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Friday, November 10, 2017

New Beer Friday, Ellie Mae Edition (November 10)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

When I was almost parallel with the cottage I stroked hard on the left then let the kayak glide into the recessed cut out of the sea wall. After the bow scraped the sand I threw the paddle up on the grass and grabbed the gunwales. When I stood up the kayak wobbled left, then wobbled right, then wobbled left again, and when I stretched my right foot towards the bank I lost my balance and fell backwards into the icy, waist high water. I got on my knees then struggled to my feet and only then saw Harry standing on the front deck.

“Pretty cold to go swimming, sport,” he yelled to me.

“Get down here and help me pull this out of the water,” I yelled back as I slogged towards the beach.

“I thought you were going hunting,” I said while we were flipping the kayak over on the grass.

“Changed my mind. Glad I did. I can’t wait to tell the boys about this.”

“I bet you can’t,” I said. “Do me a favor and get a fire going while I get out of these clothes.”

“Sure thing, sport. There’s a bottle of Blanton’s on the kitchen counter.”

After I dried off and changed I poured two big tumblers of Bourbon and grabbed two Perdomo Sungrown Churchills from the humidor. When I was outside I handed the glasses and cigars to Harry then pulled up a chair and sat down next to him in front of the fire.

“That didn’t take long,” I said, motioning my cigar towards the roaring fire.

“I’m a master fire builder. Those dry pine needles do the trick.”

“Well we certainly have plenty of those laying around.”

“Did you hear the loons?” Harry asked. “There were two of them about twenty yards off shore. I’m surprised they haven’t gone south yet.”

“Nope, I was busy getting water out of my ears.”

“I sure wish Barb was here to see that,” Harry chuckled. He reached for a burning twig and lit his cigar. “How’s she doing by the way?” he asked after a few moments.

“She’s doing alright. It’s been a tough week.”

“It’s never easy,” Harry said. “You guys did everything you could.”

“I know we did,” I said then reached down for the tumbler of Bourbon. “They brought a blanket in and we sat with Ellie on the floor. Barb and I held her while Jay injected the pentobarbital.” I took a sip of the Blanton’s after taking a pull on the cigar. “Ellie Mae sure did love it up here. That crazy little white dog would stay in the lake all day.”

“Give it some time. It’ll get easier.”

“Oh, I know it will,” I said.

We had another Bourbon and talked about bow hunting and fly fishing and the upcoming college basketball season. Every once in a while Ellie Mae worked her way back into the conversation.

“Well, I’ve got to get going,” Harry said after finishing his drink and tossing the last two inches of his cigar into the fire. “I’m definitely going out in the morning.”

I picked up the empty glasses and walked with him back to the driveway. “I’ll get the Blanton’s” I said after remembering the bottle.

“Keep it,” Harry said while climbing into his truck.

“Thanks Harry,” I said. “I really appreciate it. Thanks.”

“No need to thank me, sport. Lord knows I’ve drunk plenty of your Bourbon.”

“You know what I mean,” I said.

Before going into the cottage I stood on the sea wall and imagined Ellie Mae swimming somewhere in a glassy smooth lake then I gazed up at the stars in the cloudless November sky.

New and Returning Beer

  • Sam Adams White Christmas, $1.79/12oz - "This unfiltered white ale has a unique and festive twist. Its crisp wheat character combines with warming holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel for a flavorful yet refreshing brew that's perfect for the season" (source).
  • Arcadia Shipwreck Porter, $9.39/12oz - "The Baltic-style porter has a robust malt character and a slight herbal hop bitterness. Aged for 12 months in 10-year-old Kentucky bourbon oak barrels, this alluring dark liquid features appealing undertones of vanilla, oak, cocoa and coffee. The aging occurs in abandoned mines in Michigan, at a constant temperature of 45F" (source).
  • Arcadia Porter Rico, $1.89/12oz - "Take a trip to the lost island of Porter Rico, where cacao and coconut live in harmony and frolic on the sandy shores. Our island getaway takes the form of a dark, chocolatey beer, with a balancing sweetness, medium body, and rich mouthfeel, creating the sensation of biting into dark chocolate coconut candy. Brewed with real coconut and bittersweet malt. This perfectly balanced porter rides the trade winds for a truly exotic, yet comfortingly familiar pint" (source).
  • Rochester Mills 12 Days of Milkshake Mix, $30.29/12pk - "What started out as a crazy idea to take twelve different versions of our original Milkshake Stout brew to twelve different bars over twelve days seemed pretty audacious at the time, especially during the busy holiday season.  Over the next few years, we increased the number of bars in the program, changed up the line up of beers, and last year we introduced a mixed 12-pack containing one of each variety" (source).
  • Deschutes Dissident, $18.69/22oz (1 per) - "Introducing our wildest brew yet, The Dissident 2017 is a distinctive Belgian-style brown ale. Fermented with wild yeast, we have to isolate this brew so as not to influence the others. Otherwise, we might have anarchy on our hands. So, here’s to solitary confinement" (source).
  • Oskar Blues Death by Coconut, $3.39/12oz - "Intense pure liquid cacao flavors swirl with popping coconut aromas, all supported by a semi-sweet porter made from loads of our dark chocolate and extra dark caramel malt. This limited release specialty comes around once a year to satisfy that sweet tooth, so get ’em while you can before they disappear. At 6.5% ABV and 25 IBUs, this choconut goodness will have you yellin’ “Pass. Dash. Hit.” all winter long" (source).
  • Perrin Special Two Pack, $34.39/2pk - Featuring No Rules and Malted Milk Ball.
  • Short's Juicy Tree, $2.89/12oz - "Juicy Tree is an experimental India Pale Ale made with blue spruce tips, juniper berries, and cranberries. Big aromatics of piney evergreen and sweet berries tingle the senses. After some slightly tart and tangy flavors up front, a harmonious balance between pleasant fruit sweetness and bitter pine is reached. The finish is laced with a resiny stickiness that flows naturally into a lasting bitterness" (source).
  • Nowhere in Particular Batch 013, $2.99/12oz - "As the warm weather comes to an end, theoretically at least, we decided to make a nice bright but kinda different IPA. We took a ton of citrusy hops, added lactose to give a nice full body and lemon juice to give a nice citrus finish. The results were fucking awesome. Drinkable with a nice round body, and nice bright citrus flavors blend nicely with a slight bitterness" (source).
  • Nowhere in Particular Batch 014, $2.99/12oz - "All the buzzwords in this guy. If we are going to make a pale ale, you better believe we are going to drop a metric fuck ton of hops in it, and do it our own way. This beer has no hops in the boil, just in the whirlpool and in the dry hop. This huge late addition of hops gives this guy tons of tropical fruit hop flavors while keeping the bitterness low, so this is kinda a juice bomb. Low alcohol and light body on this brew means you can drink a bunch of them if you wanted to, and we bet you will after trying this tasty liquid" (source).
  • Ballast Point Victory at Sea, $2.59/12oz - "Our Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with vanilla and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate" (source).
  • Ballast Point Coconut Victory at Sea, $9.69/22oz - "This Coconut Ballast Point Victory at Sea takes our popular Imperial Porter to another place. We added sweet roasted coconut to our robust porter brewed with Caffe Calabria coffee and vanilla,  the perfect complement to this beer’s subtly roasty intensity. A favorite at our annual Ballast Point Victory at Sea Day, but it’s worth enjoying anytime you need to be transported" (source).
  • Ballast Point Peanut Butter Victory at Sea, $9.69/22oz - "This version has both Chocolate and Peanut Butter" (source).
  • Odd Side Jared's Mom, $2.39/12oz - "Belgian IPA" (source).
  • Odd Side Chocolade Koffie Stout, $2.39/12oz - "If you’re a fan of chocolate stouts this is the one to try! A great mixture of thick, sweet, dark chocolate fudge, and light espresso bean undertones will immediately appeal to your senses. Your taste buds will dance when the creamy stout takes flight" (source).
  • Kentucky Ales Old Fashioned, $4.459/12oz  - "It’s a copper-colored brew that plays off the beloved taste of a bourbon Old Fashioned – the most iconic of Southern cocktails. This seasonal is brewed with tart cherries and orange peel, then aged in fresh bourbon barrels as well as bourbon barrels used to age bitters.  Kindly donated Cherry Bitters barrels, originally used by Kentucky’s finest distillers, impart their wonderful character on this beer. Subtly sweet, it’s balanced by bitter hints of hops and bitters, as well citrusy notes of orange" (source).
  • Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, $2.19/12oz - "Winter Solstice® is our take on the classic style of “winter warmer.” Boasting a deep amber hue and rich mouthfeel, its creamy finish will lift your spirits. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tease the senses making this the perfect ale to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter" (source).
  • Alaskan Smoked Porter, $9.79/22oz - "Known as “rauchbier” in Germany, smoke-flavored beers were virtually unknown in the U.S. until Alaskan Smoked Porter was developed in 1988" (source).
  • Alaskan Winter Ale, $1.79/12oz - "Traditionally malty with the warming sensation of alcohol, Olde Ales are brewed in the fall as winter warmers" (source).
  • Anchor Christmas Ale, $2.39/12oz - "A smooth and creamy winter warmer with rich flavors of cacao, toffee and roasted nuts, and subtle hints of honey and herbal spice, this year’s brew marks the 43rd annual release of this Anchor tradition" (source).
  • Atwater Voodoo Vator, $3.19/12oz - "VooDoo Vator Dopplebock tempers the sweetness of caramel malt with the crisp, more nutty flavor of Munich malt. Despite the depth of color, burnt flavors are not present. Traditional extended lagering makes the VooDoo Vator deceptively smooth though high in alcohol" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Tart Side of the Moon, $4.69/16oz - "One of our most anticipated and highly talked about specialty releases, this hearty stout is kettle soured and blended for a slight tartness along side big dark chocolate notes and hints of black cherries. No adjuncts are added to this beer-- these robust layers of flavor are yeast driven. Listen to the lunatic" (source).
  • Dark Horse Fore Smoke Stout, $2.19/12oz - "Number four in our stout series, this beer is brewed with all malted barley and hardwood smoked malt. Aromas of smoked chocolate and coffee leave way to a full-bodied stout with a smokey finish. Fore is a house favorite among our brewers" (source).
  • Founders Azacca, $1.39/12oz - "Named after the Haitian God of agriculture, the Azacca hop has an intense tropical aroma with hints of citrus and mango. A touch of caramel malt gives a sweet backbone to support the righteous fruit character of this beer. Pouring a burnt orange color and registering at 7.0% ABV, your taste buds will worship this heavenly, hopped delight" (source).
  • Revolution Fistmas, $1.99/12oz - "Our holiday red ale is steeped with fresh ginger root and orange peel, resulting in a beer with aromas of fresh baked bread, caramel, and stone fruits. Fistmas was brewed with specialty malts to achieve a beautiful deep red hue" (source).
  • Upland Darken, $15.29/500ml (1 per) - "Belgian-style sour ales heavily influenced our Sour Program in the beginning, and Darken is a take on an "old ale" or Flanders Oud Bruin style. We add nearly the entire spice rack to this ale, including star anise, ginger, grains of paradise, black pepper, and coriander. Formerly named Dantalion (the powerful Great Duke of Hell, if you’re curious), Darken is complex ale with an approachable tartness and flavors of spice, fruit, caramel, and chocolate. Darken has a medium-low body, with a dry, spicy finish" (source).
  • Upland Revive, $9.99/500ml (1 per) - "After extensive experimentation and feedback from our retail staff, customers, and brewing team, Revive was one of the first beers released out of the Wood Shop. The base beer is Basis, which was inspired by traditional brewing methods of Belgium brewing. The beer is aged for three to four months in oak barrels with pineapple fruit and whole chamomile flowers. That sweet tanginess of fruit combines beautifully with the floral aroma for a tart, dry, and refreshing sour ale" (source).
  • Upland Cherry Lambic, $24.99/750ml - "Brewed with whole cherries. Aged in oak casks for over a year, which creates a tart, complex beer" (source).
  • Omnipollo Nebuchadnezzar, $3.79/16oz - "Neb is a home brew recipe that has been scaled up with no consideration to economies of scale. Some say idiotic, and as an economist I would have to agree. Get fresh or die trying" (source).
  • Omnipollo Pleroma, $4.39/12oz - "Créme Brulée Sour" (source).
  • Stillwater Levadura, $3.39/12oz - "Oaxacan style gose sour ale brewed with salt, agave and lime" (source).
  • Stillwater g13, $4.19/12oz - "Wild India Pale Ale Aged on Cedar" (source).

Video of the Week | Long Road Michigin

Only a few bottles left. Get yours today!


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