Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beer Review - Feb. 2010

Time for a beer review. These were my new selections from late last year.

Midas Touch by Dogfish Head Hugo, the "beer guy" at my local Specs (NW Houston), talked me into this one. Comes in 4-pack of 12 oz. bottles for about $13.

It's somewhat light, a little sweet, and has a nice, well-rounded taste that is most pleasing. The 9% alcohol gives it a good push into being "serious" :-)

The label states that it's made with barley, white muscat grapes, honey, and saffron. Don't let the foo-foo sounding stuff scare you off, this is a mighty good beer... so nice that I've bought it several times.

It's made from an ancient recipe, some 2700 years old.

More info here on Dogfish's website.

The Beast by Avery Brewing Co. I love Avery's beers. The Beast "Grand Cru" ale was a new one for me, and I was nicely surprised. It's a Belgian style ale, and is on the strong and dark side of things. It's very sweet, as most Avery's beers are, but most excellent. It was not an assault on my mouth as the name suggested. I'm definitely going to try this one again.

Rouge Chipotle Ale Beers that have unique flavorings are rarely done well. This beer adds chipotle with the subtleness of a sledgehammer. Now I like hot and spicy, and perhaps that goes with beer, but this one is over the top.

It also has a sour/bitter taste that is a bit much. It was worth a try, but it's not one that I'll be getting again.

Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper 2009 Oh the sweet goodness... this was awesome. This dark Belgian style ale was a treat. The lable claims it was "brewed with spices and cocoa powder". It definitely had a nice spice and also a smoothness to it that was pleasant. This was my favorite Christmas beer for 2009. Drinking it reminded me of being a kid again with a mouthful of chocolate candy.

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale You can't go wrong with St. Bernardus. This "liquid bread" type of beer is my favorite. The Christmas Ale was good, but not terribly outstanding. I can't say that I enjoyed it any more than their duble or tripel ales. I guess I was expecting something a little more spiced-up, but this beer was pretty mellow. A good drink nonetheless!

Allagash Four Ale This one was good, but not better than other Allagash beers that I've tried (see my previous beer reviews).

The Four Ale (made with four malts, four hops, four sugars and four Belgian yeast strains) was very calm yet full bodied. It didn't jump out with anything spectacular, rather it was behaved and some what subdued in taste. It was good, yes, but I enjoyed Allagash's other beers more.

More info here about the 4-ale.

Feb. '10 Update and Photos from Last Year

January has slipped by, and I haven't used up my camera in anger in a long while. I've been busy with LEGO stuff as well as remodeling our kitchen at home.

I have a bunch of photos taken at the High Lonesome last November and December that I need to edit and process. I've quickly done three of my favorites:

click to see larger

I also made another time-lapse video of the night sky last December. This time, the exposures were much longer: 25 sec. instead of 8 sec. as the previous time-lapse video.

This video (click thumbnail below) is composed of 100 photos played at 8 frames per second. Each photo was shot at: 25 sec., f/1.8, ISO 3200.

click to see video
(1.5 MB, Windows Media File)

The files were shot as small JPGs on FINE with heavy noise reduction turned on. The long-exposure NR was turned off. Again, this was done using my "low-light" combo: the Canon 5DII and 24mm f/1.4II lens.