Since when did the suffix “gate” become shorthand for political scandal? I guess that’s pretty self-evident. But you have to admit it’s gotten ridiculous. Now we have Troopergate with the McCain-Palin ticket. Subpoenas are flying, but sounds like nobody involved in the investigation plans to honor the legal commandment to appear. I find this very interesting, and seems to me to be another example of Palin’s abuse of power…first she welcomes the investigation into her decision to fire the Public Safety Commissioner who refused to fire her ex-brother-in-law, an Alaska state trooper. Then she puts up roadblocks for the state-appointed investigative probe that, let me remind you, is made up of 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats. Now, the state Attorney General is insisting that the state employees called to testify are “caught” between their respect to the Legislature and their loyalty to the governor, putting them in an “untenable position.” Didn’t realize subpoenas were negotiable. Clearly, the Republican strategy is to mire the investigation until after the election.  

But enough about stupid politics. We’re here to talk about beer. I’ve started wondering why nearly all of my beer reviews to this point have been B+ or better. Maybe it’s because I have a skewed perception of what’s a good beer…my craft beer spectrum may have too few stops along the way (like Colbert’s assessment of Dubya…great President, or the greatest President?) Or, I guess it could be because I don’t actively go looking for bad beers. Let’s be fair…some sneak up on you. But in general, I don’t expect to get a nasty surprise at the place I buy most of my decent craft beer. Maybe I need to broaden my beer horizons and take a second look at all the macro brewers have to offer (after all, Budweiser American Ale should be hitting the shelves soon). Or maybe I need to have my head examined for even having such a thought.    

Either way, here’s another positive review. This evening I enjoyed a very nice Unibroue Maudite, a Belgian strong dark ale. It poured with a huge billowy head, giving way to a rich, leathery brown coloring. The smell is of bread, Belgian yeast, and spicy cloves. But not overly hoppy. The taste is incredibly smooth, and the ale is perfectly carbonated, delivering a fantastic mouthfeel. Some esters also come through in the taste, possibly raisins or prunes, and maybe even a little Belgian candi sugar. This is a very high quality beer, a nice way to spend time pondering the apparently negotiable nature of congressional subpoenas.

Rating: A-

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