Monday, April 24, 2023

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

Beer score: 6.2

This was one of the few light beers that actually tasted very much like its original, non-light version. But unfortunately this beer is no longer being produced.

It was sweet, to the point of growing slightly annoying after you had had several, and somewhat fizzy (as can be expected from a light beer).

The cost was about the same as most premium light beers, but the taste was much better. Too bad it's no longer around.

Books read in 2023: No. 15 - The Book of Micah

published by Zondervan

Started: April 23
Finished: April 24

Notes: I'm slowly working my way through the prophetic works near the end of the Old Testament, so I thought I'd sneak this one in between other works I'm reading.

Mini review: Themes familiar to the Old Testament prophets are revisited here, such as God's wrath against Israel for its sins, God's eventual forgiveness of Israel, Israel's eventual return to the homeland, etc. However, I did notice here a subtle message of a messiah, and a mention of Bethlehem, which most Christians would probably jump on as a prophecy of Christ's birth.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Books read in 2023: No. 14 -- California: A Novel

by Edan Lepucki

Started: April 14
Finished: April 23

Notes: I don't remember why I placed it there, but for some time this novel has been on my list of books I want to read. I suppose something drew it to my attention, and perhaps by reading it I will remember why. Or maybe not. Either way, hopefully I'll enjoy this one (as I always hope when reading, of course).

Mini review: This was a damn good novel. In fact, it is possibly the best novel I've read this year, other than the ending which I felt just petered out. It's not quite a post-apocalyptic novel, but sort of a pre-apocalyptic novel. In a near-future where climate change has made major differences throughout the world, society and governments are failing. In all this mess, a 20-something couple flees Los Angeles and heads into the woods to survive. After being in the wilds a couple of years, they discover others living not so far away in an encampment of sorts. I'll stop there. I'll just say, this novel has plenty of surprises. Also, for those who usually enjoy post-apocalyptic novels, there's not any action here. The violence and such that happens is almost entirely off screen, so to speak. Still, this is quite the novel. Also, "California" is not only part of the locale of this tale, but it's also the nickname of one of the main characters.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Beer of the Week: Guinness Draught

Beer score: 8.4

Company: Guinness
ABV: 4.2
IBU: 50

Guinness is an old staple for stout lovers, and this one won't disappoint.

Pours black into the glass while giving off strong smells of burnt coffee and chocolate.

Has an extremely smooth head to it. In fact, the smoothest, frothiest head on any beer I've ever had.

Has the expected Guinness strength, though in my opinion not quite as tasty as Guinness Extra Stout. Still, it has plenty of burnt caramel flavoring.

Not the best stout, but still a darn good one and worth tasting ... or even sipping regularly.

And in case you're wondering, a "draught" or "draft" beer is one usually taken directly from the keg, though in this case "draught" is a marketing designation meaning the beer is supposed to taste and feel like it's straight from the keg, which is usually accomplished a few different ways, such as by including a small ball inside the can or bottle or by coating the inside of the can or bottle with a special texture, plus there are a few other ways to do this.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Books read in 2023: No. 13 - The Book of Jonah

published by Zondervan

Started: April 14
Finished: April 14

Notes: Yes, this book contains the famous tale of Jonah being swallowed by a giant fish, usually thought to be a whale.

Mini review: This is a short book for the Bible, but even considering this brevity, the part of Jonah being swallowed by a fish takes up a very small part of the overall text. Mostly, God orders Jonah to go to one city or another and warn them of God's wrath unless they change the citizens change their ways. Usually Jonah doesn't want to go, and even when he does, things don't work out like he expected.

Books read in 2023: No. 12 -- The Magician's Assistant

by Ann Patchett

Started: April 2
Finished: April 14

Notes: Sometimes we pick up a book for simplistic, even silly reasons. In this case, I snagged this one because I found the title intriguing and because there's a bunny rabbit on the cover, and I'm a sucker for rabbits. It also helps that this is a female writer, and I feel I don't read enough material from women.

Mini review: A magician passes away and his widow soon finds out he has a past of which she did not know. There is more to it than this, and the relationships of this novel are more complicated than this, but to tell more might give away too much. Let's just say this is a story of family, all kinds of family, and ultimately of love. This was also something of a charming tale. I'm glad I read it. And yes, there is a house rabbit, which delighted me.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Beer of the Week: Road Dog Porter

Beer score: 5.3

Company: Flying Dog Brewery
ABV: 3.15
IBU: 31

At this point, Flying Dog beers have become oldies but goodies because they've been around a few decades. This isn't their best, in my opinion, but it's not a bad beer.

When pouring, the color is a dark amber reddish-brown, while giving off scents of roasted coffee beans and a hint of vanilla.

This beer is a little sweet with a slight burnt taste, reminding me of many Scottish ales. This one goes down quite dry and keeps that roasted quality coffee along with the sweetness.

Again, not the greatest beer ever, but not bad stuff. Worth a try.

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Whiskey and You

Been a long while since I've done a Quotes post, but fellow Kentuckian Chris Stapleton can't be missed by me. This is for his song "Whiskey and You." This isn't the whole song, but my favorite parts of it.

There's a bottle
On the dresser by your ring
And it's empty
So right now I don't feel a thing
I'll be hurting
When I wake up on the floor
But I'll be over it by noon
That's the difference between whiskey and you.

I've got a problem
But it ain't like what you think
I drink because I'm lonesome
And I'm lonesome 'cause I drink
But if I don't break down
And bring it on myself
It'll hit out of the blue
That's the difference between whiskey and you.

Monday, April 03, 2023

Beer of the Week: Augustiner Brau Munchen Maximator

Beer score: 5.4

Company: Augustiner Brau
ABV: 7.5

Pours a very dark color, like a cola or dark tea, while giving off sweet scents of maple.

Way too much sweetness in drinking this one, at least for me. Definitely has strong flavors of caramel and toffee with a bit of woody and nutty flavoring. Unfortunately, the depths of all that malty sweetness overpowers the complex flavors, lessening my enjoyment of this one.

Still, not the worst beer in the world, and it's worth tasting at least once so you'll know about it and won't have to try it again unless you want to.

Sunday, April 02, 2023

Books read in 2023: No. 11 -- Lizzie: A Novel

by Evan Hunter

Started: March 22
Finished: April 2

Notes: Evan Hunter is one of my favorite authors (especially under his Ed McBain name), so I'm interested in reading his take (though fictional) on the Lizzie Borden case. I'm pretty well read on Lizzie Borden and know the case pretty well, so I'm expecting this to be a good read.

Mini review: This one was a mixed bag for me, mainly because it was told in two different timelines and I generally find that approach annoying. The one timeline was basically the trial of Lizzie Borden, and this was written directly from the transcripts, so this part of the book was less fiction and could be of interest to those who want to study the case. The other timeline was almost completely fiction and took place a few years earlier during a trip Lizzie took to Europe. As far as who did the crimes, I don't have a problem with the author's narrative, or even the how, but his conclusions for the why I find rather fanciful.