It’s Monday; drink some whiskey. Tonight we’re drinking Widow Jane Rye, a new sensation from the Cacao Prieto Distillery in Brooklyn. This sucker has generated a lot of buzz in the past few months, and for good reason. It’s the first batch of rye the distillery has tried/released, and since it was somewhat experimental it was distilled and bottled in fairly small quantities.
Business hours are now over, which means whiskey, natch. Today’s bottle is a bit of a special occasion drink — Jeff decided to move to Japan, so we had a drinking send off that included, among other things, this (its name is Glamdring). More importantly, though — we enjoyed a bottle of Talisker Distillers Edition, and it was all kinds of delicious.
Talisker is the only distillery on the Isle of Skye, the northernmost island in the Inner Hebrides and nearish neighbor to the noted whiskey-producing islands of Islay and Jura. Stylistically, Talisker bears a lot of similarities to Islay malts, though the connections vary across bottlings. Anyways — scotch.
Aberlour, founded in 1826, produces six different single malts with age statements, and one cask strength bottling with no age statement. Today we’re drinking the 12 year release, the distillery’s second youngest (they also make a 10) and the more or less definitive gateway to the distillery’s offerings.
The blog is back, for real this time. No room for fanfare, just whiskey. Today’s return offering is a blended scotch from Scotland (Fife, to be precise) that’s made from 16 different single malt varietals. According to the folks at Wemyss (“Weems”), Peat Chimney is particularly heavy on a 12 year Islay strain — hence the name.
This is the only time you’d want to be something akin to a chimney sweep. Read on for scotch.
The original plan for today was for Tim to bring you all a review of the much storied and impossible-to-find Heady Topper, but as he’s driving back up to Vermont for another weekend of skiing (and since, in his own words, he’s lazy), that review will have to wait until next week.
In lieu of Heady, today we’re drinking Pruner’s Pride, a hard cider from Champlain Orchards up in Shoreham, Vermont. It’s yet another example of the Green Mountain State’s awesome cider culture and of the complexities you can find in a drink that most people write off as grown up apple juice. Details on the sweet, nectary cider after the jump.
Happy Monday to you all. Glad it has cooled down a bit after that unseasonably hot weekend. I wanted to start this review with a short discussion on the “freshness hype” that many subscribe to in the craft beer community. If you are not familiar, the argument is essentially that hoppy beers are best consumed fresh to avoid hop degradation. As a hoppy beer ages, it becomes oxidized and the wonderful, complex aromas and bitterness fade within 3 or 4 weeks and 3 or 4 months respectively.
I don’t think anyone would argue against drinking hoppy beers fresh, but there is debate whether a few weeks or months actually makes a difference. I tend to err on the side of caution and generally don’t buy IPAs without a freshness date. (This website can help you decipher freshness codes and find the bottle date from various breweries). To me, it’s simply that I enjoy the aroma of a beer immensely and find it dramatically enhances an otherwise middle-of-the-pack brew. It is also important to note that the same hop degradation process can also be beneficial when aging various barleywines and stouts, where hop character is not nearly as important and often unwanted.
Maine Beer Co, subscribes to the importance of freshness and states on their (hoppy) bottles, “Do what’s right. Drink this beer fresh.” With all that said, today’s bottle of MO was bottled on 5/21 and it shows…
Woah, what a month! Papers, finals, senior week, graduation and now the real world. Well…. not quite. But the important thing is that we now have some time to focus on some great beer, cider, and spirits.
Today’s beer is no exception. The Smoked Maple Lager is a collaboration by Jack’s Abby - a rising local brewery out in Framingham that specializes in unique lagers - and Lawson’s Finest Liquids - a highly regarded small batch brewery in Warren, VT. The Smoked Maple Lager is true to the German rauchbier tradition, in which the malts are smoked on an open fire, imparting a delicious smokiness to the beer that is reminiscent of smoke meats. Lawson’s contribution is in the local maple syrup, of which they added a gallon per barrel. Interestingly, they also added non- fermentable lactose sugar that leaves behind a creamy sweetness. If you are interested in the rauchbeir style, Jack’s Abby also has a more typical ranchbier flavor profile in the year round Smoke and Dagger.
Sorry for the lull in posts, everyone. We’ve been a little preoccupied as of late, but let’s jump right in. While the mainline Long Trail beers don’t exactly do it for me anymore they will forever hold a place in my heart as my gateway into craft beer. The Blackberry Wheat and the Pollenator were summer staples as I grew accustom to beer that actually had some taste. So when I saw the Brewmaster Series Double IPA, I decided to give it a try for old time’s sake.
Today’s review comes from Night Shift Brewing, an awesome brewery located just a few miles down the street from Tufts. Just over a year into production, these bros are pumping out some high quality brews. The trio was like any other group of homebrewers, (like me) for which the hobby quickly became an obsession and realized that there was a need in the market for some unique brews. Enter the zesty Viva Habanero and the tart Ever Weisse and you have a winning formula: Innovation + Quality ingredients = a truly memorable beer.
I stopped into Ball Square Fine Wines to pick up the aforementioned Viva Habanero, and it was much to my surprise when I pulled out a green-labeled bottle amongst a desert of red labels. A lone, lush paradise awaited. It was the Oasis, Night Shift’s first bottled IPA. I gave the bottle a once over and was easily convinced to bring it home by the bottle date: 4/5/13. Man, this was fresh!
Night Shift is also an extremely local brewery, and it shows. Right on the bottle it has some suggested food pairings from local establishments. For example, on the Oasis it mentions that a falafel from Amsterdam Falafelshop in Davis would pair nicely. They also source local ingredients that become the focal points of their brews, such as the coriander and cardamom from Christina’s in Cambridge.
What a perfect day to sit back and relax with a crisp, refreshing beer from Dogfish Head. So, I bought a bottle of Sixty-One a few weeks back and had completely forgotten about it until I ordered one at Underbones on Saturday night. Alas, the keg was kicked and my curiosity was piqued sufficiently to pop my lone bottle open.
According to their website, the Sixty-One is Dogfish Head’s first new addition to the core lineup since 2007. The story goes that whenever the founder, Sam, would meet up with his buddies they would order a round of 60 Minute IPAs. One night, Sam ordered a glass of his favorite red wine and poured a little into each of their glasses. This fruity beer/wine hybrid was a hit and they started brewing a few years later. The name Sixty-One points to the fact that it is Dogfish’s 60 minute IPA + one extra ingredient: syrah grape must.