Tag Archives: rye

Review: Angel’s Envy Rye whiskey finished in rum casks

AE RYE BOTTLE SHOT

 I’ll be frank: one of the most fun things about running a blog about drinking is that I get a chance to try some great things that I wouldn’t normally get. The new Angel’s Envy falls squarely in that category. This newly released take from the Louisville Distilling Company on the original (bourbon finished in port barrels) heads in a new direction by moving to a 95% rye bill and then finishing the whiskey in Caribbean rum casks for up to 18 months. It’s bottled at 100 proof (higher than the original AE’s 86.6 proof) and a bottle will set you back roughly $70 (about a $30 premium on the original AE). I’m a huge fan of the original Angel’s Envy, which I feel is a great, unique change of pace from most offerings and is executed very well. Because of that, I jumped at the chance to review the new offering.

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Quaff Bros.’ Manhattan Project

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Sometimes craft beer is weird. Brewers of beer (or at least craft beer) are an inherently creative bunch. With brewers, like bakers, chefs, and pretty much anyone else who uses their noggins to turn a concept into a finished product, you’ll find that the concept itself is often as important as the process that leads to the finish product. And boy, oh boy, do the Quaff Bros. have some concepts. Strong – sour – barrel aged – stout- wheat – IPA, their creations run the gamut. I thought Sour Grapes (check out my review) was weird, but apparently I had seen nothing yet.

Obviously, following a sour brown ale aged in bourbon barrels with wine grapes (yep), they release a beer that attempts to mimic a classic cocktail. Manhattan Project is a rye beer, aged in rye whiskey barrels with maraschino cherries and bitters. Like I said, craft beer is weird.

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Learning About Beer: Ingredients

In a world where most food is filled with High Fructose Corn Syrup, Erythritol, Zinc Picolinate, and  brominated vegetable oil things can get confusing, scary, and mostly hard to pronounce. Luckily beer is the opposite of all that craziness. Most styles of beer rely on 4 ingredients; water, malt, hops, and yeast. I’m gonna take a look at what those are and what else might pop up in other styles.

Disclaimer: This is only meant as a brief introduction and I may have misunderstood the role of some things.

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Beer Review: Rivertown Hop Bomber

After drinking stouts all week it’s nice to get back to more familiar territory. I’ve had Rivertown’s Hop Bomber on numerous occasions but have never given it a review on this site or an overwhelming amount of thought. It’s been easy to drink this without too much thought because it’s a good session beer. It’s not too outstanding in anyway but not to mild to be noticeable disappointing. While I do take issue with the name I do love this beer. Time to get drinking!

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Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar

Bourbon* and I are old friends. We first got to know each other back in my 20’s and we’ve been enjoying each other’s company ever since. Of course at first I thought bourbon was a little out of my league. I was intimidated by his reputation and some of his friends seemed a little cooler-than-thou if you know what I mean. But the more I get to know him, the more I liked bourbon. Sure we’ve had our ups and downs but I’ve forgiven him for the hangover from my 30th birthday and he’s forgotten all about how I used to mix him with coke.

If you have yet to become acquainted with bourbon I can recommend no better place than the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar on Main Street in Covington. This week marked my second visit to Molly Wellman’s new bar, dedicated to showcasing American whiskey of all kinds, but there is obviously a heavy focus on bourbon. The OKBB is small, clean, and modern looking on the inside. At no point during either of my visits was the bar crowded. That is probably because this is not really a bar in the typical sense of the word. It is hard to imagine a group of friends piling into the OKBB to mindlessly enjoy drinks while chatting about their week, let alone going there to pound back shots and get rowdy. This is not so much a bar as it is a museum that showcases one of the true American art forms: bourbon.  You go to the OKBB to be educated and if you come out with a buzz, that’s just a happy coincidence.

A flight of rye whiskey at the OKBB.

I realize that this description is going to put off the vast majority of people reading it but I encourage you to give it a try anyway. The bartenders are incredibly knowledgable about the entire process of making, drinking, and mixing whiskey but they are also very approachable. On my first visit I was brought a tiny little cup of spring water and the bartender clearly read my confusion when he set it down next to my drink. He kindly asked if I would like a glass of water for drinking in addition to the one for mixing. If you don’t like the taste of whiskey by itself the staff knows many excellent cocktails, like the Horse’s Neck or the Manhattan, to give you a taste without overwhelming you. But if you do already enjoy bourbon this is a great location for discovering new things. On my first trip I got to try a selection of much older bourbon than I could usually afford. On this last trip I tried a flight of rye whiskey, something I’d had little experience with in the past.  In addition to the top shelf bottles, the bartender was also very helpful in pointing out some good “everyday” bourbon that were surprisingly strong for their price. The quite atmosphere, talkative staff, and chance for trying new things together also makes the OKBB ideal for a date night.

And speaking of price, that does bring us to the main downside of the OKBB and the reason why, despite my love of bourbon, I’ve only been there twice. It is not a cheap place. As I said earlier, this is not somewhere you go to get drunk. The pours have been described as small considering that they tend to start around $6 and quickly go up to $9 or more. In this case I think it is clear that you are paying for the knowledge of the staff as much as for the whiskey itself. It is a great place to go and invest a little money in order to increase you knowledge and to try small portions of expensive delights but it is something I save it for a special occasion.

*I was reluctant to give bourbon a gender but the flow of the writing required it. So I went with the masculine but I think that an equally strong case can be made for going with the feminine. You can hear more about my trip to OKBB on last week’s episode of The Charlie Tonic Hour.

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Beer Review: Founders Tap Takeover

The following are my thoughts from the Founders “tap takeover” at the Moerlein Lager house. I say “tap takeover” since only the All Day & Red’s Rye were on tap, everything else was poured out of bottles. Also these aren’t as in depth as my usual reviews due to the nature of the sampling process and the possible alterations the Moerlein pretzels could have on my palate (by the way, if you haven’t had the pretzels at the lager house you must! They are fantastical).

Lastly before we get to the reviews, if you missed out on the lager house action last night don’t fret. Next Thursday at the Burgers and beer event at the Party Source they’ll have KBS on draft + growler fills. If you’re reading this it’s safe to say you like good beer and so I must enthusiastically tell you to get to the Party Source and try the KBS, I may be there just trying to get a growler fill of it.

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New local beer alert: Hoppin’ Frog Hopped Up Goose Juice Rye IPA

Looks like we have another beer on the loose soon from Akron’s Hoppin’ Frog. This Rye IPA is 7% ABV and, like the rest of Hoppin’ Frog’s beers, will be sold in 22oz bottles.

From the label:

“American hops dominate this Rye I.P.A, creating an assertive citrus and passion fruit character. An old-world flavor from rye malt adds the perfect compliment to Goose Juice’s big, satisfying hop flavor and aroma. Originally home-brewed by our beloved brewer Goose, its wonderful combination of flavors inspired us to brew this specialty I.P.A.”

(H/T to BeerPulse)

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