Thursday, April 29, 2010

My name is Guybrush Threepwood and I want to be a Pirate!

After working in the yard for a few hours late this afternoon (ah, nothing like desk work, then "use the sunlight while you can" yard work...), my back started to complain about the type of work I was subjecting to it. So, with a beer in one hand and my PS3 remote in the other, I fired up the old console system to see that the Secret of Monkey Island is now a special edition download through Playstation Network.

I loved this game when I was younger. It tells the tale of Guybrush Threepwood, a wannabe pirate, who is out for adventure and faces the Ghost Pirate LeChuck(or Zombie Pirate or Demon Pirate...depended on the game, freakin' voodoo magic) during his various adventures. LucasArts - the same one that produces those Star Wars movies you may have heard of - did these games in the early 90s and they were a blast. From what I understand, a lot of these classics are getting a facelift and being re-released. These kids now-a-days think these things are new....HA!!! I remember when the screen stopped when you advanced in Super Mario Wario, no Yoshi, just Mario, Luigi, a Princess and a bunch of happy Toadstools telling you that you went to the wrong castle...

Anyway, you didn't come here to hear about my video game addiction, you came here for my OTHER addiction - good craft beer. Tonight's special - the Widmer 84-09 Double Alt 25th Anniversary Ale.

Appearance - Thick, rich looking copper brown. Head gone so quick you wouldn't have thought it was there. Low carbonation. - 3.5/5.0

Smell - Alcoholic malt with a sweet bread and light chestnut smell. 3.5/5.0

Taste - Molasses, raisens, some sweetness, bread, great blend of malt. Tart alcohol hits at the very end, but for a beer that is almost 10% ABV, the potency will creep up on you. As the beer settles and warms up a bit, you'll get some toffee and a bit more bitterness. - 4.0/5.0

Feel - Flavor builds up and you get a hit of sweetness near the middle of each taste. Aftertaste is mild, but alcoholic and malty. Body is on the higher side of medium. - 4.5/5.0

Drinkability - Flavorful brew, but on the strong side for something I'd get regularly. Great job by Widmer to celebrate 25 years of brewing. - 3.5/5.0

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays

Today was the first day back to the office for me. After April 15th, I hopped state lines with Tina and hung out in Phoenix for a few days. Had some great beer out there, and ended up bringing a bunch back. Tina asked me if I was ready for going back to the office today....I felt like I worked at a bank that had just been robbed and I just wasn't sure if I ready for the experience again. It didn't help that when I got to the office at 7:30, I had realized I forgot my office keys...awesome. One of my monitors apparently took a dirt nap too.

Anyway, after this amazing "back to work Monday", I needed a beer. I hadn't had an IPA in a while, so thought I'd give the Full Sail Slipknot Imperial IPA a chance. With a 8.2% ABV, it wasn't so robust to floor me, but would likely help numb the irritation of broken technology and leave me in a condition where I could go to the gym later this evening.

Appearance - Gorgeous tangerine color that is especially dark in the upper part of the glass. The head is foamy, white and leaves a sticky lacing on the glass. The beer generally looks thick, but in a rich, inviting way. 4.0/5.0

Smell - The hops are surprisingly subdued and lean on the earthy side of aroma. There's a..."funk" too. Not sure how to describe it other than if you walked into a room that hasn't been opened in a while and there is an odd smell to it. 2.0/5.0

Taste - Pine and earthy hops, some bitterness initially, but that goes away pretty quick. Other than that, not really much to write about. 2.5/5.0

Feel - Feels as thick as it looks. Great mouth coverage, but disappointing bitterness. 3.0/5.0

Drinkability - Eh, I've had other Imperial IPAs that I way prefer over this one for a similar price (or a buck extra). Not really what I would expect from the style either. I've had a few things from Full Sail, but I gotta say, none of their beers stand out - they are all adequate. Nothing terrible, but nothing noteworthy. 2.0/5.0

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Attack of the Andygator

When I saw this bottle over at BevMo the other day, I immediately thought of my dog, Andy. Talk about random freakin' reasons to buy a beer, but it worked. The Abita Andygator Helles Doppelbock was a steal too - only $3.50 for the bomber, which ain't bad.

Appearance - Foamy white head that lingered for a long while. Light yellow coloring, lots of bubbles. 3.5/5.0

Smell - Some malt and sweetness aroma, but it's really disappointing (i.e. very little there). 2.0/5.0

Taste - Strong malt taste, some spice to it, honey, sweet. Big bold flavor that hits you really hard when you first taste it. For a more alcoholic beer (8%), it's surprising light and smooth. 3.5/5.0.

Feel - Fills your mouth, but mellows out pretty quickly. Very little aftertaste, mostly just the spice. 3.5/5.0

Drinkability - It's a tasty beer. Maybe not the best example of a doppelbock. 3.0/5.0

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary Sierra Nevada

Got to celebrate my birthday with my lovely wife, Tina, my brother and dad over at Nob Hill Bar & Grill and I heard through the grape vine that they had the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Stout on tap. This seemed like an appropriate beer to celebrate both a birthday and an anniversary.

Appearance - A frothy, creamy tan head; a thick blackness with quick lacing. 4.0/5.0

Smell - The aroma was lighter than I expected with the malt dominating, followed up by some coffee. 3.0/5.0

Taste - Lots of malt and alcoholic coffee flavor. Oaky, with some acidic tart cherry at the front end, then blends into a molasses flavor. Highly enjoyable. 4.5/5.0

Feel - Coffee dominates the end, but the flavors are well blended and are subtle as they dissipate. 4.0/5.0

Drinkability - A very tasty, great representation of a stout. A great offering from Sierra Nevada and I would regularly get this, if it wasn't a special deal. 4.0/5.0

You can pick this up at Quarters and Jubliation - about $10 for a fancy looking bomber.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Four Peaks - Tempe

Tina and I are big fans of Four Peaks Brewing, but had never ventured out to the Tempe location, where all the magic happens. Suffice it to say, I'm glad we came over here. The Scottsdale Grill & Tap is chill, but definitely has a "Scottsdale" feel to it - older crowd, a bit more sophisticated. The Tempe Brewery is a chill college hang out. The place is huge too - lots of seating room. The waitress we had was great - she knew her beer, which was appreciated.

We had lunch while we were there - the food was excellent. Between Fish & Chips, a Lamp Pita, Fried Chicken and Waffles and a Burger, we were well fed! Their Leroy Brown Ale was the seasonal draft - a very tasty brew, that could easily be a session beer (only 4.9% ABV). Some of the merchandise was on sale, so picked up some pint glasses for only $3.25 each (down from $5, I think). Also, picked up a 12 pack of their Kiltlifter Scotch Ale in cans...awesome.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cheers to you, Uncle Sam!

Another April 15th has finally come and I managed again to avoid kissing a bus to soothe the madness that is my life at this point. Every year I get a nice bomber of beer that I crack open once the final return is signed and extension check dropped off. This year, Quarters had just received a bunch of new Rogue beers, including the Rogue John John Ale, which is Dead Guy Ale that has been aging (gracefully) in Dead Guy Whiskey barrels.

Appearance - Lightly opaque amber; with a sturdy white, frothy head. 3.0/5.0

Smell - Hmmm...whiskey. Malt is subdued and slightly sweet. I would have preferred a strong aroma. 3.5/5.0

Taste - Gotta say it again...hmmm...whiskey. Oaky, with a tasty, toasty sweetiness near the middle of the taste. Finishes off as you would expect a sip of quality whiskey would, with a hint of vanilla and caramel. Flavors are balanced and not overly strong. - 4.0/5.0

Feel - Smooth, full aftertaste. Lacks the syrupy quality that I've seen in bourbon beers, but that's ok, this one works. - 4.0/5.0

Drinkability - This is an amazing harmony of a spirit and beer, would definitely get this one again. 4.0/5.0

Monday, April 12, 2010

Either it's going to blow, or be an explosion of taste....

I will give Full Sail some serious credit for a cool name - Vesuvius has a lot of "uumph" behind it...not just liquid hot "magma". The Full Sail Vesuvius Belgian Style Golden Ale comes in a 22 oz bomber, which is priced at a bargin at $3.99. I've been on a dark beer kick lately, so having something more on the lighter end of the spectrum was very welcome.

Appearance - light white head, bubbly, golden, slight cloudiness, very little lacing - 3.5

Smell - definitely belgian; coriander, lemon, sweet and a bit funky - 2.5

Taste - Oddly mellow, malt is the high point and the belgian spices are pretty subdued. Tart apple, clove and banana flavors, but pretty mild. - 3.5

Feel - a bit syrupy, good mellow mouth coating, sweeter finish actually like how it feels. - 4.0

Drinkability - for $3.99, it sure wasn't bad. Maybe not a regular brew, but something I would have again if offered - 3.5

Friday, April 2, 2010

Three Philosophers not named Moe, Larry & Curly

This corked bottle looked particularly interesting as Tina took me on a little beer shopping spree at Jubliation for my birthday this past weekend. Did I tell you it was my birthday on the 28th? If you feel bad about not knowing, I'd be happy to accept some delicious beers as an apology. But birthday side the point, the Ommegang Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend is a pretty potent beer, weighing in at 9.8% ABV (a fact that was not noticed until I uncorked this sucker). Another interesting facet of this beer is the fact that it has 2% cherry ale blended into it.

Appearance - A really foamy, light almond head starts off the beer and sticks around the side of the glass for a good few minutes. The beer itself is a dark amber color, opaque in the lower 4.0/5.0

Smell - A sweet malt aroma is the key scent of this brew. True to the ingredients in it, you can get some tart cherry in the nose. 3.5/5.0

Taste - Definitely a Belgian beer with all of the spices that I would expected in a Dubbel/Trippel/Quadrepel beer, but the tart and mildly sweet cherry flavor (which isn't overpowering - you're not drinking a cider here) adds a very different spin. It subdues the normal spiciness of the Belgian beer, then adds a level of tartness that finishes off each taste. While highly alcoholic, you can't taste it... 4.0/5.0

Feel - Smooth at the beginning and end, but really sharp flavor in the middle. Finishes clean and doesn't have really anything to speak of for an aftertaste. - 4.0/5.0

Drinkability - While an interesting beer, not quite my type of beer. - 3.0/5.0