willandmegan

"Stuart rose from the ditch, climbed into his car, and started up the road that led toward the north…. As he peeked ahead into the great land that stretched before him, the way seemed long. But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt he was headed in the right direction." (from Stuart Little by E.B. White)


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No Guts No Glory – Pumpkin Ale Tasting

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On Sunday September 15th, Megan and I had an adventurous day spurred on by our desire to enjoy an approaching fall-like climate. We completed a blog more fit for the month of October, but figured it should be shared sooner than never. After a quiet date in the park with talks about our family and upcoming wedding, we decided to bike to Penfield. On the way home a beautiful monarch butterfly specimen appeared before our feet on the sidewalk. It was fully intact and fully dead. Score one for our butterfly/moth collection!

We then took the monarch in a plastic case and continued onward with plans to start a pumpkin ale tasting. While Megan prepared pasta for dinner I setup a simple arrangement with mason jar mugs and faux Fall berry decor. Not bad eh? Here are the results of our tasting with notes on flavors/aroma. I opted not to go into specifics with color as there clearly isn’t an extreme variation from one ale to another.

-w&m

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AMERICA’S ORIGINAL PUMPKIN ALE

ALE BREWED WITH REAL PUMPKIN AND NATURAL SPICE FLAVOR

BUFFALO BILL’S BREWERY

This beer has a complexity of flavors which we noted as uncommon for pumpkin ale. To me it smelled like a vanilla flavored tootsie roll. 

There was a subtle sweetness like molasses with the consistency of syrup. The flavor of molasses was complimented by bitter black cherry and oats. The aroma also came through as artificial spice similar to men’s deodorant.

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Wolavers fine organic ales

Pumpkin Ale

BREWED WITH VERMONT PUMPKINS

This ale brewed in Vermont had a bland flavor from start to finish. It has floral aromas and a lasting sweetness like nectar, but really too much spice and not enough pumpkin. We both noted what smelled like lavender, but why in a pumpkin ale?

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Dogfish Head (7% Alc.)

Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg

We were excited about this ale from Dogfish Head as they listed specific ingredients as well as alcohol content. As much as it seemed to smell like moss/dew, It was very malty with the satisfying sweetness of caramelized sugar. The bitter notes came through like a salty pretzel and the vanilla-like undertones reminded meg of marshmallow.

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Blue Point Pumpkin Ale

Malt beverage brewed with pumpkin and spices

This ale was highly aromatic and reminded Meg of some “hippy head shop”. It had the aroma of incense, creek water, pine, lemon peel and patchouli. The flavors came through as too intense and sickening for my likes, but I could taste something like sandalwood oil which reminded me of bitter chocolate. Along with the standard nutmeg, cinnamon, spice you expect from a pumpkin ale this one offers a unique variety of flavors. Maybe more acceptable to those who aren’t a fan of pumpkin beers.

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Post Road Pumpkin Ale (5% Alc.)

Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices

This ale had a nice peach aroma that reminded me of a White Ale by Hitachino Nest. The flavor is zesty like orange peel with a crisp opening, but overall watered-down experience. There are some light notes of nut and floral and a lasting bitterness.

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Short and Stout – Irish Beer and Cheese Tasting

cheese . stout display edit

Last Thursday while Megan was away as a church chaperone for the youth group in the Adirondacks, I inherited her Irish beer and cheese. For me that meant a solo tasting late at night in the comfort of my room. The setup for this tasting was as simple as a cutting board, knife and basic pint glass to hold our savory stout. The combination makes for a nice movie date snack or addition to relaxing with Irish / bluegrass music. Here are the details for color, flavor profile and consistency for both. Enjoy!

-w&m

MURPHY’S IMPORTED STOUT (DRAUGHT STYLE)

Color: Dark cola with 1/4 – 1/2″ cream head. From above the appearance is similar to a malted milkshake.

Consistency: Silty, thick, after pouring separation is entertaining and reminds me of a cola waterfall.

Flavor: Toasted bread, smoky, liquorice.

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KERRYGOLD DUBLINER CHEESE WITH IRISH STOUT

Color: Green wax outer, light tan/buff cheese.

Texture: Creamy, dense, oily outer, crispy pieces throughout.

Flavor: Bitter, salty, sharp.

stout . cheese display edit 2


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Rothaus German Beer Tasting

rothaus display edit

It’s crazy to think that we are already into the month of July. Birthday events, full time work schedules and a wedding engagement have thrown Megan and I into a whirlwind of planning. Somehow we managed to prepare at least two upcoming blogs and one from the month of May that was never brought to completion. We prepared a tasting of three different beers from Rothaus.

Rothaus is a brewing company in Grafenhausen, Germany. They have a highly successful line of beers including a Pils that is rated as one of the best. Comparatively, we felt that all three compared to the American standard of beer such as Budweiser, Labatt, Pabst etc. The notable difference however, was Rothaus’ unique bottle graphic and foil seal.

Rothaus Ef Weis edit

Hefeweizen Zäpfle (Alc. 5.4 % Vol.)

Taste: Citrus, orange zest, fruit pulp, metallic.

Aroma: bubblegum, watermelon rind, banana bread.

Color: Caramel, hazy amber.

Lacing: Heavy

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Märzen Export Eis Zäpfle (Alc. 5.6 % Vol.)

Taste: Floral, apple

Aroma: Buckwheat honey, mild pine, buttered meat.

Color: Clear, golden

Lacing: Little/none

Pils edit

Pils tannenzäpfle (Alc. 5.1 % Vol.)

Taste: Floral, pine, “Labatt”

Aroma: Marigold, honey, urine

Color: Clear yellow, “Redbull” lemon

Lacing: Medium/low

bottle series edit


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Winter Sake Wonderland

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William and I have this sushi place in downtown Rochester we really enjoy, Max Sushi & Noodles. They just opened on Main Street East in the beginning of the winter. We just accidentally stumbled into it one evening. The first time, we ordered a few rolls, some were seared in front of us with a torch. Some had smokey salt on top. Some noodle dishes had delicious salmon. The second time, we got Sake. And I am glad we did. Typically, for me, Sake all tastes the same. But like anything else we are learning, when you intentionally consume it side by side with other counterparts, each one takes on their own unique personality. We bought two Sake flights. It was a good time. Have you tried any of these?

Hakkaisan Tokubetsu Junmai

Aromatics- N/A

  • Flavor- Fleshy, candied apple

Draft Nigori Kikusui “Perfect Snow”

Aromatics- N/A

  • Flavor-Creamy, sediment, fruit pulp. Don’t. Do. It.

Junmai Daiginjo

Aromatics- Honey, floral nectar, berries, fruit punch

  • Flavor-Minerals, white zinfindale

Nama Sake

Aromatics- coconut water

  • Flavor-Lemon peel, plant root, fruit rind

Oze No Yukidoke

Aromatics-Sage, basil

  • Flavor-“Bullyhill-type wine”

Funaguchi

Aromatics- Pool water

  • Flavor- N/A

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Cheers to Sake in the winter!

xoxo,

willandmegan


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ADK Whiskey Tasting

There is no substitute for a glass of whiskey by the fire on your winter vacation. Last weekend Megan and I spent three days in Keeseville New York doing just that. Our mornings opened with oatmeal and fresh organic Nicaraguan coffee from Joe Bean Coffee Roasters. We shared the cozy rustic environment with my brother and his wife who equally enjoyed scenic snowfall, a large jacuzzi and tackling winding roads in 4-Wheel Drive.

For ease of consumption we acquired our own goodies to sustain us, but split dinner duties for two nights. Friday consisted of a delicious and hearty shepherds pie meal prepared by my sister in-law. The abundance of locally harvested venison cooked just right and creamy mashed potatoes made for a perfect precursor to an evening dip in the jacuzzi. The late night drive from the night before didn’t interfere with the desire to split logs and document this excellent whiskey tasting. Here are the results!

scotch pair log edited

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Bulleit Rye Whiskey

Aroma: Creamy lighter fluid with hint of leather oil and tinge of berry. Smooth yet aged in scent.

Taste: Sweetness of berry with pine undertones. Spicy and floral.

Mouth feel: Smooth like velvet yet full.

Color: Light Amber/Rust

Finish: A bitter tang with lasting zest.

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Glenmorangie Scotch

Aroma: Sharp and piny.

Taste: Wood, honey

Mouth feel: Sweet light and syrupy.

Color: Apple juice, light honey, urine, “Genny Light”

Finish: Soil, root minerals

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I hope you get the opportunity to try out these two whiskey labels. If you are feeling adventurous throw in some Indian leg wrestling as well. Cheers!

-willandmegan

robes group edited