Books, beer and barbarians

Home to fantasy author Ty Johnston

Monday, January 18, 2021

Beer of the Week: Molson Canadian

Beer score: 5.6

Company: Molson Coors

ABV: 5.0
IBU: 15

A cheese and crackers lager. A good, plain, all-around beer. Not necessarily a beer snob's beer, but not a bad beer at all. You could serve this one to your beer snob friends and not be disgraced.

Has a light, pale color like gold when you pour it, though there is something of a corn and rice smell that's not uncommon among premium beers.

There's a touch of malty sweetness here, a nice beer flavor, and a frothy head. This is a clean, fairly smooth beer. Not a favorite of mine, but I could see myself drinking these while doing work around the house.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Beer of the Week: Schlitz

Beer score: 1.5

Company: Schlitz

ABV: 4.7
IBU: NA

I suppose it's beer.

From the bottle into the glass, this one has the color of straw. And it smells like corn.

Tastes like cheap beer, and barely that. Weak with a little carbonation.

Not my thing, but it has its place. Still, unless all you're seeking is a cheap buzz, stay away from this beer. In all fairness, Schlitz has been owned by a few different companies over the decades and hasn't always had the same recipe, so maybe some Schlitz in the past has been better than the version I most recently had or maybe today's Schlitz is better than the old stuff.

Searching for heroes

This week over at Black Gate, I chat about a cross-country road trip I took a few years ago and how it inspired me to search for heroes on that trip.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 2 -- Soiled Doves: Prostitution in The Early West


Started: Jan. 5
Finished: Jan. 10

Notes: Yep, it's another book I picked up in Tombstone a few years ago.

Mini review: While the subject matter here was interesting enough, I found the execution less than desirable. Most of this is a collection of snippets and information from other books about the lives of famous madams and prostitutes in the Old West, with only some vagueness about the overall picture of prostitution during the time period. The writing was fair, but the book itself should have had a stronger structure instead of jumping around so much in the timeline.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 1 -- Doc Holliday: A Family Portrait


Started: Jan. 1
Finished: Jan. 5

Notes: As might be expected considering the subject matter, I picked up this book during a trip to Tombstone, Arizona, a couple of years ago, site of the legendary gunfight at the OK Corral, in which the famous (or infamous) Doc Holliday took part. This one could be especially revealing as it's from a descendent of Holliday. It looks to be well noted and indexed, but I would expect nothing else from a book from the University of Oklahoma Press; I've read some of that publisher's books before and they've always been quite enlightening about the Old West.

Mini review: This is what all history books should endeavor towards. Entertaining while not flippant, informative without being boring, and full of notes which actually add knowledge. The author obviously has something of a Holliday leaning, but that's to be expected, and in truth her bias isn't overly blatant, allowing the text to be relatively fair to the Doc and those involved in the old Clanton-Earp feud. If you enjoy Old West, non-fiction, I highly suggest you read this. Even if you think you know Doc Holliday, there will be things here to learn, mostly about Doc's earlier days before heading west but also a few things about his days in Texas, Colorado, Arizona, etc.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Beer of the Week: Sierra Nevada Celebration

Beer score: 3.0

Company: Sierra Nevada

ABV: 6.8
IBU: 65

Anyone who has read this blog will likely know I'm flat out not a fan of these spiced holiday drinks. So, in all fairness, my brief reviews and scores for these beers tend to be less than positive.

Which is pretty much the case here.

The color is amber. The scent is hoppy with a touch of fruity. The flavor is a strong, bitter mixture of cinnamon and holiday spices.

Sierra Nevada puts out some great beers, but I can't say this is one of them. Though this is no fault of their own. I simply don't like these kinds of beers.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Books read in 2020: No. 35 -- The Code of Honor


Started: Dec. 29
Finished: Dec. 31

Notes: I always find it interesting to read books on dueling, yet it's been a while since I've perused such, so here goes. This one comes from 1838 and was written by a governor of South Carolina.

Mini review: In many ways, this is a book about avoiding a duel, of how quarreling gentlemen can come to an agreement. Oh, there are sections here about how to perform a proper duel, too. Most of this is about pistol dueling, the author preferring flintlocks over percussion pistols, but there is some mention of swords.