|Steve says: No Cubans yet!|
Since President Obama’s announcement last December that the United States will begin reestablishing diplomatic ties with Cuba, I’ve had dozens of inquiries as to when Siciliano’s Market will be able to sell Havana Club rum and Cuban cigars.
The answer, unfortunately, is not any time soon.
While the President has recently used his executive powers to ease restrictions on Cuban travel and trade, it will literally take an act of Congress before U.S. retailers will be allowed to market the island nation’s excellent rum and legendary stogies.
The Cuban embargo remains in effect and will continue to do so until the United States Congress acts to lift it. Humanitarian, agricultural and business groups are strongly in favor of lifting the ban, but a substantial number of Americans, including a politically significant block of Cuban ex-patriots living in Miami, are adamant in their belief that Washington should continue to maintain the fifty-three year old status quo.
It is my opinion that the elimination of the Cuban embargo is long overdue. A few years ago my wife Barb and I traveled to Cuba with the humanitarian group First Hand Aid and personally witnessed the devastating effects the embargo is having on the Cuban populace. At the same time, I can fully appreciate the justified anger of those whose lives were uprooted and whose businesses and property were seized by the Castro regime after the revolution.
It is highly unlikely that Congress will vote to lift the embargo until the Cuban government agrees to at least partially pay back the billions of dollars that it owes to American citizens and American companies.
When that will happen is the billion dollar question.
New and Returning Beer
- Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster Double IPA, $3.29/12oz - "An Imperial IPA with huge hop flavor" (source).
- Clown Shoes Mango Kolsch, $5.89/22oz - "Crunkle Sam, tired of being a mere anomaly as a most refreshing summertime Barleywine, targeted a German beer style and bastardized it. He had us brew a traditional Kolsch, but made us add sweet orange peel and all natural mango flavor" (source).
- North Coast Puck, $2.29/12oz - "First brewed to celebrate our 25th anniversary, the beer now known as PUCK, a petite saison of just over 4% ABV, won a place in our hearts and in our year-round portfolio of beers. Brewed with premium Pils and wheat malts and fermented with the same yeast strain used to make our renowned Saison, Le Merle, Puck is sharp and spritzy with a delicious flowery, spicy dry-hop aroma—the perfect accompaniment to any celebration, big or small" (source).
- Short's Nicie Spicie, $1.69/12oz - "Northern Michigan spiced wheat ale. A 50% mixture of premium two-row malted barley and malted white wheat makes golden wheat ale balanced with Ahtanum and Cascade hop varieties. This ale is spiced with fresh grated lemon and orange rind, coriander, and black peppercorns. It’s truly a fermented wonder of the Short’s Brew formula family" (source).
- Greenbush Broken Promises, $2.19/12oz - "Wheat IPA" (source).
- Stone Ruin Ten, $8.99/22oz - "We first released this decidedly indelicate beer in 2012 as Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our belovedly bitter Stone Ruination IPA. Stone RuinTen Triple IPA uses the same recklessly hoppy recipe as the 2012 release; only the name has been changed to include “Triple,” which helps describe the over-the-top hop profile and elevated alcohol by volume. We packed a whopping five pounds of hops into each barrel, and cranked up the ABV to stand up to the hop onslaught. The results are glorious, and we know you’ll rejoice in tasting this audacious gem of hoppy splendor. You’re welcome. Again" (source).
- Smuttynose Kindest Find, $6.99/22oz - "Kindest Find, our own little slice of heaven, is an Imperial Red Ale with a big malt backbone layered with loads of juicy hops. Its label is a nod to our flagship Finestkind IPA. And just like the winsome lass on the label, Kindest Find will always be there to welcome you home after a long day" (source).
- Brooklyn East IPA, $1.59/12oz - "Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, originally a summer seasonal, has been getting raves since becoming a year round offering in 1996. Garrett Oliver, a student of English brewing and beer history, uses English malts and hops to brew his EIPA in the classic, heavily-hopped style of the 19th century beers created for British soldiers serving in India" (source).
- Brooklyn Lager, $1.59/12oz - "Brooklyn Lager, the Brewery's flagship label, is New York's "hometown" beer, brewed to a pre-Prohibition recipe that dates back to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. Brooklyn Lager has won numerous awards" (source).
- Brooklyn Blast DIPA, $2.69/12oz - "We brew our beer in New York, about halfway between the hop fields of the Pacific Northwest and the hop fields of Kent, England. So we use earthy English hops to build the foundation and bright citrusy American hops to bring the noise in the rambunctious IPA we call BLAST! British Maris Otter and German Pilsner malts lends solidity, balance and bready flavors to brace up a beer that’s beautifully hoppy, strangely quaffable and oddly compelling. Minerally hop bitterness is followed by a shock wave of flavor and aroma. You won’t even know what hit you" (source).
- Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, $2.29/12oz - "Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a classic saison, a cracklingly dry, hoppy unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, but featuring rare Sorachi Ace hop.Fermented with our special Belgian ale strain, we add Sorachi Ace hops post-fermentation. After 100% bottle re-fermentation with Champagne yeast, the beer emerges with a bright spicy lemon zest aroma. It tastes like sunshine in a glass, and that suits us just fine, especially with seafood dishes and fresh cheeses" (source).
- Brooklyn K is for Kriek, $23.59/750ml - "Ale Brewed With Honey, Dark Candi Syrup & Orange Peel, Aged in Bourbon Barrels on Whole Cherries; Q1 2015 Malts: German Pilsner, English Chocolate Malt Additions: Belgian dark candi syrup, New York State raw wildflower honey, sweet orange peel, dried pitted Montmorency cherries Hops: Perle, Aurora, East Kent Golding Yeast: Brooklyn House Belgian Yeast strain, Pris de Mousse Champagne, Brettanomyces bruxellensis Alcohol by Volume: 10.1% Original Gravity: 18.5° Plato Food Pairings: Poultry, duck, pork, goat cheeses, desserts, and rich cheeses. Availability: Q1 2015 Format: 750ml cork-finished bottle" (source).
- Brooklyn Wild Streak, $23.59/750ml - "There was a time when all beers were aged in wood and yeasts ran wild and converted together. Modern brewing is wonderful, but sometimes a little converting is a fine thing. Brooklyn Wild Streak is our barrel-aged Belgian-inspired golden ale enlivened by the earthy funk of wild yeast called Brettanomyces. It’s particurly great with cheeses and game meats. Oh, go ahead. You know you want to" (source).
- Brooklyn Local 1, $10.09/750ml - "In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, we forge barley malt and hops from Germany, aromatic raw sugar from Mauritius and yeast from Belgium into our latest beer, Brooklyn Local 1. Behind the full golden color you'll find an alluring aroma, a dynamic complex of flavors. Belgian flair, Brooklyn fortitude and a dusting of our special yeast. To create this beer, we use the old technique of 100% bottle re-fermentation, a practice now rare even in Europe. It gives this beer a palate of unusual depth. Enjoy it locally or globally, as an aperitif or with your favorite dishes. It is particularly nice with spicy seafood and with fine cheeses" (source).
- Brooklyn Local 2, $10.09/750ml - "Here in Brooklyn we’ve combined European malt and hops, Belgian dark sugar, and raw wildflower honey from a New York family farm to create Brooklyn Local 2. Our special Belgian yeast adds hints of spice to the dark fruit, caramel, and chocolate flavors. After 100% bottle re-fermentation, this ale reveals a marvelous dry complexity, enjoyable by itself or at the dinner table" (source).
- Green Flash Hop Odyssey 30th Street Pale Ale, $2.09/12oz - "30th Street Pale Ale is a strong pale ale that is well dry-hopped making it taste like an IPA by many hop head’s standards. The beer was brewed to recognize the synergy behind the craft beer culture on 30th Street in San Diego and was released for the Green Flash 6th Anniversary Celebration" (source).
- Green Flash Soul Style IPA, $2.09/12oz - "Our brewers rip-creating huge and complex double and triple IPAs at the pinnacle of craft beer enlightenment. Soul Style IPA is their effortless and pure manifestation of the single IPA. Simcoe, Citra and Cascade hops are layered, allowing bright tropical waves of flavorful citrus and floral notes to break gently on the palate. Get stoked on a laid back single and ride the wave to soothe your soul" (source).
- Oddside Nectar of the Brewer, $2.29/12oz - "Apricot wheat" (source).
- Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Extra, $1.99/12oz - "Lots of wheat for a curious malt complexity and leaving it light in color, but huge in flavor and satisfaction " (source).
Video of the Week | Conecuh Ridge Whiskey
Available now at Siciliano's—read staffer John Barecki's review!