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Archive for the ‘Drinking’ Category

Dobry den z’Praha!

We’re having a great time here, especially since Sarah joined me on Friday. Loads of walking, wonderful sights, & food adventures galore!

With all the walking, the dreaded sandals with socks look that is oh so German (& Czech) is starting to look like a good idea, ahhhhhh!

I haven’t had any blocks of solid birding time yet, although I’ve seen a couple of lifers (jays/crows, don’t know which as I don’t have a guide for this area).

Four days of vacation remain, and they’re sure to be a lot of fun!

Until I get back, here are some iPhone snaps:

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Once again February brings us to Strong Beer Month at my local brewpub Magnolia and the 21st Amendment and once again I plan on trying all 12 of their strong brews (6 at each pub). I managed to sample them all last year (with a little help from my friends :), and enjoyed the very different styles offered.

I will keep updating this post as I make my way through, so hopefully by the end of the month I will have 12 beer reviews (and a commemorative glass).

Update: well, I didn’t make it. Although I finished all 6 of Magnolia’s strong beers, I only had 2 of the 21st Amendment’s since they’re on the other side of town and their food & beer isn’t all that wonderful.

Magnolia:

  • Weakapaug Monster – crazy herbal hop-less brew, actually very good, but also very odd (and rather strong!). Rather than hops, it’s bittered with rosemary and the like.
  • Old Perplexity – old-style, well-balanced ale – also very good. Dry finish and complex middle with a fairly strong attack.
  • Smokestack Lightning Imperial Stout – very dark and heavily roast’y. I’d have preferred a little more sugar for this style of beer, as it leaned toward the hoppy.
  • Promised Land IPA – quite a jar to the palette switching from Old Perplexity to this! Extremely hoppy and strong right from the get-go. A tad much for me.
  • Old Thuderpussy Barleywine (2003) – huge and very strong, as it’s been aging for 4 years! Complex aroma and flavor, reminiscent of a good cognac. A little goes a long ways, but I like this one a lot. Named after Magnolia Thunderpussy, who used to run a cake shop in the ’60’s at Magnolia Pub’s location (and the namesake of the pub itself, too!).
  • Tweezer Tripel – a medium-dry Belgian-style. Probably my least favorite of the strong beers. Although decent, it lacked the character of the other 5 above. Less sweet than many Belgians, and not as complex as I prefer.

21st Amendment:

  • Golden Doom – light Belgian-style ale. At ~8.5% ABV, this is the weakest of the 6 strong beers at 21st Amendment (and why I ordered it on a lunchtime visit :). I thought the attack was too sweet, but it faded into a nicely herbal, almost anise’y finish. Medium bubbles. OK, but not something I’d order again.
  • Double Tripel – very hoppy, fairly dry, Belgian-style ale. An abundance of hops made it a touch too bitter for my taste (I like relatively more malt in the stronger beers), but it’s tangy and complex, with tight bubbles. Pretty good overall.

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Raki available in SF!

I was delighted to receive an email from the proprietor of Blackwell’s Wine and Spirits informing me that they now have Efe Raki in stock for $27/fifth.  I picked up a bottle of it last weekend, and although I hadn’t tried it in Turkey (we drank Yeni Raki almost exclusively), it proved to be very good and much better than the Aslan Sutu I bought duty-free in the Istanbul airport.

For those unfamiliar with raki, it’s an anise-flavored liquor traditionally consumed either straight up or mixed with cold filtered water to taste, much like Pernod or Absinthe. Being as it’s very strong (90-100+ proof), I like it diluted a bit.

I hadn’t been to Blackwell’s before and was very impressed with their selection of fine spirits, wine, and beer. They are one of the only retailers I know who sells Unibroue Terrible, a fantastic strong Belgian-style beer from Canada, as well as my favorite Belgian of all, Rochefort 10. They also carry Juniper Gin (made by Anchor Steam), Old Raj, Hendricks, etc etc. Prices seemed pretty reasonable on the items I’m familiar with, and as an added bonus they sometimes have wine tastings.

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