Saturday, January 28, 2006

Jones Holiday Packs 2005

My brave friend Mary and I got into the Jones Holiday Packs finally. Oh man are they awful. X-entertainment does a good review of them here, but they did not go the extra mile and get the regional pack, so I did.

Here is the "traditional" Holiday Pack:

containing Turkey & Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie, Brussels Sprout, and Wild Herb Stuffing.

and the regional pack:

containing Turkey and Gravy, Corn on the Cob, Smoked Salmon Pate, Broccoli Casserole, Pecan Pie.
Pecan Pie makes me think the reigon is "The South" however, who has Salmon Pate at a southern xmas? Is this the nod to the Jew who married into your family?

We started out with turkey. And turkey, like all of the other flavors, was really not terribly effervescent. This could be because we waited a while to open them, but I have never had this problem with any other Jones Soda going flat, so I think they just did not carbonate them much. Weird.

It tasted a lot like fake butter. Smells and tastes more like gravy and fat than turkey. Odd herb smell, maybe sage? Something like stuffing. I noticed a finish of cream soda. This is bad. I hate hate hate cream soda. It seems like the majority of these sodas have a cream soda base. Why, I have no idea. Turkey was bad, but completely dealable.

Next we went with Wild Herb Stuffing. Oh holy jesus this is bad. Weird cream soda. Plus herb. Yuck.

I completely forgot what broccoli tasted like, which I thought was a good sign. Oh no. I just smelled it. Holy god it smells like burnt breadcrumbs and broccoli. I gagged. I do not gag. I have hurled like, 10 times in my entire life. I seriously thought during this experiment that I might actually get near a dry heave. However, the taste of this one did nothing for me, but wasn;t that bad--the smell was worse.

Brussels Sprout? Huh? Isn't it Brussel Sprouts? Either way, this was the worst. We were doing fine until this one. I have never had Brussels Sprout. However Mary likes them. I cannot imagine why if they taste like this. Imagine you boiled all manner of greens. And then added that boiled water to cream soda. Oh yeah. That's it. This almost got a spit take from Mary. And we both involuntarily shuddered.

Corn on the Cob--I thought this would be great. This is one of the few that I think could be good sweet. But it didn't taste like corn at all--more fake butter and cream soda. Now, why not just make it taste like CORN? I do not know.

After all this we went with the savory one we thought we would like. Smoked Salmon Pate. To preface, I love salmon. Smoked salmon is my favorite food. I recently risked death in many ways by buying some smoked salmon from foreigners in a child molester van. So I have a committment.

Smoked Salmon soda tasted like liquid smoke and BBQ, but oddly, not like salmon at all. In order to truly test it, we made a salmon soda and cream cheese float. This was bad, but only because the soda was more bbq and bbq and cream cheese do not mix well. Still, I think had this been salmon flavored I would have liked it. Mary commented that it tasted like the fake bits of salmon in salmon flavored cream cheese. I took some photos of how pink the cream cheese was dyed, but it was way too gross. This soda was comparatively not bad though, just not what we expected.

Now we were down to the sodas that theoretically should be good--Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, and Cranberry. All except Cranberry had the weird cream soda funk. Pumpkin tasted mainly like pie crust, not pumpkin. Pecan smelled nutty, but mainly tasted like cream soda. But Cranberry. Oh if only this were sold year round it would be among my favorites. it was sour but the right amount of sweet. We drank this one down quick, glad to have some of the other tastes our of our mouths.

Mary asked if I had a cigarette, not from enjoyment but to kill her taste buds.

We read some of the labels and realized that all but the cranberry had one ingredient in common which must be this awful cream soda flavor. yuck!

We had to leave to catch a movie, and when I got home, the aromas of these cups had comingled in a bad bad way.

So 1 for ten of these sodas is awesome. Sadly, I think they could have kept the novelty and still made these taste good! If only they could commit to a fully savory soda, and not a mix of savory and sweet, I think it could work!


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ocean Spray 100% Juice

I got the "Cranberry and Pacific Raspberry."

Jesu Christo this is the best juice ever. Oh man. It is 100% juice. But so sweet! Yet tart! It's so good I cannot make sentences anymore! And I am rationing it!

It does come in about the most dificult to open bottle ever. It injured my hand. But I don't care. It's awesome!

I also bought Cran-Cherry which I assume will be equally awesome. i cannot take much more awesomeness.


Boulevard Pale Ale

I associate my Missourian larger microbrewers with good times. I associate Missouri with dying.

My first Boulevard experience was in a bar in St. Louis after driving across the Western US on little sleep, often sleeping on the ground, with 2 people who, for this short period of time, hated each other. We were staying in a house with a PACK of dogs in what I was led to believe was a shady neighborhood. I am very dog allergic. I was being faced with the idea of staying the night by myself in a car in a shady neighborhood. Yeah. This made me think, like I have thought many time since "Fuck, I am going to die. I am going to die and I will be dying in the state of Missouri."*

Somehow, mystically, I was not badly allergic to these dogs, and I got some sleep inside. As well as a great experience at a bar where I drank Boulevard for the only time before now. And I have to say, the strangers I met in the St. Louis bar were the nicest bar people I have ever met. Kurt, is everyone in St. Louis bars friendly to strangers?

Anyways, I saw some Boulevard in a 6-pack at Schnuck's (also from St. Louis), and I have been very happy with this purchase. It's just a solid APA. Like it should taste. It's been making my week. I <3 you Boulevard.

*To my knowledge I have only thought this twice. But I think that's a lot for someone who has been to Missouri only a handful of times. And third time's the charm, so I hope to not test this. :)


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Schell SnowStorm

Schell SnowStorm
Originally uploaded by jennybento.
I had completely prepared for this to be a dark beer. In the bottle, it looked dark, and wintry themed beers are pretty much always dark. It was a Dusseldorf Alt Ale though. i am not terribly familiar with the style, but it was fairly light. A little maltier, hoppier, and darker than a pilsner. Thumbs up.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

sand creek cranberry special ale

If there's one beer I don't like, it's vinegary beer. I am also not partial to fruity beer--I usually think it's too sweet and not beery enough. But, in my non-beer life, I am a sucker for anything cranberry. So I tried this Sand Creek Cranberry Special Ale.

First the name of the company that makes it is almost illegible on the bottle. When I went to rate beer, it seems everyone hates this beer.

Everyone but me!

First, this is not sweet at all. I had it with some dark chocolate cake and it went very well. It is very sour at the beginning, but like cranberries, not like vinegar! It does sort of smell like a vinegary beer, and I am not saying I could drink a whole lot of it, but I think it's a great idea and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like cran or vinegary beers you might like this. But if you generally like the fruity stuff, I'd stay away!


Breckenridge Christmas Ale

Breckenridge Christmas Ale
Originally uploaded by jennybento.
I have been a big fan of Breckenridge beers so far but this was unremarkable. Dark, strong, creamy. A good standard, but nothing special. Supposedly this is "choclatey" but I don't buy it. meh.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dirrrrrrrty Bastard Scotch Ale

Okay it is going to take all of my powers of restraint not to constantly talk about Ol Dirty Bastard in this review. For I drank the Founder's Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale.

This was a very very excellent red color. It was dark and one person at my table loved it and another thought it too "manly."

This is apparently Founder's flagship beer. i have tried their Red and Black Ryes both of which I have loved. Though I am not a big scotch ale fan, I got this on tap because of the Founder's name. While this is a good beer, it's a little to dark/brown for me. Meh. Good, but not as awesome as the red.

Basically the Founder's Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale acts like its pussy don't interrupt. But, I think of beers like the Old Dirty Bastard thinks of women:

"I dedicate this to all the pretty girls
All the pretty girls
Its on
All the pretty girls, in the world
And the ugly girls too
Cause to me your pretty anyways baby"

Ain't no such thing as a bad beer, in other words. All the good beers, it's on. And all the bad beers, it's on too, because all beer's good.

And you thought I was going to say beer was lying about having my baby.


Raspberry Wheat Ale + Snapple Plum a granate + beer redux

Raspberry Wheat Ale
Originally uploaded by jennybento.
Sea Dog Raspberry Wheat Ale totally hit the spot. It was light and not too fruity and tasted like real fruit. It was also in the winter pack, which baffles me.

This image is fuzzy so here is what the insignia looks like:

I usually don't like fruity beers, though I do love raspberry. However the ratebeer people seemed to really hate this beer. Some even thought it was vinegary, which I find really weird, since I HATE vinegary beers with a passion, and would have noticed that.

In other news, Snapple Plum-a-Granate Iced Tea is the best beverage in the world. Very sweet, but good. It's what Archer Farms Pom Water might be if it were a real beverage and not "water."

In other experimentation, when you are very dehydrated from scientifically "retesting" the Great Divide Hercules (even better the second time, sweeter, different glass), and the Rogue Brutal Bitter (also more bitter and darker seeming than the first time. i can actually believe this might belong in an ESB category), the Cherry 7-UP Plus tastes like manna from heaven, mainly as it is sweet, liquid and placed next to one's bed. Wow that's about the worst run on paragraph in history.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Sioux CIty Ginger Beer and Cherry 7-Up Plus

Sioux City Ginger Beer is spicy. Painfully so. At one point I thought I might breathe fire and had to put it down. i coughed a few times. It probably didn't help that it totally looks like a beer and I was walking around outside drinking it, getting funny looks.

I also finally cracked my 2-liter of Cherry 7-Up Plus. First, it's very very sweet, although it's splenda. It doesn't taste like cherry 7-Up, but rather, 7-Up that has cherry syrup in it. I know this is a weird minute difference, but the exact taste of 7-Up with syrup just put in it is uncanny. It seems more syrupy than 7-Up as well. Put it has calcium, mmm mmm. Although I do love cherry drinks, I bet I won't drink this much as it's way too sweet for me.

Also, while I was looking like a drunk in the post office in the morning, I picked up what must be the best packed package I ever received. First there was a box, taped top and bottom and labeled fragile. Then, it was filled with wonderous every color and type of packing peanut. In that was a kleenex box filled with only one sort of packing peanut. in that was a bubblewrapped package. In that was a soda in a baggie. What was so important? ALE-8! The official drink of Eastern KY! Thanks to Lisa and J for being the first drink submitters to the beverage blog. I am putting it in the fridge straight away, and then I will have to do some Ale-8 research and post on it! More info is available in the wiki if you're interested. The Ale-8 appears to have a long and sordid history, including being an ingredient in something called the "Tender Lovin'."


S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night!

So Saturday I got to drink some excellent beer on tap. First was the Great Divide Hercules Double IPA. It was very good and if you look there you can see how highly acclaimed it is. It is VERY BITTER. It has the bitterness of something like a Dogfish 90 or 120 Minute IPA, but without the sweetness. I liked it, but I wasn't expecting it to be that bitter. I liked it, but not as much as I thought I would. I will have to try it again.

After that, I bravely went forth to the Rogue Brutal Bitter.

Huh? This wasn't very bitter at all! :) But I had another later and I think my Hercules had my bitter standards out of whack. This is supposed to be an ESB but it's clearly a pale ale. It's good, but again, kinda tasteless in comparison.

I also have a cask Bell's Kalamazoo Stout.

It was sweet and very coffee flavored. Pretty thick, creamy stuff. Good!


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Czechvar/Budweiser Budvar

Originally uploaded by jennybento.
Apparently this is the original Budweiser. I am not a big lager fan, but this was not as "tasteless" as most. Still it smelled very yeasty, and a little bitter. Generally, although the beginning of the taste was regular lager-y, the end was very strong. I really didn't like it much. Online, many people have said this is really "smooth," however I disagree.

While yes, when compared with OUR Budweiser, this is amazing beer, so are most beers! That doesn't say a whole lot.

This was included in my "winter beers" pack, and I have NO idea why. It doesn't seem terribly wintry, but I guess it is if you normally drink macrobrew lager.

When looking up info on this beer, I found this odd photo of the urinals at the Czech Budweiser brewery. Apparently there's a website where people take pictures of urinals. I realize as a beverage blogger, I should not malign no one else's blog subject, especially one that is the result of my blog subject. Still though, urinals? I bet that's odd cocktail party talk.

Well apparently people love this beer enough to fight the American Budweiser to get it imported to America. Hmmm. I don't get it.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Flying Dog K-9

Flying Dog K-9
Originally uploaded by jennybento.
Meh. It's beers like this that made me think I hated stouts. Very strong alcohol taste. It is a pretty red color. Thick oily consistency that I did NOT like. Sad because I generally really like Flying Dog. First beer of the year is disappointing!

Powered by Blogger and Blogger Templates