ad astra per alia porci

Lagunitas Indian Pale Ale
August 30, 2013, 3:18 pm
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Pour: White frothy head with small bubbles. Slight cloudy tangerine-amber body.

Nose: Lychee, grapefruit, sweet fruits, hint of malt.

Palate: Bready, hops is understated for an IPA. Clear and airy, easy to drink. Tropical fruits taste hits the tongue and linger.

A tropical, fruity IPA that is not very hoppy and a bit too thin for my liking. Nice and pleasant to drink, but not outstanding or particularly memorable. The punch one would normally expect form an IPA is not present here. The Dogfish Head beers still kill.


Deschutes Obsidian Stout
August 30, 2013, 2:36 pm
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Pour: very thick frothy dark yellowish-brown head, obsidian body with slight reddish-brown tint when held to the light. Looks very inviting.

Nose: Roasted malt, chocolate, soya sauce, coffee.

Palate: Roasted malt is the strongest note here, with substantial hops at the end. Some sweetness retained, but dryer than a normal creamy stout. Robust but not creamy; more reminiscent of coffee without milk. Very well-balanced and smooth despite robustness.

Very good stout. I like how robust the roasted flavour is; it lingers for a while, hanging around the palate.

Rogue Ales Yellow Snow IPA
August 16, 2013, 3:43 pm
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Pour: Frothy off-white bubbly head, orange-reddish body, very hazy, very inviting.

Nose: very citrusy, tangy and fresh. Grapefruit, lemon, orange, very sweet and malty.

Palate: Punchy, substantial. Very hoppy, right from the start. Malt at the end. Lasting and pronounced bitter aftertaste, dry too, but not overpowering. As the beer warms, the malt character comes through a little bit more.

You must love hops to love this. Which I do. The beer treads the edges of aggressive bitterness but never falls into the unpleasant hole. Reminds me of the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, which is itself indicative of which beer I prefer. Very good, solid, bold IPA.

Rogue Ales Dead Guy Ale
August 10, 2013, 7:44 am
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Pour: Very attractive, dark orange-amber with bubbley, off-yellow head.

Nose: Some very typical yet nice aromas. Citrus, grapefruit, hint of caramel.

Palate: Surprisingly malty and more robust and rich than expected. Biscuit, caramel, even nuts. Tropical flavours almost disappear now, which is interesting. The hops taste is very mild, unusual for an American pale ale.

Finish: Not much. Disappointing on this front.

A good, wholesome and approachable beer, just not impressive. I liked the interesting twist in the palate, a slight move away from the typical American pale ale (eg, Sierra Nevada). Would appeal to those who want half and half from both worlds: the American pale ale aroma (but not the pronounced hops bitterness), and also sweet robust maltiness. Hopheads will be disappointed, though. This is probably a case of not being to my taste, rather than being objectively-speaking badly brewed.

Kagua Blanc
August 9, 2013, 2:07 pm
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Appearance: Milky, frothy head. Cloudy, pale-yellow in colour, reminiscent of white grape juice.
Nose: very fruity and citrusy, with smells leaping at you, begging to be noticed and named. White grape, yuzu pomelo, tangerine, orange peel, banana even. Really engaging, lively and interesting nose. I even smelled musky pee!

Palate: Dry, fizzy, slight punch of alcohol, easy to drink. Refreshing. Unfortunately, the palate feels like a letdown, being nowhere as lively and engaging and complex as the nose. Still good-tasting though. Lemon, tropical fruits.

Finish: Reminds me of fizzy lemony champagne with a hint of pomelo.

A really unique beer that missed a step. This beer started really well but ended mediocre, which is a really pity. In a sense, it is a victim of its own success in delivering such a great aroma. At Kagua’s website, it is advised that its beers be enjoyed in wine glasses. It is not difficult to see why.

I would choose this over a Hoergaarden anytime, but till something is done to the depth of taste, it would always taste as if it could (obviously) be done better.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label
August 9, 2013, 10:46 am
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Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Colour: Attractive, gold with slight amber brown.
Nose: Bread, nectar, orange, honey, floral.
Palate: Silky and luscious. Smoke first, but tempered by smoothness and sweet fruit. Balanced. But not much development.
Finish: Lingering smoke.

A nice balance between smoke and smooth sweetness. Not particularly memorable, but above average. The box is really classy and well-made, but unfortunately the whiskey inside does not measure up to the price and package.