Archive for December, 2008

NYE 2008

I love December 31st every year. The wife and I usually treat ourselves to things we won’t normally have during the year. As you can see above, I’m going to have a good night drinking martinis. I know, there is no craft beer but I have been known to fancy myself a lover of the juniper delight. As my good friend Griff would say, we’re gonna party like rockstars. With Tea Spoon coming to this world in April I need to get it in while I can 🙂

Thank you for supporting this site and making it a reality after years of dragging my feet. Without you I wouldn’t have been able to make this site come to life. I appreciate your patience as I continue to toy with a format that I think will be most beneficial to you as a reader and myself as a writer.

prost and have a safe NYE!

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30 – Southern Tier Choklat

I decided to be a nice beer guy and share this with my family last night when we celebrated the holiday at my brother’s house. I come from a family of “if it’s dark, it’s strong” and “why cant you drink normal beer like Bud”. I was on a mission to expand some minds and educate.

Southern Tier Choklat
brewery:
Southern Tier – southerntierbrewing.com
style: Imperial Chocolate Stout
abv:
11%
serving size:
22oz
glass used:
pint
price: $12

Overview
The Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya, unfolds a complex web of mystery around a beverage known as xocoatl (ch-co-atle). At Southern Tier, we’re not surprised that hieroglyphs of the ancient Maya depict chocolate being poured for rulers and gods. Even through the many voyages of Columbus, the mystical bean remained nothing more than a strange currency of the native peoples.

Moving through centuries, the circular journey of cacao has been realized in our brewing house, encompassing the complexity of the darkest, bitter-sweet candy together with the original frothy cold beverage of the ancient Maya to bring to you our Blackwater Series Choklat Stout. We have combined the finest ingredients to tempt your senses & renew the power & interrelation of history in every bottle.

What I think
This is “liquid brownie in a bottle” as I like to call it. The aroma is incredible. Bountiful amount of chocolate, chocolate and oh yeah chocolate. Remember the scratch-n-sniff stickers from the 80’s of the Hot Chocolate or walking through Hershey, PA? See where I’m going with it? Even my family said “Is that chocolate? This can’t be beer!”

My brother was the one who poured so there wasn’t much head (I need to teach him the art). It pours darker than a black hole and will suck you in with it’s medium body and chocolate blanket that blankets your palate. This is heaven in a glass.

I’m not a fan of sweets and very rarely eat anything along the lines of candy but Choklat is fantastic. This is the best chocolate beer you will ever drink. You know that feeling when everything in the world seems perfect at that moment? This will take you there and give a beergasm.

Spoon’s rating: A+

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Beer Safari Christmas Exchange video

[vimeo width=”480″ height=”360″]http://vimeo.com/2528857[/vimeo]

It’s Friday and you’re at work looking to kill some time before the holiday. Why not do it with beer! Once again the shows at Beer Safari have gotten together for a mega beer exchange. As a member of Should I Drink That, I joined sickpuppy in unwrapping a very delicious gift from Big Foamy Head. Video is about an hour long so kickback with a 6 pack and enjoy! We may release the SIDT one as a separate download. We’ll see it motivation moves me this weekend 🙂

In order of appearance:

Don’t forget to check out my craft beer podcasting brothers at Beer Safari and the writings of Beer Porn!

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29 – Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve

It’s 8 days before Christmas so you deserve something to kick it up over the holiday. We all have whack jobs in our families and craft beer is what you need to drown them out. I wanted to do more Christmas themed beers this year but most I have had before and quite frankly are foul. The picture above is from a night at 3 Sons since the batteries in my camera died at the time of review. Eh, it happens.

Santa’s Private Reserve
brewery:
Rogue Brewing – rogue.com
beer website: Santa’s Private Reserve
style: Red Ale
abv:
6%
serving size:
12oz
glass used:
pint glass
price: $41/case, $3.75 bottle

Overview
Rogue’s annual holiday offering, Santa’s Private Reserve, is a variation of the classic Saint Rogue Red, but with double the hops–including Chinook, and Centennial, and a mystery hop called Rudolph by head brewer John “more hops” Maier!

What I think
The issue I have with a lot of winter offerings, as I see in pumpkin beers also, is a spice bomb and for me that is a huge turnoff. I’m more for balance in when it comes to a spice, bitter or sweetness. If this is your concern also, you’ve come to the right beer.

Pours a medium copper/amber with an astonishing head. Yeah, beer porn once again. The taste on this is hoppy like an IPA but with a sweetness of a red which, as I said above, gives balance. Oh sweet Jesus did it balance well and follows with a tad of fruit and spice. If you’re worried about the hops on the finish you can get that thought out of your mind. It has a mild body on it which doesn’t stick around long. This is my go to beer now in the winter season. Rogue you have saved me from a winter of misery when I want a beverage under 10% ABV to chill with.

Spoon’s rating: A

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28 – Victory Prima Pils

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of the Pilsner style. I’ve had some extremely bad beer in this style and it probably goes back to swill I drank as a lad. Wait, that was Golden Anniversary from my parents basement. If I’m going to review the style I might as well go for the best.

  • Details Magazine – One of Ten Best Summer Beers (June/July 2006)
  • Men’s Journal – Top Lager Worldwide (July 2005)
  • Grand Champion Pilsner: United States Beer Tasting Championships 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Prima Pils
brewery:
Victory Brewing – www.victory.com
beer website: Prima Pils
style: Pilsner
abv:
5.3%
serving size:
12oz
glass used:
pilsner
price: $32/case, $3.00 bottle

Overview
Heaps of hops give this pale lager a bracing, herbal bite over layers of soft and smooth malt flavor. This refreshing combination of tastes makes Prima a classy quencher in the tradition of the great pilsners of Europe. Dry and delightful, this is an elegant beer.

What I think
If you’re new to craft beer you will see this and think “hey, that looks like my Bud/Coors/Miller”. Unlike those, this has character and doesn’t need to be served ice cold to hide its flavor. Pours a gorgeous golden body with a robust white head. If you’re trying a pilsner for the first time you may think it’s a tad stale tasting. After consulting the world renown beer filmmaker, foodie rockstar and home brewing expert Phil, this is from the character of the German and Czech whole flowers hops. Prima Pils has a medium body and a crips clean finish. New to Pilsners? Start here.

If you’re looking to start out shooting beer porn, this is a must for your list. Very photogenic.

Spoon’s rating: A-

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27 – Erie Brewing Ol Red Cease and Desist

This week we feature a seasonal beer from a brewery back in my hometown of Erie, PA. I know it’s early in the site to repeat a beer already but after reading the original review here I felt it needed a worthy review. Plus I thought I reviewed the older, less ABV version which was retired.

Ol Red Cease and Desist
brewery:
Erie Brewing – www.eriebrewingco.com
style: Wee Heavy Scottish Ale
abv:
10.1%
serving size:
12oz
glass used:
sniffer
price: $31/case, $3.50 bottle

Overview
Erie Brewing presents the Beer formally known as Red Ryder BIG BEER – A beer dubiously awarded two cease and desist letters for its name. Ol’ Red Cease and Desist brings more to the table than just a big malty flavor and climaxing warming sensation…a legal record! This beer so recognized and loved by many deserves a unique name to match its unique history. What better name than Ol’ Red Cease and Desist – a name inspired by the long arm of the law!

What I think
Every winter I look forward to this beverage. The pour brings a crisp amber hue and a modest head. Lacing vanishes rather fast but that isn’t always a bad thing. You will get a gracious amount of malt on your palate that will do a great job of covering the 10.1% ABV. I purchased a few of these and noticed the body was heavier on one bottle over the other but didn’t result in much flavor variety but very very smooth. You’re going to be able to drink many of these before that ABV kicks you in the head. Treat it like NyQuil, plan a long slumber in Scottish ale bliss after consuming.

Spoon’s rating: B

Comments (2)