Today was flat-out rough at work. I don’t know what it was, but everyone was just angry and incredibly escalated. When I finally got out of work, I got stuck at a train crossing for twenty minutes. Once I got through that, I hit traffic on the Turnpike. Then, Plainsboro Road was closed and I got lost trying to find an alternate route home. It was definitely not my day. Anyways, review time. Let’s see how this one went.
Style: Foreign/Export Stout
Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It reigns every winter. A consistent award winner both here and around the global, Coopers Best Extra Stout is as close to perfection any stout is likely to ever get. Bring on winter!”
Random: The other half and I split a calzone for dinner. I haven’t had a calzone in years and it really hit the spot.
This beer poured with a three finger, rather thin, tan-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a very dark brown color with moderate carbonation visible. It also had lots of tan “floaties” at the bottom on the glass. The nose was really bitter chocolate with licorice and smoke present as well. The taste was strong with roasted malts, but also had licorice and really bitter chocolate with some coffee as well. There was also a touch of a medicinal flavor at the end of the sip. The booze was well-integrated into the beer and wasn’t apparent at all. It had a thick body with high carbonation that prickled the tongue. It had a quick finish with bitter chocolate lingering. This beer was alright, but it didn’t floor me. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.
Oh Bud Select. Where do I start with my relationship with you? In my early twenties, this was a go-to beer for me. I haven’t had one of these in at least eight years and can honestly say that I don’t remember how it was. I remember that when my friends and I would get this, we thought it was more flavorful than other Bud offerings, but that wasn’t saying much. Let’s see if my opinion of this one has changed.
Style: Light Lager
Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Budweiser Select, or Bud Select is a light pale lager that contains 4.3% ABV and 99 calories per 12 US fl oz serving. Anheuser-Busch has aggressively promoted Budweiser Select. Its slogan was ‘The Real Deal.’ The company hired Jay-Z as a spokesman for the brand.”
Random: I’m almost embarrassed about how much I’m enjoying “The Voice.” It’s really starting to get good.
This brew poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with heavy carbonation visible. The nose had some sweet corn mostly with grain. The nose wasn’t as offensive or pungent as some other macros. The taste was not great (shocking, I know). There was a lot of sweet corn and then grain and nothing else. It had heavy carbonation and a medium thick body.The finish was really quick with corn sweetness. This was a really boring brew, but not as offensive as I thought it would be. I won’t be having this one again, for sure.
Today’s commute absolutely blew. I left at the same time that I do everyday. I managed to get stuck at the on ramp to the Turnpike because they closed the thing for twenty minutes. Other than being incredibly annoying, it made me later than I wanted to be, so I couldn’t stop for gas. This definitely was not a good start to my morning. At least I got to work at a decent time. Anyways, I picked up yet another beer from DuClaw. This one is their barleywine, which I think I would have been better trying while it was still cold out, but let’s see how it went.
Style: American Barleywine
Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This year, we aged a limited quantity of our award winning (Brewer’s Association of Maryland Governor’s Cup gold medal winner in 2006, 2007 and 2008) Barleywine, Devil’s Milk, in Kentucky White Oak Bourbon barrels to create a uniquely tempting new brew. Hell On Wood is medium/full-bodied and amber in color with a thin, persistent, off-white head. Its mesmerizing citrus flavors and aromas, accented by notes of charred oak, vanilla, and caramelized sugar, give way to a palate dominating hop finish balanced by smoky, bourbon character and a warming alcohol presence (10.6% alcohol by volume). There’s no escape; prepare to fall to the seductive power of Hell On Wood!”
Random: The Phils just activated Cole Hamels from the DL. Hopefully this helps their rotation.
This beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy dark mahogany color with light carbonation visible. The nose had insane amounts of booze on it, and it wasn’t pleasant. I let it warm for awhile and the nose markedly improved with some sweet caramel, vanilla, bourbon and oak and brown sugar. The taste was on the sweeter side initially with caramel and then went into bourbon and tobacco. The alcohol was apparent as well, but not as abrasive as in the nose. The body was thick and syrupy with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with bourbon and caramel. This was a good beer, especially after it warmed up. I think I may purchase a few to age.
Funny story, I’ve never, every had this beer, nor any other beers in its family. I know that most people have had one of these at some sort of kegger or party, but I have never had the pleasure of tasting this one. I saw a single can in the cooler at the beer store and decided that it was time to review it and see how bad it truly is.
Style: American Adjunct Lager
Trivia: According to the brewery website (and yes, I’m leaving it in all caps), “NATTY ICE IS MADE USING OUR EXCLUSIVE ICE-BREWING PROCESS, MAKING IT QUITE POSSIBLY THE COOLEST BEER EVER.”
Random: I felt like I should shotgun this beer or something to that effect. I’ve only tried doing that once and it pathetically failed, by the way.
This brew poured with a half a finger of pure white head. I was surprised that it took awhile to dissipated, although it really didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow color with insanely high carbonation. The nose was simple with corn and some sweetness grainy malts. There was not much complexity to the taste, to say the least. All I got was really fizzy and slightly sweet corn water. As quick as the flavor came, it went. I kept sipping this trying to find some other flavor to it, but there was none. The body was very watery and the carbonation was very intense. The finish was non-existent with some fizz and corn. I can’t see any reason to drink this other than to get buzzed, because this is as close to flavorless as I think I’ve ever found in a beer. I definitely will not be having this one again.
Sometimes, I just buy a beer because I really, really like the label. This happens to be one of those beers. I’ve also enjoyed other beers from this brewery, which definitely helped, but this label is adorable. Let’s see if the liquid inside was just as good.
Style: Maibock/Helles Bock
Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Emerging from springtime’s fertile ground, Cultivator celebrates the start of hop-growing season as sprawling fields of hop rhizomes climb and tether to hop bines. This spring bock delivers hints of toasted grains, fresh baked bread and delicate floral hops. Cultivator pairs nicely with a variety of cheeses including Asiago, Colby, Gruyère and Swiss. Its malt sweetness and clean, dry finish also complements spicy dishes such as Thai or Korean barbecue, shellfish and a variety of fried foods.”
Random: I could really go for some Thai food right now. I haven’t had good Thai food in awhile.
This brew poured with a thick, two finger head that dissipated at a moderate pace. It left spider web lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color with moderate carbonation. The nose was pretty clean, yet simple. It had bready malts and floral hops which very pretty delicate. The taste was much of the same. It was very delicate and clean, coupled with bready malt and floral hops. There was also a touch of honey at the end. The beer was on the thinner side and dry with moderate carbonation. There was no booze apparent in the taste. It had a long finish with honey and floral hops. This was a really nuanced beer but really nice and enjoyable. Yet another solid offering from Troegs that I would have again.
My other half is a shopper. I think I’ve mentioned this before, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But, we recently bought these adorable bear coasters from some sort of crafty website and I have one on my side table tonight. The meow decided that he needed to stalk and attack said bear coaster. I caught him before he did any significant damage, but the other half is not going to be happy when she gets home. Anyways, let’s see how this beer went.
Style: American IPA
Trivia: According to the brewery website, “LASSO is the new frontier of India Pale Ale. Brewed with a robust roundup of Columbus, Centennial and Cascade hops, its sessionable simplicity proves bigger isn’t always better. But make no mistake – the Wild West hasn’t gone mild. That same untamed IPA spirit thrives, and we reckon this’ll go down mighty fine.”
Random: I haven’t had a Great Divide brew since December 2013.
This brew poured with a three finger ecru color head that was slow to dissipate. It left lots of lacing on my IPA glass. The body was a clear amber color with moderate carbonation. The nose was just flat-out awesome. I got fresh grapefruit along with a touch of bitter grapefruit pith. There was also caramel malt present on the back-end with some pineapple and tropical notes. The taste was really good too. There was light grapefruit and some pomelo present as well, up front. The caramel malt came later and then a much-welcomed touch of mango finished the sip. The body was on the thinner side with high carbonation. It had a long bitter finish with grapefruit pith. This was a really solid, crisp, flavorful beer. I know that I wax poetic about Great Divide beers, but this is yet another outstanding one from them. Go try it!
Today was a big day in baseball. Albert Pujols of the Angels is now the only player to have hit career homers #499 and #500 in the same game. Even though he doesn’t play for my team, he seems to be a stand up guy, especially after reading lots of interviews with him. I’m happy he got into the 500 Club. Anyways, here’s a beer that I picked up on a whim at the beer store…
Style: American Pale Ale
Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Although we’ve reduced this beer down to the most essential two ingredients, it is amazing how complex the flavor is. In a way it is a lot like looking into a kaleidoscope, where the simplest object suddenly becomes a transfixing multitude of images, repeating and reflecting until a whole is realized, only to see it change yet again.”
Random: I do like a lot of the Angels players, so it’s nice to see Pujols hit 500 in that uniform.
This beer poured with a two finger, slightly off white head. It was slow to dissipate and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy, light orange color with visible detritus in the body. The nose had notes of lemongrass with a touch of fresh citrus, but lemongrass was definitely the dominant flavor. The taste was more pine with lemongrass at the back, but was really interesting. There was some grapefruit pith as well that came through at the end of the sip along with some malt. It was really clean and fresh. Despite the relatively high ABV, there wasn’t any alcohol apparent on the taste. It had a medium thick body with high carbonation. It also had a lengthy finish with lemongrass. This was a really exceptional beer and the fact that only one hop was used really allowed me to explore the depth of the hop. I would definitely have this one again. I can’t wait to try next year’s version.