View our Main Site »

Friday, July 27, 2018

New Beer Friday, From the Archives Edition (July 27)

Due to the fact Steve and Barb are currently fishing in Montana (see picture), we will NOT be posting a new preamble from Steve. We're pleased to present instead this gem from the archives. Despite its original 2012 publication date, it seems a fitting choice given the absolute certainty Steve will be enjoying a smoke or two on the river this week in Big Sky Country. Please enjoy. —Buzz Editors

By Steve Siciliano

I’m proud of the fact that our store has garnered a reputation as being a destination for a wide variety of products: craft beer, fine wine, premium liquor, mead, homebrewing and wine-making supplies, bulk tea and coffee, a constantly expanding selection of do-it-yourself books, gourmet chocolates, hand-crafted sodas and much, much more. Something that doesn’t get mentioned quite as often, however, is the fact that we also are a tobacco shop.

I like wearing my tobacconist hat. I enjoy weighing out ounces of pipe tobacco on the triple-beam scale and I get a lot of satisfaction from selling pipes, humidors and especially premium cigars.

I smoked my first cigar when I was sixteen. I had a job as a bus boy in the cafeteria of the old Pantlind Hotel and once a week a crotchety old fellow came in and after supper he would always smoke a cigar. To this day I remember the cigars he smoked, a brand called Optimo that were beautiful, oily-dark maduros. One day I got up the nerve to ask him where I could get one.

“Why?” he growled.

When I told him it was my dad’s birthday and I wanted to buy him a cigar the old codger actually cracked a smile. “Across the street at Elliot’s,” he said. Despite my age the clerk at the shop had no problem selling me one of those Optimos which I smoked on the walk home.

I would like to say that I’ve smoked nothing but premium cigars all my life but that’s just not the case. In high school I would occasionally burn a wood-tipped Hava-Tampa Jewel or a plastic-tipped cigarillo. In college I had a predilection for rum-soaked Crookettes and in my twenties and thirties it was an Antonio y Cleopatra Grenadier, a White Owl or a Dutch Masters during weddings and weekend fishing trips.

It was in my mid-forties when I began smoking only the premium, hand-rolled cigars and, looking for anything back then to generate sales in a struggling store, I decided that I would try selling them. I began with a few inexpensive brands in a humidified counter-top case. In time I progressed to a couple of glass displays and then we finally built the walk-in humidor.

Today the humidor is well stocked with cigars from the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico. In two reach-in cases we display cigars that are rum flavored, vanilla flavored, chocolate flavored and some that are infused with botanicals. Because of our government’s continued trade embargo with Cuba we are unable to sell any Cubans. Hopefully someday that will change.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit Cuba and while there took a day trip to Vuelta Abajo, which is considered to be the finest land for growing cigar tobacco in the world. I was standing on a high ridge gazing down at the indescribably beautiful valley when an old Cuban approached me. He was selling bundles of cigars that he rolled himself from tobacco he had grown himself. I had doubts about their quality but took a chance and handed him ten pesos, about the equivalent then of ten US dollars. They turned out to be the best cigars I have ever smoked.

New and Returning Beer

  • Big Lake Triple Ryecoe, $4.39/16oz - "Our signature Rye IPA brewed with over 25% Rye Malt, and complemented with a triple dose of simcoe dry hops" (source).
  • BrewDog Clockwork Tangerine, $1.99/12oz- "A flavour profile that'll tick all those boxes as we head into the summer months! At 4.5% it's a standout session beer that packs a juicy citrus hit and mellow tropical notes on a toasty and caramel background" (source).
  • BrewDog Elvis Juice, $1.99/12oz - "An American IPA with a bitter edge that will push your citrus tolerance to the brink and back; Elvis Juice is loaded with tart pithy grapefruit peel. This IPA has a caramel malt base, supporting a full frontal citrus overload - grapefruit peel piled on top of intense us aroma hops. Waves of crashing pine, orange and grapefruit round out this citrus infused IPA" (source).
  • BrewDog Hazy Jane, $2.29/12oz - "Hazy Jane is a Vermont-style IPA, wiht low background bitterness, loaded with intense juicy fruit character. Pineapple, stone fruit, mango, light resin and hints of lime peel — this juicy IPA is full-bodied and smooth, enhancing the soft ripe fruit flavors" (source).
  • BrewDog Jet Black Heart, $1.99/12oz - "Flaked oats and wheat add to the velvet mouth-feel, with the carbonation adding a honeycomb texture. Magnum and Sorachi Ace bring a berry & citrus fruitiness that amplifies the chocolate character of this inky leviathan" (source).
  • BrewDog Punk IPA, $1.99/12oz - "Layered with new world hops to create an explosion of tropical fruit and an all-out riot of grapefruit, pineapple and lychee before a spiky bitter finish, this is transatlantic fusion running at the fences of lost empires" (source).
  • Creston Copper, $3.89/16oz - "A crisp, clean IPL that is dry hopped with a massive amount of tropical hops" (source).
  • Founders Mosaic Promise, $1.39/12oz - "Mosaic Promise showcases two unique ingredients: Mosaic hops and Golden Promise malt. The versatility of the hop’s pleasing aroma and flavor characteristics and the traditional barley’s depth of flavor comprise this clean, rich, golden beer. We can brew complex beers with the best of them, but we recognize that there is also beauty in simplicity" (source).
  • Lagunitas Dark Swan, $5.19/22oz - "Observers of yestercentury once denied the existence of the Dark Swan as obstinately as flat-earthers once denied the shape of our spherical home. They insisted the species was confined to a singular snowy hue. But there is a fragile futility to such narrowness of thought. The broader of mind understood that light and dark must forever compliment each other as eternal counterpoints. And just as Aristotle convinced us of our circularity, so adventuring ornithologists eventually contradicted the misconception of the monochrome swan, astonishing the world and casting light upon the Dark. This beer may well do the same…" (source).
  • Mikkeller SD Don Graper, $5.49/16oz - "NE Style IPA brewed with Mikkel's Riesling grape juice" (source).
  • Mikkeller SD Mr. Manager, $6.29/16oz - "Double Dry-Hopped NE Style Double IPA" (source).
  • Mikkeller SD Raspberry Blush, $3.29/16oz - "Berliner weiss w/raspberries and Second Craft Ethiopian coffee" (source).
  • Mikkeller SD Staff Magician, $3.49/16oz - "New England style Pale Ale" (source).
  • Odd Side Tangerine Dank Juice, $2.79/12oz - "NEIPA brewed with tangerine" (source).
  • Oscar Blues G'Knight, $1.79/12oz - "Our ‘Velvet M-80’ is a hefty, dry hopped double-red ipa with a nose full of aroma, a sticky mouthfeel, a malty middle and unctuous hop flavors. G’Knight sports a surprisingly sensuous finish for a beer of its size (8.7% ABV, 60 IBUs). It’s brewed in tribute to a fellow Colorado craft beer pioneer and Vietnam vet who died fighting a 2002 wild fire outside of our Lyons hometown" (source).
  • Stone w00tstout 2.0, $3.19/12oz - "In 2013, our CEO and co-founder, Greg Koch, invited two respected fans of craft beer, brewing and all things Stone to develop an intense, inventive beer capable of not only delivering immense flavor, but also serving as a fitting, singular celebration of über-level enthusiasm. Self-proclaimed geeks in a number of arenas, the duo of thespian and renaissance man Wil Wheaton and online news guru Drew Curtis proved up to the challenge, calling on their personal backgrounds to devise an imperial stout brewed with flaked rye, wheat and pecans that was partially aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Shortly after being released, this creation—dubbed “w00tstout” in honor of w00tstock, Wil’s annual tribute festival to cross-genre geekdom—became an instant cult classic. So, despite the fact that Greg spent the first half of 2014 on an international walkabout-style sabbatical, Wil and Drew were invited back to Stone to put a new spin on this threesome-borne beauty. All they needed was a third conspirator, and for that, they called on friend and fellow geek, Aisha Tyler. An actress, talk show host, comedian and author with a flair for individuality, she brought an entire new dimension to the brew day, just as the stone-ground chocolate the trio added to the original w00tstout recipe added delicious depth to the beer. Also brought in to put a personalized stamp on this year’s edition of w00tstout was famed comic artist Dave Gibbons" (source).
  • Watermark Margarita Melon Heads, $4.39/16oz - "Gose w/ Lime & Sea Salt" (source).

Podcast of the Week | In MI Pint, Ep. 1

Siciliano's own Kati Spayde has teamed up with Ben Darcie (Michigan Beer Guy)
on a new beer-themed podcast. Listen here -->> EPISODE 1


No comments:

Post a Comment