Archive for October, 2011

Home Brew Pot Licker Milk Stout Cocoa and Jalapeno (365 Day 334)

Monday, October 31st, 2011

home brew

While home brewing I always feel the experience is made better with a few home brews. Rich found his way over in the middle of the boil, so we started out with a bomber of Autumn Sun.

Next, after we racked the beer to the carboy and pitched some yeast, I opened up some Pot Licker Milk Stout that I had put on cocoa nibs. Per usual the beer hadn’t carbonated in the two weeks since bottling, so we had to endure a partially flat edition. Cocoa was evident and, in this early version, seemed to be perfectly balanced.

The last bottle was another twelve ounces of Pot Licker Milk Stout but this bottle was aged on cocoa and roasted jalapeno. Since I used the same amount of cocoa nibs that I used in the other, the chocolate was spot on. The jalapeno was a flavor addition but it only came through vaguely.

On the next go around I will add a bit more roasted jalapeno to up the amount of roastiness and hopefully add just a touch of a bite. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Franklin D. Roosevelt, the most popular president ever to hold office in the United States, did not carry his home of county of Dutchess, New York, in any of his four elections.

Pelican Pub & Brewery Ankle-Buster Ale (365 Day 333)

Sunday, October 30th, 2011
pelican pub & brewery ankle-buster ale

Pelican Ankle-Buster Ale

The more American craft beer I have from Pelican Pub & Brewery the more I want. Ankle-Buster Ale is the third beer I have reviewed from Pelican. I have to say that I like the other two beers from Pelican a bit more, by no means is Ankle-Buster a slouch.

A blend of styles: English pale and Belgian, the beer caries both sides well, complementing. Spices mingle with the sweet malty side. Easy drinking and quite nice. A definite beer to try. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 8 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 8.6

Useless Fact: George Washington left no direct descendants. Though his wife Martha had four children by a previous marriage, Washington never sired a child to continue his line.

Surly Brewing Company Coffee Bender (365 Day 332)

Saturday, October 29th, 2011
surly brewing company coffee bender

Surly Coffee Bender

Although I didn’t get a chance to hit up Darkness Day this year a friend of mine, Ed, made the journey. Besides scoring me a bottle of 2011 Darkness, he also brought back some Furious and Coffee Bender. Two of my favorite beers from Surly Brewing Company.

Even though I am not a fan of coffee, when it comes to an American craft beer being infused with coffee: I am a fan. Coffee Bender, which weighs in as beer number 332, is infused with coffee and does a great job doing so. Roast, dark chocolate, and bread accent the coffee in the both the nose and mouth.

A medium body that is helped by a solid carbonation, Coffee Bender goes down quite easily, enticingly. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 9.2

Useless Fact: James Buchanan was the only United States president never to marry. During his term in office, his niece Harriet lane played the role of First Lady.

Allagash Brewing Company Odyssey (365 Day 331)

Friday, October 28th, 2011

allagash brewing company

Another Tuesday Night Beer Club (TNBC) has come and gone. If you are sharp, you would notice that this is written about a American craft beer drank on Thursday, so why would I bring up TNBC? In order to accommodate schedules Thursday is used as the alternate day. You don’t change the name of the event because you change the day. Think of it this way: your work week is Tuesday through Saturday, you are off on Sunday and Monday. The days of the week don’t change names to accommodate the change in the “normal” work schedule.

Now that that is out of the way on to American craft beer number 331: Odyssey by Allagash Brewing Company. A Belgian Dark Strong Ale, Odyssey is a divine indulgence. Ed brought a July 2009 bottle to the table and shared. Aroma and taste are smooth and delicious. Both the nose and mouth are complex full of dark fruits, spice, caramel, and toffee.

The high cost of Allagash beers drives me crazy but this one might be worth it. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Zachary Taylor, twelfth president of the United States, did not vote until he was sixty-two. He did not even vote in his own election. Taylor, a professional soldier, lived in so many places during his life that he was unable to establish a legal residence until he retired.

Anchor Brewing Anchor Steam (365 Day 330)

Thursday, October 27th, 2011
anchor brewing anchor steam

Anchor Steam

Anchor Steam by Anchor Brewing is an American craft beer that has survived. We are fortunate for that fact. It is one of the early American craft beers that I tasted. Anchor Steam along with a handful of other pioneers made me realize back in college that the swill I was drinking was ludicrous.

Anchor Steam has a nice bread and slightly sweet malt backbone that holds up against spice and grass hops. There is a slight spicey bitterness that quickly relinquishes to a smooth, crisp, and refreshing finish.

It has been a while since I gave Anchor Steam a whirl. It won’t be again as I am leaning towards this being the annual Halloween wagon beer. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 8.8

Useless Fact: At the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 four future presidents were in attendance: Benjamin Harrison, Chester Alan Arthur, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James A. Garfield.

Stone Brewing Company Imperial Russian Stout (365 Day 329)

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Stone Imperial Russian Stout

After enjoying Stone Smoked Porter for American craft beer number 328 yesterday, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to check out another Stone Brewing Company beer for number 329.

A bottle of Imperial Russian Stout from 2009 was beckoning. Earlier this year I had a 2010 bottle that I split with Chuck. The 2009 bottle proved to me that the 2010 bottle should have been aged another year before partaking.

By comparison the 2009 bottle had lost a lot of residual sugars becoming drier. The molasses and cloying nature of the 2010 version was gone, creating an easier beer to drink, raising my level of appreciation. The smokiness that I picked up in the 2010 vintage seemed to turn more to an ashy flavor that came late in the taste. That would be the only change that I didn’t really care for in the older vintage. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.4

Useless Fact: President John Tyler had fifteen children.

Stone Brewing Company Smoked Porter (365 Day 328)

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
stone brewing company smoked porter

Stone Smoked Porter

Fifteen years doesn’t seem like a long run but in the American craft beer industry it makes you one of the older citizens. Not a senior citizen but near retirement age. Stone Brewing Company is the American craft brewery that I speak of. Stone has long been thought of one of the better American craft brewers. Such a horrible label to have to live with. 😉

Before they distributed beer to Illinois, there were regular voyages to the east as Indiana was the promised land for Stone beers. By the time Stone made it local, I was looking for other American craft beer that wasn’t easily attainable. Isn’t that part of the fun within the hobby?

I haven’t forgot about them completely as beer number 328, Smoked Porter, came up from the sitting in the cellar a good two years. I think the smoke has mellowed which, for me, is a good thing. I am not a big fan of the smoke. The combination of flavors/aromas and age have pushed this beer to about as close as I can see myself to getting to really liking a smoked beer. Nary a drop from the bomber was wasted so that should be credibility enough. If you like smoked beers, I think this one would be right up your alley. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 7.9

Useless Fact: Around 15 men each year have their penises chopped off by their wives and the highest proportion of men who suffer this are Italians.

Finch’s Beer Company Golden Wing (365 Day 327)

Monday, October 24th, 2011
finch's beer company golden wing

Finch's Golden Wing

American craft beer is about buying local for me. I was brought up to buy American and, even more so, local American. So purchasing American made beer and good beer at that, is damn simple. To take it to another level is buy local American craft beer. By patronizing those artisan brewers I ensure that there will be fresh beer in the area for a long time to come.

Finch’s Beer Company came on the scene recently; Rich and I attended a grand opening party back in May. That’s when I first tasted Golden Wing. I have to say that I thought it was a fair blonde ale that was an average beer. I don’t think that makes it bad, just not something that I will go crazy for when the situation presents itself. I will have it again occasionally.

That last sentence I have to expand on. The cost of four, sixteen ounce cans was $10.99 (I think they place is high, but that’s all I have to base pricing on). This is a year round offering that is a blonde ale. Costs to produce this beer are minimal compared to other styles as there aren’t as many malts or hops in the beer. Why the price tag? This, unfortunately, is a deterrent in being able to afford this beer in the future. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 6 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 6 (35%), Overall: 6.7

Useless Fact: Beard hair grows at twice its usual rate when you’re in a plane.

Drake’s Brewing Company Aroma Coma (365 Day 326)

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Drake's Aroma Coma

Wow! That was my simple remark after opening up American craft beer number 325: Aroma Coma by Drake’s Brewing Company. Nobody heard the remark as I was drinking the beer by myself but I did utter it.

Aroma Coma lives up to the name, easy. Of course, unless you don’t have a pulse, a beer like this has to be a hoppy beer. And damnit, it was. Tons of grapefruit, tropical fruits, and even pine come through on the nose. The taste doesn’t back done. Bitterness is there to begin as grapefruit pushes this up a notch. Pine is the main hop in the end that hangs out for a brief stay in the finish.

Each Drake’s beer that I have seems to get better and better. Those who live close are fortunate. Enjoy!

Aroma: 10 (25%), Taste: 10 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 9.5

Useless Fact: Humans are only second to cats for having the dirtiest mouths.

Beer and Dinner (365 Day 325)

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

I have to start off by saying thank you to my in-laws for purchasing tickets to a beer/dinner event in which they included Rich and his wife along with my wife and myself. Completely unnecessary but 110% appreciated and enjoyed by all.

This happened to be my first beer dinner (sort of hard with three young kids). I didn’t know what to expect but had thoughts from the different blogs I have read about other people’s experiences.

I have to say my expectation was a bit different than the actual experience.

There is one main reason for this: the American craft beer was provided by a set of local home brewers that have aspirations to become full time brewers. The provided four beers, in my opinion, as three of the actual six where just a tripel that they played around with: tripel, tripel on french oak, tripel on french oak and bourbon. They also had a wit, porter, and rye/wheat pale ale.

My favorite of the six beers was the tripel on french oak. I would probably rate it around a low to mid range seven. The rest were varying degrees of beers that didn’t agree with me. The porter, which was aged on ancho chili (I believe powder) and pomegranate, was just overwhelmingly on the chili side. The last sip I took almost made me gag on chili and it also made me sweat.

I look forward to another beer dinner but I will make sure it is by professional brewers in the future. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: If you fart constantly for 6 years, 9 months and 23 days you would produce enough gas to explode an atomic bomb.