Beer Review: Westvleteren 12


Look: 4.75 / 5 | Smell: 4.75 / 5 | Taste: 5 / 5 | Feel: 5 / 5 | Overall: 4.9 / 5

L: The 12 has a reddish/brown hue and pours a white/tan head.

S: It has the beautiful fruity smell typical of Westvleteren beers. Sweet dark fruits hit the nose first. Like the 8, the esters really shine through. It’s reminiscent of old fashioned bubble gum, the kind you find at a baseball game. It’s full of bread aromas, like fresh rye. Lastly, caramel and toffee mixes in with all these scents to make this drink smell more like a dessert than a beer.

T: The sharp dark fruit bite is at the forefront and is pleasantly though slightly bitter. Like the smell, the taste of the beer is more comparable to a desert cake than a beer. Dates, raisins, brown sugar, toffee, and clove all mix together to attempt to veil the alcohol. The bready malts form a good base to the beer, reigning in, and complementing all the other aspects.

F: Deep, satisfying mouthfeel that matches the 10.2% ABV without the harsh aftertaste.

O: This is a truly beautiful beer. The pleasant dark fruit bite reminds me of the Westmalle dubbel, which isn’t surprising considering they share the same yeast. It earns its title as one of the greatest beers in the world, if not the greatest.

Beer Basics:

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Beer Review: Allagash Odyssey

2013-04-07 16.33.57

Look: 4.5 / 5 | Smell: 4.5 / 5 | Taste: 4.75 / 5 | Feel: 4.5 / 5 | Overall: 4.6 / 5

L: This Belgian strong dark ale pours a dark, thick wooden mahogany color, hazy and complex, with a very elegant and even dark creamy head.

S: The beer has a distinct smells of grape, a hint of dark chocolate, and it reminds me of a dark, wheaty bread. The aroma is very pleasing and complex.

T: This beer has a fantastic taste. Like the smell, it has a taste of dark, rich, whole wheat bread sprinkled with nut, chocolate, subtle vanilla, and oak. It’s elegant and provides a wonderful combination.

F: It’s slightly carbonated, feels thick, and drinks well.

O: This is truly a fantastic beer. Its complex aroma, smooth taste, and astonishing look make it well-balanced and unique. This is a beer to keep for aging… if you can go that long without drinking it.

Beer Basics:

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.40% ABV

Allagash Odyssey is a dark wheat beer aged for ten months, a portion in oak barrels and the remainder in stainless tanks. The recipe includes 2-row barley, malted wheat, a generous amount of roasted barley and Belgian candi sugar. This deep brown beer boasts an aroma of black treacle and raisin. The flavor hints at dates, with a mildly roasted finish imparted by aging in both medium and heavy toast American Oak barrels. The finish is dry, punctuated by vanilla.

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

9/11 Remembered

We will never forgive, and we will will never forget. Our enemies thought they could instill in us fear. We showed them strength and unity. Our enemies thought we would withdraw and retreat. We amplified our presence and came for them. Our enemies looked at America and thought they saw weakness. We brought to their doorstep retribution and defeat. Our enemies merely succeeded in awaking a sleeping giant, and they filled him with a terrible resolve.

Who are our enemies?

Our enemies are those who oppose freedom and liberty. Those who would bring destruction rather than progress. Those would would bring cruelty rather than kindness. Those who would pervert the ideals of peace to deliver the realities of war. It is those people who become the enemies of all who love freedom, not just in America but around the world. America may take a leading role in the struggle, but it does not struggle alone. And in the struggle for freedom, America will not falter, and it will not fail.

“I’m no kin to the monkey” – The Attack on Evolution

Disclaimer: This post contains material on science. Science is built around theories, which are strongly supported by factual evidence. Everything in science should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.

“New knowledge leads us to recognize in the theory of evolution more than a hypothesis.” – Pope John Paul II

“Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” – Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker

“So powerful is the illusion of design, it took humanity until the mid-19th century to realize that it is an illusion.” – New Scientist, September 17, 2005, pg. 33

One would think that in the 21st century, in the most scientifically advanced country the world has ever seen, that evolution would be universally accepted and that science would be have long prevailed over unprovable belief. However, science once again finds itself under attack and a theory supported by multitudes of corroborating evidence is being questioned based on ideas supported by no evidence at all. I’m talking, of course, about Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection and the challenge mounted by Intelligent Design.

Continue reading

Nights of Talent

It is easy for one to marvel at the grandeur of New York City, the world-class plays of Broadway, the gourmet restaurants of 57th Street, the dazzling spectacle that is Times Square. However, few may realize that an incredible scene lurks just beneath the surface of what is the common New York experience. I’m speaking, of course, of the local art scene.

Much to my benefit, I happen to have befriended one such artist a number of years ago and had the privilege to attend an exhibition of her and other artist’s work. The pieces I had the privilege to see that night were extraordinary. Continue reading

The Cardiology Anthem

By: Brian Wells

Bump on the page
P wave!
Spike going up

T wave, T wave,
what the hell?
There’s one too many T waves,
this ringing some bells?

I’m living the cardio life
don’t be hatin’ my style
got echos to read, patients to see
places to be, you want to feed off my tree of knowledge?

Best get in line. Want to learn regurge?
Maybe I’ll have the time for you,
I’ll sit, I’ll dish, I’ll spill
we can talk about drugs, both IV and pill.

Losartan, Zocor, Lopressor, Lotrel
Coreg, Cardizem, Cozaar works well
for your pressure, your heart, we won’t let it fail
we’ll check your history, your personal clinical tale
that guides us to your problems,
your individual needs.
Hook you up to some leads so we can get your EKG.

Congrats, it’s normal! No need to feel frail.
Now come back in two months
and until then: Feel well!

Cardio life for realz, yo.

Later, gotsta to check out that V tach. Peace!

The Art of Medicine – Shifting the Paradigm

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes genius and a lot of courage to move in opposite direction.” – Albert Einstein

The problem with many is not that they’re ignorant, it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so and haven’t experienced a new and better way of working.

For many years, I was like a prisoner. Blindfolded. Restrained. Blindly following the prevailing dogma of how a physician should act, what a physician should carry and how a physician should study. In time, I have had a breakthrough. An epiphany. It has become clear to me that one of our the greatest hindrances is that of uninspired knowledge, that of an approach solidly grounded in a pre-data driven era. An approach with a basis in pride.

Pride is a weapon. Pride pushes people in a direction, to act for good or to act for self-interest. Who would not feel good when prompted on rounds by an off-the-wall question to be able to respond correctly? It serves self-esteem. It serves ego. It serves pride. However, we must not forget that pride can also push us in the wrong direction. For every 10 things known, there are likely a dozen or more other things not known and in that fact lies the humility that must remain at all times with even the best physicians. Continue reading

NYC Village Halloween Parade 2010

Filming Location

Now for a post on the lighter side – On 10/31/2010, I had a chance to go and watch the NYC Halloween Parade. Although it was quite cold, the parade itself was a lot of fun to watch with great music, creative costumes and well-rehearsed dance routines including a rendition of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.


Now in its 38th year (2010), New York’s Village Halloween Parade is…

  • The nation’s largest public Halloween celebration
  • Named as The Greatest Event on Earth by Festivals International for October 31
  • Attended by over 2 million people, seen by over 1 million on TV
  • The nation’s only major night Parade
  • Listed as one of the 100 Things to do Before You Die
  • More Information

Here are a few highlights from the 2010 Parade: Continue reading

VoR iPhone application submitted to Apple’s App Store

Since the reader base here at the VoR has been steadily growing over the past few months, I’m excited to announce the submission of the Voice of Reason iPhone application to Apple’s App Store! iPhone and iPad app reviews, commentary on the issues of the day and other integrative news information will soon be available in an easy-to-use iPhone application.

As always as with all content here, this application will be brought to you free of charge from the Voice of Reason.

Here’s a preview of The VoR iPhone application as run in the simulation software:

UPDATE 11/5/2010

Application has finished processing and is waiting for a decision from Apple

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