Let me start off by saying that I’m not a big holiday guy. While the Catholics are having Church duties I’m usually relaxing with the family with a tea or beer. Saint P‘s Day, here in the states, is basically just an excuse to drink and have fun. While I don’t need an excuse to drink, a lot of people are in the mood right now, so let it never be said that I’m not topical.
Today at the local grocer I picked up some fruit, veggies, and tofu and figured “It’s Saturday, if I don’t get anything today I can’t have it at all this weekend” (Can‘t buy alcohol on Sundays in Indiana for some reason). So I took a stroll over to the beer aisle. Midway through building my own 6 packs of random assortments of dark experiments I realized that tomorrow is the big green day itself. So, let me share with the interwebz my journey of discovery in the world of inexperienced beer.
Now, maybe it’s the green in my blood and the red in my beard, but my “go-to” alcohol of choice started with Killian’s Irish Red and the grand-daddy of them all, Guinness. For this reason I picked up a few “warm-up” beers, if you will. First up? Guinness Extra Stout.
GUINNESS EXTRA STOUT
The first thing I notice is a very mellow smell. Not a lot of overpowering of the nose going on and I’m not sure if that’s just something I never noticed about Guinness or if that is something unique to the Extra Stout. My first taste makes me feel at home as it is very similar to what I started with, but it is far from the kick in the teeth that Thr3e Wise Men: Hubbard & Cravens Porter is. It’s mellow and a little funky with a touch of burnt bread flavor on my second go. A bit of a skunky aftertaste, but not wholly unpleasant. I’ve had more expensive beers that left a lot to be desired, so the dollar and change I spent on the 12 oz. is more than satisfactory. The small head dissipated rather quickly, but that’s no deal breaker. Less thick and more carbonated than what I’m used to, but I’m still happy and damn, I can’t beat the price. It has a cool squat looking bottle with khaki and black coloring, giving it the appearance of an ancient dwarf (nerd alert).
Bottom Line: When Wee Mac is not available this will be a decent enough common choice for spur-of-the-moment (cheap) beer-time.
GUINNESS BLACK LAGER
This pours very much like a cola in every way. Not bad, but a step back from the Extra Stout insomuch as it took me several sips to begin really tasting and understanding it. I don’t have an extensive background in talking beer, so stick with me through this: The Black Lager seems a bit more like a “normal” drink and less like a Guinness. Less chocolate malt and more roasted barley. It would make a good introductory beer for people transitioning away from the piss-water that Anheuser-Busch peddles (no offence to those who like piss-water . As I get closer to killing the 11.2 oz I begin to enjoy it a little more, but not as much as the Extra Stout I just experienced or the Draught that I’m accustomed to. It comes in a slim silver and blue labeled number that follows the “shiny” method of American design. The back of the label tells me to enjoy ice cold straight from the bottle, but you guys should know how I am with rules. This bad boy went into a glass. I wear vests and and have a well groomed mustache; expect a level of class and tradition from me Mister Arthur Guinness!
Bottom Line: Not my favorite, but another cheap little guy that gets the cheeks red without choking down supremely sub-par lagers.
STEVENS POINT 2012 BLACK ALE
We’ll get back to the good ol’ harp brews shortly, first I want to detour to another Black real quick. There is little to differentiate the look of this from the previous beer, but the taste is a step towards strength, but it‘s mostly just toasty and bitter. It is in no way complex, in fact it’s very average but it has a little more kick that some of the stuff tonight. It’s label is just as average, being all black with the Stevens Point logo above the numbers 2012.
Bottom Line: Not a lot to say about this one. It’s alright, but mostly lackluster.
Stay tuned for part 2 and hopefully more in the Khaki Head world of beer.
Respect the vest!