International IPA Day

It’s today folks so get on it pronto!!!


Wildcatter Bourbon Aged 8 Years

I found this gem while traveling in Florida and had not seen it elsewhere so when I learned it was from Frank-lin I brought it to the hacienda to give it a shot (pun intended). Wildcatter is aged 8 years and of unknown Kentucky origin and IIRC it was around $35. At 90 proof I found it best with a cube and it was a nice glass, not overly complex, but the cube tamed the beast. The flavor is filled with brown sugar, caramel, spice, earth, char, and leather. I typically find anything from Frank-lin worth of finding a spot in my bar and this bottle did not disappoint. I don’t know at this price point if I will bother with it again because there are more complex Bourbons in the same price point, but if someone offers me a glass I’ll throw in a cube and sit back and relax. If you find it give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

No Sunday Morning Libations For Kure Beach

In a bonehead move Kure Beach has denied Sunday morning alcohol sales. We knew somewhere in North Carolina a governing body would stand on religious principal and the evils of alcohol, but I wouldn’t have suspected it to be a tourist area. It is their prerogative to decide if Sunday morning sales should be allowed to happen, but it is ridiculous to put it in a religious context. Someone should remind them religious organizations meet all the time, not just on Sunday morning. The mayor, Craig Bloszinsky, cited traffic getting worse in town if alcohol sales were to occur beginning at 10am. I guess Craig has realized what I learned long ago, they only put those fish symbols on the back of cars who cannot drive in the first place. I think they have a meeting at church to decide who gets a fish and who doesn’t and they want the highest possible visibility so it goes on the car who drives the worst and is most likely to draw attention to the symbol. I’m kidding of course, but to say it will add to traffic is quite short sighted. People having a bloody with 10am brunch are not apt to get sloshed by noon when the neighborhood churches typically let out. Anyway, I know where I won’t be visiting when planning my next vacation if that is the attitude of Kure Beach. Sounds like they didn’t want visitors there in the first place.


Ommegang Bend The Knee

Finding Ommegang Bend The Knee prior to the first episode of Game of Thrones proved to be a bit of a challenge. Despite numerous Facebook posts by Total Wine announcing the beer, it was MIA at the one closest to my home. Finally I went by one in a different city and they had a large display for the beer so I was able to grab all three labels. The next challenge was deciding which house to consume since I now had a Stark, Targaryen, and Lannister in the fridge. I ultimately went with Lannister and found the 9% ABV to be deceptively smooth and understated. The alcohol was hidden behind a mild flavor of malt and fruitiness which was quite alluring. I’m sure the other two bottles will present the same way, but it will be awhile before I consume them if all goes according to plan. Perhaps another halfway through this season and the third at the end. At any rate, this one is nicely done, keep searching and you should be able to find it.


Ommegang Valar Dohaeris

Tonight begins the new season of Game Of Thrones. To celebrate I cracked open a beer which has been lurking in the fridge since October. It is Ommegang Valar Dohaeris Belgian-style Tripel. It poured with a ridiculous amount of coagulated proteins which made the appearance less than stellar, but luckily the peppery aroma and flavor had a wonderful phenolic which more than made up for the appearance flaw. Valar Doharis means “all men must serve” and they must serve this tripel if they like tripel. This one is quite good and while it may be difficult to find out and about, if one still lurks on the shelf you need to snag it because it is delicious! At 9% ABV it is no slouch so tread lightly and share with a friend. The season begins in a few hours, but this is the perfect beer to enjoy while catching up by binge watching all of season six. Get some if you can.


Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style

I’ve enjoyed the Old Forester lineup of dated Bourbons for the most part. The 1870 Original Batch is a favorite, but 1897 was a step down IMO while others found it superior. The latest in the lineup is 1920 Prohibition Style and this one is a hot mess. At 115 proof I was never able to enjoy this neat and it always required ice to tame the beast. The flavor was good, but to fully enjoy that I first needed to restrain the alcohol. With caramel, chocolate, tobacco, leather, brown sugar, and a light spice this one has quite a bit going on, it would be nice if it was going on at a lower proof and a lower price. At $60 this one is not easy on the wallet. If you are a fan of the series then by all means give this one a whirl. If not, I’m gonna suggest you pass. With a $60 price point there are other Bourbons which more much more enjoyable for a lower cost.


Sunday Morning Drinking – Almost

You may or may not have heard Senate Bill 155, the Brunch Bill, has been sent to Governor Cooper to be signed. This bill was actually entitled ABC Omnibus Legislation and made several changes to the law including the definition of Homebrew. Assuming he signs it quickly that does not mean you get to run out and have a bloody the following Sunday morning. In fact now you will have to wait for your city or perhaps county to allow those sales. Yep, it may be quite some time before you actually can have a Sunday morning libation in a restaurant or bar depending upon when the governing body for each area meets to allow or disallow those sales. I suspect you will be walking into a small town restaurant next year on a Sunday morning and order that mimosa only to be told the town has still not approved those sales. I’m all for big government allowing small cities and towns to be the master of their fate, but I’m also for uniformity, especially when it comes to alcohol. I should be able to expect the same rules in each and every place where it is sold in NC. Anyway, the bill has passed and soon enough the larger cities will jump on the bandwagon. No more waiting until noon to head out to Sunday brunch. Now I can thrown on a hat and have some hair of the dog first thing in the morning.

There are many other tweaks to the law in the bill. The text is available here.


Great Idea BA! Horrible Graphic!

The Brewers Association has rolled out their Independent Craft Brewer seal and I gotta say that is a great idea. On the other hand the graphic kinda sucks. Who had the bright idea to put an upside down bottle on the seal? If you read about it the thought process is craft beer is turning ideas about beer upside down, but who exactly is the target audience with the seal, those who will read about it, or those who may not understand which beers are craft and which are BudMillerCoors? To me the seal is a negative and I expect more than one person to see it the same way and plenty of others who will applaud the seal without truly putting any thought as to the target audience. Go back to the drawing board boys before your members start putting that seal on marketing materials and labels. It isn’t all that and a bag of chips, it is the chip that fell on the floor and you are trying to decide if the five second rule applies and whether or not you should pick it up or throw it in the trash. I vote for throwing in the trash!