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Month: March 2016

Plaid Bastard: Grand Lake Brewing

Grand Lake Brewing’s Plaid Bastard Scotch Ale is a great choice for those who are ready for spring but don’t want to ditch the maltiness just yet.  At 8.1% ABV, Plaid Bastard is a serious beer worthy of respect when sipping. And you’ll do a lot of sipping. At first look, the color is a deep, dark burgundy. The cream-colored head bursts the aromas of nuts and cherries, and it dissipates rather quickly with very little lacing, so for the best experience, it’s best to enjoy this beer in a tulip-style glass in order to capture every bit of aroma. Plaid Bastard has a medium body mouth feel that’s slightly viscous. On the onset, there’s a slight carbonation bite the quickly eases into a smoothness. Just as fast, though, a dry finish comes that leaves you satisfied and reaching for another sip without much thought. Though clearly heavy on the malt (at 7 IBUs), the malty character is complemented by light notes of dried fruit, smoked peat, and, interestingly, overly-ripe banana. Don’t think of German or Belgian banana esters; it’s every so slight, and it makes the malt sweet enough to not be bready. Overall, this is a great beer to pair with cheese, breads, or even—if you feel like crossing the Irish sea—corned beef and hash. If you want a beer that will break your palate away from...

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Irish Whiskey Primer

Let’s talk about Irish Whiskey.  If you were to walk into a bar at the turn of the twentieth century and order a whiskey, they’d automatically serve you an Irish whiskey rather than bourbon or scotch, as they do today. English owes the word “whiskey” to the Gaelic phrase “uisge beatha” (pronounced wish-ga baa), meaning “water of life.” Many scholars believe that Irish monks learned the craft of distilling from Muslim clerics and rulers in Moorish Spain and Portugal who used the alcohol for medicinal and water-purification sometime between the 10th and 13th centuries. Once the Irish got a...

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