Because I’m classy, I took my lady to The Winking Lizard last week, in the hopes that she’d help me out with a tour beer or two. She was in a cider mood, and I’d already imbibed all the ciders on the tour. However, that allowed me the opportunity to recommend the Aspall Dry Cider, which was covered in a previous post. As is customary to my WL trips as of late, I enjoyed the contents of two bottles of beer.
First up was Star Island Single, by Smuttynose Brewing Co. This pale ale is 5.8% ABV (not a whole lot stronger than your generic beers) and 15 IBUs. Golden orange in color, it boasted a crisp citrus aroma. I found this to be super drinkable for a pale ale.* I’d describe the initial flavor as “citrus tang;”** the finish is quite crisp. That said, I found the aftertaste to be rather odd… in fact, it was more of an “after-breath”. Not that it induces halitosis, rather I experienced weird sensations/flavors while exhaling immediately after taking a drink.*** Despite the “after-breath” phenomenon, I’d say it was a pretty decent beer overall. I wouldn’t want it to be the only thing I drank in an evening, but I wouldn’t complain if I was given a second helping. In honor of the mermaid on the label, I’ll utilize an “Under the Sea” scale for this beverage. From 1 to Fluke (duke of soul… yeah), I award Smuttynose’s Star Island Single with a Carp (plays the harp).
Next up, a beer from Two Brothers. Perhaps you remember their disappointing Long Haul from this post? They did better this time, but honestly the bar was set pretty low. With 5.9% ABV and 15 IBUs, Domaine DuPage is described by the brewers as “a food friendly ale… with just enough hops to clean the palate.” While I agree with that, it probably isn’t for the reason they would want. After drinking an entire bottle, and actually putting thought into it, I can honestly say I have no idea what this beer tastes like. It wasn’t bad, mind you, though “exceptional” would be a gross overstatement. I could discern that there was a special blend of herbs and spices, but they served to make a flavor indistinguishable. While the lady and I agreed that DuPage’s color was that of cherry wood, we disagreed on the scent (of the beer, not of cherry wood). I found Domaine to emit an aroma of some floral concoction – she ever so eloquently stated that “it smells like beer.” Well done, dear. 😉 Because of the enigmatic nature of this beverage we’ll use a “?” scale ranging from 1 to The Riddler! I think Domaine DuPage deserves a question mark block from Mario Kart. In the grand scheme of things, I try not to write off a brewery that crafts thirteen beers after only trying two of them. So, if anyone has enjoyed a Two Brothers beer more than I have, please let me know which of their beers I should try.
At this point, I’d like to relate an incident… nay, a kerfuffle, that occurred during dinner. It is the opinion of my girlfriend that waving food in front of someone will entice them into reconsidering her offer of eating her unwanted food. Admittedly, this seems to work to great effect on her brother, but less so with me. After rejecting her offer of the last slice of her sausage pizza, she utilized this tactic – a respectful 6-8 inches from my face. At this point, I would like to mention that we’d each only had one drink and thus, were sober. I declined the pizza again, as I was full from delicious wings. Instead of the normal circular enticement protocol, she now switched to an up and down flopping undulation of pizza moving ever closer to me. I’d hoped to stare her down, but this was not to be. Eventually, the pizza flopped in such a manner as to actually have the tip of it land on my lip. We both found this hilarious and I finally took the pizza. This done done more to get it out of her hands than because I wanted to eat it. There was a look of smug satisfaction on her face that would not stand. In one smooth swift motion I grazed her cheek**** with the pizza (sauce side of course) and brought it back around to take a triumphant bite. Victory was delicious. She was momentarily stunned while I was chewing, and then we both burst into laughter, looking more like crazy people than we had during the entire ordeal. As an epilogue, she got her revenge several days later at Panera by lobbing a slice of turkey at me, which stuck to my forehead for a second before falling onto my plate.
Since we talked about pizza, here’s the Three Things for today. Three specialty pizzas I’d make if I had my own pizzeria: 1. The Pork Pie – ham, bacon, sausage. 2. The Black & Tan – sausage, mushrooms, olives, with a white sauce. 3. The Ginger (dessert pizza) – a layer of strawberry glaze, a layer of cheesecake, vanilla bean frosting, 3 strawberries on top, all on a ginger bread crust.
If anyone has any World Tour beers they’d like me to review, let me know! Until next time,
* Note that it is NOT an IPA.
** Not TANG the beverage, which I would describe as “bleh.”
*** Sadly, these experiences didn’t award any XP.
**** She claims it was an ocular assault, I adhere to the sauce all over her cheek speaking to the contrary.