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Posts Tagged ‘KingBob Approved’

Hugh Malone Ale 2011 by Allagash Brewing Company

331 beer bottles, cans or growlers on the floor...

As I sit here in my tuxedo with a top hat looking all dapper tasting another beer…tuxedo you say?  Yes, I figured since this is the end of my journey to try a unique beer a day for 365 days, why not get all dressed up for the occasion?  My wife should be appearing in her ball gown soon enough and with my three cats (yes three…and no…I’m NOT that crazy cat person) sitting besides me waiting for me to finish typing so they can rip into some ocean whitefish or tuna & egg (yum!!!), this should be one momentous occasion.  As we get ready for the pour, the fireworks start, the strippers dance seductively, and the soothing tones of Steel Panther rip through the air as they launch into ” Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’ “, a nice love song.

Into one of my favorite pint glasses, East End Brewing Company (love the slogan on here…buy a good friend a good beer…), goes beer #365.  That beer comes from the great state of Maine and is called Hugh Malone Ale 2011. Brewed by Allagash Brewing Company in the nice city of Portland, this Belgian IPA has an ABV of 7.8%.  I gaze into the glass admiring the golden color and the huge off-white head…you really have to like head done right…and this is done right.  Oh yeah…it left some really nice lacing behind in the glass.  I took a whiff…yum…citrus.  Orange, pineapple, grapefruit (ruby red variety), and even a bit of lemon all tickled my nostrils.  Add in a floral scent and that very familiar Belgian yeasty thing and there you have the nose…in a nutshell.  I have to be honest, my mouth was watering and I couldn’t wait to taste it.  It started with an orange rind like flavor and bitterness.  I also got pineapple juice mixed with a nice bread like flavor.  There was just a touch of pine here.  It finished bitter and a bit dry.  It had a nice medium body with quite the ample amount of tight stinging carbonation.

This was quite good and as the last beer on my this long journey, it was a pleasure to drink.  This is getting the KingBob stamp of approval for sure.

Rating: A

And as the lights dim and the beer empties out of the glass, I realize that my royal quest to drink a unique beer a day for 365 days has finally come to an end.  It has been quite the experience over the last year.   A year filled with highs and lows and of pain and sorrow and couple that with getting in touch with my inner feminine feelings…those deep, deep down inside…wait a minute…what the hell am I talking about???  All this was really about was drinking beer…good beer (and some crap beer too) from all around the world and beyond and to that end I was successful.

And now for stats…I love stats…don’t you?

Stat #1 – When I started this a year ago I weighed 157 pounds.  This morning I weighed 158.2.  A paltry gain of 1.2 pounds…not too shabby…so much for developing a beer belly.  I have to be honest, I did ride my bike quite often along with walking and staying active kept the pounds at bay.

Stat #2 – The average score from the ratings was 2.86…just slightly under a B. Here is how I assigned a score – A+ = 5, A = 4, B+ = 3.5, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, and the big fat F = 0.

Stat #3 – I had beers from 22 countries and 28 different US States and from 160 different breweries.  The most beers from any one brewery was from Dogfish Head with a a total of 19 beers.  The most from any one State was 54 from Pennsylvania and the most from any one country excluding the USA (303) was 15 from Belgium.

Stat #4 – There were  95 beers I rated B, 75 beers were rated C,   64 beers were rated B+,  48 beers were rated A,  38 beers were rated D,  26 beers I rate A+10 beers were rated F, and 10 didn’t receive a rating due to illness.

Stat #5 – I had 331 bottles or growlers sitting in my basement…the others were either draft beers or bottles I didn’t keep for one reason or another.

Stat #6 – I spent $1571.66  on the beers for an average price of $4.43 per beer.  11 beers were gifted to me .

Stat #7 – I consumed 78 different styles of beer with IPA’s making up the most style consumed at a nice round number of 57.

Stat #8 – The blog received over 130,000 hits.

Stat #9 – And the last stat, although it isn’t a good one.  I got sick 1 time from consuming too much beer and that was after I finished off a growler of Red & Black by Dogfish Head.  That was a rough morning after.

And now it is time for thanks…

Thanks to everyone who visited and commented and put up with my, at times, nutty banter (I hope I didn’t offend anyone…that was never intended…unless you are fans of the Red Sox!!!  I kid of course!!!), thanks to my unofficial proofreader and former co-worker Ralph, thanks to my co-worker Ronaldo for the inspiration from his 365 photo project, thanks to all the other beer bloggers I drew inspiration from (Drew at http://365beers.wordpress.com/ , Scot at http://blog.twobeerdudes.com/ , Gramity at http://www.beerisseur.ca/ , Cavie at http://cavalierbeer.wordpress.com/, G-LO at  http://boozedancing.wordpress.com/ ), and thanks most of all to my wife for putting up with me during the past year of beer drinking…she truly is a saint!  And if I missed ya…thanks to the missed as well!!!

Cheers to you all!!!

And with that, my journey comes to an end.  I truly had a great time doing this but I am also very happy it is over.  I hope I was able to at least give you some inspiration to get out there and try some good craft beer.

After all, life is too short to drink crap beer and as Ben Franklin once said (or maybe he didn’t), “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!”

PS –  I will post from time to time when I have a beer that really rocks my world.  I also think I might start a blog (or just add to this one) trying to have a beer from every state in the US, after all, I only hit 28 and there are 22 other states with beer to drink!

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Pangaea by Dogfish Head

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Here is to hoping everyone out there is enjoying a nice day with family, friends or whoever you typically spend this day with.  The weather, at least in NJ, has cooperated lets just hope my Cowboys do the same and put a smack down on the Dolphins, who all of a sudden look unstoppable.

Beer #361 comes to me from Milton, Delaware by way of Dogfish Head.  Let me introduce Pangaea, a Belgian Strong Pale Ale with an ABV of 7%.  Pangaea as you may or may not know, was the super-continent that existed 250 million years ago and eventually broke apart to form the current continents.  Cool stuff…

Into my Cowboys pint glass went this clear amber liquid and sitting atop that was a nice sized off-white head.  Can you say ginger?  That familiar aroma was quite evident in the nose so much so it even conveyed the spiciness of that awesome root.  Me personally, I love ginger so this smelled really good to me. There were other spices at work here also…coriander and black pepper came to mind for sure.  I picked up on that familiar Belgian yeast thing too along with bread.  There was quite a lot going on here in the nose.  I took a sip…wow…nice and spicy just like the nose suggested.  The ginger was mixed with what I thought was a bit of a white grape like flavor.  It had a very light cinnamony finish and aftertaste to it.  This moderately bitter brew had a medium body leaning a bit towards heavy.  It was quite slick feeling in the mouth.

This was another delicious beer.  Your mileage may vary since I know ginger isn’t everyone’s thing.  I loved the spiciness and bitterness that the ginger lent to this.

Again…Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!!  Oh yeah…lets go Cowboys!!!

And then there were 4…

 Rating: A

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Hop Wallop by Victory Brewing Company

It is hard for me to believe that at this time next week, my journey will be over. It will come to an end on November 28th but until then I have, including today’s beer, 6 left.  Lets get drinking!!!

Beer #360 is Hop Wallop by Victory Brewing Company.  This American Double or Imperial IPA has an ABV of 8.5% and is brewed in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Into another Pennsylvania brewers, Sly Fox, pint glass this went.  The color of this beer was a clear orange or golden amber.  It had a very thin white head. The nose smelled heavy and syrupy with grapefruit and bready malts.  Hops up front with grapefruit & orange peel (basically a nice citrus fruity overall flavor) and then it gets malty and sweet with caramel mostly.  The body is pretty heavy, sticky & syrupy…it coats as it soothes…and the carbonation is pretty low. Nice and smooth with moderate bitterness coupled with the ABV hidden really well, makes this very drinkable.

I make no bones about…IPAs and DIPAs are probably my favorite styles of beer and this didn’t disappoint.  An excellent brew from Victory!

And then there were 5…

Rating: A+

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Fade To Black Volume 3 by Left Hand Brewing Company

My next beer, #353, has a cool name, Fade To Black Volume 3.  It is also the name of a great, great song by Metallica (Fade To Black).  Left Hand Brewing Company is the brewer and they brew this Foreign/Export Stout in Colorado in town that goes by the name of Longmont.  The ABV comes in at a nice 8.5%.  This is their 3rd beer in the Fade To Black series.

This sucker poured a black color, none more black, with a nice almost two finger width tan head.  I took a whiff…smelled good with  chocolate and smoke and lots of big roasted malts aromas.  With my mouth starting to water, I took a sip.  Holy crap…there is a hot, spiciness here that caught me off guard.  This had the flavor of something like a piece of dark chocolate infused with habaneros or some other type of spicy chili pepper.  There was also a noticeable dark roasted coffee flavor here too and cocoa…but with a bitterness, not sweet at all.  It had a smoky essence to it also that was quite nice.  I loved how this had that spicy pepper burn in the back of the throat also.  There was no sweetness to speak of and it had a nice dry finish to it.  To be honest, the taste put a big smile on my face…dark chocolate, coffee, some sort of spicy pepper…my kind of drink.  It had a medium body with plenty of stinging carbonation but still had a kind of slickness to it…like oil that is.

This was a fantastic beer.  I love how they incorporated the pepper hotness and spiciness into this and how it wasn’t totally overpowering.  For me, it was highly drinkable.  I am a lover of hot and spicy anything…and if you are too, and love Stouts…give this try!  I want a few more of these…and I want them now…wonder if I can convince my wife to pick up some more for me on her way home from work???  And oh yeah…I was listening to Metallica’s Fade To Black as I was drinking this…and now I have a hankering for Thai food…the hotter the better…oh well…enough of my yackin’…

And then there were 12…

Rating: A+

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Love Buzz Saison by Anchorage Brewing Company

“North to Alaska…we’re going north the rush is on…”

If you know the line above and the song & movie it is from…you are old.  The only reason I know it is because my dad used to play it (along with Battle Of New Orleans…composed by the same writer/singer) over and over again…on our fancy 8-track player.  It was composed by Johnny Horton in 1960 for the movie of the same name starring John Wayne.  To that end we go north for tonight’s beer…to Alaska.

Beer #341 is Love Buzz Saison by Anchorage Brewing Company from the city of the same name, Anchorage.  This Saison has an ABV of 8%.

Love Buzz poured a cloudy orange with quite the nice frothy white head sitting atop of it.  It sure did look pretty.  I dipped my nose in…it sure was herbal and spicy smelling with awesome  fresh cracked pepper & coriander.  It had a nice citrus aroma also with oranges and some pineapple.  I took a sip, the bitterness hit me first.  It wasn’t overly bitter…just noticeable.  Orange rind was the first thing I thought of…just slightly sweeter.  The spiciness of the cracked pepper like flavor then takes over to the end of the drink.  Throw in a hoppy grapefruit flavor in the back end and it made for a very nice tasting and pleasant brew.  It finished quite dry.  It had quite the medium body and was well carbonated.

This was quite excellent…another beer that I really enjoyed and would easily recommend.  I’m feeling in a great mood…Friday and all so this is going to get a big fat Kingly approval.

Rating: A

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Witches' Brew by Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Happy Halloween everyone!  When I was a kid, this used to be my 2nd favorite holiday behind Christmas.  I remember that I couldn’t wait until I got home from school or when it was officially time to trick or treat on a weekend.  I would be out as long as I could possibly stand it, dressed in my costume, with typically a pillow case as my container to hold all that yummy candy.  My neighborhood used to be packed with kids trick or treating.  Fast forward to Halloween today, I am lucky if we get 20 kids at my house trick or treating.  To me, that is a shame.  I really am glad I grew up when I did (I was born in 1968 to give you a point of reference).  It seemed like such a better time to be a kid.

So on this night when the Boogeyman is said to to stalking, the most famous of all…Michael Myers from my favorite horror movie of all time…Halloween (not Rob Zombies version BTW…Carpenter FTW!!!), and ghouls and witches are on the prowl, let me introduce beer #337, Witches’ Brew by Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. from Belgium.  Their version of a Tripel has an ABV of 9.3%.

I took this outside to my front porch for the pour in front of some lit up jack-o’-lanterns.  It isn’t my best photo but I think I did OK in the tough conditions (wait…I hear a knock a the door…yeah baby…trick or treaters…a football player and a priceness!!!).  Witches’ Brew poured a hazy golden color with quite the nice foamy white head.  That head stuck around quite some time.  The nose was very nice…apples and pears and maybe a some white grapes (oh my!) provided a nice fruity aroma coupled with a Belgian yeasty thing and spices like cloves and white pepper…I was digging it.  Add in a bit of bread and you have what I smelled.  There was quite a bit going here in the taste, it was a bit sweet up front with the fruitiness of the apples and grapes coming through loud and clear mixing with the malty breadiness really well.  I got some honey about mid-drink and then the spiciness comes through towards the back end of the beer.  9.4% ABV…where the hell did they hide it?  Even as it warmed up, the alcohol was really hidden well.  It had a medium body and some decent carbonation.  It was pretty smooth and almost creamy.  I drank the whole 750 ml bottle (the size of a typical wine bottle) and I could have had (wait…another knock on the door..a ninja, someone from Star Trek and Yoda) another bottle of this easily.

I though this was quite good and very delicious…excellent!  Quite the Witches’ Brew…perfect for a Halloween night such as this…even know snow is on the ground.  Now it is time to watch John Carpenter/Debra Hills Halloween and Halloween 2 and hopefully give out lots of candy.  Hey Mr. Zombie…watch these and learn how to truly do horror…it ain’t all about gore.  Have a wonderful Halloween everyone!  Oh yeah…give Dr. Sam Loomis a call if you see Michael  Myers…then again…if you see him…you are in big trouble!!!  Queue that famous creepy Halloween theme song….

Rating: A

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A Little Sumpin' Wild Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company

Heard a really good song today…Watch Over You by Alter Bridge.  It is amazing how a song can make you feel or the memories it can invoke.  For me, the singer is the key…with the voice being, in my humble opinion, the greatest instrument in the world.  I really appreciate when I can truly feel the emotions a singer is trying to express with their voice…couple that with a nice melody and for me you have a winner.  Of course it doesn’t hurt if there is a soaring guitar (2nd greatest instrument) solo or crunchy, chunky overdriven rhythm guitar parts…the louder the better.

Beer #326 is A Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company from Petaluma, California.  This Belgian Strong Pale Ale has an ABV of 9.4%…yowzers!  Lets see how it compares to A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin Ale that I had a few days ago which was absolutely fantastic.

Appearance -Golden orange color with a tiny white head.

Nose – Citrusy…nice orange aroma.  Some honey and pine and spices such as cloves.  A tiny bit of banana.  A funky Belgian style yeast smell also.

Taste – Spicy…pepper and cloves come to mind in the taste first.  There is a slightly sweet caramel malt backbone here that I didn’t get in the nose.  Pretty fruity mid-drink with orange and even the rind of the orange flavors.  The bitter pine goodness of the hops is apparent towards the back end.  Lots going on here but it all mixes really well.  The alcohol is hidden really well also…I wouldn’t have guessed it was 9.4% ABV.

Mouthfeel – Medium body, slightly sticky.  A decent amount of tight, tingling carbonation.  Excellent bitterness throughout.

Overall – Another delicious brew from Lagunitas…man they are making some good beer in Petaluma!  I like the citrus qualities infused into this Belgian Strong Pale Ale.  If you can find it…definitely give it a try!

Rating: A

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