Monday, June 28, 2021

Beer of the Week: Singha

Beer score: 1.2

Company: Singha

ABV: 5.0

This beverage from Thailand was classified as a malt liquor in the U.S. until about a decade or.

When I tried this, it had tons of carbonation and an awful bitter flavor that tastes like a bottle of cologne was duped in the batch. The smell is even pungent with a scent of something like mowed grass.

At least it has a nice, light golden color to it.

I'd suggest passing on this one.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 24 -- Lord Foul's Bane

by Stephen R. Donaldson

Started: June 5
Finished: June 27

Notes: Despite the fact I read a lot of fantasy back in the '80s, this was another author I somehow missed, so I'm correcting that here by giving him a try. I've heard good and bad, so now I'll make my own opinion.

Mini review: This is not an easy book to decipher. At its surface, it seems a fairly simple quest tale of a modern man (at least by standards of the 1970s) who is transplanted into a fantasy world where he must play the role of hero or even savior, that he must ultimately save the world from Lord Foul, this fantasy world's version of a dark lord. But the story is more complex than that. The protagonist here is not only a leper in the real world, but he is not a likeable hero. In fact, he is quite unlikeable, even to the point of rape. Yes, early in the tale he rapes a young woman, an innocent undeserving of his rage. To many readers this would be an instant turn-off from the story, but I forced myself through to finish this tale. What I eventually came to realize is that though the protagonist himself is unlikeable, and perhaps unredeemable, at least within the fantasy world he is surrounded by a sizable group of questers who are quite noble and honorable. I feel that this is much the point, that this story is trying to show that nobility and honor but not through the protagonist but through the many side characters. Perhaps I am wrong. I can admit that. The writing here is fairly good, but I don't know if that alone is enough for me to continue with this author at a future date. Time will tell.

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Question

Why is it that whenever I drink bourbon or rum I end up watching Westerns?

Beer of the Week: Fischer Labelle

Beer score: 4.4

Company: Heineken

ABV: 4.5

The folks from Heineken bought out this French beer and its brewer more than a decade ago and moved its production to Spain, so I'm not sure of what the quality would have been before then.

That being said, when I tried this one recently, it was very wet and smooth but had a taste similar to that of Heineken with maybe a little extra bitter. Had a pale gold color to it when poured, and smelled like grass with some skunkiness.

Not a great beer. The French make great wine, but generally speaking they aren't great beer makers.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Beer of the Week: World Court Mocha Blonde Stout

Beer score: 8.1

Company: Legal Remedy Brewing Co.

ABV: 6.0
IBU: 24

Yesterday was my birthday, and boy did I get to enjoy a good beer on my birthday. Coming to us from South Carolina, this Mocha Blonde Stout might sound as if it is a mixture of things that don't go together, but they do.

Pours a somewhat foggy golden color while bringing hints of chocolate and flours to your nose.

Then the taste. Oh, man, the taste. It starts off with some bitterness reminiscent of coffee, then a smooth beer flavor kicks in, followed up by chocolate. And it all works. It might sound complicated and it might sound like something you might not enjoy, but trust me, all of these textures and flavors work well together here. Also, wet with a touch of carbonation, so not dry or overly fizzy.

Truly a unique beer. Can't believe this is a stout.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Monday, June 07, 2021

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Wychwood Brewery Fiddler's Elbow

Beer score: 4.1

Wychwood Brewery is still around, but like many breweries they change up what they're making and selling from time to time. This is one of their former brews, one which I still have some notes on.

This pale ale was wet with a flavor not unlike an English bitter mixed with a malt liquor flavor. This wasn't a favorite, but there was a bit of fruity and caramel flavor that wasn't bad.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 23 -- El Borak and Other Desert Adventures

by Robert E. Howard

Started: May 8
Finished: June 5

Notes: Yesterday I finished an excellent book on the history of sword and sorcery, and that put me in the mood for some Robert E. Howard tales. Also, a few of the tales in this collection are the only prose of Howard's which I've not read, so once I'm done with this I can honestly say I've read all of Howard's stories. I suppose then I'll have to read all of his poetry.

Mini review: Of all the stories presented here, I found the ones actually featuring the El Borak character to be the best. For one thing, El Borak is the most likable character here and the one most like other Howard protagonists. The few other protagonists in other stories here are not bad, but they lack the full individualism and almost philosophical nobility of many Howard characters. That being said, I'm not sure any of these tales are Howard's strongest, though the novella "Three-Bladed Doom" might have been the best here. And now it's kind of sad that I've read all Howard's prose. Not that that means I can't read him again!

Tuesday, June 01, 2021