Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Inventory, notes from the Rogue

  Tryin' to deal with the post holiday winter blahs, but finding it difficult as of late. Fighting off a cold, winter headaches, gym soreness. The gym does help. But I've not had enough outside time. With the Atlantic a bit too cold to attempt (lower 40's), been focusing on getting ready for outside...taking inventory of what is still usable, what needs repairs, and the replacables. So far, a water faucet, wetsuit, and surfboard to repair; a washer, boots and gloves to replace. Washer's on it's way. Wax needs to come off the board. Sending out the suit. Lowes for the faucet. Surfin' the net for boots and gloves. Damn...I need to get wet. THAT'S what I need!
   Breakfast Stout. This helps. What better way to tackle the day and ward off the cold? Founders Brewing outta Grand Rapids, MI has got it goin' on with this coffee rich, oatmeal infused, chocolate stout.  Pours an opaque black with a two finger reddish-brown head. Thick lacing gives hint to the richness of this delicious brew. Aromas of dark chocolate and espresso. Smooth coffee taste, light brown sugar sweetness, with little booziness considering the 8.3% ABV. A bittersweet finish at 60 IBUs. Can feel the stoke from this warmer. Cheers to an A rating.
"Beer is not the answer. Beer is the
question. 'Yes' is the answer."

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ready For The Post Season Fight, notes from the Rogue.

Fresh shark bait. West OC Commercial Harbor 12/31/2014

   Not what you'd call bitter cold, but a chilly night. New Year's Eve. Very little wind. Water in the mid 40's. Small knee to thigh high shorebreak closeouts. Typical for most of the December. A few decent days if your schedule permitted. Mine did not. Nice night for a surf check though. Did the West OC harbor for the night's chow. Started at The Shark for a couple drinks, some Ahi Tuna and appropriately, Mako Shark apps. Then crossed the street to Sunset Grille for dinner. Well made martinis and incredible crab cakes. The culmination of what had been an awesome holiday.

Baltimore Ave, OCMD

   Spent Christmas in Chicago. Stoked to have my daughter and granddaughter come with me. Mild weather. Family and friends. Tons of food. Good beer. Fantastic trip into the city. Truly memorable. Now I deal with the increasingly cold nights. Time to train for the long post season fight.
Home in Chicago. Christmas 2014
Baby's First. 12/23/2014
Uncle Kelly, Christmas eve.


More Christmas Eve...

Christmas portrait.

Chicago Christmas!

   Did I mention good beer? Four celebratory doses. All of Mid-West/West origin. Started with Two Brothers' The More The Merrier. My fiance had saved this one. A chocolate-coconut ale that I must admit, had no coconut taste at all. More like malty caramel with a touch of chocolate. Poured a reddish brown with a finger and a half tan head. At 18.1 IBUs not bitter at all. 6.9% ABV keeps you honest. Good tasting beer. Disappointing flavors for a chocolate-coconut ale. Rated a C+.

Deshutes Oregon tradtion...Jubelale. An English Strong Ale. Malty. Hoppy. All at once. A real winter warmer at 6.7% ABV. Bittersweet nutty taste with a spicy hop backbone. Very robust. Dark, cloudy amber pour with a 2 finger tan head. Thick lacing. 60 IBUs make for sharp final bite and clean finish. Rated an A.

Fistmas Ale.  Now there's a name. Revolution Brewing's beer that screams out "tis the season!" Aromas of baked bread, nutmeg, and ginger with tastes of orange and toffee. 31 IBUs meant it was not overbearing to the casual share, but the 6.1% alcohol content made it a strong manly offering. Yeah. Okay. Uh, let's see. Oh, poured a deep red with a nice 2 finger head.  Lacing was a little weak. Light hop finish. Enjoyed this one. B rating.
"Now don't say you can't swear off drinking;
it's easy, I've done it a thousand times!"
                                   -W.C. Fields

My favorite, from one of my favorite breweries...SOB. Kavorka Russian Imperial Stout. Liked the bottle. May be Russian, looked Hawaiian. Need that this time of year. Black,viscous pour with a thick, brown,  finger and a half head. Scents of strong expresso coffee. Tastes of dark chocolate and pine. Bitter hops (50 IBUs) throughout with a creamy caramel background. Starts thick, but thins out in a nice balancing act. This is a Big-un. Big. Warming. Yin. Yang. Goes with the "curse" I guess. Rated an A+. Did I mention I like Imperials?