Monday, January 5, 2015
Rancho Winslow Xmas 2014, The Booze
Once again, these descriptions are from the websites of their makers, as well as from online reviewers such as Wine Enthusiast, Beer Advocate, etc. As stated last week, I know a hell of a lot more about food and liquor than I do wine and beer, but I definitely know what beers and wines I like when I taste them, and I found all of these contributions to be quite tasty, and all offered a big bang for the buck. Christian brought the first three ales, and I never knew who brought the Tank 7. I brought the Haak, Whitehaven, Azteca Honoro Vera, the Jelly Jar, and the Railean, while Robert brought the Albrecht and the Siduri, and CBoy brought the Pilar. Pilar has quickly become CBoy and Grover’s favorite rum, although I still prefer the Zacapa Solera 23 year or Zacapa Limited Reserve (Guatemala), or any of these: Pusser’s Nelson’s Blood 15 year (BVI), Clément Homere (Martinique), Appleton 21 year (JA), Santa Teresa 1796 (Venezuela), Havana Club Selección or 15 year (Cuba), Zaya Extra Aged (Guatemala), or the Phraya Gold (Thailand). The libations detailed below are listed in the order of consumption.
ABT 12 Belgian Abbey Ale
St. Bernardus Abbey, Watou, BELG
99 pts · 10%
Brewed in the classic 'Quadrupel' style of Belgium's best Abbey Ales. Dark with a full, ivory-colored head. It has a fruity aroma, full of complex flavours and excells because of its long bittersweet finish with a hoppy bite. Seen as one of the better beers in the world. It's a very balanced beer, with a full-bodied taste and a perfect equilibrium between malty, bitter and sweet. One of the original recipes from the days of license-brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren.
Black Rhino Belgian Black Ale
Alderbert’s Brewery, Austin, TX
92 pts · 5.6%
With a hint of Saaz hop spice, Black Rhino is an earthy ale with hints of coffee and cocoa that pours as dark as the name we gave it. Balanced, Malty, Caramel, Spicy, Medium-bodied This dark ale is surprisingly smooth and easy drinking. 2013 Craft Beer Awards Gold Medal, Bronze Medal Belgian Strong Dark Ale from Best of Craft Beer Awards.
Cockeyed Cooper Bourbon Barrel Barley
Unita Brewing Co., Salt Lake City, UT
90 pts · 11%
A well hopped American barleywine, with clean notes of toasty grains, cradled by a gentle bourbon character. Cherry, vanilla, oaken woodiness, rye spice,with flavors that gently unfurl. There’s a very unique spicy tingling that develops in the finish.
Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, MO
94 pts · 8.5%
Beginning with a flavorful surge of fruity aromatics and hoppy, grapefruit notes (Amarillo hops), this complex, straw-colored ale finishes long, dry and spicy. Very well balanced. Grainy flavor with fruit and maltiness, without acidity. Lingering subtle bitterness.
...one more ale!
Lucien Albrecht Cremant d' Alsace NV
90 pts · 12%
Produced at a winery established in 1425, this 100% Pinot Noir sparkler is full bodied with notes of strawberry, raspberry, dried apricot and date, with hints of roasted nut and citrus peel. Body suggests fruit sweetness, with a creamy, slightly off-dry, sustained finish.
Haak Blanc du Bois Dry 2013
Santa Fe, TX (Galveston County)
90 pts · 11%
A light, elegant white wine done in the style of a dry sauvignon blanc. Shades of white linden blossom, peach and pear woven with lemongrass in the delicate aroma. Green apple, citrus and grapefruit flavors. With a clean and crispy finish. Made from the Blanc du Bois grape variety Blanc du Bois grape, which was developed in Florida in the early ‘70s as a disease-resistant wine grape for the humid south This wine is finished "DRY" and has a clean, crisp mouthfeel. It exhibits a fresh citrus finish of grapefruit and tropical fruits. Gold Medal 2014 Los Angeles International Spirits and selected one of the best Texas Wines of 2014 by Texas Monthly.
Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2013
90 pts · 13%
A dry, fruity style of Sauvignon Blanch from one of New Zealand’s leading winemakers.
Displays lifted grapefruit and white currants, with hints of freshly crushed herbs, nettles and flint. The palate has freshness and clean fruit purity, with a finely balanced, refreshing acidity. It shows vibrant varietal aromas, making a powerful palate impression that is quintessential Marlborough. Good staying power with a crisp finish. Best of Show White - International East Meets West Wine Challenge 2014.
Bodegas Ateca Honoro Vera Garnacha 2013
90 pts · 14%
· Big, fresh and ready to drink. A deep crimson color that is nearly opaque at its core, with ripe red berry fruit aromas with a mix of red currants, raspberry, and black cherry backed with pleasant mineral notes. A full mouth feel with intense red berries and tart fruit character followed with a lush finish. Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Deals of 2014. 100% Garnacha.
Jelly Jar Lake County Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
91 pts ·14.6%
· Grown from 40 year old vines in the organic Nova Vineyard of Kelseyville area of Lake County. This old vine 100% Zinfandel has a wonderful nose and tastes of spice, cinnamon, black pepper and roasted almonds along with a burst of fruits such as boysenberry, black cherry, red currants and dark raspberries. “True to its varietal, this Zinfandel exhibits ripe aromas and flavors of raspberry, black cherry and pomegranate. Silky from entry to finish, well balanced and good acid make it a perfect food wine.” Andy and Shannon Pestoni’s old vine Zinfandel offers that old style flavor that the newer zin’s have gotten away from.
Rutini Trumpeter Malbec 2012
89 pts ·13%
· Rutini is one of the oldest wineries in Argentina, and Trumpeter is their second level label. This dense and full bodied, long-finishing wine offers notes of cherry, blackberry, sweet spice, cinnamon, plum, boysenberry and cardamom. Wine Enthusiast Best Buy. 100% Malbec.
Siduri Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2013
Santa Rosa, CA
91 pts · 12.4%
· Fruit forward with bright red cherry and raspberry, medium body, subtle hints of forest floor and a long, lingering finish. Smooth, full flavored, and very drinkable.
Jelly Jar and Railean rum............
Railean Reserve XO Rum
San Leon, TX (Galveston County)
90 pts · 80° ABV
· Made by Kelly Railean, the first distiller certified to produce rum in the U.S. Handcrafted from Grade A molasses in small batches in traditional pot stills and aged in small, new, double-charred, American oak barrels. The Reserve XO has fabulous aromas of brown sugar, spice and oak. It is soft and well-rounded, and as it opens up; it reveals an array of chocolate, caramel and toasted walnut notes. The finish is smooth, warm and relaxing. ”I got this rum simply because my buddy and spirits expert Wes Marshall raved about it as one of his favorites. Good enough for me.” -- MV
Papa's Pilar Dark Rum 24 KY/NY
91 pts · 86°
· Named after Hemmingway’s fishing yacht (and his second wife) this dark rum is solera-aged in French oak, port wine, bourbon, and Spanish wine barrels, and finished in Spanish sherry casks. The oldest column and pot-distilled rums in this blend of Caribbean, South American, and American rums are 24 years old. Sweet to start, with vanilla, caramel, and citrus, cinnamon, coffee, honey, and anise build in the middle, with a long, velvety sherry-port finish. Gold at S.F. International Spirits Festival 2013.
Papa Pilar 24 Rum