Archive for the IPA Category

World Tour, Local Beers

Posted in Ales, IPA, Lagers with tags , on April 11, 2012 by wiseweizen

Totally without meaning to, the last time I was at the Winking Lizard, I ordered all Ohio brewed beers. I was the vanguard that evening, holding down a table for ten by my lonesome. Other folks waiting for tables gave me an envious look as I followed the waitress, strutting toward my giant table.* I sat down, started playing Super Bust-a-Bubble on my phone, and placed my first drink order: The Doppelrock, from Great Lakes Brewing Co.

This lager is a pretty potent first beer, weighing in at 7.8% ABV and with a modest 18 IBUs. For all you cheese fans out there, Doppelrock pairs well with “earthy cheeses.” Just thought you’d like to know. Mid beer people started to arrive, so I made Lauren smell my drink. Her nose interpreted the aroma as hickory, though mine was able to discern the chocolate undertones. Her husband/manservant Sam noted the color as “sanguine” which I observed that the closer to the center of the glass you looked, the darker the beer became – something that I don’t think I’ve noticed in a beer before. I really enjoy the Doppelrock, it is exquisitely smooth for such a powerful brew. It is very rich without being heavy, and has the faintest hint of caramel.  Apparently Meg thinks it tastes like a unicorn. On my Rocking Out scale from 1 to Queen, I’m going to give this an Aerosmith.

With dinner, I ordered an IPA. I figured if it tasted bad I could always follow a swig up with a delicious bite of my Blue Shroom Burger w/ Spicy Garlic BBQ sauce on the side. The IPA in question was Rivertown‘s Hop Bomber. This Cincinnati beverage is a low 5.5% ABV but boasts 60 IBUs. This amber toned beverage had a floral aroma, despite the beer’s write up saying it was supposed to smell like pine and caramel. Meg decided that it didn’t taste as awful as she thought it would – based on the smell. I found it to be quite hoppy, and very warm with a spiced flavor. All in all thought, it was pretty “meh”. For an IPA it was pretty tolerable, and if I can tolerate an IPA that means it probably isn’t a very good one, right? On my Bomber scale ranging from 1 to Bombman, I’m going to give this a Unabomber, for the one note flavor. Also, take a gander at the lip of the bottle in the picture. What the hell is that smegma?

My final beer of the night was one I couldn’t bear to finish. Thirsty Dog Raspberry Ale. Having enjoyed Thirsty Dog  products before, and considering raspberries are among my favorite fruits, I was really disappointed. A very low 3.9% ABV and 7.5 IBUs for this ale that smelled like a sugar laden Popsicle. It had a hazy yellow color and there were flecks of red… faux-berry in there too. It was like the gold flecks in Goldschlager except the resembled red Fruity Pebble crumbs. No matter how you pour, as seen from the picture, there is a tremendous amount of foam. I mean, I poured as slow as I could, with the perfect glass to bottle angle, and still ended up with all that head. The beverage was very bubbly and tingly, and seemed to foam in your mouth. I like raspberry and I like ale, but yuck.  I’m not even going to dignify this one with a fake rating scale. Instead, I give you this.

Before I go, today’s three things is: Three things that are awesome about being unemployed… 1. Severance 2. Afternoon Naps 3. No Corporate Politics

That’s all for now. If there are any World Tour beers you think I should try so you don’t have to, let me know! I generally just pick them at random. Until next time,

Cheers!

* Mental soundtrack was something from The Commodores, hence the strutting.

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More World Tour

Posted in Ales, IPA, Pilsner with tags , on March 29, 2012 by wiseweizen

You would think unemployment would give you tons of free time. Turns out I’ve been a busy bee, hence the lengthy duration between last post and this one. A few weeks ago I went to The Winking Lizard to celebrate my final day of employment and drink four more World Tour Beers. Fortunately, I took some notes, so here we go…

First up was the Polestar Pilsner from Left Hand Brewing Company. This pilsner has 5% ABV and 33 IBUs. I found the aroma to be very hoppy. The coloring was a super light yellow that was almost see-thru. I found the Polestar to start out hoppy, but have a smooth malt finish. There was a slight tangyness to this beer… it didn’t taste like orange, but rather, as if it were infused with orange, if that makes any sense.  The name made me think celestially, so on my Constellation Scale from 1 to Orion, I will award Left Hand Polestar Pilsner with “Sagittarius.”

The second beer was another from Left Hand, the 400lb Monkey. I didn’t read the guidebook before ordering, and this ended up being an IPA. As it turns out, I found it to be a very easy to drink beer, for an IPA. Stronger that the first beverage, the Monkey clocks in at 6.7% ABV with 60 IBUs. I couldn’t really get a good sense of the armor on this one, nor could two of my compatriots. Perhaps this is made with Iocane Powder? The color of this beer was on the orange side of amber, and again, another see-thur beer.  I found this to have a sharp aftertaste, and very herbal. According to another member of my party “this tastes like chewing on lemongrass.” She didn’t go on to indicate if this was good or bad. While I did previously state this was “good for an IPA” it is still an IPA, and thus I wasn’t really that big of a fan. I would venture to say that if you like IPAs, you’ll enjoy the 400lb Monkey. On a Simian Scale from 1 to King Kong, this one is going to get a Rafiki.

Next is one of my favorite beers, and the one that is currently highest rated among my World Tour beers, 3 Philosophers by Ommegang Brewery. The most potent beer I drank that night, this bad boy is 9.8% ABV with only 15 IBUs. As a disclaimer, I’m a lightweight. So it was a little tipsy when writing the notes for this beer and the next one… 3 Philosophers has an aroma that smells like sex and dreams.  The color is that of molasses with a hint of love. It tastes like the Triforce of Wisdom in liquid form. Super smooth, with just a hint of cherry.* Pure joy and alcohol. I have no idea what sober me could add that would more clearly state what tipsy me has already said. On a Philosophic Scale from 1 to Aristotle, I award 3 Philosophers a prestigious ranking of Nietzsche.

After two strong beers, my final beer of the evening was the wimpy Long Haul Session Ale, by Two Brothers Brewery. Only 4.2% ABV and 27 IBUs for this one. While I didn’t expect it to be as good as my last drink, I was pretty disappointed. I always think it is a bummer to end the night on a beer that you don’t really like. I neglected to note an aroma. Perhaps I’m a horrible person, perhaps that is just how underwhelmed I was, who can say? For color, I observed that it was “the color of mahogany, if mahogany was suffering from depression.” As for taste, I’ve got down that it tastes “like the sorrow of broken dreams. Also, carmely.” Waxing philosophic about bad beer – its what I do. On my Scale of Broken Dreams, from 1 to I Don’t Have Superpowers, this super quality -sarcasm- Long Haul Session Ale gets a score of I’m Not An Astronaut.

So, guess who went to 1.5 games of March Madness? Me. I was shocked too, since I’m not really one for the sports-ball matches.** My lovely girlfriend is a Georgetown alum, and their game was in town. Her dad was on deck to go but couldn’t make it, so I stepped up to the plate. Er, foul line? Whatever. I tried to ask intelligent/insightful questions and pay attention to the games. That was made easier because my phone wasn’t getting any internet connection, so any temptation to utilize it wasn’t there. Anyways, she’d given me one of her shirts from college (no, it wasn’t a ladies tee). Multiple people, making the assumption that I was a student/alumni/fan/knew anything yelled team specific things at me. I was like a deer in headlights, much to the amusement of my lady. She then taught me a few of the most commonly used Georgetown phrases so that I would be able to respond when a stranger yelled at me. I ventured off on my own for a pee break, and stood there, silently repeating the phrases/responses in my head, mid pee. Sometimes I’m weird like that. Honestly, I was happy to go with her, but I must say I didn’t find it terribly exciting. In fact, I think the whole March Madness thing could use an overhaul. I did some research. Turns out a team ranked 16th has never beat a team ranked 1st,*** and out of 108 games, a team ranked 15th has only beaten a team ranked 2nd 6 times. This seems super unexciting to me. I think the games would be more evenly matched, and thus more exciting, to have 1st v 2nd, 3rd v 4th, all the way down to 15th v 16th. Sure, the top teams would still probably have an edge, but I bet we’d see more upsets, and a much more interesting Elite Eight and Final Four. Granted I know only the rudimentary amount on basketball, so maybe that’s a horrible idea. I just think it would be more fun.

Well, that’s all for now. Cheers!

 

* Normally I HATE cherry flavoring, especially in beers. For some reason though, the fact that there’s just a hint of it in this particular beer, I really dig. Go figure.

** Except for hockey (Go Pens!) and Rugby (Go Squirrels!).

*** For anyone unaware, 16 plays 1, 15 plays 2, all the way to 8 playing 7.

Steve Buscemi

Posted in Ales, IPA on February 10, 2012 by wiseweizen

Last night was a Lizard night, as I wanted to get a few World Tour beers in this week. My longtime friend and occasional PIC (that’s Partner in Crime, for you crackers) Alexis joined me for this round. We’ll go into my drinks in a bit of detail, and she’ll add a sentence of color commentary on each of hers that way no one would be like a child that walks into the middle of a movie. I know you Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.*

First up is Conway’s Irish Ale, from the ever delicious Great Lakes Brewery. Conway’s if one of my favorite GL beers. It was named after the owner’s grandfather, who was a traffic cop for like 25 years. His beat just so happened to be in the same neighborhood of the brewery. This Ale is a robust 6.5% ABV with a tongue tingling 25 IBUs. Conway’s has a sweet apple/lemon aroma, about half the intensity of Jolly Rancher smell (which I find to be overpowering) and is deep red amber in color.  Alexis says: “This is malty, but with a kick. I don’t usually like malty beers, but this one is pretty good.”  As I just mentioned, this is one of my favorites. There’s just enough of a hint of sweetness, and the ale goes down smooth, like the sound of an evening gown sliding to the floor.** The lemon isn’t overpowering, and I could be more than happy drinking these all night. On my Awesome Policeman scale of 1 to Commissioner Gordon, I’m going to award Conway’s Irish Ale a score of… wait for it… Commissioner Gordon!!! If you didn’t click on that last link. Do so now. It is awesome, I promise.

Next up is Founder‘s Double Trouble. I ordered this one because I liked the name, and failed to notice it was an IPA until it was too late. I gulped this down, not because I enjoyed it, but rather I just wanted it over quickly. IPA lovers would probably enjoy this a great deal, as it is a whopping 9.4% ABV with an intense 86 IBUs. My notes always start to get a little sketchy around this point. For instance I have the aroma down as “HOPS!” (yes, all caps), and the color is “pure gold baby!” Now, there was no comma in that, so I’m not quite sure if that was a type or if I wanted to indicate a baby of solid gold, or at least gold coloring. Since I’m a pretty weird dude***, I don’t feel confidant ruling anything out. Interpret as you will. On the taste portion of my index card I wrote: Mango and hops, bitter! Does not pair well with spicy garlic sauce. So, there’s that. I gave Alexis a taste and her reaction was, and I quote “Oh, hey. Fuck, now!”**** On my reverse compliment IPA scale of how this beer made me want to hurt myself, from 1 to Rip Own Throat Out, I award – with esteem – Founder’s Double Trouble a grandiose Sear Off Taste Buds with Hot Poker.

As promised, here are Alexis’ one liners: Southern Tier Unearthly IPA – “This beer is not fucking around.” Left Hand Fade to Black – “Pepper taste to the backend!” Ruthless Rye IPA – “I started talking about blow jobs and Armageddon, it was that good!”

Now – Three Things I Love About Steve Buscemi: 1. His cameos are always entertaining. 2. He’s Mr. Pink. 3. He unabashedly embraces his Busceminess.

I propose we redefine Buscemi as “weird, but fucking rad.”  Examples: “Did you see that movie? It was so Buscemi.” or even “His new sex move was Buscemi. I think we’re going to work on perfecting it next weekend.” I like to think I’m a modest guy, but you know what, I’m going to say it… I’m totally Buscemi.

Cheers!

* Per Alexis: “Aerosmith’s daughter cried, and Ben Affleck was all Afflecky.” This, is why we’re friends. I would be remiss if I didn’t add her “this is why we’re friends” moment right after I said “…just dove in there like I was searching for pearls.” Everyone can feel free to speculate on the topic of discussion.

** It is perfectly natural to be aroused right now.

*** But not so weird that I’d have a creepy desert tea party after escaping from a plane full of convicts.

**** This was most certainly not a proposition. I think the taste of the beer caused an acute momentary case of Turret’s.

Mandles

Posted in IPA on November 6, 2011 by wiseweizen

Tonight, direct from the Harpoon Brewery, I bring you Harpoon IPA. This bastard is so hoppy it might just bounce out of your mouth. Or, that could have been a subconscious desire to spit the beer out because, well, IPA. Honestly though, despite my distaste for the style, this one isn’t too bad. He clocks in at 5.9% ABV with 42 IBUs. This beer has a great musk, smelling like a man walking through a flower garden punching things that are cute.  His golden-copper color, filling the glass, boldly bubbling as if to say: “Drink me you big sissy.” Also, there’s a hint of citrus. Who’s got two thumbs and no scurvy? This guy.

Alright, half a beer in and I’m kind of digging this. Not just because I want to complete my “Find an enjoyable IPA Side Quest”, but this is actually pretty good. Yes, it is bitter/hoppy, but there’s no bad aftertaste, and while it resides in your mouth there are several flavors that bound around in there. I’m getting hints of citrus, wheat, spices, and maybe a little essence of distilled testosterone.  In fact, I’m fairly certain that I felt five new chest hairs spring to life AND my beard grew.* I’m almost ashamed to admit it but I seriously would drink a second one of these. It feels lame to say Side Quest Complete after only two beers, so I won’t do that. However, Harpoon IPA is going to be the new benchmark upon which I judge other IPAs. On a manly scale from 1 to Chuck Norris this beverage gets an Apollo Creed.

I was at the grocery store the other day looking for an air freshener. I felt as though the vast majority of my options would leave guests with the impression that either a 15 year old girl or an old lady (possibly one with cats) lived in my apartment. Passionfruit? Lavender? Cookies and Cream? What adult hetero bachelor would want their abode to smell like that? I eventually settled on ”After the Rain”, despite sounding like the title of a Lifetime movie. ** For those that are curious, it smells… well, blue. I can’t think of any other way to describe it. The scent certainly ins’t that of a rainy (or post rainy) day.

I complain about this to my friend Erica, noting the only man scent I’ve ever found was a candle by Yankee Candle Co. called Fireside, which smelled like campfire. She insisted there would be more, so we took a trip to the mall. I was saddened to discover that the three pumpkin scents smelled like the odiferous offspring of a mutant pumpkin that had a one night stand with a bottle of perfume, and the fetus was injected with butter. I’m going to go ahead and apologize for any disturbing imagery that may have conjured in your brain. Anyways, amidst the Mistletoe, Farmer’s Market, Summer Breeze, Marshmallow, and an entire wall of pink candles was a shelf seemingly designed for men. Thunderstorm, Mountain Cabin, and Autumn Forest struck poses on the shelf, the reflections of the store’s lights gleaming off their labels. Before I go any further, I’d just like to say that my apartment isn’t stinky or anything, it just smells, well pretty neutral. Or like whatever I had for dinner. It isn’t as if I’m trying to overpower the smell of Cheetos and unwashed nerd. So, these mandles… Autumn Forest smelled like someone mixed cranberries with nutmeg. It wasn’t a bad smell, but rather it was a little too much “what’s grandma baking?” for me. Mountain Cabin though, those are manly right? I mean, there’s going to be fire, skiing, and maybe a Yeti or something. Turns out it smelled like a wet dog covered in pine needles humping a block of cedar. Pass. I saved my most hopeful candle for last: Thunderstorm. I love thunderstorms, so I hoped this was going to be awesome. I reached for the candle, thinking it would be a smell that not only encompassed all the power of the storm, but also have an aroma that could drop make panties drop from a block away. Admittedly, I may have set my expectations too high. The odor of perfumed laundry detergent was not what I was expecting. Disappointment abounded.

So, here’s what needs to happen: a series of man scents. I want a Bacon air freshener. A candle that smells like high priced beer. Pizza, freshly cut wood, rain, French fries, new car smell (or, for the nerds, new boardgame smell), pipe and/or cigar smoke, stripper*** – these are the smells I want. Seriously though, men are an untapped market for these sorts of things. I mean, who wouldn’t want a BBQ Burger or Hot Wings scented living room? If you’re already sawing logs, why can’t your bedroom smell like a lumber mill? What classes do I have to take to learn how to make scented candles?

A free tip for the men, totally unrelated to all previous topics in this post: Every once in a while, cook dinner for your significant other. They will almost certainly appreciate it. When they offer to help, put them in charge of dessert. Why? I’m glad you asked. There are several reasons including, but not limited to: so you won’t have to make it, to ensure they enjoy at least one course of the meal, and there are so many ways you could screw it up – ex “Why did you buy lite ice cream? Do you think I’m fat?” The most important reason though is that there’s about a 0.5% chance that for dessert they’ll show up with nothing but a can of whipped cream and a smile.

On that note… Cheers!

 

*So the ladies might want to pass on this one. Funny story, I made out with a girl once that had facial hair. No lie. We met at a bar, WHERE IT WAS VERY DARK. I chatted her up and amidst the conversation she says “I have a hornyness problem.” I think, jackpot. Eventually we decide to head to my place, and gentleman that I am, I walk her to her car. IT IS STILL DARK because its about midnight. So we get to her car and start making out, and I’m fairly impressed. Fast forward, we get to my place, the lights come on and her 5 o’clock shadow is more predominant than mine. At the bar I was a little too drunk to hear her correctly, but later realized she said”I have a hormone problem” which makes way more sense. Admittedly I did take a moment to weigh my being impressed with her kissing vs her stubble. Turns out I wasn’t that impressed. She makes a move to resume kissing, I feign beer related illness (which I thought was a better move than making a big deal out of her facial hair). So we ended up on the couch, watching a movie and cuddling, then she left. Guess who the Little Spoon was…

**My favorite Lifetime movie title: “Mother May I Sleep With Danger?

*** Safety Tip: Don’t utilize Stripper scented items when you know a lady is coming over. She’ll be super curious about why your apartment smells like a greased pole, dollar bills, and coco butter. The explanation “oh, sweetie, that’s just my stripper scented candle” probably won’t cut it. Not that I have a problem with strippers or stripping… just sayin.

… which of course in German means “whale’s vagina”

Posted in IPA on September 11, 2011 by wiseweizen

San Diego, my favorite city. Home to Nerd Prom (San Diego Comic Con), nearly perfect year round weather, and of course – the setting for Anchorman. Turns out SD is also the home of Stone Brewing Co. Before we go any further, I have a confession to make. I don’t like IPAs. I would rather be slapped in the face by a perturbed primate than drink one. Ok -braces self- let’s dive right in and get this over with.

Stone IPA is at a fairly robust 6.9% ABV. Since my opinions on this might be a little biased, let’s see what the back of the bottle has to say, before I lambaste this bastard. “…big hop flavor and big hop aroma. We loaded glorious amounts of crisp and refreshing hop bitterness into this brew. First the aroma delights, then the flavor moves us to rejoice aloud!” Wow Bottle, someone thinks highly of themselves… My companion and I take a whiff of the “delightful aroma.” Result: 2 out of 2 patrons agree, this smells like something we aren’t going to enjoy. The first thing that popped into my head upon seeing the color of this IPA was that it seemed to be an opaque confluence of all that is orange*. The second was, at least since the glass s big, it seems like I won’t have to imbibe as much.

Really, the best thing about this drink was that it made my portabella quesadilla taste amazing by comparison. Here are a few things that escaped my lips, as the beverage was forcing its way in: “It keeps assaulting my mouth long after I’ve swallowed.” In an agonized voice –> “Taste Buds!” Feeling broken down and defeated toward the 75% mark –> “This is like water-boarding on the inside, with beer.”

Seriously though, my biggest problem with IPAs is that they feature so much hops that I really can’t taste ingredients and flavors. Some of my drinking buddies actually like this swill. In deference to them, I shall undertake a second Side Quest, concurrent to the first one (from the previous post). Side Quest #2: Find an IPA that I like. Not just “can stand” but actually enjoy. I’m going to have my work cut out for me.

On a scale from 1 to “Please make it end!” I’m going to give this an “Ugh, how much more is there?”

Due to the brevity of this post, I’m going to include a second picture of the Stone IPA. Now, if you pay close attention to the fizzies, and maybe squint, I think it looks like a head, with some sort of cord coming out the back. Maybe like the Matrix?

Until next time, bottom’s up!

*If you don’t believe that was the first thing that popped in there, I’ve got the note card I wrote that down on as proof. Admittedly, we were multiple beers in at this point so it did take me a few tries to correctly spell convalescence.