Check out all of Jay Ducote's products at the online store with free shipping on orders over $50!

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!  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little Thing IPA

by Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and welcome to another Feature Beer Friday!  I hope you all enjoyed the NOLA Magical Brewery Beer Bus Tour recap last week, and I hope to include more event recaps in the future, but this week it's back to a beer review.  We're smack dab in the middle of Summer now, so while browsing the beer selection at my local store of choice recently I saw some of the Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA... alright, sounds like a good refreshing but not over the top brew.  After checking the date (this 6-pack was brewed on 5/31/18) I added it to my cart, and now it's a feature beer here on the internet.

A little about Sierra Nevada... they are one of the grandfathers of the modern craft beer movement, starting from homebrewer Ken Grossman's homebrew store and opening in 1980 as a craft brewery.  Their standard Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was one of the three flagships and is often credited as the beer that really launched America's craft beer revolution.  The other two flagships, the Sierra Nevada Stout and Porter are still in production today as well, with largely unchanged recipes, but one thing that has led Sierra Nevada to thrive is their commitment to adapt to trends and styles, which is why you'll see them jumping on board the "haze craze" and putting out a beer like "Hazy Little Thing" when other established breweries might scoff at the idea of a hazy IPA. 

Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little IPA
Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little IPA

So, on to the beer... this is a new release from Sierra Nevada, they describe it as an "unfiltered, unprocessed IPA, straight from the tanks and into the can."  It's 6.7% abv, with 40 IBU, bittered with Magnum hops and finished with Citra, Comet, Simcoe, El Dorado, and Mosaic.  I'm not too familiar with Comet, but I am a huge fan of the other four, and would expect this to give a very complex hop character instead of a one-note citrus bomb. 

The pour is expectedly hazy... a little darker than some I've tried recently with more of an orange and gold color and a very bubbly head.  The aroma is a combination of grapefruit and dank notes, with the dank coming through a little stronger.  The taste is a lot of the same, with a combination of citrus, herbal, dank, and piney characters that create a fascinating departure from the hazy IPAs I've been drinking recently.  There's also a little more of a bitter finish, which I really enjoy and I find can be missing sometimes from the new-school NEIPAs.  

In all, excellent effort from Sierra Nevada on this one to blend some of the characteristics that we're used to seeing in a hazy IPA with some of the characteristics that we're used to seeing in a West Coast IPA.  It makes for an outstanding refreshing Summer beer option, or really any time of year.  Cheers! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Burgers With Chuck: Building Dreams at Burgersmith

by Chuck P

My love for crazy burger combinations isn’t a secret. Even though nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned classic burger, sometimes throwing on insane ingredients to create the ultimate Frankenstein of burger creations is just a fun and delicious thing to do.

On a recent trip to the OG Burgersmith in Lafayette, Jay and I were tasked with the challenge of each creating our own special burger for a social media video they were doing on Facebook. Jay and I are not known for turning down a food challenge, so we gladly accepted. But we’re not here to discuss Jay’s burger baby. I’m here to bring a completely absurd spectacle of gluttony, deliciousness and eventually, complete misery to life! *Thunder claps*

Ladies and gents, I give you the Chuck P Ballpark Burger:

Look at that beast of a sandwich. It’s beautiful and terrifying all at the same time. What would lead someone to even begin to imagine such a culinary artery clogger? Basically, I’m a glutton for punishment. I wonder what the kitchen staffs’ faces look like when my order comes in...

My burger is pretty easy to figure out. It’s everything you’d find at a baseball game piled on to one big monster of a burger. I started with the classic Smith patty and a slice of American cheese. From there, I added their signature hot dog cut right down the middle and placed on top. To top it off, I smothered it all with chili cheese fries and stuck it all in the middle of two pretzel buns. If only I could have added nachos somewhere on there...

Logistically, trying to eat this thing as a burger is a sloppy nightmare. It quickly turned into a fork and knife meal. As tasty as everything was, this eventually turned into one of my not so classic Chuck P creations. Even I have to admit defeat sometimes.

If you’re feeling adventurous then head over to Burgersmith and order this beast for yourself. Just remember to have a knife and fork at the ready...and napkins, lots of napkins.

Check out the mastermind behind the burgers in the podcast recorded at Burgersmith in Lafayette:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: New Orleans Beer Tour Edition - Wayward Owl, Port Orleans, NOLA, Urban South

By Eric Ducote

Greeting beer lovers!  This past weekend I had the opportunity to join Jay Ducote, Matt Moscona, and Lee Feinswog on a Magical Brewery Beer Bus Tour of four New Orleans breweries.  The itinerary was set out as leaving from Tin Roof in Baton Rouge, then hitting up Wayward Owl, Port Orleans, NOLA Brewing, and Urban South prior to making out way back to Baton Rouge.  I have been to NOLA and Urban South a few times before, but I had never been to Wayward Owl or to Port Orleans, so when Jay gave me the invite I was happy to accept.  

The bus loaded up at Tin Roof, who was gracious enough to give us some low fills for the road, and the group (43 strong) made our way to I-10 East a few minutes ahead of schedule.  The tour package included two beers at each stop for everyone, but we were of course free to purchase additional beers and food along the way.  

Tin Roof for the ride.

Third Row representing!

Traffic was light for a late Saturday morning and we ended up rolling up to Wayward Owl a few minutes ahead of our anticipated arrival.  They were kind enough to open up early just for our tour and the drinking commenced!  Wayward Owl is a new stop for me, and my first impression was that they did a really excellent job with the space, an old theater that is now serving as both brewery and taproom.  I tried several beers here, including the You Drive Me Hazy DIPA, the Dance Between The Darkness Imperial Stout, and the Hopsurdity DIPA.  Probably not the best idea to start the tour with three beers over 7% abv, but these were the ones I really wanted to try!  

Wayward Owl's beer menu for the day.

Wayward Owl's space was originally the Gem Theater.

After a few rounds at Wayward Owl and a tour courtesy of Brewmaster Justin, it was off to Port Orleans, a relatively new brewery on Tchoupitoulas between Milan and Marengo.  This brewery is gorgeous, with a clean stylish taproom build out, an ample front porch with outdoor seating, and a large patio to one side with picnic tables and yard games.  It was too hot for anyone to really enjoy the outdoor spaces, but I know once Fall rolls around and the weather cools down, this place will be jumping indoors and out.  Being a bit of a hop lover I went for the Partly Cloudy With A Chance For Hops first, then moved on to a Blowout DDH IPA.  Of these two I preferred the Blowout, but the real hit was the third beer I tried, pour of their Barrel-Aged Offshore Chocolate Imperial Stout.  That one hit all the right notes with the richness of the stout, chocolate notes, and a boozy oaky vanilla flavor from the barrel aging.  

Port Orleans Brewing Company and Stokehold Restaurant.

Port Orleans' taproom.

The Port Orleans side patio, too hot for a crowd today.

Port Orleans is also home to the Stokehold restaurant, and some food was much needed.  After a quick browse I decided to get some mozzarella stuffed garlic bread to split with Jay, and it was amazing.  It was an excellent combination of buttery dough, garlic, mozzarella cheese, and a marinara for dipping.  This is without a doubt one of the best taproom food items I've ever tried, and I would probably order it again the next time I'm here.  

Mozzarella stuffed garlic bread from Stokehold and the Blowout DDH IPA.

After Port Orleans it was time for a quick jaunt just under a mile down Tchoupitoulas to NOLA Brewing, the elder statesman of the craft brewing renaissance in New Orleans.  I was especially excited to get to NOLA as I had heard great things about the No Strings Attached NEIPA that released last weekend.  It did not disappoint at all, hazy, juicy, hoppy and checking off every mark for a great NEIPA.  I also tried a Twins Basil, Twins! (that's an Austin Powers reference in case you missed it) which is a mixed fermentation sour with citrus and basil.  Although I did enjoy it, it was a little on the tart side for my tastes. 

NOLA Brewing Company

Like Port Orleans, NOLA also has a restaurant on premise, in this case McClure's BBQ, so Jay ordered up a BBQ sampler to split and we enjoyed some excellent ribs, brisket, chopped chicken, and pulled pork with some sides of macaroni and cheese and seasoned waffle fries.  Everything was delicious, but I think the baked mac & cheese stole the show a bit from the meats.  

The BBQ plate from McClure's and most of a No Strings Attached NEIPA.

After that bite and a crowler snag, it was time to continue another short distance down Tchoupitoulas to Urban South Brewery, a brewery making waves for itself with flavorful gose style ales and phenomenal NEIPA releases to go with their flagships.  Just like NOLA, Urban South released a hyped NEIPA the week before, so I was excited to get in and try some of the Soulstice, a collaboration with Parleaux Beer Lab.  Just like the No Strings Attached, this did not disappoint.  I finished off the evening with a Suitcase Full Of Sparks and then decided it was time to switch to water for the ride home, but not before snagging another crowler for later!

Urban South Brewery

Urban South's taproom was jumping this Saturday afternoon.

After a ride home full of Matt Moscona give-aways, it was back to Tin Roof and then back home, heavy a few crowlers and a souvenir glass.  

A couple of beers for later.

Souvenir glassware, never a bad thing! 

This was a really great time, I enjoyed hanging out with Jay, Matt, and Lee, and of course it was fantastic to see some new breweries and try some new beers all while having transportation taken care of.  There are plans for a repeat event in early 2019, so be on the lookout, and grab your spot before they are gone!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Nevada H&C Distilling Smoke Wagon Bourbon

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and a happy 4th of July to you all!  Today we celebrate, our Independence Day, and I prefer to start out that celebration with a little wakey whiskey (hashtag wakeywhiskey) before I get into the BBQ and beer.  My lovely wife Mandi recently made a trip out to Las Vegas and she was awesome enough to bring back a bottle of whiskey for me, so that's my selection for this morning.  This is the Smoke Wagon Private Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey by Nevada H&C Distilling Co.  They actually source their bourbon from Indiana (not uncommon), but my understanding is that they do all of the barrel aging and blending in house in Las Vegas, in addition to distilling vodka.  

Nevada H&C Smoke Wagon Private Barrel

This particular bottle is one that they aged for 10 years in a private barrel release for the Total Wine & Spirits near where my mother in law lives.  It's bottled at barrel strength, in this case 56.7% which equates to 113.4 proof.  Although not necessarily THIS barrel, their private barrel series won a double gold medal at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  In addition to the private barrel line, Nevada H&C puts out an Uncut and Unfiltered version which is basically a barrel strength bourbon but blended from several vintages of barrel instead of being a single barrel.  They also put out a Small Batch rye-heavy bourbon at 100 proof and the aforementioned Silver Dollar American Vodka.

Enough about the company though, how's the bourbon?  My initial thought was that this is a little on the harsh side, but it is a high proof bourbon, so I added an ice sphere (they ever recommend it on their website) and the whiskey opened up to me.  Once that little bit of chill and water was introduced the bourbon started really showing strong oak, vanilla, and chocolate notes, and the harshness turned into a pleasant alcohol presence.  It's amazing to me how some whiskeys can taste watered down while others really open up, but the main thing I think is just drink it however you like it the best.  

Cheers to you all, and I hope everyone has a fantastic 4th of July! 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Parish's Envie Pale Ale

By Eric Ducote

Good morning again, and whatever time of day you're reading this, if you're in or around Louisiana, it's almost certainly HOT.  Extremely ridiculously hot.  And humid.  And being outside just in general sucks and it will for several more months.  However, we can't (at least not easily) live out lives entirely inside so when grills need to be lit, wings need to be smoked, sausage needs to be grilled, and lawns need to be mowed, we brave the elements and look forward to a tasty beverage to make us feel a little more whole afterward.  

This past weekend was one of those times as my friend Blake (who you might remember brewed the Southern Craft Three Generation Tripel) invited me over to fire up the BBQ and watch some World Cup action.  I needed a few brews for the day in addition to Blake's homebrew, so I grabbed some Jucifer and then noticed the canned Envie from Parish Brewing.  Not too long ago (I think January or February of 2018) Parish started contracting out the brewing and canning of their three flagship beers to Brew Hub out of Lakeland, Florida, a city just to the East of Tampa and the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers.  Lakeland is also home to Florida Southern College, whose campus contains a large concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings.  Fascinating stuff, really.

Parish Brewing's Envie Pale Ale

Back to the beer though... the first Brew Hub batch of Envie wasn't very well received locally, but since then Andrew and the Parish team have worked with Brew Hub to ensure that subsequent batches meet the same quality as the bottled and kegged Envie that comes out of Broussard, LA.  After hearing from many people that the more recent canned batches are all coming out exceptional I had no hesitation buying a 4-pack of the 16 oz. cans for a hot day.

My first thought is that I love the 16 ounce can packaging. I feel like more breweries should offer it, as it's great for a sessionable beer like Envie (or Canebrake) if I'm drinking it solo, and it's more to go around for bigger beers that I'm sharing.  This can was dated 05/09/18, but even though it's getting to be 6 or 7 weeks old, I still expect tropical hazy goodness.  The appearance certainly delivers on the expectations, hazy orange-yellow color with a frothy white head.  The aroma is full of fruity hop flavors, a little more exotic than the Ghost In The Machine I tried last week, but still familiar flavors like passionfruit and guava.  There is a little more bitterness and less fruit note on the taste, but still those tropical flavors dominate, leaving a finish of hoppy mango.  

This doesn't pack quite the hop punch as the Ghost, but this is also far more suited for a backyard BBQ in the middle of the summer heat.  Or the cans are perfect for a trip to the pool, the beach, or a canoe trip.  Stay safe out there, stay hydrated, and save room for a few beers! 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Parish's Ghost In The Machine Double IPA

By Eric Ducote

Hello everyone, and welcome to this year's Summer of Ghost!  Last year Parish Brewing out of Broussard, LA decided to treat everyone by pumping out new batches of their signature hazy New England-style Double IPA all summer long and it seems as though 2018 is going to be no different. The guys over at Parish were busy during the month of May brewing up batch after batch of the delicious brew and then spent the first week or so of June bottling it all up and sending it out throughout their distribution area.  On June 14th, all the Ghost was released at once and I had no trouble finding some at Martin Wine Cellar while my wife picked up a pack at Rouse's.  

The three 4-packs I ended up with (so far) were bottled on 6/4, 6/6, and 6/7, but I didn't notice anything different between the three bottlings.  Ghost in the Machine is brewed to 8% abv, and "brewed with obscene quantities of hand-selected Citra hops" according to Parish's website. Citra is known for (and this should be obvious) a distinct citrus flavor, and Ghost is one of the better examples of how strong the citrus notes can be.  The hop profile can vary slightly from year to year and between different hop yards but Citra is always going to give a strong orange/grapefruit profile.  

Summer 2018 Ghost in the Machine

On the pour, this batch of Ghost is the distinct bright reddish-orange color with all the haze in the world and a finger worth of bubbly head.  The aroma is that enticing combination of bitter hops and citrus, with the primary note in this batch being grapefruit, although hints of orange and lemon come through as well.  The joke online is to compare this beer to Sunny D, and although I totally understand where that comes from, the hop oils in Ghost and other IPAs give a much more bitter feel on the palate and then there's the alcohol content to deal with.  Although into the double or imperial range, the 8% abv on Ghost is very well masked by the obscene hoppiness and all the citrus notes, giving the beer a clean pleasant finish.  The finish really just makes me want another sip, and then another beer, and then another 4-pack.  I don't mean to make light of addiction, which is a serious issue, but this is so delicious and drinkable that it's hard to just slowly sip and stop after one.  

As usual, Parish keeps killing the NEIPA game, and I'm thrilled to have Ghost in the Machine as a regular addition to store shelves throughout the summer.  Cheers! 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof's Barley. Barleywine

By Eric Ducote

Hey everyone, it's time for another Feature Beer Friday here at Bite And Booze.  Today's tasty beverage comes from local brewery Tin Roof, their Barley. Barleywine.  Barley. is named after the brewery cat Barley that for several years frequented the brewery and the taproom.  Barley was always extremely friendly, allowing visitors to give them a pet and frequently enjoying the sunshine on the Tin Roof logo mat by the side door. Unfortunately a few months ago Barley the cat passed away, so in their honor, Tin Roof brewed the Barley. Barleywine.   

Barleywines have long been one of my favorite styles, starting with the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot series, and moving into offerings like the Old Guardian from Stone and the Old Ruffian from Great Divide.  I remember always being excited for a Houston beer run where I could find that offering from Great Divide and if I was lucky an Old Numbskull from Alesmith.  Before too long the Louisiana breweries started getting in on the action, most notably with the Grand Reserve series from Parish, but Abita also put out a select series barleywine and Bayou Teche got into the game.  So, when I heard Tin Roof was putting out a barleywine, well I had to stop in and give it a try, and buy a 4-pack for a later review of course.

Tin Roof Barley.

Tin Roof describes the beer as, "In memoriam: Barley the Cat. Dedicated to our late friend and cat, Barley, this Barleywine features complex malt character from a blend of American, Belgian, English, and German malts. Look for rich flavors of caramel, dark fruits, and sweet malt. All American hops in both kettle and dry hop layer classic aromas of grapefruit and pine. Raise a glass to this special feline, and remember him laying in the sun on the lawn or hanging out in the taproom. RIP little buddy." My first thought on this one is that it's a really dark pour, a little darker than I'd expect for a barleywine which trend more copper colored but this one is closer to a brown.  The head is vigorous and lasting, giving me ample time to snap a picture before pouring the rest of the can.  They definitely nailed the caramel and sweet malt notes, with definite hints of toffee and I do get some of the dark fruit.  The taste is really smooth for an 11%, 70 IBU beer, with those same rich toffee notes underlying an earthy hop bitterness. 

I don't think this is the best barleywine I've ever tried, but it's pretty damn good.  Last I saw, 4-packs were still available in the taproom, so go grab one before they're all gone.  I have a feeling this beer will only get better with age as well.  RIP Barley! 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Jim Beam 12-Years Signature Craft

By Eric Ducote

Good morning friends, and happy National Bourbon Day to you all! I'd have a hard time naming my favorite type of whiskey, but bourbon is without a doubt on the short list for consideration.  Every June 14th, because every day should be used to celebrate something, is National Bourbon Day, so that obviously requires a ceremonial wakey whiskey! Jim Beam (disclaimer, Jim Beam is owned by Beam Suntory, the third largest distilled beverage company in the world) is the most popular bourbon worldwide, and the second best-selling whiskey brand, but I'm not about to raise a glass with a pour of the regular white label. This morning calls for a pour of their Signature Craft 12-Years Small Batch. 

Jim Beam Signature Craft

The Jim Beam Signature Craft is one of their more premium releases under the Jim Beam name, having been aged for 12 years (minimum) and bottled at 86 proof.  For comparison, the regular white label is a 4-year bourbon and the Devil's Cut is a 6-year.  All that extra time in the barrel helps give the Signature Craft a deeper brown color and a rich caramel and vanilla aroma.  That sweetness is accented with a hint of the booze and a slight leathery note. The taste on this bourbon is exceptional and without a doubt reflects the extra aging with oak, vanilla, and even a little peppery flavor.  

The finish is smooth, although there's a hint of medicinal bitterness at the very last bit of aftertaste.   That's really the only ding on the scoresheet for this whiskey, a great addition to any collection and a fine way to kick off National Bourbon Day! 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Gnarly Barley's Gnarvana Double IPA

By Eric Ducote

Hey everyone, it's another Friday, and another featured beer, but not a  new brewery this time around as Gnarly Barley has made a few appearances always in this space.  I'll be honest though, if a brewery keeps putting out good beer that I have access to, they'll find a way into a post or two of three before too long.  

Not too long ago they put out a special release Gnarvana Double IPA at Gnarfest in honor of the brewery's 4th birthday.  It was hailed as a juicebomb of a Double IPA, and unfortunately I wasn't able to make it out to the party this year, my first year to miss the big anniversary.  Fortunately though, I have some good friends who made sure that I didn't miss out on the beer du jour.  (That's the beer of the day.)

A pour of the Gnarvana Double IPA

The Gnarvana pours crazy hazy, with a grapefruit flesh shade of orange and a bubbly white head that doesn't stick around too long due to all the hop oils. The aroma is pure pineapple... just pineapple on top of pineapple layered with some pineapple juice.  On the taste, you guessed it, more pineapple! There's a little other citrus in there on the taste, some orange and grapefruit to give it a bit of complexity, but the truth is, this beer is a pineapple bomb, which I personally find to be delicious.

Last I saw online, there were still cans to be found at the brewery, so if you're wanting to give this a try, make the quick trip over to Hammond and find yourself in Gnarvana.   

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Molasses Mustard Succotash

by Chef Jenn Breithaupt

“Sufferin' succotash!” Corn, beans, squash, hominy and other vegetables make up this Native American dish. Corn, beans and squash are known as the Three Sisters in agriculture because they grow together in synergy. The corn provides a structure for the beans to climb eliminating the need for poles. The beans give nitrogen to the soil that the other plants use, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, preventing weeds from growing. Creating a dish with these vegetables allowed for the Native Americans to stay satisfied longer so they can utilize their energy.

I made this succotash with corn maque choux in mind, except heavy cream is added. The addition of Jay D’s Molasses Mustard gives it some color and a tang of acidity.

Molasses Mustard Succotash

serves 2-4

2 Tbs butter, unsalted
25.5 oz can hominy
15.5 oz can butter beans
1 ear corn, cut off cob
1 cup orange bell pepper, small diced
¼ cup jalapeño, small diced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup Louisiana Molasses Mustard
¼ cup heavy cream

In a medium sauté pan, heat butter until bubbling, then add all vegetables. Sweat until soft. Add salt, black pepper, Jay D’s Molasses Mustard and heavy cream. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 5-6 minutes. Serve hot with breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Saint Arnold's Pub Crawl Pale Ale

By Eric Ducote

Hello again everyone!  Today I'm featuring another Texas Brewery, Saint Arnold Brewing, to go along with recently featured Rahr & Sons and 11 Below.  Even though they weren't my first Texan brewery featured, Saint Arnold claims to be Texas's oldest craft brewery, shipping out their first keg on June 9th, 1994.  As they approach their 24th birthday late this month, I figured it would be appropriate to try out one of their newer releases, the Pub Crawl Pale Ale.  

This beer debuted in January 2017, but the 6-pack I picked up at Robert Fresh Market were dated 03/05/18, which is well within my comfortable freshness range.  It's described as a bright and sessionable pale ale with a 4.7% abv and 48 IBU.  

Saint Arnold's Pub Crawl Pale Ale

At first, the pour... this certainly fits what I would expect out of "bright and sessionable" with a luminous yellow color and a frothy white head.  On the nose I get mostly citrus hop flavors with perhaps a bit of a floral note and a backbone of crackers or bread from the malt.  The taste has more of the same citrus notes, coming strong from the Centennial bittering hops as well as the Amarillo and Galaxy used in the back end.  All three of those hop varieties showcase citrus flavors so it's no surprise that the beer tastes like it does.  The 4.7% abv makes this one an easy drinker, just a little stronger than a standard light beer, with a clean slightly bitter finish.  

This is a really good option for a summer poolside beer, at a backyard BBQ, or just relaxing after some yardwork.  The weather is heating up, and we could all use a cold beverage or two, right?  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Oven Roasted Barbecue Pork Chops

by Chef Aimee Tortorich

Last month, our friends at Compart Duroc brought some samples of their high-quality pork products. One that stood out immediately was their premium Frenched Loin that in their words is “the pinnacle of fine pork and is the most flavorful cut of the Compart Duroc line.”

I definitely have to agree, and when you have a badass product like this, the best thing to do is to keep things simple. I did a quick sear in a cast iron skillet, transferred it to the oven rubbed in Jay D’s Spicy and Sweet Rub and finished with Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce. The finished product was a moist, flavorful and tender as all get out.

If you can’t find this particular pork chop, that’s okay! Head to your local butcher like Iverstine Farms Butcher in Baton Rouge and get the best looking bone-in pork chop you can find.

Oven Roasted Barbecue Pork Chops

serves 2

1 Tbs avocado oil
2 Pork Chops, bone-in
2 Tbs Jay D’s Spicy and Sweet Rub
½ cup Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat, preheat avocado oil. Sear pork chops until a golden brown crust forms. Season liberally with rub. Roast in the oven at 400°F until internal temperature reaches 145°F. Coat pork chop with Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce; turn oven to broil and broil pork chop about 3 minutes; until sauce is caramelized. Remove from cast iron pan and allow to rest for about 4 minutes.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Homebrewed Peach Hoppler Milkshake IPA

By Eric Ducote

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first homebrewed edition of Feature Beer Friday.  Normally I'd never feature a homebrew because it's not something that most people reading this would be able to try, but this instance is a little different.  This beer was brewed by my team for the Iron Brewer competition put on by Brasseurs A La Maison that was intended to take place last weekend.  Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our club's control the event had to be canceled, but there is still hope that it will be back later in 2018.  The event has been put on the last 5 years at Tin Roof Brewing to benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, but ATC rules prohibit a brewery from hosting a special event.  Don't worry though, there's a good chance the event isn't dead, but the late cancellation did mean that I had a whole keg of our beer to drink as it's going to need to be re-brewed in order to ensure maximum freshness when the even returns. 

The Peach Hoppler banner. 

As you can almost certainly tell from the banner above, my team (consisting of myself and Mandi, Brenton Day, Brandon Thomsen, and Marcus Rutherford) was assigned peaches and cinnamon toast crunch as the mystery "iron brewer" ingredients, and we decided to turn that into a peach cobbler IPA, named Peach Hoppler.  We used a box of cinnamon toast crunch in the mash per 5 gallons, added a lot of hops in addition to some lactose, and then finished it off with even more cinnamon, some vanilla, and the peaches.  The result is a peach and cinnamon inspired milkshake IPA, bursting with citrus hop flavors that compliment the peach and cinnamon toast crunch and are supported with a slightly sweet milk and vanilla base, not unlike the ice cream complimenting a peach cobbler.  

A pour of Peach Hoppler.

This homebrew turned out really delicious, so I sincerely hope that we will get a chance to put on a take 2 of Iron Brewer to share this with a lot of the readers out there, and also more importantly to raise a lot of support for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Supreme Rice Salad with Molasses Mustard Vinaigrette

by Chef Jenn Breithaupt

This is one of my favorite salads to make! I first had this salad when I was attending culinary school at Louisiana Culinary Institute. Chef Mike told us we are going to prepare it for our salad course for lunch service and it captivated me; I couldn’t stop eating it. I thought this would be the perfect salad to incorporate Jay D’s Louisiana Molasses Mustard. Another reason why I love this recipe is because of the freshness it brings to my palate; it is perfect for this Spring!

Supreme Rice Salad with Molasses Mustard Vinaigrette

makes 6 cups
3 cups uncooked Supreme long grain rice
1 cup red onion, small diced
¾ cup orange bell pepper, small diced
¾ cup yellow bell pepper, small diced
2 Tbs garlic, minced
1 cucumber, seeded and small diced
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped

Cook rice according to package. Lay cooked rice on sheet pan to slightly cool. Combine rice with all vegetables and vinaigrette. Let rice salad marinade in dressing for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Serve cold or room temperature. ENJOY!

For the vinaigrette:
Heaping ½ cup Jay D’s Louisiana Molasses Mustard
3 tsp salt
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
3 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs Jay D’s Blanc du Bois
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

In a blender or food processor, add mustard and salt. On low, gradually add both vinegars and Jay D’s Blanc du Bois. In a thin stream add extra virgin olive oil. Mix for 1 minute then transfer to salad and mix thoroughly.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wakey Whisk(e)y: Laphroaig 10-Year Single Malt Scotch

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and cheers to you all on the 7th annual World Whisky Day!  This actually makes my second #wakeywhisky post on World Whisky Day, which is celebrated on the third Saturday of May.  The first time around, I went with the Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch from Canada, and this year in the interest of keeping it whisky instead of whiskey I'm going to have some of one of my favorite scotches, Laphroaig's base expression, the 10-year single malt.  

Laphroaig is one of the handful of distilleries from the island of Islay off the West coast of Scotland that is unique enough to be considered its own scotch region.  All of the Islay scotches are known for being heavily peated, the flavor derived from smoking their malt over peat fires, which gives a medicinal phenolic flavor in addition to the smokiness.  Laphroaig was founded in 1815 and they do not go light on the peat, which produces a scotch that they claim "is the most richly flavoured of all scotch whiskies." Well, I'll be the judge of that.

Laphroaig 10-year single malt in appropriate glassware.

The scotch pours a typical dark golden color, and as soon as you catch a whiff it's obvious that there is certainly no shortage of flavor.  The smoky peat flavor hits like a campfire, but also with a strong iodine flavor and an ample aroma of honey sweetness.  Yes, it's certainly rich and complex, and the flavor of this 10-year expression holds on to that complexity with a balance of sweet malt flavors, robust smokiness, and unique peat smoke.  I think the best way to describe this one is a campfire in your mouth, and I mean that in the best way possible.  

I hope you are all enjoying a pour or two of your own on this World Whisky Day! 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Clown Shoes' Galacticake Douple IPA

By Eric Ducote

Good morning again everyone and welcome back to Bite and Booze for a mid-May version of Feature Beer Friday!  I have enjoyed writing these posts every week as I try some new beers and dig a little deeper into some old favorites.  This week I'm revisiting a brewery that I used to drink regularly, but seems to have faded a bit as the local guys surged.  Clown Shoes Beer originated from Massachusetts, and although they recently were bought by Harpoon Brewing (or their parent company, if we're getting technical) they retained their independence and "craft" status because Harpoon is itself a craft brewery.

I've always enjoyed Clown Shoes... their Hoppy Feet and Hoppy Feet 1.5 were both outstanding black IPAs when that style was all the rage, they consistently put out excellent creative stouts, and their label artwork is always top notch.  However, it had been a while since I had bought any their brews, so when I saw a relatively fresh (canned 3/8/18, always check the dates on hoppy beers!) 4-pack of their Galacticake Double IPA at Robert Fresh Market, I figured it was time to stock the fridge with a little more Clown Shoes.

Clown Shoes Galacticake Double IPA

The beer pours a rich copper color, clear and filtered, with a frothy bubbly head that took a few minutes to dissipate.  The malt that gives the beer it's deeper color is definitely present on the aroma with some caramel sweetness, but backed up nicely with fruity hop aromas like pineapple and plum.  The taste is well balanced between the caramel sweetness and the bitter fruity hop flavors.  The Galacticake is a 9% abv DIPA, but the malts and hops hide the alcohol very well.  There is an earthiness to the hops, but some fruit as well, and a nice blend of flavors that complement each other to form a bitter bouquet, but not one that lingers unpleasantly on the finish.

In summary, this is definitely an old-school throwback DIPA, aiming for a malt-hop balance and relying on bittering hops more than just all the late addition hops that we're getting from the hazy juice bombs.  However, it's a delicious well brewed throwback DIPA that I'd be happy to purchase again.   Cheers! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Jay D's Bites: Parsnip-Potato Au Gratin

by Chef Jenn Breithaupt

Potatoes Au Gratin are always fun to create because of the layering. The Freret Beer Room in New Orleans was my inspiration for this dish. They serve it as a side, but it’s massive! For me, it had the perfect amount of gruyere cheese. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! For this recipe, I used manchego cheese instead of gruyere fora little extra bite and added Jay D’s Molasses Mustard to tied together the sweetness and add a little tanginess to the dish.

Potato-Parsnip Au Gratin

serves 4
3 potatoes, ¼” rounds
3 parsnips, ¼” rounds
1 whole leek, sliced into half-rounds
8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 cups manchego cheese
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup Jay D’s Louisiana Molasses Mustard

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small skillet, sauté leeks and garlic until fragrant. Put one layer of potatoes around the bottom of cast iron skillet. Then pour ¼ cup of heavy cream over potatoes. Next, sprinkle small handful of leek/garlic mixture and 1 cup of manchego cheese over potatoes. Place another layer of parsnips on top of cheese. Sprinkle another small handful of leeks and 1 cup of manchego cheese over parsnips. Pour the other ½ cup of heavy cream on top of parsnip layer. Make another potato layer, then sprinkle leeks/garlic and ½ cup of Manchego cheese on top. Take the Molasses Mustard and drizzle on top, then sprinkle remaining leeks/garlic and ½ cup of gruyere cheese. Press down on the au gratin so that all of the layers are compacted. Cover skillet with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Take foil off and continue baking until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before chowing down.