|Steve in Nicaragua on|
official store business (cigars).
Last Saturday Steve informed me that he and Barb were going out of town for a few days and he asked whether I’d be willing to write the preamble for this week’s New Beer Friday.
“So that’s why you invited me over,” I said looking over at him before taking another bite of herb-roasted Cornish hen.
“Not at all,” Steve said. “Barb mentioned she saw you in the store the other day and said you were whining about us not having you over for dinner in a while. She said it was pathetic the way you were carrying on.”
“Barb said that, huh?”
“I said what?” Barb asked. She had just walked back into the dining room after going to the basement for another bottle of wine.
“Here Barb, let me open that,” Steve said. “That you saw Harry in the store last week. How’s the Burgundy, Harry?”
“For the sixth time, it’s good,” I said. “Didn’t you tell me that you were saving the Pommard for a special occasion?”
Steve leaned over and patted my arm. “What can be more special than having dinner with you? Right, Barb?”
“That’s right, Harry.”
“So what do you say, buddy?” Steve asked. “Going to do that favor for me?”
“Gee I don’t know,” I said. “I’m awfully busy right now.” I swirled my glass of Burgundy and savored the aroma of rose petals and ripe red fruit. “By the way, got any more of those Westy 12’s laying around?”
Steve put his fork down and sighed. He looked at Barb and then looked back at me. “One,” he said finally.
“Only one, huh? Got any more of those Cubans?”
Steve’s countenance took on the same doleful expression that it did when my straight flush beat his four Jacks last November at deer camp. “Only one,” he said again.
Later that night I was sitting in front of a fire in my den when I noticed a green light blinking on my cell phone. It was a text message from Steve.
“So what u goin to write about?” Steve asked in the text.
I smiled and took a sip of the Westy and a long pull off the Montecristo.
“Don’t know yet,” I texted back a few minutes later. “I’ll think of something.”
New and Returning Beer
- To Øl Don't Gose Towards The Light, $5.19/12oz - "When you’re afraid of the dark, it’s easy to look for the light. Alas, we must say no, “Don’t Gose Towards The Light”, for after all, the dark brings many joys as well! We have taken the classic pale Gose style and thrown in some dark malts, to drive this beer into darkness. The addition of Carafa Special and Cara Aroma gives this salty sour beer a touch of rich bitterness. We then add Blackcurrants to add a touch of balance with sweet and tart fruit flavours" (source).
- Sahtipaja Rott Men Inte Sott, $3.89/12oz - "Raspberry Berliner" (source).
- Prairie 'Merica, $2.89/12oz - "For Merica, Nelson Sauvin hops have been selected at a rate of 3lbs per barrel. Nelson Sauvin, a New Zealand grown hop, is known for its Sauvignon Blanc grape aroma and flavor. Merica is heavily dry hopped for an intense hop flavor. Merica has a bitterness of 35 IBUs. The malt used in this beer is a highly specialized and traditional Bohemian Pilsner malt. This malt is produced in the authentic, traditional “Floor Malted” fashion. The color of the beer is very light in color, yet has an authentic, Bohemian flavor and aroma. Merica is fermented with Prairie" (source).
- Central Waters Brewer's Reserve Stout, $4.09/12oz - "The "Brewer’s Reserve" label is used only for limited edition beers. No time or expense was spared to create these beers! This is a good expression of our passion for brewing" (source).
- Dark Horse One Oatmeal Stout, $2.09/12oz - "Number one in a series of five stouts produced to help ease you through the cold and grey Midwestern winters. This beer is full bodied and made with oats. You will find hints of chocolate, roasted barley, and coffee flavors. With a nice creamy head and a big mouth feel, our oatmeal stout is sure to satisfy" (source).
- Founders Frootwood, $3.99/12oz, $11.99/750ml - "We took a crisp, light-bodied cherry ale and hid it away in oak barrels that have held both bourbon and maple syrup. After a lengthy stint, it emerged a changed beer, blanketed in notes of warm vanilla and earthy sweetness. The wood proves itself the star of this beer, adding depth and taming the tart cherry while the maple imposes a velvety texture that lingers for not a moment too long" (source).
- New Holland Blue Sunday, $8.39/22oz - "This unique anniversary libation, heritage-blended from our library of barrel-soured beers, exhibits deeply layered flavors of malt and oak, with a tart finish" (source).
- Shipyard Chocolate Milk Stout, $2.29/12oz - "Chocolate Milk Stout is a creamy sessionable ale with notes of roasted chocolate malt and a rich, dark chocolate sweetness contributed by the cocoa nubs" (source).
- Stone Enjoy by 2-14-17, $2.99/12oz, $8.99/22oz - "It’s not unusual to see pronouncements of “I Heart Hops,” “I Heart Chocolate” or “I Heart Coffee” throughout #socialmedia, printed on T-shirts and, natch, emblazoned on coffee cups. Over the past couple of decades we have helped add “I Freaking Heart IPAs” to that lexicon. Today, passionate people can’t imagine a world without all of the above. For this special edition, we added chocolate and coffee to make this devastatingly fresh IPA even more seductive to the palate. We humbly suggest that you use this libation to proclaim your love for someone... and we suggest that someone be you. Loving yourself is exactly what this libation is all about. Love now; remember forever" (source).
- Arcadia Hop Rocket, $3.49/12oz - "This Imperial IPA has an assertive aroma of sticky, resinous Summit hops. A complex flavor profile includes notes of grapefruit, lemon peel, and spruce. Though the flavor focus is on hops, a trio of malts provides a balance to the beer, creating a delicious level of palatability. Hints of caramel, toffee and freshly-baked biscuits are also apparent in the flavor profile" (source).
- Heavy Seas TropiCannon, $2.19/12oz - "Our brand new citrus IPA is exploding with bright citrus aroma and flavor. Creating an exciting new variation on our flagship Loose Cannon, TropiCannon clocks in at the same 7.25%ABV as it's cousin, but packs a full blast of blood orange, grapefruit, mango and lemon flavor. We've downplayed some of Loose Cannon's piney-ness and amped up the citrus by swapping Centennial and Palisade hops for Amarillo and even more Simcoe. We've introduced dried grapefruit, orange and lemon peel in the brewing process and added mango, blood orange and more grapefruit post-fermentation" (source).
- Left Hand Hard Wired Nitro Coffee Porter, $2.09/12oz - "Innately predisposed to be smooth when Poured Hard, this nitro coffee porter builds a pillowy, toffee-sweet head. Coffee and flavors of caramelized sugar, cacao and hints of blueberry lead to a light, smoky finish" (source).
- Abita Macchiato Milk Stout, $4.39/22oz - "Macchiato is made with pale, caramel, chocolate, and roasted malts. Oats and lactose are added to give the beer a more robust and sweeter taste. The sweetness of the lactose helps balance the bitterness of the brew just like in the coffee drink, which is our inspiration. The roasted malts give the beer its dark color as well as its intense flavor and aroma. Willamette hops are added to balance out the sweetness of the malts. Finally, PJ’s Coffee espresso dolce beans are added to the aging tank. This gives the beer a strong coffee flavor and aroma that compliments the existing flavors of the malt" (source).
- Abita Bourbon Imperial Stout, $9.29/22oz - "Bourbon Street Stout is an Imperial Stout that is aged in Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon barrels. Our Imperial Stout is brewed with a combination of pale, caramel, chocolate and roasted malts. Oats are also added to give the beer a fuller and sweeter taste. The roasted malts give the beer its dark color as well as its intense flavor and aroma. After fermentation the beer is cold aged for 6 weeks. This is necessary for all of the flavors of the malt and hops to balance and produce a very smooth flavor. After the cold aging the beer is transferred into the bourbon barrels. It is then aged for another 8 weeks to absorb all of the flavors from the barrels. The result is a strong stout that brings out the roasted flavors from the malt and the warming toasted, vanilla, and bourbon flavors from the barrels" (source).
- Tallgrass Brewing King Buffalo, $2.59/12oz - "It looks like Buffalo Sweat. It has the same dense, foamy head — though it’s a little darker — and it leaves the same sticky lacing on the glass. The aroma is spot-on. Coffee. Chocolate. Roasted barley, hints of toffee and a little bit of booze. Take that first sip. The familiar coffee and chocolate flavors are there, but they’re bigger, bolder and more complex. The body is thick and robust, with a velvety texture and a bitter, dry and warming finish. There’s no residual sweetness like that of Buffalo Sweat – because there’s no lactose in this brew – but an earthy, herbal hop character that bounces beautifully off the dark roasted malts. It’s the perfect silky-smooth stout to get you through the cold months ahead. One Buffalo to rule them all" (source).
- Tallgrass Brewing Zombie Monkie, $1.69/12oz - "A relentlessly tasty robust porter crafted with loads of chocolate malt and other dark-roasted specialty malts, Zombie Monkie also is inoculated with enough hops to add a floral, citrus character to the finish. It’s hearty and complex, brewed for the post-apocalyptic world. Grab a can and take a stand" (source).
- Tallgrass Brewing Vanilla Buffalo, $1.69/12oz - "In 2013, two nine-gallon casks were filled with Buffalo Sweat and a handful of vanilla beans, and were stored in Tallgrass founder Jeff Gill’s office. A few weeks later, Jeff entered his office to find one of casks had exploded, spraying beer all over his office and leaving a hole in the ceiling above his desk shaped exactly like the cork bung used to seal the cask. Thankfully, the other cask did not explode. That night at an event in Wichita, Kansas, the beer was so well-received, it immediately got the call to become the brewery’s winter seasonal" (source).
- Tallgrass Brewing Buffalo Sweat, $1.69/12oz - "We often hear from fans who swore they’d never enjoy a stout — until they tried Buffalo Sweat. Some have described its rich taste, creamy mouthfeel and sweet, lingering finish as liquid chocolate chip cookies made with espresso. If you only try one dark beer in your life, Buffalo Sweat will change your entire perception of how a stout should taste" (source).
- Oskar Blues Beerito, $1.69/12oz - "Beerito is a light bodied, amber Mexican lager brewed with premium German and coloRADo sourced craft malts and featuring a crisp accent from noble hops. The mouth feel is incredibly smooth with flavors of walnut, toasted bread, plum, honey and cocoa - 4% ABV doesn't always come with this kind of character" (source).
- Big Sky Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout, $3.29/12oz - "Big Sky Brewing’s Ivan the terrible Imperial Stout is brewed according to the traditional style using english hops and the finest american malt. It’s aroma and flavor balance well between esters of dried fruit and roasted cocoa with a slight bourbon presence" (source).
- Ballast Point Manta Ray, $2.59/12oz - "We’ve developed many IPA recipes in our R&D program, but right from the tank, our Manta Ray Double IPA was a winner. Aromas of fresh, citrusy tangerine, melon and light pine leap from the beer and linger over a smooth finish. Like its namesake, this brew can sneak up on you – a big beer without a bite" (source).
- Kona Wailua Wheat, $1.69/12oz - "On Maui, follow the old Hana Highway and you will find such a place – Wailua Falls. This plunging cascade of clear water is the inspiration for Wailua Wheat. This golden, sun colored ale has a bright, citrus flavor that comes from the tropical passion fruit we brew into each batch" (source).
- Kona Koko Brown, $1.69/12oz - "Is there anything more iconic of the lush tropics than the coconut? The delicious heart of the island treasure has a nutty, toffee flavor and aroma that sends you straight to the beaches of Paradise. Kick back with a Koko Brown, brewed with real toasted coconut, and savor the mahogany color and smooth, roasty malt taste. Before you know it, you’ll feel like you’re on a crescent beach, ringed with feathery palm trees swaying in a light ocean breeze and basking in the warm sun" (source).
- New Belgium Citradelic, $1.69/12oz - "Tune in and hop out with New Belgium Citradelic. Set adrift on a kaleidoscopic wave of hoppiness brought to you by a mystical marriage of Citra hops and tangerine peel, which elevates each sip onto a plane of pure tropical, fruity pleasure. Citradelic’s namesake hop and fruit combine to jam with visions of additional hops like citrusy Mandarina Bavaria, tropical Azzaca, and fruity Galaxy for a colorful explosion that’s grounded by just a touch of malty sweetness. Bored by the status quo? Expand your palate with a pour of Citradelic." (source).
Video of the Week | Dark Horse One
Now available at Siciliano's!