February 27, 2010

Electric Coyol Acid Test

Crackin' the seal on 2 liters of "Vino de Coyol".....Bring on your witchcraft bitches!

From Wikipedia: "Coyol wine is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from the sap of Coyol Palms. It is primarily made and consumed in many countries in Central America. In order to produce the wine, the trees are cut down and the sap is left to ferment in the sun. The result is a cloudy, milky white alcoholic beverage. Coyol wine is most commonly produced and sold by private vendors at roadside stalls in used plastic bottles.

The wine is unique in that it causes inebriation not primarily by it's alcohol content, but through its enzymatic action triggered when one drinks it and then receives significant sun exposure. It is well known that one can become inebriated in the evening, regain sobriety by the next day and then undergo inebriation again in the moring without even consuming more, mearly by being exposed to the sun again."
So, in the part of Costa Rica where we live, you can see people along the roadside selling this stuff in all sorts of crazy (certainly unsanitized) bottles. Finally one day we bought some to see what it's all about. So, for about $1.50 we bought 2 liters of this stuff. First thing we noticed is how damn fizzy it was.........I mean it was like out-of-control fizzy. If you didn't vent the bottle at least every 10 hours, you're looking at a SERIOUS explosion of Coyol jizz. At first drink, it's actually not too bad - like carbonated apple juice mixed with skim milk and about 50 Alka-Seltzer tablets.
In an effort to REALLY get the full effect without ending up in the hospital, I drank about 1 liter of this stuff and then sat out in the direct sun for about an hour. The drinking part gave me a buzz right away....maybe as strong as beer or a little less. Sitting in the sun, I fully expected complete inialation with halucinations, violent vomiting and head-body detachment/spinning. Unfortunately (and thankfully) none of this happened. In fact, the sun exposure did not seem to enhance the effect at all - this is factoring in that, by this point, I had moved on to beer and was feeling that on top of the Coyol. The next day I went for a long ride in the sun to test the residual inebriation claims....and.......damn! nothing still! Maybe I need to shoot this shit up or rub it on my nipples - whatever it is, I'm not doing it right.
I think maybe another (more controlled/much higher volume) test is in order.....so stay tuned for that.

February 22, 2010

Costa Rican Beer Review Dos - Pilsen 6.0

OK, well it seems like sort of a joke to review the various Costa Rican beers that one would typically find in the markets and restaraunts here.....and the reason for that is because they are ALL brewed by the same monopoly brewery (Cerveza Florida S.A) so, they almost all taste the same. The main labels (again, I won't call them "brands" since it's all the same company) are Imperial, Pilsen, Bavaria, and Heiniken (yes they brew their own sad sad version of "Heineys").
Most places in Costa Rica only sell Pilsen or Imperial (the more popular of the two). Just so you know - these two beers taste EXACTLY the same and it's damn pretty funny to listen to locals discuss (and argue) which one is better. Cracks me the-fuck-up!

So anyway, seeing a new beer on the shelves here in Costa Rica is pretty damn exciting - like it's Christmas something.

Recently I had been eye-ballin' the "new" Pilsen 6.0 on the supermarket shelves - a higher alcohol version of the original Pilsen at 5.2 percent. The boasting of a higher alcohol content and new bad-ass black and red label had me hooked from the start. (side note: The only reason I drink "regular" Pilsen [with a white and red label] over Imperial is solely based on the design of the label itself)............ In fact, the new lablel Pilsen 6.0 label is SO much more bad-ass than all the other beer labels here, I wasn't so sure they were going sell it to me unless I was wearing a crazy eye-patch, a worn out leather jacket and had a half-healed machete scar across my temple. (I pulled it off with my current appearance)

The strangest thing I noticed about this "edicion especial" Pilsen was that it was actually like 25 cents a bottle LESS than the normal Pilsen........Que-up? I don't know what's up with that, but think I can guess. You know, we used to brew in college and it's not real hard to make a beer stronger than it should be - either you fuck up a recipie (like we did often) or you do it on purpose (like we did often). I'm betting that it was a little of both for Cerveza Florida S.A. ........somebody botched the recipie one time, the jefe tasted it and thought "man, this has a bit too much flavor - I'll bet we can sell this shit to gringos!"....and then Pilsen 6.0 was born.

So what the hell does it tate like? Well, (no surprise here) just like the rest of the beers in Costa Rica. Virtually NO hops are used in the brewing process but yes, it DOES have a BIT stronger flavor than the 5.2 version. Then again, than cool black label might pulling some subliminal shit on my gringo ass. Still, it's not that great of a beer.......better than Bud or Coors Light? - yes, but not by much. Better than PBR in the bottle?........well now, that's just crazy talk.
To be fair - all of these beers are great to slam on a hot summer day, which we have a lot of those here!

February 08, 2010

Recent Riding Shots

These first three shots were taken on a ride Jen and I did a few weeks ago from Liberia to, at least near, the Santa Maria Sector Ranger Station at Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Ya, it's all road, but it was actually fairly interesting - most of the ride was on a welded volcanic tuff, so it was really like riding slickrock (but not nearly as fun). Unfortunatly this ride passes the county landfill part way up so you really need to hold your breath for at least 5 km - just frikin' nasty.

These next two shots are from a ride we did starting in Libano and going DOWN into the monster heat of the valley before turning around in Canas. It was hotter than hell that day and the few river crossing were nice! Jen did good on this hard ride.

The next three are taken on a ride a few days ago. These fine young lads showed me a new ride that, even though it lasted like 9 hours, should only be a 4-5 hour ride at most. Ticos like to take their time when they ride - stopping to chat, eat, gaze, whatever. A good view of Arenal Volcano that day and there was even a huge eruption while were were on this ride - unfortunately we were out of view of the mountain at that point - but it was louder than shit!

February Random 10

Quasi - Empty Words
MIA - Come Around
Mirah - Nobody has to Stay
Talking Heads - The Great Curve
Versus - Sunburned
The Faint - Ballad of a Paralyzed Citizen
The Clientele - My Own Face Inside the Trees
The Sea and Cake - Left on
Coldcut - More Beats and Pieces
Firehose - Toolin'