25 December, 2012


Are you trying to clean up?

Hmm. That's weird.

Hey look- we got a white christmas!

Actually there was a fair amount of snow from 10 o'clock last night into the wee hours of the morning, but it melted off before sunrise. Oh well.

24 December, 2012

Stone Vertical Epic 12.12.12

Pours a startlingly dark black, with a nice mocha head.Smells of holiday spices like you'd find in a Belgian holiday strong dark.

It's passable. Like most spice beers, I'm not a huge fan of the cinnamon, pepper, clove. Mouth feel is well balanced. Wouldn't get it again.

23 December, 2012

Unibroue Ephemere

Pours a delicate publish red, almost like ruby grapefruit juice, with a fine white head that goes to laciness quickly. Smells divine. Belgian notes followed quickly by an elderflower nose with hints if tropical fruit and cranberry sharpness.

As its name would suggest, it's a very lightly flavored beer. Lightly tart with perfumed notes of elderberries.

Don't get it again.

Real Ale Devil's Backbone Tripel

Hazy golden with a tint off orange and no real head to speak of. An almost nectar like sweetness on the nose, with hints of citrus, honeysuckle, and higher alcohols.

Good balance and light flavor, with a bit of the sweetness evident on the nose. Each sip refreshes and leaves a slight after taste of syrupy sweet.

Pretty solid tripel. Get again, if it's reasonable.

20 December, 2012

Melbourn Bros Cherry

Nose of sour cherries- exciting. Lightly carbonated, cherries with a light hint of sour. Pretty good, but I want more sour..

05 December, 2012

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company Cerberus

Pours a cloudy golden, smells a candy like belgian. Set initially, but not cloying. Almost a light grain flavor. Lingers with a sweet, light bitterness got a bit.

20 October, 2012

Westvleteren 12

Dark fruit and sweet candy on the nose, and a small, off white, head a minute or two after pouring.

Heavily carbonated on the front leading in to a sweet, but not cloying, complex flavor of dark fruits.

It's a very good quad...

19 October, 2012

Mikkeller Surmunk

Pours a murky brown, little to no head. Intense sour nose with hints of cider and acetic acids. My first words were, "what the fuck?" Thin and carbonated, there's almost a savory sour with a hint of sour to finish (after the head bashing opener).

Also, for what it's worth, this is not the bottle that it came in... But I'll keep the picture since I have no idea what happened. Have a kitten picture!

BFM Spike & Jerome

Dark brown, slightly cloudy. Smells a touch acetic, sour followed by a touch of today, no appreciable hops.
After it warms, there's a touch of bitterness, but it's still pretty good.


19 September, 2012

Captain Lawrence St. Vincent's Dubbel

Pours a dark amber with only a little head. Smells a little belgiany and of dark fruits. Very good flavor. Carbonation in to a slightly chocolatey, slightly sweet, slightly roasty flavor that tapers and sticks with you as an after taste.

Very good beer. Buy it.

13 September, 2012

Captain Lawrence Golden Delicious

Pours golden with little head. Smells fruity, somewhat citrusy, and sweet. Thick and somewhat carbonated, with lots of alcohol notes, finished with a very tasty sweet flavor. Like the nose.

Overall, better towards the end, but probably wouldn't get again.

05 September, 2012

La Meule

Pours a light golden hazy. Very little lacy head. Smells belgian, but not cloying. Had that dry, belgian, brett-y nose. golden ale start, but then I get the sage. Good body, bitterness on the end.

Good, but probably won't buy again.

Lamb Virgin

First time I've ever cooked lamb before. Until tonight.

I got a boneless leg of lamb from costco. Marinated for 1 day, ground it up with the coarse blade, turned it in to patties, and left it another day. Grilled them up, put it on toasted, buttered soft portugese rolls.

2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 stems lemon thyme
2 stems citrus mint
2T salt
5 cloves garlic
heaping scoop of grainy mustard
Olive oil

Puree, lather, refrigerate.

03 September, 2012

Rochefort 10

Similar to the 6 and 8.
All of them are ok, but I need to bein the mood for something sweet.

Rochefort 8

Not as heady, smell is like the 6, but... Almost a little cheese?

Not as much carbonation, better balance, not as cloying.

It's adequate.

Rochefort 6

Pours a slightly hazy medium brown with tones of amber. Highly carbonated, smells like candy a bit-sweet and fresh.

Very carbonated, followed by a bit of candi flavor and then a little crispness. Not bad.

23 August, 2012

BFM Cuvee Alex Le Rouge

Dark opaque brownish black with a hint of cloudiness and no head. Smells of sour like raspberry and chocolate.
Reasonably silky mouth feel, especially for a sour. High carbonation, touch of moderate sour, then darkness. There's a pause between the sour and the chocolate and then immediately dark roasted bitter.

21 August, 2012

mission brewery dark seas, russian imperial stout

Quickly dissipating chocolate head. Appears dark and opaque, only a bit of translucence at the edges.

Aroma is overwhelmingly of chocolate milk made with hershey's chocolate syrup.

Clean, dark bitterness on the front which clears and moves to a toasty, roasty long finish which lingers and a touch of the chocolate from the nose.

This is good beer.

It's a bit thin, sweet, and strong for lots of drinking.

19 August, 2012

Wells Banana Bread Beer

Very good brown ale. Definitely reminiscent of bananas and grain in the finish. Much better and less campy than I expected.

24 June, 2012

21 June, 2012

He really likes packing paper

I like the one where Chewbacca helps me take the photo...

02 May, 2012

Der Hirsch-brau Bavarian Lager

Very little head. Sweet, bavarian nose, like candy or the candi nose on some belgians.

Kinda sweet, ok, not great. Better than bmc. Don't get it again.

01 April, 2012

Bringing home the bacon

Well, not really. More like bringing home the pork belly, salt, sugar, maple syrup, and various spices & herbs.

A while back, I purchased a whole hog, and, as many of you know, hogs have bellies, and bellies have a magical habit of turning in to bacon.

I pulled the belly out of the freezer earlier in the week, let it thaw, and then cut it into quarters. Each quarter received its own special cure, all based on the Charcuterie recipe (since you-know-who got that particular book for me a while back). The recipe is in a 8:4:1 ratio- Salt, sugar, pink salt. I did everything by weight and used kosher salt, Japanese brown sugar, and pink salt. According to the book, I'm supposed to use 1/4c of the sugar per 5# of belly, put it in a bag in the fridge and flip it every day for a week.

In my research, I found that most people prefer twice as much cure, so I went closer to that route, as follows:

1. 1/4 cup of the cure, nothing more
2. 1/4 cup of cure, 1/4 cup of maple syrup**
3. 1/4 cup of cure, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, 1tsp of: blk pepper, sze pepper, juniper berries
4. 1/4 cup of cure, 1tsp of: paprika, granulated garlic, minced onion, pink peppercorn, cumin

** There was a bit of a disaster with this particular guy.

I put each of the 2.5# pieces of belly in to a vacuum bag and used my handy-dandy food saver to pull a vacuum on each (I thought it might help the cure penetrate the meat, plus it's geeky). Now, the first one went off without a hitch. It was wonderful. The second, however, took advantage of my lowered defenses. I basically did the same thing that I did for the first, but wanted to clean the outside so I didn't have to worry about contamination. Well, during that process, the stream of water entered the partially-unsealed top of the bag and diluted the cure in side. Sadness. I ended up mixing up another batch of cure, 1/2 cup this time, drained the water, added the cure and more maple syrup. We'll see how that works.

The plan is to flip the bellies once a day for the next week, then evaluate the firmness of the belly and go from there. I plan on letting them cure for 7-14 days and then rinsing the bellies and soaking them for 30-60 minutes, placing them on a rack, and letting it dry in the fridge for 1-2 days to form a nice pellicle. Finally, I'm going to smoke the bellies to an internal temperature of 150.

I have high hopes.

30 March, 2012

Gaffel Kolsch

Very light and clear and a fluffy white head.
It has a scent with a slight fruit note but also reminds me of german light beers and pale yellow beer all st once.

Thin light mouthfeel, but has a good refreshing flavor. It almost seems like most of the flavor is in the aftertaste, which lasts a pretty long time and morphs slowly.
Pretty good for a lighter beer.

28 March, 2012

Tripel Karmeliet

Didn't review when I drank it. It was good. Have to try again.

Rodenbach 2009 Barrel 145

Thin head typical of sour beer; pretty balanced nose between sour and vinegar.clear, slight red tint, otherwise dark.
Great taste. Refreshing, well balanced, not too thin, good aftertaste.

Buy it again.

27 March, 2012

Very pale yellow, the very slightest of hazes.
Luxuriant foamy head.

Slightly alcoholic, sweet, and belgian.

Pretty good, I enjoy it, not worth more than the 8.50 I paid for it, but probably only because of my lack of sophistication...

26 March, 2012

Ommegang Witte

Puts a very-nearly clear golden straw. Little to no head. Slightly sweet wheat beer scent. Doesn't really hit me specifically with banana or clove, but still very refreshing.

First sip is heavy carbonation and lots of citrus and tropical fruit. Leaves a a moment of bitter or sour which fades to a vaguely confectionary essence.

A pretty good first beer of the night, but not the 15 a four pack it goes for (I love the 6-for-12 mix and match six packs at one of my new favorite stores).

14 March, 2012

Quick notes on all grain batch numero uno

22# grain
6g water at 168.6
Turns in to 160

Hot Stuff.

10 March, 2012

Kellerweis by Sierra Nevada

Good wheat beer. Nose is nice, reasonable clarity, and an almost sour refreshing aftertaste.

06 March, 2012

Ommegan Rare Vos

Belgian Amber Ale

Fruity esters common to Belgians- spritzy nose (refreshing).

A cross between amber and golden- a bit hazy and not much head. No lacing to speak of.

Good flavor- not too fruity, almost a touch tart. First thing you get is heavy belgian carbonation, almost-hoppy-but-not-really notses, and finishing with the almost-tart, refreshing flavor which leaves me wanting more.

This is good beer I should try to brew one day.

27 February, 2012

The Smokeout

(Consumed : available)

Smoked beans
1 : 2
Pork shoulder
0.5 : 2
Roasting-sized chickens
0.5 : 2
Wings (bags)
0.8 : 1
Rib racks
1.5 : 3
Hanging tender
0 : 2 (uncooked because there was so much other stuff)

11.5 people including us.

26 February, 2012

XX Bitter belgian golden ale

Smells belgian. Light to moderate bitterness balanced with belgian sweetness.

12 January, 2012

Yeasts good for apples

To add more later