Samuel Adams Apline Spring Lager
Boston Beer Company
It's long been established in my circle of family and friends that I'm a George washington looking motherfucker. Even my clone daughter, when shown a dollar bill and asked who the man sitting in the window frame is, will respond in the affirmative, "That's my dad." But to me, I think I look more like Samuel Adams despite Geo. Wash.'s and my similar hairdos.
And rightly so because I, too, believe that our government is a bunch of louts and criminals and should be tarred and feather and shipped off to a foreign land. But we're here to discuss beer and since I just picked this up from 7-Eleven for a cool $3 I shall impart an inglorious revolution of word prattle for ye.
I like this one a lot. It's more or less a Kölsch with a lager heart though the sweetness is balanced with equal parts bitter and smooth malty goodness. The fact that it's unfiltered and dirty could make for some interesting cellar transmogrification. As if I had a cellar or a collection of bottles! Okay, so that was more preface that proffering but if you're here that's what you came for to begin with. Or maybe not. It's all the same either way.
Abita Christmas Ale
Abita Brewing Company
Abita Springs, Louisiana
I'm the Rip Taylor Van Winklestein of beer reviewers and I come to thee 8 fortnights past the digital striking of the yuletide Swatch. Clank. Dee da le da dee.
I like this one. It has an unfortunate flat taste to it despite the fullsome and billowing foam scud but I guess that's the mild hop affect. Or is that mildewy hops? It's not really off-putting but it's a noticeable dry spot in an otherwise thirsty brew. Hell, maybe it was just some reindeer flatulence caught in the wort. Who cares, it's beer and it's not Budweiser so I win.
There's also a few squirts of citrus in there as well as some toasted brown sugar, caramel, powdered cocoa, Maltese falcon and sprig of pine. Kinda like your girlfriend post workout after a day of binge eating Keebler grahams. Well, her naughty bits anyway but we're not going there because we comport ourselves like gentlemen around this neck of the hood.
Goose Island Christmas Ale 2011
Goose Island Beer Company
You sure are a gassy little pearplum ain't ya old brown duck? Or goose, as it were. Which makes sense, I suppose, since this souser has been fermenting for a good 2.5 years. I guess I didn't read closely enough, eh? Or I simply didn't care. Either way, after checking Beer Assholecate it seems that quite a few reviewers are still sampling the 2011 edition. Rightfully so.
This is quite a filthy brew with gobs of sediment suspended in the murkiness. It's an odd sort of brown ale with an almost granular sour rasp to it with some cinnamon notes intertwined with raisin sweetness. It's as if a fruit roll-up comprised of 90% dark grains, rye and 10% grape were liquified and fermented.
The best treat is that it gets denser and darker as you progress your way towards the bottom and finishes out with a chocolate malt residue befitting a diabetic Quik rabbit hellbent on satisfying his sweet tooth. All right, back to my popcorn. Be gone ye scallywags.
Winter Storm Category 5 Ale
Clipper City Brewing Company
I'm always late a season in reviewing beers due to poverty and the closest quality beer store selling $1.67 singles trying to rid themselves of old stock. Which has been nothing but a boon for me since "cellaring" beers to both age them and bring out extra flavors often bests the fresh stuff. In fact, the best Oktoberfest I ever had was a year+ old sixer of Samuel Adams that I got for $5 because it was long past expired. It tasted like brown sugar squash filled with a rich brown ale. I highly recommend you seek out or plot for the same results.
As for most winter ales, they are merely an invitation from some pine-balled Santa wanting to put the hammered tack to your tongue. Which is fine by me because it makes the beer nerds squeal like little girls as they congregate in a gastronomical circle jerk and fork over $700 for 6 pints and some grouse that a guy with a nasty beard served up in his swank gastropub. Eat away ye cretins.
Beer should be consumed by solemn men who know that Hell waits around the corner but Heaven resides in every true step he takes. Let women want pleasure and children sing-song mirth but no man be happy lest their wish fizzle out at his behest.
This is a solid ESB. A little weak in the knees but only because it's more smooth than bitter. I prefer it that way. Strong and flavorful with a semi-bitter heart. Something that Nietzsche would have enjoyed as his mustached waggled to and fro with the madness of a higher power lifting up the stars only to drop them on our head.
Snow Day Winter Ale
New Belgium Brewing Company
Fort Collins, Colorado
I shouldn't knock the ingenuity of American breweries considering the advancements in quality and taste in the past 15 or so years from the previous 50 of watered down swill but I'm going to anyway. Of the hundreds of different beers and styles that I've sampled over the years I'd say that only a dozen or two have really startled me from my perceptions of what was possible with beer. The great majority of brews out there, regardless of how good they are or what genre they fit into are basically the same.
Most stouts of varying degrees of refinement have relatively the same taste. Ditto with pale ales, porters, fruit beers, pumpkin ales, etc. I understand that there are limitations to each style and can forgive that the fact that an oatmeal porter, a cherry ale or a milk stout are made to fill a staple niche that buyers want and desire. That's fine because these companies are out to make money as well as fine products. My gripe is that too many brewers are seemingly afraid to step outside of their comfort zone and concoct something strange or unusual. Something like a Peanut Butter and Jelly Ale which Short's came up with or a Blueberry Stout which Dark Horse Brewery has perfected into a delicacy. Even Jolly Pumpkin, which resisted making a pumpkin ale for years, put a twist to theirs with a sour element which is their trademark. My point being: do something different!
This is a solid winter ale whatever the Hell that means. It's a dark wheat I suppose, or Midnight Wheat as they call it, but it's not really that different from say Rejuvenator Harvest Ale or a mid-level strong ale. It's good but once you've had good 200 times you want more. Now if this would have had a cherry cordial element to it with some chocolate sloshed into the bucket I might have sang it some higher praise but in its present condition I can only feel it and say no more.
Heart of Darkness Stout
Magic Hat Brewing Company
South Burlington, Vermont
In the world of darkness this stout comes across like one of Ed Emberley's Halloween black cats which make you happy laugh instead of shat yourself due to fright. That's not a bad thing either because not all darkness is shrouded in the macabre. Winter, for instance, is the darkest time of the year but also quite joyous while the holiday festivities continue. Then come late February and March and you're dragging your ass just to shiver through another day of prolonged coldness and pray for the miserable muck of springtide, thus comes summer. Strumpets, too, are tied to darkness yet some men (and women) swear by their utility. Let us not go too far off into the margins though or else the magic eye might close on thee.
This is an 80% stout with the prerequisite choco, smoke, coffee, malt perfunctories. Though the chocolate is a little drippy and dull at the tail-end as if the contrail turned suddenly into a chemtrail and your tongue fell off in midstream, there is still the slight sweet essence of cherry in the finish and you can't argue with that. Well, you could but then you'd be Anthony Bourdain smoking on a jungle raft while eating fried amoeba penis with the smallest spoon ever and looking the part of a douche biscuit. Nobody wants that fate except guys donning ear rings at 50 who just don't know when enough is enough. Don't be that guy.
Samuel Adams White Christmas
The Boston Beer Company
Thanks to yuppies, nerds, sycophants and myself for being a loser I can no longer afford to buy good craft beer but seeing as I sold off my Charles Bukowski book collection I thought I deserved a little something in the form of recompense. No woman could have forced me to do so and surely not the threat of homelessness or loss of life compelled me in that direction. Only a bright-eyed little angel that told me that she needs to see me more convinced me of the necessity. So I did it without hesitation or regret. Of course our extra weekend was spent with me sick as a vermin but just hearing her go off about everything that's valid in a 5-year-old's world and sitting together watching the Grinch made it worthwhile. And curse the fool who says there's no Santa Claus says my little girl! I agree.
Oh yeah, this heathen blog of snogging pollywog pleasures. Ho hum. What droopy-lipped Kringle mixed this grog? Might he have had a vinyl suit with cotton muffs and a dangling ring in his ear like a pirate Claus? I would have shot him coming down the chimney in spite of my desire to ever continue the misery of humanity. Yet he came through and toppled me tongue with underwhelming fruits, stiff malt whiskers and that jellyroll sensation of having eaten to excess but not been fulfilled. While it's less crisp and acrid than their normal fare white ale it's bready essence fails in that it's merely a half-slice of vanilla stock and not a loaf of the good stuff.
Blue Paddle Pilsner Lager
New Belgium Brewing Company
Fort Collins, Colorado
If I read one more beer review suggesting barbecue with a Czech pilsner, chocolate mousse with oatmeal stout or tapia accompanying the fishbine smacking of Oberon on your lips and palate, I'm going to strangle myself. That's right, suicide all over the page. I prefer killing the writers of such pap but then I'd still have that light bulb of sick rumination glowering above my head and would eventually happen upon another such review along the way.
These recommended pairings are tantamount to a ladies man suggesting a ping pong session after boning a bint's boops or your tailor telling you that when sheep snog their wood gets harder than mahogany. I don't need a pairing and if I did I'd nuzzle up to your mama's titty. So let's stick to beer shall we?
This is a fucking gutter-ball lager! The worst part is that it plays the part of a pilsner quite well but then at the close when the floor board is done shaking and the three-holed rolling marble rests behind the pins, this pall lager's lips jump out and give you the hairy surprise. Like a tranny when you were expecting your she-mate. Smooth right down to the vegetable pole and then you realize that "her" five o'clock shadow isn't the mild psoriasis she-he said it was and that there's no beanstalk to climb up and out of the trouble you're in.
All right, it's not that severe but it's a letdown nonetheless. What you expected to be a sweet bouquet among the wheat grass tastes more like polluted water. As if the birds had squatted in the nectar cup and did what came natural to those innocent of both conscience and rationale.
Good Humans Dry Hopped Double Brown Ale
Short's Brewing Company
Elk Rapids, Michigan
Being that it's the witching season it stands to reason that Short's would conjure up something in the Jolly Pumpkin vein and produce a sour mash brown ale deserving of my pumpkinheaded praise. Some call it a floral sweetness, and I suppose that it is, but to me the sourness of this beer is born more of a careful amalgamation of a mildly prickly hop twanger and candy-coated yeasties than piney sugars.
Or basically a La Roja with a caramel syrup heart pumping wheat, malt and the goodness embedded within all homogenous sapiens but often let dangling in latency. While I won't claim Short's is the heir apparent to J. Pumpkin seeing as they have Dark Horse Brewery to catapult first they are the most affordable upper tier brewer in Michigan. Not only that but they don't settle with their successful standard selections and keep adding new fare to their roster. They deserve something for that alone. Since my word isn't worth squat I'll keep partaking of their selections as recompense.
Gruntled Pumpkin Ale
RJ Rockers Brewing Company
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Oh my fucking Gawd is this a disgruntled gas-bomb of stupefaction! There is simply no other way to put it than that. The taste up front is a toxic citrus window cleaner effervescence that would have Billy Mays pounding his beloved ape fists and promising you a shiny bumper on a corroded DeSoto.
I swear it has to be skunked because it's basically the equivalent of brushing your teeth and then drinking a beer.
The taste is something carbolic and barfy like kissing a girl who just vomited after swallowing a load of undetermined and quickly ripening seeds.
I'm not trying to kick a mofo when he's down but old Grunty's doing overtime in the latrines filling up his cask and RJ has to be off his rocker if this is the normal fare served down in South Cackalackee.
It mellows about halfway through to a dry, malty lozenge of flat sour-biscuity blandness but the gettin'-to is an arduous task for any palate. Next time I'll go with my gut-retching instinct and grab a Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer and douse my tastebuds in tomato, oregano, basil and garlic. Oh joy!
Short's Brewing Company
Elk Rapids, Michigan
Hello grungy Unabomber in training slash alternative monk with a crocodile grin of perv-a-cution. Could I buy ya a drink buddy-boy? I don't know what sick bastard drew up this label but I'm guessing that he might have a future in flashing people in a trench coat if he so desires.
When I saw Dark Red London Style Ale on the bottle I started getting mental wood for the prospect of some lost fare that I hadn't stumbled upon yet. After looking it up on Bore Advocate I re-situated the disappointed chumbawumba in my drawers and went to work deciphering this odd and un-refreshing r-e-d a-l-e. Say it slowly like Snuffleupagus inhaling nitrous and then you'll fully understand my heart-sunk disappointment of the style. Wah wah.
As for the drunk punch inside this earthen vessel: I'm not really sure what's going on here. Mild tannens on the mouth of this mother quickly turn to sour mash as it blotters the uvula and makes ye almost pucker going down the pipes. You know the show Annoying Orange? Well, this fucker's the Annoying Red and that's saying something coming from a Short's slappy like myself. Nix, kids.
Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
No sooner did I get done eschewing the ever subtle downfalls of the Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale when I wantonly started to pontificate about how Sierra Nevada would poison their Autumn Brown with a pine forest sampling awash in hop foliage buggery. How wrong I was!
I, Mr. Negative Bastard, now profusely offers up an apology and will henceforth regale this brew with the proper Sudsian respect it commands.
What a well-tempered beast this is! Heavy in all the brown necessities (malting, nuttiness, caramel lacing) while rich in the spicing -- they call it kiln brewed or some malarkey like that -- that is usually the tripping point for me. Hops, you know, are not always a sinkhole even for a pillow-biting chocolatier such as myself.
While I tumbled in conscious flight I did not fall into the same trap the usual ornery fool does by sticking to his profane predilections. Instead, I'm now licking the pint sides like the Cheshire cat that I presently am. Amen to that.
Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan
Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company
Most brown ales are about as complex as tap water save for the fact that with all the chlorine, flouride and "minerals" now in the drinking supply I think it usually has more flavor. Mississippi water probably tastes a little gamey and wild methinks but I suppose that's remedied by the brewing process and after it's boiled it all tastes like the sky's dank tinkle trickle.
This is fairly light-bodied but with all the caramelized sugars and nutty essence riding roughshod over the malt train you almost forget its svelte nature. A little more in the way of dark malt and roasty-toastiness would make this a world beater but as is it's quite a session beer that begs a salty accoutrement and a designated wet nurse to keep you from over-imbibing and drooling down your collar.
Caroline Blonde Cream Ale
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
You know, the perception that the South is some dumb-downed, redneck, red-state stepbrother of the high-falutin' North always confounds me when considering how much more polite, happy and prosperous they seem in comparison. I'm not talking about material wealth seeing as how Lincoln and his mob of fascists raped and destroyed the territory and subsequent generations of politicians ostracized it to almost third-world poverty but rather the general feeling of the culture, as it were. As a Yankee I'm not well-suited for the Southern lifestyle due to my gruff nature and general prickliness but the allure of the simple life doesn't evade me at all. Hell, with an ancestor named Creek Daddy who fought for the South in the Civil War it's probably understandable that I feel this way. However, this isn't a soap opera and you've got better things to do with your time so let's get the fuck on with this nonsense already.
Witbier, shit beer, anybody got some tits beer? That's not the usual refrain you'd expect from a cream ale drinker from the northern climes and quite frankly you won't hear it from me either. It's just that it rhymes and I'm two beers into a night of reviews and that's the direction my sausage fingers guided me. While I probably should be thinking more along the lines of Sleeman's Cream Ale the first sip transported me back to old Bavik's Wittekirke instantaneously, despite five years between the two tastings!
It's quite the carbonated and sharply lemony snickets, I say. A witbier if I've ever known one. Does that sound like I'm complaining? I don't think I am even though this is a witbier and I was expecting a cream ale which are neither creamy or ale-y or very good for that matter. This is, however, and despite my confusion with the whole matter, I am more surprised than anything by the outcome of this taste testing.
Highland Oatmeal Porter
Highland Brewing Co.
Asheville, North Carolina
You know, I never got into the supposed hipness of Nashville and preferred it's backwoods suburbs much more, though I wouldn't say that I enjoyed them all that much. The same goes for Knoxville and its greasy college parameters and transient populace but wherever my beloved clone goes, I, too, shall go.
So far one of the more fortuitous things about the place, in terms of that which is relevant to this pointless blog, is that they seemingly have a better beer selection. Which, I believe, is thanks to the city's close proximity to North Cackalacky and its renown fare of brewers. Since this is, I believe, my virgin voyage into Carolina suds, I'll reserve my opinion on that matter until the grains have spoken to and through me.
Well, well, well... I'm quite impressed. A full-bodied porter with the prerequisite terms of the style finely represented plus a sweet, grainy, cream-o-wheat taste with a quick tack of the tongue in the hop fields. Seeing as there was a 72 hour waiting period from purchase to consumption for the sake of parental duties, the wait was quite worth it for a beer this fine. I'll be back for more of their selections as long as Kroger keeps allowing for the pick 6 for $8.99 deal.
I think it's generally expected that if you pick up a sixer of beer for under $7 you're not going to get a Gold Medal winner in anything but the American Lager category and that's even suspect as a beer source for most haughty snoots. I don't really care about the label slapped on the parcel -- except for those Flying Dog bullshit or whatever it's called, I despise those half-Pollock, half-Hunter S. Thompson amalgamations -- but more so what it tastes like. This isn't a Paulaner or one of those vintage year old Samuel Adams octs that I had from a store which wasn't selling them as vintage fare but rather freshly stocked product but not much is.
The SA was a greasy scheme turned into a masterpiece whereby the bottles had fermented into a dark roasted candy apple ale that tickled my bung like the fan feathers of Zues's nether-servants tools of thy profession. What I mean to tell you is this is a mild version of a well-tempered marzen but with a peculiar pilsner sweetness that almost approaches a sour mashed apple affect. Not quite though and the nuttiness of the thing coupled with some toasted grains gives it a drinkable quality but not much in the direction of refinement.
New Belgium Brewing Co.
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Hi! Let's play steal a real-blogger's beer photo and then write a blog entry! Yessir. I've always been a sucker for fall seasonals thanks to the pumpkin beer folly which now permeates the beer culture and seeing that I've copulated with one of the jolly orange gourds before it's kind of a natural fit. Despite the fact that my tongue "never matured" to enjoy the biting bitters of the hop-inspired variety I don't mind them when they enhance a beer instead of over-power it. That's exactly what this one does.
We all know that when hops are involved you get that piney briney taste of musky corpulent vag sweating in the summertime the essence of wintertide mirth. Seasons greetings and all that bullshit. Well, I ain't St. Confuscius and the kindly words of goodly men are lost on me for the most part. I will say this much though: the caramel infusion and the smooth amalgamation of a clean ale with bawdy bitters is enough to forgive the evergreen essence. Not to mention that these guys don't rape you with their bomber prices hovering around $4. For that reason alone I commend this seasonal IPA for what it doesn't do as much as what it does. Ye hopmonsters be damned.