Showing posts from September, 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT) Insecurity - the /root/ cause

As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more ubiquitous, it becomes more and more important that we ensure that all of these new "smart" devices are being used for their intended purpose, and they are not being abused by hackers, malware, or even our own government. This class of devices includes things that are relatively banal like toasters, refrigerators, and color–changing light bulbs. While these seem innocuous enough, these can be used as pivot points to attack the rest of a network, sometimes they contain login details for cloud services or wifi networks, and sometimes them malfunctioning can simply be annoying. Sometimes, it can mean more.

There are lots of questions around securing this stuff that I'm not going to get into here.

If all you had to worry about was your refrigerator not properly reminding you to pick up the milk, it would be a lot harder to make an argument in favor of securing these devices. But how is that refrigerator talking to your phone to gi…

Weyerbacher Mellow Monks

A couple Weyerbacher beers had been recommended to me by friends and relatives, and this is the first chance I am getting to try them out. I'm not saying they have a fairly high bar to meet, but the expectation levels are not low; people don't normally go that far out of their way to recommend a beer to me.

The very yellow beer sports almost no head right out of the bottle, and it has even less after it settles. There will be no lacing with this beer, that's for damn sure; I don't even get the usual ring around the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet and delicious malt with that peculiar Belgian yeast without a shade of funk in it. Instead, it's bright and slightly citrus hops.

First sip is pretty simple and a little watery. There's the light citrus and the Belgian yeast with a certain amount of bright sweetness. It is very simple. I'm not sure that I'm getting everything in the sip, and I genuinely hope I'm not. This could probably be sipped all…

Prairie Artisan Pe-Kan

Is this a stout? A porter? A black ale? A black lager? In their very artisanal fashion, Prairie has decided not to tell me. This is exactly the kind of thing that made me decide not to buy any more of their beers. I had one that had coffee in it, and they said nothing about that on the label, so they can go pound salt. BUT Jeremy convinced me to get two and give them another chance, but I am warning these people that they are on my very last nerve.

The beer is thick and black. The head does not want to come out to play, so I really did my best to get the head as thick as you see here. It didn't hang around for too long, and there's no lacing or anything else going on. There is simply a mocha-colored smear on top with a ring around the glass. The aroma is thick with chocolate and alcohol.

First sip is thick like a brick. It is sweet with chocolate and oak and definitely has hints of (but no actual) coffee. It is managing to be both too sweet and too bitter at the same time, and…

Good People Hitchhhiker IPA

The Good People try, and I am all for them trying. They have had one good and one bad one so far (at least that I have tried). The DIPA was good, and the regular pale ale was not. What will this beer right in the middle - the holy grail IPA - do for me?

The murky depths of the pale amber beer emit a slight aroma of citrus hops, but the smell is really having a hard time getting through the thick cap of sticky bubbles that leave enough lacing to let you know this is an IPA.

First sip is classic IPA - heavy citrus hops with a layer of dust on them and a tang and bitterness that merge right at the end. It's a nice kind of twist where they want to quell the bite at the end, but they want to keep things lively, and they are working it well.

Tip-in is a little watery, a little lemony, and a tiny bit bready with carbonation just tingling the outside. The middle opens into heavier citrus with nettles nestled into it that allow it to scrape the top of the mouth as lemongrass blows in the w…

Founders Lizard of Koz Bourbon Barrel Stout

Bourbon, Founders, and lizards. Two out of three seem to be my sweet spot these days. I'm not sure that I would actually like a lizard-derived beer, and thank goodness there doesn't appear to be a single lizard killed to make this beer.

The brown-so-deep-as-to-be-indistinguishable-from-black beer doesn't have a whole heap of head, and it vaporizes quickly enough, leaving an incomplete ring around the glass with a few scattered bubbles across the top. I expect no lacing.

First sip literally makes me shake. It is full of damn flavor with a heavy, heavy alcohol being masked by tartness, fruitiness, and chocolate. It is a good taste, but it is strong. It reminds me of those old TV shows where someone would take a shot of alcohol and then stomp their feet with a screwed up face because they are overwhelmed.

Tip-in is tart, chocolate, berries, and oak, and the tartness is really hitting hard right from the get-go. The middle opens up into a rich, syrupy sweet berry, chocolate, o…

Hoppin' Frog Gangster Frog IPA

My only other Hoppin' Frog beer was a stout that did not impress me. One beer is not enough to decided on a brewer, and this had a cute little frog (okay, it was the same frog as the other bottle, and neither of them was actually "hoppin'") on the front, so I figured - what the hell.

The golden amber beer has quite an impressive head. It's not excessive, but it certainly lets you know it's there. Eventually, it leaves a nice little trail of lacing down to a 1/4 inch of foam on the top. The aroma is a little bit funky, dusty citrus and pine hops. It's not a little smell, but it IS a little bit funky and musty.

First sip is a crisp snap with funk and floral fun chilling under it all. Citrus is all over this thing, and it even re-asserts itself a couple of seconds after I thought the beer was already gone. It's an unusual mix of everything just kind of lounging around, explaining to everyone how cool it is to listen to vinyl records again.

Tip-in is ligh…

Mantra Enlightenment Scottish Style Wee Heavy

Mantra, you are the Nashville brewery (other than CSB which has pretty much disappeared) that I think I have been waiting for. When I got here, I was told by pretty much everyone that my only option was Blackstone, and they, to put it nicely, were not the best brewery I've ever sampled from.

That is a pretty picture of an opaque red-tinted brown beverage with a nice little head. The head goes almost entirely away, but it leaves me with the tiniest of rings around the side of the glass. The aroma is brown liquor and heavy alcohol that has been aged in wood (which is pretty much what a brown liquor smells like).

First sip is strong alcohol, caramel, toffee, and a kind of heavy grain bread. It's a bit overwhelming, but it gives me the sensation of something really unnecessarily potent. The alcohol is making things really difficult to work around. I've had alcohol-rich beers before, and they can only sometimes deal with it enough to be a good beverage in their own right.


New Heights IPA

Another new brewery in the Nashville area. I am loving the choices I have now, and I encourage more. This beer is about as straight-shooting as you can get by not even bothering to add some other name to the beer, and they just call it IPA. I love the attitude, and I hope more brewers follow suit.

The sort of honey-amber beer has a sticky, sticky head that leaves quite a bit of lacing, and I'm loving it. The aroma is exactly the amount of hops that I expect to get, and it is a mixture of pine and floral. If there's something else here, I am not smelling it, but it could just be that the hops are having their way with everything.

First sip is WAY more mild than I expected. I mean, it's not going to be overshadowed by your average red ale or something, but it is gentle and almost smooth - which hoppy beers never are. Crisp? Maybe. Bracing? Frequently. But mild? No, that is one thing they just aren't. Maybe a full swig will explain things.

Tip-in is mild carbonation burn …

Wild Heaven Invocation Belgian-Style Golden Ale

This beer has a very odd label - it has the name, but I was so distracted by the picture of a blonde lady holding the beer that I didn't bother to turn the words toward the camera. The label would really be better suited to a German Blonde than a Belgian Golden, but this is where we are, so let's rock!

The bright golden beer has a stark white head that leaves a fluffy pillow even after it sits for a bit. The aroma is wheat, spices, and lemons. I keep forgetting that golden ales are basically just wheat beers, but that became self-evident as soon as I could smell it.

First sip is sudden and jarring. I didn't expect the dry smack of the wheat with the tang of the oranges and an unexpected funk from the yeast. It isn't bad, but it is very solidly in my face with the taste from the depths of... Belgium? It's strong and unflinching.

Tip-in is strong wheat blowing in the breeze with a bit of citrus tang added. The middle is oddly smooth - it sports the funky yeast, a bit…

Fat Bottom The Temptress "The Baroness" Bourbon Barrel Stout

My only Fat Bottom beer so far was not good at all. I'm not going to let that discourage me, as I have really started getting into these bourbon barrel beers, even though I am not a fan of bourbon in general. Maybe my opinion of bourbon is changing, too, and I may go find out one of these days, but I have a fridge full of beer, and I need to clear some out first.

Black as pitch, this sports a very nice brown head, but it goes away quickly, and the remnants mostly grip to the sides of the glass. The aroma is deep liquor, brown sugar, and caramel.

First sip is syrupy, which these all seem to have in common. Even so, it is smooth as all heck, even though the alcohol-heavy bourbon asserts itself well. The oak and even chocolate are making the experience complete, and I could totally see myself just sipping this into the night, but that's not how I do things.

Tip-in is alcohol, oak, chocolate, and carbonation tingle. The middle is heavy with more oak, light spices, caramel, toffee,…

Red Silo Belgian Thong

Another beer that was on tap at my local beer pusher. I got the small growler, and I don't know that I shouldn't have gotten the big one. Well, there's no use crying over unspilled beer. Instead, let's just concentrate on the new beer from the new brewer that I have to enjoy in front of me.

She's not red at all. Instead, it's a simple clear yellow with a very light orange tint. The head is not really there in the first place, and it doesn't seem to want to generate itself. I'm not sure what I should expect from these growlers, so I'll deal with it the way it is. The aroma is excessively light, and it is little more than grains and sweet malt.

First sip is more peppery and spicy than I expected from the really light aroma. It's playful with a citrus and bread in there to give the beer its meat. The sip is like looking at a mountain range through a porthole. I need to drink this like it was made to be gulped.

Tip-in is a very nice blend of citrus,…