From the Bottle Collection: Carling Dark Beer

 Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice: tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s; OR, cover them with… The Bottle Collection.

 I’m sure this came from the 60s, at best the very early 70s. Back then, on the east coast, “exotic” qualified mostly as beer like this. Forget anything that would eventually qualify as craft. The closest was probably Anchor, but that was west coast. When we got Coors a lot of folks thought it a “special treat.” In upstate NY you had to go far west or Canada. We chose Canada in 74 and had Guinness Foreign Extra: the one they just brought into the country a few years ago. Then there was Prior Double Dark out of Pennsylvania which, from what I remember, was probably closest to a London Brown, though it may have been a lager.
 Of course I have no way of reviewing something I had almost 50 years ago. I would think it probably would qualify as an International Dark these days: adjunct lager with some food coloring, a few more complex malts at best and not highly hopped. Similar to Shaeffer Dark, Miller Dark, Pabst Dark, Utica Club Dark. It probably wasn’t the best one, either that or all that available. I think we used to drink a lot of Pabst and Shaeffer. Continue reading “From the Bottle Collection: Carling Dark Beer”

A Beer Judge’s Diary: New Scoresheet Anyone?

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 My regular readers may remember my column on AHA scoresheets. I admit: I wasn’t too kind when it came to the check off judging sheet used mostly at Nationals. My opinion hasn’t changed. Now there’s a new BJCP/AHA score sheet. I like it, but…
 One change they never seem to consider is to scoring: drop the top aroma point value from 12 to at least 10 and maybe add it to mouthfeel?
 Oh, I understand aroma contributes a lot to beer. How many entries have I judged with almost no aroma that otherwise are to style and phenomenal? Yes, the link between the two is substantial, but is it so important that the range be so wide that might punish an otherwise great entry? Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: New Scoresheet Anyone?”