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Friday, November 7, 2014

New Beer Friday, The Big Easy Edition (November 7)

Steve in New Orleans, LA
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Whenever Harry Winston gets back in town he stops by Siciliano's and we make plans to meet up at our favorite tavern. If no one’s on the pool table those nights we might play a couple of games of eight ball and if the dart board is open we might throw a game or two of cricket. Mostly though we sit at the corner booth and drink a few beers and Harry gives me the low down on his latest travels. The last time I saw him he had just returned from another trip to New Orleans.

“I can’t believe you were in New Orleans again,” I said after we sat down with our Two Hearteds. “You seeing a woman down there?”

“Nope, no woman. I’m in love with that city.”

“As much as you go you must love it a lot.”

“I do,” he said. “I think it’s one the most interesting cities in the world.”

“More interesting than Rio?” I asked.

“Much more,” he said.

“San Francisco?”

“No comparison.”

I tried to think of some of the more exotic places Harry has been. “More than Cairo, Singapore, Casablanca, Istanbul, Mexico City and Tierra del Fuego?”

“Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.”

“What’s so special about New Orleans?”

“There’s just something about it that’s hard to put into words.”

“Try,” I said.

He sat thinking for a moment while he finished off his pint. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve then motioned to Sam for two more beers. “Okay,” he said. “I love being on Bourbon Street in the morning when there’s no one awake and you have to walk down the middle of the narrow street because they’re hosing the sidewalks. I love walking in the Quarter when it’s bustling in the heat of the afternoon and cooling off in some of those hole in the wall saloons on Royal that are so dark you can’t make out the words on the tap handles. I love the Quarter at night when the neon is lit and there’s a damp breeze coming off the river and there’s gutter punks and street performers on every stoop and music coming from every juke joint on Decatur and Frenchmen.

“I love the architecture. The townhouses in the French Quarter with their cast iron railings, the shotgun shacks and Creole cottages in the Faubourg Marigny and the Bywater and the Irish Channel and the way the sidewalks in those old neighborhoods are all heaved and slanted because of the tree roots. I love riding up and down St. Charles on the streetcar and looking at the antebellum mansions in the Garden District.

“I love the food. The jambalaya, the shrimp creole, the gumbo, the po boys and the red beans and rice. I love drinking Sazeracs and Ramos Gin Fizzes in the bars in the Monteleone and Roosevelt hotels. I love sitting on a bench in the Riverfront just as the sun is going down and watching the big cargo ships making their way around the sharp bend in the Mississippi at Algiers Point.”

While Harry was talking he had the dreamy look of a man who was reciting the qualities of his lover.

“It does sound like a pretty fascinating city,” I said.

“It’s hard to put into words,” he said again. “You just need to get down there and see it for yourself.”

“I’ll put it on my list.”

“Put it at the top of the list,” Harry said.

Before we left the bar that night I assured him that I would.

New and Returning Beer

  • Brash Urban Achiever, $15.49/22oz - "Barrel Aged Smoglifter Stout" (source).
  • Victory Moving Parts, $8.19/22oz - "We like to mix it up. New flavors, new ideas, new ingredients; we welcome them all. In celebration of our penchant for prolific experimentation, we present Moving Parts: The Ever-Evolving IPA. Each release in this series (every four months) celebrates a tweaked ingredient or two, creating an endless array of possible flavor profiles. For us, Moving Parts are a good thing" (source).
  • Founders Backwoods Bastard, $3.89/12oz - "Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice, and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, $1.69/12oz - "Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale represents a time honored tradition of brewing a special beer for the holiday season. There are generous portions of barley malts and fine whole hops of several varieties, creating a brew with a full, rich and hearty character" (source).
  • Bells Christmas Ale, $1.89/12oz - "The basic inspiration for Bell's Christmas Ale was to create a sessionable holiday beer, using locally grown malt, which would stand apart from the array of spiced winter warmers that are typically introduced this time of year. In contrast to many other seasonals, Christmas Ale doesn't contain any spices: all of the dry, toasted notes & subtle toffee flavors come from the 100% Michigan-grown barley, custom malted by Briess Malting, while a blend of hops from Michigan & the Pacific Northwest lend earthy, herbal aromas. At 5.5% ABV, it stands as a smooth, highly drinkable beer intended to complement holiday menus, not overshadow them" (source).
  • New Holland Cabin Fever, $1.79/12oz - "Cabin Fever is a roasty brown ale and a hearty, comforting companion for long, mind-bending winters" (source).
  • Finch Pig In The Wood, $12.59/22oz - "A deep red malt-forward ale brewed with plenty of caramel malts and a touch of rye. Brewed and dry-hopped with Palisade and Zythos hops and aged for over six months in Koval barrels, a local Chicago distillery" (source).
  • Dark Horse 4 Elf, $2.19/12oz - "A spiced Winter Warmer brewed with nutmeg, clove, allspice and other holiday flavors" (source).
  • Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Wild Ale, $1.99/12oz - "Another Big Sister of the Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale…. Loads of Malted Wheat for a Curious Malt Foundation and a Light Color, But Our Belgian Yeast Leaves a Huge Flavor and Complexishness" (source).
  • Greenbush Remnant of Dragon, $3.49/12oz - "Imperial red IPA" (source).
  • Saugatuck Serrano Pepper Ale, $2.59/12oz - "An amber ale spiced with fresh Serrano Peppers, pleasing to both the nose and palate. A great beer for casual enjoyment and perfect for food pairing" (source).
  • Traveler Jolly Traveler Winter Shandy, $1.69/12oz - "Driven by a desire to embrace all things wintry, the Jolly Traveler warms the spirit during the months when it’s needed most. Embracing the flavors of the season, Jolly is the first-ever winter shandy with notes of orange, pomegranate and spice" (source).
  • Southern Tier 2XMAS, $1.99/12oz - "Double spiced ale brewed in the tradition of Swedish Glögg" (source).
  • Left Hand Warrior IPA, $6.69/22oz - "
  • Brewed only once a year with fresh hops hand-picked in Longmont, CO and Warrior hops straight off the vine from Yakima, WA. 
  • Warrior is brewed using a unique style called 'Wet Hopping,' which requires only hops that are no more than a day from the vine. 'Wet Hopping' imparts only a mild aroma, but an exceptionally fresh unfiltered hop flavor" (source).

New and Returning Spirits

  • Journeyman Old Country Goodness, $18.99/1000ml - "The taste is in the secret. Let your imagination run wild with this apple cider liqueur to excite your taste buds from a recipe passed down generations ago" (label).
  • Buffalo Trace Buffalo Cream, $19.99/750ml (limit 2) - "
  • Bourbon Cream is handcrafted using Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon, making it a perfect marriage of rich delicious cream and smooth Kentucky bourbon. You can enjoy it chilled, on the rocks, or pour it in a cup of coffee for an indulgent after dinner treat. This liqueur is rich and sweet. The smooth taste of Buffalo Trace Bourbon compliments the creamy vanilla flavor" (source).
  • Glenglassaugh Torfa, $74.99/750ml - "Glenglassaugh Torfa, with its smoky, peaty, phenolic nature, is a unique expression and quite different to the usual type of whisky produced in the Highlands. Torfa has a brooding, edgy character whose personality is to be found at the darker end of the spectrum. Its name takes its inspiration from the Old Norse language with which the Scots dialect spoken in North East Scotland has an affinity and translates to 'turf' or 'peat'" (source).
  • Glenglassaugh Evolution, $79.99/750ml - "Glenglassaugh Evolution is created by maturing the whisky in a unique combination of the finest hand-picked ex-Tennessee first-fill whiskey barrels. This expression shows great depth of character and finesse, a harmonious combination of whisky and oak. Bottled at 50%, natural colour and non chill filtered, Evolution represents the heart of Glenglassaugh’s distinctive personality, and indeed the landscape in which it is set" (source).
  • Glenglassaugh Revivial, $67.99/750ml - "The Revival is the first expression released from Glenglassaugh distillery after being mothballed for more than 20 years. The Glenglassaugh Revival has been matured in a balanced mix of ex-red wine and fresh bourbon casks, vatted and re-racked for double maturation in rich sherry casks. Bottled at 46%, non chill filtered and of natural colour, Revival is a stunning Highland single malt with a coastal charm" (source).

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