2012-2013 Celtics: Game 1 vs Miami Heat

The 2012 - 2013 Celtics are a whole new team.  Their extended bench consists of Jeff Green, who is not a completely new face, but was unable to play last year based on health reasons, and new faces Courtney Lee, Jason "Jet" Terry, rookie Jarred Sullinger, Leandro "Leandrinho" Barbosa and a few other minor players.  This brings significant increased depth to the guard position for Boston.  The only notable absence is the future Hall of Famer Ray Allen, who left to join the Miami Heat to help Lebron defend his title.  Most Valuable Celtic is going to have to be Rajon Rondo, the capable Celtics PG.

Game 1 was in South Beach vs the Heat and the Celtics did not emerge victorious.  Lebron and Wade had massive games and Ray Allen's first game wearing red and black was a memorable one.  It really hurt to watch that smooth jump stroke count against the Green.  I think the line was fair at Heat -6.5, and probably would have taken the Celtics with the points.  However, the new pieces of the Celtics are not yet clicking as I think they will be as the season winds to a close.  This Celtics team is constructed a lot differently, the offense is going to be much improved, and the defense, which has been the hallmark of this team since we acquired KG seems to have fallen off a bit based on the first game.  They will need to improve this as the season moves forward to be competitive.

I am very confident that the Celtics will emerge as the #2 or #3 seed in the Eastern Conference and the success of our new players will be critical to any post season success

Celtics coach, Doc Rivers, looing stylish with the window pane SC, nice tie and french cuffs.  Doc Rivers tends to favor Ermenegildo Zegna.


Review: Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Cider

My uncle gave me a bottle of this cider from Lebanon, NH based Farnum Hill.  I have had their ciders before, but not in the past 2 years.  The stuff is fairly pricey, but for a truly artisanal product, it is great value.  Made from true cider apples, grown on their own apple orchards in Western New Hampshire, and brewed using traditional methods.  Available in beautiful corked and caged 750ml bottles. 

The appearance is not so dissimilar from apple juice, but the carbonation is extremely lively.  The aromas in my tulip glass are outstanding, and feature almost a tropical fruit smell.  The sharp, bitter taste of apple is followed by a very clean, crisp finish.  This stuff is extremely drinkable, and not at all sweet like a Strongbow or other industrial cider.  It compares very favorably with a white wine or a saison.  I am going to try it with some goat cheese as I am a little hungry, but it can definitely stand on its own.  I am going to look into some other ciders that are from MA, and will report back in the future. 

This is a fantastic beer for autumn.


ATL Essentials: Autumn Edition

Autumn is getting into full swing, and it is a welcome reprieve from the heat of summer.  I did an ATL Essentials: Summer Edition and decided that now is an appropriate time for autumn.  These items all coincide with the cooler weather.  As usual, there is a New England-style leaning for these picks.

Pants: Charcoal Wool Flannel and Corduroy.  Although, I still wear plenty of khaki and denim, these two materials are featured most prominently in the fall.  Gray pants are the standard, but the nice warm flannel material is best suited for cooler weather.  Corduroy is fantastic as well, particularly in a green shade as pictured above.

Red Wing Boots are my favorite type of work boots.  I prefer the 875 model, and these are relegated mostly to the weekend.  Sturdy and practical.

Patagonia Fleece.  It is no secret that I am a big fan of Patagonia.  I really like their understated styling and great outdoor gear.  Fleece is perfect for this season, regardless of the model.

Tattersall shirts.  British country style tattersall is a great pattern.  It is obviously more on the casual spectrum, Barbour is the gold standard, but I own a couple shirts from Orvis and Land's End that are nice as well.

Stouts.  My favorite of which is Goose Island Bourbon County.  Perfect beer for the season, bit of a meal in itself.

Beef Stew.  The perfect fall food.  Potatos, peas, hearty meat all together.  Enjoy with stout.

Check out other ATL Essentials posts.


Michigan Brews

On our hike up in New Hampshire, I mentioned that my uncle brought me some beers out from Michigan.  I sent him on the way with some Jack's Abby Lager and Mystic Saison.  None of these beers are particularly mind-blowing, just solid craft brew.  Below are them in reverse of order of what I liked best.

Bell's Brewing - Amber Ale:  My uncle said that this beer is as ubiquitous in Michigan as Harpoon IPA is in Boston.  I can see why, it is definitely a solid amber ale, great for outdoors and everything else.  With that said, there are many other better Bell's beers (almost all of them).  This bottle was also not particularly fresh, too bad.

Short's Brewing - Pontius Road Pilsner - Another decent beer from a well respected brewery.  They have actually distributed in MA from time to time, but they are known for making all manner of oddball beer.  This beer is actually a pretty straight forward pilsner, definitely an upgrade from the yellow fizzy stuff, but nothing mind blowing.

Founders - Dirty Bastard - Founders is a brewery that is actually 100% available in MA.  I have had this beer before and it did not disappoint, high ABV at 8.5%, this scotch ale is great for the fall/winter.

Bells - Two Hearted Ale IPA - Bell's most famous offering is their IPA.  It is absolutely fantastic, and this bottle was pretty fresh, so it had that great hop character I desire!  If this were available in cans 365 days a year, I could consider an exclusive relationship...


Hike: Mt. Martha, New Hampshire - Twin Mountain, NH

This past weekend my wife and I went up to New Hampshire and stayed at a condo in Lincoln, NH with my uncle, aunt, and my parents.  It was a great weekend, good food, good beer, football, and hiking.  I couldn't really ask for much more.  I haven't done much hiking since Mount Washington in the winter, but I always love it.

We hiked Mount Martha, which is located in Twin Mountain, NH.  It's off Rt. 3 up over the Franconia Notch and is a 40 minute drive from Lincoln.  The hike is extremely reasonable, although you certainly do get a full workout.  I feel bad that we did not take Martha's mile over to Owl's Head, but would certainly consider it in future hikes.

After the hike, we watched the Patriots handle business against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.  We enjoyed a beautiful pot roast dinner that my father and uncle collaborated on.  Delicious.  Washed it down with some great beers that my uncle brought me from Michigan.