Imbibe Hour


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Acquiring one of the most desired American Doubles, Pliny the Elder and Double Trouble Founders imbibing fun!

In beer land, there is an American Double IPA that many try to seek it out. It is available year round, but only available mostly in California. If you live like I do on the East coast, your chances of finding the beer on store shelves are slim to none.

The beer is called "Pliny the Elder" from Russian River brewery. It comes in a very non descriptive bottle with a basic red dot logo which doesn't seem to leave a lot to imagination. However, it is the contents inside that are what is really important.

I put Pliny in comparison with another favorite brewery of mine, Founders and tried Double Trouble side by side. To have even more fun with this tasting, I slept on this and awoke the next morning and cracked open both bottles at 10:00 AM with a very rested palate having nothing to eat or drink for at least 14 hours. How did this turn out? Well check out below.


When 70 degrees hits in February It's time for some light and crisp imbibing Pilsner joy

We got some stupidly warm days all of a sudden here in my area. When that happens my mind turns to things of light air, crisp summer days.. and great things to imbibe on such as a great light beer. Nothing satisfies like a Pilsner to hit the spot.

I had some German style pilsner lying around. One is from Germany the other is an American made beer out of Pennsylvania called Victory Prima Pils. Both of these beers while being of the same style are VERY different from each other in taste and feel, but they would be just the perfect thing to imbibe on a warm summer day.

In my latest video I pair these two in a taste test for great tasting goodness. To see how it went, watch the video below.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Finally a glass made for tasting whiskey, and how to christen it properly. Whistlepig does the trick!

As I began tasting whiskey I sort of went with what I could get on hand to make it an enjoyable experience. I needed some small glasses with a little taper, and found some simple standard cognac/brandy snifters. They were inexpensive, and I could buy a few knowing that if I ever broke one I wouldn't shed a tear. As time went on and I ran around looking at whiskey, it was something I read about when tasting brandy that made me think I might be missing out on the tasting experience because of my glassware. The person said "When evaluating brandy never use a snifter, use a tulip glass". What??!? I thought.. you mean these so called glasses called "cognac/brandy" glasses should NEVER be used for as there name says... "brandy"?

Well it made me think if whiskey was the same. Certainly two revered products should be capable of a good glass right? So I was talking about my rye experience online with some very knowledgeable people on, and on a lark someone pointed me to a Canadian Whiskey aficionado, and there stood in his hand on his webpage... something I hadn't seen before that was to me... very unique. What was that thing?! I asked myself.. and before I knew it I discovered he had in his hand a glass SPECIFICALLY for tasting WHISK(E)Y which is called a "Glencairn".

Long story short, I bought four of them finding a good online deal I think. Many times a single Glencairn glass can be a little pricey (not too bad), but also I would be peeved if I broke one of these (the glass is a little fragile). I am very excited to try the four glasses out on my next bourbon tasting, but I figured it made sense to evaluate it with something good. I used the glass while hunkering down and evaluating a bottle of Whistlepig rye whiskey, a 10 year aged straight rye whiskey made in Canada and bottled in Vermont.

The glass made some interesting surprises for me. To see how, take a look below at the video. Cheers!

A gin fizz and an egg are much fun to have together

When I got into making cocktails, I always enjoyed using egg white and making frothy drinks. Unfortunately the by product of an egg white, is of course the egg yolk. I would stare at the white blob and say to myself, "Ok.. so what do I do with this now?" Well the reality is you can still use it in a cocktail, and a good way to show off an egg in a cocktail, is to make a fizz.

A fizz is a cocktail that has a standard base, mostly gin and lemon and some type of sweetener (simple syrup) with soda water. However, when you add an egg you can have three different types of fizzes. Adding egg white to a basic fizz makes a silver fizz, add only the yolk, and it's a golden fizz. If you add the entire egg you get a royal fizz. This is just a real basic fizz, and there are THOUSANDS of fizz recipes adding many ingredients. You can really go nuts with this type of cocktail in varying it.

This is actually a refreshing, but sometimes messy drink. It's fun to make a lot of froth and foam and feels like a good thing to have in the summer on a hot day. Watch below to see how to make one.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Amber waves of grain, a good amber ale beer is great to imbibe on

Amber Ales seem to be an after thought to me in the beer realm, but after tasting 3 that were all very different (one that sort of sells itself as an Imperial Amber and feels more like an IPA), there might be more to this style than I imagined.

The three beers I pulled out were, Full Sail's Amber, Troegs HopBack, and Troegs Nugget Nectar. Placing HopBack and Nugget Nectar side by side in this tasting just seemed to make sense. They are both similar and sort of an evolution from one (HopBack) to the next (Nugget Nectar).

Full Sail was very different from both these, and it was beer that really grew on me the more I drank it.

To see more of what I thought, watch the video review below. Cheers!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Imbibing Orval and understanding how a proper glass makes a beer shine

Sometime ago I was at a Belgian beer tasting hosted by Belgium native Bart Vandaele from Belga Cafe and learned a very important lesson. The proper glass for a beer from Belgium makes a big difference in your tasting experience. So much so that of the thousands of beers you could have from breweries each glass is unique.

I remembered this and when setting out to make my latest tasting I realized I never had an Orval glass to compare against my Leffe Blonde. So I decided to wait, and got one in the mail. That time was well spent and made a huge difference and impression on me in tasting this unique beer.

It's kind of hard to sometimes justify having lots of glassware, but it truly does make all the difference. To understand why, watch the review below of Orval and Leffe Blonde.