Archive for December, 2011

Finally Back in PDX

So, besides getting dinner, getting gas for my car, this was the first thing that I did upon arriving in portland.

Of course I opened a beer.

God I missed PDX craft beer. I missed it even though I brought a growler of Laurelwood to Aspen haha.

Beer:  Believer Double Red Ale

Brewery: Ninkasi

Style: Red Ale

ABV: 6.9%

Location: Eugene, OR

Appearance: Looks to be dark purple/red when it’s just sitting in the glass, but definitely turns a deep shade of red when put up to the light.

Aroma: Lots of malt balanced by citrusy hops and pine.

Taste: Grapefruit as well as other citrus fruits blended in with some nice pine. Caramel and roasted hops form the back bone of this beer. Quite balanced despite how aggressively hopped this beer is.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with some prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel of this beer after swallowing would be kind of creamy though, it’s weird. You’ll understand once you try it.

Drinkability: Maybe it’s because I’ve been drinking Bud Light for the past few days but I believe (haha pun not intended) I could probably finish 2-3 bombers of this without much trouble

Beer Advocate Grade: B+ (89)

My Grade: B+

I want barleywine god dammit

I cracked open a beer wanting a barleywine. Spoiler alert: I was very disappointed.

I was planning to do a review on this one, but this beer just plain sucked. Smelled like old hops and moonshine, and tasted like the former.

My Grade: D+

That other Cascade Beer

Yes yes I know, I should have had another glass of that heavenly Cherry Bourbonic Plague, but I was really curious to see what 3-year old Vlad the Imp Aler tasted like.

Description: A very limited release from the brewers’ cellar, this is the one and only original Vlad that won the Silver Medal at the 2009 GABF. A little time in the cellar has brought this beer to rich roundness that can only be described as sublime. The sharp sour notes have softened, giving way to smooth caramels and hints of vanillins, toasted sweet biscuits and ripe fruit. The bourbon has mellowed on the nose and in the finish but still leaves you with a slight bourbon and spice burn to ponder before your next sip.

Beer:  Vlad the Imp Aler

Brewery: Cascade Barrel House

Style: American Wild Ale

ABV: 10.6%

Location: Portland, OR

Appearance: Orange/amber with a tiny bit of white head that’s gone in a flash

Aroma: Citrus, funk, sweetness, and maybe a little bit of oak in there

Taste: The guy that wrote the description must have one hell of a palate. i get sour, caramel, orange, with some wood and bourbon at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lowish carbonation that makes this beer very smooth

Drinkability: I could finish a bomber of this. That’s sayin a lot for a sour beer.

Beer Advocate Grade: B

My Grade: A-

Delicious Cascade Nectar

Is what my friend called it. I call it a ridiculously tasty sour from the crazy wizards over at Cascade Barrel House.

Cherry and bourbon barrel aging should be done together more often

Description: This NW style sour ale is a special treat from the blenders. We took a 20 month old Thai cinnamon version of the Bourbonic and aged it a further four months on Bing cherries. Dark cherries, bourbon and spices greet you in the noise. Big, rich, dark cherries, dates, oak, leather and tobacco dance on the palate. Deep cherry notes, dark fruits and a warming bourbon flavor finish this off as only the Bourbonic can.

Beer:  Cherry Bourbonic Plague

Brewery: Cascade Barrel house

Style: American Wild Ale

ABV: 12.7%

Location: Portland, OR

Appearance: Deep, deep red. Actually, it’s mostly black, but I was surprised at how much red got into the beer. Half a finger of rose colored head.

Aroma: Sourness, cherries, bourbon, vanilla, and cinnamon. This beer doesn’t fuck around. It smells heavenly

Taste: Sourness at first, but that quickly disappears and you find yourself drinking an amazing stout-like beer with oak, bourbon, vanilla, and cinnamon. After the swallow, you can still make out that cherry tartness that you tasted at the very beginning. Amazing brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is nowhere to be found, but man this beer can pack a wallop if you’re not careful.

Drinkability: If I wasn’t driving/didn’t want to try the other special beer on tap, I would definitely give myself alcohol poisoning trying to drain the entire 55 gallon barrel

Beer Advocate Grade: A

My Grade: A+

 

 

 

This is an old review, but I’ve been behind on looking up my notes and posting pictures. I’ll try o be more up to date in the future. On a side note, I’m heading back to Portland soon, and will be going on a rampage for all the new beers that are coming out/were released while I was away (I’m looking at you Upright Brewing).

 

Beer from a can doesn’t have to be bad. Also, Merry Christmas

Apparently, this review was sitting in the drafts section because it was never posted. I’m currently in Snowmass, CO, and there is actually no snow. It’s a little depressing to see grass and rocks wherever you go, and to compound the sadness I screwed up the edges on my snowboard when I went through some trees and discovered that there were a lot of rocks. So not only can I not snowboard on anything worth riding on, but I also have a snowboard that could really use some TLC.

 

On a happier note, I received some spherical ice cube molds for scotch as a christmas gift. They might be the coolest things ever and I have not even used them for scotch yet. The only action they have seen so far is for apple cider (these things take forever to melt! I refilled my cider glass at least 4 times and I still had ice at the end).

 

I hope that all your Christmas celebrations are going well!

 

I decided to split this wonderful beer with a friend while watching one of the greatest shows on television, Futurama. It was the episode where Bender gets a sex change. Classic.

Beer this dark comes from a can? Oh hell yes.

Beer:  Ten Fidy

Brewery: Oskar Blues

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.5%

Location: Lyons, CO

Appearance: This beer pours like motor oil. Completely black with no head with no lacing. It looks like its about to consume me with its darkness

Aroma: Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and maybe raisins or some other fruit

Taste: Super rich, with coffee and chocolate up front. Some maltiness and dark fruits sneak around somewhere in there as well. This beer is epic. Also…boozy.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, massive body. Despite its heaviness, this beer is ridiculously smooth, like liquid velvet.

Drinkability: You can drink several cans of this, but it is a slow drink. Took me about half an hour to drink half of one.

Beer Advocate Grade: A

My Grade: A-/A   I can’t decide…it’s borderline.

Second Homebrew Incoming

Just bottled my second homebrew last night. Going to Aspen tomorrow to hang out with one of my friends from school for a week or so. After I get back I plan to crack a open a bottle to see if everything is carbonated, and you know, if it tastes good.

 

First Homebrew!

I’m not allowed to review this beer in the typical fashion because the friend that I brew with doesn’t want me to trash our first beer with a scathing review. So instead I’ll just give you my basic thoughts on this little guy.

First indicators are good, it’s carbonated!!!! That means that the yeast at least did some work.

For a first effort, it’s not bad at all. You could definitely sell this beer at a bar for a standard price. The recipe was really basic, so not much could be expected in terms of complexity. However, it is a solid pale ale, much better than any macro brew and better than some craft beer. The key to that description is “some”, I can’t think of a craft beer that it is similar to at the moment, but it is like a tastier version of Yuengling.

I wanted to name this beer “I hope this works pale ale”, but I don’t think Mark and I have decided on a name yet. As for working or not, I would say, “yes, with a few caveats”

I Hate Lagunitas. They Suck.

Lagunitas Brewing. They make some really good beer, but virtually all of them or IPAs or something really similar to an IPA. Therefore, I think that they are kind of a one trick pony brewery, with not much left in the bucket if you took away their talent at IPAs. However, those IPAs are pretty damn good. One of my favorite beers that they make is Brown Shugga’, which is basically an IPA with a lot of brown sugar in it. It’s incredible and there isn’t anything like it on the market right now.

But since Lagunitas is lame, they didn’t brew Brown Shugga’ this year.

Beer geeks were not pleased. We did all the ranting, crying, screaming, and angry forum posting that can be expected of beer geeks that don’t get what they want. It complaining on the scale of 4chan. Realizing this, Lagunitas released “Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale” in response to everyone saying that they sucked.  They even went as far as saying “Brown Shugga’ Substitute” right on the bottle.

Those cheeky bastards.

God they suck.

Description: This sad holiday season we didn’t have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared Brown Shugga’ Ale. We’re just out of capacity. There is nothing cool about screwing up this badly and we know it..

Beer:  Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing

Style: Double IPA

ABV: 7.85%

Location: Petaluma, CA

Appearance: Pale amber with half a finger of white head that doesn’t like to stick around. Low amounts of lacing.

Aroma: Smells a bit like a fresh hop beer. Lots of pine and citrus with some fruit thrown in.

Taste: Holy jesus this is a tasty beer. Hops with apricots and mango thrown into the mix. Makes me think of a lighter version of Deschutes Hop Trip.

Mouthfeel: Light with moderate carbonation. This beer is not like a double IPA, but man it’s tasty. Good thing this beer comes in six packs.

Drinkability: I may have drank 4 of these….after drinking some homebrew. It’s that sessionable.

Beer Advocate Grade: A

My Grade: A

This beer is staggering, and at $7 for a six pack, well worth it. I will be getting more of this stuff ASAP. Lagunitas is still awful though.

Replace the W’s with some V’s, it makes no difference.

Gotta get myself to work early tomorrow, so I might as well have a bit of a nightcap. In this case, a 22 oz. one.

Description: Ummm….it has a drunk squirrel on the bottle.

Beer:  Vinter Varmer

Brewery: Laurelwood Brewery

Style: Winter Warmer

ABV: 6.2%

Location: Portland, OR

Appearance: Deep red and amber, not much of a head, but you can still make out some bubbles that rise from the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Pretty faint, but I do get caramel and malts. Nothing else.

Taste: Sweet, malty, with a moderate hop bite. I also get some spices, but it’s very, very faint for a winter warmer.

Mouthfeel: borders on light/medium bodied, with some serious carbonation. The extra carbonation in this beer makes it feel kind of prickly.

Drinkability: Easy, but I got bored before I finished my bomber

Beer Advocate Grade: B+

My Grade: C+

Stout!

I went to the Death Cab for Cutie Concert a few days ago, but before I went I shared a tasty beer with a friend. Here’s the beer we enjoyed before heading out.

Liquid chocolate? Yes plz.

Beer:  Chocolate Stout

Brewery: Rogue Brewery

Style: American Stout

ABV: 6%

Location: Newport, OR

Appearance: Mostly black with a tiny bit of brown mixed in. Just a tad of coffee colored head.

Aroma: Milk and dark chocolate, with some hops and roasted malts thrown in the mix. It smells heavenly.

Taste: Chocolate, with chocolate, with chocolate. Maybe a little bit of vanilla and coffee mixed in with all that chocolate. Fortunately, the chocolate isn’t overly sweet. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with heavy carbonation despite the lack of head. Very, very fizzy.

Drinkability: Two bombers should do the trick! Might want to throw in a scoop of vanilla ice cream into the second beer to mix things up a bit.

Beer Advocate Grade: A

My Grade: A-