I think some of this information might impress the shit out of all of you, but at the same time might also prove to be quite boring to others. In the old-fashioned spirit of College and whatnot, I've actually decided to study up on my favorite subject: Getting Drunk.
There are so many ways to do so, and so many products to e joy in the process, but I am here to shed light on some of the newer ways to do so with some of the newer things you can do it with, only complicating the scene further. Lately in my research, I've come across a few interesting little tidbits about this and that including:
- Ancient Spirits
- New AVA and other country Appellations (Wine Growth)
- New Types of Brew
Seriously. Are y'all as excited about this as I am?
To start off, I am going to talk about these extra aged spirits, the likes of which we haven't seen in American since the Prohibition time when it may have actually been worth paying this much for a drink! Could you imagine sipping on 35 year old XO Cognac knowing that the used barrel would be heading towards the Canadian Club distillery, and being used now to make whisky for Al Capone? (That sir, would make you a badass.) Some of these Ancient Spirits really are more than just expensive and old proofs of your favorite drinks, they are history lessons as well.
Some of the more famous ones like Old Pappy Rip van Winkle Bourbon, and Mount Gay 1703 Reserve are widely available, although a little difficult to obtain. They radiate this wonderful golden oak sensation throughout and really maintain the quality that brought them to be as widely known as they are today.
Others that may be a little harder to find would include Black Bull's 40 year Bourbon, which has tastes and similarities that could easily put to shame some of the finer Single Malt Scotches. Also, multi-vintage Cognacs are aged in this manner for up to 27 years, truly adorning their status as XO. A few include Chateau de Montifaud and Charbay XO.
New American Wines
Since 1980 when Augusta, Missouri was declared the first recognized American Appellation, we have yearned for better areas to grow and new products to explore. Just a little tip, Napa was not recognized until 1981. This year, a new Appellation, a subregion of Napa, is now recognized amongst the states. Known as Calistoga, it was first founded in 2009 but vintages of the wine will not appear until 2011 with the actual AVA on it. Currently only one vineyard is producing wines with this AVA, that being Chateau Montelena (the stoner minds behind Bottle Shock). They currently have 4 or 5 wines available for sale from the appellation but they will not display the AVA's name until 2011.
Calistago can be seen just to the Northwest of Napa
No idea what they taste like, but if it's anything like Montelena's Cabernet, it will be incredible.
Also, two new grapes have been recognized but only one is used predominantly in wine. It goes by the name of Traminette and is a hybrid of Gewurztraminer that produces smooth and sweet but slightly spiced wines. Currently only found in the Niagra areas of New York state but it's assumed to make a big comeout soon.
Thought you were bored of drinking the same damn thing every day? Well guess what, new beers and a new TYPE of beer are on their way!
The first thing that has me excited is Abita's Strawberry harvest Lager which is a seasonal fruit beer made with local strawberries that are to die for. Sierra Nevada is also shoving their Hoptimum to the shelves this February, and you can also expect to see Dogfishhead release a brew that's been kinda hush hush lately.
As far as the new type, how does Black IPA sound? Like an oxymoron right? Well for purists' sake and just for people who can't take a joke, it is now being called Cascadian Dark Ale.
It's produced from extra dark chocolate and black patent malts. They soak for about 10-12 minutes in 160°F water, producing a very deep black, but thinner brew that drinks, smells, tastes, and replicates and IPA. But with the blackness of a stout.
Typically only found in the Northwest (the Cascadian mountain range), they are now becoming nationally recognized since the National Brewers Association picked up the Black Patent malt and the brew in general as new products. So far I've only found three brewers which are Stone, Caraffe, and........ Abita.
No shit. A brew I haven't heard of that is only found in America, and only three major brewers make it. One happens to be five miles from my house.