Happy Fourth of July! Okay, I’m three days late. But the weekend was long and very tasty.
our sugar fix
We had BBQ (slow oven-cooked brisket, smoked venison sausage, venison summer sausage) complete with corn*, potato salad, and cake. My wife will kill me for posting a photo of her cake, but despite its slight unkempt appearance, it was very good. I thought it looked quite nice, more like a work of art than a machine-produced Walmart special.
* I’d much rather eat it than put it in my gas tank, if you know what I mean
Sunshine Wheat beer (New Belgium Brewing Co.) BEST. WHEAT. BEER. EVER.
I started my long holiday (4th of July) weekend by picking up a 6-pack of this on my way home from work Thursday. It’s the best damn wheat beer I’ve had yet. What more can I say? Buy some. You won’t be disappointed. It tastes fresh and the flavors are bright.
This may sound weird, but it’s like taking in a mouthfull of ripe, fresh fruit. No, the beer does not taste fruity nor is it sweet like fruit. But the taste gives me the sensation of freshness and crisp, bright tastes that such fruit would.
Fuller’s 1845 Ale (imported from the UK) I have my father-in-law to thank for this beer. He left it at my house on Sunday, so knowing that he lives 350 miles away and won’t be back soon, I drank it Why let it skunkify, right?
This is a good British ale. I enjoyed it. Memories of Bass ale floated back to me while drinking it. It’s smooth and has hints of typical Belgian ales, but has a hoppy aftertaste. It’s slightly sweet and started tasting pretty good as it warmed up a little (starting at a typical refridgerator temp.).
Maredsous & Duvel
Maredsous 8 Dubbel (Belgian Abbey Ale) Ah, an old favorite. I have my brother-in-law to thank for this one. We hit Spec’s again on Saturday (we ran out of beer and had to buy some more). I’ve reviewed this already, but I’ll say it again. It’s the best of its kind – the “liquid bread” kinda heavy Belgian abby ale. It’s a double so, it’s not quite as heavy and sweet as a triple (e.g. the Maredsous 10).
Duvel (Belgian Golden Ale) Thought I’d give this one a try again. I first had Duvel several years ago and didn’t like it. I guess my tastes have changed, or I’ve learned how to drink beer correctly. It’s a great beer, it really is. It’s into the “liquid bread” category, but it’s much lighter than the heavy doubles and triples. It’s lighter but at the same time has a very full and wonderful taste.
The bottle states to “pour unhurriedly”. I think that’s wrong, as I had to start pouring the instant the cap came off. I guess the carbonation level was a bit high, and when exposed to the hot and soggy Houston air, this beer jumped right out the bottle and onto my counter After the initial excitement, I did have to pour rather slowly to keep the head to a decent thickness. The first glass I poured ended up being about 80% foamy head
(So, what do I mean about drinking beer correctly? It’s a no-brainer that things taste better when you’re hungry. Same goes for beer. I find that the best time to drink beer (especially strong-tasting beer like this) is late afternoon several hours after lunch. Also, don’t “color” your mouth with anything sweet or sour beforehand. If you have to eat a snack (and that’s me), go for something starchy and a little salty. Salted, roasted nuts is a good one. Cheese works pretty good too. If you want to really enjoy beer after dinner, don’t eat too much. Instead of “saving room for dessert”, “save room for BEER” Also, just a few of these beers per day is enough. After you drink 3 or 4 of them, you’re done. They are strong tasting and potent, and your taste gets a little dulled after a while.)
Young’s Choc. Stout
Young’s Luxury Double Chocolate Stout (ale with natural chocolate flavor added) Thanks to Randell for this one. I’m not a fan of flavored beer(1). I’m not terribly partial to stouts either. But this beer was pretty good. Maybe it’s because I really like chocolate
This stuff is smooooth. The chocolate flavor comes across strong but well done. It tastes full and balanced. Up front, it’s chocolatey and not too sweet. On the back end, it’s slightly hoppy and a little bit sweet. The flavoring is “integrated” well just like the cherry in Samual Adams’ cherry-wheat (another good beer that I’ve reviewed before).
(1) I know, flavored beer is a harsh term usually reserved for gimmicky crap beer that’s marketed to women(2) and people who don’t like beer. It brings up thoughts of raspberry or other fruit flavored syrup thrown into a mix of filtered water and beer-like flavor.
(2) Not saying that women don’t like beer, but marketed to women is a term frequently used to describe the lighter, kinder, foo-foo sort of food/merchandise. Now my wife really is going to hit me when I get home for being sexist(3).
(3) I’m not sexist, really. Maybe I’ll just stop talking…. now.