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Battle of the Barrels

Battle of the Barrels



Home Office
Thursday April 29th, 2010


Remember when beer was just beer? Water, hops, barley, and yeast... brew it, put it in a can or bottle, and call it a day. Crowd pleasers yes, but what for the aspiring microbiologists and big beer fanatics? As said earlier, "WHEN beer was just beer.." Today there seems to be an endless list of brewing processes that range anywhere from using the dreaded (in the wine world) Brettanomyces yeast and prolonged barrel aging, to open fermentation to allow natural yeasts flowing in the air to effect the end flavor of the beer. And thanks to the crafty John's over at Rogue Brewing Co and the Rogue Distillery, they've decided to give the craft world such gifts as John John Dead Guy Ale: Rogue's groundbreaking Dead Guy Mai bock Aged in the very Oak Barrels that the Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey matured in: so basically beer, whiskey made from beer recipe, then beer aged in whiskey barrels which held whiskey made from beer recipe... Some use descriptors such as "yuck" and "tastes like engine oil" when referring to these high alcohol, costly, and often time-consuming brews, but as the Craft-Brewing industry continues to grow and spark interest in palates used to "simpler" beers you have to admit it's pretty impressive. The groundbreaking breweries for such unique/complex brews (such as Dogfish Head, Avery, Allagash, Three Floyd's, etc...) continue to push the envelope while small brew pubs all over town seem to have something "fun" set aside aging in wine, bourbon, rum, sherry, and many other barrels once thought only for spirits and wine.

The next time you're in the mood for something new, grab one of the many barrel-aged beers and grab some heavier cheeses or pair it with dinner. Who knows what will be next in the beer industry but rest assured that somethings probably already out there, aging, waiting, and once it's bottled: who knows?

cheers,
Casey Capper


Posted by Mark Fetter on April 30th, 2010 | Permalink

Rittenhouse Rye Whiskeys

Rittenhouse Rye Whiskeys

Home Office

April 13th, 2010


21, 23, and 25 year old Whiskeys... Spirits that have been at rest in Oak barrels for over two decades... The bottles presented were simply staggering.

Written below the well-crafted label on each vintage is the bold print stating "100 proof." Now when considering spirits that are over 86proof, there seems to be a fallout on flavor especially on the finish due to the alcohol cutting it dry. With these Whiskeys however, it was NOT the case.

On the nose of the 21year there were wild spice/toasted oak that marry with the warmth of the alcohol to create an engulfing depth of flavors. Dark toffee and musky-straw the nose intrigues you as you surpass any and all prior conceptioins of Rye Whiskeys. The drink is stern with an amazing mouth feel and a finish that both lingers and warms your palate well onto the next sip.

The 23year had equal spice on the nose but with more butterscotch and candied tones underlying. The drink was full with earthy tones of barnyard/ rich oak notes which lead onto a lesser heat when compared to the 21. Again a long finish with dense fruits and cakespice lingering.

The nose on the 25year was literally like being trapped in a barrel room at a distillery. The fruits and vanilla tones on the nose were almost "humid" as each flavor cycled through your nose and mouth, while the oak was as prevelant as if you were chewing on a warm tree. For as much depth in oak tones that were found on the nose the drink was completely harmonous. Fig fruits and heavy toasted flavors throughout the drink with the finish seeming to cry out for a fine cigar, this Whiskey is truely crafted.

With an amazing show of aging potential, and with varrying profiles between the vintages, the quality and power of these Rittenhouse Rye Whiskeys are setting the standard in Rye spirits.

Cheers,
Casey Capper


Posted by Mark Fetter on April 15th, 2010 | Permalink

Gioia Luisa Limoncello

Gioia Luisa Limoncello

Home Office
Monday April 5th

As we ease into Spring and the temperatures rise, there is always one drink that I find to be the most refreshing either on a hot day, or after a big meal: Limoncello. Gioia Luisa has managed to capture what seems to be the flavor of a dozen 500lbs Lemons straight from the hills of Amalfi into every bottle of their well-crafted Limoncello. From the nose to the lingering finish, the fresh citrus and crisp Lemontart notes are so clean and defined that you'll be wondering where they hide the lemon seeds. I'd be so bold as to say that on the rocks this particular Limoncello is one of the best outdoor treats since snowcones, and that statement is two-fold for apertifs(the Limoncello not the snowcones). Also in the Gioia Luisa family is an Orangecello that when mixed with the Limoncello Creme makes for an Italian Orangecremedeliciousrefreshingcitrussplash... drink. Next time you're out on the patio, or you've just had a huge meal with the family, pour some Gioia Limoncello and enjoy!


Salute,
Casey Capper





Posted by Mark Fetter on April 5th, 2010 | Permalink