Saturday, April 28, 2012

Moo Hoo Chocolate Stout by Terrapin Brewing Co.

Over the course of the last 4 days I have had a wide selection of wonderful food and drink in the company of the best friends I have known as my wife and I returned to Atlanta to celebrate her ten-year college reunion. Tonight we will have one last dinner with Sarah, friend to us and blogger of Juicy Bits, and as a pre-dinner beer, I worked my way around her fridge and pulled out a couple bottles of Terrapin Brewing Company’s seasonal “Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout,” brewed in nearby Athens, Georgia.  

The beer pours out a rich black hue that laughs at the suggestion of any translucence, and is crowned with a chocolate milk head that sits about a dimes width atop the brew.

Taking in a large whiff off the top of the beverage, a mild aroma of bitter coffee and alcohol round out a bready nose.

With the first mouthful of this beer, my palate was attacked with a very rich and complex overt chocolate profile.  A milk chocolate front end that was malty and sweet was turned on its head with the bitterness and alcohol hotness of rich dark chocolate. As the second and third sips are consumed, the bitterness subsides dramatically and the beer takes on a wonderfully creamy flavor and mouthfeel with a wet, sweet finish.

This beer is an example of the quality that this brewery brings to the table of craft beer drinkers in the southeast. Moo Hoo makes me go boo hoo for what I miss out on in the Lone Star State.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Big Sky Brewing Co India Pale Ale

Well, its Friday here in the Republic of Intoxico, and time to put the past week behind us, for the weekend is here. My plans are simple and predictable: listen to music, drink a few bottles of beer, try to fit in a cigar, and maybe see a movie or two.

Pandora is queued up, check. A bottle of Big Sky India Pale Ale has been popped and poured, double check.

The beer, brewed by Big Sky Brewing Co.out of Montana, poured out a nice umber hue with a tint more on the orange side as opposed to the brown. The only thing obscuring the clarity of this ale is a good amount of active carbonation that races to a thick, sticky, off-white head.

If you were anticipating this IPA to have a hop forward aroma, you predicted correctly as a nice bouquet of grass and grapefruit greets the drinker’s nose. There is also a moderate tang of bread and yeast that mingles with the citrus scent.

As the beverage hits the palate, as expressed in the nose, grapefruit essence dominates the flavor profile, but is augmented by a slight raisin like sweetness on the backend. Where some IPAs assault with bitterness, the Big Sky IPA’s bittering hops seem to make their presence known at the conclusion of the quaff as opposed to the front, which gives the beer a dry, crisp finish.

Overall this beer was a fine example of the style without abusing the palate of the drinker. Is it an excellent beer? A beer to define what the style should be? Perhaps not, but well worth a try.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Another Graphic Using Adobe Illustrator

Well, I have a beer review waiting for editing, so that should be posted in the near future, at least before I leave for Atlanta for a long weekend away from the Dallas metroplex. In the meantime I am still plugging away at learning Adobe Illustrator to build out my graphic design portfolio.

Today I worked on this, a newish idea for a banner/link for this blog. As always I would enjoy your comments on the work. As well, if you are a blogger (a small time blogger at that) I am willing to work out a trade for light graphic design work in trade for cigars and beer. If interested please email me at to work out the details. Home brewers, please also feel free to also inquire.

For more involved work, or if your blog is more than just a hobby, I am willing to work for cash. I feel my rates are are bargain, and being untested, I am open to negotiate if you feel that I am asking for too much. Please use the same email listed in the paragraph above to inquire about specifics.

Happy Drinking!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bucking Bock by Rahr and Sons

Hello fellow craft beer drinkers, I hope life has been treating you well this early Spring.

With Spring, Texans have the coming of blue bonnets, the state flower, Texas Rangers and Houston Astros baseball to cover for the lack of post season hockey from the Dallas Stars, and thanks to the continuing tradition from the German settlers that populated the Republic of Texas in this nations infancy, seasonal bock beer offerings are hitting the store shelves. Already on Intoxico I have reviewed the Saint Arnold Brewery’s offering, and today I have the offering from Fort Worth’s own Rahr and Sons in their Bucking Bock.

Tipping a bottle of the brew into one of the many pint glasses I’ve collected going to their brewery tours, the lager shows its light golden hue, which while in the acceptable range for modern bocks, is lighter than traditional interpretation.  Fully poured, the beverage exhibits a decent half finger of head, clear body, and moderate carbonation.

There are not any other breweries that I can recognize by the nose of their brews, but the boys and girls must do something to every batch of their regular production line that gives the beer a “Rahr smell.” This “Rahr smell” is full of bread and yeast notes that, in this beer underscore a malty, light caramel forward nose, with almost no detectible hop presence.

A deluge of very sweet, light caramel syrup flavor opens on the palate on the initial quaff, with a nice bitter backend that subsides to nil by the third sip. Once the tongue acclimates to an almost cloying beginning, the beer’s sugariness pulls back, and acts as a compliment to a very unique “grain” like flavor profile.

Along with a slight sourness that helps quiet the malt forwardness of the beer, a nice grassy aftertaste adds a dry and refreshing complexity to Bucking Bock.

Not being the biggest maltose head, this beer took me about four servings (not all at once) to really develop an enjoyment of the beverage’s offerings. As long as you can hold on to the reigns without being thrown off, any drinker should be able to tame this malt bomb.


EdWort Hopper now on Intoxico

Hello boys and girls,

I have been trying to develop a portfolio to try to get some graphic design work, and today I generated this rough draft, albeit a polished rough draft, of a character for a possible comic on this blog. Please tell me what you think, good or ill.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Celebration Fresh Hop Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Happy beer-thirty my friends.

Only being Wednesday, it feels much later in the week in my head. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t had a job in a month, the increased volume of job interviews I’ve had of late, or another factor altering my perception, but I feel physically and mentally drained this hump day. 

As Friday inches closer, as well as the hit counter on my blog getting closer to 15,000 unique hits (which I assume is good?) I feel it’s time to sit down and write a review of Sierra Nevada’s winter seasonal, Celebration.

You might be thinking “But Pope, it’s Spring! Shouldn’t this have been reviewed earlier?” And you would be correct, but as a beer blogger, I get distracted easily by one beer release over another, so a couple bottles of this “fresh hop ale” have been sitting in the cold, dark recess of my fridge conversing with some also forsaken green vegetables whilst I frolicked amongst other ales.  

Today, though, the last two bottles of this six pack will join their four brethren in the hallowed halls of Ale-Halla, and join the beer equivalent of Odin in the fermentables’ equivalent of the afterlife (or become part of the Tarrant county sewer system after consumption, it’s pretty much the same thing to me.)

The beer pours a semi-cloudy, rich carrot orange hue, with a gloriously obscene amount of active carbonation, and a healthy off-white head. In addition to suds off the initial pour, the head remains throughout the beer’s consumption, offering sticky lacing and a cloud of beer that tickles the palate and throat at the conclusion of the drinking exercise.

Tons of CO2 and lacing make this a wonderful beer to look at, as well as consume.

A hop forward nose addresses the drinker with an upfront citrus, primarily grapefruit, introduction, but is rounded out with floral accents and a very light malt sweetness.

This introduction to the olfactory glands is indicative of the follow through on the palate, as a similar hop-forward, grapefruit body is most easily recognizable in the first brush with the tongue. Overpowered by an aggressive bitterness, the first few sips leave much to be desired in complexity, however, as my sense of taste acclimated itself to the beverage, a nice orange and spice accent opened up, and was rounded out by an underscored, light caramel backend.

To distill the beverage in brief, it was a fine beer that would have been better if greater balance could be found on the front end of the beverage, negotiating the brisk bitterness with a medium-bodied flavor profile.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fresh Hop by Great Divide Brewing Co.

Spring is upon us in North Texas, and with sunny skies, cool breezes and the agreeable company of my wife, I enjoyed a day running errands, seeing The Hunger Games, and cracking open some craft beer on the patio.

Today's selection from Denver's Great Divide Brewing, is Hop Fresh, a pale ale sporting a mid-ranged ABV around 6.1%. It seemed like something to contrast the malt forward brews I have been drinking recently.

Pouring the first half of the bomber into my pint glass, the ale exhibited a nice golden amber/orange hue with a stark white head. Once the beverage had time to settle, the beer, while slightly cloudy was mostly translucent, and showed a torrent of active carbonation that joined the bubbles of the thick, hearty head.

The aroma of this beer, as advertised by the title and marketing of the label, is hop forward, expressed in a grassy, floral, and citrus forward nose. The floral nature of the nose is not as fully expressed on the palate, as flavor wise, grapefruit and orange notes predominate the medium bodied profile. While the beer exhibits a nice, clean, hop bitterness, a nice light caramel malt backend balances the beverage.

Overall, this is just a wonderfully balanced ale. While exhibiting a wide variety of hop flavors, the bitter essence of the fresh whole hop cones are kept in check, and favors balance over a hop bombastic assault on the drinker's tongue.
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