Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Founders Dissenter Imperial IPL

Labor Day was yesterday and what better way to celebrate than with a good beer? Last night I cracked open my 750ml bottle of one of the most recent beers released by Founders Brewing Co in their Backstage Series: Dissenter Imperial IPL. Dissenter is an Imperial India Pale Lager.

Founders is not really known for brewing lagers...ever, but they decided to give this one a shot and try something new with the style. Founders always creates complex beers. If they can brew a lager worth drinking then I'm on board.

Right from opening the bottle a hoppiness is present in the aroma. I poured myself and my friend Rob a glass.

Dissenter had a generous amount of head and a hoppy taste/flavor throughout. It almost felt like I was drinking All Day IPA or Double Trouble with each sip.

Overall I thought that Dissenter was just okay. There's a lot of people on the Dissenter review page on Beer Advocate that loved it and thought its flavor was complex with pineapple, mango and other tropical fruits. I just didn't taste it this time around.

Both Rob and I throught it was a pretty standard tasting beer with a good deal of hoppiness and bitterness. I fear that I've grown tired of IPAs since I've had so many of them over the summer months. I think it's time I take a break from the style and gracefully come back to it in a year or so.

That being said, if you can find Dissenter in stores feel free to give it a try. At 8.7% ABV it's sure to knock you on your butt right onto your couch.

Founders Dissenter Imperial IPL is the first beer to be released in its 2014 Backstage Series. I'm more excited for the next one to come out; Smoked Porter in February.

Still good, just tired of IPAs

Chip Blog: The Great Lays Showdown of 2014

Last year marked the first ever Lays 'Do Us A Flavor' contest, which allowed potato chip fans from around the U.S. to pick a new flavor that was to be made into a permanent option in the Lays lineup. Last year's entries included the sweet and delicious Chicken and Waffles, the spicy yet great Sriracha and the winner of it all Cheesy Garlic Bread. I tried all of these flavors and thought Sriracha should have won it, but I guess not everyone shared my love for the Thai hot sauce infused chips.

This year the polls for the 'Do Us A Flavor' contest opened on July 28th and they will be closing on October 18th. There are four options this year to choose from: Wavy Mango Salsa, Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger, Cappuccino, and Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese.


I sat down with a couple close friends and decided to try them all and write down all of our impressions of each flavor. We started with Cappuccino as that one made us the most curious.

"That's a weird flavor, very interesting." - Brett S

"What is that? It's a little spicy under my tongue." - Erica W

"Good and sweet, like a dessert chip." - Phil

"I think it should be sweeter." - Brett S

"Tastes just like the foam of a real cappuccino!" - Erica W

Next we moved on to Wavy Mango Salsa:

"It smells kind of like Fruity Pebbles." - Phil

"Tastes like a dried mango." - Brett S

"Oh no, no, no, no, no." - Erica W

"Needs a better balance of mango and salsa, I don't taste any salsa." - Brett S

"Tastes like they couldn't decide on making fruit snacks or potato chips." - Phil

"I was absolutely disgusted by that one." - Brett S

Cappuccino and Wavy Mango Salsa on the top,
Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese and Wasabi on the bottom

Thirdly we tried the Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger:

"In your face, just like real wasabi." - Phil

"Ooo I like this, it's soo good." - Erica W

"That is so Wasabeeeee, I taste the ginger too." - Brett S

"Not too spicy either." - Brett S

Last but not least we threw the Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese down our gullets:

"It smells like dog food." - Brett S

"That's dog food." - Erica W

"Tastes like mac and cheese, nothing special." - Phil S

After the initial tasting we all sat down for a couple of minutes and continued to taste test the chips seeing if our opinions changed as we did so. Eventually we each voted on each chip placing them with a number 1 through 4 depending on which we liked the most and the least. Here are our results:

Brett: 1) Wasabi 2) Mac and Cheese 3) Cappuccino 4) Mango Salsa

Erica: 1) Wasabi 2) Mac and Cheese 3) Cappuccino 4) Mango Salsa 

Phil: 1) Wasabi 2) Cappuccino 3) Mac and Cheese 4) Mango Salsa

Despite Erica and Brett initially both thinking the Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese smelled like dog food they ended up digging the flavor a lot more after eating a few chips. We all agreed that the Wasabi Ginger was our favorite and had a good balance of spice and flavor and was the best fit with its kettle cooked style. I really enjoyed the Cappuccino and it was almost my number 1, but it was a bit too sweet for a chip that I would eat on a daily basis. The Mango Salsa chip, while it sounds good in principle, was disgusting for all of us and they should never make it ever again at least not with that overpowering nasty Mango flavoring.

So there you have it; Our great Lays off! Have you tried all of these flavors? Which one will you be voting for and hope will be made into a permanent flavor?
Let me know in the comments section below.