While we drank these, we caught the new Dracula series premier. It’s the bizarre Tony Stark-ization of Vlad Dracul, with the titular character now masquerading as an American master of technology a la Tesla. As if Dracula doesn’t already have three superpowers and a pony, they had to give him steampunk tech. The actor may be a decent one but he looks about 18 years old (mmm, am I showing my age here?), with a vague attempt at a mustache and goatee, and for me, he’s simply not physically powerful looking. Dracula is essentially the ultimate alpha male and this version just doesn’t bring that off . I don’t mind riffs on classic stories, but if you mangle them so badly that they are unrecognizable, don’t try to trade on a famous title just to get attention. And yes, I am a fan of Christopher Lee as Drac and find that there was definitely a reason that the Winona Ryder/Gary Oldman version had to remind you that it was supposedly Bram Stoker’s story by declaring it in the title.
New Planet Belgian Ale – this is a gluten free ale, with sorghum and brown rice as the grains. We found that it tasted very much like a dry mead, with more than “subtle” honey notes. Excellent stuff but definitely not a classic tasting ale, Belgian or not.
Erie Brewing’s Heritage Alt Beer – This is a dark German style ale. It has a slight smokiness due to the roasting of the grains. Very dark head and a slight malty sweetness.
Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron – Dogfish Head can always be trusted to have some very unusual products. This is described by them as a brown ale, but it’s much more like a barleywine to me. The ABV is high, 12%, and it’s *dark*. It’s aged in casks of the palo santo wood and that does give it the vanilla/oak notes that one expects. We found it not as sweet as many barleywines and it would be a good way to get into that style.
Victory Brewing Company Winter Cheers – This is a wheat beer from Victory and it’s a bit sweet like I find most Victory brews. This one strikes us as a very fruity Hefeweizen, with a scent of peaches and green apples. It’s a bit unusual to have such a light looking beer as a holiday offering but it’s rich enough to stand up the variety of foods one gets when celebrating.
Fort Collins Brewing’s Red Banshee – This is a red ale, and we found that we though it reminded us of cherries, not in sweetness but in the slight tart darkness of the brew.
Founders Brewing’s Dirty Bastard – This is a strong scots style ale, with the expected cararmel maltiness. Sometimes it gets wearying to have extra hops added to everything, but it works well enough with this to make the sweet ale not too cloying.
That’s it. Eat, and drink, well!