Fascinating and Horrifying

So they made a really interesting discovery-ancient beer, in lead bottles.

A drinkable substance. Contained in lead.

There is definitely an irony in pointing out how glad I am we got that whole ‘don’t ingest lead’ thing figured out in an era where cities in America have unsafe drinking water, and maybe even a good joke.

But I’m not savvy enough to make that joke.

Front Porch Chats #6\Second Pint PDX Diaper Bank

Outside is bullshit right now. I have to do this indoors because of the rain.

OK, fine; its for the best that it is rainy and miserable out, because it means people are more inclined to stay home. Which is good! It’s helping keep us safe, regardless of what a bunch of yahoos in Salem are protesting.

Those ‘protesters’ can, to be quite blunt about it, eat a bag of horse dicks. Their argument is in bad faith at best, immoral and quite possibly evil at worst. Horse dicks: they can eat ’em.

Gigantic Robots & Windmills belgian aleI, however, am going to sip on this beer from Gigantic: Robots and Windmills. It’s a Belgian quad kept in Pinot noir barrels.

Longtime readers may remember that I have a weakness for any beer named after monsters, giant monsters, and/or robots. That it’s coming from a brewery that regularly delivers some top notch suds is a bonus.

The nose leaps out of the glass, and I can smell the Pinot noir character  well before I finish even pouring my glass.

This beer is a little strange; the sweetness is so intense, coupled with the fruity and tart elements from the barrel, that it almost seems like a fruit syrup. A little thicker and I’d be pouring it on pancakes. There’s even an element of chocolate here.

It has a LOT going on.

So I don’t know if I can say if it’s good or not. It’s interesting. It’s worth tasting. It may be exactly what you want. But it isn’t quite coming together for me.

It’s a hell of a lot better than the bag of horse dicks that the “reopen” protesters should be eating.

Today’s second pint goes to the Portland Diaper Bank.

Cream Ale Research

cream ale collectionThis year, I want to brew some cream ales and I thought that I’d get some commercial styles and see what it’s supposed to taste like. A baseline might help me understand where my versions differ or maybe are going awry.

Genesee’s cream ale: faint hop nose with a little spiciness to it. Fades quickly and now I get more malt qualities.

It’s easy drinking and I feel like there should be nachos involved with this beer. This isn’t exactly cold weather beer-the finish isn’t very crisp, as if the effervescence isn’t very strong. The head on this beer is pretty thin, so there’s some substance to that notion. It’s a little sweet without being bready. Not bad at all. Adequate? Yeah.

Buoy’s cream ale has a different nose-the malt comes out more, and there’s a subtle touch of forest in the hops. It’s not much and I’m really having trouble pinning it down. However, the two-row malt is all over this beer. And, despite the head on this beer being thinner that’s Genesee’s, the bubbles are more active. I get some sparkle on the finish and it helps this beer feel more drinkable: the palate cleanse is a positive for Buoy’s entry. As I finish the beer, I finally get it: there’s a slight lemon quality that’s helping it stay bright.

Pelican’s Kiwanda Has both the strongest head and nose; biscuit is clear and makes a statement. It fades fairly quickly and now we’re back to the basic two-row nose but the Kiwanda still has a really great lemon quality. It’s not quite tart but there’s enough there-it’s like lemon zest. Just enough to set the beer off from something else. This beer has the strongest malt nose and I think might be the best of the lot.