MxMo LXI: Local Color

This month’s round of Mixology Monday is hosted by Lindsay at Alcohol Alchemy; for this month’s theme, Lindsay has picked Local Color, a chance for us all to showcase our favorite local craft distilled spirits. — Here’s how she puts it:

“Pull out your favorite “local” craft spirit (for those of you not in the US, what hidden gem from your neck of the woods do you want to give some cocktail press?), tell us a little bit about it and why you love it, and let it shine in whichever way (or ways!) you see fit!”

Since the liquor market is a worldwide industry, I really consider anything produced in Washington State to be local, and Washington seems to have exploded into the craft distilling market in the last two years, thanks largely in part to a craft distilling bill introduced through the efforts of Don and Kent at Dry Fly Distilling in Spokane. In fact, there are probably a dozen or more distilleries within a 2 hour drive from my house.

For this MxMo, I have chosen to use spirits from two northwest Washington distilleries; Ebb & Flow Gin from Sound Spirits in Seattle, and Pacifique Absinthe from Pacific Distillery in Woodinville. Both products are exceptional hand crafted spirits that really showcase the distillers love for their respective products.

For my cocktail, I have chosen to go with the White Lady, as it gives me a chance to use both of these spirits, while sipping something different than the corpse reviver that I would normally pair those two spirits with. Created by either Harry Craddock or Harry MacElhone (both lay claim to the creation of the cocktail) the White Lady is a simple twist on the Sidecar. Light and frothy with just the right amount of sourness, this is a cocktail that really showcases the spirits. Don’t forget to head over to Lindsay’s site in a couple of days to check out the round up of local spirits. Cheers!

White Lady
1 1/2 oz Gin
1 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Cointreau
2 dashes Absinthe

Beer of the Week: New Belgium Clutch

A Collaboration between New Belgium Brewing and musical giants Clutch, this is a beer that you will want to try. A blend of 80% stout and 20% dark sour wood beer, this is one big malty kick in the teeth.

It pours a dark mahogany with a moderately full, tan, creamy head which fades slowly, leaving a sticky lacing. The aromas are very dark, with some coffee, breadiness and burnt chocolate, rounded out with some faint notes of wood. The flavor is expertly balanced between dark malts, wood, tart cherries chocolate notes, and caramel, with just a hint of sour to round it out. The finish is dry with Belgian chocolate, roasted coffee, and a slight hint of dark cherry. Although this is labeled as a dark sour ale, the sourness is really understated and would not be offputting to those who are not a fan of the sour ales. I highly recommend that you give this beer a try. Cheers!

Rating: ★★★★½

Beer of the Week: New Belgium Belgo IPA

Formerly being produced as one of their Lips of Faith series beers, New Belgium Brewing has now brought their Belgian IPA to the mass market. Dry-hopped with Cascade, Amarillo, and Willamette hops, and fermented with a belgian trappist yeast, this is a beer that is as unique as it sounds.

It pours a deep golden with a slight white head, which quickly settles into a cap of froth. The aromas are packed with bright citrus hop flavors with a background of sweet and spicy yeast.

Upon tasting the beer, the first thing you notice is the bright grapefruit and floral notes of the hops. In the background you get a whole mashup of flavors including banana, clove, caramel, and sweetness that would be offputting if it weren’t for the load of hop bitterness that balances it out. The finish is crisp and dry, with some residual bitterness.

Surprisingly I am not the biggest fan of this beer. My wife likes it, and it is well balanced, but I think that the dry-hopping over does it for me. Cheers.

Rating: ★★½☆☆