Friday, July 30, 2010

Caribou Coffee Essential Organic Blend

Ever notice how loyal coffee drinkers are rather polar in there tastes? You have the 'dark side' with those that select only french or italian roast, and the 'light side' who chose flavored hazelnut, french vanilla or just a lighter colombian bean. I'd have to say I'm a little on the darker preference. I think Caribou Coffee has something that could be the first step for the dark side to see a little light, (or the light getting a little darker).

As stated on the label above I can tell this coffee is lively and intense just from the smell. With a little attention you can pick up the lemongrass notes as well. My first sip didn't back off form the full taste. A balanced body has a crisp palate with the medium roast, but not acidic in the way other coffees are. Fruit notes are slightly apparent, but I wouldn't call them peaches. They're just a darker fruit that perhaps may be plums. You're left with that medium roast coffee on your tongue and that crisp on the roof of your mouth.

As stated before, something in the middle of light and dark. The slight flavors that compliment the coffee aren't the best in my opinion, but I'm sure others would like it more. This must be the dark side of me speaking. I'm leaving the Essential Organic Blend with a C (good) for my opinion, but I wouldn't let that stop you from trying it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shipyard Wheat Ale

Shipyards newest release, wheat ale. I do like the label, it's like the pint glass I got from them with a mermaid. I'm guessing that image is now a symbol of this brew, like Old Thumper's boar head or Chamberlain for the pale ale. But I didn't buy it for the bottle.

Shipyard's website states that this is an American wheat ale, and you can tell by putting your nose over it. Grainy-wheat came first to me and it was soon followed by a fruity note and a touch of the very floral hops they must use in their IPA. It's light and crisp body brings the wheat again along with the fruit. The finish is a little dry and you're left with the wheat but the hops replaces the fruit.

A great summer beer I think. If I had to describe this simply, it's a cross between Shipyards summer ale and IPA with wheat. It's a little to light bodied for my preferences though. It's a B (good) in my book. This will be a beer I'll purchase on hot and humid days.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Casal Garcia Branco

With the warm summer months, when it comes to wine I've been going white and crisp. Sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio tend to come to mind with this. Well what is branco? Wikipedia says branco is a grape unique to Portugal "can be somewhat reminiscent of riesling." Lets see.

Many bubbles were the first thing I noticed when this was poured into my glass. The nose is very light and takes a little effort to distinguish the aspects of it. I would call it citrus without any dry, more on the fruity side. Once in my mouth this was determined though, green apples. Granny smith to be more specific. The body of this was certainly like a riesling, acidic and crisp. I should note that Casal Garcia's branco is not sweet like riesling though, and I like that.

This is a fine wine for the money. I only paid $7 for it and I will certainly buy it again for a humid day. I'm giving it a B (good) because I enjoyed it, but it doesn't have the levels of flavor that many other wines have. So are you making a grilled chicken dinner? Pick up a bottle!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Zhi Tea Ginger Peach Oolong

As I review this I'd like to mention that this is not my first time having this tea like many drinks I review. I have this tea quite often! It's really a shame I haven't posted it sooner. Zhi Tea has a great concoction here. But I'm sure you want to hear why it's so good, not just my rantings on it being good.

Oolong tea being halfway between black and green teas you can sense this in the smell eluded from your cup. It's soft with the peaches and the tea part itself is 'aged', (the best way to describe it in my opinion). Ginger appears on the tongue but not in any sharp or spicy way, and peach remains as clear as before. Something I greatly appreciate about this cup of tea is the flavors added don't bury the actual tea. It's most evident in the end of the cup though with the aftertaste; floral and soft.

I give Zhi's blend an A (excellent). Tastes are well-proportioned and simply ones I prefer. If you like what you hear, add this one to your cabinet, you wont regret it. Oh and! P.S. When iced Ginger Peach Oolong brings out the ginger and peach more, so it's still a good investment in the summer.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bowmore Legend

When it comes to scotch, I'm a fan of the island Islay with smoky and salty whiskey. Legend is one of Bowmore's staple scotches with the lowest price point, so many can keep it in the cabinet. This is a fine thing to do because not many malt scotch's are this affordable! Let's see if it should stay on hand.

As soon as your nose is anywhere near this scotch, you can tell where it's from. The signature Islay peat smoke comes through your nostrils. There is also a burn in smelling this, but not an alcoholic one. More like 'sting' of salt (another Islay standard). On the tongue the smoke stays but the zing is more of a citrus, but not the actual flavor. Honey is also a light note on the back of the tongue. The body is quite lite for a scotch. It finishes with the peat smoke and warmth of alcohol, but once again not a burn.

At first I wasn't all that impressed with the Bowmore Legend, but it grew on me as my first dram got low. I thought this would be a C with my first impressions, but once finished I changed my mind to give it a B (good). It's not too simple, but make sure you like peat smoke because it stays with you through the whole experience.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Allagash Black

A Belgian stout? Who's ever heard of such a thing? Allagash Brewery has made the first one I believe. Most will know Allagash for there award-winning White Belgian ale with citrus notes and equilibrium that's made it so popular. I find it funny that They've called this creation black. Black and white; yin-yang.

Before popping the cork I read on the bottle to "pour slowly into wide mouth glass". I can see why, it pours a good thick head like many other stouts. The scent given off by this beer is an easy barley, not the intense type like some other stouts. Dark chocolate and coffee can be smelled but is much more apparent on the palate. The body isn't nearly as heavy as some Irish stouts I've had though, not a bad thing though. Going through the drink malt, yeast and wheat became more noticeable too, more so in the aftertaste. Roasted coffee is the prime part left in your mouth once swallowed though.

I must say I enjoyed this a lot. It has all of the standard elements of a stout but I can't taste much like Belgium ale. I don't mind this though. I'm giving this an A (excellent) because I found it to be everything a stout should be, just not as heavy. (Stouts are one of my favorite drinks.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Golden Moon Tea Organic Green Tea

Due to the current heat, this review is going to be done on Golden Moon's Organic Green Tea iced. At 90 degrees wouldn't you? Iced green and white tea is becoming a more common product though with glass bottles of Snapple and Honest Tea in convenience store fridges. Perhaps this won't be as accurate as most will drink it hot, but let's see how it goes.

After steeping the tea a little hard, cooling it in the fridge, then pouring it over ice, I kicked back to enjoy (and review) this tea. There's no smell to this because it's iced, but the taste was strong enough. Green tea was unsurprisingly the palate, but it was so in a vegetable way. More like sencha teas, but I can tell it's not. The tea leaves do not have the grassy look and delicate feel. Some may find vegetable an unpleasant definition but I found it quite enjoyable despite it's simplicity.

A balanced B (good) is what I'll give this. This is not a tea to add sugar to, even if you like sweeter iced teas, (I'll be reviewing Red Rose with an excellent iced tea recipe from my grandmother soon). For those that prefer the unflavored 'pure' green and white teas, make a pitchers of this for the summer months.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Capt'n Eli's Ginger Beer

Capt'n Eli's Ginger Beer. A product of Maine from a brewery (Shipyard). But it's not a beer! It's a soda. Ginger beer has no alcohol to it, and should be viewed as an intense ginger ale. I've found that those that have tried it have polar opinions of it. They either love it or hate it. I'm a fan of it, but I've tried quite a few and can compare my other experiences. So lets see how it does.

Once opened and poured into a glass, it sizzles like a coke and can make you sneeze like on one of Coca-Cola's commercials. As you tip it towards you mouth you can tell it's not ginger ale. On my tongue I found it to be not as strong as other ginger beers I've tried, but still strong. The body was quite crisp though and tingled like sprite. It left you with the ginger in your mouth as an aftertaste.

I won't be giving this ginger beer a score as high as other's I've reviewed, but it can certainly be drank more often. B (good) If you want to explore ginger beer, start here. You wont be traumatized like others.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Adagio White Blueberry

Now I would think most would know if they’d want this tea from the title. Blueberry flavored white tea. But I’m going to review it anyways because many other things are rarely stated in a title. Outside of a palate tastes the intensity, body and aftertaste are unknown. Simply put; is it balanced an enjoyable? (Adagio)
The smell put off by the tea in my cup doesn’t have as much blueberry, it’s more like a sweet white tea. Once sipped blueberry took the back seat to the tea leaves again, but was still noticeable. Like many white teas it has a rather full body for a tea. I tried serving this as an iced tea and the blueberry became much more present. Both hot and cold had a blueberry aftertaste.
I’m going to leave this with a C (decent) because it’s just too simple and the blueberry flavor to it isn’t ‘natural’. It’s more like some sort of blueberry extract in my opinion.