Endless Beer: Stone Enjoy By 2/14/17

DSC_0141

“Built specifically not to last.” Stone has regularly released their freshest IPAs for us to enjoy WHILE STILL FRESH. February’s brew is “Enjoy by 2/14/2017” Chocolate and Coffee IPA. While many think of the citrus undertones of hops, the right hops can also be paired with flavors such as chocolate. Here’s what we thought…

Read More

Winter Exchange Beer Selection: Shiner Winter Cheers

DSC_0109

I’m behind. Apparently I’m so well known for enjoying beer and booze that everyone decided to get me just that for Christmas. Not that I’m complaining – I have at least two cases of beer that are still waiting to be cracked open. I finally got to opening my winter exchange box and I’m starting to pick my favorites. Off to our first brew – the Shiner Winter Cheers. Shiner Winter Cheers is known as a class winter brew with powerful fruity notes. Here we go…cheers!

Read More

Endless Cocktails: Almond Joy

img_1626

On occasion, my wife and I like to pretend we are well-to-do snobs that get bored easily with all the money we have. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by various wineries, so we go every now and then for tastings (and always end up buying some wine). One weekend while at the shore, we stopped at a place in South Jersey. They had all kinds of different wines and an almond wine particularly “struck our fancy.” We were both surprised by how much we liked it. Additionally, the winery advertised that it goes very well in an Almond Joy Cocktail. BONUS.

We’ve been saving it for a time that others will enjoy it, knowing that neither of us will be able to kill a bottle of Almond Joy solely by drinking Almond Joy Cocktails. That day finally came. Almond Joy Cocktails all around! While I didn’t think it tasted exactly like an Almond Joy, others did. I did taste all components, just not as an Almond Joy. Maybe it is because I have a such a refined palate…yes. Anyway, try it out for yourself and let us know what you think!

Almond Joy Cocktail

2 parts almond wine
1 part coconut rum
1 part chocolate liqeuor

Add all ingredients to a mixer. Add ice. Shake well. Pour into the fanciest and prettiest cocktail glass you have. Call it your own recipe. Impress your friends.

Endless Beer: Dark Water IPA

dsc_0093

Alright kids; number two from my beer trade is a black IPA. Black IPA sounds odd to many people. What it means is that it is a beer that keeps the “integrity” of an IPA, but also has the malty profile of a dark beer. Black IPAs come in many different shapes, sizes, and flavors. For me, the key to a quality black IPA is having the hop-forward flavor without losing the dark color of the beer and the sweet malt flavor of a dark beer. Some will go too many hops or too little hops. The key is balance (kind of ironic in an IPA). Imperial Oak Brewing Company offers us a black IPA weighing in at 90 IBUs (pretty average for an IPA). Anyway, here’s the flavors!

ABV:9%

Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Black, nearly opaque with tan head

Aroma: Hops and biscuity

Taste: Roasted malts in the front – mixture of coffee and bitter chocolate, followed by strong hop flavor. Hop bitterness holds throughout, balanced by the roasted malt flavor. Slight notes of caramel in the back end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: Definitely an above average black IPA. The flavors are well thought-out and keep me wanting more after each sip. Has the definite profile of an IPA with the roasted malty flavor typically coming from such a dark beer.

Endless Rating: 4.25/5 Suds

Endless Pairings:

Cheese: Buttermilk Blue with crustini, grapes, and dried apricot

Appetizer: Buffalo Wings

Entree: Grilled pork chop with spinach and acorn squash

Dessert: Chocolate cake

Cigar: CAO Sol

New Year’s Resolution: Drink More Coquito

img_1632

Cocktails, beer, wine, does it really get any better? The holiday season brought us several additional pounds, great food, and obviously tons of booze. BUT, you may have missed out on one of the best parts of the holidays: the Coquito. Coined as “Puerto Rican Egg Nog,” the Coquito brings Christmas flavors to the palate in addition to sweet flavors of coconut and rum. Sounds awful, I know.

I jealously overheard a co-worker saying, “they should fill Nalgene bottles of that shit” and was instantly intrigued. Turns out it was some kind of amazing concoction of coconut, rum, cream and spices. Some use egg, others do not. I spent the rest of my day dreaming of booze and Christmas. When I come home to the wife, she has a small bottle of “some kind of Puerto Rican drink.” BOOM. Santa WAS good to me! Unfortunately, the bottle went quickly and I now need a recipe. Not the kind of recipe you find online. I want a genuine Puerto Rican recipe with all the secrets in it. Anyway, you may still be wondering what it tastes like.

Read More

Endless Beer: Imperial Oak’s Crank it Hop IPA

img_1614

I’ve been so busy drinking beer over the Holidays. It’s been tough. As I mentioned, my favorite time of the year is beer trades and exchanges. From my beer trade with Chicago, I tried the “Crank it Hop” IPA from Imperial Oak Brewing Company. From a grolwer, the suds still had great carbonation and I was able to complete the hard job of tasting 32 ounces of beer. Enough already…here are the notes.

ABV: 6%

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Transparent gold with white head

Aroma: Bitter and hoppy aroma with sweet citrus

Taste: Very sweet matly and caramel flavor in the front end. Follows with slight citrus flavors of orange and grapefruit and ends with strong hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly smooth finish and buttery mouthfeel throughout.

Overall: Very well balanced IPA. It is a sweeter IPA than you typically expect when you think of the style, but the sweetness is pleasant. Smooth drink that was easy to finish even 32 ounces of.

ES Rating: 4.5/5 Suds

Endless Pairings

Cheese: Sweet fig goat cheese with toasted salty almonds and dried cranberries

Appetizer: Candied bacon!

Entree: Grilled barbecue chicken with sauteed green beans and sweet potato puree

Dessert: Caramel Cheesecake

Cigar: Alec Bradley American Sun Grown