Monday, January 28, 2008

RPM Challenge

Today I stumbled across The RPM Challenge, a challenge to musicians around the world to write and record a 10 song album of original material entirely in the month of February. As we are not the types to back away from a challenge, I signed us up, and we fully intend to complete said challenge using our state-of-the-art iPod home recording gear. Why would we subject ourselves to a month of deadline-induced pressure and agony, you ask? Well:

  • We're into that sort of thing.
  • Having only one job with pressures and deadlines is for sissies.
  • To knock us off our asses and write some damn music.

Be warned that the end product could end up... well, bad. Hopefully we will use this opportunity to try some wild and crazy things--some of which might work, some of which definitely won't--and we all know that's a dicey proposition when it comes to music. Even so, we're stoked to give it a try, and the tracks will be available, for good or for awful, in a few months. Wish us luck!


Friday, January 18, 2008

Flying Dog IPA (bottled) - 3.1

Snake Dog
Flying Dog Brewery
Denver, CO
Alcohol Content: 7.1%

There are some strange flavors going on here... lemony, peppery, burnt orangey... I can't quite put my finger on it. Even so, this beer isn't too distinctive or overly desirable. I feel the same way about most Flying Dog brews--I'll happily drink it, but won't usually buy it.

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This is a very drinkable IPA. Still nicely hopped, but very refreshing. Almost a toned down Stone IPA.

Appearance Aroma Palate Flavor Price Buzz Overall
4/5 6/10 3/5 7/10 4/5 3/5 7/10

On the one hand, very agreeable beer. But on the other, I'm not exactly dying to try another... but I probably will.

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Hop Devil IPA (bottled) - 3.8

Hop Devil
Victory Brewing Company
Downington, PA
Alcohol Content: 6.7%

Very bitter stuff, like lemon rinds soaking in strong tea. Even so, quite addictive. It sports a deceptively smooth look and aroma, so tasting this one was an interesting, and pleasant, surprise.

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4/5 8/10 3/5 8/10 3/5 4/5 7/10

This starts with a harsh citrus bitterness, but quickly smoothes and fades to an almost sweet alcohol aftertaste. It has a color like unfiltered honey with an almost nonexistent head. Very nice... and different.

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Hop's the word for this one, which may explain its high price in the current hops shortage crisis. I think I'll have to limit myself to one, all things considered, especially when there's Mojo available.

Appearance Aroma Palate Flavor Price Buzz Overall
4/5 7/10 3/5 7/10 2/5 3/5 7/10

Monday, January 7, 2008

Allez Cuisine!

I try to spoil myself with good food and drink on a fairly regular basis, but I know I must be hard up for something new and exciting when I see an $11 beer on a menu and can't even think of not getting it. To my credit, it was bomber-sized, and I did go through more than one server trying to get an accurate description of it. Furthermore, one doesn't go to a sushi restaurant looking at prices--one fills oneself chock full of sushi until not another grain of rice can be consumed, all in the hope that such an overwhelmed stomach can't possibly regret a large bill at the end of the night. Throwing some beer and sake into the mix can't hurt either. Now that's what I call foresight.

Kate and I were at Sushi Tora, a restaurant that rightly claims the title of "Boulder's Best Sushi," boasting of real wasabi and homemade sauces. The fish is fresh, the chefs are friendly, even the rice has the perfect amount of vinegar to make your tongue sing. But back to beer. The beer I couldn't resist was Rogue's Morimoto Soba Ale, a buckwheat ale that has found the perfect companion in sushi. It's grainy, with just a tinge of hop flavor, and it's the cleanest finish you'll ever find in a beer. It's like having a tasty side dish of soba noodles in a bottle. In short, it will make you eat way too much sushi. And yes, "Morimoto" refers to the one and only Chef Masaharu Morimoto, no doubt the coolest of all Iron Chefs, east or west. I'm curious to see how this beer would stand up to other foods or by itself, but with sushi, it's my new king.

On another note, the writer's strike has reinvigorated my love for the Food Network, as it is now one of the only things worth watching on television. Its only failing is that it motivates me to eat, not cook.