I'm an expert at exactly one thing, my chosen line of work, everything else is a novice pursuit. One thing I started doing last year is making fresh sausages. You might ask 'why?' but that should be self explanatory; when is the last time you walked in to a Super Target, Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, or Local Grocery Chain and bought lamb sausages? What if after eating at a Hmong place on vacation you wanted to recreate the sausages you had there? I'd bet my bottom dollar that the guy behind the deli counter at your local grocery couldn't tell you any more than mine could (unless he happened to be Hmong). Next you might be asking yourself, "Why read your guide? I am sure some expert has written a guide." Let me assure you that they have! My guide is my experience coming from being a novice going to being an amateur including what I learned and found helpful.
Another beer style I want to brew this year is an IPA. Having a black IPA and an IPA on tap is something I'd like to do. I just need to find friends to help me drink beer. Also I need tax season to be over so that I have time to brew. In the lead up to eventually brewing an IPA I wanted to sample some of the freshest and newest IPAs I could find. Enter the devastatingly dank Enjoy By 4.20.14 IPA by Stone Brewing company. This beer was bottled 17 days before I'm drinking it. Wow. Stone sure does take their product seriously.
This IPA weighs in at 9.4% ABV. Per a variety of webpages this is a mosaic of hops(not to be confused with mosaic hops) Bertus Brewery identified Citra, Cascade, Centennial, Nelson Sauvon, Galaxy, Target & Simcoe are all included. The Full Pint reports it as 13 varieties in a unique blend. They Tag it with probably some insider information as having Ahtanum, Super Galena, Simcoe, Delta, Target, Amarillo, Calypso, Cascade, Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, Citra and Helga. So I'll have my work ahead of me if I want to draw out what I like about this beer.
Anyone I've ever met knows my affinity for Asian food. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese; I love all of it. It's the interplay of flavors that I like. Sweet and sour, sweet and spicy, hot and spicy I love it all. You can find various vibrant flavors melded together to create something greater than the sum of their parts.
After a late night at the office and a trip to the grocery store I still had to feed myself. This is when I knew it was time for Cheap Chili Chicken. It's like a sweet and spicy Korean Chicken Nugget. It's good on it's own, it's good leftover and it takes very little time to make.
Every once and a while it's fun to drink other peoples beer. Tonight this beer is from a brewery 2146 miles away. I've actually been to Green Flash, it's an amazing little brewery with lots of hoppy beers on tap. They do hops justice and if you get a chance to try one of their hoppy beers you should do it.
This beer pours a a dark black with a brown/tan head, The carbonation is evident as the head billows up from the beer. The glass reveals garnet edges so it's not all black, but close. As I sip the beer it leaves lacing and each sip refills the glass with hoppy aroma. The aromas are more floral than pine, and the roast fills out the aroma nicely. The taste is lots of floral hops, and minor amounts of roast. The mouth was dry and hid the colossal 12% ABV well. I had a buzz before I even realized how strong this beer was.
Upon further scientific research (read: google searching) the hop varieties used were Warrior, Citra, and Cascade. Which reinforces my perception about floral hops.
I liked this beer, it was a bit strong, but the lack of finishing gravity made it easy to drink. I'd get drunk before I got full.
In comparison to my amateur home brews this had some things I liked and some I didn't. I liked the carbonation, low finishing gravity and high aromatics of what I can assumes is lots of late hop additions. I disliked the floral combinations with the roast in the flavor. I'll be sticking to piney hops. This was a good beer and I'm glad I bought it, I can't say enough good thing about Green Flash and would recommend this to a friend looking to try a black IPA.
They made a good Black IPA but I think I can make a better American Black Ale, look forward to a new ABA recipe coming after April 15th.