untappd logo

Looking back, I can see that 2014 was a prolific year for drinking. Thanks to the Untappd app, I have a way of quantifying this. Over the years I’ve been known as someone who loves use the app as a way to create similes to describe what I’m drinking; sometimes it’s clever but usually it’s just confusing and bizarre.

Here, I present my UnTappd Year in Review!

“Like the shock when you realize the Dairy Queen is on fire.”
Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean (Jan 2.)

stone smoked porter wtih vb

Here I was trying to get across the unexpected mixture of smoky and sweet; it was disconcerting, but lead to a fun review. I think Stone does almost everything well, especially their Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA, but this one was merely “good.” 3/5 stars

“Like a pineapple on fire humming down a playground slide.”
Two Roads Brewing Rye 95 (Feb. 21)

Two Roads Rye 95

The fire comes from the boozy quality behind this beer, and I think the pineapple references the hop experience. As for “humming” down a “playground slide,” I can only imagine that I was thinking that perhaps this beer was immature and needed some more time to ferment. Still enjoyed it a lot. 4/5 stars

“Like a crisp chocolate chip cookie kilt lifted by a mocha breeze.”
Founder’s Brewing Company Dirty Bastard (Mar. 28)

Founders DB

This was a rather straight-forward description that played with the Scotch angle. Any time I can make a PG-13 reference, I’ll take it. I’m a malt-head so this one sang to me. 3/5 stars

“Like a smoldering tickle fairy creeping around a pine tree.”
Sebago Brewing Company Bonfire Rye (April 2)

sebago bf

This was a delightful beer that I’ve come to enjoy months later; it’s got that smoked malt in the background that combines with the rye bread flavor of which I’m fond. I did get a sense of pine from the hops, and where that fairy came from I have no idea. 3/5 stars

“Like a squirt in the eye from heaven’s welcome basket.”
Otter Creek Brewing Fresh Slice (May 14)

Otter creek fs

I remember getting very excited for summer on its way after this one. It really lived up to its name and I was indeed in a heavenly place while downing this one. I believe I was at Backstage, a beer bar in Torrington, and I think it might have been the time I met the brewer. My notes only show I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

“Like a whispered scream that lingers.”
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company Soft Spoken Biere de Table (June 5)

Thomas Hooker Soft Spoken

I remember having this one distinctly: It was at the Wadsworth Antheneum in Hartford, and I thought I was setting up a plan with someone there to lead beer tastings regularly. Sadly, that didn’t pan out. But the low-alcohol “table beer” was a pleasant enough way to welcome in the summer months. Looking back, I probably should have held out for something with more kick. 3/5 stars

“Like sinking into the devil’s snakepit and coming up dazed.”
Southport Brewing Company Mambo Bock (July 7)

Southport brewing logo

This was when I was working on my book, “Connecticut Brewing,” full time. I was able to leave my day job behind and do some serious research, even if it meant traveling down to Southport, about an hour away. I had just finished up interviewing the brewer, Frank, who said he referred to this as his “devil beer.” For a lager, it packed a tremendous wallop; I ate a lot before getting in the car again, and I was fine. 4/5 stars

“Like a one-man mariachi band playing in a sound-proof room for no one.”
Corona Light (Aug. 6)

corona light

I had fun reviewing this one, and I’m pretty sure I thought long and hard about it. The circumstances must have been dire if this was what I was reduced to… I believe it was an out-of-state visit after I’d depleted my own stock. 1.5 stars/5

“Like a sailor’s viscous tears splashing tales of heavy weather.”
Cottrell Brewing Company Perry’s Revenge (Sept. 25)

Cottrell Perry's revenge

My research tour took a trip all the way out east to Cottrell Brewing, which is one of Connecticut’s oldest. Perry’s Revenge, a Scotch ale, was named for a sailor whose wrecked ship the brewmaster actually discovered. I was proud of getting the word “viscous” in there, one of my favorites. 3.5/5 stars

“Like stepping into a locker room and expecting feet but getting flowers.”
Boulevard Brewing Saison-Brett (Oct. 18)

Boulevard Brewing Saison Brett

I was able to enjoy this Missouri beer thanks to someone I met at a beer tasting that I hosted. We had a fun time that night sampling pilsners and porters, and when it was all done, this guy pulls out this hard-to-find gem. Even though it came after a night of drinking, I enjoyed it greatly. I really did expect it to be nasty, but it turned out to be floral and refreshing. 4.5/5 stars

“Like the winner of an all-cow twerking contest showing off.”
Lakewood Brewing The Temptress (Nov. 21)

Lakewood the temptress

I got this one at a wonderful bottle share with new friends. They actually live off of a lake, but this beer came from their travels to Texas. The cow reference is based on the fact that this is a milk stout, and it was indeed showing off, especially after we’d been dazzled by about six other beers that evening. 3/5 stars

“Like a Guatemalan wrestling match in a pile of raisins.”
Brasserie Mennard (Dec. 25)

I’ll end on this note; it has no picture. It’s an English dark ale made by a friend that incorporated organic raisins that had been soaked in Guatemalan rum, which I hear is very smooth. It was a wonderful way to spend Christmas, drinking the fruits of another man’s labor. 4.5/5 stars

Here’s to more puzzling similes in 2015. Cheers!

Happy Brew Year 2015

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