Nose: Very fruity, lots of citrus, some tropical passionfruit, and a bit of pineapple. A touch of solventy alcohol as it warms.
Taste: Well attenuated. Toasted, biscuity malt flavours supporting the solid hop bitterness. Mild fruitiness, hops are citrusy and piney. Minor plastic phenol note in the finish.
Overall: Well balanced, very drinkable.
Background: From Tintero in Piedmont.
Nose: Honeysuckle floral aroma and mild musk.
Taste: Medium sweetness, flavours of golden raisins, white nectarines. A bit of acidity, but it still comes off as slightly candied and cloying.
Overall: It’s okay. Needs something to cut the sweetness, like some spicy Thai.
Background: Part of Chateau Chantal’s inexpensive lineup of blends (at one time they were Naughty, Nice, Virtue, and Vice, though I think they’ve been rebranded since I picked up this bottle.) Each is a blend of Argentinian grapes (Torrontes for the whites) with locally grown varietals. This one is a semi-dry white blend: 36% Torrontes, 34% Riesling, 22% Pinot Blanc, 8% Gewurztraminer.
Nose: Crisp apricot and passion fruit, mildly floral.
Taste: Fruity, with a good acid hit. Apricot, pear, and a mild phenolic hint. Long, somewhat astringent finish.
Overall: Crisp, pairs well with salads.
Nose: Faint caramel aroma, some citrus and floral hops.
Taste: Thin. Insipid malt flavor buried under a big hit of resiny hops that quickly gives way to a medium-bitter finish.
Overall: The hoppiness is more in line with an IPA than a pale ale, but lack of rigid adherence to the advertised style isn’t the problem; the real downfall is the complete lack of balance. The flavour is just one-note hops, which combines with a complete absence of body to make the beer watery and unlikable.
Background: Distilled in Brooklyn using a unique blend of botanicals including rosemary and ginger.
Nose: Lemon and juniper, plus an herbal presence.
Taste: Nice round mouthfeel, and the herbal component from the nose resolves into a savoury rosemary note, which nicely rounds out the fruity citrus and spicy juniper.
Overall: A tasty, modern gin.
Nose: Bready and boozy, with sweet toffee and stewed fruit followed by a hint of clove.
Taste: Big phenol hit with clove and so on, deep malty backbone with treacle and brown sugar sweetness, toasted malt, figs, and tobacco. More phenols on the finish, more peppery than before. Very evident alcohol, slight solvent character. Incredibly smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Medium hop bitterness helps keep the sugary sweetness from being overwhelming.
Overall: Truly excellent, wonderfully complex and well-rounded.
Background: A Jolly Pumpkin beer brewed in collaboration with Maui Brewing, this is a red ale made with liliko’i and Michigan cherries.
Nose: Cherry and brett notes, deep red fruit.
Taste: Dry and fruity, medium acidity, mild funk,
Overall: An extremely tasty beer. Lots of fruit and restrained sourness makes it a very refreshing quaff.
Nose: Banana. Bubble gum. That’s about it.
Taste: Grainy malt with a grassy hop bitterness and mild fruitiness. Odd lingering tang.
Overall: Solidly uninspired. Not bad, but not good either.
Background: From Duvel Moortgat in Belgium.
Nose: Sweet hay, green apple, and mild phenols.
Taste: Sweet again, very honeyed. Slightly tart, with an oddness in the finish that I can’t quite place. Very mild grassy hop flavour, a bit of bitterness.
Nose: Spicy phenols and floral high notes.
Taste: Nicely balanced blend of citrus, floral hibiscus, and spice on a soft malt background. A hint of sourness and a long, dry finish.
Overall: Very refreshing and flavourful,