While at the local bottle shop I happened upon a bottle of St. Bernardus Extra 4 and wasn’t sure if I had tried it since it had been quite some time since I went through their lineup. Turns out the Extra 4 was reintroduced in 2014 after being discontinued in the 1970’s so it was a new beer for me. The beer is a Singel or “Enkel” and is 4.8% abv and essentially a Belgian pale ale. It was very refreshing with a light malt aspect, a low level of phenolic spice, and a crisp carbonation. If this were inexpensive it would be a go to beer, but with the imported price point it was no bargain. It also isn’t interesting enough to tell you to rush out and get a bottle. What the draw for me is knowing the beer had been discontinued in the 1970’s and returned in 2014. Essentially you are consuming a historical beer which has returned to the market. For that reason alone I’ll probably try to get one every year when they release it in May or if I can find it on draft.
I must admit when I was a youngster on Sunday afternoon I would sit in the top of the barn and guard the garden from groundhogs. The most I ever got in one afternoon was three using a double barrel 12 gauge. Two were close together and one was 90 degrees from my position so I timed the shot and got all three. I was not hunting them for meat, I was hunting them as pests. We had a rule if I could find their den I could put them back, but if not I had to bury them. I would spend long periods of time looking for the hole so I didn’t have to dig. I’m not actually sure if that was legal all those years ago, but currently it would be illegal under our current laws in NC.
§ 103-2. Hunting on Sunday.
If any person shall, except in defense of his own property, hunt on Sunday, having with him a shotgun, rifle, or pistol, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Provided, that the provisions hereof shall not be applicable to military reservations, the jurisdiction of which is exclusively in the federal government, or to field trials authorized by the Wildlife Resources Commission. Wildlife protectors are granted authority to enforce the provisions of this section. (1868-9, c. 18, ss. 1, 2; Code, s. 3783; Rev., s. 3842; C.S., s. 3956; 1945, c. 1047; 1967, c. 1003; 1979, c. 830, s. 13; 1989, c. 642, s. 3; 1993, c. 539, s. 684; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)
Legislation was introduced this session, H640, to change the law and allow hunting on private land on Sunday, but it has already been watered down to where if it passes one cannot hunt before noon. I’m not sure why we keep all the blue laws nowadays. What is special about Sunday in today’s society? I know long-held religious beliefs require keeping the Sabbath holy, but in reality who practices that? If you need to mow the lawn do you? How about if you are farmer and the crop needs to be harvested, do you let it sit or harvest? Many people worship throughout the week so why hold Sunday in higher regard than other days of the week? Many people still have a traditional work week, but I often find myself working part of Sunday and in some cases traveling on Sunday. I just don’t see why we need religious beliefs of a few creeping into society as a whole. Rules created in the past because of religious ideology just don’t pass the sniff test today. We should allow hunting on Sunday just as we should allow any activity which happens routinely Monday through Saturday.
Our legislators should eliminate the before noon portion of the verbiage and pass the bill to allow hunting on Sunday.
The last time I wrote anything about Kombucha was in 2012. Lenny Boy out of Charlotte has been making Kombucha for several years and though I keep meaning to swing by their tap room I seem to never get the time. I was at a bottle shop and they had a large variety of their flavors and so I picked up a few to give them a try. Thus far I have only had one Good Ol’ Ginger which has an ingredient list which includes Filtered Alkaline Water, Kombucha Culture, Ginger, Molasses, Green Tea, and Cane Sugar. It poured crystal clear with a very, very slight bit of carbonation. I had to wisps of yeast or culture and fished those out before snapping the photo below. The haze is really just condensation on the mason jar. The aroma contained a prominent ginger aroma, but the flavor only hinted at ginger and was only lightly tart. To me this was training wheels Kombucha. Now truthfully I have not sampled a large variety of Kombucha, but I prefer more dominant aromas and flavors. If you like ginger and light flavors this would be the drink for you. According to the website it was 15 calories and only 4 grams of sugar. Stay tuned, over time I will try the rest in my stash.
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.
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.
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.
Never forget the reason for Memorial Day and all those who fought and died to give you the freedom you enjoy today in America! If you know a Veteran, tell them thank you for your service, if you are a Veteran, I thank you for your service.
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!
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!;)
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.