September 21, 2012

Jessica McNamee is Drinkin in The Loved Ones (2009)

Not only is she drinkin' hot, but she's smokin' hot too!

Totally GOTHED out! And baby, that's the way I do things.

Hover Hand...........!? That ain't the way I do things!

She likes to turn it up. Don't be surprised dope fiend!
She drihnks like you sjmoike.

That last shot just makes it so wetwork... in my shorts that is!

September 17, 2012

Avery The Beast Grand Cru Ale

Avery The Beast - Grand Cru Ale - Batch 7 (2009)
Brewed and Bottled by Avery Brewing Co., in Boulder, CO. USA.
Yearly Extremely-Limited Release (August)
12 fl. oz. / $9.49 USD / 15.07% ABV

About: "The Beast is a seducer – accommodating, complicated, powerful, dark and created to last the ages. With a deep burgundy color and aromas of honey, nutmeg, mandarin orange and pineapple, this massive and challenging brew has flavors akin to a beautiful Carribean rum. Dates, plums, raisins and molasses are dominant in a rich vinous texture. Cellarable for 10+ years. The Beast is the first installment of “The Demons of Ale” series.

Hop Variety: Bravo, Magnum, Bullion, Sterling, Hersbrucker, Tettnang / Malt Variety: Two-row barley, Honey malt, Dark Aromatic, Pale wheat, Roasted wheat, Special B / Sugars: Dates, Molasses, Dark Belgian Candy Sugar, Colorado Honey, Raisins, Turbinado / Food pairing: Pineapple upside down cake pairs nicely with the sweet, rum-like flavors found in our Beast Grand Cru."

Thoughts: Avery's Beast poured redder than the devil's dick! An extremely murky burgundy, caramel toned, with a very light tan cream colored head of froth. The thickest lacing I've ever seen on a beer is going nowhere.

Fire and maniacal laughter. The smell of this thing is dangerously sweet and heavily intoxicating. Picked up dark fruits immediately: plums, raisins, dates. Then mainly caramel, sugar and booze... afterwards some honey and a shitload of molasses. And smores too.

This is some sinister shit right here! Hell fuckin' yeah. Indeed a fire is ignited in the belly upon consumption. Sugary sweet graham crackers fill the mouth, then a stinging booze tickles the throat just before the swallow and afterwards a blistering attack of dark fruits explode in every direction before a gentle tingle of burnt sugar and honey slowly ride out. It's got a rum taste, wine like finish, little bit of smoke from the fire being extinguished, lingering tropical fruity notes in the aftertaste while breathing in.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth, and tingly.

I knew nothing about this beer before I picked it up, the only thing I knew is that it had been calling out to me from up on that shelf behind the counter, where the few bottles aren't in direct visibility. The last few weeks that I've been picking up swill, I can't help but look up and over there at it while I pay for my shit. This is my first beer from Avery Brewing, and after I looked on their website now I see that they're also the providers of this pumpkin beer Rumkin that's I've been hearing so much about. I. WANT. IT!

September 16, 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

RE: Retribution starts off with an explosive action scene that occurs just after the post-credit sequence from the last film... only it's played backwards, in super slow motion, and in 3-D while the credits appear on screen. Not only does this intro look downright incredible, but it's also pretty damn sweet and left me with a big stupid grin on my face. Unfortunately, from there it goes into some pop-up "split screen" type narrative introduction from Alice recapping the events from the entire series. After learning about the previous four films wasting the audience's time for about a minute or two, we get to see that reversed scene now in its original fast paced form. It goes by pretty quick on the second time around, but it's cool to see it all play out after you've seen it so slowly deconstructed. 

The look of Retribution is a wondrous vision to behold, much like its predecessor Afterlife. And herein lies the film's main strength. It is beautiful! So much of this movie, from the very first frames to the final shot are composed extremely well, shot magnificently and are very visually interesting - captivating, even. The mix of the elegant set designs of the Umbrella Corporation building and the holographic "Levels" throughout the story (and not to mention all the weird shit that goes on) give the whole film a really psychedelic vibe which I totally dig. Half way through, the thought of dropping a few tabs before I came to see this seemed both a dangerous and delightful idea. The majority of this film was obviously storyboarded with utmost importance and followed through with a passion.

Unfortunately (hey there's that word again), the film goes into quite a few lengthy shootout scenes where nearly nobody of importance is ever hit. Only faceless drones get shot to shit, over and over, while cutting repeatedly back and forth to our main characters popping off a few... and it gets boring. Those are the only boring moments of the film thankfully. And at least during one of these dreadfully overlong and choppily edited scenes, Barry Burton (Kevin Durand) gets a major scene that was just good enough to make his very underused character memorable. I wish I could say the same about Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb), who's only shining moment in this whole film is putting his hand on Ada's thigh on the helicopter ride home and getting rejected. What the fuck is that? 

That Ada Wong (Bingbing li) is one sexy ass bitch too I'll tell you that much. Her character, from the personality to the dialogue to the clothing and the poses, are so dead on; and Bingbing is so remarkably beautiful that there's no doubt this character will be welcomed by fans of the game. Ada is one of the big three characters here in the film, the other two being Alice (Milla Jovovich) of course, and Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory). Jill Valentine, with her dyed blonde hair, skin-tight blue outfit and spider-like mind control device just above her luscious boobs (her outfit from the RE:5 Game) has always been one of my favorite designs (so hot!) and Sienna just works it and provides maximum fan service. Her robotic like dialogue and near T-X like stature adds that much more un-guilty pleasure to it all.

Alice is naturally the star of the show, and if you're in lust with Milla like I am, then you sure are in for a treat with this sequel. I love the long and lingering close-ups she's constantly getting, and when the camera smothers (or dry-humps) her. Nearly every shot of her is very voyeuristic and had my eyes glued to the screen... not to mention other things glued elsewhere. And of course, who doesn't like to see her kicking some serious ass!? After experiencing the outbreak in Japan and fleeing into an Umbrella hallway, she has a long "Oldboy-esque" battle against a shitload of zombies (including Patient Zero aka J-Pop Girl (Mika Nakashima) and another zombie hottie) much of it in slow motion with 3-D splattering brain effects to the maximum. It's all very palm-sweat inducing, somewhat laughable, really fun and just totally nuts. 

Alice and Ada also get a two on two against a pair of Axemen (Executioners) while on a walkthrough in New York City. There's a ton of chaos here with buses getting chopped to pieces, cars flying, gratuitous near deaths while dodging vicious blows and tons of head-shots that do absolutely nothing to these fuckers! While the shortest of the four main battles in the film, it's always exciting to see these huge monsters swinging those axes and getting thrashed by two hot chicks. I do however prefer the Axeman battle from Afterlife to this one (There's just something about seeing Ali Larter and Milla gettin' all wet and in slow-mo!). A massive Licker shows up a short while after this proceeds to relentlessly terrorize every single protagonist here, doing a fuckload of damage and bloodying things up. These things freak even me out, and if you ever play the games and encounter them, they'll freak you out too.

Retribution feels more like a video game than any of the previous films, and I really like that. A lot of the dialogue is pretty bad and video game-like (mostly Jill Valentine for instance, as well as a lot of puns) but it adds to the charm of it all. And of course the ending just has to feature a long and sultry battle between Alice and Jill, both of them looking seriously hot in their skin tight outfits. That's just the way it is with a movie like this, and always justifies my laying down the cash to see this on the big screen in 3-D (kinda like Underworld). One sour point for me was Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts, hamming it up to the eleventh degree) in this one. Though, I wasn't totally convinced by his 'from game to screen' character in Afterlife, his 360 here (albeit done with personal gain heavily looming - think when Megatron joins forces with Optimus Prime for five minutes) is a bit unnearving and it's just plain weird to see himself, Alice, Jill, Leon and Ada all standing together. Very weird.

So should you go and see Resident Evil: Retribution? Let's examine the following two questions: Do you enjoy seeing Milla Jovovich almost completely naked? Or does seeing Milla Jovovich almost completely naked drive you insane and fill your heart with disgust? It's as simple as that. Almost isn't good enough, I know... but I say go see it. If you've seen all the previous films, and even if you "don't like them", you owe it to yourself to see this from a completest's point anyhow. Characters will be bastardized, these are always the facts, and fans of Leon will no doubt be disgusted by his representation in this film. Fans of Ada, Jill and even to a smaller degree, Barry, will leave extremely happy. Wesker fans, I'm not so sure either way. But if you've loved the character of Project: Alice from her conception, then you'll of course crave more!

Oh yeah, and Michelle Rodriguez was in this too.

September 13, 2012

Mixing Brews #2

Russian River Pliny The Elder "VS" Knee Deep Hoptologist (July 7'th 2012)

WHAT'S GOIN' ON: I'm sure a lot of crazy shit went down during San Fransisco Beer Week (February 10th through the 19th) - a smorgasbord of events all up and down the Bay Area for beer lovers and pretentious beer nerds alike - but you know, I didn't really hear too much about it. Sure, I'm out of the loop! I wasn't even there at the time, but I wish I was. And hell, who's to say that people can even remember what happened that week with all the booze that was consumed? Not many would be my guess. Aside from a few small circles probably... oh, and of course, if your establishment was throwing a tasting competition where gold medals are handed out and placed around bottle necks! That shit is as serious as a rape scene with Dakota Fanning.

A lot of people were buzzed on the night of February 11'th In Hayward, California at The Bistro (Home of Extreme Beer and Live Music), but it wasn't until a little later, when the word spread of their 12'th Annual DIPA Festival Gold Medal Winner, that a larger buzz would rage, (and not only) online! Beating out 42 other Double IPAs, including Pliny The Elder (Silver) and Ruination (Bronze), was the newcomer to the group: Hoptologist. I got back down to California at the end of June after a moving to the dead end of the new earth, long after these festivities had ended, and the madness was just the starting to heavily build at this point. Being from the area all my life, but just a kid and too young and into love and other drugs, I had never actually tried Pliny. So after getting caught up in "the scene", I naturally wanted some.

By this time, the clerks at Total Wine and More seemed to be pretty fed up and/or apathetic with all the Pliny whores (That was the vibe I got, and I wasn't trying to be one - I just wanted a single bottle if possible), so they were quick to pimp out Hoptologist to the fullest. Knee Deep just released a 'Gold Medal Winning' poster (displayed very apparently) to go along with it, and they were very supportive of it. I of course got my hands on a few bottles of Pliny, and after I drank my bottle of Hoptologist, I went right back to BevMo! and bought another one to bring home with me. When I got back home and once again had access to the web, I read up on both of these brews a little more just for my own personal enjoyment and more so, to see what people had to say about Hoptologist. I've already heard enough about Pliny to know that people are all over it, just like my sperm on a photoshopped nude of Saoirse Ronan.

But I digress! When I started reading reviews of Hoptologist, what I noticed was that people were just going on 'certain sites' rating it and talking mad shit! Unwarranted shit, mind you. They weren't even really reviews either, and most of the people who wrote them seemed as if they didn't even drink the f'n beer. "I can't believe this beat Pliny, I give it a 1" or "Pliny 4 Lyfe! hoptolgish suxxsz..", and so on. It was some childish bullshit and I must of course scoff at it. I understand fanboy-ism, and I understand favoritism, and I understand territorial pissing... but I've never really been one to understand stupidity and general annoyance. Can I deal with it? That's a different discussion. People like to separate things so much. "This one's better than that one." "That one's better than this one." And so on. Well... fuck everybody who does that, because I AM MIXING THIS SHIT TOGETHER! Just for the hell of it. Not to piss anyone off either (much like Dr. Blood, I could care less about the abhorring, diseased, simple-minded and stinky people of Wal-Mart, which are quite frankly, below me - and I quote). I was going to drink them both the same night anyways, so I figured, why the beer knot?! 

HOW IT WENT DOWN: Both of these similar looking brews formed a clear, pumpkin shade of orange and it had a long lasting bubbly huge head atop of it.

While both of these beers smell incredible on their own, and (as expected) together as well, it's also pretty awesome when they're mixed. Smells a bit like Torpedo actually. Hey, I could have bought a whole shitload of Torpedo for a fraction of the price of this and it would have been all good. Pay no attention to the man behind the pint glass! Hoptologist has a bit more of a creamy candy-like smell, while Pliny has more of a prickly and piney. They mix together quite well. 

I guess similar's attract too. This combo starts off with a fluffy cloud inside the mouth that rapidly expands and explodes. There's extremely peppery caramel, a haze of strong booze and leafy, piney hops burst all over. It's bitter, bittersweet and a bit stinging. There's not much more to it than that aside from the subtle fruitiness. Just two righteous DIPA's mingling together. Nothing to see here!

Lot of foam on the mouth first off. It settles down eventually... like two beers at war, eventually making peace. Perhaps mankind, and idiots aspiring to become some kind of man, should take note. So how did I feel overall about the whole thing? Well, it felt good in spirit. Would I have been just as happy to walk down the block and grab a Southern Tier Gemini and mix it with a Sierra Nevada Torpedo? The answer is yes. But then again, the Hops fell off before these beers were even bottled right? well, fuck it.

September 11, 2012

Ballast Point Sculpin

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (2012)
Brewed and Bottled by Ballast Point Brewing Co., in San Diego, CA. USA.
Limited Yearly Release.
22 fl. oz. / $10.99 USD / 7% ABV

About: "The Sculpin is a testament to our humble beginnings as Home Brew Mart. It showcases bright flavors and aromas of apricot, peach, mango and lemon. The lighter body also brings out the crispness of the hops. This delicious Ballast Point Ale won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup 2010 in the International Pale Ale category. The Sculpin fish has poisonous spikes on it’s fins that can give a strong sting. Ironically, the meat from a Sculpin is considered some of the tastiest. Something that has a sting but tastes great, sounds like a Ballast Point India Pale Ale."

Thoughts: Looks as if the liquor store down the street just got a brand new shipment of incredibly fresh Sculpin! Not a big deal I guess as they just shelved a row on the top where it's pretty much invisible and a row near the bottom next to the Southern Tier stuff (no other Ballast Point brews in the place as this stuff doesn't come around often and obviously they don't order huge amounts of it). Just so happens though that this one is the one I was looking for... so uh, fuck yeah.

The top popped off this one very invitingly, as if it just erupted and had been waiting to be drank. The color is a yellowish-auburn with shades of orange. It's lighter than expected. The white head dissipated at a somewhat quick pace, but it was a big sucker. The beer looks really clear and there's minimal carbonation rising up.

Smell is amazing. Very resiny and up front. Loads of hop profile in this one, and a very sweet malt backup that accentuates the piney scent perfectly. There's an utterly sweet citrus tone throughout the whole thing too, permeating with mango and grapefruit. Very much like a tropical fruit juice mix. Pineapples in pear juice.

First sip and I can feel a prickling on my tongue followed by an initial rush of bitterness. It's very piney, but an earthty and leafy type pine. It's got a semi-sweet biscuity type background to it. It's leaves a bit of a smoky haze after each gulp, and overall it's got a floral vibe to it. This is some pretty strong stuff. Like liquid concentrated hop oil. Not the best balance I've tasted, but it's pretty close. There's a very light caramel in there. Strangely enough, I'm getting a buttery sensation while a fourth of the way through the bottle... and I started sneezing.

Mouth is pretty creamy. And oily. This stuff coats the mouth and doesn't let up.

As it warms up and you get used to it, the bitterness mellows out a bit becomes a more flavorful and slightly sweeter beer. Like dipping half of a grapefruit onto a plate of sugar. Strange camoflauge lacing on the glass with this one. Never seen that before. Alright, pouring the rest of the bottle: no change in appearance. Digging the scent all over again. The buttery tone faded out once I poured the rest of the cold brew back in the glass. It's still a bit peppery, prickling, slightly hazy, and a tad tart from that zest peel.

This is a pretty damn good IPA, especially if you're down with the bitterness, but nothing in this world will beat out Torpedo for the maximum flavor / price ratio. What in the hell is with the price on this one?! Jeez. It was just put on the shelf so they didn't have the stickers up yet, not that I really cared to ask anyways since I just wanted it... but eleven bucks? Dogfish Head Fort is on my list, and even being such a super high ABV brew (which makes the price somewhat understandable), it's got my wallet crying at the fifteen dollar price tag (and that's a 25.4 oz bottle).

September 8, 2012

Baxter Brewing Stowaway IPA

Baxter Brewing Stowaway I.P.A. (2012)
Brewed and Canned by Baxter Brewing Co., in Lewiston, ME. USA.
Year Round Brew?
12 fl. oz. / $1.70 USD / 6.9% ABV

About: "Bold, complex flavors with a solid malt backbone and assertive hop profile, along with cold conditioning, give this beer its crisp, clean, hoppy finish. Deep amber-to-orangish in color, Stowaway pours with a nice, creamy head; a huge hop aroma of citrus, pine and grapefruit notes; and a big, complex, and intense hop flavor from the 5 different hop varieties and double-dry-hopping procedure used in making this beer. The malt flavor up-front turns dry and crisp; Stowaway is full-bodied but with a dry finish and pleasant, long-lasting, hop aftertaste. This I.P.A. definitely leaves you wanting more."

Thoughts: Poured like an orangy amber, almost golden color with an off white head bursting and popping all different sized bubbles. It's an extremely clean looking beer, totally transparent and seems to have some pretty abundant carbonation.

It's got a bit of a classic IPA scent to it. Very citrusy right off, loads of grapefruit and lemon zest. Smells tangy, and tropical, and there's a sweet malt background to it. The longer you breath it in the more slowly frosts the nostrils.

Taste is... well, similar to the smell. Though it got pretty damn bitter relatively quickly, and then a strange sensation of burnt caramel that's a bit metallic tasting hit. After that a little bit of soap and even some sourdough bread. It's pretty peppery overall, and there's a slight grassyness to it after a short while. It's got a snap to it, but I wish some of that fruitiness stuck around after the first two gulps.

Mouthfeel is pretty oily.

There's a ton of hop bitterness in this that really pops. It tastes very raw, and equally strong. And despite that soapyness, it's still pretty good. The malt background doesn't do a stellar job of balancing out this bitter bomb.

September 7, 2012

Stone Ruination

Stone Ruination IPA (2012)
Year Round Brew.
22 fl. oz. / $5.99 USD / 7.7% ABV

About: "So called because of the "ruinous" effect on your palate! This massive hop monster has a wonderfully delicious and intensely bitter flavor on a refreshing malt base. One taste and you can easily see why we call this brew "a liquid poem to the glory of the hop!" Those who seek, crave and rejoice in beers with big, bold, bitter character will find true nirvana in Stone Ruination IPA! Hops: Columbus and Centennial."

Thoughts: Ruin poured an incredibly clear, yellowish-amber orange. There are a lot of carbonation bubbles rising up, and the head seemed to last nearly forever.

Scent is strong, hop forward, especially during the pour. Citrus tones, lots of mellow pine, candy coated hops, grapefruit and lemon zest. It's got a pretty good balance to it. The malt is definately there, though not really over the top, and the hops really get to shine through. Smells like an inviting trap.

Taste is a little sweet, very peppery, and it's got bite! There's a snap to it - a nice piney hop kick after the swallow... Loads of bitterness follows. And an enjoyable caramel malt backup that's not too sweet as well. This one has a major hop flow from beginning to end and though it's got a decent balance, the hops do not hide from scent to taste to finish.

Mouth feel is pretty creamy. It's got a really sublime and gentle foam to it and isn't heavy at all.

While I like how sweet and spicy this one is, there seems to be something missing. It's got a nice flavor to it, but it just didn't blow me away. I'm not looking for a "nice" flavor. Rather, I want extreme up-front blast bursts of orgasmic liquid pulses (Southern Tier anyone?).

Since I had an old bottle of this sitting around, I decided to go out and grab another so I could pair the two and reflect a bit. Though the aged IPA was only a month over the best by date, it was noticeably different. The beer itself was muted and not as crisp, but still drinkable... however, the look of the brew was the most startling. The old Ruination was cloudy as fuck! These two beers side by side looked nothing at all like each other when I poured them in the glasses. I'll continue to purchase Stone beers that I have yet to try, and review them, and who knows, maybe I'll buy another bottle of this one sometime in the future. But I doubt that if I'm looking at this side by side with SN Torpedo that I'd pick up a bottle, rather instead opting to grab a couple of the superior for the same price.

September 4, 2012

Stone 16'th Anniversary

Stone 16'th Anniversary IPA (2012)
Limited Release (Brewed Once).
22 fl. oz. / $7.94 USD / 10% ABV

About: "This year our brewing team was inspired by some exotic-ish additions of the lemony persuasion. Yes, it's a Double IPA (can you really say you're surprised?), but as we strive to do with all our Stone Anniversary Ales of the let's-take-this-IPA-in-a-new-direction variety, we've brewed up a Stone-worthy divergence from tradition. The amount of rye malt we used isn't quite enough to warrant the appellation "Rye IPA," but it still adds hints of spiciness that contrast deliciously with the tropical fruit flavors and aromas of the Amarillo and Calypso hops. Add a few European specialty malts, some lemon verbena, and three more hop varieties to the mix, and you have a highly complex brew melding both bitter and fruity hop notes with rich toasted malt character punctuated by nuances of spicy rye and subtle lemon."

Thoughts: Poured a light golden yellow tone with a slightly off-white head bursting with various sized bubbles that later developed into a thick and snowy froth. The beer itself is pretty cloudy, there's no speckling on the first pour (half of the bottle) and there's some light to medium carbonation.

Well it smells very lemony that's for sure. It's plesant. I'm actually thirsty as fuck right now and a lemony IPA sounds just about right... espeically at 10%. It smells a bit spicy, but the mix of all these hops and that lemon it smells kinda like a weird kind of rubber that I can't identify. Smells like a good balance of malts in there with the hops though.

Taste is a sharp sting of lemon zest and oil, and a ton of rye backup. It's tingling, spicy, there's haze from the booze, it's slightly bitter and a little sweet and sour. There's also a little bit of grass in the background. It's definitely flavorful, there's no doubt about that. But is it "tasty"? I'm not quite sure. I'm sort of having a flashback to DFH's Hellhound My Ale which was brewed with lemons (and while I love hops, lemons and ale - for some reason this one isn't sitting well with me).

Alright, poured the rest of it and taking a look... now there's a massive amount of grain in there. Maybe I should have rolled the bottle, no matter... taking another gulp here and it's got a lot more of a peppery tone throughout. The brew is blended very well and there are a couple layers, and it's not really horrible at all, but I'm still not diggin' it.

Mouthfeel is wet - naturally I would suppose - don't know why I said that, very minimal coating, a little light, bubbly - not frothy, and drinkable.

This brew is bitter and sour, and could have been incredible if they didn't go with that rye malt and instead opted for something sweeter. Maybe that's just the bitch in me talking though. This one gets a solid "meh" from me. I wanted to like it more, especially as a connoisseur of all thing lemon, lemon shaped and sour. *wink* Thing is... too much yeast can put a damper on things.

September 3, 2012

Psycho...? Nah, just Bloody Sex in the Shower!

Let's see a show of hands...

...for those of you whom these pics bring back memories!

I'd go first, but my hands are busy at the moment.

September 2, 2012

Anna Friel in Bathory: Countess of Blood (2008)

When they told me that this was a Period Drama, I didn't think they meant literally.
Midnight Thirst. I can feel the pain.
Her teeth slowly elongate as she looks up at her next victim and smiles. Exciting!
Dig that weave!
So very hot.
...yet, so very Cold!

Innis and Gunn Independence Day Ale

Innis and Gunn LIMITED EDITION Independence Day 2012 - Lightly Oaked Beer (2012)
Limited Release (Brewed Once).
11.2 fl. oz. (x4) / $9.99 USD / 7% ABV

About: "We are delighted to present this Limited Edition Innis and Gunn beer which has been brewed, matured and bottled to mark American Independence Day, the 4th of July 2012. This beer celebrates the Heritage, the Spirit and the Character of the people of America and the people of Scotland. It is a great collaboration of full-flavored Scottish malted barley and mouth-watering, zesty American hops, all slowly matured in our brewery in Scotland. Food Pairings: Wonderful with barbequed ribs, steaks and chicken. Or try with some spicy prawns."

Thoughts: Poured a really warm reddish shade of orange with a slight auburn lining around the edges of the glass and some reflective yellows bouncing up from underneath. The brew is clear, but still a bit dark and hard to see through. The bright white head was quick to form and popped itself away rather quickly as well.

The nose up front is very malty. There's vanilla and oak for the most part, and there's a mild hint of fruitiness that resembles spicy apples or pear. It smells like an Innis and Gunn. Gotta love it.

The taste starts off very bready and sweet, with a hint of spice, like an apple turnover with cinnamon. Then there's a rush of citrus malts that are slighly sour but very mild like a tangerine / grapefruit mix. And after that everything really mellows and that oak comes slowly flooding in and it's so calm.

Mouthfeel is a medium with a body that expands to a foam rather quickly. It's refreshing, but definately a sipper beer and while it's a little bit drying, it's coating at the same time so it's not too dry.

Innis and Gunn is always a treat for me. Every time I see something new from them it is BOS: Bought On Sight! The liquor store I frequent just got a new little wooden Innis and Gunn display and put it in a decent viewable spot. They only had two of these 4-Packs and they must have just gotten them in. This one ain't my favorite of theirs (can the Rum Cask be topped?!), but damn if it still ain't some good shtuff!

Woodchuck Spring Hard Cider

Woodchuck Spring Hard Cider (2012)
Spring Seasonal
12 fl. oz. / $0.75 USD / 5% ABV

About: "Warm days and cold nights will make the sap flow in the woods (Tehehe), but keeping the cider flowing in your fridge is up to you. Start with our spring cider - the taste and aroma of fresh maple syrup and brown sugar will make you think you're sitting in a warm sugarhouse in the Vermont countryside."

Thoughts: I got this in a Mystery 6-Pack of beer stapled inside of a brown paper bag. Figured what the hell!

The Cider poured a completely transparent, nearly clear liquid with only the slightest hint of a yellowish green. A sliver of white bubbles held strong for about a minute from my viscious downward pour.

The smell of this is a perfectly balanced half and half mix of maple syrup and hard cider. Though the scent isn't very robust, it's enjoyable for the sour drink.

That little bit of sour in the scent gets completely lost in a gentle sweetness that immediately creeps in and languishes. The maple syrup flavor in this is off the charts good. The sweetness from that contributing factor as well as the brown sugar adds another layer on top of the sweet and sour apple flavors, ending in a doubly sweet cider with an almost unnoticeable hint of tang. The flavors are strong, but don't overpower at all, nor are they sickeningly sweet as to ruin everything. This is a very flavorful drink, yet at the same time quite mellow.

Mouthfeel is watery for the most part, and only slightly sticky at the end of it all.

I haven't had a lot of Hard Ciders in my life, but so far this would have to be the best I've ever drank. I'm always looking for Maple Syrup in beers and most of the time they've dissapointed me. This Cider however, was very surprising, especially as I had not read the label beforehand. I did not expect maple syrup at all. What a pleasant treat... and hey, this stuff must be selling well since there were not one but two bottles in the ? bag. 

Smuttynose Star Island Single

Smuttynose Star Island Single - Session ale brewed with spice (2012)
Year Round Brew
12 fl. oz. (x6) / $9.49 USD (w/ Company Pint Glass) / 4.7% ABV

About: "Visitors to Smuttynose Island, peering across the dark waters of Gosport Harbor towards the ragged rocks of neighboring Star Island, are sometimes startled by the fleeting sight of mysterious, alluring creatures swept up from the Atlantic’s cold, inky depths. Or so they tell us.

Our Star Island Single is an eminently sessionable, Belgian-style pale ale offering a beguiling mix of flavor and refreshment. This medium-bodied golden ale features a slight residual sweetness from Honey Malt and hints of citrus and tropical fruits from the unique Belgian yeast it is fermented with, leaving a crisp dry finish. Enjoy it sociably while you savor good times, tall tales, friendly company and life’s unexpected pleasures. Hops: Sterling. Recommended Food Pairings: Roasted white meats."

Thoughts: SIS poured an extremely light yellowish amber and featured a full and bubbly one and a half finger white head. The beer is a complete blurry haze and there's about one or two carbonation bubbles rising up every few seconds.

The scent is of a mix of spices and malt and not really much else. It's hard to pick anything up actually as the scent is so incredibly light. It smells a bit like rye bread to me, but then again not really.

The taste is slightly heavier than the scent, and tastes of the scent itself. This must be brewed with the lightest Belgian yeast in the world. Something about the taste of this isn't sitting well with me... it gets very chalky and almost soapy, and never goes through any other transition so that's it to the beer? It's slightly sour, a little bit peppery and it's got like a clouded, muted tang to it. Aside from that the taste is pretty light and not all that exciting. Not horrible by any means, but I was not feelin' it.

I feel dried out about halfway through the bottle. The beer is a little thin and watered down feeling.

I sampled about five of their beers and decided on this one and don't really know if it was the right chioice. I really should have gotten their seasonal for the sake of having a seasonal or even their regular IPA. Perhaps I should just stay away from anything that's got the words "Session Ale" in it, or hell, any beer with an ABV that dips below 5%... or as I like to call them, "light beers!" At least the Rep was cute and fun to talk to for a little while though. The next Smutty I go for will no doubt be one from their Big Beer series (though I'm not sure how I'd really feel about drinking a beer with happy faced Sperms all over the label).

September 1, 2012

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2012 Series

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2012 Series
Limited Release. 12 fl. oz. (x12) / $20.49 USD / VAR% ABV (see below)

I was mildly excited about this and picked it up on sight. Care to read what I thought about these?

Floral IPA (aka Long Stem IPA) - Beer Camp #53 (2012)
12 fl. oz. (x3) / 5.9% ABV

About: "This unique take on the IPA style takes the floral aromas and flavors found in hops, and combines the with actual flowers! This medium-bodied brew was made using actual organic rose petals and rose hips for an unusually aromatic experience. With a complex mix of floral, citrus and pine hop flavors, and a balanced and easy-drinking malt backbone Long Stem IPA is a one-of-a-kind beer.

Bittering Hops: Citra / Aroma Hops: Centennial and Crystal / Torpedo Hops: Centennial, Saphir and Rose Petals / Malt: Golden Promise, Caramel (15L), Special B and Chocolate / Yeast: Ale / Other: Rose Hips."

Thoughts: As I poured this the head got off to a pretty violent start then slowly fell back into a sliver atop the brew. It's got an orange color overall, perhaps a little bit of a cinnamon color to it. When I hold it up to the light I notice that this beer is Grainy as all hell! It looks like someone took a couple hop flowers and took a cheese grater to em.

Smelt pretty pungent during the pour. Well, the scent is certainly more floral than anything else. I'm noticing like a 75% lemon 25% grapefruit citrus hop background under the flowery aroma. It's kind of sweet, like those Lemon-head candies, or those old school sugared lemon candies that your granny would have in a jar for three years straight and when  you tried to pick one up the whole bowl would come up with it! It's like that, and soft flower pedals.

The taste pretty much matches the scent exactly, which isn't a bad thing at all since it smells really cool. It's got a decent bitterness, and a light touch of pine, but it's also a tad sweet too.

Mouth feel is a little heavy. It's a weighted beer that's prickly, very crisp and finishes clean.

This is an OK beer. It's not incredible or mindblowing, and unfortunately not too intresting really. But it tastes good at least, and I guess that matters. Right?

Imperial Red Ale (aka Red-Oric) - Beer Camp #65 (2012)
12 fl. oz. (x3) / 8.1% ABV

About: "This Imperial Red Ale takes the bold hop profile found in a traditional Imperial IPA and turns up the malt. It has big aromatic hop notes of grapefruit, peach and melon, balanced by a very smooth and surprisingly robust malt body. Hops take the lead on this beer, but the malt tames the bitterness and adds a unique drinkability.

Bittering Hops: Magnum and Experimental Variety / Aroma Hops: Chinook, Magnum and Experimental Variety / Dry Hops: Citra and Magnum / Malt: Pale 2-Row, Patagonia, Caramel (45L) and Chocolate / Yeast: Ale."

Thoughts: This beer poured a translucent cherry cool-aid like color, with a huge somewhat pink looking fluff of a head. There's tons of carbonation bubbles going up, the smaller bubbles rising slow and the bigger bubbles zooming right past them. Cool. There are really neat speckles scattered all throughout the brew too. I like the cut of this one's jib, or something...

The scent isn't all too strong. It's hard to pick up, and a little bit strange. A very low droned, malty and sourness to it. I'm getting toasted sesame seeds I think, or like, funky sourdough bread.

Taste is bitter straight off the bat. And smokey. And tart. Well hidden alcohol. A prickling sensation while it's held in the mouth. After the swallow the whole back of the throat is as if I had just chewed a piece of lemon peel. Eventually that dies down a bit, and as the beer warms it become easier drinking. It tastes kind of like a funky, flat, spiced soda. Meh.

Light, airy and fluffy like a bit cotton ball as it expands.

Not really digging this one too much, despite the noticeable quality.

Imperial Pilsner (aka Sticke Pilsner) - Beer Camp #43 (2012)
12 fl. oz. (x3) / 5.6% ABV

About: "Packing a big hop-forward punch and bright crisp finish, this golden pilsner features a hearty dose of "sticky" resinous Crystal and Pacifica dry hops, which balance the light-bodied yet complex malt background.

Bitter Hops: Magnum / Aroma Hops: Crystal and Pacifica / Torpedo Hops: Crystal and Pacifica / Malt: Pale 2-Row, Europils, Munich and Acidulated / Yeast: Lager."

Thoughts: Poured an incredibly clear light yellow. There's a lot of carbonation going on. The head was really crackly at first but didn't die down as fast as I thought it was going to.

Smells of straw. Light, crispy hops. Mild citrus.

Slightly bitter, herbal... quite yeasty, and a there's a bit of twang to it. There's a subtle spicyness to it and a  Lemon kick in the background.  In fact, a lot of this beer is subtle. There's really not a lot going on  at all, other than it tastes OK. Very mild and soapy, aside from that tingling spice that's it's got there. It's a little bit funky. Aftertaste is like ash.

Mouth is light, easy and a little watery.

Yep, nothing I love more than sitting back with an Imperial 5.6% Pilsner after a hard days wor... oh wait, I fuckin' hate pilsners now don't I? Forgot about that. But hey, maybe I'll find an eye-opener pils one of these daze, who knows.

Oatmeal Stout (aka Snowed In Stout) - Beer Camp #45 (2012)
12 fl. oz. (x3) / 9.0% ABV

About: "Brewed in honor of the season's only snow-day in Chico, this big stout was born out of winder, but is perfect any time of the year. This imperial oatmeal stout is inky black in color, with a big milk chocolate, mocha-like aroma. It has a silky body from the use of rolled oats, and a round and lasting finish.

Bittering Hops: Brewer's Gold and UK Challenger / Aroma Hops: Willamette and Styrian Golding / Malt: Pale 2-Row, Caramel (60L), Rolled Oats, Chocolate, Black and Roasted Barley / Yeast: Ale."

Thoughts: The deceptively hidden milk-chocolate colored head on this erupted in a downward fury that nearly overflowed. In its fluffy and giggly wake, it left a pitch black brew that clouded up the sides of the glass.

Sweet and somewhat spicy, an roasted coffee undertone, toasted oats and chocolate milk. This smells... awesome!

Starts off with a gentle sweetness, with kind of a tingle that slowly fades into a slow roasted bitterness that isn't all too powerful. Alcohol must be incredibly well hidden in this one. After a while it becomes bittersweet, and though there's a bit of a burn around the back of the throat once it warms, it's all pretty mellow. There's nothing extreme at all about this one, but that isn't really a bad thing here.

It's a little bit more watery than I thought it would be.

This one is decent enough. Once it gets room temp there's a bit of black licorice that comes out, and that's pretty nice.

Final Thoughts: Overall I think all four of these beers lacked in a special something. I can see why they're pretty much brewpub exclusives and don't imagine that any of these will ever see a full time release on their own. I am interested in trying more beers from their uber-long list of Beer Camp brews though. Hopefully next time they'll keep the original names on the package though. I wasn't fond of the generic titling (and labeling) on these. 

Considering the fact that I didn't totally love at least one of these four beers, the only way I'd buy another Beer Camp 12 Pack for 20$ would be if they were four different brews. Though it goes without saying that all four of these beers are far better than a lot of the mainstream shit out there, they don't really hit me as "labors of love" or whatnot. Quality brews nonetheless, but not nearly Sierra Nevada's best moments.

My words are my own and as of posted from their creation forward I hereby claim originality to them. Pictures may prove to be promotional items and are the sole possessions of their respectful owners and/or companies. I do not sell, nor do I buy. I only rent, so therefore, nothing I own is truly mine.