Sunday, January 16, 2022

Taco Bell Crispy Chicken Wings

I was never planning on writing this post. People turn to TikTok for fast food reviews and honestly, I don't blame them, it’s the perfect format. Quick, concise, visual, AND has sound? Only way it can be topped is when they finally make those TV screens you can start licking. Or would it be more like a VR headset for your tongue? Whatever the case may be, long format fast food reviews are dying. But here I am, it’s 5am, I’m holding a baby, and typing my words into a note on my phone.

Taco Bell has mastered the rules of supply and demand and it is infuriating how effective it is on me. Before I get into the wings, the pandemic has really made me come to terms with who I am: I am an aggressive collector who needs to complete lists. A brewery releases 6 beers all vaguely themed? I’m buying all 6. I enjoyed one video game in a series? Gotta play all 6 main series and the 11 spin-offs. I think it all stems from the fact I was never able to get all of the original Pok√©mon cards. Charizard obviously was elusive but fucking Clefable was impossible for me to find. As an adult it got worse when I got into sneakers. Thankfully, I fell in love with SB Dunks before Travis Scott inflated the price everywhere. I could keep going but this whole paragraph is long winded way to say, I am easily influenced by hype culture.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Aldi Beer Advent Calendar 2021 Preview

Calling this a preview is kind of a misnomer. The full list of beers dropped today and contains few surprises. For the remaining surprises, I have written up a lot of softly researched speculation.

I first entered the world of Aldi Advent Calendars last year, I must admit, I've become addicted. I don’t know if it is the slow rolling of information or the false scarcity, but I am ravenous for any and all information related to the Aldi Advent Calendars. Aldi first teased the 2021 calendars on Sept 17th. And when I say teased, I mean it; they literally only announced that the wine and the cheese calendars would be reappearing. Fast forward four agonizing weeks and Aldi updates their website with a full list of products, including the one I am most interested in: Beer Advent Calendar. Every article, every site, every post I could get my hands on had the same information: 24 beers in a box that was designed to look like an ugly Christmas sweater. I went deep into the recesses of the internet and could not find any information on specifics.

So here we are, one week out from the November 3rd drop, and I am finally seeing the list of beers included and my excitement has waned to mixed emotions. I’m writing this post to explore my grief and in doing so I will discuss the beers in the calendar. If you think these are spoilers, stop reading right here.

What we know:

Per the Aldi website, there are 24 beers in this package (no, duh). 17 of them are 11.2 oz while the remaining 7 are 12 oz. This screams that 17 are European made while the remaining 7 are American in origin. Per the Aldi website, the 24 beers are as follows:

  • Wernesgruner German Pilsner, 4.9% ABV 
  • White Tide Belgian White Ale, 5% ABV 
  • Brens Lager, 5% ABV 
  • Kristoffel Blonde Ale, 6% 
  • Kristoffel White Ale, 5% 
  • Kristoffel Dark Ale, 6% 
  • O'Shea's Irish Lager, 4.4% ABV 
  • O'Shea's Hoppy Lager, 4.2% ABV 
  • O'Shea's Celtic Wheat Beer, 4.3% ABV 
  • O'Shea's Irish Red Ale, 4.3% ABV 
  • O'Shea's Irish Stout, 4.5% ABV 
  • O'Shea's IPA, 6% ABV 
  • O'Shea's Pale Ale, 4.8% ABV 
  • Deadly Brewing Amber Ale, 4.8% ABV 
  • Deadly Brewing East Coast IPA, 6% ABV 
  • Deadly Brewing Grapefruit IPA, 5% ABV 
  • Deadly Brewing Hazy IPA, 5% ABV
  • Blonde Ale, 4.5% ABV 
  • Bock,4.5% ABV 
  • Cherry Kolsch, 4.5% ABV 
  • Key Lime Sour, 4.5% ABV 
  • Session IPA, 4.5% ABV 
  • Dry Hopped Sour Ale, 5.2% ABV 
  • Winter Lager, 5.6% ABV

The first 13 beers on this list are the exact same beers from last year's calendar (full 2020 review here). The Wernesgruner, White Tide, and Brens lager are available at my Aldi year-round and are suitable replacements for their name brand counterparts. The picture above is the first 3 days of the 2020 calendar, 2 of these beers appear again in 2021. I found most of the O’Shea’s beers to be underwhelming, with the exception of the Irish Stout which is thankfully returning. Also thankfully, they ditched the Winter Ale which was the worst beer in the pack last year.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Aldi Beer Advent Calendar 2020 Review Beers 17-24

This is the third and final part of my review, part 1 and part 2 linked here. It's finally over. Twenty-four beers and days later and here I am putting my final thoughts to paper. I learned a very valuable lesson doing this process: I don't like being obligated to drink beers every day. It is almost like being forced to grab a beer with that one coworker you are cool with at work but never want to see outside of work. No other word really sums it up quite like obligation. Below are the reviews for the last 8 beers, some wildly impressive breakdowns, and the thing every Advent Calendar review needs: a power ranking.

Day 17: O’Shea’s Double IPA

Origin: Ireland
Best by date: 28 AUG 2021

What is surprising is how much malt I am getting. It’s sweet, oh so sweet. The bottle says “generous malt backbone”, and that is an understatement. If I were to come up with an analogy, it is what is leftover after Sub-Zero does his fatality. Maybe there are notes of citrus? The finish is just mildly bitter and herby. This just tastes like a very old IPA where the hops have totally fallen off. It’s not bad, it’s not good; it’s totally fine. Rating: 3/5