Uinta Sea Legs Baltic Porter – Beware of mermaids bearing barrel-aged ballers

Next up, Uinta’s Sea Legs Baltic Porter

photo (97)I haven’t yet done a full review of a Uinta beer, other than to be a little too hard on their decent Hopnotch. So here goes.

The label depicts a suspicious, crusty sea Captain, apparently leery of a Mermaid and her fishy wiles. And rightfully so. Mermaids were once known as topless, scheming sirens who would lure a sailor to his death in the briny depths of the sea. The sailors must have been pretty sex-starved. At worst, they were mistaking manatees for hot, long-haired, topless gals; and at best, they were being lured into the ocean by a woman clearly limited to above-the-waist action, which is like risking your life to make out with a Pentecostal chick.

More recently, though, mermaid tales have happier endings. And lucky for humans, mermaids now come ashore in bipedal form to land a choice male, such as Prince Eric or mid-1980s, afro’d Tom Hanks.

quagmire ariel

This is a baltic porter. So, it’s probably like a cross between an English porter and a Russian Imperial Stout. The bottle says it’s “wood barrel aged”, but it doesn’t say what kind of barrel. Let’s see…

It pours like a dark and moderately thick stout, and it has a dense, persistent, khaki head that leaves significant lace. It smells like one of them-there fancy Vosges chocolate, black sea salt, and caramel bars. The taste: Dark fruits, chocolate, slight roast and smoke (but not char), and…wait a second…this is a baller! This has clearly seen the inside of a bourbon barrel. There is vanilla, oak, and bourbon (albeit restrained). A pleasant surprise…like when you’re channel surfing, and you happen upon the last scene in Army of Darkness; but then you find out the channel is running an all-day Evil Dead marathon and you’ll get to see all three.

Finally, it’s smooth, a little thinner than the pour would imply, and “only” 8%. So, it goes down easy for a baller.

I like it. Get some while you can. I don’t know if Uinta is going to make more.

The Haybag (from her shot glass-sized pregnancy portion): I like it. These restrained bourbon barrel-aged beers seem to be growing on me…it could be the ridiculously small serving. Maybe I’ll pound a whole bomber myself at the hospital right after I crank out this fat baby.

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August/September Madness?! NCAA Beer Brackets finally completed

Finally: The completion to NCAA Beer Madness from back in March. I’m sure everyone was waiting with baited breath. In any case, this clearly illustrates why I’m not fit to be in charge of anything.

Dangermenparenting hunted down the finalist beers and brought them over one evening after our daughters spent the afternoon terrorizing the neighborhood pool. So much time had passed from the first round of the tournament that, due to beer emergency, or mere thirst, all of the original beers had long been consumed.  So, without further adieu, we have:

Port City Porter vs. Uinta Hop Notch
Port City Porter got here by trouncing Abita Save Our Shores Pilsner in the first round. And Uinta Hop Notch had an easy first round draw against one of my only Lagunitas disappointments: Cappuccino Stout.

Port City Porter is not too sweet, not too dry. And it’s subtle, with chocolate, light notes of coffee, cream, and a light kiss of hops. One of my favorite porters. It flops its big hairy toe into the Stout category in some ways, but I don’t think enough so to book it (if I were the type of style-Nazi who was so inclined to do so).

I have given Uinta Hop Notch chance-after-chance. Each time I am cautiously optimistic from the tropical hop aroma. Then I taste it and it’s a little creamy, which I like in IPAs, but the hop flavor has never fully delivered for me.

Beerbecue: Port City 60, Uinta Hop Notch 40.
Dangermenparenting: Port City 60, Uinta Hop Notch 40.

Southern Tier 2X Stout vs. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald
Southern Tier came out of the first round with a surprise victory against Nugget Nectar. This still has me bitter. And Edmund Fitzgerald soundly defeated Sixpoint Bengali Tiger.

The 2X Stout smells like double chocolate milk. It’s sweet, but not nearly as sweet as the nose lets on. Chocolate with a little coffee come out to play. There’s some roasty, smoky business up in there, and some nice hop character, too. It’s surprisingly complex.

I don’t get as jacked-up about Edmund Fitzgerald as some (namely people from Ohio). I think it’s a good, drinkable porter.

Now, I clearly prefer the 2X Stout (especially for breakfast), but I am not going to beer bong it or haul off and drain a couple on a hot day. Edmund Fitzgerald might be better suited to those purposes. But since I’m too old for beer bonging anymore…

Beerbecue: Southern Tier 51, Great Lakes 49.
Dangermenparenting: Southern Tier 53, Great Lakes 47.

FINAL: Port City Porter vs. Southern Tier 2X Stout

Beerbecue: Port City 55, Southern Tier 45.
Dangermenparenting: Port City 51, Southern Tier 49.

Blatant homerism, people. Plus, I have said it a million times: Port City Porter is better than a Benihana chef on the SP-12.

And in the consolation match for third place, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald took out Uinta Hop Notch, by a wide margin. Although this mismatch demonstrated the weakness in our scoring system (percentage of time you would get one vs. the other). Although, unless you only matchup like styles in a shootout like this, you are going to run into this problem.

Maybe we’ll try this again next year. And we’ll shoot to finish before August/September.

You can see dangermenparenting’s March Madness finale post here.

NCAA First Round Beer Madness

I am blowing off work today to eat BBQ, drink beer, and watch the first round of the NCAA Tournament with dangermenparenting. He, quite nobly, actually worked a half-day. But, at the Haybag’s request, I steam-cleaned our rugs. That’s what I call banking some marital equity; and that means dangermenparenting is starting out underwater, and I’m starting off with some equity to burn.

I updated this post periodically through the day, uncut and uncensored. You can read Tony’s at dangermenparenting here.

1:15: We met up at Pork Barrel BBQ in Del Ray. I was late because of a motorcade…or the cop was just being a dick and not letting me on 395. The BBQ was OK. Had pulled pork and brisket. Even at the edges, the crust and smoke ring were only mildly tasty. Overall pretty dull tasting. The sauce is tasty, though. And the sides pretty dang good. Nowhere near my favorite South Carolina place, and my BBQ is way better; but these guys have to crank out some serious amounts of meat. So I can understand. Had a Miller High Life. Don’t judge.

1:30: Scoring system is set. Since we are going to have mismatches, the standard is: What percentage of time would you have Beer A vs. Beer B?

2:15:  The brackets are set:
EAST: Tröegs Nugget Nectar vs. Southern Tier 2 X Stout.

SOUTH: Port City Porter vs. Abita Save Our Shores Pilsner

WEST: UINTA Hop Notch IPA vs. Lagunitas Cappucino Stout

NORTH: Sixpoint Bengali Tiger vs. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald

You might find these match-ups odd. We didn’t coordinate ahead of time ( only that we needed one from each region). This is what would happen in the first round if i was involved with setting the NCAA Tournament brackets: Montana vs. Long Beach State, Kentucky v UNC, and ND playing an intrasquad scrimmage (which I have a feeling is the only way my Irish would get to the second round).

2:30: East:

Nugget Nectar- It should be clear by now how I feel about Nugget Nectar. It’s awesome (despite the whole communist mind-control thing it’s got going on).

2XStout – It’s as dark as blaxpoitation flick, but not super oily. It smells like double chocolate milk. Not nearly as sweet as I thought it would be. In the taste, chocolate is there, but a surprising amount of coffee comes out to play. I am picking up some smokey chicory thing, too, and some nice hop character, too. I was expecting this to be a blowout, but I am going to have a tough time scoring this one.

Scores: Tröegs 52, Southern Tier 48, in OT. Tony had Southern Tier winning 57-43. Average has Southern Tier winning 52.5 – 47.5. Sorry Troegs…I still heart you. Perhaps it was that I had not had a good stout in awhile. I felt like Troegs could have gone deep but for its first round draw, and Tony being wrong. 🙂

2:53: South Matchup:

Abita donates 75 cents on every bottle to help save the environment. Hippies. 5 point deduction. Pours about like a mid-morning piss (you’ve had your coffee already, but not enough H2O), with way more head than a piss should have, regardless of the time of day. Tastes way better than I thought it would (not shocking, considering my first impression). It is fairly sweet for a pilsner. You can taste some floral and spicey hops, and it has a heftier mouthfeel than your usual pilsner. Had I bought this to purchase on a 102F day, I would be a little pissed because it isn’t exactly the most refreshing pilsner I have ever had.

Port City – My thoughts on Port City’s Porter are well-documented. It rocks. Not too sweet, not too dry. Subtle. Chocolate, light notes of coffee, creamy, and a light kiss of hops. One of my favorite porters.

Score: Port City Porter 75, Abita Pilsner 25. After Abita’s 5 point hippie deduction: Port City 80, Abita 20. Tony had Port City winning 78-22. Average: 79-21

3:18: West matchup:

Uinta Hop Notch IPA – I expected great things from this. I had heard someone call this the Pliny killer (Pliny the Elder), which seemed little dubious. This is very smooth, somewhat creamy. I think I am picking up citrus and some tropical fruits, and a slightly piney bitter finish. It is a solid IPA, but it is no hop-lover’s delight.

Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout – Pours much lighter than I thought it would. It’s almost like a dark Brown Ale, with red highlights. It smells nice: a pleasant coffee, with hints of chocolate. Tastes sweet and bitter with a funny sour aftertaste. I can’t tell if the bitterness is from the hops (about 30 IBUs) or the coffee. I think it must be the coffee. This is my least favorite Lagunitas beer (and Lagunitas is one of my favorite breweries). I am having a hard time figuring out when I would get this again. Perhaps if I found myself north of the Arctic Circle, delirious, unsure whether it was 9pm or 8am, all I had was beer, and I needed a little pick-me-up combined with a little coping mechanism for being north of the Arctic Circle. It could happen…

Score: Uinta 90, Lagunitas10. Lagunitas gets +10 for being one of my favorite breweries. 80-20. Tony had Uinta winning 66-34. Average had Uinta winning 78-22. I think Tony is an Anti-IPA-ite.

3:49: North Matchup:

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter: This is new to the DC-area. I have heard great things about this beer, particularly from Ohio-based beer blogger behindthebrews. It’s dark, dark, dark brown, with amber highlights. Sturdy 1-inch head. Light coffee and bittersweet chocolate smell. Same with the taste, with maybe an addition of toasted malt and smokiness. This is an extremely drinkable porter. It doesn’t blow me away, but it is tasty and I could throw down many.

Six Point: Dull gold. Nice-looking, rocky-type IPA head. Looks pretty. Don’t smell much…some distant hops in the nose. The can claims: citrus, pine, and resin. I taste grassiness up front and citrusy-pine in the finish. It has a bitter aftertaste that isn’t worth the flavor down-payment. Therefore, this beer does not make it through my underwriting department. This is my second Six Point, and I was disappointed in both. I have seen a bit of hype around Six Point. Meh.

Score: Great Lakes 55, Six Point 45. Tony wants even numbers now, so I gave Great Lakes +1 point because they are from Cleveland, and they have a beer named after the time the Cuyahoga River caught on fire. So, 56-44. Tony had Great Lakes winning 86-14. Great Lakes won the average: 71-29

4:30: I haven’t paid much attention to the basketball thus far. I know Montana is getting their asses handed to them, and Syracuse is about to bust everyone’s bracket. I do know that the tournament would be better if they got to pick special tournament names, ND bookstore basketball tournament style…with no censors. Then the world would not be deprived of glorious names such as: Kentucky Harry Ballsagna, UNC Hung Dong Millionaires, Marquette Sofa King Awesome, UNLV How I Met Your Mother, Gonzaga Would You Please Stop the Bus and Let My Brother Jack Off.

Check back for the semi-final match-ups: Uinta vs Port City and Great Lakes vs Southern Tier.