29 November 2008

Beer Review, Great Lakes Eliot Ness

Great Lakes Eliot Ness
Cleveland, OH
6.2% ABV

Appearance: Dark amber coloration, very clear, no effervescence, tiny off-white head that dissipates immediately leaving only soapscum. Leaves no significant lacing. 3.5/5

Smell: Not a lot of aroma here. Very malty, slightly sweet. Slight notes of apples and a hint of citrus -- possibly grapefruit. Overall not very complex, but certainly not unpleasant. 3.5/5

Taste: Very much a standard amber. Has a strongly sweet flavor up-front, with a healthy dose of dark fruits. Highly malty, no hops present, hints of yeast. Overall a decent amber, nothing special, and slightly cloying in the aftertaste. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Moderate thickness, somewhat thicker than a "standard" amber. Low carbonation, low hops, leaves a nice coating on the palate. Slightly dry on the finish. Goes down clean. 4.0/5

Drinkability: The cloying flavor is a bit of a down note for this beer, but overall this is a decent amber and worth a taste for those who are fans of the style. It'd probably pair well with food, or it would be a decent beer for a get-together. 3.5/5

Overall: 3.55/5

27 November 2008

Beer Review, Founders Centennial IPA

Founders Imperial IPA
Grand Rapids, MI
7.2% ABV

Appearance: Orange-brown, very hazy, slight effervescence. One-finger white foamy head on the top of the glass. The head sticks around and leaves significant lacing. Impressive. 4.5/5

Smell: Very prominent crisp hops up-top, slight citrusy sweetness underneath. Perhaps a bit overwhelmed by hops, but otherwise a pretty nice aroma for an IPA. 4.0/5

Taste: A pretty exceptional IPA. Rich with crisp hops that are very much on the top level of the beer, but somehow are not overwhelming to the flavor of the grapefruit underneath. A good beer for hop-lovers, less so for anyone else. 4.0/5

Mouthfeel: Thin, hoppy, low carbonation. Clean and smooth on the palate. 4.0/5

Drinkability: For an IPA this hoppy, it's very highly drinkable and very enjoyable. 4.5/5

Overall: 4.15/5

25 November 2008

Beer Review, St. Bernardus Abt 12

St. Bernadus Abt 12
Watou, Poperinge, Belgium
10.5% ABV

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black opaque body with a thin white head. Head leaves foam but little lacing along the outside of the glass. 4.0/5

Smell: Sweet Belgian yeast aroma, hints of dark fruits, maybe a touch of citrus. Very complex, very inviting. 4.5/5

Taste: Sweet up-front, mostly from the yeast. Very yeasty overall, very malty. It's a very mellow beer considering the alcohol -- while it has a very complex and distinct flavor, it's difficult to talk about because the flavors are so elusive and unidentifiable. It's a wonderful flavor nonetheless. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy, lots of yeast in the glass. Leaves a nice coating to the palate. 4.5/5

Overall: 4.4/5

Drinkability: You can't even taste the alcohol here. I haven't done a parallel tasting of quads, but this might be my favorite of one of my favorite styles. 4.5/5

23 November 2008

Beer Review, Circus Boy

Magic Hat Circus Boy: The Hefeweizen!
South Burlington, VT

As usual with American-made "hefeweizen," this is actually an American Pale Wheat Ale rather than a true hefe. You can tell because they don't use a true German yeast strain that a real hefe would have, and therefore change the flavor significantly. I'm a huge fan of true hefeweizen, not so much for American Pale Wheats.

That said:

Appearance: Clear yellow-white body, nonexistent head. No effervescence, no yeast in glass. 3.0/5

Smell: A very mild sweetness, slightly yeasty. Some notes of citrus, mostly lemon-lime. 3.5/5

Taste: Very citrusy, strong notes of lemon and orange. Slighty dry on the finish, leaves a cloying aftertaste. 3.0/5

Mouthfeel: Moderate, but coats the mouth well. 3.5/5

Drinkability: There are only a handful of American Pale Wheats really worth the time. This isn't one of them. If I hadn't gotten it out of a multi-beer pack I wouldn't have bothered with it at all. It's not unpleasant, and it goes down cleanly enough, but overall it's just not a beer I can feel strongly about. It's less objectionable than plenty of other APW's, for sure, but I won't be buying it again. 3.0/5

Overall: 3.15/5

21 November 2008

Beer Review, Reunion '08

Reunion '08 Organic Red Rye Ale
Chico, CA

Appearance: Deep red body, clear, thin off-white head. No effervescence, no lacing. Head dissipates immediately. 3.5/5

Smell: It's a Rye Ale, so naturally there's a lot of rye. Other aromas include apples and cherries, hints of crisp hops. Sweet, slightly tart. Interesting. 4.0/5

Taste: Now the rye's up top, very prominent. Hints of a sweetness underneath, finishes with a bitter hoppiness. The rye's pretty intense at first, but as the tongue gets used to it the flavor is actually quite pleasant. 4.0/5

Mouthfeel: Moderate thickness, low carbonation, high hoppiness. 3.5/5

Drinkability: Not sure. The rye is a bit too prominent for my taste, but overall this is a decent beer. Fans of rye will probably like it more than I do. 3.5/5

Overall: 3.8/5

20 November 2008

Nerdly Time Waster

I'd like to be getting some writing done, either on a short story or in the form of movie/book reviews (of which I have plenty that I could theoretically do, believe me!) or other blog posts not involving beer, but a certain laziness has pervaded the house right now (plus it's pretty chilly in here) and I have wasted away the entire day. Part of which was spent playing Vitetris.

That's right, it's an ASCII version of Tetris played in a Linux terminal window. Shana's so gonna laugh at my nerdliness when she sees this....

19 November 2008

Beer Review, Bell's Winter White Ale

Bell's Winter White Ale
Comstock, MI

Appearance: Slightly hazy but bright yellow body, thin white head. Some effervescence in the glass, moderate carbonation, overall very much to be expected for the style. 4.0/5

Smell: Sweet, spicy. A lot of yeast present in the nose, smells a bit subdued for a witbier, more like an American Wheat. No hops or malt present in the nose. Overall, it's pretty nice. 3.5/5

Taste: Very sweet up-front, hints of the spices that make this a witbier, but to me they're fairly unidentifiable. No hops or malts present in the flavor, finishes clean but with a bit of a sweet aftertaste. Overall a pretty nice witbier for my taste, as I'm not always a big fan of the ones that have the spices way up front. 4.0/5

Mouthfeel: Just a notch above thin, leaves a bit of a coating on the palate. Not unpleasant, pretty much on-point for the style. 4.0/5

Drinkability: I like this beer a lot more than I thought I would. It's very drinkable, so much so that I could consider buying a whole sixer of these. Possibly my favorite wit, something I wouldn't have expected from an American-made beer. 4.5/5

Overall: 3.95/5

17 November 2008

Beer Review, Old Jubilation

Avery Old Jubilation

First snowfall outside. Guess it's a good time for a winter warmer.

Appearance: Deep orange-red body, slightly hazy, with a thick foamy head that is so aggressive it jumps out of the glass. Pour very slowly on this one. Points knocked off for the too-aggressive foam. 3.5/5

Smell: Some spices, mostly coriander and orange rind. Slight notes of hops. Otherwise just a sweet maltiness. 3.5/5

Taste: Sweet fruits up-top, mostly apples and grapefruit with a touch of cherries. This is followed by a malt-heavy middle and a dry finish. The spices come out mainly in the aftertaste, lots of nutmeg and coriander and orange rind. Understated for the style, but that's pretty much the way I like it. 4.0/5

Mouthfeel: Moderate thickness with light carbonation. 4.0/5

Drinkability: Very drinkable, considering the alcohol level. I'm usually not a huge fan of winter warmers, but this one is pretty damned good. 4.0/5

Overall: 3.8/5

16 November 2008

Obama and Hipsters

Oh, fucking politics. I've just got to learn to shut down my RSS feeds for a few weeks and forget about the fate of the world for awhile if I'm ever going to get any fucking work done.

Anyway, Jennifer over at Shifting Baselines has some shit to say about the whole hipster response to life in general and to Obama in particular. Read the whole thing, but this is the finish.

If punk can be infected by hope, I think hipsters already have been. After Obama's election my hipster and Nietzsche-loving friend even noted: "Maybe Hunter S. Thompson got it all wrong. If he had only waited, he would have seen better days."

So Vice, you've got it all wrong. Or you have your readers all wrong.

When it comes to dos and don'ts, you don't need to steal the limelight and promote the impeachment of a President who has not yet taken office. You don't need to derail or deride the Obama bandwagon. And you don't need to drone on with the same vapid message that nothing changes. Because it does. It just did. In one of the most electric elections in history.

Those eyeglasses are fake. I know the hipsters really do see.

Fuckin' A. This shit really does matter and Obama just might be the Real Deal, the person who can actually lead this country out of the mess we've been in for the last, hell, for the last forty-odd years since the Civil Rights Era. Sure, he's a politician, and politicians are by nature going to betray you and are not going to give you everything you want. But while LBJ gave us the ramped-up Vietnam War, he also gave us the Civil Right Act and ushered in the modern era of liberal government. FDR is villainized by the Right but he found time in between setting in place the modern Social Security system to win World War II.

Yeah, Obama's just a politician, and there's no guarantee that we'll look back on this election in four years and even think his presidency was a good one, much less one on par with the two TLA-idents I mentioned above. But the times can often make the man, and if there is any man who has the opportunity for greatness on the historical stage, it's none other than BHO. If your only response to that is ironic detachment, please shut the fuck up and let the rest of us get to work actually making things better.

Are My Cats Trying to Kill Me?


Phoebe attacks my nose!

Zoe unleashes the banshee-wail!

It's entirely possible....

Quantum of Solace

Got back from QoS a bit ago. No new Watchmen trailer attached. Daniel is an unhappy camper.

Review of QoS coming tomorrowish maybe if I can get off my fat ass and do it.

15 November 2008

Beer Review, Cereal Killer

Arcadia Ales Cereal Killer Barleywine

Gotta love the fact that this is now a local beer for me.

Appearance: Very hazy brown-yellow appearance, small off-white head. Hints of effervescence due to carbonation. 4.0/5

Smell: Very tart up-front, almost lambic-like in its fruitiness, Hints of cherries. Very interesting, very unexpected for a barleywine (even an English barleywine). Hops are fairly well present under that, with quite a bit of alcohol astringency. 3.5/5

Taste: Very malty, quite sweet, slightly tarty. Alcohol very present in the flavor, mostly masked by the malts, with a burningly dry finish and a sweet aftertaste. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Thick, with low carbonation and high hops. Coats the tongue. 4.0/5

Drinkability: I'm not always a fan of English-style barleywines, but this one is quite good. Worth a try, and at $7.99 a bomber the price is right. 4.0/5

Overall: 3.7/5

13 November 2008

Shana Would Read This

Shana would totally read the novel from this Hijinks comic.

I haven't read Twilight, but I guess I really should at least see for myself how bad it really is....

Beer Review, Goose Island Harvest Ale

Goose Island Harvest Ale

A Chicago beer in honor of a certain Chicago politician.

Appearance: Reddish brown coloration, slightly hazy, some effervescence, moderate off-white head that dissipates immediately. The head leaves no real lacing. 3.5/5

Smell: Dark, malty aroma. Notes of bready grains, somewhat aromatic of dry hops way down deep. Smells sort of like a bock -- I like it. 4.0/5

Taste: A little bit of everything. Sweet at the start, malty in the middle, a nice dose of dry hops at the end. Finishes sweet, leaves a touch of sweet aftertaste. Actually quite enjoyable. 4.0/5

Mouthfeel: Moderate. Very low carbonation. 3.5/5

Drinkability: A very drinkable and enjoyable beer that pairs well with food. Well worth the price. 4.0/5

Overall: 3.85/5

12 November 2008

Response to A Modern Parable

Okay, so this is almost a week old, but I was rankled at it when I first read it and had set it aside for a possible post. Here's the post.

Over at the First Things blog, Stephen H. Webb has a modern parable for us:

A guy walks into a job interview. The interviewer asks him about his qualifications. He says that he wants to be judged on the basis of the interview. He has no qualifications because he has very little experience, but he has been working on his interviewing skills over the past few years. The guy thinks he gives good interviews even though he hasn’t done much else besides practicing for interviews.

So the interviewer says fine, let’s see how good an interview you give. The interviewer asks tough questions and the guy does a great job. He never loses his cool and never says anything embarrassing or out of line. Besides, he looks great. He has a great suit, he smiles a lot, and he appears to be very likable. He is obviously very smart, but he is not arrogant or condescending. To top it all off, he is an African American, and the interviewer has been feeling guilty that his business has never hired a black person for this particular job. The interviewer feels really good about himself for thinking such great thoughts about this guy.

So he gets hired, even though nobody knows who he really is or if he can do the job or not. Sound familiar?

I'm not going to bother rebutting the errors in the analogy (those should be pretty obvious), but let's instead just place this hypothetical job interview into context. Imagine that the guy who has the job now and is being replaced has been an unmitigated disaster, obfuscating the problems in his despicable job performance by refusing to discuss the complaints he gets, and just overall being an ornery fucker whenever he's criticized for anything. What's more, the other guy you're looking at hiring for this job is an aging war hero who spent most of his interview reminiscing about his military service while failing to give any specifics about what he'd actually do if you hired him. And while the other candidate does have a twenty-year record of service in a related position to the one you're hiring for and likes to call himself a "maverick," you notice that he hangs out with the outgoing guy a lot and is mostly planning to continue doing what the old guy did for the last few years.

I think given those circumstances is actually makes a fair degree of sense to just go with the bright young guy who might have a new trick or two up his sleeve rather than the old guy who may have the experience, but seems to want to use it just to do more of the same old things that haven't worked. The fact that Obama actually does have quite a bit of knowledge and experience in a wide variety of fields doesn't even come into it -- there's a credible case to be made that the young guy is the better choice even without considering the experience question.

11 November 2008

Beer Review, Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA"

Appearance: Hazy caramel-colored body, slightly reddish on the edges, with a very thick bubbly off-white head. The head sticks around for awhile, give significant lacing. 4.5/5

Smell: Right off the bat, strong notes of rye and crisp West Coast hops. Underneath that, some fruity sweetness, grapefruit and apples or pears, with a touch of citrus, perhaps oranges? Overall an interesting aroma. 4.0/5

Taste: Wow. Highly alcoholic, very strong rye flavor. Bitter hops on the backend. Slightly dry in the aftertaste. As you get used to the alcohol and the hops, a slight grainy maltiness appears in the middle. A very imposing beer, perhaps with the alcohol turned up just a tad too high. That and the hops overwhelm the rest of the flavors. It's not bad, but it's very strong, and it's difficult to get any complexity out of it. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick mouthfeel, hops tickle the tongue, some carbonation. 3.5/5

Drinkability: This is obviously a lot of people's cup of tea, but it's not really something I feel the need to drink regularly. It's priced right at $6.99, and I'm sure I'll drink it again, but overall there are much better DIPAs out there. 3.0/5

Overall: 3.75/5

10 November 2008

Well, That's a Reason Not to Get a Job....

Those of you who know me in real life are aware that although I've been in Kalamazoo for about five weeks now, I have yet to find employment. Not, of course, for lack of trying.

So. Last Thursday I had an interview with a certain major home electronics retailer for a holiday position. I thought the interview went pretty well -- although I'm not sure how happy I'd be working for said retailer, I figured I could handle it for the six weeks or so until the Christmas season was over no matter what. The interview went at least fairly well in my opinion, so it was a bit of a surprise when I got an email from the store:

We have reviewed your credentials and at the present time, we are unable to match your qualification and experience with an open position. You are welcome to apply again after
60 days have passed from the date that you completed our application.

Thank you for your interest in our organization and we wish you continued success in your job search.

Well, whatever. I guess they found someone with more direct experience in their subfield. Except, well...

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Circuit City Stores Inc., the 59-year- old seller of televisions and computers, filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming the biggest retail casualty of the slowing U.S. economy and frozen credit markets.

The chain sought Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Virginia, today after suppliers concerned about declining sales at almost 1,500 U.S. and Canadian stores cut off credit and demanded up-front cash for shipments. The company owes $119 million to Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's largest maker of personal computers, and $116 million to Samsung Electronics Co., the top maker of flat-panel displays, according to a filing.

So I'm thinking that my failure to be employed had less to do with me and more to do with that quarter of a billion dollars or so the company owes to bigger fish.

I have another interview tomorrow, so hopefully this time next week I'll be gainfully employed.

09 November 2008

Obama on Interviews and Global Warming

Check it out here:

The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, "I don't consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me ... answer it.' So when Brian Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that you've done [that's green], and I say, you know, 'Well, I planted a bunch of trees.' And he says, 'I'm talking about personal.' What I'm thinking in my head is, 'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's because of something collective'."

Yes, I know all of the completely obvious reasons that Obama couldn't actually answer the question that way, but damn is it nice to have a President-elect who even thinks like that at all, even if he can't exactly come right out and say it out loud.

There are a lot of issues on which I disagree with Obama, and I'm sure the next four years are not going to be the kind of liberal Utopia that some people would like to believe they're going to be, but it's certainly a positive thing that we are going to have a President who actually has a head on his shoulders and can approach problems with an eye towards reason and evidence, right?

(Although that's going to be a very difficult thing to maintain if he picks RFK Jr. for a position in his administration.)

Beer Review, Arcadia Scotch Ale

Arcadia Scotch Ale

Appearance: Dark amber coloration, very nearly brown. Thick brown head that thins but does not disappear and leaves a small amount of lacing. 4.0/5

Smell: Strong aroma of bread, malt. Slightly sweet. Not a lot there, but it's not bad. 3.0/5

Taste: Strongly sweet, cloying. Quite dry on the finish. Notes of apples and cherries, a touch of citrus and grapefruit. It's pretty clean overall, but it doesn't even come close to the kind of immense complexity that a really fine Scotch Ale like Skullsplitter can offer. 3.0/5

Mouthfeel: Watery, but leaves a coating along the tongue and palate. No carbonation, no hops, very flat. 3.0/5

Drinkability: Overall I feel like my numerical ratings are a bit unfair for this beer. It's not really a bad beer (I'd probably buy it again sometime) but it's not really giving me anything to work with. A decent high-ABV programmer, nothing more. 3.0/5

Overall: 3.2/5

08 November 2008

Video Games

Shana and I went to a friend's apartment last night for "getting reasonably alcohol-fueled and hanging out" time. In the midst of this action, we ended up playing video games for about two-thirds of the night, including Super Mario Bros 3 as part of a Mario All-Stars pack for the Super Nintendo.

Now, when I was a kid, SM3 was one of my all-time favorite games, but what surprised me was just how well my skills held up. I haven't played that game for more than ten minutes in the last decade or so, and yet my thumbs just "remembered" how to play, even to the point of being able to beat the infamous "sun stage" in World 2 without use of the P-wing. And yes, I know how dorky that sounded.

Anyway, this is really just an excuse to post this video which I found a couple of weeks ago.

With apologies to Louis Armstrong, of course.

07 November 2008

Beer Review, Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale

Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale

My first beer of this style.

Appearance: Opaque brown body, slightly reddish coloration. Small khaki-colored head that dissipates quickly. Leaves a small amount of lacing. 4.0/5

Smell: Sour, tarty aroma, a hint of that "mustardy" aroma I always get from lambics, has the aroma of a wild ale, probably due to the yeast. Slightly musky at the bottom. This seems pretty much what I expected for-style, so I'm giving it a 4.0/5

Taste: Strong notes of sourness up front. Breadiness in the middle, slightly malty and grainy. Underneath the sourness is a mild touch of apples and cherry. Finishes clean and dry with only a slight tart. 4.0/5

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin mouthfeel, no real carbonation, slightly chewy. 3.5/5

Drinkability: I'm dinging this a bit because I find it fairly undrinkable. I know the tartness and the sourness is to-style, but for my palate it's fairly overwhelming. I've given it credit in the higher categories, so I don't feel bad for dropping its score a bit here. 2.5/5

Overall: 3.8/5

05 November 2008

A Quick Note, and Some Obama Porn (NSFW)

I was going to write a long blog post about my experiences watching the election results come in last night, but ultimately that would be a really negative post, focused on the hatred that has been spewed towards Obama and the frustrations of the last four years. Instead, let's look to the future and concentrate on the positive.

Like this photo. This is probably my favorite photo from the campaign season, taken at a rally in Pennsylvania.

(Hat tip Melissa at Shakesville.)

Cara at Feministe pointed to this video, which is incredibly insipirational.

Oh, and remember that Nailin' Paylin video? I said then that if anyone made an Obama sex video I'd link to it here.

Well, Joanna Angel has done exactly that. In her own words:

The video is funny because Sean looks nothing like Obama what-so-ever. Basically, my um “character” in the video is a dumb white girl who thinks all black people look the same. I am embracing and making fun of a stereotype. Don’t get all butt-hurt about it- PLEASE. It’s a joke.

The trailer is here.

Let's all go work hard to make sure the next four years can fix the incredible fuckups of the last eight. Obama's got a lot riding on him right now, but I think he is (and we are) up to the challenge.

A quick note on Obama's acceptance speech.

I wept.

More tomorrow. Been up since six.

04 November 2008

Beer Review, Magic Hat Participation Lager

Magic Hat Participation Ale

What other beer should I drink for election day?

Appearance: Clear, orange-yellow body, ever-so-slightly hazy, with a thin white head. Head dissipates quickly, leaves no lacing. 3.5/5

Smell: Very sweet, malty. Strong "American Lager" corn aroma. Not complex, but decent. 3.0/5

Taste: Malty beginning, sweet middle, dry, somewhat bitter aftertaste. Slight notes of hops. It's mostly clean but a bit cloying. 3.0/5

Mouthfeel: Thicker than expected, but still goes down smooth. Low (but not nonexistent) carbonation. 4.0/5

Drinkability: A decent American Macro, but like all American Macros, it suffers from a lack of complexity and just a general "sameness" inherent to the style. Drinkable, but I'd go for a good Brooklyn Lager over this one every time. (Of course, I can't currently get those in Kalamazoo, so....) 3.0/5

Overall: 3.2/5

Zombie Pinup Calendar (NSFW)

Oh, wow...

I'm impressed with the level of devotion to real zombie makeup here. The picture above is probably the least bloody and deformed of the lot.

I'm sure there are quite a few voraphiles now clicking furiously....

PS If you're reading this when it is posted... why aren't you out voting?

03 November 2008

More Directors Doing McCain Campaign Videos

Remember those fake McCain TV commercials directed by famous Hollywood directors? Well, there's a new set that's nearly as good as the first.

I especially love the one taking the piss out of M. Night.

Beer Review, Stone Russian Imperial Stout

Stone Russian Imperial Stout (or Imperial Russian Stout)

BA once listed this as the number three beer in the world, but they've re-jiggered the ranking algorithm since then. It now sits at number 15.

Appearance: This thing is so dark you'd probably need a photospectrometer to differentiate its color from that of the Bootes Void... and yeah, I was waiting for the opportunity to use that tortured metaphor. Suffice to say it's extremely deep black, completely opaque, Has a tiny head that dissipates but leaves a touch of lacing regardless. It's not quite as intense as Dark Lord, but it's close. 4.5/5

Smell: Highly malty, strong notes of barley and intense grains. Hints of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Lots of hops and a touch of astringency due to alcohol. Rich, inviting. 4.5/5

Taste: Heavily malty, strong doses of crisp California hops, with a strong tart astringency due to the alcohol. Delicious qualities of coffee, chocolate, hints of bittersweet raisins. Sweet and astringent finish, with a dry, bittersweet, malty aftertaste that leaves me wanting another drink. As the beer warms the dryness and the maltiness become more prominent. Delicious and well-executed. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Thick, low carbonation. Chewy but also smooth. 5.0/5

Drinkability: A fantastic beer. Approximately equal to Bell's Expedition in terms of quality, and a fine brew to have on these cold winter evenings. A beer designed to be savored and enjoyed for as long as the bottle lasts. 5.0/5

Overall: 4.6/5

01 November 2008

Beer Review, Bell's Big Porch Ale

Bell's Big Porch Ale

Appearance: Hazy reddish-orange body, thin head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing. 3.0/5

Smell: Dry, malty, hints of fruit. Smells basically like a generic "amber" beer, but no flaws are easily detectable. Perhaps a touch sweeter and fuller-bodied than most. 3.5/5

Taste: Again, a pretty standard amber. Heavily malty starter, dry finish, leaves a bit of a sickly sweet aftertaste. No real complexity here, but it's well-executed and, again, there are no real flaws here to speak of, besides a bit of tartness to the finish. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Thin-to-moderate. Slightly grainy, light carbonation. 3.0/5

Drinkability: The American Amber Style isn't the most impressive style to begin with, but the folks from Bell's have made a perfectly serviceable example of one. Fairs better when not being scrutinized -- this makes a really nice beer with which to sit and have a meal or to have while watching TV, hence the relatively high marks for drinkability. 4.0/5

Overall: 3.4/5