Monday, May 19, 2008

Dogfish Head: Raison D'Etre

I took three years of French in high school but I can't remember what raison d'etre translates to. Keep in mind though I'm the same person who flies off the handle when someone who was raised speaking and writing English substitutes sans for without.

Raison D'Etre is a raisin beer. Yes, raisins. The little sun-dried grapes that bind your shit together and assists with poo log formation.

It's a pretty dark beer and full flavored. Dogfish Head calls it a mahogany and explains it's brewed with beet sugar along with the aforementioned raisins. Sounds to me like the guys who brew Dogfish Head are of the smelly, hippie variety.

I didn't know what to expect with this brew but must say I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't overly fruity or sweet and very balanced. The raisins don't really hit until you've gulped it down but even then it's subtle and hardly overpowering.

I had four of these suckers one night, one the next (a friend had the 6th and final beer.) With an 8% alcohol content, it's a potent brew. By my fourth all was right in the world. I will say though these were better the first night. The solo bottle I had the next night was not nearly as good, as perhaps the novelty had worn off...or the subtleness of the raisins did.

Side note: Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre may be an aphrodisiac. Be sure your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/neighbor's dog knows you're drinking these because you might end up fucking anything that moves. Trust me...strong like bull.

I bought the 6'er at BevMo, a fancypants liquor store I believe is owned by CostCo. You would think with their buying power they could do something about the price. Sadly, that wasn't the case, as I threw down $9.99 for a sixer of these suckers.

Now, it's my understanding that Dogfish Head is a small operation and that maybe raisins and beet sugar are hard to come by, but 8% alcohol content or not, it's not quite worth $10 for six. Close but no cigar, especially for a beer that when it boils down to it, is more novelty act than delicious beverage.

Taurino Cerveza

I swear I'm drinking one of these right now. Really, I do. However, I challenge you to find another review for it online or even a damn picture of the beer. You won't. Well, maybe you will. My google skills are worthless and weak.

The beer seems to be sold exclusively at Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Markets, a sort of minimalist approach to grocery shopping. Pretty sure it's a British thing. Unlike spotted dick, it ain't half bad.

Taurino Cerveza ain't half bad either. It isn't fantastic by any means but as far as Latin American beers go, I'll stack it up favorably with Corona, Tecate and Modelo.

It's smooth tasting and easy drinking like the other beers I mentioned. The big difference however is the price. $7.99 for a 12'er.

Maybe it's because it's from El Salvador or maybe it's because Fresh and Easy has tons and tons of the stuff and must sell it exclusively or maybe it's because no one knows about it, but this is pretty much a Corona, with an image of a bull slapped on it and a 25% or so discount.

If there's a Fresh and Easy in your area, seek out Taurino Cerveza. After comparing it to Corona I guarandamntee you won't pay $12 for a 12-pack of Mexican beer again.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Dogfish Head is a wonderful brewery in Delaware that is most well known for its IPA, most notably the 60 Minute version which is easily found and the 90 Minute, which is supposed to be a hoppier IPA than the 60 Minute (probably because the number of minutes in the beer is how long one of them will fuck you up) but actually doesn't taste like that.

A local fancy pants beer and wine deli here carried the much rarer 120 Minute IPA, only brewed in a handful of batches every year, so I decided to pick one up.

Taste: 9/10
All the hops punch you in the face. There's not a lot of carbonation due to the fact that this mother is 20% ABV. That's right, 20%. Six pack in a fucking bottle. I'm not one to drink an IPA on a regular basis, but if there would be one, this would be it. There's a lot going on all the way through the beer, and the aftertaste doesn't ruin the back of your tongue like a lot of IPAs I have. You can taste a whole bunch of other shit in there but my palate is not very refined. I eat Wendy's too often for that.

It says on the bottle "ages well", so I bought another to drink sometime next year to see if it will get any better, but this blog will probably be long dead by then.

Aroma: 10/10
I smelled a lot of hops, and something else smelled like fruit in there. Like I've said before, my sense of smell sucks, but even my retarded ass could tell that this was going to be a great beer. Except for...

Price: 0/10
9 DOLLARS A TWELVE OUNCE BOTTLE. You'd have to use the empty to mug a guy coming in the store to make drinking this very cost-effective. I have never paid that much for a beer before and I never will again. Fucking recession.

Hangover: N/A
I sobered up after an hour or so and still had a couple of hours before I went to bed. Nothing bad happened, but I base it on my course of action. Drinking this right before bed, like I do with the others, probably would have resulted in disaster. I'm not going to try that again. This guy chugged one, though...

I'm guessing he didn't feel too great if he went right to bed afterwards either.

The entire Dallas/Fort Worth area only got 50 cases of this stuff, so good luck finding it somewhere near you. If you have money to burn, it's a wonderful way to do it. Since most of us don't, it'll just be the expensive beer the bourgeoisie drink while they figure out what to do with all that oil money.