Monday, February 28, 2022

Beer of the Week: Petty Thieves Knee High

Beer score: 7.2

Company: Petty Thieves Brewing Co.
ABV: 11.0

Anyone who drinks beer with me will know that IPAs are not one of my favorite brews, mainly because I often find them too sour and even skunky.

This one is an exception. I still won't claim it as a favorite, but it's a pretty good beer, especially for an IPA.

Quite smooth with a frothy head, hints of citrus tingle the nose as you bring the glass up for a drink. The taste is quite similar, smooth and froth with the barest touch of citrus. The bitterness here is quite strong and grows stronger the more you drink, but not in a burnt way as with darker beers.

The alcohol content is a little high and this one seems heavy on my stomach, so I'm not sure I'd want to drink more than one at a time, at least at while out on the town.

Worth trying.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Beer of the Week: Petty Thieves Setting Fire to the Bones of Our Idols

Beer score: 8.3

Company: Petty Thieves Brewing Co.
ABV: 5.8
IBU: 20

Is that a name for a beer or what?

I've had a couple of Petty Thieves beers before now, and I have to say with this one they keep getting better and better.

I swear I thought I caught a hint of bacon in the scent of this one, but that's probably the smokiness added, because this is labeled a "smoked amber lager," which seems appropriate.

The texture is smooth with a touch of froth and next to no fizz, and the taste is about as perfect as an amber lager can get. However, I might think this one is a little dark for a traditional amber lager, definitely for any of the so-called "red" beers. But that's not a bad thing.

The smokiness is there in the tasting, but it's more of an aftertaste and not overpowering, so you shouldn't have to worry about that.

Would I drink this again? Uh, hell, yeah!

Monday, February 14, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 5 -- Killer's Payoff

by Ed McBain

Started: Feb. 10
Finished: Feb. 14

Notes: These 87th Precinct books are probably my favorite series of fiction of all time, so I'm always glad to read one of them. And this is an early one, published in 1958, and those tend to be even better than the later ones. Interesting thing, I found this book in a used book store, and after I purchased it I discovered there were several sheets of notebook paper inside which appear to be notes from a college-level writing class and are about this author, Ed McBain, so I'll be interested in reading those too.

Mini review: There were some firsts here, or so I believe. I think this was the first 87th Precinct novel in which Steve Carella was not the main character, though he was important enough to the tale. Cotton Hawes was the main character, and McBain did well with the character. This was also a real mystery, more so than many a police procedural, and the outcome is honestly surprising, or at least it was to me, not so much in the details of the crimes but in the who committed them. I have to admit this one started off slow for me, but it picked up speed about halfway through and finished just great.

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Oxford Class Ale

Beer score: 6.7

Yep, it's another week without trying any new beers, so once more I'm pulling notes from an old site.

The Oxford Class Ale is no longer with us, and it went through a lot of hands during it's time. About 20 years ago it was brewed by the Oxford Brewing Company, but then that company was bought out by the Clipper City brewing folks which eventually became Heavy Seas Beer. So, this beer has been made by a number of different companies, though it has been retired.

Which is a shame, because this one had flavor. I mean, lots of flavor. It was a little harsh going down, with that bitter flavor being quite strong for a beer that's not a porter or stout or even a black and tan. Still, it was quite enjoyable. I could have easily spent an afternoon hoisting a few of these to my lips. The bitterness didn't really lessen as you drank, but you did grow a little more used to it.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 4 -- The Hunter

by Richard Stark

Started: Feb. 8
Finished: Feb. 10

Notes: I've seen movies, TV shows, and even comic books based upon this novel, and I've enjoyed them all to some extent or other, so I thought it high time I actually read the original. The first of the Parker novels.

Mini review: If you like hard-boiled, noir fiction with a heavy anti-hero, then you'll like this novel. And I mean it when I call the main character, Parker, an ant-hero, because he is one bad man. I wouldn't even say he's exactly likable, but he's definitely an interesting character. Would I read more in this serious? You betcha.

Monday, February 07, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 3 -- The Book of Proverbs

published by Zondervan

Started: Feb. 4
Finished: Feb. 7

Notes: Other than a few passages, I've never read much of this book of the Bible, so I'm interested in learning more.

Mini review: This is almost entirely a listing of wise sayings, a form called "wisdom literature" throughout the ancient world and common to many cultures. This one obviously focuses upon wisdom as handed down in early Judaism and is repetitive in several places, but actually there are words here to live by. Modern Christians should pay attention here.

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Breckenridge Brewery Strawberry Wheat

Beer score: 4.7

This brewery is still around in Colorado, but they haven't made this particular beer in quite a while. I always find it a little sad when a beer is no longer being brewed. It's kind of like the world has lost a little something. But there are plenty of beers out there, and fortunately I have notes on some of those that are no longer with us.

This one wasn't as good as I had hoped back when I tried it a couple of decades ago, but it wasn't an awful brew by any means. It had a faint smell of strawberry, as can be expected. The taste was fruity but there was little sweetness. Not overpowering, very wet, but also very weak and somewhat flat.

Friday, February 04, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 2 -- The Woman in White

by Wilkie Collins

Started: Jan. 7
Finished: Feb. 4

Notes: This mid-19th Century novel is considered a precursor to today's mystery novels, so I've been meaning to check it out for some time as I sometimes enjoy a good mystery novel and I have a fondness for much of 19th-Century literature. Also, last year I didn't read any classic literature, and I'm kind of missing it.

Mini review: Wow, that was a long read, but I can't say I was ever bored. This one read something like a mixture of Jane Austen with touches of Alexandre Dumas and a hint of Poe. I enjoyed it. The mystery throughout is multiple and rather complex, but it all works out in the end, perhaps a little too well. That might be my only real criticism of his lengthy novel, that the ending was a little too happy for my taste. But I did like this book, and I would read more from the author.