Friday, January 29, 2010

Beer of the Week (Vol. XL)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the shiny, happy people at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you throw your love around and remember that there is no time to cry.

Cynic--Definition and More from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Main Entry: cyn•ic
Pronunciation: \ˈsi-nik\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French or Latin, Middle French cynique, from Latin cynicus, from Greek kynikos, literally, like a dog, from kyn-, kyōn dog-- more at hound
Date: 1542
1 capitalized : an adherent of an ancient Greek school of philosophers who held the view that virtue is the only good and that its essence lies in self-control and independence
2 : a faultfinding captious critic; especially : one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest

During some period of our misspent youth, I can clearly recall our mother expressing surprise at how cynical my brother and I already had become considering our tender age. At the time, we regarded the cynical labeling as a badge of pride. What else could we be but cynical?

Today, I don't consider myself cynical per the traditional definition. Rather, I'd say I'm what Chesterton termed a "happy pessimist." Pessimist about the nature of man and the prospects for this temporal world. Yet happy about the eternal salvation available to all mankind through God.

Not that there aren't plenty of things to be cynical about these days, especially in these parts. Following the local professional football squad certainly lends one to take on a more cynical worldview. In the depths of winter, with spring still nothing but a distant hope, it's hard to be anything but cynical about the weather. On a national level, watching this week's SOTU address with anything but a cynical gaze would have been foolhardy.

Leave it to the crew at Surly Brewing Company to come up with a beer bearing the name that captures that mood. This week's beer is Surly's Cynic Ale.

Light tan can with standard Surly graphics. You can see why the bottom half of the drinker ying/yang is cynical. Definitely the pint is empty kind of guy.

Beer Style: Saison

Alcohol by Volume: 6.7%

COLOR (0-2): Gold, slightly cloudy 2

AROMA (0-2): Malty, sweet and a bit peppery 2

HEAD (0-2): White, not much retention or lacing 1

TASTE (0-5): Mostly malty and sweet with spice and light citrus flavors and a touch of hops. Medium body and thinner mouth feel. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Dry finish and pleasant follow through 2

OVERALL (0-6): Although this is not one of my favorite varieties of beer--and one that I probably would enjoy more in warmer months--it's another solid effort from Surly. They don't hold back or play it safe with any of their offerings and if you are a fan of the saison/farmhouse ale style, this would be a great choice for you. It's very drinkable and after knocking back a couple you might just find yourself taking a slightly less cynical view of the world. At least the world of beer. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14


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