Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bottling Some Bourbon Tonight (Photos Added)

Back in December of last year, I picked up an 'Age Your Own' whiskey kit from Woodinville Whiskey.  I've always been a fan of good whiskey and bourbon, and this seemed like a good chance to experiment a little and see what it would be like to age my own bourbon.  Granted, it's a novelty item, but a fun one. 

I started with two bottles of Woodinville Whiskey's "White Dog" un-aged whiskey.  It's a clear, un-aged bourbon mash at 110 proof (what's called "barreling strength" - basically moonshine in a bottle).  The included mini oak barrel is designed to hold both bottles of White Dog, plus about 12oz of water.  Adding the water is supposed to bring down the proof of the final/aged bourbon to about 85 proof. 

On December 29th, 2011, after swelling the barrel with water for a few days, I filled it up with the whiskey, topped it off with water, corked it up and let the magic start to happen.  About three weeks later I tried my first taste from the attached spigot on the barrel.  At that point the bourbon had a bit of color to it, but was still mostly clear and still tasted much like the pure 'moonshine' I'd put into the barrel.  Small, periodic tastings in the following weeks showed progress over time and an improvement in both color and flavor. 

Today, March 29th, 2012, is the three-month mark.  Three months ago today the bourbon went into the barrel.  Today, it's coming out.  Part of the fun with the age your own kit is that you decide how long you want to age your bourbon.  You can age it for as long or short a period as you like depending on how much color and oak character and flavor you want in yoru bourgon.  Based on my tastings and the progress I'm seeing, three months seems about right for this particular batch.  I'll know for sure tonight. 

I'll update this post later tonight or tomorrow with photos and perhaps a video of the bottling process.  So be sure to check back here soon.

The finished product came out quite well.  It has a nice sweet and slightly floral scent, with a nice oak aroma and flavor and a slight vanilla scent in the background.  It's still a bit 'hot' on the finish - I'm wondering if I actually hit the desired 85 proof (the 'white' whiskey started out at 110 proof - barreling strength).  However, it's quite enjoyable, and I'm sure I'll be picking up a few more bottles of the White Dog 110 proof, so I can age some more.  Cheers! 

To see all of the photos click HERE.  Cheers!

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The 10th Annual IPA Fest At Cooper's Alehouse Is Almost Here

Each year, Cooper's Alehouse up on Lake City Way holds an IPA Fest, featuring a wide range of different IPA's from around the Northwest and the country.  This year, from April 6th through the 27th will be their 10th annual IPA fest.  As a serious hop-head, my taste buds are tingling in anticipation. 

There will be over 50+ different IPA's pouring throughout the fest, with samplers, tastings and special events all month long.  No precise schedule for when each beer will be tapped has been provided by Cooper's, but this is intentional.  In most cases, when it's announced beforehand that a coveted or 'rare' beer is going on tap, it tends to disappear more quickly than if you just happen to 'find' it on tap.  Cooper's doesn't want that to happen, so if you're looking for a particularly coveted or rare IPA, you'll just have to decide what day(s) and time(s) to head down to Cooper's and see if you get lucky. 

It's also occurred to me that 2002 must have been one heck of a year for the Seattle Beer Scene.  It was 10 years ago that Cooper's had their first IPA Fest, 10 years ago that Beveridge Place Pub had their first annual Barleywine Bacchanal, and 10 years ago that Brouwer's Cafe had the first annual Hard Liver Festival (which was held back then at the Phinney Ridge Community Center). 

It's really great 10 years for craft beer, and we've seen several other wonderful Seattle craft beer events and new breweries pop up in that time.  The ever-increasing options for where to go in Seattle for great caft beer continues even today, as evidenced by the opening later today of Seattle's newest, World-class craft beer bar The Pine Box (opening to the public today at 3:00PM).  I attended the pre-opening industry party for The Pine Box on Tuesday, and you can check out a recap of the evening, my impression of The Pine Box and their industry night food menu and tap list HERE

The full tap list for the fest has not yet been announced, but I will update this post as soon as Cooper's releases it (sometime next week, according to Cooper's).  Until then enjoy the cold start to our Sping, but warm up your taste buds for some serious hops!  For a look at last year's full IPA Fest tap list, have a look HERE

Cooper's Alehouse
8065 Lake City Way NE
Seattle, WA  98115

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Preview Of The Pine Box (UPDATED)

Last night, my wife and I attended the pre-opening industry party for Seattle's newest bar, The Pine Box.  Located in the spot previously occupied by The Chapel Bar, the space was originally a funeral home.  In fact, it's the funeral home were Bruce Lee's funeral was held.

Bruce Lee's Funeral Was Held Here

Through some major remodeling, partners Ian Roberts, Dean Hudgins and Mark Eskridge transformed the former funeral home-then-nightclub into a World Class beer bar.  With more than 30 taps and a modest food menu (though I've heard the menu may expand from what we saw on industry night), The Pine Box is a great new Seattle beer destination.  They also have a full liquor bar, for those times when you're not in a beer mood.

The Back Bar (left)

The Back Bar (right)

The exotic and varied tap list (including several IPA's, Belgians, Sours and more)  is complimented by a hop Randall installed behind the bar, as well as the fact that they'll always have at least one cask beer available.  The tap list is displayed behind the bar on big, easy to read HDTV's, allowing for quick and easy tap list updates, as well as providing the ability to keep their website always up to date regarding what's on tap.

Ian Roberts

The decor is heavy with dark wood, enhanced by the original chandeliers, antique glass windows, high arches and high ceilings of the old funeral home.  The seating for the booths along the wall are actually old church pews; quite appropriate seating for a great place to worship great beers.

Me With Don Webb (Naked City) and Gary Sink (Beveridge Place Pub)

The official opening date for The Pine Box is this coming Monday, March 26th.  Though I've heard through the grapevine that they may try to be open by this Thursday, March 22nd, so keep your ears open.  For lots more photos and a scan of last night's food menu and tap list, please FOLLOW ME HERE on Facebook.

The Pine Box is a wonderful and welcome addition to the Capitol Hill beer scene, and I will definitely be back again as soon as they are open for business.

The Pine Box
1600 Melrose Avenue
Seattle, WA  98101
(At the corner of Melrose & Pine)

UPDATE: It's been confirmed by Ian Roberts that The Pine Box will be open for business starting this Thursday, March 22nd at 3:00PM.  So if you're in the Capitol Hill area, head by for a pint or two.  

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Russian River Event Tomorrow At Super Deli Mart

Coming up tomorrow, March 20th, at Super Deli Mart in West Seattle is a great Russian River Brewing Company tasting event.  This will also likely be one of  the last times you'll be able to find Russian River Brewing's Pliny The Younger in Seattle this year. 

Starting at around 5:00PM, Super Deli Mart will have available the Russian River Brewing beers either on tap and/or in the bottle:
  • Temptatation
  • Supplication
  • Consecration
  • Redemption
  • Salvation
  • Collaboration Not Litigation
  • Damnation
  • Pliny The Elder
  • Pliny The Younger

Tickets for this tasting event went on sale back on March 13th but sold out in minutes.  A few additional tasting tickets went on sale yesterday, March 18th, but were sold out, according to Super Deli Mart, in less than a minute!

Don't worry if you didn't get a ticket, however, because while a ticket will guarantee you a 7oz pour of Pliny The Younger and three other Russian River beers, tickets are not required - but you'd better get in line early.  Those with tickets are guaranteed schooners of Pliny The Elder, Pliny The Younger, Damnation & Sour (Temptation or Supplication). 

So if you missed Pliny The Elder during any of it's other appearances around Seattle this year, or if you're just a fan of Russian River Brewing beers, get down to Super Deli Mart tomorrow and get your fill.  I might try to stop by, but I already have two other events planned for tomorrow (overbooking myself again!), so I may not make it. 

Super Deli Mart will also have a discount on all Russian River bottles during this event, from 5:00PM - 8:00PM, so get down there and stock up!

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Get Sauced At Naked City On March 11th - CANCELLED


Good food can sometimes take a back seat to good beer.  In fact, many smaller local breweries don't even offer food beyond snacks like chips, pretzels and nuts.  That's okay, of course, for the smaller and newer breweries, who may not have expanded enough yet to offer a full food menu, but pubs and breweries that do offer a full food menu understand that having good food to pair with your beers is a very important consideration.  

If you're a fan of good pasta with your beer, which brewery in the Seattle area do you think makes the best pasta sauce?  Coming up on March 11th at Naked City Brewery & Taphouse, you'll get a good chance to find out. 

Next Sunday, March 11th from 1:00PM to 3:00PM is the 2nd Annual Chaos Cook Off at Naked City.  Nine local breweries will compete, preparing their best pasta sauce and pairing it with the perfect beer.  This is a tickted event, and there are 100 tickets available for $35 a piece.  For that price, you'll get to try all nine pasta and beer combinations and help select the winner.  See the event on Naked City's Facebook page HERE

The breweries competing in this year's Chaos Cook Off include:

  • 7 Seas Brewing
  • Chuckanut Brewery
  • Sliver City Brewing
  • Diamond Knot Brewery
  • Lazy Boy Brewing
  • Big Time Brewery
  • Pike Brewing
  • Schooner Exact Brewing
  • Naked City Brewery & Taphouse (of course)

So if you're a fan of great beers and great pasta, drop by Naked City to pick up your ticket(s).  Tickets are only available at Naked City Brewery & Taphouse. 

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Experience At The 10th Annual Hard Liver Festival

Yesterday, I attended the 10th Annual Hard Liver Festival at Brouwer's Cafe.  It's the biggest two-day annual barleywine event in Seattle.  There were 57 different barleywines all on tap, as well as a few special menu items to enjoy.

The doors opened just a bit late this year, at 11:15AM, and Brouwer's filled up quickly with barleywine fans eager to sample this year's offerings.  As with every year at this event, there was quite a line.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Woods Mug Club Launches At Two Beers Brewing

Are you a fan of Two Beers Brewing Co?  If you aren't already, I urge you to give them a try.  Now, personally I'm not a major proponent of canned beer, as my regular readers know.  So I usually get my Two Beers beer either in the bottle or at the brewery on tap (a full listing of which of their offerings are available in cans vs. bottles is available on Two Beers' website).  But if on-tap is how you prefer your beer two, then Two Beers has something exciting lined up for you. 

Loyal Two Beers fans can sign up, starting next Wednesday, March 7th, for what has been dubbed 'The Woods Mug Club' at Two Beers Brewing.  A year-long membership costs $75 and includes Two Beers tasting room perks including:

  • Your own, personalized, 21oz mug (filled all year for the same price as a 16oz pint!)
  • An exclusive mug club t-shirt
  • Exclusive tastings of new beers
  • Discounts on cans, bottles and keg purchases
  • A big, year-end, Mug Club party & more

This is Two Beers' way of saying 'Thank you' to their loyal fans.  For full details and rules on The Woods Mug Club, click HERE.  You can sign up in person at the Two Beers tasting room, located at:

Two Beers Brewing
4700 Ohio Avenue South (Unit A)
Seattle, WA  98134

The 21oz Mug Club Mug!

Only 50 spots are opening up for the club, so if you're interested don't delay. 

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.