Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Killer B's

I changed the name of this blog last year because I'd reached the goal spelled out in the old one and well because Bacon, Beer, and Books are three of my favorite things. However as I reflect on the months that have passed since the name change I realize it hasn't been a great year for two of the three.

Bacon has become some sort of fried glistening gold and as much as I like the crunchy strips my tightwad side just can't pony up 6 buck a pound when I can still get steak for that.

I guess I should have named this sucker Beef, Beer, and Books.

As for the latter I haven't had a great writing or reading year. I want to blame time but maybe time is what you make it and I haven't done a great job. Nevertheless, here are a few of my favorites I've read lately.

Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond

I got this one free as part of Amazon's Kindle First program. Now this YA Mystery sales for $4.99 but still a bargain at that price. It is the tale of old magic in a new world -- circus lore, old vendettas, and young love and a great read.

Anatomy of a Spy by Stephen Parrish

Anatomy of a Spy is a brief sketch of the quintessential American spy. The author draws on his experience serving under Clyde Lee Conrad, one of the most notorious turncoats in American history. Written primarily to help authors of espionage fiction, Anatomy of a Spy will also enlighten readers of the genre, as well as anyone interested in the little-known facts and often bizarre reality of the world’s second oldest profession.

As a long time fan of the noble Stephen Parrish I had to read these even though I have no plans to ever write a spy novel. The how-to element aside, this book is just flat out entertaining, enlightening, and engaging. Parrish delivers a wryly witty look at spy culture while sharing his brush with spooks during his tenure as a serviceman on foreign soil.

The Memory Child by Steena Holmes

A woman’s dark past collides head-on with her mysterious present in this surreal and gripping family drama.

A haunting tale marvelously crafted. I wanted to say more about the way this novel is written but I can't without potentially spoiling the reading experience.  

I will try to chime in with my thoughts on my reads more often but now lets get to the one subject I did have a great year in ... beer.

I gotta say the craft beer revolution is a glorious thing. If your idea of beer is still associated with Bob Uecker, claims of Rocky Mountain Spring Water, or talking frogs then you my friend need to wake up your taste buds and experience the glorious side of beer. Here are my top three beers of late ...

3) Devastator from Wasatch Brewery in Utah

A strong, amber lager (8% abv) with a nice malt aroma and flavor. Double Bocks date back over a century when Monastic brewers knew it as "liquid bread." Made all the better when drinking in the great outdoors.

2) TurboDog from Abita Brewing in Louisiana

From Abita Brewing ...
A dark brown ale brewed with pale, caramel, and chocolate malts and Willamette hops. This combination gives Turbodog® its rich body and color and a sweet chocolate, toffee-like flavor. Turbodog® began as a specialty ale, but has gained a huge, loyal following and has become one of our flagship brews.

This ale pairs well with most meats and is great served with hamburgers or sausages. It is a good match with smoked fish and can even stand up to wild-game dishes. Turbodog® is also great for marinating and braising meats and cooking such things as cabbage and greens. Colby, Gloucester, Cheddar and blue cheeses go nicely with Turbodog®. It’s perfect with spicy Louisiana jambalaya or Spanish paella. Some even like it paired with chocolate!

1) Ola Dubh 12 Year Special Reserve by Harviestoun Brewery in Scotland

No doubt the best beer to ever touch my lips.

From the official description ... Ola Dubh 12 pours black with a modest spattered head that reduces slowly, leaving behind textbook lacing. The aroma is delicious; smoky Worcestershire sauce, leather, iodine and grilled steak. Flavours of smoky-sweet malts, roasted peat, coffee beans and a well-bittered finish. Overall this is a rather exotic brew with a defined barrel influence. It’s refined rather than over the top and very delicious indeed.

I know it is a bit early for a year end best of post but it's been a rather crappy year blogging wise so I'm flushing the past with this entry and starting anew. Hope you enjoy a few of this picks.


B.E. Sanderson said...

Do over! Cool. Here's to a better year!

Charles Gramlich said...

Pretty much just drink Abita here. Course its right around the corner from us.