Beer Review: Mystic Chardonnay Barrel Fermented Saison


Beer: Chardonnay Barrel Fermented Saison
Brewer: Mystic Brewery
Source: 22 oz bottle
Rating: *** (7.2 of 10)
Comments:  A limited edition farmhouse ale aged in wooden barrels once used for chardonnay from Chelsea, what could go wrong.  The beer sparkles like champagne and has the smell of apples.  The taste is crisp with a white wine / sparkling cider flavor.  It leaves a lot of lace behind on the glass.  If you want a fancy beer for a special occasion, this may be a good choice.

 

Beer Review: Cambridge Brewing Company Heather Ale


Beer :Heather Ale
BrewerCambridge Brewing Company 
Source: 22 oz, bottle
Rating: *** (7.3 of 10)
Comments: This is a unique beer that channels ancient styles with herbal additions to the brewing process.  The beer is a hazy, amber looking a bit thin at the bottom.  The nose smells of flowers and honey with a hint of spice.  The taste is an intriguing balance of spicy and sweet with a dry finish.  This beer is a lovely tingle on the tongue and I’d like to try it again.

 

Beer Review: Smuttynose Rhye IPA


Beer: Rhye IPA
BrewerSmuttynose Brewing Company
Source: 22 oz bottle
Rating: ** (6.4 of 10)
Comments: A golden beer with a thick head, the nose is kind of musty, citrus and malt.  The initial sip is heavy on hop bitterness, but offers a crisper, pleasant aftertaste.  The head sticks around a long time and even settles down on the bottom.  Not my style, but I expect those who like hoppy beers would find it interesting.

 

Beer Review: Blue Hills Brewery Okto Braü


BeerOkto Braü
Brewer:Blue Hills Brewery 
Source: 22 oz. bottle
Rating: *** (7.3 of 10)
Comments:  The Milton, MA brewery celebrates Oktoberfest with their take on the traditional Bavarian Märzen.  The beer pours out a gorgeous amber with some cloudiness.  The aroma is bready with some sweet hints of maple syrup, and that yeasty, sweet bread comes through in the flavor as well.  The beer leaves behind a thin lace.  I think it would do Munich proud.

 

Song of the Week: “Made to Stray” by Mount Kimbie


The electronic duo from London, Mount Kimbie, create a sonorous world on their track “Made to Stray.”

KEXP describes the song as follows:

“Made To Stray” is a twisting and turning five minutes of electronic music that thrives on restlessness as it whirrs through. After three-and-a-half minutes of subtly tense buildup, the duo’s vocals show up, but low in the mix, as if they were pieces of the machine rather than the lead component. When they hit the titular refrain clearly in the song’s intro, they’re gone as fast as they came, onto another path.

 

 

What is your song of the week?  Let me know in the comments!

Book Review: The Wet and the Dry by Lawrence Osborne


Author: Lawrence Osbourne
Title: The Wet and the Dry 
Publication Info:   New York : Crown, c2013.
ISBN: 9780770436889

Summary/Review: 

I received this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.

I selected this book expecting whimsical travel adventures seen through a drinking glass.  I forgot that alcohol is a depressant.  The author Lawrence Osbourne comes from a family of alcoholics and has recently lost his mother.  He spends a lot of time in various parts of the world isolated in bars merely drinking.  A particular challenge for him his to find places to drink in the Islamic world, which seems to be as tedious for him to pursue as it for the reader to see described.  While he has some interesting observations on the drinking culture (or lack thereof) in the places he visits, much of this work is inward facing.  And to be frank, Osbourne seems like an unpleasant person so it is a difficult read.

Rating: **

Recommended BooksA History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage and Baghdad without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia by Tony Horwitz

 

Song of the Week: “Hey Girl” by Sonny Knight and the Lakers


It seems more and more that when I am really drawn to a “new” song it’s because it sounds like a 1980’s New Wave song or a 60’s/70’s era soul track.  “Hey Girl” by Sonny Knight and the Lakers of Minnesota’s Twin Cities fall into the later category.  At some point I will find the new sound of the two-thousand-teens to fall in love with, but in the meantime I don’t mind grooving to this.

 

What’s new to your ears?  Let me know in the comments.

 

Beer Review: Attic & Eaves Toasted Brown Ale


Beer: Attic & Eaves Toasted Brown Ale
Brewer: Slumbrew (Somerville Brewing Company)
Source: Draught (in tulip glass)
Rating: **** (8.1 of 10)
Comments:  Our local Boston-area breweries continue to duke it out for a place in my beer-loving heart, and Slumbrew packs a wallop with their Autumn offering (and not just due to the 7.5% ABV).  This beer is a dark brown with a thin tan head.  The aromas and flavors are like a chocolate liqueur with burnt, nutty flavors.  The bitterness hits the tongue for a moment but is cleared away for a crisp finish.  This is a rich, tasty beer and I’ll have to try it again as the leaves begin to turn.

Beer Review: Blue Hills Brewery King’s Kolsch


Beer: King’s Kolsch
BrewerBlue Hills Brewery
Source: 22 oz bottle
Rating: ** (6.6 of 10)
Comments: This mysterious beer (can’t find any evidence of it on the ‘net) is golden and bubbly with a thick head.  True to its style, I find it has a musty aroma with a real earthy flavor with hints of chocolate.   The aftertaste is a bit bitter but it’s well-balanced.  Another good brew from some Boston-area beermakers.

For an alternate take here’s a review from the Boston Globe.

Movie Review: The Hunger Games


Title: The Hunger Games
Release Date: 23 March 2012
Director:
Gary Ross
Production Co:
Lionsgate
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Genre:
Dystopia | Science Fiction | Action Adventure
Rating:
***1/2

I had mixed feelings about the novel, and was concerned that the typical Hollywood spectacle in the adaptation would miss the point and glorify the violence of children murdering one another.  Luckily the filmakers took a restrained approach and while there are action-adventure tropes the film does not wallow in the violence and makes it grim and unnerving when it does happen. One of the effective aspects of the movie is the lack of music and sound at the most devastating moments.  The film faithfully follows the events of the book and with so many things to cover, the relationships among the characters are not developed as well.  It helps to have read the book previously to fill in those gaps.  Jennifer Lawrence puts in a great performance as the lead character Katniss Everdeen and Stanley Tucci also stands out as a slimy television presenter.