Archive for ale

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

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Posted in ale, Seasonal with tags , , , on October 11, 2009 by Mick
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, 7.0 ABV

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, 7.0 ABV

I always had a pretty basic rule: Beer should taste good e3nough on its own without adding limes, berries or…..pumpkins.

Now keep in mind, im an upstate NY transplant to California, so i miss seasons. When i watch my NY Giants destroy Bay Area football teams, i think about my parents in Gloversville, NY, watching the same game with a roaring fire and the smell of a roast wafting through the house. Outside, leaves of every color imaginable falling in the crisp air.

So when i find something that reminds me of those days and the flavors, i go with it. Hence, pumpkin ale.

I am no pro at all with these seasonals, but i know what i like. I experiment, i will try anything once. Its just the theory i have to get past.  The theory that….fuck…this is a beer, that tastes like pumpkin.

Dogfish Head makes one of my favorite beers ever, the 90 minute IPA. So naturally, when i see them making a pumpkin ale, im going to try it. Initially, when i opened the bottle, and poured it into my favorite beer jar, the smell of pumpkin, nutmeg, and autumn hit me like Brendon Jacobs on a 3rd and 2 goaline smash. The taste however, isnt as smashnose. It has an initial bite of a strong ale, with a softer spicy middle and finishes smooth with the tiniest sweetness of pumpkin. Just ENOUGH to say, “Yeah…this is punkinney.”

We had the beer with a coffee-rubbed pork shoulder i slow made, slow cooking it for about 7 hours, and THIS is why this beer was made. I decided then, that this beer, like alot of my go-to Belgian ales, is to be paired with a fall food, like the pork, or my bourbon sweet potatoes.

Either way, drink this while you can, especially if youre out of your climatic element. I really enjoy this seasonal beer, and look forward to it every Sunday when im watching football and cooking a roast. Just like at home.

My score – 91 out of 100 jack-o-lanterns.

Cooper’s Extra Strong Vintage Ale

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 17, 2009 by Mick

cooper1Leave it to the Aussie’s to NOT beat around the bush with a beer’s name.

It is what it is, and they mean it.

It is suggested that this VERY malty ale be kept up to 18 months after purchase to truly age the flavors.

I can assume the bottle i had had been sitting around for its allowed time, because there was some very tasty sediment in the bottom of my tulip glass.

At 7.5% a/v, it packs a punch, especially since it is so easy to drink.

I flipped through this one in about 10 minutes, but i wanted to nurse it because the flavors were just that complex.

I highly recommend this one with some spicy asian food. Or a Coney Island firecracker.

Its yer choice Ted.

My score – 91 out of 100

He’brew Genesis Ale

Posted in beer with tags , , on March 21, 2009 by Mick





I need to kvetch just a little…


I had one of these for the first time about two years ago, but i was shithoused, so i dont remember the taste.


Fast forward to today, and i can see why.


The taste is not at all memorable, but everything else is.


It, like its body and color, is a very relaxed smooth beer that is not as hoppy as it should be for a pale ale….i expected a little more pop off pof the end note, but it left me hanging…


I felt pilsnered.


At any rate, its still a refreshing swig, and i will most likely continue to drink this beer on a summer day.


Now feel free to kibbutz about it.


My score – 71 out of 100.

Budweiser American Ale

Posted in beer with tags , , on March 8, 2009 by Mick

large_budweiser-american-ale-bottle-and-glassI know what youre thinking. And sometimes your first instincts are dead on.

Such was the case here.

Now look, i can appreciate when you have some HUGE company try and go all “boutiquey” and all “artisan”….but come on….what can you possibly do? Youre fucking Budweiser…..

You come off as ridiculous as Starbucks using their Clover machine……please. Just stop.

I can see this very BLAND ale marketed to compete with something of the calibur of a Sam Adams, a Full Sail….something better than bud…but worse than Sierra Nevada. No?

I mean, the pros are this….its EASY to drink for a heavier ale, and the color is a beautiful copper. It definitely makes Budweiser look good….but fuck man…

I mean….the best way I can describe the taste, is if you added Mrs Dash to a regular old, unfortunate Budweiser…..sad to say.

I think if i had the choice between this and regular Bud….man… be reaching for the flask of Jameson.

This beer might be good for a BBQ…..but seriously….this is like putting a bowtie on an ugly kid.

My score – 64 out of 100.

Rogue Double Dead Guy Ale

Posted in beer with tags , , , on March 8, 2009 by Mick

medium_doubledgThis was something….

I wasnt sure what to expect with this frisky ale….it beckoned me like a slutty siren with its red bottle on the shelf….

Ill say this now….im a sucker for a red dress…this Rogue Brewery Ale got me.

I was expecting a punch in the mouth, fuck you, here’s drunkeness, here’s mayhem, and here’s a headache in the morning….since its the “double” version of its older brother, Dead Guy Ale. I am a good friend of this beer…a very good friend.

But what i got was a complex sweetheart. You know…that girl that may be NASTY on the outside….but man….shes all about just LOVING you.

The first pull off of this ales had an initially caramelly smack in the mouth with a finish that had notes of melon and tart citrus. But the best was the body in between…imagine both of those things with the taste of a mild baked bread in between.

See…i never expected it.

I never expected myself to want this beer the next time i had a spicy Thai dish, or even a pulled pork sandwich with extra Sriracha.

Though im not a huge fan of fruity complex beers, it helped convince me that not all girls in red dresses are dangerous.

My score – 91 out of 100.