While zooming around the Finger Lakes region of New York with my family a few weeks ago on a wine tour, we stumbled upon the best of both worlds – a winery with a brewery attached. The winery was Wagner Vineyards and the brewery is Wagner Valley Brewing. Splitting from the main group with a few others I sampled all the beers that Wagner Valley had to offer that day. One of those was the Sugar House Maple Porter, which I slipped a bottle of it into a mixed six pack planning to review.
Three Heads Brewing Co. out of Rochester, New York has been in business for a few years now. They started out active on beer review websites and decided to open up their own brewery. They recently reached my local market and I recently grabbed a bottle of their Java Sutra Coffee Porter.
During a recent trip to Maryland, I grabbed a bottle of Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Siren Noire – an Imperial Stout brewed with chocolate and aged in bourbon barrels (of course). I hadn’t seen this one in the Philadelphia area yet, so the choice was easy. At 9.5% ABV, I’m expecting rich chocolatey notes with some bourbon and oak undertones.
Oyster stouts have always been a, “Oh that’s pretty cool” beer for me and only recently have I begun seeking them out. They offer another twist on my favorite malt-centric style, bringing a bit of ocean saltiness and brine into play. When these flavors are kept local (to me), as with the Flying Dog Pearl Necklace, it makes it all the more irresistible.
Big Imperial Stouts are mainstay of my winter beer fridge. With their bold robust flavors, warming characteristics, and filling mouth feel they make a great winter beer. One that I have been interested in trying for a while is Night Stalker from Goose Island. When I happened upon it while exploring a new beer store I had to pick up a bottle for review.