Saturday, May 18, 2013

Taking a Break

My wife and I were at our favorite tap bar, Vintage Estates , last weekend doing what we do best, drinking beer. Let me describe Vintage first. 30 taps, always good brews. I believe, 25 mead's. 30 different whiskey's and about 1000 beers in bottles. I could easily live there. Almost forgot, a ton of wine. Alcohol Heaven. So, we were people watching, as we often do. When one of our favorite bartender's sit down at the table next to us, drinking something from a newly tapped keg. She had just gotten off work and instead of leaving she would rather drink awesome beer at the place she works. It got me thinking why I love Vintage so much. Everybody that works there, drinks there. The time before that they were doing a mead and cup cake tasting and one of the other bartender's, on his day off, was there eating and sneaking us cup cakes. A couple months ago when we first walked in, the bar keep we see all the time poured my wife a sour ale that was just tapped because he knows she is crazy about sours. All he said was "I got something for you".  I guess my point is, these are the places that keep you coming back, this is definitely our Cheers.

Getting back to that keg they tapped. It was Boris barrel aged Oatmeal Imperial Stout by Hoppin Frog. It's 9.4% ABV. In a snifter, pours a crazy dark black with a nice tan head. Aroma is of roasted dark malts and caramel. Can smell slight oak, very subtle. The taste is of roasted chocolate and creamy, with a subtle oakiness, which balances the alcohol level, not overwhelming at all. This brew is well worth the price. Just have to try and sip it, as I would love to just swig the first glass. Highly recommend this brew, probably one of my favorites out of Hoppin Frog.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Today is a good day for Call of Duty

Finally played the new maps for Black Ops 2 today. The new map pack called "Uprising", is much better than the last pack. Unfortunately the servers still suck, with a lot of slow down and lag. But lets talk about the new maps and the fun we had.

So Magma, the map of fire, well lava, is actually a pretty fun map. Set in Japan, with buildings and a subway train to one side. Lava is placed in various parts of the map and the fact the lava can kill your ass can make this map pretty intense. There's some nice bottle neck areas to nail people running through and nice hiding places to have full on shoot outs.

The next map, Encore, a small to medium size map, set in a amphitheater with long walk ways that lead into small buildings. There's also the wide open of the stage with a king of the hill feel. It's a fun map, but you get stuck in a few areas like a cluster, at times respawns are too close to the same area, so deaths can be many.

The third map, Vertigo, is my wife's favorite map, not really. This map is set on a roof top(COD standard) kind of a fast paced map, you keep moving in a circular direction. I like this map with the many corridors and and cover, but watch for the head gliching and the campers sitting in corners. I wish there would have been more higher levels to snipe from.

Then there's Studio, aka Firing Range, what's there to say? It's a remodeled  retro map. One of the funnest maps from the original Black Ops. Plays pretty much the same, fast and deadly. So we had a good time playing the new maps and will look forward to the next map pack.    

The brew I chose to drink with the new maps comes from Avery Brewing Co. out of Colorado. Hog Heaven barley-wine. 9.2% abv. Almost too drinkable, the color is deep amber with a thick tan foam and a nice hoppy aroma. The flavor starts with an intensely rich hoppiness right from the get go which blends well with the alcohol level and ends with a rich sweet caramel finish. I've had this brew a dozen times and will enjoy many more. This brew would also pair well with Skyrim and Dragon Age.

Side note: I haven't played the Zombie map yet but I will let you know.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Full Circle

So, I started playing Skyrim again after about 8 months. It's nice that you can easily start up right where you left off without much difficulty. The game still looks great even though it's a couple of years old and the game play is awesome. In circa 1979, I started playing a similar game called Adventure. Developed for the Atari 2600, and very 8bit, was unlike any game I had played before. At the time the graphics looked phenomenal and I felt the same as I do now looking at Skyrim. It really comes full circle, going back to my childhood to haunt me in a completely good way. If you haven't played Skyrim yet, you need to. Also if you find a way to play Adventure check it out, it will make you laugh at the simplicity of game play and graphics.

When I was 17 I had my first Guinness and a whole new world opened up for me in the world of brew. That Guinness was so dark and rich, yet milky and smooth, I couldn't get enough. Life had changed, and yes, I became a man. 24 years later, actually yesterday, I partook in a Finch's Secret Stache Stout. Wow, It took me back to my first Guinness. Pitch black, though classified as an American stout, has a rich sweet taste of a sweet stout. Coffee and chocolate notes with a slight sweet from the vanilla, puts this stout at the top of my list for now. definitely a flashback to my youth. I highly recommend trying this brew. If you like stouts this will rate high on your list and Guinness is still one of the best Irish stouts.


 Play games, drink beer, and play more games. Life's simple pleasures.