Mario Knows Ellie’s Brown Ale

•April 4, 2008 • 2 Comments

ellies-brown-ale.jpgEllie’s Brown Ale, By the Avery Brewing Co. from Boulder Colorado.

I grew up in Englewood Colorado – the nearby suburbs of Denver. I’ve always loved Boulder. I have been a fan of Joe Walsh ever since my junior-high days (early 1980’s). I loved his music, and knew he’d spent time in boulder…ie, Rocky Mountain Way. In fact, I met him at one time at a bar in Denver, but that is another story.

Many of my friends went to the University of Colorado (Boulder). Of course I visited. This is one of the coolest campuses I know. The parties were comperable (or at least they were). Thus, when I see a mountain town Colorado beer, I buy it.

The Pour: Upon popping the top and putting my nose to the opening, it smelled oddly familiar…a meaty aroma. I know this is actually a roasted-nut smell, but it reminds me of beef jerky. This is not a complaint!!! I am simply unused to the brown ale family and I was extremely, pleasantly surprised by its boldness! The pour was smooth with a thin head. The extreme clarity of this brown was another pleasant surprise.

Taste: The taste was pure and dry – a beer I could drink all night; especially with a thick steak.

Rating: Liscious all the way around – Loviliscious, darkiliscious, browniliscious, meatiliscious and Boulderliscious!   Way to go guys; makes me wish I was back in the rockies!

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Mario Knows WILD BLUE, Blueberry Lager

•April 3, 2008 • 2 Comments

wild-blue.jpgWILD BLUE, blueberry lager by Blue Dawg Brewing out of Baldwinsville, New York is an ale flavored with….blueberries! 🙂

 As I had never seen such a thing before, my attention was gotten. To lure me in was Hyvee’s own liquor department manager. He had recently tried it at the store’s tasting time, and told me that he was actually impressed. So, i bought it.

The pour: an easy trip into the glass with a 1/2 inch head. Yes, the beer is actually purple- tinted. The foam, pink. Looking through it, it looked like a purple-tinted amber. The blueberry could be smelled immediately.

The taste: Boldly blueberry. Nearly a mild, fruity wine/champaign and of course, blueberry flavor. Nothing like any beer i’ve tasted. I enjoyed this at first, but the novelty soon wore off.

Rating: headiliscious &  alcohol-by-volumiscious (8%).    Not tastiliscious

Mario Knows 1554 Enlightened Black Ale

•March 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

1554-enlightened-black-ale.jpg1554 Enlightened Black Ale, by New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado is a dark, chocolate malt with a sweetly bitter after taste. In fact, when it first hits the tongue, it vaguely reminds me of a mild porter – first sweet, then bitter. This is not my favorite beer by New Belgium, but I like it none-the-less. If you like dark beers, you should like this one.

Mario’s Rating:    Chocoliscious,   Sweetiliscious &  Bitterliscious

Mario knows Spaten Optimator

•March 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment

optimator-spaten-munich.jpgSpaten Optimator is brewed by Spaten-Franziskaner-Brau, an import from  Munich, Germany. The Spaten Optimator has a mildly sweet taste, which vaguely reminds me of an extremely tender porter without the tongue-tingling sensation. The style is known as a Doppelbock, a word I had to look read at least twice in order to get a correct spelling:)

Doppelbock translates to english as double-bock (or, in my opinion, double-damned good); which makes me think of Amber Bock (not it’s American cousin). Anyway, the “bock” part makes sense, as it is a dark amber sort – a favorite of mine. But, as I said before, it does have a bit of a sweet taste with a slightly bitter after taste. The pour leaves little to no head, and it goes down pretty smooth.

Rating: Amberliscious, sweetiliscious, but certainly not headiliscious!   

Oh, and at 7.2% ETOH be sure to pass off your keys to a (more than you are) sober friend a little sooner than you would if you were drinking the average American beer.

Mario Knows Negra Modello

•March 3, 2008 • 4 Comments

negramodello.jpgNegra Modello, my all-time favorite dark amber beer! Definitely the smoothest dark amber I’ve ever tasted. In fact, the best south-of-the-border beer in my opinion:) A little lime adds to its flavor, but certainly isn’t needed. The head stays small, and the after taste is a near-perfect chocolaty malty flavor.

Rating: Absolutely AMBERLISCIOUS!!!!!

Mario Knows Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale

•March 1, 2008 • Leave a Comment

goose-island-312.jpgAlright, I stopped by a local convenience store on my way to an informal business meeting yesterday. Scanning the beer vault, a yellow-labeled brown bottle caught my eye (Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale). The number 312 was printed in a downward vertical pattern along its side. I have not only seen, but had consumed this beer a few months earlier. I don’t recall being too impressed by the taste, but I don’t recall throwing it out or pouring it down the drain either 🙂

So, liking the label, I bought another six pack. This beer is brewed and bottled in Chicago, Illinois. To be truthful, I don’t know what the difference is supposed to be between an urban wheat and a (non-urban?) wheat; but I like beer, so what the hell! The back of the label reads “serve in a tall glass”. I do know that beers should be poured into a glass if one is to rate them, but often times, I’m pursing my lips and just sipping or swigging the damned thing. I doubt it makes that much difference:)

Anyway, after holding this brew up to the light (in the bottle and after I’d cracked the top off), I think I know why I was supposed to pour it into a glass. The filter process that Goose Island is not used on this beer, which leaves a fair amount of dregs in the bottle, which remains suspended in the beer for quite some time. This may bother you, but truthfully, it doesn’t really concern me:)

The taste was a bit sweet and slightly tangy. Though, I did notice another quality (mild as it was)…skunky. Now, I’m no expert:), but I recall reading an article not too long ago which stated that breweries do not intentionally go about to create a skunky beer. This actually has to do with the handling process during shipping (maybe) and how the beer is stored by retailers.

The problem is light! Light causes a chemical breakdown in the beer, creating the skunky flavor. Colored bottles are used to help prevent this chemical breakdown (the darker the better), but it can happen to any beer stored in bottles over time.

So, do we note the skunky flavor of a beer when we rate it? Well, if it is unintentional, and not caused by the brewer, then I’d have to vote “no”.

Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale: Sweetiliscious, Tangiliscious, but maybe not skunkiliscious!  🙂

Mario Knows Tanqueray

•February 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

tanqueray.jpgOn the flight from Memphis this Sunday, the pasengers received complimentary liquor, beer, etc., due to num(b)erous flight delays. Knowing that I would only get one free drink (I’m not really that cheap, but had drank plenty the entire week of vacation) I asked what types of liquor they had. The list included several differing kinds of spirits in the small single-serve bottles that we all know so well by sight.

Before the waitress was able to get the entire word “Tanqueray” past her lips, I anxiously repeated the word (Tanqueray), following it with a quick yes. Wow, it had been a few years since I’ve tasted that wonderful London dry gin!

Gin and tonic has always been a favorite drink of mine. When the gin is a Tanqueray, its that much better! There’s something about the dry, bitter tingle as it touches the tongue along with the lingering after-taste that keeps me craving. 

So, I lovingly rate Tanqueray London Dry Gin as both Bitterliscious and Tingiliscous!