The Beer Corner: Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout

The newest review for The Heap’s Beer Corner is Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout! A seasonal concoction made only in the winter.

I saw this beer while scouring the shelves at Total Wine and thought it would be neat to try. I’ve had a few chocolate flavored beers, and they were nothing to write home about, so I wanted to give this one a change. Poured into the official Beer Corner beer sampling mug at fridge temperature!

Pouring: A heavier than normal pour, and you can notice the chocolate and alcohol aromas. A light brown creamy head forms, about half an inch thick.

Smell: Chocolate smell very noticeable and pleasant, but you can also smell the alcohol, which is not too distracting. It smells pretty good for a beer with a 10% ABV!

Sounds: It’s a heavier pour, and the beer is rather silent because of it. The head appears after the beer settles a bit, sounds are minor, if any.

Sights: The name is not lying! The beer pours noticeably black and stays that way. Cannot see through it, it is very solid, and you can only see evidence of carbonation at the surface. Light brown head appears with a slight creamy texture, though not as extreme as other stouts I’ve tried

Taste: Chocolate was pleasantly noticeable in comparison to other chocolate stouts I have tried. The sweet and slight bitterness of the beer was very enjoyable. I was expecting a slight chocolate taste and was surprised that I could actually make the taste out instead of t being lost in a heavy head.

Overall: Turned out to be a great find! I almost bought another one when I went shopping for another custom six pack yesterday. It’s a shame it’s a seasonal beer. Be careful with its 10% ABV! It tastes decently light, but I’d imaging that knocking back a few could cause trouble! From start to finish, a great holiday beer, and a nice conversation starter!

9 / 10 Bags

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

*This entry was edited on 12/19/10, the Rating was increased to 9 Bags after additional consideration*

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Mourning the Rays

Carl Crawford

We’ve been duped.

No, that picture of Carl Crawford in Red Sox gear is not a work of photoshop mastery. You are seeing what you are seeing- a workhorse taking the payday created by the current Major League Baseball system.

Tampa Bay Rays fans everywhere have been straight up fooled. For the last half of a decade, we actually thought we were no longer the glorified farm system of the major leagues.

I’ve lived through the Naimoli days (who I didn’t know was a Notre Dame alum), where we tried to mesh the young and cheap with the old, glorified, but past their prime. I’ve seen the Rays try to copy the Yankee formula to an embarrassingly cheapened and quite unsuccessful degree- I’m looking at you HIT SHOW years. And I’ve seen the Rays have a team full of minor leaguers who would probably have to scrounge around for playing time in other teams’ farm systems.

And then it happened. New ownership. Stu Sternberg- a man with a plan. No more “Gruden-esque “deals like giving  up prospects for has beens. The talent was brewing in our own system, we just needed time, and a few key trades that, while a gamble, brought in youth, and ultimately loads of potential.

The rest is history. After winning 2 AL East titles and having three winning seasons in a row, it seemed like the Rays were ready to be perennial threats to the former status quo of the AL East instead of the perennial doormat. A young nucleus was in place. A starting pitching staff that could easily dominate the scene for years to come had been assembled.

There are two issues. How can any GM work contracts so that almost half a roster becomes free agents at once, and also, how can you not even try to keep the face of your franchise? Offering arbitration must have been an insult to CC. But he knows the system, and he now is a rich man thanks to it.

The Rays have thrived on scouting out unproven talent  and signing on the cheap. I know how we operate. But you can’t help but wonder if this call for payroll reduction, and blaming poor attendance, a horrendous stadium, and whatever other factors Sternberg wants to claim are hindering the Rays franchise from competing fiscally with the big boys is nothing but a sham.

We are being duped.

It’s just a cover up. Management knew this day would come. While we made some GREAT moves, again, how can you allow for all of these contracts to expire at the same time? It’s a cover up. Slashing payroll to cover up managerial mistakes. Gotta love it.

Baseball is a special game. No one really gets it like we do here in the United States. Yes, the game is played in Asia and in Latin America, but the game of baseball is by far the greatest expression of Americanism at it’s finest. Hard work yields reward. Loyalty is an afterthought. We follow the almighty dollar. But who can blame CC, Carlos Pena, Joaquin Benoit, or anyone else who is soon to find a new home with a fatter paycheck?

I’ll have to accept the fact for now that Tampa is just a MLB training ground- and if we are lucky, we may get to see something special every couple of seasons.

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser