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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Blade And Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, it's already the last home game of LSU's season, which has seemed to fly by.  I know this space is primarily for whiskey talk, but I've been really surprised by the success this season.  Obviously losing to Florida and Alabama hurts, but assuming nothing insane happens this weekend LSU football will be a 9 win team with a shot at 10-2 and a new year's day bowl game.  That's far better than I expected going into this season. 

Enough football talk though, how about the whiskey?  Today's selection is the Blade And Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey produced by the legendary Stitzel-Weller distillery.  It's created using a unique "solera" aging process where older whiskey is bottled without draining each barrel, and then the barrels are topped off with the next oldest, which are then topped off with the next oldest, etc., until freshly distilled whiskey is put into oak barrels at the top of the pyramid.  Blade And Bow is released as both a "straight" bourbon and as a 22-year old vintage.  The Bite and Booze crew was sent a sample of the straight bourbon, so... time to give it a try.  

Blade And Bow Straight Kentucky Bourbon

The whiskey pours an amber to brown color, "straight" means it has been aged for at least two years but the solera process means that a lot of the whiskey in the sample could be years older, apparently the oldest barrels in the solera go back to 1992!  The aroma is ripe with oak and vanilla, a hint of plum sweetness, and a bit of spice that makes me think about rye although I'm pretty confident this is a more heavily wheated bourbon.  The burn is minimal, and the aroma is overall very pleasant and inviting.  The taste is an excellent follow through on the pleasant aroma, with notes of fruit, oak, vanilla, honey, and some cinnamon spice as well.  The finish is smooth, and makes this Blade And Bow an excellent neat sip.  

I'd never heard of this brand before, but after giving it a try and learning more about their story, I'd be confident picking up a bottle if I see one out in stores.  And if I ever saw the 22-year, it would be headed straight into my cart.  Cheers!  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof Veterans Voodoo Pale Ale

By Eric Ducote

Hello everyone, welcome to another edition of Feature Beer Friday here at Bite And Booze.  This past Sunday was Veterans Day with the observed holiday falling on this past Monday, so a quick thank you to everyone out there who has served or is serving our country!  In honor of Veterans Day, Tin Roof Brewing (a FBF regular) released a special Veterans Voodoo.  The Veterans Voodoo is the same water/malt/yeast as the regular gold-medal winning Voodoo, but it's hopped with a special Veterans blend of hops from Yakima Chief hops.  

Yakima Chief is donating $3 per pound of the hop blend sold in 2018 to the Semper Fi fund, so Tin Roof buying enough for a full batch of Veterans Voodoo certainly put a good chunk of money into the fund.  The hop blend was selected by veteran-owned breweries and in 2018 features Cashmere, Centennial, Ekuanot, Mosaic, and Simcoe.  Centennial, Mosaic, and Simcoe are all very popular hops in the brewing world, but I'm not as familiar with the Cashmere and Ekuanot.  Cashmere is noted for flavors of melon, lemon, and lime, with a moderate bitterness, and Ekuanot is expected to give off flavors of melon, lemon, apple, papaya, and even green pepper.  

Tin Roof's Veterans Voodoo

I swung by to try this one, and of course brought a crowler home for further research.  The color is the same hazy golden color as regular voodoo, with a frothy white head.  The aroma on this special version is fantastic, with tropical fruit, pine, and citrus all working together extremely well to create an inviting bouquet of hops.  The flavor is delicious as well, with the hops really working well together and the standard malt profile that lets the hops dominate.  The smooth mouthfeel and finish is unchanged, only the hop profile, and I think this hop blend creates a pale ale that's on par with the original.  

A full batch was brewed, and is available on tap and in crowlers in the Tin Roof taproom for a limited time.  There will certainly be plenty left when this drops on Friday morning, but it won't be there forever, so go give it a try.  Cheers! 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Angel's Envy Port Finish

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, it's time for another wakey whiskey, as despite the disappointing loss last week, LSU football is back at it again today, with a lot still on the line.  They still have a good shot at finishing 10-2, playing in a New Year's bowl game, and there's still an outside (very outside) shot at sneaking back into the playoffs.  Now I'm not holding my breath for that playoff shot, but even still it's safe to say the 2018 LSU football season has so far exceeded my expectations.  

For this week's #wakeywhiskey selection I figured I'd check out some of the Bite and Booze samples I've been sitting on.  I had heard of Angel's Envy before, but I don't ever recall trying some, so this is as good of a time as ever, right?  Angel's Envy spirits are made by Louisville Distilling Company, which recently opened a new distillery in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.  This sample, however, was produced in nearby Bardstown, KY. It's aged on average 6 years in fresh charred oak barrels in the bourbon tradition, then finished for 3 to 6 months in French oak port barrels from Portugal.  This additional finishing violates the rules that would allow this to be called a bourbon, but for all intents and purposes it's practically a bourbon.  

Angel's Envy Port Finish

The pour is a copper color, I wasn't really sure if I should expect a little red from the port barrels, but this could be the result of a golden bourbon with a tinge of red port.  The aroma is mostly vanilla and oak, like a bourbon should be, but also some hints of grapes or raisins from the port aging.  The taste is smooth, with slight fruity notes interacting with the char and vanilla from the oak aging, a hint of honey, and incredibly easy to sip neat at room temperature.  The finish is smooth as well, with a hint of sweetness from the port at the end.

I enjoyed this take on bourbon, but I don't know that I'd be running out to buy some more at a ballpark of $50 for a 750ml bottle.  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Port Orleans' GL37SON IPA

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and welcome to another Feature Beer Friday!  This week I'm checking out the GL37SON IPA (as in Steve Gleason, former New Orleans Saint) from Port Orleans Brewing, which is co-owned by former New Orleans Saint Zach Strief.  I've mentioned Port Orleans Brewing before in my post about the New Orleans Beer Tour, but this is the first time I've picked some up in retail packaging. 

The GL37SON IPA is brewed in honor of former Saint Steve Gleason, who has become a famous advocate for people living with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.  It's a standard strength IPA, at 5.8% volume and dry-hopped with around 5 pounds per barrel of Mosaic, Azacca, and Lemondrop hops.  The IPA is served hazy in the New England style, and a portion of the sales of each beer go to Team Gleason for care for people suffering from ALS.

Port Orleans' GL37SON IPA

The beer pours a hazy yellow-gold color with a frothy white head, exactly as expected for the style.  The nose is boldly citrus with faint hints of a little resin in there underneath the strong orange and lemon citrus aroma.  The taste is more of the same, with an underlying malt sweetness that gets easily overpowered by the dry hopping.  The finish is clean, with lingering citrus leaving me wanting more.  

Regardless of the good cause, this is another easy drinking hoppy option for Louisiana drinkers looking for citrus hop flavors.  I wouldn't hesitate to buy some more.  Cheers!    

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Wakey Whisky: Nomad Outland Whisky

By Eric Ducote

Good morning to all you Tiger fans on this beautiful gameday as the Tigers take on the hated team from Alabama.  Last season I tried to get a little superstitious for the Alabama game and try for a whisky that I went into with low expectations, and yeah, LSU lost.  This year I don't have low expectations for this game.  I don't necessarily have high expectations either though, I have no idea how this is going to play out!  (I know that's always true to some degree, but sometimes you just get a feeling...)  So I picked out a whisky (without the 'e' in this case) that I had never tried before and, just like tonight's game, went into it without any expectations.  

Nomad Outland Whisky

For this task, I found a bottle of Nomad Outland Whisky.  It's not technically a scotch, but it's born in Scotland, so they spell whiskey without the 'e' in the Scottish style.  It's a collaboration between master scotch distiller from The Dalmore Richard Paterson (nicknamed "The Nose") and master distiller Antonio Flores of Gonzalez Byass sherry producers in Jerez, Spain.  The whisky starts as a blend of 5 to 8 year old scotch whiskies before being aged for another 3 years in sherry casks, then transferred to Spain for another year of aging in Pedro Ximenez casks.  So this is a minimum of 9 years in the barrel, but probably averaging at least 10.  It's bottled in Spain (hence it's labeled as 'Outland Whisky' rather than scotch) at 82.6 proof.  Now on to the spirit... 

The color is a clear amber, very appealing in the bottle and in the glass.  The nose is potent with oak, a little peat, and definite fruity sherry notes.  The taste is smooth and complex, with peat notes, sweet malt, vanilla from the oak, raisin and plum flavors, all blended together expertly.  The finish is more fruit notes and this one goes down easy.  I didn't have any expectations going into this pour, but it's honestly one of the best whiskies I've tried in a while.  It's a multi-faceted complex and delicious spirit, and if the Tigers can exceed expectations tonight the same way this "Outland Whisky" did, then we're in for a great game.

Geaux Tigers!  (And be sure to look for Jay and the Bite and Booze team on today's College Gameday on ESPN!)