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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jim Beam Jacob;s Ghost White Whiskey

Jim Beam Jacob;s Ghost White Whiskey

While browsing the Bourbon/Whiskey aisle at ABC Liquor, I came across this one from Jim Beam. Didn't know they came out with it.

It's a clear, aged, white whiskey. Yep, clear. The first thing I thought of was Jack Daniel's unaged rye whiskey. Big difference is Jim Beam is aged in white oak barrels. Being clear is normal since bourbon/whiskey gets the color from the barrels the spirit is aged in. Also it gets a lot of the flavor from the wood as well. If anyone didn't know that, please go back to eating sloppy joes.

Poured into a snifter. Aroma isn't the best I have smelled. Neither is the taste. There is a bit of spice to the aroma and taste. Add in a touch of vanilla in the taste. Not much in the way of taste. Worth checking it out for something different. Was not overly impressed with it.

New Belgium Ranger

New Belgium Brewing Ranger IPA

Picked up a bottle of this at Savor Market today for $3. Hadn't had it before and since it is an IPA, the king of beer styles, I had to get it.

Brewed with Chinook, Simcoe and Cascade hops. Those hops make a pretty good IPA. Everybody knows the hops are good because PBR doesn't have the hops. PBR doesn't have anything going for it.

6.5% ABV, 70 IBU. Aroma is hoppy and floral. Actually it is one of the better smelling beers in a while. Taste does have a bitter, hoppy taste to it. It's not as great as the smell would suggest. I was expecting a lot more citrus to it. There was some but not as much as I would have hoped. This is just an average IPA. Not one I would search out again. At least I only paid $3.

Suggested listening:

Insanely Bad Elf

Ridgeway Brewing Insanely Bad Elf

“My goodness”, muttered Claus, recalling his visit to the Institute, “the restrictive outerwear, the padded room-even padded Christmas tree ornaments. Horrifying! Yet the little chap seems happier than he’s ever been” Claus took a thoughtful sip of a most warming red ale. “Perhaps sanity is over-rated…Ho,Ho,Ho!”

Picked this up a couple weeks ago at Savor Market. It was $4.99 for the 11.2 ounce bottle. Tried it on Christmas Eve.

Insanely Bad Elf is an imperial red ale. 11.20% ABV. Pours a reddish color. Aroma is one of the worst I've ever had the misfortune of smelling. The name describes the smell, insanely bad. Taste is not better than the smell. This is one of the worst tasting beers made. It makes Corona seem great by comparison. This was a drain pour beer. Worth avoiding at all cost. Would rather have PBR followed by a natty light chaser. Insanely Bad Elf would be a beer that people I work with would consider a great beer. They must partake of the wacky tabaccy.

Suggested Listening:
4 disc reissue of Perfomance: Rockin' The Fillmore.

This includes 4 shows recorded on 5/28/1971 and 5/29/1971. The original double album is one of the best live albums released. The reissue expands on it. The recordings are when Peter Frampton was still part of Humble Pie.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Booker's Bourbon

Small Batch Bourbon Booker's

Jim Beam does a line of small batch bourbon. Have had all shown in the pic above at one point or another. Currently have bottles of 3 of them. Have had Baker's at the Jim Beam distillery. Do have a bottle of Knob Creek and Knob Creek rye.

Decided to buy a full bottle of Booker's at ABC Liquor today. Cost $53.95 for the bottle. That is why I've never bought a bottle. I have bought more expensive bottles but those have been few and far between. First had Booker's at the Jim Beam distillery about 10 years ago. Was disappointed in the distillery, there was wasn't a tour, at least when I was there. You could go into the gift shop and one of the old houses and that was about it. There were tastings of some of the small batch bourbons in the house.

Do like the box the bottle comes in. The front is plastic, not glass. Would have liked it to be glass, but plastic is probably a bit more durable and probably a bit cheaper.

Booker's is aged 6 to 8 years. Proof ranges from 121 to 127. The bottle I bought is 127.1 proof or 63.55% ABV. With the high proof, this one isn't for people who don't like taste in their adult beverages. If someone likes PBR or bad Mexican beer, this bourbon is for them. They should go back to eating sloppy joes and watching the Kardashians.

Poured into a Jack Daniel's snifter. Pretty sure that makes me gangsta. Aroma is smoky and of oak. Some sweetness of vanilla is there as well. That's what I can smell even with my bad nose. Taste is very strong. Definitely a burn from the high proof. There is a pronounced spiciness to it. Oak, caramel and vanilla do show up. I'm sure different bottles will have slightly different tastes to them. Since I tend to like bourbon uncut (meaning no splash of water), i know I would be considered a heretic. Usually most bourbon snobs say to add a splash of water to open up the taste and smell. For some reason I'm the opposite. This is a very worthwhile bourbon to get get. It is sip worthy. But who would get bourbon to do shots of? Bad beer drinkers to get the taste of PBR out of their mouth.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dortmunder Gold

Great Lakes Brewing Dortmunder Gold

Picked up a 6 pack at Giant Eagle for $8.99. Great Lakes Brewing is probably my favorite brewery. Commodore Perry IPA and Eliot Ness Vienna lager are two of the best beers.

Quite a few Great Lakes beers reference Cleveland or Cleveland area history or people. Eliot Ness Vienna Lager is named after the untouchable who was Cleveland's safety director at one time. There Burning River beer is in reference to the Cuyahoga River catching on fire in 1969 due to all the pollution.

This is a Dortmunder style beer. Essentially a golden lager that originated in Dortmund, Germany. Dortmunder Gold has 5.8% ABV and 30 IBU. Brewed with Cascade and Mt. Hood hops.

Poured into a pilsner glass. Decent size head with plenty of lacing. Golden in color. A bit of a hop smell with a tad of malt. Plenty of carbonation. Taste is fairly crisp and dry. Some biscuit is in the taste. Slight bitterness on the end. This one would be perfect on a hot summer day. Worth getting. Anything from Great Lakes is worth getting. It has a 91 BA and a 99 Bros score on Beer Advocate. Dortmunder gold has a 94 overall and a 100 style score on RateBeer.

Suggested listening:
One of the best live albums. I actually like this one much better than their Live Killers release. This was near the end of their last tour. Queen hadn't toured the U,S. since 1983, which I do believe was a mistake on their part. Queen slowly lost the audience they had built up here. They only really regained it after the movie Wayne's World was released. But by that time Freddie Mercury was already gone. One of the few bands that could play everything from metal to glam to pop. Queen is more metal than Pantera could ever hope for.

The Audacity Of Hops

Cambridge Brewing the Audacity Of Hops

Picked this up Monday at Savor Market. It was $8.99 for the bomber. Savor Market has new stuff every couple days. They sell over 800 beers.

Being a Belgian style IPA, I knew it would trample quite a few other beers in the taste department. 1. It is an IPA. 2. It's a Belgian style beer. What could be better? Well the Pittsburgh Pirates beating the Cincinnati Reds will always be better. People realizing American Football is not a sport. That Soccer is the only real football. But beer wise, not a whole lot is better.

70 IBU and 8% ABV. Poured into an English style pub glass. Decent head but not great. Just a touch of lacing. Poured a bit orange in color. Aroma was fairly fruity. Hops were present along with some of the Belgian yeast. It has Simcoe, Amarillo, Hallertauer and Spalt hops in it. Simcoe and Amarillo make it worth drinking just by themselves. Taste is very hoppy. Basically the 70 IBU makes this great to begin with. Citrus taste is a little grapefruit and orangish. The spice from the yeast is there as well. Very much a great beer. One of my new favorites. Worth checking out.

Suggested Listening:

A reunion concert of Led Zeppelin for the benefit concert to celebrate Ahmet Ertegun. It was filmed in 2007 and released in 2012. 3 of the original members are present. The only member missing is John Bonham who died in 1980, His son, Jason Bonham took over the drumming duties.

Flower Power (Another review)

Ithaca Brewing Flower Power IPA

Have posted on this before, but that was based on 1 bottle. This post will be based off a 6 pack. It's worth a second post.

Flower Power falls into the non crap beer category. Why isn't this beer crap? Because I have functioning taste buds. Not mangled by munching on sloppy joes.

7.5% ABV. 75 IBU. With the IBU being 75, this means it is starting to get into greatness. Hoppiness trumps maltiness and trumps any smoked beer. Smoked flavors only cover up other crap in beer. Smoked flavors are like the band Kiss. Kiss distracts from the crappy music with pyro, a light show and other tricks. Smoked beers distracts from the taste with a trick.

Did I mention the IBU is 75? That means greatness. Some people can't handle such greatness. Double/Imperial IPA beers are the same way. DIPA/IIPA just have a higher alcohol content and with a slightly better flavor. For some reason, some people just can't handle the pure awesomeness. I'll leave those people to drinking the crap "beer" and Pantera and Sloppy Joes. Add in they probably watch Honey Boo Boo as well. Means I'll just keep getting more awesome.

Poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass. Picked up the glass at Savor Market recently for $5.99. Yes, the type of glass can affect how a beer tastes and smells. If someone calls BS on that, go back to thinking beer out a can tastes metallic. Just isn't true. Never was true. Just like the Cincinnati Reds are a "baseball" team. Actual facts prove otherwise. Aroma is hoppy and citrusy. Smells that makes a beer great. Taste has pineapple and grapefruit. Hops make this beer. Hops make any worthy beer. Rush out and get this beer. It is a must have beer. Anybody who says otherwise needs to be anally probed by aliens while listening to Justin Bieber.

Suggested listening:

American Beauty - The Grateful Dead.

Dogifsh Head does an American Beauty beer. Haven't had it.