Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shiner Holiday Cheer - Guest Blog!

Holiday guest blog kindly provided by Danielle Bourguet! Thanks Danielle!!!

Spoetzle Shiner Holiday Cheer - Shiner, Texas

Foreword: Not being a literary charmer or word smith, I will attempt to entertain you as a guest blogger with juxtapositions related to the beer of subject and an emulation of the linking style of the author.

After catching up on this blog and avoiding a fairly significant decision, I was inspired to get a six pack after my bar method class this evening. Spoetzl Brewery is based in none other than, “Sveden?” you say, incorrect, Shiner, Texas. “Shiner Holiday Cheer” is the brewery’s seasonal brew. Many of you may have imbibed a beer of the Shiner legacy, with its unassuming label of non-metallic colors, reminiscent 50’s fonts, and English language and moderate price. My last Shiner experience was with their summer ale, which was brewed with ruby red grapefruit and ginger. Bizarre indeed.

I know nothing about Shiner, Texas, and chances are, neither do you, but the label has holly and stars on it. Holly, plus what I’m assuming are sunny and moderate Shiner December days seem unnatural, but let’s go with it. This seasonal is brewed with (unseasonable) peaches and pecans. While peaches are always great in concept, experience has proven them to be expensive and mealy in December, but what the hell. For technical purposes it is characterized as a Bavarian-style dark wheat (nope, no noun after that) on the neck label, an ale on the front label, and an old world dunkelweizen on the back label. Editing fail or conflicting win!

As you can see above, the color is darker than any beer I ever imagine brewed with fruit. It has a fruity peach/apple aroma with only a late hint of malt reminding you that it is indeed a beer, not a party punch served with a soup ladle. The carbonation is less than soda or any other bud-light-type beer i.e. if you drank it quickly your eyes would not water. Upon your first sip you are hit with a light and sweet peach flavor, next reminded that it is indeed a beer with some maltiness, and it finishes with a pleasantly mercurial bitter note. This is a stretch, but I may have earlier tasted some pecan flavor in the aftertaste, but 7/8 of the way through any sensation of that has vanished with the development of an incredible thirst. Assuming its high sugar content brings this on, combined with the heavier fruit flavor, I will conclude that this is one of those beers that people will say, “I can only drink one of them.” That being said, I applaud Spoetzl for not flavoring their holiday seasonal with cinnamon, firewood, reindeer, smoke, coriander, Santa, nutmeg or other cliché things. Peach might be a bit strange, but the beer is too heavy for a summer ale. Personally, I’d have two with a glass of water.

Afterword: Beer in a wine glass is a rarity for me, but I selected it as the only way to follow my empty-the-refrigerator-before-leaving-for-vacation meal of half a can of refried beans topped with cabbage and green enchilada sauce.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tiger Lager

Tiger Lager - Singapore

This is one of those cases where the label on the bottle is what makes people buy the beer, or keep coming back to it, because it certainly doesn’t deliver any sort of special taste that I’d want to make sure I had every night after work. Except the label doesn’t make any sense? Where can tigers live where there are palm trees?? Where is this place in the world? Not counting tropical zoo locations.

I’m not reeeally trying to diss the beer, it’s a good lager, just another one that tastes like another countries version of Budweiser. There is a lot of tangy zest in each sip; in fact it is almost overwhelmingly carbonated, and to me that kind of takes away a lot of the “original flavor” the beer’s label talks about. I suppose if I were in Singapore I would order this beer, otherwise I’ll just stick with good ole Bud heavy when I feel the craving. As a wise man once said to me, “Sis, don’t you ever let people give you a hard time for ordering a Budweiser at a bar. Cause really, it tastes just fine, and it’s probably way cheaper than the beer all your friends’ are getting. They’re the suckers.”

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Efes Pilsener

Efes Pilsener - Istanbul, Turkey

Alert. Green bottled beer! As mentioned in my first beer review back in September, I have a slight aversion to beers that come in green bottles. Simply put, they just never taste good to me. And I've tried, I really have...

Time to prove me wrong green bottled beer from Istanbul, don’t taste like a skunk! Upon smelling the beer my initial reaction is that this beer is not going to prove me wrong. Then once I poured it into a glass and smelled it suspiciously again…I smelled…apple cider? What? I must have stuck my nose down the wrong glass. But no, this beer smelled like apple cider. Tasted a little like apple cider too! Surprise! The fine brewers of Istanbul lace their creations with crack apples! I get 50% apple, 50% beer when I drink this one, which is a pretty splendid combination. Overall, it is a very acceptable pilsner. One that I would buy again, and then revel in the fact that it can be found in a green bottle.

PS - I blame my hatred for green bottled beers on Audrey Siple. The incident of Summer 2008 and the 6 pack of Stella Artois that came from the basement is still a, shall we say, ripe, skunky memory. Who knew a beer(s) [Audrey is gross for drinking more than one!] could stink up an entire house and an entire memory.