Last Thursday the tasting panel got together to pick the next Binny’s Hand Picked Buffalo Trace. We’ve done this a few times before. Check out entries on the Binny’s Blog about the last couple Binny’s Buffalo Trace batches here and here.
At first it was pretty much the same story as before: we were looking for a batch of fifteen barrels from twenty five samples. We tasted the previous batch to get a fresh perspective on our target profile. The last batch was excellent: bright butterscotch and baking spices up front, fat caramel and then a lingering spicy rye finish just what we want in a great Buffalo Trace. We tasted the 25 samples and picked our favorites, those most on target for the profile we wanted.
We ended up with our favorite fifteen samples blended in a wine glass and ten other sample bottles the rejects.
Here’s where it gets interesting. We joked about blending the leftovers to see how they’d turn out in a blend of their own. The reject blend. So we did it.
Brett wasn’t in on the tasting, but he always wants his approval and his fingerprint on Binny’s Hand Picks, so we went and got him out of his dungeon of an office. He took a long time sniffing and tasting our blend, looking straight-faced and not saying anything. Then he did the same for the reject blend.
He told us he liked the reject blend more.
Seriously. What a jerk.
This is the sort of thing that instantly and completely undermines your confidence. We were all patting each other on the back, just to have Brett tell us he liked the exact opposite of our choice. Why? Because our version was heavy and sweet, totally fat caramel. He liked the reject blend because it showed more grainy structure and frame that you get from Buffalo Trace. He said he didn’t think the blend was perfect, and told us to pick our five favorite barrels from our blend and add to the reject blend, just to see…
As if you needed another reason to stop by Binny’s and pick up some great Belgian beer. Here’s one:
If you’re into beer, you should know Vanberg & DeWulf. These folks have brought the best of Belgian beers to the U.S. Market for thirty years. Now they’re celebrating this milestone by teaming up with beer app Untappd for the largest single one-day national celebration of Belgian beer in the USA in this millennium. Their words. That’s what they told us. And it’s going to be awesome.
It’s their annual Coast to Coast Toast. Binny’s is excited to be part of it we’re joining hundreds of bars and retailers across America in featuring this portfolio of great Belgian beer (I mean really we feature it all the time it’s good stuff).
First, you’ll want to unlock the new Belgian Holiday badge on Untappd. To get it, all you have to do is check in to at least one beer on Untappd from the Vanberg & DeWulf portfolio between November 15th and December 15th. We’re hoping you’ll stop by your favorite Binny’s location and pick up any of the qualifying beers. Find the list on Vanberg & DeWulf’s blog here.
Then, once you unlock the badge, you’ll get a code to enter to win a trip for two to Belgium. How cool is that?
New Planet Brewery tailors beer that everyone can enjoy. Binny’s is now featuring their Gluten-Free line of beers, hand crafted in Boulder, Colorado. As the name of the brewery also implies, New Planet is environmentally conscious. Portions of proceeds from sales of New Planets beers go towards various environmental efforts and organizations. New Planet currently offers three beers:
Tread Lightly Ale – Tread Lightly Ale is a well-balanced gluten-free ale beer made from sorghum, corn extract, orange peel, hops, and yeast. Its a bright and light bodied craft beer with a refreshing taste and doesnt have the after taste of other sorghum-based beers.
3R Raspberry Ale – 3R Raspberry Ale is an award winning ale with the right balance of fruit flavor and aroma. Made from sorghum, corn extract, natural raspberry puree, orange peel, hops, and yeast. Not overly sweet, the Oregon grown fruit puree creates a beautiful body color with a natural raspberry flavor.
Off Grid Pale Ale – Off Grid Pale Ale is a wonderful interpretation of the classic pale ale style. It has a distinctly deep amber color and great character and body. Three varieties of hops provide a wonderful aroma and a citrus and spicy hop flavor. This smooth gluten-free ale is made from sorghum and brown rice extract, molasses, tapioca maltodextrin, caramel color, hops, and yeast.
Please contact your local Binny’s for availability on these brews. Since they are so new to the market, they are not yet available at all of our stores. Expect to see them chain wide within the next few weeks.
Samuel Adams has debuted a new line of small batch, limited edition beers at our stores. The series includes four offerings, a few of which are pretty obscure styles, even considering today’s ever evolving beer culture.
Tasman Red IPA Bold and Lively with the grapefruit, piney and earthy character of Tasmanian hops balanced by a smooth and roasty malt backbone with hints of toffee. This flavorful brew is rounded and smooth with a dry and citrusy hop finish.
Third Voyage Double IPA Bright and intense with a vivid hop punch. We were inspired by Capt. James Cook whose 3rd voyage made him the first to navigate a treacherous route from England to New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest. Using Cascade hops from each of these regions we created a brew that’s citrusy, earthy, and full of bold character.
The Vixen Chocolate Chili Bock Dark, rich and enticing with a spicy kick. This cocoa colored brew is full-bodied, roasty, and slightly sweet. The smooth richness of dark cocoa is blended with cinnamon and the subtle spice and heat of chilies for a flavorful and vibrant brew.
Griffin’s Bow Oaked Blonde Barleywine Golden in color and wine-like. Flavors of honeysuckle and grapefruit are layered with toffee, vanilla, and the distinct character of toasted oak. This unique take on a barleywine surprises with its smoothness and balance of fruit, hop, citrus, and warming strength.
Currently the majority of our stores have these beers in stock, but not for long. Be sure to check your local Binny’s soon if you wish to sample one of these interesting brews.
The Binny’s November Wine Sale starts today and runs through the end of the month. Check it out by clicking right here or on the image below.
This time we’re offering up a good assortment of wines from all over the world. You’ll find some bottles that pair especially well with that one turkey-centric holiday feast that always seems to fall in November. Plus there are some pretty sweet prices on some special cellar selections and large format bottles that should catch the eye of you collectors out there.
JUST FINISHED: Casa Noble Reposado
GOING IN: ??????
A couple weeks have passed since we started aging the Casa Noble Reposado. What took so long? Here’s what happened:
After it spent one week in the barrel, we gave the Casa Noble a taste. It was dry, and still showed good notes of honey and agave nectar, especially toward the finish. But the complexity – the pepper you usually find right up front in this tequila – was completely overtaken by wood.
What do you do with something like that? We figured we’d put it back in the barrel. Checked back in a week, and it had mounted a comeback!
Get ready to do your homework.
WGN and Binny’s are teaming up to take you back to school. Beer school.
Here’s the deal. Binny’s Beverage Depot is hosting a series of classes, each featuring a different WGN personality and a teacher from that week’s craft beer partner. Expect to learn about beer styles, discuss beer and food pairings, and taste some beer. We have some pretty cool breweries lined up:
Does music make wine taste better?
We always did like to pair Scotchand punk rock.
See, this sort of research gives fuel to those asserting that wine writing, wine appreciation, wine itself is a fraud. To us, it solidifies what we already know: experience, taste included, is subjective.
Bordeaux to take back the word Claret.
Expect the word on labels starting with the 2012 vintage.
Arkay – a Whisky flavored N/A drink.
Sounds gross. No ETA yet. Will let you know when we hear more.
Make sure to visit our new craft your own six-pack section in our newly opened Arlington Heights store. Our program features 160 continually rotating craft beers you can create a six-pack from, for the price of $9.99.
We are already hard at work to roll out this program in other Binny’s locations and we’ve made it our goal to make every single bottle in a six-pack available for purchase.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on how we can best make this program work for you.