Mexican Standoff Porter Earns Due South Brewing a Silver Medal at Can Can Awards

DueSouthMexDue South Brewing Co. (Boynton Beach, Florida) announced this week that Mexican Standoff, a Limited Release mole-inspired Porter, was awarded a Silver Medal in the Herb and Spice Beer Category at the 2018 Can Can Awards.

Established in 2017, the Can Can Awards is an annual beer competition that focuses solely on canned craft beers.  With judging taking place over two days near the Atlanta, Georgia area, the 2018 Can Can Awards saw 350 beers entered by breweries – both big and small – from across the globe.  This event is sanctioned by the BJCP, and judging is executed in a blind tasting format by a judging panel comprised of beer industry professionals.  To keep things as fair as possible, “judges were not allowed to judge beers in which they had an affiliation.”

“The blind tasting nature of this competition is what drives us to enter,” said Doug Fairall, the brewery’s Brand Marketing Manager. “We’re thrilled to see Mexican Standoff win a medal. It’s always a good feeling when our brewer’s hard work is recognized.”

Mexican Standoff is Due South’s annually released, mole-inspired strong Porter (8.2% ABV) that offers “rich chocolate and roasty flavors . . . complemented with the addition of chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and habanero peppers.”  These bold flavors obviously stood out among the crowd at this year’s Can Can Awards and earned Mexican Standoff a much-deserved Silver Medal in the Herb and Spice Beer Category.

This is the second year that Due South Brewing Co. has participated in this competition.  The folks at Due South walked away from the 2017 Can Can Awards with a Bronze Medal in the American-Style Pale Ale Category for Citrafied Pale Ale and a Silver Medal in the Imperial India Pale Ale Category for Category 5 IPA.

For just two years at one competition, consistent hauls such as these deserve to be recognized and celebrated.  If you are in the area, be sure to swing by the brewery to congratulate the Due South crew on this most recent win.  Prost!

 

 

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Heavy Seas Beer Offers Pinot Noir Barrel-aged Grand Crew as Newest Uncharted Waters Offering

29009534828_1fff6d3175_kHeavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) has announced that it will officially release Grand Crew, a red wine barrel-aged Belgian Amber ‘Grand Cru’, in July as its first new Uncharted Waters Series beer of 2018.

Developed to serve as Heavy Seas’ Grand Cru (a wine term typically applied to an offering of superior grade or quality), Grand Crew is a Belgian-style Amber Ale that has been “brewed with six different Belgian malts, light- and amber- candi syrup (which helps provide the lighter mouthfeel), and a Belgian yeast blend of three different attenuative strains.”  Since all Uncharted Waters beers are influenced by barrels/wood, this offering was then sent to age for eight months in Pinot Noir barrels.  This treatment ultimately produced a sophisticated, 8.5% ABV Grand Crew that supplies its drinker with “subtle hints of dark fruit and oak entwined with the toasty, biscuity, spicy Belgian character, while also providing vinous, grape, and earthy aromas.”

Grand Crew will officially become available in July 2018 and will hang around as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Maryland and throughout the rest of Heavy Seas Beer’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Grand Crew from Heavy Seas Beer

Release – Limited/Uncharted Waters Series, July 2018
Style – Belgian-style Amber Ale
ABV – 8.5%
IBUs – 30
Treatment – Aged for eight months in Pinot Noir barrels
Recommended Glassware – Snifter
Fun Fact – On packaging changes – “For 2018, all ‘Uncharted Waters’ Series beers will now be available in 4 packs of 12oz bottles, no longer 22oz.”
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – http://hsbeer.com/beerfinder

Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Full Volume from Highland Park Distillery

HP_17_Full_Volume_700ml_bottle_carton_PNG-768x864For this special mid-week installment of Tasting Notes, we take a moment to indulge ourselves with an afternoon dram of FULL VOLUME from Highland Park Distillery (Kirkwall, Scotland).

Just as a musician works with his/her “amps and equalizers [to maintain] critical balance at high volume by fine-tuning musical frequencies”, Highland Park’s Master Whisky Maker, Gordon Motion, uses his skills to ensure “that every individual wave of flavor finds its perfect place in the beautifully harmonized final spirit.”  FULL VOLUME illustrates this point by striking a balance between two styles: Bourbon and Scotch Whisky.  Originally distilled in 1999, FULL VOLUME is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky that has been matured in “100% ex-bourbon casks rather than Highland Park’s traditional sherry-seasoned ones.”  This lengthy rest ultimately produced a 47.2% ABV Whisky that offers harmonized “flavors of creamy vanilla and sweet citrus fruits from the bourbon casks, balanced by Highland Park’s characteristic aromatic smokiness.”

FULL VOLUME is available now in specially-packaged 750ml bottles for the suggested retail price of $100.  You can expect to find this Limited Release Whisky on shelves at select specialist retailers located throughout the U.S.

Now that we are all a bit more familiar with the inspiration behind FULL VOLUME, it appears it is finally time to find a good chair, grab a glass and crank it to eleven with some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for FULL VOLUME from Highland Park Distillery

Appearance:  Poured neat from a tasting vial, FULL VOLUME presents itself as a brilliantly clear whisky that is light straw yellow in color.  When held to direct light, the color holds for the most part but a touch of vibrant gold builds at its center.  The whisky is slick on the glass, coating the sides with a wide tract of slow-falling legs that eventually meet to create a complete oil slick that never loses its hold of the glass.

Aroma:  The nose begins with rich and inviting tones of vanilla and coconut.  That sweetness is then brightened up with notes of lemon and orange zest.  Tropical fruits bloom from the citrus to add notes of mango and papaya.  The expected presence of peat finally surfaces to close out the profile with some light smoke that works alongside just a touch of toffee.

Taste:  The grains and peat smoke quickly grab your attention here, but immediately mellow out to reveal citrus tones that come across as carefully grilled lemon and orange.  Sweeter, candied lemon tones then force through and bring with them juicy exotic fruits such as mango, pineapple and papaya.  Vanilla smooths it all out, creating a combined quality that mimics a lemon ice box pie that has just a bit of cinnamon in the crust.  The experience finishes with a pleasant combination of coconut and banana.

Mouthfeel:  Smooth and slightly creamy on the palate, FULL VOLUME has a beautifully long finish that allows you to fully savor notes of coconut and smoke.  That 47.2% ABV is nothing to scoff at, but it is incredibly well behaved and allows each sip to be effortless and thoroughly enjoyable. Not at all harsh or aggressive.

Final Thoughts:  If you are a bourbon drinker that has been looking for a way into the Scotch Whisky game, FULL VOLUME just might be your gateway.  Although distinct and attention-getting, the peat and smoke in this offering are far more reserved than you will find in most Scotch Whiskies.  The bourbon casks supply approachability with those familiar, gorgeous notes of vanilla and coconut, and the overall fruitiness – both the citrus and tropical fruits – of this expression keeps things light, bright and dynamic.  Just like the music that inspired it, this unique spirit comes across as a smooth, free-flowing thought piece as it evokes memory while stimulating contemplation and imagination. All in all, FULL VOLUME is bourbon reminiscent while still retaining its character and heritage as a Scotch Whisky, and that makes for one hell of a memorable sip. Be sure to check it out the next time you are on the hunt for something special to add to the home bar.  Prost!

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Image Credit: Mashing In/Guillermo Woolfolk. The other two images displayed above are the property of Highland Park Distillery.

 

 

Wild Heaven Offers Watermelon Emergency Drinking Beer in Cans for First Time

WildHeavenWEDBcan_editedWild Heaven Beer (Decatur, Georgia) has officially announced that Watermelon Emergency Drinking Beer will see a Seasonal release this summer in both 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft.

Building off the base of Wild Heaven’s extremely popular Emergency Drinking Beer – a Pils-style Session Beer, Watermelon Emergency Drinking Beer is a refreshing, summer variant that requires the brewery’s team to “hand-cut and juice hundreds of watermelons” for each batch.  This labor-intensive approach yields a 4% ABV Watermelon Emergency Drinking Beer that delivers true watermelon taste without any overt sweetness or artificial flavor notes.”

Watermelon Emergency Drinking Beer is officially rolling out now and will hang around through August 2018.  You can expect to find this Seasonal brew available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer establishments located within Wild Heaven’s distribution footprint in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.  Prost!

Vital Information for Watermelon Emergency Drinking Beer from Wild Heaven Beer

Release – Seasonal, June – August 2018
Style – Fruit Beer
ABV – 4%
Added Ingredients – Hand-cut, juiced watermelons
Fun Fact – On how Watermelon Emergency Drinking Beer made it to cans this year: “After a huge response in Georgia and Tennessee for 2017’s draft-only release, the brewery’s production team, led by Brewmaster and Co-Founder Eric Johnson developed an all-natural process to maintain the beer’s remarkable fresh watermelon flavor while achieving shelf stability.”

Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Alabama, Georgia & Tennessee

 

 

Rogue Ales Introduces Marionberry Sour

Marionberry_Sour_6-Pack_Bottles_AngleRogue Ales (Newport, Oregon) has officially announced that it will release Marionberry Sour in July as the latest beer to come out of the Rogue Farms project.

Now known to be “the most Oregon of all Rogue Farms beers”, Marionberry Sour is a “vibrant violet-hued” American Sour Ale made with Rogue Farms-grown prickless marionberries – “a bigger, juicier and more flavorful variety of blackberry . . . originally developed by Oregon State University researchers in 1956.”  Marionberry Sour (6.5% ABV) was specifically brewed “to highlight the tart side of the Marionberry while ensuring a pleasant balance through the fruit’s natural sweetness.”

“We made Marionberry Sour this year because it celebrates the delicious berry we love so much,” says Rogue Brewmaster John Maier. “I’m constantly inspired to brew new beers based on the crops we grow at the farm. They come to the brewery at peak ripeness and I always know exactly how the crops were treated when I get them. That quality matters.”

 

“We grow our own ingredients because it gives us an unlimited well of inspiration and innovation,” says Rogue President Brett Joyce. “If we add a new crop that is delicious and tastes great in a beer, we’ll increase the acreage and brew more beer with it. We’re all a part of the relentless innovation here at Rogue, but the farm is our greatest inspiration.”

Marionberry Sour will officially enter distribution in July and will hang around through October 2018.  You can expect to find this new Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, Oregon and throughout the rest of Rogue’s nationwide distribution area. Prost!

Vital Information for Marionberry Sour from Rogue Ales

Release – Seasonal, July – October 2018
Style – American Sour Ale
ABV – 6.5%
IBUs – 5
Malts – Rogue Farms Dare™, Munich, C-15 & Acidulated
Hops – Rogue Farms Liberty & Rebel Hops
Yeast – Kolsch II
Added Ingredients – Rogue Farms Marionberries & Plums
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://finder.rogue.com/

Funky Buddha Brewery Adds Black Currant Tripel Lindy to Little Buddha Small Batch Series

FBB_Black_Currant_22oz_bottle_mock_websiteFunky Buddha Brewery (Oakland Park, Florida) has announced that it will officially begin the Limited Release of Black Currant Tripel Lindy on Saturday, June 30.

Previously only available as a draft-only taproom exclusive, Black Currant Tripel Lindy (9.3% ABV) has become such a hit with Funky Buddha’s fans and employees that it will now experience its first distributed release as a Little Buddha Small Batch offering.  Brewed with a “complex blend of malts and 100% real sugar”, this Belgian-style Tripel offers a “pilsner-like . . . body and appearance” while an “addition of black currants balances malty sweetness and Belgian esters with a tart, refreshing finish.”

Black Currant Tripel Lindy will officially debut in Funky Buddha’s Tap Room on June 30 and will enter distribution shortly thereafter.  You can expect to find this Little Buddha Small Batch offering available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at select beer-focused establishments located in Florida and throughout the rest of Funky Buddha’s steadily growing distribution area. Prost!

Vital Information for Black Currant Tripel Lindy from Funky Buddha Brewery

Release – Limited/Little Buddha Small Batch Series; Tap Room release on June 30, distribution during July 2018
Style – Tripel
ABV – 9.3%
IBUs – 30
Added Ingredients – Black currants
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://funkybuddhabrewery.com/beer-finder

Stone Brewing Introduces Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA as New Year-Round

2018_DoubleIPA_16ozCanMock_FinalStone Brewing (Escondido, California) has officially announced the East Coast release of Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA, the first Year-Round offering developed at Stone Brewing – Richmond.

Named after the what3words address (click here to learn more) for the “three-meter square smack dab in the middle of . . . [Stone’s Richmond, Virginia brewery] in which the recipe was created”, Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA is an East Coast-inspired unfiltered Double India Pale Ale that still retains “a noticeably West Coast-influenced bitterness, and tactfully balanced Richmond-style finish.”  Weighing in at an “amped up” 8.5% ABV, Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA abounds with juicy aromatics of “fresh fruit and fresh hops” along with flavors of “fresh-squeezed fruit juice, strawberry, blueberry, grapes and a hint of white sage.”

“We’re supporting the what3words convention because we think it’s cool, and we see the significant social good in it,” said Stone Brewing Executive Chairman & co-founder Greg Koch. “We’re early adopters of the convention, and while companies like GPS company TomTom, and Mercedes, also believe that what3words is onto something big, we’re the first ones to use the convention to name a beer. In the not-so-distant future you’ll be able to use what3words to get beer delivered to you wherever you are, or to verbally tell your self-driving car to take you to the beer. In the meantime, we can relax and enjoy a Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA and dream about the world of the future.”

Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA will only be brewed at Stone’s Richmond facility and is currently available exclusively on the Eastern seaboard.  You can expect to find this new Year-Round available in 6-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, Virginia, and select other states on the East Coast (full list available below).  Prost!

Vital Information for Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA from Stone Brewing

Release – Year-Round, launching week of June 4, 2018
Style – Double India Pale Ale (unfiltered)
ABV – 8.5%
IBUs – 60
Featured Hops – Magnum, Loral & Mosaic
Fun Fact – On what3words: “what3words provides a precise and incredibly simple way to talk about location by dividing the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares. Each square has a unique three word address. So ensuring that your Uber drops you at the correct entrance, finding your friend at a concert, or bringing emergency medical services to a remote mountainside just got easier. what3words is making the world less frustrating, more efficient, and safer, three words at a time.  Watch the what3words video here.
Availability – 6-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI and WV
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready

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Dogfish Head Promotes Liquid Truth Serum IPA to Year-Round Lineup

Liquid Truth Serum.3Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, Delaware) has officially announced that it will add Liquid Truth Serum IPA to its Year-Round portfolio in late June 2018.

Back by popular demand after a successful Limited Release that took place back in October of 2017, Liquid Truth Serum is an unfiltered India Pale Ale that “debunks the myth that IBUs (hop bitterness) can only be achieved by adding hops during the boil, as all of its hops are added post-boil.” With many different forms of hops – whole leaf, liquefied, pelletized and powdered hops – all added during the whirlpool, the “immensely and approachably hoppy” Liquid Truth Serum comes in at 65 IBUs and offers “citrusy notes of mandarin orange, tangerine, tropical mango and hints of juicy stone fruits.”

“After so much love from our fans, the truth was clear – Liquid Truth Serum needed to come back, and this time, as a year-round offering,” said Sam Calagione, CEO and founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. “Introducing it in cans makes it more convenient than ever, increasing its portability and overall awesomeness, and we couldn’t be more excited about the evolution of this brew.”

Liquid Truth Serum will officially return in late June with availability in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft.  You can expect to find this Year-Round brew at craft beer-focused establishments in Alabama, Florida, Delaware, and throughout the rest of Dogfish Head’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Liquid Truth Serum IPA from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Release – Year-Round, returns late June 2018
Style – American India Pale Ale
ABV – 7%
IBUs – 65
Recommended Glassware – IPA Glass
Suggested Food Pairings – “Teriyaki, chicken satay, pad thai, stir-fried vegetables”
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.dogfish.com/brewery/fishfinder

Lee Spirits Co. Expands Distribution to Include Texas

LeeSpiritsLogoLee Spirits Company (Colorado Springs, Colorado) has officially announced that it will launch distribution in Texas this July with four products: Dry GinForbidden Fruit LiqueurCreme de Rose and Creme de Violette.

Founded in 2013 by cousins Nick and Ian Lee, Lee Spirits Company was formed with a mission “to develop and manufacture the finest Gin in Colorado and the United States along with accompanying liqueurs that would fit into classic cocktail recipes exactly as originally written” and to one day distribute those “products in retail outlets across the nation and globe.”  That vision has steadily coming to fruition over the last five years as several Lee Spirits offerings have won awards and the distillery has gradually expanded distribution to include Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and now Texas.

“Our team worked tirelessly to complete the deal with our Texas partners,” said Ian Lee, co-founder of Lee Spirits Company. “Texas marks the next step in our growth as a company. In addition, we are excited to launch our products in additional states in the upper Midwest and Eastern Seaboard by the end of 2018. Witnessing our brand’s planned-growth from small a southern Colorado distiller to a company pointed toward national and global distribution is a testament to hard work and dedication.”

Lee Spirits will enter the Texas market with the following four offerings (all descriptions sourced from the distillery’s website):

  • Dry Gin – Our flagship product. Created with original prohibition-era cocktails in mind. We make it just like it would have been made in 1920. It features a floral nose with an earthy finish. Goes perfect in a martini and any recipe from Jerry Thomas’ 1862 Bartender’s Guide.  ABV – 45%  (90 PROOF)
  • Forbidden Fruit Liqueur – Containing white grapefruit, honey, and a blend of spices, Lee Spirits’ Forbidden Fruit Liqueur is perfect to create authentic classic cocktails or to add a unique flavor to your modern creations.  ABV – 32%  (64 PROOF)
  • Creme de Rose – Creme de Rose is created in an American manner of traditional creme liqueurs. Freshly picked red and pink petals combine to recreate this traditional liqueur that brings a floral sweetness to any cocktail or pour it over ice and sip it on its own.  ABV – 30%  (60 PROOF)
  • Creme de Violette – American made product kept honest to its American roots. Our traditional recipe blends botanicals that recreate a Crème de Violette that allows you to reminisce about the past and leads you into the future.  ABV – 30%  (60 PROOF)

These Lee Spirits products will be available in the state of Texas beginning in July 2018.  You can expect to find these fine offerings available in retail stores located in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and several other cities throughout Texas.  Prost!

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Wynwood Brewing Introduces Laces IPA as New Year-Round

wynwoodlogoWynwood Brewing Company (Miami, Florida) has officially announced that it will replace its original Wynwood IPA later this month with a reformulated take that they are calling Laces IPA.

With a name inspired by “the ubiquitous pair of sneakers hanging on power lines by their laces across urban neighborhoods” such as the Wynwood Art District, Laces IPA is a “beautifully crafted” India Pale Ale brewed with “a blend of Mosaic, Amarillo and Falconers Flight hops.”  Coming in at 6.9% ABV, Laces IPA offers a “light golden crisp malt body and a dry finish.”

“When our doors opened in 2013, hop contracts and innovative hop varieties were hard to come by so we worked with what we had and created a classic West Coast IPA brewed with Columbus hops and balanced with a full malt body. Wynwood IPA was a solid IPA for the time, but a few things have changed over the past five years. First, we now have access to some amazingly unique and vibrant hop varieties. Second, the IPA has become the most recognizable and diverse beer style offering a virtual smorgasbord of flavor and style options for beer lovers. We have seen in our own taproom and in the market that consumers tastes have evolved. We are excited to debut our newest core offering, Laces IPA, which we’re confident will wrap taste buds in hop delicious.”

 

– Luis Brignoni, Founder of Wynwood Brewing Company

Laces IPA will completely replace Wynwood IPA as the brewery’s core/year-round IPA offering.  This change will be completed somewhere between the end of June and the start of July 2018.  You can expect to find Laces IPA pouring at all South Florida craft beer establishments that normally carry offerings from Wynwood Brewing.  Prost!