Lagunitas ScareCity #3 High West-ified Imperial Stout

Last night I happened to find on draft the Lagunitas ScareCity #3 High West-ified Imperial Stout which is a stout brewed with coffee and then aged in High West Rye Barrels. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the beastly 12.1% ABV brew, but it was complex and amazing. The aroma was sandalwood and spice with a citrus aspect coupled to oak tannins and coffee. Complexity oozes out every pore of this beer and the alcohol was surprisingly restrained. It is draft only so it may be a little difficult to locate, but it is truly amazing and well crafted. It would be mind blowing if the ABV could be dialed back just a skinch to let all the aromas and flavors seal the deal.


Contaminated or Infected?

Someone brought up a topic on a forum regarding homebrew being contaminated versus infected and which is the proper terminology. I figured it was worth a few minutes to provide my point of view on the topic. Often people will say something is infected when that may not be the case. I tend to think of a foreign object as contaminated. So if you find residue from a dirty bottle the beer may have been contaminated. On the other hand I tend to think of unwanted bacteria in the beer as an infection. So if you had a Lambic, it would be neither infected nor contaminated since that was what you were after in the first place. If you planned a nice Kolsch and it went off vinegar sour then you most likely have acetobacter which would be an infection. So IMO both terms are correct for describing beer. I use them often while judging, but I don’t use them interchangeably. If I tell someone to pay attention to their cleaning regimen then they probably had contamination, if I tell them to pay attention to their sanitation then their beer was probably infected.

Henry McKenna Single Barrel

After reading many good reviews of Henry McKenna Single Barrel I decided to pick up a bottle of it. The price tag was less than $30 which did not seem bad for a 10-year-old single barrel 100 proof Bourbon. My bottle was selected by Frugal MacDoogal and was barrel 1449 barreled on 12/10/03. The reason that is significant is while others rave about this Bourbon, I found it lacking and boring. I held my tongue about it and decided to take another run at it over the weekend and it remained boring and lacking depth. To say I am disappointed is a bit of an understatement. Now the bottle is not bad, there are no crazy fusel solvent notes, no vegetables, nothing wayward, but if I wanted a pedestrian Bourbon I would have bought one. The nice thing is another barrel will probably be different, and by the time I need to purchase another to put in the queue this one will certainly no longer lurk on the shelves and I will also be sure to not purchase it again from Greene’s or Frugal. There are enough positive reviews out there to make me interested in trying this one again, but if you do see 1449 on the shelf, you might want to pass it up for something more interesting.

Foothills Hopjob Session IPA

Foothills Hopjob Session IPA boasts 75 IBU from Azacca and Sorachi Ace hops in a 4.9% ABV package, but I seriously have my doubts. The beer is Foothills take on a session IPA and I must say it was quite tasty. I am not a Sorachi Ace fan, but in this beer it is perfectly integrated so the malt hop balance is fantastic. I can let slide the fact this thing is not a 75 IBU phlegm stripper, especially when the beer is this tasty!


Delirium Deliria

I spotted a bottle of Delirium Deliria at a bottle shop and decided an 8.5% ABV Belgian Blond was something I needed to bring home. The beer was spicy and a bit hot, almost to the point of being solvent. The phenols were strong, mostly pepper and cove, as were the esters which were fruity and floral. Turn out the beer is brewed by women for International Women’s Day. The brewery description is:
Brewed by women, this heavy blonde beer has 8.5% ABV and second fermentation in the bottle. This beer has a pale blonde colour and fine, white creamy and lacing foam. The aroma is very balanced, with a fruity and flowery background and a first impression of chardonnay, that further evolves to a spicy, mild hop aroma. The flavour is very balanced with fruity notes of apple and chardonnay grapes. Deliria has a fine, mildly bitter aftertaste and a wonderful, round mouth feeling with a nice evolution.

If you are really sensitive to alcohol this might not be the beer for you, but if you are a fan of the Delirium brews I suggest you find a bottle. Heck, get two and you might even see pink elephants!;)


Jefferson’s Ocean: Aged at Sea

Happened to be at a bar which had this last night and I must say if they had delivered it as requested I would have a better sense, but it was quite tasty. I asked for neat with a second glass with a cube and of course they brought it together so I quickly fished out the ice and it was great. What that didn’t tell me was what it would have been without the water addition. I’ve been hesitant to pick up a bottle because of the price and I just wasn’t sold on barrels being taken on a voyage, but it is quite nice so I may have to see if I can find one for a reasonable sum.

Background Checks For Private Firearm Purchases

I hear some opponents of H562 saying it will end background checks for private pistol purchases in the form of a Pistol Purchase Permit if that system is eliminated. Currently NC FFLs use the NICS system for long gun purchases and a PPP for handguns. Those permits are issued by the Sheriff and are good for five years. When they are presented to a FFL no background check is required. What is missing from that system is if someone applies and is granted a PPP and years later still has it and is disqualified from ownership of a firearm by committing a criminal offense. Since they still have a valid (well technically no longer valid, but no one is checking) permit they can go buy a handgun without any issues. Better would be a NICS check which is instantaneous and should be up to date if the courts are reporting crimes to the FBI in a timely manner.

So back to handguns and private transactions. Currently to abide by the law the purchaser must have a PPP for the firearm or a CHP. If H562 passes that will no longer be a requirement. I can see readers squirming at that revelation, but no need. Currently for a long gun no background check is required, simply that the seller and purchaser both be from NC. Think about it for a minute, if someone is getting a PPP or a CHP to do a private transaction of a handgun they are doing their best to abide by the law. Those persons will still abide by the law and both parties will be from the same state. Who will not abide by the law? Criminals! They will conduct illegal transactions regardless of whether a PPP is required or not. If everyone was to have to go through a FFL they still would conduct illegal operations and transactions. The biggest fallacy of using a FFL for a firearm transaction is the firearm can be traced. Not so fast Dick Tracy, it doesn’t quite work like that in the US.

I put forth a scenario where a firearm is used in a crime and is recovered by police. They trace the serial number to the manufacturer and the manufacturer then can tell them which distributor or FFL received the firearm. So now they know the original destination. If the FFL is still in business they can check their book and tell who purchased the firearm. If the FFL is not in business the ATF will have to dig through their records to find out who received the firearm. So let’s use my first pistol as the one used in the criminal act. It is a Ruger so they would contact Ruger. Then they would find the FFL who sold the firearm. Since it was purchased 27 years ago at a gun show and even I don’t remember the name of the dealer we must assume they probably are no longer in business. They would dig through the records and find a rural route address which no longer exists so potentially a dead end. Perhaps back then a driver’s license was required or recorded and a SS#. (Today the SS# is optional, but a DL would be recorded in NC.) So assuming they have a DL they could locate me that way. I still have the firearm, but let’s assume I don’t and I sold it via FFLs to someone in Nevada. Now I tell them that information and the trail most likely goes ice cold. In essence there is no way to track the firearm and all you can do is find who the original owner is and perhaps what they did with the firearm. Transferring through a FFL may provide a background check at the time of transfer, but doesn’t solve any problem. People trying to adhere to the law and not commit crimes will do so, but criminals will never adhere to the laws because they just don’t care.

In the end getting rid of the PPP system would eliminate antiquated checks which require time and law enforcement resources and would allow NC residents to purchase firearms from a FFL with an instant and up to date NICS check. Private transactions by law-abiding citizens would still adhere to the law and criminals would still be criminals. What we should do, if anything, is make the penalties severe for conducting an illegal transaction. Our laws rarely deter, but at least when charges are filed the criminal will pay the price for their actions.

H562 Press Conference – AKA Bloomberg Go Home

Yesterday GRNC held a press conference on H562 at the NC General Assembly. The conference was hosted by Larry Pittman and Paul Valone who were surrounded by NC mothers who all stated Michael Bloomberg did not speak for them.

I doubt the coverage of the event will be even and honest, but I did see some news outlets in attendance. Mark Binker was even hanging out in the back of the room. The questions come at about the 12:30 mark in the video and the questions are handled very well.

It will be interesting to see what happens to H562. It started out as a great bill, it is now a bit watered down, but still has some great content. Hopefully it won’t become a shadow of what it started just because legislators are influenced by Bloomberg’s ads. Bloomberg needs to go home, I don’t need him trying to dictate his will in my home state and neither do you.

BJCP Grader Training 2015 – June 10 – San Diego

The BJCP home page currently has a signup for Grader Training in San Diego on June 10. Sign up if you are a grader who is attending the conference and can find time in your schedule.

Grader Training Registration Now Open

The second phase of exam grader training will be on Wednesday, June 10 from 12:00PM to 1:30PM at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego in the Windsor room. The training will be a continuation of the class given at NHC 2014 where overall grading philosophies and the BJCP Score Sheet Guide were discussed. This class will involve actual grading of judging exams, and a discussion of how the scores and ranks were determined. These exams have been graded by the Associate Exam Directors and consensus scores were given for each criteria: Perception, Description, Completeness and Feedback. Each exam was also assigned a rank based on the overall consensus score.

Everyone who registers to attend should download the exam packet (Exam Sheets and Proctor Sheets) and grade these exams prior to the class. No RTP is needed, just scoring of perception, description, completeness and feedback. This will reduce downtime and allow for a more productive discussion. The packet consists of six judging exam score sheets, proctor score sheets, EGF, and the exam beer description. If you are new to grading make sure you review the score sheet guide for direction on how to score. Bring your scores and justification for how you scored the exams so we can have an interactive discussion. If you have any questions regarding the training please send them to the Education Director.

Registration is free to BJCP exam graders, but the class is limited to 50 people. Register here, but be sure you select NHC 2015 Grader Training from the drop-down list to register for the correct event. No food will be served at this event.

Here is the presentation from last year.


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