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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

We’re here. Day 25! I’m incredibly excited about about this beer, and incredibly sad to report that my beernog was a major flop – but I lived, I learned. It’s okay, because I have this to step in as a holiday drink & this amazing movie our family watched for our post-dinner post-presents film:

I know. It literally took my breath away. I can’t recommend this movie enough – I just couldn’t look away, and it had my heart racing every minute. This was one of my gifts to my brother, but after watching it, I ordered another for myself. It’s one that I can’t wait to watch over and over – a rainy day movie, a movie to make you feel alive, a movie for Christmas, a movie to share. As for the Delirium…

All in all…What a fantastic beer to end this series on – the Delirium Noël is uber sweet, dark, and carbonated like woah. The mouthfeel is akin to champagne that we had this morning for mimosas – the sweetness is similar, and there’s a bit of the same mouth-puckering feel. I love this mouthfeel, because it stands apart from any of the beers I’ve had this month, and makes the beer feel extremely festive. Even though it is a Belgian Strong Ale, it doesn’t taste like a big beer, per se – there’s substance to it for sure, but the carbonation makes it feel like a delight to have, not a heavy beer to make your way through. This would be a great beer to combat any post-Christmas celebration blues. Or to help kick off your Christmas festivities!

Recommend to a friend? I would – this was shared with my brother and father. I may not recommend it to someone who doesn’t typically like Belgian beers, as the carbonation may be too distracting.

Safe for lightweights? 10.0% ABV No it is not – I had a half-glass of this baby.

How much snow are you willing to scrape off your car? (4) Twenty minutes what?

Plus one? Ooh not with that ABV. But it’s pleasant to drink, so excluding that factor I would love one.

I’m happy to say I had so much fun doing a second month-themed round of beer observations, and I’ll be honest that I don’t know what’s next. I do much better when I have a specific schedule of posting, rather than doing it at random, so in the next few days I’ll be deciding what route I want to take here. I hope you’ll come back on New Years Day to see what I have planned!

Here’s a wrap up of five beers I remember fondly from the last month:

(1) Founders Backwoods Bastard

(2) Great Divide Hibernation Ale

(3) Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

(4) Shiner Holiday Cheer

(5) Abita Commemorative Mystery Beer

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This is a short one tonight, as I have to get back to the Beernog I’m making…I know! Beernog! I’m so excited – I hope that it is a success so I can post the recipe for it tomorrow.

All in all…I’m quite glad I saved this for Christmas Eve. Don’t worry your pretty little head, I have something really special in store for Christmas day. But this is the beer that has come closest to having the type of spices I want in a Christmas beer. It’s very light and amber-ish…amber-ish…let that stellar adjective sink in. It has a teensy bit of spice – the hops are the driving force behind it, and were a little more bitter than I was expecting. It reminds me of the Bell’s Christmas Ale, with a little more oompa behind it. Oompa = Rogue fist pump. I’m obsessed with that fist pump. I’m a little sad they didn’t have Santa fist pump.

Recommend to a friend? Mmmm…It is good, but I may not necessarily recommend it.

Safe for lightweights? 6.0% ABV

How much snow are you willing to scrape off your car? (3) Ten minutes

Plus one? Not particularly. Though it was enjoyable, I wouldn’t necessarily want to have another one.

Happy Friday!

Tonight’s beer is a mystery…my father works at the glass company who makes Abita’s bottles, and he brought me this commemorative edition that they produced for the 25th Anniversary. However, I have yet to discover exactly what style it is. I have been able to find descriptions of a 25th Anniversary Abita through the interwebs that is a Vanilla Doubledog – but until I can get the official information I will leave style out of this. And I was frankly very nervous that I wouldn’t like it, but thankfully, soon enough I was gushing about how tasty this was.

All in all…

This is hella good.

I guess you want more details than that, right?

It isn’t extremely aromatic but does smell faintly like a chocolate chip milkshake with Heath bar toffee bits. This Abita is a very balanced & mild dark beer, as you notice the malts but they don’t weigh down your taste buds. Some beers that are extremely malted can feel very heavy to me. But this is quite light, dark without being biting, and the mouthfeel is very silky and gentle. The subtle hints of cookie dough, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and toffee all weave in and out smoothly – sometimes coming together, sometimes standing alone. It was a delight, and the kind of beer that makes ones day.

Recommend to a friend? Yes yes yes! And tell me if you see any more of these. I’ll be right over.

Safe for lightweights? ABV unknown

How much snow are you willing to scrape off your car? (4) Twenty minutes what!

Plus one? If I could I would. Really truly.

Does anyone else see the dragon shape in the beer? No? Yes? 

Erm The Hobbit trailer came out yesterday, which made the Komodo Dragon Fly/Dragonfly Black IPA completely appropriate to drink. Except they left the actual dragon from The Hobbit out. Seriously?

All in all…I immediately noticed that this has the alcohol aroma of a Founder’s Porter – very potent and like a wood stove. The other black IPA I’ve had (Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous) really did taste like a black IPA with a similar hoppiness, but without a pine or citrus background whereas this Komodo has more of the alcohol taste of walnuts…that’s why I don’t really care for walnuts…The malts also really overpower the hops more than I like. The upfront taste at the tip of your tongue is very carbonated like a soda, and leaves your mouth a bit dry. It isn’t very thick, but it still isn’t as light as an IPA.

Recommend to a friend? Not quite. I usually lurv Uplands, but this wasn’t for me.

Safe for lightweights? 6.50% ABV

How much snow are you willing to scrape off your car? (3) Ten minutes.

Plus one? Naw

Another short one today, as this beer unfortunately didn’t provide much inspiration.

All in all…I poured this, looked at the bottle, and found that I was supposed to “Enjoy by Nov 23.” Whatevs. It’s still okay. It’s almost like a baby version of Ruination IPA. The flavor is similar, but turn down the notch until you can barely hear a whisper. The last time I had this beer I really quite enjoyed it, so I wonder how much the “enjoy by” date is playing into this.

Cold Hop = copper aftertaste + gawgeous clementine/hazy orange color + citrus

Recommend to a friend? Um [thinking with furrowed brow] I think there are more stunning options out there these days…apparently the cat likes it though.

Safe for lightweights? 6.80% ABV

How much snow are you willing to scrape off your car? (2) Five minutes – (3) Ten minutes.

Plus one? You know, at the beginning of drinking this beer I’d say why not. It’s a decent beer and I like that it’s between 6-7% ABV. However, as you finish it, that feeling goes away. I would rather move on to something else.

One of the things I miss most about Georgia is how my hands always seemed to be constantly stained when I was there. We’d drive over to a family friend’s before the sweltering heat wave came at 8 am, and come back with baskets full of blackberries and plum colored hands. The next summer Aunt Karen & I went to a cousin twice/third/howevermanytimes removed’s farm, and came back with heaps of plump blueberries to freeze for the winter, and bright purple fingers, nails, and lips (I snacked as I went along). Another month a different cousin would bring us bags spilling over with corn – this meant an hour sitting under shade in the backyard covered with corn husks. Now pecans. I want no part in picking and shelling/cracking/whatnot pecans. That’s hard work. But I digress. Let’s talk about peaches.

All in all…When I was deciding which beer to have today, I read the bottom of this Shiner that says “Ale brewed with peaches…” Well shut the front door and let’s have a beer.

If you have had real, genuine Georgia peaches: picked them yourself, skinned them in a bowl, had both of your hands drenched in juice…then if you sat down and consumed entire said bowl (I unashamedly have done that) then you know what an amazing flavor that is: sweet, but tart, bursting with some of the intense red middle still attached to the end of each slice. The peach aroma of this beer smells almost like that – it’s so very close, but not quite there.

The taste isn’t similar to these fresh peaches either. It’s more like they have travelled all the way to Indiana – still ripe, delicious, and sweet, but they don’t make your mouth water in the same way. Neither is the taste like peach flavoring – it’s more like black peach tea. I’m not sure if that exists, but that is the closest flavor similarity I can think of. That isn’t to say that the beer has the dryness of black tea at all, but it isn’t light like you would assume a peach flavored ale is.

I will also add that this is the first beer that has made me crave cheese. Suggestions anyone?

Recommend to a friend? If you’re partial to fruit beers, then I would. Also, if you want to try a Christmas beer that is out of the ordinary I’d say give it a try.

How much snow are you willing to scrape off your car? (4) Twenty minutes what!

Safe for lightweights? 5.40% ABV

Plus one? It wasn’t extremely easy drinking, but I had to resist drinking it quickly. I would absolutely have a second one of these if I was out.

Now you’ll have to excuse me. The Penguins/Blackhawks game is on so my attention is needed elsewhere.

Tip: when you have a daily beer goal set up, remember to buy more on Saturday if you’re in Indiana where there are no liquor sales on Sundays. Since I consume my brews & take notes the night before (I don’t drink and proofread), I thankfully had one left in the fridge. Huzzah!

All in all…there are some people who think Pilsners are overrated. Some who think there’s nothing to them, no taste, just meh. When it comes to a well-crafted one, I beg to differ. It’s true that there are many many beers that have given Pilsners a bad rap, but whatever you do, don’t give up! Don’t give in, don’t let watered down, half-assed beers ruin an entire style for you. I was worried about this guy, had to travel an hour and a half in my Timbuk2, get warm, then cool down again – but it was a trooper. After a day of baking, and family time, thank goodness for Mama’s Little Yella Pils. Baking is so therapeutic, it is. But standing on your feet for several hours with frosting on your glasses and on your forehead called for this. And even though I’ve very much enjoyed all the winter warmers, I’ve been waiting for a beer that had some clean lines to it.

Recommend to a friend? Oui.

How much snow are you willing to scrape off your car? (3) Ten minutes. As long as it’s not yellow.

Safe for lightweights? 5.3% ABV I’ve found pilsners to be a reliable lightweight beer. Should I be referring to the lower ABV beers as session beers?

Plus one? Yes please, and a back porch to drink it on.