Monday, October 31, 2011

A Smoky Ale and a Socksy Tale

Happy Halloween, dear readers. Today we celebrate the onslaught of autumn's chill, the death of summer's warmth, and the ghost of our motivation.

This weekend, I managed to break out of a slump and finish the week with three runs and a taste of double-digit miles--but first a taste of double-flavor ale.

Mmm ... smoky. 
That double flavor came in the form of Smoked and Oaked, a Belgian-style ale from Salt Lake City-based Epic Brewing Co. Although I found that the company's description of this brew having "an almost scotch like taste" as being wholly untrue, the smoky quality offsets the sweet, malty flavor to delightful effect.

(I will admit that my preference for smoky Scotches like Laphroaig prepared my palate to enjoy this beer, but just because something is smoky doesn't mean it's Scotchy. If anything, the sweetness gives it a bourbon-like quality.)

The Smoked and Oaked is a small batch Belgian dark ale, brewed with peat and smoked cherry wood malts and aged in whiskey barrels, featuring an 8 percent ABV, according to Beer Advocate. It pours a hazy amber with a smooth, frothy head, which laces nicely on the glass. While the beer has a higher alcohol content, its complex flavor hides any boozy aftertaste.

This is my first experience with Epic Brewing, and it won't be my last. Upon reading about the Smoked and Oaked, I believe my bottle was from the No. 6 release. Contrary to the Beer Advocate reviews linked above, the Epic Brewing description of this beer shows a 10.5 percent ABV.

I tend to love beverages that are smoky, so your experience may not be as positive as mine. Regardless, the Smoked and Oaked is worthy of any Team BHI member.

Nice Socks
Last Monday I returned to barefoot running after a 20-day hiatus. During my brief respite from baring my soles, the weather had turned brisk. The cold pavement was manageable enough for three miles, but I knew that Northeast Ohio was about to make barefooting much tougher.

After a five-mile (or so) trail run in my Altra Adams Saturday, I decided I wanted to be able to run in less shoe around the neighborhoods. Sunday morning, I picked up a big package of low-cut socks for $12 at Costco and ran three miles in a pair.

The socks kept my feet warm, though provided much more cushion than I expected. There was puddle I couldn't avoid and was happy that the socks dried fairly quickly. I didn't care for how much my feet slide from landing to lifting phases of my stride, but the effect did not cause any pain.

I've convinced that running in just socks should be a suitable option when it's cold and relatively dry.


Carolina John said...

Wow, getting out there barefoot when it's this cold down south is tough. Up in Ohio I can't believe you're not freezing your nuts off out there.

misszippy said...

In my brief barefooting forays last winter/spring, I found that I was pretty good down to about freezing w/o socks. You are definitely on the verge of seeing lots of sub-freezing temps. Ohio winters are long winters!

Anonymous said...

Never heard of Epic. Have to check them out.

B. Jarosz said...

Have you tried running in aqua socks? (Or whatever they're called - those neoprene things for kayaking...) My Hubby bought a pair for running on rainy/wet days. He swears by them.