Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shandy

We were at Porky's Cafe the other night for our usual Wings and Beer / date night. We got our usual cold beer and hot wings.

I didn't see any new to me brews on the draft beer menu. I asked and the beer babe said they had Saranac Shandy in a can. Okie dokie, I'm game for that.

Shandy (4.20% ABV) is lager and lemonade. It says so right on the can. It also says "How cool (and crisp and refreshing) is that? Pucker up, you're gonna want to kiss us for this one."

I don't know about that, I've never had a shandy that really impressed me. Narragansett's was so bad I poured it down the drain. Pint and Panels wasn't overly impressed with this one. That didn't deter me though. On person's poison is another person's nectar.












Jaime brought me a can and then posed for photos. She even poured it for me!! She's WAY accommodating. That's why we love her!

Saranac Shandy poured a clear lemony yellow with a big floof of white foam that quickly settled.

The aroma? Lager and lemonade. Duh. :-P

The taste is big time lemonade with some beerness hanging around in there. What I like about it is that it's not sicky sweet or cloying. A good mix.

It's very light and quaffable. It goes down easy and low in alcohol, which makes it ideal as a refresher on a hot summer.

It's not great but it doesn't suck.


Overall: good.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cisco Brewers Island Reserve - Russian Imperial Stout


Me and my minion are in the midst of doing a full on network over haul for the company I work for. We're upgrading all of our network gear to Cisco.

There is no relation to Cisco Brewers other than after a day of configuring settings, policies, and other technical mumbo-jumbo I sure as sh!t need a beer.

That is where Cisco Brewers come in.

Russian Imperial Stout (13.50% ABV) from their Island Reserve series fits the bill quite nicely when I need to redirect and disconnect from the insanity of the day.

It pours a deep dark sable brown. It has a thick, voluminous mocha colored head that clings and hangs on for dear life.

The aroma is dark malts, roasty coffee, dark chocolate, and dried fruit.

The taste is very malty with all the flavors I expect from a RIS - coffee, chocolate, burnt sugar, dark fruity flavors. There is some bitterness attributive to the dark roasted malts. There is a bit of earthy hops that tease the back of the palate that adds interesting character to the brew. The alcohol is well concealed - it be felt more than tasted. Finish is bittersweet.

The mouth feel is full and fuzzy with some warmth and tingle from the alcohol.

This is a pretty hearty Russian imperial stout. A good example of the style. Tasty and bold.

Overall: good.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hop Slinger





I enjoyed Amber Apparition when I had it a while back. So, when I spied this bottle of Hop Slinger at the Vista Country Store during a recent visit to North Hampshire I snagged it.

Hop Slinger (6.50% ABV) by Henniker Brewing pours a rich orange with a froth a clingy bubbles that leave behind nice lacing.

The aroma is immediately tart grapefruit followed by sweet malt.

The taste is big time hop forward with loads of grapefruit and some earthy pine. There is also a strong malt presence that balances out some of the bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium-ish. There is hoppy residue that pleasantly seems to cling and linger.

Hop Slinger delivers what its name promises and more.  A good American style IPA.

Overall: good.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Schwarzbier


There's a whole big procedure I go through when I'm introducing a new brew at home.

I take sh!t ton of photos - before, during, and after the pour.

I always hand the first glass to hubby. Then like a script, the following conversation ensues:

He says, "What's this."

I reply, "Beer."
"What kind of beer?"

I typically respond with some vague reference to the beer. Like what color it is or where it came from or the style.

In this case, I said, "Black beer."

He held it up to the light and none penetrated the brew.

"It is black", he said.

And it is. Literally.










Schwarzbier (6.00% ABV) by Agner & Wolf Brewery is a black beer, or more precisely, a German dark lager beer.

It pours a dark, dense brown with a huge floofy tan head that, surprisingly, left behind practically no lacing.

The aroma was mildly roasty and malty with a faint whiff of metal.

The taste is gentle flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malts - think light stout. A good balance of bitter and sweet. Tasty. The finish is malty.

The mouthfeel is amazing. So creamy it's almost nitro-ish. Smooth and wonderful.

Schwarzbier is a great example of the style. Dark, rich, and delicious.

Overall: very good.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel, Raspberry & Chocolate Ale

I'm a big fan of Rogue Brewing. I am especially fond of their VooDoo  Doughnut series.

I guess I'm not the only.

Failure to Fire is an online graphical serial comic strip type thing.

Imagine my delight to find a Rogue Voodoo Doughnut beer depicted in a panel!

The synopsis leading up to this . . .

Mick worked in his uncle's gun store. The uncle met some hippie chick and sold the store to run off with her. Mick's crazy ex-girlfriend and his current punker bi-polar girlfriend pooled their money and bought the store, and then rethemed it to cater to women.

Mick got to keep his job and was made manager. He hired a chick who is awesome at selling guns but is a pothead. The profits doubled since he hired her, and she supposedly doesn't smoke on the job. There’s all kinds of lots of controversy over whether to keep or fire her.

While that is going on, someone apparently attempts to break into the gun shop by ramming a truck through the loading dock but the place explodes. KABLOOMEY!!

Buh-bye gun shop.

Then the ATF gets involved, and by luck of draw, they get assigned an agent that normally specializes in gun running. The dude is a real bad ass. As such, he investigates further than they normally would – you know like break in goes bad, end of story.

No, this guy pulls surveillance tapes from various sources and sees someone else leaving the building right before the attempted break in and the resulting explosion. So he thinks it might really be arson.

Mick is a wuss and blathers to the ATF agent in an interview, but doesn't seem to be lying. The crazy ex lawyers up and the current psycho girlfriend is MIA.

The guy Mick is talking to with the Voodoo Doughnut beer is his bisexual Jamaican best friend . . . 

Anyhoo, about that beer . . .

Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel, Raspberry & Chocolate Ale (5.40% ABV) is an American Brown Ale.

It  pours dark amber brown with about floofy tan head. The foam lingers but leaves little to no lacing.

 The aroma is just like what the label promises - pretzels, raspberries, and sweet chocolate. Remarkable!

The taste is, amazingly, just like that too! Milk chocolate and fruity raspberry are way up front with a biscuity pretzelness teasing the back of the palate. The roasty malts also give a hint a fresh brewed coffee. Well, what's a doughnut without coffee. Am I right? Of course I am.

The mouth feel is medium-ish and smooth.

Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel, Raspberry & Chocolate Ale is a well put together and tasty brew. It's just right and the flavors are spot on. Well done, Rogue!

Overall: very good



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

OId Stitch


Once a year, a bunch of us bloggers from the north east get together for a day of camaraderie and shootin' goodness. Coincidentally, it's called the North East Blogger Shoot. Clever huh?

This year one such blogger - Excels at Nothing -  made the trek all the way up from Virginia. Among other things, she does colonial era reenacting. From making her own garb to shooting reproduction period weaponry. Nancy is super cool. And cute, too.

Although, most of us brought modern firearms, she brought her Brown Bess to the shoot. Brown Bess is a muzzle-loading smoothbore flintlock musket.

I have to admit that shooting black powder is wicked good fun. I own a couple modern black powder guns, myself.

I never shot a flintlock musket before.  Nancy was kind and generous enough to show me how to load it and let me shoot it. Woo hoo!  Smoky blastin' boominess.  Woot!

Serious awesomeness.

Nancy was also sweet enough to bring me a beer that is exclusive to Colonial Williamsburg! Like I say, I have the bestest friends!!

She brought me Old Stitch which, like Brown Bess, is a brown. A brown ale, that is.

Old Stitch (5% ABV) is brewed by AleWerks Brewing.

Since this brew and I were brought together by shootin' goodness, it seemed only appropriate to open it with my .50 caliber bottle opener.

Old Stitch pours a clear rich brown.

The aroma is mild and malty.

The taste was surprising! It was gently roasty with hints of cocoa and coffee. Much like a stout but not quite. Pretty darned good! The finish is clean and roasty.

The mouth feel is light, smooth, and playfully effervescent.

Admittedly, I am not a big fan of brown ales. They're usually pretty meh. Old Stitch is really quite good, actually. Flavorful and super refreshing. I could drink a bucket load of these. And, with such a low alcohol content, I might just be able to.

Overall: very good.

That is my mentally deficient husband photo-bombing.







Monday, August 4, 2014

Coconut Porter


When my friend Lindsay came back from a recent business trip to New Hampshire she brought me back a couple a growlers of beer from a brewery that was local to the area she was visiting.

I have the bestest friends, I swear!

As a Clinical Applications Specialist, she has to the opportunity to work with physicians from various facilities. Sometimes she works with them enough to become friends or at least a little friendly.

She was going to the cafeteria on day to pick up a spot of lunch and asked the doctor she was working with if he'd like something. He asked her to grab his usual tuna fish sandwich.

She picked up a couple sandwiches. When she got to the checkout counter the Asian cashier asked if the tuna sandwich was for the hot doctor.

Lindsay was like, "Yeah, he's pretty good looking, I guess."

The cashiers says, "No. The hot doctor."

Lindsay's like, "He's okay. Not really my type, though."

The cashier says emphatically, "Hot, HOT."

Suddenly, a light bulb turned on over Lindsay's cute little head. Oh!! She realized that the cashier was saying 'heart' not 'hot'. Whoops.

Anyhoo . . .




Lindsay, brought me beer from Seven Barrel Brewing which is located in Lebanon, NH. A coconut porter, to be more specific.

Mmmm, sounds good! I couldn't wait to bust into that bad boy!

Coconut Porter (4.7% ABV) poured a rich dark brown with ruby highlights topped with a dense mocha colored head.

The aroma was low key roasted malt with a metallic twinge.

The taste, frankly, was disappointing. For a porter it was watery and thin. It was lacking the flavors I would expect from a dark roasted malt beer - specifically coffee, cocoa, etc. But there was nary a hint of coconut. There was an off flavor I couldn't put my finger on but there was a definite metallic aftertaste.

Great concept. Unfortunately, it looked way better than it tasted.

So sad.

Overall: phooey