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Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Beer Friday, Bourbon Trail Edition (December 14)

Buffalo Trace
This past November Steve and Barb took a road trip down through Kentucky and North Carolina. The following is a narrative of their visits to Frankfort and four stops on the Bourbon Trail. Go here to read about the first leg of their journey.

Preamble by Steve Siciliano


Apparently whatever was going on in that upstairs room in that seedy motel didn’t go on all night because we woke up rested and ready for our day of Bourbon tasting. After scoping out the pathetic complimentary breakfast — anemic looking bagels, white bread for toast and a selection of cold cereal — we hightailed it to the Big Boy down the road for some rib-sticking fare. After fueling up on eggs, sausage, bacon, toast and coffee we were ready to hit the road. Stop one on our itinerary was the Buffalo Trace distillery.

The first thing I noticed when we pulled into the visitors parking lot of the sprawling Buffalo Trace campus was the soot-black stains on the outside walls of the ancient brick rick houses. The stains are caused by Baudoinia compniacensis, a black fungus that has a taste for airborne alcohol. Baudoinia forms on virtually anything in the environs of a distillery and is nourished by the Angel’s Share, the worldwide term for the alcohol that evaporates from barrels during the maturation process.

Four Roses
In 2012 a group of Louisville property owners filed a class action suit against five area distilleries claiming that the fungus was hurting their property values. The suit was dismissed in 2017. While each of the tour guides at the four distilleries we visited talked briefly about the black stains, none of them mentioned the lawsuit. Bubba (his real name), the guide at Wild Turkey, acknowledged that the staining was an ongoing issue but tersely sloughed it off. “Distilleries were here before the property owners,” he growled.

Each of the tours provided similar information about the distilling process but they were also uniquely different. Buffalo Trace had the most impressive facility (those spotless ancient buildings), Four Roses the most rustic (cobwebs in the ceilings above the open wood fermenters), Woodford Reserve had the best sampling (Bourbon paired with chocolate) and Wild Turkey has a nice cash bar that mixed up some tasty cocktails. Each distillery has a gift shop that offers a selection of their respective wares. I picked up a bottle of Blanton’s at Buffalo Trace and now I wish I had picked up a couple more. Siciliano’s hasn’t been able to get it in months and it’s a damn fine bourbon.

Open fermentors at Woodford Reserve
After touring the Wild Turkey facility, our last stop of the day, Barb and I sat in the bar sipping very good Manhattans while we searched on our phones for a spot for dinner. Barb found a Mexican restaurant in downtown Frankfort that looked promising but after peering through the plate glass window we decided to keep walking and went back to Bourbon on Main. When we returned to our seedy motel I made a couple of nightcaps and we lay in bed watching Animal Planet while listening to the sounds of another party coming from that upstairs room.

“I hope that doesn’t go on all night,” Barb said, reprising her sentiments from the previous evening. We wanted a good night’s sleep because in the morning we were heading to Asheville.

New and Returning Beer

  • Blackrocks 51k Azaccanot, $2.19/12oz - "Experimental variation on 51K IPA. Dry hopped with Azacca and Ekuanot hops. Bright aromas of melon, guava, pine and more" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Siracusa, $4.59/12oz - "Combining a roasty Imperial Stout with a jammy Syrah wine, this beer is bold and complex. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate and anise from a blend of roasted malts meld with flavors of plums, cherries and stewed fruits from Syrah grape must in this jet black stout. Aged on American oak to add some light toasty vanilla to the mix" (source).
  • Evil Twin Bozo, $9.99/16oz - "This is a really strong beer and we wanted to put it in small bottles but the two bozos were so fat they couldn't fit on the label. Enjoy this rich, ridiculous and screwball-ish Imperial Stout with hints of: molasses, lactose, chocolate, almond, hazelnut, vanilla bean, cinnamon, oak spiral, chili, marshmallow, muscovado sugar, chestnut and coffee. Made for Bozos" (source).
  • Evil Twin Hot Toddy-ish, $5.49/16oz - "Blond Barleywine" (source).
  • Evil Twin Saigon Selfie Scooter, $3.79/16oz - "Vietnamese style coffee stout. Rich, thick mouthfeel gives way to lush sweetness with hints of coffee character followed by notes of cream, toffee, and vanilla" (source).
  • Evil Twin The Pure and Simple, $3.79/16oz - "Session IPA" (source).
  • Evil Twin This IPA is Kind of a Big Deal, $5.49/16oz - "Double dry hopped DIPA brewed with raw wildflower honey" (source).
  • Evil Twin Wet Dream, $2.99/16oz - "This is truly a beautiful brown ale boosted with a delightful aroma of citrus, spice and gourmet Keini, Kenya Beans from The Coffee Collective, Copenhagen - the result is amazing, lusty and incoherent – yes, it’s your wildest desires in a bottle. Close your eyes and let the drops do the talking. Enjoy y’all" (source).
  • Evil TwinBA Maple Even More Jusus, $24.99/22oz - "Imperial stout aged in bourbon-flavoured maple syrup barrels" (source).
  • Fat Orange Cat Bloody Orange Billy, $5.69/16oz - "The blend of Azacca and Mosaic hops bring out orange notes and coupled with blood orange puree creates a strong grapefruit flavor" (source).
  • Fat Orange Cat She Drives a Plymouth Satellite, $5.69/16oz - "Galaxy, Simcoe and Citra hops" (source).
  • Foundation Afterglow, $4.49/16oz - "Afterglow is an American IPA, rich in West Coast and South Pacific hop flavors and aroma. The juicy malt base enhances the notes of tangerine, pine, and berries from the hops. It finishes with a pleasingly dank and firm bitterness" (source).
  • Foundation Epiphany, $4.79/16oz - "Citrus, tropical fruit and pine blend to provide you with a sublimely juicy hop experience" (source).
  • New Holland Dragon's Milk Orange Chocolate, $4.89/12oz - "Roasty notes of Dragon’s Milk blended with the zestiness of real orange peel and the richness of cocoa" (source).
  • Odd Side Java Mint Chip, $2.39/12oz - "Craving ice cream? This stout will ease your taste buds. It the perfect marriage of mint-chocolate-chip-ice cream and roasted coffee" (source).
  • Perrin Kingdom of Tonga, $2.49/12oz - "The vanilla beans used in this beer come from... you guessed it: The Kingdom of Tonga. Tonga has over 170 islands and is located in the South Pacific. The taste profile is much different than our former Vanilla Porter. Those beans were sweeter; whereas the profile of these beans consists more of fig and raisin . Chocolate and coffee notes (with a subtle caramel touch) set this beer off while the vanilla beans lead into a delightfully dry finish" (source).
  • Pigeon Hill Cinna Gram on French Toast, $6.39/12oz (2 per) - "What happens when you throw Your Mom On French Toast in barrels from Journeyman Distillery and let them soak up the whisky goodness for several months? Your Grandma On French Toast. That’s What Happens" (source).
  • Pigeon Hill S'mores Beast, $4.89/12oz (4 per) - "Imperial Stout + Chocolate + Vanilla + Graham Cracker = S'More Goodness In Your Cup" (source).
  • Right Brain Looping Owl, $4.19/12oz - "Amber ale aged in whiskey barrels. Sophisticated. Surprising. Tasty. Our Looping Owl is a medium bodied Amber Ale, brewed with Maris Otter Malt and Northern Brewer & Golding Hops, then aged in Grand Traverse Distillery Whiskey Barrels. A masterfully balanced and satisfying flavor with a slight ’whiskey kick’ and surprising hint of Oak. The owl may be the wisest bird in the forest, but even he needs to kick back and take a break every once in a while" (source).
  • Rising Tide Back Cove Pilsner, $3.79/16oz - "Back Cove is a North German-style pilsner fermented with kellerbier yeast. Harmoniously balanced, with hints of orchard fruit, clean malt and earthy bitterness" (source).
  • Rising Tide Cutter, $3.99/16oz - "In a sea of IPAs, Cutter stands tall. This imperial IPA sails with citrus and tropical fruit aromas and a balanced hoppy finish. Big, bold, and beautiful" (source).
  • Rising Tide Zephyr, $3.99/16oz - "Refreshing like a westerly breeze, Zephyr is a pleasantly balanced IPA with waves of citrus. A modern classic" (source).
  • Short's Superfluid, $2.19/12oz - "Superfluid is an American Double India Pale Ale that explodes with a perfume of resiny hop aromas! A simple malt bill allows the hops to shine with flavors of coconut, pineapple, and tropical fruit. The perfect bitterness resonates across the palate, complementing the awesome hop intensity within" (source).

Video of the Week | Dragon's Milk


The Orange Chocolate version of Dragon's Milk is now available at Siciliano's.

Cheers!

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