Beer Wednesday: Hop Heaven Week 2 – Green Flash Palate Wrecker

•July 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday! Or should I say “Hoppy” Beer Wednesday?

This week I’m continuing my visit to hop heaven with a trip to Green Flash’s Palate Wrecker Imperial IPA, or, as they refer to it, “Hamilton’s Ale.”

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As you might expect, this ale was super hoppy. I mean, at 149 IBUs, it was mouth puckeringly bitter. Interestingly enough, though, there was a really strong malt and a rich citrus nose. At 9.5% ABV, I expected it to taste stronger, but the mouthfeel was thick and that, plus the incredible hoppiness, hid the alcohol.

I can’t claim that there wasn’t truth in advertising there, as this did indeed annihilate my palate for anything else. . . until the Blonde took out some dried dates. The sweetness of the dates managed to hold up with the bitterness of the beer, and they ended up pairing perfectly.

Don’t assume that you could drink this beer with dinner, but maybe as a dessert beer paired with something really sweet.

Either way, I’m hopped up to give this vegan double IPA a 3 out of 6 on my six-pack scale, and of the hoppy beers I’ve had, this one ranks a 1-hop, not because it’s bad, but just because of the ones I’ve had, it was my least favorite.

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If you’ve had this vegan beer, let me know if you agree with my opinion, or if my head is in the clouds!

Beer Wednesday – Birra Moretti

•June 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday!

This week I’m drinking an Italian beer that I first stumbled across at an Italian festival in Baltimore a few years ago. At least I think it was this beer. My father-in-law and I grabbed a couple and neither of us can fully recall what the beer was. We both believe that it was Birra Moretti, but I remember really liking it on the street.

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This vegan beer was, in a word, unimpressive. It was a light lager, without the warning of it being labeled light. The flavor was kind of generically beery and disappointing. Despite the 4.6% ABV, it was still kind of thin and boring.

While this might be better from an ice-cold bottle on the street, with a slice of vegan pizza in my other hand, as it was poured in my glass, I have to give it a 2/6 on my six-pack scale. All told, I’d rather drink Yuengling.

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Have you got any beers that you expected to be better than they were? Or any good memories tied to a mediocre beer that make it seem better than it really is? Let me know.

Beer Wednesday – Blue Moon Belgian White Ale

•June 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday!

Today I’m bringing you a review of a shockingly vegan beer, Blue Moon’s flagship Belgian White Ale.

This beer is a standard white ale, and, in fact, is, on a state by state level, the best selling beer in the country.

Now, if this is indeed the case, well, it’s better than most of the beers on that map, but let’s be honest, nothing brewed by MillerCoors could possible be that good. It just isn’t in their nature.

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That having been said, this isn’t terrible beer. Calling it good might be a little strong, but it’s. . . fine. The fact that it is 5.4% ABV helps make it more palatable, but the sort of wheaty, and still bland nose, coupled with a thin, somewhat filmy taste make it over all, not very good.

Now, don’t misunderstand, Blue Moon is better than any other beer brewed by MillerCoors, but with just 9 IBUs and the claim that it has “zesty orange fruitiness,” well, it just doesn’t have sufficient balance to satisfy a decent beer drinker. If you’re looking for something to swill at a similar price point, I would go with Yuengling lager, or Magic Hat #9.

This beer, while the best of a bad bunch, earns a 2 out of 6 on my six-pack scale. I’d avoid it, but I’d love to hear if you disagree.

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Tofurkey breakfast sausage

•June 9, 2014 • 2 Comments

Not too long ago, the Blonde and I had a craving: sausage. Not just any sausage, but breakfast sausage. Enter Tofurkey! We saw the package, and we immediately agreed that it would be half of breakfast.

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The links fired up decently, with minimal sticking to the pan, and they smelled good, almost like traditional sausage. They looked a little bit like “fake meat” but I’ve gotten a little used to that when it comes to Tofurkey brand.

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The texture was sort of traditional Tofurkey, soft, with small bits of a firmer texture. It was a little salty, a little sweet, and very traditionally “Tofurkey.”

Don’t get me wrong, without Tofurkey, there would be fewer vegans, and we wouldn’t have nearly the seitan choices that we do today, but overall, I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of the Tofurkey breakfast sausage. It could use a little bit more sweetness, and maybe a little more flavor, and a tad less salt.

Maybe next time I’ll just make my own breakfast sausage.

 

 

Beer Wednesday – Ruthless Rye IPA

•June 4, 2014 • 4 Comments

Happy Beer Wednesday!

This week, I’m pretty happy to have another West Coast IPA, Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye IPA.

This non-traditional IPA has amazing color, a rich, deep amber, and a nose that is a blend of hops and malt, without too much bitterness.

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The taste is rich and malty, with a ton of sweetness up front. The hops are light, without a whole lot of hoppy bitterness or citrus. The malt is almost more of a Belgian than a West Coast IPA, which changes how I feel about it.

I want a West Coast IPA to be really big and hoppy, and this vegan beer just isn’t. If this beer were presented as a Belgian style IPA, I might be raving. The malt is rich and smooth, and the hops aren’t overpowering, but let’s be honest, when you get an IPA, you want that vegan beer to be super hoppy. Or at least I do. The malt had a really interesting flavor to it, which I assume comes from the rye, but it still wasn’t quite right.

If this were a Belgian IPA, I would be happy to give it a higher rating, but as it is, while good, I can’t give it more than a 3 out of 6 on my six-pack scale.

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Baseball Book Review – Calico Joe

•June 2, 2014 • 4 Comments

Recently I visited my mother in New Jersey, and stumbled across a John Grisham book that she had sitting around, “Calico Joe.”

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This short novel was a story about hope, promise, revenge, and redemption. Oh, amd baseball. You know I love baseball, and this book was an easy enough read that I polished it off in a weekend.

As a book about baseball, “Calico Joe” fell a bit short, but as a book, I was really happy to have it. On this, the second full unofficial week of summer, if you need something light but still a good read, I can’t give this a higher recommendation. It’s touching but not sappy, amd worth every page.

I may even start reading some other John Grisham. Have you read any Grisham? What’s your say on him?

Beer Wednesday – Spitfire

•May 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday!

This week, I’m presenting the very first beer that I ever bought, Spitfire.

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The first time I bought this beer, I was in Stratford-upon-Avon, at a restaurant after visiting Shakespeare’s home and grave. I was also 17. I remember it clearly, mostly because I was scared that I was going to get carded in a different country, and then when I was served, it was the first time I had ever seen a beer with sediment in the bottle!

This serving was a standard 12oz. and didn’t have any sediment, but it was still what I seemed to remember. It was malty, with a light hop, and really good balance. It may have been a little bit more like a white ale than a pale ale.

Overall, I’m really happy to give this blast from my past a 4/6 on my six-pack scale.

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Do you remember the first beer you bought? What was it, and where did you buy it? Tell me in the comments.

 
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