GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>

Friday, March 27, 2009

Grumble, grumble...

The last day or so I have been feeling like I am coming down with strep throat. Whether or not I decide to go to the doctor later today, it means that I can't visit with or hold my new grandson for a few days. So as not to get him sick.

Thankfully I don't have to teach until Monday.

Grumble, grumble.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Videos - A Proper Dressing Down...

for British PM Gordon Brown over his runaway spending.

Daniel Hannan, MEP, is a new hero. By way of Flopping Aces:

I wish that the likes of Tim Geithner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank,...and you-know-who could be sat down and subjected to the same reading of the "riot act", for the sake of our nation.

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Thursday Videos - Real Threats to Humans...

Not made-up hysteria over carbon dioxide. From a NewScientist Space article (by way of Doug Ross @ Journal):

From the article:

..."It is hard to conceive of the sun wiping out a large amount of our hard-earned progress. Nevertheless, it is possible. The surface of the sun is a roiling mass of plasma - charged high-energy particles - some of which escape the surface and travel through space as the solar wind. From time to time, that wind carries a billion-tonne glob of plasma, a fireball known as a coronal mass ejection (see "When hell comes to Earth"). If one should hit the Earth's magnetic shield, the result could be truly devastating.

The incursion of the plasma into our atmosphere causes rapid changes in the configuration of Earth's magnetic field which, in turn, induce currents in the long wires of the power grids. The grids were not built to handle this sort of direct current electricity. The greatest danger is at the step-up and step-down transformers used to convert power from its transport voltage to domestically useful voltage. The increased DC current creates strong magnetic fields that saturate a transformer's magnetic core. The result is runaway current in the transformer's copper wiring, which rapidly heats up and melts. This is exactly what happened in the Canadian province of Quebec in March 1989, and six million people spent 9 hours without electricity. But things could get much, much worse than that."...

More from the article:

..."The most serious space weather event in history happened in 1859. It is known as the Carrington event, after the British amateur astronomer Richard Carrington, who was the first to note its cause: "two patches of intensely bright and white light" emanating from a large group of sunspots. The Carrington event comprised eight days of severe space weather.

There were eyewitness accounts of stunning auroras, even at equatorial latitudes. The world's telegraph networks experienced severe disruptions, and Victorian magnetometers were driven off the scale."...

And more:

..."There are two problems to face. The first is the modern electricity grid, which is designed to operate at ever higher voltages over ever larger areas. Though this provides a more efficient way to run the electricity networks, minimising power losses and wastage through overproduction, it has made them much more vulnerable to space weather. The high-power grids act as particularly efficient antennas, channelling enormous direct currents into the power transformers.

The second problem is the grid's interdependence with the systems that support our lives: water and sewage treatment, supermarket delivery infrastructures, power station controls, financial markets and many others all rely on electricity. Put the two together, and it is clear that a repeat of the Carrington event could produce a catastrophe the likes of which the world has never seen. "It's just the opposite of how we usually think of natural disasters," says John Kappenman, a power industry analyst with the Metatech Corporation of Goleta, California, and an advisor to the NAS committee that produced the report. "Usually the less developed regions of the world are most vulnerable, not the highly sophisticated technological regions."

According to the NAS report, a severe space weather event in the US could induce ground currents that would knock out 300 key transformers within about 90 seconds, cutting off the power for more than 130 million people (see map). From that moment, the clock is ticking for America.

First to go - immediately for some people - is drinkable water. Anyone living in a high-rise apartment, where water has to be pumped to reach them, would be cut off straight away. For the rest, drinking water will still come through the taps for maybe half a day. With no electricity to pump water from reservoirs, there is no more after that."...

This is roughly the same as the effects of a nuclear explosion-triggered EMP (electromagnetic pulse). [While writing this and considering the results, a loud clap of thunder outdoors seemed to emphasize the point.]

A sane, logical person would suggest that preparation for such worst-case natural scenarios (which are beyond our control and prevention) would be time and money better spent than on politically-driven hysteria over what might be natural climate variations. I doubt that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or Barack Obama could even understand this without the help of their science advisers.

It seems to me that if we are still in a quiet period of few or no sun spots, such an event might be less likely, but Mother Nature will do what she will do, including surprise our arrogant human asses.

Just another reason to stock up on canned food, gallon jugs of water, batteries, water filtration systems,...and modes of self defense. Roving gangs of "neighbors" might not respect your private property rights nor your self-preparedness. ACORN will see to that.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Curiosity Satisfied...

Back on March 1, I wrote about a friend (Paul) having picked up a bottle of historic Ballantine Burton Ale for $90 at a beer can show and another friend (Neal) and myself had each purchased a 1/3 DI - Drinking Interest in this adventure.

To briefly revisit what Ballantine Burton Ale was (in its heyday), it was a special brew from Ballantine Brewing Co. of Newark, NJ. Legend is that they only brewed 2 or 3 batches and generally let it age for at least 10 years in oaken tanks. In this particular case, the ale was brewed in May, 1946 and bottled in November, 1960. The Burton Ale was not sold, but was bottled and given to media and sports personalities, civic organizations and such, as Christmas gifts. Sometimes by the sixpack, sometimes by the case.

Paul specializes in New Jersey breweriana and his dad (Ed, who was at the tasting) actually worked for Ballantine in the early 1960s and later for Hamm's in San Francisco in the mid-1960s. He shared a few interesting stories with us about the beer biz.

All-the-while carefully handling the bottle, we chilled it slightly to perhaps 55 degrees or so and carefully opened it. It had a barleywine aroma and poured cleanly. The bottle had apparently spent years on its side and fortunately, the sediment had stuck to the side of the bottle and was not disturbed while pouring into the four tasting glasses.

The poured ale had a pretty, clear ruby tint and clung to the sides of the glass when swirled and there was no sign of any oxidized or rancid smell that one might expect from an old ale, bottled 48 years ago.

When the moment for tasting came, following a toast, our reaction was of slight disappointment, as the ale, while not spoiled, was not as robust as we had hoped. Even Ed, the former Ballantine employee remarked that it was not as flavorful as when they used to pass around mason jars of it at the brewery (quality control - don't ya' know!).

The original high hop content was part of the reason it was preserved so well and we didn't expect the hop aromas or flavors to last that long. But we were expecting something of a malty flavor, at least.

Perhaps if we had tried it 15 years ago, it might have been a different story, per the testimonies of various beer writers and connoisseurs. Or perhaps after the high expectations, the writers were afraid to admit they were let down.

All-in-all, despite the slight disappointment, we were all glad that we had the opportunity to try this bit of American brewing history. There is an ever-shrinking supply, actually as bottles are found in old attics, basements, or trunks in the northeastern United States, it is hard to estimate how many bottles there might be. I suspect that when a well-preserved bottle is found, it is probably opened and shared soon after purchase.

Yeah, Ballantine Burton Ale. Been there, done that.

Back in the 1990s, Neal had purchased a small bottle of Ballantine Brown Stout, from about 1936, and he reported that it was well-preserved. On the off-chance of ever finding another full one of those, I suppose aside from any beers from the "untried states" (AK, NV, ND, SD, KS, and NE), perhaps Samuel Adams Utopia and Samuel Adams Millennium remain among the American beers that I would like to try.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Videos - South American Volcanic Eruptions

The west coast of South America is a Continental Arc System (as is the Cascade Mts.) of the NW United States. Offshore there is a subduction zone and the sinking plate oceanic plate is sliding beneath the adjacent continental plate and slowing melting.

The hot, buoyant magma rises through the continental crust, giving forth volcanic eruptions from normally explosive composite volcanoes (aka stratovolcanoes).

From TheRealNews:

These types of volcanoes are more explosive than the Hawaiian or Icelandic volcanoes, as the rising magmas "pick up" quartz from the overlying continental crust, which makes the magma more viscous and likely to plug the neck of the volcano, until gas pressure (irresistible force) overcomes the immovable object (the lava plug or lava dome).

Some other famous stratovolcanoes - Mount St. Helens, Redoubt volcano, Augustine volcano, Mt. Pinatubo, Mt. Unzen, Mt. Vesuvius, Mt. Etna,...

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Tuesday Videos - Volcano Webcams and Videos

From the DiscoveryNetwork:

You will notice on the map showing the location of the Augustine volcano in Alaska how close it is to the restless Redoubt volcano.

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Tuesday Videos - Tonga Underwater Volcano Eruption


From YouTube user CocoaTokoia:

When submarine volcanoes erupt at great depth, the water pressure suppresses the explosive reaction between cold seawater and the erupting magma. But as the underwater volcano grows in height, when it reaches shallow depths, you can see the results. It is somewhat similar to films of the "birth" of the isle of Surtsee (sp?), off the coast of Iceland in 1963.

I wonder how much carbon dioxide, sulfur gases, etc., are being emitted into the Pacific Ocean and the atmosphere because of this volcano?

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Tuesday Videos - Carboniphobia

In the wake of the EPA's desire to control carbon dioxide, rather than my ranting, go back and watch George Carlin's rant, posted last Friday.

Right now, I can't do any better.

Plus, I got to get back to work.

Remember folks, carbon dioxide comprises 385 ppm - 0.0385% of the atmosphere.

That is about 4 parts out of 10,000.

Back before the Industrial Revolution, it is estimated to have been 280 ppm - 0.0280%. About 3 parts out of 10,000.

So, in the last 200 years or so, it has risen 1 part out of 10,000.

It is a power grab.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday Videos on Friday...

(or Tuesday videos on Friday)...'cause some things are too good to wait!

From an American Thinker post comes this YouTube video, from YouTube user GlobalWarmingFraud:

In a brusque, profane way (as with Penn & Teller), George Carlin demonstrates that he had no use for political correctness or environmental worrywarts.

Stewardship - yes. Climate hysteria to the point of wishing for human extinction - I don't think so.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Videos - I am Not a Gun Nut, I am a Freedom Nut

If you want the government to "take care of you", move to North Korea, Venezuela,...

From YouTube user gunkadink:

Just a little more food for thought on this day dedicated to the preservation of our freedoms.

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Thursday Videos - The Loss of Freedom Previewed in the UK

I have linked to this video before, but as "rust never sleeps", the government's desire to control peoples' lives doesn't sleep. And for the sake of the freedom of our children and grandchildren, we must stay awake.

From NRA Videos:

Our Founding Fathers knew what it was to have their doors kicked in by soldiers of a corrupt king.

By hook and/or crook they will keep pushing towards their goals.

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Thursday Videos - A Preview of Coming Attractions?

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, police in Democrat-controlled New Orleans chose to disarm law-abiding citizens and not the criminals. For whatever reason, a number of New Orleans police officers went AWOL, leaving portions of the city at the mercy of roving gangs and individual criminals.

By way of NRA videos:

Notice how they roughed up a "little old lady" at the beginning of the video.

So what does it say about the mindset of a government that in the wake of a disaster, it confiscates the citizens' means of protecting their lives, their homes, and their businesses?

That is what the 2nd Amendment is about, the recognition of the natural, God-given right of self-defense, not only against riots and criminal activity, but against a tyrannical out-of-control government, whether local, county, state, or federal.

There is a growing movement (I hope it is growing) called Oath Keepers, in which law-enforcement personnel, members of the military, etc., take an oath to preserve the 1787 Constitution and the Bill of Rights and pledge to refuse to take part in an en masse disarmament of American citizens. If it comes to that, brave patriots in those positions may be the only check-and-balance we have left before they reach our collective doorstep, now that it appears the Obama Administration is trying to do an end-run around the concept of Senate filibusters, in the name of "reconciliation".

Yeah, I know the concept of freedom is somewhat radical to some folks. Any good classical liberal should fear tyranny as much as Conservatives do.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday Videos - A Panel Discussion on Climate Issues from...

the 2008 Geological Congress in Oslo, Norway.

Again from CO2islife:

Part I of the panel discussion. The full video of the discussion is here. It is one hour plus long - but it is important to hear this, lest it be taken from us.

Here is Part I from YouTube:

A free and open discussion of science, as it should be. Not censored and suppressed as Al Gore, James Hansen, et al, would have it.

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Tuesday Videos - Good Science is Almost Never Settled

That is the nature of nature - change. Doing what it will. Whatever happens now (and in the future) has probably happened before, numerous times.

Another video from CO2islife:

There is no consensus. Listen to these scientists (several of them geologists) - just a few of the thousands that disagree with Algore and company. Though they may not be as loud and passionate as Al Gore or as hysterical as James Hansen, they speak from a background of an understanding of past geologic and climate history.

It makes good sense to conserve non-renewable petroleum resources, but socialist tyranny just ain't going to do it.

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Tuesday Videos - Obama Gets it Wrong on Global Warming

What do you expect? He is just doing what his teleprompter tells him to do.

Remember folks, this hysteria is strictly geared towards carbon dioxide which comprises 385 ppm (0.0385%) of the atmosphere. To reiterate, we skeptics believe that though we are adding to the atmospheric carbon dioxide content, human contributions are dwarfed by natural sources (volcanoes, hot springs, ocean releases,...), thus it is unlikely that we would have anything more than a minor contribution. There is ample evidence that suggests that natural warming is causing an increase in ocean releases. Any measured increases in dissolved CO2 in the shallow ocean could be coming from underwater volcanoes and/or more vigorous biological activity (as a response to the warming surface waters) - warm is good for life and biodiversity.

From YouTube user CO2islife.

Deforestation, the growth of Urban Heat Islands, and other land-use changes could contribute to changes in local and regional climate, but the media/government-driven hysteria is about trying to control fuel use by people and businesses.

The hysteria is driven by computer models (that do not and cannot incorporate every single natural input) and to make their political points, computer-model proponents often select the worst-case scenarios from one or more computer models.

The ever-growing paleoclimate database suggests what geologists already know. The only thing constant about the Earth is change. When you understand the repeated natural cycles of warming and cooling (some with rapid onsets that are not well-understood), it is impossible to conclusively prove the magnitude of human-influences, whether they be combustion-related carbon dioxide, deforestation, Urban Heat Islands, or...

Not wanting to waste a good crisis, the MSM and government are ratcheting up the hysteria for more regulations, so if the apparent cooling taking place over the last decade continues (as Russian solar observations suggest), the AGW crowd can take credit for "stopping global warming", as the cooling becomes more evident to the general public.

It is all about power and control.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just Got to Brag a Little

I know this picture makes me look a little old, but what the heck.

Here I am savoring the magical moments of getting to hold my new grandson Ben for the first time, yesterday. I am a little sad that my Dad never got to hold any of his four grandchildren.

This is why I blog about my concerns for the future and what certain folks of certain political persuasions are doing, 'cause of this little fellow, his parents, and his 14 year-old uncle (my son).

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Is Obama Seeking New Alliances?

By destroying the old ones?

The repeated dissing of the UK by Barack Obama is reprehensible. They are "family", after all, though they are in much worse trouble because of advanced liberalism, than we are. Sadly, this is not the administration to notice nor help to counteract the trouble Britain is in.

Rush Limbaugh pointed out that the White House has protocol people that advise on what to do, so if Obama hasn't fired them, perhaps he just ignored them (or if it wasn't on the Teleprompter, it doesn't exist).

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Tuesday Videos - NewsBusted

It looks like today is the day my daughter will be giving birth to our first grandchild, so I will be away from the computer (don't have a laptop, yet - working on that).

I also have a first cousin once-removed that is due to give birth any day now. This will be her fourth.

Asking prayers for all involved. Thanks.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

What a Geologist Sees - A Good Idea That May Come to a Bad End

I have been meaning to address to issue of natural gas vis-à-vis the desire for more businesses and vehicles to convert to using some form of natural gas, as it is the cleanest burning of the fossil fuels (yes, Nancy Pelosi, natural gas is a fossil fuel that comes from drilled wells). I am not phobic about carbon dioxide, but other fossil fuels emit numerous compounds (besides the CO2 loved by plants) and some of those compounds can be nasty when they get concentrated.

[Advisory: In the few weeks that I have had my new job, I have learned a great deal about the oil & gas industry, though I remain a learned student. IMHO, anyone that calls themselves an expert is usually an arrogant blowhard. The word expert is what other people apply to you, and if you know you haven't earned it, you should politely decline the offer of the title, 'til such time that you have earned it. The "expert" label should be used sparingly, as Mother Nature will always hold some of her secrets just beyond our reach.]

Though I have wished to blog on this matter, the articulation didn't come to me until I read this article from the industry source Oil Voice. Simply put, yes we have a current natural gas glut and it seems that, at least for the United States, we do have apparent future resources for a while in coalbed methane, shale gas, etc.. If we use it sustainably.

Going "hog wild" on natural gas, e.g., for vehicle fuel and as substitutes for other fossil fuel applications, will use up that glut in short course.

[I address this issue from the point-of-view of a homeowner that uses natural gas for heating and water heating purposes. Personally, I can't use coal nor gasoline in these applications and the federal government (to say nothing of city zoning folks) would get upset if I built a small nuclear reactor in my basement. So at this point, I have to use natural gas or go back to electricity - which utilizes natural gas, coal, and/or hydropower. So it is best to utilize gasoline and diesel as vehicle fuels until we have something else - and not suck up all of our natural gas in CNG vehicles.]

BTW, this is a Swedish scientist saying these things, not an American "oil company shill" as Libs would have you believe. Go read the article, for a more articulate offering of these ideas.

As we have seen the corn-to-ethanol idea devolve from good idea to bad idea, the conversion of mass numbers of vehicles to CNG may fall into this same category. Someone recently told me that it could cost $6,000 to convert a car to CNG from gasoline. So what do fleet owners, etc. do when the glut is gone and natural gas-using homeowners realize that they "have been had again" by a media/government campaign? Convert back to gasoline or to diesel? At a cost that will be passed on to the customer?

Beware the bandwagon effect.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Thursday Videos - A Day Early...

'cause somethings just can't wait until tomorrow when the future of your country is at stake. From Eyeblast TV, by way of Moonbattery:

So to begin with - WTF? Why did Republicans select Casper Milquetoast as RNC Chairman? Geez Louise! We need Dr. Herman Cain, a former Baptist preacher who can "who can shell-down the corn" (in the words of the late Jerry Clower). If you have heard audios of some of the FairTax rallies, you have heard Herman at his best. Or Dr. Walter Williams can get quite passionate, too.

Why do we need a "party leader" that wilts in front of a Leftist entertainer, hired by CNN? Yeah, I know it would look bad to jettison Michael Steele this early, but we could just say "this isn't working, we need an annulment". I don't wish to be mean, but will he lick the shoes of Chris Matthews when challenged?

In the Republican Party, we don't do quotas, unlike the Democrats. The door is open and it has been for years. We just do a lousy-shit job of telling people and contradicting the lies of the MSM.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tuesday Videos - For Beer Geeks

To illustrate the diversity of subjects on this blog, here is a YouTube Video on Oskar Blues Brewery, a micro brewery that has made it big in cans.

They have just debuted a new canned beer, Mamma's Little Yella Pils. Hope it gets to Atlanta, soon.

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Tuesday Videos - Wayne LaPierre at CPAC

I haven't had time to listen to all of this, but it is from a voice I trust.

Video is posted on YouTube by jbranstetter04.

Just as a reminder, in the hands of a law-abiding citizen, it is a defense weapon, not an assault weapon.

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Tuesday Videos - Did You Know?

If our economy doesn't completely collapse, per the wishes of Leftists, we have other things to concern ourselves with.

By way of YouTube user amybethhale.

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Tuesday Videos - Jim Cramer's Concerns

From, by way of NewsBusters:

..."CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer, who first starting connecting that perhaps a Democrat-controlled federal government might not be the best thing for the United States earlier this year, gave something of a downbeat rant on Feb. 2 about Obama’s handling of the economy so far."...

If the stock market had fallen this much under President John McCain, the MSM would be calling for torches and pitchforks themselves.

So how many privately-held pension funds are crashing in value? Perhaps that is what they want, to be able to claim to "save" the system by taking it over.

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As You Bend Forward and Grab Your Ankles...

you hear someone ominously say behind you, Yeah, we got your energy independence right here.

The world economy is based upon fossil fuels and it will remain so for at least the next few decades, unless politicians destroy it - because of carboniphobia - to the point where we have to go to burning wood and cow dung to keep warm and to cook.

Doing their part to inhibit access to our own oil resources, the Obama administration is proposing new fees, taxes, and restrictions on the oil industry.

This will do nothing to increase future supplies, jobs, or tax revenues. Yes, we have a bit of a crude oil and natural gas glut at the moment, but if the U.S. economy is allowed to recover and the world economy follows, demand will come back.

An active exploration/production program is part of what is needed for future supplies. It also makes us less susceptible to foreign disruptions.

This Rigzone Report has more of the details.

[I intend to come back and fill in some more, later.]

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Monday, March 02, 2009

That Strange Place That is Dreamland

Since I have been in this new job, I have communicated by email with a couple of UTEP Geology classmates in the oil bidness.

I had a dream early this morning that one of them was in Atlanta (for some unknown reason), so we got together to discuss old times and have a beer or two. It was after I had picked him up from his hotel (or wherever he was) - at about 4 PM - on the way to a favored watering hole (with a big selection of microbrews) that I remembered -

Oh Sh_t!, I have a class to teach in 1.5 hours (and I am 1.75+ hours away from the campus)! That sort of dream wakes you up faster than an alarm clock does.

Maybe dreams like that is why some people have heart attacks in their sleep.



Sunday, March 01, 2009

To Most Folks, This is Not the Holy Grail,...

but to American beer historians/connoisseurs, it is. Here is but one story about Ballantine Burton Ale.

Ballantine Burton represents a unique bit of American beer history. It was produced by the Ballantine Brewing Co. of Newark, NJ and given away to sports celebrities, TV personalities, and other folks of influence as Christmas gifts. That in-and-of itself is not that unusual, but the way Ballantine Burton Ale was handled is unique. By enlarging the second photo, you can see that it was bottled especially for Bruce McGorrill, who was eulogized briefly in this obituary, in this way:

"Bruce McGorrill, 74, who climbed the ladder from announcer at WCSH-TV to chief executive of Maine Broadcasting Systems, [passed away] March 28 in Portland. The Bowdoin College graduate moonlighted as a public speaker and Down East humorist."

You will also see that this particular batch (one of only two or three) was aged for 14 and 1/2 years. [It was brewed in 1946 and bottled in 1960.] So one can surmise that Mr. McGorrill squirreled away at least a couple of bottles from the presumed case that he received as a gift. From time-to-time, full bottles of Ballantine Burton Ale appear on eBay as collectibles, if the labels are in good condition, they generally go for around $100 or more. Other factors not withstanding, the longer a beer/ale ages at the brewery, the longer it will last, if protected from light and excessive temperature variations.

The condition of the label, aside from influencing its collectible value, it an indicator as to how the ale has been "handled". Excessively faded labels suggest the bottles may have been exposed to too much light - if exposed on a shelf or mantle, perhaps. Light is not good for beer.

My friend Paul found this particular bottle at a recent beer can show in VA and paid $90 and my friend Neal and I each paid $30 for a 1/3 DI (Drinking Interest, to modify an oilfield term). That DI may be modified to 1/4 as Paul's dad (who worked for Ballantine and tried samples of it in the early 1960s) wants to try it, too. So when the four of us can get together, we intend to share this experience. Paul thought about buying a second bottle at the show, but $90 for a second 12 oz bottle of ale seemed a little too rich. This is to perhaps be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not a habit, as the supply of full bottles is ever shrinking. Ballantine was purchased by Falstaff in 1967 and Burton Ale was never brewed again. For years, other Ballantine products were brewed at the Narragansett Brewery in Cranston, RI, then when that brewery closed, production was shifted to the Falstaff Brewery at Fort Wayne, IN.

From the first link above:

..."Vintages of Burton Ale could spend anywhere from 7 to 20 years in oak, before being bottled, and then given away by the brewery as gifts. Ballantine Burton Ale was brewed to be a high gravity, high alcohol beer, coming in at about 10-11% abv. Ballantine, who produced its own hop oils, used lavish amounts in this beer as well, to preserve it, and the high hopping, put Burton Ale at 60+ IBU (bitterness units). It was sedimented with yeast, making it a bottle conditioned beer, so further fermentation, and development could take place in the bottle."...

Some consider it to be the first American barleywine.

More from the first link, a description of the vaunted brew:

..."Ballantine Burton Ale pours to a beautiful, bright, ruby red color with no head and no carbonation. I was amazed how bright this beer poured. When mailed to me they were quite hazy, but I cold stored them, the yeast settled to the bottom of the bottle and poured bright. I was also very careful when I poured to make sure the yeast sediment stayed in the bottle. The nose on this beer shocked me. I was expecting lots of oxidation, but I did not get that. Very pronounced aromas of oak, sherry, and alcohol flooded the nose. This beer matured in oak for 20 years, and is one of the reasons this beer has held up so well. The palate was full on the tongue, with flavors of oak, and a surprising amount of estery fruit flavors of plum and apple, paired with a nice back drop of caramel maltiness. Ballantine Burton Ale finished with more oaky and fruity flavors up front, and ended with a peppery, soothing, warming burn that lit a fire in the belly."...

Years of jalapeños, salsa, and picante sauce may have damaged my taste buds to the point of not being able to pick up all of these flavors. If the bottle survived well, I may just say "Wow".

[On a side note: A few years ago, Neal (aka mytmalt) tried a bottle of Ballantine Brown Stout, from around 1936 and he reported that it survived well. Aside from higher hop content and long aging, higher alcohol contents also help in the preservation process.]

This ain't a football beer, you would treat it more as a sherry or a port, with reverence for the history contained within. If we can scrounge up enough tulip glasses, those are best for this sort of adult beverage, similar to what you would use with Samuel Adams Triple Bock or Utopia. I will be satisfied with having tried it, Paul and Neal will probably flip a coin over who gets to keep the empty bottle and the "loser" will get the bottle cap (both are collectibles, too). We will probably chill it to around 50 to 55 degrees to enjoy its flavors.

So, second to waiting for my grandson to be born, I am awaiting this experience, too.

BTW, Ballantine Ale - now contract-brewed by Miller - is still available in select markets and it is still a decent brew, though having been separated from Newark from 40+ years according to mytmalt.

Some might consign such a treasure to a "tontine" status, wherein the last surviving member of the "three brewsketeers" would enjoy the bottle (if you remember that particular episode of MASH), but I would rather share the experience with appreciative beer connoisseur friends.

[This will be cross-posted at Beer Can Blog, later in the day.]

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