Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Catching Up

I wish I could say my neglect of this blog has no correlation to my beer consumption, but sadly, it's direct. Money's going elsewhere, time's being split and I'm once again undergoing a mini-cleanse. I did manage to find a quiet night for the Russian River Consecration I scored from my uber-generous Uncle Mike. A beautiful beer, one that both Kristie and I enjoyed, but one that I simply can't find enough fitting words to review. Maybe someday. It wasn't my favorite beer of the year, but had I had it as one of my first sours, it probably would be. Follow? Anyway, the fact that it had 10% ABV completely blew my mind. Drinking the whole bottle would be quite literally like drinking an entire bottle of wine. Thankfully, Kristie helped out a bit, though I wasn't a huge fan of sharing. A rare treat I hope to enjoy again someday.

Summit Horizon Red Ale

Brewery: Summit, St. Paul, MN

Style: Amber Ale

ABV: 5.7%

Rating: 3.5 stars

New full time release by Summit, had to give it an early test run. Smell reminded me instantly of Bell's Two Hearted, which is always a good sign. The blunt American hops never fail to please. Taste, however, wasn't quite as wonderous. I guess I prefer something a bit more lively, such as the Two Hearted, and this one settles in a little hard for my palate. Maybe that's why I'm not generally a huge fan of ambers. Not lively enough to satisfy my most loyal taste buds, and not full enough to smooth my mouth and stomach with chewy goodness. If you're not following this, I'm not either, so don't worry about it.

Essentially, if I'm going to grab a pint of Summit or pick up a six pack, I still probably lean toward the classic EPA. Never disappoints. The Horizon Red isn't good enough for me to chew on one all evening, and it isn't drinkable enough for me to want to drink six of 'em. Not the most glowing of reviews I suppose.

It took me six months, but you can only hold down a music junkie for so long. And after a dreadful 2008, I'm back on the pulse and enjoying quite a few things these days in the music world. So here's a tiny taste of my picks for the first third of 2009

Rock Compilation Album Division: Dark Was the Night. Running unopposed. Quite a few solid tracks on this AIDS benefit album. Here's my quick list:
"Knotty Pine," Dirty Projectors and David Byrne
"Cello Song," The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
"Train Song," Feist and Ben Gibbard
"So Far Around the Bend," The National
"Sleepless," The Decemberists
"Hey Snow White," The New Pornographers

But the disc's brightest star is Sufjan Stevens covering the Castanets' "You Are the Blood." Intoxicating.

Concept Rock Opera Album Division: "The Hazards of Love," The Decemberists. Again, pretty much unopposed. Don't love it, but it has its moments, and the thought of devising an entire work of this confusion and depth from one 60s vocal piece is astounding.

Pitchfork Retro Tech Lite Rock Division: "Daniel," Bat For Lashes

Afro Pop Division: "Sabali," Amadou and Mariam

Canadian Synth Pop Division: "Gimme Sympathy," Metric

Obligated by Previous Work Division: "The Palace at 4 a.m.," A.C. Newman

Revenge of the French Pop Rock Division: "1901," Phoenix

Won't elaborate on those, but check 'em out if you wish. More beer SOON.

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