Monday, May 30, 2022

Beer of the Week: Leinenkugel's Northwood Amber

Beer score: 4.3

Company: Leinenkugel's
ABV: 4.9
IBU: 18

This beer has been around more than 30 years and was originally called Leinenkugel's Northwood Lager, though it's not impossible the recipe has changed in all that time.

Regardless, when pouring there are scents of honey and grass and lemon. When drinking, it has a wet, sweet basic lager flavor with a bit of a fruity taste along with more of that honey. Kind of plain except for the sweetness, because even those hints of scents are just that, hints, and barely that.

Not an overly exciting beer, but it doesn't suck. I could spend an afternoon with a few of these.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 15 -- On Not Being Able to Paint

by Joanna Field

Started: May 16
Finished: May 27

Notes: Until I ran across this book in a used book store, it had never occurred to me that artists could suffer something similar to writer's block. That peaked my interest, and being an occasional painter myself, I thought I'd look into this. Also, this book is apparently a serious look into the psychology of artist.

Mini review: This one wasn't quite what I was expecting. It's basically a professional psychoanalyst discussing the ideas behind her creative experiments, mostly drawing and painting. I found the information here too much like navel gazing for my own interests, but it did give me some things to think about. From my perspective, it did not help that the author is a Freudian, which I find mostly immature drivel. I suppose this book could prove helpful to beginning artists in that it would help them to think about their own work.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Beer of the Week: Foothills Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout

Beer score: 7.8

Company: Foothills Brewing
ABV: 9.6
IBU: 75

This beer is usually only available early in any given year, but for stout fans it's worth looking for.

Rich and dark and frothy as it pours, giving off scents of molasses and maybe a little chocolate and licorice. Sits or rolls around the glass quite dark, reminding me of Guinness.

The flavoring is strong, but not so strong you won't be able to drink it. A dark espresso flavor along with that molasses hits right away without too much of an alcohol flavor. Quite frothy on the lips.

Worth trying.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 14 -- The Varieties of Religious Experience

by William James

Started: April 18
Finished: May 16

Notes: This is a collection of lectures from more than a century ago. I expect it to be quite dated, but it should be of interest since it's a psychologist/philosopher looking at religion. Perhaps I'll learn something new.

Mini review: This was a long one, but interesting. The author's own writing is not that bad, but he uses numerous clippings culled from other books and letters and such, and most of those are repetitive to the point of becoming dull. I will have to say the author gave me a few new ways of thinking about spirituality, so that's a plus. I can't recommend this book for most readers, but those who have interests in psychology and philosophy might find a few things here to perk their interest.

Beer of the Week: Breck IPA

Beer score: 6.8

Company: Breckenridge Brewery
ABV: 6.3
IBU: 66

One of the better beers from the Breckenridge Brewery folks, but still a fairly typical India pale ale.

It pours a somewhat clear golden color and smells of bread with hints of perhaps pine and orange.

There's a strong sourness in the tasting along with some caramel textures. Smooth at first but makes for rough swallowing.

I can't claim it as a favorite, but I'd drink another one.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Beer of the Week: Geary's Hampshire Special Ale

Beer score: 3.4

Company: Geary Brewing Co.
ABV: 7.0
IBU: 48

Way back when I first tried this beer in the winter of 1996, it was a seasonal Christmas beer. Since then it has become a regular, full-year beer from the Geary folks. Unfortunately, despite the fact I've had some good beers from these people, this isn't one of them.

From the bottle to the glass it pours a brownish amber color that's quite nice, then the smell hits you with a dark fruitiness scent mixed with dark bread.

That dark fruit and bread sensation continues with the flavors, along with spices and cinnamon. Basically, it tastes like a Christmas beer, and I've never been a fan of such beers.

This one is on me. It's a matter of personal preference. If you like those wintery, nutmeg-esque beers, you might enjoy this one. But I've had it a few times over the decades and still can't say I care much for it. Though there are far worse beers out there, even worse winter beers.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Beer of the Week: Bell's Kalamazoo Stout

Beer score: 7.0

Company: Bell's
ABV: 6.0
IBU: 51

Been a long while since I'd had one of these, and I almost didn't recognize it because the label on the bottle had changed quite drastically. But the taste, yeah, it brought back some memories. Originally, meaning decades ago, this beer was brewed by Kalamazoo Brewing Inc. of Kalamazoo, Michigan, but the folks at Bell's have been brewing it for a good long while now, at least 10 to 12 years if not longer.

Anyway, this isn't the strongest stout I've ever had, but it's still pretty darn strong with a thick, syrupy, burnt molasses flavor that's common among many good stouts.

While it's being poured it gives off that dark molasses smell along with hints of chocolate and coffee. The taste is quite similar, and full bodied with a touch of frothy carbonation.

If you're a fan of stouts, you should try this one. It might be a favorite for you or it might not, but I don't think you'll be disappointed with it.