Sunday, January 22, 2017

Water Born, notes from the Rogue

"Well I was born in the sign of water, and it's there that I feel my best."  -Little River Band, Cool Change
Helena tamed. Backhanded spray and clean green frames explode on the blanket of snow in front of
Malibu Beach. 7th Street, Ocean City, MD.  1/8/2017                    -MSS Pic

   Water in the low low 40s. Air in the mid 40s. Winds have been blowing outta the east-northeast as of late. Snows from Winter Storm Helena now history. It's offseason. Even if I was there, I'd be adhering to the no surf stratagem. However, plans are being put in place. Resumes being sent. In search of that beach/surf home. But, like catching that next wave, it is all a matter of timing. Feel the tail begin to lift. Nose planes out. The surge of water flowing past you. Charging down the wall. That's the rush we're waiting to feel as our objectives begin falling in place. Miss the crash of waves. Miss the spray of salt. I miss the Ocean. Keeping the faith. Got to.
Chicago Guard. Never turn your
back on the Ocean...concrete or 

   Brew of the day. From the deep south, along the banks of the Bayou Teche waterway. Bayou Teche Brewing gives up Bayou Peche IPA. A hop cannonball at 70 IBUs. Three varieties of hops, peaches, more hops, some caramel and pilsner malts, more hops, more peaches, some Bayou water, more hops... you get the picture. ABV at 7.5%. Few of these will make you feel cannonballed. Pours a cloudy orange-gold with barely a one finger head. Thin lacing. Peach and mango in the aroma. A citrus and peach explosion on the palate. Lightly sweet balanced nicely by the bitter. I rated this one a B+/A-.
"To me 'drink responsibly'
means don't spill it."
-Bill Murray

Monday, January 2, 2017

Learn To Be Still, from the Rogue's notes.

   A Christmas post...finally. Been a busy couple of months. Marriage. Holidays. Food. Lot on the agenda for 2017. Sell that damn house. Find our new home together. Get back in shape. As Howard Langston said, "Put that cookie down. NOW!" It will all come together. Learn to be still. All about listening to that inner voice, and having a mustard seed's worth of faith. Speaking of faith...four brews you can trust me on. Watch the ratings. Make the call...paddle hard, or pass and wait for the next set. Like waves, there's always another beer. Learn to be still. The epic ones will come.

Making up for '15, Chicago's shoreline was shown an icy
 December reception. I wouldn't do it. 
Lake Michigan, 12/15/2016
                                                                                         -AP  Pic


   Not a brown ale fan. Said it before, I know. That being said, Bell's Brewery puts out one of the best easy drinkin' brown ales I've had. 5.8% ABV; meanin' kinda mellow, but able to put up a front towards the cooling temps. Bell's Best Brown. Poured a dark ruby brown with a finger plus beige head. Aromas of toasted malt and coffee. Nice tastes of mocha, nuts, and brown sugar. Had a creamy feel to it with 30 IBUs of hoppiness to give it the sharp finish a good ol' English Brown is known for. Rated a B+/A-.
Early December snow.
Aurora, 12/4/2016.

   Next beer of Christmas. One of the best Stout's I've had. Deschutes Obsidian Stout. Very smooth, creamy texture. Enough dark chocolate sweetness to keep it from being overly dry. Little bit of burnt coffee background. Roasted espresso and malt aroma. Light tap of fruit with 55 IBUs of sharp, ah-ha, bitterness. Poured a jet black with a dark brown finger and half head. Earned the "Obsidian" name. Thick lacing. Very smooth. 6.4% ABV. Dangerously smooth. Satisfying. Rated an A.
Christmas Kindle Market, Naperville, IL 12/10/2016

Egg Nog Ale. Was thinkin' "no way." But I had to have some, and my beer-search back East was for this one. Flying Dog Brewery's Naughty Egg Nog Ale; an American Strong Ale brewed with the spices of the season... cinnamon,nutmeg, and vanilla bean. This had definitely been working for the Holidays. Very strong at 8.4% ABV. Couple these'll knock ya on your a$$ for real. Poured an orange/amber with about a one finger head. Off white thick head with fast dissipating lacing. Definitely smelled the nutmeg and vanilla. I conceded the similarity to egg nog here, but it ended in the taste. Malty cinnamon and a tad on the boozy side. Very light bitterness that admittedly finished the brew off well. Like I said, plenty of the Christmas spice. Didn't feel the whole egg nog thing. Cheered this one in at a B.

All lit up. St. Michaels, MD 

'Tis the Christmas season, and all beer tastes great. I know, right? No ill will meant, but Luxembourg brewery Bofferding seemed to be looking for the Christmas Spirit and then gave up while churning up their Christmas Lager. Poured a beautiful clear ruby red with a bubbly 2-finger head that disappeared quickly. Afterwards, not much. Aromas of a little toffee maybe. Caramel possibly. Malty taste with a little bitterness in the end. Except for the color, it tasted like your average commercial lager. Little disappointed with this one. Rated a C/C-.
Missed the beach spirit of the OC Lights.
'17 promises a remedy.

Another treasure gone in '16. Sea Scape's last Christmas, 2015.

"It's just another day in paradise..."     -Eagles
Malibu Beach, 12/18/2016.   Malibus pic

Landed with Trader Joe's 2016 Vintage Ale, brewed by Unibroue of Quebec, Canada. Yeah, Belgian ales. A limited seasonal Belgian Strong Dark Ale that poured a very dark, cloudy brown and oozed scents of berries, coffee, brown sugar and the familiar Belgian yeast.With a foamy tan two finger head and leaving thin lacing, the tastes of nuts, fruit, mocha, and the subtle Belgian yeast came through. More sweet malt than bitter with light citrus in the finish. Approximately 15 IBUs but a "sucker punch in the back of the neck" 9.0 ABV. Rated TJ's a B/B+.
In Anglo-Saxon times, according
to Crippen, it was customary for
someone offering a drink to say
"Wassail!" and for the recipient 
to respond "Drinkhail!" and for
the participants to repeat the 
exercise until comfortably
horizontal.              -Bill Bryson

"May all your troubles last as long as your
New Year's resolutions!"
  -Joey Adams