Friday, December 13, 2013

Hush The Rush, notes from the Rogue

Northside's Winterfest, 12/12.

  Met a friend in OC for dinner.  Surf has been flat.  No opportunity has presented itself yet.  So I work on enjoying the Christmas preps.  Hush the rush.  Lay back and avoid letting the stress of the season get the beast in me... uh, best of me.  It is the time of year to appreciate what we have.  Appreciate the world around us.  That's the secret to abundance.  Gratitude and appreciation. Makes miracles happen.

  To aid in my hush I have chosen two brews this time around:
21ST Amendment Brewery puts out a pretty good seasonal English Warmer known as Fireside Chat.  Named as such to give a kick in the butt with 7.9% ABV, but give a hug with it's subtle spices and cocoa much like FDR's "Chats" of the Depression-era. Pours a dark reddish-brown with a finger sized tan head.  Nice lacing.  Aromas of nutmeg, clove, and allspice with a defined chocolate taste.  Medium body balance with a 45 IBU hop finish. Nice beer. I rated this a B.

   The next was Flying Dog's Natural Selection Genus 3.  A collaboration with Evolution Craft Brewing, this bad boy was awesome.  An Old Ale that poured a muddy, hazy brown with a finger and a half head. Great lacing and carbonation.  Aged in cherry wood barrels and dry hopped, this has the aroma and taste of toasted malts with a caramel sweetness up front balanced by a grapefruit and berry finish.  I've had Evo's version, and this one outdoes it.  7.6% ABV and 35 IBUs.  Little more hops may be perfect.  Rated this an A-.
"'Do not open 'til Christmas'
should never apply to beer!"

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hold On, notes from the Rogue

"Hold on, baby, hold on. 'Cause it's closer than you think.  And you're standing on the brink."  -Kansas
Lone left.  12/7
   Holding on to the thought that I've got one more sesh comin' before it becomes "too cold." It, of course, being the water temps.  I'll deal with the colder air.  I monitor the ocean.  Still in the 50's.  Got to hold on.  This week? Fighting off a head cold.  Tempted though.  Waist to chest high semi-bumpy sets.  Winds, on shore out of the north. Couple guys out.  Not real heavy.  Already second guessing.
     Used the weekend to catch the OC Old Town deco and get some Christmas shoppin' done.

Old Town Ocean City used to light 'em up at Christmas, but as the Northside has developed and the economy pinched the local government, Old Town's sets had fallen off.  But locals have taken the reigns, the swell is building as a winter renaissance is in the midst.

City Hall

Still would like to see more.  I mean the inlet is a highlight of Ocean City.  The local council and businesses need to keep it pumpin' even in the off season.  Anyway, that's my rant.

Residual of the Inlet displays

  Finished the night with a most interesting DIPA...Crown Valley Brewing's Gunslinger. Big malt sweetness with an even bigger hop punch.  the 93 IBUs attest to that.  I liked the balance, and I could say I liked the tastes of maple-toffee combined with grapefruit. Almost too heavy and sweet for an IPA (did I say that?).  The alcohol content at 9% means any more than two and it'll be an early night, son.  Pours a hazy copper with about a finger head.  Fair lacing. I rated this one a B.
Billy Clanton: "You're so drunk, you
can't hit nuthin'.  In fact, you're
probably seein' double."
Doc Holliday: (takes out a second gun)
"I have two guns, one for each of ya."
-from the movie TOMBSTONE

Nice finish.  Nice night.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Potomac Reflection, notes from the Rogue

Sunset reflection on the Potomac, 11/30.
   Had my Italian Chicago Girl in town for Thanksgiving.  In addition to family time, and getting stuffed on turkey and ham and taters and pie, and goin' down to the beach for some martinis, seafood, and lights, we drove up to D.C. to pay respects to my father with a Christmas Wreath.  A carrier pilot in the Navy, buried in Arlington National Cemetery for his service in the Korean War.  Very reverent grounds.  Takes my breath away every time I go. Always feels good to have Lisa with me.

Miss you Dad.

  Afterwards, spent some time around town catching the sights.  Maybe the Redskins are suckin' ass (nice metaphor, eh?), but the beauty of Washington overshadows them.
Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Pool

  Beer review time.  Troeg's Hop Back Amber Ale.  Good stuff for me at 55 IBUs as this ale is chock full of three types of hops with a fair balance of toffee/caramel malts. Deep red-orange hue with a light tan finger and a half head.  Excellent lacing.  Smells of pine, grapefruit, and honey.  Taste begins lightly sweetened with a bit of a strong caramel malt tone in front; the characteristic fruit citrus of the hops in the finish.  6.0% ABV means get me another!.  Rated this a B+.
"This is grain, which any fool can eat,
but for which the Lord intended a more
divine means of consumption...Beer!"
-Friar Tuck, from Robin Hood,
Prince of Thieves