Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs


XOXO Philadelphia

The above photo was taken at Penn Station in New York City on the morning of the 2014 Whisky Jewbilee and is my answer to The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

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.

Summer Vacation 2014: Yet Another Glorious Seven Days in Mid Coast and Downeast Maine!


Summer 2014 went by so so quickly! When I dropped the kids off at school on the Wednesday after Labor Day, it felt like the last day of the last school year never happened. Time is funny like that. Thankfully, we saved the best part of the summer for the last possible moment.

During the last week of August, Mrs. G-LO, The Boys, and I headed back to Maine so that we could disconnect for a bit from our our everyday lives before heading back to the reality that is school and work.

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Before picking up the keys to our vacation rental, the crew gave me permission to make a quick stop at the Maine Beer Company in Freeport where I picked up a twelve pack of super fresh beer and sampled “a tiny beautiful something” and “Another One.”

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We once again rented a cozy cottage in Bayside Village, which on Tuesday morning was blanketed in fog.

Our second stay in Bayside Village was all about reliving the things that we enjoyed the first time around in Summer 2013

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Digging in to some delicious seafood at Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast.

Penobscot Narrows Bridge

Admiring the majestic Penobscot Narrows Bridge.

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Enjoying some truly delicious Asian Cuisine in Belfast along with a super fresh Maine brewed Craft Beer.

Afternoon Sail in Camden Harbor

Taking a relaxing afternoon sailing trip aboard a Schooner in beautiful Camden Harbor.

WIldflowers in Owl's Head State Park

Wondering what types of wildflowers we saw in Owl’s Head State Park.

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Sinking our teeth into the 7 Napkin Burger at the Owl’s Head General Store.

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Beachcombing for marine life on the beach in Owl’s Head State Park.

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Hiking along the rocky coast at Acadia National Park.

Diving In

Diving into the frigid waters of the Penobscot Bay.

Posing for Pics on Sand Beach

Taking a stroll on Sand Beach in Acadia National Park.

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Spotting a creepy gnome statuette in the Fort Knox gift shoppe window!

Echo Lake

Relaxing on the beach at Echo Lake.

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Enjoying one last local beer while watching a favorite movie with Mrs. G-LO after the kids went to bed.

The Long Ride Home

Getting one last look at the beautiful countryside as we head to the Interstate for what was thankfully a very quick and uneventful drive home.

August Beertography…


Beertography Logo

Once again, taking a cue from our friends Ed of The Dogs of Beer blog and Bryan of the This Is Why I’m Drunk blog, I thought I’d share some of my latest experiments in Beertography that will hopefully inspire you to crack open a couple of cold ones on the week before the last great holiday of the summer season. Cheers!

Beer Review Poetry – Sixpoint RAD


Sixpoint RAD

There’s a faint smell of beer,

When you put your nose near,

But it’s the citrus bouquet

That takes you away.

Blood oranges, grapefruits, and maybe some lime.

I’d list a few others, if I had some more time.

The citrus is big when you take that first sip,

Like a San Pellegrino Blood Orange Soda has just passed your lips.

Though it starts off a bit sweet, it quickly gets tart.

I really like citrus, so it’s winning my heart.

My only regret is it’s REALLY subtle beer flavor,

But on a really hot day, this would be something to savor (though it’s really easy to chug!).

Some call it a RADler, some call it a shandy.

YOU can call it what YOU want, I’ll just call it dandy!

4th of July Beertography!


Photo courtesy of G. Widman for GPTMC

Photo courtesy of G. Widman for GPTMC

I don’t know about you, but to me, 4th of July means firing up the grill, eating a plethora of burgers, hot dogs, and a whole bunch of other stuff, and washing it all down with a refreshing and flavorful Craft Beer. Taking a cue from our friends Ed of The Dogs of Beer blog and Bryan of the This Is Why I’m Drunk blog, I thought I’d share some of my latest experiments in Beertography that will hopefully inspire you to crack open a couple of cold ones on this, the biggest American holiday of the summer season. Cheers!

Casa Noble Tequila – A Tasting with Tapas


Casa Noble Tequila Toppers

We all have a tequila drinking horror story. It usually involves salt, lime, and too many shots of crap tequila, or too many Margaritas on Spring Break in Cancun or some other sun drenched destination. Thankfully, tequila horror stories are not what this post is about…

The Boozedancing Crew brought me in to put my own twist on how I would drink the Casa Noble Tequilas.  G-LO handled the tequila tasting notes and bottle shots, and I’m going to jump in with how I enjoyed the tequilas.  I made a couple of cocktails and paired them with some “tapas,” because if you’re gonna drink, and you don’t want to have a “never drinking tequila again” night, you gotta eat!

Tequila Numero Uno: Casa Noble Blanco

Casa Noble Blanco Tequila

G-LO’s Tasting Notes

Appearance: Crystal clear color.
Aroma: Citrus oil. Fresh cut grass. White pepper. Witch hazel.
Taste: Much softer than expected, with a touch of peppery spice in the beginning. At mid-palate it transitions to a vanilla sweetness that carries you through to the finish. Peppery spice comes back at the end along with that vanilla and a hint of citrus.

My Cocktail and Food Pairing Selections

CasaNoble-7I totally agree with G-LO’s notes on this one, and that’s why I chose it to make a classic margarita.  I really like how the agave flavors held up to the lime and Cointreau.  Salt on my glass? No, thank you.

CasaNoble-6 And since it was such a crisp, clean flavor I paired the margarita with nice, light, red snapper ceviche.  It didn’t overpower the ceviche at all and was really refreshing. Salt on my chips? Yes, please!! This is how you have salt with a margarita.

CasaNoble-5

 Tequila Numero Dos: Casa Noble Reposado

Casa Noble Reposado Tequila

G-LO’s Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pale gold color
Aroma: Vanilla buttercream. Pipe tobacco. Eucalyptus. Citrus.
Taste: So so mellow! Creamy and buttery mouthfeel with lots of vanilla at the onset. Pipe tobacco and a mild pepperiness kicks in at mid-palate. The finish brings it all together, i.e. vanilla, tobacco, pepper, and a bit of lime zest.

My Cocktail and Food Pairing Selections

CasaNoble-4I got a little more creative with this one and found a recipe for a cocktail called the Rosa Maria from the Schiller’s Liquor Bar cocktail book.  The cocktail is made with pomegranate juice and rosemary which kind of overpowered the tequila, so how did I fix that? Add more tequila!  I paired it with lamb chops marinated in lime, garlic and rosemary.  Don’t you just want to gnaw on those lamb bones?  I do, and did.

CasaNoble-1I also made these little sweet potato bites topped with black bean dip and chipotle creme.  We drank the Reposado neat with these and it was excellent! Those mellow, vanilla-y flavors worked so well with the sweet potato and the spice from the chipotle crema.

CasaNoble-3

 

Tequila Numero Tres: Casa Noble Anejo

Casa Noble Anejo Tequila

G-LO’s Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pale amber with a light brown hue.
Aroma: Not nearly as fragrant as the Reposado. Vanilla. Mellower tobacco notes. Light brown sugar. Perhaps a hint of clove too.
Taste: Can it get more mellow? Yes. Yes it can! No harshness at all. Light brown sugar and vanilla to start, with a hint of mild cinnamon heat at mid-palate. Mellow, mildly sweet finish with some herbal notes coming through in the aftertaste.

My Cocktail and Food Pairing Selections

CasaNoble-2

At this point, it was late and I was done cooking but still had to pair the Anejo.  I like chocolate and whisky so I thought, why not pair this with some chocolate? I had some Taza Mexican chocolate flavored with chipotle chile that I got in the swag bag from Whisky Jewbilee.  Could I have found a better chocolate to pair with tequila?? Nope. What was really nice about pairing this with the Anejo was that it brought out the agave flavors at the beginning, then moved to vanilla and ended with a long lingering spicy finish that I loved.

G-LO’s Final Thoughts

While he definitely enjoyed all tres expressions, he said that the Crystal was his favorito with the Reposado coming in segundo. He thought that the Anejo was far too mellow for his taste since it lacked the prominent agave flavors that he craves whenever he drinks tequila. (I need to get him to try it with that chocolate and see if he changes his tune.) Using Scotch whisky as a reference point, he compared the Anejo to drinking an older smoky Islay whisky, i.e. aging a heavily peated whisky diminishes the peat smoke flavors in a big way.

G-LO’s advice: If you like the taste of peat, stick with younger Islay whisky expressions. If you like the taste of Agave, stick with Silver or Blanco Tequilas. And if you’re a middle of the road kind of Tequila drinker, then the Reposado is what you should be drinking.

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Many thanks to Casa Noble Tequila and The Baddish Group for hooking us up with these very generous samples!