Sunday, February 28, 2010

3 cups = 1 bottle of wine, who knew?

It's Oscar time, and Mrs. Rye is squeezing a years worth of movies into 3 weeks, she recently watched Julie & Julia, and now I have to make Boeuf Bourguignon, the Julia Child version of course.

What's that have to do with a drinking site?  The recipe calls for 3 cups of red wine, which is ever so slightly less than a bottle of wine.

What's Boeuf Bourguignon?  The best damn pot roast that you've ever had.

There are two things that shocked me about this recipe?  I really can't believe that 3 cups is an entire bottle of wine.  Also, before I saw this movie, I thought Julia Child was French.  Turns out that she just spoke oddly.

My sauce should be finished reducing by now.  Bon Appetit!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wry World of Sports Salutes the Canadian Women's Hockey Team

Shocking news came out of the Olympics today.  Women play hockey.  Who knew?  The Canadians beat the US to take the gold and they've caused quite the stir by coming back out onto the ice with beer, champagne and cigars to celebrate.  One of the team members was a year under the drinking age.  Gasp!  How are people supposed to explain to their children that adults like to have fun after they have achieved a lifelong goal?

To all of the fuddy duddies that are unhappy with the ladies behavior, we at Two Parts Rye would like to invite you to go fuck yourselves.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rutz Cellars 2005 Dutton Ranch Russian River Pinot Noir and the Venturi Wine Aerator

For those who care, the release notes can be found here.

I had this at a tasting.  It's beyond my usual price point, but a quality wine is worth it.  Cousin David was at the same tasting, and he left with a case.  He's moving from the boonies of Tennesee to the boonies of Ohio, so when he finds something he likes, he buys in bulk.

I felt like having a good red with dinner tonight, so I grabbed this one off of the rack.  My first thought was that it was good, but it was too tight and needed to breathe.  "Too tight" and "needs to breathe" are expressions that us so-called-wine experts use so that people like you think that we are smarter than you.  We like to keep the rabble in their place.  (Once again, drinking while blogging,)

Behold!  My Valentine's day gift from Mrs. Rye.  The Venturi Red Wine Aerator.  The idea is that instead of decanting a good bottle of wine, you pour it through the aerator and get a similar result.  I don't think that it completely replaces the decanter, but when you're opening a bottle for yourself, and not a dinner party, it's an acceptable substitute.  When you pour the wine, it emits a weird hissing noise, kind of like when you are fixing that drip your bathroom sink and the under-the-sink shutoff valve sounds like it's going to explode when you try to close it.  Aaah, the joy of do-it-yourself plumbing in an older house.  I think that the aerator does make a difference.  There may be some placebo affect, but I don't care.

So how did it taste?  It has nice acidity and a nice velvet texture on the tongue, with some cherry, plum, and leather notes in the flavor.

Cost: $34.99
Grade: B+
Cost Adjusted Grade: B

Left Hand Brewing Company Fade To Black

Web Stuff:  Welcome to FADE TO BLACK.  No need to shout.  That time of the year when the day seems to fade away.  Drifting further into darkness with each passing day.  This is a beer for the clinically depressed.

How does it taste?  It's smokey at the beginning, which usually isn't my thing.  To their credit, it does not linger and the beer has a clean, bitter, stout finish.

Cost: Mix & Match
Grade: B-.  Stout lovers would probably grade it higher.

I can now sleep peacefully

Judging by the amount of dust on these bottles, the global Angostura shortage is not over.  At least I'll be able to survive the drought.  Civilization has been saved.  "Barmageddon" has been put on hold.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

House Gin Challenge: The Gin & Tonic

It's odd.  Not that long ago, my bar was disturbingly ginless.  Now I have 4.  Time for a gin challenge.  I'll be doing three challenges: neat, the martini, and the gin & tonic.  Which very well means that we could have 1-3 winners.  Like the other House challenges, we'll pit these winners against other brands as I acquire them.  Since gin always gives me a hangover, I'm pretty sure that keeping the the winners winners in stock won't be an issue.

We are using Q Tonic tonight, which is made with agave nectar instead of corn syrup.  It's lo-cal, still flavorful, and ridiculously expensive for a mixer.  If anyone knows of a cane sugar based tonic, I'd be interested.

It seems logical to see which of the Rogue gins works best.  I have already reviewed the Rogue Spruce gin.  The Pink Spruce takes it up a notch,  they age the spruce gin in pinot barrels.

The pink gin is slightly overwhelmed by the tonic.  The spruce on the other hand, overwhelms the tonic.  I'll go with the spruce since I still want to taste the gin.

The next semifinal will be between Whitley Neill London Dry Gin and New Amsterdam.  The Whitley Neill tastes like your protypical gin, with juniper and orange peel being the dominant flavors.  The vanilla flavor of New Amsterdam really comes through here.  I found that flavor to be nice when drinking it straight, but it is off-putting and tastes artificial when mixed with Tonic.

The final is Whitley Neill vs Rogue Spruce:  The battle of the evergreens.  The Rogue Spruce is really interesting.  It's just a little strong.  I'm going to go with the traditional style of Whitley Neill for my gin and tonic.  I'm looking forward to see how the Rogues and New Amsterdam work in a martini, but not tonight.  I feel my quinine hangover creeping in already.  At least I'm safe from malaria.

The House Gin & Tonic Winner: Whitley Neill.

What in the Wry World of Sports is going on here?

I you like that pun, you'll love my basketball tag line.  Hint 82-84 Houston Cougars.


What Tiger should have said at his press conference last Friday.  "I'm a rich asshole.  Now if you excuse me, I have a noon tee-time."

Tony Kornheiser gets suspended from PTI becaause he made fun of this outfit on the radio...

Maybe she was auditioning for Cougar Town, which is aired on ESPN's sister network: ABC?

Founder's Dry Hopped IPA

Web Stuff: Pale Ale 5.4% ABV 35 IBU’S

A testament to Cascade hops in a bottle. This medium-bodied pale ale has a distinctive floral hop aroma and refreshing citrus flavor. You’ll notice a slight malty sweetness with a balanced hop finish. Perfect to enjoy anytime, anywhere.

How does it taste?  The initial sip is really bitter.  But somehow, it mellows out and tastes like their web description.  It's a nice IPA.
Cost: Mix & Match
Grade: B

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tales from the top shelf: Po Traminer di Poli

I don't like grappa.  Why would anyone like it?  It's made from the by-products of wine production, (stems, skins, seeds, etc) creating the liquor equivalent of razor burn.  For some reason, I decided to pick up this artisanal grappa and man, I have to reassess everything that I thought I knew about grappa.

I've had a couple of decent grappas from Clear Creek Distillery, but they still had a harsh edge in the background.  Not so for the Poli.  This particular grappa is made from the traminer, (aka gewürztraminer).  It's light, slightly sweet, with hints of fresh herbs like mint and green tea.  It's really delicious.  One of the best spirits in my collection.

Cost: $56.85
Grade: A
Cost Adjusted Grade: A

Kentucky Ale

Label stuff:  The official beer of the Alltech FEI Equestrian Games


How does it taste?  Like Sam Adams

Cost: Mix & Match 6 pack
Grade: B-

Heavy Seas Below Decks

Web Stuff:
Hops: Magnum, Fuggles, Goldings
Malts: Pale, Crystal and Carapils
ABV: 10.0%

Created to celebrate Clipper City’s 10th Anniversary – extremely limited and “vintage” dated – this extravagantly malty barley wine will show well upon release but continue to evolve for years.

Review:  It's a delicious barley wine.  Slightly sweet, nice hop flavor.  I hope that I can find a few more bottles to cellar.

 I did:  Whoo-hoo!

Cost: Mix & Match
Grade: A

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Free stuff at last!

Sadly, only the nifty rocks glasses were free.
Apparently it's illegal to send free liquor.
Stupid laws.

However, we can win some free hooch.  Go register at
The blog with the most click-thru's and memberships gets a free party.
You'll be invited.

Am I selling out?
Not really.
Go here, here, here, and here
to see that Buffalo Trace has long been the
House Bourbon of Two Parts Rye.

Big Problem

I'm trying to talk myself off the ledge.  I just found out that there is a global shortage of Angostura bitters, the final and vital ingredient to a manhattan.

How did I come across this nugget?  We're going out for my neighbor's birthday tonight and I wanted to throw a nice gift together.  I got him a cocktail book, and one of those big 50's shaker/pitcher at a local antique (junk) shop.  I figured that I'd get some small bottles of vermouth, some bitters, things that not everyone has at home, and that would be a pretty nice gift.  I'm at the liquor store and I tell them that I can't believe that they don't have any angostura.

"Good luck finding that anywhere honey".

Apparently there has been a dispute with their bottle manufacturer, but the shortage should be over soon.

She told me to use Peychaud's instead.

Fuck Peychaud's.

Angostura tastes like rootbeer and cloves.  Peychaud's tastes like watered down Robitussin.

Let's hope that they get their act together down in Trinidad and Tobago.  I only have 1/3 of a bottle left.

One more note, as I was showing Mrs. Rye his present, she says. "You know that his roommate is in AA don't you."  Info that would have been valuable 3 hours ago.  Of course, I'm wondering how I missed out on the angostura plant shutting down in November.  Feeling out of the loop here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Villa Sparina Gavi

I have some friends that really love this wine.  I thought that I'd give it a shot when I put together my case for the month.  This is a standard Italian table wine.  It's acidic with some mineral quality that reminds me of Grüner Veltliner. 

Gavi is a region in Piedmont.  It's made with the Cortese grape.  It's a nice drinkable wine, just not at this price.

Cost: $19.99
Grade: B
Cost Adjusted Grade: C

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why not have a "summer" beer in February?

There are unwritten rules, you drink darker, heavier beers in the winter, and lighter, milder beers in the summer.  Poppycock.

Guinness has a brewery in Jamaica, where their stout is quite popular.  If they can drink stout in the tropics, I can drink a lighter beer after shoveling snow.  Here's a few of them.

Atwater Dirty Blonde: Made with unmalted wheat, coriander and orange peel to help you live smart and enjoy everyday!
Taste?  Light, flavorful, not highly carbonated, and it goes down fast.  Insert your own dirty blonde joke here.
Grade: B+

 Smuttynose Star Island Single: Our Star Island Single is an eminently sessionable, abbey-style ale offering a beguiling mix of flavor and refreshment. This medium-bodied golden ale features a slight residual sweetness from Honey Malt and hints of citrus and tropical fruits from the unique Belgian yeast it is fermented with, leaving a crisp dry finish. Enjoy it sociably while you savor good times, tall tales, friendly company & life’s unexpected pleasures.

Flavor profile?  My notes said pleasant, but not great.  I knew something was not quite right.  Turns out that it has some Belgian yeast.  Holy Belgium man!  Must they ruin everything!

Grade: C+

Sam Adams Light:  There's not much to say.  It tastes like Sam Adams, but slightly water down.

Grade:  C+

Monday, February 15, 2010

EOS 2006 Estate Bottled Paso Robles Zinfandel Port

Port usually isn't my favorite thing.  Typically, the sweetness is too much.  This port style wine from california tastes like a glass of blackberry jam with a slight oak, herbal finish.  Considering that it is made from Zinfandel, this is not surprising.  Fortunately, I like blackberry jam.

Label stuff:  Intense aromas of cherry and blackberry lead to a complex mix of licorice, pepermint, black pepper and caramel.  Full-bodied with profound jammy fruit flavors, the wine has a lengthy balanced finish with accents of mocha and pecan.

Cost:  $27.99 for 375 ml
Grade: B+
Cost Adjusted Grade: B+.  I know that this is a lot of money for a half bottle of wine.  This one has reached the point where the quality matches the price.  And, a little bit of port goes a long way, plus port will keep for a few weeks after opening.  I will be picking up a replacement bottle or two to cellar.  I expect the sweetness to become more subtle with time.

C-Buzzed: The Pub Polaris

I opined in the last session that it was not easy to find cask ale.  Little did I know that the pub down the road from my office not only has a cask conditioned ale on tap, but it's a rotation of cask ales from Brew Dog, the (im)-famous scottish brewery.  That's reason enough for me to make a few return visits.  Currently they have the Paradox on tap.  It's a stout aged in Scotch barrels.  I normally don't like smokey beers, but this one works.  The rest of their beer list is rather impressive, with quite a nice selection of English/Irish/Scotch beers that you don't normally see on tap in US bars.  See the list here.

They have the normal bar food, along with some traditional english food.  I got bangers and mash.  That's sausage, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots.  Simple, greasy goodness that begs for at least two pints to un-clog your arteries.

As you have guessed by now, I liked this bar a lot.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is that a bottle of tequila or are you happy to see me?

Web stuff:  Ricardo Gamarra, founder of AsomBroso tequila, searched far and wide for a unique bottle that might equal the exquisite tequila he wanted to bring to market. When he came across a crystal decanter in an 18th century English castle, Ricardo was smitten and paid $2,200 for the antique. The bottle featured a delicate hand-crafted Millefiore "Thousand Flowers" design where the thick base sprouts tiny glass flowers inside the bottle. Ricardo then searched far and wide for a glass manufacturer that could replicate this beautiful design for his AsomBroso tequila.

Though he couldn't find a company to fulfill his dream exactly, he found a glass bottle producer in Mexico that could match the dimensions and appearance of the bottle with hand-made bottles featuring a deep punt. "It's a very complicated bottle," Ricardo explains.

AsomBroso bottles have a deeply embossed "sun" that contains an AsomBroso capital "A" seal. The La Rosa line, which gets its unique pink color from French Bordeaux wine barrels, features hand-painted stems and flowers directly on the bottle.

Ricardo takes pride in the many special editions that reinforce the elegance of the crystal decanter he found in England. Today, the Millefiore design is most accurately replicated by an Italian glass manufacturer in the AsomBroso limited edition bottle for the double-barrell aged Del Porto.

I have no review:  I did not buy this tequila, but I know comedy gold when it's staring me in the face like morning wood.  Or I should say morning crystal?  Ricardo must have been surrounded by yes men. Seriously, didn't anyone tell him that his bottle looks like a giant cock?

It was named top tequila at the 2008 San Francisco world spirit competition.  There's a shocker.

I think that they need some new slogans:
  • Favored by one-eyed sailors everywhere
  • Mexico's #1 headache cure
  • Hold on tight, you're in for a bumpy ride.
Any suggestions?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tales from the top shelf: Rogue Spruce Gin

This one just showed up at Weiland's.  I'm excited.  I like Rogue's beer a lot and I'm looking forward to trying some of their spirits.

Web stuff:
Proof: 90
Tasting Notes: Rogue Spirits released the first ever Spruce Gin, made with 14 ingredients in October of 2006

14 Ingredients: Spruce, cucumber, angelica root, orange peel, coriander, lemon peel, ginger, orris root, grains of paradise, tangerine, juniper berries. Champagne Yeast, Grain Neutral Spirit & Free Range Coastal Water.

The real tasting notes:  It's definitely got some pine flavor to it.  But lets be honest.  All gins do since they are flavored with juniper which is also an evergreen.  This one's got a bit of a bite, but it's not a bad bite.  Very drinkable on the rocks.  I have an idea for a cocktail.  Be right back.

Here's what I came up with.
2 Parts Spruce gin
1 part cointreau
Squeeze the juice of a lime wedge and drop the wedge in the glass.
Swirl and drink.

Yummm.  Booze.

Cost: $36.50
Grade: A-
Cost Adjusted Grade: B+

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Two Parts Wry: Marv and the Czar

Has anyone else noticed that Marv Albert and Mike Fratello have the same toupee?

Murai Family Nigori Genshu Sake

That's not milk folks.  That's what happens when you leave the rice in the sake.  Nigori means cloudy and Genshu means undiluted.  It has the sour apple flavor that one expects from a good sake.  I also get slight hints of vanilla and caramel.  At 19.9% alcohol, it's got a nice kick.

Cost: $9.99 for 300 ml
Grade: A
Cost Adjusted Grade: A

Two Parts Wry Post Super Bowl Malaise

I was surprised that the Colts lost this one.  Not that I could give two shits as to who won.  I just wanted a good game.  I'm not a Manning hater.  The only thing that I don't like about the Saints is the media telling us how much we need to like them because of Katrina.  I had a similar reaction to Tampa Bay.  We were supposed to like them because they sucked for decades and Tony Dungy is such a great guy.  Is he coaching my team?  No.  Then eff him.

There is one thing that I do hate about Manning. After a playoff loss, he struggles to not blame his teammates.  Letting us know that it wasn't his fault.  It was your fault.  They read you like a book.

Now what do we watch?  There's the snowless winter Olympics in Vancouver.  That should be interesting.  The one thing that gets me through the winter are the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Please don't go Lebron.  I'll be bored and have to spend quality time with my family.

I'm a fan of homer announcers.  The Cavs have one of the greatest in Austin Carr on FSN Ohio.  Look up the AC drinking game.  You'll never be sober.

Drafts From the Cultural Hub of the Midwest: Great Lakes Commodore Perry

Web Stuff:
TYPE/STYLE:  India Pale Ale: The Bow Brewery in London exported this pale ale to the multitude of British soldiers, colonial administrators and settlers in India. This pale ale style was a strong candidate for shipping due to the high potency and high level of attenuation.

FOOD COMPLEMENTS:  Red meats and strong cheeses.

BRAND NAME:  This monumental India Pale Ale honors the hero from The War of 1812 who battled the enemy on Lake Erie.

Is it tasty?  It is a little bitter, but still very drinkable.  As you get to the bottom of the mug, it becomes a little sweeter and nuttier while still having some bite at the finish.

Grade: B

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chateau Greysac

A much better review of this wine can be found here.   I know this guy, and he knows a hell of a lot more about wine than I do.

It's an odd thing.  I crave balance in the beer that I drink, but when it comes to red wine, I like them to err on the fruity side.  This wine is very well balanced, but I doesn't work for me.  It's still a little tight.  I bought four bottles and I'm going to let the other 3 lay down for a few years and see how it goes.

How would Two Parts Rye review this wine?  I went to Tijuana during college spring break and came home with a raging case of Chateau Greysac.  A shot of penicillin cleared it up.

I'm not going to grade it because I think that it still needs a few years of aging.  Wine Enclave called it approachable, which I translate to C+ to B-.


Saw this one on Colbert

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Celebrate Black History Month With Heineken
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy

There are no such thing as stupid questions, just stupid people who ask questions

A couple of weeks ago I was at Weiland's for their weekly wine tastings.  Somebody asked the guy working there if they had any fermented red wine.  A question so stupid that it immediately causes your brain to shut down.

We looked at one another and we were both speechless.  The idiot said something about Italian wine with bubbles.  I was still too stunned to pull Lambrusco out of my brain.  I mentioned a sparkling shiraz that they have and the clerk recovered enough to assist the customer.  Fermented red wind?  Dipshit.

More beers that don't merit their own post

Lagunitis Hairy Eyeball:  It's really dark and the flavor is surprisingly mild. 
Grade: C+

Eel River IPA:  Organic beer.  It's pretty good.
Grade: B

Great Divide IPA:  Very Balanced.  Nice floral aromas.  A little bit of bite at the end.
Grade: B

Sam Adams Noble Pilsner:  It's a pounder.  A beer that says drink a lot of me really fast.
Grade: C+

Breckinridge Lucky U IPA:  A tad too bitter.  Their website claims that it is well-balanced.  Nope.
Grade: C

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Where in the world was World Wide Kev?

A better question would be, where in the hell was the $6MMm?  Since I know where WWK was, we'll go with that.  Instead of drinking beer with his friends, World Wide Kev was in....

  • sprechen sie deutsch
  • The original castle was built by Charlemagne
  • It's the home town of an imfamous fast food thief
Answer?  Hamburg, Germany

The Hamburglar is from Hamburg, right?

Announcing the Session #37: When to drink the good stuff

Next month's session will be hosted by The Ferm.  SirRon has trouble breaking out the good stuff and wants help.  This will be a fun topic, because I love to break out the good stuff.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chatoe Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager

Web Stuff: 
Style: Black Lager Food Pairing: Seafood, Hot & Spicy

Tasting Notes:
Jet black in color with a tan head, medium to full bodied, deftly balanced, seamless dark roasted malt flavors with a smooth bitterness, lingering long finish.
9 Ingredients:
Malts: Melanoidin, Carafe Special II, Black, Chocolate and Rogue Micro-Barley Farm first growth Risk malts.
Hops: Rogue Micro-Hop Yard first growth Independent and Revolution.
Yeast & Water: Oktoberfest Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.
35 IBU
130 AA
75º Lovibond


Available nationwide on 1-1-2010, Dirtoir Black Lager is the second in the limited availability Chatoe Rogue series. Dirtoir Black Lager and the brews to follow are all GYO Certified, First Growth, Appelation products made with hops and malt from our Department of Agriculture's Hopyard and Barley Bench.

How does it really taste?  I know that I cannot call it a stout, because stouts are a subset of ales, and this is a lager.  Having said that, it's an ok stout.
Cost: $5.99 for 22 oz.
Grade: C
Cost Adjusted Grade: C

Ale Fest wrap up

Let's talk about what it is and what it is not.  It is a shit load of different beers in one place.  It is not a craft beer convention.  A few breweries sent reps, but mostly you were poured your drink by volunteers.  Most of the beers are bottled, there were some drafts available.

I realized how spoiled that I am.  Between Bob's, and the weekly tastings at Weiland's, I was challenged to find 20 beers (out of 170!) that I have not had before.  I went with my friend's Sue, Chris (Not BHC), and Paula.  The tasting glass is somewhat small (2 oz at the fill line, the pour was typically more.), and everyone was worried that they were not going to get enough to drink.  6 samples into it, we felt dumb worrying about drinking enough to get buzzed.

Drunken Tasting Notes, in no particular order:

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale: More of an english style pale ale.  Uses juniper instead of hops as a bittering agent.
Thirsty Dog Lab Lager (draft): It's beer.
Bluegrass Bourbon Barrel Stout: To much stout, too little bourbon.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale (draft):  The draft is much smoother than the bottled version.  Very popular amongst the crew.
Belhaven Twisted Thistle: Nice.
Goose Island Mathilda: Belgian!  Blech.  Thank goodness I had nachos for a side car.
Black Sheep Holy Grail Ale: Budweiser, brought to you by Monty Python.  Whose beer is like making love in a canoe?
McAuslan St Ambroise Vintage Ale: A very nice barley wine.
Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye: Ummm good.
Bear Republic Red Rocket: A bit better than OK.
Founder's Double Trouble (draft): Very hoppy.
New Holland Pilgrim's Dole: Kick ass wheat wine.
Bell's Cherry Stout (Cask): Too smokey at first.  The sour cherry element makes it drinkable.  At least at sampling size.
Bell's Best Brown Ale (Cask): Nice mellow, very drinkable.  Another favorite amongst the crew.
Avery Salvation (draft): I was looking at the description for this beer, apricot, nutty, blah blah blah.  I asked the guy manning the tap what style it was.  He said Belgian.  I wrinkled my nose.  He says that everyone likes it and if I didn't he'd drink it.  I didn't.  He was shocked.  I did not let him drink my beer.
Brewkettle 4 C's Pale Ale: Very nice IPA.
Brewkettle Red Eye: Very bitter.
Odd Notion Wheat IPA:  Nice light bitterness.  Very drinkable.
Blue Moon Rising Moon Spring Ale: Waste of time.
Erie Railbender Ale: Euro style beer.
Pyramid Audacious Apricot: Buttery texture.  Avoid.
Spaten Lager: Euro beer.  Unlike the Erie Railbender, I was expecting the Euro flavor.

I realize that's 22, not 20.  One guy felt bad about a bad pour and would not take my ticket.  Another time, I was so annoyed with a bad pour that I walked away without giving the lady my ticket, and did not realize it until I was back at my table.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Session #36: Cask Ale

This post is a day late.  It's the first time that life has gotten in the way of my posting.  Cask Ales don't fall out of trees, especially in January.  Admittedly, there is a bar across town that serves cask ales on Fridays, but it's across town.

Fortunately, today is Alefest Columbus.  I just spent the day getting crunked on many great craft beers.  Bell's brought two cask beers to the festival, so we'll talk about those.

The first one that I tried was their Cherry Stout.  At first, I didn't like it, it was too smokey.  As I finished my drink, it grew on me.  The sour cherry flavor mellowed out the smokiness and it was a nice drink.

They also had their Best Brown Ale, which was a favorite of my drinking crew (more to come when I actually put up my ale fest post)  It's slightly sweet, mild, and very drinkable.  A very good beer.

So what's up with cask ales?  They are alive!  Oooooh.  The yeast is fermenting the sugar in the cask/keg making more alcohol and CO2.  All of the cask ales that I have sampled are relatively flat.  Which I find odd, because it's never an issue that I have had with the bottle conditioned brews that I make at home.  Maybe our host can explain it in his round up.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Drafts from the Cultural Hub of the Midwest: Back from the Dead Edition

I got hit by a bout of stomach flu/food poisoning over the weekend.  I have not had a drink in several days, that of itself should tell you how crappy I have felt.  Ale Fest is coming up this weekend.  I headed out to Bob's to see if I'm going to be up to the challenge.

The beer of the week is Columbus Brewing Companies Creeper.  It's February's beer from their "2010 a Hop Odessey".  This beer is a barley wine style beer with a ton of hops.  The only thing tht it has in common with your typical barley wine, is that it's high in alcohol content.  It's blonde in color and the hop aroma floats in the air above the beer.  I found the hops to be musty and kind of funky.  Maybe the stored the hops on mothballs.
Grade: C-