Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beer in New Orleans, Again

In March a few of us went to New Orleans to party for a weekend. Just some old Texas fun, in New Orleans. I've been meaning to make it to some of the bigger beer bars, but once again I blew it. How can you stumble all the way to Frenchmen street when you have to pass Bourbon.

I've beered it up in the NO before and didn't think I'd find too many new things. I did want to hit Crescent city one more time, as well as try to find some NOLA. NOLA is a new brewery and their beer isn't all over the city just yet. But I did find...

March 20, 2009
Abita Strawberry Harvest
I'll make this simple, if you've ever had Frankenberry Cereal, that's what this tastes like with a skim milk. I always found Frankenberry lagging (Booberry MuthaF8cka!!!). 2 Star.

March 21, 2009
Red Stallion
This Crescent city brewhouse beer is their main attraction beer. At this point I'm feeling the beer a bit, as we've been drinking it up all day and the day before. But this redish amber beer has a bready sugar/cinnamon/caramel smell. Medium body on the moth and kind of boring after that. Nice moderate hops but not balanced. I'm thinking Noble hops. Low 3 Star.

Later on I got a bottle of some stuff from Mississippi

Lazy Magnolia Indian Summer Spiced Ale
Now that's one heck of a name. Nose is a little malty and vegetaly, with some cinnamon in there. Strong head. Frankly, the taste is kinda crappy, harsh unpleasant hop bite, a little grainy, and goes down watery. Low 2 Star if not a 1 Star. Come on Lazy Mag!

Now that I look at my beer book a month later, I could have sworn I drank more than that. I know there was a Gordon Biersch beer in there somewhere. Otherwise, nothing all that new. But I would recommend your wading through Bourbon street's swill and overpriced mixed drinks to hit Beerfest. A great beer bar that is oddball enough to not be totally filled, so you may be able to get a seat.

We did lush it up pretty bad in New Orleans. I managed not to expose myself to anyone this time, but it was an adventure. New Orleans is trying to get better, but it can be hard with all that crime going down. If you make it to the NO, just keep it cool.


I've mentioned the Flying Saucer a lot on this blog, to the point I may want to get a little change from them, or at least 1 free pint a visit. Anyway, we were doing our normal walk up to the Sauce when we saw a beer bar that has opened up next door with 75 beers on tap, as opposed to the 80 at the Saucer. (in a French accent) CHALLENGE!!!

Angelos opened up just a few months ago and feature Italian food and lots of beer choices. A quick peak at the bar at Angelos and you'll see a lot of craft beer on tap, but more of the popular ones. The Saucer seems to forgo having all the Konas and will whip out a keg of IPA Tripel from Belgium. Anyway, hold up...

Beer Log: Right now, just cracked it open
State: Hoping the baby stays asleep

Sam Adams Cream Stout
Smells of rich velvety chocolate with a hint of brown sugar sweetness. Color is a deep brown that if you can see through it, you're a bad MF. Head has some sustainability, but mostly fizzles down. Ooh that's a different kind of chocolate than normal. Almost a smoke flavor it. Sadly the hops kinda screw this one up with an icky bite that doesn't go well with the citrus sourness. It's like someone squeezed in a touch of grapefruit. About 2/3 of the way back on the tongue, I get a touch of wateriness as well. Don't know why the wife was chilling this one, maybe just figured she'd drink it later. Oh well there's more. Low 3 Star. I am driving back from offshore one day and I'm feeling kind of down, b/c I went back early though I could have volunteered to stay the whole time. The rain and fog were horrible, and by the time I made it to Houston it was rush hour. I figured I would just detour into downtown for a couple of pints and leave a couple hours later. I go to Angelos b/c if nothing else they have all kinds of Houston Dynamo 'nalia abound.

The place is relatively quiet with some folks enjoying some pizza and whatnot. I order a basic cheese pizza and about the only beer on the list I hadn't had before and eventually strike up conversation with a British gent next to me. Turns out he owns a beer bar in Leeds. Cool sh*t. He's regaling me with beer tails and stories of fish guts to clear up a beer (awesome, I love sushi), and then the music starts. Turns out the Houston Dynamo Cheerleaders are having a party at Angelos that night and they are doing a little dance rehearsal before it gets fired up. Oh BEHAVE! Their twirling around and bopping in sport bras and booty shorts and whatnot, and suddenly I forgot about my review...

Beer Log: March 12, 2009
State: May need to go to the bathroom

Franzis Kaner Weissbier
Gold-orange color and cloud. Nice white head. Good pure ester, yeast and banana nose. Hells yeah. I first notice it has a great smoothness for all that high carbonation. Makes me want to keep slugging it down. Not much of an orange peel taste like it's Belgian cousin, but a good banana flavor with a light funky hop, good medium body. It's very fresh unlike a lot of the store-bought German beers I've had in the past. High 3 Stars. the Brit and I discuss the differences in American Soccer and British Football (he's a Sheffield United guy), and order a few more wheat beers. The bartender seems to know what he's talking about. And might I say it is refreshing to be able to hold a good beer conversation with the bartender. The Sauce (for all its glory) is always packed to the rafters. The only way I can have a pleasant conversation with the bartender at the Sauce is to either pull a gun on him or just come on a Sunday afternoon. I did end up leaving before the party got started. One more brew (or dance number) and I probably would have had to stay the night downtown, not cool.

We've made it Angelos once more since then and tried more of the food. Their cheese breadsticks are KILLER, and the waitstaff is very nice. Angelos seems to keep up with some later releases, though not as diverse or off the wall like the Saucer. But with the food, I can see myself going here first, and then hitting the Sauce for my IPA on Cask. How many times can you have the Big Dipper.

We're not Hitchhiking anymore... We're RIDING!

All this travel. It doens't even feel like I've been moving around that much until I write it all down on this blog. Oh well.

Beer Log: February 28, 2009
State: At the House

Abita Andygator
Oh the beer travels. I got this 22 ouncer the last time I was in Louisiana. I'm really rooting for Abita to up the game. Their seasonals have been pretty bland in my opinion. This one is actually a doppelbock. I could retype how they came up with the name of this beer, but I think they could do it better than me. Light straw colored doppelbock, oh behave. Kinda sour and fruity nose coming from a strong offwhite head. It kinda has that light oktoberfest Munich malt caramel nose, and it's kinda lager veggie nose. Maybe not exactly true to style with that caramel, but whatever. Head is taking its SWEET time going down. After waiting it out, I get a nice robust sweetness on my tongue. I was expecting a little sourness in the flavor but it didn't show up. This thing feel great on the tongue. It tastes very German, like a Spaten, not the Optimator but their other brews. It has just enough strength to be a DB but could pass for an Oktoberfest in a different bottle. How about you take the Shiner 99 (a great Helles Lager) and up the caramel a few notches. And since I love Shiner 99, the Gator gets 4 Stars.

Troeg's Amber Ale
Barrelling through our beers picked up from travelling, I got this Troegs when last in Maryland. Smell has a floral hops with some alcohol. Copper color with a weak white head. Upon tasting, I get a flash of hops in a velvety body that reminds me of French bread. The aftertaste is a biting hop (maybe Cascade-ish) but doesn't last very long. 3 Stars. The hop aftertaste lasts longer the more you drink it.

I wonder how you pronounce "troeg" anyway. The "O" in the name has the two dots over it. I wonder if it's like my favorite cartoon character Ren Hoek. Either way, who couldn't use a little SPACE MADNESS!

While we're here, let me slide in one more Troegs I had on March 3.

Troegs Nugget Nectar
State: Eating spicy spaghetti.
This is a slightly red amber color. And OH smell those hops. Flowery and citrusy nose with a great caramel malt backbone. Tasting it and OH WOW! Nice hops strength but no bite. Awesome. Nice plum and caramel on the back end of the tongue. It finishes uber-clean. Slight aftertaste of hops, 4 Star. There is some beady, and it is just plain super hoppy. It reminds me of the Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner.

To Getting Naked to Count to 21

You ever have one of those beers that the title coupled with the beer just has that appeal. For some, the downtown Specs had this huge display of "Drifter" in the corner near the freezer. A pale ale from Widmer should not disappoint. I just love that name "Drifter". Anyway...

Beer Log: February 26, 2009
State: At the house

Widmer Drifter Pale Ale
The Brothas give me a very orange citrus and piney hop nose. Strong tinged orange head with Baylor Gold clear color. The first thing you notice is the medium body followed by the rush of bread and citrus hops. (Ok, I must have been off b/c I get a lot more maltiness when I drink Drifter now...). Good tailgating beer. Funny how smells prepare you for a harsh hop and the taste doesn't deliver. It has a pretty quick finish as well. 3 Star.

Jomo Lager from Starr Hill
A Karrin Stefans amount of head with an orangish chill haze appearance. I get that caramel maltiness sweet smell that's kinda gentle. I think it soured and skunked up on me a bit. We got this one from a trade with a dude in Virginia and forgot about it. We've since put our low ABV stuff in one cabinet and the high ABV in another cabinet so we remember which ones to get to first. Back to the beer, I get some caramel and bready pilsner on the flavor. It has some bitterness but not biting. It's aiight. 2 Stars.

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale
Copped this one in Hotlanta on a trip to Georgia Tech. Terrapin is brewed by the dudes in Athens, Georgia (or Jawhja if you went to U(sic)GA). Copper color with white basic head. Nose is a little crisper with malt and bread. (then again I have a stuffy nose). High carbonation with some bite from the spice and the hops. Very tingly but not all that inspirational. Low 3 Star.

To Brew or Not to Brew (To Style)

I was listening to an archived episode of the Brewing Network's The Session featuring the brewers from De Struise, the 2008 Best Brewers in the World according to Rate Beer. The brewers stated that they brew to taste and that they were against the whole idea of having styles.

(In case you don't know, the beer styles are defined by the American Homebrewer's Association. Each style has a defined range for color and gravity, along with a desired flavor profile.)

There's definitely strong arguments for both sides of the debate: brewing to style can restrict creativity, but it's the only way to win a medal at a large, nationally known competition like the GABF. Breweries like Magic Hat who don't brew to style are unlikely to medal at those competitions, no matter how good their beer tastes. However, styles provide guidelines and allow us to categorize and compare great beers. Jamil Zanischeff has remarked that when you think you are brewing your own style, you're really just brewing another style.

What do you think? Do you brew to style or taste (or both)? Why?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rasberry Brown beer

Beer Log: Right now
State: Still a little flooded out after the rains

Otter Creek Winter Ale Rasberry Brown
Will I EVER get through these Winter beers?
Smells like strong rasberry with a hint of malt. Brown deep color with a light tan head. Nice brown ale like caramel and roasty malt, pretty high carbo, and a moderate taste of rasberry. Not overwhelming but the presence is certainly there. The more I drink it I can get a hint of tartness. The carbonation leaves a hefty tingle on my tongue as well. Pretty good beer man. Could work for a lot of things, even though I usually don't feel the fruit beers that much. 3 Stars.

Winter Bok?

Beer Log: February 24, 2009
State: At the Flying Saucer before the Dynamo game

We’re here hoping the Dynamo can do a little something in the CONCACAF, even our clubs talent has been gutted in the last few months. We now have little chance of making it to past the Mexican clubs now, or for next years CONCACAF.

So to prepare for the game, we’re getting a few new brews.

Franconia Dunkel
The name is the inspiration for the video below. Brown and opaque. Has a roasted and coffee nose. Tastes a little slippery on the mouthfeel. Kinda film an dcoating. It has a decent chocolate malt with coffee notes back in the tongue. Low hops. Maybe gets better as it warms, but I’ve had bigger flavors for my dark lagers (like the Heini I’m drinking right now 4/27/09). Add to that it’s souring up on me as it warms. Low 3 Star.

Barbar WinterBok
Pitch black an opaque. Very strong tanish-grey head. Not much of a nose. It’s a very sweet and strong bock. Kinda like a cinnamon sugar cookie on steroids. Very high malt, little hops, and very smooth. 4 Star bock. This one is worthy of the Misses. Very quick finish. Almost imperial like with the malt. Certainly has the bock style of malt. Not just caramel or just coffee, more something like a twizzlers on a smoked grill. High in the runnings for Winter beer of the Seaon.

Belhaven Stout
No need to follow up Barbar with a kolsch. Nitro head (very creamy) with a deep brown color. Love watching a nitrogen head settle as the bubbles go up and down. Chocolate nose coming off of a tan colored beer. It’s very malty and pretty roasty as well. Very smooth and full bodied, repping well what I think a stout should be. High 3 Star.


Beer Log: February 20, 2009

One thing about working at the company’s main office, is the tex-mex joint we go to for lunch a lot. Great stuff. Lupe’s has the best Shrimp like fajita like thing, called a “shrimp lupe”. While we try to sneak in the margarita or two during lunch (usually a lunch where somebody is quitting), they do have all the Mexican beers there. And one I hadn’t tried yet

Gee, I wonder which ethnic group influenced this beer? (Damn this Heineken Dark is pretty tastey, maybe a good summer workhorse beer) They put a lime on the bottle and the snob in me was subdued as I just gently put the lime to the side and asked for a glass. Light straw color. There’s some sort of German noble hop in there. Mod instant quick finish. I’m getting nice bread biscuit malt. It’s good, even if it’s bone chilling cold. Blanaces out the spicy chips and salsa, and the carbonation is not too high. 3 Stars.

This one has a lot going on with it, and I’ll probably mix it up with the Negra Modelo.

Some Winter Beers

Beer log: February 3, 2009

I got a few beers from a friend from merry old England. I always find that the English have an excellent sophistication. I sit here watching the Tudors and I do find wonder in their formality and exquisite manners. Anyway…

Ridgeway Santa’s Butt
Gotta love the name of this British ale. Clear and ruby brown with a tan head when I poured it vigorously. Smells of chocolate and caramel. Tastes a little chocolate, just a little sweet and plain. It has a thinner body and kinda boring. Low 3 Star.

Back to the New World
Fordham Doppelbock
Dark brown and clear. Tan strong head. It smells kind of English muffiny and alcoholy. Nice rich sweet flavor. Low carbonation and hops. Almost like light syrup. Nice high alcohol. High 3 Star.

Beer Log: February 19, 2009

A few more winter seasonals
Heavy Seas Winter Bock (Hang Ten)
I think the 10 is for the alcohol content. Now we’re getting somewhere! Got to love Clipper City, they have more brands than some microbreweries have beer.
Deep amber color. Very fruity with a chocolate nose. Almost lambicky (if that’s such a word), but not as sour. It has some body to it. I’m gettinig some great malt and nuttiness in the second slug. 4 Stars overall.

Today (April 27, 2009) I still have some Winter beers to go through. Bocks trump Winter warmers in my book, but Bock traditionally are a spring beer. I still haven’t ranked my best winter seasonals. I may have to break it up into Christmas Beer, Winter Beers, and Winter Warmers. Just to be fair.

Dogfish Head Raisson D’extra
The Fish are just belting out all kinds of creative styles of beer, and my wife will stop at nothing until we’ve had them all. Now they have another Raisson out there, an extra one. Strong fruity and rasin nose (go figure). It’s like grape juice, but not like wine. Cloudy with a UT burnt orange, weak tan head. Big fruit/malt flavor with alcohol finish. Lots of plumness going on. A little high on the carbonation, like it’s bottle conditioned. Tastes similar to the first raisson. Forgot to write in a ratinig.

Richmond Arms for some Czech Beer

Beer log: February 1, 2009
On this day, I finally made it back to Richmond Arms pub on Richmond in Houston. This sector of Richmond Street in Houston is the closest thing we have to a red light district. Quite a few bars, hookah bars, and of course strip clubs. Word on the street is there are a couple of “houses of pleasure” some where on Richmond but that’s neither here nor there. But tucked into Richmond area is a great British pub that always has on some rugby and soccer. NICE. The bartender is very knowledgeable and friendly. If I ever were to open my own beer bar, I would model after the ARMS. Though maybe with fried rice on the menu, eff you guys.

Pilsner Urquell
How nice. I’ve been looking for some Urquell on draft. Straw and clear color with a light saaz hop smell. Taste is a good pils malt with some lingering bitter hop. You get a lot of bread with some malt backbone. Not bad at all. 3 Stars.

Sticking with the Czechs, I figure we’ll go for the original Bud on draft. Straw with a white head. Kinda bland with a funky taste. Light on the bread and hops. 2 Star. It’s better than Budweiser with a touch more to it. I’d love to give it another go in the Czech Republic.

Czechvar and A-B have an ongoing lawsuit about the name Budweiser and all that rot, but they signed a deal for A-B to distribute Czechvar. Damned if Czechvar is not on A-B's list of beers on their website. Like the Million Dollar Man Ted DeBiasi once said, "everybody has a price". Or like Deion Sanders once said:

Beering with The Tudors

I’m sitting here watching the Tudors on DVR drinking on a Heineken Dark Lager. Man I was truly rooting for Mr. Aske and the boys, fully knowing through history that the rebellion against King Henry the VIII was not going to succeed. Anyway, I’m re-introducing myself into civilian life after taking the PE exam. If I pass the test, you’ll know. If I don’t pass, this blog will turn from a beer appreciation and beer hunter blog to more of “a confessions of a crying grown man”.

Anyway, let’s clear out the old notebook of beer travels.

First off this beer I had 3 months ago, I forgot to write the name down. It could have been the beer we traded for with the guys in Virginia, or just something we picked up at Specs. Maybe yah can figure it out.

Beer Log: January 26, 2009
Dark copper color and very clear with a very strong light tan head. Nose is bready, fruity, with plum/alcohol accent. It’s kinda bitter and bready with a nice balance of light syrup malt. Has a nice medium yet filling body. Very drinkable. I’ll call it a rounded beer. High 3 Stars

I’m thinking this is something like a strong bock.

January 30, 2009
Dominion Baltic Porter
Got this one with a trade with a guy from Virginia. I let the Misses set it up. Brown and ruby in the light. Tan head. Smells of malt and coholate with maybe touch of alcohol. Excellent strong malt, lightly roasty and medium-full bodied. Very low hops. Quick finish . 4 Star body baby, and a high 4 Star beer. If I ever get my hands on it again, I may give it the 5. Dominion did it just right with this winter seasonal. Malt bill is just off the imperial level with a caramel, chocolate, toffee, and licorice flavor as it warms.

Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout
The dawgs came on strong with a drak brown beer with a strong tan head. The nose is HIGH alcohol and serious caramel and toffee. WOW BEER. It’s a monster malt beer that is not imperial either. It’s kind of like they forgot to put the hops in there. Take some wort and add vodka. Force carbonate it up and call it good. 4 Stars.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wife's first post

Beer Log: Right now
State: A slight headache from dealing with the wireless and the baby and Don.

Sam Adams Imperial Doppelbock

First poured it is not as dark as I'd expect it to be. Kind of a dark amber color. Some red in it. I was expecting it to be a really dark brown like Optimator and Celebrator. Smells good, no alcohol. Just smells sweet, no roastiness. No kinda coffee notes on the notes, just sugar sweet. Oh. It's a good beer, medium body. Carbonation is pretty low, a little overly sweet to me. Kind of candy sweet, almost cloying. One of the first doppelbock I've tasted that could have used a little more hops. No hot alcohol flavor. Optimator you feel the alcohol pretty quickly, but there's no balance roasty or coffee. Is just a malt sugar sweet. The more I drink it the more I really don't like this right now. It reminds me of a belgian we had before, maybe Delirium Nocturnum. I enjoy the malty flavors, not the sweet flavor. This beer just needs more hops to balance off. It seems like they just threw extra sugar in there. The Shiner 100 is a better doppelbock than this, and I didn't care for the Shiner 100. The 100 was too light in flavor and body. The last beer we had with syrup was a Dogfish we had, Worldwide Stout. It was justified to be that sweet at 18% ABV. This one is 9.5% with high sweetness. The Sam Adams tastes like a desert wine. I'm dissapointed b/c all the beers we had it were good. I just knew this one was going to be good. Maybe it would taste better if you let it age out. Right now I'm still tasting the sweet.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Early Spring Beer in Late Spring

More blogging before the big exam tomorrow...

State: Starting to get a little nervous
Beer Log: April 23, 2009

Sierra Nevada Early Spring Beer
I realize that it is now late spring and the summer beers are coming out. Strong strong head with a grassy and citrus nose. The color is that classic Sierra Nevada light copper with slight chill haze. Taste is a nice grassy citrus hops followed by some earthy rounded malt. The more I drink it and it warms up I'm getting a touch of sourness. We've had this beer for a few months and only knocked back a couple bottles. So that may have something to do with it. The head is pretty lacy, and the aftertaste is pretty citrus hop flavor, not unpleasant. The beer has a "first hop" "second malt" thing as it proceeds across your tongue. Not bad at all. 3 Star, would be high 3 without that sourness and the aftertaste can linger on you. A little cloying as well.

Rahr & Sons WInter Warmer

Getting more posts cleared out of my notebook here while waiting for the Exam to start tomorrow morning...

Beer Log: January 18, 2009

Rahr & Sons Winter Warmer
Representin Texas here. Black color with a kinda grey tan head. Smells like a lot of velvety chocolate. Tastes of a good strong chocolate and yet not gritty with low carbonation and nice medium mouthfeel. There some hop and choco bitterness come out 15 seconds after it goes down your throat. As it warms there could be a slight sourness that actually works. I'm gonna give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I think that's my first Rahr & Sons 4 Star beer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tinged Orange beer at the Saucer

Beer Log: Last Night

State: Thirsty, awaiting my first Astros game

We finally made it back to the damn Flying Saucer in Houston. I think it's been about a month since I last made it there. Why you ask: one, I've been studying for the PE Exam, two, I live about 25 miles from downtown Houston. I need a good mega beer bar somewhere in Katy, Texas and I would be good. Maybe a Taco Mac or something.

Anyway, we wanted to down about 3 beers to make before the 'Stros game. I drove the whole way leaving the top down on the convertible. Normally not a big deal, but I still had the baby seat in the back. Is that ghetto, rolling around town with a drop top and an empty baby seat. I guess I should put it in the trunk next time. But the temperature on I-10 got over 95 degrees on my car thermometer, so I'm actually sweating. Why not some German wheat beers...

We had to order just the right beers as it was happy hour and we wanted to get the 22 oz beers for 12 oz prices. Looks lightly tinged orange and rather cloudy. On the nose we have oranges and just barely some bubble gum, and I detect a touch of the mustiness from the hops you get in those German beers. First I notice the medium body and carbonation with a very nice orange flavor and a pinch of sweetness. High 3 Star. Great way to start the night. You can always count on Ayinger.

Ah yes, another weisse beer. Banana ester nose. (I'm trying to remember to do the smell before the appearance. The smell can change pretty rapidly, the appearance ain't goin anywhere). Strong white head with a deep orange tinge. It tastes like a great 4 star wheat beer at first with all that ester, a touch of sourness, and banana, and then BAM! it's followed up by the taste of copper coins and icky hops at the back of the tongue. What in the blue hell? That is a damn shame. It could have been in the transportation or something up with the keg, but come on, it's on TAP. It's not like they shipped it in a green bottle. And usually that comes with skunkiness. And how long could it have possibly been sitting in the keg as it was on the new beer list on the chalkboard? Low 3 Stars.

After choking down the banana flavored pennies, I did what I always do when hit with a bad taste, IPA ALL THE WAY! But somebody got cute and made an IPA Tripel. A superstrong light colored Belgian strong ale with American hops.

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel by Brasserie d' Achouffe

That's a name that I can't pronounce any of the names to, except for IPA and Tripel. Cloudy tinged orange with a strong white head. It was actually on tap, so I'm glad I was able to try it without the green bottle affect. Smells like strong citrus hops (maybe cascade) with a ester and sourness. Oh yes. The taste reveals an overpowering hops with low malt and great creaminess. Great mashup for a Belgian beer. The aftertaste is a little bitter, but it works. You keep drinking it and you'll find the tripel fighting for taste buds with all those hops. That smoothness, that banana/ester, that great mouthfeel. Fantastic 4 Star beer.
While downing the IPA Trip, we decided that for our guys trip we should try to go to Amsterdam and to Munich for Oktoberfest. Hopefully we can pull it off. Of course, the trip seems easier when your on your third weisse beer. After leaving the Sauce we made it to the Stros game and they beat the Dodgers. Actually grabbed me a Drop Top amber with my BBQ sandwich. That was a good hour after we had our last beer at the Saucer, and the amber may as well had been a budweiser. Couldn't taste a thing but some bread. I should have just ordered the Saint Arnold Amber anyway. Oh it's real.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Honey Moon and Baton

Honey Moon and Crawfish
Clear straw color with a substantial yet fizzy head after a vigorous pour. Kinda smells lagery, like veggie. Maybe a little honey. Taste has some smoothness of a wheat beer, but not much. The taste is pretty bland actually, although they claim they used the orange peel, coriander, and now honey. With the crawfish I get a lot more of the honey coming through. Nice. Only with the crawfish do you get some of that honey, and as it warms there is some orange peel. But by itself, not cool. Low 3 Star to 2 Star.

Dogfish Head Burton Baton
Very strong alcohol and malt and spicey floral hops. Head is very creamy offwhite with that apple cider look to it. Wow. Has a lot of hops later on, with a rush of hops and malt in the early goings. Reminds me of an Imperial style. (BTW, I have no idea what style this is as I review it). Could say Imperial IPA, American Barleywine. The hop AT is vanishing faster. No sense of alcohol going on. The wife tells me it's a blended young Imperial IPA with an Oak-aged Imperial IPA. I could see some of the oak in there. High 3 Star, and probably a 4 star if it's aged and mellows a touch. Hops are really grassy and floral, and the nose really contributes to the taste on this one. Nice touch from the Fish.

I've stepped away to down the rest of my Honey Moon and watch the Liddell-Rua fight again, and now the beer is a bit sweeter, the hops are still very strong. I like the balance tipped toward hops here. Dogfish Head just knows how to do an Imperial IPA man. I just can't wait until I make it to Cali to try some of those I-IPAs and whathaveyou. I still haven't had Pliny or any of the Alesmiths.


Oh by the way, if you live in the gulf, try your crawfish this season with just about any craft beer. I had the Bud American Ale with my spicy crawfish in Houma, Louisiana, and the Am Ale tasted FANTASTIC. It totally blew away Abita Amber. The one drawback about crawfish is that they look disgusting as hell. The trick is to not stare at them, it will totally gross you out.

Dogfish Head Aprihop, Round 2

It's time finally for the spring beers to come out. I think I still have to mark up my posts to give my best winter and Christmas (or Holiday) beers. Anyway, I'm getting into the spring beers now, things like Mardi Gras Bocks, regular bocks, and Lord only knows Spring Beers are back in season. Just in time for Crawfish season here on the Gulf. Anyway, let's take another look at the Aprihop from the land mammals at Dogfish.

State: Have a slight hangover from drinking up the last of my homebrewed belgian wit, but still ready to beer it up.
Beer Log: Right now

Dogfish Head Aprihop
Oh yes, smells like those apricots out of the can. A slight hop in the nose, but o'erpowered by the apricot. Head is nice and thick on top of a clear copper color beer. Beer is REALLY sweet, and very unbalanced. *Gives the sideeye to Dogfish head* Almost knocks you down with the apricot. The handbook says it should be somewhat subtle flavors accenting the beer. This is more like beer flavored apricot juice. It just too tangy, too tart, too peachy. I'm sorry. Low 3 Star.

Either the Dawgs changed their recipe, or I just evolved from the last time I looked at it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

UFC 97 Beering

My main man Anderson Silva is fighting tonight, as well as one of my other favorites Chiek Kongo. Unlike last time, I don't have any beer from the home countries of the main event participants. Both Anderson Silva and Thales Leites are from Brazil, and I actually had Xingu yesterday at Lucky's Pub. Turns out it tastes kinda like Shiner Bock.

So, no sense in crying over spilled milk. Let's IPA it up shall we...

KONGO WINS, KONGO WINS, KONGO WINS. That's how you get it done Kongo!!! I'm getting me some Double IPA.

Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA
The Southpaws put together a very pale straw color with some chill haze. Nice superstrong white head. Nose is nice citrus hops and strong caramel malt. The wife tried it first and she couldn't stand it with all the hops, so I'm looking forward to this puppy. Can't wait for the main events tonight. Monster hops with enough sweet malt to balance. The aftertaste is a little cloying sweetness with some nice bitter hoppiness as well. Some of the taste reminds me of the Rio Blanco Pale Ale from Real Ale (Texas represent!), which makes me think of some rye in the beer. It's basically a more hardcore version of the Rio Blanco, which ain't a bad thing. I've got 22 ounces of this one, so this may be the only new beer of the night. I've already down some Choco porter and my homebrew IPA. More drinks of this beer makes me think that it is certainly a double (or imperial) IPA, but on the lower end of the hardcore bigness. Maybe I'm just getting used to the whole "Big Beer" thing. High 3 Star. Would be 4, but not feeling that aftertaste.

While I keep drinking, I'm looking forward to doing more beering in Houston. We plan on hitting some of the beer bars. Yesterday the wife and I made it to Angelos (beer bar next door to the Sauce) and dropped by Lucky's for a pint, who advertises that they have 3 more beers than the Sauce. I would have made it to the Sauce today, but the rain was just too thick. Tomorrow the wife and I will try to squeeze in a trip to Coaches Pub for some crawfish and to take a look at their beer selection. I just have a serious hankering for some crawfish. I even made it to the Houston International Fest today, in which the feature country was Ireland. Although it rained like Mother Nature had PMS, so they eventually shut it down. But I was able to squeeze in a pint of Guiness at the Mucky Ducks tent, another beer bar. Fantastic stuff going on in Houston, and maybe the more we look, the more beer bars we see.

The wife picked up one of those magazines which features clubs and bars, and it turns out we have a gay beer bar in the Heights, Beer Island. Of course that means I have to check it out, just have to make sure the wife is with me. Hey, nothing wrong with hanging out with the gays occassionally, just can't do it too often. Who wants to hear that much techno. I'm sure these various bars have mostly swill beer and may have 2 or 3 beers I've never tried (unlike the Sauce which has about 100 I haven't tried), but it's worth the trip. We even have a "The Yardhouse" coming to town in December at CityCentre. Hot shit.

My trips to New Orleans and Las Vegas were great and once I get through this PE exam, I'll catch up on those posts. Real funny stories come along with those reviews, including shots of tequila, me doing my best to get divorced, to waking up f'ed up everyday.

The wife and I plan on taking a tour through the German Texas towns in the Hill Country for our anniversary in June. That will include towns like New Braunfels, Fredricksburg, and maybe Shiner. We'll probably wrap it up in Austin just to go there again.

Chuck Liddell just came out, always exciting to see what he's got going on.

Sam Adams Imperial White

Wow. I just had the first in the Sam Adams Imperial Series. We were eating some tilapia with baked beans, and so what's better than the Imperial White beer. I was greatly intrigued by the fact that they "Imperialized" a witbier. Then again, they did make an Imperial Pilsner with Hallertau hops, which was great as well.

Sam Adams Imperial White

Has a great cloudy orange look with a serious head in my snifter (nullus). You've got to love the great orange and coriander nose. The mouthfeel is very smooth and filling, with a taste of big orange, coriander, ester, and maybe some slight fruitiness. Whatever hops are in there balance it out, b/c the carbonation is not very prevalent. This beer proved a great foil for the tilapia, and stood up to the brown sugar in teh baked beans. The beer is perfectly balanced, and you get very little sense of the 10% alcohol by volume lurking underneath. The finish is pretty quick, but leaves you wanting more. Just awesome.

Let me put it like this: RUN DON'T WALK. For the great beer and the great creativity, this is a solid 5 Star beer. (5 Star rating means it's a beer that defines why we're doing beer in the first place). Big flavor, but still true enough to the style. I could get a few cases of these Imperial beers and cellar the heck out of them.
I'm just glad I don't live back in Mississippi, with those alcohol restrictions and all.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lazy Magnolia

A few days ago I was logged this review. I'm glad Mississippi is finally doing some microbrewing. But I must say they stumbled out of the gate.
I did enjoy my time when I lived in Miss right after college. Everyone was very nice and the community took us in. Too bad we did not get into beer until a couple years ago. All that wasted time.

Beer Log: A few days ago

State: Watching The Tudors, damn this show kicks ass.

Southern Pecan Nut Brown
I picked up this and a few other Lazy Mags when I was last in New Orleans.
Smells a little fruity and malty. A touch of nutiness. Taste is roasty and whatnot, and a little sour. A nice bread in the aftertaste. A light hops to boot. Got a nice cloudy brown color with a nice liht brown head. Second draught gives me some more tang. There is something missing here, and I'm thinking this beer just needs some backbone, particularly a malt backbone. The wife just said it's an English Brown Ale, and that seems to make sense. Low 3 Star.

I really and truly hope Lazy Mag keeps the party going. I don't plan on getting any closer to Mississippi than New Orleans any time soon, but I may try to take a quick trip one of these days. Keep it going.

Monday, April 6, 2009



Carolina BLUE MOON

Oh yes. It is the first half of the Carolina-MSU game, and we are utterly destroying Michigan State. Carolina is the realest squad out there. I am sitting here having downed 3 of a 6 pack of Blue Moons, on Martin Luther King Dr in Houma, Louisiana. I'm operating on three hours of sleep from the night before.

This is so fantastic. North Carolina OWNS BASKETBALL. For my readers from France and Germany, take heed. We OWN THE SPORT OF BASKETBALL!

Blue Moon never tasted so good. That medium body, the nice orange flavor, the slight esters from the yeast, and that's just from drinking it out the bottle. And I've got 3 more to go.

North Carolina 55
Michigan State 34