Rogue Ales & Spirits Set to Release 2017 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout

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Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works Master Cooper, Nate Linquist, poses with Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout

Rogue Ales & Spirits (Newport, Oregon) recently announced that it will begin the much-anticipated, limited release of its 2017 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout later this month.

The story behind Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout all begins with the barrel and Nate Linquist, Master Cooper at Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works.  Back in 2015, the folks at Rogue Ales & Spirits got their hands on some “vintage, WWII-era, coopering equipment” and established Rolling Thunder Barrel Works as “the only brewery-distillery-cooperage west of Lynchburg, Tennessee.” With this equipment and a good supply of Oregon Oak, Nate Linquist “assembles, raises, toasts, chars, hoops, cauterizes, sands and brands one barrel a day, all by hand.”  Once assembled, these meticulously crafted barrels go on to hold Dead Guy Whiskey as it matures, and then pull double duty by eventually providing Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout a home as it barrel ages.

Having been “brewed with ingredients grown at Rogue Farms and ocean aged in Dead Guy Whiskey-soaked handmade Oregon Oak barrels coopered at . . . Rolling Thunder Barrel Works”, Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout is a truly special offering because nearly every aspect of this beer has been either handled, influenced, grown, or created by a member of the Rogue family.  This homegrown approach results in a barrel-aged Imperial Stout that “features deep sherry notes accentuated by hints of coconut, cherries, dark fruit and vanilla held up against a dark roasted malt backbone with earthy hops.”  Weighing in at a massive 14% ABV, the 2017 vintage of Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout “is bigger and bolder than the inaugural 2016 release.”

“At first it was a creative challenge,” said General Manager Dharma Tamm, “to see how we could incorporate our brewery, distillery, cooperage and farm into one beer. However, our brewers, distillers, coopers, farmers – and even graphic designers turned it into a quest to create a world class beer that exemplifies the Rogue spirit of challenging the norm and pushing creative boundaries.”

2017 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout will make its official debut at Rogue public houses starting on Friday, July 21.  This Limited Release offering will then enter distribution on August 1 with availability on draft and in 1-liter swing-top bottles.  Quantities are extremely limited, so keep an eye out for Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Florida, Oregon, California, Washington and throughout the rest of Rogue’s nationwide distribution footprint (of course, this excludes Alabama and any other state where Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout would exceed ABV and container size restrictions).  Prost!

Vital Information for Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout (2017) from Rogue Ales

Release – Limited, official release date set for July 21, 2017
Style – American Imperial Stout
ABV – 14%
Malts – Rogue Farms Dare & Risk Malts; Nate’s Smoke, Brown, Kiln Black, Roasted Barley, C40 & C75 Malts; & Oats
Hops – Rogue Farms Liberty & Freedom
Yeast – Pacman Yeast
Added Ingredients – Brown Sugar, Sweet Dark Cherries, Vanilla & Chocolate
Treatment – Ocean aged in Dead Guy Whiskey-soaked handmade Oregon Oak barrels coopered at Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works
Availability – 1-liter swing-top bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.rogue.com/finder/

 

 

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Field Trip: VIP Night at Noble Crust – Wesley Chapel

1SignOutdoor_editedOn Saturday, July 15, the Noble Crust hosted a VIP Night and Preview Party for their new location in Wesley Chapel, and we were fortunate enough to receive an invitation to cover the festivities.  Here’s your first look at this fantastic new restaurant taking up residence at the Shops at Wiregrass.

Serving as a benefit for The Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel Foundation, this VIP Night event acted as the perfect platform to introduce the community to Noble Crust and its philosophy that is clearly built on generosity and hospitality.  From the hostess at the door to the proud ownership mingling with the crowd, the entire crew at Noble Crust does absolutely everything they can to make you feel at ease and at home when you visit their restaurant.

And what a beautiful restaurant it is.  Before you enter the restaurant proper, you easily glide through a cozy patio space that has been designed with the ability to tame the Florida heat with breezy fans and a gentle misting system.  As you walk through the front door, your eyes feast on a gorgeous space that includes comfy social dining areas, an immaculate open kitchen, clever lighting that provides a warm ambiance, and one of the most stunning bars in the area.

Take a seat and your attention suddenly shifts to the alluring aromas wafting from the kitchen.  With a menu comprised of seasonal Italian dishes that retain a Southern soul, your options are many.  You can nosh on tasty appetizers such as Deviled Crab Arancini and Ricotta Gnocchi before selecting a main course that could range from one of several of Noble Crust’s incredibly balanced and delicious pizzas to Rigatoni & Short Rib Ragu or some Southern Fried Chicken.  After polishing off your first two courses, be sure to look over the dessert menu because you are definitely going to want to finish off your meal with a slice of Lemon-Buttermilk Pie or a jar of Warm Chocolate Budino.  Finally, and this goes for your entire meal, your Noble Crust experience is not complete unless you pair these delectable dishes with something from the bar.  It could be a of glass wine, a tasty brew from their carefully curated beer list, or one of their many ambrosial house cocktails.  Just find the flavor that best suits you, settle in, sip away and fully savor the complete dining experience that Noble Crust provides.

We could go on and on about our time at Noble Crust, but it is probably best to let our photos do the talking from here on out.  Check out the photos below and, most importantly, be sure to check out Noble Crust – Wesley Chapel as soon as possible.  The restaurant opens to the public this week, and their staff is polished and ready to go.  Make it happen and enjoy what may just be the finest dining option now available in Wesley Chapel.  Prost!

 

**Click any photo below to enlarge, read descriptions, and/or view the gallery as a slideshow**

Forbidden Root Brewery to Launch Its Fernet-Inspired Fernetic in Florida

Ferneticbottle_editedForbidden Root Brewery (Chicago, Illinois) recently announced that it will introduce the Florida craft beer community to Fernetic Imperial Black Ale, a limited release collaboration with Fratelli Branca Distillerie (Milan, Italy), beginning in late-June.

To properly represent Fernet-Branca in “its first foray into craft beer”, the brewers at Forbidden Root teamed up with the Branca family to “[deconstruct] the beloved Italian digestif and [reconstruct] the legendary family recipe into an unforgettable craft beer for Amaro and beer lovers alike.”  Their collaborative efforts resulted in Fernetic, “an exotic, spicy and complex” Imperial Black Ale made with a recipe boasting “quality ingredients such as rhubarb root, saffron, and wormwood, among the selected botanics of the 27 herbs and spices found in Fernet-Branca.” With an aromatic profile hinting at notes of coffee and peppermint, the 8.4% ABV Fernetic supplies a drinking experience possessing “a soft roastiness . . ., bitter notes [that] build to a spicy, creamy middle and dry woody finish.”

“Collaborations are always an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and build off someone else’s creative energy,” says Forbidden Root head brewer BJ Pichman. “With Fernet-Branca, we were working with a nearly 175 year-old recipe, a body of very distinct flavors and a bitterness factor that is not usually present in beers. Our team really enjoyed the creative challenge of working to make a delicious, uncommon beer while keeping true to the flavors and history of the Fernet-Branca recipe.”

Fernetic Imperial Black Ale will officially release in Florida in late-June at the following launch events:

  • Wednesday, June 21 at 3 p.m. at Ice Plant Bar (110 Riberia Street, St. Augustine, FL) – “A cocktail competition will run from 3-5 p.m. preceding the 5 p.m. Fernetic tapping. The event will give attendees an opportunity to taste the unique collaboration brew, meet Fernet-Branca and Forbidden Root representatives, and enjoy Fernet-inspired cocktails.”
  • Thursday, June 22 at 7 p.m. at SweetWater Bar & Grill (1507 S Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL) – A special tapping of Fernetic that will feature a cocktail competition at 10 p.m.
  • Friday, June 23 at 6 p.m. at The Blue Goose (48 9th St N, Saint Petersburg, FL) – Launch event with a Fernetic tapping at 8 p.m.

In addition to those launch events, Fernetic Imperial Black Ale will also see an extremely limited release on draft at select locations found within the Florida distribution area of Forbidden Root Brewery.  If you have been looking for a truly unique craft beer experience, be sure to check out one of the launch events above or keep a close eye on tap lists for Fernetic Imperial Black Ale.  Prost!

Vital Information for Fernetic Imperial Black Ale from Forbidden Root Brewery & Fratelli Branca Distillerie

Release – Limited, Florida launch begins June 21, 2017
Style – Imperial Black Ale
ABV – 8.4%
The Inspiration –  Fernet-Branca, an Italian Amaro made with 27 herbs and spices
The Botanicals – Rhubarb root, peppermint, saffron, wormwood, angelica, star anise, & 14 others
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft (bottles may not be available in Florida)

Field Trip: Cavalier Distributing Trade Show – Tampa

Just a few weeks ago, Cavalier Distributing (Lakeland, Florida) held a fantastic and informative trade show at The Vault, a beautiful venue located in the heart of Tampa’s Downtown Arts District.  Cavalier used this industry-only event as an opportunity to introduce the area’s restaurants, bars, retailers, and media members to their vast portfolio of fine craft beers, meads, ciders and spirits.  The best way to capture all that this event had to offer was through a visual medium, so check out the photos below (click to enlarge) so that you too can get the inside scoop on the exciting beverages headed our way this year from Cavalier Distributing.  Prost!

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Yazoo Brewing and Jose Cuervo Team Up to Create Maracuyá y Tradicional Golden Strong Ale

ETFlogo_editedAt 3 p.m. (CST) on Wednesday, April 19, Yazoo Brewing Company (Nashville, Tennessee) will host a taproom release for Maracuyá y Tradicional, a cask-aged collaboration with Jose Cuervo Tequila (Jalisco, Mexico).

After quietly collaborating for nearly two years, the folks at Yazoo Brewing and Jose Cuervo have seemingly come out of nowhere to announce their clandestine efforts with the release of Maracuyá y Tradicional (translated: Passion Fruit and Traditional Casks).  Arriving as an incredibly special offering from the brewery’s Embrace The Funk series of sour and barrel-aged beers, Maracuyá y Tradicional is a Brettanomyces fermented Golden Strong Ale that has been made with passion fruit and then carefully “aged in Jose Cuervo 100% Blue Agave Tradicional Reposado Tequila casks.”  No one is going to know this beer better than the head of Yazoo’s Embrace The Funk program, so here is how he describes Maracuyá y Tradicional: 

“Working with a legendary 200 year old Tequila producer on this project has been a very fun crossover into merging beer, freshly emptied tequila oak and wild yeasts. The beer has a big bright tropical fruit character that melds so well into the deep smooth character of the tequila casks. There are a lot of layers to this beer, it’s definitely multiple beers in one bottle.”

 

– Brandon Jones, Head of Yazoo’s Sour & Barrel aging program

As an added bonus, this collaborative effort gets another twist now that Yazoo has sent the Wild Ale-seasoned casks back to Jose Cuervo.  The distillery “is currently finishing a version of their 100% Blue Agave tequila in these same casks for a future special release of an Embrace The Funk tequila.”

On April 19, 750ml bottles – with a real wood label – of Maracuyá y Tradicional will be available for purchase in Yazoo’s taproom.  The brewery “will also have 20 (twenty) 1.5L magnum bottles of this one time collaboration available on a first come first serve basis.” In addition to the taproom release, this offering will also see ” limited local distribution.”  You best believe that these bottles will go fast, so do what you can to be at the Yazoo taproom on Wednesday to secure your bottle of Maracuyá y Tradicional.  Prost!

 

Sugarlands Distilling to Offer Piña Colada Moonshine this Summer

SugarlandslogoSugarlands Distilling Company (Gatlinburg, Tennessee) recently announced plans to officially release Piña Colada Moonshine beginning on Monday, May 15.

Piña Colada Moonshine has been created by Sugarlands Distilling to act as the perfect paring for any summertime gathering with friends and family.  This new offering combines the flavors of “fresh pineapple and coconut milk” to trick the mind into believing it has been transported “directly to the sunny beach setting of its dreams.”  Clocking in at 70 proof (35% ABV), Piña Colada Moonshine “is best enjoyed over ice, on an island, or on your own front porch.”  Piña Colada is the latest moonshine to join Sugarlands’ “award-winning line of spirits that has won 20 awards internationally since distillation began in 2014.”

Sugarlands will officially release Piña Colada Moonshine on May 15.  Once released, this offering will be available in 750 ml Mason jars at select liquor stores found within the distribution area of Sugarlands Distilling Company and online at BuySugarlands.com. Prost!

Vital Information for Piña Colada Moonshine from Sugarlands Distilling Company

Release – launching May 15, 2017
Style – Flavored Moonshine
ABV – 35%  (70 proof)
Distribution – Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Minnesota & Indiana
Buy Online – BuySugarlands.com

 

 

Funky Buddha Brewery and Jose Cuervo Collaborate on Mexican Coffee Imperial Stout

FBMexicancoffeebottleFunky Buddha Brewery (Oakland Park, Florida) has announced that they have officially partnered with Jose Cuervo Tequila (Jalisco, Mexico) to create Mexican Coffee Imperial Stout, a limited release collaboration aged in tequila barrels.

The master distillers at Jose Cuervo recently reached out to Funky Buddha with a proposal to age a beer of the brewery’s choice in barrels that once held Tradicional 100% Agave Reposado Tequila.  The only catch to this arrangement was that the brewery had to then return to the ale-seasoned barrels to Jose Cuervo so that they could be re-filled with tequila.

Fully on board with the idea, the brewers at Funky Buddha put their heads together and decided to develop a recipe inspired by the cafe Mexicano, a “warm cocktail that combines coffee and cinnamon with a touch of Tequila and usually topped off with sweet cream.”  Funky Buddha mimicked the flavors of this coffee-based libation by brewing “a bold Imperial Stout . . . with oats, lactose, and roasted malts.”  The beer was then blended with coffee and cinnamon before enjoying an “extended vacation” within the provided tequila barrels.

“The idea to brew a Mexican coffee beer came from the former Miami Dolphins punter, Brandon Fields, as we discussed beers that would be great aged in tequila barrels.”

– Ryan Sentz, Head Brewer and CEO at Funky Buddha Brewery

Although the brewery does not yet have an exact release date, we can expect Mexican Coffee Imperial Stout – and the ale cask finished tequila – to arrive “just in time for Cinco De Mayo.” ** UPDATE** Mexican Coffee Imperial Stout will release in the Funky Buddha taproom at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 30.  There will be some delicious Mexican food specials and extended brewery tour hours for the occasion. Hop on for one of the awesome, educational, and most importantly beer filled tours at Noon, 1, 2, 3, 4 p.m.  **UPDATE**  When it is ready for release, the Funky Buddha taproom will have Mexican Coffee Imperial Stout available in 22 oz. bottles for the price of $25 each (limit of four three bottles per customer).  Shortly after the taproom release, this very limited offering will then enter distribution and be available at select craft beer establishments in Florida.  In addition to the bottle release, Funky Buddha will “also be doing some events with Cuervo at cocktail bars around Florida making a special beer cocktail with the Imperial Stout and tequila.”  More information concerning Mexican Coffee Imperial Stout, its release date, and any collaborative events between Funky Buddha and Jose Cuervo will be available soon.  We will update this post with that information just as soon as we have it, so stay tuned.  Prost!

Orlando Whiskey Festival Returns in May

3rdOWFposterOn Saturday, May 13 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Whiskey & Bizz Events will host their 3rd Annual Orlando Whiskey Festival at Mercedes Benz of Orlando in Maitland (810 N Orlando Ave, Maitland, Florida).

Established as “the first ever Whiskey Festival to hit Central Florida,” the Orlando Whiskey Festival will officially return on May 13 for its third installment.  With a pour list boasting nearly 100 brands spanning from fine single malts to flavored whiskies, this event promises to provide guests with a top tier, educational whiskey experience that also allows them to interact with industry professionals.  In addition to the abundance of amazing whiskies, this event will also feature “gourmet menu selections . . . from some of Orlando’s most popular restaurant groups”, craft beer from Hourglass Brewery, wine, live entertainment, and all net proceeds will benefit the amazing cause of The Lovely Project.  There is a lot to cover when it comes to the 3rd Annual Orlando Whiskey Festival, so let’s break it all down:

The Basics

The Whiskey

This event will feature a pour list of 92 whiskeys.  This will include such distilleries as Angel’s Envy, The Balvenie, Basil Hayden’s, Four Roses Bourbon, Heaven Hill Distillery, Highland Park, Jack Daniel’s, Laphroaig Distillery, Suntory Whisky, Willett Distillery, Woodford Reserve, and many more.  To check out the full list of featured whiskeys, click here.  

The Food & Entertainment

“Menu sampling from some of Orlando’s most popular restaurant groups” will be available during the event.  Participating eateries include the following:

The event will also feature live musical entertainment provided by Mo’mo-Browne.

The Charity

All net proceeds from the Orlando Whiskey Festival will benefit The Lovely Project, “a Non-Profit Organization, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, that exists to empower girls by providing them with tools, education and peer-mentorship for living a purposeful, productive life.”  The Lovely Project’s Mission Statement is as follows:

“Our mission is for every young girl to grow into a woman who will create positive impact on the world around them. The girls we reach in our community have the opportunity to cultivate healthy friendships in a safe, fun environment while being encouraged and mentored. Our vision is for every girl to know that she is Lovely.”

Ticket Information

Tickets to the Orlando Whiskey Festival are available for purchase now (click here to purchase), and tickets will be available online until May 12 (while supplies last).  Tickets are available in the following tiers:

  • General Admission: $95 plus fees – Ticket includes entrance into the festival at 7 p.m., a branded Glencairn official whiskey tasting glass, unlimited tasting of nearly 100 different brands of whiskey, menu sampling from some of Orlando’s most popular restaurant groups, access to an outdoor cigar lounge featuring Drew Estates Cigars, live entertainment from Mo’mo Browne, specialty cocktails prepared by selected whiskey brands, and craft beer from Hourglass Brewery
  • VIP Early Access: $145 plus fees – Ticket includes entrance into the festival one hour early at 6 p.m., a branded Glencairn official whiskey tasting glass, unlimited tasting of nearly 100 different brands of whiskey, menu sampling from some of Orlando’s most popular restaurant groups, access to an outdoor cigar lounge featuring Drew Estates Cigars, live entertainment from Mo’mo Browne, specialty cocktails prepared by selected whiskey brands, and craft beer from Hourglass Brewery

(**NOTE** There is a third ticket option available for purchase on the Eventbrite link provided above.  The “Ultimate Whiskey Dinner Experience” is a separate event scheduled for Friday, May 12 at DoveCote Brasserie.  If you purchase that ticket, it only grants you access to the three-course dinner.  It DOES NOT grant you admission into the Orlando Whiskey Festival. **NOTE**)

If you happen to be in the Orlando area and free on May 13, you may want to consider checking out the Orlando Whiskey Festival.  Not only will you be treated to an incredible evening filled with the finest whiskies, but you will be able to enjoy it all while supporting the very worthy cause of The Lovely Project.  How can you go wrong with that?  Prost!

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Sugarlands Distilling Co. adds Electric Orange to Lineup of Cream Liqueurs

unnamed-3Sugarlands Distilling Company (Gatlinburg, Tennessee) has officially introduced Electric Orange Cream Liqueur as the newest offering in the distillery’s Appalachian Sippin’ Cream series.

Joining “an award-winning line of spirits that has won 20 awards internationally since distillation began in 2014,” Electric Orange Cream Liqueur has officially arrived as the latest release from Sugarland Distilling Company.  Inspired by the orange creamsicles many of us enjoyed in our youth, this new cream liqueur “combines a bright, fresh orange zest with the smooth taste of vanilla cream.”  Weighing in at a reasonable 40 proof, the folks at Sugarlands propose that you enjoy Electric Orange Cream Liqueur straight or used as a mixer in your favorite adults-only float recipe.  Electric Orange joins Butter Pecan Cream Liqueur and Dark Chocolate Coffee Cream Liqueur to comprise Sugarlands Distilling Company’s current lineup of Appalachian Sippin’ Creams.

Electric Orange Cream Liqueur is currently available for purchase now at the Gatlinburg distillery.  If you are not in that area, 750 ml Mason jars of this offering will soon be available in liquor stores found within the distribution area of Sugarlands Distilling Company and online at BuySugarlands.com. Electric Orange Cream Liqueur is sure to be a unique and eye-catching addition to your bar (home or otherwise), so pick up a jar the next time you are at the liquor store to treat yourself and your friends to some delicious new cocktails.  Prost!

Vital Information for Electric Orange Cream Liqueur from Sugarlands Distilling Company

Release – Appalachian Sippin’ Cream, launching February 2017
Style – Cream Liqueur 
ABV – 20% (40 proof)
Distribution – Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Minnesota & Indiana
Buy Online – BuySugarlands.com

Monday Night Brewing and ASW Distillery Collaborate on Scottish-Style Single Malt Whiskey

aswmnbMonday Night Brewing (Atlanta, Georgia) recently announced that they have partnered with ASW Distillery (Atlanta, Georgia) on the creation and release of Monday Night Scottish-Style Single Malt Whiskey.

Although this is the first collaboration spirit created by Monday Night and ASW, the long-standing relationship between these two dates back to when “Monday Night co-founder Joel Iverson lived next door to ASW co-founder Charlie Thompson” before either had their current businesses.  A friendship started innocently when Joel invited Charlie to homebrew tastings, and that bond naturally carried over when they eventually established their respective brewery and distillery.  After co-sponsoring several events in Atlanta together and ASW Distillery sponsoring one of Monday Night’s first anniversary parties, a collaboration project was just the next natural step for the two companies.

This project became a reality just about as soon as Monday Night’s Brewmaster Adam Bishop met ASW’s Head Distiller Justin Manglitz and discovered that they shared an ” adorably obsessive love of all things chemistry and alcohol.”  The two then hatched a plan “to produce a smooth, smoky whiskey.”  The process started with Monday Night brewing up “a mash rich in Cherrywood-smoked malt” – the same malt used in the brewery’s Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale.  Once the mash was taken to ASW, “it was distilled . . . in traditional Scottish-style twin copper pot stills before being transferred into new American white oak quarter casks.”  There it aged until Monday Night and ASW were confident that they had a Scotch-style Whiskey that boasts “a pleasant bite . . . with a smooth, slightly sweet, and delightfully smoky finish.”

Monday Night Scottish-Style Single Malt Whiskey will start hitting Atlanta area shelves in early March.  This offering will be available in 750ml bottles for the “expected retail price of $59” each.  If you feel it necessary to be one of the first to try Monday Night Scottish-Style Single Malt Whiskey, ASW Distillery will be hosting a small release party on Monday, February 27.  Advanced tickets for the party will be available for purchase on Monday Night Brewing’s website beginning on Monday, February 6.  We will be sure to update this post with that ticket link and any further release information once it surfaces.  Stay tuned.  Prost!