Ports & Pints: Tapping Off May

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Following last week’s journey through the North East, the past seven days has been a time to wind down and enjoy the liquid offerings in my current hometown of Orlando, Florida.

In addition, I also had the opportunity to shoot a pilot video for “Ports and Pints” with a couple of talented producers which will be available for viewing at some stage within the next week.

One important aspect I want to point out is that although I am blogging purely about the beers I consume, I am not solely limiting myself to particular beverages.

Although beer is my forte and in the area which I am knowledgeable about, I do enjoy a glass of red, a pour of whisky and a nip of sake as much as the next person.

Being an inquisitive individual, once I get the taste for something, I am keen to explore it further. This happened five years ago during a trip to Portland, Oregon when I was thrust amongst some of America’s greatest microbrews. The same applies for the aforementioned beverages and in coming blogs, I will attempt to elaborate on all my palatable experiences.

As for my past week in beer, one that immediately springs to mind is Unibroue’s La Fin Du Monde. It’s a Canadian Abbey Tripel and coincidentally I consumed this whilst in Florida and yet bypassed it during my jaunt to Canada last week. A spicy, full bodied beer, it is definitely one of the better ones I have consumed in 2013.

During the filming of the pilot, I visited an authentic Irish Pub in Downtown Disney called Raglan Road. One could immediately be forgiven for thinking they were in Dublin’s Temple Bar district as soon as they enter the premises here. The food, drinks, entertainment and hospitality are all first class.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Irish beer as much as I do enjoy all the Irish festivities. Whilst at Raglan Road, I sampled Kilkenny and Smithwicks, two Irish Ales that provide a smooth, rich and creamy mouth feel – perfect for cooler climates.

My affinity for IPA’s is unwaivering still and the Coronado Idiot IPA from California was this week’s standout. 

As we rapidly approach the month of June, my liquid taste buds are now becoming a little more finicky and expectations continue to grow with each sip. Is this a good or bad thing?

I don’t consider myself a beer snob just yet, however if I was labeled a “beer geek” I don’t think one could argue.

This journey I’ve embarked on continues to fascinate as the variety on offer is limitless. I really hope that my insight into the world of beer can help you to think outside the box and perhaps find something that you thought may not be to your liking, comes to the fore.

While I love liquid gold (beer) as much as the next person, always remember to consume everything in moderation. Cheers!


Ewan’s May Beer Guide

May 1 – Green Flash Le Freak (California, Ale) Very strong hops at 9.3%, medium bitterness and citrus, pine flavor! 7.5/10

May 2 – Shipyard Pugsley’s (Maine, Double IPA) At 9.3% it has surprisingly sweet malts with grapefruit hops, smooth and refreshing! 7/10

May 3 – Palmetto Pale Ale (South Carolina, Pale Ale) Fruity, citrus hops with mild bitterness and smooth finish! 6.5/10

May 4 – Midas Touch (Delaware, Ale) Strong hops with a rich, sweet, honey aroma and dry finish! 7/10

Hop Stoopid (California, Double IPA) Lively, citrus and grapefruit aromas, strong hops and a clean finish! Wonderful IPA! 8/10

May 5 – Redbrick Hoplanta (Georgia, IPA) Mild-sweet, mild-bitter, hoppy, citrus, tropical aroma with a dry finish! 7/10

May 6 – Sweetwater (Georgia, IPA) Bursting with grapefruit aroma, citrus nose and hops, clean IPA with a smooth aftertaste! 7.5/10


May 7 – Arrogant Bastard Ale (California, Strong Ale) WOW, WOW! Heavy bitter, citrus hops with a little caramel taste! Bold and beautiful! 8.5/10

May 8 – Hazed & Infused (Colorado, Pale Ale) Mild sweet, mild bitter with nice, balanced hops and clean, dry finish! 6.5/10

May 9 – Goose Island Sofie (Illinois, Saison/Belgian Style Ale) Fruity, sweet, would be refreshing on a hot summer day! 6/10

May 10 – Back East IPA (Connecticut, IPA) Light hops for an IPA, citrus aroma with light bitter after taste! 6.5/10

Long Trail Pollenator (Vermont, Golden Ale) Sweet flavor with light honey aroma but has a watery after taste! 5.5/10


May 11 – Speakeasy Big Daddy (California, IPA) Light bodied, orange and grapefruit aromas with a clean, lingering bitter after taste! 6.5/10

Chimay Red  (Belgium, Strong Ale) Dark fruit, caramel aroma, medium bodied and yeasty! 7/10

May 12 – New York State of Mind Wet Hop (New York, IPA) Grassy, earthy aroma with hints of caramel malts giving it a sweeter edge! 7/10

21st Amendment Gigantes (California, IPA) Citrus, grapefruit aromas, quite hoppy, light bodied, session beer! 7/10

May 13 – Oskar Blues Gordon’s G’Knight (Colorado, Strong Ale) Smooth, very hoppy at 8.7% with hints of fruit – Pineapple, Citrus and Grapefruit with a superbly balanced finish! 8.5/10


May 14 – New Belgium Rampant Imperial (Colorado, IPA) Plenty of citrus aroma, a little spicy, hoppy with a lingering bitter after taste! 7/10

Colonel Paris Pale Ale (South Carolina, Pale Ale) Weak, watery aroma with a very slight hint of malts! 4/10

May 15 – Tusker (Kenya, Lager) A little sweet, light bodied but very watery! 5/10

Hitachino Nest White Ale (Japan, Belgian Ale) Fruity, spicy aroma with a sour lemon after taste! 6/10

May 16 – Evil Twins All Occasions IPA (New York, IPA) Floral hops, fruity, grapefruit, orange peel, medium bodied, well balanced with lingering bitter taste! 7.5/10

May 17 – Schneider Weisse Tap 5 Meine Hopfen Weisse (Germany, Weizen Bock) Malty, taste of bananas, nice blend of sweet & bitter – wonderful beer! 7.5/10

May 18 – Green Flash Brewing Co. Barleywine (California, Barley Wine) Sweet malts, rich, full-bodied with toffee and fig aroma – a whopping 10.9% alcohol volume and hoppy! 7.5/10

May 19 – Rogue Farms Roguenbier Rye Ale (Oregon, Ale) Light rye aroma, earthy hops, medium bodied but no real after taste! 6/10


May 20 – Shane’s Big DIPA (South Carolina, Double IPA) Great combination of hops with an immediate florally, grapefruit taste backed by hints of rich caramel – medium bodied and very hoppy! 7.5/10

May 21 – Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA (Massachusetts, IPA) Smooth, light citrus hops, light bodied and clean finish! 7/10

Magic Hat Blind Faith (Vermont, IPA) Sweet, fruity, grapefruit hops and fairly heavily bodied! 6.5/10

Magic Hat Circus Boy (Vermont, Hefeweizen) Sweet, lemongrass, wheat aroma but overall fairly weak! 5.5/10

Magic Hat Pistil (Vermont, Spice/Herb Vegetable) Earthy, grassy (dandelion) hops, very sweet, possibly a little too sweet! 6/10

Vermont Pub Dogbite Bitter (Vermont, ESB) Caramel taste, toasted bitter malts and not too dissimilar to an English bitter! 6.5/10

Vermont Pub Burly Irish Red (Vermont, Irish Ale) Creamy mouth feel, dark fruits but a refreshingly clean finish! 7/10

Vermont Pub Forbidden Fruit (Vermont, Fruit Beer) Tarty, raspberry, sour aroma – definitely something for the ladies in my opinion! 5.5/10

Vermont Pub Euro Dunk (Vermont, Dunkel) Dark brown pour, toasty malts, light bitter, didn’t do it for me! 6/10

May 22 – Creemore Springs (Canada, Lager) Mild beer with sweet malts, light hops & a crisp finish! 6/10

May 23 – Ste-Flanelle (Canada, Imperial Pale Ale) WOW – Smooth, crisp, hoppy, medium bodied, delicious lingering citrusy after taste! 8/10

Alexander Keith’s Cascade Hop Ale (Canada, IPA) Citrus, lemon, light hops and also light bodied with a dry finish! 6.5/10


May 24 – Samuel Adams Third Voyage (Massachusetts, DIPA) Hoppy, citrusy although there are some sweet, honey notes about it – easy, smooth Double IPA! 7/10

May 25 – Shipyard Double Old Thumper Ale (Maine, Barleywine) Sweet aroma with a little burnt caramel, malty flavor! 6/10

May 26 – La Fin Du Monde (Canada, Abbey Tripel) Spicy, full bodied beer with hints of cinnamon and banana! 7.5/10

May 27 – Barrel Trolley IPA (California, IPA) Light bodied, light bitter hops, a little earthy but quite drinkable! 6.7/10

Unibroue Don De Dieu (Canada, Belgian Ale) Amazing mixture of fruity aromas – pear, peach & orange! Very strong at 9% and very sweet with a champagne-like after taste! 7/10

May 28 – Coronado Idiot IPA (California, Double IPA) Fruity aroma, grapefruit bitterness, nicely balanced between bitter and sweet with a smooth, lingering after taste! 7.5/10

Victory Old Horizontal (Pennsylvania, Barleywine) Heavy bodied but mind blowingly sweet aroma of caramel malts, toffee and fig! 11% and a champagne like mouth feel! 8/10

May 29 – Kilkenny (Ireland, Irish Ale) Creamy mouth feel, caramel aroma, smoky bitter finish! 6/10

Smithwicks (Ireland, Irish Ale) Smooth, rich malt flavor with mild bitterness! 6/10

May 30 – Misery Bay (Pennsylvania, IPA) Sweet toffee, honey aroma, light bodied and taste is almost lager like! 6.5/10

May 31 – Lucky U IPA (Colorado, IPA) Nice, light bodied feel with citrusy aroma and quite hoppy! 7/10


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