Archive for Winking Lizard

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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Dicken’s Cider

Posted in Cider with tags , on April 2, 2012 by wiseweizen

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.*

I was back at The Winking Lizard last Thursday. I decided to take it easy because I thought I might be catching a cold, so I just went with ordering two ciders.

First up was Aspall’s Dry Cider. This cider is rather potent at 6.8% ABV. I had some trouble locking down the IBUs on this one. A few sources said 0, a couple others said 4. Regardless, the bitterness is almost nonexistent. I wouldn’t say this is a sweet drink, though.  Pardon me… Aretha dance break… Ok, back. Sometimes my Jackson 5 Pandora station causes an irresistible urge to boogie. So, cider. My erstwhile lady companions thought this smelled of apple and vanilla, which would totally make sense. My, apparently malfunctioning man-nose was under the impression that the cider had the aroma of an orange creamsicle. Regardless of scent differentials, we all agreed that the coloring was translucent gold. The taste, wow. Two of two tasters felt Aspall Dry Cider exemplified all that is cider. I wish I’d have had this second, because there’s no way my next drink could measure up. The sparkling bubbles burst in your mouth with a refreshing effervescent crispness.** Now, my little World Tour booklet tells me there is supposed to be a hint of honey in the beverage. I couldn’t taste it. This could have been due to my trying to fend off a cold, or perhaps my mouth requires slightly more than a mere hint. Other people at the table could taste the honey, and since I’m supposed to be the beer “expert” we’ll say it was the fault of my overactive sinuses, rather than a glossopharyngeal*** deficiency. I’m going to level with you, this was a $7 drink. You know what? Worth it. If you like cider and can find a way to get these on the cheap, do it and never look back. This means you, Dan.**** No, seriously, it is super good, go try one. On my Apple Scale from 1 to Steve Jobs, I’ll award Aspall Dry Cider a ranking of Apple Dumpling Gang. Yes, that is a terrible movie, but for some reason I have a super hazy, yet fond memory of that film, so it is a pretty high rating.

Speaking of fond memories, this post’s Three Things are my three favorite scenes from Batman: The Movie. #3: Batman can’t drop the damn bomb. #2: The shark. And my favorite bit #1: Super asinine logical deduction. (from 1:50 to about 3:20) If you ever get the hankering to watch the film, I recommend watching with the commentary track from Adam West and Burt Ward for extra hilarity.

Back to the cider. My second drink of the night was Harpoon Cider. I’ve enjoyed pretty much all the Harpoon beverages I’ve tried, and the cider was pretty good. Unfortunately it had to follow the Aspall, and while tasty, was not as ciderriffic. This one was a little tamer at 5.1% ABV. Here’s another with 0 IBUs, and I’d totally believe that as it was pretty sweet. I’m going to cut and paste from the brewery’s website because I liked this little blurb:

Other Ways for You to Enjoy Harpoon Cider
Cooking with Cider:
enjoy cider-marinated pork, or use cider to steam mussels.
Always enjoy a cider while cooking
Serve Cider: as an apertif, at brunch, and for special occasions
Bring Cider: along for picnics and parties
Mix Cider: with Harpoon beer. Cider and beer have a heritage in New England that dates back to the Pilgrims. The two drinks can be enjoyed together or you can enjoy cider on its own. Here are some of our recommendations.

Try mixing Harpoon Cider with the following Harpoon Beers:
Harpoon Cider + Harpoon Brown = Copperhead
Harpoon Cider + UFO Hefeweizen = Apfelweizen
Harpoon Cider + UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen = Indian Summer
Harpoon Cider + Harpoon Winter Warmer = Apple Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harpoon’s cider had the pleasant scent of candied apples. It’s color was super light yellow, in fact there was barely any color at all. It tasted like a sour apple Sweet Tart or Jolly Rancher. While good, the flavor wasn’t quite as complex as the last drink. I’d still recommend this though, if you couldn’t find the Aspall or didn’t want to pay the premium price. On the same Apple Scale as before, I’d go ahead and give this a Jolly Rancher.

I’m hoping to make another trip to TWL this week. I’m thinking a Dopplerock might be in order if they still have it available. Until next time,

Cheers!

 

* Yes, I know Bob & Tom did this originally.

** Regular readers of my blog know that I’m a terrible speller. I’d just like to express my pride that I was able to spell effervescent without the assistance of spell check.

*** That’s the nerve that lets you taste stuff. -THUD- I just dropped knowledge on you.

**** Dan hates beer, but seems to really enjoy cider. I feel like this excellent beverage is perfectly pH balanced to not upset his delicate vagina. *****

***** I’m sorry. That burn was inappropriate. I hope I didn’t hurt Dan’s feelings. Robust and manly, that’s how I should have described his vagina.

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.