Archive for July, 2010

Hop in the Dark – Cascadian Dark Ale

Posted in ale, ipa, Uncategorized with tags , on July 21, 2010 by Mick

As some of you may know, I will be a married man in about two weeks. In part of that preparation, i have been dieting and almost 30 pounds later, im one hella shapely bastard. During this time, ive been avoiding some huge B’s – Big, badass burritos coupled with big, badass beers. When i hit the 30 pound mark, it was time to celebrate.

I went to my local corner beer mart (Whole Foods, believe it or not) and picked up a couple celebratory pints, (the other being Blind Pig) including Deschutes Hop in the Dark. At 200 calories per 12oz serving, i was ready.

As soon as i cracked open the bottle and poured it into my Imperial pint glass, i immediately stopped pouring. The beer was BLACK with a caramel brown head. What the what? I continue pouring, and i can say is “Stout, stout, porter, stout, porter…”

Hey, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like one….

But does it taste like one?

NO! It smells and tastes like an IPA. Imagine biting into a NY slice, expecting spicy sauce, greasy cheese and salty crust, and tasting only marshmallows. Its a little discomforting.

I like the beer ok, i just cant wrap my head around it. I get WHY its black…i get WHY it tastes like an IPA, but i dont get why the combo kinda works. Crystal and Munich malts give it the darkness, and the hops come from a blend of Centennial, Citra and of course, Cascadian hops.

Im probably new to this mish mash, but i gotta say, despite being thrown off at first, id be willing to take another plunge off the diet.

My score – 88 out of 100

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Green Flash Brewery West Coast IPA

Posted in ale, ipa on July 13, 2010 by Mick

Wowee...you one sexay IPA, gurrrrl.

So i get it, friends of mine who dont care for IPAs. They can be bitter…but listen…While i love MOST IPAs i encounter, rarely do they have a depth that makes me be like “Wow, i shall dream about you, fair maiden of the Hoppy World of Taste-ania.”

This IPA is no slouch, at over 7% abv, and i say this. If the restaurant or bar youre enjoying this in serves it, it deserves all the Yelp fivers it gets. Let me tell you why.

This beer is an ARTISAN beer. These folks went to great lengths to design an IPA using FOUR (count them, FOUR) different hops, (clocking this beer in at 95 IBU‘s) each having characteristics that genetically make a superhero of all beers. Lemme break it down for you, Holmes….Dr Mick of Beer Genetics-style.

  • Columbus┬áHops – Used for a good base. This is what gives it its HOPS and bitterness.
  • Centennial Hops – Adds that West coast pine and citrus notes
  • Semcoe Hops – VERY IMPORTANT – Strong grapefruit and lemon zestiness to balance that badass initial hop-on-popness. (Oooh)
  • Cascade Hops – Holy shit – those amazing florals on the nose……baby baby…put this in a bottle, cuz ill buy it for my fiancee.

I first enjoyed this IPA in its hometown of San Diego, CA at this amazing beer bar called Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park. (Ill write more about this beer mecca another time.) I had 5 or 6 different beers PRIOR to this one, and i remember this being my favorite. I enjoyed it again, and again, and about a year or two later, had it on father’s day in Oakland at Cesar with some amazing tapas and pollo asada. Man….compliments. This beer had them. Handled fruit, tang, sweet AND the hottest of Latin spices imaginable. Green Flash WCIPA trucked through it, squeezing all the flavors on the ass as it sauntered through.

At this point, i sound like a fan boy, but Green Flash can do no wrong with this IPA. To me, initially i should base IPA scores on this one. But….its way too…..damn…PERFECT. The balances, the taste, the hoppiness, the smell….i just..goddamn. Go immediately, and get this IPA. You will thank me and buy me one. I PROMISE you.

My score – 98.6 out of 100 – Because its hard to love anything so much that isnt human.

Rowan’s Creek Kentucky Bourbon

Posted in bourbon on July 13, 2010 by Mick

Try this badboy sans rocks. If you got the stones!

Sorry for the long delay. Ive been REEEAALLLY hungover since January. The truth is, im planning a wedding, and getting married in about 3 weeks. While i HAVE had imbibed in many a new bourbon/ beer/ wine/ tequila/ drink, i havent had time to update.

My apologies. If you are a regular, ill buy you a couple fingers’ worth.
Anyway, this little bourbon. Dont let the label fool you. It may look like Cletus Ray Van Hallibaster the IV (or his father/son) designed the label, but what they lack in artistic panache, they make up for in TASTE.
This is one hell of a bourbon. If this bourbon were a vidya game, id put it at an “intermediate level” as it comes raging out at just a possum hair over 100 proof. If you can manage to get past the hotness of this bird without pussing out and adding water, youll get immediate snaps on the tongue of licorice, tobacco, chocolate and a bitter that seems to taste of old coffee. But goddamn…all of these flavors together are better than your grandma’s easter ham.
And i meant that in the most obnoxious way i can muster.
If you got the stones, do this one neat for the first taste. Its hot as hell, but man…this dog WILL hunt.
My score – 92 out of 100 fiery Southern stars.