Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rising Tide Ursa Minor

It's a pleasant surprise to notice a new bottle when shopping for a social lubricant. Today's trip to the luxurious single bottle beer aisle didn't just show a new brew, but a new brewer! Rising Tide Brewing started just last year in Portland, ME. There's plenty of brewers in this city already, but if they can meet it's high standards in a pint-glass there's definitely room for them. My first Rising Tide:

Although labeled a stout, I think it's closer to a porter because barley exists but roasted malts are in front of it. The body isn't what most would think of a stout either with a brisk feel and head that doesn't stay as long. I think this is because it's a weizen too (wheat beer). The roasted malts and touch of barley participate well together with the yeast. These are not the only flavors because after your first few sips an aftertaste starts to accumulate in strength. Dark cherries.

For those that're wondering what Ursa Minor is, it's the Little Dipper constellation. For those wondering what Ursa Minor beer is, it doesn't fit in a category like ale, stout, lager, and such. It's a drink you have to explore because much is going on, and I'll be enjoying again because I'm leaving it with an A (excellent). Rising Tide may be a small brewer but they leave a big impression, and a good one.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Steaz Iced Teaz Mint

Seaz Iced Teaz seems to be a fairly new label to me. With a little research on their parent website I found they've only been in the bottled iced tea business for six years. I have to say this is an accomplishment because of all the competition around like; Tazo, Arizona, Sweet Leaf, Lipton, Honest Tea, Sobe, and the many more. In the next paragraph I'll be exploring why Steaz has been able to wiggle its way into the bottled tea beverage industry with the contents within the can.

It opens with a "Sssss!" but quickly fades and you can tell it's not carbonated once in your mouth. You can certainly tell it's made with ceylon tea and not a generic green leaf because it's not just super 'grassy' but has a floral basis. It's fairly sweet with cane sugar and lemon happens alongside this. The third thing my taste buds come to is the mint finally. This is no Moroccan mint tea, it's just a green tea with a hint of spearmint. Regardless of the cane sugar this leaves the taste of green tea on the back of your tongue once swallowed.

I see why this isn't in every gas station cooler. The stereotypical American who loves the taste of carbonated sugar-water (most sodas) won't enjoy this. It's not sweet enough in the sugar they're use to. But for those who actually brew their own hot green tea but need a readily cold one, will like this. I leave it with a strong B (good) and won't hesitate to grab one when dehydrated on a hot summer day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Caribou Coffee Sumatra

Sumatra is one of my favorite beans (Ethiopian is my top choice), but it's far easier to find and more common. So today's choice is Caribou Coffee's Sumatra. The Sumatra bean is known for being hearty is a not-so-dark way, and 'earthy'. This is not what people would think of a coffee cup who aren't so familiar with Sumatra. Let's see if Caribou lives up to these standards.

As soon as I put my nose up to my mug, I could tell earthy would be a fine adjective for this. To refine this aspect I think it has a hint of raw tobacco (nothing like a cigaret of course). The body and overall taste is round and dark in this way, but there's a surprising note that's greater in the aroma. A fruit. It's very hard to pinpoint because it only exists behind these more robust flavors, and I honestly can't tell what fruit it would be.

I will certainly enjoy the rest of this cup once I'm done with this episode of Luxurious Liquids, but I believe it deserves a C (good). There are other Sumatran beans I prefer over this one. I'd like you to know that Caribou Coffee isn't as expensive as local roasters or big name brands though.