For going on eleven years, now, I’ve been getting press releases from PR firms and breweries and wineries and distilleries I (and makers of all kinds of accessories) and steadfastly ignoring them all. I decided, early on, that I was going to FOCUS…FOCUS on reviews and the occasional tongue-lashing of Anheuser Busch or some asshat issuing a C&D for alleged copyright infringement or marketplace thuggery. And that worked okay…for a long time.
But, lately, I’ve begun to feel kinda bad about all these hard-working marketing and PR people who are just doin’ their jobs, sending me what is actually, fairly often, information you, the brutally twisted Pour Fool reader, might find interesting. So, I was in the shower, last week (why is it that showers and toilets are such petri dishes of creativity?) when it came to me that, well, I could start delivering some of this hot news stuff and that I could call it “Wee Drams”. It’s is NOT going to be the full text of any of the PR materials sent to me, many of which run on for pages, but a quick distillation, ala Joe Friday, of “just the facts, ma’am.”
So here is your first Wee Dram. (if you want to vary the spacing and call it “Weed Ram”, as in Random Access Memory on Marijuana, knock yourself out but just know that I’m not going to start writing about ganja, at any time, for any reason.) Just a few of the more interesting events, products, and tidbits from the quasi-rational world of adult beverages.
Rogue Spirits Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey, while not exactly new, is starting to generate quite a bit of Buzz. It’s the culmination of all things ‘Do It Yourself’ from Rogue. This limited-edition whiskey is distilled at Rogue’s distillery, then aged in barrels built by hand at Rogue’s cooperage, Rolling Thunder Barrel Works. These barrels had already aged an Imperial Stout brewed by Rogue’s brewery. The final product is a 3-year aged American Single Malt — aged one year in new Oregon Oak barrels and two years in stout-saturated Oregon Oak barrels. It’s about $65-ish and is a fat fistful of caramels, citrus, vanilla, and a whole roster of grace notes. It should be in a shop near you, now, or you can order it online from numerous sources, all just a quick Google away. GOOD.
San Diego Beer Week celebrates All Thangs Beer in America’s Number 1 Beer City (says me, not the PR folks). And the 11th annual edition of this 10-day celebration of San Diego County’s 150+ independent craft brewers comes a’roarin’ back for 2019, THIS Friday, November 1st through Sunday, November 10th. Presented by the San Diego Brewers Guild, the week officially kicks off with Guild Fest (Nov 2nd) and concludes with the Beer Garden (Nov 10th). In the days between, more than than 500 special, beer-centric events will take place at participating breweries, tasting rooms, bars and restaurants around San Diego County. For anyone who loves beer and has the Jack to cut out for a week’s vaca in the middle of the Fall Everything Season, this is as close to actual Beer Nirvana as mere mortals are likely to get. You can get all the relevant info by clicking your mouse on this link, sdbw.sdbeer.com. A GREAT time will be had by all.
Booker’s Bourbon PR person, Haley Skuraton, sent me this press release about a brand new Booker’s expression called “Country Ham“…I don’t know about you but I think that MAY be my favorite name for ANY whiskey, from anybody, EVER. And the razor-sharp Haley was nice enough to keep it short, so I’m including her entire message:
We are excited to kick off fall with our third Booker’s Batch of the year- Booker’s Bourbon 2019-03 “Country Ham.” This release honor’s Booker’s love for the art of curing and tasting country hams, a family tradition and pastime that nearly rivaled his love of bourbon and one that was past down from his grandfather, Jim Beam. (**Note: The “Booker” whose name appears on the bottles is Booker Noe, grandson of the legendary Jim Beam**)
I’ve attached a fact sheet which includes tasting notes along with a hi-res imagery for your reference. Let me know if I can provide any additional info or if you are interested in a sample! (Gee, ya think?)
This stuff is a whoppin’ 124.7 Proof, was aged for 6 years, 4 months and 2 days, and will run ya about eighty bucks. I cannot wait…
(At the above right is some of that danged ol’ Hi-Res imagery.)
Knob Creek Quarter Oak was aged in quarter cask barrels, which adds a layer of richer notes of oak, balanced with Knob Creek’s traditional sweet flavor. It is now available nationwide, with a suggested retail price of $49.99 and is bottled with the following characteristics:
Color: Dark Honey
Aroma: A nice blend of brown sweets, char and toasted oak with hints of dried fruits
Taste: Sweet, heavy oak with background notes of char, dried fruits and brown spices
Finish: Slightly sweet charred oak with a lingering dryness
I’m fixin’ to post a review of several of the new Knob Creek Whiskeys, which IMO have taken even a higher step up in 2019 than in any recent year in my memory. Those will appear next week, just in time for you to make that Bourbon Bro’ (or Sis’) on your gift list deliriously happy this year and it’s not even gonna bust your plastic. I am supposed to have a sample of Quarter Cask coming and will certainly clue you in after tasting it.
THIS exciting news from my homies at Fort George Brewing of Astoria, Oregon, a place where I may well wind up living, someday…so maybe I’m more excited by this than some people will be:
“Fort George Brewery will expand operations at the former Astoria Warehousing site on Astoria’s waterfront. The property at 70 West Marine Drive includes 124,000 square feet of warehousing. The main building once housed American Can Company which produced cans on site for Bumble Bee Seafoods’ historic Elmore Cannery. More recently, Astoria Warehousing labeled, stored and distributed cans of Alaskan salmon there, but it closed last year and 25 workers lost their jobs.
Fort George Brewery, located just a mile away in downtown Astoria, had been seeking additional production and distribution space and says the site is perfect.
“We prefer working with historic properties; they have so much character and soul. It has a really coolstory and the fact that we’ll be canning beer in an old can warehouse seems like destiny,” Fort George owner Chris Nemlowill said.
Fort George will move its main canning operations to the new space and will build a production brewery with equipment salvaged from BridgePort Brewing. The Fort’s two smaller breweries will remain at their current location downtown, allowing for more variety including specialty and experimental beers. The space will also allow Fort George to grow local distribution of fellow craft beverage makers’ goods.
“This facility unlocks a ton of opportunity for our staff to innovate and grow. We have been handcuffed with space limitations in both our production brewery and warehouse and we now have the ability to build a more efficient space while taking pressure off our downtown block,” Fort George Distribution Manager Brad Depuyt said.”
For Northwest beer fans like me, more of anything from Fort George is A Good Thing. Stay tuned…
Finally, Republic Restoratives, Washington, D.C.’s first and only women-owned distillery, is releasing its Borough Bourbon Batch No. 03 this fall, its newest batch of high rye bourbon, aged for five years and finished in 50-year-old Armaganac casks.
Finding casks, here in the US, of Armaganac, a distinctive kind of brandy produced in southwest France, can be insanely difficult, which highlights Republic Restoratives’ resourcefulness. The spice and structure of the rye in the mashbill combines perfectly with the richness of the Armagnac to create Borough Bourbon Batch No. 03, gushing aromas of honey, marzipan, vanilla and warm leather, complemented by the tasting profiles of molasses, baking spice, chocolate, toasted flour and dried fruits. Borough Bourbon Batch No. 03 will be available for purchase at Republic Restoratives and select retailers.
Just a heads-up for lovers of both whiskey and women-owned businesses, for anyone either living near or traveling to Washington, DC. It is not available much of anywhere else but, from what my network folks tell me, this is some seriously fine booze.
That’s it for this week. Slainte!