29 April 2006

World Wide Stout

Well, I had that bottle of World Wide Stout I was talking about yesterday. Utterly fantastic beer.

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

A: 4.5
S: 4.5
T: 5.0
M: 5.0
D: 4.5

Received in trade from fdrich29. (Thanks, Frank!)

Bottled in 2003. Beer tasted and consumed on my one-year beer-reviewing anniversary, 4/28/06.

A: Pours black, black, black into a pint glass. No real head, just khaki-colored "soap scum" on the top of the glass. Leaves some lacing.

S: Aroma thick, malty, strong notes of grapes -- almost like a deep dark red wine. Slight astringency, slight coffee, and notes of licorice, walnuts, and caramel.

T: Strong coffee and raisin flavor, sweet and strongly astringent due to alcohol. Aftertaste astringent, again like a fine red wine -- no hop bitterness at all. Warming sensation in chest, and as the beer warms the flavor profile increases in maltiness.

M: Mouthfeel thick, syrupy, even chewy. Bready, even.

T: So incredibly drinkable. I'll be buying these whenever I see them.
Beth tried it with me last night and nearly stole the damn thing from me, and she's definetly not a beer drinker. Next time I'm in Nashville I'll be on the lookout for more of that stuff for sure.

UncleFlip, from the BA and FTH forums, is on a trip to Three Floyd's to pick up as much Dark Lord as he can -- he's promised me a bottle or two. He's also picked me up a sixer of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot from Atlanta, and hopefully we can work it out so I can get all of this from him this week sometime.

Beth is really hungover this morning, having had only a little over a bottle of wine. Usually that's not enough to make her get sick, but apparently her tolerance isn't what it once was.

28 April 2006

Final Exam

I had my final for my Intro Biology class today. I feel certain that I'll end up with at least a B in the class overall, with the distinct possibility of an A. Of course, I was really hoping for an A, so a B will be somewhat disappointing, but I suppose I can live with the disappointment.

In other news, today is my one-year anniversary of my very first beer review over at Beer Advocate. Members can read my very first review here or for those who haven't joined, I'll post it below:

Mackseon XXX
A: 4.5
S: 4.5
T: 4.5
M: 4.5
D: 5.0

Six-pack purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

This is a truly fantastic example of what beer can be. Pours a deep black color with amount of head depending on the aggressiveness of the pour. I tend to like a medium-aggressive pour, which produces a small but persistent red/black foam that persists until the end of the brew. An overly-aggressive pour can effect the head, and also effect the perceived sweetness of the beer -- if you want this beer to taste more like a dessert, it's best to pour more aggressively from the bottle.

After the look, the smell's the first thing that hits you. Smells like a nice stout, not a lot of hops, balanced perfectly between sweetness and bitterness. The aroma is one of the best parts of the brew; I like to sniff continually while drinking, and have been known to let it sit for awhile on my desk to let the aroma sink in for a bit.

Taste is fantastic, with coffee and chocolate flavors dominating, but still with that "beeriness" and alcohol underneath. Finishes about the same way it started, with perhaps a bit more bitterness.

The mouthfeel is good, but I the carbonation seems a bit overdone to me. It's not an extreme deal (hence the high rating) but the carbonation means I can't quite guzzle this one the way I'd sometimes like to.

This is one of my favorite beers right now. It has all of the qualities of a great stout, but instead of being bitter and dry, it is sweet and refreshing. I realize that not everyone shares my taste on matters of bitterness, but if you've tried Guinness or Rogue and didn't care for the dryness, this is an excellent brew to try.

EDIT 6/25/2005: I bought another six-pack of these and tried them again last night, and found that many of my earlier caveats about mouthfeel and drinkability were unfounded. This beer is good at virtually any temperature range, and even when I had one at nearly room temperature, it went down smooth and clean. I absolutely love this beer, and have upped the drinkability to 5 and the mouthfeel to 4.5 to better reflect what my more sophisticated palate tells me about this beer.
I've learned a lot since then. Tonight I'm planning on having my bottle of World Wide Stout -- I'll post the review here when I get it done.

24 April 2006

Destroying the World, or Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot

Beth and I ate lunch today (my first day of unemployment) at that fine-dining capital of the known universe, Taco Bell. After dropping her off, I drove off towards campus to look at the on-campus jobs postings (bupkiss, basically) and decided to see what AM radio was like around one PM here in Huntsville. By chance (or by design?) Rush Limbaugh's fine, fine program was on.

First off, has anyone noticed how much of the air time on these programs is filled with needless advertisements of other AM talk radio programs or other such things? The signal to noise ratio is even worse than network TV, I suspect, and may even be on the "free porn site" level. Not that Rush Limbaugh makes me think of pornography or anything...

What made me want to post, though, was that Rushie-boy was pontificating about environmentalism and so-called doomsayers in the environmental movement. He teased his audience, saying that he had coming up a list of the top ten things to destroy the Earth, and that "global warming's not on the list!" A bit later (the drive was fairly long, as I expected for the early afternoon Parkway driving), Limbaugh quoted the list by one "Sam Hughes" and went through it point-by-point. The top ten?

10. Total Existence Failure (i.e. all the molecules in the Earth just happen to spontaneously not be there anymore.)
9. Gobbled by strangelets (absorbing the earth into strange quarks.)
8. Sucked into a microscopic black hole
7. Blown up by a matter/antimatter reaction
6. Destroyed by vacuum point energy
5. Sucked into a giant black hole (I like that there are two specific black hole methods on the list)
4. Meticulously and systematically deconstructed (in essence, hurl the mass of the Earth into space using some advanced energy rail.)
3. Blown into smithereens by collision with a blunt instrument (like, say, Mars.)
2. Eaten by von Neumann machines
1. Hurled into the sun

Limbaugh included some commentary on these methods from an article that I found here, basically describing each of these methods to his audience. To any reasonable person with an interest in science or science fiction, these "methods" are really just a bunch of thought experiments meant to provide a bit of humor to geeks interested in such things, and perhaps to give some perspective as to the size and the nature of the Earth and the universe around us. The author even references Terry Pratchett, Red Dwarf and other science fiction comedy sources in compliling this list. It's a gag.

But Limbaugh, not recognizing this or not caring, seems to feel that it merits some sort of serious discussion. First of all, he clearly hasn't a clue what most of the items on the list really mean, in particular items like zero-point energy and von Neumann machines. Secondly, he uses the bizarre and horribly inconvenient nature of these "methods" to argue that environmentalism is wack, because obviously it takes a lot more than simple pollution to destroy the Earth.

Well, no shit. While we might argue that lefties worrying about human action "destroying the planet" are engaging in a bit of hysterical rhetoric, most persons would agree that the real worry such environmental concerns indicate is not the literal destruction of the ball of solid and liquid rock and metal that is the Earth, but the carbon/nitrogen-based and much more fragile life forms (most notably, that odd chordate called Homo sapiens) that live on the surface.

Limbaugh has, wittingly or unwittingly, created an enormous straw man here. And has absolutely no regard for scientific knowledge. If he weren't such a powerful personality with so many millions of listeners, I'd feel sorry for the bloviating blowhard.

(And I'm sure my title is completely original to myself. Came up with it myself, y'see?)

20 April 2006


Two and a half months without a post. Geez. In my defense, I've been busy with work and school (on the plus side, I'm pretty sure I'll have an A in my class when all is said and done), and just haven't had the energy to blog lately.

I did run across a neat site today:

Giant Microbes

I like the yeast, but that's probably just me.