Evil Twin Brewing: Imperial Biscotti Chili Hazelnut Break

Evil Twin Brewing: Imperial Biscotti Chili Hazelnut Break

Special Ingredients: Biscotti, Hazelnut, Chili Peppers

ABV: 11.5%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Rotating

Who needs a break? A break from beer? Not me!

The “Break” series is one of Evil Twin Brewing’s ongoing series. From donuts to biscotti to maple bourbon to raspberry, the series has some of the best experimental stouts I’ve ever had. For me, the “Jesus” series still wins out, but I also haven’t had a Break that I’ve disliked. Definitely love what Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø is doing with his recipes!

The Imperial Biscotti Chili Hazelnut Break is a big time stout that packs a ton of punch, with incredible flavors of roasted Italian hazelnut, vanilla and even a hint of chili pepper. Got all that? Can I get a hell yeah? I loved this brew. From the upfront sweetness and creaminess to the nice little heat from the chilies on the finish, it was on point. Also, it was 11.5%, so you know I really did need a break after I had it. Pair it with some Nutella crepes for desert!

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Two Roads Brewing Company: Bière De CT

Two Roads Brewing Company: Bière De CT

Yeast: Uniquely sourced from the brewery hop yard

Special Ingredients: Honey from estate beehives

ABV: 7.6%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Limited

@untappd says: 3.85/5

Nothing like some locally sourced ingredients on the Windowsill!

Some breweries brag about using locally sourced ingredients. Two Roads Brewing Company took it a step further with today’s brew. The Bière De CT isn’t brewed with honey from just any local farm. It’s brewed with honey from the brewery’s very own estate beehives. The yeast is also sourced at Two Roads’ own hop yard! It’s part of their “Beers from the Vault” menu, so ask for it at the bar when you visit the brewery, which I did over the weekend.

Now for the actual review. The Bière De CT is, as you may have guessed, an ale brewed with honey! It came in one of those fancy bottles with the cork—the bartender offered to let me keep it, but I bought another bottle to go at the shop, so I didn’t—and the honey aroma powered its way into my nose. The flavor followed suit, and the extensive carbonation made it a pretty amazing experience. My wife and I both really loved it, and I can’t wait to drink that take home bottle, too!

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Pine Island Brewing: Oatmeal Crème Stout

Pine Island Brewing Company: Oatmeal Crème Stout

Malts: Black Malt, Flaked Oats, Maris Otter

Special Ingredients: Lactose

ABV: 5.0%

IBU: 35

@untappd says: 3.85/5

Are you pining for a good, light stout? Well here you go!

Pine Island Brewing, located in Pine Island, NY, opened its taps in October of 2015. Former CPA, and avid homebrewer, Mike Kraai is behind the relatively new brewery’s recipes. One very cool thing of note about the tap room… it’s located in a renovated firehouse. It’s definitely on my list of breweries to visit when I head up to the Hudson Valley area.

The Oatmeal Crème Stout is Pine Island’s winter seasonal. It’s creamy and smooth from beginning to end, as an oatmeal stout should be. Very malty too, as it’s brewed with Maris Otter, Black Malt, Flaked Oats and added Lactose. I tend to like my stouts a lot heftier than this one—it’s only 5%—but the Oatmeal Crème had some solid flavor. Very tasty!

Thanks to @bklyndena718 for picking this one up for the Windowsill!

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Southern Tier Brewing Company: Warlock

Southern Tier Brewing Company: Warlock

Special Ingredients: Pumpkin, Pumpkin spice

ABV: 8.6%

IBU: 40

Availability: Limited seasonal

@untappd says: 3.97/5

It’s Halloween times 2! Did you get some good candy tonight?

Why pumpkins and candy on Halloween? We’re going back to those crazy Celts again for this one. It seems they loved carving faces into veggies as part of their harvest celebrations. Also in need for light, they started putting candles inside, too. Spooky and useful! These were eventually named Jack O’Lanterns by the Irish, who had a legend about a farmer named Jack who had made a bargain with the devil. When those immigrants arrived in America and found the land to be full of pumpkins, it was the natural choice for carving.

Now, let’s talk about the Warlock. I’ve had a lot of pumpkin beers in my day—typically ales—but this was my very first pumpkin stout. It was brewed to “enchant your palate,” and as a counterpoint to Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Imperial Pumking. It’s part of the breweries “Blackwater Series,” a more experimental series of brews that includes some of STBC’s most famous beers. The Warlock is huge on roasted malts with really good pumpkin and pumpkin spice notes that i loved. Also, that glass fit the entire 750 ml… so I only had one beer!

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Southern Tier Brewing Company: Rum Barrel Aged Pumking (2017)

Southern Tier Brewing Company: Rum Barrel Aged Pumking

Special Ingredients: Pumpkin

ABV: 9.5%

IBU: 25

Availability: Yearly, but not this version

@untappd says: 4.03/5

Part I of our Halloween Two-fer is on the Windowsill right now!

According to History.com, Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain. It was celebrated from October 31 until November 1 to welcome in the end of the harvest and the beginning of the “darker half” of the year. Starting in the 8th century, November first became All Saints Day, and the night before became also known as All Hallows Eve… eventually Halloween. Somehow along the lines, candy, pumpkins and scary ghouls and goblins got involved too. Makes sense to me!

If you know me and my Windowsill, you know we love us some barrel-aged goodness. Because it’s Halloween, you know we have to come hard with a Pumpkin ale. Thanks to Southern Tier Brewing Company, I’m able to do both with one glorious ale—their Rum Barrel Aged Pumking. Last Halloween, we had the original Pumking. The barrel-aged version knocks that one out of the water. I loved how the booziness blended with the pumpkin. So perfect for the holiday!

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Trillium Brewing Company (w/ Cloudwater Brew Co.): Exchange Student

Trillium Brewing Company and Cloudwater Brew Co.: Exchange Student

Hops: Citra, Galaxy

Malt: White Wheat, Pilsner Malt, Flaked Wheat

ABV: 8.5%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

@untappd says: 4.18/5

Tree House last week… Trillium this week?!

Last September, I stumbled upon a collaboration release on my trip to Trillium Brewing Company’s Fort Point location. Lo and behold, when I visited this past September, another collab release was on the docket. This one was with Manchester, England’s Cloudwater Brew Co. Although I’ve seen Cloudwater all around the internet, I hadn’t yet tried anything of theirs. Glad I’m able to cross them off the list!

The Exchange Student isn’t just a collaboration of breweries, it’s also a collaboration of two separate styles. What the two breweries did was brewing a traditional German hefeweizen and a double IPA—styles familiar to the respective collaborators—and then blending them after fermentation. The result was a nice blending of fruity, juicy and hoppy flavors that was really pleasant for all my senses.

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Tree House Brewing Company: Bright (Citra)

Tree House Brewing Company: Bright with Citra

Hops: Citra

ABV: 7.8%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 4.37/5

It’s gonna be a Bright (Citra), Bright (Citra), sunshiny day on the Windowsill!

I like when a brewery has the confidence in its recipes to not worry about playing around with them. Knowing the malt base for the Bright series is solid, Tree House Brewing Company has released several varieties of this (mostly) single-hop brew. Several months ago, I was lucky enough to try the Mosaic version, and there have also been others: Nelson, Simcoe & Amarillo, Galaxy, Baby Bright (a more session-able Bright) and the BBBright (a hopped up version of the Mosaic original).

Today, we have another of the Brights on the sill—the Citra. Like the others, it’s created with a simple malt bill and fermented with ale yeast. Like most Citra brews, this Bright is all about the citrus aromas and flavors. Orange juice, grapefruit, tangerine… you name it. Soft finish with decent bitters from the hops. Really bright and delicious!

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Tree House Brewing Company: Doppelgänger

Tree House Brewing Company: Doppelgänger

Hops: Mosaic, Amarillo

ABV: 8.2

IBU: 88

Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 4.51/5

Still going strong with Tree House Week on the Windowsill!

Once upon a time, Tree House Brewing Company made a beer called the Alter Ego, an American IPA brewed with Mosaic and Amarillo hops. It was a very solid IPA, but it needed to be “doubled” up to an Imperial version.

That’s where the Doppelgänger comes in. More Mosaic. More Amarillo. Kettle and dry hopped. More deliciousness, too. It’s juicy, dank, citrusy and mean. You’ll definitely want more than one. So good! Make sure you try this one, the Alter Ego and the even more hopped up version… The Doubleganger.

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Tree House Brewing Company: Trail Magic

Tree House Brewing Company: Trail Magic

ABV: 5.2%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 3.74/5

Abracadabra! Hocus Pocus! Magic on the Windowsill today!

We’ve had stouts and plenty of pale ales—both the American and Indian varieties—from Tree House Brewing Company on the Windowsill this week, so I figured we’d try something new for this weekend bonus edition of Tree House Week. It’s a Geman pilsner, which is a style that originated in the Bohemian city of Pilsen in the 1840s. Aged in caves before the advent of refrigerators in the early 20th century, the classic style is still found all over the world. Great for a change of pace!

Hold onto your butts, but the Trail Magic wasn’t my favorite brew. I think it’s just because I’m more of a stouts and IPAs kind of fella, though. As far as pilsners go, this was a pretty solid one. Solid malt base with a good balance of hops, and even some spice to counteract that dry finish. Very clean, very crisp. Solid pilsner… if you like that kind of thing.

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Tree House Brewing Company: Green

Tree House Brewing Company: Green

ABV: 7.5%

IBU: 90

Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 4.48/5

I bet you’re green with envy about what’s on my Windowsill today!

Corny jokes aside, it’s almost inexcusable that I haven’t had this Tree House Brewing Company classic on my sill yet. According to the official description, the Green is a favorite of the crew at the brewery. With all the incredible beer they make there, I’d say that’s very impressive.

Why is it so good? Maybe it’s the hop combination. Although they don’t reveal the exact combo, I do know that the recipe includes hops from America and Australia. It’s “intensely” hopped—in the kettle and dry—giving it huge notes of lemon-lime, orange, tangerine and pineapple. It’s also got some solid bitterness on the finish and the mouthfeel is really rich and smooth. The key to this beer is balance. It’s delicious, and green enough for Yoda!

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