Liam Deegan

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Beer Cocktails

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm

In light of the recent Tales of the Cocktail, a liquid orgy of sorts, that took place last weekend here in New Orleans, I figured this mostly beer-centric blog could take a step into the realm of “mixology” or for those of us without suspenders, “bartending.”  Beer cocktails seem to be a somewhat recent trend*, as those behind the bar are constantly trying to find the next hot ingredient, beer has inevitably found a place in modern mixology.

IPA syrups, hop infused gins, and perhaps yeast zest along with other beery elements have found their ways out of the pint and into the coupe.  While nothing is as refreshing or reminiscent of youthful summers as a Shandy, there are newer inventions out there that aren’t as nasty sounding (or tasting) as a Michelada.

Death & Co. in New York has a “Noble Hop” section to it’s menu with fairly complex cocktails that use beer, including an almost obligatory nod to the Michelada, as well as cocktails using a Witbier or a hoppy IPA in concert with Velvet Falernum.

Seen in the picture above is perhaps a different take on a “beer cocktail.” Instead of introducing spirits, a separate category of cocktail can be mixing beers.  The well known Black & Tan is no contest for a Heaven & Hell made famous by Dogfish Head’s boozy 120 Minute IPA mixed with their 18% World Wide Stout.  In this case, Stone Ruination and Imperial Russian Stout make quite a tasty pair and even bring to mind the category bending Black IPA (CDA, IBA, whatever) with it’s roasty malt yet citrusy hop bite.

Recently I have come up with making a French 75 and supplementing champagne for Blanche de Chambly, Hitachino Nest White Ale or another Witbier to serve as champagne.  Perhaps similar results can be achieved with a subtle Saison.  The options are endless whenever a cocktail calls for fizz.  It’s just a matter of finding the right style beer.  But please, no tomato juice.

*I realize beer cocktails are in no way new, as the Shandy has been around for a long time as well as the “Red Eye,” Clamato, Michelada and other gross hangover “cures.”

Beer News: Abita Introduces Cans

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm

The can revolution is getting bigger.  On the heels of NOLA Brewing announcing their canning line.  Abita has announced they will start packaging some of their beers in 6 and 12-pack cans in addition to their bottles.  Amber, Purple Haze, and Jockamo I.P.A will be available in cans in “early 2012.”

The full article is available over on

Guest Beer Review: Dogfish Head Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

This is a PourThought first, a guest review.  My good buddy Jake Gould got his hands on this limited release beer from Dogfish Head and he wrote up a great review of the beer.  Here’s some info on the beer straight from the Dogfish Head website:

“In honor of the 40th anniversary of the original release of Bitches Brew, Miles Davis’ 1970 paradigm-shifting landmark fusion breakthrough, we’ve created our own Bitches Brew – a bold, dark beer that’s a fusion of three threads imperial stout and one thread honey beer with gesho root, a gustatory analog to Miles’ masterpiece.Featuring the album’s iconic artwork, created by the late Mati Klarwein, on its label, Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew was unveiled at SAVOR, An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, June 5, 2010 at the National Building Museum, Washington DC.”

So here’s Jakes review.  Thanks buddy!

I bought this bottle a little over 2 weeks ago and since then I’ve started a new job, moved into a new house, and seen Boston struggle through the worst winter of my life. Now that I’m finally settled it’s time to crack it open and give a shot at writing up a review.

Pours a very dark brownish black with a thin tan head.  Definite chocolate aroma with hints of sweetness and honey and a bit of caramel

Taste is simultaneously sweet and a bit dry with traces of malt, coffee, and honey. Very flavorful and masks the high alcohol content well.

Mouthfeel is balanced. Smooth and not overly carbonated. I love stouts so obviously to me the drinkability is very high.

I’ll probably watch Sopranos on-demand and finish the whole bottle.  I was lucky enough to get the last one in the store and will definitely be keeping my eyes out for it in the future, as you should too.

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 9%

Enjoy it…

Homebrew 4Lokos

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Not the best idea to drink it in the first place but since it’s now banned in NY, and the Brewer’s Association is petitioning the U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau to make some rules regarding caffeine in alcoholic drinks, this might be the only way to get the drink that you’ve become addicted to.

(click on the post for full video)


5 Jolly Ranchers (Watermelon)

1 Caffeine pill

40 oz. of St. Ides Malt Liquor

1 Can of Sprite

1 Can of Monster Energy Drink

Enjoy at your own risk.


In Uncategorized on July 22, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Since typing isn’t working that well today, here’s some pictures of what I’ve been drinking.

Technical Issues

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2010 at 2:42 am

I am sitting here drinking a Duchesse de Bourgogne Flanders Red Ale and I realize I am on the second to last page of a legal note pad that is full of reviews that haven’t been posted.

My computer is having some keyboard difficulties, which is one of many problems a writer can encounter. So I haven’t been able to post anything. However whenthese problems are rectified, there will be a multitude of posts and updates and exciting new beers to try so if you enjoy reading, check back and hopefully soon there will be something new on the site.
(If you would like to buy me a new MacBook, e-mail immediately)

Top 100 Beer Tastings at the Avenue Pub

In Double IPA, Imperial Stout, Reviews, Uncategorized on June 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm

For those of you not familiar with BeerAdvocate, it is a great website dedicated to beer and brings together all of us with a great affinity for all things beer. They have user generated reviews of beers that culminates in the coveted “Best of BA” Top 100 list. Many make a mission to taste all that are on the list and some choose to argue the top 10 and especially the number 1 spot.
One of my recent reviews, Black Tuesday was a very controversial #1 before falling a few months after its release day.
Thanks to the owner, Polly Watts, The Avenue Pub on St. Charles in New Orleans, has done several tastings which feature many top 100 beers. I have been to most of them and they have all been great, especially since many of the top 100 beers are unavailable in Louisiana and some are even hard to get without standing in line for hours.
Below is a list of the beers from the tastings and my notes on them.

La Fin Du Monde – Unibroue
Prickly carbonation and a clove spice, lots of esters and a pairing of clean grain with bright fruity notes that ends in a dry finish with the yeast shining through.

Peche Mortel – Dieu Du Ciel

Saint Lamvinus – Cantillon
Purple, rosey color with an initial burst of dark and tart cherries, raspberry and cranberry, with green apple fleeting through sparkling carbonation. A citrus and acidic puckering leads to a dry and light finish.

Bourbon County Stout – Goose Island

Hopslam – Bell’s
Golden straw in color with a tight white head. Strong pine and floral aroma with fruity pineapple and grapefruit citrus notes over a hint of malt. The taste is all hops up front. Mango, pineapple then some earthiness that turns to a bitter pine finish with a creamy mouthfeel. Great warm weather Imperial IPA

Dreadnaught – Three Floyds
Golden straw in appearance with a creamy white head. Bready malt nose with floral, citrus rind and grapefruit. The taste is reverse with mostly pine coming through, followed by a good dose of malt. Another creamy Imperial IPA that starts a bit perfumey and bitter and then changes to a sweet yet piney finish.

Heffeweissbier – Weihenstephaner
Yellow straw colored. Strong banana and clove presence in the nose with spice, yeast and bubblegum. Bright esters on the palate, more banana and clove followed by clean grain and some bread notes. This classice heffe is bubbly, crisp and has a nice spiced finish.

Hop Rod Rye – Bear Republic

Saison – Fantome
Cloudy gold color, fruity peach and mango nose. Fruity taste upfront with an effervescence mid palate that delivers grain and an earthiness on back which gives way to a spicy, tart and dry finish.

Breakfast Stout – Founder’s
Dark brown with a mocha colored halo of foam. Rich roast coffee bean aroma, chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Deep coffee taste with those roasty flavors coming through very well. Dry cocoa powder lends to a fantastic and lasting finish. The lighter body makes it a perfect breakfast beer.

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter – Great Lakes
Dark brown with hazelnut highlights. Fruity nose with roast malt and a light oat and nutty aroma. Dark roasty malt rolls over the palate with a sweetness followed by a light floral and bitter hop presence on back with a lasting bittersweet and roasty finish.

Ten Fidy – Oskar Blues
A deep dark brown liquid with a fine brown bubbles that encircle the top. Sweet licorice, toffee, malt and sweet bread aromas introduce this soft and silky beer to the palate with dark fruit, fig and licorice. Bittersweet chocolate and roast coffee burst through as the silky mouthfeel gives way to some carbonation followed by a warming alcohol finish.

Grand Reserve – Chimay
Dark fruit and brown sugar. A very tasty Belgian.

Angels Share – Lost Abbey
Raisins and fig are strong in the nose. The taste is rich and dark with raisin, licorice, wood and vanilla with some hints of brandy. Some alcoholic heat on back. Very delicious.

Pliny the Elder – Russian River
Golden, orange with a sticky lace. Delicious floral hop followed by a punch of grapefruit, then delicious tropical fruit and citrus flavors. Incredible beer!

Damnation – Russian River
Lemony citrus strong clove and spice presence. VEry bright and crisp, definite belgian yeasty quality.

Quelque Chose – Unibroue
Deep red in color with cherry, curran and pomegranate flavors. The fruits faded and turned to a sweet herbal slightly unpleasant cough syrupy taste. Great with ice, very refreshing in small doses.

Chambly Noir – Unibroue
Brown in color, strong banana abd clove in both taste and aroma, some yeast spice. Light and refreshing.

Dark Lord – Three Floyds
2009- dark and thick liquid with a tan ring of foam. Notes of raisin then cocoa powder and a deep and roasty espresso bitterness. Delicious!

2010- less raisin and fig notes. Same delicious cocoa and roasty flavors. This years has some dark cherry flavors that I didn’t pick up with the 2009 I drank side by side.
Both are incredible dark beers. Extremely rich and such an incredible mouthfeel like liquid velvet. Not sure if I like Dark Lord or Black Tuesday better. I think I need another sample!

New Beer in Louisiana! Shmaltz

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2010 at 7:28 am

So a new beer came into Louisiana today.  Shmaltz Brewing Company comes from San Francisco but also claims roots in New York.  They have the Coney Island lines as well as the He’Brew beers.  The Avenue has many of the beers available and Stein’s is going to sell bottles.

The special beers on tap were all really great.

They made a special Rye barrel-aged Jewebelation 13.  It is an American Strong Ale made with 13 malts, 13 Hops, is 13% and is very delicious and packs a punch.  It’s a deep dark brown brew with strong coffee, anise, and dark fruit notes.  A really good rich sipping beer.

Also on tap was a Sazerac barrel-aged Rye based IPA.  The special barrel-age beer was made only for the New Orleans release.  Lenny’s RIPA was a tasty and strong IPA.  It had an aromatic, floral nose with strong notes of rye whiskey, smelled like a hopped up Sazerac cocktail.

Finally the other beer I tasted was Origin, another strong ale, brewed with pomegranates.  It was a heavy amber, with nice fruity notes, but still like the others had a definite boozy quality.

All the beers were interesting, and the others looked equally as interesting but I can’t drink them all at once.  I look forward to trying the rest of the Shmaltz line, I was impressed.

Local Beer News: Shmaltz and Bayou Teche Breweries come to New Orleans

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2010 at 3:25 am

Bayou Teche Brewing, located in Arnaudville, Louisiana is now available in New Orleans on draft today.  Their flagship LA-31 Biere Pale, is available at the Avenue Pub as of 5 p.m. today.

On Wednesday, Shmaltz Brewing Company based in both San Francisco and New York, will enter the New Orleans market on wednesday, with a special roll-out event at the Avenue Pub with special kegs, including a barrel aged Jewbelation.

This is a good sign.  First Stone in November and now Shmaltz and local brewery Bayou Teche expanding into New Orleans means that the craft beer drinker in New Orleans will have more options and the average beer drinker in New Orleans will be able to sample more of the quality beers available in other areas of the U.S.  Do your part and buy and drink the craft selections.  With more demand, other great craft breweries will be here soon!

Super Bowl: Brew Dat!

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm

One of the biggest weekends of the year for communal consumption in America is coming up, the Super Bowl.  This year’s Super Bowl matches up a Midwest powerhouse, with a down South underdog.  The match up that is about to happen here at pourThought is less about inches and more about ounces.  Indiana can boast some great quality breweries as well as being surrounded by some states with deep history in both brewing and distilling.

During the Whiskey Rebellion, when many distillers were chased from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, no doubt the surrounding midwestern area, Indiana included benefited from rich tradition and culture.

The challenger, New Orleans is almost synonymous with drinking, and while it may be the Saints and the Who Dat nation’s first trip to the big game, they aren’t new to the bar.

Overall, a reaction to this question on BeerAdvocate was that Indiana was the clear winner.  They have Three Floyds brewery as their frontrunner out of Munster, Indiana.  They have 64 beers on BeerAdvocate with an average rating of A-.  There are a few other quality breweries in Hoosier country, but many don’t distribute out of the local area.  However Three Floyds Dark Lord is one of the most anticipated releases in the beer community with the Vanilla Bean Aged Dark Lord ranking at #4 in the Top Beers on Planet Earth, and the original Dark Lord #11.  Dark Lord’s first release was in 2004, and a year later Peyton Manning was announced the Pro Bowl MVP.  Coincidence? Probably.

Louisiana’s big brewery is Abita.  While many serious beer drinkers don’t see Abita as one of the top craft breweries, they make some good beers and have a wide selection.  Their average beer rating is a B-, which is still respectable with 34 beers listed, with Turbodog being the craft favorite.  Dixie is another New Orleans beer, but like Jax and Falstaff it has left New Orleans.  Falstaff and Jax pretty much fell into contract brewing wasteland.  Pabst stopped production of Falstaff in 2005 and Jax went from the 10th largest brewery in the country in the 60s, to bankrupt in the 70s.  Dixie is now contract brewed in Wisconsin, and has one craft crowd favorite, their Blackened Voodoo Lager.

Living in New Orleans, I have some bias, and NOLA is a beer only available on draft (with the exception of mini party kegs).  They have been open for just under a year and make three very great beers: Brown Ale, Blonde Ale, and the newly released Hopitoulas IPA.  All are very good and made with care and quality by Dixie’s former brewer, Peter Cadoo.  New Orleans Lager & Ale (NOLA), like the Saints, are helping to bring the spirit of New Orleans back after hurricane Katrina.  There are also some other breweries to mention; Heiner Brau on the north shore, and Bayou Teche, a brand new nano-brewery that is entering the market with expectations.

While Indiana may have a Manning and some respectable and well-known beers, the Saints and the regional beers have an underdog spirit and incredible heart.  I’m giving the win to the Saints.  The city of New Orleans has earned it’s place, and while you can’t get exceptional beers like NOLA anywhere else, you also aren’t going to understand “Who Dat” unless you are here.