Monday, March 31, 2014

Taxes, Then Beer

We spent Saturday morning dealing with the annual task of certifying our income to the Feds so that they could continue funding extravagant trips for the Emperor and Empress (and her mother.) That extortion ritual completed, we decided to relax over lunch at Capital Ale House.

"What's new and exciting?" we inquired after taking our seats at the beer. We learned there was a group of Stouts still available from the Dark Horse Brewing tap takeover earlier in the week. Colleen reviewed that list and ordered a Cream Stout labeled Too. I opted for Ice Breaker Double IPA, a seasonal release from Lost Rhino Brewing. Our bartender smiled when I placed my order, and related that he blamed the morning's grogginess on Ice Breaker.

Colleen remembered the photo

Lost Rhino Ice Breaker starts out with a citrus and pine aroma. The flavor follows with strong citrusy hops with that green "juicy" feel of a hop-rich Double IPA. A dry bitter finish hangs around between sips. Despite the strong flavors, it goes down easily. That, combined with the 9.2% ABV, might account for the bartender's pounding head.

I stole a couple sips of the Dark Horse Too Cream Stout. It's a very smooth, dark roasted stout with a mild sweetness for balance. Strong chocolate and espresso flavors linger in the finish.

The ice now broken, I was contemplating another of the Dark Horse Stout offerings as a fitting accompaniment for my Kielbasa Stuffed Pretzel sandwich, but I was really in the mood for more hops. I noticed a hand-written tap for Mo Pale Ale from Maine Beer Company, and went with that.

Mo is an impressive American Pale Ale. The aroma is quite pleasant and full of citrus and floral notes. The flavor profile wasn't quite as strong as my Lost Rhino beer, but this Pale Ale could hold it's own against an IPA. Fresh citrus and pine hops and a subtle malt base made for a very enjoyable drink. A moderately thick mouthfeel was followed by a clean, dry finish. I definitely need to try this one again.

After being reminded that a large portion of my income is relinquished under threat of force, for reasons having little to do with the welfare of our Nation, having a couple of good beers and enjoying some relaxing time with Colleen was the perfect diversion on a rainy afternoon.


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