May 29, 2014
C2H5OH Review Corner
The Centennial State is arguably the top micro brew state in the Union. The Refugee does not have visibility into the other 49 states, but it seems that the "micro" thing has also taken hold across the state in the realm of distilled spirits, specifically whiskeys. Daveco Liquors, named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest liquor store, is just five miles from The Refugee's house (and within shouting distance of several blog brethren); Daveco has a nice section of Colorado whiskeys. It just seemed like a really good idea for The Refugee to sample every one made in Colorado and report on them to Three Sourcers. So, prepare to grab one of JK's recommended readings and settle in with a wee dram.
First, The Refugee must explain his impeccable review credentials and methodology. He is specifically qualified to review whiskeys because he has two key attributes: a tongue and a keyboard. Oh, yeah - and a third thing - a credit card to pay for the stuff. For methodology, he puts a nice two-ounce pour over four ice cubes (made with filtered water) - never any extra water or other additives. If you've gotta mix it, then it can't be good. Of course, one sample is not enough. One must drink at least half the bottle (no, not in one sitting) to appreciate how the taste evolves over time. Just as there are different varieties of beers, there are different varieties of whiskeys. The Refugee does not try to categorize them for comparison, but just to make note of the variety. Whiskeys are evaluated based on five taste characteristics: smokiness, bitterness, sourness, astringency and taste strength. (Astringency is to whiskey as hoppiness is to beer.)
For a first review subject, The Refugee chose 303 Whiskey from Boulder Distillery. Interestingly, 303 (presumably named for the Denver/Boulder area code) is made from potatoes, not corn or grain as most whiskeys are. There is considerable debate in online discussion forums as to the authenticity of a potato-based whiskey. To The Refugee, it looks and tastes like whiskey, so he'll leave the labeling purity to others.
303 is a lighter color than many other whiskeys. It is packaged is a very plain bottle with a boring label, perhaps testimony that the makers are distillers and not marketers. Nevertheless, the bottle contents are a decent drink. Astringency, the first thing that hits your tongue with any whiskey, is moderate in 303. It's a little stronger than The Refugee cares for, but not so much that it interferes with tasting the drink. 303 has virtually no bitterness and very little sourness; in fact, it finishes with a bit of a sweet note. It's taste strength is rather nondescript: while pleasing enough, it does not leave you looking forward to the next glass. Nevertheless, The Refugee's impression of 303 improved over time. It gets better as you get deeper into the glass and the bottle.
At under $30 a bottle, 303 is a satisfactory drink and worth a try. Three tumblers.
Next up: Tincup Whiskey.
November 16, 2012
"Nut up or shut up"
"Someday very soon, life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go ... empty."
Is it too late to get Twinkies added to the endangered species list? Where's the EPA when we really NEED it!
October 20, 2012
Soi Disant -- or is that soy disant -- free people
We sure allow ourselves to be bullied by the Feds on food. Baylen J. Linnekin, Executive Director of Keep Food Legal, takes to Reason to list Ten Federal Food-Policy Issues Obama and Romney Should Discuss.
All ten are deeply depressing reminders of what we've given away. The Federal government performs paramilitary raids on raw milk, approves brand logos and packaging, gives (traditionally very bad) advice on nutrition, &c.
Trade all ten for the Tenth Amendment, good people.
December 4, 2011
Colorado Native Lager
Last spring I made my first attempt at growing hops. The plants never sprouted and I was quite disappointed, but others had better luck than I and the 100% Colorado brew from Coors brewing has been completed.
As soon as today, a batch of Colorado Native made with homegrown hops will hit store shelves, thanks to the efforts of 130 volunteer growers.
A year ago, AC Golden Brewing put out an invitation to its Facebook fans to accept a free hops rhizome, plant it and donate the harvested crop to the brewer.
The yield was not enough to produce a year's worth of the brew, but it's a start. As for the product? I posted the following on the beer's Facebook page:
My two rhizomes never broke ground - perhaps they languished in the fridge too long before I planted them. I'll try again in the spring. But I picked up a 12-pack yesterday and ... love it! I love highly hopped beers but the first bottle I drank (from a glass) almost blew me away. I got a headache it was so hoppy! (Had just returned from a day near Blackhawk though so was perhaps O2 deprived.) Second bottle today was more mellow but very tasty, well balanced and on its way to being the only beer I drink for as long as I can get it. Lovely red-amber. Five stars!
Back in the day, Coors Banquet Beer, brewed only in Colorado, was not available east of the Mississipi River (a fact capitalized on in the storyline for the movie "Smokey and the Bandit.) Coors is now also bottled in Virginia and available nationwide. CO Native, however - only in Colorado, brothers and sisters.
September 17, 2011
O zapft ist!
Or translated literally, "O" taps is!
Oktoberfest 2011: September 17th until October 3rd
September 24, 2008
Que Sera Sera
A little-known Chilean wine known as Palin Syrah has apparently lost favor in the City by the Bay. Sales in San Francisco of this boutique product have fallen faster than a thermometer on the North Slope in January. Texas, however, seems to be picking up the slack.
The Refugee will confess to being a bit of a wine snob and may have to see about picking up a bottle at the local Daveco Liquors. He may need to find out how it pairs with a certain $8 cheese.