Archive for December, 2013

New for the holidays Big Beer Bonanza post 12/21/13

Posted Dec 21, 2013 in Beer, Breweries, Limited Release, New this week, Rarerities, Seasonals

BALLAST POINT Piper Down Scottish Style
BELL’S Smitten Golden Rye Ale
BLUE MOUNTAIN BARREL HOUSE Blitzen
BOCKOR Vander Ghinste Oud Bruin
BOCKOR Cuvee de Jacobins Rouge
BREW DOG 5am Saint
BREW DOG Hardcord IPA
BREW DOG Dogma Scottish Ale
BREW DOG Libertine
BREW DOG Punk IPA
BOULEVARD Nut Cracker Winter Beer
DARK HORSE One Oatmeal Stout
DARK HORSE Two Cream Stout
DE DOLLE Oerbier Special Reserva 2012
EMELISE Creme Brulee Stout
EPIC BREWING Brainless on Cherries
EPIC BREWING Brainless on Raspberries
EPIC BREWING Smoked and Oaked
FORT COLLINS Double Chocolate Stout
FULLERS Vintage Gift Packs
GREEN FLASH Double Stout
GREEN FLASH Palate Wrecker
GREEN MAN Dweller Imperial Stout (750 mL)
GREEN MAN Holly King (750 mL)
HI-WIRE/BURIAL BEER Firebreather
LAGUNITAS Sucks
MEANTIME Cranberry Stout
MOTHER EARTH Silent Night BBA Imperial Stout
NANTAHALA Dirty Blonde
NANTAHALA Noon Day IPA
NEW BELGIUM Frambozen
NEW BELGIUM Wild2 Dubbel
NEW HOLLAND Incorrigible White Sour Ale
OLDE HICKORY Event Horizon
OUTER BANKS Santa’s Little Sledgehammer
PEAK Oak Aged Mocha Stout
PEAK Winter Session
PISGAH GreyBeard IPA (22oz)
PISGAH Hellbender Barleywine (22oz)
PISGAH Vortex II (22oz)
PISGAH Chocolatized Vortex II (22oz)
ROBINSON’S Iron Maiden Trooper
ROGUE 25th Anniversary Integrity Ale
SCHNEIDER Aventinus Vintage 2010
SHIPYARD Mint Chocolate Stout
SIERRA NEVADA Quad with Plums
SMUTTYNOSE Barleywine
STONE BREWING Crime
STONE BREWING Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean
TERRAPIN Cinnamon Roll’d W&B
TERRAPIN Dr. Krunkles White Farmhouse Ale
THE BRUERY Rueuze
THE BRUERY 6 Geese-a-Laying
VICTORY Old Horizontal Barley Wine
VICTORY DirtWolf

Holiday Guest Post: Joanna Baker, Noble Cider

Posted Dec 19, 2013 in Cider, Coming Soon, Coolness, People

 

IMG_1177Joanna Baker is the co-founder of Noble Cider in Asheville, NC. She’s written some tasting notes on ciders available at the humble storefront. Look for bottles of Noble in mid-2014!

Bruisin’ Ales: Bring Hard Cider Home for the Holidays

Bruisin’ Ales has the largest selection of craft hard ciders of any bottle shop in Asheville. We like that!  Since folks can’t take home a bottle of Noble just yet, we wanted to give you a review of some delicious and interesting hard ciders you can bring home for the holidays from Bruisin’ Ales. If you’re looking for something from North Carolina, try McRitchie Hard Cider and Dry Hard Cider.  Although they’re a winery, McRitchie has been making hard cider for many years. They’re the boss in this neck of the woods and really great people, too. Their ciders are very straight ahead and deliciously simple. They go great with food and never overpower.  Foggy Ridge and Windy Hill Cidery are also great regional cideries.  Foggy Ridge, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia,  is run by the current Queen of hard cider in the southeast, Dianne Flynt. She’s an excellent spokeswoman for the industry. Windy Hill is out of York, SC and uses their own and WNC apples to make their hard cider. Their ciders are of the sweeter variety.

Here are 5 hard ciders we at Noble Cider think you and yours will enjoy this holiday. They’re all a great value, too!  In order from sweet to dry:

McKeown Original, 6% ABV, 750 mL

McKeown is made in Rougemont, Canada.  We were drawn to the beautiful, clear cider nicely displayed in clear bottles.  And it’s from Canada. Who doesn’t love Canada?  We tried to look up the website, but it’s only in French.  No one in our group could read French.

  • NOSE:  The leathery aroma of real cider apples, followed by sweet apple
  • TASTE:  McKeown Original has a straight-ahead apple flavor with a slightly bitter finish. Applesaucy-like. The carbonation is very subtle. It was the sweetest cider on our list. A bit too sweet for our groups’ palette, but it’d be great with some stinky, dry cheese, or even a light fish or poultry dish.

McKeown Cranberry, 6% ABV, 750 mL

I love a good rose champagne. The color of this cider reminds me of pink champagne. The Cranberry flavor drew me, too, as a great idea for the holidays.

  • NOSE:  The smell of the Cranberry cider is almost identical to the McKeown Original, with only a slight tart aroma from the cranberries.
  • TASTE:  Like the nose, the taste is also very similar to the Original, with a slightly more tart finish.  It’s also a sweeter style hard cider.  This cider could be paired easily with an appetizer course of cheese and salty meats and nuts.

Julian Hard Cider Cherry Bomb, 6.99%, 22 oz.

Made with Montmorency cherry juice, which is said to have health benefits and anti-aging properties, this cider definitely goes “BOOM!” with cherry flavor. It comes in a 22 oz. bottle, which lends to easy finishing in one sitting, especially when shared with a friend.

  • NOSE:  Immediate cherry!  Thankfully, it’s not a candy cherry smell, but one of real tart cherries.  It’s an awesome aroma!
  • TASTE:  Very tart cherry.  So much so that it made us ask “Are there apples in this?” Most likely, Julian has back sweetened their hard cider with this delicious cherry juice, which lets the full cherry flavor shine through. The finish is smooth with a nice amount of bitter. The tartness hides the sweetness of this cider, but be wary. There’s a good amount of sugar in this cider.  Cherry Bomb would make an excellent drink with chocolate cherry cheesecake or a Black Forest cake.  Or serve it in small amounts to sip, like port.

Doc’s Draft, Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider, 6% ABV, 22 oz.

I’m a sucker for pumpkin anything.  Food, drink, even those stupid Yankee candles that smell like pumpkin pie. So a hard cider that’s fermented with pumpkins?  Yes please!

  • NOSE:  First sensation is pumpkin pie: earthy, spicy, but not too sweet.  Not much apple smell at all.
  • TASTE:  Doc’s has done it right.  The spice is more of an aroma than an overpowering spice taste.  There’s the right amount of bitter, a good balance of the apple and pumpkin and spice, and it stays fairly dry throughout. The spice stays with you into the finish as well – more into the nose than down the throat.  This cider is more a drink alone cider. Or maybe a delish cider float with Carmel de Leche ice cream!  Yes – that’s it!

Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandie 2012, 5.5% ABV, 750 mL

Ahhhh…. French cider. French cider apples from Normandy make delicious hard ciders. If you’re new to French ciders, hang in there. They can come across as medicinal and leathery in both aroma and taste. Doesn’t sound good to you?  Try it.  You might be surprised!  This cider is unfiltered and unpasteurized. Traditional French ciders are bottled and stored for at least a year, where they finish their fermentation in the bottle, ending up drier and more carbonated than when they began.  Think champagne.  The color of this cider is very gold. I recommend a champagne flute for this one.

  • NOSE:  Leathery and medicinal – a true cider apple smell.  The bubbles really bring the dry flavor to the nose.
  • TASTE:  The taste is really effervescent due to the intense champagne-like carbonation.  It’s slightly medicinal, dry, with a good earthy flavor.  This cider will go the very best with any part of a meal.  Like a good white wine, it will complement your food.

Happy Holidays from Noble Cider! We hope you add hard cider to your shopping list! 

NOTES on experiencing hard cider:  Always pour your hard cider in a glass.  Think of hard cider like a wine. Give it a good sniff. Smell it the way a dog would sniff out that tasty bone in the trashcan – a few short, deep sniffs to really take in the unique aroma that each hard cider has. Then take a sip – roll it around in your mouth and then swallow. With a well-made, complex hard cider, you’ll get several different flavors and tongue sensations, as well as a finish – long or short, depending on the complexity.  Just like craft beer and wine, every hard cider will have it’s own characteristic

Joanna Baker, Co-Founder Noble Cider
Public & Community Relations
www.noblecider.com

Thursday Tasting 12/5: Bahl Hornin’ with Anderson Valley Brewing

Posted Dec 04, 2013 in Beer, Breweries, Events, Seasonals

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We’re bahl hornin’ tomorrow, Thursday, December 5, 5-7 p.m. with Anderson Valley Brewery. Join us and get some holiday shopping done at the same time. (Take a load off. Have a beer. You deserve it.)

Brother David Double: “Dubbel. Inspired by the classic Belgian style, our Brother David’s Double has a dark brown body and aromas of warm cocoa, banana, and cloves. Specialty malts impart a toasted, nutty character and flavors of chocolate covered cherries and candied fruits, while the subdued hop profile and Abbey yeast create spicy, herbal notes that compliment the warm, slightly sweet finish. Winner of a Gold Medal in the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, Brother David’s Double is a truly complex and potent ale meant to be savored or shared with friends.”

Brother David Triple: “Trippel. Similar to Belgian-style Strong Pales, this beer is often characterized by its lighter color, spicy aromatics, and complexity. Brother David’s Triple is brewed with copious amounts of pale malts as well as Belgian candi sugar, giving it a deep golden hue, medium body and rich mouth feel. The dense head gives off aromas of candied orange peel, clover honey, pears, and a hint of freshly mown fields. The fruity esters and spicy hop flavors balance the phenolic characteristics leading to a peppery, citrusy finish.”

Winter Solstice: “Warmth. Our Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale is a hand-crafted winter warmer with a deep amber hue and a rich, malty mouthfeel. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tickle the senses while the smooth, creamy finish will lift your spirits; a perfect beer to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter.”

Heelch o’Hops Double IPA: “Robust. Brewed with a ‘heelch (that means a lot in Boontling) of Columbus, Chinook, and Cascade hops, our double IPA has a palate pleasing bitterness that is artfully balanced with a full-bodied malt foundation. With a deep color of polished brass and a nose that sings of pink grapefruit and redwood needles, the rich biscuit-like malt flavors are intertwined with hints of vanilla, mangoes, and peppercorns leading to a deep, warming finish.”

Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout: “Complexity. Aged for three months in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels, this luxurious stout has a deep ebony hue and a beautiful mahogany head. The woody, vanilla-like notes imparted by the barrels mingle with aromas of fresh baked bread, toffee, and espresso and envelop the rich chocolate and roasted barley flavors with a fine bourbon character. Our exclusive partnership with Wild Turkey gives Anderson Valley a world class, consistent source of barrelage, allowing our brewers to explore new frontiers in barrel-aged craft beer.”