Final Dream

I forgot to get a photo of this, sadly. But I promise, it looked like a stout, no question: very dark and like a light repellent.

Nose has both chocolate and marijuana in it. They’re both fighting pretty hard for dominance but the edge goes to the marijuana. Even 2/3 of the way through the beer, the marijuana is coming on strong.

Chocolate kicks in more as I drink it, but it’s never enough to deny the marijuana flavors entry to my taste buds. I went hard on the pot in this beer and it shows.
The finish is a little dry, little sharp; the chocolate flavor doesn’t have much sweetness coming with it. It’s also nicely effervescent, so it feels light on the tongue, despite having flavors that are strong and linger on my palate.
Brew date: 2/27/19
Steeping grains

1 lb Chocolate 

3 lb Maris Otter

3 LB Ballad

.5 lb Carabrown, Obsidian

Fermentables:5 lb LME

Marijuana: 2 and 1/8ths oz Blue Dream

Yeast: Imperial’s Tartan

OG: 1.07

FG: 1.016

Bottled 3/30

ABV: 7.3%

Last of the Ambers

homebrew Amber AleAt least from the 2018 run of beer.

I really dig the nose on this; pleasantly bready and yeasty. It’s not as clear or bright as I would hope for but that’s a pretty low level complaint, all things considered.

With that, I think I’m reviewing this beer near the end of its life cycle; that is, it’s very, very bubbly. That isn’t the end of the world, either but it IS not what I would consider “to style”.

I wish there was a little more malt here, a little more density. It’s perfectly drinkable, but it’s just shy of the mark. I seem to remember that it was better, a couple weeks ago when I first cracked it open.

Something to think about.

Brew Date: 1/6/19

Steeping Grains
3 lb 2 row
1 lb Chorus
2 lb Vienna
1 lb Blue Ballard
.5 lb C60

Fermentables: 4 lb EXLME

.5 oz Loral and Azacca @60
.5 oz Loral and Azacca @5

Yeast: Imperial Flagship (3rd use)

OG: 1.072

FG: 1.012

Bottled: 2/10

ABV: 8.1%

What Can You Buy There #9: Cerveza Dolina Pilsen

Ok, so this is cool:

The front of the bottle is scratch-off, and the back of the bottle also has a scratch-off strip that gives you more information about the skull. The brewers were inspired by archaeological digs near Burgos, their home base.

As far as packaging goes, Cerveza Dolina has won me over.

Now, the taste? It’s definitely tending more German than most Spanish beers, which (if you’re getting the commercial stuff) tends to be more like Budweiser. (As an aside, I have to say…if you go to a halfway decent-looking bar and ask for a beer, you’re probably going to get something that is of good quality and taste, even if it’s been mass produced. But I digress.)

Even though the label says pilsen, this isn’t a pilsner–it’s really more in the kölsch line. (Heck, their own Web page for this beer is titled Kölsch.) The colour is a lovely darker gold, there’s carbonation–but not a lot–, and the taste is softly bitter and spicy and earthy. I say softly because nothing really lingers with this beer, but with this style, you’d not want it to. I just wish I had warmer weather to better appreciate its virtues.

Now: can we all go back and appreciate that label again? Because that’s a really neat label.

Round Two #7\Second Pint NMD

I try a sip of Modern Times’ Keeper of Secrets Alt before committing to it and it’s quite interesting, so I go for a small pour.Modern Times Keeper of Secrets Alt

The nose has a distinct candied orange quality, which is about as unusual as you could get for an alt ale. It’s so distinct that I triple check myself, just to make sure that I’m getting the nose right.

The beer is also a horse of a different color. While there are still elements of orange and sweetness, especially in the middle, the beer finishes those with a quality of smoke.

It’s not strong, which is good; smoke is the kind of thing that frequently overpowers everything else but it’s so unexpected that I don’t quite know how to process the Keeper of Secrets.

I could definitely see drinking this from some eerie looking cup in a secret society setting. Every new person wondering what the heck they’re putting in their bodies, the senior members knowing it’s just beer, the senior senior member knowing it’s soul extraction.

You get smokey orange. You lose your empathy for poor people. Sure, it isn’t a fair trade but that isn’t why you joined the society, is it? Not for fairness. Nah, brah, you’re here so you can keep people under your thumb. And what better way to anesthetize your soul to crushing them than with the taste of smoked candy orange?

Truly, you have made it.

It’s a good ale, but the smoke does what it inevitably does, sticking to your tongue a lot longer than any other flavor. Still, it is admirable like that the brewers kept the smoke light enough that, even though it’s lingering in your mouth, you can still taste the sweet orange on every sip.

The second glass holds much the same as the first, but now I’m noting the effervescent pop to help clear my palate. I’d say, though, at 15 ounces through, the combination which was unique and interesting up til about now, really starts to wear out it’s welcome.

Should you drink it? Yes, I think so. It’s definitely worth one glass. There’s enough going on to keep my attention and despite the density of flavors and alcohol overall, the finishing pop makes this beer far more drinkable than something made by someone less skillful.

But be cautious about that second one.

Today’s second pint goes to No More Deaths.

Dream Stout Part X

Marijuana porterThe nose is very chocolate malt forward, a little dry and roasty, too. And this beer delivers on those flavors: maybe a little more roasted than sweet, but chocolate is there and the finish is quite dry- surprisingly so, to me.

The marijuana flavors are almost completely covered up, which I think is a positive. However, this beer is stronger in that realm than it lets on. If I have three of these in an evening, I can tell that my mental faculites are a little different and I can wake up with a marijuana hangover; feeling a little sluggish and dense until I get moving.

It’s a pretty tasty beverage though and I am pleased with how these have come out. I’m also looking forward to making something different, as there have been a LOT of marijuana beers in the past year.

Brew date: 12/23/18

Steeping grains
1 lb Chocolate
.5 lb Brown malt, obsidian barley
.25 lb roasted barley
1.5 lb maris otter
3 lb Lamonta, pale high color

Fermentables: 4 lb ExLME

1 oz Nugget @60
1 oz Blue Dream (marijuana) @ 60

Yeast: Imperial’s Darkness 3rd and final use

OG: 1.065

FG: 1.018

Bottled on 1/13/19

ABV: 6.4%

Round Two #6\Second Pint GWAF

The new Three Way IPA;3 way IPA a Fort Georg Cloudburst, Ruse collaboration is my selection today.

There’s a tropical quality to the nose, but I think there’s some fresh cut grass there too. So far, I’m happy with that, since this beer isn’t chasing the trend of mango/grapefruit/candy qualities found in so many IPAs now.

The flavors in the first glass definitely have bursts of fruit and sweetness but the finish is bitter and a dry, with just a hint of pine. I am a fan of this. The new 3 Way has a summer drink quality, light and with qualities that allude to white wine with it’s dryness, but isn’t. Nobody will mistake this for anything but an IPA. That said, the brewers have left enough residual sweetness to keep this from being a scour pad on my tongue.

While I wouldn’t mind being downtown for today’s pint, it’s Fleet Week, which means going downtown is madness. Between traffic and having to compete with the Navy for drinks, I think I’ll just pass, you know?

Besides, it’s a beautiful day and Proper Pint is happily serving an underserved neighborhood in Portland.

By the second glass, I’ve settled in to this beer. The flavor profile isn’t changing, there doesn’t seem to be something new for me to discover.

However, I am not complaining: consistency is an important quality when making food. This second beer is exactly the same as the first one. That is precisely why I would have another one; because I know that I can repeat my experience. Well done, collaborators: this is a solid ale.

Today’s second pint goes to GWAF.

Common Ales: Hop Valley Cryo Stash

Hop Valley Cryo Stash IIPAWith summer around the corner, the lighter ales and IPAs are coming to the fore. Let’s dive into one.

Tropical fruit scents are right up front; mango, especially. I also like the clarity, too! The Cryo is a bright beer, and the head on it is soft and luscious.

The beer doubles down on the tropical flavors, and is quite sweet. For an imperial IPA, I would expect something a little more bitter to help keep things in check. As it warms up, the bitterness starts to expand and sharpen on the finish, and this isn’t entirely unwelcome, except it does seem to arrive with a slight metallic quality. I’m not sure what to make about that but it is a ping against the Cryo Stash.

Still, I think I’m going to endorse this one: it’s a little sweet so if that isn’t to your liking, maybe it isn’t your thing but it’s an enjoyable beer overall.