Last night, beer-club. The new things we had: Stone Coffee Milk Stout, Aged Belgian Yeti from Great Divide (Bottled 2012), Prairie Artisan Ales Birra, a farmhouse Ale, and New Holland Brewing’s Dragon’s Milk; a Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, and finally the Tripel from River North Brewing. We bought two cases of the brewery-released Belgian Yeti; full review to follow, but it’s nice, the Stone is eminently forgettable, the Prairie was the outright best, the Dragon’s Milk was big, boozy and a little wild; will need to lay some down for a year or two, and the River North was, ok.
GRILLED PINEAPPLE MOJITOServes 6 to 8Ingredients:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 bunch of fresh mint, about 1 1/2 tightly packed cups, washed and divided
- 6 (1/2-inch) slices of grilled pineapple, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (see Recipe Note)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 1/2 cups light rum
- 1 liter club soda, chilled
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and half the mint. Simmer over medium high heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Strain and chill.
- In a large pitcher, combine most of the pineapple, the rest of the mint and a splash of the lime juice. (Reserve 6 to 8 pieces of pineapple for garnish.) Muddle to release the aromas of the mint and smash the pineapple. Add the simple syrup, the rest of the lime juice, the rum and club soda and stir.
- Pour into 6 to 8 ice-filled glasses and garnish each with a piece of grilled pineapple.
- Grilled Pineapple: Grill the pineapple for 3 minutes per side over medium high to high heat, just until browned and caramelized
- It’s a little time consuming to squeeze a cup of fresh lime juice but it’s so worth it. Bottled lime juice has a chemical aftertaste that will take away from the fresh and bright flavors of your drink.
Brooklyn Silver Anniversary Lager 1988-2013. 9% ABV. (The bottle says 9%, the website says 8.6%)
C: A hazy, orange amber, with a rich antique-white head which dissipates slowly and leaves no lacing.
N: Fruity, a little boozy. apricots and prunes in brandy.. wonderful!
T: Curious: as I lift the glass to drink, I am sure what it’s going to taste like; the promise of a rich, big Belgian beer flows through my mind. Then the beer hits my tongue, and it’s a lot lighter than anticipated. Instead, a rich Vienna style lager unfolds, with sweetness as its first calling card. Up front, the sweetness and some fruitiness linger, but further back, a balanced hop bitterness comes to the fore. Every time I take a sip, I fill my lungs with the gorgeous smell of this beer; it’s lovely! The mouthfeel is silky, and fairly rich for a lager, but I expected that. The fruit and the bitterness play with one another on your tongue. It’s not a fight; more mermaids playing tag… The issue of winning is unimportant; things stay balanced and you can call either flavor to the fore in your mind. The finish is light, effervescent and balanced. As it warms, the nose takes on a rich note of molasses, which is heavenly.. This is a subtle, but fairly big beer, with the booze present but controlled. The nose is still bigger than the brew, but that is perfectly OK! A very good beer for what it is, but I can’t help but wish it was somehow… just… more!
OK, I am vacillating; just now, it is lovely all round. The warming makes it gel a bit, and it all falls into place; Subtlety, balance and quality: A fine threnody indeed!! Cheers Brooklyn Brewing, may you continue brewing great beer for another 25 years!!
We are saluting our beginnings with a special doppelbock version of the Brooklyn Lager we introduced in 1988. This beer is re-fermented in the bottle and will taste great today or years from now. The original was inspired by the beers of 19th Century New York and Vienna.
SPEC SHEET: (again, from the website)
Style: Brooklyn Lager Intensified (Doppelbock)
Malts: German Two-row Pilsner, American Two-row Pilsner, Munich and Caramel malt
Hops: Hallertauer Mittelfrüh and Saphir, Cascade, Willamette
Yeast: Our House Lager Yeast
Alcohol by Volume: 8.6%
Original Gravity: 19.2° Plato
Food Pairings: Steaks, chops, grilled meats, mushrooms, big gruyères, aged cheddar, Parmigiano Reggiano
Availability: 750mL cork-finished bottles: four unique labels released throughout 2013
2 oz. blended Scotch
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. honey-ginger syrup
1/4 0z. Laphroaig (floater)
Combine and shake w ice.
Add floater and a candied ginger garnish
Upslope No 3 Brown Ale. Upslope Brewing Co, Boulder CO. 6.7% ABV. 45 IBU.
“Our medium-bodied Brown Ale is brewed in the English tradition, with an infusion of American creativity. The rich, malty backbone balances an assertive hop character, and ends with a smooth, dry finish. Our Brown Ale boasts a dark brown body that supports a creamy tan head.”
I still think of Upslope Brewing as a new brewery, but since they sold their first commercial beer in 2008, the US in general, and Colorado in particular, have completely exploded, and new breweries are hitting our store-shelves every week. It is truly a wonderful time to be a beer lover! Upslope now make 5 year-round brews, and 5 seasonals. At the tap-room there are other experimental brews available. The Brown carries number 3, it being the third beer to be launched. It pours an expected clear brown, with hints of red. The head is nicely light-brown, dissipates fairly fast, and leaves some lacing. The nose is perfect, with unmistakable brown malts, roasty and sweet. Hints of some hops are also evident. The taste starts out the same way, but quickly dries up into a more American Brown; the hops take a step forward to balance things up, and they do a great job. There is also a quite present taste of coffee and some chocolate, but none was used to brew this beer. No. 3 teeters on the brink, enough that we always remember that it’s a brown, but it keeps things from falling into a sweet messy soup. This is an uncomplicated beer with not the greatest depth, but that isn’t the point: It is very drinkable, very tasty and very balanced. This is everything an American Brown Ale should be. If you want complicated, you’ll have to pay more. For the price, this is, in my humble opinion, one of Upslope’s most successful beers, and one of the best Brown Ale’s I’ve had. Cheers!
A classic daiquiri…
Dale DeGroff’s Añejo Highball
The Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow was the first platinum blonde that brought sexuality to the Hollywood scene. Her short career was highlighted by her starring roles in Red Dustwith Clark Gable andLibeled Lady with Spencer Tracy. Harlow’s untimely death at only 26 years old caused her to miss out on what could have been her biggest role, that which was filled by Fay Wray in King Kong.
This drink named after her is a simple sweet rum martini, supposedly a favorite of the actress.
Footnote: I make mine a Perfect Jean Harlow; i.e. 50/50 sweet and dry Martini. Room for experiments!