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Friday, August 10, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Eel River's Raven's Eye Imperial Stout

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone on another beautiful Friday!  Today's feature beer is coming from Eel River Brewing out of Humboldt County, California.  Eel River operates two facilities out there, a brewing and packaging facility as well as a brewpub and tasting room.  Eel River Brewing has been around for a good while, over 20 years, and has been distributed locally in limited quantities for many years as well.  I've never seen any of their flagships pop up, but I do often see the Raven's Eye Imperial Stout on shelves and used to drink plenty of it, always finding it to be one of the best offerings of the style regularly available.  I saw bombers of the 2018 Raven's Eye and the 2018 Triple Exultation Barleywine at Rouse's for $5.99 each, I didn't hesitate to grab one of each.  You can probably guess now what next week's feature beer is going to be... 

The Raven's Eye Imperial Stout is listed at 9.5% abv and 28.5 IBU, described by Eel River as, "Bold and creamy, with hints of dark chocolate and espresso, this roasty brew is balanced by aromas reminiscent of molasses and plums. Warm, festive and strong, Raven's Eye is also quite smooth."

Eel River's Raven's Eye Imperial Stout

The pour is exactly what an Imperial Stout should look like, a viscous dark brown with a frothy off-white head.  The aroma is boozy with chocolate flavors and hints of plum.  The taste is similar, roasty with more chocolate notes and definitely dark fruit flavors.  (I actually wrote those tasting notes in my phone before I looked at Eel River's own description!)  This is a full-bodied full-flavored fantastic Imperial stout at a great price.

If you see this one around town, don't hesitate, and if you see it at as good of a price as I found, you might want to buy one or two to age as well, as I could see this getting even better over time.  Cheers! 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Roasted Carrot Hummus

by Liz Courville

This recipe for Roasted Carrot Hummus, inspired by Gov’t Taco’s “Magna Carrot” taco, is a fun and simple twist on something that’s delicious, nutritious and impressive. If you’re looking to spice up your hummus life (and you should be) – this recipe will be a hit! 

This hummus is savory, but slightly sweet at the same time thanks to the natural sweetness that the roasting brings out in the carrot. The Jay D’s Coffee/Chile Rub compliments the slightly sweet carrots, while adding a unique, spicy twist that in turn adds to the depth of flavor. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Roasted Carrot Hummus

vegan, gf

1 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed well
1 cup carrots, thinly chopped
½ cup tahini
½ cup lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs tumeric powder
1 Tbs Jay D’s Coffee/Chile Rub
2 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat chopped carrots in olive oil, sea salt and pepper then lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the carrots for 15-20 minutes or until they're soft.
In a food processor, pulse and blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Great Raft's Rhinestone Life Wheat NEIPA

By Eric Ducote

Hello again, another week, another Feature Beer Friday here at Bite And Booze.  Chuck keeps putting the bite in the blog, and I'll keep supplying the booze!  This week we're making our first FBF trip up to Shreveport, with an offering from Great Raft Brewing.  Great Raft Brewing was among the "second wave" of sorts of Louisiana craft beer, following Abita but now having been established for a number of years.  In addition to their flagship brews, Great Raft puts out some excellent sours, a number of collaborations, and some phenomenal hoppy offerings.  

Today's review is of their latest hoppy offering, the Rhinestone Life New England Style Wheat IPA.  By now I'm sure you're all aware that "New England Style" refers to the hazy trend that's dominating the IPA world and is often abbreviated as a NEIPA.  A lot of NEIPAs rely on flaked oats to create some additional body and haze, but the Rhinestone Life from Great Raft takes that up a notch by using wheat in addition to the oats and a base pilsen malt.  It's then hopped with a blend of Simcoe, Mosaic, and Citra.  

Great Raft's Rhinestone Life New England Style Wheat IPA

The first thing I noticed from this brew is a hazy orange-red color, definitely a deeper color palate than most beers of the style, which I can only assume comes primarily from the wheat in the grain bill.  The head is bubbly and white as you can see, and left some excellent lacing as I worked through the pint can.  The aroma is hoppy as expected, with the citra hops providing the bulk of the aroma that I pick up.  On the taste there is definitely some wheat malt providing a backbone of sweetness, but it's nicely complimented by the strong hop presence.  The mouthfeel is silky smooth thanks to the oats and the wheat and it really allows those hop flavors to meld together and stick around through each sip. 

Another well done beer from Great Raft, and I'm sure you'll see more of them on Feature Beer Friday in the future.  Cheers!  

Friday, July 27, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Parish's Rêve Coffee Stout

By Eric Ducote

Yeah, we're back to Parish Brewing out of Broussard, LA, but that's because they keep putting out good local(ish) beer that's worthy of a mention here on Feature Beer Friday!  When you put out good beer that I can find easily enough in the Baton Rouge market (I picked up the Rêve Coffee Stout at Robert Fresh Market) then you're more likely to find a home in this corner of cyberspace. 

I think by now, you all know all about Parish Brewing, so I'll jump right into the beer itself, which Parish describes as, "This silky smooth coffee stout is created with a carefully selected blend of specialty grade estate beans from Columbia and Java. Our friends and coffee gods at Rêve have finished them to a city/full city roast to highlight the true character of the beans and their origin prior to addition to our export strength milk stout. Enjoy any time of day, this beer will drink like a delicious cold-brewed coffee.

Parish Brewing's Rêve Coffee Stout
The dark color is exactly what I'd expect from a coffee stout, and I'll certainly say that they NAILED the silky smooth part, as this beer drinks with one of the smoothest mouthfeels I can remember.  The coffee is definitely strong on the aroma, as well as hints of dark chocolate from the roasted malts.  The taste is more coffee, hints of vanilla, and even more slightly bitter roasted flavor, like a combination of roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate.  The milk sweetness gets lost in the other flavors but no doubt contributes mightily to the smooth mouthfeel which creates a beer that disappears from my glass far easier than the 7.2% abv should.  Before I could even finish my thoughts I was done with 12 ounces and left with a pleasant coffee & chocolate aftertaste, which just made me want to grab the next bottle! 

You might not think to reach for a dark beer in the middle of Summer, but don't pass up some of this Rêve Coffee Stout if you see it around town.  Cheers!  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Left Hand's Juicy Goodness

By Eric Ducote

Hello all, and welcome to another edition of Feature Beer Friday!  It's still really hot, so I'm coming to you all today with an easy drinking beer from Left Hand Brewing out of Longmont, Colorado.  Left Hand is probably best known for their Milk Stout and Nitro Milk Stout, which are both excellent, but that's not all they produce.  For this feature, I found a 6-pack of their Juicy Goodness, a dry hopped golden ale.  

First off, I'm glad they didn't call this a double dry-hopped beer, because you can't double dry-hop something unless there was a baseline of dry hopping to begin with!  A golden ale is a typically British style, characterized by a light body, low alcohol content, and a good bit of hoppy notes.  The closest style would be an American Pale Ale, which makes sense for a dry-hopped "juicy" beer.  This offering from Left Hand comes in at 5.5% abv and 29 IBU, and this particular can has a "best by" date of 9/15/18. 

Left Hand Juicy Goodness Dry-Hopped Golden Ale

I didn't find the appearance to be exceptionally hazy, but it's definitely golden in color, with grapefruit and passionfruit aromas from the Azacca, Ekuanot, and Comet hops used in the brewing process.  The taste initially has a bit of a biscuity malt taste before giving way to those tropical fruit flavors from the hops.  The biscuit notes make sense for a traditionally British golden ale style.  I don't know if they used British malts, but it tastes like it to me, and if not, maybe it's all in my head?  

In the end, I think this is another excellent summer offering for when the heat index is up over 100F and a cold beverage is in order.  Cheers!