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Spectacular Sour Cherry Wines from Frederiksdal
Written by Mike Reis   
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 19:59

Spectacular Sour Cherry Wines from Frederiksdal

Frederiksdal's cherries first came through our warehouse doors in lambic form, as a part of Mikkeller's truly excellent SpontanCherryFrederiksdal. It was a memorable delight--juicy and tart, with captivating depth in fruit character. Little did we know at the time, we'd soon have access to the excellent sour cherry wines produced from that very same Danish estate, thanks to our friends at Shelton Brothers

These are incredible drinks, made entirely from Denmark's famous
Stevnsbær cherry, a sour cherry variety prized for its intense, complex flavor. They're fermented in steel, oak, and glass, yielding well-rounded and utterly delicious wines that are unlike anything else we've seen in the States. We're very excited to share them with you!

Now available:

Late Bottled
Typically, Frederiksdal's wines take about 10 months to make the transition from cherries on the tree to wine in your glass. Late Bottled takes a bit longer. 90% of this wine is aged in stainless steel for 18 months, yielding a rounder, smoother drink. The remaining 10% comes from oak foudres, which impart a nice tannic finish and chocolatey flavors that help this wine really shine alongside rich desserts. 

Reserve is aged even longer, this time for 30 months and entirely in oaken casks. It's also spontaneously fermented using the wild yeast and bacteria present on the cherries as they are picked. It is a truly complex, truly special wine that is lightly fortified using house-distilled cherry spirits. Decant and serve alongside big, rich meats, cheeses, and desserts.
Classic for a Reason
Written by Mike Reis   
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 19:53

Classic For A Reason

The craft beer scene of 2015 looks very little like that of 2001. Tastes, styles, and packaging have evolved to the point of speciation--we're dealing with an entirely new beast. And that's a good thing--there's more delicious beer on the planet now than there ever has been, and we're fortunate to be alive to taste it all. But there are a few vestigial brands that remain relevant, having asserted themselves as Perfect Beers--products that will not be improved upon with style evolution or innovative production methods.

J. W. Lees' Harvest Ale is one of those beers. It is the English barleywine, dense and rich with caramelized, raisiny malt character that is balanced by a gentle touch of carbonation and a smooth, balancing alcoholic warmth. As it ages, leathery, honey-like, and nutty aromatics come forth, deepening complexity and making the beer better and better for a very long time. We've recently had the rare opportunity to pick up a wide range of vintages of this classic barleywine, some of which will never be seen on shelves again.

Now Available:

Harvest Ale
The classic you know and love.
Vintages currently available in 275ml bottles: 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Harvest Ale - Calvados Barrel-Aged
The classic, aged for a period in French calvados casks to take on a bright fruity spiritousness.
Vintages currently available in 275ml bottles: 2012

Harvest Ale - Lagavulin Barrel-Aged
A rest in Lagavulin Scotch whisky barrels lends Harvest ale a bracing, peaty, smoky complexity.
Vintages currently available in 275ml bottles: 2013, 2014
Iconic Funk
Written by Mike Reis   
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 19:51

Iconic Funk from Jolly Pumpkin

We've loved Jolly Pumpkin for a long time. With our first sip of one of Ron Jeffries' oak-aged sour beers, we knew that this little brewery in Michigan was on to something good. Now, in it's twelfth year, the brewery has earned a sort of  "modern classic" status for their pioneering work in producing oak-aged American sour ales.

Though they're often imitated, Jolly Pumpkin's beers remain like nothing else out there. The brewery bends styles, takes risks, and succeeds at a far greater rate than you'd expect from a producer that leaves much to the work of nearly-invisible micro-organisms. We recently received a fresh load of their fantastic ales in bottle and keg, and are excited--as always--to bring them to you.

Now Available:

Noel de Calabaza
A heady, dense Belgian Strong Dark ale with a sour kick. Loads of tart dark fruit character. 98 on RateBeer!
Now available in 750ml bottles and 15.5 gallon kegs.

Fuego del Otono
A truly unusual and delicious sour ale brewed with chestnuts and spices. Spicy, complex, and deep brown in color. 100 on RateBeer!
Now available in 750ml bottles and 5 gallon kegs.

La Parcela
La Parcela is a delightful break from the caramelly spiced amber beers so closely associated with the pumpkin. It's dry and sour, noticeably focused on earthy and tart yeast character amidst bright citrus, cocoa, and (a touch of) spiced flavor. 99 on RateBeer!
Now available in 750ml bottles.

Maracaibo Especial
A rich, spiced, tart take on a Belgian dubbel. Unlike anything else out there. 98 on RateBeer!
Now available in 5 gallon and 15.5 gallon kegs.

Bam Biere
A killer saison named for the brewery dog. Dry, lightly hoppy, and tart. 97 on Ratebeer!
Now available in 375ml and 750ml bottles and 5 gallon kegs.

Bam Noire
The yin to Bam Biere's yang, Bam Noire is a well balanced dark saison weighing in just over 4% ABV. 93 on RateBeer!
Now available in 375ml bottles and 5 gallon kegs.

Calabaza Blanca
Easily one of the most refreshing beers on the planet. A tangy riff on the Belgian witbier style, spiced with orange peel and coriander. 100 on RateBeer!
Now available in 375ml and 750ml bottles and 5 gallon kegs.

Oro de Calabaza
Sour, pale, and strong, this ain't your grandpa's Belgian strong pale ale. A celebration of wild yeast and European hops. So good! 99 on RateBeer!
Now available in 375ml and 750ml bottles and 5 gallon kegs.
Czech Lager Perfection
Written by Mike Reis   
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 19:48

Czech Lager Perfection from Koutska Back in Stock!

Czech lagers aren't flashy. They're not exactly the boldest beers out there and they don't come soured or bourbon barrel-aged. But when they're made well, they are satisfying on a level that other styles can't touch. They represent incredible brewing skill, care in handling, and a deep appreciation for what each of beer's ingredients can contribute to a finished drink.

They aren't the kind of beers you'd expect to have a following. And yet, the Koutska beers of Pivovar Kout na Šumavě (you can just call 'em Koutska) have just that--a fierce cult following that appreciates everything these elegant lagers have to offer.

Lucky for us, this brilliant Czech brewery has graced our friends at Shelton Brothers with a handful of shipped-cold kegs. Now we get to bring them to you.

Now available in 20L kegs:
Koutska 10°
A glorious pale lager built for drinking in quantity. 4% ABV, incredibly flavorful, balanced, and oh-so-crushable with a soft, round texture and a firm snap of finishing bitterness.
The #7 highest rated Czech Pilsner on RateBeer with a 100 score.

Koutska 12°
This is Koutska's flagship beer, a stunning, perfect pilsner at 5% ABV. Floral, spicy, and well rounded, with a deep malt richness and a hoppy finish offering perfect balance.

The #2 highest rated Czech Pilsner on RateBeer with a 100 score.

Koutska 18°
Tired of the pale stuff? Switch over to Koutska 18°. It's a rich, sweet, and forceful doppelbock weighing in at 9% ABV. Complex and satisfying.
97 on RateBeer!

Interested in Czech lager but aren't looking for kegs? We've also just received two bottled Czech pilsners from Konrad!

Konrad 11°
A bright and crisp lager with a light body and a huge, soft, billowy head. Delightfully drinkable at 4.8% ABV.

Konrad 14°
A richer, bigger pale lager from Konrad. Malt richness is balanced by assertive carbonation and a mellow but lingering touch of spicy Saaz bitterness. 6.0% ABV
A Drinkable Experiment
Written by Mike Reis   
Saturday, 12 December 2015 01:13

A Drinkable Experiment:
De La Senne's Wadesda #5 & Wadesda #6

There is no brewery in Belgium that does hoppy beers better than Brasserie De La Senne. A huge portion of their lineup is pale, bitter, and fermented with expressive yeast, but each beer stands alone with a distinctive, personal character.

There's no better way to taste that than by sipping Wadesda #5 and Wadesda #6 side by side. These beers are meant to be consumed together as a pair (though they can be purchased individually if desired). They're a drinkable experiment--two identical beers made with one variable ingredient. Wadesda #5 is a pale, hoppy blonde ale made with run-of-the-mill pelletized Perle hops. It is a lovely beer on its own, with a score of 98 on RateBeer. Wadesda #6 is basically the same beer, but it is made with an unusual twist. Instead of pelletized Perle hops, it uses whole cones that have been freeze-dried. There are subtle, but interesting differences between the two beers, and they taste great together or side-by-side.
Now availble in 330ml bottles.
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