Thursday, November 15, 2007

Beer Review: Ballantine XXX Ale

Ballantine XXX Ale in a 40 oz. Bottle

This beer rocks. I really love Ballantine Ale. I have partaken in the 12 oz. bottles many times and this was my first 40 oz. bottle. What I love about Ballantine is that they have the price of a macrobrew (even cheaper sometimes) but you can easily tell that they spend more money on each batch. I can smell and taste the hops. 40s really don't get better than this. I had the King Cobra 40 earlier tonight and this blows that out of the water.

If you want to get drunk for cheap get Steel Reserve. If you want to get drunk cheap and well get Ballantine (Yeah Slogans!). I am pretty buzzed at this point and feel that my writing may suffer from now on. I am aware of Ballantine's rich history and all I have to say is that if it is good enough for the Yankees and Hunter S. Thompson it is good enough for Lumbeer John. Keep the legend alive.

Final Score: 83% (Economical and Hoppy)

Beer Review: King Cobra

Anheuser Busch King Cobra Premium Malt Liquor

I found myself in the capital of all things economical and tasty. Good ole' Newark. Immediately I was bombarded by the temptations of Fried Chicken and White Castle. Knowing that I had a request from Bogart for me to do a review of some shitty beer I quickly seized the opportunity at a local liquor store and for $1.29 I picked up King Cobra. I knew this beer would be a piece of shit that would likely ruin my day but I never knew just how much. I later poured this monster into a glass (I know I am breaking 40 laws but who the fuck polices this shit!).

The head was large from the beginning but quickly went into a thin layer with no lacing. Next to no aroma on this one, the only thing I get is the smell of sticky movie theater floor. I taste the first drop and the only thing I can taste is a shit load of malt with no hops. AB could really tell me they used no hops for King Cobra because they didn't want to slow me down and I would have no problem believing them. Compared to other 40s this one isn't as bad as some will get (Mickeys!) but it isn't good by any stretch of the imagination. At least steel reserve has more alcohol to make up for its horrible taste. I don't know why anyone would drink this. If you are on a budget buy Steel Reserve. Do your future a favor!

Final Score: 20% (Do I smell Shit? Oh, thats my life.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Beer Review: Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager

Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager

This is my second beer review from the "12 Beers of Winter" case. This is definitely the darkest and thickest beer the Matt Family Brewery produces. I can put my glass right up to the light and get nearly nothing through it. I wonder if this was a wonderfully failed attempt at making chocolate syrup? Like most of their beers the head starts at a medium height and quickly disappears. This one doesn't seem to leave any lacing on the glass.

The flavor does not have a strong chocolate quality to it that I can detect. This actually doesn't bother me at all because I don't really know if I want a beer that tastes like a Gump Box. I think the chocolate name might just refer to the dark and rich quality of the beer. Overall, I think this is one of the best beers in the Saranac line. It is velvety smooth and has a rich nuttiness to it. Kinda like a less better version of Smithwicks. This is a beer that I will greatly miss when the season is over and I encourage all thick beer lovers to enjoy this one's dark magic.

Final Score: 86% (Well Worth It)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Beer Review: Saranac Oatmeal Stout

Saranac Oatmeal Stout

I have picked up my second Saranac "12 Beers of Winter" case. I loved the summer pack released a few months ago and enjoyed the first 12 Beers of Winter case I bought so I thought I should probably write a review about some of them(hopefully I can get all of them reviewed by the end of the winter). The oatmeal stout pours an extremely dark amber color with a caramel colored head. The head quickly dissipates but leaves behind some lacing and a small thin layer on top of the beer.

Let me summarize the taste by saying that I never knew oatmeal could taste so good. If you enjoy Guinness/Smithwicks or any rich stout you will love this beer. The flavor reminds me a bit of coffee with some thick malty goodness thrown in to up the ante. This is a fantastic winter beer and I will definitely be sad to see it leave once the winter season is over. At $1 per beer you really can't beat this kind of quality. The Matt Brewing Company (with a few exceptions) knows how to deliver the best taste for the lowest price. If you like your beers rich, thick, and fantastic give this one a taste.

Final Score: 88% (Always a Great Decision)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Beer Review: Samuel Adam's Winter Lager

Samuel Adam's Winter Lager

I finally got the opportunity this week to go out and pick up a six pack of the seasonal Winter Lager produced by the Boston Beer Company. It was the end of a long boring day that was in desperate need of a heavy winter beer. I was immediately attracted to the white/blue colors and having seen the commercials for it a couple times I decided I would give ole' Sam a shot. Did I ever say I had willpower? I was not and still am not at all disappointed. How often does a guy like me get to be part of the revolutionary war during the frigid winter season (still Fall but who is keeping track). On to the important stuff:

The beer pours a deep red amber color and has a quickly dissipating head with some lacing along the top of the glass. The smell is very faint of malt and cinnamon. The beer has a slightly full body to it which is perfect for a cold night and also has a very faint taste of cinnamon with some other spice I can't quite pick out. Overall, I find this beer to be very satisfying and is that rare combination where the beer could be drank in quantity but also having a beer or two is a delicacy. This lager actually treads the line of becoming a full winter Bock. I am definitely going to consider picking up more of this in the future (though I may have to abstain to get some more reviews going).

Final Score: 83% (Money Well Spent)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Beer Review: Arrogant Bastard Ale

Arrogant Bastard Ale

This is a wonderful beer. I don't say that very often but this one truly earns the right to be called arrogant. This bastard is perfectly balanced with a large amount of hops used offset the generous amount of malt used in this brew. Very, very, very thick head on this one. Lasted for a long time and has a great flavor and body. The beer has a caramel flavor that gets richer as you drink it. This is a great beer for the winter/fall season and I can only think of a few beers that would stand tall next to this one.

It is a bit pricey at 4.99 a bottle but as the bottles are larger than your normal 12 oz. I feel that this one is worth a little extra green. I didn't know California made good beer but I stand corrected today. Give this one a try. Feel free to send me hate mail if I am wrong.

Final Score: 87% (Great Beer!)