Asahi

Asahi Cap  Asahi is a Japanese beer. When I was living in Korea, there was an effort to popularize Asahi in the various bars. On certain nights, the Asahi girls would arrive at various bars and hand out cold bottles of beer. They even handed out novelty Asahi flip-flops. Unfortunately for me, Asahi was very expensive at the bars, so I never bought it.

Asahi Extra 1

Now that I’m back in the US, Asahi isn’t quite as expensive. It’s a very popular beer in Asian restaurants, and it goes especially well with Japanese food. Asahi and sushi is really good. The bitterness of the beer compliments the sweetness of the sushi wonderfully.

Asahi_Bottle

As I poured my Asahi, my mouth began to water. This beer smells exactly as a beer should. The first sip of Asahi was bitter – nicely so. Unlike other Asian beers I’ve had, this beer has a strong, full-bodied taste. This beer advertises itself as being “super dry,” and it is. It has a nice, sharp finish. It’s a really enjoyable beer. Usually I lean away from the lighter beers, but Asahi is really tasty.

Will I buy Asahi again? Yes. I think this will be my Asian beer of choice.  Should you buy Asahi? It’s a bit bitter, so be prepared, but yes, you should try it.

I give this beer 4/5 caps.

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Shiner Blonde

Shiner Blonde CapTamara, (my wife) wanted to make some beer bread a few nights ago, so she asked if I had anything that would work for it. Lighter beers work better for beer bread than darker beers, so I had to check. Since my Shiner Family Reunion pack offered its beers in pairs, I figured the Shiner Blonde would work well for her. It also gave me a good excuse to pour one into a glass so that she could confirm that it was the beer she wanted to bake with. Of course, I get to drink that one.

Blonde ales are very pretty beers. Shiny and golden, they look like sunshine in a glass. Shiner’s Blonde was just as pretty as any blonde ale I’ve ever seen. I’m really hoping this one impresses me more than the other Shiner family members I’ve tried so far.

Shiner Blonde Bottle

Just by looking at it, I expected this beer to be sweet. It was slightly sweet as it flowed across the tongue, but that quickly gave way to a pleasantly sharp swallow. In fact, I’d say the best qualities of this beer are the way it plays in the mouth rather than the flavor. Flavor-wise, this beer is unobtrusive and mild. At the moment, I kind of wish its twin wasn’t being made into bread. I’d like to drink another. (And with that thought, my wife came and took the last ¼ of what was in my glass to add to her recipe.)

As bread, this beer was very good. It helped to make a much lighter, fluffier bread than usual. Tamara and I enjoy watching Betty’s Kitchen on YouTube. Betty’s a sweet lady who’s more entertaining than she probably intends to be, and her recipes are really good. Tamara was inspired by this recipe, but made some adjustment as she makes her own beer bread often. If you’re a fan of beer, you’ll be a fan of beer bread whether made with cheese and chives or without.

Would I drink this beer again? Sure. I’d like to get some more right now, in fact. This beer offers a really nice way to wind down from a busy day. It would be nice to sit out on the porch with it. Should you try this beer? If you can find Shiner Blonde on its own, then yes. At the moment, the mixed pack is 1 for 3 though, so I can’t recommend that investment yet. Hopefully the last three beers in the mix will be fantastic.

As a drinking beer, I give this one 4/5 caps.

PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale

PranQster BSGA CapMy wife went to World Market to pick up some of her favorite coffee syrups. World market also has a small liquor section. Here, they offer a unique selection of beers that you often don’t find at the other stores. They also offer the chance to make a mixed six-pack. My wife, not being a fan of beers herself, grabbed a very random mix of beers for me.

Among the beers she brought me was the PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale. Belgian style golden ales can be fermented up to three times. They’re also typically strong in their alcohol content reaching up to 9%. The PranQster offering claimed to be only 7.6%, but this was still enough to leave me slightly light-headed after just one.

PranQster BSGA Bottle

This bright yellow beer looked like a hefeweizen. It smelled like a hefeweizen. And, it tasted very similar to a hefeweizen. In fact, hefeweizen and Belgian wheat beers are often described as “cousins.” This is a sweet beer, but as hefeweizens often have a mildly medicinal taste, that is absent in this brew. PranQster offers a beer with good flavor, not too strong, and very pleasing. I wasn’t expecting a beer like this when I sat to write this blog, and I usually need to be in a specific mood to appreciate a beer like this. It turns out I’m in such a mood.

Will I buy this beer again? Yes, if I can find it. It was a bit of a fluke that I was able to have this beer. I hope I will come across it again some day. Should you drink this beer? If you’re a fan of hefeweizen, you’ll like this. If you’ve never had a hefeweizen, this might be a good beer to try first. The Belgian style wheat beer is milder than a hefeweizen, and it might be a bit easier to introduce yourself to.

I give this beer 4/5 caps.

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale

2013-04-04 11.03.34I’m hesitant to try fruity and nutty beers. Too often I’ve had nasty experiences with these. When I picked up this beer, I had focused on the ‘Brown Ale’ in the title and completely overlooked ‘Hazelnut.’  As I focused closer on the label, I began to worry.

This beer is brewed by the Rogue Brewery for “the rogue in each of us.” I played a rogue in World of Warcraft, but that was a while ago. I’m not sure how much rogue I have left in me. Apparently, it was enough to appreciate this beer.

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This beer was sweet, but was countered nicely by bitter. It did have a nutty flavor, but I wasn’t able to tell specifically what nut it was meant to be. However, later in the drink I began to get the sensation of a coffee. Perhaps this was the hazelnut showing its identity. At times, the aftertaste of this beer was almost soda-like.

Would I buy this beer again? I guess so. It really wasn’t bad, but thee are many offerings from Rogue that I enjoy much more. This beer was better than average. Should you try this beer? Yes. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

I give this beer 4/5 caps.

Red Nectar

2013-03-29 08.26.03Red Nectar is brewed by Nectar Ales, a relatively young brewery founded in 1987. (I say relatively young since it was founded within my lifetime as apposed to breweries from which my grandfather probably drank.) The brewery claims this is in the style of an American Amber Ale, but it is, without question, unique.

Being a fan of red ales, I’ll often gravitate toward beers that have ‘red’ somewhere in their name. Sometimes this leads me in the right direction as with Red Chair NWPA, and sometimes it leads me in the wrong direction as with RedRice. Luckily for me, it seems to be leading me in the right direction more than the wrong one.

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As I poured my bottle of Red Nectar, the red coloring filled me with great hope. It appeared the same as my favorite beers. But, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that a beer with ‘nectar’ in its name and pictures of humming birds on the label and cap should offer a flowery first sip. I immediately thought I was going to be disappointed by this beer, but as I drank it, the flavor revealed a complex estery quality. This beer’s evolving flavor leaves the drinker with something to think about. Luckily (for me), I didn’t have to think too hard as the flavor quickly revealed itself to be pleasant throughout the beer.

This turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. Would I buy this beer again? Yes. I’d enjoy this beer on a relaxing evening when there wasn’t much to distract me from it. I think it would also be a nice beer to accompany a visit from a friend where the intention is to sit, drink and talk. Its taste would provide its own topic for conversation. Should you buy this beer? If you like a slightly complex beer that will demand a bit of your attention, then yes.

I give this beer 4/5 caps.

Session Black Lager

2013-03-20 09.43.02Session is brewed by the Full Sail Brewing Co. Under this label, they offer the commonly found Session Premium Lager and Session Black Lager as well as the more rarely found Session Fest Red Lager. Session Black was on sale this past week.

Session is bottled in those little stubby neck bottles, meaning they’re only 11 ounces a bottle. One ounce doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but in a twelve-pack, that’s a whole beer that you don’t get. That’s the same reason I never eat at Quizno’s. Ten inches instead of 12? No thanks.

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But Session Black is better than a toasty sub. This beer has a light chocolaty taste. It is full bodied and very tasty. It has all of the flavor you’d expect from a dark beer but isn’t as overwhelming as other dark beers can be. I imagine this is due to its lighter alcohol content as compared to other dark beers.

Would I buy this beer again? Sure. It’s delicious, and it goes on sale fairly often. Should you buy this beer? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.

I give this beer 4/5 caps.