We didn't do a cocktail last night. I managed to
find 3 of the "Must-Try" beers on my list of beers from my 365 Bottles
Of Beer For The Year calendar (chronicled on my Pinterest board), so we had just beer instead. I decided to serve them up in rising
ABV (Alcohol By Volume) order. They are all pretty strong beers, though.
So that meant first up was the Founders Cerise Cherry Fermented Ale,
made from real Michigan Montmorency sour pie cherries. I am not a big
"fruit" beer fa, although oddly enough I had the Wachusetts Blueberry Wheat
beer for lunch and really enjoyed it, despite the bar insisting on
floating 3 blueberries in it (I really abhor putting foreign
objects and food in my beer). It was fresh and crisp, with very nice
blueberry aromas but the blueberry taste itself was very very slight.
And so it was with the Cerise (the most repinned and liked post on my
365 Beers Pinterest board). I really didn't have any hope of finding
it, as not only is it a seasonal beer, but one from a Michigan brewery
that I hadn't remembered seeing around here. But I was very excited to
find it at the local "big" liquor store and anxious to give it a try.
It pours very nicely. I've taken to being very aggressive at pouring,
since reading about it in my Tasting Beer book. It gave up a nice head and the
color is really spectacular. A very nice deep red color, with a nicely
red-tinged head. It had a fine light cherry aroma, with some interesting
hops or something.
Unfortunately, one of the bottles that I poured wasn't right. I
didn't really notice anything when I opened it or poured it, but after
pouring both, one had a very nice head and the other was flat. And it
tasted flat. So I think the bottle cap seal wasn't good. So I tossed it
out and opened a new one and it worked very nicely.
Again, it tasted great, with a very crisp taste and only a hint of
cherry, although more than the Wachusett had of blueberry. This is a
very refreshing beer.
Then we cracked open a Rochefort 6, a beer the calendar called
possibly "the best beer in the world". At US$6 for a 120z bottle, it had
better be! I actually had one a few weeks ago at a local beer bar and
thought it pretty excellent. But maybe because it followed the unique
taste of the Cerise, it felt a little lacking. Mind you, very nice and
quite crisp for a Belgian. It poured with lots of carbonation and a big
aroma. At 7.5% ABV, it is pretty strong. I enjoyed it, but I think I
will try the 8 and 10 next. This one may be more of a lunch beer.
To top the evening off, we jumped into a Widmer Bros. Nelson
Imperial IPA. At 8.6% ABV, it may have been just a little much for the
end of the evening, but it sure had no problem standing up to the fine
beers that preceded it. And excellent pour, with a big head and big
aromas. Both malty and hoppy, a really great beer. Very drinkable and
thus probably pretty scary. I had another one tonight and it gets
another big thumbs up.
And for gaming, we had our second night of Dead Island, the co-op
zombie shooter. Last week's game session wasn't too impressive. The
three of us wandered around, usually not together, and beat up, easily,
on random zombies. There is a little bit of a skill tree, and you can
work on your weapons, but that's about it for RPG elements. I've never
been too keen on the games that have your weapons "wear out" - my least
favorite party of System Shock. Not sure why after hacking on a few
zombies my machete would just explode into dust.
But this time we adhered to the main story quest, worked together,
and had some fun. We all went up a few levels and added some more
skills. I read online where the game gets a little tougher once you get
off the island and into the city, so that's good. And we also got to
drive cars, which is always fun. Chasing down zombies and blasting into
them with a car is always a grand time.
One oddity caused by the weapons wearing out is that you hit the
zombie to knock it down and then proceed to kick the shit out of it to
avoid "wasting" your weapon. So it gets pretty gruesome really. But we
played for almost 3 hours and had a pretty good time. At this point, the
three of us have played together about a year, so we have plenty of
history. I'm the one that can't be trusted with a thrown weapon or
anything with splash damage (although that's not really a bad
shortcoming in this game, as there doesn't seem to be friendly fire).
Michael is the one who just charges forward, no subtlety. And Chris
pushes us forward like a drill sergeant. It's a blast and we got into
the game's rhythm, so I'm looking forward to next week's session.