961 Lebanese Pale Ale

Beer from Lebanon, eh? I’ve never had beer from Lebanon. I wasn’t even aware that beer was brewed in Lebanon. Well, actually that’s not true. I assume that beer is pretty much brewed everywhere. But, I’ve never seen a beer from Lebanon in the stores ever. So, I was definitely excited to try this one. I have another one in the fridge from the same brewery, but it’s a different style. Okay, time to crack the bad boy open.

ABV: 6.32%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Brewmaster’s Select for 961 Beer is a modern interpretation of beer with a distinctive Lebanese background. 961 Beer is releasing its first edition of the Brewmaster’s Select to the public – The Lebanese Pale Ale (LPA). This specialty brew is an interpretation of the classic English India Pale Ale combined with Lebanese ingredients that symbolise Middle Eastern intricacies. 10’000 years in the making, the LPA marks the return home for beer. From the land where beer and human civilisation were born, comes a new brew that is a marriage between Western brewing tradition, Eastern complexities, and a sublime expression of the Lebanese Renaissance. It was inspired straight from the Lebanese spice markets. For decades there has been little choice in the diversity of Lebanese beers. This beer provides an alternative for the Lebanese population, with ingredients such as za’atar, sumac, mint, sage, anise, and chamomile. The use of such herbs and spices makes this distinctive craft brew truly Lebanese.”

Random: I could listen to Sara Bareilles’s first album on repeat all day long. It’s one of the few albums that I like every single song on and haven’t gotten sick of yet.

This beer poured with a finger of white head that dissipated insanely quickly. It left no lacing on the pint glass. The body was a clear, dark amber color with absolutely no carbonation visible in the body. The nose was very…odd. It had a lot of herbal characteristics with notes of lavender and chamomile and mint. After reading the label, it made sense as this is a “spiced” pale ale. Although they warned me, the nose was off-putting. The taste was even worse. It had lots of chamomile and lavender. Also some thyme and maybe even sage came through. It felt like sticking my face into a bag of potpourri, which I’m not all that fond of. If there were any other flavors, or any other hops, I couldn’t find them. This had way too many different spices going on for me. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with lots of lavender. If you like drinking potpourri, this is definitely a beer for you. For me, the spices were just there to be in your face and didn’t wow me.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Highland Oatmeal Porter

I found another straggler from the Virginia stash. I’m really hoping to have the beer fridge cleared out by the end of next week. I’m dying to do another beer run. I have this awful habit of stockpiling beer, which usually results in me not trying the beer as fresh as I possibly could have. So far, I’ve been pretty good with getting through the fridge. Of course, if I see something that I absolutely have to have, I still pick it up, but I think I’m down to 10 12-ouncers and a bomber or two. Anyways, beer time!

ABV: 5.8%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A unique Highland creation, this robust beer is black in color, very malty with hints of chocolate-roasted flavor and a well balanced hop character. This style was born on the docks of the Thames of London where dock workers or porters delighted in the strong dark ales brewed by the local pubs with roasted malts. This gave rise to the name by which this style is still known. A porter was traditionally served with oysters, the least expensive food available to the dock workers. Highland Brewing has taken this style a step farther with the addition of a judicious amount of flaked oatmeal which helps attain the smooth silky character of our porter.”

Random: I think my favorite Killers song is “Human.” It just came on Pandora and I forgot how much I liked it.

This brew poured with a two finger, tan head that took forever to dissipate. It left lots of lacing on the pint glass. The body was a dark brown color with no carbonation visible. The nose had notes of dark roasted malts and baker’s chocolate. I didn’t get much else, especially not oatmeal. The taste had roasted malts and dark chocolate. After a few sips, I did get some light oatmeal characteristic as well. There was a slight bitterness to it as well, especially after warming up for a few minutes. The flavor on this brew wasn’t mind blowing, but it was definitely solid. The body was thick with high carbonation. It had a long roasty finish. This did what it set out to do. It was drinkable with good flavors to it and is definitely worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0


I am officially obsessed with “Orange Is The New Black.” I watched most of the season over the weekend and didn’t think that I would like it at first. At the end of the first episode, I was absolutely hooked. It doesn’t hurt that a few of the actresses are quite attractive either. I only have 3 episodes left and I can’t wait until the next season comes out. If you have Netflix, it is definitely worth checking out. You won’t be sorry. Now, time for a Belgian brew in a can, made by the same people that brought you Gouden Carolus…

ABV: 8%

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Lucifer entered the market in the mid 1980s under the label of Liefmans breweries. It was an extension to the popular segment of strong, blonde beers. After Liefmans Breweries disappeared, Lucifer fell into the hands of our neighbours and friends Duvel Moortgat. However, they only wished to concentrate on Liefmans’ fruit beers. Lucifer was in danger of dying a silent death. But we didn’t let it get that far, our conscience couldn’t allow this to happen. Het Anker received the right to produce and commercialise Lucifer. May we roast in hell if it doesn’t follow the success of our own beers!”

Random: I received a text of a picture yesterday that showed if you shaved a guinea pig that it looks like a baby hippo.

This brew poured with a full finger of white head. It was slow to dissipated with lots of lacing left on the glass. The body was a hazy golden-yellow color with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose had lemon peel, Belgian yeast, coriander and white pepper. It had some golden fruit as well. As soon as I took a sip, the first thing that struck me was how watery the beer was, especially for the style. The taste was really muted compared to the nose as well. It had some spice, not much to it. I got golden fruit, lemon and a touch of pepper at the end of the sip. The beer was really watered down and it took away from the beer in a big way. There was some booze warming at the end as well. The body was really thin with high carbonation. The finish was quick with a dash of pepper. I wouldn’t have this one again. There are so many better examples of the style out there.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Port Brewing High Tide Fresh Hop IPA

Another late night at work for me. I am so counting down until end of quarter is over. I’m interviewing a temp tomorrow and I’m hoping that she’s good so that it can take some pressure off of me. Given how my last round of temp interviews went, I’m not all that optimistic. Out of 6 interviews, one person showed up. For some reason, I thought people needed jobs? I guess not. Anyways, I’m trying to drink through the beer fridge before making another beer run. I picked this one up awhile ago, so let’s see how it fared.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Each and every fall, we experience a coastal experience in San Diego known as the ‘Super High Tide.’ This happens later in the Fall Season when the tidal swings reach a range of about 8 feet in difference between low and high tides. When this happens, there are days when the tide just gets too high and flattens out the surf. The lineups shut down and surfers are left to wait until the High Tide recedes. While waiting for the tides to shift in your favor, might we suggest a High Tide IPA? Brewed only once each year to coincide with the Hop Harvest in Yakima Washington, High Tide IPA is made with 180 lbs of Fresh Hops per batch that are plucked from the vines and sent straight to our brewery. We skip the whole drying and processing stage which means the hops are ultra fresh and full of flavors we can’t normally get. Like grapes, Hops are only harvested one time each year and as such, we make what we can when we get them. The recipe is very simple and basic with an emphasis on the variety of hops we select each year. Lately, we have selected Centennial and Chinook hops for our High Tide IPA. We used Centennial at the end of the boil and Chinook for the Dry Hopping. Now that we have brewed High Tide, we will sit and wait for the ultra High Tides of Fall to arrive knowing full well that we have sufficient stocks of great beer to get us through the flattest of sessions. We hope you’ll stock up too.”

Random: I still love the song “Kids” by MGMT. Whenever it comes on Pandora, I totally rock out.

This one poured with a two finger white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear straw yellow with very light carbonation visible. The nose had some piney hops, alcohol and some citrus right after. The taste had some definitely hops with pine resin and then lemon zest with grapefruit. Some grass came through right after with tropical fruits. There wasn’t a huge amount of bitterness, but it was crisp and pleasant. The body was medium thickness and some of the carbonation has left the beer with time. The finish was long and a bit oily with some pine bitterness. This was a really enjoyable beer that had moderate alcohol. It’s a nice brew for both the hop head and hop newbie alike. This is definitely worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Bell’s This One Goes To 11 Ale

Why is it when I don’t watch the Phillies they win? Tonight, they are absolutely wrecking the Mets tonight. Of course, I am not watching the game. They always tend to be a second half team, so I’m curious to see if they can turn what is yet another disappointing season in the making to something decent. Anyways, this was the beer that I had last night…

ABV: 11%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This One Goes to 11 Ale opens with bright, juicy aromas such as tropical fruits & ripe cherries, largely derived from massive kettle & dry-hop additions of Southern Hemisphere hop varieties such as Galaxy, Motueka, and Summer. The citrus & resinous pine notes of the Pacific Northwest hop family are also well represented, making their presence known through Simcoe, Citra, and the newly released Mosaic varietal, just to name a few. A wide range of specialty malts anchor the hops in this Imperial Red Ale, contrasting the assertive bitterness & juicy aromatics with a robust, toasty depth of flavor. Fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, This One Goes to 11 Ale finishes with a lingering warmth”

Random: After this post, I will officially be current with the blog.

This brew poured with a finger of slightly off white head. It was quick to dissipated and left light lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark amber color with major carbonation visible throughout. The nose had a touch of booze with deep caramel malt, some tropical fruits and cracker. The taste was a bit different. I got deep caramel malt, peat and some scotch as well. There was also some booze warming at the end of the sip. I did not get a lot of hops to it, but that could be due to the age of the bottle. The body was big and thick with generous carbonation. The finish was long with some smokiness and peat. This was pretty good and if you can still find it, worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

DuClaw Venom

Yet another brew from the seemingly never-ending beer stash from Virginia. I’ve heard of DuClaw, but I didn’t have any while I was down there, and this was the only one that I brought back. After all of the dark beers that I have been having lately, I definitely was in the mood for a pale ale.

ABV: 5.6%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This American-Style Pale Ale is aggressively hopped giving it a citrusy flavor and aroma. No antidote needed. This beer is dark-golden, medium-bodied and very ‘hoppy.’ It is American-style because American-grown hops are used rather that European.”

Random: I got the second disc of Season One of “True Blood” from Netflix today. I’m really liking it so far.

This brew poured with a finger of off white head that dissipated rather quickly. It left a little bit of lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly hazy chestnut color with moderate to heavy carbonation visible. The nose was very mild. I got notes of grass and caramel malt. The taste was only alright. It was definitely malt forward with notes of sweet caramel malt and some barley. There was a touch of grass and medicinal hoppiness at the end. This was not a hoppy pale ale at all. It was way too sweet. The body was thick and had moderate carbonation as well. The finish was long and medicinal. This beer just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t hoppy enough and had way too much malt. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Port City Porter

I picked this one up while in Virginia too. Port City seems to be a relatively popular brewery down there and I wish I had enough time to visit them while I was down there. I will definitely have to visit them on another trip down there. I’ve also noticed that I’ve been having a lot of porters, despite the insane heat. They’ve been hitting the spot, so I can’t really complain.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “One of our earliest noted brews, our robust Porter remains a flagship brew for Port City. This beer shows bittersweet flavors of coffee and dark chocolate, with a very complex malt character enhanced by yeast fruitiness. It pours ink black with a rich brown lace in the head.”

Random: My cat ate the chicken nuggets that we left on the table last night while my sister and I were at work.

This beer poured with a thick, two finger light brown head that dissipated slowly and left generous lacing on my pint glass. The body was a dark cocoa color with no visible carbonation due to the color. But, there was a lot of visible sediment throughout the body. The nose had notes of dark chocolate, molasses, burnt malts and a touch of smoke. I really liked the nose. The taste started with some cocoa powder and roasted barley. It then went into some smoke and coffee notes. The end of the sip had some booze warming and a touch of hops to it. The body was on the thicker side of porter with higher than average carbonation. The finish was long with smoke and hops. This was a really interesting porter with an exceptional flavor profile. I would definitely have this one again. If you’re in the Virginia area, it is worth seeking out.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Maui Brewing Co. CoCoNut Porter

I can’t wait until tomorrow night. I should have at least a couple of hours off on Saturday since I have someone to close for me. I have no idea what I’m going to do with that time. Actually, that’s not true. I am probably going to sleep. Our central air isn’t working up to capacity and I cannot sleep in the heat. I’ve been waking up every few hours dripping sweat and then I cool myself off and go back to sleep. Or, the cat wakes me to feed him and I get up and do that and then go back to sleep. I definitely need to catch up on that. Now, here’s a brew that I’ve been waiting forever to try.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our CoCoNut PorTeR is a fresh handcrafted robust Porter brewed with six varieties of malted barley, hops and hand-toasted coconut. It begins with a malty-toasted coconut aroma followed by a rich, silky feel with tastes of dark malt, chocolate and hints of coffee. It then finishes with flavors of toasted coconut and hoppy spice to balance the finish.”

Random: I’m having a serious craving for Mexican food.

This brew poured with a four finger, light brown head that took forever to dissipate. It left a lot of lacing behind on the glass and a crown on top of the body. The body of the brew was a dark brown with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had notes of dark coffee and roasted malts. I was a little surprised that I didn’t get any coconut on the nose. The taste was way more up my alley. I got roasted malts, Kona coffee and lots of coconut, which really paired well with the roasted malts. It had a touch of bitterness at the end of the sip, which was very nice as well. The body was thick with generous carbonation. The finish was long with dark chocolate. I could find absolutely no fault with this brew and would have it again in a second. This is a must try.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Twisted Pine Hoppy Boy IPA

My sister and I watched “The Avengers” last night. One thing about my sister and I is that we can’t stand chick flicks. If we’re watching a movie at home, it’s going to be an action movie nine times out of ten. I have to say, I really enjoyed the movie. I was a big comic book fan in my youth and even though it strayed from the comic book, it was really enjoyable to watch. I can’t wait until they make a sequel of it. Onto the beer…

ABV: 6%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Hoppy Boy India Pale Ale is the flagship beer of Twisted Pine. It pours a hazy pale orange and has a dry, tart taste with an earthy bitterness. Pleasant grapefruit and citrus notes are provided by the addition of Cascade hops. This classic American IPA is brewed with medium caramel malts that play off the citrus and orange rind hop flavors to make this beer most enjoyable.”

Random: If I had to pick a superhero in “The Avengers” to be, it would most definitely be Thor. The whole demi-god thing really has some appeal to me.

Poured with a huge three finger cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the pint glass. A generous crown was left on top as well. The body was a clear, dark amber color with light carbonation visible throughout. The nose had notes of light, herbal hops, but it quickly went into a lot of malt with a touch of brown sugar sweetness at the end. On the taste, it started with some nutty malt and the same brown sugar sweetness that was apparent in the nose. The sip transitioned into herbal hops, but they were relatively light. The body was on the medium side and a touch under carbonated. It had a slow finish with a lot of malt. I was not a huge fan of this one. It was way too malty and it need more carbonation and more hops. I would not have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Perennial Savant Beersel

Today has literally been the day from hell. Every single thing that could go wrong basically did and I had a million conference calls on top of it, which always sucks. As usual, I’m stuck here late, but on the bright side, that means more beer updates. This one is from Perennial, which I’ve mentioned that I can’t get in New Jersey. I’ve had two beers from them and so far, I’m 50/50 on them. Hopefully this one changes my mind.

ABV: 8%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Beersel is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. The municipality comprises the towns of Alsemberg, Beersel proper, Dworp, Huizingen and Lot. On January 1, 2006 Beersel had a total population of 23,433. The total area is 30.01 km² which gives a population density of 781 inhabitants per km². It is close to Brussels; Beersel is approximately 12 km southwest of the center of the city. Beersel is perhaps most famous for the ‘Kasteel van Beersel’ or Beersel Castle, built between 1300 and 1310 by Jan II, the Duke of Brabant, as a defense for Brussels. Guillaume Dufay (1397–1474), the most famous European composer of the 15th century, was most likely born in Beersel.”

Random: Everyone laughs at me when they see me go to work. I sit under an AC vent so I’m always freezing at work!

This brew poured with a full finger of white head that dissipated very slowly. It left very little lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy dark orange color that had little carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of brett and some raspberry presence as well. The taste was brett up front with tart cherries and raspberries and this very odd taste that I couldn’t place. At first, I could get past it, but after a few sips it just grossed me out. It was almost phenolic. There was some booze warming as well. I finished about half a glass before this one went down the drain. The body was medium thickness with heavy carbonation. It had a long brett finish with the off taste that I mentioned before. I don’t know if I got an off bottle (I hope I did), but this beer just didn’t do it for me. I wouldn’t have this one again anytime soon.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0