Showing posts from May, 2016

Eddie the Eagle (2016)

Let's get the bad news out of the way right off the bat - this is your usual sports movie complete with training montage, lovable underdog, mean people who work for the establishment and want to keep the hero down, inspiring coach who has lessons to learn himself, crowd embracing the hero, and... well, we don't have a love interest. Honestly, it's just as well.

This is based on a true story where Taron Egerton (of Kingsman fame) plays a guy who dreams of being in the Olympics, but he's not very athletic. After a series of disappointments, he stumbles upon Hugh Jackman, who was trained by the legendary instructor played by Christopher Walken. Hugh dismisses him like everyone else does, but eventually Hugh realizes that his own lost dreams might be found again in this young upstart.

So, the rest of the movie is spent following this young man as he tries to obtain his dreams, despite being mocked by his competition, his own coach, and even his own father. Is it a story of…

Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor

This is a Belgian beer with the word "hop" in the title. What does that mean? Will this blonde be less of a lager and more of an ale? Will it be more of an IPA? Well, that would be going a bit too far, I should think, but it does bode well for the mix that I might encounter.

It's a kind of orange-yellow tint on a gold beer with a white head. This is what a Belgian Blonde ale looks like, and it's a bit murky from the bottle conditioning. The aroma is that distinct Belgian yeast, a bit of citrus, and definitely bready. The whole thing feels and smells pretty great, and I wonder what the taste will be like.

First sip is very sweet and smooth. The yeast and bread are definitely dealing out taste right there in a way that is unabashed and manly (in a non-sexist way). The citrus really doesn't show up at all, but this is really just a sip, right? I mean, you can only get so much from this tiny little bit.

Tip-in is very light carbonation tingle and that delicious Belgi…

Schlafly Extra Stout

Irish stout can be very good, but it's very hard to make a good Irish extra stout. The one that Guinness has made for years used to be pretty good, but then they outsourced the whole shebang to a Canadian company, and the product is too watery and tasteless for me anymore. This is not to be confused with that one, though, so let's try her out.

The beer is a ruby black with a tan head that pays passing homage to sticky heads of the past, but the lacing it leaves is short lived, as the tiny bubbles meander back down the side of the glass to the top of the beer to wait for their inevitable demise. The aroma is very nice, indeed. It is a lot more chocolate than I expected, and that is joined by cherries and smokey oats.

First sip is less chocolate and more coffee. It has molasses and chestnuts. In fact, nuttiness abounds in the smoke-filled attic that is this Irish beverage. There's dark fruit in the form of mostly plums that gives even more substance to this impressively comp…

Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA

I don't know what a "throwback" IPA is, but I'm sure as heck willing to try it. The can has some strange sayings on it like "Can I Be Blunt," "Pack It In, Pack It Out," and "Sip, Sip, Give." So, I am guessing that this beer is slapped together by people who sat around in a room, tossed out tag lines that had no meaning, and then they picked the three best and... just wrote them wherever.

The beer is yellow-gold with a nice, fluffy white head. The aroma is lemon and yeast with grains bringing up the rear. It's inviting, but I'm not getting a hint as to what this whole "throwback" thing is. It smells like a good (if mild) IPA. Maybe that's how they used to make 'em. Maybe a sip will give me a better idea.

First sip is just enough flavor to be interesting, but a bit more watery than I am used to. The hops are there with their lemon and pine bitterness, but they feel like they are alone in a field of grain, crying o…

Stone Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

Stone's Go-to IPA was the only beer from them that stumbled. They've made some absolutely remarkable beers, and I like the very name of a chocolate oatmeal stout, even if Budweiser thinks that anything that doesn't get brewed in a giant vat the size of a city block is Un-American.

It arrives as basic implacable black by was of brown, and the head gives the indication. Normally, I'd note the tan head, but this one is downright brown, and different isn't necessarily bad. The aroma is chocolate and grains and I detect floral hops, as well. The chocolate is really what is setting the scene for everything else to be presented in.

First sip is a chocolate malty taste of goodness. It is rich and sweet, even though the name says "bitter" right there in plain text. The sweet malt must be taking the place of the sugar, but I kind of expected all that malt to be of the chocolate variety in the first place. Either way, the effect is not bitter in the sip, but the sip…

Alpine Hoppy Birthday

Alpine does hops, and they do them well. This session IPA should be right down their alley, and I expect to enjoy the living crap out of it. This has 6 different types of hops, and I expect them to all be good ones, but it should also bring all the different flavors that hops can bring (and will hopefully be a better mix than the Latitude IPA's upsetting mix).

A gold with a yellow/orange/brown hue beer presents itself with a sticky white head that leaves significant lacing on the sides of the glass. This is what an IPA looks like, that's for sure. It smells of pine and citrus hops and very little else. It's a hoppy birthday, and only hops are invited. That's okay - this is my kind of party.

First sip is heavy grains under the hop party. It's crisp, and the citrus and pine get out on the dance floor and party like it's 1999. Then, they remember that Prince died, and they get a bit maudlin. But that dance, while it lasted, was pure and it can carry a party into t…

Cammo's "Serve Very Cold" Spring Lager

Cammo hasn't had a new beer on the market for about a year now, and it's pretty hard to come by at the best of times. Well, the world has spun the wrong direction, the sky has fallen, and Cammo has put out the Spring Lager. Let the heavens tremble and the world rejoice.

The hazy beer is is a deep gold with a tiny little head that is barely there after pouring and pretty much gone immediately afterward. The nose is interesting honey, caramel, and flowers. I'm genuinely surprised at the significant lack of carbonation, given my experience with this particular brewer.

First sip is light on the front-end and heavy on the back end. The front is almost watery, but the caramel and honey (yes, quite honey, indeed) load up the back end like a redneck loading up a pickup at a swap meet.

Tip-in is sweet and lightly carbonated with watermelon. There's a floral humming that is light in the tip-in, but it gets heavier as the middle takes hold; but, it doesn't swell substantially…

Founders KBS

This one MUST be special. My source set aside this actual bottle of beer for himself, but he was so amazingly nice that he set this aside for me, as he had already had it before. It appears that this beer is incredibly hard to get hold of, and you would think a beer that has this reputation would be produced in great quantity.

Do I even need to say this is a black beer? I mean, it's black, and I shouldn't have to justify it. The head is a nice, deep tan, and the aroma is a mix of chocolate, nuts, sweet liquor, oak, and some charred oatmeal.

First sip is very flavorful. What flavor? We have coffee and toffee and chocolate and oat. There's smoke and there's oak and there's sweet malt in my throat. Despite my sudden lapse into Dr. Seuss, I can say that this sip is absolutely brimming with lots of flavors. It's tasty, and I would imagine sipping it might be enough for the evening, but that's not my way - I must gulp.

Tip-in is slight carbonation tingle with a sy…

Devil's Backbone Danzig Baltic Porter

Yet another beer that has a completely useless tie-in to something that seems unnecessary. Sometimes these things work out, and sometimes they don't. I just wish they would stop, honestly, but I'm doing myself no favors by buying the beer that they are selling this way - I'm perpetuating the cycle.

Black beers are all the rage in my fridge. This one joins their ranks, and it brings a very thin head with an aroma of delicious oatmeal, coffee, smoked oak, and a hint of vanilla. The tremendous smell is inviting me into enjoying it like it is another incarnation of one of the Buffalo Sweat beers. Yes, those were stouts, and this is a porter, but the two styles have much in common.

First sip is not nearly as calm and collected at the Bufflo Sweat beers. This is a whole different beast. This is harder and more barbaric in its interpretation. It hits with the smoked oak and burnt crust of oatmeal like a bat filled with liquid taste. I like it, but it is bitter and self-obsessed. …

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

I've never seen the original TV series that this movie was based on, and I genuinely knew nothing about it, so I didn't know what to expect with this movie. As a result, I probably won't do this movie review justice as I just don't know enough to pick out all of the callbacks to the show that I'm absolutely positive this movie is riddled with.

This is a Guy Ritchie film, and I have generally liked his work, but this is in a whole different league - it doesn't have his usual style, but it's fine for him to try different thing, despite how horribly it has turned out for M. Night Shyamalan. I mean, can everyone screw up their reputation that horribly that quickly?

This movie takes place during the Cold War, and it highlights the tension between Russia, the US, East Germany, West Germany, the UK, and (as is required for these kinds of stories) evil madmen who want to make money and don't care who gets killed in the process. So, there is a big bunch of confl…

Deadpool (2016)

Let me start off by saying that this movie was very funny to the point that I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. Being normally quite reserved, I didn't expect it to be this funny. It is totally irreverent, has much swearing, nudity, and violence, so they stayed true to the character and the comic book. Unexpectedly, Stan Lee's obligatory cameo is as he announces the next stripper onto the stage.

I have really enjoyed most of the recent superhero movies - they are right down my alley. I can't count the number of days (or dollars) I spent at the local comic book shop perusing the back issues and finding out what issues and stories I had to look forward to. I was definitely a Batman fan from as long as I can remember, and I liked a few Marvel superheros, but I always kind of discounted Deadpool as a the Marvel version of Lobo, and I didn't really like Lobo.

I'd seen him in a few crossover stories, but they tamed him down compared to his own titles (they had …

Dogfish Head Squall IPA

Without my noticing, Dogfish Head has become one of the more highly rated beer makers on my blog. Discount the stinker, and they have been actually really good. I think I may actively go out and search for their beers, as they are showing a talent that I just wasn't giving them credit for, and that ends today.

It's a very alluring gold with a semi-sticky head that leaves more of an impression of lacing than actual lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma is floral hops with a fruity addition of pears and melons. This is a big bottle, and I'm looking forward to seeing the bottom if it (well, almost the bottom. This is bottle conditioned, so I will probably skip the sediment at the very bottom).

First sip is very much not IPA-like. It is heavier on the malt than I expected, and that taste is very smooth. It has grains and they are cutting any hop bitterness very well. It really doesn't seem like an IPA to me - it's more of a dopplebock than anything. And that is..…

Southern Star Bombshell Blonde

From Texas, this beer joins a group of blondes that I've had recently, and it will be hard pressed to measure up. The fact is, the ones I got from SPB were just about perfect, and I don't know how you get the style any better than those. The journey of trying, however, is why I started this blog in the first place.

The hazy, yellow-gold beer has a white head and smells faintly of grain and citrus. I don't expect the overwhelming hops of an IPA or the magnificent malt of a pilsner, but this seems so faint that - were it not for the color - it could easily be mistaken for an amber. But, this isn't an amber, and it's not just something to be looked at. It's something to be drunk.

First sip is lemon and straw. It's exceedingly mild, and I could see this as an all-day beer. It's a particularly warm and sunny day while I'm writing this, and I can tell you that this is about a perfect for this kind of beer. The smooth, well-mixed taste is not overpowering,…

Great Lakes "Eliot Ness" Amber Lager

So, did they call this "Eliot Ness" because they knew he has been dead long enough that anyone trying to make money off of his name (who has any legal right) is also dead? Who knows? All I know is that this is an amber beer, and I have historically liked large quantities of amber beers, so I am looking forward to this one.

The beer is a deep and clear amber-brown. The head even has a tinge of amber to it, which isn't usually the case and is quite nice. The aroma is stronger than most ambers - it's sweet malt dominating with a bit of a caramel twist. I expect a more flavorful twist on an old favorite, so let's see if I'm right.

First sip is citrus and sweet malt. The malt is only tinted by the citrus, and that malt is a bit complex. It's got a bit of honey and grains and biscuit with that lemony citrus. A sip is actually pretty freaking good. What will a gulp bring?

Tip-in is bready malt and lemon citrus, and the carbonation is a bit of a tingle. The middl…

Terrapin Liquid Bliss Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter

I don't know what to think about this going in. Terrapin has been fairly good of late, but the idea of a peanut butter and chocolate stout makes me think that they are going to have their reach exceed their grasp. It's just too experimental and... dare I say it... hipster. And you know me, I'm anti-hipster.

It's really, really brown to the point that - yes - it's black. The head is very light, and it drops down to a simple ring around the sides of the glass with a naked top. The aroma is very peanut buttery. I don't smell much of the chocolate - it's being completely overpowered by the peanuts.

First sip is smokey malt and a little hops with a tint of peanut better, but the chocolate is MIA. It's surprising that the peanut butter is so prominent in the smell, but it is just a casual influence in the taste. And I really expected chocolate in there. Maybe a full swig...

Tip-in is peanut butter and smokey malt. The peanut butter is right there up front, so …

Wild Heaven Emergency Drinking Beer

I have to say that this might be my favorite beer packaging ever. This definitely beats the Chimay multi-pack with the free pimp glass (although that was some of the best beer I've ever had). It conveys nothing about the beer, though. It says that it's a blend, but a blend of what? Is it an ale? Is it a lager? This can makes you ignore all pretense in favor of the idea that there might be a beer emergency, and for some reason a beer with 4% ABV is the right thing to turn to.

The color is a very yellow kind of amber with a patchy, yet admirably sticky white head. The aroma is very malty, so this is some derivation of a lager. The aroma has a bit of a bite/funk to it that makes me lean pilsner, and I'm not sure that I'm a pilsner guy, but the cute can and wild guessing about the style won't get to the bottom of this - let's just see how it tastes?

First sip is very crisp and malty. Tastes like a lager to me, so I guess that case is closed. The smell is a bit funk…

Deep Web (2015)

This movie is all about the Deep Web (sites not indexed by large search engines) and all about the technologies that they use and the societies that they help to foster. The movie digs deep into how the sites are implemented, who their clients are, what the experience is like, and how it creates an environment unlike any other.

I'm just kidding. This is a movie about how Ross Ulbricht, known as the Dread Pirate Roberts (and the guy who ran the Silk Road site that sold weapons, drugs, and lots of other illicit properties on the net) was railroaded (their point of view) and denied justice. They should have called this "Silk Road" or "Dreaded Pirate" or something that wasn't as nebulous and it wouldn't have gotten my hopes up nearly as much. Instead, this was a hit piece that had little to nothing of the prosecution's side of the facts and lots and lots of the defense. I'm not saying he's guilty or innocent, as I only got one goddang side of th…

Mantra Saffron IPA

Beers from the Nashville area aren't as hard to find as I used to think. Thank goodness there are beers other than Blackstone to choose from. This one is a new brewery that I've never heard of, and those are the most exciting. Bring the excitement.

There is a shocking amount of sediment positively suspended in the liquid. Suspended is the right word, too; just looking at the glass on my table, it looks like one of those jello dishes where the cook has suspended oranges or pineapple in the gelatin during the cooling process. At first glance, I actually thought I had grabbed the filthiest glass imaginable to pour the beer into, but that's not the case - this is by design. The color is a pleasing caramel with a fairly sticky white head and a somewhat funky pine and floral hop aroma.

First sip is very mild. It has those pine and floral hops, but they aren't particularly overpowering. The malt is just about enough to even out the hops without tinting the flavor at all. It s…