Drinking in the Super 8…Round 3.

Here I am back at the Super 8 Motel in Grangeville, Idaho.  And I’m sure you all will notice that this time I have a respectable glass!  Not using the plastic Super 8 cup this time.  Well there is a story behind this glass.  See I took some heat from you all last week when I did my reviews using the plastic cup that was provided in my room.  Well I have been trading beer stories with one of the staff here at the hotel.  She is the day time manager and likes great craft beer.  Well about 2 months ago I left my ear piece for my cell phone in the room.  To my surprise I got a call from the day manager to tell me that the cleaning person had found it in my room.  Well I was headed back through in a couple of days so I asked her to put it aside and I would be by later to pick it up.  To show my appreciation I picked her up a Deschutes Hop Trip brew and dropped it off when I picked up the ear piece.

Then the last time I was here I gave her a 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA.  See living in Grangeville she doesn’t get back down to Boise a lot to pick up good craft beer. So I give her one every now and then to try.  So when I came to my room tonight this is what I found…

So this glass was put in the room by the day manager, because she knows I do these reviews when I stay here, and I must say that this is a benefit of staying 1) at the same hotel and getting to know the staff, and 2) staying in a small town where they really care about their customers.  So thank you to the Day manager and the rest of the staff here at the Grangeville Super 8.  You have made my stay much nicer.

OK, onto the brews!  Here is tonight’s lineup…

I am starting with the Pranqster Belgian style Golden Ale.  This is crafted by North Coast Brewing out of Fort Bragg, California.  Then I will move to the Twisted Thistle IPA.  This was an IPA recommended by my Beer guy at Brewforia in Boise, Idaho.  He is very impressed by this Scottish version of the IPA style.  Finally I will wrap up with another North Coast offering the Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.  Again I’m trying to make this work with my tastebuds, by going from lightest flavor to heaviest.

But I began my evening with dinner.  I was getting a little tired of Pizza and Salad, so tonight I went to the local Mexican restaurant and had a nice chicken in Mole sauce.  It was pretty good I must say, and was inspired to give it a try by Katie over at Gonzo Gastronomy who had a nice post about Mole sauce last week on her blog.  It was good, and was a nice meal to have with this lineup tonight.

The Pranqster is definitely a golden ale.  It used a mix of antique yeast strains to produce a nice golden color with a very floral nose.  It doesn’t have chunks of yeast floating, but it is very cloudy.  There is about a one finger head that quickly dissipated, but it has a good amount of carbonation.  The nose has those floral tones which I could smell while it was pouring.  It also has some light fruits like white grapes or pears, and a touch of funk.  It was a little surprising, but the funk is definitely there and makes for an intriguing nose.

The flavor is not a traditional belgian like I have had before.  It is a little funky and light and fruity with some good bubbles of carbonation.  It is slightly bitter but not from hops, but it is like a sourdough bitter, so I imagine it is coming from the yeast.  It is a very good brew with a light mouthfeel and a slightly boozy finish in this 7.6 ABV brew, but not overpowering.

This beer is a little impish, so I see why they call it Pranqster.  It is light and fruity, but brings a little funk along with it, and the alcohol content makes it a little sneaky.  A good brew for a nice refreshing break.

The Belhaven Brewery’s Twisted Thistle IPA is a 6.1% ABV brew that is so light it is almost worthy of a session label.  This brew is a medium bodied IPA that has a very piney nose and a huge three finger head that is leaving an absolute ton of lacing and foam on the sides of the glass as it works its way down.  The nose is piney, and hoppy, but I am also picking up on a good bit of yeast and malt that anchors this well balanced IPA.

While this is a medium bodied brew it has a creamy mouthfeel that allows it to coat the palate and linger.  It is an almost clear brew with chinks of things floating in the beer.  These chunks seem to be giving it a pretty good flavor.  It is very piney flavored with some sweetness, but without the usual grapefruit flavors coming through.  It has a slightly bitter and dry finish.  All in all a very interesting flavor that I am enjoying.  This brew that is not too filling and leaves a tingle on your tongue after you drink it.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is another offering from North Coast Brewing out of Fort Bragg, California.  This is a dark stout that poured an inky black with a huge foamy tan head.  It is black as night and does not let any light through.  It is leaving a hefty amount of lacing on the glass as it goes down.

The nose on the brew is all malt.  Big maltiness with just a tinge of the hops that make it an imperial stout.  The flavor was somewhat of a disappointment.  The mouthfeel is just medium bodied and the flavor is an imperial to be sure, but it just kind of lays there.  It tastes uniquely bready for a stout and not in a good way.

All in all this 9% ABV brew leaves me flat.  It isn’t overly carbonated, and it just kind of lays on your palate without a great mix of flavors or a special complexity.

So that is it for the night.  Three brews, two I would buy again, and one I think I will pass on if offered.  Not a bad night all in all, just a bunch of empties headed to recycling.


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20 Comments on “Drinking in the Super 8…Round 3.”

  1. February 24, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Don, I’m liking these Super 8 beer reviews – maybe you can get them sponsored by them! That is pretty good service too, I’m thinking it wouldn’t be like that in NJ.

    • Don
      February 24, 2010 at 10:48 am #

      I’m guessing you are right Scott. In New Jersey they show love by not whacking you. Fo what ever reason you are right people do like these super 8 reviews, but I doubt I’m looking at a sponsorship potential, although the cushy chair and gas fireplace are nice!

  2. Katie Pizzuto
    February 24, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    Agree with Scott…I’m digging the Super 8s! Super glad I inspired you to try the mole, though it looks like they nearly drown the chicken in it, LOL. A shame you couldn’t try the beers alongside it and compare the pairings. I think that these wouldn’t have been the best for the mole anyway….need something light and not very hoppy, to tone down the mole. Good work dude!

    • Don
      February 24, 2010 at 10:53 am #

      I was thinking that the Pranqster would pair nicely, but you are right the rest wouldn’t have done very well. I wo1uld have normally had a beer with my dinner but I knew I was going to drink these three so I didn’t. I was thinking at the time that a Negra Modella would go great! And the Mole was good, and they did drown it in the stuff, but that was ok as I used it for dipping.

  3. February 24, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    First off, your shirt is on backwards in the first picture..oh, wait…nevermind.

    I think Scott is right, you should be sponsered by Motel 8. Pretty soon you’ll be on the Motel 8 Solo Drinking Team, along with Dell Griffith and a bunch of other shower ring salesmen!

    Also, I’m glad you concur with me on the Old Rasputin. It was one of my first reviews on the site here and I didn’t really care for it. If I recall, it starts out great and then the taste just kinda disappears – no finish to speak of. I’ve heard a lot of good stuff in the beer aisle about it (there’s always seems to be a guy telling his buddy he needs to try it), but I consider it one of those beers that’s getting by on reputation or hype, versus a totally charming flavor. Not awful for sure, but not worth buying again (and it’s a little pricey, too).

    • Don
      February 24, 2010 at 11:21 am #

      Those showerring guys know how to party! But they always have those tiny bottles laying all over the place and chips on the floor on the way to the bathroom! I don’t let them trash my room! I agree. You didn’t review the Old Rasputin, but some like 9th anniversary version that was awful. But we are in agreement on this one. Its flavor isn’t gross, just lifeless, and at about $3 a bottle, I didn’t sign up for lifeless! Also I wouldn’t say the flavor is great, but serviceable. Again at that price serviceable is a crime.

  4. February 24, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    Great reviews, Don. Like Scott, I’m looking forward to your Super 8 reviews too. And that hotel experience is a great advertisement for the wild west! Mole sauce huh? I haven’t been to do chocolate with my chicken but I know a lot of people who really love it.

    • Don
      February 24, 2010 at 11:50 am #

      It was pretty good. A little too sweet for me, but I got around it pretty well. I have one more Super 8 review tonight, and then I probably won’t be back here for several months. That is a good thing, because I’m assuming that after three in the span of 8 days it has probably run its course for a while. I thought of you when i drank the Twisted Thistle IPA. I thought you might like it because it isn’t a huge hop bomb. I know you like something that is a little better balanced.

  5. February 24, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Good to know (Twisted Thistle IPA). I was a little “concerned” with the piney flavor but would definitely try it.

    • Don
      February 24, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

      It was well balanced. And made my tongue tingle a little. Kind of fun. Not overly piney, but not huge grapefruit like you get from many American IPAs

  6. February 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I’m a fan of Pranqster. I think it’s possibly one of the best goldens I’ve had outside of Belgium ones. Sorry that you did’t really care for Old Rasputin. I actually like the brew but was sorely disappointed by the barrel aged one. Having said that, Brother Theolonius is another good North Coast brew worth trying. It’s been a while that I’ve had it but Twisted thistles was a good and nice twist on a typical Scottish Ale.

    I agree with all. Super 8 should be your sponsor. The theme song could be old George Thorouggood and the Destroyers. “I Drink Alone” the song. Maybe even the original John Lee Hooker of “One Bourbon, one Scotch, and one Beer”. It really is cool that you got a glass from her.

    • Don
      February 24, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

      I agree Michael the Pranqster was really good, and probably my favorite of the night. I’ll have to try the Bother Thelonius. I have been passing it up for some time. The OR just didn’t do anything for me. I think there are many more Imperial Stouts I’d buy before I go back to it. It is very cool that there was a glass in the room when I got here! It was like an unexpected present, a lot of fun!

  7. February 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    OK…it’s time to try prankster. I’ve been putting it off, bu it’s time.
    VERY cool that the manager hooked you up with a glass…I think it says a lot about your personality…nobody hooks up a jerk!

    • February 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

      Yeah, he’s a lovable rascal!

    • Don
      February 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

      The Pranqster is good. Not knock your socks off good, but good and in a unique way so all the better. It is very cool she hooked me up with a decent glass to do my reviews. Now if she could just find me someone to wash it between beers….Hmmmm.

  8. @BeerPoet
    February 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Funny, I had Old Rasputin yesterday, too. Weird. I think I got a lot more nose/flavors from it than you did. Maybe the two other flavor-packed brews before it muted your tasters.

    I’m still on the fence about whether those nose/flavors were put together well or compliment one another. Same kinda experience I had with Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine the day before. Clash of the senses. I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to get more either. There are a lot more imperial stout choices out there now that seem to do a better job.

    Jim’s probably right. It may be getting by on a good reputation that was earned (rightly perhaps) when Imperial Stouts were fewer and farther between.

    • Don
      February 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

      That could be Chad. I am pretty new to the whole beer thing, so as far as imperial stouts go, I’ve had better…Way better.

  9. Marvin
    February 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    Man I need to send these Super 8 people a gift basket just after reading this. Even though I have never been there.

    • Don
      February 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

      It was pretty cool. Really made my day.


  1. Tap or Bottle…The Battle for my Eternal Soul Rages On. « Beer & Whiskey Brothers - October 20, 2010

    […] I’ve had the Old Rasputin before.  I actually reviewed it here.  In that review I wasn’t overly impressed with the beer.  It was kinda dull and lifeless. […]

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