Friday, July 29, 2011

Mixed Drinks #1

So let's face it, there are more potent potables out there than just our beloved B. E. E. R. I myself like most versions of alcohol when treated correctly, served in a nice way and not overindulged. While I'm not big on shots and personally detest most "brown liquors" when consumed straight I do enjoy mixing drinks up and either trying out classic cocktails or coming up with my own.  Tonight I found in my fridge Amarula Cream, Kahlua and some Spiced Rum and little else.  Well naturally I got to thinking whether these might go together so I looked it up and actually found a drink called Blesbok made with Amarula and Kahlua (and with the addition of milk becomes a brown elephant #2) I tried the drink (with 1 part of each of the liqueurs and 1 part milk) and it was quite tasty.  I then tried a similar creation but replaced the 1 part of milk with 1 part spiced rum and placed it "on the rocks." This drink is quite strong but pretty tasty. I call it a Somalian Pirate for now as it is essentially an African drink (Blesbok) mixed with a little spiced rum which seems pretty piratey to me.  For those who don't know Amarula is a cream spirit and is a bit like a Bailey's Irish cream and goes down easy. Enjoy responsibly.  Back to posts on beer (and probably some on wine, cider and or mead) very soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Second Pumpkin Pie Coffee Spice Tasting

Since this beer has changed a lot in just a few months I felt it worth doing a retasting and showing what it has become.

Aroma - Very small layer of head which quickly fades.  Light amber decent clarity and a light orange hue.

Smell - Big spice nose of cinnamon with a little nutmeg and a bit of sweet maltiness underneath.  Pretty good really.

Taste - Sweet up front followed by a big middle of spice and a bit of bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel - Fairly thin and high in carbonation but overall nicely rounded and very fitting for the taste.

Drinkability and notes - This is really a nice beer.  Originally this beer had an off-putting bitterness but that has rounded out quite nicely after 6 months.  The spice is still quite high but seems to have gone down a notch and while still a bit high, it is pretty tasty none the less.  Overall I'm quite content with where this beer has gone and hope that it ages as well for another 6 months.

Monday, July 11, 2011

So many updates...

So rather than actually make all the postings I would like to in this post I am just going to give a quick overview of the few to come soon.

1. My trip to Napa Valley and the northern California region.  Complete with wine tastings, beer tastings, transvestites, Madden and even a skunk.
2. My brown ale. It was bottled a little over a week ago, it has been a little disappointing but hopefully a few more weeks should mellow it out some. Much more on that to come.
3. My sessionable Belgian IPA. Just brewed and not even dryhopped yet.
4. Tastings: Re-Tasting one or more of my older homebrews to see how flavors have changed over half a year or so and maybe throwing in a few prime tastings of commercial beers I have particularly liked (e.g. my two new summer favorites: Anderson Valley Summer Solstice and Heavy Seas Summer Ale).
5. Probably lots of other things I haven't gotten to but hopefully good stories and a pic or two to make them worthy of this blog.

Additionally I will simply post here my next planned brew (following the finish of the Belgian IPA). It is titled Here Be Dragons! and is intended to have some characters of an Old Ale, Winter Warmer and a Strong Scotch Ale.  I am additionally contemplating on breaking off part of the batch to turn into other "Dragons". A few ideas so far have been.

  • Here Be White Dragons: Bottled with a spice tea of coriander and bitter orange
  • Here Be Red Dragons: Bottled with a spice tea of cinnamon and sweet orange
  • Here Be Black Dragons: Bottled with coffee and/or black pepper
  • Here Be Green Dragons: Bottled with herbs, likely heather tips.
These are all very preliminary ideas which I will be working on as the brew date, and bottling date, get closer though I plan on fermenting this for quite some time and expect to brew it in August to be done sometime next winter or early spring.

edits: After looking more into these ideas I am still very excited about them. I tried a mix of coffee, vanilla and pepper tonight and it worked surprisingly well (like Kahlua with a bit of a bite).  That coupled with the description of Belhaven Brewery's Wee Heavy as having "Gentle, fresh cracked pepper spiciness" by Draft magazine and alternatively Old Curmudgeon (an Old Ale) having this review: "The big bursting bubbles above this deep golden brew exude intense black pepper spice, cinnamon and cedarlike hops."  These sere to make Black Dragons much more tempting. Additionally the realization that Jacobite Ale is spiced with coriander makes the White Dragons seem much more appropriate. I'm thinking now that these 4 sets of ingredients will certainly be tried at bottling time, potentially with one or two additional variants.