Archive for the Porter Category

And… I’m Back!

Posted in Lagers, Porter on July 17, 2012 by wiseweizen

So, it has been a while. Sadly, life has gotten in the way of my drinking.  Since last I posted I’ve become unemployed,spent some time trying to figure out what to do with my life, and eventually decided to go back to school to get a masters in education with the ultimate goal of teaching middle school science and/or English. Very shortly after that decision was made, I started school which is taking up much more time than it did when I was an undergrad since I’m actually attending classes and doing all the required work – plus extra credit assignments! Finally, I was spending lots of time trying to put a costume together since I attended the 2012 San Diego Comic Con. Things are a little calmer now that the con is over, and I’ve got a rhythm down as far as school is concerned. Oh yeah, I also brewed a batch of beer (which I’ll talk about in a subsequent post). Hopefully I’ll be able to post more often now, I’m going to start out shooting for every other week and see how that goes.

Without further ado, the beer of the moment is Indigo Imp Brewery Co’s Gate Keeper. This Cleveland brewed beer is 5% ABV with 40 IBU’s. This is a very dark porter with about two centimeters of persistent head. I’m very impressed by the smoothness here, it is as if I were drinking velvet. There’s a nice malt flavor with hints of caramel and… I want to say “trees” but that seems off-putting. Instead, I will say that it tastes like a mid-autumn evening in the woods. There’s a rich earthen aroma that doesn’t smell very alcoholic. Instead it smells, well, calm. If I were to undergo aromatherapy treatment, you could pump this smell into the room and I would just fucking cozy up and chill out. I’m finding this beer very surprising.While I don’t dislike porters, they generally aren’t my favorites either, but this beer seems to be exactly what my body and mind need at this exact moment in time. Well played beer, well played. I don’t normally associate porters as beers that would facilitate relaxation but this stuff is really hitting the spot. I almost wish it were like late October, with a bit of a chill in the air. I’d go outside, mildly bundled, sit on a porch somewhere with, I’ll be honest, like five of these beers, and just sit there drinking, letting the autumn evening have it’s way with me.  The stars winking at me knowingly, nature making sounds infused with the evening, as nature is wont to do, and the occasional chilly wind that suggests winter is coming.  The only negative thing I have to say about this one is that, while it doesn’t feel very heavy/filling as you are drinking it, about five minutes after you finish you’re all “ugh, so full!” Still, I’m a fan. So, on my coziness scale from 1 to “Snuggling with the significant other” I’ll give Indigo Imp’s Gate Keeper a score of Jayne’s Hat. *

Three things that were the most disappointing about Comic Con 201: I didn’t get into the Firefly 10th anniversary panel. I was unable to participate in “The Walking Dead Escape” event. The con is over.

So, airplanes. They have all these rules once you are on board like no electronics and upright tray tables. Do these things really matter? If there is some sort of problem, is the position of my tray table in any way going to assist or exacerbate things? And while we’re at it, the emergency countermeasures like floating seats and oxygen masks… have they ever saved a life? If my plane crashes into a body of water, I’m fairly certain that I won’t need a flotation device, as I was killed on impact – or shortly thereafter. I feel as though these “safety measures” exist more for psychological reasons than practical ones. Someone that isn’t me should research the issue, then report to me their findings.

Oh look, another beer! Since the interior of my body has limited space and I’m having pizza for dinner, I opted for a much lighter second beer: Southern Tier’s Raspberry Wheat.** A modest 4.9% ABV with only 5 IBUs. The beverage looks like lightly carbonated apple juice, or something you’d give a kid for a toast at a wedding. Right when I opened the bottle an intense fruit aroma hit me,*** right around the septum. It doesn’t taste bad, but is a little more bitter than I expected from something so light on IBUs. Let me break down this taste for you. It is as if someone took six ounces of Rolling Rock and four ounces of Corona, then added two ounces of raspberries. Once the diabolical mixture was complete it sat for, I want to say two months. The raspberries were then removed, with all of their liquid squeezed out of t hem and into the beer. After that, a spell was cast to bind an invisible spirit to the bottle. This spirit would patiently wait until you were about to open the fridge and grab the beer (it is a telepathic spirit), and would give the bottle a good jarring, to ensure a proper slow fizz. End result: the thing I’m drinking now. I personally guarantee that the last six sentences are 100% accurate. This isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever had in my mouth… but it doesn’t really make me eager to keep drinking it. On my Real Fruit Flavor scale from 1 to Fruity Pebbles, Southern Tier’s Raspberry Wheat gets a score of grape Fruit Roll-Up.

So, as many of you may know, I’m doing the Winking Lizard world tour of beers. We’re already in mid-July and I haven’t even hit the halfway point of my tour yet. Here’s my proposal, non-tour members who are interested in going out for a night of drinking, we hit up the Lizard, everybody can drink stuff I haven’t had before, I’ll bring a bunch of note cards, and do a big guest blog post based on your thoughts of all the assorted beers we drank. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, leave a comment on here or send me a Facebook message if we happen to be friends on that.

Until next time, cheers!

* If you are all “WTF, I don’t get it…” then you need to watch all fourteen episodes of Firefly. Right the hell now.

** Side note: I recently enjoyed, but did not blog about, Southern Tier’s Imperial Pumpking Ale. It. Was. Amazing. Once fall hits and it comes out again I endeavor to purchase more, and it will be blogged about then.

*** For this image search I typed “1960s Batman pow.” Scrolling through the results, the 48th image was one of Ronald Regan standing in front of the American flag. What the fuck Google Image Search, what the fuck?

World Tour

Posted in Ales, Porter on January 7, 2012 by wiseweizen

Early this week I joined the Winking Lizard’s 2012 World Tour of Beers. They’ve got over 300 beers, of which I now have to drink 100 by December 31st. Challenge accepted. In theory, this should mean more beer reviews, more frequent posts, etc. I am going to change format slightly though. Each time I visit the Lizard will be one blog post, regardless of number of beers. Also, there will likely be more pints and less pondering in my World Tour posts.* Today, I’ve got two for you.

First up is January’s beer of the month (in official glass): Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, by Kentucky Ale.

This ale is aged in bourbon barrels for up to six weeks, which gives it one heck of a kick. It comes in at 8.2% ABV and 15 IBUs. While it has a sweet small, you can also tell that this is going to be a strong beverage just from the aroma. There’s a reddish amber hue, which the picture doesn’t capture all that well. This was very bourbony, and even burnt a little on the way down. There’s a mild bubbling sensation when you first imbibe, and it doesn’t really taste much like a beer.  I was midway through a cold, and this guy did a number on me, certainly not what the doctor ordered.

As I did not venture forth to the Lizard alone, others wanted to weigh in on this one. “Mimi”** thought that it smelled wonderful, but tasted like a glass of bourbon that “had melted ice cubes in it”. I said, so, watered down? She insisted that since it was cold, it was more like melted ice cubes than watered down. We had a stare off, I think she won. Meanwhile, Jeff thought it smelled like something his grandfather would drink. Those two seemed to enjoy it well enough, but I wasn’t really a fan, though that could have been due to fighting off a cold. On a scale from 1 to Secretariat, I ‘m going to give Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale a score of: “horse that dies of a heart attack in Animal House.”

Next on the docket, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, by Breckenridge Brewery. I… almost forgot the picture…

This porter is a mild 4.7% ABV and has 16 IBUs. I know it is a vanilla porter, but to me this beer smelled like tangy chocolate. This is a very dark beer, had nice head, and left a little body on the glass, as you can see. I couldn’t really taste the vanilla, honestly. Whether that was due to low content in the porter, or out of whack taste buds, I can’t say.*** No one else wanted a sip, so I couldn’t get a second opinion. It was very smooth to drink, and tasted almost, but not quite, like a dessert beer. I don’t have much at all to say about this one, unfortunately. It was pretty average so I’ll give it a score of “wax” on my 1 – green “bean-o-meter”.****

I’d like to give a shout out to Rachel, who performed surrogate nose duty, since my olfactory senses weren’t up to the task. Also to “Mimi”, Jeff, and Lauren (among others) for tagging along. I think I’ll start posting on Facebook when I’m going to go to the Lizard, and if anyone would like to join me, they are more than welcome to. I take index cards so I can have notes (otherwise I won’t remember). If you’d like to taste the beers I’m having and provide some input, I’d be happy to quote you. If you want to write down your thoughts on the beers you drink, should I review that beer in the future I’d be happy to use your notes. Finally, If someone wants to write a guest post, I might be willing to entertain that notion as well.

Until next time, Cheers!

 

*Don’t worry though, stuff I drink at home will still get a good does of pondering and ranting after them.

**Seriously, that’s what she wanted her pseudonym to be. I don’t know why.

*** Third option: poor quality vanilla from Madagascar. Dan, Casey, could these beans have come from Mattagascar City? It would explain a lot.

**** Yes, I know wax and green beans are vegetables, and vanilla beans aren’t.