Monday, November 10, 2008

Smoking like Barack Obama on Election Night.

November 10, 2008
State: Devouring leftovers in the fridge, a small taco, one Cajun grilled tilapia, and a small ear of corn.

Stone Smoked Porter
Dark brown and opaque. Seriously strong tan head. Nice chocolate and malt on the nose as I wait for the head to die down. I'm doing the "Guiness" pour, where you pour harshly, let the head settle, and pour again. Not getting much in the "smoke" department on the flavor. Just smooth not overly harsh roasted malt. I get a bit of grittiness left on the tongue with a medium hop bitterness on the aftertaste. I really like the way the hops blends well with this one for a good balance. I was hoping for something "bigger" from Stone, but I guess expectations can do that to you. I've only had a couple slugs, so let me blog about some other beers I had last night while this one warms up. It's still cold from the fridge you see.

Beer Log
November 9, 2008
For the first time in my life, I gave up my tickets to an NFL football to go to an MLS Futbol Game. The Texans suck so much balls right now it's just hard to get up for it. The Dynamo were playing the New York Red Bulls for the aggregate in the playoffs. You here that, playoff futbol in Houston!!! They tied in the first meeting, so basically whoever won this game wins the playoffs. To make a long story short, the Dynamo were run off the field. NY looked like the fricken Brasilian National Team on us. To boot, the Texans got murdered by the Ravens with our QB throwing 4 GD interceptions. Our pre/post Dynamo game tradition is to go up to the Flying Saucer for some beers. It's Sunday which means all Texas pints are $2.75. I notice that I had not formally reviewed any Southern Star beers, and they had two new ones on tap.

Southern Star Logger
Finally get to try this one from the newest Brewery in the Houston area. Kinda cloudy, yet with a straw color. It smells kind of vegetaly, which is what I expect from a lager, but then I get some cardboard smell. First thing I notice is basic Germanish hops on the aftertaste. Another draught and I get the light sweet malt. I think it could be a pilsner style. I notice a grit on my tongue. Never cool. Basically, I didn't notice the malt on the first sip as it only lasts a split second. It has more flavor than a Bud, but I'm putting this at 2 star. The flavors don't mesh well at all. It's like the worst part of munich and the worst part of hops. Sorry man. My friend was dissing this one the whole time.

Southern Star Rauchbier
My first smoked beer I think I've had in a long time. Greatly looking forward to this. It comes out crystal clear with a small white head. What the hell, I expected it to be pitch black. And dammit this thing smells like a ham sandwich. That is probably the absolute LAST thing I expected to smell on a beer. The kicker: I HATE HAM, Bacon, pepperoni, salami, and sausage. (yet I love pork ribs and pork chops, go fig). I took one swig and it tasted like ham and water. I was ready to chalk this one up on the spot, but my friend insisted that we have to finish this thing. He said I had to be a man and finish the beer I had. We had one of our homegirls at the table, so I had to show up. I visibly suffered the whole time while choking this one down. The more i drank it, the more I thought they dry hopped this with Bacon bits. There is NOTHING more wrong in this world than bacon bits. I don't see why the waitress didn't just garnish it with bacon bits. I saw it had only 3 reviews on beeradvocate that averaged out to a B-. I think all three of them had it at the Flying Saucer like I did. This is a damn shame and if there ever was a 1 Star beer, this one is it.

I love the creativity that Southern Star is bringing to the Texas game, and who knows, this may be a huge hit with the swine lovers. $5 says it wins an award at the GABF. Southern Star is well on it's way to being one of our more creative Texas micros with this pork beer and the really hoppy Pine Belt Pale Ale. The thing about creativity, sometimes it works, and sometimes people look at you like you're a circus freak. But I'm glad they are nearby, which means every new creation they push out will be in Houston first. Good luck fellas. Lay off that pig.

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
My friend and I decided we had to make an audible and go with something other than Texas beer. I just needed that Bacon flavor out of my mouth. And I needed a Westcoast IPA to make it happen. My friend got a Westmalle. Amber color, strong hops that are flowery and citrus. Yes sir! Creamy white head. The taste is a strong malt followed by a strong hops. I'm thinking maybe Cascade and some other hops. It's not overwhelming but this one got the job done. 3-4 Star.

Back to today...
What made it so bad is that I still tasted some of that pork in my mouth all night.

Stone Smoked Porter, now warmer
Now there's some of that smoke. This beer is maybe in its 50s instead of upper 30s when I first tried it. The grittiness on the tongue is still there after you drink it down, but this one is so smooth you don't even care. Nice low carbonation. Very good. The maltiness comes in very well. I'm going to refrian from calling this a 4 Star beer, as I think the Sam Adams Black Lager is really the ticket. I just walked away from it to eat some corn. I come back and it's even better. 4 Stars man. Don't even put this one in the fridge. This one would be a little better with a touch more mouthfeel, but I'll keep it at a low 4 Star.

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