Monday, May 24, 2010

The Terrible Truth

Email from concerned and angry fans of this blog has been piling up in my inbox. People want to know why I have been so slow in writing new posts. They thirst for more delicious recommendations. I have indeed been lazy, but I want to make it clear that I have not forsaken video games, booze, or combining the two in ways most exquisite. To be fully honest, I have not posted new entries as frequently as I originally expected because I have lapsed in my recovery from that terrible drug, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Sure, as I have previously pointed out, Stone Smoked Porter is a great pairing. But I might as well run through some alternatives, since I have tried out a good number of them over the past few weeks. Here are some quick reviews:

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction with a 2005 Arceno Chianti Riserva Classico

This Chianti went quite well with Diablo. Given the amount of blood and red potions and fortresses that appear in the game, all but the lightest old world red wines should be a nice match. 2005 Arceno Chianti Classico Riserva was no exception. It was, perhaps, a little more restrained than would be ideal, but surely a relatively subtle red is more appropriate than a California fruit bomb. I particularly recommend this wine with acts I and IV.

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction with Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout

I'm not a big fan of most coffee beers. I love coffee, and I love beer, but I find that all too often, coffee beers taste like stale coffee grounds. Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout was an exception. Situated comfortably between dark-roasted and caramel malts along with the boozy vanilla lent to it by its bourbon barrel aging, the beer's coffee flavors were part of a beautiful balance. And most importantly, the coffee notes tasted fresh.
GIBCBCS paired well with Diablo II, which is not surprising, given the affinity that imperial stouts (and dark ales in general) have for fantasy games. However, at 13% abv, I found that it dulled my skills after a while, and by the time I was half-finished with my second glass, I began to die with alarming frequency. It's probably best to split this one with a friend, especially during Act V.

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction with Short's Huma-Lupa-Licious IPA

West Coast IPA's and swords do not go hand in hand. I enjoyed Huma-Lupa-Licious, though it did not enhance my gaming experience any more than any other decent beer would have. If I had been playing Act III while I drank it, I might have felt differently. Act II would probably have worked out okay as well. Unfortunately, this beer is inappropriate for Acts I, IV and V.

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction with a Jim Beam Perfect Manhattan

A little bit of sweet vermouth, a splash of dry, a few drops of Angostura bitters, all topped off with good ol' Jim. Jim Beam is not at all the best whiskey for Manhattans, but it does in a pinch. Similarly, Manhattans are not the ideal beverage to consume while playing Diablo II. But hey, after a hard day at work, they're not so bad together.

Only one option is left if I am going to rip myself from the clutches of Diablo and get around to playing other games: I need to play it so much that I become disgusted with myself. I'll get to work on that right now.

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