Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Adelbert's The Traveler

type: Belgian IPA
origin: Austin, TX
price: $9/750ml
ABV: 7%
NSP: 5.8

Unknown corked beer has been staring at me in the face at Beltro's, so I indulged.  It's a good thing they caged the cork on this because it's ultra carbonated.  Although over-carb'd beers can be annoying, and mask interesting flavors, it's not always the brewer's fault.  In this case the excess is likely due to yeast production since the bottling date, which was almost a year ago.

I have no idea what it tasted like in February of 2014,  but it has more than held up over time, maybe even improved with such a long bottle conditioning.  Now, in February 2015, it's a wonderfully juicy and fruity IPA, with a touch of sweetness from the malt and a bit of subtle Belgian-iness lingering.  Partially because of the carbonation, this is best at a slightly cold temperature; so, let it warm up a touch out of the fridge.

This would be perfect with a nice homemade English muffin with some strawberry preserves slathered all over it.  Any beer that makes me think of eating is alright with me.  Plus, they're talking shit about the range of Belgian IPAs on the label.  Dat's dat dope game.

Batch No. 001 MUH FUKKAH!
Already talkin' shit, right out of the gate.  I approve.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bear Republic Grand-Am

type: American pale ale (basically an IPA)
origin: Cloverdale, CA
price: $8/6-pack
ABV: 6%
NSP: 16.0

Lately I've been wondering what happened to XP, but also noticing a new(ish) beer from Bear Republic: Grand-Am.  At this point I think they just repackaged/rebranded XP, which makes me happy because I've always loved that beer.  Setting that aside, this a fantastic hoppy pale ale.  The term "American pale ale" is code speak by brewers that make excellent IPA's to indicate a mild IPA that would beat most any malt-centric IPA around.  Specifically, this is light, crisp, nicely aromatic and bitter, but not overdone, and a bit citrusy -- just a damn fine APA.  At this NSP it's hard to recommend much else from this category, and the ABV will hit you in the feels after a few.  Highly recommended folks -- rub that lotion.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Monkish Shaolin Fist

type: Belgian dubbel
origin: Torrance, Los Angeles
price: $12/750ml
ABV: 7.0%
NSP: 4.4

I was wondering what the deal with LA was: Are they in a craft beer bubble?  Well apparently not if this is any indication of the state of LA-beer affairs.

With Shaolin Fist, Monkish brewers manage to get those classic dubbel flavors to exist somewhere between subtly and actually perfect.  Peppercorns and yeast lend herbal aromas -- think licorice, anise -- that are really appetizing.  Dubbels are one of the most pleasing beer styles to me since they tow the line between monstrous, flavorful, and rich.  Allagash makes one hell of a dubbel, but so too does Monkish, apparently.  The finish is clean and attenuated, and there's even a touch of kola essence that I looooove.  Fucking nice.

Although the bottle suggests this can be cellared, I doubt it will improve much, and you'll probably just fuck it up by stashing it behind your shit-stained underwear for 6 months.  Just drink the damn bottle, OK!?

So allow me to welcome you to the 36 Chambers, Monkish! Raekwon the Chef has something to say about all this:
Wu-Tang dubbels aint nuttin to fuk wit!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Stone 18th Anniversary IPA

type: IPA
origin: San Diego, CA
price: ~ $7-8/22oz
ABV: 8.5%
NSP: 7.9

After having this I really didn't give two shits about writing a review for it.  (We'll get to why in a second.)  But, that attitude doesn't work very well for beer blogs, so what does it taste like?  Basically... a light version of Stone's Arrogant Bastard.  A big ABV romper with caramel malts running train on your tongue; lots of brown sugar swirling around, ultra bitter, and mildly aromatic.  After a few months out from the bottling date, I'm pretty much meh on this.

As with the Mendocino Anniversary Ale, I'm quite surprised Stone let a great opportunity to have a big release end up being absolutely boring.  Just straight up boring, and yet another example of BA irrelevance.

Although I can see it having a place next to a big fat plate of charred, smoked brisket, how often does that happen for most people besides Chris?  Most of you will just slug this back with a big plate of microwaved leftover brussel sprouts and frozen burritos, right?

In the end I couldn't give less of a shit whether or not people drink this.  But if you do, here's a special treat:
We're so blah blah blah and this IPA is not for the average beer drinker and blah blah blah blah fucking blah.  Thanks for yet another lesson Stone!