This week's list of new and returning products follows a few words about my first haircut in months and a good lunch spot in Manistee
Preamble by Steve Siciliano
Well our wood stove has been getting quite the workout lately. Rain and chilly temperatures up in rural Lake County this week prompted Barb and I to take our morning mugs of coffee and post dinner drinks out to the garage. Nothing like the ambiance of a crackling fire to enhance the pleasure of a fine cigar and a tumbler of good bourbon.
The weather has put a damper on fishing of late although I was able to get in a few hours on one of my favorite spots on the Little Manistee before the rains hit. I like this particular stretch of the little river because it's only about ten minutes from the cottage, it's relatively easy wading and there's enough runs, riffles and holes to keep things interesting. I wasn't getting much action on a size 14 elk hair caddis so I tied a small prince nymph off the bend of the hook. That proved to be the ticket. None of the trout caught and released that day were very big but it was fun.
A few days ago we took a drive to Manistee. On a previous visit to this quaint little burg on the coast of Lake Michigan Barb and I walked past J. Catlett & Co. on our way to TJ's Pub, one of our favorite Manistee lunch spots. My silvery locks were getting pretty shaggy so after lunch I dropped in the shop to see if I could get a quick trim. "I can probably get to you in an hour or so," the proprietor informed me. I glanced at the comfortable looking chairs in the waiting area and knew there was no way I could sit there for an hour without dozing off. (I once fell asleep at the dentist while the hygienist was cleaning my teeth.) I told her I would make an appointment on line and be back.
J. Catlett is a one woman show. While Jamie Catlett was making me look respectable she told me that she has been cutting men's hair for five years, the last two at her shop in Manistee. It's a really nice shop with an old fashioned feel--wooden floors, vintage barber chairs, prints of French Impressionists in antique looking frames and a huge moose head on the walls. It was a pleasant experience and I told Jamie I would be back. After my first professional hair cut in months we made the short walk down Maple Street to TJ's Pub.
TJ's is located in the cozy basement space of the Ramsdell Inn, a ten room boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown Manistee. Barb and I have been to the restaurant many times and have never been disappointed. If you're in the mood for a bit of zing try the Spicy Noodle Bowl. A Tito's Bloody Mary is a nice accompaniment.
Quote of the week - "You know you're a fly fisherman if you floss your teeth with 4X tippet."
-The late Pete Hamlin
Featured Wines of the Week
Dansk Mjod, Viking Blod, Nordic Mead, Denmark, $33.39/750ml- In order to establish this mead we have combined the traditional brew with dried hibiscus. In addition to the color this spice adds an aromatic and floral aftertaste to this mead, like a good madeira. (Source)
Louis Jadot, 2019, Macon-Villages, Chardonnay, France, $16.99/750ml- Crisp, balanced and delicately floral, Chardonnays from the Macon Villages are often made in the unoaked style and offer a magnificent sampling of what white Burgundy has to offer—without years of waiting and high dollar price tags. Commonly vinified in stainless steel or glass-lined concrete vats, these are mostly intended for consumption within a year or two of the vintage, though a few serious Mâconnais producers have turned their focus to smaller yields and barrel fermentation and maturation. Regardless, you can count on Macon Villages whites to be fresh and fruity with citrus and melon flavors, and aromas of white roses, honeysuckle, lemon-grass or fennel. (Source)
Parducci, 2018, Small Lot Chardonnay, California, $11.99/750ml- Quintessential flavors of Asian pear, wildflower honey and crisp apple with a creamy vanilla-caramel finish.
We celebrate the golden reputation of Chardonnay with our best grapes harvested from the valleys near the Russian River and winemaking that embraces each wine’s unique varietal qualities. (Source)
Buy three or more bottles of wine get 10 % off.
"It's our mission at Siciliano's to sell quality wine at affordable prices."
Featured Spirits of the Week
M&H, Classic Single Malt Whisky, Tel Aviv, Israel, $63.09/750ml- Nose: Gentle vanilla sweetness, followed by light oak and floral notes. Palate: Light body, vanilla, caramel and honey sweetness, balanced by oaky notes and light black pepper spiciness. Finish: Short but delicate. The oak notes linger in the palate for a while with a nice light spiciness. (Source)
Black Tot, Rum, Caribbean, $68.39/750ml-
Nose: The copper-coloured liquid is immediately inviting, with tropical breezes of pineapple, melon and a feast of Caribbean sweets. Thick scents of banana fritters, plantain tarts, overripe mango and crème brûlée are lifted by fresh honeysuckle blossom and eucalyptus. Palate: Rounded and rich, with butter toffee, banana cream, and caramel to start. Gentle cinnamon and allspice build with more fruit – baked apples, pineapple cubes, and dried mango – joined by coffee, dark chocolate, and black pepper. Finish: Chocolatey coffee fades, leaving roasted bananas and a tingle of anis. (Source)
Gouden Carolus, Single Malt Whisky, Hey Anker, Belgium, $73.69/750ml- Gouden Carolus Single Malt is a refined Belgian whisky distilled from the mash of Gouden Carolus Tripel beer. A first for Belgium are the hand hammered, copper pot stills, in which the pure mash is distilled. The result is a pure and clear distillate.
The ensuing aging in First Fill Bourbon casks followed by a further aging in 'Anker' casks (oak casks reworked by the cooper according to our own specifications) results in a refined whisky with a rich and balanced taste. The subtle fruit aromas are delightfully enhanced by hints of wood and vanilla. (Source)
New and Returning Products
Barrel + Beam Tuebor, $6.59/375ml - A 100% Michigan Sourced Wild Ale brewed with Barley, Wheat, Rye and Spelt malts. (Source)
Black Project Anteus 2020, $5.99/16oz - A dark energy explosion of Prickly Pear and Blueberry, ripping apart the very nature of space and time to deliver a swirling orb of rich jammy fruit and wild yeast funk directly to the singularity of your palate. (Source)
Black Project Helix 2020, $5.99/16oz - A zymurgic research mission, exploring uncharted expanses of fruit and herbs. The new territory is awash with bushels of juicy, tart raspberry backed by waves of fresh, bright lemongrass. Plant your flag and stake your claim of flavor. (Source)
Black Project Wiretap 2020, $5.99/16oz - WIRETAP begins as our solera sour golden ale base, after fermentation is complete we moderately dry hopped the beer with CHELAN, EKUANOT, AND STRISSELSPALT hops, giving the beer a floral hop aroma and a bitter aftertaste that blends well with the lactic acid that dries out the tongue. To push this beer further in the name of experimentation we added whole vanilla beans from Madagascar and Papua New Guinea. The beans were scraped, chopped, and pureed before being added to the base beer, adding vanilla notes into the nose, as well as a silky smooth body to this already complex beer. (Source)
Fair State Chill State, $4.19/16oz - Collaboration with the great folks at Modist Brewing Co. A double dry-hopped hazy IPA, fermented cool with an expressive German yeast, hopped with Idaho 7, Sultana, and Simcoe Cryo. (Source)
Fair State Farm Lunch Raspberry Cherry Wild, $9.99/500ml -
Founders Harvest Ale, $2.89/12oz - Each fall, our brewhouse looks more like a greenhouse as thousands of pounds of wet hop cones arrive within hours of being picked by some of our favorite local hop growers. Acting quickly, we then load up these wet hops into what will become Harvest Ale – an impossibly aromatic and bright IPA bursting with fresh pine, melon and citrus notes. Our ode to the beauty that is the wet, American hop. (Source)
Freigeist Aufschneider, $3.79/16oz - Hefeweizen
Freigeist Dortmunder, $3.79/16oz - Freigeist was founded in 2009 with a mission to revive Germany's lost regional, artisanal ales. We now offer bold American-influence, American-brewed twists on our homeland's most popular beer styles. Maltier than Pils and hopper than Helles. Exportbiers were the industrial city of Dortmund Freigeist modern-day Dortmund export expands on this tradition with more complex malt variety and extra bitterness. (Source)
Great lakes Nosferatu, $3.29/12oz - Don’t be afraid of things that go hop in the night! Rich roasted malt flavors haunt the shadows of our Imperial Red Ale’s bitter teeth. (Source)
Hopewell Dear Diary, $4.39/16oz - Dear Diary is a Double Dry-hopped Lager featuring Nelson Sauvin and Centennial hops. A clean lager base meets an alluring profile of papaya, kiwi and white grape, made complete with a dry, weightless finish. Worth an entry. (Source)
Hopewell Vis a Vis, $4.39/16oz - Vis-à-Vis is a Double Dry-hopped IPA brewed with Strata and Meridian hops, presenting a citrus orchard’s wide array of vibrant aromas and flavors. Added notes of dank pine, tropical fruit and berry help flesh out its final form, making for a modern IPA with the comforts of a classic. (Source)
Jolly Pumpkin Jovian, $3.69/16oz - Ale brewed with buckwheat. With cranberries and kumquat added. (Source)
Jolly Pumpkin Sobre Humano, $4.09/16oz - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales (Dexter, MI) and Maui Brewing Co (Lahaina, Maui, HI) collaborated to create Sobrehumano Palena ‘ole or “superhuman”. It is actually Maui’s first collaboration in a can, brewed with passionfruit and cherries. This is Jolly Pumpkin’s edition of the collab. Each brewery will add its own unique spin – as Maui will ferment normally (arriving in cans), and Jolly Pumpkin will make it a barrel aged sour (in bottles). The beer was designed with two noble fruits from the two states Cherries & liliko’i. (Source)
Lone Pine Chaos Emeralds, $4.89/16oz - A Galaxy and Mosaic hopped Double IPA packed with citrus aroma and bright notes of tropical melon, watermelon, and lime. Chaos finishes with candied mango and a soft mouthfeel. (Source)
Lone Pine Laser Show, $3.59/16oz - Azacca, Rakau, Summer, Simcoe, and Huell Melon hops to produce aromas of pine resin, stone fruit, and eucalyptus. (Source)
Mast Landing Coasting, $4.69/16oz - An enticing and bold beer that's designed to meet any occasion. You’ll find a tidal wave of citrus and tropical flavors like grapefruit, mango, orange, and pineapple in this easy-drinking 6.4% India pale ale. (Source)
Mast Landing Find Me Dreaming, $3.99/16oz - It's all a dream we dreamed. A crisp, hoppy dream. Find Me Dreaming is a West Coast inspired IPA brewed with bold hops from the Pacific Northwest. A balanced flavor profile designed to be easy drinking and enjoyable, the type of beer that might lull you into a relaxing afternoon fantasy. (Source)
Mast landing Gunner's Daugher, $3.79/16oz - A beautifully aromatic and balanced milk stout with delicious notes of peanut butter, coffee, and dark chocolate. This dark, mythical beer nods to the long-passed legends of our region’s seafarers. (Does not contain nuts or peanuts) (Source)
Mast Landing Windbreaker, $4.69/16oz - Some things are too iconic to go out of style. Reliable yet eye-catching, lively but not too intense to break out every day, Windbreaker is the IPA everyone needs in their lineup. A bursting palate of Citra and Idaho 7 brings out tropical notes and a pleasant citrusy quality, with a modest 6.5% and a balanced, refreshing body that encourages sip after sip. Don't be surprised when your friends get jealous of your fridge fashion, just congratulate yourself on having impeccable taste. (Source)
Middle Coast Black is Beautiful, $3.29/16oz - Big bodied and full flavored stout with rich flavors of macadamia and pecan. (Source)
Midland One Night in Bangkok, $4.39/16oz - Thai inspired Smoothie IPA brewed with fresh Thai Basil, Tangerine, and Lactose to complement massive amounts of dry-hopped El Dorado hops. (Source)
New Holland Drangon's Milk Reserve Vanilla Chai, $4.89/12oz - The rich vanilla and chocolate notes of Dragon’s Milk with the layered flavor of Vanilla Chai – it’s so unique and so complementary. (Source)
New Holland Little Piglet, $1.79/12oz - IPA - Session / India Session Ale
O'Fallon Knotty Pretzel, $2.99/16oz - Knotty is a light Golden Ale with soft toasted bready notes and a touch of salt. A mix of malts were used to create the backbone for this beer. Red wheat and Special Roast create the soft, toasty flavor along with a subtle tanginess from the acidulated malt. The yeast helps to carry the soft tangy toasted flavor and aroma, giving way to a crisp, satisfying finish. (Source)
Pigeon Hills Double Dune, $2.29/12oz - Imperial IPA
Saugatuck Barrel Aged Double Dramanatrix, $5.29/12oz
Shorts Heaven Scent, $2.59/12oz - Wet hopped IPA
Sierra Nevada Narwhal, $2.59/12oz - Narwhal Imperial Stout is inspired by the mysterious creature that thrives in the deepest fathoms of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish, Narwhal will age in the bottle for years to come. (Source)
Singlecut Flash in the Middle, $5.69/16oz - The legendary "Bon" series grows! 100% choice selected Aussie hop buds keep the family line- bright and juicy tropical fruit, sweet pineapple, mango candies, deep an tangy white grapes, and a long tiki cocktail finish. (Source)
Singlecut JånAlpine White Lager, $3.79/16oz - THE OLFACTORY IS working overtime, noting the distinct sweet citrus, delicate flowery herbal and complex spice aromas and flavors of this lager. Smooth soft light malt, finishes very dry and clean with an orange tang and some soft herbal complexity. Perhaps our ultimate patio brew. (Source)
Untitled Art Pineapple Upside Down Sherbert, $5.19/16oz - <