Beer Into Spirit

Thumbing through a copy of Whiskey Advocate, I came across the above article about beers being made into whiskey including notable breweries with a distillery like Rogue but also the Craft Brewers Whiskey Project. Which has and will be partnering with different breweries to create unique whiskies. Captain Lawrence, Jack’s Abbey and Spencer Trappist are on the list. Add to your ISO list.

Flaviar – Test Drive

I have been meaning to do a test subscription to Flaviar. And at the beginning of the month, I hopped onto the lowest price that I had seen. And I received…

An etched bottle of Islay (Scotland) gin that I had eyed for awhile, a magazine with short punchy articles that I thought were good plus QR codes aplenty. Finally, the centerpiece was a container with three rye whiskies.

This variety trio had Copper Fox, Rossville Union and Bender’s included. Very fancy packaging and a healthy sample of each plus note coasters with flavor profiles for you to help guide your tasting.

Bender’s was my winner with nutmeg and cinnamon spicing and Copper Fox my least favorite owing to its being a smoke bomb. Rossville Union was too smokey for my taste but at least had a balance as other flavors like chocolate and vanilla shone a bit as well.

I bought this myself so I am valuing this on my own dime. The packaging and information makes this worth it and the fact thar you can explore through many spirits and sub-styles is great. My suggestion is to by a big bottle of a spirit you need or of something you know you will use and then use the tasters to explore and find that bottle you want to go big on later.

Amass No Alcohol

My dabbling in the realm of Non-Alcoholic drinks hasn’t touched upon the realm of spirits but that might change with this intriguing Gin? like drink from Amass called Riverine. Here is the ingredient listing: “Coniferous notes from Juniper are brightened by Sumac, Sorrel, Lemon Peel, and Apple, while Thyme, Mint, and Parsley lend a rich herbal earthiness.”

Return to Re:Find

A few years back, as part of a trip to Paso Robles put on by Firestone Walker, I had a lovely evening eating food and having cocktails and even practicing creating my own blend of gin at the Re:Find distillery. (It was not good). I finally returned up the windy road and windier driveway to this time taste wine and spirits.

For the fantastic price of $15, a visitor gets four splashes of wine and then tastes of spirits in the room next door, right in front of the beautiful shiny still.

Of the four wines on the flight, my favorite was a Cuvee Blanc from 2016. Sharp and strong with great grape taste to this amateur wine drinker. But I was there to taste the gin and limoncello and decide which I wanted to bring back home with me.

The Vodka was clean and strong but surprisingly the barrel-aged Vodka [e] was even stronger and I noticeably was struck by it. The Limoncello is perfect as a base for cocktails. On it’s own, it was too sweet for me but that lemon taste was magnificent.

The Gin is made of a proprietary blend of botanicals including juniper berry, coriander, orris root, lemon & orange peel, grains of paradise, and lavender. And the aroma was heavenly. This is a gin that could be drunk straight and would reveal different nuances. In a cocktail it really adds a set of spice notes and alcohol heat that was amazing.

Re:Find is part of the distillery trail in Paso Robles but I could have sat on the hill and just drank G&Ts all day.


Flaviar is an odd duck of a website and spirits idea that I am not sold on quite yet. The website doesn’t seem geared to people who are picky, more to those who want monthly gift boxes.
Much like Amazon, you can shop for individual spirits without buying a membership, which they also refer to as prime.You can choose auto-selected boxes of whiskey, gin, rum and others or you can self-select what you desire. It arrives to you in science-y looking beakers for tasting.

I appreciate the idea as a tool for exploration but without knowing what it would cost to buy the full bottle, I feel like I could get told any price for one of the tasters. The selection looks strong and unique and different from the mini-bar bottles you could normally buy but at a liquor store you can compare prices.

Filing this under, website to monitor and maybe purchase from later.

Two More books to Put on Your Radar + One to get Now

I am a book fiend.  The only thing I consume more of is beer. And two more books are in the publishing pipeline that I think are worthy of reading the first few pages of.  (That’s what I always do, to see if the writer has a good style).

First up is….

Proof: The Science of Booze

Probably to be read before any beer intake.  This is the from the lab look at this fascinating part of our beverage. And it involves not only neurobiology and psychology but metallurgy as well.  That is the part that intrigues me.

Then, we head to Brooklyn for….

The Craft Beer Revolution

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The co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery dives into the relatively recent history of America’s microbreweries. You might see some overlap between this and the Audacity of Hops book from last year.  But the perspective is different since Hindy is inside the industry, as opposed to being a journalist looking in.

Lastly, I know you might want to spend money on beer and not books so check out from a library (which I also love) a copy of….

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…the 2013 edition of the Best Food Writing. Does it have anything about craft beer?  No.  Sadly. But it does touch on many topics that if you replaced carrots or restaurant and inserted craft beer, the writing might shed light on how we look at beer.  What is local?  What is slow food?  We are all kin and this book will enlighten you.

BrewDog release

The inventive folks at BrewDog are at it again“BrewDog brewers of Fraserburgh described TACTICAL NUCLEAR PENGUIN the 32 per cent proof tipple as its “most audacious and ambitious project to date”.

BrewDog, which describes itself as making “progressive, craft beers” was previously responsible for an 18.2pc drink called Tokyo which it claimed had been “banned” by the Portman Group, the industry body which runs a voluntary code of conduct.

It also made a low alcohol brew which it mockingly name “Nanny State”.

Only 500 bottles of its latest beer have been produced, with half going on sale for £30 each and remainder offered for £250 with a share in the company also on offer.

In a posting on the company’s website, James Watt, the managing director said: “This beer is bold, irreverent and uncompromising, a beer with a soul and a purpose, a statement of intent.”

He added: “Beer has a terrible reputation in Britain, it’s ignorant to assume that a beer can’t be enjoyed responsibly like a nice dram or a glass of fine wine.

“A beer like Tactical Nuclear Penguin should be enjoyed in spirit sized measures.

“It pairs fantastically with vanilla bean white chocolate it really brings out the complexity of the beer and complements the powerful, smoky and cocoa flavours.”

A warning on the label advises drinkers to take it in small servings: “and with an air of aristocratic nonchalance. ”