is probably my favorite, even though the scene kids that drink it make me want to punch their mothers in the face for birthing such a travesty. White Label is my bourbon of choice when the week has just sucked and a "low cash Friday" rolls around. And Cutty Sark is decent although an acceptable exchange could be J&W Blended and maybe Johnnie Walker Red. But yeah, I think I'll have to try this at some point during the week. Mmm, punishing myself never tasted so good.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Oskar Blues Ten FIDY - Sunday, August 9th

So, let's be honest. I'm not an overly religious man (aside from my tendency to work "God" into my longshoreman traits as often as possible). Thus, the only beverage served on a Sunday isn't just communion wine. Tonight's pint, before I pop out to play some good old fashioned, devil worshiping Dungeons and Dragons, is a pint of Oskar Blue's Ten FIDY Imperial Stout. What a humdinger of a beer. Here's the notes:

Pours like used motor oil fresh from a diesel engine. Oily dark like squid ink with a one finger, stubborn, nut-brown head. This beer is intense. Completely opaque, it leaves little lacing down the glass.

Smell is mouthwatering. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee. Smells slightly of dark, savory bread, like rye. Rich and full, with a slight alcohol tinge.

Flavor is rich and deep. Tastes like fresh brewed espresso, slight soy sauce, and dark bittersweet chocolate. Alcohol is present on the aftertaste, leaving a warming flash down the back of the throat. Slight molasses as well.

Mouthfeel is thick. Coats the tongue thoroughly like a base coat of delicious paint.

This beer is Christ-punchingly delicious (noticing a Sunday theme here?). Its a hefty fucker, weighing in at 10% ABV, but its all flavor and no burn. An opulent beer in a not-so-opulent container. Oskar Blues is probably my second favorite "Beer In A Can" company. I say second because, even though they utilize more styles that I prefer (Old Chub being a personal favorite), I like Sly Fox better because, if I'm drinking beer from a can, I don't want a damn punch in the face beer, I want a smooth drinking, lighter ale or lager. Not a no-holds-barred fight with a canned Russian or Scotsman. Their other offerings, the Pale Ale and Strong Ale (Gordon's) are excellent as well, but I'd stay away from their Pils. Pikeland Pils is significantly better and true to pilsner form, while the Mamma's Little Yellow Pils are a bastardization of the style. And that's putting it lightly.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Unibroue Trois Pistoles - Friday August 7th

Since the surgery went so well, I figured a full on nose-dive back into the blog was appropriate. Up tonight is Unibroue's Trois Pistoles. Quite an excellent beer. Notes are as follows:

Pours black, like a stormy night in November. Deeply opaque with a thick and aggressive tan three finger head. Heavy lacing down the glass. A shine of light leaves it a deep brown that quickly fades to its inky blackness.

Smell is complex. Smells of ripe, dark fruit. Plum, prune. Slightly oatmeal with molasses. Very dark raisin bread with a waft of alcohol. It smells sweet as well, reminiscent of dark rum and rye bread.

Tastes hot. Very present alcohol, but not overwhelming. Sweet and malty. Slight black pepper as well. Tastes heavily of brown sugar and dates, burnt sugar, but not caramel, and slight toffee maybe. Like the top of a creme brulee.

Mouthfeel is thick but not prohibitively so. Carbonation is medium to light, which fits well with the beer.

A stellar beer. Really rich and deep, it smacks of molasses, dark sugar, and toffee. It is a bit boozy but I think it works well with the beer, instead of against it. It helps cut through the sweetness some, as the hop profile is slim to non-existent. A wonderful companion to Kelly's Heroes. Goddamn I love Donald Sutherland. His son is a fucking hack, but the old man is a hilarious fucker. Oddball and the pot smoking professor in Animal House are some ringing endorsements for this guy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sly Fox Marynka Pale Ale- Thursday, August 6th

So. Yeah. The surgery went well. Very, very well. Thusly, the blog is back. Tonight is a little number from Sly Fox, who makes probably my favorite canned beer, and a damn good beer regardless of containment. From the makers of the sweet-as-hell Pikeland Pils comes....

Sly Fox Marynka Pale Ale!

One of their Hop Project beers, I found this at Half-Time beverage on tap. And it was 50% off. Hot diggity damn! The Scottish in me was exceedingly happy. Got a half gallon for 7 and change. Friend picked up some of the Sly Fox Seamus Irish Red for about 50 cents more. Looks like these are special holiday releases, which would explain the 50% off. Honestly, I don't care, mine's fucking delicious. Notes:

Appearance is the color of a new penny. Light copper with a finger of white head that vanishes rather quickly, leaving limited lacing.

Smell is hoppy and floral, very forwardly so. Slightly metallic but not in a bad way. Citrus fruit (grapefruit) and malty, fresh bread. Not exceedingly complex, but doesn't fall flat and lets you know that it's a pale ale.

Taste is interesting. Starts with a sweet cracker/biscuit like flavor that transforms into a flash of very sweet clover honey. It doesn't last long as the hops pretty much quickly powerhouse into a floral, bitter finish that lasts a good bit.

Mouthfeel is substantial, but lacking carbonation a bit. I'm chalking it up to just being a growler, so I won't take points off for it. Not watery or lackluster, it holds up well as a medium bodied beer.

Ok. Despite the fact that, yes, its in growler form so its not as carbonated as I was hoping, its still a decent beer. I was honestly expecting something a little more...special. With a bit more oomph. But whatever. Its still a solid beer that I would probably buy again if it came in bottles and if it came in cans, I'd be all over this like white on rice. Interestingly enough, found out that Brooklyn Lager comes in cans now too, which is awesome because I love that damn lager and cans make it much less alcoholic if I decide to drink outside at, say...noon. I heard you can cut off the top and bottom of a Coke/Pepsi/Mt. Dew can and just slide it over the top...but that's for people that want to drink before noon. Not me. Never. Ever.


Sunday, August 2, 2009


Tuesday is my second surgery. Hopefully everything goes according to plan. If this does, Wednesday will be a day of drunken revelry and cigar smoking. Woo! High fives around the group. I'll probably be stopping by a beer store and picking up some quaffage. If anyone's listening, or reading, put in the comments some stuff I should pick up. I'm thinking a bottle of Rogue's "Daddy's Little Helper" gourmet malt liquor. It intrigues me.