Stay Home, Drink That Giant Stout

We can’t have large Thanksgiving gatherings this year, since those potentially spread Covid far and wide, but we can still drink our Thanksgiving beers at home. I don’t usually have a large beer-drinking crowd, but enough that I can buy something new and interesting to try, or crack open a bottle of some rich aged stout to share among a few people. The lack of those people present in my house on Thursday is not going to stop me from opening something though.

Stick that turkey in the oven and break out that bourbon barrel-aged monster you’ve been aging. It’s strong, but the best thing about these beers is that they taste better approaching room temperature than fridge temperature, so even if you’re just sipping over a few hours, they’re still delicious. Drink them more like bourbon than like beer.

 

Alementary makes a beer called Figgy Pudding, which is typically described as an English Barleywine, though I’m not sure that really captures it. 

Big sweet bready malt, with a full range of supporting characters from light toffee to low chocolate. Fruit aromas of apricot, date, significant fig. Flavors of holiday fruitcake with massive malt structure. Figs for days, with supporting apricot. Date and Prune are secondary.

It’s a really neat beer, and I really love it. It’s also one of those that you can age. I’ve got a few bottles from previous years and I’m intending to open one up around noon on Thursday. At 9% it’s not as heavy hitting as some could be, but either way I”m looking forward to enjoying it slowly while I pull together appetizers/snacks or mashed potatoes or other such foods. 

So much of Thanksgiving drink media talks about pairing your beverage with the meal, but that just feels like clickbait to me. The meal is one small portion, and you’re probably snacking all day. You’re definitely DRINKING all day right? The drink for 1pm spinach artichoke dip is different than when you have your plate stacked high with various mashed tubers. Drink what you like!

 

I was in NY briefly earlier this month and went to a bottle shop in Valley Stream that I usually go to, but hadn’t been since the pandemic started. They’re pretty good with having some more of the local Long Island breweries that don’t distribute to me in New Jersey, and other various breweries distributed to NY but not NJ. Mayflower brewing company is one, and I saw they had a Thanksgiving Ale. I picked up a 4-pack of that, to be my ‘drinking with dinner’ beer. 

 

After dinner, which is typically earlier in the day than ‘real’ dinner time, I suspect I’ll need something crisper and bubbly. This might be the time for a bottle of champagne, or a nice pale Ale. We’ve got a nice bottle of Pinot Noir sparking wine from Sparkling Pointe that might be right, or I did buy a 4-pack of Alementary’s Random Placement Of Things which would fit the bill too.

Finishing beer? Probably something small and smooth. A better person might say water here, but I’m thinking of a few light and fruity ales I have in the basement, or something like a dark mild. Plenty of taste, but nothing overpowering. Something to coast to the finish line with.

Whatever you enjoy, stay safe and go ahead and tag @BarleyProse with what you’re drinking. Cheers!

Beer Review:  Meteorite Sours

Welcome To Botty McBotface’s Weekly Column Of AI Beer Reviews!

Beers Like (or Like Stupid)

Every week, as a thorn in the side of Big Beer, I visit one of the country’s more obscure microbreweries to try and find the next great IPA or Triple IPA, and every time, I find a hoppy gimmick or a trend-busting effervescent novelty. I’m only joking. This column cover looks like something you might find on a visiting emissary from Mars, but despite all of the drinking history, this column is more about the reasons why it’s good and why you should drink it.

 

Beer Name: Aratight
ABV 10.00
Style: English Session Ale
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: Cyndi21

Review: This one belongs to the beer dynasty of Joe Solano. As you need to drink your fill of barreley wine at a later date, let’s wait and see what Joe Solano hatches.

 

Beer Name: Fiddlers’ Wheeze
ABV 5.50
Style: American Brown Ale
Appearance: 4.5
Aroma: 5
Palate: 5
Taste: 5
Overall: 5
Reviewer: vancurly
Review: Was this on tap at my local pub in Mass on the last Sunday in October… this was biting cool. Not for the faint of heart!

 

Beer Name: Alka-Vega
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: physmgook
Review: 20 oz served in a coffeepot. Poured into my new mini-skirt… A-Battalion on the pour is a hazy light honey color with a tiny white cap that fades to a tiny ring. Head is puffy and foamy. S-malty dark fruits, light fruit flavors, some citrus. T-Malty and sweet dark fruit, light fruit and sweet, a little over-carbonated. M-complex, medium to full bodied and no problem with constant flow. I would have to leave it at the maximum. D-another fantastic beer for the summer.

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

Beer Review:  Sunflower Seed Beer

Welcome To Botty McBotface’s Weekly Column Of AI Beer Reviews

Unless you’re a fan of bringing the whole “the technological singularity” hype back from the dead, your interest in AI beer will probably need to be rekindled. Luckily, folks like myself have been around for some time.

We’re your go-to dudes when it comes to surface-level analysis of the state of the art in brewing and drinking AI. I write about macrobrewing issues, beer labels, and the thorny issues of effective, ethical AI.

I’ve been to four botty-mackinja-infested brewpubs in the last few weeks, and watched my beer recommendations get taken down over and over by the bots. In my own experience, the AI won this.

 

Beer Name:Lawnmower Lager
ABV 3.90
Style: American Adjunct Lager
Appearance: 1
Aroma: 1.5
Palate: 1
Taste: 1
Overall: 1
Reviewer: kevinmkirk
Review: Let me start by sharing what’s on the side of the bottle: “For all you people who are afraid of beer you can’t see through, this one is for you. This beer is yellow, fizzy, and clearly meant for washing dirt out of your mouth after mowing the lawn.” I’m not even sure it’s good for that. It’s definitely yellow and fizzy, with no head to speak of, and zero lacing. It almost smells like a loaf of bread, and nearly tastes the same. It’s very earthy and grainy with nary a hop to be found. Man, I love me some Caldera, but I would rather drink a Bud Light than this on a hot summer day. Sorry guys, but this beer gets an F.

 

Beer Name:Caldera Rose Petal (Kettle Series)
ABV 6.70
Style: American Blonde Ale
Appearance: 3
Aroma: 2
Palate: 2
Taste: 1.5
Overall: 1.5
Reviewer: jmarsh123
Review: Split the bomber with my girlfriend who picked it out because of the roses. Pours a clear gold/orange with a small white head. Smells floral as expected with some malty sweetness too. Not really picking up heavy roses on the nose. Tastes weirdly floral, but not good floral like a heavily cascade hopped beer. Hardly any hops at all, just a weird rose flavor. Good news is if I ever want this flavor again, I have a large rose bush in my front yard. Undercarbonation leads to an even worse experience. My first drain pour in quite a while. After a few sips these became way too overpowering and going through 22 oz wasn’t happening.

 

Beer Name:Mistress of Chaos
ABV ÃÂ$7.50
Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest
Appearance: 3
Aroma: 3
Palate: 3
Taste: 2
Overall: 3
Reviewer: kdudding
Review: As this is drank, a bit of creamy ice-pop my nose, but you can tell this is not what I was in for. Not a varietal style for mushrooms but a common fruity dragon pepper oktoberfest.

 

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

Beer Review:  The Honey Green Lager (6.2%)

Welcome To Botty McBotface’s Weekly Column Of AI Beer Reviews. This week we’re covering four micro/small brett IPAs, and two IPA’s that may be the best things to come out of San Diego since Mango Naan.

 

Beer Name:Vas Deferens Ale
ABV 8.10
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 3.5
Reviewer: russpowell
Review: Got this ine from the Nashvillian (cheers John) Pours chestnut/mahogany with a pinky of of tan head. Average head retention & good lacing

S: Rich dark fruit, chocolate. All fade as this warms

T: Follows the nose, dryness, apricot, pears & cherries with a touch of oakyness up front. I start picking some candi orange notes as this warms, a touch of juicy fruit gum on the edges, along with apple skins. Finishes dry with some orange rind bitterness showing up, some cocoa powder as well

MF: Medium bodied, fairly firm carbonation, a bit too dry for my liking

A decent shot at the style, just didn’t pull a the way together for me, still very drinkable Was hoping for some like an acholic version of Terry’s Orange Chocolate (if you know what I’m talking about) Having read other reviews, yeah what is up with that label? Not sure what that demon is is grabbing…

 

Beer Name:Old Growth Imperial Stout
ABV 8.80
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 3.5
Reviewer: Beerandraiderfan
Review: Imperial stout = dark beer, no different here, its black. Foam about 3/4″ deep, tan, light brown colored, hits the bricks right quick sucka. Coffee absent in the aroma, otherwise, chocolate malt, light boozy in a good way, warming, hides abv relatively well, no coffee to it still on the mouthfeel. Sticky, bitter, low carbonation. About 1/100th of the smoke they put in rauch ur bock. Plenty chewy. Maybe some licorice. Pretty good stuff. What a bummer mine followed a Mogli. Tough act to follow, but would not heitate to recommend this beer, just like 99% of the rest of Caldera’s stuff.

 

Beer Name:Dry Hop Red
ABV 5.70
Style: American Amber / Red Ale
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 4.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4.5
Reviewer: RedDiamond
Review: At last, the fine Caldera brew Ive been waiting for. I first heard of this beer on the streets of Ashland where word of mouth about a good beer is a recognized sign of an enlightened populace. With high hopes I went to the Siskiyou Pub in pursuit of this craft beer and was rewarded with a fine drinking experience. Just as word about this beer reached me before I could drink it, so too, the fine aromatic fragrance of bright floral hops leapt out at me from the glass before I could take a sip. Its not surprising that a dry hopped beer should carry such a resounding hop fragrance. Still, the vitality of the aroma was compelling. And the hops were not limited to a mere fragrance. The bittering element was concise with a touch of spice and a protracted bitter finish comparable to an ESB. All this from a beer of lush crimson with a razor thin head.

 

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

Beer Review:  Fortune Beer Lab, Revival Brewing Company, Three Taverns

This my weekly column of beer reviews. Each week, I will take a look at the beer at the top of the draft beer market (and often at the bottom). This week, I am taking a look at the best cheap beer at the mall.
I like to take a look at the price per ounce, and compare it to the beer in the bottle. If the beer costs more per ounce, and you can get the beer for less per ounce, then that is a good value. I will do a list of my top 10 cheapest beers at the mall, and I will look at what the beer was in the bottle. It will be a list that will be updated weekly.

 

Beer Name:Rauch Ãœr Bock
ABV 7.40
Style: Rauchbier
Appearance: 3
Aroma: 4.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 4.5
Overall: 4.5
Reviewer: UCLABrewN84
Review: Pours a murky light brown with a 1 inch fizzy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip back into the remaining beer on the drink down.

Smell is of smoked meat, smoked cheese, campfire smoke, etc.

Taste is of smoked meat/cheese, campfire smoke, wood, and a slight cocoa/coffee flavor on the finish.

The aftertaste is also cocoa/coffee with just a hint of the smoke flavors.

This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a bubbly mouthfeel.

Overall this is a very good rauchbier from Caldera that has a bit of a different flavor than German rauchbiers.

Beer Name: Caldera Pale Ale
ABV 5.50
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
Appearance: 4.5
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4.5
Taste: 4
Overall: 5
Reviewer: GratefulBeerGuy
Review: I’m really enjoying the variety of quality brews in a CAN i’m finding here in Northern California! this was reviewed while camping at Castle lake campgrounds in shasta city…i think. Ooooh yeah, cracking open a can sounds good!! a thick, solid and rocky -white head stands proud like Mt. shasta itself over a bright plae golden liquid, much like the N.Cali sunsets.

Retention is amazing, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. The nose is just bursting with hoppy cascade aroma’s!! Sweet fruits, musty herbs, wheat and corn and light but sweet malt. This all cascade beauty has a great aroma. The hoppy flavor’s here are deep and very complex, cascade hoppiness all in my face. Light and very, very crispy feel is exciting and spot-on for the style. crisp with a creamy smooth finish from the beastie foam still clumping it’s way down slow.

The cascade hops provide a gentle fruitiness and perfect dry-herbal and earthy complexity. I havn’t been this excited for a Pale ale since my very first Sierra Nevada!!(circa 1996) This pale ale in a can has made my day, and I’m camping in one of the most pristine locations I’ve ever been too. This is simply one of, if not THE best Pale ale i’ve ever had. Bring on the cans!!!

 

Beer Name:Pilot Rock Porter
ABV 5.80
Style: American Porter
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3.5
Taste: 3
Overall: 3.5
Reviewer: Thrasher
Review: Pilot Rock Porter was served on tap at the Night Light Lounge in Southeast Portland. This is a great neighborhood bar, with a fine, if not huge selection of beer, and deserves some spillover beer geek traffic once the Clinton Street Theater’s brewpub opens down the street. Anyway, the porter is lighter than your typical porter black, more of a transparent ginger brown. The head is small but the lacing is determined. The aroma is mild rainy day, and the flavor profile contains deep caramel, light smokiness, cured meat, cola, and a tart herbal quality that masks the malt sweetness. It is not an exceptional beer but it satisfies and provides a lighter counterpoint to Caldera’s rich coffee/Cauldron stouts.

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

Beer Review:  Mason’s 30th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Bourbon Screaming Eagle

This my weekly column of beer reviews. Each week I’ll be giving a beer a thorough review and letting you know what I thought of it. This week’s beer is a 4.5% IPA from Maine’s Zephyr brewing company. Zephyr’s slogan is “The finest craft beer for the discerning craft beer drinker”. I was lucky enough to have a visit from the brewery’s owner, Jeremy Zephyr, last week and got to try a variety of beers and chat about craft beer.

 

Beer Name:Cauldron DIPA
ABV 7.70
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 4.5
Overall: 4
Reviewer: johnmichaelsen
Review: According to the website, the style for the Caldera Cauldron changes every year. The current release is a DIPA, which frankly is the only cauldron I’m familiar with (it was an IPA/DIPA the last time I ordered a cauldron at the horsebrass several years back). In any event… at the Horse Brass yesterday. The beer pours an orange copper color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is all hoppy IPA goodness, showcasing a huge aroma of dry citrus, pine and sandlewood. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this West Coast all the way DIPA. This DIPA is not for the faint of heart and is a bit much even for a hophead like myslf. The finish is quite dry and hoppy, and there’s barely enough sweet malt to balance and hold up the avalanche of hoppy bitterness in this beer. Mouthfeel is actually fairly light, with a long, persistentely bitter finish. Drinkability is good, with the alcohol barely noticeable in this well crafted beer. Still, this beer is so hugely hoppy/bitter, it’s really hard for me to imagine ordering more than a single glass. Regardless, this is a very impressive beer from the folks at Caldera.

 

Beer Name:Caldera Ginger Beer
ABV 4.70
Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 3.5
Reviewer: Reidrover
Review: 22 oz bottle from “Lifesource” Salem. $3.95 Nice golden clear beer body with a nice sized frothy/creamy white head. Ok

aromas..mainlly a bit of ginger speice and some bready malt..simple nice

Taste very nice indeed..nice spicy ginger backed with slightly caramel maltiness..simple again but i like .

Liked the mouthfeel of this one..very forward carbonation which helps the ginger effect and a lingering ginger in the after taste.

Overall a simple ginger brew .I liked it

 

Beer Name:Caldera Oatmeal Stout
ABV 7.20
Style: Oatmeal Stout
Appearance: 2.5
Aroma: 1.5
Palate: 2.5
Taste: 2
Overall: 2
Reviewer: RedDiamond
Review: Caldera presents yet another circumstance where the brewery does not operate a brewpub, doesnt bottle their beers, and is located 300 miles from my home. To review their beers I traveled to their hometown of Ashland, OR and drank at the Ashland Creek Bar and Grill. This may have been a mistake. Though I had other reasons to visit Ashland, its disappointing (to say the least) to travel 300 miles and be served a spoiled beer. Both the Oatmeal Stout and Ashland Amber were of poor quality at the Ashland Creek Bar and Grill. In the case of the Oatmeal Stout, a nice measure of cream and a wayward thread of mint were marred by a sulfuric smell and likely bacterial infection. Though I cant say for certain, my best guess is that the house tap lines were something other than sanitized. I will attempt to revisit and re-evaluate this beer. But for the time being, its important to ask a pertinent question about quality control. Caldera is a 10 bbl microbrewery in a small town. How much responsibility do they have towards assuring that taps serving their product in their hometown are kept reasonably clean and free of bacterial encroachment? My answer to this question is that the brewery does have some responsibility to assure quality pours in its own hometown. This is especially so when they operate no pub of their own. Not only does this effort protect the consumer from being served a spoiled beer, but the enforcement of quality control measures at the point of consumption simply makes good business sense. Till then, theres nothing I really care say about this beer other than to wish whoever pursues it greater luck than I had at Ashland Creek.

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

Beer Review:  Citra De Mango by JM Gulf

This my weekly column of beer reviews. I’ll try to do a review every day, but it’s not a sure thing. As usual, you can find the full review here . A review of the Krombacher Weisse will come later this week.
First thing’s first: My first review in this column was a St. Louis Cardinals post-season beer. While the beer did well in the review, I was not as happy with it as I was with the pre-season beer. My second review in this column was a I.P.A. from a brewery in St. Louis. The I.P.A. was good, but not spectacular.

 

Beer Name:Dead Man’s @ Miller Park
ABV 9.50
Style: American Barleywine
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3
Taste: 3
Overall: 3
Reviewer: alleykatking
Review:

A- pours a hazy ruby red with a tiny golden light clinging to it but the more I drink, the more I really enjoy it. I was thinking I WAS through the beer with the bubbles, but it’s still good. 500ml bottle pour into a Weizen glass

The aroma is like a carbonated mousse cake covered in cream and milk. The nose is very faint but very pleasing. Not how a dead man would smell, but still bumps up category of decider class.

The taste is like a beer with an epiphany and a bottle of hell. Biscuit sugar, some fizzy carbonation, and a bit of the 2nd grade alcohol.

The mouthfeel is decent. It’s definitely more mouthfeel here than a regular Dead Lager. Fizzy carbonation with a bit of the 2nd grade alcohol.

The drinkability is good. I noticed this one is good for a while and then it just hit me.

This is not like the Dead Lager but it’s still good. If you like dead lagers and want to drink well lads, walk right past me and the food might drink better.

 

Beer Name:Cobalt
ABV 8.40
Style: American Malt Liquor
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4
Palate: 3.5
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 3.5
Reviewer: GBollett
Review:

Wonderful (if not weird) appearance in the glass at Bottomless Bistro. With cobalt head and no foam, a pale body with a thick circle of bubbles around the glass. aroma with a corn smokiness to it.

The taste was sweeter than expected. Just as you would expect, it had a very smooth and sweet taste.

The mouthfeel was a little over-carbonated. Like a cobalt (I’m a sucker), I love a high ABV lager. If I see a cobalt beer in a bottle it will probably be this one. If I do get a cobalt beer, it will be one I enjoy more than just wanting to have a sip.

 

Beer Name:Nitro Kriek
ABV 5.10
Style: Dortmunder / Export Lager
Appearance: 4.5
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 5
Overall: 4
Reviewer: rfoguel
Review: Sources are not exactly certain, but the beer is presumably beer from a “Nitro brewery”. The product on the label states that it is brewed by “Drink-in-Pours” (implied). This would seem to be a good way to describe their beer.

The beer pours a slightly murky brown with an off-white head. It has a bit of a strong smell. There are also some organic parts in the aroma.

There is a little bit of aroma in the taste as well. There is a slight fruitiness that is great.

There is a little bit of a fruitiness in the mouthfeel as well. You can smell the yeast in the beer.

The drinkability is good. It is a bit of a strong beer for a milder Kriek, but it is pretty good and drinkable through the first few ounces.

It is in between a pale and a barley beer. It looks good. This is a good Kriek, I could have a few more. It would be a good choice for the busy Kriek fan.

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

Beer Review:  A Full Boosted Big Room Bomb!

This my weekly column of beer reviews. Each week I’ll have a review of a beer that I think is worthy of the word “barrel-aged.” I’ve been getting a lot of emails about this in the last few weeks and have decided to put up some of them here. If you have a good beer that you think I should review or a bad beer that I should not review, email me at jason@maltosefalcons.com and I’ll do my best to give you my honest opinion. I’ll also be picking a few of my favorites to post here every week.

 

Almond Joy Smokiness
ABV 6.50
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 2
Palate: 3
Taste: 2
Overall: 3
Reviewer: sh2
Review: Found this one by chance in my trash bag. Poured into a pint glass. Smells like no hops. Pretend that it tastes like hops and a little bit like a honey ale. Taste is similar to the smell. Not great. It is a little bit bitter, but the hops are there. Didn’t like it.

 

Beer Name:Brew Kittens 2
ABV 4.90
Style: American Adjunct Lager
Appearance: 3
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3
Taste: 3
Overall: 3
Reviewer: Lostinit
Review: 12oz, Straw for Dogfood

A: Pours a hazy orange with a frothy white head. Aroma is a very typical of a Kitten IPA. Not the same hops as I had expected. Not too much head.

S: Hard to get out. Sweet malt aroma. Would have guessed a hop simply because the nose is so sweet.

T: Simulated Kitten IPA. Tons of sweetness. Hops then hit your tongue. Does not have the hop bitterness I expected.

M: The mouthfeel is light. The carbonation is extremely light.

D: I think this would not work well with salmon. I was expecting a more bitter and high carbonation palate though.

 

Beer Name:Malte Naar Ras
ABV 8.00
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Appearance: 4.5
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: QVegas
Review: 12oz bottle over a Seeliynkug, a very unique silver colored. Breast on the side of the glass against a picture of the Irish mutt blanches to Ivered which i cant understand. loads of dark tan head that feels nice and firm but isnt much to speak of outside the amber hue. Nice good crackling to there but cannt put much to it. lights of caramel, graham cracker and biscuit in the nose. Slight of lemon, coffee raisins and spices. Smells a little balanced and rich in what it’s got going on. It has a nice hop aftertaste and well done with a little dryness. Lets put this down. Not changed over time, but it definately shows how good the beer really is.

 

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. 

The Divided States of Pumpkin Spicelandia

We live in a time of fake news, alternative facts and a nation so bisected that as we hurtle helplessly through the autumn and a hostile election season, the only topic more divisive than “who do you want to be president?” is most likely “do you like pumpkin stuff?”

Maybe it started with the latte, who knows.  But the seasonal pumpkin invasion soon infiltrated supermarket borders, claiming for its own once solidly chocolate dessert territories like cookies, ice cream and pudding.  As tyrants are seldom content to stand pat, the great pumpkin oppressive would march on to claim key alcohol enclaves, with stalwarts schnapps, rum and vodka the next to fall.  

Would beer be conquered by the pumpkin, as well?  Or is pumpkin flavor actually invigorating our fatigued taste buds and should be treated as liberators instead of invaders?

~~~

BeerAdvocate.com lists almost 1,800 beers as “pumpkin”, with scores predictably ranging from a perfect five to a perfectly bare and uninhabited zero, a range frustratingly appropriate for pumpkin flavor.  I don’t know that I would go so far as to equate pumpkin beer with prison wine, as my intrepid colleague did recently in this piece for Barley Prose, but I generally put up a spirited defense against the three-flank holiday pumpkin spice attack of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. 

Biases are learned behaviors, and to tear them down, it often takes an experience that hits close to home to shake foundational beliefs and make you see something with new eyes and a different clarity.  

Meet the Pumpkin Noir Spiced Ale by Marble Brewery in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The description on the can reads “Our lady of darkness always chooses the burnt slice of pumpkin pie.  Heads have been known to roll around here until we achieve the perfect balance of carbonized fruit, delicate spice and velvet viscosity.”  

A lot to chew on there.  

The Pumpkin Noir is an annual seasonal and this year’s version checks in at 8% ABV on the nose, and pours a deep, spooky black with a creamy and frothy head.  As we saw in the supermarket usurpation, pumpkin spices invade in the fall and with the dessert territories already conquered, it was wise to attack the cold-weather beers, typically dark and malty stouts and ales.  

The aroma of the Pumpkin Noir is a strong amalgam of the pumpkin spices, but the taste is more subtle.  It starts like a porter but with a nice spice on the tongue (from the ginger?).  It’s a full beer, warm and comfortingly boozy, but not heavy-handed with unnecessary pumpkinry. 

The verdict?  This beer is damn good. It’s delicious. 

So what’s the lesson here?  That the pumpkin faction were right all along?  Maybe not.  Pumpkin for the sake of pumpkin, you know, pumpkin spice Pringles, chicken sausage and PSL pasta sauce (!?) is a marketing cash-grab directly targeting the nostalgic, autumn-loving Starbucks drinkers.

But a pumpkin-flavored beer made thoughtfully by a brewer whose creations you love and trust can maybe be a different story altogether.  We can still hate with all our guts and vitriol one another’s stances on things as polarizing as pumpkin flavor, but maybe we should just shut up, try a pumpkin beer and remember the lesson Edwin Starr tried to impart on us: “War, what is it good for?”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beer Review:  The 1.4 liter bottle of Yuengling Ice House

This my weekly column of beer reviews. I’ve reviewed about 60 beers this week, ranging from the beer you can get at your local liquor store to the beer you can’t get anywhere. I try to pick an IPA that you’ll be able to drink year-round and, more often than not, I’ve got a winner. If you enjoy the column and you have a beer that I didn’t, please consider sending it my way. That way, I can put it on the list. Also, if you don’t see your beer on this list, please contact me . I’m always looking for more to review, and it’s always nice to hear from a fellow beer enthusiast.

 

Beer Name:Smuttynose Smuttynose Smuttynose (Smuttynose Institute)
ABV 8.00
Style: Smuttynose (Smuttynose)
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: Carr
Review:

A- Nude, cloudy yellow print.irled a glass with a nice crust.

S- Sourdough bread, wheat, maple syrup.

T- Sourdough, wheat, maple syrup.

M- Fizzy.

D- Such a tasty beer.

 

Beer Name:Bitter N’ Dark
ABV 9.70
Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4.5
Palate: 4.5
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: Manyfoam
Review: Bitter N’ Dark (BND) poured a dark mahogany color. Aroma is dark, with a light aroma of strawberry and a hint of coffee. Taste is sour, dark malt flavor with cocoa nibs and a forlorn bitterness. Medium bodied, with a light, single finger, oily, spongy, finish. Overall this is a good beer, a little less than loose, but that has to be expected given the style and the style of the beer.

 

Beer Name:Shiner Motherteller
ABV 6.80
Style: American Amber / Red Ale
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 4
Reviewer: Torrent0nboy
Review: arrived with an orangeish head which dissipated too fast for a beer this light in appearance. sharp aroma of oranges, grapes, earthiness. steeped in sweet orange, not a very distinct ‘fizzy’ taste which sounds more like an IPA. Its bright and sweet and seems more like it should be. A touch too sweet for the style. The bitterness abounds in the aftertaste. Bitterness is on the low end. Its color is a bright, refreshing shade but its not very bright. It’s good.

 

 

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together.