Category Archives: Beer

This is Relevant to my Interests

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Full site here – historical thesaurus of drinking words – but I’m going to take screen shots in case you can’t be arsed to follow the link. Perhaps you might be half-shaved, toxic, poggled, shickery, or peloothered yourself right now. Why not, it is a Monday, after all!

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I love language. And I love drinking. We still do use a lot of these terms commonly, of course.

In Ireland we have quite a few that may or may not be on the list. I’ve had a few cans and I’m not going back to look!

Rotten (usually preceded by absolutely), rat-arsed, baloobud (likely regional to my town), steamboats, mashed, pished, totalled, poleaxed, writ off (also regional, apparently is said ‘rit aff’), buckled, spannered, slaughtered, wankered (sounds like a really good night, that), pissed as a fart (I love that one), langered or langers, locked, off yer head… it does go on!

Did you find favourites in the list, or have any new ones for the class?

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New Beer! Winter Holidays Edition

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Since I introduced iDJ to the concept of Christmas ale/beer, he has embraced it wholeheartedly. He bought us two boxes of imported beer, plus whatever we find at Aldi or Lidl or Tesco.

Shall I do most to least favourite, or vice-versa? Oh, I think worst to best, as I’m probably funnier when complaining than when I’m happy.

Worst:

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Rogue Yellow Snow IPA, 6.5%. Oregon, USA. It’s meant to be bitter and it sure is. This I could not drink at all. Every sip left me making a horrible noise at the aftertaste. It felt like I was drinking poison. I’m sorry we have two more of these to drink, because I’m not touching it.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration, 6.8%. California, USA. I drank it, but again it was awfully bitter and didn’t taste of much else: not very Christmassy at all. I think it is safe to say that as a general rule, I do not like IPA.

Middling: From here on it gets tough, as I’d have all of these again!

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Bateman’s Rosey Nosey, 4.7%. From Lincolnshire, England, UK. Very easy to drink, and as we found it in Aldi, we have had more of this than any of the others so far. Not very much like a Holiday ale, but still a nice find, so try it if you can.

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Brewdog’s Santa Paws, 4.5%. Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK. Tasty, but not a holiday ale. Will never be made again, and I hope their next effort is better.

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Wychwood’s Bah Humbug, 5%. Oxfordshire, England, UK. Found in Aldi, yay! Very warming on fist taste, despite the relatively low alcohol content. They did a good job on the spices. They are famous for their Hobgoblin beer, which is probably also found in the USA. Maybe.

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Sierra Nevada Snow Wit IPA, 5.7%. This is a Belgian-style IPA, and as such an odd combination I loved it. Like drinking a Mandarin orange. Fabulous.

Best: The last three are a tie, I think…

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Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale, 6.9%, again from California (seeing a trend here?). Had this last year but it is still just lovely. The smell of milk chocolate very time you take a sip is just wonderful.

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Anchor Brewing’s 2014 Christmas ale, California, USA. They have been doing this for 40 years and certainly excel at it. Very very sad the label is torn, as we are saving any labels we can to make tree ornaments. They change the tree species every year, so it is doubly sad to have it be torn on import to us in Ireland. Always always drink this on the holidays if you can.

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Eight Degrees’ Belgian Dubbel, 7.2%, and from Cork, Ireland! We were surprised how much we like this beer, and it seems to be our favourite. They say ‘Christmas pudding in a glass’ and they aren’t wrong. So tasty and very very much the spirit of the season in a glass. Very well done – especially considering the decades of experience other breweries have had – keep it up, lads!

Cartoon Craziness Challenge – Memories of a Childhood Vacation

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I have a funny vacation memory! Yay! Well, it’s not exactly funny. It’s something that probably should not have happened – it shouldn’t have been possible and it wasn’t technically legal – but it did teach me that my dad’s word was as good as gold.

We lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida, so we went to the mountains in North Carolina a couple years in a row on holiday vacation (back then a ‘holiday’ to me was a real one like Christmas). We rented a cabin on the lower slope of a mountain, and just chilled out. I loved it – the people who ran the cabin rentals lived at the bottom and had goats and sheep and let me interact with them. There were rocks and trees and giddy little rivers, and panning for gemstones. The panning was most likely seeded with stones, but it was fun for me anyway. I still have a chunk of flaky mica I found all on my own, too.

I was, I’m going to guess, between 9 and 11. So we’ll say I was 10 when this occurred. Not sure if it was raining out or what, but we were all inside the cabin. I also don’t know who came up with the idea, but I’m assuming it was me: I bet my dad that I could hold my eyes open without blinking for one whole hour, if I could have one whole can of beer all to myself! I always did like beer…

Dad agreed and timed me and made sure I didn’t blink. I wouldn’t have cheated, either – I wanted to see if I could do it.

Of course my eyes welled up and streamed tears. But after a good while, they tapered off. They got used to it. My eyes felt dry, but I didn’t have the urge to blink anymore.

I made it the whole hour. Mom might have protested a bit, maybe, but dad didn’t hesitate and popped the top on a can just for me. I can’t remember if I managed to drink the entire can of beer, but I can guess that I was just as stubborn about finishing it as I was at winning it. I do recall a sense of satisfaction at being able to kick back with a beer of my own, with my family. Maybe I was just a happy drunk!

So here is my cartoon – and it sure did need that explanation or you wouldn’t have a clue what it is meant to be.

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New Beer! Lots and lots of it!

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Oh wow! Hubby got me a ton of holiday beer this year, and we’ve been having great fun drinking it! The labels are creative and beautiful, the beer is gorgeous, and the craic is mighty! I’ve been drinking these over the last few weeks, so I can’t quite recall how most of them tasted now. Please accept the brewery’s description (in quotes).

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Our first one – our tree doesn’t even have lights on it yet!
“First brewed in 1981, Celebration Ale is one of the earliest examples of an American-style IPA and one of the few hop-forward holiday beers. Famous for its intense citrus and pine aromas, Celebration is bold and intense, featuring Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops—honoring everything we have at Sierra Nevada.” 6.8%

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Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale. This was our favourite, at least up until today’s tasting…
“Our Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale is a hand-crafted “winter warmer” with a deep amber hue and a rich, malty mouthfeel. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tickle the senses while the smooth, creamy finish will lift your spirits; a perfect beer to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter.” 6.9%

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Barbar Bok. It kinda kicked our asses!
“The Barbar Bok is adorned with dark colours and a ruby reflection. It undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle and merges the softness of honey with the strength of alcohol. The honey originates from Yucatan in Mexico and is hardly noticeable. In the brewery they maintain that the Barbar does not taste of honey but when accompanied by a dish with added honey, the dish tastes of Barbar. In the beginning, it was only brewed in the winter and was called Barbar Winter Bok. However, since 2008 the consumer decided otherwise. You can now also enjoy it in the summer to the great delight of lovers of brown beer.” 8%

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Anchor Steam Christmas Ale. I’ve had this in previous years, back when I was still an American.
“Every year since 1975 the brewers of Anchor Steam® Beer have brewed a distinctive and unique Christmas Ale, which is available from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year—as is the tree on the label—but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. Our tree for 2013 is the California White Fir. It was hand drawn by local artist James Stitt, who has been creating Christmas Ale labels for us since 1975.” 5.5%

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Smithwick’s Winter Spirit. I can’t get a brewery quote, just a press release quote – a shame as this is the first Irish beer on my list. Not enough spice – it tasted like a really good pint of Smithwick’s.
“…in making a winter ale, they sought a beer that would have body and colour and he believes that they’ve got it right with Winter Spirit. Winter Spirit provides a warmer, deeper flavour as a result of the roasted barley used in the brewing process.” 4.5%

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O’Hara’s Winter Star Spiced Amber Ale. Another Irish brew, it had a very spiced scent and smelled lovely – but not strong enough for us. The necessary warming note of a winter ale was lost here.
“In our 2013 edition, subtle use of spices and orange zest bring out a refreshing and different touch to this winter beer and also make for a dry finish. The orange zest and mild coconut flavours are the first to hit the palette, closely followed by the warmth of cinnamon spices mellowed in the orange essence. Dual purpose hops finish the aroma combination adding just a touch of evergreen, perfect for this winter amber ale.” 4.3%

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On to tonight’s smorgasbord! First was Italy’s Birrificio del Ducato Winterlude. ‘The champagne of beer’. Well, yes; it bubbled all over the damn countertop! We drank it a bit too cold – once it warmed up I got the wonderful fruity taste. I thought it was orangey, but it seems I was wrong.
“Top fermented beer which undergoes a secondary fermentation in bottle. It is intense gold, almost orange in color, with aromas of fruit in syrup (pineapple, peach and apricot), candy sugar, bread crust and a note of chives from the Belgian hops of Poperinge. Warm and sweet on the palate with a firm fizzy finish. Strong and structured, sweet and inviting. A tribute to a friend who went missing, who we may meet again one day, just like the sun that is hiding behind the hill. Winterlude is also named after a Bob Dylan song, a perfect fit since it is a winter warmer. The idea of winter as an interlude representing both the pause before awakening and the oblivion before new life.
This beer is inspired by some varieties of the Belgian Tripels. The hops come from the Poperinge region, a variety I have always been fascinated by. I connected with one of the region’s local farmer and had him set a preferred variety aside from his most recent harvest.” 8.8% (we like to start off at a gallop)

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From Denmark: Mikkeller’s Hoppy Lovin’ Christmas. Once again we had it a bit too cold at first, but once it warmed up? Pine needles. Not kidding. It worked! A lovely beer, I could have had several, no bother.
“Pours orange golden with a off white head. Aromas of fresh pine and tropical fruit with hints of floral notes. The pine aromas comes through on the palate along with citrus fruit. This is full of flavour with a touch of dry bitter hops on the finish.” 7.8%

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Alaskan Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter. The best. Best. Best! Technically, this is not anything remotely Christmas, Holiday, Seasonal… I don’t care. I got it for Christmas and had it tonight. I don’t think we said anything but ‘Wow!’ for five minutes. The smoke… wow! It was a strong, strong taste. It was amazing and wonderful and damn, if it didn’t cost as much as a bottle of fine wine, I’d have more. Wow.
“Smoked Beer. Known as “rauchbier” in Germany, smoke-flavored beers were virtually unknown in the U.S. until Alaskan Smoked Porter was developed in 1988. The dark, robust body and pronounced smoky flavor of this limited edition beer make it an adventuresome taste experience. Alaskan Smoked Porter is produced in limited “vintages” each year on November 1 and unlike most beers, may be aged in the bottle much like fine wine… Prior to brewing, selected malts are smoked in small batches under carefully controlled conditions in a commercial food smoker using local alder wood.” 6.9%

I can’t say enough how wonderful the porter was. If you try anything on my list today, try this! And pay what they ask: it is worth it when it comes all the way from Alaska (where two good friends and now my sister, brother in law and only niece are enjoying the long nights and snowy cold days).

Happy Beermas!

Ooo.

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I have no idea where I’m going with this post so bear with me! Just again feel the need to write, to reach out, and see what happens.

First off I use the WP app to write new posts – rarely for comments – so it was a surprise to realise the update I downloaded over the weekend made a lot of changes. Hence the ‘ooo.’ There’s all kinds of swiping and whatnot instead of the Microsoft-training we all have of closing or ‘x-ing’ out of something. And man, just then: attempting to get the iPad to accept x-ing was a trial… Second time, it’s a winner! I love this stupid thing.

Stupid thing is now a year old! My iPad is a year old. I never wanted it, never even considered it as something I would need. And now? Like a Texan’s firearm, you’ll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands. Yes, I’m teasing my Texas friends here – I seem to have quite a few and none of you fit that stereotype; I know it well but had to poke fun. Feel free to tease me for being a southerner myself, or an Irish drunk with a bad temper! Apparently I am both. Well, part Irish. I do say I’ve taken to the drinking aspect of the culture quite nicely. And I was born in NewJersey – go have a look on a map where the Mason-Dixon line was! Sigh. I can still speak ‘southrin’ any time I want, which entertains Irish people to a great extent. I think hubby only married me because I can do that. I need a south-Jersey refresher course, though – I end up sounding like Tony Soprano when I try. The bad temper is never going away.

What was I talking about? Meh, who cares. I have sunshine again, on a Monday.

And beer.

Woot!

Wait I need a fresh one. At least I’m not abandoning my empties in the grass like I did on Friday. Man, it was so hot that day my sweat smelled of beer. It might tomorrow at work. Whoops. I better switch back to rum and Pepsi Max after this one. It’s just…beer and sunshine are made for each other. I remember the day I discovered Sam Adams Cherry Wheat beer. I’m not usually a big fan of wheat beer but it was a hot day and I had plenty of them in the fridge, and sun and heat and no where to be. I reeked of cherries. It came out of my pores everywhere, liked I’d bathed in cherry skin-cream. Sort of gross, but by then I really, really, didn’t care.

And that wasn’t even the day I broke my pinky toe by sitting in the sun, drinking, and holding my pee so long that when I finally had to get up – about four or five beers later – I smashed my foot into some stairs and aw, first broken bone ever. I was close to 30 if not past it by then. Probably past it. Wonder if beer makes your bones weak? Or if having a massive-capacity bladder does? Ah well. I broke the same toe about 10 years later, just doing my usual tripping over nothing. Sober (ish) that time. Fun times… sad thing is, I used to be able to wiggle my pinkie toes independent of the rest of my toes, as a party trick, and that one doesn’t bend much any more.

Damn you, cloud, go away!

Better go back and reread and see if I have any point here today…

Ooo. Just hit preview and I have no paragraphs. That is bad…this stream of consciousness style of writing depends on visual breaks or I sound like I’m insane. Which is quite likely but I’m usually good at hiding it better. With paragraphs.

Man that cloud is annoying. Just wide enough to block my sunshine and make me cold. Go away, go away faster! Yes I see you moving, but move faster! And you! you, trailing behind! Move upward. Spiders need solar power.

Right, well, it appears I have nothing to say of any real import. I’m trying, I’m reaching out, because I’m in a good mood today and lately I haven’t been anywhere near a good mood. I’m doing my best to keep up a dialogue and even if it is me talking shite via writing, I imagine you listening and I don’t feel so alone.

Now if that second big-ass cloud would just move it along a bit, I’ll be happy…OMG still no paragraph breaks. Time to go find the help on this new app… Sorry… Will edit afterward so I make a modicum of sense.

New Beer!

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Here’s a really new beer! Not just new to me, but new new new – not sure if you have it in the States yet!

Guinness Black Lager? Why, what, how?

To me, it tastes like a home-brewed stout. Not as heavy as a bottled, carbonated, stout made by a big company, say, like Diageo. Not much head, and not much bitter after taste like a true stout, either. It was very smooth, and one definitely tasted like having another. If we’d had more than four on hand, it might have been a hard morning the next day!

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Pretty. Even the packaging looks frosty cold and ready to drink.

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See, not a stout’s creamy head at all. I’d have it again, when I’m off my low-carb diet again. It’s still pretty decent for you compared to most lager with 11 carbs and 135 calories a bottle, even if a bit mild in strength if you’re a good alky like me: 4.5 percent. A little stronger than Guinness stout, which the net tells me is 125 calories and 10 carbs but only 4%.

Try it if you can!

What I’m doing right now.

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It’s warmish, and only a bit rainy, so I’m outside. Hubby brought home New Beer – new to him, and Ireland, anyway. I’ll eventually cover all the new beer I’ve tried lately, but as a warm up to writing a Socks post, I wanted to share the environment I’m writing in:

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The birds are going mental all around me, and for a rarity there isn’t a car or building alarm going off. I hear cars going past, but no mowers, no tractors. Even the local cows and donkeys are settled tonight.

Wish I knew how to sample my background noise to share it with you all.

Mostly I’m glad to be out here and away from my loving hubby and his constant music – how bad am I – but the birdsong is so much more relaxing.

Invasion of the Flour Mites

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I had plans to post a few times tonight. But something icky happened and iDJ and I are dealing with it the best way we know how: by getting drunk.

The icky thing is that we (I) found out we have been invaded, infested, by tiny-ass flour mites. Getting rid of them is so very labour intensive that we cleared the counter under the infested cabinet, took out the food sources, and just… started drinking.

We intended to drink anyway. Well, of course – its us. But… it was meant to be special drinking. American craft beers rarely found here, bought with excitement and chilled with impatience. Then, choosing a glass… oh, they recommend a tulip glass? We only have one, my precious Corsendonk glass. So, big wine glasses will do. But, despite being in the cabinet they looked dirty, cloudy. I said I’d wash them first.

One washed, no problem. Next one, had a closer look to see just why it looked so filthy. “Oh no. No. No. No! Nonono. NO! The fucking bugs are back!”

See, we’ve been through this before. And it was hellish. And now, the little cunts are back. Sigh.

Drinking seems an easier solution, when faced with what I’ll be doing over the next few weeks…

New Beer!

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I haven’t done this in a while, and realised I have photos of three new tasty beverages I haven’t posted. In order of favourite (and what I can remember):

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I don’t have the bottle any longer, so I don’t have much in the way of detail. I have even less detail on what it was like! This O’Hara’s Irish Stout was imbibed on Paddy’s morning – note the BBQ is going – and was our first tipple of many that day. Firstly it’s nothing like Guinness. More chocolate and almost oatmeal. It were tasty, shame we only had one to share. Ooh, the bottle says its 6%.

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Shepherd Neame’s Spitfire! It doesn’t say so on the front, but it’s an amber (always a favourite with me). I’m into planes, more WWI than WWII but still. No skunky smell, and a nice light flavour befitting the light 4.5%. And I loved the bottlecap.

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Finally we have a beer my hubby last had in Prague. I wasn’t terribly impressed – it smelled a bit vile and didn’t have much taste. Vratislav, and I have no idea of alky content, sorry. In defence of the beer, they have to pasteurise it for export due to EU regulations and that just murders Eastern European beer. Drink it where it was born and you won’t regret it.

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More New Beer

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I got to try three new ales this week! I had to share with IDJ, but we didn’t mind as we like to try new booze but can’t afford a load of bottles.

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First one was a Christmas ale bought in Lidl: Shepherd Neame Tin’s Ale. I love Christmas ale, but this one, I’m afraid, falls well short of the mark. It didn’t have any spiciness, no hint of cinnamon, nutmeg, or even pine tree. I didn’t like it at all, unfortunately. Perhaps if I didn’t already have my palate set for a real Christmas ale, i would have at least liked it as a normal ale. As it was, nope. One sip was enough for me not to want more. Very low 4% alcohol, too.

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Next up was Morland Hen’s Tooth ale. iDJ didn’t like this one at all, and calls it ‘incredibly average.’ It was, but I didn’t mind. I’d drink it over Budweiser, Heineken or Carlsberg if offered it at a party. It did have a bitter after taste that came in pretty ‘after’ a swallow. Alcohol content 6.5%.

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Greene King Strong Suffolk Vintage ale was the best of the three, for both of us. At 6% it has a bigger flavour than the Hen’s Tooth, and a really nice burnt caramel taste – which is a flavour that is easy to do wrong. We don’t care for warm beer, and ale isn’t meant to be ice cold… and even we would admit it was better after warming up a little.