Beer of the Week: Iron Horse Quilter’s Irish Death

Ellensburg WA, is home to one of the up and coming craft breweries in the state, Iron Horse Brewery. They produce around 10 different brews, the most popular being their Irish Death.

Created by the brewery’s founder, Quilter’s Irish Death is what we call a dark, smooth, ale. Any attempt at classifying it just ends up sending beer geeks into a style guidelines diatribe. So forget style guidelines. Is your pursuit of micro beer about tasting copies of a style that fit guidelines anyways? (Neither is ours) We lovingly refer to it as beer candy. While tempting to session this beer, the name is a necessary reminder that despite the surprising approachability, this beer weighs in at a hefty 7.8% ABV.

Irish Death pours a dark murky brown, with a minimal off-white head. Reminds me a little of a cup of french press. The aromas are sweet, with light cocoa, roasted grain, and a slight herbal quality. The taste of this beer is unique and quite fantastic. Dark biscuit malts and molasses, with a nice roasted chocolate flavor. The hops are herbal and a little grassy, but are subdued and mostly in the background, with the bitterness coming in near the finish. This beer is not highly carbonated, but is just enough so to give it a silky smooth, creamy texture that is almost reminiscent of nitro.

While this is not a beer that really fits into a defined category, it is fantastic none the less, and is worth seeking out at least once. Cheers!

Rating: ★★★★½

Spirit & Tasting Classes

Starting next month I will be hosting a series of classes on different spirits at the Bayou Oyster Bar. The first class is scheduled for Sunday, November 20th, at 5:30pm, and we will be focusing on Gin. We’ll be enjoying cocktails, learning about the history and different styles of gin, as well as having a tasting of several different gins. This class will be limited to 16 people, so if you are interested, or know anyone who is, reserve your spot now at the Bayou Oyster Bar, preferably between the hours of 5-7. It should be informative and a lot of fun, so I hope to see you there. Cheers!

MxMo LXII: Morning Drinks

It’s time for Mixology Monday once again, and this months topic, as chosen by Kevin at Cocktail Enthusiast, is Breakfast Drinks. His challenge is simple: create a cocktail for morning consumption, utilizing common breakfast ingredients, or being more creative and using infusions, bitters, etc. An interesting challenge considering that although the cocktail once dominated the early morning hours, it has definitely shifted to an evening beverage.

Now when I think of breakfast cocktails, my mind immediately jumps to the more obvious (The Bloody Mary or Mimosa), or the slightly less obvious (Ramos Gin Fizz or Corpse Reviver #2). However, there really isn’t the level of variety in morning drinks as there is for the traditional night cap.

So for this month, I have created my own twist on Salvatore Calabrese’s Breakfast Martini. I chose to utilize Bols Genever as my base spirit as I have been on a genever kick lately, and it is just a step outside the box from the more traditional gin or vodka morning drink. I infused the genever with Earl Grey tea, and combined it with Valencia orange juice, lemon juice, orange marmalade, egg white for texture, and orange bitters to balance it all out. Cheers!

The Morning Dutchman
2 oz Earl Grey infused Genever
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Marmalade
1 Egg White
2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Vintage Cocktails #73: Park Avenue Cocktail

Despite the name, this cocktail has more in common with a cool Florida night than it does with the streets of Manhattan. Ted Haigh expresses confused about the name of the drink as well.

Note, if you will, the tropical character, invoking Carmen Miranda strutting down a Palm Beach boulevard. As I say, the names of this and the Palm Beach Special preceding it, were obviously switched at birth.

This cocktail is light, fruity and complex, with pineapple being the dominant note in the aroma of the cocktail. On the taste, the gin and vermouth are at the forefront, with the pineapple and curacao rounding out the balance. I’m not sure what it was, but this cocktail did not suit my fancy in the least. I’m sure that some might think that it is fantastic, but I found the combination of ingredients absolutely horrific. I’ll have to give it at least one more chance, but maybe this one stayed forgotten for a reason.

Park Avenue Cocktail
2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Orange Curacao

National distillers association criticizes I-1183 provisions

Politics Northwest | National distillers association criticizes I-1183 provisions | Seattle Times Newspaper.

The Distilled Spirits Council is Neutral on Privatization and I-1183.

Dear Voters:

This fall you will be asked to vote on Initiative 1183 to privatize the state’s liquor system. The Distilled Spirits Council and its member companies represent most of the distilled spirits sold in Washington State and across the United States. As a matter of principle, we take no position and are neutral on the issue of privatization. We believe that the citizens of each state should determine for themselves how beverage alcohol should be regulated in their state.

When considering this Initiative, we urge you not to base your decision on the misperception that spirits are different than beer or wine. This is simply not true. Alcohol is alcohol and is all the same to a breathalyzer. Beer, wine and spirits all should be consumed in moderation. The regulatory structure established by the State to prevent underage access and deter misuse of beer and wine will work just as effectively for spirits.

Unfortunately, in our opinion, Initiative 1183 is flawed for several reasons and may not be in your best interest as a customer.

FIRST, Initiative 1183 would allow retailers to sell to retailers. This would create a second wholesale tier, which would mean an extra middleman and increased costs to the consumer. This makes no sense and is not in the customer’s best interest. Across the country nearly every state has adopted a three-tiered system of suppliers, a single level of wholesalers and retailers. This system has ensured appropriate regulation, competitive pricing and great consumer choice.

SECOND, Initiative 1183 would require a spirits retailer to have at least 10,000 square feet of retail space. This would severely limit the opportunity for small business growth and customer convenience. While the Distilled Spirits Council is not in favor of beverage alcohol in every corner store, it does support the opportunity for responsible small business growth, the jobs this would create, and the consumer convenience this would allow.

THIRD, Initiative 1183 would greatly reduce competition in the marketplace by extending franchise protection to the wholesalers of spirits. Simply put, this means a wholesaler would essentially be unaccountable for the service it provides to retailers and for the prices it charges. This in turn would reduce customer convenience, service, choice and competitive pricing.

The Distilled Spirits Council has been a leader for over fifty years in advocating responsible decision making in the use of its fine products. In turn, we urge you to fully understand the issues presented by Initiative 1183 so that you may make a responsible decision as you vote on this important matter.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States