Thursday, January 23, 2014

Freezin' My A$$ Off!, notes from the Rogue

Post Janus, 1/22

   Single digits.  It was zero, this morning.  F*#king Zero! Winter Storm Janus just carved through.  Not a ton, but enough snow to make everyone clear the shelves of bread, milk, and toilet paper.  The wind.  A lotta cold-a$$ wind.  Think I've said it before. Wind'll kill ya.  The MD Right Coast is in a serious deep freeze.  House is cold.  Truck is cold.  $hit, I was shoveling snow.  Boots, gloves, all layered up... my fingers and toes still got froze.  Freezin' my a$$ off man, no lie.  We ain't even outta January yet. Damn month is draggin'.  Everything moves slower when it's cold.  Yes, I'm bitchin' and Yes, I'm moanin'.
  Wanna beat the freeze?  Drink up.  5 Rabbit Cerveceria out of Bedford Park, Illinois. These guys put out a nice 6.4% ABV elixer that'll warm ya.  Their American Pale Ale offering; 5 Grass Hoppy Ale.  Unfiltered, it pours a dark cloudy amber with a finger and a half white head.  Good lacing.  Aromas filled with spices... ginger, juniper, and sage and of course grapefruit.  Hints of fresh grass and herbs.  Little smell of summer maybe? Light taste of malt up front with 60 IBUs of freah, hoppy, crispness in the finish. Gonna have another.  Chase away the chill.  I rated this a B+.
Macuilmalinalli, alias 5 Grass - one of
 the five Gods of Excess.  Grab a six!

An icy Assawoman Bay fronts a firey sunset painted OC Gold Coast.
-photo/Coast Dispatch

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Surf Check, notes from the Rogue

   Did a surf check this afternoon.  Water's in the mid-40s. Bit cold for me.  I don't do hoods well.  Chest to shoulder swell.  Winds outta the west 'bout 10-15 mph.  Mid-tide going out. Somewhat clean.   Nice.  Just stood there taking in the salt air.  Listened to the waves crash as each lip split and kissed the surface exploding into mini-bombs of spray.  The west wind kicked up a plume from the barrel's back that fanned the sun's rays into a rainbow of color.  Missing the water. Really missing the Ride.  The Stoke of the Ride.  Whatever.
Surf Kiss, 18th street. 1/12

Couple of IPAs this evening.  A 22 oz. bomber of Solemn Oath's Ravaged By Vikings, an American Double IPA, and Boulevard's Pop-Up, a milder session IPA.
   SOB's Ravaged By Vikings measured in at 8% ABV which made the bomber a strong starter.  Very strong pine and grapefruit in the aroma and the 99 IBUs just beat you over the head with hops.  Prime time, dude.  I like it!  Fresh, lightly bitter taste with a slight sweetness in the back.  Brought this one back with us from Chi-town where SOB simply dominates the small craft beer peeps.  Hazy red-orange hue with less than one finger head.  Thin lacing.  I rated this an A.

   If ya want a smooth IPA without the usual alcohol content, Pop-Up is on point.  Pours a honey gold with a thick, white two finger head. Light, hazy, effervescense, thin body.  Floral aromas with tastes of citus. 40.5 IBUs give it a subtle spiciness and a nice refreshing finish.  At 4.2% ABV this would make for a good post surf IPA.  B+ rating.
"Beer's intellectual.  What a shame so
many idiots drink it."  -Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

14 Blast. On One, notes from the Rogue

Snow on the beach.  Add an A-Frame.  Magical.  Malibus 8th street, 1/3/2014

   Some pretty incredible shootouts during the Bowl Games this season.  The Chick-Fil-A Bowl- Texas A&M/Duke, Gator Bowl- Clemson/Ohio State, BBVA Compass Bowl- Vanderbilt/Houston.  The f#%king BCS Championship- Florida State/Auburn. Damn it son!  Good football, gotta say.
Don't look it, but that tundra's cooooold! 30th St., 1/4.

  So, in the spirit of said hard-ass season, the weather in both the Mid-West and Right Coast runs a 2014 Blast with a "Polar Vortex" bringing what we consider a fair snow-fall (4-5 inches) to the Shore area.  Funny thing. My girl and I have split the Christmas/New Year between Chicago and the Eastern Shore.  Below freezing.  No escaping.  Turn on the space heater.  'Tis the season. We find the Stoke, no matter.
Backyard blanket.  1/3

Nice start to the New Year...dinner surrounded by beer and wine. OCMD 1/5
   So I've entered into the New Year with a quad of cold weather brews quaffed and thus jotted down some thoughts...

   Before leaving the Aurora/Naperville area, Lisa and I met some friends over to Solemn Oath Brewery.  Combat Marshmallow.  How do you like that for a name?  A full bodied, black Double Stout that sends you ducking for cover with 76 IBUs worth of piney hops.  And at 8%, it won't take too many to knock a man down.  Excellent lacing, thick tan one finger head. SOB is on top of its game with tastes of dark chocolate and coffee...liked the mix.  Rated this an A+.

   Lost Coast has a smooth Winter Brown Ale called, aptly, Winterbraun. Pours a reddish brown with a thin beige head.  The lacing dissapates quickly.  Smooth light spicy taste with hints of fruit and chocolate.  At 8% this'll warm ya.  The 35 IBUs keep it tame enough for the less hoppy crowd.  Fuller than a Brown.  Not really Stoutish or Porterish. Liked the label though.  Rated it a B-.

   Ommegang.  Still trying to figure this artsy, fartsy brewery out.  Take The Black Stout.  A tribute to the HBO special Game Of Thrones.  Never seen it (HEY! don't give me $hit here).  7% ABV.  IBUs not listed although estimated at near 100...I didn't think so.  Had a burnt charcoal taste in the background.  I think I saw "earthy" as a descriptive.  Also aroma of licorice.  The finish was more yeast than pine as hops usually go.  This one just didn't sit well with me.  As a seasonal offering with a lot of hype, maybe I was expecting more.  Poured a deep shimmering black with a fluffy, light brown, two finger head.  Rated it a C-.

  Finally, a warmer that would put an end to any Winter deep freeze.  Michigan's New Holland Brewing dispells any cold weather with Dragon's Milk.  A Bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout packing at 10% ABV. I could smell the bourbon in this baby.  Laced with vanilla, roasted toffee, and a hint of coffee. Nice carbonation and very creamy finish. Smooth with a very light bitter bite (31 IBUs). Two of these and I'm skimming down slow-motion A-Frames in La La Land.  Only one folks.  Rated it an A.
"I wish you a Merry Christmas
 and a Happy New Year, with 
your pockets full of money, and
your cellar full of beer."
-Old English Carol