Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale

Note: This is really more of a stout than a black IPA in my opinion.

22 ounce bottle in a typical pint glass.

Pours pitch black color with a very nice finger dense tan head,nice lacing.

Aromas of roasted malt, pine, dark chocolate, floral, and herbal spiciness.

Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, pine, coffee, floral, and herbal spiciness. Good amount of roasty and herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, roasted malt, light char, pine, floral, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. This is really more of a stout than a black IPA in my opinion as I don't really taste much hops in it.

Medium carbonation and body; with a very nice creamy and fairly sticky mouthfeel.

Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Very smooth and easy to sip on.

Overall this is a nice black IPA, very smooth to sip on. Just not sure it should be classified as an IPA. I'd call it a stout myself...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Belgium Super India Pale Ale (Alpine Collaboration) Lips Of Faith Series

22 oz bomber, poured into a typical pint glass.

Pours a nice golden color with a good inch of creamy off-white head, nice retention, good lacing

Sweet fruity aroma, fruity, citric hops, a little caramel malt.

Slightly sweet, citrusy, with a nice bitter pine resin. Nice balance of caramel and malty flavors that become more noticeable as it warms.

A very nice IPA with not too much over the top hop flavor for those of you not into double ipa's. It's very good and well worth picking up. If you are totally into hops, this may not have enough hop flavor for you.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Today's Menu

On the menu today will be smoked chicken and smoked country style spare ribs (and of course a beer or two). 

Just a simple brine for the chicken - kosher salt and a 2 cups of white wine. The ribs have been rubbed with my special rub. We'll talk about it another time. :-)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rockyard Deisel Double IPA

12oz bottle poured into a typical pint glass.

Nice golden/copper color. Pours nicely with a good finger of head. A bit of a fruity smell, some orange and maybe pineapple scent. 

Huge double IPA flavor, and it does advertise 100 IBU’s. Very nice taste, not overly alcohol flavored even though it is a 9.5% brew. 

Very drinkable and wishing now that it came in a six pack instead of a four pack. Limited edition brew from Rockyard, so don’t wait to try this one out.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Odell Myrcenary Double IPA

12oz bottle poured into a typical pint glass.

I have to start out by saying this is one of the best double IPA's I've ever had. It's right up there with Hoptimum which is my all time favorite. I've actually had this one on tap as well and the bottled version is just as good as on tap.

Poured from the bottle it is slightly murky lighter amber with a finger of creamy white head. Very nice smell to it - citrusy hop, a little piney. Smells like an IPA should smell. The taste is grapefruity, citrusy, hoppy and well balanced with sweetness. Creamy mouthfeel that surprisingly has 9+% ABV.

If you haven't tried it, what are you waiting for?

Smokin' Baby

Happening now!

Smoking some chicken and a large hunk of fish my mother-in-law gave me (have no idea what it is, she only speaks Russian).

Sure smells good!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA

22oz bomber in a typical pint glass. Orange/copper color with a nice head.

Smells like hops, and loads of citrus notes. While not completely complex, it has a lot of depth.

Tastes like citrus, hops and a bit of malt flavor.

Good flavor for a double IPA, 100+ IBU's, about 9% ABV, but no overpowering alcohol taste. Will definitely drink more of this.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Garden

Just a little off subject this morning. Planted some lavender and a little weeding in the garden. Hung my 'As Seen on TV' Magic Mesh screen door. My first heirloom tomato is about to be picked - maybe one or two more days. Time to think about cooking something with tomatoes.

Independence Day Dinner

Forgot to post about our 4th of July dinner. Nothing too special. Decided to keep it simple. We had some bratwurst's with spicy brown mustard, sliced beef tomatoes and english cucumbers seasoned with dried garlic, salt, pepper and fresh dill. Mmm mmm good! I paired my bratwurst with a tasty Stone Ruination.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

First of all, Happy Fourth of July all!

Poured 12oz bottle into a typical pint glass. Nice dark amber/copper color, nice head with some lacing.

Smells a little different than your typical IPA. Very malty smell, some citrus, pine.

Very malty, sweet flavor. Molasses, wood, earth, resin. Mildly hoppy at best. Alcohol is present and warming but not unpleasantly so. Intricate, big, different. Kind of a creamy feel in your mouth. I found that this IPA tastes better as it warms a little.

In my opinion, this is a bit of a hybrid, meaning this reminds me of a good Belgian beer, but with a hoppy flaver added in. Nicely different.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Incredible Hop

650ml bottle poured into a typical pint glass.
Pours nicely, head is about a half fingers worth. Lots of bubbles floating at different places throughout the beer. Has a what I like to call the 'fizzy yellow beer color'. Smells hoppy, but after it warms some you can smell the 9.5% alcohol that it has.

Strange taste. This is a sweet IPA, nothing like a belgian though. A little weird. The flavor on this beer is a bit sugary sweet with an overpowering orange flavor.

Not my favorite beer, that's for sure. I probably won't buy this again but it was worth a try.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ska Decadent

22oz bottle poured into a chilled beer mug.

A light amber color with a nice finger of an off white, creamy head that dissipates fairly quickly. I smell a hint of cloves, and typical hoppyness of an imperial IPA. This one has a higher alcohol content, 10% ABV and you can smell the higher ABV. It will catch up with you fast if you try to drink too many of these.

Interesting and an enjoyable beer if you like imperial IPA's. I'll be drinking more of these.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ribeye Steaks

Grilled some Ribeye steaks yesterday. These were cut 1/2 inch thick. We seasoned them very simply with fresh ground Himalayan salt (the pink stuff) and fresh cracked ground pepper. Since these are very thin, they cook very quickly on a 500 + degree grill. I usually get the grill to about 600 degrees.

 Before I drop the steaks on, I lightly spray them with oil (I like olive oil) and then they tend not to stick. So after spraying, I drop the steaks on and rotate them after one minute to get good grill marks and then 30 seconds later I turn them over. This time they cook for 30 seconds and I rotate them for the grill marks.

 After that we enjoy with a good beer or a nice wine.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stone Ruination

1 pint, 6 fluid ounce bottle, served in an icey beer mug.

Pours nicely with a clear golden/copper color and creamy off white head with some lacing.

This is a hophead's dream IPA. Pine and citrus notes. A little malty sweetness as well. Again, exploding with hops! Not overly bitter even though it has over 100 ibu's. The maltyness really evens it out.

Will definitely drink more of this.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Simple Barbecued Chicken

I love simple barbecued chicken. I prefer legs and thighs. For one thing they have better flavor on the grill. The other thing is that I love the skin.

So I simply seasoned these thighs with salt, pepper and some dill. Then I cook them till they are done. Be careful not to get the grill too hot as you'll burn the skin up.

Chicken heaven!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum

Poured 12oz bottle (2012 vintage) into a typical pint glass. Wow, beautiful amber color, a good finger of head.

Smells pretty awesome. Smells like it has grapefruit, pine and other citrus.

Tastes amazing. First sip the hops EXPLODE in your mouth. It's one of the hoppiest beers I've tasted. The hops slap you in the face! 

An imperial IPA very worthy of the hophead logo on the bottle. Another outstanding beer from Sierra Nevada.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blue Nectar Silver Tequila

Finally, a tequila post on my tequila and bbq web site!

This is what is called small batch artisan tequila. It's made from agave that was grown in the same plantation whereas many tequila's are made from agave from a combination of many plantations.

First thoughts are that this is a low priced premium tequila that is every bit as smooth as a $150 bottle. I picked up this bottle of silver at my local liquor store for about $35. For those of you who are Patron drinkers, I'd highly recommend that you pick up a bottle and try this. While Patron has a unique flavor, Blue Nectar has it's own flavor. Blue Nectar Silver achieves clean, crisp perfection.

Avery Hog Heaven

I've experienced this beer a couple times in the past, and enjoy it every time. 22oz bottle served in a glass mug.

Smells awesome, slightly sweet with an overwhelmingly hoppyness. This is a hop-head lovers beer. Pours very nice, with a dark amber color and creamy head.

The taste is what you'd expect from a top-end barley wine ipa, lot's of hops, and more hops attack your taste buds, followed by citrus notes. The balance is a really impressive flavor combination.

All in all, I'll be purchasing much more of this tasty brew.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ribs in the Bradley Smoker

This guy has a great way to do ribs in a Bradley Smoker. They turn out perfect every time! This method could also be used in other smokers as well. Check it out:


Yes, I did say revised. I've gone and changed a seemingly perfect recipe. But why you ask... Because there is always room to improve on any recipe. Yes, you can argue that perfection is perfection, but why? When it comes to food, there is always (I did say ALWAYS) something you can change.

So today, I've gone and cold smoked the ribs for an hour before adding heat to them to cook the meat.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Avery Maharaja Beer

Spring 2012 release in a bottle, Poured into a typical pint glass. Excellent golden color, nice head, and some lacing. Smells very hoppy, floral and rich.

Taste like an ipa should taste, complex rich hops, slight citrus with a malty finish.

Interesting brew. Very complex. All of the flavors arrive and dissipate at the same time, however the hops are not overbearing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cold Smoked and Grilled New York Strips

So first off, I like a thin steak these days. I bought some New York strips in the bargain bin and sliced them in half. Yes, I did slice them in half... No worries. I have my rib-eye's cut the same way and they cook quickly and they are delicious. So I seasoned them simply with salt and pepper and cold smoked them for two hours. Then we threw them on a really hot grill and bbq'd them for about 5 minutes on each side. We served these delicious steaks with a simple tomato and cucumber salad seasoned with some fresh dill and himalayan salt.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hazed & Infused IPA

Poured from a 12oz bottle, also sampled on tap, both in a typical pint glass.

Copper tan pour with foamy white head, leaves a thick lace on the glass. Citrus, malty, hoppy aroma (maybe a hint of pine as well). Flavor is very rich in the bottle, but found it to be lacking flavor on tap. Crisp finish that hints at lemon. After-taste is hoppy, bready and slightly sweet.

Overall this beer is surprisingly balanced and I could drink a lot these. The perfect beer to drink all night long.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kasteel Donker Belgian Ale

750ml corked and caged bottle served in a Belgian beer glass.

Dark, almost a deep red or mahogany tone with very thin off white head that quickly disappears.

Smell is nice for a Belgian quad. Is exactly what I'd expect from a top end ale or beer. Nice bouquet of caramel malts, dark fruits, brown sugar, belgian yeast, and maybe some candied sugar. Tastes very sweet and you can tell it has a higher ABV.

Just the right amount of carbonation, not over or under done. If the sweetness was dialed back a little this would be a better beer. But still very good. I would definitely like this as an after dinner or dessert beer.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mojo by Boulder Beer

A nice golden color with a creamy head that really sticks to the glass.
Doesn't smell very hoppy. I'm picking up on a citrus scent, maybe a buttery smell or like a rum.

Taste is very pleasant, not overwhelming. A good hoppy flavor, nice balance of sweet and bitter, but a little more on the sweet side.

I've had my share of IPAs, and this one is very drinkable. The appearance and the taste of this beer is pleasant.

Pueblo Riverwalk and Barbecue

Today we headed down south of Colorado Springs to the city of Pueblo to the Riverwalk. They had a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned cook-off and we did some tasting and had a couple beers to wash it down. I have to say i prefer my brisket cooked Texas style. That KC style is pretty weak if you ask me. Not enough flavor. But it was a good time. There's nothing like the smell of hickory and mesquite in the morning.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Brisket Baby!

Today is brisket day. Sort of like a holiday in my opinion. I love cooking brisket. 

So to start out, I purchased a whole brisket at my local supermarket. I'll have to admit, it's usually not that easy to find a whole brisket, let alone a piece of brisket in the super market. Usually it has to be ordered. So I snatched it up and brought it home. Typically a whole brisket is way too much to eat for the just the wife and I, so I've sectioned it into 3 pieces of meat. Today I've used the best piece and it is a 4-5 pound section of brisket.

Last night, I seasoned it with a rub, some kosher salt and a little chile rojo. Then I wrapped it up in plastic wrap and placed it into a large zip-lock bag and put it into the fridge to sit overnight. This gives it a little time to take in the flavors of the rub.
This morning I've removed the brisket from the bag and the plastic wrap. It's looking good!

Important! I've found that this little gadget is nearly as important as the smoker itself. Do yourself a big favor and get a digital thermometer.

You insert it into the thicket part of the meat and when it gets to temperature you want, you know it and can remove your meat from the smoker.

Alright, let's talk about the smoker a little. I currently have a Bradley smoker. Bradley takes all of the guess work out of smoking. On the left side you see the smoke generator. I have the digital model and it makes it easy to time the smoking period and the temperature separately. Bradley smokers use a small 'puck' or biscuit of wood. Each biscuit last 20 minutes and the smoke machine discards it. So you just stack in the amount of wood biscuits you need for the time of smoking.

So I've placed the brisket into the smoker. Looks kind of lonely in there. No worries. I'll be adding some chicken strips, vegetables and stuffed jalopenos later on. The brisket takes the longest so I try to time everything to finish at the same time. Today I am using a mixture of cherry wood and hickory wood. I've alternated the wood biscuits between the two woods at one hour intervals. That way I can attempt to layer the flavors.

I'm starting the brisket with smoke only for the first hour. This is typically referred to a "Cold Smoking". After that, I will turn on the heat to 220 degrees. This will actually vary a little in this oven from 220 - 230 which is perfectly fine. Slow cooking your brisket is the best way to get the most smokey flavor and avoid drying it out. I keep a mixture of beer and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the brisket about once an hour.

So here we have our Bradley smoker full of meat and stuffed jalopenos.

The stuffed jalopenos have been cut in half and cleaned out. I've got a simple recipe - fill with cream cheese and wrap with bacon. These things are like a party in your mouth.

I remove the brisket when it reaches 180 degrees. Then we let it rest for 20-30 minutes so the juices have time to redistribute, and then perfection. A beautiful delicious brisket is done and let me tell you it was perfect, tasty and juicy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Two of My Favorite Things

Barbecue and tequila, and maybe a little bacon and beer talk too. That's what we'll be discussing on this blog. Stay tuned.