Friday, August 31, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Innis & Gunn's Bourbon Barrel Porter

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone on this Labor Day weekend!  I'm still at work for today, then headed out on vacation, but don't worry, there's a Wakey Whiskey coming for you all on Sunday.  Just because it's football season though and the whiskey is flowing doesn't mean the Feature Beer Friday posts have to stop.  I can multi-task pretty well it turns out. Today's #FeatureBeerFriday is coming to us from Innis & Gunn out of Scotland, and I believe it's my first international beer to be featured. Innis & Gunn features a wide lineup of craft-focused beers as well as three brewpubs throughout Scotland.  

This particular beer from Innis & Gunn is their Bourbon Barrel Porter.  It comes in 4-packs of 12 ounce bottles, which I found recently at my local Rouse's store but should be in other stores around town with a good craft and international selection.  It's 7.4% with an undisclosed IBU, but I wouldn't expect too much hop pressence from a porter to begin with and even less after some barrel aging.  

Innis & Gunn's Bourbon Barrel Porter with a cameo from The Adorable Bentley.

The beer pours exactly how I would expect, a deep brown color with a finger or so of off-white head.  The aroma is sweet, with notes of toffee and chocolate, and just a hint of bourbon and the familiar vanilla notes.  The taste is incredibly smooth, layers of flavor including toffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, and bourbon, but none particularly stand out and dominate, giving it the complexity they claim, but maybe without a crazy amount of richness.  It's actually not a bad thing at all as too heavy in one facet or another could throw this well balanced beer completely out of whack.  

I know the USA tends to be thought of (with good reason) as the world leader when it comes to craft beer, but this offering out of Scotland shows that we aren't the only country putting out a quality product.  Cheers, enjoy your holiday weekend, and Geaux Tigers! 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof's Dry-Hopped Saison

By Eric Ducote

Good morning once again, and welcome back to Feature Beer Friday here at Bite And Booze.  It's almost football season, which means a lot more #wakeywhiskey, but in the meantime there's always time for a beer or three.  It's been a few minutes (or months) since I featured Tin Roof Brewing, but they have some pretty good stuff on tap and available in cans right now, so I thought it was the perfect time to feature one of their newest brews, the Dry-Hopped Saison. This beer is currently available in 12 oz. cans from the taproom.

Tin Roof's Dry-Hopped Saison

This brew is Tin Roof's take on a traditional saison, then dry-hopped with Simcoe hops.  The color is a slightly hazy pale yellow with the fizzy extra bubbly head that is typical of a saison.  The initial aroma is powerful with piney resinous hops that hit me as soon as I crack the can open and get stronger as I pour.  The taste is unmistakably hoppy, but that farmhouse funk is strong as well, with a hint of a sour note and plenty of yeasty esters that distinguish the saison style.  It's only 5.5% abv which makes this a really easy drinker that's perfect for the hot rainy days we've been experiencing.  

This certainly isn't the flashiest beer around, but it's another excellent release from the rejuvenated Tin Roof Brewing Company. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Eel River's Triple Exultation Barleywine

By Eric Ducote

Good morning again readers!  I hope everyone has been having a fantastic summer now that the "vacation" aspect is coming to a close.  The weather aspect... we'll still have a few months I'm sure.  I hinted at this week's Feature Beer already, and sure enough, here's the Triple Exultation Barleywine Style Ale from Eel River Brewing. This beer is the 2018 edition that I also found for a cheap $5.99 for a bomber at Rouse's, and it comes in at 9.7% and 80 IBU.  I talked a bit about Eel River in last week's post, so I'll jump straight into the review.

Eel River's Triple Exultation Barleywine style Ale

My first thought was that this is a bit on the dark side for a barleywine, I'm more used to seeing a copper to deep red color and this beer is more on the brown end of the spectrum. Upon first sip, there's not much flavor, and this comes across more like a big amber ale than a barleywine to me, but as it warmed up the beer opened up a great deal.  The barleywine characteristics started to come out like toffee and caramel notes from the strong malt backbone.  The hop presence was strong and bitter but not overpowering.  

After pulling this beer up on Eel River's page I see that it has previously been marketed as an Old Ale, so that makes more sense why I would initially feel it was on the bland side for a barleywine.  By the time I was done with the bomber I was really enjoying the Triple Exultation, especially for the price, so I'd recommend finding one, but be sure to let it warm up a few degrees before diving in. 

Cheers everyone!       

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!