Monday, March 12, 2007


A few quick quips and beerly bon mots to start the week off right.....last Thursday I was fortunate enough to enjoy another heaping chalice full of RUSSIAN RIVER DAMNATION, a Belgian-style golden ale that is truly nectar of the gods. I’ve rated it very highly on this site before – just wanted to let you know it still totally rules in 2007 (9.5/10).....another big winner comes to us from our idols at MOONLIGHT BREWING, this one the TWIST OF FATE, which is an English Bitter & which I got to enjoy on cask at San Francisco’s Toronado bar. Twist of Fate could not be more smooth, and even with it pouring down my gullet I got to take the time to enjoy the very fresh “roasted” taste of the beer, along with the very dry feel and floral smell. The pundits say it’s very “authentic", and who am I to argue. Moonlight can apparently do no wrong (8/10).

Went to see a re-fortified ROKY ERICKSON play live a couple weeks back, and the club he played in (he was great, by the way) actually had a new one to me on tap: SAMUEL ADAMS WHITE. Limited release, they said. I’m OK with that. It was a very straightforward white (“wit”) ale, tart in the right places and smooth enough for club-drinkin’, but truly nothing special at all. 6/10......I actually ventured into the rarely-broached world of real English beers last week, twice in the same day. I’ll tell you about OLD SPECKLED HEN in another post (I totally loved it), but my foray into TETLEY’S ENGLISH ALE didn’t go as well. Talk about generic! I found it very by-the-numbers bitter and warm, a real session beer to be sure, but I’d rather do my sessioning with something that tasted far better. 5/10.....Even an American brewer (ROGUE) beat the Tetley’s out at their own game. Rogue’s YOUNGER’S SPECIAL BITTER wasn’t anything to die for, but it had a pretty solid bready/biscuity taste that I liked, maybe just a bit off-balance in a way that I didn’t. I think Rogue’s been experimenting again. 6.5/10.....I know it’s probably sacrilege for some of you, but I have to give another big yeah-hup to BLUE MOON BELGIAN WHITE, a beer that is now manufactured by the Adolph Coors corporation. I can & will drink this excellent witbier anytime, anywhere (and did twice last week) – somehow they’ve gotten the recipe down right, and I swear it tastes like something out of a Brussels cafĂ©. Not that I’ve been to Brussels. Anyone out there drink this stuff before it was a Coors product, and is there any discernable difference?

Finally, I want to give kudos to the Beer Advocate staff for their outstanding monthly magazine, which is even better than it was when I wrote this review a few weeks ago. BEER ADVOCATE #2 concentrates on “extreme” or “wild” beer, with both pros and cons on this US-centric beer movement. Unlike other beer journalistic outlets, this magazine also takes a stand on beer it reviews, and if it sucks, they’ll say so intelligently. Definitely get yourself a subscription if this beer dork world is something you aspire to, as well it should be. Until next time.....

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