Monday, March 27, 2023

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: JW Dundee's Honey Brown Lager

Beer score: 6.7

I didn't have time to try a new beer this week, but here are some notes from a beer I tried years ago, a beer that's no longer with us.

This nice brew was a fine, sweet beer that went down smooth, proof that a good beer doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, since at the time it cost about as much as many premium beers in the bottle.

This was a good drinking beer and somewhat reminded me of Newcastle Brown Ale except this beer was sweeter. It will be missed.

On the plus side, the Genesee Brewery bought out this beer and still makes a version of it called Genesee Specialty Honey Brown, which I've yet to try but perhaps uses the same recipe.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Books read in 2023: No. 10 - The Book of Obadiah

published by Zondervan

Started: March 22
Finished: March 22

Notes: As this is one of the shortest books in the Bible, I thought I'd go ahead and read it before moving on to other material.

Mini review: This short book focuses upon God's punishment of the kingdom of Edom and his promise to restore Israel.

Books read in 2023: No. 9 -- The Book of Amos

published by Zondervan

Started: March 21
Finished: March 22

Notes: Here's the next of the prophetic works from the latter part of the Old Testament. Doing a little digging, I discovered that scholars generally believe this to have been the first written of the prophetic works of the Old Testament.

Mini review: Speaking through the prophet Amos, God basically tells of how He will punish various nations including Israel for their sins against Him, though at least Israel will eventually be revived.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Books read in 2023: No. 8 -- Lightning

by Ed McBain

Started: March 16
Finished: March 21

Notes: I've been reading so much literary and/or serious material of late, I decided to take a break and just read something for fun. Since I love 87th Precinct novels so much, I turn to one of them.

Mini review: A serial rapist and a murderer of young running athletes are loose in the city and the detectives of the 87th Precinct must discover the identities of these perpetrators and bring them to justice. But this novel is a lot more complicated than that, getting quite personal in the lives of a number of the detectives here. For a decade now I've held that the 87th Precinct novel titles Ghosts has been my favorite, and it still is, but Lightning comes darn close ... darn close.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Beer of the Week: Milwaukee's Best Ice

Beer score: 2.2

Company: Molson Coors
ABV: 5.9

Has a very thick, foamy, fizzy head when poured, along with a light golden color. Smells cheap and weak with a touch of sourness.

Tastes like a beer, sort of. More than anything, it tastes like salty fizz with tons of carbonation.

Run while you still can.

But in fairness, there are worse beers. Not many that are worse, but some. At least this is fairly cheap and can get you drunk.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Books read in 2023: No. 7 -- The Bridge of San Luis Rey

by Thornton Wilder

Started: March 8
Finished: March 15

Notes: Wilder is possibly better remembered today as a playwright, but he was also a novelist and won the Pulitzer more than once. I've not read him before, but this book has been on my radar for a while now and is apparently something of a morally philosophical book, so I'm hoping to find it of interest.

Mini review: This was an interesting read but not what I expected. In the late 18th Century in Peru, five people fall their deaths when a rope bridge they are traversing falls apart. A priest witnesses this and decides to write about those five in order to try and make sense of his faith. Not adventurous reading, nor exactly fun, but still interesting philosophically and from a literary point of view.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Beer of the Week: Kozel Premium Lager

Beer score: 8.4

Company: Kozel
ABV: 4.8
IBU: 25

Has a smooth caramel flavor that isn't overly strong, but not too weak, either.

Not the best-tasting beer in the world, but pretty darn good. Pretty smooth and very wet. Has a creamy texture as it goes down that is a bit confusing because you expect this beer to be fizzy due to its taste.

Beer snobs will find this an interesting and different treat. Just when I thought I'd tasted it all ...

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Books read in 2023: No. 6 -- Vox Machina Origins: Series I and II Collection

from Critical Role

Started: March 8
Finished: March 11

Notes: If you aren't familiar with Critical Role or Vox Machina, then you probably don't play Dungeons & Dragons, or at least you're likely not one of the younger, newer players of D&D. Critical Role is a tabletop roleplaying group (in real life) and their fictional adventuring party is Vox Machina. They are quite popular online, especially at video sites like YouTube, and there's even a television animated show. I don't watch Critical Role myself, but I have seen the animated series and found it fun, which lead me to this book when I saw it in a library recently. This particular is a graphic novel collection of the early days of Vox Machina, how the characters met each others, etc. Much of my reading of late has been interesting but not exactly fun, so I'm looking forward to this.

Mini review: This one was a lot of fun with a lot of cool art. This book contains several tales of how the members of Vox Machina came to know one another, and detailed are a number of their early adventures together. Any D&D fan should enjoy this.

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Books read in 2023: No. 5 -- The Book of Joel

published by Zondervan

Started: March 7
Finished: March 7

Notes: If I'm ever going to finish reading this Bible, I need to get to it. This being one of the shorter books, I thought I'd slip it in between my other readings.

Mini review: Early in this book are warnings of tragedies to come, but most of the rest of the book are warnings to nations other than Judah and Israel. There's not much context here, so it's difficult to pinpoint a period of when these prophecies and warnings would be important, but in my opinion the latter part of this book seemed to about the Second Temple Period or at least the post-exile, but there really isn't enough information to say for sure.

Books read in 2023: No. 4 -- Little Men

by Louis May Alcott

Started: Jan. 31
Finished: March 7

Notes: Nearly a decade ago I read Little Women for the first time and quite loved the book, so when I ran across a copy of the sequel in a used book store, I just knew I had to snag it and give it a read.

Mini review: I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as Little Women. I believe my main problem here was that there really wasn't a continual plot, but that this is really a collection of cute and quaint events that happen among children in a school during one summer. There's some mild humor here, and that I appreciated, and it was nice to return to some of the characters from Little Women, though they are adults here, but overall I felt this one was something of a slog.

Monday, March 06, 2023

Beer of the Week: The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel

Beer score: 5.0

Company: The Bruery
ABV: 8.1
IBU: 25

In all fairness, this is a quality brew. But I just didn't care for the flavor, thus the relatively low beer score on my part.

That being said, there are probably plenty of beer snobs who would love this beer.

I have to admit, this is one of the more unique tasting beers I've tried. It's a Belgian-style ale but it's brewed with Thai basil and rice, which is enough to make this an unusual beer and worth trying.

When I poured it into a glass, it had a nice, light blonde color and quite the foamy head.

The scent is quite strong, and I could really smell the basil along with some floral elements.

There's not a lot of alcohol flavor here, which isn't a bad thing, though there is an overabundance of bitterness which is where this drink went bad for me. There's also a wheat flavor, some citrus, notes, and you can taste the rice.

Again, this is actually a good quality beer, but it's just not my thing.