I have some Irish in me – not enough to want a “kiss me I’m Irish” t-shirt – but I do look Irish and I can imitate a leprechaun’s voice if necessary. So before St. Patrick’s day I may find the time to reread Thomas Cahill’s “How the Irish Saved Civilization” but I will certainly find time to get my drinks in order.
Breaking from tradition I’m going to pair ale with whiskey to celebrate – no wait, that is tradition.
Tullamore and Smithwick’s.
Here’s what you need to know
- Smithwick’s is pronounced “Smith-icks” or “Smitt-icks”
- You can also pronounce it /ˈsmɪðᵻks/ – but I don’t know how to read that
- /ˈsmɪðᵻks/ is a red ale – clear and dark red in colour, less sweet than a brown ale
- Tullamore dew is a well priced Irish whiskey [$32]
- Irish whiskey always ends “ey” unlike scotch whisky “y”
- The two are produced a short 1 hr drive from each other in the heart of Ireland
- Limerick always makes me giggle
Checked my wine cellar this morning and all my wines are one year older! Awesome.
I’ve started something new in my expensive IKEA wine cellar. One cube is now dedicated to Sours and specialty brews. Even they are one year sourer. And as you will see, there is a local touch to this Belgian craft of making sours.
Sour beers are intentionally made to taste sour, often with the use of barrel aging where wild yeast strains enter into the brew, or by adding fruit to the beer to allow a secondary fermentation. I prefer the former style. Commonly made in Belgium and Germany, they are the most wine-like of all beers, often exhibiting tannins instead of hops. I’ve even had them served to me in a wine glass at a fancy beer place in TO. Royal City Brewing Co. has been bottling some of their own for me [maybe not just for me but it feels like it].
And now a brief tour of my collection – my delicious collection which has my my wine cellar more delicious.
The Rodenbach brothers, from Belgium, produce this delicious red sour. Thanks to my daughter M’s friend Matt for suggesting it, and to M for hunting it down in an LCBO in Toronto for me.
Cam and the boys and Royal City Brewing Co. right here in Guelph made this aged in Chardonnay barrels. A personal favourite – $6.95 at the brewery.
The Royal City Brewing Co.’s latest German-style sour.
All the way from Germany – Schneider Weiss Cuveé Barrique. Again, thanks Matt and M – you guys do good work.
You know those dreams you have that you can’t wait to tell everyone about. The dreams that have intricate details more fascinating to the teller than the listener? That’s what the Year in Review photos are like on Facebook aren’t they? I don’t feel that way – but i suspect a lot of people do. Nuts to them – here’s my Pull the Cork Year in Photos
Ox Patio at the end of winter with a Wellington SPA
The first signs of spring and i stop drinking potentially dangerous water and tuck into a nice Muga Rosé
The fine people at Muskoka Brewery helped make a beer tasting out of our micro farm planting day
The summer began on Vancouver Island with a lovely white wine grown and bottled by a Canadian Aboriginal group
Grappa 1-0 Lemoncillo [bunny ears by my M]
Um, this Autumnal Stonehammer Dark got some foliage help from my daughters i think
Of course we made Gin
and back to Nouveau, where this blog began
I saw this on the Facebook the other day. It makes me think that Guelph is the city of brotherly love.
I love that one brewery in this city calls the other their big brother, and that the big brother helped the nano-brewery in their time of need. I celebrated with this.
Wellington Imperial Russian Stout – a harmonious combination of stout and Russian [served in a Muskoka brewery glass because i’m sure they would like to join the family].
Hey little brother-in-spain … need me to mill some grain for you?
Also, I forgot that it snowed on my blog in December. Awesome!
It’s fun, when you’re 50, to poke fun at the younger generation. So for my Halloween costume this year I went as a “20 something hipster”. One ironic moustache and several well drawn and/or outdated tattoos later I was a hipster.
It was also a ruse to allow me to talk about craft beer all night – and I brought a lovely one to the party from Lake of Bays – Stamp Hammer oak aged amber lager.
Back to my tattoos for a minute. They were drawn so expertly that everyone assumed they were real. Honestly, the “vital signs” one that flatlines and then says “carpe diem” may become a tattoo if i ever get over my fear of needles and hep b.
Stamp Hammer is only available in October and November so you may want to stop reading now and go the the LCBO. A dark amber, i found it slightly spicy, not overly hopped, and a vanilla from the oak barrels that rounded the lager out into a smooth finish. Everyone loved it.
LAKE OF BAYS STAMP HAMMER
LCBO 439430 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 9.95
Also, my spider-web elbow ink rocked.
Summer is gone and gone with it is my taste for summer drinks. It’s an odd time of year. I’m not quite ready for big red wines or stout ale, and yet I don’t want a cider, pilsner, or crisp riesling anymore either.
This is what happened last week on the patio formerly known as OX.
My wife tried the cider, I had the Stonehammer harvest ale, and my daughter the Stonehammer dark ale.
It was a nice autumnal experience. A leaf or two dropped into our pints …
…a beautiful wasp stopped in for a visit …
And then the teenagers took over the “nature in a pint glass” game and made their big sister M’s drink a little over the top nature crazy. She drank it unfazed at her sisters’ tomfoolery. We do have fun. And round 2 … was the Stonehammer Dark. It became the official pint of the Oke family’s “patio and reading afternoon”.
Yes – Elvis week
When it’s 100 degrees in the south in ‘Merica your typical wine blogger drinks two things. Beer and Bourbon. Together. Cheap cold beer [Yuengling Lager] and Tennessee whisky to be accurate on the balcony overlooking WC Handy Park, 10 feet off of Beale. I can hear several of you saying “Ah, that’s what Marc Cohn was singing”. The sweet harmonica sounds of Mr. Vince Johnson and the Plantation Allstars filled the air.
Also, I might have dressed up as Elvis with my daughter M and literally walked Beale St.
Thank you very much