Greetings all, and happy (very) belated Thanksgiving!
I’ve been quite behind on the ole’ blog lately, but as I’ve mentioned before, blogging is an “ebb and flow”sort of deal for me, and I’ve most definitely been in an “ebb” period lately. A lot of it has to do with just how busy I’ve been, but I think I also like pulling back from my week-to-week blog schedule from time to time. The nice thing about a blog is that it’s always there.
So, if it wasn’t obvious by the title of this post, there is going to be a lot of beer featured here. In fact, I’ve had so much beer since the last post that I think I can happily call this a period of “Beersgiving.” So, without further ado, lets see what I’ve had. Due to the sheer number of beers, I’m going to keep my comments brief, but as always I will link to the Beer Advocate page if you are especially interested.
Samuel Adams Winter Classics Pack – Boston Beer Company
Beers 1-6 are all Samuel Adams, this was a GREAT pack, I love the 2-2-2-2-2-2 twelve packs the most.
A strong bock, with lots of spices underneath the strong cacao flavors. I’m not a huge bock person, but this one was a nice “one and done” beer.
A very interesting ale with all sorts of spices and citrus flavors. Not a winter warmer, but similar. I enjoyed it. Plus a beer named after a Charles Dickens character is too cool to pass up.
3. Sparking Ale
A very light, highly carbonated ale. I was a bit let down by this one. I was expecting something special, but really it just tasted like an especially bubbly, yet highly average, light beer.
A strong porter, which is aptly a blend of a winter warmer and a standard porter. The mix of spices was interesting (though not quite as unique as Old Fezziwig). Another good “one and done” beer.
5. Winter Lager
A Samuel Adams classic, this is one of the better “macro” Winter Lagers on the market. Like a lager, yet with the punch of a warmer. Definitely worth trying.
6. Boston Lager
The original. It’s kind of like a hoppier version of any generic American lager, except better.
Technically this was Aunt Train’s beer. But I have problems with boundaries when it comes to beer. This was a surprisingly good Radler. It was dangerously drinkable.
A gift from Aunt Train (along with some Harpoon). Stone is widely regarded as being among the best IPAs (up with Dogfish Head). I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile. The wait was worth it. Lots of subtle flavors and a crisp but strong profile that would make this a good beer on both cold and hot days.
While neither of these brews were new to us, they are both varieties that we like. Whale’s Tale is a solid pale ale, with a blend of New England malts that give it is distinctive characteristics. Allagash White (one of SB’s new favorites) is a twist on a traditional Belgian Wheat, in that it also has coriander and Curacao orange peel in the wort itself.
If there was one word I would use to describe Dorado, it would be strong (in italics). Clocking in at 90 IBUs and 10% ABV, this Double IPA seems to ride the line between Tripel [sic] and Double. It was good, but phew, it was intense (but nowhere near 120 Minute intense). Gave me heartburn like holy hell – I’m actually going to the doctor about my heartburn this week.
A new (to me) offering from Tröegs. This 85 IBU, 7.5% ABV IPA was like the more drinkable cousin of Dorado (above). It was good IPA, I’d definitely get a six pack of these sometime.
The second of the fabled Dogfish Head “Ancient Ales” I’ve had (my first being Midas Touch back in Denver). Kvasir was developed with the help of chemical, botanical and pollen evidence taken from a 3,500‐year‐old Danish drinking vessel. The vessel, made of birch bark, was found in the tomb of a leather‐clad woman Dr. Pat says was probably an upper-class dancer or priestess. The analysis pointed to the ingredients used in this unique brew: wheat, lingonberries, cranberries, myrica gale, yarrow, honey and birch syrup. Both SB and I’s reaction was that it was VERY cranberry-y. I actually liked this more than Midas Touch, which was bit too much like wine (though I still liked it). However, the big bottle and 10% ABV make Kvasir a Dane to watch out for.
Also, thanks to FIL for sending it to us via Dad-express.
[Ancient Ales Drank 2/8]
SB and I had another 10$ coupon for UNO, so we went there for the second time. The food was good, but the service was pretty meh (aside from our waitress, she was ok, but everything else was pretty much a fail, including waiting 50 minutes for salads). Anyways, we decided to get beers. SB went with Harpoon IPA, which is always a solid IPA choice and is kind of staple, since, you know, Harpoon is brewed here. I went for a bit of nostalgia and chose the Killian’s, namely because it was on sale for 3.75$ for 20oz, not bad by any stretch. I used to love this beer, like 8 years ago. Now it just tastes like an entirely average red ale. Not bad, but not noteworthy either.
Geary’s is another (new to me) brewery. However, they aren’t new for the area. This Maine-based brewery has been around since 1986 [I also saw 1983] and claims to be the oldest microbrewery east of the Rocky Mountains that has continuously operated. I have my doubts about that, but still 86 (or 83) is still fairly old for a microbrewery in Murka. HSA, or Hampshire Special Ale, is their flagship brew and based on Beer Advocate’s rankings you’d think it would be a godsend. However, my first impression wasn’t that great. Though to be fair I’ve only had one beer, maybe it will grow on me tonight when I go for beers 2 and 3 of the six pack. It wasn’t bad, its just not one of those beers I’d get again, but again, maybe that will change. [Edit: Nope, I’ve now had more than one and it’s still not really clicking with me.]
Phew, 16 beers! That has to be a Dinosaur Bear record. Maybe I am an alcoholic. I’d never know in law school. We’re all mad here.
Anyways, as the turkey cupcake above highlighted, Thanksgiving has come and gone! Last year SB and I did the solo thing. We were planning on doing that again this year, but things tend to change, this time for the better! My Dad and Grandma drove out from Midwest Texas and stayed with Aunt Train up in Lowell. So, SB and I went up there for a few days to celebrate. The boys of course came with us.
It was Pig’s first time on a train, so he liked that. While visiting we got to sleep in the laundry room, which was actually pretty nice. Aunt Train has a super comfy air mattress that doesn’t deflate over night, I didn’t know men could build such things (if you get that reference then you are my BFF). The family visit was a lot of fun and a nice “get-away” from law school. We had good conservations and good Thanksgiving food. I got to help make some of it, so all-in-all it was a good holiday. We also headed out to Concord for a highly abridged version of our previous trip, which was fun. Everyone even came down to ole’ Boston for a day trip. The weather kind of sucked, but we still had a lot of fun. We sort of traversed around Boston in a trolley (complete with plastic rain windows which allowed you to take in a glorious view of nothing) as well as on foot. We then had lunch at Legal Seafood, which is SUPER good, yet SB and I can never go there because Obama.
Tasty New England Clam Chowder. Everyone was in agreement that New England Clam Chowder is vastly superior to Manhattan Clam Chowder.
Faroe Island Salmon, Jalapeno Cheddar Polenta, and Seaweed Salad. My Dad’s reaction to me eating seaweed was as expected. Valentino ending up eating most of my salmon while I wasn’t looking.
It was a great lunch, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the break from the rain and cold. One cool thing is that this was the exact same place that Meem, SB, and I ate at way back when we were scoping out law schools. So now we’ve got to eat there twice!
All in all it was great mini-break, even if it did cause me to get dangerously behind on some of my work. All the good good food, drinks, and company were worth it though! 🙂
Aside from school work and the holiday festivities, things have been fairly normal around the casa. The boys (especially Tristen) have been on a Mad Max kick.
And football is always a thing. We especially like that the Patriots lost a game. Perfect season forever destroyed. Rexy.
As for the upcoming winter, I’m actually more prepared this year! See, its kind of funny. I went through 110.6″ of snow with no boots. Yep. You read that correctly. 110.6″ of snow, 50+ mph winds, and temperatures in the teens, all with regular ole shoes. Why? Because I’m stubborn and also Obama. It’s important to remember that I have Raynaud’s too. So not only was that stupid, it was also dangerous (never mind the fact that literally had a toe start to die back in 2013). HOWEVER, not to be stupid two years in a row, I decided to purchase a good pair of boots during this year’s Cyber Monday.
Oddly enough, I didn’t go with L.L. Bean (which owns New England), but instead with Columbia (which owns the Pacific Northwest). I’m just a rebel like that. Either way, these are some serious boots, and were still 85$ on sale. So now I’m a bit more prepared from the coming winter. Which of course means it won’t snow at all. Of course I also just shaved my beard (literally right before writing this post) and had SB cut my hair, so who knows whether or not there will actually be a net gain to my warmth. (I had my beard for 36 days this year, a new record)
While law school has been incredibly busy, I’ve also been getting fed a lot. I’ll attach couple of pictures here for SB to enjoy.
Of course we had some pretty yummy salads at UNO too, despite them taking 6 years to arrive.
It’s a good time of year to eat large salads, and large anything, and drink large beers. The squirrels near the law school have the right idea. They’ve been getting super fat. They are also super organized.
See the sticks and nuts and shells on the picnic table? The squirrels did that. No, seriously. The squirrels organized that stuff into little piles. There are also at least 4 squirrels in the photo above, if you want to play Where’s Squirreldo.
Not squirrel related, but Santa Claus appears to bee chilling at Pooh’s house here on campus.
If you are curious about why Winnie the Pooh lives at Harvard, which who wouldn’t be, then you need to read This and This and This and Watch This. This is one of the reason’s Harvard is so awesome. The “Pooh Club” goes back to at least 1946.
Another fun thing, a cop and some rollerbladers were racing around the old yard the other day.
And by racing I mean actually racing.
It was pretty funny.
But alas, this time of semester can’t all be fun. I’ve been stupidly busy wrapping up my journal stuff (having already contributed far more hours than I signed on to do). My clinic has also extended further than it should have, and there is nothing I can do but grin and bear it. There are also papers to write and exams to take. I also had a mad dash to finding housing in New Mexico for January. That was stressful, but the good news is that I will be working for the New Mexico Attorney General in January. The hiring process was kind of ridiculous, I had to put in more effort for three-week unpaid internship than I did any other job in my life. However, I’m looking forward to it.
But still, I’m fairly stressed right now. However, I’m actually in the process of cutting out some extraneous stuff from my life right now, which hopefully will pay off in the form of some added free time and reduced stress later. But I won’t begin to reap the benefits of that until really February, sadly. Then the real dividends should be 3L, but that’s over 1/2 a year away.
For now, I think I’ll wrap things up, I have a clinic report I need to get back to work on.
Until next time,
P.S. – A candid shot of the Boys and the squirrel buddies (Nutty, Nuts, and Nutsie) conspiring against SB in some manner or another – likely a result of Tristen.