Friday, September 25, 2009

Travis Hasse's Apple Pie Liqueur

In rural Missouri you can step into any tavern and upon request ask the bartender for their homemade version of apple pie liqueur. This is the case with tavern owner Travis Hasse who joined the tradition by blending a rich mash of fruit and spices with neutral grain spirits. The result is this 40 proof liqueur really does taste like apple pie, with a kick of coarse. This recipe blends neutral grain spirits with apple juice, cinnamon, as well as, other baking spices which produces a tasty libation that has intense aromas and flavors of baked apples and cinnamon. This is a keeper for cocktail mixing and can be served warm or cold. Apple Pie Martini: pour 6-8 oz. Apple Pie Liqueur and 1 oz. premium vodka into a martini shaker, strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with crushed graham crackers and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2007 Vina Alarba Old Vines Grenache

This has been one of my favorite go-to reds for the past year or so. Something I like to keep around the house for when I want a glass of red without going into something that has more prestige or is at a higher price. Spanish Grenache, most commonly know as Garnacha, I find to be some of the most versatile wines on the market, they are not to heavy, not to light, have good fruit and lovely hints of spice and earth. This wine pours a great deep ruby color with extraordinary aromas of raspberry and kirsch liqueur. The palate is medium bodied with flavors of cherries and raspberries with hints of licorice, black pepper and minerals. A great wine at a great price!

Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Belgium Hoptober Golden Ale

Once again another new seasonal beer from New Belgium. This Hoptober (not to be confused for an Oktoberfest style) will be released as their fall seasonal. This Golden Ale is comprised of five hops (Centennial, Cascade, Sterling, Willamette, and Glacier) and four malts, in which the pale and wheat malts are mashed together with rye and oats. The beer pours with clear golden color and foamy white head with aromas of citrus. Flavors of grapefruit very prevalent throughout the palate with a slight hint orange. The finish is crisp and dry but is short lived. Overall this new seasonal from New Belgium was okay, but really it reminded me of a water downed IPA.
$8/ 6-pack bottles

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2008 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel

Seghesio Family Vineyards produces some of the best Zinfandels on the market. Last year the 2007 vintage received 93 points from Wine Spectator and was ranked #10 in the Top 100 Wines of 2008. Because of this press the wine disappeared quickly off the market so be sure to snag a few bottles of the 2008 vintage before they are all gone. The nose is loaded with berries with notes of licorice and spice that lead into a full bodied layered palate. Surprisingly the palate shows elegance and balance especially when considering the huge amount of alcohol that lies beneath the surface. The finish is long lasting and tannic with hints of dark chocolate starting to show. This wine is absolutely delicious and is everything I think of when drinking Californian Zinfandel.

Rating: 9.2 out of 10

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stone Brewery Vertical Epic 09/09/09

On 9-9-09 Stone brewery released the eighth edition of their Vertical Epic Series exactly 1 year, 1 month and 1 day from the previous years release. These beers are built and designed to be aged until sometime after 12-12-2012, but good luck keeping your hands off of it. This years release is a Belgium style ale brewed with spices and is in fact a complex and layered beer. This beer pours toasty brown color with a creamy caramel colored head. Aromas of vanilla, chocolate and citrus leap out of the glass and make the first sip intriguing. Smooth chocolate malts meld well with the Belgium yeast giving it slight banana flavor and hints of baking spice. The addition of tangerine peel balances the palate with notes citrus. The finish is smooth and lingering with additional flavors of vanilla and toasty french oak.
$7/22oz. Bomber

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Appleton Estate VX Rum

On my recent trip to Jamaica the only thing that made the heat and humidity tolerable was sipping on the Appleton Estate VX Blended Rum. A huge step up in quality from their basic Appleton Special Gold Rum, the VX is a blended rum comprised of various types of rum that are aged between 5 and 10 years, blended in oak vats and aged for a few more months in oak. The end result is rum that is somewhere between a white and dark rum with aromas of molasses, brown sugar and vanilla. The flavors of maple syrup are balanced with oak which tones down the sweetness of this rum while adding citrus and nutty flavors. The finish is creamy, mellow and dry but is long lasting just enough for you to get to your next sip. This is an excellent introduction into the aged rum category that doesn't break the bank.

Rating: 9.1 out of 10