Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Samuel Adams Cinder Bock

Last night I drank a new beer put out by Samuel Adams called Cinder Bock. Part of the newly acclaimed Single Batch series, Cinder Bock was a real treat.

Described as a Rauch Bock, Cinder Bock is both a Rauchbier and a Double Bock. Both of these styles of beer originate from Germany and combining them together into one "super" beer yields delicious results.

The amount of head, when poured into a pint glass, was generous and slightly more than what I would have preferred. After a few minutes of letting the beer sit, the head went down to what you see pictured below.

I then began drinking Cinder Bock and boy was it good.

So many different flavors! The most noticeable however was the delicious smokey taste that was paired with every sip. Even long after I finished the beer the smokey aftertaste stuck with me.

In addition to the smokiness, I also tasted a sweet caramel flavor with hints of toffee. All these flavors combined into one beer make for a delicious and highly drinkable beverage and at 9.4% ABV Cinder Bock will knock you off your feet, just as if the goat on the bottle came alive and ran into you!

Cinder Bock was great and I'll definitely be picking up another bottle in the near future!

 Mmm...Cinder Bock

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Southampton's Black Raspberry Lambic

Once upon a time two beer connoisseurs named Thomas and Philip took a morning drive out to Southampton Brewery in...well...Southampton. The brewery was throwing their annual Russian Imperial Stout release party, to which everyone was invited. There were high spirits among both connoisseurs as they drove at a constant, but quick pace towards the wonderful party they were about to attend.

While it's true that they each wanted a bottle of the highly acclaimed Russian Imperial Stout, another beer that was to be at the party had also caught their interest; Black Raspberry Lambic. Neither of them had ever tried a beer that was promised to taste like the delicious fruit, so both their curiosities were piqued.

 A beer that tastes like black raspberries? Preposterous!

As they arrived they were greeted with a long line outside of the Publick House. They went to the end of the line and there they waited. Eagerly everyone in line stood as they all waited for the doors to the Publick House to open. Thomas and Philip saw their good compatriot Jacklyn towards the front of the line. She walked over to them.

"Good morrow gentlemen, terribly cold out isn't it?"
"Why yes it is Jacklyn," Philip replied. "What have you got there?"
"These are little hotties! They keep my hands warm!"
"I see, but these so called hotties aren't even warm!," Thomas exclaimed.
"I know, but they're still fun to have!"

Suddenly some noise came from the front of the line as the doors to the Publick House opened.

"I'll talk to you two later, for now I must reclaim my spot in line!," exclaimed Jacklyn as she ran back to her spot, little hotties in hand and all.

As the line moved Thomas and Philip got even more excited as they got closer and closer to gaining entry into the fabled brewery. After a few minutes they were directly in front of the Publick House.

They held their invitations in hand tightly, with the marked off amounts of beer they wanted to purchase.

Philip decided on one bottle of the Russian Imperial Stout, one of the 15th Anniversary Ale, one of the Uberliner and two of the Black Raspberry Lambic. Sir Thomas marked off his ticket with one Black Raspberry Lambic and two Russian Imperial Stouts; one for himself and one for creepy old Mr. Cooper, who he practiced Alchemy with on a daily basis with little to no success.

After what seemed like an eternity of waiting they finally made it up the steps to the front gate. As they handed their invitations to the gatekeeper of Southampton they were granted passageway to the brewery.

Inside they found all the other guests laughing and joking around with one another as they held their complimentary glasses filled with one of the four beers that were being tried for the first time today. Most glasses were filled with Russian Imperial Stout, as it seemed to be the preferred beer of the day. Other more adventurous guests shared glasses of Uberliner and 15th Anniversary Ale, while all the fruit-lovers in the Publick House were drawn to the Black Raspberry Lambic.

The complimentary glass

Thomas and Philip approached the bar with their glasses in hand. Thomas instantly asked for the Russian Imperial Stout. The bartender returned with his glass, now filled with the very dark liquid. He took a sip and smiled.

He could only utter one word: "Delicious."

Next it was Philip's turn as he handed his glass to the bartender.

"Black Raspberry Lambic, please."

The bartender returned with Philip's glass, a purple liquid now within it. 

Marvin the Jester really wanted some of my Lambic

Philip took a sip of the beer and a rush of flavors overcame him. At first sweet, then quickly shifting to sour and then tart. It was unlike anything he had ever drank before. He took a few minutes to give his taste buds time to recover and then took another sip. 

What a wonderful creation, he thought to himself. He then handed the glass to Thomas.

"Here Tom. You must try some!"

Thomas took the glass and poured some of the purple liquid into his mouth. He had a surprised look of confusion on his face and then quickly took another sip.

"That's some good stuff you got there," said Thomas.

Thomas and Philip then headed to the pub area and ordered some food. They split a plate of chicken wings and sweet potato french fries in addition to each having their own salad.

After they were done eating they each picked up their bottles of beer, five for Philip and three for Thomas, and left the Southampton Brewery.

"That sure was a great party, wasn't it?," said Thomas.
"It sure was Tom, it sure was," replied Philip.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blue Point Blueberry with maple blueberry omelette

Today I decided to enjoy one of my old favorites; Blue Point Blueberry.

Back when I first started drinking beer I favored lighter beers. When I first tried Blue Point Blueberry my jaw hit the counter. How could a beer taste so good? I thought to myself. The blueberry flavor isn't overpowering, but just the right amount. The beer itself is light and is a similar color to most big name light beers, such as Bud Light, but this one is something special.

Every time I have a glass of Blue Point Blueberry the carbonation is perfect with just he right amount of head. This beer goes down easy and is a real treat for anyone who is a fan of blueberry flavored items. Today I paired mine with a delicious three egg omelette, which I prepared by mixing maple syrup into the eggs and cooking blueberry maple chicken sausage which I added to it.

God's greatest gift

The end result was amazing. I poured some maple syrup over the final product and enjoyed it out on my patio with a side of a broccoli mushroom cheese dish that was left over from last night.

So good

I loved every minute of this meal and it was even more enjoyable with a glass of Blue Point Blueberry Ale.

The perfect pairing

To anyone who is looking to try some new beers, but is too intimidated by the insanely dark and highly alcoholic ones I'm usually accustomed to writing about on this blog, Blue Point Blueberry Ale is right up your alley. It's light, but still full of a ridiculous amount of flavor! Give it a shot!

I approve of this message!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Founder's Double Trouble

Ahh yes. Good ol' Double Trouble. One of my favorite beers and definitely in my top three for IPAs (Indian Pale Ales). Ever since I tried this beauty over a year ago I was in love.

IPAs are known for their bitter flavor. I like to think of them as "tree beers" since they remind me of fresh pine trees when I smell and taste them. Out of all the IPAs I've tried, and believe me I've tried dozens, Double Trouble still ranks as one of my all time favorites.

Every sip is so flavorful and has the perfect amount of bitterness in it. The aftertaste is even better and sticks with you for awhile. At 9.4% abv this Founder's original will hit you fast. After just one beer you'll start to feel it! Definitely a beer to be enjoyed slowly. Savor it!

Did I mention that when you flip the bottle upside-down you're greeting with this creepy face?

I would recommend this beer to just about anyone, but if you don't like your beer bitter than you'll be shit out of luck with Double Trouble. Man up and enjoy it!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Disappointing John Harvard's visit

After a 5 hour shift at Friendly's and a quick sushi run at Hoshi Sushi in Stony Brook, Tom and I decided to stop by John Harvard's to grab a few beers and enjoy some half price appetizers. I was in the mood for some delicious Kettle Chips while Tom was craving some Calamari. So we got there and had to wait a short while before we were seated in the pub area.

In the meantime we looked at their current list of beers on tap. They had an impressive offering with Brown Ale, Espresso Stout and Chupacabra just to name a few. They even had Pumpkin Spice, which was weird cause it's February. I ordered a Pumpkin Spice while Tom got an Espresso Stout.

 Mmm Pumpkin Spice

Not even a second after paying the bartender our buzzer went off and we were seated. Now here's where the story turns for the worse. We sit down and Tom makes a comment about how the menus look all new and snazzy. My first thought is cool they redid their menus. Shit was I wrong to think that. Yes the menus were redone...but I didn't know that they would also be changed. Fuck.

As I searched desperately for Kettle Chips on the Appetizer menu Tom said the eight words that I never wanted to hear out of anyone's mouth ever: "It look's like they don't have it anymore."

Shitfuckmonkeyballs was I upset. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I kept staring at the menu hoping that Kettle Chips would reappear in the empty space on the bottom under the newly established Popcorn Shrimp. No such luck.

I thought to myself maybe they still have it, but it's just not on the menu? So once our waitress came over I asked her: "Why aren't Kettle Chips on the menu? Do you guys still serve them?" Which she replied to my horror: "No, a corporate decision was made to take them off the menu."

Whyyyyyyyyyyyy? She told us we weren't the first people to ask about them and that she also thinks it was a really dumb idea for them to do that considering how much people loved them.

RIP Kettle Chips - We had a lot of good times together

Just about every time I've been to John Harvard's with friends I've shared a plate of Kettle Chips with them. Every person who I've introduced to Kettle Chips has loved their delicious combination of melted cheese, crunchy chips, scallions, bacon bits and sour cream. Sadly these will never be enjoyed by anyone ever again thanks to a stupid fucking corporate decision. Oh John Harvard' you have stabbed one of your loyal fans in the back.

That pretty much ruined the whole John Harvard's experience for me last night. But there's still a happy end to this story. Tom got his Calamari and I had a delicious triple stacked Chicken Quesadilla (one of the new menu items) plus we got to enjoy some tasty beer. Oh and our server was cute.

I'll go back to John Harvard's for future visits definitely, but I will never truly be happy until Kettle Chips are back on the menu again. I'm writing to you corporate assholes!

That is all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Founder's Curmudgeon's Better Half

In celebration of Valentine's Day this week Founders, the Michigan-based brewing company, released Curmudgeon's Better Half yesterday in very limited supplies. For weeks, Tom and I have been following the updates of Shoreline Beverage's Facebook page (they're located in Huntington) like hawks. Shoreline is our go-to place for rare beers, so we figured if anyone on Long Island was going to have it they would.

Better Half is described as an old ale brewed with molasses and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. Founder's is known for their delicious high ABV beers and at 11.9% Better Half is no exception.

So yesterday morning I checked Shoreline's Facebook page again, seeing as they said they would get it in this week and was disappointed to find a post saying that they weren't getting it in now.

Distraught, upset, words could describe how let-down I felt. BUT! There was still hope in my heart. The beer distributor at St. James Beverage came to mind and I instantly called them to see if they were getting any in. To my excitement the owner said that they WERE in fact getting a case of them in. After an hour of waiting I called back to see if the truck with Better Half on it had arrived yet. The conversation went like this:
"Did you get the Better Half in yet?" 
"Yeah we got it in."
"Alright I'll be there soon!"

So off to St. James I went to go pick-up my bottle of Better Half. After arriving and mentioning to the guy at the counter why I was there, he secretly slipped into the back room and after a couple minutes returned with a bottle of Better Half. I was happy to say the least :). 

I also ended up buying a four pack of Founder's Double Trouble, a delicious double IPA which I will discuss in a future post and a bottle of Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout. The owner of St. James Beverage, Martin, is a very nice guy and I enjoyed talking to him and trading stories of beers we've tried and ones we have in our personal supplies. I underestimated the amount of variety and rare beers that St. James would have. I'll never make that mistake again and I'll definitely be checking out the store again.

That night after I got out of work Tom and I split the bottle of Better Half and my god was it good!

We drank from Snifters (that fancy glass you see above) and this beer was a treat. Very sweet taste comprised of both maple syrup and molasses. The maple syrup flavor really stuck out and with every sip I enjoyed it more and more. The beer poured with a nice head and a reddish brown color. Out of all the beers I've had this one was definitely the reddest in color, even more noticeable when held up to light. After splitting the bottle with Tom I was feeling nice. I'm usually a light-weight when it comes to alcohol and with Better Half being 11.9% I got tipsy very fast.

This concludes the story of how I got to try Founder's Curmudgeon's Better Half for the first time and hopefully not the last! I'd like to thank Founder's personally for making yet another award winning beer! Thanks!


Update: I had to make pancakes the following morning, since I was craving them so badly.


Hey everyone and welcome to my first beer blog entry! Those of you who know me, know that I love beer and recently my friend Tom has been getting me into fancier beers; darker beers, higher ABV beers, limited release beers, etc. If you're friends with me on Facebook then you know that I periodically post pictures of the beers I'm drinking.

I figured it was high time to finally bite the bullet and create a blog where I post these pictures as well as describe the story behind getting each beer. I'll also include my impressions of each beer. Without further ado let the beer blog commence!