January 2012 Archives

The CZAR Imperial Stout - Avery Brewing Co.

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Avery_Czar.jpgLately it seems that there has been a lot of hubbub on the interwebs of beer regarding Avery Brewing. I had somehow assumed in my ignorance that this was just something we didn't get in Michigan. Anyhow one night when I popped into Siciliano's I asked about Avery, and sure enough, we do have it. So I picked up a bottle of The Czar Imperial Stout.

If you hold it up to the light, it does become transparent, while not the darkest brew on the face of the earth, it's clearly an Imperial Stout. Deep red to the point of great beauty, its nose is very unique, malty, but not in the conventional sense. It smells like fresh mash, if you have ever been to a brewery when they just dumped their mash tun, or have homebrewed, you know what I mean. That heavenly sent that without question exceeds all smells in the universe. So I give it a pretty decent rating for smell, it also has a little bit of a cidery... oh hell it's just got that maltyness that's freaking awesome! Nice mouthfeel, malty notes to match the aroma, and just very well balanced. Not a lot of roasted malt notes - I am not a fan of roasted malt so that suits me just fine - it lacks the carrot flavor of some stouts, and it has limited burnt caramel notes. So while it differs from say Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout in character; this is just simply an excellent stout, absolutely amazing. As Imperial Stouts go I would be temped to put this in the top two with Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. I will have to do a horizontal tasting to place it for sure, but I think it rival Great Divides Yeti, and the gauntlet of Imperial Stouts in the arena.

So this leads me to Mephistopheles, their big bad Imperial Stout. I want to try it, somehow I doubt it comes around these parts. But if it does, I WANT ONE! 

Snifter Glasses

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Tasting.jpgGlass.JPGMy snifters are in for my Winter Stout Tasting. This is my second order from Discount Mugs, they threw in an extra 40% shipment of glasses which was pretty cool. I had ordered from them this summer and the quality of some of the glasses was not what I had expected, they refunded me completely for them. In both cases the art dept did a great job, and the print quality was excellent. I intend to use them for all my future glass orders. They have the best prices, offer a quality product, and accurately predict your arrival date.

So when I finally get the stout tasting scheduled we'll have some decent snifters to remember it by. After some reading I have decided to make better use of my cellar. So far I have been storing my bike in the cellar, and my beer behind my bar. That arrangement has now been rectified. Why buy an expensive cooler when mother nature will take care of the temperature control for you?


Ommegang Seduction

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Seduction.JPGI found myself at International Beverage on Paris, Rishi the owner is a amicable beer and wine connoisseur. He also has a knack to fill ones arms with bottles of ale boasting an altitudinous fare. So while I just stopped in to pick up one ale at best, I found my self touring the store with my arms loaded up with bottles. Rishi being the gentlemen that he is, carried these to the counter for me before I could get my wits about me. My only concern, short of my impoverished pocket book, it that these 'selections' seem unable to elude the influence of his profit margin.

So here I am drinking his 'absolutely amazing' selection. The spicy Belgian yeast strain hits your nose... and that's it. I was waiting for all the complexity, it was a bit cool, so I let it warm, nope still nothing. The spicy yeast strain dominates the entire ale, and leaves little to the imagination, or perhaps everything to the imagination, and nothing to the palate. It does have a nice creamy mouthfeel, and when it warms a hint of chocolate. For the price I would prefer something along the lines of Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse, which carries a bit more complexity. Overall decent, but not really worthy of being shanghaied into again.

Petition to Legalize small-scale home distillation

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Your politics is your business. However, if you homebrew this is something you should consider signing. If it wasn't for people doing this in 1978 it would be 5 Years, $5,000 for homebrewing. Petition the Obama Administration to Legalize small-scale home distillation http://t.co/xS8LjRUp

Not convinced it's a good idea? Read my post Free Spirits in America, and watch this video. Yes there is a small bit of intelligence required to distill, and yes, there is a risk of fire if done over an open flame by a fool. But remember that this is American were fools are allowed to:

  • Operate motor vehicles (yes I agree, stupid people should be banned from the road. Call your senator and get em' off the road).
  • Operate a chain saw.
  • Operate an acetylene torch.
  • Use Knifes.
  • Own semi-automatic firearms.
  • Use a lawn mower.
  • Walk on ice.
  • The list goes on.

But if someone stupid wants to walk on ice, a five year prison sentence is a little harsh. Also keep in mind that legalizing is not the same as complete deregulation. But it would open doors for craft distillers in the making.

Update: There is a decent conversation going on over on reddit.com/r/homebrewing about this. My response to the prohibition era fear mongering that goes on during these discussions is the following.

  1. Distilling is legal for your tractor, just not for you. So all the bit about fire, while it is a danger is a moot point. Its not the reason its illegal.

  2. Nothing comes out the still, that didn't go in. If your homebrew was safe to drink going in, its safe coming out. Yes it is more concentrated and if done poorly might give you a headache.

The reason it's illegal is the same reason we have a three tier system in so many states, the same reason you can't legally homebrew in MS. See my blog post link above.

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2011

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bcs_2011.JPG      Bottled on 11/11/11 this years Bourbon County Stout comes to the table with an additional 1 1/2 % alcohol content from last year. The bourbon and carrot nose hit you the moment you crack open the bottle. With a tingly bourbon sweetness Bourbon County Stout has a smooth, chocolate, velvety mouth-feel that finishes with a never ending tiny bourbon burn on the tongue. This year seems to have a bit more raw alcohol character and a little less bourbon oakiness. Overall this year does not disappoint, I guess big evil AB-Inbev hasn't ruined them yet - let me interject with a quick rant - I hope that instead of taking the Pete's Wicked ale path and the path of every other brew that was ruined by Miller SAB the intrusion of big business takes a different spin this next score and they realize that good capitalism means good ale.

      BCS pours a nice motor oil viscosity, with insignificant head, and a sheer caramel blackness. Overall this winter warmer comes in just under Founders CBS and a stretch past Founders KBS. Right next to Anchor Porter, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Dark Horse Plead the 5th, and Founders CBS (or KBS on tap) this is one of my favorite ales. Granted each tends to be just a bit different in style, and Bourbon County Stout holds its own with the most bourbon of any ale I have had. Thanks to David Stanley at Cascade Meijer for this years brew!

Bourbon County Stout.. Good to the Last Drop!


The Brewmaster


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This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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