Tuesday, January 31, 2012

North Coast Old #38 Stout

I always see the train on this label and get excited.  Really, this is not one of my favorite stouts.  I can't quite place why, it just doesn't tickle my taste buds the way I want it too.  I just burped a bit and it was a bit alcohol-ey, not beery.  The smell is just a bit off for me too.  Maybe it's a bit more bitter than I would like a stout to be.    And it sounds strange, but the smell and taste don't match to me.  That makes for a strange drinking experience.  Maybe it's the fact it's an "Irish Dry Stout" by style - maybe those just aren't for me.

Beer Advocate kind of disagrees with me.
North Coast calls this a Dublin Dry Stout.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Maui Brewing CoCoNut Porter

Do you like coconut?  Yes, then go find this beer!  This beer tastes of coconut and coffee to me.  Sometimes I don't even think it tastes like beer, but more of a delicious drink.  The carbonation is great and just the right amount all the flavors.  Try this beer!  You won't regret it!  And if you're in Maui, check out this brewery.  I feel like it's a decision you'd be happy with, even though I've never been there myself.

Here is Beer Advocate's opinion on this.
Take a trip to Maui Brewing and see their site on this!

Oskar Blues Old Chub

Oh, Old Chub.  Yet another beer where I giggle when I say the name.  The beer itself is delicious.  Oskar Blues is another one of my go-to breweries.  This beer is smoky and delicious.  It's dark and heavy.  It's everything I want in a beer and even better, it comes in a can!  This is one of my breweries I'd like to go and try someday.  Really, if you like dark beers, or you don't, you should give Old Chub a try.  Or any other brew by Oskar Blues.  Promise you won't be disappointed!

The folks at Beer Advocate love this.
Oskar Blues lists this beers awards!

Iron Horse Mocha Death

One of my favorite beers I’ve been drinking lately.  Coffee flavor is SUPER strong and would likely be overpowering for a lot of people.  However, I cannot get enough.  I pick it up probably once every couple of weeks.  Not something to pair with food, in my opinion, but to drink on its own.  Will hunt it out if it ever becomes super scarce and LOVE it.  And at around $5 for a 22, I can’t complain about the price at all.

Grabbed one out of "storage" since beer was out and snow was still trapping me in.  Not nearly as strong tasting after sitting for a while.  Kind of disappointing compared to the flavor it has when it's fresh, but still tasty.  not nearly as strong on the coffee.  Different batch?  Due to aging?  Your guess is as good as mine.

This is typically available, per Iron Horse, from October to January.  So if you want to try this now and not wait about 9 months, go out and pick up a bottle today!

Here's what people over at Beer Advocate are saying.
Here's Iron Horse's commentary on it.

Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale

Easy to drink.  Pretty standard pale.  Nothing impressive, but have been drinking lots of dark beers lately.  Went well with a citrusy dinner.  Low cost and sessionable.  Even that last warm sip was ok and not miserable to drink.  Would buy a 6-pack to sip on during the summer.

In getting the links I see that this is a year round beer that was first bottled in 1975.  Talk about staying power.  And lets talk about that label.  With a husband who is a sailor, I was a sucker for this bottle.

Folks at Beer Advocate love this.
Here's Anchor Brewing's info on this ale.

Joseph James Tahoe Blue

Quite hoppy after all the stouts and porters I’ve been drinking lately.  Surprisingly hoppy too for a pale ale.  Nothing remarkable but I would definitely buy again.  

This doesn't look widely reviewed over at Beer Advocate.
Here's a list of the beers from Joseph James Brewing.

Dixie Brewing Blackened Voodoo

Meh.  Drinkable but nothing impressive.  Carmel in color.  Not so great as it warmed up.  I was drinking some of these beers before I really got this blog going, so don't mind a lot of comments.  Some of it was for lack of taking notes while drinking.

Here's what Beer Advocate reviewers are saying.
Dixie Brewing doesn't have a website so you're on your own for what the brewery has to say!

Elysian Bete Blanche

I'm not normally a wheat fan.  This was delicious though.  It was snowing and in the middle of an ice storm when I drank this but it was still incredibly refreshing.  I would definitely look for this when I have a taste for the genre.  YUM!

The reviewers over at Beer Advocate think this is good.
Elysian has some basic info on this beer for you.

Pike Brewing Extra (XXXXX) Stout

Ok.  Not a big fan of Pike to start – haven’t had a lot that I’ve liked.  It’s a bit hoppy for a Stout.
I’d buy it and drink it, may consider ordering at a restaurant, but wouldn’t seek it out.

Here's what Pike Brewing has to say about their Extra Stout.
Here's what the reviewers over at Beer Advocate have to say.

Bridgeport Raven Mad

Post coming soon...

Beer Advocate says it's good.
Here's BridgePort's site, but it made my computer mad when I tried to get into it.

Alaskan Perseverance Ale

I was at Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor and was ready for a good beer at the end of a long week of work.  I initially ordered Abyss, but they were actually out.  Side note - a giant pet peeve is outdated tap lists, especially when you clearly print them on a regular basis.  Either take the list out of the menu and tell me what you have, or cross stuff out, but don't let me think I'm ordering something when it's not available.

So onto the beer.  This is quite an intense beer.  With 9% ABV, it was a treat to find on tap.  I have a bottle of this sitting in the "cellar" and am excited to give it a try when the hubby gets home to compare.  It was heavy to drink and it was my one and only beer at the restaurant.  I sipped it slowly and it was great right as it was poured and as it warmed up throughout my meal.  

If you see this on tap, definitely give it a try if you like the RIS style.  I'll be back with more later on the bottle once I open it up!


After having it in the bottle, I can tell you it definitely drank a bit differently.  Maybe it also had to do with the fact it was aged.  It was not as heavy I felt out of the bottle. 

Will thought this one was rich and delicious.  He thought it tasted of fireweed or birch syrup, but couldn't be sure which since he wasn't familiar with the fireweed taste.

Here's the thoughts over at Beer Advocate.
Here's Alaskan's description of the beer.

Old Schoolhouse Rendezvous Porter

After drinking a beer that I'm pretty sure went bad, I think my taste buds were a bit tainted.  It was an average porter and not much to remark about it.  It smelled a bit fruity and a few imperial stouts and porters drank that night, it was really light tasting.  I think this is one I'll definitely pick up again to give a try when not in line with so many heavy beers to give it a more fair shake.

Beer Advocate needs more input if you've tried this one as well.
Check out Old Schoolhouse's website - they're local in WA!

Der Blokken Black

I've had this beer a few times on tap at the brew pub. I enjoyed it and found it to be a nice stout, so I was excited when I saw them bottled for the first time at my local Albertson's.

I poured and it had a big head and I thought it was my pouring. Then I smelled the beer. It smelled funky. It was a bit sour and a bit off. I tried a drink and it was just so sour tasting.  

I was disappointed but after two sips and having a friend try, I decided the beer wasn't right. Ugh. I ended up pouring the glass and the rest of the beer down the drain. That was maybe my fifth time pouring something down the drain ever. I was so disappointed.  I hope this was just a bad bottle or batch, not a demonstration of how their beer will be tasting in bottles.  I will probably give it the benefit of the doubt and try picking it up again sometime and hope they redeem themselves.

On another note, I haven't been since I've started this blog, but I can tell you that the brewery is a great place to get dinner and beer.  Besides their own beers, they have a great tap list and their food is DELICIOUS!  Give it a try if you're in the Bremerton area.

Beer Advocate could use some more input if you've tried this one!
Visit their website, which is sparse at the time of posting.

BREWERY REVIEW: Emerald City Beer Company

I came to Emerald City Beer Company for a private Yelp event.  I had never been before and it was a bit hard to find.  It's located in the old Rainier Brewery building along Airport Way S in Seattle.

The parking lot is awkward and the place is a bit hard to find if you're not 100% sure where in the building you're going.  Look for the small, round green sign about half way down the parking lot. The tasting room is everything you'd expect from this area of town.  It's quite industrial and not super big.  The floors are concrete and there is a nice bar set up with some taps behind the bar.  The staff seemed quite nice and were patient during this private event.

For the private event, they only had their Dottie Seattle Lager and Betty Black on tap.  The black was my choice for the evening and seemed to be a dark lager.  I am not sure too many details since I didn't have my glasses on and sadly couldn't read their info sheets behind the bar that well.  It was average.  Nothing remarkable and yet, still quite drinkable.  The Dottie was also on tap and I tried some of a friends.  They refer to it as a lager, but it was more amber in color.  Once again, average, drinkable but not remarkable.

On a side note, I love their font and graphics on everything.  I also love they're in the old Rainier building.  I think I'd like to come back here another time, during their regular business hours, and give some of their many other beers a try.

Visit their site to find out more about visiting this brewery and tasting room!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale

So I may be a bit biased since I really love Great Divide.  When I visited Denver in 2008, they were one of my favorite breweries.  I even have a shirt with their slogan, "Great Minds Drink Alike."  Who doesn't love that saying?  I love their beers.  This is one of my go-to breweries when I'm looking for something I know I'll like.

Oh and I really love Wee Heavys on the basis that they have the word Wee in their name.  I feel like a Scottish person every time I drink one and say Wee Heavy in a strange accent.  

Onto the beer now.  I really enjoy this beer.  Probably due to some of the aforementioned reasons.  However, I find it incredibly smooth to drink.  For a darker beer it's not too heavy feeling and isn't too bitter or heavy on any of the flavors.  Let's just say this beer is a wee bit delicious!

Beer Advocate folks says this beer is good.
Check out Great Divide's website.

Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout

Pip-pip cheerio!  This brew hales from England (see it says so on the label).

In advance of a snow day I picked this up at the grocery store last minute beer drinking in case I got snowed in.  Decided to open it and give it a try.  Definitely a lighter stout, which I find more with British breweries – I’m sure it’s supposed to be like that.  I enjoyed it and found it super easy to drink.  Since it’s readily available at my local Fred Meyer, I would definitely pick it up again.

Highly rated by the folks at Beer Advocate.
Samuel Smith has some info on this beer.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout (2011 Release)

Apparently this is a seasonal release.  I guess that's what they mean by "limited release" on the label.  However, a quick visit to Lagunitas site shows that they'll be releasing this again in November 2012.  So have no fear if you missed the 2011 release, just wait 10 more months or so and you'll be able to sample this for yourself.  I wish breweries would indicate the difference between "this is a once in a lifetime limited release" and this is a "once a year seasonal release so buy it now or wait again for another year."  Wouldn't that be delightful?

This was a good Stout.  I would definitely buy it again.  I don't find it as good as the Iron Horse Mocha Death for coffee flavor, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless.  I will probably be one I pick up again in the future.  Apparently as in November 2012 future.  Oh and I was drinking slower the night I drank this so I can tell you it tasted good as it warmed up as well.  I always love when I can drink a beer slow since it tastes good cold and warm(ish).  Overall, I'd put this on your "find next November" list.

Here's a video of a "virtual taste" by Lagunitas describing their beer.
Here's what the reviewers over at Beer Advocate are saying.

Ninkasi Imperiale Stout

My first impression of this beer was "yummy."  I like the label.  The geometric prints make me happy and I feel like it stands out on the shelf.  That's a big thing for me.  If your bottle blends in, I'm not going to notice it or think to pick it up.  I also really like beers that tell me what kind they are on the label.  Bonus points for the fact this is a stout being clearly labeled.  

Random life note:  While getting this beer out of the fridge, I discovered the freezer wasn't as cold as it should be.  I *hate* that.  

While actually drinking this beer, and not staring at the label or swearing at my freezer, I found it to be a bitter at times.  In the end, I would definitely drink this again.  I don't know if I'd go on a hunting expedition for it, but I would definitely drink it whenever offered to me.  And the ABV was high (about 9.1%) which is nice.  Who doesn't love a beer with high ABV?  Really by the end of the bottle, it seems like the beer was that much better.

Here's what Ninkasi has to say about their beer:  Imperiale Stout
Here's what others think of this beer over at Beer Advocate.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


So I suppose I should give an introduction to my little blog.  By no means do I mean for this to be some earth shattering, all amazing blog.  As a matter of fact, I expect very few people to actually read this.  My husband will hopefully read it some of the posts.  Heck, he'll probably read them over my shoulder as I compose them.  Anyone else who reads this will probably just happen to stumble upon this or find a link to it in some random place.

My intention is for this blog mostly to be about my love (and my husband's love) of craft beer.  Inevitably, this will probably also extend into some wine and liquor commentary since I do enjoy drinking those too.  I also imagine that my life will bleed into the blog a bit sometimes too.  Without that, I feel it would seem a little bit inhuman and cold.  Oh and food.  I will probably post about food too.  I love to cook and try new recipes and improving on old favorites.  So maybe "Beer Blog" is somewhat an inappropriate title, but whatever, if it bothers you stop reading it.

I hope to incorporate pictures of what I drink (or eat) along with some basic commentary on what I think of the beer.  I am not a beer snob or connoisseur by any means.  If you want to read tasting notes about the mouth feel and such, this will not be your place.

A bit about me.  I am 27 years old and live in Port Orchard, Washington.  I do most of my beer shopping at 99 Bottles in Federal Way, near where I work.  I also really love shopping at Full Throttle Bottles, where a large part of my beer love developed, but alas it's a bit too far away now a days.

I love my husband just about as much (or maybe more) than I love beer.  He is currently serving in the US NAVY and is frequently deployed away from home.  You'll probably see several posts where I refer to stocking up for when he gets home.  I do my best to pick up limited beers or seasonal stuff he won't be able to find when he gets home.  He may be the bigger beer lover, I just happen to have the free time to do this.  I'm sure his input will get incorporated when he's home.

I also have step-daughter who is awesome.  And a dog.  And a job.  And if you have any other questions about the girl behind the blog, feel free to ask.

Small disclaimer:  I have a professional job where I pay attention to detail all day long.  While I don't intend for there to blatant spelling or grammatical errors in this blog, I also don't intend on editing it or writing it formally.  Expect there to be incomplete sentences, made up words, and things that just don't make sense sometimes.  Oh, and typos, there will inevitably be those.  Don't worry about it.  Have a beer and enjoy reading instead!