Series Preview: San Diego Padres

mets-padresHeadlines

Back to the Beach: The Mets are embarking on their first West Coast trip of the season.  Their streak of six straight series wins will be put to a serious test with four-game sets against the Pads and the Dodgers, before they close the trip with three games against the Rockies.

Bad Memories:  A lot has happened since the Mets last battled the Padres.  Their previous meeting was the fateful July 30 rain delay game, when Jeurys Familia uncharacteristically melted down, sending the Mets to the low point of their 2015 season.  Of course, the Mets then turned everything around in historic fashion.  Perhaps this series could be the start of another big run,

The Monster is Out of the Cage: Lucas Duda is swinging a very hot stick, connecting for not one but two Duda Smashes in the Mets win on Wednesday.  Perhaps we are witnessing the start of another installment of Hot Duda.  If so, he could carry the team throughout the road trip.

Standings & Probables

Nationals 19-8 .704
Mets 17-9 .654
Phillies 16-12 .571
Marlins 14-12 .538
Braves 7-20 .259

Thursday, May 5 Jacob DeGrom (3-0 1.02 ERA) vs. Colin Rhea (2-1 4.61 ERA)

Friday, May 6 Noah Syndergaard (2-1 2.51 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (2-3 2.48 ERA)

Saturday, May 7 Bartolo Colon (2-1 2.56 ERA) vs. James Shields (1-4 3.23 ERA)

Sunday, May 8 Matt Harvey (2-4 4.76 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (2-2 4.85 ERA)

Beer From the Bad Guys

Get ready for 10pm start times, Mets fans!  The worst part about the West Coast swing is undoubtedly the late start time for the weeknight games.  Maybe the small hit of caffeine that comes with coffee beers can help us old folks make it through to the end of the games in the wee hours of the morning.  Let’s test this theory with three beers brewed with coffee from upstart San Diego brewery Modern Times.

Modern Times has been impressing the SoCal beer world since they opened in San Diego in 2013.  As one of the only breweries who also roast their own coffee in-house, Modern Times is the perfect candidate for our coffee challenge.

IMG_1992Modern Times Devils’ Teeth

First up is Devils’ Teeth, a seasonal release that is a blend of Imperial Stout and Old Ale, with their house coffee added.  The beer pours black, with a luxurious tan head.  From the moment it hits the glass the smell is all coffee.  Truth be told, I am not especially fond of their house coffee on its own (it’s a bit too bright in flavor for my palate) but I have to admit that in a beer it is heavenly.  The taste is massive chocolate and espresso with loads of sweet cream. It profiles as more of a stout than an old ale. But as it warms a bit of the sherry, fruity flavor prevalent in old ales peeks through. A touch of alcohol is noticeable, but not unpleasant. Devils’ Teeth is silky smooth on the tongue.

I have to admit I am blown away by this beer. The only fault I can really find is that it’s far too crushable. I’ve seriously never downed a 10% bomber this fast.

Scouting Report (20-80 scale)

See: 65

Smell: 70

Taste: 75

Feel: 70

Overall: 70

 

Modern Times City of the DeadIMG_2344

Next, let’s check out City of the Dead, which is offered year round by the brewery.  It’s described by the brewery as an export stout with bourbon barrel aged coffee added.  Yes, you read that right.  Modern Times has a very cool barrel aged coffee program.  Rather than brew the beer with coffee and then age it in bourbon barrels, the mad scientists at Modern Times put the coffee beans by themselves in the barrels to absorb the bourbon flavor, then use these bourbon-infused beans in a beer.  Will the bourbon flavor transfer to the beer?  Let’s find out.  City of the Dead pours a deep brown, almost black color with a thin tan head.  The smell reminds me of iced coffee, with a little bourbon. On the tongue the bourbon comes through clearly and weaves a unique interplay with the strong coffee flavor.  I can’t exactly put my finger on it but the bourbon and coffee flavors blend together in a very unique way.  If I had to describe it I would say there’s an earthiness to the flavor that’s not normally present in bourbon aged beers.  The mouthfeel is silky and rich, as befits this type of beer.  Overall, this is a very different, and quite delicious take on the coffee/bourbon stout genre.

Scouting Report (20-80 scale)

See: 65

Smell: 65

Taste: 70

Feel: 65

Overall: 65

 

Modern Times Black House

Last up is Black House, which is offered year round in four packs of pint cans. mod_weblackhouse_220_488_85 In my book, the only thing better than canned beer is oversized canned beer, so it gets points from me already.  This beer is an oatmeal stout brewed with Modern Times’ house coffee.  As might be expected, it has a lot of similarities to the other two offerings we sampled, though not as much complexity.  Coffee is the star here.  Modern Times has shown they do not play around when dosing their stouts with coffee – these are definitely for java lovers.  The strong coffee smell and smooth feel from the oatmeal create a creamy espresso vibe.  This beer packs in a lot of flavor for a 5.8% abv brew.  The only flaw is that the lower abv and creaminess from the oatmeal make the body of the beer feel a little thin.  But it’s a small issue I have with a very good everyday coffee stout.

Scouting Report (20-80 scale)

See: 65

Smell: 60

Taste: 65

Feel: 45

Overall: 60

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