25 December 2022

1723. Sun King Chocolate Coconut Shadow Proof

I've done a few different versions of Shadow Proof over the years.

First was Beer #1413.  The Coconut Bourbon Barrel Version.  This Beer, 1723, is like the updated version of that first one I tried.

Then there was Beer #1488 - The Peanut Butter Cup version.

Then Beer #1497 was the plain Bourbon Barrel aged version.

Finally, I tried their "Son of Shadow Proof" variant that has chocolate, almond, and coconut.  That was Beer #1538.  And it was just okay.

This Chocolate Coconut version is really good and enjoyable.
The chocolate is creamy and not chalky.
There is a hint of coconut - never as much as I want, but still enough to make me happy.
The bourbon is subtle, and not as powerful as many beers like this - however, I was sipping on the beer, due to it's 11% ABV, and as the beer got warmer and warmer, the bourbon flavor got stronger and stronger.  This is a weird time where I will admit that I liked the beer the colder it was. 
(That doesn't happen often)

24 December 2022

1382 RIVISITED?: BrewDog Hoppy Christmas?

Beer 1382 was BrewDog's Hoppy Xmas in 2019.
I have to assume this is the same beer, despite the change in spelling.
Reading the description, it's about how this tastes, so I'm just going to call this a re-visiting.
I drank one with the main course dinner we had at The Millers, where there were many variously prepared meats, and we got to cook them ourselves on skewers, and then dip them in an array of seasonings and sauces.

The beer was blah.  It's an IPA, it's not my favorite, but it's manageable.

Paulaner Weizen-Radler NA

Garrett, Ryan, and I have all been looking for Paulaner NA (It's advertised heavily during Bayern Munich matches) - and Ryan is going to start carrying it for me at Joe's Fishers, if we ever find it.

Garrett came really close.  He found Paulaner's NA Radler, and since I like lemon - I really love this beer.  

For Christmas Eve, the Millers didn't want me to be home alone, so they invited me over to their parent's house for an amazing afternoon of eating, drinking, and games.  And I enjoyed the entire six pack throughout the event.  One of my favorite drinks recently.  I will be buying more in the future.

23 December 2022

1722. Sun King Momster Truck

Friday night, Pacers beer!

The raspberry aroma is strong when you smell this beer.
The raspberry flavor is prominent in this beer.
It's not very sour, but there is a little tart in the front of the beer.
It mellows out, and I'm assuming the passion fruit is what I taste in the back half of this beer, because it's not raspberry anymore.

The beer is tasty, and I like it.
It's nothing amazing, or that I'm in love with - but it's enjoyable.
I'm not disappointed.

18 December 2022

1721. New Belgium Holiday Ale

The Pacers have a 5pm game today, so I'm going to celebrate with yet another holiday beer.
This time, it's a Holiday Ale from New Belgium.
I haven't drank a "new" New Belgium beer since 2018...

New Belgium has done a lot of holiday beers over the years.

In 2011, they did Snow Day (Beer #204)
In 2013, they did Accumulation (Beer #404)
Also in 2013, they did a re-issue of their 2005 beer: 2° Below (Beer #439)

I'm not sure how long they've been doing Holiday Ale, but it's not bad.
It's a full bodied ale, that feels heavy, but easy to drink.
There's not any really heavy "spice" to the beer, I think it's kind of there, and might become stronger as the beer warms up?
The cranberry flavor kicks in at the end, and is a really nice finish to this beer, after it feels like it warms up my body.  This is another one of those beers that would be awesome for sitting by the fireplace, cuddled up on a cold winter night, watching some good holiday specials (instead of a Pacers game).

17 December 2022

1720. Lexington Brewing Kentucky Maple Barrel Stout

It's this week's SNL beer, and I'm really excited for it.
Over the years, the Lexington Brewing Company has released a lot of Bourbon Barrel options, and I've enjoyed a good number of them.

There is the standard Bourbon Barrel Ale.  (Beer #70 on the Original 152 post)
Pumpkin and spiced ale, aged in a Bourbon Barrel.  (Beer #332)
Brewed with Cherries and Oranges, then aged in an oak bourbon barrel, with bitters added. (Beer #818)
Brewed with Vanilla, and then aged in bourbon barrels.  (Beer #1125)
Finally, in 2020, Caitlin and I shared the Chocolate/Peppermint brewed, and aged in bourbon barrel version.  (Beer #1503)


The bourbon smell is very strong.  It has me giving it multiple inhales, while I enjoyed and fear the beer.
It's a thick and tasty stout.
The maple hits upon the first drink, and then the bourbon flavor is really mellow in the backend - compared to how strong it's bourbon aroma is.

It's simple, and delicious at the same time, and the bourbon flavor is so subtle in the backend, that this beer could be tricky, hiding it's 12% ABV.

15 December 2022

1719. Bier Brewing Christkindlmarkt

Christkindlmarkt is one of my favorite events that happens here in Indy (Carmel), and finding out that Bier had brewed a specific beer for this year was cool.

The can claims its an Orange and Chocolate Dunkelweizen.
Ok.  The orange wasn't very detectable - but it's possible because I drank it out of a can.
(Looking back, I had have my Christkindmarkt cup that I could have poured it into...)
I liked the beer, but I didn't love the beer - but again, I am thinking about going back, so that maybe I can let it warm up, and in a cup to try and see how different the flavor profile is with those tannins in my nose.

Still, this beer was very tasty, and was perfect for the chilly weather.
I got to share the night with my buddy Garrett and his family, and it was a very enjoyable time to feel like part of the family.

14 December 2022

1718. DuClaw Unicorn Farts After Dark

DuClaw, overall has just been okay. 
I get hyped for their beers often, but they tend to disappoint.

Unicorn Farts (Beer #1244) has been one of my favorite sour beers that I have ever had.
But, when I originally had it in 2019, it was FAR superior than the few times I found it during COVID lockdown.  I think on one of the Podcast episodes, I discussed how it wasn't as good as I remembered it.

So, the Sour Me version was obviously an ale, and easy to see the glitter in.

This stout version is DARK, and very hard to see the glitter.  I dipped my finger in, and held it up to the light, and was able to see some shimmering.  (Picture at the bottom of the post)

The cinnamon aroma is STRONG - and that's nice.
The chocolate flavor is powerful upfront, and doesn't have a chalky-cocoa taste, which is also very nice.
There is a hint of cinnamon, which is refreshing, since many beers like this have a strong cinnamon-bite that overpowers the beer.  This one does not, and I enjoy that fact.

It's a light and easy to drink stout.

Tonight's beer is a little special:

"Today is a juxtaposition of emotions. 

12 years ago was one of the absolute worst days of my life.  Losing one of my best friends. 

But, 8 years ago, I went on a faux-date with the woman of my dreams, and I was blessed to call her my wife for four years. 

It’s a tough day. 

But I’m going to stay focused on the positives that I have going right now. And be thankful for all the moments I got to share with those two special people."

Jimmy would have hated this.  Not his thing at all.
But, I think it's simple enough that Caitlin might have liked it - probably wouldn't love it, but would have given it her cute shrug and thrust out her bottom lip - which meant, "It's fine".

11 December 2022

1717. Hi-Wire Gingerbread Hot Cocoa 10W-40

 Sunday night, Post-TSO beer.
This bit of writing is going to be a cathartic moment for me, so bare with me as I got down the nostalgia train tracks.

My first TSO concert was in 2006.
It was after my first divorce, and I wasn't dealing well with being single during the holiday season.
Some good friends of mine bought me a ticket and took me to the show.
Since then, I've never missed a show in Indy.  There's been a few years that they skipped Indy, and played in Fort Wayne instead - but every show in Indy since 2006, I've been to.  (I assume the years they missed Indy were due to scheduling conflicts, like with the Pacers, or something)

In December of 2014, I didn't have a girlfriend, and I randomly asked Caitlin to go to the TSO show with me.  We called it our first faux-date, and one month later we were officially dating, and my life got so, so good after that concert.  Caitlin and I went to TSO every year together, kind of anniversary of that first faux-date.  The last two times, we brought Lily with us, and turned it into a family event.  Something I looked forward to every year.

When tickets went on sale this year (the TSO fan club pre-sale, baby!), I didn't buy one.
I guess a part of me was holding onto hope that Caitlin would magically want to go together - and I didn't want to buy one ticket for myself, and then be stuck trying to figure out how to afford two more together.  Nonetheless, as time grew closer to the show, I came to the realization that my dream was not going to come to fruition.  So, I bought myself a single ticket - and still went to the show tonight.  It was a juxtaposition of emotions - as I love their music and performance, but I'm an emotional delinquent, and many of the moments brought tears my eyes.  But, I'm still proud of myself that I went.

So, to celebrate this year's concert, I came home and opened one of my Holiday Haul beers from yesterday.  And, in typical Shane fashion, it's a beer that relates back to Caitlin, as we went to Hi-Wire together during our honeymoon.  So, I've been thinking about her all day (which I do everyday, but today was a little more in my face) and I decided to make this nightcap a dedication to her also.

10W-40 appears to be their name for any Imperial Stout that they do.
A quick Google search shows a few other variants - including a German Chocolate Cake variant that includes coconut - so you KNOW I wish I had tried that one.  Hopefully it's something that they do again (or seasonally) and I can keep an eye out for it.

This variant - is okay.  I'm trying to debate with myself if I think Caitlin would have liked it.  She was a Stout Girl - but she also didn't like things that were TOO complex, and this one has A LOT going on. 

The  aroma is solid.
It literally smells like gingerbread, so that's cool.
The upfront tap is of a strong and powerful stout.
After the beer goes down, that's when the mouth gets weird.
The chocolate flavor from the cacao starts creamy, but gets dry/bitter quickly.
The cinnamon is powerful, but brief.
I'm sure the other ingredients contribute too, but it's just kind of confusing for a minute, before things mellow into a decent vanilla finish.
I like beers that have distinct "acts" to their flavors - and this beer does.  
I'm just not convinced that I enjoy those various moments of flavor.

It's a nice beer, and it's a perfect holiday vibe.
It makes me feel warm inside, and the vanilla finish does leave my mouth happy after all of it's confusion.  It's not something I love, but it's something that I wouldn't turn down, if I was curled up next to a warm fireplace.

1716. Founders French Toast Bastard

This week’s SNL Beer!
For the past couple of weeks, my buddy Garrett has been texting me every time he drinks one of these beers. 
So, I picked one up for SNL this week. 

The beer is good - it’s not as good as my hopes had been built up to - but it’s still really enjoyable. 

The maple aroma is very strong upfront, and it has a full and heavy flavor to the beer. The cinnamon flavor might be too much for me - and as the beer warms up more, the cinnamon kicks in more.  But the maple backend and lingering flavor really does make this beer special.  My lips are sticky and when I lick them, that maple flavor is there too. 

This is a really solid beer, and is also very deceptive. 
In gives you no indication that it is 11% ABV.  It goes down so easy. 

10 December 2022

1715. Urban Artifact Pocketwatch

Saturday Night Beers are back!!!  Woohoo!
A Pacers game and SNL both deserve some delicious. 
So, I made a run to Total Wine today, and grabbed five heavy Christmas brews, and this lighter option for the Pacers game. 

I like the beer. 
It’s tasty, and just tart enough.  
But I can’t figure out exactly what the “dark fruit” is. 
It’s kind of grape-like?  But like “thicker” in flavor - of that makes sense.  Like, it’s not a sour grape, it’s not light.  It’s got some weight to the flavor. 

But it’s good. I enjoy it.