On Thursday of this week the year's first snow landed in West Michigan. And it wasn't just a few random, insignificant flakes either, but those big wet heavy flakes that sometimes hit the ground with an audible thump! Then there were the ice/snow pellets that bounced around Siciliano's parking lot like BBs, and lets not forget the rain/sleet mix that kick-started the whole event (on second thought, lets do), all of which made for a weatherman's dream and an interesting day for commuters on the road.
Thankfully (or regretfully, depending on your point of view) the first snow didn't stick around long. But you wouldn't know it judging from the styles and types of beer arriving this week to Siciliano's shelves, many being high-octane belly warmers sure to keep the coming winter chill at bay. Fittingly, we welcomed a beer called Snowstorm and another called Expedition (perhaps you've heard of it), both good choices to bring along on treks through the woods on snowy winter evenings, which, like it or not, are only days away.
New (and Returning) Beers
- Bardic Wells Canoe Clu, $10.39/22oz - Carbonated honey-birch wine fermented with hops and with honey added. To read more about the Bardic Wells "Clu" series, please click here.
- Bell's Expedition Stout, $2.99/12oz - "One of the earliest examples of the Russian Imperial Stout in the United States, Expedition Stout offers immensely complex flavors crafted specifically with vintage aging in mind, as its profile will continue to mature and develop over the years. A huge malt body is matched to a heady blend of chocolate, dark fruits, and other aromas. Intensely bitter in its early months, the flavors will slowly meld and grow in depth as the beer ages" (source).
- Short's Black Cherry Porter, $2.19/12oz - "This Short’s brew is available seasonally, as soon as the local Northern Michigan sweet black cherries are ripe. Eight different malts, in conjunction with three varieties of hops, provide the deep radiant flavor profile and create the dark opaque color. A slight purple lace from the fruit puree enticingly leads into smooth soft hints of roasted chocolate and pleasurable black cherry flavors" (source).
- Unibroue Diabolic Pleasures 2-pack, $18.99/2x750ml - A two-bottle gift pack featuring Maudite, "a strong amber-red ale...characterized by a robust maltiness and spiciness that is counterbalanced by an assertive crisp hop finish" (source). Also featuring Eau Bénite, a Belgian-style triple limited to this giftpack. "First brewed in 1996, Eau Bénite was developed to offer the characteristics of a bottle referemented triple with a slightly lower alcohol content. This is refreshing pale golden ale with a slightly fruity nose and a very pleasant character".
- Schell's Snowstorm, $1.49/12oz - "Much like snowflakes, no two Snowstorm beers are alike. Once a year, [Schell's] brewmasters lock themselves in the testing room with a secret selection of fine malts and hops, only emerging when they've hit upon something truly extraordinary. Some past Snowstorm recipes, like Firebrick, proved so popular, Schell started brewing them year-round. Look for a special new batch of Snowstorm every season, available in November, December, and January or while supplies last. The 2011 Snowstorm beer style is Wee Heavy Traditional Scotch Ale" (source).
- Schell's Six-Pack Sampler, $1.49/12oz - A variety six-pack featuring the following beers: Stout, Oktoberfest, Hopfenmalz (an amber lager), Pils, Firebrick, and Schell's Dark. All beers are available for individual sale while quantities last.
- Scaldis Noel, $4.89/8.46oz - "A product made exclusively from malt, hops, candy sugar and water, Scaldis Noel is a high fermentation, filtered beer and has an alcohol volume of 12%. The substantial use of caramel malt gives it a coppery red colour and an exceptional roundness. Studied hopping gives Scaldis Noel a consistent, fruity flavour with a delicately hopped aroma. A limited edition beverage" (source). Note: In Belgium, this beer is known as Bush de Noël.
- Taj Majal Premium Lager Beer, $4.59/650ml - "Slow brewed in India from the finest malt and hops" (label).
Picture of the Week
|Sarah "The Cheetah" Derylo takes a few practice swings|
before tapping the Friday Firkin at Brewery Vivant last week.