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Thursday, February 24, 2011

8/24 La Granja Espresso Stout by Nørrebro Bryghus

The label says that it is a company of Hedehusene, Denmark. 7.5%alc./Vol. 600mL bottle. But it's made with Canadian Maple Syrup!!! The question is: Is it a Denmark company that makes beer in Canada, or is the syrup exported and brought back with alcohol?

First Impression: 2/6... Simple bottle. Perhaps a bit too simple looking... except for the cool "ø" character in place of the traditional "o" to make the "uh" sound. At least it's cold... like, "my refrigerator cold". I just realized it's been so long since I used the word refrigerator that I forgot how to spell it. The aroma is certainly stouty; you know, nutty and chocolatey and such. I do detect some coffee scents as well, and maybe some black licorice. HA! Spell check on Google Chrome doesn't recognize the word licorice, and when it offers you a suggestion, it gives you licorice!!! Okay, okay, back to the beer. It's dark enough to block out the florescent light in my kitchen, but not so dark that the sun can't be seen through it. Probably would work as a good substitute for solar-eclipse goggles. The head rests comfortably over the.... fuck it, I want a drink!
What is it with these companies lacing their beers with mass amounts of Cu++???!!?!!? (see the entry on October 8, 2010... the pumpkin beer) The first part of the gulp was good, but the aftertaste is like someone trying to gag me with a roll of heavily used pennies. Is it the glass? No! I was careful to check it for cleanliness and odours before using it. Is it my taste-buds? Can't be. The last thing I ate was part of a chicken-kielbasa that certainly had no tin or aluminum in it, and I didn't just brush my teeth, so it's not an acid/base reaction. What's happening? Okay... I'm just gonna keep gulping so that I can avoid the aftertaste for longer, and we'll see what happens...
I'm getting a bit used to it. The "espresso" is more like tar... or is it pronounced "tire", and I suppose this is much more drinkable than that pumpkin shite, if only for the fact that this one is probably nitrogenated instead of carbonated. I'm giving this a 2 because I'm in a generous mood.

Speed Rating: 1/6... Let's just say that, well... let's put it this way... actually, it's like this... okay, I'll stop stalling and drink the effin' beer.

Intangibles: 4/6... Well, I gave a 6/6 on the Pumpkin beer because I was at home, but I'm just not feeling that generous about this one. However, I will give it some points for being over 5%.

Overall Effect: 1/6... I feel intoxicated... no that isn't it. I feel toxic.

Total: 8/24
Level of Drunkness: 0

I feel like this beer should've gotten more than an 8 out of 24, but I can't see where I might give it more points. Espresso beer... you suck!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

11/24 Pumpkin Ale, Great Lakes Brewery (Bottle).

Reviewed on October 8, 2010

How long has it... nevermind that. I want to rate Puumpkin Ale, by Great Lakes Brewery before the frothy head disappears!

First Impression: 3/6... From the cold, tall bottle that sat in my fridge, out poured an orangey, frothy, slightly gas (but certainly bubbly) product that smelled as sweet and spicy as a festive beer should. It's been four minutes and the head still lingers. That's what I call protection from the air. Nobody wants toxic air in their beverage, am I right? eh? It certainly reminds me that the time will soon come when average girls put on slutty costumes, and the guys... well we can put on just about anything we want. It's our personality that counts, right? In case I'm wrong I'd better stuff my crotch again this year, but I digress. And here comes the first tug...
Does my tongue deceive me? Did I miss the flavour? Oh...oh... there it is: I taste pennies at the back of my throat and betweem my cheeks. Unless it came from a bad pumpkin patch, I'd say that this beer is nothing more than the aftertaste of lead piping. I honestly had a 5/6 up there a moment ago, but yeah, second swig and all I taste is eavestrough a number of days after a rainstorm (just think about how that might taste for a moment and you'll get it). How unfortunate. How disappointing. Should those sentences have ended with a question mark, or was the period a proper use of punctuation???

Speed Rating: 1/6... 650ml and I don't want it! At least it isn't light beer... or Excel. blech!!!

Intangibles: 6/6... I'm at home-sweet-home, sitting on a wonderful barstool in my clean kitchen. The house is cold, but so was the fridge, so that's nice. I just finished writing a ridiculous paper for my Cognitive Psychotherapy class, which should (but didn't) make this beer go down much sweeter, and I started my day off with a sex-dream... well, no sex, but lots of kissing. Does that not deserve a 6/6?

Overall Effect: 1/6... I feel like I just brushed my teeth and then drank a jug of orange juice. What's the deal with this beer? I'm willing to go out and pick up another one, just to see if it wasn't just a bad bottle. Because seriously, who would make such a gawdawful beer?!?punctuation mark!?!!

Total: 11/24
Level of Drunkness: 0

Better luck next time Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale.

Friday, February 19, 2010

12/24 Big Wheel Deluxe Amber, Amsterdam Brewery (Draught).

Reviewed on February 16, 2010.

I wish to make a slight revision to the "Big Wheel Deluxe Amber, Amsterdam Brewery" beer review, where I will re-list that one as "Bottled" and this one as "Draught". On February 16, 2010 I tried this product for the first time on tap and I must say that I was not as impressed. In fact, I had a bit of trouble finishing the beer. I was at Kalendar with my father, and I even got him to try it, but there was a huge difference in that this particular beer came from a pump-tap. When beers come in this form they are often A) much warmer than usual, and B) not carbonated.
Not my cup of tea.
Not my cup of beer either, apparently.
I should have gone with the scotch ale, but the sample was very sweet to me.

Anyway, if I were to revise the rating it would go as follows:

First Impression: 2/6... Much darker looking without the green bottle, and without the right carbonation there was no head! At least it came in a Big Wheel glass, but at this point I don't care already.

Speed Rating: 1/6... Can't drink more than a pint. Barely drank less than a pint. Good thing I had an amazing half-chicken dish with mashed sweet potatoes to wash it down.

Intangibles: 6/6... Great venue, great food, great company.

Overall Effect: 3/6... but the intangibles have a lot to do with this rating, because there wasn't much else the beer had going for it.

Total: 12/24
Level of Drunkness: 0

18/24 Krambacher Dark.

Reviewed on February 13, 2010

First Impression: Dark, with a nice top, smells nice... all the things I like in a wom... beer. The roasted nut aftertaste makes the beer quite unique. For some reason the beer tasted much better as a free sample than as a full pint. Why didn't I put this tidbit of information into the "intangibles" section? Por que I think that the pint glass wasn't washed as well as the sampler glass. In the sample glass I could really taste the nuttiness to it, whereas in the pint glass I quickly became reminded of Keith's Stout... and I don't want to be reminded of Keith's Stout. There was also a hint of "beer-rag" taste, which probably meant the bartender wiped the side of the glass with a rag to get rid of the dripping foam. I'll give the beer the benefit of the doubt, and deduct from intangibles later for this. 4/6

Speed Rating: Could I pound this beer back? Sure. It does rate much different than the average for beer-guzzling; I could take this beer back all day, or I couldn't. 4/6

Intangibles: Beer-rag smell, crappy Chuck E. Cheese-like glass, reminded of Keith's Stout... so I say minus 1000 points for that. But I was at Insomnia, and I like Insomnia (the place, not the condition). Roberta served us, and she was fun, fun, fun 'till the server took the beer away. She had a tight corset on... it was red. Let's add 1005 points for the venue and the employee. 5/6

Overall Effect: The burnt-roasted hops brings a unique flavour to the beer that most beers can't. In this particular beer there are only the four base ingredients, and no additional preservatives or flavours added; that's gotta count for something. I'll have to go for their blonde wom... beer next time and see how it tastes. 5/6

Total: 18/24. Level of Drunkness: 3/10. I only had a half bottle of wine, and a dirty martini before dinner, and we had to walk to get to Insomnia (Again, the place, not the condition).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Alexander Keith's Spin-off's and the Black'n'White.

Now, ever since the beer-rep at my bar decided that it was absolutely prudent to put Keith's White, Amber, and Stout on tap I've had throw-up stuck at the base of my mouth. Here's a little breakdown (in both senses of the word):

Keith's Red Amber:
First Impression:
Most red beers tend to taste flat -- and not in the "no carbonation" sense, but in the "music note without any 'umf' to it" sense; this one is no exception. What are you doing Alexander Keith? Are you trying to get a piece of the pie for red beers? You have an amazing product already, too bad you couldn't bring your chemical genius to bat when brewing up a good amber. At least the colour is pretty -- Says George, who is currently petting a bunny rabbit a bit too hard.

Speed Rating:
If I was rating the speed at which I'd dump this product out of my glass and into the alleyway next door to cleanse all the hobo-puke and pigeon crap, I'd give it a 24/24. But the speed rating applies to how well I could tug these pints of food-coloured Molson Excel down my unwilling throat. I'm not even gonna dignify it with a response as to why I can't drink this concoction at half a shot glass an hour.

Intangibles: Like I said, the colour is pretty. And at least the Keith's label resembles something to be proud of. Look at that stag and his great big horns!!! I'ma give it a half-point for that, and another half-point for being the mentally handicapped brother of a brilliant and popular IPA.

Overall Taste Quality: Do I have to?

TOTAL: 2/24

Keith's White Wheat:
First Impression:
The label should say "knock-off" in great big, fat letters. First we had Rickard's White trying to get a piece of Wheat-Beer-Paradise, and we all know what I think of that (See my review on Rickard's White) -- but then Alexander Keith's thinks that they too can stick their hands into the pot, like they didn't already make one shitty beer (see above), now they have to spawn another short-handed brew. They probably even stole the recipe from Rickard's, who stole it from some other true, Belgian wheat beer. That's like eating imitation spam! Yes, Keith's White is imitation spam... It's not quite the beer that is not quite a wheat beer.
Now I'm going to go and copy/paste what I said about Keith's Red and change the colour of it, because that's exactly how I feel about this beer as well:
"Most white beers tend to taste flat -- and not in the "no carbonation" sense, but in the "music note without any 'umf' to it" sense; this one is no exception. What are you doing Alexander Keith? Are you trying to get a piece of the pie for wheat beers? You have an amazing product already, too bad you couldn't bring your chemical genius to bat when brewing up a good wheat beer."
Now, I'm not even going to say that the colour is pretty on this product. And don't get me started on the whole "you have to add an orange slice to it" bullshit! Beers that require you to add something to make it taste right means that the flavour is imperfect -- it is incomplete without the added touch. Yes, I'm talking to you Corona! Yes, Hoegaarden... I'm sorry to talk behind your back, but you need to fuck off with the whole lemon-adding thing.

Speed Rating:
I could drink this. I mean I could drink this if it was fed to me through an intravenous tube... or if every other wheat beer including Rickard's White was somehow wiped out by a strain of mutated bacteria or something. I'll give it a decent score though, and you'll find out why by the end of this overall encompassing Alexander Keith's review.

Intangibles: Again I shall copy/paste... "at least the Keith's label resembles something to be proud of. Look at that stag and his great big horns!!! I'ma give it a half-point for that, and another half-point for being the mentally handicapped [second] brother of a brilliant and popular IPA."

Overall Taste Quality: Maybe I'm not rating it in the right atmosphere. Maybe I need to be outside in the summer on a patio with some of my friends, and the beer has to be free, and the beer-rep casually mentions that if I can finish the beer he will arrange a meeting between me and Kate Hudson, and somehow in the mix of it all there has to be some kind of Haiti relief fund for every ounce that I drink. Then maybe I'd give it a better score, but for now...

TOTAL: 7/24

Keith's Stag's Head Stout:
First Impression:
Why, why, why, why, why must you keep insisting on creating these half-assed, one-note flavoured beers that bring shame to the industry? Who are you catering to that looks for cheapness, flatness, flavourless... in their beers? First you insulted the Amber liking population, and then you personally hit me hard with your wheat-crap. Now you really put doubt in my mind as to whether or not you have any competence left with your abysmal rendition of a stout beer. That hurts man! Yeah, I get it... you're slogan goes something like "why does stout have to be thick?" and so, you've created a thin-as-Coors stout and marketed it as such. But I'm here to tell you (for, if there isn't any other product out there that I like more than wheat beer, it's stout beer) Stout has to be thick!!!!
Stout has to be thick -- simple as that. It should be creamy, perhaps nitrogenated, and not see-through! Seriously, I'm starting to think that Alexander Keith has some vendetta against the whole beer industry and thought up this brilliant plan where he'd start with a fantastic beer to gain our trust, and then he'd laugh his ass off and touch himself silly every time he saw us try to taste a Red, or a White, or a Stag's Head for the first time. I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, could go on about how much of an insult this beer is to the brew-community, but frankly, it isn't worth the blog space.

Speed Rating:
I don't know how I can rate this worse than the Red or the White without going into the negatives. Well, let's just say that since this is a "speed rating" and not a "difficulty drinking" rating, I'm going to say that technically... I suppose it is possible to drink it. But I'd sooner give a can of soda water a 1/6 than this nasty brew.

Intangibles: Again, again, again... shall I copy/paste ?!?... "at least the Keith's label resembles something to be proud of. Look at that stag and his great big horns!!! I'ma give it a half-point for that, and another half-point for being the mentally handicapped [third] brother of a brilliant and popular IPA."
*Note the lack of sisters in the family. Feminine beers like Fruli (the one that tastes like strawberries were added to it) still taste better.

Overall Taste Quality: If I could brush my teeth with it, it might improve the flavour. If I could burn off my taste buds it might improve the flavour, but then, I'd need to also lose the sensors that remind me that this particular stout isn't creamy. If I could drink it after it's been ingested by a cow, and passed through all of it's stomachs and out the tail end it might taste better. There's a though Keith's: Why don't you add a cow to the distillation process?

TOTAL: 1/24 (That's a new record)


And Now.... The real reason I began to rate these gawdawful beers in the first place...
My invention before anyone thought to advertise it: [The Black and White]

Yes, we all on occasion think of a good idea before it gets promoted into the mass media, and sometimes we wish people would believe us that we came up with it first. Well, this idea isn't the golden nugget of ideas or anything; it actually came along sorta' naturally.

You see, a number of years back my bar was forced into putting Rickard's White on tap after it first came out. Of course I was excited about it until I tried the stuff (again, see my review on Rickard's White), but then I had an epiphany. One day a man sat down on my bar and asked for a good old Black'n'Tan. Traditionally the concoction is created by filling a pint glass half way up with Harp (a Guinness product), and floating Guinness overtop of it as a second layer. Now that's pretty cool, and I found that -- as gross as it may at first sound -- the flavour blends well throughout the entire experience. Somehow you never get too much Guinness or too much Harp.
But I also like wheat beers, and I knew that the only one available to me was the malevolent Rickard's White. So I thought, let's try blending the white beer with Guinness and see what happens. Lo and behold, the Guinness floated magnificently, and the entire drink was improved! Now, I like Guinness by itself, but I must confess that this Black'n'White method was what caused me to like it in the first place. The flavour was great, the texture, thick, and somehow it didn't bother me that I was using a shitty variant of a Belgian Wheat Beer. Perhaps it's like asking the bartender to put a high-end vodka into your Caesar -- what's the point? The purity of the vodka is not distinct through the clam-juice and hot sauce, so you may as well use the bargain-bin, plastic-bottle cheap stuff.
And so the Black'n'White was invented... but don't you dare think that by substituting Guinness for Stag's Head you still have a good beverage, 'cause you don't! Guinness is truly the only think that saves the Black'n'White from utter shittiness, and by adding a 1/24 rated beer you're just asking for crap. Now the bar I work at has only Keith's White available, and with Guinness floating overtop of it I feel like I'm hurting the Guinness.

I was going to rate the Black'n'White as though it was an entity all on it's own, but I invite other's to try it in a less-bias situation and tell me what you think. Just remember: Don't use Stag's Head like those advertisements suggest, and if you can, use a good wheat beer.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

20/24 Big Wheel Deluxe Amber, Amsterdam Brewery (Bottled).

Reviewed on January 21, 2010
5.0% Alc./Vol.

First Impression:
The aroma is quite citrus-filled, and perhaps a bit skunky for a traditional amber. It -- like Labatt 50 -- reminds me of an old western saloon, with it's woody-oak smell. I was extremely surprised to find that the flavour wasn't as lasting on the tongue as most ambers or reds can be. This, in my books, is a bonus. I like the flavour to remind me of a bad breakup -- I want it to hit me and then leave me. Which leads me to the "poundability" section... 5/6

Speed Rating:
This beer can go down! Rain, sunshine, clubbing, patio, while masterba... Nevermind. The only reason I'm not giving it a perfect score is because it isn't the holy grain of beers, although it sure goes down like holy water. 5.5/6

Interesting colour choice for a bottled beer. Neon orange on a green bottle... If I never saw anything so tacky again I still would have fulfilled my life's "tackiness" quota with this one bottle. At least the large bicycle on the front looks cool. The beer itself is a nice amber colour that -- although in any other substance might remind someone of the algae on the side of a boat, or the rust on a big wheel bicycle after years of weathering -- looks surprisingly alluring for a beer. 4.5/6

Overall Effect:
An easily drinkable beer that has enough flavour to keep you from wanting to switch up. It fits into many social situations and contends with other standard beers with ease. But that is were I might fit Big Wheel -- in the "standard" category. Although it is unlike many beers I've tried, I can certainly say that it fits well with most bar's usual suspects. 5/6

Total: 20/24
Level of Drunkness: 0

Thursday, July 16, 2009

22.5/24 Tripel Karmeliet, Belgian beer, 8.4%

6/6 First Impression: Presented in a manly, yet elegant chalice fit for a king, this golden-amber coloured beer has a subtle fruity aroma. The wide-brimmed chalice has frosted fleur-de-lis along four sides, and makes you want to raise it in triumphant victory after a long battle against the army of hops and wheat. The first swig is buttery-smooth with a slight sharpness on the palette, and no lingering aftertaste.

5/6 Speed Rating: This isn’t a guzzling beverage by any means, but that isn’t to say that one couldn’t pound these babies back all afternoon. It’s just that if one were to imbibe exuberant amounts of the same beer for hours on end, one might not necessarily choose to lose their senses on such a “high-end” seeming beer. It would be like having a speed eating competition where the product is an aged for forty days porterhouse chipotle steak made from better than triple A beef.

5/6 Intangibles: When I tried this particular bevy for the first time I was at The Fat Belgian on John Street. It is an elegant bar-bistro that serves extremely decent food. More importantly their beer selection is vast and although slightly eccentric, each brings their own unique qualities to the menu. The servers are similarly unique and perhaps a bit eccentric, but who’s really looking at their personalities?

I tried Tripel Karmeliet again at the Beer Bistro; and for anyone who has been to that fine establishment, you would know that that place automatically adds an extra point to the intangibles column of the Booze Bros (dot CA!) beer review. It’s simple really, any place that has a larger selection of beer than they do food, is a place worth going to.

6.5/6 Overall Taste Quality: Yes, I said “6.5” out of six. The beer actually altered my genetic makeup, and increased the number of taste receptors on my tongue. It then implanted memories of sexual encounters with Jessica Alba into my head, and played them on loop for the next two hours.


Intoxication level: 0, although just looking at the wonderful, grail-like chalice filled with liquid of hope seemed to increase my intoxication level before even taking a swig.