Tag Archives: Treat Yourself

Treat Yourself Omnipollo Symzonia

This is a $14.80 stout from Beermongers, the Omnipollo Symzonia. That name is quite a mouthful and I’ll tell you up front, I went into the store looking for something recognizable. I thought that maybe I’d been doing this series all wrong, trying crazy beers I would never sample instead of just getting awesome beers that I wouldn’t ordinarily spend money on. I might’ve had a more enjoyable experience if I’d done that, so I wanted to rectify it all by finding a beer I knew would be good.

Then I saw this:

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Look at that label. It’s AMAZING. I didn’t know who made this beer or what it was but I just thought that I wanted whatever was in that bottle. I can’t imagine being someone who would look at a label like that and not think “well, I gotta at least check it out.” If that’s not you, we probably shouldn’t drink together.

27161928053_78a46756e8_kThe scent is all soft coco; like sniffing from slightly but not quite sugared chocolate mix. It’s kind of a relief, to tell the truth, to get a noseful of something I like.

The beer is…solid. It follows up on the nose for the most part. But on the very, very end, there’s a streak of coffee bean, espresso like but a little more jagged. It’s not bad but it isn’t quite what I’d hope.

I’ve let the beer warm up for about 10 minutes, so it’s not rough because of temperature. And truth be told, the edge on this beer isn’t enough to put me off of it. It’s a small criticism in what is otherwise a pretty tasty beverage.

As it gets a bit warmer, the dryness of the coco flavors really starts to become prominent at the finish. Again, it’s not enough to put me off. The nose starts to get a little more floral, with hints of vanilla in there to bring up some complexities.

I dig it and I might even consider buying it again.

Treat Yourself: Yoho’s Yuzu Salt Ale

This ran me $4.75 for a single can. Granted, it’s being imported from Japan in order to command such a price so the real question is: Is it worth it?

Because after my last two beers, I’ll admit that I’m starting to feel rather dubious about this theme. Spending $28 on two beers I don’t like is not a good thing and throwing good money after bad makes me feel dumb.

The beer has a lemondrop nose. There is something salty about the scent, too. Like I’m sniffing saltwater taffy.

The flavor is pretty mild in the middle, with more lemon on the finish and again, just a touch of salt to it.

I’ve never had a yuzu before but based on the description, I’d have to say that this beer tastes like it’s supposed to. I’m not sure that it’s my bag, though. I do see the appeal in the summer months: whatever else I can say about the salt ale, it’s crisp and finishes clean on the palate. It’s precisely the kind of drink you want after you mow the lawn or while you’re sitting in an outdoor hot tub.

The real question, though, is: Is it worth paying $4.75 for?

I think it comes down to availability: Because I live in Portland, I can get anything I want. A beer style for any occasion. If I lived in a city with less access to such refreshments, though? I can see this being a nice treat to indulge in on the hottest evening of the summer.

Really, it’s just nice to have a beer I don’t hate.

Treat Yourself: Crooked Stave edition

Today I’m trying Crooked Stave’s Silly Cybies, a Belgian style dark ale aged in oak barrels with raspberries, that ran me $14.50 with an additional $1.00 corkage fee at Seraveza.

Which is a pretty spendy fee to use a glass, people.

I had some high hopes for this beer: Belgian dark ales work coffee and chocolate notes that often go well with fruit. Crooked Stave is a brewery that friends of mine rave about. Yes, they do sour ales but #notallsours are undrinkably sour for me. Plus, I just want to give this brewery a shot.

27340593232_9df7ee8285_cThe nose has a raspberry sauce scent;  not sweet but not sour, either. Tart is a good word; raspberries with a touch of vanilla, maybe a hint of woodiness? So that’s really promising. It’s definitely something I’d expect in to smell from a kitchen, boiled down tartness ready to put on a dessert.

It drinks like a sugarless blue raspberry soda. I have to admit, my initial impression here is a little disappointing, because the body of the beer feels quite thin. It shouldn’t: it’s a 9% beverage, and that means there ought to be some heft there, although by heft I am referring to a bit of viscosity on my tongue and perhaps some sweetness.

It’s the finish that’s doing it: north of sour and very, very bubbly, I’m almost put in mind of champagne.

As I continue to drink, though, its sour qualities begin to arrive in force. Very rapidly, I find myself not wanting to finish this beer because it’s turning my stomach into a pit of vinegar.

It this beer good? Is it bad? I’m having difficulty evaluating it properly, to tell you the truth.

It is not for me, though and perhaps that’s where I should leave it.

Treat Yourself: Avery Edition

Before I started the next ‘big’ themed series, I thought I’d have a little fun. Treat Yourself is going to be a short run where I pick up a beer that, ordinarily, I would never purchase due to price. I will then send it to terrorist organizations in order to strike fear into-

Just checking to see if you’re paying attention.

Why do this? Because it pushes me out of my ordinary selection of beers and answer a question that’s on every consumer’s mind: Is this worth it?

Why only do about four weeks of this? Because it’s expensive! Treat Yourself is just that. If I do it all the time then it isn’t a treat. Also, I need that money for beer.

First up: Avery’s Uncle Joshua’s Stout, barrel aged series. This beer was $14.05 for 12 ounces. It’s also 17.1% ABV.

Whiskey and coffee in the nose. A resemblance to Deschute’s Abyss comes immediately to mind. I’ve stepped outside to sit on the back porch while the beer warms up; something this expensive should be drank when it’s ready, and that means leaving it alone for a few minutes. It’s a strange Spring day where the sun is out but it’s not so hot that that I feel driven indoors.

Let’s take a sip.

Whiskey and anise on the finish and holy crap is that finish abrasive as hell. I don’t want more of this. I want less of this. The alcohol can be felt starting to burn the roof of my mouth, and it is creating a fire in my belly, too. It’s like someone took the worst parts of whiskey and the least pleasant part of coffee and decided to see what happened.

I take a step back from the beer; maybe it needs some more time to smooth those rough edges out. I can’t say I’m confident that this will happen but I can’t imagine this beer getting worse.

Later, some chocolate and a little maple start to come into the nose. The finish doesn’t improve though: still harsh, alcohol burn, sour coffee bitter. When I exhale, I can feel the alcohol coming out my nostrils.

I just don’t know what to say. I feel unhappy with my choice for multiple reasons: not just because I paid $14, although that certainly stings. But is anyone pleased when they get something that sucks?