Sunday, January 26, 2020

Views of Winter

Cold, wet evening in the DSM.

Frosty windows.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Random sips of beer and whiskey

Left, Firestone Walker's Coconut Merlin milk stout. A roasty, nutty stout rounded with lactose, delightfully accentuated with fresh coconut flavor. 5.5% ABV, 23 IBU. Right, Confluence Brewing's Gray's Lake Nessie Scottish ale. Aromas and flavors of malt, toffee, and some yeast. 6% ABV, 17 IBU.

Left, Cherry Bomb Blonde from Front Street Brewery in Davenport. A refreshingly light and aromatic brew, cherry forward in nose and palate but not over-the-top. Easy drinking. 5.4% ABV, 15 IBU. Right, Oreo Speedwagon, a chocolate vanilla milk stout from Lake Time Brewery of Clear Lake. Smooth drinking and delectably chocolatey in flavor and aroma, with a hint of vanilla. 5.6% ABV, 26 IBU.

Left, Evan Williams 100 proof bottled-in-bond bourbon. With flavors of black pepper, vanilla, and citrus, a swish with an ice cube softens the alcohol's bite a little. A good sipping whiskey when you need something with extra pizzazz. Right, Award winning Cedar Ridge Iowa straight bourbon whiskey, featuring a mashbill of 74% corn, 14% malted rye, and 12% 2-row malted barley. Oak, turbinado sugar, and vanilla come to mind on enjoying this smooth sipper with a spicy finish; 86 proof.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Random Bits of Detritus

Left, It's good to have friends. Center, From Facebook Editor suggestions. If this only did. Right, “Crab sale, crab sale…”

Left, The South will brine again. To thine own self be true, right.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Visits to Exile Brewing

Backcountry Brut, left, a double brut IPA brewed at Exile in collaboration with Uinta Brewing of Salt Lake City; I'm a big fan of both! Dry and hoppy, a lovely summer brew. 7.5% ABV, 25 IBU. Center, Styrian Slinger New England-style IPA is bright on first swallow with a softened bitterness. Goes from acidic to alkaline in a flash, ergo a beer to pause and reflect upon between quaffs. 6.4% ABV, 30 IBU. Right, The juice is loose with Exile’s latest release, Beermosa! Golden ale brewed with Mandarina Bavaria hops. With added lactose and orange juice, it tastes like an Orange Julius! 4.5% ABV.

Rising Hope hazy IPA, left, an Exile / Gezellig Brewing of Newton collaboration with 100% of sales donated to benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Bright with passionfruit and tangerine flavors. 6.4% ABV, 43 IBU. Right, Denali Daze New England-style IPA is double dry hopped with Mosaic and Denali hops. Notes of pineapple and tropical stone fruit, seasonally piney on the finish. 6.3% ABV, 20 IBU. I could drink this all fall long.

Left, A Christmas Beer doppelbock. Lush aromas and flavors of dark fruit and chocolate. It tastes like the Roman Nougat from a box of Russell Stover chocolates! 7.3% ABV, 20 IBU. Cranberry Bohemian, right, brewed with cranberries, soured with in-house lactobacillus culture. The perfect fruit to marry with Exile's signature sour beer. 5.8% ABV, 5 IBU.

Recent bites and sips at Centro and Django

It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a Half-Price Pizza Monday at Centro. On this visit I ordered a George's Favorite calzone, above, with mozzarella, Graziano Brothers' Italian sausage, roasted red pepper, and red onion, with a side of marinara, below left, for dipping and slurping. For an aperitif I enjoyed a fine Boulevardier cocktail, below right, of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Happy to note that Peroni pale lager is back on tap, which is also half-priced on Monday nights; I quaffed two pints! Much leftovers for a late-night snack plus breakfast.

Left, A fine martini at Django with J. Rieger's Midwestern Dry Gin. A traditional London Dry style, distilled from wheat and flavored with juniper, coriander, angelica root, licorice root, and orange peel; 92.2 proof. Soon I received an unexpected lagniappe, a cheese and charcuterie plate, center. I shared this with a fellow bar patron and even dabbled in a bit of the pate. The end result: a two martini visit ended up being four. Paired with three beers enjoyed earlier at The Walnut, I ended up with a solid hangover. On my way home, I grabbed a day old loaf from Jimmy John's with the intent of eating it that night. Instead I went on the nod. So the next afternoon I took the now well crusty bread and made pizza boats.