Monday, May 30, 2011

Terrapin Gamma Ray

Happy Memorial Day, all.

Today was a non leisurely day of leisure for Pope Crisco. Having the day off, all that was planned was some light shopping, and some grilled with a few beers thrown in the mix, but thanks to a sticking door knob that is the gateway to my dogs’ relief of bodily woes, the first half became a day that was filled with errands and toil. 

This toil that was ultimately compounded by lethargy thanks to a lunch filled with yummy, fatty artisanal sausages and a sampling of a home brewed wheat beer that I bottled a week ago  that seems to have a healthy ABV.  

While the issue with the door was not resolved, I did manage to free it from a state of constraint so that the hounds’ anxiety, and the pressure of their bladders, could be alleviated.  

Tired, and needing a change of scenery from the kitchen that I often spend my time in, and the living room filled with the sounds of Sex and the City and a sleeping wife, I decided to take advantage of a patio set that we purchased early today, and have a few more beers and a pipe while watching my neighborhood.

By the time I finished my pipe and my first beer my wife had awoken, and joined me on the patio. We talked, and decided to enjoy another adult beverage. I brought her a Terrapin Hopsecutioner (previously reviewed on YouTube by myself) and a Terrapin Gamma Ray, a beer I have been jonesing to try, for moi.

The Gammy Ray, part of the “Monster Beer Tour,” is sold as a wheat wine ale, brewed with an “obscene amount of locally produced honey” from Savannah, GA.

On the initial pour there is not much head, but what is there lasts, and the carbonation is respectable.  The body is nice light, orangeish amber that is slightly opaque from sediment. A ring of sediment on the bottom of the empty bottle suggests some level of bottle conditioning.

The nose is banana and clove, that carries onto the first mouthful, however not as strongly as the smell might suggest. With the nice medium flavor, lack of bitterness, and a warmth brought on the honey, the sweetness is well balanced, poised in between being malt forward and cloyingly syrupy.  The sensation of this beer going down is quite full, as if to tell your mouth to “get out of the way, real beer is coming through!”

This beer is not one I would drink often, but in moderation I can find very enjoyable.


Happy Memorial Day

Just a few images of our fighting men and women enjoying a well deserved beer. 
Salute our soldiers on this holiday. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Red Brick Pale Ale

Since moving to Atlanta from Dallas, TX a little more than half a decade ago I have fallen in love with what living in the Southeast  provides, which includes (but not limited to) the verdant landscape, pork BBQ (sorry Texas, while beef BBQ is good, it’s no pulled pork), and the availability of truly good, local beer. One brewery that fits this “beer from around here[,]” is that of Red Brick Brewing Co, (formerly Atlanta Brewing Co).

Having recently reviewed another Atlanta brewery’s pale ale, Sweetwater 420, I decided to compare Red Brick’s own Pale Ale.

The nose is a sour, generic citrus

Appearance is cloudy, and somewhat in-between a burnt orange and an umber color. The head is massive, and slightly off-white. Head retention is also amazing, starting off at a good three fingers after the initial pour, dying down very slowly, and staying a good half finger through the last half of the drinking experience, and leaving an almost pornographic amount of lacing.

The first sip is hop forward, with a generic citrus flavor, leaning towards grapefruit, rounded out with a mild maltyness. On the backend, much like my own endeavors in brewing pale ales, there is a slight sourness that I do not often experience in most commercial pale ales.  While this sourness ads to the character of a pale ale, it tends to be a bit much in this example.  

Ultimately, while this is a very tasty and refreshing beer, it is perhaps not my favorite example of the style.


Punch Rare Corojo “El Doble”

This weekend was the 2nd annual gathering of a group of pipe and tobacco enthusiasts who share their passions on YouTube, making a means of social media truly social.

While I did bring and smoke a pipe, I decided beforehand that I would be antisocial and distanced myself by purchasing and smoking a few cigars. I do tend to be influenced by the seasons in regards to my music and intoxicant choices, pipes constitute the fall and winter on my smoking docket and cigars for spring and summer.  

One of the cigars that I picked up and was not able to enjoy with my compadres, was this Punch Rare Corojo “El Doble.” The hefty cigar is 5.5 inches in length, and has a 60 ring gauge.  With the wife spending her day away from the house, and myself without big plans, I’m going to start a day of pajama-matic leisure with this bit of luxury.

The cigar starts, and stays consistently in the medium to medium full spectrum of flavor. The initial light is full of generic spice with a bit of nutmeg. These flavors stay pretty steady through the first couple inches, eventually becoming nutty and a tad sweeter by the midway point of the smoke.  By the last third of the stick, earthiness replaces the sweetness previously enjoyed, with only a very slight metallic note.

The nicotine content seems balanced and pleasurable. As I finish the Punch I can feel the stimulant without the worry of turning green. Overall, this was a very enjoyable cigar.

Happy Smoking.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reissdorf Kölsch

Despite the fact that I have an abundance of beer to drink, I decided I needed to acquire a little more beer with word that a Georgia brewery was releasing a seasonal beer that I had previously missed out on, and that I wanted to take advantage of the recent change in state law allowing for the sale of Growlers.

When I got to Hop City, not having the brew that I was hoping for based on previous twitter messages, I went back and forth on which beer to enjoy, deciding on the first European import that I’ve purchased in a while, Reissdorf Kölsch, hailing from Cologne, Germany.

Pouring the beer a bit too aggressively, the beer pours a clear straw color with a massive, stark white head that, after dissipating quickly, aggressively clung to the side of the pint glass.

Grain and grass are prominent on the olfactory front in a manner that is very similar to American macro pilsners.

The flavor itself is medium to mild with grain as the primary profile of this beer. Combing malt undertones, and a crisp, a slightly bitter tang on the back end make this beer very crisp and refreshing.  While this mildness makes it very drinkable, it also makes this beer not very exciting, and likely one I will not revisit.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Terripin Brewing Co. Side Project #15 "Indiana Krunkles"

Last week, a friend wrote this wonderful review of Terrapin’sSide Project “Tomfoolery” that drove me to so much desire I was driven to seek out a bottle for my own enjoyment.  Having a love for this brewery’s normal production line, and needing something to assist my Zoloft regiment in “making the happy” I thought some turtle power couldn’t hurt, I scoured local beer stores for an elusive bomber.
Unfortunately, my endeavors where not rewarded with my desired prize, but I did snag up the most recent Side Project, #15 “Indiana Krunkles” for a steal at just less than 8 bucks for the 22oz bomber.  

The appearance of this wheat IPA is a semi cloudy, amber beer, with oodles of active CO2 bubbles, adorned with a stark white crown of head, that on the initial pour is about 2 fingers tall, but dissipates to about the thickness of a couple nickels.

A floral and citrusy nose promises wonderful hop goodness that welcomes the first sip, which proves to be hop forward. This hoppyness though is not overly bitter thanks to the wonderful round sweetness of the wheat malt. 
Fruity flavors are somewhat pronounced, and somewhat suggests banana in the same way juicy fruit gum has hints of banana, but in a good, balanced manner.

This is another example of how Terrapin Brewing is the absolute best brewery I have ever had the pleasure of sampling. God forbid I ever have to move out of the Southeast, and be denied the treat of this locally produced intoxicant.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sweetwater 420 Pale Ale

Sunday has the best potential to be great beer day, despite not (currently) being able to buy it in the state of Georgia. On this day of rest I have spent the morning cleaning, sanitizing and filling bottles of beer, and to celebrate finishing my third homebrew, a lemon wheat beer, I am grilling up some flank steak for fajitas, and enjoying a pale ale, or three.  To start of my evening, which is turning to be a more typical Southern evening with warmth and humidity that keeps weaker folk in the north than the mild temperatures we had been seeing.  
To begin my Pale Ale Trifecta, I am starting with the local popular favorite of Sweetwater 420.  

The nose is bready, with hints of grapefruit or generic citrus.

The color is a nice translucent orange hue with a crisp, thick, white head that is quite healthy and robust, only losing only minimal body after sitting for a few moments.  A lot of carbonation is apparent.

Good balance between hoppiness and maltyness, with a slight leaning towards the hoppy side with an orange citrus flavor that, like the body, is light, and easily drinkable.

Overall this is a fine beer, although I’m not quite sure it warrants the popularity that it garnishes.

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