Beer.

4 Nov 2012 11:55 am
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
Yesterday was the 2nd annual NC Cask Beer Fest at the Wooden Nickel. Last year, they had a half dozen casks, and I was interested in maybe one of them, and I didn't like it. This year, they had a dozen, and I tried 5 or 6 of them.

Roth Brewing's cinnamon porter with caramel apple was awesome, though I didn't catch much apple flavor. I love cinnamon, so this was great for me.

Liberty Steakhouse+Brewery made this pepper porter (stout?) that was all HELLO I AM PEPPER.

Foothills had a chocolate mint porter that was herbal mint, not ice cream mint. It was OK.

Lonerider's Weissenbock was brilliant. It was thick and yeasty and had appley notes and tasted like Christmas. But they're not bottling it, I'm sad.

Haw River had a sour stout that was perfectly astringent and gorgeous.

I sipped Ben's bourbon barrel aged Big Operator (too much bourbon).

We've got such a great brewing scene here, I love it.
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
As promised, my notes from this year. I didn't take very detailed notes, because I, in a fit of talent and rushing out the door, forgot both my pen and my carefully-planned list of booths I wanted to hit. I managed to recreate it on my phone, at least. A bit of a pain in the ass, but what can you do?
many, many beers )

Number of beers sampled: 18 (plus refills on two of them, one of them twice...)
Top three samples: Timmerman's Bourgogne des Flanders; Legend's quad; Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice.

Resolving

1 Jan 2011 07:12 pm
feuervogel: (crowley eternity)
It's that time of year when we make ourselves feel virtuous by saying we'll give up bad habits, or do a list of things. I'll break mine down by category.

Writing
- Finish revisions on Valkyrie One
- Prepare and send my VP application
- Completely revise Iron and Rust
- Outline next novel

Taiji
- Practice something every day
- Test for yellow sash (either end of 2011 or Metal Rabbit)

Fitness
- Keep going to Pilates at least once a week
- Add back the elliptical at least once a week

Life & home
- Fix the front yard
- Clean up the mess in front of my bookshelves
- Sell books & fancrap I don't need
- DECLUTTER
- Organize the sewing room (I'm scared to go in)
- Come up with a plan for moving to Berlin in 10-15 years
- Convince Ben this isn't a harebrained scheme
- Drink more Scotch

Work
- Get paid for something (there's not much on any temp/per diem/travel on any of the 3 agencies I know of that operate in NC. And I can't work outside NC, legally.)

I ought to sit down with paper and make detailed notes for how I want to accomplish some of these things (like yellow sash), because they're rather vague, and vague doesn't help me get shit done.

Success.

25 Nov 2010 09:28 pm
feuervogel: (food)
We managed to wrangle all the food. It was delicious. Ben's mom said the sweet potato casserole was the best she'd ever had. Seriously.

Apparently theirs always start with a can of yams. They're not very adventurous culinarily, so I bought them a subscription to Bon Appetit, which is sitting unread on their magazine stack. XP

We did early Christmas, and Ben's brother gave me "A History of the World in 6 Glasses" and Ben the remains of his bottle of Glen Elgin 12 year (bro quit drinking recently and is destashing). So we had a wee dram of it after dessert. I rather liked it, it isn't peaty at all, kind of smoky and vanilla notes, hint of spice. It's about half full, so we'll have it a while, which is good, because it's hard to come by in the US. (I'm told by a whiskey connoisseur acquaintance that it will soon be distributed in the US, to replace a closed distillery in Classic Malts line. He's also checking for similar whiskeys.)

Anyway. Time to get off the computer. Tomorrow: something familial, and Panciuto.
feuervogel: (hurra bier!)
This year I went in with a crazy new plan: not tasting any beer I already know I like. I have to save up, right? There's only so much beer a gal can drink.

brewery, name of beer, style, description from program book, rating, notes.
long list ahoy )
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
As is traditional, I'm compiling a list of the beers I tried and what I thought of them, if I remember. The problem with beer sampling is that it's still kinda alcoholic. ;) This year, the program book helpfully included an alphabetical list of breweries and had listed the beers the brewers brought, with little boxes where you could mark down what you thought of them (1-5).

to spare your reading page )
feuervogel: (reading)
I got another reward certificate in yesterday's mail. I still had one from a month or two ago on the kitchen table, so I decided to bring them upstairs, since I remembered having another one up here. I was wrong; I actually had 2. So I had $100 of free Amazon money, which I decided I should spend. (I also had $6 left over from my last reward certificate purchase. I'm honestly terrified to ask how many of these we get in a year, at one certificate for $2500 of credit card use. I'll guess about 9. All our discretionary spending goes on the card.)

So I went through my wish list and cleared a bunch of things off it. )

And in a few hours, Mo & Nolan are coming over with take-out from Tandoor and a weird beer (hopefully the Dogfish Head Sah'tea?) and we're gonna try weird beers. I have a bottle of New Holland's Dragon's Milk Ale (aged in oak barrels!) in the fridge.
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
I got this in a combo pack at Christmas with Hennepin and Chocolate Indulgence. I tried the Hennepin and didn't like it (too bitter).

Three Philosophers is a Belgian-style Quadrupel with 5% cherry lambic mixed in. It's 9.8% ABV.

It's a reddish-brown color when poured into a glass, with a pinkish-tan head. The taste is unusual: it's got some hints of spices to it, and a hint of the cherry lambic. I don't dislike it, but I can't decide whether I like it or not! I've still got one more glass in this 750-mL bottle to help me decide.
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
Mothership Wit is a Belgian-style white beer, brewed with wheat and spices (typically orange peel, coriander, cloves, and/or cardamom.) It's also certified organic (USDA and Oregon Tilth.)

I bought it in a 22-oz bottle, for $3.50. Pretty good price, considering that my favorite Belgian white, Hoegaarden, costs about $10 for 6 11-oz bottles.

It's not as good as Hoegaarden, but it's got a similar flavor. Somewhat sharper, maybe? Possibly cardamom, which has that sharp, astringent flavor to it.

I would recommend this to people who like Hoegaarden but don't like its price tag.

(Trying the crosspost tool from Dreamwidth, in alpha.)
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
(I drank a lot of beer on vacation. I like beer. Speaking of which, if you also like beer, Beeradvocate.com is an awesome resource.)

This was called "Duvel Golden" on the menu, but according to my searching, it's regular old Duvel, which is another Belgian strong pale ale. It's got a different flavor than DT, fruitier and maybe slightly spiced.

It's a lot like Hoegaarden, if it were less yeasty and twice as alcoholic. Considering that I'd be content to drink Hoegaarden forever, that's saying a lot.

Also, I'm incredibly thankful to the folks at pop the cap for getting the 6% ABV law repealed. Thanks to their efforts, the variety of beer accessible to North Carolinians widened considerably.
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
Delirium tremens (or DTs) is the medical term for the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. It's also the name of a 10% or so ABV Belgian strong pale ale by Brouwerij Huyghe. I've been wanting to try it for ages, but at $16.99/4 pack, it's daunting, so when I saw it on the menu at Blueberry Hill, I had to get it. (It was $6.50 for the 11.2 oz bottle. I can handle restaurant prices on that.)

It pours a nice pale amber, similar to a Hefeweizen, only less cloudy. The head dissipated rather quickly.

The taste was nice; slightly hoppy but not horribly bitter. I'd drink it again if given the chance, though it's more of a summery brew than winter. I'm finding it difficult to recall precisely the flavor of this beer, but that doesn't mean it's an unassuming, bland beer. It's kind of like if a white beer didn't have the spices in it and had twice the ABV. It doesn't have the yeasty sweetness of a Hefeweizen, either.

Nice, drinkable beer.
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
Ben's folks bought a mixed 12-pack for a party, and this was left in their fridge. Being adventurous, I decided to try it. (If I didn't like it, Tom might!) The label described it as a dark, malty ale with chocolate flavors, so I figured I couldn't go too wrong with that.

I poured it into a glass with Charlie Brown characters on it (only non-wine glass I could find... WTH.) and found it to be quite black, almost stout-like in appearance, except with more head. The taste was also stout-like, with a nice malty chocolate aftertaste. It's only 5.6% ABV, so it doesn't pack too big a punch.

It's a pretty tasty brew, and if you like stouts or would like them better if they weren't quite as heavy, give this a try.
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
It's a 10% ABV from Belgium by Brouwerij Huyghe, who also make Delirium Tremens. According to the Beer Advocate page, it's a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I did not have an example of this at my beer tasting party this spring (though I did have a strong pale ale (Lucifer).)

It's got a nice flavor to it - spices of some sort (cinnamon? cardamom?), maybe some caramel sweetness. It's also damn deceptive. You're drinking along, minding your own business, when BAM! A buzz comes over you. Ben said, "As beers go, this is pretty good." (Which from him is a ringing endorsement, since he hates beer.)

People at Beer Advocate recommend Delirium Nocturnum as an alternative. I'd like to try Delirium Tremens (another SPA), but it's currently $15.99/4 pack at Weaver St. (If anybody local wants to split one...) DT gets a lot of glowing reviews at BA, and I'd really like to try it. Stupid crappy exchange rate.

Another SDA I enjoyed was N'ice Chouffe, another seasonal brew (whose bottle didn't have a label I could soak off. boo.)

I didn't like Trois Pistoles.

About 90 minutes later, I'm still feeling slightly happy. 10% ABV, you are my friend.
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
These are the things I circled and made notes on.

Ace Cider - my note says "yum."
Allagash White - nice, kind of like Hoegaarden. An acceptable substitute, actually.
Sam Adams Twisted Tea - tastes like the tea with lemon you get in a can. Seriously.
Sam Adams Cherry Wheat - still a decent brew, for an American mass-brewer.
Fort Collins Chocolate Stout - eh. I tried their pomegranate wheat last year and was underwhelmed.
Gordash Brewing Co - Holy Mackerel Mack in Black - I'm not sure what I think of this. It's a stout with pomegranate juice. Very weird.
Leinenkugel's Raspberry Wheat - If you like raspberry lambic but hate the price tag, this beer is for you.
Kalnapilis Brewery (Lithuania) 7:30 lager - I liked this. I don't remember much else, but it was lightly sweet I think, and not revoltingly hoppy.
Kona Brewery Wailua Wheat - a wheat beer with passion fruit juice. Very interesting, and not too syrupy sweet.
Matt Brewing Co - Pomegranate Wheat: I liked this better than the Fort Collins one last year. I'd probably drink a whole bottle.
Matt Brewing Co - Imperial Stout: Holy shit. That's what I'm talking about. Full-bodied, lots of coffee taste. Not as overwhelming as the Russian Imperial by Duck-Rabbit I tried last year.
Natty Greene's Buckshot Amber Ale - No. I don't like amber ales, but I tried it anyway.
New Holland Dragon's Milk Oak Aged Ale - Also tasty. I vaguely recall it being nice, not overly hoppy, and having a sort of herbal taste to it (that might be the oak aging.)
Pyramid Crystal Wheat - a nice example of the variety. (Essentially, it's a Hefeweizen without the Hefe.)
Redhook Late Harvest - didn't like it, but I don't remember specifics.
Southampton Altbier - I wanted to try an Altbier, since I never had. I don't think I shall again.
Starr Hill Brewery Dark Starr Stout - this was more bitter than some others.
Uinta Punk'n - I think that's the one I tried. Not sure.
Unibroue Trois Pistoles - I know I don't have to buy the prettily packaged 4-pack now.

ETA links to breweries
feuervogel: (yum~my!)
I like beer. I'm not too keen on hoppy beers like Pilsners, and I generally avoid mass-market American swill like Bud. But I like a good beer on occasion. (Though I should increase the frequency of occasions.)

I tried the Duck-Rabbit milk stout a while back, and I rather enjoyed it. It's got a nice body to it, and it's very stout-y, without being too bitter or dark. (If you like Guinness, you'll like this. Trust me.) I saw a seasonal brew of the Russian Imperial at Weaver Street one morning, but thanks to our blue laws, I couldn't buy it, as it was about 1030 Sunday morning. The next time I was at WSM during hours in which one can buy fermented grain products, it had sold out. I was sad. But we were at the Hillsborough Wine Company a few weeks ago, and they had a six-pack of it. I bought a single.

The first mouthful was strong. I wasn't expecting quite that strong a taste. The aftertaste was a lot like the milk stout, though. Ben tried the second, and made a face. I told him he wouldn't like it. As I drank the bottle, the flavors mellowed. Whether that was because it has a 10% alcohol content is anybody's guess. It tasted like a stout, but moreso. According to wikipedia, the Imperial stout has strong malt flavour. I'd say this does, even moreso than the regular milk stout. The aftertaste is sort of burnt malty, or kind of like a chocolate malt except not sweet at all and missing any of the milk.

The alcohol content is quite high. I was buzzed about halfway through (I have so completely lost my tolerance. *sad*), and I'm still feeling pretty floaty half an hour after finishing it.

I liked it, though I'm not sure I would try it again. I probably would, though I like the milk stout better.

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