Wine & Beer Reviews

Posted by Keith Wallace

Vionta Albariño
A good example of this Spanish varietal. Tree fruit with a hint of almonds follows a distinct aroma of Thai basil and ends with a finish that turns up the minerality.

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc
If 7-up grew up to become a glass of fine wine, this would be it. Fun and flashy with its lemon-lime zest and angular quince and granite notes.

Brancott “Conders Forest” Sauvignon Blanc
The most complex Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand I have tasted professionally.
Asian Pear, Grapefruit, Pineapple, and Guava blend seamlessly on the palate with the complexity threading through the entire experience. Superb.

Sylvan Springs “Hard Yards” Shiraz
Aussie to the core, this bottle is from McLaren Vale and offers up dark chocolate and licorice. Aromatics of white pepper and kirsch round it out this bruiser.

Fattoria di Magliano “Heba” Morellino di Scansano
I was lamenting the scarcity of good and inexpensive Italian Sangiovese, and this one shows up a day later to prove me wrong. Nice balance of modern and classical Italian winemaking, with traditional aromatics of oily leather and dark earth, with round fruit and well-toned tannins.

Dom Henry Fessy Beaujolais Moulin a Vent
Moulin a Vent is traditionally the most structured and bold of the Beaujolais. Highly grained tannins with notes of cranberry and just-ripe blackberry. If you think that Beaujolais is easy drinking and vapid, this bottle will change your mind.

Check out the reviews from the wine school.

Beer Reviews

Flying Fish Exit 4

A Belgian Trippel in the summer? When it’s one of Casey Hughes’ creations, there is no doubt. The man has never known a style he couldn’t throw copious hops towards, and this take on the classic style won him a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Going way beyond balance, his use of hop adds complex aromatics and a strong bitter finish that is usually reserved for IPA’s. Originally slated to be a one-off limited release, Flying Fish has added bottles of Exit 4 to the regular roster. Thank you, Beer Gods. (12 or 22 oz. bottles)

Troeg’s Sunshine Pilsner

The Troeg Brothers have been making quality beer in the ol’ PA state capital for a long time, and this is one of my favorites. Mostly known for their seasonal hop-n-head banger, Nugget Nectar, the boys from Harrisburg show their ability to make a slender, crisp, and classy Pils with this offering.

A great smack of grainy malts upfront leads to a kiss of lemon and citrus peel, making me cool on a hot summer day. Spicy noble hop finish and relentless effervescence making me smile on a sad day. A winner through and through. (12 oz. bottles)

Great Divide Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

Never before has motor oil tasted so delicious. While the appearance may remind you of Satan’s soul, the flavor is a trip to Heaven. Usually, Great Divide doesn’t wow me with many beers, but I’m hard-pressed to find a better Stout than The Yeti.

Maybe they used all of their brew-jo in just one beer, and this is what they got. Maybe a Yeti came down from the hills to give them this recipe, and that’s how they made it happen. Whatever it is, this is a must for any beer junkie. While the Yeti sings with flavors of chocolate, raw coffee beans, and bitter cocoa powder, it’s the light body that is so impressive. It bounces like a 5% jig instead of the 9.5% waltz it truly is. (22 oz. bottles)

Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere Farmhouse

Earth and barnyard funk are aromatic descriptors usually associated with wine more so than beer. Still, The Bam Biere from the good folks at Jolly Pumpkin has all the best of a Burgundian Pinot in a cloudy, frothy head.

The taste is zesty and tart, and the attack is just a touch sour. Funk and fruit aside, my Saisonaholic friends will be pleased with the trademark Farmhouse refreshment. And as with all of their labels, it’s of the highest quality, and the cool factor is off the charts. (22oz. bottles)

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