Brewers’ Spirits and Vintners’ Brews
Dogfish Head Brown Honey Rum (Dogfish Head Brewing): This 80 proof rum is made with wildflower honey. It is golden in color and has a sweet and herbal nose. The rum is mellow with a nice lingering sweet finish.
Edgefield Distillery American Distilled Gin (McMenamins): This gin comes from an Oregon company that also operates a brewery, winery, chain of pubs and a coffee roaster. This 90 proof gin is reserved with a nice balance of spices and touches of floral notes.
Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale (Firestone Vineyards): Nice dark color and a slightly sweet nose. This brew is nicely balanced. Fine ale character, with sufficient hops to impart a nice fruity essence in the base of the beer.
Firestone Walker Pale Ale (Firestone Vineyards): California blonde color and nice fresh hop nose. This brew has a nice sharp flavor that gives it a refreshing character perfect for warm afternoons.
New Holland Artisan Spirits Macatawa Rum (New Holland Brewing): This light golden color 90 proof rum has the aroma of Bit o Honey candy and a pleasant, slight smoky flavor. Perfect for sipping, the rum is warming and finishes with an attractive mild sweetness.
New Holland Artisan Spirits Jumpin’ Juniper Gin (New Holland Brewing): This gin has a light, slightly sweet and aromatic flavor that finishes with a hint of perfume.
Old Potrero 18th Century Style Whiskey (Anchor Brewing): A barrel strength 123.2 proof whiskey usually is not this smooth. The 100 percent rye whiskey is pot distilled and aged in slightly toasted oak barrels for 18 to 30 months. The whiskey is amber gold, with a nice fresh wood nose and flavor profile. There are attractive hints of almond and nice bits of subtle spice throughout.
Rogue Spirits Hazelnut Spiced Rum (Rogue): Straw golden in color, there is an off nut aroma and the initial flavor is slightly bitter. The flavor transitions to hazelnut and rich candy.
Rogue Spirits Spruce Gin (Rogue): This gin has an intense botanical flavor that is rich and warming. The finish is clearly spruce, with the green bitter nature of the base paying off nicely.
Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey (Flying Dog): This distillery gets 3,000 gallons of wash piped in directly from the Flying Dog Brewery next door in Denver. The wash is distilled down to 450 gallons of new spirit, which is then run through a second column pot still to produce 250 gallons of 140 proof raw whiskey, which is cut before bottling to produce a 94 proof, two-year-old whiskey. Amber brown, Stranahan’s has a slightly candy nose and a warming oak, vanilla and nut flavor profile.
Wagner Valley IPA (Wagner Vineyards): This hazy amber gold beer leaves lace on the glass. There is a pleasant hop aroma that is paid off by a rich bitter flavor.
Wagner Valley Sled Dog Doppelbock (Wagner Vineyards): This dark malty brew is a very nice rendition of a classic doppelbock. Plenty of roasted malt with just the right level of sweetness, this beer is the color of a hand-stained piece of cherry furniture.
Wagner Valley Sled Dog Trippelbock (Wagner Vineyards): This dark brew is slightly roasty with pronounced malty sweetness throughout. It is a warming brew with bits of toffee and brown sugar characteristics. This beer earns the triple designation. Worth looking for if you travel to upstate New York.
York Creek Vineyards 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (Anchor Brewing): Deep black cherry red, this is a smooth wine with plenty of plum and berry flavors. It has a velvety and dry finish. The wine is 14.8 percent alcohol by volume and is a blend of 80 percent cabernet sauvignon, 5 percent cabernet franc, 12 percent merlot and 3 percent petit verdot. This is an extremely drinkable wine.
York Creek Vineyards 2003 Port (Anchor Brewing): Made with 75 percent Sonoma and 25 percent Napa grapes, this port combines five different varietals in its blend. At 20 percent alcohol by volume you do get a nice warming sensation from a glass of this port. York Creek Port is a rich deep burgundy color and appears thick in your glass. There is plenty of fig and plump raisin flavors throughout.