Monday, July 27, 2009

The King Cobra

I’m sitting on the porch of our condo watching the sun set over the ocean outside Bandon, OR, and for once I’m actually enjoying my latest bad beer adventure. I don’t know if it’s the cool temperature and picturesque beach, or the day’s activities wearing me down, or maybe just the knowledge of what’s in the minifridge waiting for me to get to it, but this can of King Cobra is alright.

Pouring the clear, golden contents of the 24oz tall boy can into a lovely snifter, one of the few clean glasses remaining at my disposal, I soon relate the irony of drinking a $1.09 can of malt liquor from such a vessel to the absolutely stunning beach in front of me that lies on the outskirts of a run-down old Oregon town. The lovely pink and gray sunset over the hazy blue Pacific has me feeling reflective. Or maybe it’s the booze.

Smell is, as usual, about what you’d expect from this type of thing. Not much happening here but what there is won’t put you off drinking it, assuming you’ve made it this far. I have to recommend pouring this one, since it actually seems to benefit from a little breathing room. Taste is somewhat mild, but that’s not unexpected considering the fairly weak 6% ABV. Generally the alcohol is all you taste in something of this quality but not so here. What you will taste is sweet corn and little else, followed by a very mild, sweet finish, with a pleasant level of carbonation.

The full can done and gone, it’s time to say goodnight and go inside. While I can’t see myself actively seeking this one out closer to home, I can say with some certainty that this is the absolute easiest bad beer review I’ve done yet. Whether it’s the beer, the sunset, or just the adventure of trying something new, this one’s ok.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Greetings from the sand

You wake up early one morning and head to the airport. You try to check in to your flight only to realize it's been cancelled. You kill 3 hours at terminal C because you've already parked your car in long-term and refuse to go through that again. Eventually you arrive at your connecting flight only to learn that the connecting plane has been grounded due to 'technical issues'. Your gate changes. Your gate changes again. Hours later you board the plane and wait on the tarmac for what seems like an eternity only to find out that a seat back is broken and maintenance has been dispatched. Finally your plane is in the air and in 3 hours you land in Portland, where you'll wait 30 minutes for a rental car.

Sensing a trend? The journey was a trying one indeed, but well worth it on every level. Across 1800 miles I finally arrived at my destination: Beer Capital USA. My stay in Portland was a short one, but I'm following it with a seafool and beer-filled week on the Oregon coast so I have no complaints. I've packed a few bottles to keep me company throughout the week, and one or two to bring home. Thoughts on the Stone IPA in my hand will be posted shortly.