Archive for the ‘ Drafted ’ Category

Now Accepting Mouth Donor Applications

Welcome back to Drafted. The next chapter in Zombie Drafted… How much more convoluted can I make this?  I’m not sure whether that’s a question or just a quest.

Dilemma: I’ve stopped drinking, but I love beer, beer culture, & beer blogging.  Epiphany: Phantom Zombie Drafted.  Okay, so what if I got my friends to go out with me to taste beer & I quiz them on it…and then write about THAT instead?!?!  I feel like that is a pretty fair compromise on that.  I get to kick back with friends over a beer (yes, singular – theirs); I get to write about beer; I keep my integrity intact (I did promise myself, so cheating on this would be cheating myself & no one else.); Geoff can stop wishing for a Zombie Drafted apocalypse.  I see this as a can’t lose scenario.

This is such a good idea it defies all rating scales – even my relatively meaningless pseudo-analogies.  Rock on, write on, Zombie Drafted: Phantom!

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Teetotal 180

For all 1 of you who lament the hiatus of my sporadic beer reviews, fear not…much!  While I may have given up drinking for the time-being (I’ve been pretty good, too), I am considering making “research” for reviews into exceptions.  (Meaning that I might just drink to review and that’s it.)  Hopefully my taste-buds will be extra-sensitive as a result of my teetotaling to be broken (soon?!?!).  Will my reviews be better because of it?  Doubtful, but at least they’ll be a taste of my former “glory.”

On a life-choice goal from heroin (1) to veganism (10), I’m gonna go ahead and give this post a score equivalent to teetotaling (8.5).  I’d arbitrarily say I get about 85% in “jealous” or “good life choice” reactions to my decision to stop drinking, so this may be the most scientifically rationalized rating to date, regardless of how made-up my statistics are.

CHEERS!

Baseball and a Winter Wonderland

Amid the sunshine and baseball of the fast-approaching SoCal summer, today I am taking a dip back in time with Ninkasi Brewing Company‘s winter seasonal, Oatis Oatmeal Stout. It has been rolling around in my car since December, for the record. Also for the record, note that you should store your beer bottles upright to avoid any contamination from the metal in the cap.

Having said that, the warm and slightly nutty nose alone was enough to drown out any damage I may have done through my rough treatment of this particular bomber. This brew’s true strength is its mouthfeel, I believe.  It tastes fairly standard and predictably complex as far as dark beer is concerned and definitely not overbearing. A balanced feel in the mouth, then, is the perfect complement to this smooth, dark nectar: smooth up front, bitter in the back.  It’s like a mullet in my mouth!

Though I would love to leave you thinking that Oatis tastes like white trash (though I am shirking the rules of class by tasting straight from the 22 in front of the TV on my living room couch), I must say it tastes more like a cozy night in front of a warm fire as the steady rain pelts your windows. Quite refreshing, on this warm May night I now describe as chilly (Hey – I’ve been here since September, okay?! I’m slowly losing my hardcOregon. Sad, I know.).

On an NL scale so far this season from the Houston Astros (13-23) to the Philadelphia Phillies (22-13), I’d give Oatis an LA Dodgers (Beat SD Padres [22-14] tonight without league-leading slugger Andre Ethier). Not perfect (19-17), but even after a small beating it still delivers.

Swift Kick in the Pelican: India Pelican Ale

Pacific City, OR is mostly known for 1) that gargantuan dune – SO fun to hike up and board down – and 2) Pelican Pub & Brewery. The dune may be quite filling, but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth so why not hike up it instead and check out Pelican afterward.

I do so love me some IPA and since the bomber promised this classic hoppy brew with a unique American twist, how could I resist?!  Pop open the top and dig your nose way down into the head and just soak it up because the only way I can descre the aroma is “delicious.” It was almost sweet-smelling, but still had that green bite.  The head itself was delightfully stiff – the best kind of defiance.  Then, prepare yourself for a sneak attack: the mouthfeel is oh-so-hoppy and a bit spicy. It is quite comfortable until the kick in the pants at the back of your tongue.  My spidey sense says that’s probably the American twist.

On a snowboarding halfpipe scale from me (the lowest value the number 1 has to offer) to Shaun White (10), India Pelican Ale lands around a 9.27 (Scotty Lago, mayhaps? In large quantities it may cause you to act like him, at least.)…unless you don’t like IPAs, in which case it lands on the floor.

I bought my bomber of Pelican at the Fred Meyer in Tillamook, OR, but I’m sure it has percolated to a few locations more inland, as well. Ideally you will rush on out to the coast for a day of shenanigans and savor a pint or so straight from the brewer’s tap in Pacific City.  For your sake, I hope the sun joins you there.

Mile-High Brew Club

The best part about flying Alaska/Horizon is that they almost always offer a complimentary wine and micro from areas the airlines service. What this means for me right now is that I get to start drinking at 12:10 in the noon on my flight home. Today’s selection is Black Tusk Ale, a winter seasonal from Whister Brewing Company in Whistler, B.C. (clever, eh?!). For being served up in a little plastic cup, it looks pretty darn good, don’t you think? Nice ‘n’ dark with a Guinness-shaded head.

The Mile-High Brew Club

My senses were a little dulled by the small child kicking my seat; even though it definitely tasted dark, I thought I smelled a bit of a fruity aroma, though Whistler B.C. suggests a “subtle, malty aroma.” The medium-body fades to a clean finish, strangely enough. It feels and looks kinda like a nut brown, with its warm red-brown color. Definitely not a winter warmer, but then again the pilot did say it was high 50s/low 60s back home. Good thing I didn’t pack my snow pants.

On an NCAA Div. I(A) Football 2009 scale from Western Kentucky (0-8 conference, 0-12 overall) to Alabama (8-0 conference, 14-0 overall), I dare say this comes in at around an Oregon Ducks (8-1 conference, 10-3 overall) – great season, but you just wish it’d have lasted a little longer.

Full Sail’s Wassail

It’s stormy and rainy in beautiful southern California this weekend, so I figured this would be the perfect time to bust out another Oregon winter brew.  When in Rain…
One of the winter seasonals I brought home over Christmas break was Full Sail Brewing’s Wassail (is it just my pun-tastic tendencies, or does anyone else wish they had spelled it Wass’Ale or summat?). The bottle itself is enough to make you want to go skiing…or just hole up in a ski lodge with a few bottles and a sweetheart. Even the cap is cute, with “stoked to brew, brewed to stoke” printed around the top and “naughty” and “nice” arrows on the sides of this twist-off.

Full Sail's Clever Cap

Stoked to Brew, Brewed to Stoke

After twisting the cap to the “nice” side and pouring the rich red-brown nectar into my ghetto glass, I shoved my nose in for a whiff…and had to jam my schnoz in further and further to get a fair sniff. Though the toasty, slightly grassy aroma was definitely a plus, it was weaker than I had been hoping for. I suppose there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, but by the same token, this was too little of a great nose.
My first swallow confirms my love of winter seasonals – the taste goes straight to the back of my tongue and stays there. I wouldn’t say this ale is quite full-bodied, but Wassail is definitely on the heaviest side of medium-bodied. Perhaps the 7.0% abv tips the scale on that subject, however. Drinking my way down the glass, I am in love with how the head lingers on the glass walls. What a great visual to complement an all-around enjoyable winter warmer. Now, if I only had a raging fire with which to enjoy this. Oh, to be in the Northwest.
On an adrenaline scale from watching TV (1) to skydiving (10), Wassail earned a heavy day of windsurfing (8.7) from me. How appropriate, considering Hood River is one of the best places in the world for it.

Classic Drafted, Circa mid-Feb 2009: “One Bad SOB”

Even though we got an unplanned week off of work on account of heavy snow, I seem to have left no time for my beloved friend BEER.  In deference to those who rooted so much for the return of Drafted, I lazily posted a draught from the original column.  Was this the published version?  My answer to that is a cliché: what do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino?  Enjoy. (Beer: Southern Oregon Brewing Company’s Gold Ale)

First off, I would like to publicly berate Nick for subjecting me to this beer – he knew full well what he was getting me into…and that I prefer dark beer. Nevertheless, I, too, shelled out the $4.04 for a bomber at Mama Gia’s with an open mind and a friend’s questionably clean plastic cup (not even a glass…psshht…men). I love that the label sports a jolly suspenders man toting a keg of SOB; “so far, so good,” I thought. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the best part.

Scanning the rest of the label (yes, my disdain began before I had even opened the bottle), we see that SOB’s Gold Ale is “fermented with a lager yeast.” I have said it before, but I must reiterate that beer is categorized as either lager or ale based upon the type of YEAST used. You, dear beer, are a LAGER! Know your role! This paradox leads me to one of two conclusions – either someone downed a keg of this stuff while drawing up the label or, well, they just did not care to find out what they were bottling. Despite myself, I popped the top and dove in.

I was not overly impressed by the head, though I did clock it at 1:47 from full foam to near-complete dissipation. With my first sip, I shared Nick’s uncanny sensation of recognition. “Have I had this one before? It tastes like…is it?…my favorite pong beer?” Seemingly indistinguishable from my trusty Johnny 6-pack, this beer truly deserves to be served very cold, to the point that your taste buds become desensitized to its ineptitude and you are not put through the frustrating task of having to try and savor this one as craft brew.

As each mouthful warmed, it revealed the weak and watery body and flavors. I could hardly detect the hops. My sourest face came with the dregs, which tasted only of water.

Established in 2006, SOB is a relatively new company with nowhere to go but up. They are based in Medford, OR and I am hopeful that this offering is far superior on draught, however, this bomber bombed. They get my kudos for their community involvement, though.

On a scale of Keanu Reeves (1) to Sean Connery (10), this beer would be a Vin Diesel: eye-catching, but once you get into it you would rather have some cheesy kung-fu movie star for the same film. In other words, Coors Light already comes in bottles, so save your money.