Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 50

Bishop's Iced Coffee

I thought about doing a big 50th blowout post, but I'm still running behind on updates, so I'm just trying to cycle through all of the recent things that I've drunk. We are going big here though with an accidental purchase of a GIGANTIC freakin' iced coffee. This was one of the last local coffee places that I hadn't tried and I just assumed that a large may have been only 16 ounces or 20 ounces at the best. I should have known when the cashier said "3 bucks" after I said "large" that something was up, but she already started filling up the 32 ounce behemoth before I could say anything. I believe that's the same size as a Dunkin' large and the price may be comparable. I was kind of surprised that the coffee was pretty great as well! It was a new shop, so I wasn't sure if they'd have their coffee chops together, but I think it might rank in second place in terms of the local shops so far. It once again gets the seal of styrofoam cup disapproval, but I like the design of the cup so I'll forgive them as I look into the beautiful seascape and OD on caffeine.

Monday, June 28, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 49

A Trio of Not so Local Beers.

First up is a Summer Orange Honey Ale from Rogue which wins the award for longest and most literal beer name that I've had in a while. I've been a big fan of Rogue which hails from Newport, Oregon for a couple of years now. Since the weather was getting nice and disgustingly hot, I thought a sweet summer ale would be a great thing. I ended up a bit disappointed with this one, however. I've never been a huge fan of wheat beers, and this unfiltered version keeps me in that mindset. It just wasn't as crisp or clean as I was expecting or wanting. Rogue definitely makes better beers than this and hopefully I'll get to one or two of them in the near future. Note how much Slovenia's coach disapproves in the background (yes, this means I was watching the soccer game at 10 AM while drinking a beer on a weekday.)

Next is Choklat from Southern Tier. I'll admit that I've had this one as recently as this past December, but those were the pre-blog days so I had to revisit it. I also had to revisit it because it tastes really great. Choklat falls into my favorite beer category, the imperial stout, and also emphasizes one of my favorite stout ingredients, chocolate. This stuff absolutely lives up to the hype. It pours a deep black color and tastes like a rich dark chocolate beer should taste. At 11% ABV it's scarily easy to drink as well. It's possibly one of the better beers that I've had all year.

Last, but not least is Anchor Steam Beer from San Francisco, CA. I think it's one of the first microbrew beers that I ever drank, and it's renowned as a bit of a classic in the microbrew community. It's a pretty unique tasting beer, not like many I've had. and I suppose that is one of the reasons that I enjoy it. It's not unique in that it doesn't taste like beer, it just doesn't seem to fit in a category as easily as the other two beers I just reviewed do. It's pretty light and easy to drink at 4.9%, but I think that works perfectly for its flavor profile.

Friday, June 25, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 48


The Margarita gets an explanation point it its header just because. There's something unique and interesting about the margarita as a cocktail. It's a weirdly classy way to drink an alcoholic smoothie (actually, alcoholic smoothies are always classy.) I always get my margaritas frozen and with salt. There aren't many other drinks where it's super refreshing to take a lick of salt afterward, but this is one of them. The story of this margarita begins with "Margarita Wednesdays or "Margarita Miercoles" for the Spanish speaking inclined. On this day of the week, all margaritas at Palacio Maya are only $2.99; not bad. There isn't anything inherently special about this specific margarita; it's about the same you would get at any other Mexican restaurant, but it's well executed. They are very generous with the tequila and one is enough to feel satisfied. I've gone back two straight weeks for this special, and I'll probably be back for more. Long live Miercoles.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 47

Raising Cane (or The Holy Trinity)

I think I've briefly mentioned the Pepsi/Mountain Dew throwback series a few months ago, but I wanted to bring the topic back up now that Heritage Dr. Pepper entered this beautiful family a few months ago. Heritage Dr. Pepper was not as readily available as the other throwbacks (not exactly sure why, it's possible it was just a trial), but I was lucky to find a 12-pack in Lancaster, PA. The formula for the sweetener is exactly the same as it is for the Pepsi throwback, some kind of combination of beet sugar and sucrose. The Dr. Pepper formulation is very good, the only thing better would be the actual Dublin Dr. Pepper but I'll hopefully review that when in Texas in about a month and a half.

What's such a bummer about this photograph is that since the "throwback" series is a limited edition, as I write this, they are no longer on the shelves. I bought a 12-pack of each of these a long time ago, and since I've cut back so much on actually drinking soda, I fortunately still have several of each left. I wish it was permanent though. Sure, there are many other premium sodas (at a premium price) that use cane sugar, but I can't really get one that tastes either like Mt. Dew or Dr. Pepper. Those are unique sodas. I'm sure the throwback series will come back, as Pepsi has already done it twice, but I wonder with all the backlash against High Fructose Corn Syrup whether we'll ever see this limited edition cane sugar soda be the permanent edition as it should be. Until then I'll only purchase the mainstream products when they come out with some kind of new or novelty flavor because the original ain't the same if it ain't cane.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 46

Dr, Pepper Soda Pops

Hmm. I had a bit of inner turmoil about buying these for my beverage blog, but I figured that not only do these pops start in liquid form, they are also supposed to taste like Dr. Pepper. Close enough for me. The first question I had was whether the Dr. Pepper company itself marketed and made the syrup for this product. Looking on the box, it appears that they've only licensed the use of their. This creates an interesting scenario where some other company is trying to create a Dr. Pepper-esque syrup, but not the real thing. I suppose that's why these don't end up tasting all that much like Dr. Pepper. Don't get me wrong, these soda pops are still a satisfying sweet, but they really taste like a black cherry flavored pop and not Dr. Pepper. The good part about that is that I love black cherry flavored things. I feel like it's pretty difficult to mimic an exact Dr. Pepper like flavor, so I don't hold it too much against them. I think there's a 7UP brand out there as well to try next.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 45

Local Faves

Stoudt's American Pale Ale

First up is the offering from Stoudt's inappropriately served in a Belgian beer company's glass. The restaurant (and the wiener of a waiter) where this beer was served was very into telling us how local all of their food ingredients were, so we were glad to see that this extended to both the beer and wine lists as well. The American Pale Ale seemed like a good choice for the meal. I'm never quite sure how much drinking out of those fancy glasses helps the taste, but I've been told many times that it does. I suppose I just don't have the patience/money to buy nice glassware for beer yet. Anyway, the beer was pretty nice. It was pretty much what I expect from an APA; very drinkable with a good hit of hops. Really nothing spectacular, but good enough to drink a few over a nice dinner.

Evolution Lucky 7 Porter

I had been hearing about this other mysterious beer from Delaware (there are others besides Dogfish Head??) for a little while and as soon as my local store started carrying a few varieties I jumped at the chance to get some. I decided to go for their porter first, mainly because I hadn't bought any porter in a long time. A typical porter is just slightly lighter than a stout but has many of the same qualities as its darker stout brother. I thought this was pretty nice actually. Some very good coffee/chocolaty notes along with a bit of hops. The quality of this beer will definitely lead me to try their other styles one of these days.

Victory HopDevil

Last but not least is Victory's HopDevil. This is another of my favorite IPAs (along with Dogfish 60 Minute) that is readily available and that I'll pretty much drink without hesitation. You'll also find it on draft more often than a lot of microbrews around here, so it's usually a pretty great option to go with. It certainly lives up it's name with heavy hop flavor. It was probably one of the first IPAs that I ever tried, so I think I compared many to this beer in my beer drinking youth. It still stands as one of my favorites and the brewpub isn't too far up the way in Downingtown, PA.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 44

Baseball Beers

So it was nice to enjoy a Wilmington Blue Rocks game the other night. It was probably the first time I've been there in about 7 or 8 years, and of course I needed something to drink. I first tried the Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale (bottom picture.) I actually can't be certain that it was this beer, as the tap was unlabeled, but using my master taste buds I could deduce that it was indeed correct. I'd call Shelter Pale Ale a bit of an introductory or transitional microbrew. It's the kind of beer you'd first give a macro drinker to ease him into something crazier like the 60-minute (not that crazy) or 90-minute IPA. That's not to say it's bad, because it's definitely more flavorful than a regular macro, but it's just not very adventurous or inspiring. I feel like once you've tried it, it's not one I would go back to in the same way I would the 60-minute IPA.

Next is the Budweiser tall boy can. This was clearly a case of volume and value more than anything. For 24 ounces of Budweiser you only paid about $1.50 more for those extra 12 ounces. That said, we're talking about ballpark prices, so I believe the Dogfish was $5.25 and the Bud $6.75, so you're royally screwed either way. I don't have a whole lot to say about Budweiser. It's not a bad beer to drink at a baseball game, especially one where you don't care what's going on the game. That's about all the positives I have to say about it. The can looks alright, I suppose.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 43

Perfect Cup Cafe Iced Coffee

This might be the second to last local place to get iced coffee near where we work. So far I'd say it probably ranks 2nd on my local iced coffee depth chart. The main problem here? It's gotta be the packaging. Nothing is ever satisfying out of styrofoam. Dinner, beverages, whatever, styrofoam can be a pretty big turn off. I think especially with iced coffee, you expect that clear container. You can see the product better and I feel like it makes it taste differently. That's not to say that the coffee is terrible. It's way better than Dunkin' D, but it's still not the best in the area. It has a moderate price at $1.90 for a large, but they've really got to get rid of the styrofoam before I become a regular there.

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 42

Great Divide Titan IPA

Another Great Divide beer, huh? Again, I guess I just slowly cycling through their entire rotation of beers. We got time, right? This was another solid beer from them. Properly hoppy, and with all of its proper citrus notes, you definitely get all the things you expect from an IPA with a good kick at 7.1% ABV. This one has really good reviews on another beer review site, and I'm not sure if I'll completely agree with them. I've certainly had better IPAs than Titan this year.

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Another classic "session" beer. This is one you buy a bunch of for a big gathering because it's cheap and satisfying. I'm not sure what it is about PBR, but I kind of gravitate toward it if it's one of many cheap beer options. There's not that much sense to it because it pretty much tastes as bad as any of them. There's something cute about them clinging to a beer award they won in the 1800's or something. That's kind of funny. Also, I have to give credit to my friend Catharine for the very artistic portrayal of the PBR can. It's better than the PBR can deserves.

On a related note, I leave you with the late great Dennis Hopper expressing his thoughts on Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 41


Been thinking about a Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship drinking game for the last couple of days, here's what I got.

Awkward crustache: 2 drinks

Voice crack: 2 drinks

Contestant goes through all motions of asking definition, language of origin, word to be used in
sentence, etc even if you can tell they KNOW the word: 1 drink

Awkward hi-five between contestants: 1 drink

Youngest contestant to podium: 1 drink

Oldest contestant to podium 1 drink

Goofy banter between judges and contestant: 2 drinks

Contestant mimes spelling word on lanyard: 1 drink

Disappointed parents after misspelled word: 1 drink

Finalist yells out each letter of final word when they know they're gonna win: Drink + Congratulate

Contestant faints in middle of spelling word, gets up, finished spelling correctly: Finish all the booze you have.

Anyone got anything else? This probably would have worked better for the semi-finals, but oh well, I was busy. We can build on this for next year.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 40

Vanilla Flavored Coffee

I bought some and it was fucking terrible.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 39

Troegs Flying Mouflan

I've had this one before, but I went for it again a couple of weeks ago because I had good memories of it. First I'd like to say that I really like the bottle image. I like to keep looking at that bottle for some reason. It's good art. It's good beer too. According to a few websites this is a 0.3& American barleywine style of beer. I've never been exactly clear about the "barleywine" style, but I liked this one a lot. It poured darker than I expected and was very hoppy like an imperial IPA might be. It was probably a tad sweeter though, but really enjoyable to drink despite its strength.

Great Divide Hades

Another from Great Divide. I'm not sure why I keep buying stuff from them. I guess because everything I've had from them has been pretty good. That makes enough sense. I've always been slightly intimated by Belgian style beers like Hades, but I haven't had many from American breweries. This tasted a lot like other Belgians I've had (Delerium Tremens for one). It's sweeter and lighter than lots of beers I enjoy but still packs a nice punch at 7.8% without tasting like it. I think this is a style of beer I could really learn to love, but buying Belgian imports can be rough on the wallet so I'll probably find some more Americans that do it well.