www.wine-girl.net
    Home   |   Archives   |   Calendar   |   Wine & Food Pairing   |   Wine Trails
Jan 31

New Tasting Schedule at DEPs

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.

Share on FacebookEmail This
Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Kevin at 9:50 pm in Beer, Tastings | Permalink | Comments (9)
Nov 24

It’s Not Thanksgiving without the Turkey

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:

Pass the Turkey

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!

– Kevin

Share on FacebookEmail This
Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Kevin at 8:34 am in Beer-Guy.net, Spirits, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments ()
Oct 22

Portobello at Downtown Disney

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.

Share on FacebookEmail This
Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Jul 30

Washington State Microbreweries: Seattle

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:

  • Dragonstooth Stout
  • Men’s Room Original Red – This was probably my favorite of the bunch as I ordered another glass once the sampler was finished. The hops were present, but there was a spiciness that helped to alleviate the bitterness. Very well balanced
  • Dry-Hopped IPA - For the hop lovers out there. This has the bitterness up front, the tropical in the middle and a very long finish. Not much other depth, but the went for hops and that is exactly what was there.
  • Loser Pale Ale
  • Bifrost

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.

  • Naughty Nellie (Golden Ale) – Strong wheat characteristics with a very nice hop presence.
  • Pale Ale – A basic entry and would be nice as an alternate to traditional macro-brewery offerings
  • IPA – A bright orange flavor leads into deceptively smooth hops. Multiple flavors add a few extra dimensions that I did not expect on an IPA. Michelle commented that she could drink a glass of this which is a very high complement.
  • Kilt Lifter (Scotch Ale) – Deep, rich flavors. A nice hint of smoke underneath the malt driven flavor. Michelle wanted food to go with this, but still enjoyed it.
  • Tandem (Double Ale) – Very sweet and sugary. Well balanced between the sweet of the candy sugar and the Belgian yeast used.
  • XXXXX (Extra Stout) – Our first split opinion of the tasting. I liked the strong malt flavor and the slight bitterness, Michelle not as much.
  • Monk’s Uncle (Abbey Style) – Light and crisp with honey flavors. Michelle was slightly confused by the combination of flavors.
  • Dry Wit (Summer Wheat Seasonal) – Floral up front with a nice grainy finish spells the perfect beer for Michelle. Hints of lavender, coriander and orange peel all of which were used in during the brewing process.

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:

  • Imperial Hefeweisen – Nice creaminess with a slight bitterness on top of the expected banana and clove.
  • Drought Pale Ale – Nitrogen injected version of the pale ale. The bubbles seem a little more present in this version and there is a nice sweetness. One of the special brewery only releases.
  • Snow Cap – Winter Seasonal amber that was brewed with caramel and wintergreen. Very nice and surprising. I was glad they still had this on an unmarked tap as it was my favorite of the tasting.
  • Lipstinger – Farmhouse ale brewed with peppercorns. Banana and pepper flavors instead of clove. Michelle enjoyed this more than she expected as the peppercorn was very well integrated. We left with a pair of bottles.
  • Dark IPA – This tasted like a chocolate covered hop. Very strange and not exactly my type of beer. I would recommend it to any hop heads out there, but be ready for a beer that defies expectations.

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.

Share on FacebookEmail This
Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Kevin at 8:17 am in Beer, Beer-Guy.net, Travel | Permalink | Comments ()
Jul 29

Washington State Microbreweries: Prosser, WA

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:

  • Honey Girl – A nice light ale brewed with a honey. The honey provides a nice sweetness that works very nicely as my first transition away from wine. This may have been Michelle’s favorite along with the Hefeweizen and the Cherry Stout.
  • Heaven’s Hefeweizen – Very nicely balanced banana up front and clove flavors on the finish combine for a really nice hefe.
  • Mustang Red – Their most popular beer which is not pictured below. Very solid offering that was a very nice amber ale. Good malt characteristics and light and crisp hops.
  • Stallion Stout – Server on a nitrogen tap which is supposed to add creaminess and a richer flavor. Nice roasted coffee flavors but stays lighter and has a surprising crispness and spice on the finish.
  • Cherry Stout – Another beer brewed with a non-traditional additive, this time Washington cherries. The flavor lead with the nice acid and sweetness of the cherry which was followed by the chocolate. It was almost an inverted chocolate covered cherry. My favorite of the tasting due to the bitterness of the cherries and the semi sweetness of the stout.

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.

  • Horse Heaven Hefe (Bavarian-style hefeweizen) – Sweet with heavy banana flavors.
  • Highlander (Scottish-style ale) – Light with caramel that finishes with a toffee flavor. Kevin’s favorite of the list.
  • 11th Hour (Pale ale) – Creamy and light initially that ends with a bitterness. We described this as “Surprise! It’s hoppy.”
  • Over-the-edge (Dry-hopped pale ale) – More hops throughout the entire flavor. Not especially hoppy for a dry hopped ale.
  • Palouse (Porter) – Chocolate and roasted espresso beans. A very nice porter that Michelle did not try and I really enjoyed.
  • D2O Heavy Water (Stout) – Chocolate and malt. Two great tastes that are always nice in a stout.
  • Friar Lawrence (Belgium-style ale) – Sweeter than expected. A very interesting and distinctive beer that was weel worth trying.
  • Friar’s Blessing (Raspberry lambic) – Acid up front was not as integrated as I was hoping. Michelle mixed this with the Friar’s Decadence to create a version that allowed the chocolate to help balance.
  • Friar’s Decadence (Chocolate chocolate imperial stout) – Bitter chocolate with hop flavor hinting through. Nice on it’s own, but really helped to soften the lambic.

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.

Share on FacebookEmail This
Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Kevin at 8:13 am in Beer, Beer-Guy.net, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1)

Contributing Authors

Wine-Girl.net Rating Scale

Recent Posts

Categories

Wine Competitions Wine Book Club (WBC) Wine Judging Reviews Readings Whiskey Watch France Weblogs Games Wine Clubs Books RIP Repost WBW #65 Wine Glossary Wine Maps TasteCamp Web/Tech Marketing Uncategorized Legislation Recipes Florida Recession Wine Meet the Winemaker Greatest Hits Holiday Drink Pink! (BCRF) Television Current Affairs Wine Shop Wednesday Photos Spirits Contests Scotch & Whiskey History Disney Wine Tech Food and Wine Pairings Mad Men Monday Guest Writers Pop Culture Food and Drink Wine Blogs Knowledge Entertainment Dinner and Drinks Life Charity Benefits News Beer-Guy.net Beer Special Events WBW Local Wineries Cocktails Wine Shops Restaurants Travel Wine Notes Wineries Wine Events Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events Wine Misc Local Tastings Cincinnati

Links That Make Us Happy

Sponsors


sponsors

WineGirl on Facebook

Krystal Pepper Memorial Scholarship Fund

Raising money for a scholarship fund in memory of Michelle's little sister who passed away in 2007Click here for information on the Krystal Pepper Memorial Scholarship Fund.


Winner, Best Cincinnati Weblog 2007

Alltop, all the cool kids (and me)

Ads from our kind sponsors …