Posts Tagged ‘ Eugene ’

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.


Winter Blues? Bah, Humbug’r

I must admit, I was drawn to MacTarnahan’s Winter Humbug’r by the flashy label. Seriously, though, who doesn’t love strange cartoons of sloppy, inebriated men waving mistletoe in your face?  And that color scheme: aesthetically inviting. Too bad you can’t taste a label.

Holiday Humbug'r

...and a bottle o' beer in a pear tree

During the pour, it seemed thick and pleasantly dark – that’s a good sign, right?!  I do so love a good, dark beer – especially in a winter seasonal. The nose on this porter was characteristically nutty and sweet. I started to get a bit excited for that first sweet sip.  All signs were pointing to go.

In for the taste, and…

…payoff. Everything in the nose translated to my mouth. It wasn’t as bitter as I like my porters, but it did have a slight bite other than what I’d expected – perhaps on its way to a stout roast-ish taste, but just a tinge of it (“deceptively dark,” indeed). Strangely enough, though, none of this made it to the back of my tongue.  Gypped.  Even that roasty-toasty taste was along the periphs.

As for the finish, I’ve had better.  I’ve had much worse, but from a porter I expect better.  It lasted long enough after a few sips, but once I did get it to linger, I wished I hadn’t. It did not deck my halls with cheer, as promised, but I guess you could say it did fulfill its goal of unraveling my ribbons.  I would be content to drink this with friends and a movie, but I can think of a few porters I’d rather enjoy with dinner.

On a Sandra Bullock scale from All About Steve (1) to The Blind Side (10…remember, this scale is relative), I give Humbug’r about a Forces of Nature (7.2) – entertaining for sure, but neither memorable nor high art.  If you must serve this with food, try pairing with an open-face sandwich (broiled, of course) with provolone or swiss.

Specs: 5.3% abv, 27 IBUs; 6-er of 12 oz. bottles purchased at a WINCO in Eugene, OR (I forget for how much, though).

MacTarnahan’s is renowned for their Amber, and their PR guy is unofficially titled the “Director of Pontification and Tale Telling.”  Cute.


Before I redebut a much-anticipated Zombie Drafted review, allow me to regale (read: bore) you with a few things I learned over this unbelievably packed (I can’t believe it’s only been two weeks) winter vacation.

I learned that…

…trombones love to play outside the studio ’cause in the studio they mostly provide a soundtrack for murders.

…a trombone choir is really good at playing CHORDS.

…my best friend’s brother lives 20 minutes from me in Cali.

…an old roommate’s childhood friend also lives 20 minutes from me in Cali.

…as long as there are gaudy Christmas decorations and a fountain, any crowded place can feel like home if you have your best friend there with you.

…movies are HELLA expensive in Cali.  Avatar (3D, not IMAX) was $16.

…now that I have cruise control and bluetooth, 18-hour drives are pretty tolerable.

…if you find a stray dog without a collar or chip and if no one claims it from the pound within a week, she is yours to love forever and ever and ever…for $120.

…I really am more of a cat person right now.

…many people think I smoke pot.  (FYI: decidedly NOT into drugs)

Eddie Aikau was a LEGENDARY Hawaiian surfer/lifeguard.

…New Year’s Day is not your lucky day if you are shopping for Ninkasi anywhere in Eugene.

…Pierre Bourdieu is buried in Pere Lachaise (famous cemetery; Jim Morrison is among those buried there). I also learned who Pierre Bourdieu was.

…the Clark’s Nutcracker is nicknamed the “Camp Robber” due to their habit of stealing snacks at campsites.

…it’s time to stop learning and start doing.  Except for that whole “stop learning” part.


It's not about the destination...