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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!) 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Founders 2017 Kentucky Breakfast Stout

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone on this Gameday eve, and welcome to another edition of Feature Beer Friday!  Today I'm headed up to Michigan, in the figurative sense, to try the 2017 version of the Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout.  Founders Brewing has been around in Grand Rapids, Michigan since 1997, making it pretty old and established in the world of craft beer.  Technically Founders is no longer considered a 'craft' brewery as they are 30% owned by San Miguel's parent company, but in my opinion that's a far cry from the breweries that have sold out 100% to AB-Inbev.  

One of Founders' most successful and popular beers is the subject of this review, the Kentucky Breakfast Stout.  It's a big imperial stout brewed with a lot of coffee (hence the 'breakfast' in the name) and chocolate.  It's then aged for a year in bourbon barrels before being released once annually each spring.  It can be found on tap, in 12 ounce 4-packs, and in 750ml bottles.  The bottle I have today is a 12 ounce bottle from the 2017 release, so at this point it's getting close to 2 years in the cellar.

Founders 2017 Kentucky Breakfast Stout

The pour is dark rich brown, almost black, with a couple of fingers' worth of frothy tan head.  The aroma is strong with bourbon and coffee, with a bit of roasted malt bitterness.  The taste is smooth, especially considering this beer is just over 12% alcohol, with more coffee and bourbon notes but also some sweet tones from the chocolate and still a hint of bitter roasted malt.  The mouthfeel is silky smooth, this is a dangerously easy drinker, and I think I'm going to have to stop after one and switch things up!  This still reigns supreme as one of the best barrel-aged imperial stouts in the world, so this Spring, if you see some of the 2019 release on the shelves, make a purchase.  Cheers!