Saturday, May 30, 2020

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Saranac Chocolate Amber

Beer score: 7.0

Back in the early 1990s when I began to discover good beer, the Saranac beers were some of first quality American brews that I drank and ranked. Still today, the folks at Saranac make some quality drinks. Unfortunately, they no longer make their Chocolate Amber. The good news is I still have some of my old notes about this beer.

This was a another beer brewed for a particular time of year, in this case, the summer. And no, there wasn't real chocolate in this beer. Certain types of dark beers (usually porters or malts) are known as "chocolate."

This beer was thick and heavy, but not overpowering. It poured a dark, coppery color, and gave off scents of chocolate malts. Going down, there was also that dark, chocolaty flavor. Medium carbonation here, and leaves a bit of a syrupy taste in one's mouth after swallowing.

All in all, not a bad beer. Back in the day, I recommended this one for folks who were working their way up to stronger brews, such as stouts.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Books read in 2020: No. 12 -- Emma

by Jane Austen

Started: May 5
Finished: May 25

Notes: My feelings about Austen are much the same as they are about Dickens. I approve of the plots and the characters, but can't stand the prose. But in fairness, I've not read as much Austen as I have Dickens, so here I'm giving her another chance to wow me. Besides, I've also heard this is the funniest of Austen's books, and that drew my interest.

Mini review: I have to say, I enjoyed this one more than I expected. The humor here would roll over many a modern reader, that humor being quite subtle to modern tendencies, but it's still there and funny. I might have to give Austen another try in the near future.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Beer of the Week: Icehouse

Beer score: 2.9

Company: Icehouse

ABV: 5.5
IBU: 8

Pours golden from the bottle into the glass with a huge head of bubbles. The smell and taste are both of corn, which personally isn't what I'm going for in a beer.

Basically, this is a cheap American beer that tastes somewhat like a mixture of Budweiser and Pabst Blue Ribbon, but in all honesty, it's not the worst beer out there. There's nothing special here, but it doesn't completely suck because this beer would still make a decent thirst quencher, especially on hot days.

Beer snobs will not be impressed, but your buddies who don't know any better might be.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Castle Eden Ale

Beer score: 3.7

Here's another brew that's no longer with us, though I can't say I loved this one. Originally brewed at Castle Eden in Cleveland, England, it was later brewed by Camerons Brewery. I suppose it's still possible Camerons puts this one out from time to time, but I've not been able to find this beer any more nor have I been able to find any up-to-date information about it online.

Anyway, it's been a decade or so since I had this beer, but I still have some of my notes about it.

It was a bitter-style beer, extremely smooth but tasting week. Oddly, it had an almost flat Dr. Pepper flavor to, especially as it went down the throat, though it had a nice foamy head.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Books read in 2020: No. 11 -- After Alice

by Gregory Maguire

Started: April 20
Finished: May 5

Notes: I'm in the mood for some fiction, so I thought I'd give this author another try. I've read two of his books, generally enjoyed one but not the other, so maybe this one can be a tie breaker.

Mini review: Not exactly a reworking of Lewis Carroll's famous literature as it is something of a behind-the-scenes addition. This book tells the tale of several of Alice's friends and acquaintances, along with brief appearances by Charles Darwin, on the day Alice went to a certain tea party, garden party, and trial. I have to say, I didn't care for it. I'm not saying it's not a good book, but it wasn't for me. It felt long, tedious, and without point. What plot there is is to the point of nothingness, and I felt this added nothing to Carroll's tales. There was also something of an attitude of haughtiness early on, as if the writer couldn't help himself from name dropping 19th Century historical and fictional characters.

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Altenmunster Premium Malt Liquor

Beer score: 3.3

Here's another drink that's lost to us because the brewery went out of business, but in this case, that's a good thing. Honestly, I remember next to nothing about it, only the text below I found in some old notes.

This brew did not have a real strong malt liquor taste, but it was still nothing more than a cheap beer. Even if it did come from a brewery in Marktoberdorf, Germany, it wasn't worth drinking. Really, a bad beer.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Over at Black Gate: What would your hero say?

Today I've a Rogue Blades article over at the Black Gate site: What would your hero say to you? The article is about imagining a letter from one of your heroes. While you're there, check out the rest of the Black Gate site ... it's pretty nifty. 😀