Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bell's Hopslam

This is a blog of passion. Having tried this brew a year ago, we decided to pick up an eighteen dollar six pack of it this Sunday. It didn't last a mere two hours once we got it home. So this Wednesday, Mike drove thirty miles in a snow storm to get more. Was it worth risking his life for? You're goddamn right it was! We have had a great many Bell's and a great many IPA's but today, we have never been more proud to present our official review of Bell's Hopslam Ale.
The pour is an orangish golden color and the smell is pure imagination. The taste, heaven. We can not express our love for this beer in full detail in just one blog. Let's just put it this way: If we were Harry, this is when we met Sally or as Oz would say, "When Noah met Allie." Honey overtones soften the hops but in a tasteful way to not discourage hopheads like ourselves. Bell's Hopslam has just the right amount of kick and alcohol flavor while the hops linger the way an IPA should.

This 10% IPA has one major downfall, it's limited release. Seriously, even the hefty price tag isn't the issue. We could drink Hopslam all year round. This March, when the beer markets and liquor stores stop selling this fine IPA, we will be like Rose from the Titanic, we'll "never let you go." Hopslam, you will alway have our hearts as well as our stomach's. We will enjoy you as much as we can this year and only hope Bell's brings you back next.

Oz Scale: 9.9
Mike Scale: 9.9
A new high for the blog.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dogfish Head Midas Touch Golden Elixir

Midas can turn objects to gold and Dogfish Head can turn beer into wine. Midas Touch is a recreation of the actual oldest-known fermented beverage in the world. It is made with honey, saffron, papaya, melon, biscuity and succulent. Interesting. For a worldly brew, we brought in a worldly friend, Allison, to help us today in judging if Dogfish Head made this beer into gold.

There is a grape taste throughout. There isn't a strong start and the beer plateaus to the weak finish. Fruity overtones cast upon this brew with a light body tingle and a slight alcohol burn. The flavors linger like a wine but it doesn't feel like a 9% ABV.

Dogfish Head put it's own magic touch on this brew, which we are pretty sure it isn't a golden one. They have struck gold with many other brews, but Midas failed to touch our hearts. An interesting mash-up of wine, beer and mead, it should have been named it Catholic Priest Touch.

Oz Scale: 6.1
Mike Scale: 6.2
Allison Scale: 6.0

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Holland The Poet

Raven on the bottle. The Poet. Sounds like New Holland styled their bottle to the likings of a drunk who married his thirteen year old first cousin. "Art in Fermented Form" the bottle claims. Hmm. We think they might be missing a 'F' somewhere but not at the end. Lame as that joke may be, the beer equals this.

The beer has the slightest kick and trails off into what a Guiness Light would taste like. The oats and chocolate charicteristics are hidden behind a creamy watery mess. In the bottle holds all things that make an oatmeal stout great but in our opinion, New Holland's Poet has the taste most Michigan fans have had lately. Shitty. We wear our Tressel vests.

Weak front to finish
A ligheter version of Guinness
Stumbles on its face
In someone else's cooler is its place
More lame than FDR's legs
A better beer, our lips do beg
Something that's flavor is heroic
Something that is not New Holland's The Poet
Nevermore will we drink this again.

Oz Scale: 5.1
Mike Scale: 5.2

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bell's Sparkling Ale

A taste of the bubbly in a beer? How can you make a champagne style beer? Bells is brave enough to attempt the challenge with their American style Tripel. While our Champagne knowledge is limited, our proficiency of beer is great enough and we are up for the challenge for this winter seasonal.

The color and sediment is missing for a tripel. The punch hits in the middle and leaves a tingling feeling on the mouth. It is a little bland for a 9% ABV brew. The kick is reminiscent of a barleywine but doesn't have the negatives it is associated with. The taste lingers on the tip of the tongue with a sweet, fruity taste. However, it feels like a light ale that someone dropped some vodka into the barrel.

It is a unique style brew but doesn't seem to convince anyone of it's superiority. The brew could be more reminiscent of a Belgian Tripel but it decided to take matters upon its own hands and that is where things could have worked. In appreciation of everything that is and could have been:

Oz Scale: 6.7
Mike Scale: 6.3

Monday, January 12, 2009

Founder's Old Curmudgeon

How does one finish a great weekend?... One gets too drunk to even attempt at beer blogging. While this may be the first sign of a problem, we promise to humbly deliver our Sunday beer blog on this Monday. I guess we could say that we gave the Lord a rest. However, on a goodwill mission to a local bar, Oz craftily arranged for an outside opinion for a future review. A*is*n and B**ky (the names have been edited to protect the innocent until we can take away their beverage innocence) have promised to give their American commercial brew opinion on our page. We pretentiously add in advance that their opinion doesn't matter... Just kidding. We value everything a woman has to say. No, we aren't bitter. However, we like our beer that way.

Today, we knew we were in for a challenging beer. Old Curmudgeon... wow, the name even sounds tough. Curmudgeon is another word for a stubborn asshole... hmm... how could we ever relate to this beer? The bottle only warns of a 9.3% ABV and a drinking during pregnancy. Please reference the video below of our first tasting to get an idea of the true power of this beast.

The brew starts strong like a low Db power chord and ends in a tremolo picking blaze. Nick, where are you at when when we need you? Flavors similar to brown sugar, molasses, plum and Noni juice hit the pallet harder than if Mike Tyson fronted a Henry Rollins tribute band. There is a TV Party in my mouth. This is not a gateway beer, it is for full blown drunks, I mean... connoisseurs.

We were challenged and we conquered. We might have lost a battle or two but we won the war of two beers apiece. There were a couple taste bud casualties along the way but in the end, General Lee surrendered. It was not easy to finish all four beers, we could have took the King Edward Van Halen way and whammy ourselves out but we did the Jimi thing and just bent the note until it was right. We scored higher for originality over personal preference on this brew due to the complex uniqueness of the flavor.

Oz Scale: 7.0

Mike Scale: 6.8

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rogue Dry Hopped St. Rogue Red Ale

When one has an immaculate journey to the inn at the last home, it is essential to try Oz's (Otik's) World Famous Spicy Potatoes. The best way to cleanse your pallet is a dry hopped red ale from Rogue. Three good friends from This Dust Was Once the Man and their fellow journeyman & guest judge, Jason, sat down to tackle such a feat in a low lit basement.

The brew starts out like a typical red ale and continues this to middle. However, unlike most red ales, the hops begin to take over and leaves a distinct bitterness as the beer finishes. Essentially, red ales are associated with their lingering aftertaste, the St. Rogue Red Ale accentuates the epic plateau of the latter half setting you up for a rather atypical coastic finish.
Even though Moses composed Genesis 2000 years before any known written language, it's obvious Rogue has produced a better crimson product, namely this ale. We crossed the red sea, but in beer form.
Oz Scale: 7.7
Mike Sclae: 8.0
Nick Scale: 8.3
Jason Scale: 6.7

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lagunitas Brown Shugga

California is super cool to the homeless. They've got some tasty brews as well. However, living in Ohio limits the amount of west coast brews accessible to us. The most common being Sierra Nevada followed by Stone, Anchor and Lagunitas. Between us, we have tried two or three different Lagunitas with generally positive reviews. Our good friend Nick has come to help us with our review (also to be a grammar Nazi-- we didn't listen to him once.)

Today we sample Brown Shugga, a strong seasonal ale consisting of just five ingredients: barley, hops, brown sugar, yeast and water. It kicks in with a punch and doesn't let you down to the finish. As the glass becomes less full, the flavor only improves. The box claims a 9.9% ABV and 52.1 IBU while the bottle claims 9.5% ABV and 51.1 IBU. Regardless, this beer has a unique flavor that leaves us excited to try others from this brewery.

It does get style points for uniqueness but the hops inevitably eclipse the initial taste. This six pack is best enjoyed with friends because it is difficult to consume alone. In case you catch someone stealing some out of your fridge, please feel free to sing some Rolling Stones.

Oz Scale: 7.8
Mike Scale: 8.1
Nick Scale: 7.8

Thursday, January 1, 2009

So This is the New Year: Battle of the IPA's

By now, everyone should know that we are hopheads. The rare breed of beer drinker that likes their brew more bitter than a North East Ohio winter and with more hops than the king, LeBron James. Our bitter beer faces are all smiles.

With a new year brings new challenges, you know, remembering to write an 09 instead of an 08 on the rent check. It also brings us to our first challenge of the year: The battle of the IPA's. Since we wanted to start out the new year strong, today we sample two of our favorite IPA's for yet another blind taste test: Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA and Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. Both IPA's are double hopped and have a 9%ABV but the Double Simcoe is bottle fermented. This poses a problem: How do we keep this a blind tasting when one has yeast floating in the bottle? Simple. Turn off all lights-- after all this is a blind tasting. To help keep things fair today is Mr. Johnny V.

Fist Brew: The start is not as strong as one would expect from the style but we are okay with that. It has a unique taste that somehow still adheres the the IPA formula. The brew finishes well with an obviously high ABV but not as bitter as we would have hoped. This delicious brew seems to lack something we can't put our finger on, but it sure as hell gets two thumbs up anyway.

Oz Scale: 8.0
Mike Scale: 8.3

Second Brew: This brew has an incredible hoppy aroma. With a slightly slow start that crescendos to almost an overpowering taste that leaves you with two hands in the air plummeting down to a climatic finish. Some beers have a stairway to heaven, this brew has a glass elevator to eternal bliss (at least until the 4-pack is done.)

Oz Scale: 8.8
Mike Scale: 8.7

It was later revealed to us that the Dogfish Head lead off our tasting followed by the Weyerbacher. I guess the rare simcoe hops seem to have our a-card. If you are a hop enthusiast, we recommend trying both these delectable brews on your search for the perfect IPA. In conjunction with this review, Blood of Christ Winery has added both of these brews on tap.