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Let It Breathe

Toward the end of the work day yesterday, the California wine buyer asked me if I would like some wine for the night, and set an open sample bottle of Axios 2004 on my desk. Outstanding, I thought. Then I noticed that a coworker across the hall had the Axios 2006 on her desk. Time for a side-by-side comparison.

 

So I ended up with two glasses of Axios sitting in front of me. These are expensive wines, and the 2004 didn’t receive very positive press, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The 2004 had a nose of very tight fruit with little else. The fruit was bigger on the palate, with licorice layered in, but then the wine thinned towards austerity on the finish, with a sort of coppery minerality. The 2006 had an even thinner nose, with some funkiness, and more herbal undertones. Both wines seemed angular, almost austere, with big tannins.

 
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Wheat Beer Takes a Front Seat

We recently had the opportunity to sample two new summer brews, both of which fall into the wheat beer category. Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit was the first to hit our lips, followed closely by Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen. Although both of these savory selections are made predominantly from wheat, they share many differences. The Satsuma Harvest Wit goes along the Belgian wit path with its profound essences from spices like coriander, while the Kellerweis Hefeweizen takes a German weiss path with its yeasty banana soul.

 
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Dancing With the Devil

This week may be the only opportunity of the year for you to dance with the devil. No we are not referring to religion in anyway; instead, we are referencing a beer from Founders Brewing Company. Devil Dancer is one of Founders rarest and most sought after beers, alongside greats like Kentucky Breakfast Stout and Founders Harvest Ale. The combination of being both rare and sought after gives you a window of about a week if you are looking to try this world class beer, and that window is opening now.

 
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An Impromptu Blind Vodka Tasting

Early this afternoon I was sitting in my office doing item data entry (the boring part of my job) when by boss looked in and invited me to a blind vodka tasting (the exciting part of my job).  He said, You can blog about it. That’s all the invitation I need.

 

The Binny’s vodka buyer’s office was already full of people spirit company representatives, mostly so I stood in the hallway, with four styrofoam cups, one marked A, one marked B, one marked C, and one marked SPIT. They told me to put them in order of cost.

 

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A Smokin’ Summer Beer

Spoetzl Brewery, brewers of the popular Shiner beers who share their name with the small, off the beaten path town in the heart of Texas, have released a new summer beer. No, the new Shiner beer is not a wheat beer or kolsch like so many summer beers are. It is also not the growing in popularity summer saison style either, rather, Shiner Smokehaus is a refreshing Helles-style lager.
 
At 4.89% ABV, Shiner Smokehaus is an easy drinker meant for a steaming hot Texas summer day. It has a fair amount of carbonation to go along with its golden straw color. Smokehaus has a smoky flavor, hence the name. This smoked flavor in a beer is considered an acquired taste and may not be for everyone, but we recommend trying a lighter smoked beer like Shiner Smokehaus rather than diving right into a heavy, dark, German smoked rauchbier.

 
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