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Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat

Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat

Music is a funny thing. It’s often popular but deeply personal at the same time. Like I like rock music but it doesn’t make you a bad person if you like country, we just have different taste (actually I retract that, it does make you a bad person if you like country music). Different taste equal different reviews and thus this is what I encountered Friday night when I came upon the sweet and wholesome sounding Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Ale.

The Boston Beer Company is a macro brewer that currently has 29; yes 29 different beers currently in production with fantastic sounding flavors like, the Blackberry Witbier or the Imperial White. This is a company with the abilities of a macro but the heart of a micro so it appears. Much like main stream bands that put out popular but solid music, you can’t please everyone all the time, but nor should you. So while I personally did not enjoy this beer, I also cannot damn it to music hell (there is no such thing as beer hell, only heaven). The flavor is admirable in its attempt to work outside the box, much like the indie scene without the pretentiousness, but unfortunately this is just not my stein of beer.

The unique tasting

Initial Taste: Cherry bam with grain overtone, as written on the bottle

Mid Taste: Immense cherry with a creamy foaming texture

Lasting Taste: Cherry of course, but with a light tingling numbness much like the throat spray

On a scale of Terrible / Bad / Decent / Good / Excellent

I vote, Decent

Recommendations: If you love cherry this is the beer for you, otherwise enjoy in rare doses. Which is convenient because it’s frequently hard to find.

Please visit http://www.samueladams.com/Default.aspx for more info and an annoying entrance age verification thing. Seriously? Type in my birth date twice? You’d think that we could guzzle beer through the screen. Ridiculous.

Bam

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Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Great wines are like great friends; full of spirit, complex but approachable and live in toasted oak kegs for months on end. However much like many of our immature friends, young wines are similarly annoying; boastful, inconsistent and ultimately aggravating. Aggravating in the fact that they regularly have so much potential but often let it go to waste. And we as the good friends we try to be, endeavor to be supportive and are willing to take another swig of the bull they offer us.

Grown in Columbia Valley in eastern Washington and cellared and bottled in Patterson, WA, this Cabernet Sauvignon is purported to be a “perfectly balanced wine with a distinctive richness featuring black cherry and cocoa flavors.” In fragrance, this is absolutely correct, large warm cherry aroma with a hint of cocoa powder. But in taste we meet a young (possibly angry) wine with an abrasive edge that one hopes will eventually develop into a fine individual. Sadly, as is with some people, this wine never matures (even with four years to grow up, i.e. college). This Cabernet Sauvignon never loses its aggravating attitude and with each meeting one finds that same initial dislike but is fooled by the subsequent pleasant nature. It’s like having a friend that always greets you with the tired and uncool “hey bitches!” but offers to pay for gas and T-Bell. Listen man, that was real funny in middle school but its time to grow up.

The ultimately disappointing tasting

Initial Taste: Rubbery with hints of young bitter green grapes

Mid Taste: Cherry boom with a nice dryness

Lasting Taste: Great grape and cherry blend into a good-natured warmth

On a scale of Terrible / Bad / Decent / Good / Excellent

I vote, Bad

First impressions ultimately count, both in wines and in friends.

Recommendations: There are a ton of equal priced Cabernet Sauvignon’s on the market, best of luck.

Visit http://columbiacrest.com/2006_GE_Cabernet_Sauvignon.cfm for more details on the 2006 bottle.

Bam

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New Amsterdam Straight Gin

New Amsterdam Straight Gin

Every once in a while you come across a product and a price that seems to be too good to be true and in that moment of elation you feel what many describe as love. Yes love, love at first sight, love for the joy of being in love and simply love. The New Amsterdam Straight Gin’s body of glass is angular and art-deco cool, often wrapped in a completely unnecessarily but necessarily cool disposable metal case that is as fun to take off as it is to look at. Everything about the look of the bottle’s body oozes nightclub top-shelf cool but at a bottom shelf price (around 15 bucks), which leaves one wondering, “what magical liquor store did I wander into this Friday eve?”

Unfortunately like most love stories, this one comes to a bitter end with hurt feelings and shame. The shame of seeing a love interest from the night before and realizing she’s a butterface the next day. New Amsterdam Straight Gin is a fraud. Distilled in Modesto, California (insert irony here), the New Amsterdam Spirits Company website claims “New Amsterdam Gin is the modern expression of a classic spirit.” Too bad nobody told them that gin is supposed to taste like GIN, not orange vodka.

The regrettable tasting

Shot Taste: An initial strong alcohol burst with a milder body and citrus aftertaste.

Gin and Tonic Taste: The alcohol is calmed to a sweet fruity preliminary taste with a similar bland middle and a slight sad bitterness for an aftertaste.

On a scale of Terrible / Bad / Decent / Good / Excellent

I vote, BAD

It fails as a Gin and fails as a lover.

Recommendations: For the same price Seagram’s gin is decent (the lime twisted is neat) and if you have the money, step up to Tanqueray or my preference, Bombay Saphire.

Visit http://www.newamsterdamgin.com to see the gorgeous body and ridiculous claims.

Bam

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Rogue Chocolate Stout Bottle

Rogue Chocolate Stout

Rogue Ales is a craft brewery based out of Newport, Oregon that provides a wide variety of beers dedicated to flavor and distinction over mass appeal. Rogue beers are not for everyone, often being too strong in taste for those of us brought up with the weak-flavored debauchery of macro-brews. This is a sipping beer, one to be enjoyed from beginning to end. Bottles are a hearty 650ml and range from $5-$10 bucks at the local liqueur stores, sometimes even carried by larger grocery stores. Easily recognizable by their faux-communist style labels and large brown bottles, the chocolate stout features a woman raising a pint glass and holding a chunk of chocolate. As if to say, “Yup, there’s chocolate in this here beer.”

On with the tasting, which is broken up conveniently into different tasting periods, a comprehensive review and recommendations.

Initial Taste: Pleasant chocolate berry taste with high carbonation.

Mid Taste: The chocolate kicks in with a dark coco stout kick to the back of the tongue.

Lasting Taste: A strong coffee flavor and slight bitterness that is wholly still acceptable

On a scale of Terrible / Bad / Decent / Good / Excellent

I vote, GOOD

Recommendations: Try it out and hit up The Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, my favorite chocolate stout and widely available, even at the Pub!

Please visit http://www.rogue.com/beers/chocolate-stout.php for more info

Bam

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