Thursday, October 25, 2007

Beer Review: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

I purchased this beer after a long day of work (see a trend yet?). I had never tried any of the Dogfish Head brewery products and I felt that as I had heard this was a good India Pale Ale I would give it a shot. Let me start this off by saying that if you don't like hops, stop reading now. This beer is hardcore IPA which means you get plenty of hops and all the good stuff that results (usually higher alcohol to balance the hoppy bitterness). The beer pours a brown/amber color and has a pretty distinct smell of hops. On a side note whenever I get close to coming back home (Jersey City) I go over a bridge that has a very consistent smell of hops and it is starting to drive me insane. Why do I have to crave beer at 7:30 in the morning??????? It's no wonder why I am now writing in a beer blog that I never actually started until I started to commute to and from my new job.

If you at all consider yourself a fan of IPAs or well brewed beers in general you owe it to yourself to try this. They managed to perfectly balance the slightly higher alcohol percentage (6%) by using a large amount of hops. This results in what I would call the ideal IPA. Stop reading and go try this!

Final Score: 91% (Pick This Up!)

Beer Review: Saranac Pale Ale

This is a special guest review from Bogart!

This entire document is a form of payment. It is a payment for one beer. It was a beer that I needed dearly. Most people just want beer. Wanting a beer means that you’re not likely to do anything irrational to get it. However, if you need a beer then your circumstances change. So, when do you need a beer? I will tell you.

I hadn’t slept in two days. There was a grill on the deck cooking me food. My friends were all just as delirious as I was from sleep deprivation and they began to drink. First it was the innocent shot of whiskey. This first shot numbs the mouth and makes it easier to drink more. Unfortunately, the whiskey doesn’t do what it is supposed to do—namely force me into an eight hour coma. Instead, the whiskey propels me forward into a bar where I drink even more. Here I drink beer and do shots of Rumplemintz and something that started with an “M.” Pussy shots you say? Well, I didn’t pay for them so fuck off.

An hour went by at the bar real fast. I was extremely drunk. And tired. But I don’t believe I was aware of either. At this point I could have shit my pants and not even have skipped a beat. I remember being happy and smiling at everyone. Life was good, but then it was time to go home. The excitement of the night is always chilled by the return home. It’s enough to make you convince yourself that just one more beer—no matter how tanked you are—is exactly what you need to end the night. You need to push it just that solitary inch further so that the night can come to a proper close. That is when you need a beer.

It could have been any damn beer in the world… but then She walked through the door. Oh, Saranac, your seductive charm always seems to drop by my doorstep at the most dire of times. But you weren’t mine just yet, were you? No, it’s never that easy with you, my love. That night she was dressed in her best pale ale. Her amber glow warmed every star in the sky. The only thing that stood between me and that 5.5% alcohol-by-volume was writing a beer review. No worldly payment of money or sexual favor was an option. Now, I’m a busy man to begin with and on top of that mid-terms were days away. Yet, who was I to rationalize in that moment of absolute lust. I had to give in.

So: The beer was really good if you like pale ales. Prob one of my favs. Strong hoppy flavor with a bitter aftertaste, just as it should be. It’s high in alcohol so it’s no beer for lightweights. According to the website it is best served alongside lamb, beef, stews and cheeses. I drank it with spaghetti. The spaghetti contained beef and cheese. I rule.

No Bottom Line...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Beer Review: Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Ale

A new day, a new post. Just got done with an extremely long day complete with the glamorous Jersey traffic. I need something smooth to unwind. I picked up a bottle of the readily available Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat ale and took in the patriotic aura. Brewer. Patriot. Words like that make a man feel good about his decisions and happen to be all over the bottle like nationalist methamphetamine. Who wouldn't want to be a countryman who loves to have a good time? I do, and Jim Koch seems know this as well. I try not to be swayed by the clever marketing but as I am a human drunk I can make no promises.

It poured into a nice smooth head which was slightly tan in color. The aroma smelled strongly of cherries as I would have expected (a nice touch). The bottle claims they are Michigan cherries but who can honestly tell? To me a cherry is a fucking cherry. No exceptions. The first sip is interesting, it took me some getting used to. Overall I really like it, it has a slight cherry flavor with a nice light beer taste dominating. Very refreshing and good in almost any occasion I could imagine. I think this is a very different style of beer of which I have had very few beers to which I could compare it to. The only downside of this beer is the lack of any really strong/deep flavors. It is a bit shallow but the bottom line is if you like a subtle fruit flavor in your beer I highly recommend this choice.

FINAL SCORE: 75% (Not Revolutionary But Definitely Worth A Try)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Beer Review: Kirin Ichiban Special Premium Reserve

My First Review!

I would like to start my blog off by stating first that I am very partial to the great taste and lower price of the fantastic Matt Brewing Company family of beers. They give me variety, flavor, and the magic of mountains... All in a 12 oz. bottle. Anyway, just got back from the local overpriced bodega in the glamorous City of Jersey to try a new delightful beer. The decision to pick a new beer is always one of the hardest I make in a week which could be a very telling thing.

Rather than pick up yet another variety of mediocre but pricey Samuel Adams I thought a new order of beer might be required. I quickly browsed through the usual suspects of Guinness and Heineken to arrive at a new face: Kirin Ichiban Special Premium Reserve. The bottle looks exotic and worldly with an animal that could have been the love child of a buffalo and a furry dragon on the front of it.

I opened up the first bottle and poured it slowly into my trusty stein. The head quickly dissipates to the atmosphere and I am left with a yellowish malty beer. The first sip is actually pretty refreshing with a light taste and a hint of rice. However, after a couple lackluster sips I quickly feel that I am drinking a fancily packaged Budweiser with perhaps more rice than barley. I quickly look over the print on the beer bottle to discover that the beer is bottled under the supervision of the Empire of Beer (Anheuser-Busch). Its times like these which make me wish I could start a Rebel Alliance and shoot a proton torpedo down the exhaust shaft of a power hungry monster. Ignoring the truly boring nature of the beer (which is hard) I feel betrayed. Never again will I purchase a beer without checking to see if the Empire has converted it to the macrobrewery side.

Rather than waste more time rambling about Star Wars references (though trust me I could) I will get to the bottom line. This beer is overpriced Budweiser with all the leftover money going to deceiving packaging. Do yourself a favor and if on a budget buy Saranac and if not buy almost anything else.

FINAL SCORE: 40% (Nothing Special)