A Trio of Spirits Tastings, an Exclusive Single-Barrel Bourbon and a Weekend Hunt for "Hidden" Treasures.
By Steve Siciliano
If you’re looking for ways to counter the February blues here’s a quintet of spirited suggestions. Not only do we have three in-store spirits tastings scheduled this weekend we’re also running our annual Craft Beer Easter Egg Hunt. Over the next three days we'll be periodically dipping into our cache of rare beers and "hiding" the gems in plain sight throughout our massive craft beer section.
And last, but certainly not least, we are excited to announce that we have procured an entire 30-gallon barrel of bourbon from Long Road Distillers. This straight 93 proof bourbon (63% corn, 17% rye, 13% wheat & 7% barley) was aged three years in new, medium-char oak barrels. The 750ml bottles are labeled with the Siciliano's Market logo and are retailing $47.39 exclusively at Siciliano's.
The following are Siciliano's liquor buyer John Barecki's tasting notes: Nose: Dry cinnamon, caramel. slight mint, kettle corn, vanilla cream, lemon meringue, dried oak. Palate: Light butter scotch, hard candy, dried apricot, slight nuttiness, baking spice. Finish: Spicy, herbal, slight minerality.
Here’s the skinny on this weekend’s (Feb. 21 & 22, 2020) trio of free in-store tastings*:
Les Cheneaux Distillers, Friday, 4 – 6 pm. A sampling of the U.P. distillery’s Straits vodka, gin and whiskey.
*Please be advised that tastings are conducted by representatives of the distilleries and may be canceled or delayed due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Call 616-453-9674 to confirm scheduled events before you visit.
New and Returning Beer & Mead
Alaskan Hazy Bay IPA, $1.79/12oz - "Hazy Bay IPA is a juicy and flavorful hazy IPA with moderate hop aroma and bitterness. The aroma and flavor have a light malt character with prominent hop character that reflects fresh citrus, tropical fruit, and stone fruit flavor. This full-bodied beer has a creamy mouthfeel, and a toasty, soft finish." (Source)
Big Sky Raspberry Blond, $1.89/12oz - "On magical nights, the sky will ignite with the glow of the revontulet, the "fox Flames", or northern lights. To catch the tail of the fox is to bring adoration and wealth beyond measure. Drinking Raspberry Blonde ale from Big Sky brewing co. with its crisp scent and taste of raspberry is to feel this electric smoothness of the Northern night sky." (Source)
Black Rocks Classic Pils, $1.99/12oz - "The finest German malt, American hops and Lake Superior water collide to create our take on the worlds most popular Style. As crisp and refreshing as the Great lakes, this beer is a nod to European tradition with a distinct American disobedience. Prost, Eh!" (Source)
Bløm Blueberry Maple Mead, $3.99/12oz - "Intriguing combo of floral pressed blueberries with rich maple syrup for moderate back sweetening. All Bløm ingredients are sourced from Michigan." (Source)
Bløm Pear Ginger Cider, $3.29/12oz - "Michigan apples and pears fermented together with fresh grated ginger root. Tart with a little zing to it." (Source)
Bløm Standard Mead, $3.29/12oz - "The Standard-ish mead is made with wildflower honey and is fermented at a cool temperature with a European wine strain. Mildly back-sweetened to emphasize the honey taste and aroma, this mead falls in the semi-dry category. All Bløm ingredients are sourced from Michigan." (Source)
Deschutes Wowza, $1.79/12oz - "Embrace the impossible. Light finish, full-flavored, medium bitterness yet crushable. Citrusy hazy pale will make you say…" (Source)
Foundation Coffee Burnside, $3.99/16oz - "For Coffee Burnside, we start with Burnside, our traditional brown ale. We add locally roasted coffee which amps up the roasted notes of coffee, burnt sugar, and chocolate already present in the base beer. Each batch of Coffee Burnside uses a different variety of coffee from one of the area’s great coffee roasters. The batch from January 2020 was sourced from a single farm in Guatemala." (Source)
Foundation Epiphany, $4.69/16oz - "We indulged in our desire to create an IPA that personifies the vivid flavors that can be coaxed from the hop cone, painted on a canvas of soft malt that allows the flavors to shine through. Extensively hopped in the kettle and in the fermentor, we spared nothing in making this beer.Epiphany was designed to showcase the glorious flavor and aromatics of hops without any astringent bitterness.Citrus, tropical fruit and pine blend to provide you with a sublimely juicy hop experience.East or west coast? No. This is a Maine IPA." (Source)
Foundation Valkyrie's Song, $4.89/16oz - "Hazy yellow, with notes of mango, pineapple, strawberry and grapes, this double IPA was brewed to feature Australian Galaxy hops riffing off the rhythms put down by a pair of fruit forward American hops. Packing a rich punch up front, but finishing smooth and easy, we invite you to take a listen to their song and enjoy." (Source)
Greenbush Mr. Hyde, $2.39/12oz - "Mr. Hyde by Greenbush Brewing Company is a 7.8% stout in Sawyer, Michigan. Greenbush lists this as a creamy coffee stout, and it has full fledged coffee flavor in spades, but is it too much for a non coffee fan, and does that “creamy” flavor poke through in the darkness? Find out if you’re a Mr. Hyde, or if Dr. Jekyll is more your speed!" (Source)
Oddside Peach Mango Dank Juice, $2.79/12oz - "Sweet and juicy IPA made with Mangos and Peaches." (Source)
Oddside Peanut Butter Cup Stout, $2.89/12oz - "This seasonal favorite hosts a chocolate and peanut butter party in your mouth. Lactose added." (Source)
Rochester Mills Mango Kiss Milkshake, $2.79/16oz - "A refreshing breeze of tropical hops. This IPA combines the citrusy flavors of Citra® & Mosaic® hops with a big wet kiss of ripe mangos, subtly sweet lactose and a hint of vanilla." (Source)
Shorts Woodmaster, $2.59/12oz - "Woodmaster is a high gravity, American Brown Ale fermented with Northern Michigan maple syrup and toasted pecans. This dark brown, full bodied ale is rich with sweet malt and syrup flavors. These flavors are complemented by the presence of hop aromas and a faint nuttiness." (Source)
Sierra Nevada BA Narwhal, $5.89/16oz - "Narwhal Imperial Stout is inspired by the mysterious creature that thrives in the deepest fathoms of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal brims with malt complexity. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish, Narwhal will age in the bottle for years to come." (Source)
Wild Ohio Blood Orange, $1.79/12oz - "Who said oranges and beer are not compatible? The tart citrus created by blood oranges and delectable tangerines make this beer flavor a favorite for a hot summer day. Likewise, this brew can bring you the forgotten touch of sun in the middle of a cold winter. The combination of tartness and sweetness can pamper your taste buds regardless of the season or the day of the week." (Source)
Wild Ohio Blueberry, $1.79/12oz - "If you want to give your taste buds a flavor eruption, you need to jolt them with the right blend. When we combined juicy and succulent blueberries with small hints of lavender, we knew we did the right thing. With the first sip, you understand just how much you’ve been missing out on. The touch of lavender doesn’t just complement succulent northern blueberries; it takes the taste to previously undiscovered heights!" (Source)
Wild Ohio Mango, $1.79/12oz - "Cascade hops may seem boring, but when they are combined with ripe and luscious mangoes, you acquire a flavor beyond what you thought possible! We use special beer-brewing secrets to bring you a special tropical flavor in a bottle. The smooth taste of our Mango Hops beer will leave you desiring more. This beer will bring the joy of a tropical paradise to the comfort of your own home!" (Source)
Wild Ohio Peach, $1.79/12oz - "After imbibing this tasty concoction, you will think that our peach beer is a peach. This zesty beer is prepared by fermenting juices of peach with tea. As you imbibe the beer the sweet and tangy taste of the peach will dance on your palate in a swirling crescendo of flavor. This brew will change your perceptions “Is this 8% ABV beer or just dangerous peach tea”. You can drink it as is or mix it with champagne to make a Peach Bellini." (Source)