Campo di Bocce Located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains just south of San Jose is the small town of Los Gatos. Los Gatos is a well known town in the South Bay for being as small as it is. The town is known for beautiful scenery, great restaurants, a nice downtown, and highway 9.
I recently attended an event at Campo di Bocce. I was very excited because I love playing bocce ball. The only thing I knew about the place is they had great bocce courts and host the Madden / Mariucci battle of the bay charity bocce tournament every year where many 49er and Raider players and alumni play. http://www.maddenmariuccibocce.com
They have a impressive selection of Italian and craft beer for a venue of its type. I highly recommend this place!
I came upon these beers a my local grocery outlet. First I saw Stubborn jack and thought that sounds cool, what is it. I saw it was a smoked Porter and I love porters. Then I saw the price. $4.99 for a four pack? That is cheep I have to try it. Then the next isle they had another ass kisser beer, a Vanilla Pale ale called Zeedonka and its $4.99 a four pack also? Oh yeah it’s on.
I looked up this brewery and Ass Kisser Ales is a family owned company owned by Ass Kisser Beverage company and they contract brew with Mendincino brewing Co in Ukia, CA
Zeedonka – Vanilla Pale Ale – ABV 5.5% – Golden yellow color with a nice foamy white head. The scent has a good amount of vanilla extract. I was a little put off because I didn’t smell any hops. The taste is light and clean with a creamy vanilla flavor. The beer is thinner then most pale ales but that makes it taste even more like cream soda in beer form. I also don’t taste any hops. I like it. It’s a good beer with a good twist. I give it 3.75 out of 5
Stubborn Jack – Smoked Porter – ABV 6% – The color is black as midnight with a thin tan head with no lacing. The scent is strong of smoked malt. The mouth feel is pretty thin but the smoked flavor is good without being over powering. If there was ever a session smoked porter, this is a perfect one. It’s a strong beer. I give it a 3.75 out of 5.
I am a new fan of Ass Kisser ales! Both these beers were very strong, good session beers and for the price I would take that all day, any day. I even told some beer heads about them.
Bi-Weekly Beer Review #18
Hoparillo 3x IPA – Knee Deep Brewing Co (Auburn, CA) ABV 11.1% This Triple IPA is Brewed with Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo Hops.
A dark golden color with a white head. This has one of the strongest hop scent I ever had. Sweet hops that tarts up to a strong hop burn. I really like this triple IPA.
Bi-Weekly Beer Review Episode #17
Weihenstephaner – Vitus – Weizenbock – ABV 7.7% – Brewed under the purity law of 1516 in Freising, Bavaria, Germany
Bright yellow non see threw color with a foamy white head. Scent of banana and wheat. Sweet taste with a banana finish. Crisp, fresh but strong, full bodied and full flavored. Very tasty and a reminder what a traditional high Quilty beer is! This beer makes me crave the Hofbräuhaus. This beer rates at a strong 4.2 out of 5 for me.
Bi-Weekly Beer Review Episode 16
7 Swans a Swimming – The Bruery (Placentia, CA, USA) 11% ABV – Belgian Quad
Dark brown color with a creamy tan yellowish head and constant lacing. The scent is of dried fruit and malt. Creamy fruit and malt flavor. I get hints of burnt sugar or Carmel, dried fruits and even an almost raisin taste. The high ABV gives a bit of burn in the after taste.
This Christmas series by the Bruery has been great. I found out about it in year 5 so I was a little late to the game. I went out yesterday and got two bottles of 7 Swans a Swimming, one to drink (Which I did last night with two of my neighbors) and one to age for 5 more years. I now have a bottle of 4 Calling Birds, 5 Golden Rings, 6 Geese a Laying, 6 Geese a Laying Barrel Aged and 7 Swans a swimming aging until 12 Drummers Drumming comes out and then do the vertical of 4 – 12.
Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. (Chicago, IL) ABV 13.8% 5 out 5
This is the second year the Bourbon County Brand series by goose island has been released in the San Francisco Bay Area. This year the release has been more of a trickle then a major all at once release. This has made it very hard to find and they sell out the same day or even within hours of a store getting a shipment. BCBS Coffee has been almost in heard of. This is still one of my favorite beer series.
Color is black as midnight with the dark tan head. The scent is strong of bourbon in Oak with a wild punch of the malt. It is the aroma of the gods. Strong taste of the bourbon in the first sip then mellows out for a sweet malty oaky flavor. There’s hints of cocoa in the flavor and a sweet almost vanilla hint
As it warms the chocolate flavor really comes out and the bourbon mellows to a nice smooth mouth feel.
Bi-Weekly Beer Review Episode # 15
Atomic Kangarue – The Bruery (Placentia, Orange County, CA) Produced in Collaboration with Smog City (Torrance, CA) ABV 9.5% 4 out of 5 Dry – Hopped Sour Ale with Grapes
They brewed this with 2 grape varieties and Dry Hopped with Amarillo Hops
Bright orange color with a thick white head and well carbonated. The scent is light and fruity. You can really smell the hops and grapes. This Ale has a bright sour flavor. I get the sweetness of grapes first then it turns sour and I get the dry hop in the back end.
It is a great sour and very different from what I’ve seen. I love new and unusual beers! My Neighbor said its the best sour he has ever had.
Bi-Weekly Beer Review Episode 14
Gruit (Lips of Faith) – New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO) ABV 6.6% 3.7 out of 5 – Ancient Ale bittering the beer with Herbs. Herbs used in this beer are Horehound, Bog Myrtle, yarrow, wormwood, and elderflowers.
The Color is a bright golden yellow and lots of carbonation with a thick white head and the lacing washes away pretty quickly. Scent is funky, malty and floral. Taste is bright, bitter and dry. A light bitter herb flavor. This ale is very different but grows on you after a glass or two
Bi-Weekly Beer Review Episode 13
Le Terroir (2014) Lips of Faith – New Belgium Brewing Co (Fort Collins, CO) – ABV 7.5% 4.7 out of 5 – Dry Hoped Sour Ale Barrel aged for 2 years then dry hoped 8 days with Amarillo and cascade Hops.
Le Terroir means “of the Earth” in French. A dark golden amber color with a nice thick white foamy head. The scent is an amazing sour fruit and sweet hops. The flavor is tart and sour like you would expect with a dry hop punch at the front. There is so much going on in the front of each sip with a dry hop punch and sour tart hit. I find this to be a great sour ale with a elegant flavor and you can taste the love for brewing craft beer in ever sip.
Pumpking – Southern Tier Brewing (Lakewood, NY) ABV 8.6%
Copper color with a cloudy unfiltered look and a thin white head. The scent is heavy of nutmeg and spices with not much else. Tastes of pumpkin and spices. It reminds me of a pumpkin pie. A good solid pumpkin beer but the spices are overpowering my palate.
I really did like the beer but the spices were a little strong this year so I gave it a 3.5 out of 5. Still my favorite has been Almanac’s heirloom pumpkin ale.
The bottle says: Imperial Pumking – Brewed with Pumpkins, natural flavors, 2 Varieties of Hops and 2 types of malts. Pumpking is an ode to Púca, the mythical Celtic horse beast said to entice careless travelers onto it’s back and take them on a terrifying night ride through the Forrest. It is a Journey from which you will return forever changed. Pour Pumking into a goblet and allow it’s spiced aroma and deep copper color to entrance you. Taste the beer and you are bewitched, powerless to resist the Pumpking. This beer is brewed with a pagan spirit, but should be enjoyed responsibly.