Look Ma, No IPA! Beer Is Good – Sam Adams Holiday Porter

Winter variety pack from Sam Adams, and wow, not an IPA in sight! How refreshing in a time where I saw a Guiness IPA. First bottle I grabbed is the Holiday Porter. Pours opaque black with moderate strong head. Dark roast aroma, spicy hops. Fairly strong bitter throughout. Pretty heavy mouthfeel mitigated by crisp carbonation and astringent finish. Nice dark, perhaps not my favorite, but decent.

Just gets 3 out 4 non-IPA monkeys.

Beer Is Good – Sam Adams Winter Lager

Seasonal Sam Adams, Winter Lager pours dark amber with moderate head. Brewed with spices. You can detect it in the aroma, but can’t figure out what. The bitter is even throughout. Nice roast grain finish. Medium mouth feel. I’m generally not a big fan of flavored beers, but this one is nicely done.

3 out 4 winter monkeys.

Deschutes Jubelale

Seasonal pours very dark amber with moderate head. Heavy aroma, spice and hops. Dried fruit tones. Pretty strong bitter. I’m kinda undecided on this beer, not a big fan of the Deschutes hoppy, but the dark spice is kinda nice. Works well with the Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares I have here and that works for the holiday theme.

2.5 out of 4 spicy monkeys.

Cliff Hot Chocolate – Like a Pop Tart

Cliff bar seasonal flavor, Hot Chocolate. To me it tasted like a toned down chocolate fudge Pop Tart, which is a good thing since that is my favorite Pop Tart. In fact, one year I took those to Japan as my snowboarding energy “Bar”.

3 out 4 Pop Tart loving monkeys.

66th Kohaku

Oops, it started already, missed 24 acts already. Lets do some running commentary. Looks like Dave’s away so its me.

Mmm, NMB48. Hey she can play guitar and sing! A slow song so no fancy choreography. Hey, when did they do costume change?

Sandaime J-Soul Brothers – oh my, the two guys who sing are kinda off. The dancing boys trying to be all masculine and stuff? Who, chrome backup dancers got networked light up suits?

Fukuyama Masaharu – medley of his performances, he’s actually pretty decent. Continue reading ’66th Kohaku’

Beer Is Good – Benediktiner Original

Can it be, another German? From the Bitburger stable, a “Bavarian style lager”, pours clear bright yellow with medium strong head that quickly dissipates. Hops aroma but moderated well. There is a certain sweetness that keeps the bitter in check. Clean with just a hint of grain in the finish. Medium mouthfeel. Easy drinking.

May not be the most complex, still a nice drinking beer. 3 out 4 helles monkeys.

Beer Is Good – Spaten Oktoberfest

Next selection to battle my rant about Doofland not having new German beers is another Oktoberfest, this one from Spaten. Pours dark amber with light head. Pretty strong pilsner style hop aroma, flirting dangerous with being skunky. Green bottle, please keep out of sun! Those hops also produce a bitter, but its not overwhelming. Medium mouthfeel. Also higher ABV than the other Oktoberfests I’ve had so far this season, just shy of 6%.

I’m pretty undecided on this, I’m not a big fan of pilsners, but have been known to enjoy some. Better than 2 but not quite 3 out 4 Oktober hiding as pilsner monkeys.

Astronaut Okazu

I’ve always wanted some Japanese military rations, I imagine that they’d include some of these dehydrated items that Don Quixote has brought in.  As per instructions, add 1/2 cup boiled water, stir and let sit for 10 minutes, enjoy! This one is the Unohana, to me it’s okara. It’s not as good as mom used to make, nothing is, but it’s pretty good especially considering it’s space food format! Other items they have is a horenso/spinach, hijiki, and a couple others.

Beer Is Gut – Kostritzer Schwarzbier

Just when I was going to complain that domestic craft brews populated with trendy hop heavys were taking a large amount of shelf space at Foodland and German beers were reduced to the usual, this along with a few others showed up. Pours a opaque black with medium head. Dark roast aroma, smooth even bitter that is quite easy drinking. A session dark beer? This very well could be!

It could be because finding darks in this world of IPAs seems so rare, but I could give this 4 out 4 Schwarz monkeys. May the Schwartz be with you!

Beer Is Good- Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

It’s October, time for Oktoberfest! This is Sierra Nevada’s entry. Pours a light amber with light head. Fair amount of hop bitter, but the floral is not strong. Only a touch of nutty malt comes through on late aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel.

While a decent beer, in comparison to the Sam Adams reviewed earlier, this pales in comparison. Just barely 3 out of 4 Oktober monkeys.