In the world of tastings, DEP’s is going to switch to only having wine tastings on Fridays. The good news is the Fort Thomas store is going to have a weekly beer tasting on Saturdays. In order to try all wines of the week, plan to hit both stores on Friday.
I got a chance to talk with Corey on Saturday during the first tasting this past weekend. The cost for the selection of beers will be $2. This week featured recent closeout acquisitions on sale for 11.99 a case or $1-3 for a 22 oz bottle. Overall a solid first outing for the new beer tasting format.
Upcoming Wine tastings can be seen over on the DEP’s tasting page. Beer tastings will be announced weekly.
Michelle got a press release recently that tickled her fancy. It espoused the features of Wild Turkey bourbon and had the tagline, “It’s just isn’t Thanksgiving without the Turkey.” This made her laugh so much that she agreed to have a sample of Wild Turkey 101 sent our way ahead of the holiday.
The overall flavor has slightly more alcohol than most bourbons which are usually reduced to 80 to 90 proof with the addition of water at the distillery. The extra kick on the finish is one of the most noticeable differences.
I tried this on the rocks to help lower the alcohol levels and bring forward some of the other bourbon characteristics. The flavor has a touch less sweetness than other bourbons with an orange peel flavor. The oak is present on the initial flavor with vanilla and adds caramel in the middle. With the ice about halfway melted into the glass, the finish switches to a nice rye note. Overall it is a nice straight forward bourbon that has an extra kick on the finish. I’d recommend this with a touch of water or ice. I’m not sure how this would perform in a mixed drink as the amounts would need to be adjusted to keep the flavors aligned.
According to the press release, Wild Turkey is the perfect alternative to bringing wine to your Turkey Day table. “Wild Turkey Bourbon’s high proof and robust flavor make it the perfect digestif, an excellent accompaniment to a full stomach and good conversation. Your oenophile friends will enjoy the strong notes of vanilla, caramel and spice along with the cool, full-bodied finish. Plus it pairs great with pie and ice cream.”
Over on BourbonBlog.com, they’ve come up with some fun recipes for Wild Turkey Thanksgiving-themed cocktails, including this one:
1.5 oz Wild Turkey 101
2 oz apple cider
1 tbs cranberry jelly
1 sprig fresh sage
1 sprig fresh thyme
Since 2009, Wild Turkey Bourbon has been part of the Campari group of liquor beverages and is mostly distributed in the US, Australia and Japan. They can be found on their fan page on Facebook as well as Twitter.
Happy Turkey Day!
We’re in Disney!
Ahead of the Disney Epcot Food and Wine festival, Michelle and I stopped for dinner at Portobello in Downtown Disney. The past few years, we’ve kicked off our trip with Irish pub Raglan Road, but we decided to switch things up a little.
Eating at the bar allows for a choice of 4 different speciality meatballs. The beef, pork, or chicken meatballs are 1.95 each add a dollar for the salmon. You can also get a selection of 3 for 5.00 (6.00 if you pick salmon). Each type of meat is paired with a single spice to drive the pairing: Chicken with Sage, Salmon with Tarragon. My favorites were the spicy pork and beef meatballs, while Michelle enjoyed the chicken.
I was also able to try two beers from Orlando Brewing which is an organic brewery located not surprisingly in Orlando. I started with the EPA (English Pale Ale) which had a fantasic amount of malt to help balance the hops. There was almost a caramel flavor at the end right before the bitterness came in. It was a nice and round flavored beer that went really well with the Spicy Pork and Beef meatballs. The sage and the hops didn’t match as well.
For dessert, I tried a bottle of the Blackwater Porter, also from Orlando Brewing. Nice rich coffe flavor and a deeper color than I expected in a porter. The flavor was nice and paired well with one of the signature desserts, the Beerimisu. Michelle ordered this in order to keep her streak of trying Tiramisu deserts as often as possible.
Instead of an expresso, they added the same porter that I tried in order to get the roasted coffee flavor. It was a great switch that had us wondering if we could switch our tiramisu recipe at home to use a stout or porter. Nice and creamy with the light hint of coffee that Michelle prefers.
A great time the first night at the Meatball bar at Portobello in Downtown Disney.
After we left Prosser, we drove a couple of hours west to Seattle. On our first night in the city, we met up with some old friends from Cincinnati and headed over to Elysian Brewing Company in Capitol Hill. Elysian also has a brewpub down by the stadiums, fittingly called Elysian Fields.
Elysian Brewing Company – A short bus ride from our hotel up to Capitol Hill from our hotel was our first stop in Seattle. We had a great dinner with friends and were able to try through a brewmaster’s sampler. Michelle found the Dry Wit (a “guest beer” from Pike Brewing) a better fit for her tastes than the current offerings.
I was able to try:
My notes are definitely incomplete as it was more of a night out with friends, but my overall impression was that Elysian enjoys using hops in varied and creative ways. If hops are your thing, you will not be disappointed by their beers.
The Pike Brewing Company – We stopped for a small lunch here on our last day in Seattle. I had a nice little cheese plate and Michelle had a gigantic bowl of macaroni and cheese that used Washington cheeses.
The six tastes (4-oz pours) rang up at a reasonable $9.00.
Pyramid Breweries – This was our last stop on the way out to the airport to catch a redeye home. One of the oddest experiences that I had on this trip occurred while we were working through a sampling at the bar. The gentleman who sat down next to me also had on an Irish Kevin’s shirt from Key West, FL – and we were both on the opposite end of the country from the original bar. It was weird, but I was able to continue tasting though Michelle’s laughter.
Here’s a quick run down on the beers I tried:
The sampler was a deal at $5.00 for the 5 2-ox pours.
We ended up buying two bottles of the Lipstinger, as the saison style blended well with the pepper. A very distinctive beer that was a hit for both Michelle and myself.
Did I miss anything that I should have tried? There were a bunch of great looking breweries, but only so much time.
After wrapping up the Wine Bloggers Conference, Michelle and I transitioned from wine to Washington’s other known commodity: beer. We had a quick stop in Prosser, then a few brewery visits in Seattle proper before we headed home. We also stopped an snapped a quick photo of some hops growing as we drove across the state. Washington accounts for 75% of the hops grown in the United States, which might account for the number of breweries that we found.
We started off our beer tasting in Prosser, WA, which was roughly halfway between Walla Walla and Seattle.
Horse Heaven Hills Brewery – As the official Kentucky visitors to the Brewery, this one made for a nice transition from wine to beer. This little brewery only sells by the growler and shares the parking lot with the Prosser AutoZone.
We walked on in and sat down at the bar where we tried the following:
We picked up an empty growler for ourselves as Michelle was taken by the image of the horse as well as the story of wild horses roaming the local hills. It was Michelle’s favorite brewery of the trip as she liked most of the beers we tried for different reasons. $5.00 for 4 samples.
Whitstran Brewing – This was our second stop in Prosser and luckily they served food. My burger was excellent and Michelle had no tr0uble finishing her sandwich as well.
Another nice selection of samples (9 for $9.50) was split between the two of us.
Lunch was a very nice at Whitstran and it was worth a stop in Prosser to start making the switch from wineries to breweries. We had a great afternoon and if we had been able to keep the beer refrigerated, I think we would have had a few full growlers as we continued into Seattle. For anyone on the wine trail, I strongly recommend stopping and trying something a little different. From Seattle, I think it would be well worth the drive to the desert to see a little sun.
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