Beer of the Week: Unibroue’s La Fin Du Monde

I just love Unibroue beer. Every one of their beers has something different, but all are some of the best examples of Belgian style beer produced in North America. And for good reason as Unibroue employs belgian born Gino Vantieghem, former brewer at the Chimay Trappist brewery, as their head brewmaster. Of all of the Unibroue offerings, La Fin Du Monde is quite possibly my favorite.

La Fin Du Monde is a belgian style tripel, which pours pale golden with a quickly dissipating thick head. La Fin Du Monde’s aroma is strong, with candied fruit and banana flavor, offset by the spice of cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. All of Unibroue’s offerings are brewed “on lees”, which means that they are only partially filtered, and they are refermented in the bottle which produces a higher concentration of proteins and yeast. This adds a bread-like vanilla scent that ties everything together nicely. This beer has a very champagne-like mouthfeel with a dry aftertaste. Although it has a abv of 9%, this beer is an easy drinker and pairs really well with some blue cheeses, seafood, and chocolate desserts. Cheers!

Rating: ★★★★½

Vintage Cocktails #44: The Modernista

Scotch is infamous for its difficulty in being used as a base for cocktails. I’m not really sure what it is that makes it so hard to get along with, but it sure is. That being said, occasionally a blend of just the right ingredients paired with scotch can give birth to an amazing drink. This can be said for the Modernista cocktail, which I can honestly say is the best scotch cocktail I have ever had. Based upon the Modern Maid cocktail, Ted Haigh adjusts some proportions and adds some Swedish Punsch, making this a flavor packed, well balanced cocktail. Unfortunately, the use of some rarer ingredients and the need for careful measuring means that you will be hard pressed to find a bar around here that can even make this drink, but if you are wanting to try one, let me know the next time you are in my neck of the woods. Cheers!

The Modernista
2 oz Scotch
1/2 oz dark Jamaican Rum
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Absinthe
2 dashes Orange Bitters

Beer of the Week: Boddington’s Pub Ale

Boddingtons is one of the most ubiquitous time-honored of the British imports. This beer was brewed for over 200 years at the Strangeways Brewery in Manchester City. Boddingtons managed to remain an independent brewery until 1989, when it was sold to Whitbread. Eventually, through a series of sales, Boddingtons ended up as just one of the many companies owned by InBev, the largest beverage company in the world.

Boddingtons comes in a nitro can at 4.7% abv. Thanks to the widget, the head is amazingly dense and creamy. It has a clean and crisp flavor with roasted malt and hints of a floral, hoppy bitterness. It has a smooth, creamy, and soft mouthfeel, which is really one of the highlights of canned Boddingtons and just another reason to love the widget. The aftertaste is pleasantly bitter. While this beer is different than most available here in the US, Boddingtons is a beer everyone should try at least once. Cheers!

Vintage Cocktails #43: Honeymoon Cocktail

Through the holidays my quest to conquer all the drinks in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails seems to have stalled. Here it is, the middle of January, and I’m pretty sure it’s been over a month since I posted my last vintage cocktail. So here we go.

First appearing in Recipes for Mixed Drinks (Hugo Ensslin, 1917), this drink was one of the signature drinks of the LA’s Brown Derby restaurant chain. There are a number of different versions, which feature variations on the brandy used in this cocktail. Early versions call for Apple Brandy, while Applejack is specifically called for in some later books. Calvados, French oak-aged Apple Brandy, was called for many bar guides of the same time period as those calling for Applejack. While either will work well here, if you are going with the Applejack, make sure it is the Laird’s Apple Brandy, and not the regular stuff. Otherwise, spring for the Calvados. Your taste buds will thank you.

This cocktail has rich apple and citrus flavors, which are highlighted well by the herbal notes of the Benedictine. For the Curacao, I used Clement Creole Shrubb, which worked extremely well with the other spirits. I highly recommend the use of it wherever curacao is called for. Cheers!

The Honeymoon Cocktail
2 oz Calvados
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
1/2 oz Lemon Juice

January Bar Update

Here’s a little update on the bar. I have installed the upper cabinets and a couple of glass racks. Doors have been installed on the lower cabinets as well.  I added sheetrock between the upper and lower cabinets to cover up the previously exposed copper pipes.  The next step is to install the tile backsplash and install the fridge to the left of the bar. After the tile is installed, there will be glass racks that run the length of the upper cabinets. I think that I may be installing a panel between the bar and the furnace as well.