The Dodge, at the Horse Brass

I’ve been avoiding starting the new theme up. I know I shouldn’t, I know that it is time for me to stop wandering and just get cracking but…I can’t quite do it. I’m sure longtime readers have noticed that the Monday posts have been a little hither and yon. This is me refusing to make the time to really get going. I almost started this week, I did.

But, like a petulant child, I am refusing to come in for dinner and staying away for one more week. Who’s going to take me to task for this? Nobody, so I may as well indulge myself for a little longer. Thus, it’s off to the Horse Brass this week for one more round of ‘not exactly doing what I’m supposed to’.

28861614215_2b72e73102_kMachine House’s Fustyweed Bitter, a cask conditioned ale from Seattle, is a beer I chose because I like the name “Fustyweed” and because I do not recall having anything from Machine House, which sounds more like a record label that sells industrial music than a brewery.

While I am not told the style, I am told it’s a cask conditioned ale, thus not carbonated and served closer to room temperature.

The nose has an interesting blend of caramel malt and an orange peel twist. The flavors play just such a tune, with the caramel in front, the orange peel on the finish. It’s a light beer and it tastes it: 3.6%. I can’t say it doesn’t meet it’s goal but at that percentage, my opinion is that the Fusty would be better served if it was carbonated to help give the feeling of lightness on the tongue, really enforcing the easy drinking beer that it is.

It would also help alleviate the bitter quality hiding in my cheeks, by my upper jaw. It’s not a terrible sensation but because the beer is so light, this quality is unreasonably emphasized. The warmth of the liquid might be helping a little, allowing me to pick up on what malt there is but my own prejudices say that this beer is a session ale that should be cold and crisp. That thin ribbon of almost-sweet flavor just isn’t quite enough backbone.

That said; this beer isn’t a flawed beer. For a moment, I can admire the skill that was required to get this beer to look as good as it does-and it’s remarkably clear-while providing at least two separate flavors that I can pick up both in the nose and on the tongue, and having almost no strong alcohol, malt, or hops flavors to cover up any wrongdoings.

I’m just not sure that cask conditioning serves this beer better than having it carbonated.

Pelican Variety Pack

I’ve got some quick reviews of the Pelican variety pack contents, in case you need something for what’s looking like a hot weekend.

Kiwanda Cream Ale-I’ve actually already written about this and on further drinks, my opinion is unchanged.

28500102140_a09f65cfbe_cUmbrella IPA: there’s a fruity scent in the nose and it seems a bit odd until I look over the label: Ella hops, it says, to evoke kiwi and passionfruit. Passionfruit I think I get, kiwi not so much. But the fruity quality tries to make a reappearance on the back end and it clashes a bit with the bitter elements.

I’m not sure I’m down with this beer: the finish gets a little vegetal instead of clean and it’s making me chew on my mouth in a bad way, like I’m trying to rotate that flavor out.

Imperial Pelican Ale: Also going with the fruit notes, there’s a whiff of pine in there too. But what I like is that there’s a healthy sweet point right up front, before the beer finishes. The bitterness? That appears well after the fact-so much so I was a little surprised it was there. It’s strong though, and lingers in my upper cheeks long after the beer is finished.

So far, I’m enjoying it because it’s balance allows for the strong flavors at the end.

28500101630_2a2b598b7a_cDirty Bird IPA: I think this one might be tilting more towards passionfruit? It’s definitely fruity, but not citrus like. They do strive for some balance in this beer; there’s a touch of caramel in the middle though it doesn’t last long. The bitterness on the finish just…seems bitter, no indication of pine or grapefruit but on the other hand, it doesn’t stick around. This one is iffy for me.



Bailey’s 9th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing this blog for almost as long as Bailey’s has been serving beer to me. But here we are, 2016, still kicking it. The ninth anniversary was last Saturday and despite my concerns about having it on the same weekend as the OBF, everything turned out fine. It wasn’t overcrowded and the lines were minimal, at least as long as I was there. All in all I have to admit it exceeded my expectations.

The beer reviews, as always, are edited for readability.

North Coast- ’14 Old Stock Cellar Reserve: old ale. I am waiting to drink this because (my friend) Fuz is trying to line up his camera shot. Priorities, damnit! It’s a little like boozy syrup and I have to say, I’m enjoying it. A little heat as it goes down: this stuff is strong. It’s also incredibly clear: I don’t know how they got it this translucent but it’s a beautiful looking drink. As it warms up, it gets a bit more chocolaty and I’m a little less enamored with that. Onward!

Block 15- Cardinal Coalescence: Flanders red in brandy barrels. This one comes down on the tarter side of the style: a bit puckery, is what I’m saying. I can feel it in my nose when I breathe it in. The brandy isn’t coming through much though. I don’t mind, since the beer is still quite tasty.

Double Mountain Divine 9

Double Mountain-Divine 9: imperial brown in bourbon. THE PRECIOUS, IT IS MINE
…I mean. Don’t drink this beer. Very bad. Stay away.

Fort George/Bailey’s Taproom-Anni Are You Oak Aged?: wee heavy with Bull Run bourbon. The malt nose is prominent and the bourbon effects come in late and on the side of my tongue. This is a suspiciously drinkable ale that would catch someone unprepared unawares.

Epic- 2015 Big Bad Baptist: Imperial Stout w/coffee & cocoa nibs, in whiskey. Initial nose is COFFEE so I set it aside to warm up a little. It does sweeten up after this but the coffee flavor is so strong, very little is allowed to express itself in this beer. Unfortunate. It isn’t bad, just feels one dimensional, even as it smooths out quite nicely near the end.

Commons Unforseen Circumstances

The Commons-Unforeseen Circumstances: stout with brettanomyces; You can smell the tart quality in the nose, almost blueberry like. The sour quality is so mild and the mouthfeel on this beer is so light that I’m having trouble getting a grip on this beer. It’s slippy. Drinkable but in an rare odd moment, not extremely well defined. I’m not sure if I can recommend it.

Fuz nails it for me: “Root beer.”  And he’s dead on; the sassafras not the sweetness. Too bad.

Fremont- Rusty Nail: it says licorice in the description so I was avoiding it until a woman drinking nearby said it was worthwhile. I didn’t get any licorice in the beer. It’s just a really solid cinnamon tilted imperial chocolate stout. With bourbon. I dig it.

Firestonewalker- 2012 Parabola Imperial Stout: bourbon. Chemical nose. This is always a little weird. The flavors are a bit harsh, too. A rough edge of bourbon that the chocolate cannot cover up. As it is, I await the warming up of this beer to see if it improves. By the time I’m nearly done with it, I can say that is has mellowed out but not quite enough to suit me.

And finally, a thank you to all the staff at Bailey’s Taproom. I really appreciate your service.

Recovery Day

28404574260_f4e47ef7c7_cI split this 2009 Full Sail with a friend on Friday. This was after the OBF but before Bailey’s 9th Anniversary, which I’ll write about on Wednesday.

This was also after a week away where I shared beers with parents who were undergoing the trials of moving and troubled friends.

I’m going to need just one more day to get my bearings back.

That said: the 2009 didn’t hold up as well as I hoped it might, with a papery, oxidized finish that lorded over the rest of the beer. But if I’m going to drink it, it’s still better to drink it with friends.