Saturday, September 25, 2010


Yea, you heard me - today's beer comes from Sri Lanka. When I was driving to Denver last weekend, I stopped in ol' Pueblo at Hercules Liquors and found this little gem. The proprietor of the shop recommended it and I have to say that I'm extremely glad that I did. Who ever thought that Sri Lanka made good beer?!

Appearance - A frothy chocolate head, pitch black with almost no visible carbonation. Feels very inviting. 4.5/5.0

Smell - Coffee dominates the nose, but you'll also get some mocha and roasted malt in there. Nothing that is all that different from the expected. 3.0/5.0

Taste - A bit different flavor than I was expected based on the smell. While the coffee was more promenient in the nose, the taste seems more focused on the bitter chocolate. There's definitely a coffee flavor to it, but it's not all that robust. In fact, there's some sweetness to it. Nothing as sweet as a milk stout, but definite sweetness at the beginning of each taste. This beer is packing a pretty impressive 8.8% ABV, but you can't taste the alcohol at all. 4.0/5.0

Feel - Thick and rich. The beer definitely coats the mouth well and finishes smooth. The aftertaste is malt and dark chocolate. It takes a while for the flavors to clean up in your mouth. 4.5/5.0

Drinkability - I think I paid $3.99 for this thing and it's probably one of the best beers I've had for that price. Unfortunately, it's not available here in New Mexico...wah wah. Would definitely pick it up again though. 5.0/5.0

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

See the Fantastical Snake Woman!

The Shmaltz Brewing Company is an odd little duck. They seem to have two lines - Jewish line and Carny Line. The Jewish line has stuff like the Re-Jew-nevator and Barmitzah. The Carny Line (smells like cabbage...small hands as Austin Powers would say) has a crazy freak show clown as its logo. This beer, the Coney Island Albino Python, is a member of the freak show line - promoting itself as being a "white lager". I've heard of white ales...but white lager? This indeed could be a freakshow I gotta try.

Appearance - An opaque golden color with a white foamy head that bellows up, then quickly simmers down. Very little carbonation going on this thing. You can see the yeast sediment before you pour it out. 3.5/5.0

Smell - Lemon, ginger, coriander, spice. As expected for the white aspect of the style. 4.5/5.0

Taste - Very different than I expected. There is a lemon taste to it, but it mixes oddly with the yeast (but not in a bad way). It subdues the citrusly lemon flavor to the point where you only hit the sharp lemon hit at the end of each taste. You also get an interesting ginger and wheat flavor with it too. While odd, I kinda like it. I think is the contribution of the "lager" aspect of the beer. 4.0/5.0

Feel - A bit thick, but coats the mouth well. The lingering aftertaste is ginger in nature, but it mixes with the yeast a bit odd...not sure I cared for that. 2.5/5.0

Drinkability - It's different that's for sure. There were aspects I really enjoyed (flavor and aroma), but the feel itself didn't sit right. I think if this was readily available, I'd have it again, but not one I'd go out of my way for. 3.0/5.0

Monday, September 20, 2010

Shot in the dark

Really like the photography on this picture...definitely not something by my hand. Anyway, I must first apologize to you faithful readers for not having posted in the last month. It has nothing to do with beer consumption, but rather being in/out of town and not just sitting my butt down to write. This will be fixed promptly!!

Today's beer is the Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA). The Cascadian Dark Ale is effectively a Black just happens to be brewed in my homeland, the Pacific Northwest where they like to give different names to stuff. Like, I drank pops as a kid, not a Coke or was POP! The style of a Black IPA and a Cascadian Dark Ale are effectively the fact, in a discussion with Patrick the ABQ Beer Geek, it sounds like they are consolidating these styles into one for purposes of judging at the Great American Beer Fest.

Appearance - Toasted bread colored head - about a half of a finger width; light carbonation and appropriately black. 4.0/5.0

Smell - Deliciously hoppy, with some chocolate malt scents. 3.5/5.0

Taste - Bitterness is not as pronounced, mainly having been mellowed out by the roasted malt flavor, which hits first. The earthy, bitter hops come up a bit later in the taste. At 6.5% ABV, you don't get much alcohol burn, if any. 4.0/5.0

Feel - Thick, slightly creamy, ends with a light bitterness. 3.5/5.0

Drinkability - Very much would have this again. I enjoy a good combination of malts and hops that is showcased in this style of beer. 4.0/5.0