Saturday, February 16, 2008

China and the Alcohol Invasion

Beer Log: February 9, 2008
State: Hungry, and slight heartburn from Anti-inflammatories.

Damn this ibuprofen. I’m trying to heal up my ankle to run a marathon in April, and sure enough the Doc gives me this stomach burning stuff. So what better cure than a healthy dose of fried rice and some Tsingtao? I’ve never had Tsingtao before, just the Japanese stuff in some Sake Bombs in my younger days of last year.

Tsingtao Beer (Lager)
The man brought it out in a green bottle and a glass that was a shorter version of a stange. I’m always wary of green and clear glasses, as I believe that light does a beer damage. Try Heineken in the bottle, and try it in one of the little baby kegs. Anyway I’m not too optimistic about these Asian lagers. It had that classic vegetal scent, and was a clear old gold color. The white head was fleeting, no surprise there. Let’s drank this one. Medium body and low carbonation (yes). Light malt in there, okay. Drinkable and it tasted best when cold. Very low hops and kinda sweet as it warms, as well as some moderate dryness and vegetal flavor. Pretty good though.

After the Chinese, we went to the Sauce, as I always do when downtown. They have this chalkboard with all these beers not on the menu, like seasonals. Shit, they have some St. Arnold’s Spring Bock, which has already run out at the brewery. But I’ll take my chance and go for some high alcohol stuff.

Northcoast Old Stock
Oh yeah, something like 11.7% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) in one snifter. I thought it was an Old Ale, and someone told me it was a barley wine. Of course the website proves I'm right. Getting good at this. It was dark brown with a light tan head. We were sitting outside, so it was bronze in direct sunlight. And it smells of caramel and ALCOHOL. Oh dear Lord what have you wrought on me. First taste that hits me is alcohol, then caramel sweetness. I notice that is very smooth and fullbodied, yet it goes down quick. It has a light bitterness as well, but reminds me of a thick version of Amaretto. Another connoisseur was there, and he agreed with the Amaretto distinction. It’s probably more complex than what I could pick out, so I look forward to grabbing this one down the line.

The Australian just came by and let us know that they may still have some Dogfish Head 120 Min IPA over there on bottle. Damned if I thought you couldn’t even sell the shit with that much alcohol in Houston. It cost me $12 a bottle. Damn. But The 60 Minute version is one of my favorite beers of all time, and the 90 minute was great.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
We are talking 21% ABV. One bottle is like 4 Miller Lites worth of alcohol. It has a flower fruity aroma as it sits in the snifter. Cloudy reddish orange color, a mother of pearl colored head that is lacy. And here we go. It’s malty and full bodied. I was told it’s not as hoppy due to the fermentation and alcohol, and sure enough it’s nowhere near a hop bomb like the 60 and 90 Minuters. This is sweet, like liquor in style. It’s thick, and I’m not too proud to say that it made me shiver. I don’t even shiver anymore from straight vodka shots. It has low carbonation, and surprisingly easy to drink. It’s not a fruit beer (thank goodness), but it has some fruitiness in the flavor.

No comments: