Heroes Reserva Especial Red Blend

Heroes Reserva Especial Red Blend 2014 is a blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc and Merlot from Valle del Maipo, Chile.  For around $15 it’s a decent blend, with heavy notes of tobacco and spice and a dry finish.  The price point makes it serviceable table wine but I’ve had better for less and way better for around the same price.  Nothing memorable here but but decent, maybe a 5 out of 10 if I had to give a rating.

Jim Beam Devil’s Cut

Jim Beam Devil’s Cut (90 proof) is a blend of the 6 year bourbon with extracts from the wood of the aging barrels.  The taste is dominated by the woody character with a strong note of pepper and spice.  More subtle flavors include dark fruit and leather.  Devil’s Cut is decent, if a bit abrasive.  I don’t think adding water or ice would help this out, however, I did like adding whiskey stones to chill it.  I could see this adding a decent punch to a whiskey cocktail so some other flavors could help the overall balance.  Not something I need to stock in my bar.

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast is a 7.5 ABV Oatmeal Stout.  The appearance is black with a huge frothy head and the nose all coffee and dark fruit.  The flavor follows, roasted coffee and cocoa with sweet dark fruits, finishing dry and bitter.  Mouthfeel is thick enough for an oatmeal stout but remains pleasantly drinkable.  It’s aptly named as it does indeed make the ideal breakfast beer, with those coffee and oat notes.  7.5 is now, somehow, relatively low, so it could be a bit heartier.  Still quite good and easily one to try, if not super memorable.

Hob Nob Wicked Red Blend

Hob Nob Wicked Red is a blend of Gernache, Merlot, Cab Sauv, and Pinot Noir from the Languedoc region of Southern France.   Hob Nob is quite dry and very sweet jam fruit forward.  Also present is a good amount of oakiness.  It’s very drinkable and smooth and a good value wine under$15, making it ideal to drink but also in the range where you may cook with it.  Easily recommended.

Founders Doom

Founders Doom is a 12.4 ABV ADIIPA aged in bourbon barrels.  The pour is chestnut and the nose bourbon forward with citrus hop behind it.  The flavor follows, leathery, oaky bourbon barrel with sweet malt and hop bitterness rounding out the finish.  Mouthfeel has a nice creaminess but stays light enough, and that 12.4% is all warmth and no rawness.  There is a lot going on and Founders manages it with a deft touch, it all works.  Absolutely one to find and try.


Other Half We’ve Been Out There In Orbit

Other Half We’ve Been Out There In Orbit is a 12 ABV ADIS and pours rich black.  The nose and palate have that big, licorice, dark fruit, almost molasses sweetness along with the usual roasty, coffee and cocoa.  Mouthfeel is big and chewy and it drinks like a RIS.  At around $18 bucks I had higher hopes but the overwhelming booziness was a down note, even in deference to the 12% ABV.  If you don’t mind the splurge it’s worth trying but you can have better for less.  Maybe age one for several years.



Peak Organic Super Juice

Peak Organic Super Juice is an 8 ABV ADIIPA with an orange amber pour.  The nose is bright citrusy, leading into a similar hop profile on the taste, nicely balanced with sweet malt.  Mouthfeeel, carbonation and texture are all moderate.  I’d give Super Juice about a B, it’s certainly not the juice bomb the name would imply and it’s not up to other offerings from Peak, however, it’s still quite good.  The bar is just set so high for these IPA, especially ones invoking a “juicy” profile.

Avery Maharaja

The Maharaja (ADI)IPA from Avery is 10.2 ABV and 102 IBU and uses Columbus, Centennial, Chinook, Simcoe, and Amarillo hops. Appearance is orange amber and the nose floral, pine hop.  The balance of sweet malt to bitter, pungent hop is good and the mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a low to moderate carbonation.  It drinks as big as the IPA and IBU suggests but it feels a touch too boozy and sweet.  The hops get a bit more fruity as it warms a bit.  It’s a bit out of hand for me but it’s still an A- and easily one to try.