Beer Review Poetry – Founders Rübaeus


Founders Rübaeus

It’s past 10 o’clock, and with the family asleep,

I’m done watching Gotham, so into the kitchen I creep.

I open the fridge, and what do I see?

A Founders Rübaeus is looking at me!

I’ve had this before as part of a flight.

I sampled it on draught, and it was a delight!

As good in a bottle? That’s what I need to know.

So I grab that cold beauty, and into the dining room I go.

When I’m done taking photos, I pick up the beer.

I lift it to the light, but don’t hold it too near.

The color is pale red and a good bit cloudy.

It has little to no head, so it looks almost dowdy.

While it may not look special, I am happy to report,

The nose and the taste remind me of a kick ass Raspberry Linzer Torte!

The raspberries are there from beginning to end.

Drink this when parched, and you’ll quickly be on the mend.

Not overly tart, nor overly sweet.

Rübaeus is deliciously balanced, and oh such a treat!

Malty Monday Monitor for September 29, 2014


Below are a few of the more interesting press releases that landed in our inbox this week…

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Victory Brewing Company to Install Canning Line in New Parkesburg Brewery

DOWNINGTOWN, PA, September 23, 2014 – In response to consumer demand and much online speculation, Victory Brewing Company® (Victory) is pre-announcing installation plans of a canning line in their new, Parkesburg facility slated for 2015. Summer Love Ale is the first beloved Victory brand tentatively scheduled to make its aluminum debut. Victory believes offering strategic brands in a can format will meet the growing fan demand and introduce their beer to a larger audience.

“The Parkesburg facility was built with the idea that it would enable us as creative brewers to expand our brand in a way our thirsty fans would appreciate. It only seems to make sense that the first Victory brand to be found in a can should be Summer Love Ale since it embodies all the fun and freedom summertime has to offer and a can is fitting for so many outdoor activities that come with that time of year,” says President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski.

Please stay tuned for more information and details about Victory Brewing Company’s plans to produce flavorful craft beer in a can. For interviews with Ron Barchet or Bill Covaleski, please defer to the media contacts stated above to help arrange.

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Kilchoman Wyoming

Wyoming Releases a Kilchoman Exclusive Single Cask Bottling

Atlantic City, Wyo. – For the first time in its seventy-odd year history the Wyoming Liquor Division has purchased the contents of a cask of single malt Scotch whisky.
ImpEx Beverages, USA importer of Kilchoman, had their Wyoming representative deliver samples of whiskies to Miner’s Delight Inn Bed & Breakfast in February 2014. Innkeepers Barbara and Bob Townsend tasted the samples and from them picked Kilchoman bourbon cask #370 as the one for Wyoming. Then it was over to the folks at the Wyoming Liquor Division, ImpEx Beverages, and the Kilchoman Distillery to seal the deal.

Bourbon cask #370 had been filled at Kilchoman Distillery on 31 July 2008. The distillery bottled its contents—245 bottles at 59.8%–for Wyoming on 4 July 2014. Like all Kilchoman whiskies the color is natural and it wasn’t chill filtered. The whisky arrived at the liquor division’s Cheyenne warehouse on September 16, 2014, and Miner’s Delight Inn received its first shipment two days later. It’s available for $95 a bottle.

Bob and friend of the inn John Mionczynski compiled the following notes (John’s a wildlife biologist):

  • On the eyes: pale gold, the gold of fall’s willows
  • On the nose: Rich. Brown sugar. Orange pulp and faint spices (cinnamon?), then pears. Fungoid richness—like when you turn over a natural forest compost. Goji berry (wolf berry) from the Himalayas. Balsam fir—almost X-mas tree when boiled. Mouth watering and surprisingly little alcohol sting. Graphite. Activates the vomeronasal organ (predates humans’ nasal smells, insects had it first, animals use it to select mates, associated with early childhood memories).
  • On the mouth: An orchard of red apples, a wee alcohol burn, and wood smoke. A lick of a pencil’s lead. Rich oiliness and a bit of tar. Pears and oranges. Cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. A bit of soft, black licorice. Cascara shrub in a bottle (from the Pacific Northwest and Yellowstone National Park).
  • On the finish: Orange pulp. A lingering whiff of smoke. Soft hints of orchard fruits, especially an apple’s faint sweetness. The spices. Stays with you. Prolonged.

Consider this whisky… When you’re patiently lost in deep, contemplative thought on a dark, frigid night.

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Sullivans Cove Double Cask

Buy Trent’s First Batch of Sullivans Cove Double Cask

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have a treat for you! Our main man, blender, and bottler extraordinaire Trent Bowring, is very proud to present his first batch of Sullivans Cove Double Cask, and so are we! After some careful selection involving a lot of sipping and sampling he settled upon a mix of one FRENCH OAK and three AMERICAN OAK barrels.

French Oak Cask HH0597 was chosen for its rich, oily mouth feel and gives structure to the body. It also brings a deep fruity nose. American Oak Cask HH0169 adds balance in the finish. American Oak Cask HH0147 fills out the body with some beautiful fruity notes and finally American Oak Cask HH0074 supports the body with spicy notes and underpins the finish with caramel and raisin notes.

Double Cask 71 Tasting Notes

Colour: Light golden straw
Nose: Fragrant and floral with vanilla sponge cake drizzled in honey. Oak rounds out while spice lingers.
Palate: A medley of basket fruit with fresh cut pears and green apples bursting through. Rum, raisins and oak spice soften out the palate.
Mouth feel: Lightly oiled, well coated.
Finish: Dark dried fruits, raisins and caramel intermingle, warming and sweetening over time. Medium finish, inviting another sip soon after!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime


Pliny the Elder at Night

We had a little nighttime Northern California Craft Beer tasting a few weekends ago. While Pliny the Elder was the “carrot on the stick” to get everybody together, my favorite of the night was the St. Florian’s California Common. Not because it was better than everything else, but because it was just different.

Beer Review – Catawba Brewing King Coconut Porter


Catawba King Coconut

Remember that Sierra Nevada Rain Check Spiced Stout from about a month ago? That beer was courtesy of The Alemonger. He picked it up, along with several other beers, during his summer family vacation to Asheville, NC. The Catawba King Coconut Porter that you see in the above photo was also acquired by The Alemonger during his trip to North Carolina, and once again, he was kind enough to share his Craft Beer bounty with me.

This is where I usually let you know what the brewer has to say about this beer, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find any more information about this beer on the Catawba Brewing Company’s website. Let’s just get on with the review and find out if The Alemonger brought me back a noteworthy beer…

  • Appearance: Deep dark brown with tan highlights at the edges when held up to the light. Not much in the way of foam or lacing.
  • Aroma: Bittersweet chocolate dominates the nose with a hint of medium roast coffee. The coconut notes are very subtle and don’t really show up until I let it warm up a bit.
  • Taste: A bit thin bodied with a light and somewhat fizzy carbonation with the chocolatey notes front and center when you take that first sip. The fist thing that comes to mind is a chocolate egg cream. A hint of bitterness shows up at the middle to lend some balance and to keep this beer from being one dimensional. A bit of toasted coconut shows up at the finish which leans towards the dry side with a lingering bittersweet chocolate flavor.
  • ABV: 5.2%

King Coconut is definitely a beer that is best served at or near room temperature. Too cold equals too one dimensional where this beer is concerned. Let it warm up a bit and it gets much more interesting. While this isn’t a beer that I would go out of my way for, I would definitely try it again if I happened to stumble upon it in my travels, especially if it just happens to be on draught. Mille graze to The Alemonger!

Whisky News Flash: Fall 2014 Whisky Extravaganza Schedule and a Promotional Code!


2012 Philly Scotch and Single Malt Whisky Extravaganza - 1

As most of you are well aware, we are big fans of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America, and have attended the last seven Fall Extravaganza events in Philadelphia, as well as the Spring Extravaganza event in New York in May of 2012.

For Fall 2014, the Society has scheduled six events across the country. The first event will be held in Chicago on Thursday, October 9th and the last event will be held in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, December 4th. Below is some general information from the Society about this event, as well as a promotional code that will save you some money on the price of admission:

2014 Extravaganza Events

Ladies and Gentlemen are cordially invited to enjoy a connoisseur’s evening featuring rare and exceptional Single Malt Scotch and unique whiskies from around the world. The evening includes unlimited tastings, epicurean food, a selection of premium imported cigars for our guests’ later enjoyment, souvenir snifter glass and much more. The Whisky Extravaganza brings the discerning enthusiast the opportunity to sample the participating whiskies in a sophisticated and elegant environment with genuine camaraderie and knowledgeable representatives from each participating distillery.

All events run from 7pm to 9:30pm. Registration begins at 7pm.

Readers of “It’s just the booze dancing…” will receive a 10% discount on tickets by using promotional code “DANCING14“. They can purchase tickets directly from our website via the link below, or call us at 800.990.1991.

http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/organizationSearch.jsp?organization_id=3941&cobrand=thewhiskyextravaganza

Again, please have them put “DANCING14” in the promotional code box to receive the 10% discount.

Whiskey Review – Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend


Crown Royal Monarch

We love our whisky, of this there is no doubt, but for some reason, whisky from our friendly neighbor to the north, i.e. Canadia, has rarely made an appearance during our research sessions. Thankfully, over the past couple of years, this situation has changed quite a bit. In addition to a Crown Royal expression or two, we have also had the opportunity to try some fantastic whiskies from Forty Creek, Still Waters Distillery, Corby Distilleries (their Lot 40 to be specific), and the ever present Whistle Pig (while this whisky may be “bottled in Vermont”, according to Davin de Kergommeaux of canadianwhisky.org, this 100% Rye whisky is actually made by Alberta Distillers), to name just a few. When the whisky from Canadia is that good, you can rest assured that it will always have a spot in our respective whisky cabinets. Never let it be said that we aren’t open minded when it comes to our whisky, and unlike Peggy Olson of Mad Men, we know that Canadian whisky isn’t JUST about rye.

And now for a review of yet another Canadian whisky that found its way to our mailbox way back in June….

Below is an excerpt from a press release that we received via email about Crown Royal’s Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend:

In 1939 the Royal Couple, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, made history when they became the first reigning monarchs to journey across North America, traveling  the vast distance by train.

Upon hearing the historic news, a Canadian entrepreneur set out to craft a whisky suited for the pair. With perfection on his mind, he sampled over 600 blends and reviewed hundreds of different types of glass, labels and caps, before cloaking the final product in a purple bag to represent the purple robe of royalty and, fittingly, calling the whisky blend Crown Royal. The train carrying the couple was stocked with 10 cases of the exquisite blend. Rumors of the unrivaled Canadian Whisky quickly spread and Crown Royal was officially born.

75 years later, Master Blender Andrew MacKay has created an exceptionally smooth limited edition whisky to commemorate the brand’s monumental anniversary and celebrate the illustrious Crown Royal blending tradition. Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend combines hand-picked whiskies from the brand’s extensive stock, including a special whisky from the historic Coffey rye still, residing in Gimli, Manitoba Canada.

Here are our impressions of Crown Royal’s latest expression…

  • Appearance: Somewhere between dark gold and pale amber.
  • Aroma
    • Limpd: I’m not sure if it is because I know that it is from our neighbors to the North, but I get a big hit of maple syrup, a sugary sweetness that is quickly followed by baking spices and a lingering aroma of cake icing.
    • G-LO: Oodles of rye spice on this one. There’s a hint of maple sweetness, but it’s the spice that dominates, i.e. clove, allspice, cinnamon, and a bit of wintergreen mint.
  • Taste
    • Limpd: There is some initial sweetness that is quickly replaced by a big hit of pepper that continues to build through the palate. The finish finds a return of the sweetness and a nice warm burn.
    • G-LO: Medium mouthfeel with a hint of oiliness. Starts off lightly sweet with a maple or light brown sugar thing going on. A spicy tingle immediately follows with lots of cinnamon and cracked blacked pepper coming through. Mellows a bit as you approach the finish with the mild sweetness coming back. The flavors linger for about a minute with a hint of mint in the aftertaste.

The Verdict

  • Limpd: I haven’t had all that much experience with Canadian whiskies. There is too much whiskey (a good thing) and too little time (a bad thing); so, I have spent a lot of focus on Scotch and Irish and lately a lot more Bourbon. The Monarch has made me rethink my strategy. There was a great deal of balance and character in this flavorful whiskey. I think I need to direct a little more attention to the Great White North.
  • G-LO: I know I usually complain about whiskeys being too low in ABV, but for whatever reason, this time around, 40% ABV really works. This is a well balanced and easy drinking whisky with a mellow rye spiciness that I really enjoy. Definitely worth a try.

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Many thanks to the good people at Taylor Strategy for providing us with this very generous sample!

Beer Review – Rising Tide Zephyr IPA


Rising Tide Zephyr IPA

We’ll call this review of Rising Tide Brewing Company’s Zephyr IPA, Part 2 of my Summer 2014 “travels in Maine” series. Part 1, which was basically a bunch of photos from our summer vacation, posted last Thursday. I say this because there isn’t much of a back story with regards to the purchase of this beer, and you all know how much we love a back story around here. In a nutshell, I saw a four pack of this beer on the shelves at the Belfast Hannaford’s, a beer which I had never seen and had never had, so I bought it. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

Before we get to my review, here is what Rising Tide has to say about their Zephyr IPA:

Zephyr (n)—a westerly breeze or wind, considered by many to be the fairest of wind direction

Heady like the sweet breath of Zephyrus, our India pale ale is redolent of citrus, apples, and pears, balanced by a touch of caramel. We use malted barley grown by local farmers and add a special blend of Cascade, Centennial, and Calypso hops to create this juicy, hoppy ale.

And now for my impressions of this beer…

  • Appearance: Pale orange color. Slightly cloudy thanks to its unfilteredness with an off white and slowly dissipating head of fluffy foam.
  • Aroma: Lightly sweet and mildly hopped with hints of honey, tea biscuits, light citrus (tangerines perhaps?), and some pine.
  • Taste: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel . Lightly sweet, biscuity malts in the beginning. Gets a touch bitter towards the middle, but not overly so. The finish is crisp and well balanced with sweet and bitter notes that complement each other beautifully.
  • ABV: 7.5%

For a 7.5% beer, Rising Tide’s Zephyr is ridiculously easy to drink. It’s so smooth that I might dare call this session worthy, but having more than 3 in a row could prove to be a problem. I really liked this beer! I had a four pack over the course of the week while I was on vacation, and even brought back a four pack to share with my fellow Craft Beer aficionados, cause you know, sharing IS caring. Cheers to you Rising Tide!