Though not related to this review, here's a picture of me drinking a Budweiser (I also had an Old Style) at Monday night's Cubs game:
I post this for two reasons: 1) to prove that I'm a lover of beer and not a beer snob* (There is a difference!) and 2) to note that I saw the Cubs get beat 18-1 in person. Well, technically, I only saw them get beat 13-1 before getting special exemption from my "no leaving the game early, ever" policy. I'm just glad I opted for Brewers garb--my first time ever wearing road colors in Wrigley.
*That said, I probably hadn't had either beer since the last time I went to a Cubs game or some other live sporting event. The Old Style was perfectly enjoyable, but I understand now why Bud is merely drinkable™.
As for tonight's sampling, no unique setting or backstory--just me in my underwear on my couch, beer poured from a bottle I picked up on my last trip to Famous Liquors.
Cane and Ebel is described on the label as a "hopped-up red rye ale." Well, I'd say it pours more amber than red, and it's definitely more hopped-up than rye--a disappointment to me because I really like rye beers. Hops are like mint or garlic--too much of them, and your taste buds become calloused to everything else.
I know there's more to this beer. Behind the hops, I could smell something toasty, some pine nuts maybe, and a little coffee (though I'm always skeptical whether coffee aromas are in the beer or just permanently absorbed into my nasal cavity from all the joe I drink throughout the day), and the flavor is toasty, grainy, caramel sweet.
The first few sips were great, but the hops just wouldn't dissipate. Water, toothpick--not enough. This would be fine if hoppiness were my mission, but I wanted something more. It was there, but I just didn't have the patience to wait on it. If I really wanted to get full flavor out of each sip, I'd be up all night, the last sip flat and piss warm. Not for me; not tonight.
Grade: T, for too hoppy! I would love to try this beer again, but a) not without food to help clear the palate and b) with the expectation of a hoppy beer and a palate prepared to work its way back from that.