Drinking a Porkslap, which I like the taste of, but hate the name. The can says “Brewed with Ginger,” but I don’t taste it much, if at all? Anyway a solid cheap-ish but not cheap tasting beer. Just picking Flannery O’Connor’s Collected Stories to read alongside it, whom I’ve been told numerous times to read and am sure I’ll enjoy. If we’re being completely honest, though, I bought this dollar copy (.50 cents with employee discount!) at the Strand primarily for its extensive annotations by the previous owner. Some real fuckin’ gems and good advice: “Don’t go where a convict is going.” and “Good leadership skills! I want to manipulate people like that.” Beautiful doodles on the side too.
I’ve been much happier in the past few months. Although I find myself busier than ever, I am less stressed and much more positive with my life and work. This man has stood by me through everything and I am ever so thankful for him ;-;
90 Shilling is a Scottish ale available throughout the year. This is Odell’s flagship brew, which means its been around since their beginning in 1989. Since then, it has become one of their best sellers. Aromas give malty suggestions of caramel sweet bread. Hops come across as weak hints of orange and peach tea.
The palate begins as mellow malts initiate a gentle roast with a sweetness like caramel and brown sugar. Next, malts shift into flavors of toasted bread with a husky twang. A sour flavor is embellished by unripe oranges. Earthy hops make the final statement with herbal, grassy flavors as a dull bitterness slides down to the underbelly. Mouthfeel remains smooth, easy-going, and nicely carbonated over with a moderate body that clings in short sustain. Drinkability is great.
It’s a well-balanced, simple, yet satisfactory brew. This gives a pretty toned down expression of the style, ensuring everything goes down smoothly. As is customary, sweet malts have the leading edge. Hops are supportive, bringing bitter/sour qualities to level off the initial sweetness. Drinking more than one or two would be easy. Due to its light body and pleasant flavor, I think it should appeal to most craft drinkers. 90 Shilling is a nice standard to have around. I recommend it.
Agave Maria is a limited-release Strong Ale brewed with agave nectar, then aged in Añejo and Reposado tequila barrels for a minimum of ten months. Aromas give malty suggestions of toffee, molasses, and perhaps some of the sweetness could be traced back to the agave (in order to fairly assess, I sniffed on a bottle of Agave in the Raw, but all I could smell was plastic). The barrel contributes added complexities of vanilla, smoked oak, and a surprising amount of tequila. Tangy berries and dark fruits add a tart note that smells like the musty cork from a bottle of red wine. Additional fruity esters and fusel notes round out the nose.
The palate begins in moderate sweetness, followed immediately by a tart, fruity upswing. Authentic flavors of honey accumulate. The sour element continues to advance, then reaches a climax with flavors of raspberry and lime. Woody tannins build up, merging with a final touch of herbal hops. A touch of spice add notes of black pepper to the rear. Fusel alcohol settles on the aftertaste as all those tequila-infused flavors reach a firm focal point. The mouthfeel carries a standard medium-body over low carbonation, closing a little sticky, then dries out over lingering oils. Alcohol is skillfully concealed, departing only as footprints of warmth.
Overall, those fruity flavors really have a firm upper hand on the palate. This is my first tequila-aged beer, and it has been quite memorable. Everything comes together in the end, and the tequila isn’t too intrusive or confrontational. I’m not usually very impressed by Lost Abbey, but Agave Maria has provided me a unique experience. Despite its distinct flavor, and high ABV, I find it surprisingly drinkable! The $17 price tag is pretty steep for such a small bottle, but all the flavor and alcohol makes it a little more worthwhile. Each Lost Abbey limited-release is treated the same. I recommend it if you’re a curious craft drinker.