Monday, December 22, 2008

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Ale

The Liquid:

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Ale

The Stats:

7% ABV

1.063 SG

Those are the only two specs I can find online. I would place the IBU between 30-40.

The Ingredients:

Malts: ?

Hops: Tett, Saaz and Styrians (as well as unnamed hops)

Yeast & Water: No record of the yeas, though we know it is a single yest. They get their water from an artesian aquifer & then filter out unwanted metals.

The Notes:

This was my first sampling of one of Westmalle's Ales. The only other Trappist Ale I have had is Chimay. I like Westmalle better. If you are not familar with Trappist Ales let me enlighten you a wee bit.

The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, or Trappists, are a contemplative Roman Catholic religious order, that follows the Rule of St. Benedict. These Trappist monks live in monasteries. It is in these monasteries that they brew these ales. There are under 200 monasteries left in the world, and out of that, only seven produce beer (six in Belgium and one in the Netherlands), these are known as The Select Seven. The first Trappist Ales were brewed to sustain the monks during fasting. The quality of these brews is very high and this is the main reason they have taken steps to protect the name from being used by outside brewers whether big or small. A foundation called "Internationale Vereniging Trappist" was set up and a logo produced to signify a true Trappist ale. There are only seven breweries that adhere to the strict standards and production criteria today, these are: Chimay, Westmalle, Orval, Rochefort, Westvleteren and Achel, located in Belgium, and LaTrappe in the Netherlands.

Appearance: Deep, deep, reddish brown color with some burnt umber at the edges. The beer pours with an dense head of rich, creamy foam that lace down to the last sip.

Aroma: Malty, bready and a bit of fruit. Some citrus notes as well as caramel. It was probably not the best time for me to put thoughts to paper after drinking this ale as I am a little bit stuffed up with a head cold. Oh well.

Taste: Malty. Sweet malt. It has a nice freshness to it too. A little bit of that caramel as well. I have to admit that I poured the whole thing into my glass and allowed the yeast to join the party. I know this will give a more bready taste and I like that. It also gives the appearance some cloudiness.

Mouth feel: Smooth with a good bit of carbonation due to the secondary bottle fermentation. Mouth coating but not to viscous or creamy. It hangs around and finishes with a nice dryness.

I encourage all to give this style of brew a try. The single yeast, secondary bottle fermentation will give you a nice white bread component to it. Malt before hop, so hopheads may not like this style.

The Score: A-

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rogue's Dead Guy Ale

The Liquid:

Rogue's Dead Guy Ale

The Stats:


40 IBU

78 AA

16º Lovibond

The Ingredients:

Malts: Northwest Harrington, Klages, Maier Munich and Carastan.

Hops: Perle and Saaz.

Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

The Notes:

Hope you like your German when drinking this one. This is done in the Maibock style, though not a true Maibock and you do not have to wait for April-May for this to roll around.

Appearance: Poured an off orange, butterscotch color. Nice creamy, two finger almond color head that dissipated to a healthy ring with good lacing.

Aroma: I was expecting more from this on the nose. The main component here is this malts. They are greatly overpowering, but the do stand taller then the hops. I also get a bit of apple peel on the nose.

Taste: Once again I think I was expecting more. Although not up to what I was expecting, it is still a very nice flavor. Not complex, but balanced and tasty. The malts dominate the hops all day long on this. Like I said I hope you are a fan of German lagers, hop heads need not apply. Once the initial taste of malt subsides you can now get a little bit of the hops with a very small treat of bitterness on the finish. There is also a subtle sweetness to this one. Maybe honey, maybe a little bit of the taste you get when you keep bread in your mouth and let the pytalin convert the starches to sugars. It is subtle, but present.

Mouth feel: Very creamy with good carbonation. The hops tend to stick around towards the end and give you a little sampling of bitterness. Finishes dry and has good drink-ability. A six pack goes down with ease.

I was actually surprised that my non-beer drinking wife actually liked this. She said this is one of the few beers she could drink (along with a nice frambois lambic). Will I be drinking a lot more of this? No. But when I crave some of that malty Bock style brew, this may be where I come.

The Score: B-

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rogue's Chocolate Stout

The stats:

69 IBU
77 AA
135º Lovibond

The ingredients:

Malts: Northwest Harrington & Klages, Crystal 135-165, Beeston Chocolate, Rolled Oats & Roasted Barley.

Hops: Cascade.

Specialty: Imported Dutch Bittersweet Chocolate.

Yeast & Water: Rogue’ s Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

The Notes:

Appearance: Deep chocolate brown, almost black color. Three finger, foamy tan head which hangs around like old luggage. A slight cascade to the head but nothing like a thicker stout. No real lacing to speak of.

Aroma: Quality imported chocolate, like a very rich cocoa powder. Some hops but not to much other then the cocoa.

Taste: Dry and rich, sweet and bitter, if that makes any sense. High percentage cacao gourmet chocolate. I love bitter dark chocolate and this was right up my alley. It has a nice hoppyiness to it and enough bitterness on the back end to keep me anticipating the next sip. I can also get just a bit of oatmeal. I like this. I like it ALOT. It seduces you then keep you wanting more.

Mouth feel: A bit thinner then some stouts but mouth coating and silky enough to supply a familiar texture. Leave it up to Rogue to put the "chocolate" in chocolate stout. I feel like I just bit into a Lindt gourmet candy bar.

Will this replace Guinness as my go to stout? No. Will it satisfy my craving for chocolate truffles? Oh Hell yea.

The Score: A-

Don't Call It A Comeback...

Wow it has been a long time since I actually supplied some much needed keystrokes to this blog. The time has been spent drinking wine, drinking beer, eating fine foods, watching the Yankees miss the playoffs, watching the Rangers have an unbelievable start to their season and then become meh. I also have been spending some quality time with my family.

I intend to contribute to the blog on a regular basis again. Hopefully it will be worth reading, but it probably wont. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

1999 Clos Du Bois Marlstone

  • 1999 Clos du Bois Marlstone - USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (7/22/2008)
    This wine changes every hour. Popped and poured. Very red for a wine of this age, I was expecting a little bit of garnet or burnt sienna. Thin in the glass and a bit more transparent then I expected. Nose: Lots of tobacco. Like a handful of crumbled Lucky's. Some spice and red berries. Palate: Still tobacco, raspberries and some gamy meat. Smooth and thin with a bit of tannins. VERY dry. Cotton balls in my mouth. After about two hours opened it had a bit of poopy and garbage on the nose. I could have done without the garbage. No real heat despite the 14.2% ABV (except when consumed with dinner earlier). A little green on the finish after two hours, a bit of asparagus maybe. Nice wine, I would not mind a bit more length on the finish or a tad more complexity. I think I purchased this in 2004 from the Wine Library at maybe $29 to $35. (87 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Friday, July 18, 2008

  • 2002 Cardeal Dão Reserva - Portugal, Beiras, Dão (7/18/2008)
    Nose: Very floral with plenty of Violets. There is also a bit of Port on the nose and blueberry pie filling. The nose is actually very good (after at least an hour or two open). Palate: Here is where the points disapear. A little Port, a little spice and some chemical reminiscent of a Cali Cab. Very dry at the end and that is good. Other then that, the finish is very short and light. I wish this performed better on my palate, but this is no Quinta da Cortezia Touriga Nacional. (88 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Monday, July 14, 2008

  • 2006 Franco M. Martinetti Gavi - Italy, Piedmont, Gavi (7/14/2008)
    This one is probably my new favorite white. Popped and poured then let sit for about an hour to open up. Nose: Initially it was nothing but Pineapple and pears. After a bit it showed incredible Honeysuckle and Lime along with the Pears and Pineapple. There is also some kind of candy from my youth but I can't put my finger on it. Very sweet and floral on the nose. Palate: It is like a very acidic Pear that someone poured Lime juice over, but not fresh Lime juice, instead it is the sweetened Rose's Lime Juice. Wow, this is good. Star fruit on the backend. Plenty of acidity to hold it together, and there is a little bit of fizzy-fizz on the tongue. 13% ABV and perfect balance and complexity. Martinetti Gavi FTW! (92 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Sunday, July 13, 2008

  • 2004 Château Petit Védrines - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (5/25/2008)
    Nice melon and mango on the nose plus a little petrol. Apples and mangoes with honey on the pallet with overwhelming green tea on the finish. Very nice. (90 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Our Night At The Carnival

Our church hosts a carnival every June about this time. The carnival runs from Wed. to Sat. My wife works the carnival on Thurs. and Sat. night. This usually leaves Fri. night as a good night for the whole family to attend.

We arrived at about 7:00 last night and headed over to the Beer garden to see my father-in-law. He is head of the "Brew Crew". They are the ones responsible for distributing the crap beer and wine that the hundreds of carnival goers love so much. Anyway...

After downing a rather flabby and quite unappealing Placido Pinot Grigio we headed over to the rides. Bo (9) and Colin (3) went on one of the many rides that spin (it seemed that they all spun) and I received a call from my brother telling me he and his son, Michael (8), had arrived. We met up by the Zeppole stand and proceeded to watch the Yankee game on his Blackberry while my wife took the kids on the rides.

When the growling in my stomach came calling we embarked on the very difficult task of deciding what of the many food items to eat. Ribs? Pulled pork from the pig roast? Italian Hot Dogs served by the Mayor or Sayreville? Sausage? Fish? Zeppoles? Candy apples? Caramel apples? Pierogies? Clams? Fried Chicken? London broil sammies? More bad wine? I had an Italian Hot Dog served to me by Mayor Kennedy O'Brien, check him out here. He is a republican mayor in a very democratic town. Anyway... The kids had sausage sandwiches and my wife just picked. Instead of crappy wine, this time I had crappy beer. Michelob. Enuf' said.

After dinner more rides. And then a Yankee loss. And then... Zeppoles. Led Zeppoles. Good but heavy. They are still slowing me down this morning.

Kris (my brother) left with my nephew and we soon headed out too.

Here is Colin and Michael on the Tea Cups.

Monday, June 9, 2008

This is just a test to see just how extensive the blog posting with Jott. Just wondering how many lines you can do. I know it only gives you 30 seconds, but this would be test, a test, test, test, test, and test, test, test, test, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and test, and test. Hope this all comes out. Hope that I can see it, was wondering about the formatting, and now I will end this so I can see how my blog post in. That's test, test, blah, blah, blah, test, test, test. Thank you. listen

Powered by Jott

Monday, June 2, 2008

This one will be real short and straight to the point...

Any questions?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

It took 12 innings to get it done. 12 innings. Four and one half hours. But the Yanks have their first extra innings win. I don't have any nails left on my hands thanks to Mr. Oh-len-dorf. I was about to start tying the hangman's knot once I saw Hawkins warming in the pen. Thank you Bobby for keeping Hawkins far away from the mound in this one.

Mo has something special this year. He actually looks better then he did earlier in his career. At the rate he is going he could land somewhere in the neighborhood of 45-50 saves. He has posted 45 or more saves in only 3 of his 13 years in the bigs. Also at the rate we are using him he could wind up with 50-60 games.

I was a good night. First Chili's, then Rita's and to top it off, a great Yankee win.

Did anyone see Cano pour cold water on Abreu while he was talking to Yes' very own Kim Jones? These guys are finally having fun. (And their not to boring either)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Would you trust this guy with your palate?

Changing the wine world, whether you want peace or not!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cerebus: One of my favorite comics...

During its run, it did not get any better then Dave Sims Cerebus. I guess not all things from Canada suck. Here's the wiki:

Anyone else love the little gray Aardvark?

Monday, May 26, 2008

I wont go nuts posting all my TN's (Tasting Notes) but here is a quick run down of the juice I consumed.

2006 Tittarelli Torrontes Reserva

Ever since I picked up a Torrontes (thanks Gary Vee) I have been through about 4-5 different wineries with varied results. I brought home several bottles of Tittarelli from the Wine Lib when they had the all day event back in March and I now have none left. It is good, very good. People step away from the Sauvignon Blanc and try a Torrontes. It is what Argentina is all about. Nice floral nose with tropical fruits and peaches. Blue stone and peaches on the palate with nice acidity. I actually prefer this to Alamos. At 11 bucks you can't beat it. Drink it all summer long (when the WL gets it back in stock that is). 90 points .

2007 Turkey Flat Rosé

Sorry for the stock image but I forgot to take a picture before we tossed the bottle.

Awesome color. Like Gary says, don't be afraid of the pink. A blend of Grenache, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Dolcetto. This is pure roses and strawberries on the nose. Not a sweet wine by any means. One of my guests thought it was White Zinfandel. I pulled up a chair and had a little discussion with her that opened her eyes to wine that actually taste like wine. This one was very complex and balanced. A bit of acidity, a bit of berries and some melon. A nice change for those women that poured a glass and was expecting sugar water. Once again 90 points.

Jonesy Old Tawny Port NV

This one was weird. I have had many Ports. Especially Tawnys. But none this cheap, 8 bucks at the Lib. The color of this one could only be described as Coca Cola. It was darker then a Madeira. There was not a hint of Port on the nose. It was where Maple Dr. and Raisin St. meet. Wow. When I took a whirl all I could think about was uncooked ginger bread dough with maple syrup and raisins on top. It was 18.0 % alcohol and I could not even tell if there was any in it at all. A very different experience. Not a bad one, just different. 87 points (good QPR)

2004 Château Petit Védrines

This was a nice break from the norm. Whats the norm? Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine. The Chateau Petit Vedrines Sauternes was a bit cheaper (14 bucks for a 375 ml) but was no less enjoyable. Nice melon and mango on the nose plus a little petrol. Apples and mangoes with honey on the palate with overwhelming green tea on the finish. I originally scored this a 90 but I am actually going to backslide to 89 points. I have had better Sauternes, but I have paid a lot more. Good QPR.

Now here is one we didn't drink...

2007 Jorge Cabernet

Like I said, we did not drink it, but I bought a couple of bottles due to the fact the procedes go to Jorgies charity. How good could this wine be anyway? Gary are you ready to put it on WLTV? 13 bucks for a good cause. Now I hope Jorge can get healthy and join the team on the field, we need him bad.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Baseball like other things in life involves patience. Maybe that's what we need this year as Girardi finds his groove with his new team. It felt good winning tonight. Not just because it was a walk-off win. Not just because it was 2 in a row. Not just because IPK got himself in and out of trouble a couple of times and avoided a big inning against him which is something that has been plaguing him all year. Mostly though, it is Girardi that has me in such a good mood. He did what I wanted Torre to do so many times, show that fire in the belly emotion. He WAS Billy Martin tonight. He was there for his team. He lit a fire that sparked this team to its first walk-off win this year.

A series win. Wow, that hasn't happened all to much this year. Nice to see Veras pitch well in that spot. Krazy Kyle had another 1-2-3 inning. It is weird but we usually win games in which Farnsworth throws a 1-2-3 inning. Lets hope he fills Joba's 8th inning role with the results we have come to expect from Joba. Shelly Duncan proved that he has one hell of an arm. Two very important throws back to the infield keeping Payton on second in the sixth and holding Hernandez to a single in the seventh. All good plays, but I would have to give Abreu an some fanfare as his at bat drawing the walk and moving Matsui into scoring position was key to winning this game. And thanks to Robinson putting that bat on his shoulders for the first couple of pitches and waiting for that perfect pitch to go the other way. That's patience at the plate. A-rod should have have worked the count as well not just look for the game winning, walk-off dinger.
Billy would have been proud

In closing we would like to thank Mr. Girardi. Thank you for the show of emotion and the show you put on. It was funny seeing Ump Chris Guccione tell Girardi to "get the fuck out of here". Joe could have been out there arguing about anything. It was the act not the content that mattered. I know Torre has been ejected once so far this year, but not in this fashion. The Billy Martin fashion.

Good show, good pitching, good game, great win.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It might take a bat this big to help the Yankees offense.

Monday, May 12, 2008

All I have is three words to add to the look on Andy's face...

Miserable, boring and unwatchable.

The good news? Igawa is out of the rotation and Rasner is pitching well. The bad news? Wang goes tomorrow on an extra day of rest. Not the best situation for a sinker ball pitcher. In other news, A-rod is getting better, but not good enough to strike out against the Mets. Posada is still looking like the team leader he is (great shots of him in the dugout before the game). IPK will be back for the game on Sunday against Santana and the Muts. I am happy to see the the current rotation has Wang pitching on Sunday when I am there. Last year Wang went one batter short of a complete game, served up 10 strike outs and won the game 8-2 versus the Mets on my Sunday game.

Hey Andy, thanks for an uninspiring outing and has anyone seen the offense?

While twitting about today I ran into an interesting website, It peaked my interest enough to stay for a bit and check a couple of reports. I even linked up a permanent gas tracker for my state as seen above. I am lucky to live in New Jersey (probably the only good reason to live here) and enjoy very low fuel prices. Unfortunately I drive a six cylinder Infiniti that sucks up the fuel like Daniel Day Lewis sucks up a milkshake, but that is my cross to bear. Anyway, looking at the national averages it is weird to see New Jersey as one of the lowest and New York and Connecticut as one of the highest. This is not a new observation just a re-newed curiosity. I live in the land of EXTREMELY high taxes yet the fuel taxes are some of the lowest. I wish I could say the same about my property tax.

The site lets users report in their gas price findings, therefore depending on the power of the number of users to keep the prices current and the data widespread. As you can see from the screencap below, they do a pretty good job at it.

So consider signing up and become one of the army and help alert drivers of the lowest gas prices in the area.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"The Tesla" or "F You Gas Prices"

How can it be?

I thought electric cars were not supposed to be feasible. Well it turns out they just may be. I am not talking about the high end beauty you see in the picture above. No, I am talking about a $50,000 to $65,000 alternative sedan code named "Whitestar". This "sports sedan" should be out next year in time for a 2010 model year roll out. Plans to build the "Whitestar" in a new plant that will be erected in New Mexico and the possibility of the New Mexico government ordering 100 vehicles for civil service duty, are all good signs that this vehicle may very well see the light of day. The next phase, "Bluestar", will be funded by the profits of the "Whitestar". The "Bluestar" is rumored to be an entry level vehicle of sorts ($30,000). Time will tell.

Service Centers for the Tesla Roadster are planned for the following United States Metropolitan Areas:
• Los Angeles, California
• San Francisco Bay Area, California
• New York, New York
• Miami, Florida
• Chicago, Illinois

Will we all be driving cars with a giant Dust Buster motors (those of us with experience modding up Clod Busters know what I am talking about), or is this just a Jetsons pipe dream? Only time will tell. But at the current price of gas (about $3.60 here in NJ at the time of publish) and the ever growing concern of carbon footprint reduction, lets just hope we will all be plugging in and "filling" up our "fuel tanks" over night for the morning commute.

About Me

My name is Bo Carlson. I am married to Kim and have two awesome boys. First and foremost I love my family. I love my wine, my beer, my food and of course The New York Yankees.

I am an in IT as a Network Admin. Scuba diving is a passion of mine. Blogging is pretty new to me and I am sure you can tell. I hope you take a look around and check out my posts.

Please feel free to leave a comment or two and friend me up on Twitter as @kallardnyc or Facebook. It would be great if you follow this blog so you can see the changes that will be upcoming and any future posts that I will make.

Thank you.

Todays Wine Deal

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