Friday, July 26, 2013

What does Frozen Beer Foam look like?

What happens when you cross those crazy Japanese with Beer and Baseball?

You have Kirin Brewery developing Beer Foam – an attempt to freeze the foam to keep beer colder longer.

The folks over at tried it at Dodger Stadium (click on the hyperlink for more photos and their opinions) – but I myself have reservations (aside from the certain cost mark up, and the fact that it is Kirin Beer).

  • The foam tastes like nothing (according to Food Beast).  So it only has a one purpose.
  • This is going to add further wait time to the already long lines, as the they have to do the DQ Swirl on the top of the beer. This might be expedited (and appears so) by the beer being pre-poured – but that means the beer has been sitting around getting flat.  So we lose carbonation to keep our beer cold?
  • Did I mention it was Kirin Beer – unless they are serving Sushi at the ballpark…it just doesn't seem right.
  • Somewhat tied to the long lines mentioned above, but I view this as a marketing gimmick.  So everyone will want to try it and the wait goes on.

Finally, if it really takes you 30 minutes to drink a beer…you probably shouldn’t be drinking it in the first place.

What do you think?  Good Idea?  Pour Execution (pun intended)?  Just enjoy the game?  Your feedback is always appreciated, and never deleted.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Walking Dead and Beer

If you are like me – you love The Walking Dead.  Be it the comic – or the AMC variant….it is one of the best shows on TV (the other being Game of Thrones).

I do have some complaints though – first, the show started to bog down – and they spending to much time in the prison.  The Governor wasn’t maniacal enough…..and Karl is just a whiney punk.  My main bone of contention though….not enough smoking and drinking.  I get it, you wouldn’t get drunk because it could impair you ability to fight walkers…..but canned/bottled beer would be an excellent source of nutrients and clean water.  In a survival situation, booze would be excellent barter material…and the shows producers seem to be ignoring that.


Enter the new FOUR MINUTE trailer for the upcoming season.  My critical eye caught some SweetWater Brewing Company IPA in cases.  This is great attention to detail, since that is a local Atlanta beer.  Congrats to them on the product placement…..and hopefully this season really kicks up.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

The most disgusting cocktail EVER

There are some drinks even I wont try…..allow me to introduce….

The Smokers Cough -

  • 2oz of Jagermeister
  • One packet of Mayo

Smokers Cough

Friday, July 12, 2013

Samuel Adams Beer- Dropping Deity from Beer

AdamsI am truly torn on this one – and this could be a firebrand for many of my friends (going either way as well).  

Below is an article from The Blacksphere (yes – I do read this blog and follow on Facebook).  I paste it in it’s entirety because it also includes a response from Samuel Adams (and a retort from Ms. Gerwing – which I find fitting) – but please, visit their site as well….they have some great political takes on many subjects as well.

Ok, now – Why am I torn. 

I have been a huge supporter of Samuel Adams – long before I saw Beer Wars and understood what an uphill battle they have undertaken.  In fact, I can say that Sam Adams is one of the beers I cut my teeth on (so to speak) back in 1987 at Ft Devens Mass.

I have loved how they have thumbed their noses at “Big Beer” and InBev along the way, basically starting the Craft Brewing Industry. 

I respect that they can have their own opinion.

HOWEVER – What they are tampering with is a historical document, regardless off the content.

In a recent advertisement (ran over the 4th of July Weekend) – they quoted the Declaration of Independence as saying:

“All men are created equal. They are endowed with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Instead of an actual quote being:

“All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The reason for this omission is addressed below, and it is this omission that has a lot of people upset.

Imagine if the Gettysburg Address was quoted as -

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty.

Omitting - “and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Or if the “I have a Dream” speech was stated as -

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged”

Leaving out  - “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Samuel Adams (of whom the Beer Company takes its name) was raised in a religious household (John Adams was a Deacon) – yet he wrote of tolerance of other religions.  I am sure he had an influence (along with many others) on in inclusion of deity – but done so in a manner to be inclusive of as many sects as possible.

In fact, the only use of the word “God” in the Declaration of Independence is -

“…the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them”

Deity is referred a few other times – but again, with the more neutral “Creator”  and “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence”.  This is the beauty of how our Founding Father’s framed the wording.  They tried to be all inclusive, yet as direct as possible.  It is an excellent document, that is very relevant today – I suggest everyone read it (HERE). Declaration

I realize, many people out there are Atheists, Deists, Tree huggers and such.  Many of you know me, and know I honestly try to respect that. I have my own beliefs as well, to which I find the exclusion of the aforementioned wording offensive.  But equally as much, I find the tampering with the wording of one of the most important documents in our history almost as equally so. 

To do so at the advice of the Beer Institute (coincidentally, Alby has sent me something from them yesterday – and I had actually read their guidelines) and taking a stance such as this, in an industry with such beer names as:

  • Duclaw’s Sweet Baby Jesus
  • Evil Twin’ Even More Jesus
  • Cathedral Square’s Holy Moly
  • Cathedral Square’s Repent Rye
  • Cathedral Square’s  Hail Mary
  • ect…

This seems like cherry picking and cowing to a standard set by others, instead of just following your core beliefs….or even the beliefs of the man to which your company is named.

I’m not calling for anyone to quit drinking Samuel Adams Beer.  That is your own personal choice – a choice that was set in motion by the exact same document that they chose to edit.  Me personally, there are way more beers in the world to try…..Sorry Mr. Koch – I won’t be looking back.

Samuel Adams Beer Ejects God from the Declaration of Independence

Last week, while patriotic BlackAmericans celebrated the 237th birthday of our nation’s founding, Samuel Adams Beer commemorated Independence Day by brazenly undermining the very documents upon which our nation was founded.

A television ad, which ran over the Fourth of July weekend, depicts an eighteenth century tavern barkeep citing the Declaration of Independence saying:

“All men are created equal. They are endowed with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

It didn’t take long for Samuel Adams’ Facebook page and Twitter feed to light up with protests from Americans who noticed the small but very significant omission of “by their Creator,” from the beer company’s rendition of the Declaration.

In response to a heated email that I swiftly sent off to the Vice President of Marketing at Samuel Adams, I received this response:

Thank you for your message about our recent TV ad and our use of some words from the Declaration of Independence, without the phrase “by our Creator.” We apologize that the omission offended you. That was never our intent. As you may already know, we adhere to an advertising code, established by the Beer Institute – a beer industry trade organization. The code states, “Beer advertising and marketing materials should not include religion or religious themes.” We agree with that, and follow those guidelines in our advertising and responsibly marketing our products.
Michelle Sullivan
Senior Director of External Relations
Boston Beer Company

Apparently we are to accept the fact that the industry guidelines set by the Beer Industry trump the principles set forth in America’s founding documents? You know, those same founding documents that helped create the free market environment under which Samuel Adams Beer can enterprise and thrive?

It seems that Samuel Adams Relations Executive wants to dismiss this “adherence to guidelines” as a trivial matter. But for those Americans who have been watching the slow and steady devolution of our individual rights by an ever-expanding government, this omission is not insignificant.

If Samuel Adams Beer is going to market and sell beer evoking the name of perhaps our most religious founding father, then maybe they should brush up on their American History.

In the meantime, I penned this response to Ms. Sullivan:

Dear Ms. Sullivan,
Thank you for your prompt response. It’s unfortunate that Samuel Adams Beer and the Beer Industry categorize the Declaration of Independence as a “religious” document. Out of respect for the policies set forth by the Beer Industry, I can no longer in good conscience purchase your product. You see, the currency I use clearly states “in God we trust,” which is a clear violation of your industry standards.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Star Wars Cantina Karaoke – w/ Lando

I guess the only real question – do they serve Colt .45 in the Mos Eisley Cantina?

Landship Beer – Commemorating the Tank

I’ve always loved tanks.  From the time I was a kid, watching old war movies, to being a member of 1st AD during the Cold and Gulf Wars, and even of late whenever I played Warhammer 40K….something about the tank always enticed me.

So when ChowIsTheDevil sent over a submission today, I was excited at the thought of a beer that commemorates the  100th Anniversary for the beginning of the First World War, and advent of tanks to be used in it.


Beer to mark Tank Centenary -
Crafted by the local Dorset Brewing Company, ‘Landship’ is a pale gold, clean tasting, medium bodied ale. The bottle is emblazoned with images of the majestic Mark IV tank, which first saw action in the Battle of Messines Ridge in 1917, further adding to this historic brew.

Unveiled just in time for TANKFEST, ‘Landship’ is now available to buy from The Tank Museum gift shop, price £3.50 per bottle.  So why not sample the full flavor of History and celebrate being “tanked up for a century”?

Sadly, even though I will be in the UK later this month, I won’t be in the are of the Tank Museum or Dorset.  But, if anyone is willing to pick me up a bottle or two – I would be happy to cover costs.  Email me at – and of course, “Iron Soldier!”

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bruce Lee and Johnnie Walker

I love the Johnnie Walker “Still Walking” Commercial (you can see it HERE).  First it is one the best “Long Shots” in media….done without pause by one of my favorite actors – Robert Carlyle.

So huge Kudos to DannyF for sending over a commercial from Japan – featuring the late GREAT Bruce Lee.

Johnnie Walker and Bruce Lee?  I never thought I would type those names in the same sentence….but it works.   Much like the commercial.

This one goes a little more cerebral –   But then again, would you expect anything less from the Dragon?  I might actually share it with JAM_Bell as a motivational video.

Here it is in all it’s subtitled glory….and thanks DannyF.  Keep posting.

Cheers -

Monday, July 8, 2013

Scotch Flavored Condoms

You know, there are bizarre items – and then there are things like this, that the internet was totally invented for.  Thanks Donnie for sending this pick over.

Now I don’t want to sound sexist – but I don't know many women that enjoy Scotch Whisky.  Especially cheap Scotch with a latex aftertaste. So, I am not sure what who the “Target Market” is, but I did a little more research.

“McCondoms” apparently can be purchased in gift shops throughout Scotland – although the price appears to be marked up.

If you are the serious connoisseur – and a bit frugal, you can by them in bulk for Heritage of Scotland – There they can be purchased for £1.24 vs the apparent £2.75 listed above.


Here is the direct link to the item -,649,cid,243038,product.php#.UdrNNW0pk1I

It appears that this is the only online outlet for them – and I can find nothing about the manufacturer.  Perhaps the good people at Heritage can answer a few questions – or point me in the right direction (feel free to email me at 

If anyone wants to review them and report back – I would love to “print” it here on the site. 

Cheers -

Sunday, July 7, 2013

This Day in History – July 7th, 1940

Happy Birthday to our favorite Drunk Beatle – The one, the only….Mr. Ringo Starr.  He’s a man that has had the same article listed about on our blog TWICE (HERE and HERE).


Rare WW1 3D Photos

Thanks to io9 for posting about these pictures.  You can go over to their site to read the back-story, but I lifted one of them – Four (although I count five) soldiers looking at the camera.

I cannot imagine the horror of trench warfare during WW1, but this picture does bring it to life – as these men get a brief respite, and what do two of them do?  Fire up the pipe.

You can click the picture to be taken to the 3D version

Enjoy -


Friday, July 5, 2013

The Worlds Coolest Turtle

Every time I talk about an article from The Sun, I know I get some eye rolls from my buddy Rophic – usually followed by “But its the SUN”.

Well today buddy, I am proving to you, that they ARE actually journalists and are on the cutting edge of news.

I present to you……The Worlds Coolest Turtle. Turtle

Not only does the Turtle (the article fails to mention its name) have a TEN cigarette a day habit – but his owner is to scared to wean him off himself, and is looking for help.   Throw in the owner is named Tang and the obligatory sophomoric snicker at fag butt and this is probably the best article I have seen there.

For more pictures and the complete story – follow the link.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Celebrating the 4th of July through the Beer, Liquor and Cigar Industries.

If you do not follow Smokes and Booze on Facebook (and why don’t you…its an easy “Like” right HERE), I wanted to share a project I started early this morning.

Every time I saw someone from the Beer, Liquor or Cigar industry put up something commemorating the 4th of July, I shared it on my page.

I did this for a few reasons – First, some of their ads are actually really good – and I wanted my friends to see them.

Secondly, out of appreciation for their love of our country….I wanted to give them a little “Air Time”.  I can honestly say I back every product below but 1 (TGIF)…so, if you even on the fence about any one of them – they have my endorsement.

Of course, I had to kick it off with one – so I chose Bulleit Bourbon, for my buddy Alby.  Here’s to You old Man….Happy Independence Day.

Cheers -




 Crystal Head Vodka

Crystal Head



Double Cross

Double Cross



Five Wives  Five Wives

Hardywood Park

Hardywood Park Brewery

Jim Beam 1

Jim Beam



La Gloria

La Gloria







New Castle

 New Castle

Old Forester Old Forester



The Cigar Life

The Cigar Life

The Macallan

 The Macallan Thompson  Thompson Cigar

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey

Pocket Shots

Pocket Shots

Happy Birthday America – Brew Free or Die Review

Brew Free CanI’m a sucker for gadgets and catchy bottles (this will be highlighted in a future series), so 21st Amendments – Brew Free or Die IPA  would have had me at word go….regardless of how the beer tastes.

With Abe Lincoln coming out of Mt Rushmore, looking like he is about to kick your ass – I can almost hear him saying “Brew Free or Die B*****!”.  What's not to love?

21st Amendment Brewery is a San Francisco Brewery established in 2000.


They have several beers in their folio – with a quite a few being “Independence Oriented”.  In particular, I can’t wait to track down Back in Black (Inspired by Paul Reveres Ride) and Sneak Attack (Washington crossing the Delaware).  Those two alone, combined iwth Brew Free or Die, would make an excellent shelf over any bar…they look that good.  And if my wife is reading this (and getting Christmas ideas) – they also have your Barleywine in a can (Lower DeBoom).

So, I know what everyone is saying – Presentation looks great…but how is the beer?

Brew Free or Die Review


  • Brew Free or Die Source – Can
  • Alcohol Content – 7% with an IBU score of 78 
  • Appearance-  Great Carbonation -Very heady, with tight latticing bubbles and a continued effervescence throughout consumption.  Very clear with a color of orangish gold.
  • Nose -  Malt and Carmel lurk behind the moderate citrus and floral nose.  In particular, this was brought out as I drank and agitated the beer somewhat. 
  • Taste – Smooth mouthfeel and the aforementioned carbonation, combine with up front piney bitterness and citrus (with hints of malt) to provide a really refreshing taste combination.

Overall – Just when I talk with Alby, wondering if the IPA market has tapped out and jumped the shark – along comes 21st Amendment to bring me back into the fold.

An above average (verging on Excellent) beer that doesn’t try to overwhelm you with “How much hops can packed into a bottle (or can)?”.  In fact, this appears to be one that focuses on Quality over Quantity – and in plays out well. 

Not only is this beer satisfying, but very drinkable, even for non-Hop Heads in the crowd.  The Hops doesn't burn you out after 2 or 3, and I could see myself working through an entire 6-pack rather effortlessly.

I guess, a true testament of my opinion of this beer is not the 4.5 out of 5 stars that I give it – but to the fact that I now have stocked a shelf in my beer fridge with it…hopefully soon to be visited by their other brother beers from 21st Amendment.

Great job guys……and to everyone else, Happy 4th of July.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ok, now THIS made me laugh: The Tampon Flask

Ok, over the last few hours, this has gone viral- I share it with you, and let you consume it (pun intended) without comment.  You, however, can read my research after the jump-


Ok – now that we have had our laugh, I totally get why this is needed.  So many times we are shaken down by the TSA or Rent-A-Cops at the various security checkpoints throughout America.   This is ingenous and I had to know….is it just a “Gag Gift”

Well, as it turns out….They are REAL, and the fine folks at not only have these, but two other products – the Sun Shot Bottle and the Boobie Bag.


There is so much AWSOME there – you just have to check it out. 

Great Job Guys and I wish you TONS of luck

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Trader Joe’s 2012 Vintage Ale

LogoI know, many of you are looking at this and wondering “What is Trader Joe’s?”.  Others are saying “Trader Joe’s?  It must be crap!”.  Well hopefully this will be an education for many of you out there.

Before I start, let me preface by saying that I have drank a lot of beer in my life, from all over the world.  While this doesn’t make me an expert….for some, they at least know that I will be honest about what I like, don’t like and what I find to be utter crap.  If I think something is horrid, I don’t sugar coat it (I have a review coming up that really exemplifies that statement).   I understand, respect and appreciate the various types of beer – and the craftsmanship that goes into those styles….even if they do not work for me.

With the above paragraph in play, I am going to go on record and say I enjoyed the Trader Joe’s 2012 Vintage Ale quite a bit.


Trader Joe’s started in 1958, and is named for it’s founder Joe Coulombe.  Trader Joe’s is a grocery store that stocks considerably fewer items (4K compared to 50K of typical grocery stores), with 80% under their name brand.  On the Booze front, while they do stock a large selection of California and "New World Wines", Trader Joe’s is probably most famous for the exclusive sales of Charles Shaw wines – commonly known as “Two Buck Chuck” due to its low cost (and some say quality).

Based on that reputation, I was somewhat skeptical when I saw they had a “Vintage Ale” for approximately $4.99, but (being who I am) I decided someone needed to throw themselves on the sword and try it……purely for scientific purposes mind you.


Trader Joe’s 2012 Vintage AleTrader Joes 2012 Vintage Ale

  • Source – Corked 750ml Bottle
  • Alcohol Content – 9%
  • Appearance- Very Heady, with asymmetrical bubbles.  Color is a dark brown, almost “Stout-ish” – begging me to dive in.
  • Nose -  Caramelized (almost burnt) Brown Sugar, Cloves and with a hint of honey.
  • Taste – Sweet and fruity – I thought of fruitcake on Christmas.  Just like biting into the cake, all the flavors are there – Cherries, nuts, plums  and a bit of breadyness (is that even a word)…this is surprisingly complex. 

Overall – This beer is an unique anomaly -  Listed on the bottle as a “Dark Ale, Brewed with Spices and Natural Flavors”, I would categorize this Vintage Ale as a Belgium…even though it is brewed in Chambly, Canada by Unibroue.   Being a Belgium Style, I thought I wouldn’t like this one – because, as I stated before, some beer  styles just are not in my wheelhouse.  However, I really really did enjoy this one.  In fact, so much so – I plan on sending my buddy Dave a bottle to add to his collection (Trader Joe’s is not in MidMO).

Given the vast history with Unibroue, and the great things they put out, this is truely a hidden Gem.  For me, I would give this a solid Three out of Five as a beer – Five out of Five for Price.  I plan on stocking a 6’er under the bar if someone enjoys Belgium Beer – and as Dave has taught me….I would love to see how this ages.

I know, its a shocker folks – but at $5 a bottle….how can you go wrong?


Monday, July 1, 2013

Fr. William Corby – A Real Irish American Hero

Father William Corby is not a name you hear mentioned every day.  In fact, unless you live in South Bend or a Civil War buff– you probably never heard of him.

Let me fix that for you -

Father Corby was priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, a Union Army Chaplain at the battle of Gettysburg and twice the President of the University of Notre Dame.

Before Rockne put the “Fighting Irish” on the map (bit of trivia – they were originally called the Ramblers) – Father Corby was breaking out the Irish Heritage by being the priest of the “Irish Brigadefathercorby

It was on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2nd 1863, that Father Corby stood upon a boulder and gave absolution to the Union Soldiers (both Catholic and Protestants) before they headed into the battle commonly known as “The Wheatfield”. 

His blessings inspired the already decimated unit (who had already been reduced from 3000 soldiers to 500) and they helped lead an attack to shore up the crumbling Union left flank.  If not for this counter, some doubt the Union army could have regrouped – and the Battle of Gettysburg could have turned out much different.  It was deemed relevant enough to actually be included in the movie Gettysburg -


Fr. Corby followed his men out onto the battlefield, fearlessly giving comfort to the wounded and absolution to the dying.  For his bravery, the men of the Irish Brigade nominated him for the Congressional Medal of Honor – stating: "no spot was too dangerous or too much exposed to the fire of the enemy." – It was through this level of courage at several battles throughout the Civil War, that Fr. Corby earned the moniker – The Fighting Chaplain.

Of the ragtag Brigade that took the field that day – 198 of the 500 did not live to see the next.  Fr. Corby did, and he returned to Notre Dame, where he served his two terms as President and helped rebuild the University after the fire in . 

Fr. Corby died in 1897, and his funeral took an unusual turn – as his pallbearers were not priests or members of the Holy Cross Community, but instead Civil War Veterans.  I am sure this is one of the few times a Priest was buried at Notre Dame with a flag draped coffin and 21 Gun Salute.

Of course, this wouldn’t be Smokes and Booze without some sort of “Reference”….and for this, I point you to “Corby’s Irish Pub”.  A long time staple in South Bend, Corby’s is a mid level pub that is more “Sports Bar” than Irish….but it is very Notre Dame themed, and good luck if you want to get in there on a Game Day Weekend.  The pub even made an appearance in Rudy (although I can’t find a clip of it).  A must stop for any Irish Fan.

Preacher So – as we enter this 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, take a moment to not only think of the brave men from both sides of the battlefield – but also remember that Irish American Priest from a small University in nowhere Indiana.  Remember, that – without ever picking up a rifle, he exemplified bravery and dedication to his craft, risking his own life just as surely as those aforementioned soldiers.  He did this as his duty – and for that, he should be remembered.

If anyone who reads this is on Campus – please light a candle for me at the Grotto, in honor of Fr. William Corby-  A Real Irish American Hero.

Web Statistics