Are you ready for Samoa great beer on the Windowsill?
If there’s something Southern Tier Brewing Company does well, it’s dessert beers. That’s what their Blackwater series is all about. From barrel-aged ales with fruit to thick and creamy sweet stouts, they do the after-dinner-brew so well!
Tonight, I hit the town with a few coworkers for some food and drink. Unfortunately, the bar we went to didn’t have craft beer. It did have really awesome onion rings and a surprisingly excellent lamb gyro, but I had to settle for non-craft. When I got home, my wife and I found some cheesecake in the fridge, courtesy of my mother-in-law, so I decided to rectify the dinner wrong by reaching for a dessert beer in my fridge. It was the Samoa This.
If i had to choose one word to describe the Samoa This, it would be decadent. It’s an imperial sweet/milk stout brewed with pink Himalayan sea salt and natural chocolate, with coconut and caramel flavors added. It’s a perfect dessert beer—sweet, creamy and indulgent. It’s Southern Tier’s interpretation of the Samoa cookie, and I gotta say they did a pretty good job! I think we know what @ctbeerandcookies would pair this one with, right?
Head over to Instagram for more great Beers on Windowsills brews!
It’s the last day of winter, so we’re repping stout season on the sill today! Spring is at 5:58PM Eastern, so get an IPA ready!
The saga that led to me drinking this beer is like no other in the history of the world. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but it took me a long time to get to it! Allow me to explain.
This past August, my buddy @galleycookinbeersnob gifted me a mixed 6-pack containing a bottle of the Choklat Oranj from Southern Tier Brewing Company that was bottled on March 16, 2016. It went into my fridge, where it was then lost for several months, until another friend, @marcs108, asked me if I knew of any stouts that were made with chocolate and orange. Not only did I know one, I actually had one! This was about a month ago.
This past week, I took a trip to my local beer spot because they had more in stock. It turns out they had a 4-pack of the very same batch of Choklat Oranj sitting on the shelf. I picked it up and split it with my buddy—you read about this exchange in my Vapor Ringz post from a couple of days ago. This past Friday, one day shy of the beer’s third birthday, I finally cracked a bottle and gave it a try. Three years after it was bottled, and seven months after it had been given to me.
Three-year-old beer? Probably tasted bad, right? Wrong, son. This Choklat Oranj stout aged incredibly well. All the promised flavors were there. It was super chocolaty with a really nice twang of orange. The creaminess was there too, as was the sweetness. Just a solid stout. I was almost ashamed that it had taken me this long to crack open the bottle. It’s currently not in production—the last time it was made was 2017—but here’s hoping they bring it back. Awesome release from Southern Tier’s Blackwater Series. I really enjoyed it!
Check this one out on Instagram. Follow Beers on Windowsills for more great beer!
Today’s beer, the I Like My Sugar with Coffee and Cream, which I got from a good buddy, may not be inspired by No Sleep, but it is inspired by another Beasties song—”Intergalactic,” from their 1998 Album Hello Nasty. If you don’t know about it, go take a listen. Celebrate the Beastie Boys with me and Other Half NYC!
As for the beer, the I Like My Sugar with Coffee and Cream is an Imperial Stout made with coffee, milk sugar, hazelnut and vanilla. It’s rich, creamy and super sweet with a great coffee aroma and flavor. The hazelnut and vanilla show up in really nice hints, too. Nice and thick… great for dessert! Did I mention that it’s 15% ABV? Doesn’t feel that way until you try to stand up, though. Hoo boy. That’s what @galleycookinbeersnob and I call a “shoulder slapper!”
Head over to Instagram to check this one out! Follow @beersonwindowsills for more great craft beer!
Got any snacks? Cuz I have the muncheez on my Windowsill today!
Let’s talk about Rochester, New York’s Swiftwater Brewing Company. Their story is all about home and family, and the respect that Andy Cook—the owner and head brewer—has for both. Everything about this brewery is tied to the Rochester community and Andy’s family. 80% of their barley is provided by the family farm, which also supplied the trees from which their taproom tables are made. As much as they can, they keep the rest of the ingredients they use local too. That passion for the community really shines through in everything they do, including their beer.
The Muncheez Truck is one of those stouts that you guys know I love. Creamy, Motor Oily, Chocolaty with an awesome coconut sweetness and a nice, albeit more subtle than I typically like, peanut butter touch. I love me some sweet milk stouts, and this one hit that craving right on the nose for me. According to the official description, it was inspired by a mysterious muncheez truck parked across the street from the brewery. Really dug it!
Check out the Muncheez Truck, and more craft beer, on my Instagram page now!
Let’s celebrate Women in craft beer on the Windowsill today!
Let’s kick off this Monday with a spotlight on a great woman in the craft beer game, Burial Beer Co.’s co-owner, Jess Reiser. She started out blogging about beer in Seattle and fell so deeply in love with beer culture that she, her husband and their friend Tim, co-founded Burial Beer in Asheville, NC. She had previously spent time in New Orleans, and the influence that time had on her life can be seen in the beer names and can labels that the company comes up with. We need more women and minorities in the craft beer game, and Jess Reiser is a role model for all that come next!
The Skillet Donut Stout was quite the experience. Starting with that beautiful label art from David Paul Seymour. It’s stunning. The beer itself is an ode to the skillet. “Cold black iron. Never decaying, it is held to the fire to unearth impeccable flavor from whatever it holds. The skillet is our most trusted and daring tool of culinary ingenuity.”
Like the skillet, the Skillet Donut Stout pours a nice black color. It’s brewed with a blend of nine barley malts, a “healthy” helping of oats, molasses, and lactose, as well as lots and lots of coffee from @counterculturecoffee. I got a ton of coffee on the nose and in the flavor on this one, and I really, really liked it. Great stout!
As always, check out more great craft beer on my Instagram!
A month later, I got a random DM from my good buddy, @bedwetr7 aka Josh. He had seen in my Instagram stories that I was hoping to score a Proprietor’s—a story I had posted mostly as a shot in the dark—and he’d answered my call.
Josh contacted me saying that he’d bought one with me in mind, if I was interested in a trade. All Josh wanted was some Trillium brews. I was pretty shocked. The Proprietor’s goes on Ebay for tons of money, after all. To get an offer for a fair amount of brews was great. Thankfully, I don’t live prohibitively far away from either Trillium location, and I’m always looking for a reason to go to them. I asked Josh to cellar my stout for a month while I planned a road trip to Canton. Two Saturdays ago, I went (you’ve been seeing the fruits of that trip for the last 9 days). A week later, I shipped out his beers, and he shipped me mine.
Last night, I got my end of the trade, and completed the greatest beer hunt of my Windowsill’s young life. So, what makes the Proprietor’s so special? Every year, Goose Island makes a special version of their Bourbon County Brand Stout for the ones they consider “the adventurous beer lovers who responded so favorably to our first batch of Bourbon County Brand Stout in the early 90s, and who loyally, year after year, share our passion for bourbon barrel-aged stout.”
The Proprietor’s is always the best of the best, made with unique ingredients from the rest and a special recipe put together by Brian LaGro. For 2018, the magic word is chocolate. It uses a combination of dark chocolate and two kinds of cocoa nibs. It’s rich, decadent and includes all the chocolate flavors, from “silky milk chocolate” to “deep and earth dark chocolate.”
Head over to Instagram to see this one it all its glory. Make sure you follow Beers on Windowsills for more great beer!
Here at Beers on Windowsills, we never say no to coconut.
The last time I visited Trillium Brewing Company’s Fort Point location, I picked up a 4-pack of their PM Dawn. I drank three pretty quickly, but one ended up lost in the back of the fridge for a while, before I finally reviewed it back in early January. On my trip to Canton, I was lucky enough to score the Coconut PM Dawn. So happy I did!
There are two major differences between the original PM Dawn and the coconut version. First, the coffee. The original, at least the cans I got, were made with coffee from Barrington Coffee Roasting Co. OK, so that’s still technically true, but the coffee used in this can of Coconut PM Dawn is branded as Trillium Coffee. It was developed with the team from Barrington, though.
The second main difference is—you guessed it—the coconut. Toasted coconut, to be exact. Trillium does something interesting with these variants—so far they’ve canned Cacao PM Dawn, Vanilla PM Dawn and Peanut Butter PM Dawn, too—in that they lower the coffee ratio used in order to allow the other ingredients to shine. You get less coffee, and more coconut, or whatever delicious special ingredient they decide to use.
The results were pretty amazing. I loved the original, but this one blew it out of the water. It’s so sweet and coconutty! That added flavor goes perfectly with this style of stout. Especially one made by a tremendous brewery, like Trillium.
Check this one out on Instagram, now. Follow Beers on Windowsills for more great craft beer!
Are you doing a dry month? It’s time to end that right now!
Every time the ball drops in Times Square—once the hangover ends, anyway—people decide to change their lives for the better. Everyone gets a gym membership, picks up yoga, throws out their deep fryer or buys a bunch of self help books. We’ve all been there. Some people decide to quit drinking for a month. I haven’t been there yet though, lol. Anyway, whatever your resolution, people say they are meant to be broken. Trillium Brewing Company’s imperial stout, Resolution Break, encouraged beer drinkers to stop being so damn good, and start quenching their damn thirst.
Trillium released this beer on January 27, just 4 days before the end of most people’s dry month resolutions. Kinda mean, right? It’s no longer available, which means the glass you see on that makeshift Windowsill at Trillium’s Canton location—it’s actually the part of the door that you push to open—is probably one of the last ones poured. I got mine on February 8.
So what made the Resolution Break worthy of breaking a dry month resolution? Waffles. 500 lbs of liege-style waffles (a thicker, richer and chewier style of the Belgian specialty), which Trillium got from Burgundian Coffee & Waffles. To top it all off, Trillium threw in some of their own branded coffee, which they developed with the help of their regular local collaboration partner Barrington Coffee Roasting Co. Did I mention the lactose and vanilla, too?
Do I even have to tell you how good this beer is? It wasn’t as good as the Peanut Butter Cup, but it was pretty damn good! Here’s hoping they bring it back some day.
Head over to Instagram to check out the other Trillium brews I’ve had lately!
First, a bit about our day. Brian got to my house at about 10:20AM and we hit the road to Canton, MA. We made no stops along the way and were inside the building at Trillium’s Canton brewery and taproom at 1:00 PM sharp. As was the plan, we went immediately to the taproom line to get a couple of 5oz pours each. I went with the Resolution Break, an Imperial Stout brewed with cold brew coffee, liege waffles, lactose and vanilla; and the Cape Elizabeth Light House, a double IPA. I’ll save the details on those for another post, because the attention today needs to be placed on the third 5oz pour I picked up.
Just from the smell, I knew I was in for something life changing. I don’t think I’ll forget that first sip for a long, long time. The creamy, viscous goodness coated the inside of my mouth like motor oil does engine lines. The flavors of chocolate, peanut butter and Madagascar vanilla beans and lactose transported me back to younger days, enjoying peanut butter milkshakes on hot summer nights. I’m pretty sure I floated off the ground for a minute, too. OK… but seriously, this was some unbelievable beer! I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it!
After taking time to make sure I was OK to drive, we went over to the retail shop section to pick up our to-go beers. I ended up buying a case of all different kinds of cans and bottles for me, my wife, a buddy and for an upcoming trade. Sadly, the Peanut Butter Cup was not available to take home. No cans. No bottles. Not even growlers. How disappointing!
Special Notes: Named after a famous Russian WWII general
Availability: Yearly release (Summer)
@untappd says: 4.21/5
With the help of Cigar City Brewing, we’re honoring a great military leader on the Windowsill today.
If you know what my day job is, you know I’m a big fan of history. That’s why I love when a brewery digs into the past for inspiration for its beer names. Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing has done a great job of this with their Marshal Zhukov. It’s a Russian Imperial Stout named after Georgy Zhukov—one of the greatest generals of World War II.
Most of us living in the United States only get to know about the great American generals during the war, like Dwight D. Eisenhower or Douglas MacArthur, so, to me, it was cool to research Zhukov and learn a bit about his role for Russia in WWII. Zhukov’s story is a classic rags-to-riches story. He was born in 1896 into extreme poverty, served—and was injured—in WWI and eventually rose to command the entire Red Army during WWII. I won’t get much further into his life on the Windowsill, but his is a fascinating story. Look it up if you want to know more.
Now that the history lesson is over… does the Marshal Zhukov do a good job of honoring the great Russian general? “Da.” Without a doubt. It pours into the glass like motor oil—in both color and viscosity—and the notes of chocolate, coffee and other roasty goodness hit my taste buds like a bullet from a PPS-43. It also had some pretty solid sweetness… perfect for dessert.
If you’re looking for a good Russian Imperial Stout, bid “do svidaniya” to the rest… Marshal Zhukov’s is a must-have.
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