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For the first time ever, we’ve got a wine on the Windowsill today!
How did we get here? It’s a quick story, really. A few days ago, I received a follow from Exitus Wine. I was intrigued by their product, so I followed back and reached out to see if they would send me a sample to try and review for you Windowsillers. To my surprise, they responded right away and asked me for my address, so that they could send me something. Very cool!
So, what is Exitus wine? It’s a blend of Zinfandel, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon that is fermented in American stainless steel. What makes it special, and what caught my eye to begin with, is that it’s then aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for three months. Are you intrigued yet?
The brand was launched in 2018 by O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, family-owned and operated wine producer based in California. They own several nationally-known brands of wine and spirits, and the bourbon-barrel aged win is their next foray. Exitus is the latin word for departure, which is a bit of a metaphor for what this wine is. It bucks tradition. As Exitus boasts, it’s wine without rules.
I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of wine is extremely limited. There’s a reason I do Beers on Windowsills, and never—until now—Wines on Windowsills. That being said, I actually liked this wine. I didn’t get a ton of bourbon in the flavor, although I did get some subtle notes of it, but it was pretty fruity and tasty. One thing, it was very dry. I’m not typically a big dry wine kind of guy, but I liked it. This is a terrible review, I know! But I thought this company treated me very graciously, and I wanted to shout them out, and tell you guys to try their product if you’re interested. I enjoyed it… in all of my wine ignorance.
The Bakery is an imperial stout aged bourbon barrels with coconut and natural vanilla flavor added. Bruery founder Scott Rue told The Full Pint that macaroons inspired this brew. Said Rue, “Macaroons bring back nostalgic feelings for me. As a kid, I would beg my Mom to buy them and devour them in one sitting. In college, my girlfriend (now wife) would buy fresh, chocolate-dipped macaroons from the campus coffee shop, which further fueled my appreciation for the dessert.”
So, did Rue do it right? Hell yes. I definitely taste what he was going for in the Bakery. I think the first word that comes to mind when I think of this brew is creamy. Super creamy. It’s also got some really good sweetness and, although you can taste the bourbon barrel character in it, the boozyness is not at all overpowering. This is how you barrel age a stout. So good!
Head over to Instagram to check this one out right now!
While Missy Elliot couldn’t stand the rain against her window, I really enjoyed having the Misty Elliott on my sill. Supa dupa juicy. Supa dupa hazy. Supa dupa strong with that ABV. For me, though, it was supa dupa smooth for a triple IPA. Not sure what hops, but whatever the recipe, I really enjoyed it. There’s also that label art from Keith Shore, perfectly “Mikkellerizing” the Queen in her inflated purple suit. Don’t put this beer down. Instead, you should flip the Misty Elliott and reverse it into your mouth hole. Cheers!
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Last time I had A Mikkeller on the sill, we talked about Mikkeller’s new San Diego location. This time, let’s talk about their even newer New York brewery. It’s located in Queens, New York, smack dab in the middle of Citi Field. While there’s no good reason to go see the Mets play these days (sorry, Mets fans), you should definitely take the time to go check out Mikkeller. It includes a 10,000 square foot brewery and restaurant, with a 20 bbl brewhouse and a lot of single batch fermenters. They have canning line too, as well as 60 taps. Plenty of beer to enjoy there, or to take home with you! The best part? It’s open year round! Even when the Mets aren’t playing, you can go have some good beer!
Today’s brew actually didn’t come from Mikkeller NYC The Staff Magician was brewed in the San Diego facility, and my good friend @crisaura got it to my Windowsill. It’s a hazy New England Pale Ale brewed with Mosaic, Citra and Nugget hops. At only 5.5% ABV, it’s also very sessionable. I actually drank this one in the shower, which is the Windowsill you see in the photo! Like just about everything else I’ve tried from Mikkeller, the Staff Magician was pretty solid, and I love the can art by @keithashore!
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There’s nothing cooler than today’s Windowsill beer!
How do you make a kettle sour? No, this isn’t an old timey joke, and there’s no corny punchline, this is a quick how to lesson! According to the Home Brewers Association, you can make a kettle sour in five easy steps. •1. Mash, lauter and sparge as you would for any beer. •2. Conduct a brief, 10-15 minute boil for sanitation, and then cool the wort to 100 degrees Farenheit. •3. Pitch a culture of pure lactobacillus into the kettle and cover. Allow the lacto to sour the wort over the next couple of days, using a heater to maintain the temperature. •4. When the wort has reached the desired level of sourness, return the kettle to the heat and boil for 60 to 90 minutes, adding hops to your heart’s content. •5. After the boil, chill and ferment with standard brewer’s yeast.
That’s it! Now go out and try it!
Today’s Windowsill brew is a kettle sour from Monterey, CA’s Alvarado Street Brewery, which came to me courtesy of my good buddy, @beer_shark. It’s called a Kettle Cooler, and is a rotating release from the brewery. It’s inspired by Cactus Cooler soda, with added heaps of mandarin orange, pineapple puree and vanilla beans to Alvarado’s regular kettle sour ale. I’ve never had Cactus Cooler, but if it’s as tart, fruity and refreshing as the Kettle Cooler, I’m all in for one!
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We’re going bucket list blind on the Windowsill today!
The story of today’s beer begins all the way back in 1994. Vinnie Cilurzo took his first swing at founding his own brewery in Temecula, California. There, he specialized in only a couple of year-round brews, one of which was an IPA. What was the name of that brewery? Blind Pig Brewing Company! Unfortunately, it failed, but Cilurzo took a job at, and eventually purchased, Russian River Brewing Company. For his new brewing endeavor, he brewed another IPA as an homage to his original recipe. The Blind Pig IPA was born.
Two things about this beer. First of all, the name “Blind Pig.” It’s not just an homage to Cilurzo’s old brewery. It’s also a Prohibition term. Back in the day, you could use the term to discreetly order beer from a speakeasy barkeep. Also, jars were known as pigs, and unmarked jars were “blind pigs.” The second thing to know about this beer is that it’s one of the standard bearers for the IPA style. If you like hops, you’ll love this one. The malts are barely there, and the hops are so strong, they’re almost sharp on the tongue. The new recipe is a little less bitter than the old one, (the original was 92 IBU, this one is 70) and Cilurzo has added a “small amount” of Amarillo and Simcoe to his old brew. If you get the chance to try this one, do it!
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We’re getting out of this world on the Windowsill today, thanks to my good friend @beer_shark!
Let’s give a shoutout to the head brewer, and part owner, at Cellarmaker Brewing Company, Tim Sciascia. Sciascia graduating from, of all places, the New England Music Conservatory with a major in classical saxophone. All the while, he was developing his love for home brewing, and quickly got a job giving tours at Sam Adams. He soon moved out West, spending five years working his way up the ranks (and brew tanks) at Larkspur, CA’s Marin Brewing Company. Today, he’s responsible for some of the most buzzed about craft beer in the country.
The Alien Lifeform is an IPA brewed with tons of Galaxy hops, and a “cosmic dusting” of Simcoe, Mosaic and Centennial. It’s very hop forward, has a lovely tropical aroma and really does taste good enough to be made by Aliens. Anybody out there remember ALF? If you read the official description for this brew, you’ll know that the folks at Cellarmaker do. “This exploration in flavor reminds us of a day trip to Melmac. A different world with a green sky, blue grass and a purple sun.” If you know your ALF, and you have the Alien Lifeform in your fridge, you’re already running to make sure your cat is OK. Really awesome beer!
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Let’s get a little political on the Windowsill today, shall we?
Warning: this post isn’t going to be for everybody. I love Stone Brewing Company for putting this beer out, and for the message you can see on the back of this can. And no, it’s not just the tongue-in-cheek message about how to resolve our current political landscape; It’s the message of unity they preach, too. “Unite hops, peaches and each other?” I think that’s the only way to move forward. Like Stone, I want to shout “I’m Peach” from the rooftops. Instead, I’ll shout it from my Windowsill. I’m Peach today!
As supportive as I am of the message on this can, it would be a shame if the beer itself wasn’t good, wouldn’t it? The I’m Peach is a double IPA brewed with Loral™ (not Yanny) and Mosaic hops. The added peach combines wonderfully with the hops to give this beer a bright citrus and floral aroma and flavor. I wouldn’t say it’s over-the-top peachy, but it’s peachy enough for me. Even if you don’t agree with the political message of this brew, you should give it a shot. You might find our opinions to be the same on at least this one thing.
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We’re knee-deep in archived photos, so let’s get a Flashback Friday post on the sill!
Knee Deep Brewing Company was founded by Jeremy Warren in 2010. Like many eventual would-be-brewery owners, Warren first started brewing his beer in his garage, before signing a contract to brew Knee Deep beer at Mt. Tallac Brewing (since closed) in Lake Tahoe. Eventually, his beer got so popular that they were able to lease their own facility in California. These days, I easily get Knee Deep in Connecticut. Pretty solid growth, in not a whole lot of time. In 2015, Warren decided to leave Knee Deep, selling his piece of the company he founded to co-owner Jerry Moore. Knee Deep keeps making solid beer, and Warren moved on to start Revision Brewing. Looking forward to trying some of their stuff, one day!
The Breaking Bud is a fun brew that I’ve been lucky enough to try a couple of times—once in a can, and once in this bottle. It’s an IPA with a lovely pale yellow/orange color and lots of solid tropical fruit aromas. It’s hopped using Simcoe, CTZ and Mosaic, which gives it some nice mango and passion fruit flavors, along with some good pine and dank to balance it out. I love the name and label art, which is obviously based on the hit TV show Breaking Bad (Yo, Mr. White!), but you know who doesn’t? Sony. Enjoy the Breaking Bud beer while you can, because the media conglomerate filed a lawsuit against Knee Deep a couple of months ago for appropriating the branding of their show. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.
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