Pillar Box Red

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A blend of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot that is tasty and fruity with a hint of dry to let you know it’s serious, but an open an easy flavor to be accessible and friendly. This is one of the bottles I received in my latest Wine Awesomeness shipment and I couldn’t be more pleased. Spicy with berries, endlessly drinkable.

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Enough body so that you know you are drinking something with substance, but not so heavy that you wouldn’t want to drink it with food. Overall, a thoroughly yummy wine I would purchase again!

Winey Woman ūüôā

Deciduous Brewing- belated post :-)

Sometimes life gives you lemons, and you’re forced to make lemonade. Other times you’re handed blood oranges, so you combine them with lychee, malt and hops to make a friggin’ awesome beer! That’s the case with a new brewery in Newmarket, NH, called Deciduous Brewing. Because I’m lucky enough to have married somebody with connections, Winey Woman and I were treated to a special hour and a half with the owner and brewmaster extraordinaire, Dave Sakolsky. He was more than happy to welcome us into his less than finished brewery and tasting room to give us a once in a lifetime “behind-the-behind-the-scenes” tour of the project that has consumed the past two years.

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We were also treated to samples of his Auroral Berliner (the above mentioned blood orange and lychee), along with samples of the three brews that will be available for opening but aren’t finished yet. I said he could package what was there today and it would be an instant hit, but Dave was adamant that they would be MUCH better once “finished.” If the midpoint product is this awesome, the final offering is going to be phenomenal. Getting to experience a brewery in it’s infant, pre-opening form is simply amazing. No hustle and bustle of customers, no noise except for the occasional mechanical whirr, just a man and the dream that he’s bringing to life. It was truly an honor, and I can’t say thank you enough for the experience. Oh, and the final, super awesome icing on the cake — being handed a carboy of the Berliner to take home.

You’ve made one exceptionally happy beer drinker, and if you need somebody to taste beer again, just say the word and I’m there!

<>BM

Funky Bow Brewery & Beer Company – G-String Pale Ale

Yep, it’s called G-String. That’s why I bought it. I’ll admit it. It’s a pale ale, which if you’ve read more than one or two of my posts, you’ll know I usually steer away from, since they’re low on the hop usage. This one isn’t much different in that respect, but despite being a¬†pale, it’s actually quite good.¬†I can see why they sell it in a 6-pack, I could absolutely knock back three or four 3/4-pint cans on an afternoon sitting on the porch.
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This is a nice golden-hued ale with a perfect balance between hops and malt. There is a pleasant orange-ish¬†citrusy flavor, with a slight nutty finish, most likely from the malt used. Overall this brew is something I could absolutely recommend to anybody looking for a great porch-sipping, relaxation-after-a-long-day kind of beer. I’m glad I’ve got 5 more cans in the fridge….wait, make that 4 more, I’m going for a second one now.
<>BM

Way Back Wednesday #WBW – Wine and Beer Edition!

Today we are going way back- to the back of the fridge and the back of the wine cabinet.

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We will start with the wine: a red table wine from Lucas Vineyards in the finger lakes region, 2005 vintage! You don’t need to age your table wines, so we had no idea what we should expect when we pulled the cork and poured the first glass.

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You could tell by the color that it was a wee bit old. Just a tiny brownish tinge around the edge indicated the Tug Boat Red’s age. No gnarly smell, so we went for it. What we have is a delicious and sweet red wine with almost no alcohol remaining, which is fine. This ten years young wine is a delcious after dinner sipper that we would love to try a more recent vintage of. This vineyard is still producing this particular table wine, and we plan to grab a more recent vintage and update our review.
– Winey Woman ūüôā

For our #WBW beer edition we have Foley Brothers Brewing, Brandon, VT

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For this week’s Way Back Wednesday, I’ve unearthed a bomber from Foley Brothers, their Fair Maiden Imperial IPA. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as this is my first beer from Foley. I have to say, I’m really impressed. It’s a big deal to be able to make a good beer, and to pull off a well-balanced Imperial that has flavor to go along with the bitter takes real skill. Foley has done an impeccable job in keeping the bitterness in check. There is a nice resin flavor going on, and a slight orange citrus breaks through as the temperature comes up. Overall I’m extremely happy with my first experience of Foley Brothers Brewing, and I can’t wait to try more of their offerings.

Beer Man

OZV Lodi Zin

I have lately fallen in love with old vine zinfandel. My torrid affair with old vine zin began while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard with my second family and closest friend since we were three years old. We had a few different old vine zins and I didn’t find one I wouldn’t have kept drinking until I reached the bottom.

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Tonight’s OZV is another delicious old vine zin that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s dry and smokey and fruity and you just want to keep on sipping it. It’s as good with food as it is just on its own.¬† Let it breathe a little and you won’t regret the wait. It blossoms after it gets a little oxygen and it is even good the second day (just be sure to store it in the fridge).
If you like a dry wine with smokey tones, you will probably like this wine. If you lean toward the sweeter wines this is probably not for you.

Winey Woman ūüôā

Blackberry Wine – Haunting Whisper Vineyards

Want a fruity delicious beverage on a hot summer afternoon? Look no further than Haunting Whisper Vineyards’ Blackberry fruit wine. Served chilled, it’s a ripe, berry – filled, sweet/tart syrupy¬† wine that is full of flavor.

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Haunting Whisper is a small vineyard located in Danbury, NH. So far, Beer Man and I have not had a single wine from this vineyard we did not enjoy. I will be sure to post on some others soon, but this is first bottle of theirs we’ve cracked in a few weeks (we’ve been enjoying our Wine Awesomeness deliveries lately). The vintner is extremely personable and really knows his wine. We have enjoyed several tastings there and always bring our friends along to experience and fall in love with the wide selection of wines. To top it all off? Most bottles are priced around $13! You can’t go wrong with these wines. This vineyard is also setting up a spirits distillery and we will be sure to report on that when they are up and running.

Winey Woman ūüôā

Rogue Farms – 7 Hop IPA

I’ve said it before, but here’s a reminder – Rogue Farms division of Rogue Ales¬†LOVES to experiment. This time they’ve combined all seven varieties of hops that they grow on-site, most of which I’ve never heard of. Revolution and Rebel I’ve heard of, but the other five – Liberty, Newport, Independent, Freedom, and Alluvial, are all new to me. And I have to say, it’s really good. The pour offered up a faint aroma, mostly pine in nature, and a deeply golden hue. The citrus, mostly orange, flavor is so nice. It’s not an overpowering citrus flavor, but nicely balanced with Rogue’s own malts.

**Going to interrupt, uh, myself, for a moment here — just noticed that this is 7 Hop IPA, and the ABV is 7.77%, coincidence? I think not…– anyway, back to what I was saying**

As I get further into my super-tankard of IPA it just keeps getting better…and that’s not because I’m getting more tipsy with every sip. It’s actually getting more tasty. The hoppy¬†orange¬†notes¬†are¬†giving way to more of the malt flavors, and the brew is becoming more and more smooth. Overall, Rogue Farms has once again outdone themselves in stepping outside the box and daring to be different.
<>BM

Maine Beer Company – Peeper Ale

The Maine Beer Company, of Freeport, ME, shall be my “brew du jour” this evening. I’ve only ever had Peeper Ale, but I keep buying it because it’s so good. I’ll be trying some others soon, and most likely stopping in at the brewery in August when Winey Woman and I take our summer holiday in Acadia, ME, if not before….I mean, it’s the home of L.L.¬†Bean;¬†who wouldn’t want to make a day or weekend trek to Freeport??
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Anyway, I’m babbling. Peeper ale is an American ale, but¬†they¬†could¬†have easily made it¬†an IPA if they chose to go that route. I’m glad the brewers didn’t go crazy on the hopping of this one because the way it is makes is just so darn drinkable.¬†The pour didn’t release much aroma, only a beautiful light amber color and a rather thick, foamy¬†head (of course, part of that could have been my botched pour….I had an extra glug I wasn’t intending). This is a very clean, mild brew. The prevailing flavor is in the orange family, and the nose is a nice pine resin. Peeper is such a smooth, easy-drinking brew. It’s perfect for a warm spring evening sitting on the porch listening to (what else?) the peepers…until the mosquitoes try to carry you off…
<>BM

Great Rhythm Brewing – Beer “Dinner”

In our area, there’s a grocery store known as “The Co-Op.” It’s obviously a co-op store, but it has no other name, oddly. Anyway, they host a number of evening presentations featuring cooking, wine, beer, etc. once or twice a week throughout the year. Winey Woman and I had the opportunity to attend one such¬†event, featuring Great Rhythm Brewing from Portsmouth, NH. The store has gone to great lengths to create a “learning kitchen” so participants can comfortably enjoy an evening of food and drink. Scott, the owner and brewmaster at Great Rhythm, was invited to bring five of his finest creations to the store to be featured with light tapas from Chef Eli at¬†the Co-Op kitchens.
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Each round of beer was served with a small but¬†scrumptious portion of food, cooked right in front of us. Scott would talk about each brew as we tasted it, offering insight into where his ideas come from, how he goes about his day, what it’s like to be a brewmaster, and so on.
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Four of the brews were accompanied with a delicious plate, but the fifth was simply dessert. Scott brought along¬†his “chocolate” porter to round out¬†what was an amazing evening of great¬†food paired with awesome beer and entertaining conversation.
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To top it off, he brought along pint glasses for everyone there (which, since I collect pint glasses, was the icing on an already delicious cake!). I’d also like to offer a shoutout to Chef Eli¬†for being able to accommodate¬†Winey Woman’s Celiac Disease on the fly, making edits to the menu where it was possible.
Great Rhythm Brewing —¬†great beer, great times!
<> Beer Man

Wayback Wednesday – Stone Ruination Double IPA 2.0

Time to dig something out of the back of the refrigerator!

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Sniff tested by Jensen the Cat

“A Liquid Poem To The Glory Of The Hop” — is how Stone introduces this wonderful brew. They’ve taken four varietals of hops – Centennial, Citra, Simcoe, and Azacca – and brought the best of each to the party. There is an incredible amount of tropical and citrus flavor going on in this one. Everything from orange to lemon. I’m also sensing a slight apple note, possibly from the Azacca hops, a variety I’m not familiar with. Stone has, yet again, come up with a rather tasty brew. I do think, however, the standard Ruination may be better than this Double version.

BM