Thursday, October 14, 2010

McSorley's Irish Pale Ale

An Irish pale ale? When I think of a pale ale's origin I think British, and Irish are obviously known for stouts. McSorley's is actually an old pub in New York City that was established in 1854, so it's not as Irish in origin as some others beers. This isn't a history lesson though, I'll tell you how it tastes.

Once poured the hue didn't look like a pale ale. It looks copper like a red ale, which is more traditional to the Irish! It has hops and malt in the aura characterized in a sweet way. On the palate hops takes a back seat to a 'creamy' malt, but this is not heavy in body. The body is actually crisp in a citrus way. Once swallowed the taste dwindles and you get it dry in a pale ale way.

I'd say this is a cross between a red and pale ale. There is a variety of things going on but I don't think they're working together well. I have to give it a C (decent), but on a positive note it's fairly easy to drink despite being dry at the end.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bard Coffee Honduras Marcala Dark

You know you're in an ok cafe when the barista knows the difference between a latte and a cappuccino. At Bard Coffee on Middle St in the Old Port of Portland, ME, every employee can tell you the difference between the different beans in ways beyond which one is darker. It's a great cafe. Today I have a cup of one of their single origin coffees, the Honduras Marcala Dark.

When most think of 'dark' they think of a french roast, this is different from that. Tackling the difference in adjectives between the two has been quite hard. The marcala dark is smoky in a clean way unlike french roasts, another way I'd put it is almost woody. The single origin of the beans also come through with notes of caramel on the back of the tongue. It's also only medium bodied with little acidity which works with the palate very well.

If you fee like exploring your darker side of coffee smoothly this is a fine choice and it's a B (good) in my book. Bard Coffee isn't just a place of a fine form of caffination though, it's also place of community. Those that want to get to know the fine city of Portland should check it out.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Smirnoff Root Beer 100

The recent trend with vodkas has been as many new and unique flavors as possible. Everyone knows Smirnoff. It seems to be a staple for those who want to just put something in soda or an energy drink. Tonight I have it in it's purest form, in a glass without rocks to sip on.

There's no clue to the flavor smelling it, but once in your mouth it's quite blunt. Wow this is sweet. I suppose this is true to the flavor because root beer is the most sugared soda around. The flavor only exists on your tongue though because there is no aftertaste, just a burn. Quite simple.

Looking back on this selection it was an odd one because it doesn't relate to the title luxurious. I'm leaving it with a F (avoid) and think there are far better options unless you're going to spike an A&W root beer.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Homegrown Herb & Tea Sniffle T

Many of you should take note of todays tea because, as the title would suggest, it's a great choice for fighting a cold. It's also the first tea I'm reviewing from Homegrown Herb & Tea, a small place ran by a dedicated and knowledgeable Sarah in Portland, Maine. If you're in the area I'd suggest you stop by her storefront to experience it's homely and organic aura with your tea. I'm here to tell you of the tea's taste though.

There's a lot going on in this cup. A strong floral element is one of the prime tastes, probably clover and chamomile. Earthy in a slightly chai way is stronger though. Anise must be a the part that creates the chai effect. It leaves you with a ginger-like kick at the end which a sick person would enjoy immensely, (I don't believe there is any ginger in this though).

Most cold combatant teas I've had are just mint leaf or ginger with honey. Homegrown has outperformed those in sinus cleansing. It's a solid B (good) in taste though. This is the one I'll be keeping on hand this winter.