Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mmm... Dinner

So this is supposed to be an Abita amber ale... Its good, kinda typical with a little bit of that soapy taste... I should drink it again, but its not my favorite. But you know what I completely forgot to do a flavor wheel or write an actual review since I was too busy eating my diner...
I'm still playing with the immersion circulator, and this chicken came out a little bland. But wow, the mushroom/olive/bacon pseudo confit was amazing...
That is all for today.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

3 day brisket

For those that wanted to know... 3 day brisket suis vide is absolute awesome sauce...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Free State Brewing - Ad Astra

OK so I like this beer, alot... but this will be in the quick and dirty review section. No pictures, no flavor wheel, just info.
Think black and tan
Reminds me alot like new Belgium's 1554
Kinda coffee
Kinda malty
Kinda amber ale
Good head
Good level of carbonation
Great drinkability
Great taste
And bam, bobs your mother.

It's raining meat

I haven't posted anything in a while I know, I have been drinking some new (to me) beers that I swear I will post reviews on soon. But I have been tinkering in my kitchen building new gadgets and playing with them mainly in my spare time alot.
I have been into molecular gastronomy for a while, but have not had the cash to really delve into it too much till just recently with the advent of my wife's new job and the extra income that came along with it. So I decided to finally bite the bullet and build an immersion circulator. For those that don't know this is the main component needed for suis vide cooking. This is a style of cooking that is not very dissimilar to the Midwestern staple of smoking meat for long periods of time in a smoker. Except in this manor you vacuum seal the food you are making and cook it in a precisely temperature controlled water bath. Some may say this is sacrelige, I say its beautiful.
Basically the theory is that in controlling the temp within a half of a degree you can keep your meat at precisely the temp needed to break down the fat and connective tissues while still pasteurizing all the things that can make you sick, all while not loosing a single ounce of the meats natural juices and producing a perfect succulent product.
I have already tried chicken with fantastic results, steak with "meh" but good results, and reheated a slightly dry pork tenderloin with as good of results as I could with an already slightly over done cut of meat. My latest experiment is brisket.
The one thing that I found is that seasoning goes a long way with this method. So I went sparingly on the highly aromatic stuff like pepper, since I can always season it when I pull it out after its 3 day cook time and sear it to get some browning on it to accomplish "the malliard effect".
The biggest test is my own patience, I'm not a baker, I'm a cook, do I really have the patience to watch a brisket gently float there in the water for 3 days and not yank it out and finish the cooking in my oven? Only time will tell, however, for my own sake of not being killed in my sleap, I probably should make sure my wife is here when when I finish it off since she loves brisket...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boulevard - Tank 7

Some people will claim that this is the best beer to come out of KC, or even Missouri... I'm not so sure about that, but this is one damn good beer.
OK so before I start I want to clarify that I do know that I poured this into a non boulevard approved glass. For those that don't know, boulevard's smokestack series has a picture of what glass you should use on the back of their bombers, but not on the back of the Little Smokey line. I know that it is supposed to be a tulip glass, but all of mine were dirty... so what ya gonna do?
This beer pours with the typical huge foamy head that has come to typical of all the smokestack series, and reeks of oranges and other tasty spices. It also leaves a good lacing on the glass as you slowly succumb to this delightful brew.
It tastes not hugely unlike it smells, lots of fruit and a hint of hops in the background. This is another good showing of that it is all about balance in your recipe, and that you can't go overboard with one specific flavor or you will loose the entire "roundness" of the entire brew.
It doesn't overwhelm you with all spring time fruits which is nice, you can still taste some raisins and some plumb. But all the while it has an earthy quality about it that is not far off from a wheat beer. That is really where this beer stands out, it keeps a good mouthful while keeping all the flavors coalesced in a perfect manor.
OK so I may not think this is the defacto KC best beer, but it sure is in the top 3 for standard production, and easily in the top 10 even when taking limited runs in consideration. The only thing that you do HAVE to do, is DO NOT drink this beer straight out of the bottle. I see people do this all the time, sadly... It will not do this beer any justice. It needs to be in a glass to really be able to taste the full spectrum of the beer. Out of the bottle it is overly fruity and far to carbonated, but once poured it takes on a whole new life.
Flavor wheel after the jump

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Schlafly - Bavarian Style Weissbier

OK so any one who actually reads this knows I love a good unfiltered wheat. This is definitely no exception. Here is the skinny
Pours hazy (duh, its unfiltered)
Limited head
You can really taste the earthy wheaty-ness in it
There is kind of an orange/lemon overtone to it that is very nice
It smells kinda earthy floralish if that makes sense
Perfect crisp finish for a spring day with a semi light body
OK, here is my beef... they killed off the #15 wheat beer, and then they release this as a seasonal... really? This beer needs to be around all year long. I can honestly say if it was there would be one in my fridge at all times. This is now in my top 5 wheats now, and will be very sad once I see it go. I would just go buy a case of this fantastic brew... bit who am I kidding? I will just drink it all in a couple weeks time if I do. Schlafly, good job. But you should really reconsider the limited nature of this brew...
Hit the Jump for the Flavor wheel

Monday, May 9, 2011

Yazoo- Pale Ale

This is going to be a very quick and to the point review...
This is my classic example of what man brewers do wrong when making a pale ale, they have the wrong flavor profile when brewing and it comes out tasting kinda soapy. Not that I spent a good portion of my childhood with a bar of soap in my mouth being punished for swearing (which I was, just no soap), or that I have licked a bar or soap or two in the past... but it just doesn't have the most appealing taste. Its not bad by any means, but if you are going to stop after one glass, before your drunk, you are probably not going to care for this beer too much in the long run.
Flavor wheel after the jump

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Shiner - spring ale

Calling this beer spring ale is quite the perfect name. It's nice and crisp that would compliment a nice day of doing yard work or mowing the lawn... which sadly I have yet to do at time of writing this to the dismay of my neighbors . It smells like an amber ale with some citrus and ginger and a nice clear golden pour with very little head. The taste follows right behind. It is very much a floral and fruity ale with lots of grapefruit, lime, and lemon with just enough hops to give it a perfect dry bite. If you read anything of mine you know I'm not the biggest fan of huge hop beers, I find them kind of shallow and pedantic, so this was a nice surprise to find that the hops are what really make this beer fantastic. It gives the finish a nice clean aromatic finish with out being to over pronounced and bitter.
As a matter of fact I am drinking this brew while decompressing after a long day at work on the deck. Granted my dogs are watching me from the back door, but that's only because they were being jerks and barking up a storm at 10:30 at night and have lost their privilege to frolic in the yard. I think they would enjoy this beer too, but they are dogs, and I'm not a big fan of giving your pets booze. But anyway, this is a fantastic beer and I look forward to drinking more of it while its around, you should too...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Stone - Levitation Ale

You ever eat a sandwich that completely re-defines the way you look meat and bread forever? This beer is that sandwich.
Poured this beer has kind of a hazy red brown look to it, while having a very yeast activating look to the head that is a pretty decent 2 finger height. It goes down quickly, which I like alot, so I don't have to wait to drink said beer. It smells of hops, dark fruits and a little bit of brown sugar to round every thing out. The lacing is pretty intense in its staying power too.
If I didn't know this was a stone brew, and someone just poured it for me, I would totally still know they made it. It is very boisterous and in your face in flavor which in most beers I tend to stray away from, but something about stones beers seems to be extremely appealing.  There is a certain balance to their extreme nature that is extremely tasty. The overall flavor back bone follows the smell pretty closely. A good hops bitterness with a slight taste of resinous pine, dark fruits like plumb and raisins, and some brown sugar to level it all out. This would definately be what I would consider an American strong ale. An American brew most definately, but done in a way that makes me appreciate the more bitter darker brews. If you will, this would be a gateway beer to the darker more bitter English brews. This beer would most definately rank up as an awesome sauce. But its not too overly alcoholic so you can drink it with out getting too sauced. It may have a little too strong of flavor for me to drink all night, but you definately could with out waking up the next day worrying about what happened the night before. All in all it is another win in the book of stone.
Hit the jump to see my sweet Flavor wheel!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Odell - 5 Barrell Pale Ale

Odell... you continuously impress me. I figured this beer would be good, but I think I have officially fallen in love with you. Too bad I am already married (sorry ladies) and the fact that I am pretty sure that you can't marry a company... but there has got to be a state somewhere that will allow it.
This beer pours a nice hazy amber, kind of in their typical unfiltered look. It has little head, but who cares... its there to drink, not to just sit there and at. It has a nice sweet aroma that lends to brown sugar with a slight piney hops smell.
This beer is smooth and solid. A good balance of hops, citrus and just good ole fashioned beer. I could go on, but I won't. Just trust me, its good. If you don't trust me, go out and buy some and try it your self. This is a smooth drinking beer that you can definitely drink all night. Or drink after a nice day of working in the lawn.
Long story short, run don't walk to your favorite booze emporium and buy some. Then drink it and enjoy it... NOW!
click through the jump to see my tasting charts on this bad boy!