Tuesday, August 6, 2013

July Drinks

A whole month has gone by without a post. I must be slackin' in my old age!!! A combination of work, money, and life has somewhat distracted me from focusing on the important things in life. Namely --- beer! So, in an effort to catch everyone up on my past month I'm doing a series of shotgun reviews for the notable drinks I had in the past 30 days.

Prairie Artisan Ales - Prairie Hop
July 4th
Having had to work during the day on the 4th of July, I didn't really plan on any intense drinking activities. Instead, on my way home, I stopped at the local bottle shop and looked for something "summer-y". What I found was a hoppy saison from an up and coming brewery in the heart of America --- Oklahoma. What else says America like a twist on a European style brewed in the heartland from a brewery that sports a name like Prairie Ales! This was a great choice and one that I can't wait to have again.

AleSmith Brewing - Barrel-Aged Kopi Lowak Speedway Stout
July 6th
Two days after celebrating America, I chose to break out a rare treat to celebrate two men punching each other in the face. For a big UFC fight, I cracked open my last bottle of the super-special release from AleSmith. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, & bourbon all rolled into one massive stout. While I really enjoyed the first glass, the second one was too much for me. I should have shared this. Especially because this single bottle (albeit, 12% abv), completely fucked me up the following day. But who am I to learn a lesson; I'm picking up more special Speedway Stout variants from AleSmith next month!

Central Waters Brewing - Peruvian Morning Imperial Stout
July 19th
Well, if one coffee stout isn't enough for the sweltering July evenings, then two must certainly be the sweet spot! Much like the Kopi Speedway, this beer was a barrel-aged coffee stout. However, Peruvian Morning was much more subdued in all its flavors. While it didn't burst with any one particular taste, it held up very solidly as a coffee stout. It was a little hot from the alcohol despite only being 8% abv. I certainly enjoyed it and have another one I'm holding onto. But it's hard for me to say if this was better than the Speedway offering or not. It didn't however, give me a deathly hangover like the Kopi.

Adnams - Innovation
July 20th
With so many heavy dark beers occupying my drinking time, I figured I needed something light. So I dug into the fridge and pulled out the oddball brew that a friend brought back from his trip to England. This was Adnams' first attempt to brew an American styled IPA. And...it wasn't half bad. It certainly lacked the more citrus and pine flavors & aromas that west coast IPAs are known for. It also was a super hop-bomb on the tongue. But it was crisp, bitter, and refreshing. There was no overt sweetness from a heavy malt base that I would have expected from the Brits. And it was respectably potent for a British beer at 6.7% abv.

Oskar Blues - G'Knight & Deviant Dales
July 26th & 27th
My last drinks of the month were ol' staples. I've even reviewed one of them before (when it went by another name). My only criteria for selecting these two beers was that, while shopping, I wanted something in a can. And Oskar Blue's offers these two beers in true pint, 16 oz sizes. While G'Knight is branded as an imperial red ale and Deviant Dales as an imperial IPA, the two beers are really quite similar. They both offer similar alcoholic content (8.7% and 8.0% respectively). They are both aggressively hopped, and they both are remarkably good! Although I didn't do a side-by-side comparison of the two, the biggest takeaway that I came away with was that G'Knight was surprisingly more aromatic than Deviant Dales. It also was a slightly more bitter and crisp. This surprised me as I expected the opposite to be the case. Either way, I was very much pleased and satisfied with my final choices of the month. So much so, that I plan on making either or both regular staples in my fridge.
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