Monday, August 8, 2016

Lagunitas - The Waldo's Special Ale

A while back I stopped at my local bottle shop that just happens to be a grocery store.  As I've mentioned in the past Pittsburgh has some funky liquor laws.  Thankfully Giant Eagle (our large local chain of grocery stores) has found a nifty little loophole.  They became bars.  Not entirely, but added a section where you can drink and eat inside the store and this allows them to sell six packs, singles, growlers, and twelve packs.  Thankfully Giant Eagle has a ton of buying power and has allowed lots of stuff to come into the area and has lowered prices city wide.  As you can imagine I'm quite pleased with this scenario.

Like I was saying I went by looking for my dear friend Flying Dog' The Truth.  No surprise they didn't have any.  Sadly a tough find.  The staff at these are pretty good.  they usually know their stuff. So I checked with them just incase they had some in the back of the cooler or something.  The guy suggested this to me instead.  Imperial IPA, high alcohol content, and Lagunitas has a good reputation , so I figured, why not.

I popped it in the freezer, got it nice and cold, and poured it out into a nice tulip glass I had.  Nice deep golden color with a small head on it.  Gave it a sniff, sweet and dark.  The flavor is heavy, and as the label says dank.  It's incredibly resiny, and very sweet.  It's tasty but not what I was looking for, not very well balanced and a bit overpowering, an odd thing for me to say as many of my favorite beers are incredibly overpowering, and unbalanced.  (See my review of Gonzo Imperial Porter)  I got about three quarters of the way through and lost interest.  I had another one a few days later with similar results.  Recently I had another and I was able to get through the full thing without pause.  Maybe I wasn't in the mood for something like this those other times, but this beer sure has it's place.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Flying Dog - The Truth

Last year I went to my favorite beer festival in the Pittsburgh area, the Big Pour it's an annual thing that gets sold out in minutes.  They host this event in a unique kind of resale space.  The take in stuff from buildings getting renovated or demolished and sell them to the public.  This event helps keep this unique recycling opportunity running and I fully support that.  Also they have the greatest selection of food and beer in the city for you to enjoy for a couple hours.  During this event there are  almost 50 different brewers available including TRASH a local home-brew group.  So suffice to say there are lots of different beers to try, but there was only one I went back for seconds on.  The Truth brewed by my personal favorite brewery right now, Flying Dog.  I chose to try this beer because, quite honestly I hadn't heard of it before.  The Truth has a Ralph Steadman illustration of a man with close cropped hair in a black suit, white shirt, and black tie.  Is he with a government agency, a lawyer, or a generic suit?  who knows, but he does promise to solemnly tell the truth.  It's listed as an Imperial IPA, I get it, yeah that's what this style fits under, but I tell you that this is a West Cost IPA if I've ever tasted one.  When I think Imperial IPA I think something like Lagunitas Waldo's Special IPA.  Incredibly resiny and thick.  This however is a different breed.  It's much lighter than the Waldo with bright crisp citrus notes.  The bittering of the hops is there, but subtle.  The fruity flavors cut through much more, but with a solid malt backbone.  Isn't it funny how the best west coast style IPA I've had comes from Maryland?

Brooklyn Brewery - Sorachi Ace

It's hot out.  I need something refreshing.  Let's talk about this light golden brew that mages to quench my thirst starting with the name.  Sorachi Ace is a name that seems very strange, almost nonsensical at first glance.  Doesn't really tell you much about the beer at first glance right?  Wrong, Sorachi Ace is the name of the hops used in this saison that really helps you though the summer months.  Developed for Sapporo in japan the Sorachi Ace hop is a hybrid of Brewer's gold, Saaz, and Beikei Male #2 varietals that produce a very unique taste that reminds me of lemongrass and dill.  The saison is a fine summer style, it's light, flavorful, and smooth.  The Sorachi Ace is like character actress Margo Martindale.  Every time I hear about it, I'm in.  As soon as I hear the name I say yes, but at the same time, I don't really push myself to find something with her in it.  This beer is so perfect, flavorful, and heck relatively cheap, but when I'm out and about and hear about something else.... I kinda forget about it.  It's worth it though.  If you haven't tried the Ace, grab yourself a bomber, sit on the porch, and relax.