Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bull Jagger Portland Lager

I was a bit confused when I first saw this bottle. A lager made in Portland, ME? After I had to looked into this, and I found out that this was from a new brewery called Bull Jagger. I must say I like their approach to keeping the classic micro-brewery standards but experimenting with brews that aren't just what everyone else has in their variety pack. Only one other brewer in Maine makes a lager.

Poured into the glass it looks like an ale instead of a lager because of the haziness. Once the head hits your lips you're reminded of it's category though, because it's on the fizzy side and the sweet aroma. I would almost say the combo of crisp and sweet is citrus, but it is undoubtedly not because these two elements are defined in their own separate ways. On the tongue the sweetness stays but malt, hops, and yeast come well ahead of it in potency. It's not an intense IPA or pale ale with these, but you can feel it on your tongue as well as taste it. The body is 'sparkling' too, but not to the extent of canned lagers though.

Bull Jagger will be coming out with another brew soon, that has quite a bit of my attention. Porter with rye. Even though it was not in bottling condition, I was quite impressed with the sample and can't wait to add it here with a review. Don't wait for this release to give them a try though! the Portland Lager is a step out of the box with the high standards of Maine brewing kept and I'm giving it a solid B (good).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Katahdin Specialty Coffee Baxter Blend (New)

Katahdin Specialty Coffee just recently redesigned their labels and website to a style that fits the vibe of Mt. Katahdin's view. They've told me that they just recently upgraded the Baxter Blend as well! So as I enjoy a massive mug of it to compliment my morning, I'll share the tastes it gives and my thoughts. Before I even sip, I can smell they roasted it darker than before.

After passing my lips a few times I also discovered it's an easy bean to digest as well with less acidity. It is quite full bodied too. 'Hearty' is the ideal adjective for this aspect. On the tongue you can taste the nutty element described in the previous version's review but smoky has a much stronger aspect. It's not smoky like a Sumatra coffee bean (earthy-smoky), but a classic french roast instead. Despite this being the strongest taste it won't put hair on your chest because it's not robust in a blunt way with the smoke. It ends with a long and charming aftertaste restating the tastes.

Certainly an improvement from the previous Baxter Blend and I highly recommend to start your work day. This is because it won't hold you back from sipping and getting your caffeine fix, but you're not compromising the other way you enjoy a coffee: The taste. An unmistakable B (good).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blason de Bourgogne Montagny 1er Cru 2009

While browsing the wines at a place I visit often, someone who was taking notes on inventory was eager to point this wine out to me. A french wine from a region famous for the products of it's grapes. It was at a fine price and they had just received it, so I though it would be a good one to share my thoughts on.

It doesn't say on the front label, but this Blason is one of their chardonnays that's been oak aged. Don't assume it'll be like many other oak chardonnays because many things are going on. On the nose there's the pear and almonds like many chardonnays but the aura is also dry in a chalky way, not sharp or crisp. I think this works better for the many things happening on my tongue.

One of the first things I noticed about the palate is a crisp pear on the tip of my tongue that also has an acidity accompanying it. After a second you get a mineral note as well which is indistinguishable from the soft and round body. Last but not least you get a liquorice note on the aftertaste that appears once your tongue gets warm again. All these aspects last for awhile.

Wow, unique. I don't hesitate to give this an A (excellent), and I'll be keeping this one always available on my wine rack.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bard Coffee Costa Rica Pepe Naranjo Honey-Processed Microlot

Stopping in at Bard Coffee I had planned on getting an americano because I like a robust cup of joe and I can't make americanos at home. But when I saw the description of this bean on the single origins menu, I had to try it because I've never had a honey-processed coffee bean. FYI: Most of the title is just describing the origin.

Now I knew I was in for something far from robust because of the honey and central american origins, but please don't think this is a silly artificially flavored coffee. The honey here isn't making a sugar sweet note actually but making the body round and working against the acidity. There is a slight honey taste as well. More noticeable on the palate is the clean Costa Rica bean though. Still strong in the coffee taste.

The taste followed through with the title in being your not so average cup-o-joe. It's not a bean I'd like to have a stash of at home all the time because I'm actually a fan of certain hues of coffee acid and smoky suggestions. I'ts a solid B (good) on my taste scale and I highly recommend to people who get stomach aches from coffee.