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Hobbit Beer

There’s been a rush of craft beer this holiday season. And with craft beer, variety and obscurity seem to be the thing to draw you in. So I want surprised when these started to pop up in stores for $15 a bottle. 

 

No, I didn’t give in and buy them as soon as I saw them. I did laugh though. Now here it is, a few months later and lo and behold, they are still in stores. Only now I did buy 5 bottles. But that is for two reasons. 

1. They need to be moved and are marked down to $2 a bottle. 

2. If they turn out to be horrible beers, they were only $2 a bottle. 

3. If they turn out to be horrible beers, it’s ok, cause at least they are 8 and 9.5% abv respectively.

Smaug Stout with chili peppers
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(brewed by Fish Tale Ales brewery)

At 8.5 % abv, you can taste the alcohol. Probably the first thing I noticed. It has a pleasantly  smooth aroma that is welcoming to my nose. It smells almost chocolately. Quite lovely. The mouthfeel is lighter than I expected. Kind of pleasant. Especially since they are 1 pint 6fl oz. bottles. At 65 IBU, it leans more towards the bitter side, which I don’t prefer in a stout. That said, I don’t know what hops were used, but they do blend nicely with the roastiness of the barley. The beer claims to have chills in it, but if it did, I didn’t notice. The roasted flavor was a little overwhelming and probably washed out the pepper. 

Overall, a fairly tasty beer, though a bit too bitter. One is all you really need with this one though. Which is too bad for me cause I still have to try the Belgian style tripel. 

look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.69/5

  
 

Belgian Style Tripel:
(brewed by Fish Tale Ales brewery)

I admit, I don’t have too much experience with tripels and I’m writing this with my BJCP style guides open. I hope that helps in my rating beer.

Because I have no experience with Tripels, I feel like I’m not giving this beer a proper chance. I don’t feel like this accurately represents a tripel. It’s color is about all I see in similarity. And maybe it’s effervescence. But there is not much clarity. It poured hazy with a 1.5 inch white head.

 I was expecting some spicy and peppery, but I catch very little of that. It’s moderate fruity esters are more than moderate. The guidelines clearly state “Marriage of spicy, fruity and alcohol flavors supported by a soft malt character”.  I taste no marriage here. The alcohol, though high at 9.5% abv, is low and sneaks in at the end, but not as low as the spiciness. By far the fruity esters wear the pants in this “marriage” with hints of coriander peel and banana. There is also a sense of wheat as well which I int think is characteristic of tripels. 

I’m sorry, but I’m just not a fan. No, I don’t have experience with Tripels, and after drinking this, I think I can still say the same. 

look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.18/5

  

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The View

I can’t help but to be amazed every morning on the way to work, every evening on the way home, every weekend out and about, or any time i can see the sky really. It is always so beautiful and I just wanted to share a few moments.  

  
  
              

 

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Let’s make Christmas

The holidays are here. When I took this picture of Zenny wearing my 28 year old Santa hat, I realized I should be writing this down. So here I sit, eggnog in hand, to tell you a few things that have, thus far, helped make the holidays. 

I found a growler of some beer I made about 6 months ago. That in itself is a Christmas miracle. It turned out to be a decent dunkelweizen. But that wasn’t all. In looking for a growler to fill, I found a pint size flip top bottle that was also full of an old beer. This was, though, was a true find. It was a bottle of “Vader’s Morning Brew”. It is a coconut-vanilla-coffee imperial stout that I brewed in July. You want to talk about a beer that ages well. It was truly amazing. 

On the first week in December, we busted out our boxes of Christmas things and set to setting up out tree. As it turns out, we came away with the wrong box and ended up filling the tree with ornaments that weren’t ours. We also set up a strand of lights around our window and a set of rope lights out on the front railing. On trying to fix a few dead bulbs on the tree, I blew half the set on the window. How was I supposed to know the bulbs from the spare set would blow up all the other bulbs?

 

Then we have a cheese platter from an RSCDS party. What’s Christmas without cheese? 

And then there’s the trip to the world famous Ala Moana shopping center. Amongs all the stores is one of our favorite places to get $3 beer, bentos, and amazing baked goods. I didn’t get pictures of the beer or bentos, but the tree shaped cream puff was both picture worthy and a plethora of flavors, textures, and amazingness. 

  

Lastly, I threw in a picture of Gavin and Sookie. Why? Just because. Just because. 

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Christmas Parade what?

 On my way home from work at 6:00, I realized the town Christmas parade was happening tonight at 6:30. Did we go? Well, obviously. You can see the pictures below. Did we almost not go? Yes. Why? Because we were being grumpusses. But thanks to Holly’s anti grumpiness grumpiness, we were out the door and down to the parade just in time to take pictures with storm troopers, receive handfuls of artificially flavored candies, see shiny lights, and fancy cars. It was only a 5 – 10 minute parade for us, but it was just long enough to make the evening a billion times more pleasant. Next year, we will plan to see the whole parade. 
  
   

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The Tree Skirt

Long ago in a time of the distant past, I started to knit a tree skirt. I believe it was the summer of 2011. It was started as a coping mechanism during a rough time, which included a move. As time went on and life kept moving, my knitting got put on hold. It was placed in an Invader Zim bag and stored in my closet. Every October since then, I’ve been pulling it out and adding to it little by little in hopes that it would be finished by Christmas. Four years and fifteen balls of yarn later, it is finally finished. This evening, we set up our Christmas tree, packed it with what ornaments we managed to successfully move with us, topped it with a tacky yet wonderful topper, and then lovingly spread the tree skirt around the bottom. It’s finally done. 

It’s been a fantastic year starting with the purchase of our first house. Now it’s December and we have thriving lilikoi vines, lychee trees, basil plants, a new bathroom, safe electrical, inspiring artwork on the walls, new floors, a refinished chandelier, new furniture, and so much more. It’s a fine house. And now it has a proper tree skirt for its Christmas tree.