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Author Topic: Beer Blog  (Read 29703 times)

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Online Oniya

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #225 on: February 15, 2011, 11:09:28 AM »
Try and get some nice, thick, German style pork sausages at any rate. They're ridiculously easy to grill/cook/whatever, and are literally made to go with beer. You can't have an Oktoberfest without them! Almost any beer goes well with them, too.

Or to be cooked in beer.  Lots of easy recipes out there for brats in beer.

Offline Will

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #226 on: February 15, 2011, 11:14:33 AM »
Yep, and plenty of things can be braised in beer.  Which is delicious.

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #227 on: February 15, 2011, 11:25:25 AM »
I suspect that the same rule applies for cooking in beer as it does for cooking in wine:  Do not cook with a beer you would not drink.  Cooking concentrates the flavors, so a bad beer isn't likely to get better.

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #228 on: February 15, 2011, 04:42:16 PM »
Yep, you should certainly make something with a dark ale sauce!

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #229 on: March 10, 2011, 09:11:18 PM »
Before I go into the real review, let me first give a heads up to any American with access to this beer:

Oskar Blues Old Chub
(Scottish-style Ale)

It's 8.1%, full of strong dark malty goodness without much of the usual roasty/toasty flavors, and is dirt cheap. It's become my new go-to beer. During happy hour at a local bar that serves them, it's only $2.50, so I can only imagine how cheaply it's sold at groceries and beer stores. Details on price and a real review are forthcoming. Don't let the fact beer is in a can dissuade you from trying it; more and more microbrewers are moving to package their beers in cans because of how much longer they keep the brew safe from light and sealed from oxygen. The only disadvantage is for beers with significant sediment, but expect a great increase in good canned beer over the next few years.

Plus, my cans say this on the bottom:

If I ran a brewery, I'd have a hard-on too.




After spending an unusually frigid Winter sipping Quadrupels, Stouts, and Strong Darks, the recent rise in temperature has put me in the perfect mood for an IPA. In Hampton Roads, one never knows how long the capricious weather will last, so I'm cracking open a Lagunitas IPA while there's still time. Although Lagunitas is based in Petaluma, California, their beers are quite popular nationwide. Around here, the Czech-style Pilsner and Brown Shugga' frequently make the rounds. Maximas is a Double IPA weighing in at a hefty 72 International Bitterness Units. After so much smooth, malty beer lately, a mouth-puckering, tongue-slapping dose of hops sounds great right about now.



Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
Petaluma, California (US)
Style- Double India Pale Ale
ABV- 7.2%
*Note- Both Lagunitas' website and BeerAdvocate.com claim that Maximas is 8.2%. Since the bottle I'm imbibing was purchased at the end of 2010, this year's version may be stronger in alcohol-- or both the brewers and the other reviewers were drunk and just pressed the wrong number key.

Poured into an oversize snifter from a squat 12oz bottle with no freshness date provided (though the label does have some interesting remarks about why I should get tattoos, have my nipples pierced, and not sip because the end is near).

Appearance- 4 out of 5. This beer pours a dark burnished orange color much like a tangerine going through an emo phase. The creamy, off-white finger-and-a-half head slowly dissipates into beautiful lacing all across the glass. There are slight bits of sediment moseying their way around the brew, but the beer is clear aside from that.

Smell- 3.5 out of 5. Following an initial blast of floral perfume, sweet citrus (primarily grapefruit and pineapple) and twangy pine hops tickle the nose. The smooth scent of pale malt wafts up afterward, followed by a caramel sugar. Although it smells appealing, this beer isn't nearly as strongly-scented as I expected an DIPA to be.

Taste- 3.5 out of 5. Maximus starts off with a wash of hops reminiscent of grapefruit and zesty citrus, which quickly mellows out into a smooth malty backbone of light caramel. Alcohol is present but not pronounced; in fact, nothing about this beer stands out. Slightly bitter pine sap lingers in the aftertaste. For a beer with the name of a gladiator, I expected a lot more punch out of this one: the gustatory equivalent of lions and tigers fighting nearly-naked muscle-men amped up on adrenaline while being cheered on by thousands of bloody-thirsty Romans; instead, this seems more like Socrates expounding about virtues and metaphysics-- interesting, to be sure, but hardly exciting. It is a well-balanced, fairly mellow DIPA.

Mouthfeel- 4 out of 5. Medium-bodied, wet, and oily. The label wasn't joking when it told me not to sip-- there's no reason to with this beer. It's fairly smooth and goes down much more easily than most DIPAs, which are often heavy and chewy; in fact, I would hardly call this a Double IPA at all.

Drinkability- 4.5 out of 5. Drinkability may be this beer's saving grace. If you want to have a few DIPAs over the course of an evening instead of struggling through one more acerbic exemplar, this is the DIPA for you. Not bad by any means, but it's definitely not what I was expecting with the name and a description that claimed it would "strip the enamel" from my teeth. This would be a good introduction to the style for someone having doubts about whether or not they can handle it. It's like a Double IPA with training wheels.

Overall, a B-.

*Note- Since this bottle has been around for a few months, the hops may have decreased in potency. Soon, I will purchase a bottle and review it fresh from the store in order to compare the two. Review shall be forthcoming.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 09:13:30 PM by Paradox »

Offline Blitzy

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #230 on: March 11, 2011, 12:09:50 PM »
Good review, as always, Para. Still makes me wish that I had the tastebuds that enjoyed beer as you do. :P

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #231 on: March 11, 2011, 01:01:52 PM »
I'm telling you, woman, come up here sometime, and I guarantee I will find you a beer you'll enjoy.

and I'll get shitfaced on the ones you sip and reject... >_>

Offline Blitzy

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #232 on: March 11, 2011, 07:20:00 PM »
You come down here and I'll buy the beer. :P

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #233 on: March 13, 2011, 01:57:35 PM »
Yesterday, I drank the sun. It was delicious.

Lately, I've spent far too much time critically analyzing beer and not nearly enough time enjoying it; now that it's finally warming up a bit, everyone should have a few beers on the beach to relax. If you don't have a beach on hand, find a field. Climb a tree. If you don't have any trees, climb a high-rise. Drink on the roof. Enjoy life.



*Note: my hand is not really that stupid-looking; it's just half-clenched to avoid blocking the light from the glass.





« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 01:59:10 PM by Paradox »

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #234 on: March 15, 2011, 07:04:45 PM »
Today's beer comes to us all the way from Belgium. Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale is made specially for the eponymous establishment in Philadelphia. During a trip to Philly last Fall, I attempted to visit both the Monk's Cafe and its sister-establishment, the Belgian Cafe. As anyone who has made the mistake of venturing into the heart of Philly in the evening by car can attest, it was practically impossible to reach either place, much less park there once we arrived. Our hopes for hops were dashed last year, but lo! Monk's Cafe also distributes this beer in limited quantities, making it available for those of us unable or unwilling to risk the road rage needed to reach the restaurant itself.

Before being imported to our shores, this Flemish Sour Ale is made just outside of Ghent, Belgium by Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V., brewer of Piraat Ale, and my all-time favorite, Gulden Draak, among many others. This beer's style is technically Flanders Oud Bruin. As the name suggests, they are most prevalent in Flanders, but other regions have adopted the style as well. Like Lambics, most Oud Bruins tend to be a blend of old and new ales balanced by a master brewer for a unique taste characterized by fruity alcohol esters, lactic sourness, a little vinegar, and-- occasionally-- some lightly roasted malt. For those of you who hate hops, this is the perfect beer for you as the aging and blending process eliminates any trace of hop taste from the brew. For most Americans, it's an unusual style that requires an open mind and an adventurous tongue. As with an old Lambic or a solid Scotch, however, training yourself to appreciate its finer points pays off immensely (for your tongue as well as for the bragging rights).


Brewed By:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Ertvelde, Belgium
Style- Flanders Oud Bruin
ABV- 5.5%


Poured from a 12oz bottle with no freshness date into my trusty snifter.

Appearance- 2.5 out of 5. Aside from an initial burst of excitingly active fizz, this beer appears very lackluster. A charming ring of slightly tan lace rounds the top, but the beer itself is a dull dark brown that seems almost entirely opaque when held up to the light, ringed only with a little equally dull red. Not only is it rather boring, it's also a bit uncharacteristic for the style-- more translucency and ruby-reddish tint should be present.

Smell- 3.5 out of 5. On the other hand, the aroma is refreshingly pleasant and true-to-style. With hints of cherries, woodiness, and fruity wine that's been left out so long that it slowly turns to vinegar, it tickles the nose with anticipation. Pale and crystal malts provide a solid foundation for the rest of the scents, which do not include any hops at all. Nothing overpowering, but it's a step up from the appearance.

Taste- 4.5 out of 5. Jesus H. Christ, it's like a sour cherry warhead just pulled out my tongue, cut it off, and proceeded to beat the rest of my mouth with it. Be prepared for mouth-puckeringly strong sourness when you first sip this beer. It fades as your tongue becomes acclimated to it, but my god does it catch you off guard after the deceptively mild aroma. Make sure your palate is cleansed to fully enjoy the sensation. After the initial tongue-punch, it mellows out into sour cherries, fresh tart apples, and raspberries. A little earthy oak peeks in before washing away in a tide of mild sweetness that lingers in the aftertaste. As with the nose, no hops are present. Acidity is low, as is the "funkiness"-- the yeast did a great job of turning out a clean, mellow Sour Ale. It's not nearly as vinegary as other Sour Ales I've had. The fairly low alcohol is hidden behind everything else going on in the glass. Taste-wise, it's a classic example of the style.

Mouthfeel- 4 out of 5. Slightly dry with a medium body and astringent finish. Easily quaffable, but why waste such a treat for your mouth? Take it slow and savor each sip; they become creamier as it warms.

Drinkability- 4.5 out of 5. I'm tempted to give this a slightly lower drinkability score because both the price and the slowly-sipping nature needed to truly appreciate it make it a rather poor choice for a session, but if you were flush enough and so inclined, you could easily spend a few hours having a few of these. This is a great choice for people who dislike hops, wine drinkers who want to get into beer, and people who love sour candy and sour fruits. Keep in mind my bias-- this may not be for beginners coming from a macro-lager background.

Overall, an A-.

If you should happen to be in Philly anytime soon and want to get a glass on draft, check out The Monk's Cafe at:
264 South 16th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 545-7005

Otherwise, pick up a bottle at Total Wine, Grape and Gourmet, or other similar establishments.



Ramster--- Petrus, the brand you mentioned hating, primarily makes beers like this. That strange sour taste you mentioned may have been entirely intentional, unless it was a sampler pack of standard ales and lagers.

Britzy- This may be the beer you need to prove that not all fermented grains are laden with hops :P

Will- You and the lady could share one of these to broaden your mutual horizons.

Neroon, Lord Mayerling, and all you other quiet people, come back! This thread should be about sharing our love of good beer, not just be throwing reviews at you.



Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #235 on: March 15, 2011, 07:21:47 PM »
Sounds like I should find out what they call that stuff in Belgium, Para! Also, I'm 100% sure that Petrus festive beer pack was ruined. I know my Oud Bruins, and enough other beers in general to know that no drink, much less a beer should taste like rust with a hint of salt, and vinegar made from budget supermarket lager.

I'd like to say a thing or two about mass produced beer. Knowing how expensive the really good stuff can be, especially a few thousand miles away from Belgium, I can highly recommend Leffe's brews - while mass produced and thus quite affordable, they taste like a decent Belgian beer should and are very highly quaffable. If you want a good lager, and they have it over there, I can also recommend Hertog Jan or Palm. Who says lager should be ice cold, tasteless fizzy pop?

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #236 on: March 15, 2011, 07:24:11 PM »
Leffes are pretty common around the craft stores here; I will definitely pick one up soon. Thanks for the heads up! You're definitely right; there's nothing inherently wrong with mass-produced brews. It's just an unfortunate fact that many of them tend to be primarily overseen by financiers rather than brewmasters.

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #237 on: March 15, 2011, 07:40:23 PM »
Exactly; it's a fortunate accident when a brand finds out it makes good business sense to produce beer worth drinking when you're still sober! Leffe being cheap-ish and sold in 33 cl bottles (I don't do fluid ounces, but pints!), why not pick up at least one of each of their range (Blonde, Dubbel, Tripel, Radieuse and 9%) and see what you like! Leffe Blonde is currently my session beer of choice, usually after starting with a Tripel.

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #238 on: March 16, 2011, 10:15:25 AM »
Leffe Blonde must be the favorite of American drinkers/importers since it's the one most commonly offered at the World Market, Total Wine, and other places around here. Rarely are there any others unless a Leffe sampler happens to be on the shelf.

Any opinion on Wittekerke? I see their canned Witbier offered around here a lot, but I've yet to try it.

Also:


Offline Blitzy

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #239 on: March 16, 2011, 11:00:35 AM »
Trey Songz - Bottoms Up ft. Nicki Minaj [Official Video]

*Laughs.*

Every time I hear this song I think of you, Para. I dunno why. :P

Offline Will

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #240 on: March 16, 2011, 12:02:28 PM »
I guess that's better than 'shots shots shots shots shots'

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #241 on: March 16, 2011, 12:57:19 PM »
I haven't tried Wittekerke, but I'd be wary of it. In general, cheap white beer in cans does not agree with me one bit.

Offline Lord Mayerling

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #242 on: March 16, 2011, 08:48:00 PM »
Brews in the Big Apple:

http://www.gingerman-ny.com/

Unfortunately, they don't have much of a menu posted because it CHANGES EVERY DAY! :o

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #243 on: March 17, 2011, 07:30:58 AM »
Brews in the Big Apple:

http://www.gingerman-ny.com/

Unfortunately, they don't have much of a menu posted because it CHANGES EVERY DAY! :o
Their menu looks extensive! It just took a little poking around to access. Is that where you drink? They have a lot of good beers, especially the Specialty Beers on draft. Any favorite from there?

I haven't tried Wittekerke, but I'd be wary of it. In general, cheap white beer in cans does not agree with me one bit.
Ramster- I tried the Wittekerke last night. It's not bad. Not particularly good, but not bad. It's one of the few Wits into which a lemon should be put. Probably a C or C+ overall. Since it's so cheap, it's worth a shot, but it would definitely be better if it had been bottle-conditioned.

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #244 on: March 17, 2011, 10:52:16 AM »
Ramster- I tried the Wittekerke last night. It's not bad. Not particularly good, but not bad. It's one of the few Wits into which a lemon should be put. Probably a C or C+ overall. Since it's so cheap, it's worth a shot, but it would definitely be better if it had been bottle-conditioned.

Rather you than me! I'm not the world's biggest witbier drinker, and would be very apprehensive about cheap stuff from a can. I haven't had a beer from a can in a month or two, which suits me fine!

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #245 on: March 18, 2011, 10:22:13 AM »
Alright brew crew, what did y'all drink on Saint Paddy's day yesterday?

Offline Blitzy

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #246 on: March 18, 2011, 06:59:38 PM »
I had nothing. :P I'm a blasphemer, apparently.

Though on my birthday I had two Black Cherry Peach Mojito's from Outback. Mmmm so good.

Offline Ket

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #247 on: March 18, 2011, 10:34:47 PM »
Water. 


What?!  It's just beer without the hops and yeast...

>.>

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #248 on: March 18, 2011, 10:38:55 PM »
And the grain.

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #249 on: March 18, 2011, 11:48:52 PM »
A few Westmalles while studying.