Johnny Cocktail has been VERY busy!

There are many more posts to come so stay tuned. This Blog is getting ready to see quite the face lift!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Thoughtful Gift from a Beautiful Person

In a FULL Shot: Yoko, thank you for the wonderful gift, I wanted to return the favor by blogging about everything you gave me. Always, Johnny Cocktail!
There are some great people out there. One such person I will address only as Yoko, has a huge heart and is always providing a helping hand. Approaching me one day stating she is going to a mere Wegman's (A commodity to many, but a day trip to many others) which isn't the above all end all of stores, but has a very expansive beer selection as far as grocery stores go asked me if I wanted anything there when she headed out and I would be able to pay her back at a later time. Of course I jump on it, I had been reading about the Brooklyn Brewery company and had high hopes for a domestic Belgian style ale and requested she pick me up one from that company and I'd pay her back when she delivered on her offer.

Well of course she not only returns with a bottle from the brewery, she brings me a healthy supply of many different things, claiming she knew I would appreciate it more than anybody she knows. I of course was rejected payment for not only the bottle, but the entire bag of libation goodies. She said I could pay her back writing about the beverages and enjoying them at home with my wife.

NOW! Shall we begin? Let's get right into the large showcase (I also have to sadly inform you that I lost a few light bulbs in my personal studio and decided that the size of this blog was going to be too much for individual shots, so enjoy the group picture of these great friends and just listen to their stories as they follow!)
A malted Rehobeth Beach based beer utilizing coriander and orange peel backed up with concentrated pinot noir juices then partially aged in old pinot noir barrels and primarily aged on oak barrel staves (yes, the things to make bourbon barrels).

Dogfish Head - Red & White:

In a Shot: Strong Kid's Fruity Breakfast Cereal

Poured into my always trusty sufficient brandy snifter after sitting out of the fridge for a solid half hour I get the sound and smell of Fruity Pebbles cereal followed by a serious aroma of Fruit Loops. The color is intoxicating almost a burnt peach or light amber. The head dissipates very quick with the aroma. It drinks very alcoholic, with flavors of orange and malt standing out more than anything. Earthy mushroom and tart cherry flavors are battling against a serious level of citrus and yeast followed by an astonishing level of sweetness. This beer actually has tannins with a very dry finish, but nothing like beers that are surrounded by hops. I can imagine this beer being paired with fish, duck breast and autumn/wintry seasonal vegetables but would never recommend drinking it by itself as it's truly intense and requires some food to bring it down.

Starr Hill: Jomo Lager

14 time award winning company (More gold than others) that began in Charlottsville, VA recently moved near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Crozet. Using a three malt, two hop and one yeast method the master brewer, Mark Thompson creates solidarity in his philosophy of not messing up a simple drink that should compose of water, malt, hops & yeast.
In a Shot: Light, easy going and with lots of nose.
A true lager gets the tall boy, I gave this one the pilsner glass treatment. Hazy, light amber in color, the head is white, lacy and sticky. The nose is full of surprising notes of berries and cereal followed by subtle caramel hints. The palate as it dissipates truly rises into a lemon balm forefront and even subtle chocolate backgrounds with high carbonation and very bright, light crispy flavor. Even after allowing the beer to sit for almost ten minutes, it maintains a level of white carbonation and flavor. A beer to session over many times or to be paired with fried or saucy foods. A lager to stand out against the current lager reputation.

Arrogant Bastard Ale

From the Stone Brewing Company who uses the mythology of the gargoyle, a beast that would ward off bad spirits, to express it''s own mission with a gargoyle on every label to ward off bad chemical preservatives, additives and adjuncts.

In a Shot: Sessionable Ale that is a jack of all trades, master of none.

I decided to give this ale the classic pint glass. So far, the darkest of my selection. Cappuccino head with a burnt candy apple copper color. I notice as I smell and drink it, even in the standard pint glass, the drink has a sticky and true sip by sip lace that you see in a great IPA (Though it does disperse very rapidly). The nose is piny as expected with bitter citrus oils as the fruit backdrop. There is a middle sized body with some of everything, ie. caramel, fruit, hoppy resin and good carbonation. Not a lot of any of those however, just, a bit of each. I will admit there is a bit of a bite at the finish, but then again, it is 7.2 and it was consumed after a lager. Therefore, this beer is not crazily complex and definitely not overly simplistic. A flavorful under hopped IPA that would be considered a go to for it's drinkablity. A well balanced ale regarding color, lace, body, acid, bitter and overall flavor. Had this one before and would definitely have it again. Especially if I was given the opportunity to have more than one.

Local 1:

Brought to us by the Brooklyn Brewery located in, YUP, New York. A well known craft brewery that focuses and bringing the Belgian style ales to our Eastern side of the pond. This particular brew, at 9% ABV is made from German malts and hops and first pressed Demerara cane juice and Belgian yeasts. The final product is then 100% bottle re-fermented and classified as a strong Saison.
In a Shot: Really creamy, fruit blasting ale that satisfies palate, affect and food that is highly recommended by Johnny Cocktail.
Of course, I went with the obvious goblet vessel for this one. Wow. 100% bottle refermentation truly expresses itself in this one, the bottle popped like sparkling wine, the head is off white, thick and adhesive. The whole drink is hazy. The color of over ripe peaches and smell of bright fruits fill the room before ever putting it to the nose. Think papayas, pineapples, mango's, apricots and spices. A musty earth note settles behind a peculiar aroma that reminds me of bubblelicious. Frothy, even in body the creamy, medium bodied tibble packs standard citrus and coriander flavors with a very light bitter hop finish found in many pale or Saison style ales. While drinking the bottle I've noticed that the lace falls with the drink rather than sticking to the edges but remains constant while consuming the beverage. A lot of these Belgian style beers at 9% truly show off the abv in the finish but this one subtly finishes so light and smooth that it is very consumable. So therefore, in closing, it is important to explain that this drink, is tall, strong, evolving and incredibly good, but quite dangerous! Drinking it without food will put you immediately over the edge, so enjoy it with dried fruits, terrines, spicy nuts, mushroom favored cuisines, fruity vinaigrette's, meaty fishes, buttery breads and curry based spicy dishes. That, or at the very least, with a full stomach!

In final closing, I thank Yoko, for her kindness, her generosity, and her enthusiasm for my own passions. In this moment, I return the favor. I look forward to showcasing more products from not only Yoko, but anybody else who chooses to showcase products they want to see shared with the world at The Next Rounds on Me (Dad, Jovan, Michael/Michelle, Brad, Jen, Uncle John, Joe Dangler, this list keeps growing and the time keeps getting shorter, but I promise blogs on all the things you have shared with me.)

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