December 28, 2011

Overdue Beer Review #2: Samuel Adams Black & Brew

Greetings again.


I'm back after a short break to taste and review the second of my overdue beer reviews: Samuel Adams Black and Brew.

This was also included in Samuel Adams' Winter Classics 12 pack.

Review:  12 ounce single bottle from the Samuel Adams Winter Classics 12 pack.  The beer pours a nice coffee brown color with a thin, dark tan head.  Aroma is all coffee, it reminds me of when you empty the coffee grinds out of a coffee pot.  

Taste is all coffee as well, nothing but coffee.  Aftertaste is all coffee as well.

The beer is decent, but it is hard to separate the beer from the overwhelming coffee taste and aroma that goes with it.  There is no noticeable taste of the malt, hops or any other flavors.  The coffee is overpowering.

I rate this beer at 3.4 out of 5 stars.  It is decent, and I do like it, but there is room for improvement.

Tomorrow's review will be one of my remaining brews for the holiday season, Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale.

Don't forget to scroll down to see review #1 for Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, it was AWESOME.

Thanks for reading, I'll see you tomorrow!!


Overdue Beer Review #1: Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock


Yes, this beer review is one day late.  It's totally my fault; I got lazy and never got around to posting the review.

Nonetheless, this first one of two was worth waiting for.  I present to you my review for Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock.

Previously, this beer was only available as a large stand along bottle that you would pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $10-15 for.  This beer is now available in Samuel Adams Winter Classics 12 packs (while supplies last).  

My review: this was a 12 ounce single bottle from a Samuel Adams Winter Classics pack, bought in Huntersville, NC while I was looking for some holiday spirit.  

Pours a dark ruby brown color with a deep dark tan head.  Aroma is very light cocoa.  

Taste is a rich light chocolate flavor with a lingering cocoa flavor and the sweetness is delightful. I am truly amazed by this beer.  

Kudos to Samuel Adams for this beer!!  I rated this beer a 4.6 out of a possible 5 stars.

Overdue Beer review #2 is to be posted next, for Samuel Adams Black & Brew.

Thanks for reading overdue review #1.

I'll be right back!

December 26, 2011

Double Beer Review Tomorrow

Seasons Greetings.

Just got back from my long Christmas weekend, and I am pooped.

So, to catch up the blog, I will post a double review tomorrow.  That's right, two beers reviewed tomorrow.

The plan is to review two Samuel Adams beers that I have not had before:  Chocolate Bock and Black and Brew.

Good times.

See y'all tomorrow!

December 22, 2011

Beer Review: Anchor Brewing's Our Special Ale (2011 Version)


Today's beer review is for Anchor Brewing Company's annual Christmas Ale, which they call "Our Special Ale".

Each year that they brew it, they make subtle changes to the spices that are used in this ale, but the basis for the brew remains the same.  This year's version beckons, so let's rate it.

The beer pours a dark ruby brown color with a lingering tan head.  Aroma is all spices, I believe this year they are using cloves, nutmeg and maybe a little cinnamon.

The taste is overwhelmed by the spices.  In fact, this beer tastes a little like a clove cigarette.  I am utterly disappointed with this beer this year.  In year's past this beer has been awesome, whereas this year's version is an insult.

I'm halfway tempted to send my review to Anchor to voice my displeasure with this year's version.

I am not a beer expert, but I AM a beer snob.  In my opinion, there is NEVER a time to use cloves in beer.  It's like putting turds in a punchbowl, you ruin it for everyone.

In conclusion, I rate this year's version of the beer only 2 out of 5 stars.  What a disappointment.

With the holiday weekend fast approaching, I will not be posting a beer review tomorrow since I will be on the road.  I will attempt to post a beer review on Saturday when I have access to a computer.

Thanks for reading and I will see you again soon!

December 21, 2011

Beer Review: Sweetwater Festive Ale


I am back with the long awaited beer review for Sweetwater Festive Ale.

To start, I was immediately taken back with the color of this beer.  It seems to be a dark ruby red more than a brown color.  Very little tan head, if any.

The aroma is all spices with some rich malt notes thrown in there for effect.

The taste is very heavy.  It is spices, a nutty flavor and then the malt kicks in on the end.

I noticed that the aftertaste is a little bitter with a lingering coffee or cocoa flavor to it.

The alcohol content is high, but you cannot put your finger on it from this beer.  It is nonexistent.

I liked this beer, but it is one of those beers that you really have to be in the mood for if you are going to drink more than one of them.  

I rate this beer a 3.6 out of 5.  Disagree?  Say so in the comments field below.

Tomorrow I will rate this year's version of Anchor Brewing's Our Special Ale.  

It's a pity that has decided to stop giving this beer its own year rating, because this beer goes through subtle changes each and every year. 

Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow!

December 20, 2011

Beer Review: Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale


Today's beer review is Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale.

I obtained this beer as a single 12 ounce bottle from Total Wine & More as part of a mix your own six-pack.  Truly one of the best ideas ever.

The beer itself starts out impressive: it pours a nice dark amber/copper color with a little bit of a tan head.

Aroma is surprising.  I was expecting to get a lot of cranberry nose in this beer, but it was all rather muted, just a little bit of malt and the cranberry seems non existent.

Taste is fruity with some malt notes and then a little bit of cranberry sneaks in on the end of it.  Aftertaste is from the malt lingering on your taste buds.

Overall, this is a nice beer, but I am a little disappointed it.  I thought this beer would be refreshing, instead it was just another fruit beer with nothing that makes it stand out from the rest.  I rate this beer a 3.0 out of a possible 5.  Disagree?  Say so in the comments.

Tomorrow's beer: the long overdue review of Sweetwater Festive Ale.  I attempted to acquire this last year, but struck out.  I finally have it, and I'll post the review for it here tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.  Cheers! 

December 19, 2011

Beer Review: Newcastle Winter IPA


I thought I'd start off my beer reviews with the one beer that brought me back to this blog: Newcastle Winter IPA.

You see, I went into the local Harris Teeter after a gym workout, and saw that they had this beer in a six-pack.  I was immediately interested due to my previous personal love for Newcastle Brown Ale (that is, until I discovered the joy that are IPA's).

Add to the mix that I had previously seen this only in 12-packs, so it became a no brainer.

After having one or two at home, I became curious to see if they had done a fall/autumn version of a Newcastle brew.

Boy, did I miss out

Newcastle Werewolf.  Wow.

I never saw this beer in the local grocery store; had I seen it, I would have snapped it up in a heartbeat.

So, after drinking my six pack of Winter IPA over a couple of days, I decided that this past weekend I would hit the local Total Wine & More to see if they may have a single bottle of this lurking around the shelves.  I knew it was a long shot, considering that it was at least 6 weeks after Halloween, and that's usually the time that all of the fall/autumn/Oktoberfest beers are yanked off the shelves.

So, as I thought, I did not find the Newcastle Werewolf I was looking for, but I did find this, which I thought was a neat idea for a Thanksgiving beer:

Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale.

I will do a full review of this beer (with pictures of course) when I do the sampling.  It'll be either tomorrow or Wednesday evening depending on my 'schedule'.

Okay, now back to the original beer to review: Newcastle Winter IPA.

It was a decent beer.  It was a milder IPA than the ones I have seen/tasted before, but it had enough flavor to keep your attention without running you off from the overpowering alcohol that normally accompanies IPA.  I rated it 2.9 out of 5 on Rate Beer.

I would suggest trying it as a single if you can get your hands on it.

Thanks for reading, I'll be back tomorrow with another beer review!

December 18, 2011

An Actual Poker Post


Two posts in a little over 12 hours after taking 6+ months off.  How about that?

I decided to take a tour of a website that 'claims' to be available to the USA: Carbon Poker.

Your first clue that there might be something amiss is that the website doesn't end in ".com".  Well, when I type it in with the ".com", it routes to the ".ag" site.

For the uninformed: .ag is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Antigua and Barbuda.

So there you go.
Additional note:  according to this site, there are only 6 poker sites that are taking US players for real money.

Now then, where was I?  Okay, Carbon Poker's site.  I test drove the site this morning, playing a couple of play money tourneys to see (1) how the site felt and (2) to see how much game I have after taking virtually 8 months off from poker.

Answering #1, the site was great.  I could change the layout and colors of the table to my liking, to include changing the cards, the carpet, the table, the whole thing.

Answering #2, apparently I still got it.  I played a 10-person tourney and finished 2nd, and I played a 60-person tourney and finish 4th.

Overall, I would rate Carbon Poker 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.  

As for playing on that site for real money, I am decidedly on the fence until the US Government decides how and when their citizens can play cash games legally.  It sucks to say that, but when you have the fiasco that went down with Full Tilt Poker's site and their subsequent handling of player funds, it is a necessary evil.

That's all for now, a beer post coming later today.

Thanks for reading.

Happy Holidays - Wait, I'm Actually Posting a Blog?

Seasons Greetings.

Yeah, I haven't been here for quite awhile.  So, why come back?
Well, I did happen to pick up a CHRISTMAS SIX PACK at the Local Total Wine and More.

 So, I decided that I would review each of those beers and then post them here as I do it.  Try to get back into the swing of things I guess.

I have a plan to review at least two of them each day then do some other catch up posts to get this blog back to the low, low standards that I had set.

Sound good?  Okay, great, I'm going to be back tomorrow (SUNDAY), though technically it's already Sunday morning (12am) here, so let's just say later on today.
Good?  Good.

May 25, 2011

New Post Coming Soon

Yes, I have been slacking.

New post is due to you soon.  Today, perhaps.
You see, I have been following the whole "Black Friday" and now "Black Monday" thing, and there's nothing to do about it but wait for the feds to finish getting their jollies by busting whoever is left doing online poker in the 'forbidden' U.S. Market.

I do have some beer reviews to get out there, so let's go in that direction, okay?

New post just as soon as I get the pictures downloaded off of my camera.  Deal?

Deal.  See you very soon.

May 4, 2011

I went to the Beer Store, but...

Greetings again.

Two posts in one day after not posting a thing in over a month.  Go figure.

Well, I took it upon myself to go to the beer store (Total Wine & More) down the road and picked up a nice six pack: two new Shiner beers (Ruby Red, 101), a new Newcastle Summer beer (WOW!), Samuel Adams Latitude IPA, Shock Top Raspberry (had to round out the six pack) and Sweetwater Road Trip.

One big but...when I got out of my truck, I dropped the six pack on the driveway, breaking the Samuel Adams IPA (not a big loss) and the Shiner Ruby Red (F**k me!).  So, when I get around to doing my beer updates, I only get to update you on four new (to me) beers.

The lost beers:

My Response to the Black Friday mess in the U.S.


Well, it's been about two + weeks since the whole DOJ thing came down and effectively shut everyone in the USA out of playing online poker.  I was at work on a Friday, looking for something to read, and when I pulled up the Drudge report...BAM!  My heart sank.

It's not that I was using online poker to make a living (though had I applied myself, I probably could have in a pinch).  I was a casual player who loved to grind it out thru $1 tournaments in hopes to get to the final table and make a payday usually in the range of $50-100.  Usually any money I had won would remain online since I really never won enough to consider getting a cashout.

But now, the online community in the US is forced to use new poker companies that haven't (yet) had their US access shut off.  I've looked at sites like Cake Poker, Carbon Poker, Doyle's Room, Bodog, etc.  I haven't yet downloaded any of their applications because I just haven't had the urge to give poker a shot.

Today, that might change.  I think its time to see 'where the fishes' are, if at all.  It is, after all, my day off.

Also, apologies for not getting beer updates out here.  No excuses for that.  I'll get right on that today as well.

We had a nice heavy rain last night, so I'll use that as my queue to wash away the old dirt and pollen and to move forward with this mildly amusing blog.

Black Friday won't kill US poker, it will just change it.  Poker will be back in the US, whether its on Full Tilt or it migrates to one of the other previously mentioned clients.  Just stay positive and let the chips fall where they may.

Mores updates to come, thanks for reading.

March 20, 2011

Making Up For Lost Time


Yes, I am back.  It's been a couple of months, but when you finally get a JOB, some things just fall by the way side. 

Like this blog.

So, going forward, I will make an effort to update this blog at least 4 times a week.

Today's update:  what the heck have I been doing?  Well, I have been doing some new beer sampling, and I have also been playing some poker on Full Tilt.  So, I do have some interesting things to say about the two subjects that I am suppose to be covering here.  

I am back on the wagon that is getting out there and sampling/trying some new beers.  I tried Bell's Best Brown Ale, and despite other people's high ratings, I still believe that Newcastle Brown Ale is the best brown ale out there.  I'll have to check my own ratings to see if I have ever rated another brown ale higher than Newcastle.  

There are a few other beers that I have sampled, but none of them were "groundbreaking", so I'll save their review info for another post.

Playing poker 101:  NEVER PLAY ON TILT.  I learned that the hard way after getting mad at a table online.  All in with 8-8 pre-flop will get you busted broke 75% of the time.  I ran into A-A, and it was all over.  I did place in a tourney, and that in itself is a whole other story.

Sorry if I seem a little vague, but I really just wanted to put something out here that says, yes, I'm back and that I will be offering some actual content in the near future.  Honest.  

So, many apologies for the lack of material, but it will all be better here, and soon.

Thanks for reading, I'll be back tomorrow (or later today) with a better post!

January 5, 2011

Happy New Year...I Guess


As always, with the new year coming in on a weekend, I fall behind on "things".  This blog, being one.

Well, I got a bit of a new year's "FU" from Google Adsense.  For some reason they've disabled Adsense on my account.   Strange, considering I hadn't made enough revenue for them to even consider sending off a check.

Therefore, I have moved Amazon to my 'featured' advertisement slot.  If Adsense somehow magically re-activates, then I might consider giving them their slot back.

Now then, I have not have a chance to do any new beer reviews, so put that on the I owe you one list.

I also have not played a hand of poker in 2011, but that will soon change.

So, check back later on today and I will have something of interest to post here.

Thanks for reading, see you very soon!