Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Remus Repeal Reserve Series III from George Remus Distilling Co.

RemusRepealFor this special Spirits Edition of Tasting Notes, we leave the anniversary of the ratification of Prohibition (January 17) behind us by raising a glass of Remus Repeal Reserve Series III from George Remus Distilling Co. of MGP Ingredients  (Lawrenceburg, Indiana).

Released each year to recognize the end of Prohibition, the Remus Repeal Reserve Series is an award-winning line of Bourbons that allows “the distillery team to experiment with a different bourbon medley each year.”  Remus Repeal Reserve Series III (50% ABV | 100 PROOF) is a Straight Bourbon Whiskey comprised of “a medley of two mash bills from 2007/2008; the complex aroma reveals maple with caramel, candied fruit, chocolate, baking spice, smoke and leather with a balanced palate of caramelized brown spice and a hint of rye on the finish.”

Remus Repeal Reserve Series III was carefully crafted with the use of the following medley:

The 2019 Remus Repeal Reserve Series Medley
12% – 2007 Bourbon (21% Rye)
78% – 2008 Bourbon (21% Rye)
10% – 2008 Bourbon (36% Rye)

Remus Repeal Reserve III officially debuted on November 13, the birthdate of George Remus, and entered full distribution on Prohibition Repeal Day, December 5.  You can find this Limited Release offering available in 750ml bottles (suggested retail price of $84.99 each) at fine liquor retailers located in Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Now that we all know the legacy behind the Remus Repeal Reserve Series, let’s grab a couple glass, thank our stars that Prohibition is no longer a thing, and get into these Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Remus Repeal Reserve Series III from George Remus Distilling Co.

Appearance:  Poured neat into an Old-Fashioned-style tumbler (also tested in a Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass), Remus Repeal Reserve Series III presents itself as an apricot-tinged, light caramel brown in color.  When held to direct light, brighter orange tones push through making the appearance a lighter but more vibrant brown in color.  The liquid is absolutely pristine in clarity. When swirled about, the liquid coats the glass well with a sticky slick that drops some incredibly slow-moving, syrupy legs.

Aroma:  Sweetness greets the nose with indulgent notes of rich caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, cocoa, and caramelized fig.  Orange zest and candied orange then surface to add a bit of brightness and break up the sweetness a bit.  The profile rounds off with notes of oak, rye spice and leather.

Taste:  The script set by the aroma flips a bit here as spicy, peppery rye is quick to lay a foundation at the start of the sip.  The citrus note is lighter but still present, offering that candied orange quality.  This allows the experience to shift nicely to the sweeter notes of caramel, chocolate, butterscotch, toasted baking spice (nice presence of nutmeg), and brown sugar.  Oak and leather then roll in to close the experience with soft tones of vanilla, smoke, and a slight touch of earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Slick but not syrupy in texture, this Bourbon hits the taste buds with a flourish, lingers for a moment and clears out beautifully for the next sip.  It is pleasantly sweet on the palate, but in no way cloying thanks to the balancing qualities of the rye and surprising note of citrus. Although it is boozy, the 50% ABV only provides a gentle warmth in the throat and belly.  All of this comes together to create a wonderfully smooth sip that leaves notes of caramel and rye spice behind in the aftertaste.

Final Thoughts:  From the pour to the finish, everything about Remus Repeal Reserve Series III is wonderfully composed and incredibly impressive.  It is absolutely striking in appearance, the aromatics are downright heavenly, the flavor profile is indulgently sweet yet somehow balanced, and the experience as a whole is ridiculously smooth.  This makes for an elegant sipper – best served neat in our opinion – that is an absolute steal since it wears a price tag that is under the $100 mark.  If you have been looking for a reserve-level, limited-edition Bourbon to add to your home bar but prices have been scaring you away, Remus Repeal Reserve Series III is the answer you have been looking for . . . and you might as well grab a couple bottles when you pull that trigger.  Trust us.  You will be happy you did.  Prost!

New Realm Brewing Continues Push Cart Series with Release of Chocolate Sea Salt Imperial Ale

NewRealmKOPNew Realm Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Push Cart – Chocolate Sea Salt Imperial Ale, the brewery’s latest collaboration with Atlanta-based King of Pops, on January 21.

Arriving as the second release in New Realm’s Push Cart Series that formulates beer versions of the most popular ice pops produced by their friends at King of Pops, Push Cart – Chocolate Sea Salt Imperial Ale is a “dark, creamy and sweet” American Strong Ale that is smooth and chocolatey with just a hint of salt on the finish.”  Coming in at 8.6% ABV, Push Cart – Chocolate Sea Salt Imperial Ale is “perfect for winter in the city or escapes to the beach.”

“We worked with our friends at King of Pops and their ingredients to create this beer which does a remarkable job of replicating the creamy chocolate flavor of their most popular pop. Projects like this where we get to work with great folks in our community, are extremely fun and tremendously delicious!” said Mitch Steele, Brewmaster and Co-Founder of New Realm Brewing.

 

“Chocolate Sea Salt is our best-selling flavor, and it’s the one we try our best to have at every single cart and shop. We thought it would fit well with a darker beer, perfect for the increasingly mild but dreary Atlanta winters” said Steven Carse, Co-Founder of King of Pops.

Push Cart – Chocolate Sea Salt Imperial Ale is scheduled to officially release in New Realm’s Atlanta and Virginia Beach locations on January 21 and will enter limited distribution shortly after the on-site releases.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located within New Realm’s distribution footprint in Georgia.  Prost!

Vital Information for Push Cart – Chocolate Sea Salt Imperial Ale from New Realm Brewing Company & King of Pops

Release – Limited/Push Cart Series; January 21, 2020
Style – American Strong Ale
ABV – 8.6%
IBUs -25
Added Ingredients – Chocolate & sea salt sourced from King of Pops
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Georgia; also available at New Realm’s Atlanta & Virginia Beach locations

 

Straight to Ale Begins Seasonal Release of Regal Beagle Brown Ale

STAlogoStraight to Ale (Huntsville, Alabama) has officially announced that Regal Beagle Brown will join its Seasonal lineup in January 2020.

Developed to breathe new life into an often over-looked beer style these days, Regal Beagle Brown is an American Brown Ale brewed with blackstrap molasses.  Coming in at 5.4% ABV, Regal Beagle Brown is here to provide its drinker with a sophisticated dose of malty sweetness.

Regal Beagle Brown is available now and will hang around through March 2020.  You can expect to find this new Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer-focused retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida and throughout the rest of Straight to Ale’s distribution area. Prost!

Vital Information for Regal Beagle Brown from Straight to Ale

Release – Seasonal; January – March 2020
Style – American Brown Ale
ABV – 5.4%
Added Ingredients – Blackstrap molasses
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee & Louisiana

 

Tasting Notes: KBS Espresso from Founders Brewing Co.

KBSEspressoPourFor this installment of Tasting Notes, we push through the second half of the workweek thanks to a coffee-fueled boost supplied by KBS Espresso from Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

Introduced in mid-November 2019 as the first-ever packaged variant of KBS (a.k.a. Kentucky Breakfast Stout), KBS Espresso (12% ABV) takes everything you love about Founders Brewing Co.’s iconic KBS – a Bourbon Barrel-aged Imperial Stout brewed with coffee and chocolate – and then ages it “on espresso beans after being removed from [Bourbon] barrels.” This added step results in “a fresh and snappy coffee twist on [a] classic barrel-aged beer.”

KBS Espresso is out now and will hang around through February 2020.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s nationwide distribution network.  **NOTE: KBS Espresso is not available on draft in Utah or in any format in Mississippi.**

Now that we have gotten all the background information on this exciting new variant out of the way, let’s get into these Tasting Notes and see how much coffee goodness KBS can carry!

Tasting Notes for KBS Espresso from Founders Brewing Co.

Appearance:  KBS Espresso presents itself just as you would expect any beer bearing the KBS name.  It is inky black in color and capped with a solid finger of frothy, mocha-colored foam.  When held to direct light, the blackness holds and blocks any light from penetrating.  The beer is completely opaque and gives no indication as to what the carbonation level could be.  Head retention is good, slinking down slowly to a creamy ring that notches the glass with fine arcs of lace after each pull.

Aroma:  The aroma absolutely explodes with big notes of espresso.  We are talking heavy notes of intensely roasted coffee joined by complementary notes of deeply roasted grain, dark chocolate and dark fruit.  The presence of espresso and roast is so powerful that it actually drowns out the majority of the bourbon notes, only allowing a touch of vanilla to come through.  The profile closes with a gentle waft of rich, earthy tobacco.

Taste:   The espresso is quick to consume the palate with an abundance of dark roasted coffee at the start of each sip.  Dark, bittersweet chocolate then joins the mix to create a satisfying note similar to those addictive little chocolate-covered espresso beans.  The barrel eventually works its way in to supply a soft undercurrent of vanilla and oak, but the bourbon tones are definitely here to take a back seat to the coffee notes.  The experience is rounded off with a smooth layer of dark fruit, leather and tobacco.

Mouthfeel:  Full-bodied with a moderate carbonation level, this Imperial Stout is thick and creamy on the palate.  The heavily roasted coffee and notes of dark chocolate provide a bit of bitterness, but that is quickly tamed by the vanilla tones provided by the bourbon barrels.  Shockingly, the 12% ABV provides very little booziness and offers only a touch of warmth in the throat at times. The aftertaste leaves behind a light presence of tobacco and freshly roasted coffee.

Final Thoughts: With the release of KBS Espresso, Founders Brewing Co. set out to ramp up and highlight the overall coffee character that has always been a part of the incredibly balanced KBS experience.  Mission accomplished.  The label on this variant clearly displays “ESPRESSO” in all caps, and that espresso lives up to its bold, intense reputation from start to finish in this beer. The brewing team was not at all shy about letting the espresso dominate the aromatics and flavor profile.  The roast is intense and imparts a pleasant bitterness that works beautifully with the beer’s roasted malts and chocolate notes.  The barrel character does fall off a bit (only offering a bit of oak and vanilla at times), but that is to be expected when you add a powerful ingredient like espresso to the beer after barrel-aging.  With that said, the grace of barrel that is present is more than enough because the intense coffee notes carry this beer with ease and in a wonderfully delightful way.

If you have ever wished there was more coffee in your KBS or are just curious to experience a different take on this legendary brew, you need to keep KBS Espresso in mind the next time you hit up your favorite bottle shop.  Just make sure you get your hands on some before its availability comes to an end in late February. Prost!

TrimTab Brewing & Southern Prohibition Brewing Collaborate on Astronaut Ice Cream Imperial Stout

TrimTabSoProTrimTab Brewing (Birmingham, Alabama) has officially announced that it will hold a Limited Can Release for Astronaut Ice Cream, an Imperial Milk Stout brewed in collaboration with Southern Prohibition Brewing (Hattiesburg, Mississippi), at noon on Saturday, January 18.

Created to capture all of our youthful dreams of space and never-ending desire to get our hands on freeze-dried ice cream, Astronaut Ice Cream is an Imperial Milk Stout brewed with lactose and actual astronaut ice cream sandwiches.  Clocking in at 9% ABV, Astronaut Ice Cream is here to take the Dessert Stout experience to another world.

Astronaut Ice Cream is scheduled to release in in the Tasting Gallery at TrimTab Brewing at noon on January 18.  This Limited Release offering will be available in 16 oz. cans during the release (while supplies last).  Astronaut Ice Cream is a brewery exclusive release and will not see distribution.  Prost!

Vital Information for Astronaut Ice Cream from TrimTab Brewing & Southern Prohibition Brewing

Release – Limited; January 18, 2020
Style – Imperial Milk Stout
ABV – 9%
Added Ingredients – Astronaut ice cream sandwiches & lactose
Availability – 16 oz. cans
Distribution – None. Brewery exclusive release

 

 

J. Wakefield Brewing Begins Distributing to Publix Super Markets in Florida

JWakeLogoJ. Wakefield Brewing (Miami, Florida) has officially announced that it will begin distributing El Hefe and Hops 4 Teacher IPA to 40 Publix Super Markets in South Florida, from Broward County to Key West, in January 2020.

After hearing from countless fans requesting the ability to turn Publix grocery runs into J. Wakefield Brewing (JWB) beer runs,  the brewery is finally ready to make those requests a reality now that they know that they can meet the demand and ensure that all the beer will be “brewed and packaged exclusively at JWB’s brewery on 24th Street in Wynwood by the JWB brew team.”  J. Wakefield Brewing will enter select Publix Super Markets with the following two Core offerings (descriptions sourced directly from the brewery’s press release and website):

  • El Hefe – A traditional German Hefeweizen in its core, but with the addition of fresh coconut flakes for a taste of South Florida and its beautiful surrounding beaches.  ABV – 5%  IBUs – 13
  • Hops 4 Teacher IPA – A generously Citra hopped India Pale Ale with notes of grapefruit and passionfruit.  ABV – 6.5%  IBUs – 67

“We couldn’t be happier to make our beer available through Publix. It seems like people have been asking us about Publix distribution, since we opened the brewery. We really wanted to make sure that we could adequately meet the demand, without contracting out the brewing. It was important to us that the beer be brewed here, by our team” said JWB owner/founder/brewmaster, Johnathan Wakefield. “It’s the first of several major announcements that we’ll be making in 2020.”

El Hefe and Hops 4 Teacher IPA will begin hitting Publix store shelves in January 2020.  You can expect to find both offerings available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans in the craft beer sections at 40 Publix Super Markets located in the South Florida area that spans from Broward County to Key West.  Prost!

Heavy Seas Beer’s Blackbeard’s Breakfast Returns in 2020 with Tiramisu Variant

BlackbeardsBreakfast12ozBottle2019Heavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) has officially announced that it will release the 2020 edition of its Blackbeard’s Breakfast Bourbon Barrel-aged Porter alongside a draft-only tiramisu variant in February.

Crafted to be a “new world twist” on the Robust Porter, Blackbeard’s Breakfast is an Imperial Porter brewed with Dark Sumatra coffee sourced from Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company and aged in Bourbon barrels. The beer’s English malts provide “strong notes of caramel and a slight nut character” that pair beautifully with the “bourbon notes and the sumptuous Sumatran Coffee.” Extremely “flavorful and complex”, Blackbeard’s Breakfast (10% ABV) is guaranteed to “please coffee and beer connoisseurs alike.”

To put a decadent spin on Blackbeard’s Breakfast in 2020, the Heavy Seas brewing team approached Tiramisu Blackbeard’s Breakfast by “[playing] up the coffee flavor already present, and used a special chocolate-forward espresso roasted just for this beer.” Lactose was then added to the recipe to impart a “luxurious mouthfeel and sweetness you’d expect from a delectable slice of tiramisu, and imported cocoa nibs and cocoa powder punch up the chocolate aroma and flavor.”  Coming in at smooth-sipping 10% ABV, Tiramisu Blackbeard’s Breakfast is here to remind us all that “there’s always room for dessert.”

Blackbeard’s Breakfast and Tiramisu Blackbeard’s Breakfast are both scheduled to release in February and will hang around for as long as supplies last.  The original Blackbeard’s Breakfast will be available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Maryland and throughout the rest of Heavy Seas Beer’s distribution footprint.  Tiramisu Blackbeard’s Breakfast is a draft-only release that will only be available in select markets.  Prost!

Vital Information for Blackbeard’s Breakfast from Heavy Seas Beer

Release – Limited/Uncharted Waters Series; February 2020
Style – Imperial Porter
ABV – 10%
IBUs – 40
Malts – 2-Row, UK Amber, Vienna, Light Crystal, Dark Crystal, Chocolate Malt & Black Malt
Hops – Target & UK Goldings
Added Ingredients – Dark Sumatra coffee from Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company
Treatment – Aged in Bourbon barrels
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – http://hsbeer.com/beerfinder

Oskar Blues Brewery Sends Death By King Cake Out for Limited Release

DeathByKingCake-Can-Render-With-Copy-1200x1200Oskar Blues Brewery (Longmont, Colorado) has officially announced that it will continue its Death By Series with the January release of Death By King Cake.

Developed to be a liquid representation of the “traditional Mardi Gras treat,” Death By King Cake is a White Porter brewed with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cacao nibs, orange peel and pecans.  Coming in at a smooth 6.5% ABV, Death By King Cake makes it so “anyone can be King for a day.”

Death By King Cake is available now and will hang around for a limited time. You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-focused retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas and throughout the rest of Oskar Blues Brewery’s nationwide distribution network. Prost!

Vital Information for Death By King Cake from Oskar Blues Brewery

Release – Limited/Death By Series; launching January 2020
Style – White Porter
ABV – 6.5%
Added Ingredients – Vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cacao nibs, orange peel & pecans
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.oskarblues.com/beer-finder/

OskarBluesDeathByKCbaby

Cascade Brewing Releases Tropical Grasslands Gose as its First Canned Sour

cascadelogoCascade Brewing (Portland, Oregon) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Tropical Grasslands, a Barrel-aged Gose available exclusively in cans, on January 13.

Arriving as the first offering in a new series of canned Sour Ales that are “meant to be consumed fresh, not aged,” Tropical Grasslands is a Gose-style Ale “aged in oak barrels for up to 10 months then infused with fresh orange zest, fresh lemongrass, ground coriander and Oregon Coast sea salt.”  Coming in at an easy drinking 5% ABV, Tropical Grasslands is the approachable yet full-flavored Sour Ale you have been longing for.

“Tropical Grasslands is the first in a new series of canned sours that are designed to be crisp, easy-drinking sours with clean and complex flavors,” explained Kevin Martin, director of brewery operations for Cascade Brewing. “With soft acidity and fresh flavors, this canned series will be a great gateway sour for those new to sour beer, and will also appeal to the sour beer connoisseur looking for a softer approach to the style.”

Tropical Grasslands hit Cascade’s two Portland pubs – Cascade Brewing Barrel House and Lodge at Cascade Brewing – on January 13 and will enter limited distribution shortly after the on-site releases. You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 12 oz. cans at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho. Tropical Grasslands will not be available on draft.  Prost!

Vital Information for Tropical Grasslands from Cascade Brewing

Release – Limited; January 13, 2020
Style – Gose
ABV – 5%
Treatment – Aged in oak barrels for up to 10 months then infused with fresh orange zest, fresh lemongrass, ground coriander & Oregon Coast sea salt
Availability – 12 oz. cans
Distribution – Oregon, California, Washington & Idaho

Southern Tier Brewing Co. Introduces Nitro Hot Cocoa Imperial Stout

HotCocoa-12oz-CanSouthern Tier Brewing Company (Lakewood, New York) has officially announced that Nitro Hot Cocoa will join the brewery’s Blackwater NITRO Series in January 2020.

Here to tackle the cold weather with a whole new kind of hot cocoa experience, Nitro Hot Cocoa is a nitrogenated Imperial Milk Stout featuring cocoa powder, “rich natural chocolate and hints of marshmallow.”  Weighing in at a comforting 10% ABV, Nitro Hot Cocoa “offers a cascading, creamy richness” that is “the perfect pairing to stay warm during a cozy night.”

Nitro Hot Cocoa is rolling out now and will hang around through April 2020.  You can expect to find this new Blackwater NITRO Series offering available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and throughout the rest of Southern Tier’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Nitro Hot Cocoa from Southern Tier Brewing Company

Release – Limited/Blackwater NITRO Series; January – April 2020
Style – Imperial Milk Stout
ABV – 10%
IBUs – 25
Added Ingredients – Cocoa powder, chocolate, marshmallow & milk sugar
Fun Fact – On the Blackwater NITRO Series: “Each can releases nitro into the stouts, creating cascading foam and delicious, creamy flavor. It is a fully sensational drinking experience that you can hear, see and taste.”
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. cans (Note: 12 oz. cans contain 9.6 oz. of liquid due to the integrated nitro technology in each can) & draft
Beer Finder – https://stbcbeer.com/finder/?item=all