Wednesday, May 19, 2010


i'm not sure i can express in words the blackness of oskar blue's ten fidy imperial stout. it's like way black. imagine crypticus' times 10.50. ten fidy is so black that it's unsettling to watch as it pours into the glass. it looks like oil. black gold. texas tea. the crap that got the clampetts loaded.

and this stuff will get YOU loaded easily.

i'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, but the 98 IBUS, 10.5% ABV are not readily evident in the flavor of ten fidy. the aroma, smoky and raisin heavy, smells a bit sweet. the initial flavor feels a bit off-putting, considering the enormity of the beer, but mellows out to something also smoky-sweet. the alcohol heat is there, though not pervasive. and while all the reviews i've read mention overwhelming flavors of coffee and chocolate, i only taste dark-chocolate covered raisins, with raisins as the primary flavor profile. perhaps ten-fidy should be labeled a "raisin stout." i'd still buy it.

i'm convinced, hands down, that ten fidy is the BEST imperial stout i've ever tasted. sadly, oskar blues is also convinced. they're so convinced they charge $15 for four-cans of the stuff. but one taste will show you where your money went.

this review has been written to the tune of my last ten fidy can and lamb of god. sorry i didn't go with jay-z. after watching POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD, i needed a different sort of black.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Business

Thanks Hamster for your recent posts.
I just want to take some time to share with the members and followers of this blog how our club is doing financially. Since we started this blog over a year ago we have made $8.56. When we make $100.00 we get a check from google. We're meeting all the outcomes in our strategic plan and I KNOW for a fact that if we keep at it we'll get our beer money.
Thanks EVERYONE for all your hard work


Monday, May 10, 2010


i'm writing this review while my students are taking their final exam. as a teacher, i love this time of year. all the major work is behind me, all the major stretches of summer lay before me. and summer time in texas definitely calls for lighter beers. and this summer, i'm addicted to blondes.

blonde ales are closely related to the german kolsch style ale, but blonde ales do not feature the sharper, grassier flavors of the kolsch. from what i understand, blondes are a relatively light version of typical belgium ales: malty, but bright; fruity, featuring a bit of banana, but not overly sweet, still tinged in caramel; golden, airy, light and (hopefully) balanced delicately between complex and refreshing.

one thing i do know is that i've fallen in love with blonde ales this past year. and for some reason we have a growing list of the belgium style blondes popping up all over america:

- Real Ale's Fireman's 4
- Shiner Blonde Ale
- Southern Star's Bombshell Blonde
- Rahr Blonde Lager
- New Belgium's Skinny Dip
- Boulder Beer's Buffalo Gold
- Bridgeport Brewing's Haymaker Golden Ale
- O'Fallon's O'Fallon Gold

these are the blonde ales i've tried. and these are all beers i would gladly lay down the price of admission to take home, pour in glass, and behold over a backgammon board or a maud casey book on the back porch. i do enjoy this style of beer because blondes, when done well, have an odd way of putting the palette through plenty of calisthenics while still turning the day's volume down to a fine line of nada.

and then this here Leffe (6.6% ABV), from way over there in belgium, shows up all over town. i like this beer. in fact, this might be my favorite of the blondes, which probably makes sense since Leffe is the ideal Blonde Ale. these other blondes, the ones listed above, are working to match an ale similar to Leffe. Leffe is to blonde ales what lovecraft is to weird tales, what romero is to zombie films, what the ramones are to punk, what marmaduke is to great danes.

over the next couple of weeks, i'll try to feature a few more blonde ales, particularly those from the texas region. although i've mentioned them briefly before, this is a new season. and i'm always stoked to try old favorites again.

Friday, May 7, 2010


(i listened to blink-182 while sipping this beer and writing this review. so here's your built in reading soundtrack)

for some reason i drink a lot of michelob ultra. and, for some other reason, i don't seem to mind. several men in my community simply love the michelob ultra, and, nine times out of ten, when i'm offered a beer at a friend's house, the beer that lands in my hand is a michelob ultra. fine. i've got no problem with that. there may have been a time when i talked bull-honkus on the michelob ultra, but i don't anymore.

the truth of the matter is that michelob ultra is not a bad tasting light beer. it's simple. refreshing. bubbly as the BFG's frobscottle. and you can easily kick back several ultras and never think anything about it the next morning. the alcohol is low. the flavor is smooth. and the belch factor is so unladylike.

i like to think of michelob ultras as sparkling water with a little beer flavor hinted in the background. i would never personally buy michelob ultra, but i welcome a bottle (or four) when offered.

but this here beer is no normal michelob ultra. this beer here has lime cactus in it. and this lime cactus is lovely. simply lovely.

just when i thought that michelob ultra was refreshing, this michelob ultra with lime cactus is ultra refreshment times enormity. no joke: i would stock my fridge with this stuff. this is the perfect ultra hot day, sweaty t-shirt, post yard labor or tiger sex kinda beer. down this after any number of demanding deeds, and you'll love your body more than you did before you opened the bottle.

there's not much else to say about michelob ultra with lime cactus. i can't imagine it pairing well with food or backgammon or a zombie flick, but i'd drink it if i was hot. hell, i'd drink three of these if i was hot. this beer is a good reason to mow somebody's lawn.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


yesterday marked exactly four months since my last post on this website, though it surely does not mark the last bottle of beer that i consumed, enjoyed, or loquaciously reflected with a friend. the truth is that i sometimes fear writing about beer. i fear it because i want to say so much about beer. i want to talk about the brewery, the style, the ingredients, the moment in which i enjoyed the beer. there's so much to say about beer that sometimes i'm left dumbfounded and speechless. sometimes for four months on end.

i hope this post will put the words back into my fingertips.

i've thought about this site a great deal lately. i've thought about why this site was brewed in the first place, and i've thought about the gentlemen behind these beer posts that i've loved so greatly over the years. and all this thought has led me to a conclusion about my writing on this website, and that conclusion is this: i write for these men.

in the future, my reviews will be written to the men on this site and who subscribe to this site (jason scott and clint newlan and ben langford, that includes you) as the opening lines of dialogue about beer. forget the fanciness and the smartness and the pitch perfect wonderment of language. on this beer site, we're on the porch. we're hovering over the backgammon board. willie's on the dial and there's a story to be told tonight.

welcome to the conversation.

tonight i'm sipping a sierra nevada torpedo extra ipa. this beer is a beast. it's huge. and this is the last bottle in the six pack. one went to ian c. nelson; the rest went down the hamsterian hatch. i've chatted this beer up with several friends, all to great fanfare, and the unanimous word proclaims torpedo a beautiful ale. and it is. enormous citrus hop flavors nearly burn the tongue in the initial mouthfeel, followed by resinous copper flavors in the aftertaste. i'm not even sure if i know what i'm talking about, but multiple six packs and five ales over fives days tell me i'm not too far from my own palette's version of truth.

the one caution i do feel towards torpedo is that, by the last bottle, i grow nearly offended by the enormity of this beer. in the future, i'll probably purchase a sixer of torpedo alongside a sixer of something more subtle, like a blonde or a pilsner or some God-lovely PBR. perhaps an alternating sip of this one night alongside a good mellow chocolatey porter the next would save my sensibilities. all i know is that i love this beer, but by the end of a sixer, if this is all i'm sipping, i feel nearly nauseous at the sight of the sierra nevada label.

by the way, i showed my class the film HENRY POOLE IS HERE today. (long story). at one point the camera pans back to show a wide angle of henry poole's (luke wilson) kitchen. on the bottom shelf of an open faced pantry, the observant viewer might notice a six pack of sierra nevada pale ale. i wanted to call it out to the class, to say "that's the beer that taught me to love hops!", but i said nothing. and neither did anyone else. surely, american education is doomed.

so here's to happy returns. to more words. to more reviews. to letting go of perfection in trade for conversations. and here's to stocking the fridge strategically. God knows i've only got the one tongue.