Sunday, January 15, 2012

Escaping the Winter Blah Blahs, notes from the Rogue

   I'm pullin' the 'ol switcheroo.  First up, the beer review.  Evolution Craft Brewing's Secret Spot Winter Ale. A German brown ale, also known as an Altbier.  Showcasing a 6.3% Abv, and 40 Ibu's, it pours a rich copper/orange hue with about a one and a half finger head.  As with most of Evo's brews, the hops come out, but this one tends to be more malt driven. Slight toffee smell that also comes out in the taste as well. Now, I had this in their tasting room last year with much success...a great hop kick to the finish so I was looking forward to this.  The new batch however, not so much. Coincidentally, the keg was changed prior to my getting this growler.  I also had a head cold coming on.  Whatever the reason, this sampling seemed a bit bland.  I will give it another try before the next snow (so I got plenty of time around here), but for now a C rating.

   Below, as you can see I am in the midst of working my plan to escape the winter blah blahs.  More like trying to forget them.  Whaddya do when it's 30 degrees with windchill of 20 (remember wind kills!) and a water temp in the low 40's (no hoods for this Brah)?  Surf mags and videos to accompany the NFL playoffs...  and a little Fat Tire Ale to aide the mindset.  5.2% Abv/18.5 Ibu's, amber pour, little maltier than my usual, but good $hit to be sure...gotta have an A player to at least dream of my A game.
"Sometimes too much drink is barely enough."  -Mark Twain

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Declaration, notes from the Rogue

Knee-hi New Year chop

   I love to surf.  One of the big reasons I am still a kook is because I do not surf nearly enough.  Work, distance, gas; a few circumstances.  This time of year the ocean has dropped below the 50 mark (47 actually).  A degree or two makes a significant difference in one's ability to withstand the cold.  Water, as it surrounds you, will lower your body temperature quick, lemme tell ya. And since I can't stand a hood, every submersion feels like a vice around my head. So. My surfing... at a standstill for the winter. I am watching the surf reports, more for the water temps than the waves.  My declaration to surf, is to commit more of my time to the Stick.  In the months leading up to my next session, to commit more of my gym time to surf specific training.  More precisely, core, balance, and movement routines.  To commit more time to developing focus, patience, confidence, and Faith.  And most importantly, once the 50's return, to commit more time to the water. My declaration for the new year.
   I toasted the New Year with a couple of seasonal brews that jibed well with the holiday's celebration.  Troegs Mad Elf Ale and Shiner's Holiday Cheer.  Both were a bit maltier than my usual as of late, but both fit the bill nicely.
  Spoetzl Brewing, know for their Shiner Bock, put out a very nice offering at 5.4% ABV.  The 22 IBUs meant a crisp hop finish to a smooth winter beer.  A Dunkelweizen style ale, Cheer poured a dark amber with a finger plus worth of head.  Peaches and malt dominated the smell and the taste was that of spiced pecans. Nutty. A dry finish and, though rich- a little watery.  I rated this a B+.
"Beer.  It's the best damn drink in
the world!"
  -Jack Nicholson, Actor


   Troegs, which is traditionally known for their hops, was laying down some serious dinero with Mad Elf Ale.  A brilliant ruby red pour that touted 11 (ELEVEN!)% ABV.  Now that's money when 12AM hits!  Only 15 IBUs but the heavy alcohol and slight booze taste took the place of any hoppy effect Troegs usually showcases so a light, but not overwhelming bitterness balance.  The smell and taste was that of honey and cherries, which this brew prides itself for.  Had even lacing from about a finger's worth of white head. I'm stoked on this one.  Made for sipping, excels at warming, but it just tastes so damn good to the point of making this a dangerous choice and earning an A from me.  Good stuff!

Sun sets on 2011