Wednesday, May 18, 2011

St. Bernardus Abt 12

Another overpriced Bier Markt brew. Sometimes when you see a good beer you just gottaa...

St. Bernardus Abt 12 = 8/10

Ratebeer 4.15 100th percentile
Beer Advocate A

Painful vinous nose is not very appealing; the underlying fruitiness is what draws you in. Massive dark fruit action: prunes, plums, raisins. Mix this with green apple, candied sugar and nail polish and we have a winner of a quadrupel.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 10.5%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (label recognized by beer geeks everywhere)

Koningshoeven Quadrupel
Ommegang Three Philosophers
St. Bernardus Tripel

Beer is Better Than Wine at Preventing Heart Disease

Finally proof that beer is better for you than wine! This little blurb in Addiction (May 2010) caught my eye, "beer was found to have a significant protective relationship overa ll.." Apparently when compared to wine and spirits, beer drinkers had a lower risk of dying of ischemic heart disease (IHD). IHD is a fancy word for heart attack. These results were found using US public health data between 1950 and 2002. The rates of IHD, cirrhosis (liver disease), cigarette sales and total alcohol sales were combined and used to determine risk of dying from IHD. This best sums up the article, "wet region has the only significant protective effect of beer consumption on IHD mortality, with a 6.3% per liter estimated effect."

Other fun findings:
1. Spirit consumption has been dropping since WWI and baby boomers drink more beer.
2. New England states have similar drinking patterns to southern Europe.
3. Math class is tough.
4. A 'sick quitter' can really ruin statistical analysis of drinking habits. These individuals stop drinking because of health issues. They are then labeled as abstainers but have more health issues which can mess up the numbers.
5. I should read more sci-fi.

WARNING: if you do not want your head to hurt stop reading now.

I am not a dumb person; HTF did they come up with these numbers? After 3-4 readings of this article, with highlighter, here is what I can figure out. Total alcohol sales were obtained from all US states and put through a fancy mathematical formula to determine per capita consumption. Then they combed the [US] National Center for Health Statistics Compressed Mortality files for rates of IHD; I'm not joking this information does exist. Rates of cirrhosis were obtained to determine how many heavy drinkers there were. Can't forget cigarette sales, a major risk factor for IHD. Then voila! In population area(s) were people drink, beer seems to have a greater protective effect against IHD than spirits and wine. Actually, wine has a slight, but not significant, protective effect and spirits were just bad for you.

But why would someone do all this research?
1. To get published. DONE
2. Thoroughly confuse smarty-pants beer blogger. PWNED
3. Confirm alcohol consumption health impact as an overall population when compared to self reported drinking habits. People are known to lie when asked about alcohol consumption.
4. Give governments more reason to impose policies to reduce alcohol consumption.

So there you go: scientific proof that (moderate) beer consumption is for your health. Better for you than wine and much better than spirits.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spring Rite (Driftwood)

This is the second release from Driftwood using local malts. It is meant to be an Abbey style pale ale conditioned with Brettanomyces. This should impose an immediate sour tartness but will also allow this beer to improve with age. I plan to buy a few more and cellar them for a few months to see how the taste changes.

Spring Rite (Driftwood) = 7/10

The nose is very funky. If you want to experience the effects of brett, this is the beer to do it. Lots of floral/citrus hops (centennial?) and the brett imparts a spiciness mixed with barnyard and wool blanket. While the aroma wording may not be appealing, your nasal passages will be enticed for an imbibe. At the start of the sip there is a wallop of puckering sweet and tart phenols. The taste can be compared to a good kefir or buttermilk. Once the shock is over, the malts and hops settle in. Both are very dry with straw, sourdough bread and light lemon citrus flavours. Alcohol warmth in the ending drys the palate to leave a long tongue coating of tart sweetness. This is good; I hope the tart shock fades with age. Mrs Beer Prick really liked it.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 7%
Value +1 (It is tasty now but give it 6 months)
Appearance +1 nice local artist design.

New Belgium Trippel

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Overboard Imperial Pilsner (Lighthouse)

I really hate sounding like a fan-boy; it is not good for my image. Everything limited release from Lighthouse turns out golden. I wasn't really a fan of the Shipwreck. It was good, but I can be a bit of a beer prick. Now this is a style that does not get a lot of attention. Most of the big or experimental US breweries make one. Dogfish has their My Antonia and Samuel Adams has one in their Imperial Series. Rogue did a Morimoto in those ceramic bottles, but $20+ for a fancy bottle is a little steep. After loving the Port Brewing Imperial Panzer, I have been looking forward to trying this style again.

Overboard Imperial Pilsner (Lighthouse) = 8/10

Ratebeer nope
Beer Advocat e B (One review)

YADBB when you do a beer review you must say what the beer tastes like. This brew means biznass. Before the bottle cap hits the floor, aromas of spices, grass and sourdough bread speak of boring beer mutiny. Sorry, I felt it necessary to add the nautical reference. From the first sip there is a pronounced alcohol burn that slightly numbs the tongue. Luckily the flavours of banana bread, dry spices and slight citrus are not lost. There is a lot going on here; the creamy texture and ample carbonation deliver new sensations with every sip. A continuous alcohol warmth dries the tongue and paints a floral and spicy ending. Well done. I might buy this beer again; I rarely buy a beer twice.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8.5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Monday, May 9, 2011

Maredsous 10 (Tripel)

This is good; I am on a roll. There has been more progress with my ticking habit than has been made in months. While in Toronto, friends of ours took us to Bier Markt. The only reason to visit this place is to drink tonnes of expensive imported beers. Bring lots of cash because the prices are not cheap. Also, underdress and flash your wedding band; this bar could also be called meat markt.

Maredsous 10 (Tripel) = 7/10

Ratebeer 3.64 97th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Now I have had my share of tripels and this one was above average. They all kinda smell the same: spicy with apricots and nail polish. How they differ is the mouthfeel and taste. This one was particularly creamy and oddly effervescent. The alcohol burn was pleasantly well hidden. It did creep out to enhance the light fruits, apricots, peaches and cloves that bounced out of the sip. Sadly it didn't last long; lots of carbonation cleaned everything off nicely.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 10%
Value 0 (Don't ask what this beer cost me)
Appearance +1

St. Bernardus Tripel
Westmalle Triple and the Beer Bottle Headshot

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mill Street Roggenbier

WOOT! This was a sponsorship deal from the bar-keep and C'est What. A good pub should let you try a small sample of any beer. This was snagged on the way out; actually I think it was on the way to the washroom.

Mill Street Roggenbier =4/10

Ratebeer 3.28 80th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Massive nose from a small sample: match sticks and rye bread. The taste was creamy rye and bready hints. This is where the notes end.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0 (not documented)
Alcohol Content 0 5.3%
Value +1
Appearance 0

10W30 (Neustadt)

This a speed review. Most of my readers are aware of my beer ticker problem and my desire to be up to date on my reviews. Maybe there is a tickers support group like 'tickers needn't be anonymous.' It could be called TNA, hahahahahah. Wasting time must write up beer.

10W30 (Neustadt) = 5/10

Ratebeer 3.07 53rd percentile
Beer Advocate B

I had this on tap and C'est What? Another can followed me home from TO; perhaps I liked the packaging. Nose is faint but could detect a slight roast. It is odd how a medium mouthfeel beer and delivery this much flavour. There is more than expected chocolate, licorice and citrus. This is closer to a weak Black IPA than a brown ale. It was good and drinkable; almost porter-like. The slight wood and dry chocolate tastes faded away too quickly.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.5%
Value 0
Appearance +1 (At least its a fun looking can)

Naramata Nut Brown (a very under rated beer)
Beaver Brown Ale (Meterman Cameo)
Howe Sound Nut Brown

Wolf Sighting

I actually stopped into the Penny Farthing CBAW store to pick up a Driftwood Overboard Impy Pilsner. As I browsed the bomber selection (which is getting much better) the Wolf Brewing label popped out at me. Great! I can see how the new owners of Fat Cat are doing. Their first release(s) are long overdue. Another evil thought popped into my head: damnbeerblogger will not review this one first!

Black Tail (Porter - Wolf Brewing) = 7/10

Ratebeer - not listed
Beer Advocate - ditto

It is not a good start with a very faint nose. Perhaps a bit of heavily roasted coffee beans, but just smells like cool menthol. I must give them credit for actually providing a taste description on their label, "Robustly rich, creamy head, hints of coffee and molasses, bold disposition." They got it pretty bang on; except for the lack of head part. It does have a creamy, medium-full body, but not quite robust. Then again, my idea of robust is a tad skewed. There is lots of roast to spare, with a good backup of chocolate and thin coffee. The molasses is there too: blackstrap style. Hidden in the back is a slight herbal hop presence. As expected the aftertaste is dry with a long linger of cocoa and stale Timmy's coffee. Despite the potentially unappealing description, it is a pleasurable aftertaste. As the brew warms up, berry fruitiness becomes noticeable. If I must find a fault with this beer, which is hard to do, perhaps it is a tad thin. This is a solid porter. Not as good as Anchor or Black Boss, but much better than average.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (elegant label, very wine-like)

Granville Island Porter and Real Life
Cannery Blackberry Porter and Beer Fridge Etiquette
BlackStone Porter

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hopping Mad Cask (Granite Brewing)

So the beer ticking is getting a little out of control. This cask beer was sampled last summer at C'est What? in Toronto. At this point there may be over 200+ beers that have not been written up. About one beer a week is written up and sometimes I sample 2-3 new ones. This does not look good for completing my task of getting caught up. Today there was a bright note: I saw a new Phillips beer. It was a barrel aged Surly Blonde. These guys will barrel age anything. What is next? Barrel aged tap water? I didn't buy it. Anyways I digress.

Hopping Mad Cask (Granite Brewing) = 8/10

Ratebeer 3.47 86th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Citrus jumps straight from the glass into your sinus cavities. The hoppin' mad was creamy and barely carbonated, but certainly not lacking in mouthfeel. Mostly citrus (orange, not too much grapefruit) with a perfect accompaniment of pine. The dark bready malts did their best, but they were outnumbered. A light astringency stuck around just enough to make you want more. It is great to get a West Coast IPA in Toronto.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 6%?
Value +1
Appearance +1

Yellow Snow IPA and New Year's Resolutions

Red Racer IPA
Shipwrecked Triple IPA