Beer Review: Smuttynose Zinneke

Smuttynose makes damn good beer.  Produced in charming Portsmouth, NH on the Seacoast, this brewery makes one of my favorite everyday IPAs.  Their Big Beer series features a rotating cast of higher ABV beers.  They are more complex than the everyday beers, and come in 22oz bombers.  I have had some success in the past, and was in the mood for a stout so I grabbed Zinneke.  Touted as a Belgian Style Stout with a portion aged in Bourbon barrels I wasn't sure what to expect.

Pouring into a Harpoon tulip, the beer appeared to be fairly dark, small tan head, and fairly carbonated.  Smell was complex and remnisicent of their Robust Porter.  Taste was much stronger, and there were a number of flavors present including chocolatey malt and a very faint bourbon twang.  The beer was quite carbonated which is my only real downside with the beer.

Stouts are not my favorite style, and an oddity like a Belgian-yeast based Stout with some barrel aging is unlikely to be heavy in my drinking rotation.  With that said, this beer is one hundred percent appopriate for a late fall/early winter evening.  Check out ratings at Beeradvocate and Ratebeer.


"Productivity" is Overrated

I have followed various "productivity" systems over the past few years.  Get It Done, note taking, to do lists, tracking progress, measuring each step are all tenets of "productivity."  I find that these systems are all well and good for those of us who just need a kick in the right direction, but there are many downsides.  You get so caught up in measuring your progress, completing tasks, making gains and so forth.  All of those phrases could be put in quotation marks, because what is "progress?"  Also, what good is completing tasks and making gains if they don't matter.

This post is the opposite of the Negative Nancy first paragraph.  I think its important to get away from productivity systems.  People who are most efficient are those who are doing what they truly LOVE.  For these people, they often don't need productivity systems, because they know exactly what they need and want to do.  I think being passionate about what you are doing, and completing the tasks that you are most passionate about is the most effective productivity system.

When you stop worrying about measuring, tracking, completing and all these other tasks you can slow down and enjoy the moment.  My advice: take a deep breath, and go do what you WANT to do.

Further reading:
Untrack: Letting go of the Stress of Measuring (ZENHABITS)
The Upside of Inefficiency (LIFEHACKER)


How to Tie a Tie - Four in Hand Knot

I went to an all-boy's Catholic High School with a dress code.  Although we didn't wear ties on a daily basis, they were required quite frequently.  I learned how to tie a tie from my father at a young age, but I was always shocked by how many of my peers could not complete the simple task.  There are many more fancy knots, but I always tie the four in hand knot.  It does not make a perfectly symmetrical, massive knot, like the full or half windsor, but each knot has a unique charm.  If you are in the market for a lovely tie, check out the Kiton Sevenfold (above) I have listed on eBay.

First, from Sette Neckwear:

Next from TM Lewin:

The ever important dimple @ GQ: