How so? Only in that he clued me on the fact that a Eastern European deli next to his place in La Mesa had some interesting beers. Now, is it his fault that I grabbed this 9.5%ABV Malt Liquor? Why yes, yes it is...! ;^)
This is like most East-Euro shite-schwills -- bearable when it's ice cold, but with a Mother Russia-sized instant hangover waiting in the wings if you let it get too warm too quickly!
But I have to give credit where credit is due..., the 9.5%ABV is rather well hidden, especially for a sub-par Lithuanian beer! But again, speed is of the essence here. "Be Quick, Or Be Dead"!
While racing the clock, drinking this down before it gets too warm (read: too nasty) there does seem to be some vaguely interesting things in the flavor profile. Yes, rather sweet, but with enough basic (very basic!) graininess to at least alert the taste buds that something other than ETOH has passed by, on it's way down the hatch.
But really, when all is said and done? This still falls squarely into the "f_'_ing shite" category for me. Bitter sweet, and not in a good way.
An interesting find while shopping at my local Trader Joe's (Hillcrest). While this is labeled a "Dark Ale", I'd say it's more along the lines of a Dunkel.
But that having been said, this is not a bad drop, esp. for the price and "exotic-ness" of a Vietnamese beer that doesn't taste like Oxen urine...!
Definite coffee notes throughout, with perhaps a coffee-mocha vibe in the flavor profile highlighting this the most. Could perhaps be a little on the sweet side of things in the finish, but I'm convinced that's such a huge crime in this instance.
I found this beer to go down rather nice-and-easy. Definitely one of the better beers I've had from SE-Asia. Worth a try, especially for the price.
Music: My Dying Bride's "A Line Of Deathless Kings".
Another Thiriez beer...., another P.I.T.A. beer, what with all of the foam, this time in my Eau Bénite Triple glass.
Now, don't get me wrong, I do dig the flavor profile of this one. Has a nice "rustic" aspect to it that I like to find in Farmhouse Ales such as this, on both sides of the Franco-Belgian border. Akin to fresh baked bread, with even some hints of oatmeal cookies in the mix.
Rather dry in the backend, which is a bit of a change of pace from the norm of this sort of beer (a beer semi-style that I guess might even share some very vague roots with New Belgium's infamous Fat Tire Amber Ale...., but, on the other hand, that might very well in fact be seen as something of a put-down for this beer!)
Anyway, another gentle top-off of my glass from the bottle -- another huge mound of foam to plow through. A beer that doesn't know when to quit..., which at least is a good sign IMO. With much of this beer gone, it does show some interesting aspects as the beer warms up some. Gets much dryer, and the dusty character of the bottle-conditioning yeast (which I normally try to leave in the bottle) gives this beer an interesting flavor: cashews? peanuts? almonds?
Overall, this is an interesting beer, `tis true...., but it's various quirks and it's rather over-stated price tag limit my desire to make a return trip to this particular region, beer-wise. Not at all a bad drop, and I'd be happy to split one with one of my mates at O'Brien's or elsewhere. But for routine drinkin'? Eh, gotta pass, thanks.
One of several beers I grabbed during the Foam On The Brian (homebrew club's) annual holiday mixed beer exchange. With the semi-exception of Robert The Bruce, I've never been disappointed with the Three Floyd's stuff.... and this Mild Ale is no exception.
Nice to see an American brewer, known for making some notoriously huge and over-the-top beers, can also make a very nice, purely Sessionable Mild -- a very rare thing in the American brewing world (craft, macro, whatever).
Dark, but not opaque, with a distinct reddish glow to the entire affair. Enough carbonation to make things interesting, but by no means "fizzy". I think I'd prefer even less carbonation than this, to be honest, in order to emulate it's cask ale progeny, but I think as it stands, this still works nicely.
In both the aroma and flavor profiles, subtlety is the name of the game. With 4.8%ABV, there's not a whole lot of room here to hide or obfuscate what this beer has going for it. It's just a credit here that this beer doesn't have anything that it needs to hide from the public. Reminds me of my bud xlperro's excellent homebrewed Mild Ale, in that it stands on it's own two feet, with no trickery or smoke&mirrors. Very nice malt bill, with enough back-end hops to keep things not only balanced, but still quite interesting -- and altogether appealing.
Very drinkable -- down-right poundable, I'd say. I'm bummed that I only have one bottle of this to work with, since I could easily see going through sixers of this with very little prodding -- and a smile on my face, in the meantime!
Mild will never be an American favorite -- it's just not bigger/stronger/faster/hoppier than the norm, and thus something like this is both too dark/bitter/malty for the macro-drinking masses...., and also not big/strong/bitter enough for the craft beer drinkers either. But for folks that fall in-betweenj those two extremes, the likes of this beer are well-kept secret.
A strange Imperial Stout, from "the eastern most microbrewery in the state of Oregon"..., that, in retrospect, I probably would not spend $7.95/22oz'er for.
And it's "Black Flag", but not the bug spray, nor the King's X song, and not Henry Rollins' group, but as in pirates... , all which of course makes no sense for an outfit nowhere near the Caribbean Sea.
Didn't help things one bit that this pops open with nary a single hint of carbonation..., ditto for how it pours. Black, so black, and still, and very, very, *very* flat.
But this does have a nice flavor profile, `tis true. Quite roasted in it's nature, that takes a while to get acclimated too, to be honest. No complaints here: I sometimes want a beer to challenge me and my taste buds. Maybe some Port Wine aspects here too -- again, that's a Pro, not a Con.
Silky in the mouthfeel, but only if you allow it to warm up some. With the distinct lack of any carbonation or fizz to this beer, it is to it's credit that even with no fizz what-so-ever, it has enough girth in the mouthfeel to hold it's own.
The finish is a bit dry and sweet, but again, not unappealing or unwelcome for this sort of beer. And the 11.5%ABV? Not wholly hidden away, but not obtrusive, either.
From the beer's website, this outfit is looking to make the jump from a contract-brewed Beer Marketing Company to a full-on microbrewery. That'd be in their best interest, since I think who they have contract brewing for them (Santa Fe Brewing, from Santa Fe, NM) is not doing this beer any favors with the piss-poor carbonation levels.
A beer that might have the makings of something nice in the future.
Music: Running Wild "Black Hand Inn" (aka German Pirate Metal, `natch!)