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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

Courtesy of a very good store I occasionally visit comes my first set of beer recommendations in a long time...

1. Years ago, somewhat early in my blogging days, I reciprocated a link to a blog run by the folks at Lazy Magnolia, a brewery I had never heard of in southern Mississippi. I suspect they found me was because (a) I occasionally mentioned beer, and (b) I noted on a few occasions that I am originally from that state. But it wasn't until few years later, while visiting my brother in northern Mississippi, that I got to try any of their wares. That beer was Southern Pecan, a nut brown ale. I liked it, and here is the commercial description, as provided by the Beer Advocate site:
Image via Wikipedia.
Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale is the first beer in the world, to our knowledge, made with whole roasted pecans. The pecans are used just like grain and provide a nutty characteristic and a delightful depth to the flavor profile. This beer is very lightly hopped to allow the malty, caramel, and nutty flavors shine through. The color is dark mahogany. Southern Pecan won a Bronze Medal in the 2006 World Beer Cup in the Specialty Beer category.
Based on my finding this on the shelf at my new local beer emporium in Jacksonville, it would appear that Lazy Magnolia is doing pretty well, and it's nice to be able to have this one whenever I'm in the mood.

2. On the same trip I bought some Southern Pecan, I also brought home a small can of a kind of beer I had only ever heard of before, an Icelandic toasted porter, by Einstök:
With notes of coffee and dark chocolate, this porter is roasty and rich, with a robust, yet smooth body. Toasted malts give it a sinister black color, but its crisp taste will have you believing that there's no more need to be afraid of the dark.

Lager malt, Munich malt, chocolate malt, Bavarian hops, with the slight addition of authentic Icelandic roasted coffee.
I agree with the folks at Beer Advocate that this is very good, but I will have a few more some time just to be on the safe side.

3. I was quite happy to find a big selection of lambics, including black currant, by Lindeman's. In lieu of a commercial description, I'll quote one of the better reviews:
Very dark blackberry color. Body was just above average with a decent amount of champagne like carbonation. Overall a very nice feel to this beer. Aroma is black grape juice, black currant juice, some yeast and a mild tart sour funk also show up in the aroma.

Taste really follows the nose on This one. It is a little sweet in a sugary way but is also a bit dry. The sweetness isn't over done and it allows the mild sour, tart, funk flavors to come through.

Overall it's an excellent high quality beer. [minor edits]
For those unfamiliar with the style and interested in trying it, I highly recommend clearing your palate, or at least not trying this after particularly hoppy beers.

4. Somehow, on my first visit to the new emporium, I managed to completely miss an entire shelf -- the one containing Spaten Optimator, of which I like to keep a few on hand. This was a problem, because it has otherwise been incredibly hard to find dopplebocks in this area.

And so it was that the desire for a substitute caused me to try Abita's Andygator for the first time. (These beers usually have names ending in -ator in deference to Salvator, the first of its kind.) This is good, but it is a variety of the style I had not heard of:
Andygator, a creature of the swamp, is a unique high-gravity brew made with pale malt, German lager yeast, and German Perle hops. Unlike other high-gravity brews, Andygator is fermented to a dry finish with a slightly sweet flavor and subtle fruit aroma. Reaching an alcohol strength of 8% by volume, it is a Helles Dopplebock.
That noted, I'd never tried any of this Louisiana brewery's offerings before. I'll buy this again on its own merits and plan to try some of their other beers.

-- CAV

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