I love beer. I love pens. I love paper. In an effort to combine all three with the idea to (a) improve my beer palate, (b) try out my many beautiful fountain pens and inks, (c) and make use of my lovely papers, I decided to make notes on the beers I try. I buy most of these at Total Wine & More because I can buy the beers in single bottles, which is the best way to sample beers: no worries if I don’t like it. It’s a lot easier to pour half a beer down the drain than have five beers left in my fridge waiting for the perfect guest to arrive who might like it enough to finish the pack.
A warning though: I don’t have a very sophisticated palate and don’t always know how to describe what I taste. I hope that by taking notes I can improve this. When possible, I will link to Beer Advocate where people much more experienced and sophisticated offer their reviews. I refer to this site a lot as it is helps me to read what other people detect in the taste so I can try to find that particular flavor in what I’m drinking too.
As far as my tastes go, I like most wit biers, hefeweizens/unfiltered wheats, belgians (including lambics), milk/chocolate stouts. I don’t like hoppy beers, hence most IPAs leave me cold. I don’t like coffee, which makes developing my stout/porter palate difficult, though I’ve found many recently that I really enjoy. Beers I like in no particular order: Shiner Bock, Newcastle, Kirin, Taj Mahal, Shenandoah Brewing Company’s Chocolate Donut Stout and Stonyman Oatmeal Stout, Hoegaarden, Dogfish Head Fort and World Wide Stout. Craft breweries that I like a lot are Dogfish Head (non-IPA beers, of course), Bells, Magic Hat, Rogue, New Holland, and Ommegang.
My husband I recently went to make our own brews. He had done this before and made a vanilla porter that was well liked by a lot of our friends. Our current beer that’s fermenting is a modified monster Belgian brown that we’ll be calling Vorpal Bunny. In the process of trying to make a beer we’d both like (he likes stouts, I like wheats; he likes coffee, I like fruity/sweet/higher alcohol), we added some more hops to the batch on the advice of the brew master on site at Shenandoah Brewing Company. We’ll be bottling this up later in January 2010.
In general, I’m only going to post reviews of beers I like for now. As I’ve said, my palate isn’t very developed and I don’t think it is fair to give an unfavorable review of a beer when I don’t know much about beers to begin with. I’m sticking with the idea that I know what I like and that’s what I want to focus my reviews on.
I love recommendations so please feel free to comment on my reviews to suggest beers for me to search out!
I will also share what pen and paper I used when I jotted down my original notes.