What are you drinking? [Booze]

2011 Apr 8

Tonight, i've been mixing up "dark and stormy's"... 2 oz dark rum, 6 oz ginger beer and a splash of lemon juice.

I like using real ginger beer for the spiciness. I've made this drink using other rums, like havana club and appleton's.

what are you drinking these days?

2011 Apr 9
Maker's Mark Manhattans.

2011 Apr 9
i tried a bottle of cono sur's sparkling wine. it was fine, drinkable & affordable. i still prefer an italian prosecco :)

also tried beau's beaver river IP'eh. really bitter. not really my thing, but enjoyed my small glass of it.

2011 Apr 9
dasklown - how do you like the Kraken rum? It looks appealing, I like dark spicy rum... but I'm just not sure about the Kraken, is it a marketing gimmick or is it actually tasty?

2011 Apr 9
Woodford Reserve bourbon. Goes down smooth.

Also have a couple Samuel Smith's nut brown ale (seems to be discontinued at least for now, so I'll have to savour the flavour) for later.


2011 Apr 9
Chimichimi... I thought someone would ask that, since that rum was featured in the LCBA trend report a couple weeks back!

I'm not a big connaisseur of rum, but I do like this one. I kept getting really nice notes of coffee/chocolate all night, not so much molasses. It's also 94 proof, so you get that little extra kick! I don't think it'll become my regular rum, but it sure is a nice bottle to look at!

2011 Apr 9
Dieu du Ciel Aphrodisiaque beer .... AMAZING!!! I didn't know that such beer excisted, I guess I was kind of in the dark. It's very intense, smells and tastes of chocolate, vanilla and coco with a touch coffeee. I found in Gatineau at a beer store called Brouve HaHa.

2011 Apr 10
tonight... the follow up was:

sir perry pear cider. ahhh so refreshing!!!
second: Yellow Tail Merlot: nice low-body wine, easy to sip and enjoy
third: flying monkey's hoptic illusions - this is my regular beer. great taste... heavy on the bitter hops. (wonder if there is any relation to the Blue Point Brewing CO) You know you're drinking beer when you drink this.
fourth: kraken rum, neat: this rum is easy to drink on its own... nice chocolate, coffeee, kind of reminds me of eating dates kind of sweetness. ambidextrous bottle.
fifth: back to the merlot... can't leave a bottle unfinished.

Thinking about tomorrow's dinner... maybe some egg-plant subs.

Good Luck

2011 Apr 10
maker's mark manhattans. again.

2011 Apr 10
My quest to unearth Ottawa's cocktail culture (should it even exist) has been stepped up over the last couple of weeks...

Sweetgrass Bistro
With Domus and Murray Street just doors away, Sweetgrass has stiff competition but more than holds its own. That said, their beverage service sorely needs attention and doesn't compare at all to its neighbours. While I can appreciate that perhaps they don't have the space for beer taps (OK, I don't actually buy that comment) I was both surprised and dismayed to find canned juices in their cocktails in lieu of freshly squeezed fruit. This was a shame: I tried the Creemaican, a delightful and harmonious blend of Appleton Estate VX rum, amaretto, pineapple juice, but the cloying flavours of canned pineapple juice were unwelcome and out of place, both in the cocktail and in such a great bistro. As a result I took a pass on trying another cocktail but to be honest, I found it equally difficult to find anything of interest on either the wine or beer lists.

Stopped by for drinks and jazz and was suitably impressed with their classic offerings, complete with bitters and infusions made in-house. The runaway hit of the evening was the Smokin' Caesar made with bacon infused vodka, fennel wormwood bitters made in-house, bacon-celery dust and served with an extra grating of fresh horseradish in a bacon rimmed glass.... absolutely delicious and a great take on a Canadian classic!!!

The Churchill Manhattan was made with Crown Royal and wild cherry-tobacco-black tea bitters that is made by the kitchen staff. Flavours were cohesive and complemented the sweet-spicy notes of CR. Another winning take on a much loved classic. Not so successful was the Seasonal Mojito -- being the very end of March, green apples were the only seasonal fruit they could muster and the flavours fell flat and really didn't mesh with the rum. This was further topped off with soda water which made for a bland, boring libation.

Also sampled that evening was a dry Bombay Sapphire martini with a lemon twist and here is where the bartender's skills really came up short. To clarify, for the bar prices being charged I want to feel as though I'm in the Savoy Hotel's American Bar circa 1930, when cocktails were not just properly executed but served with a sense of occasion. At Juniper circa 2011, the bartender gave the martini but a couple of feeble shakes**, then managed to splash it all over the glass while pouring. This lack of elegance and style was punctuated by placing the gin splashed glass on the bar without even a cocktail napkin underneath. The lemon twist was thick, pithy and awkwardly carved, clumsily set on a toothpick atop the glass where it quickly unravelled into the gin.

So I sound like I'm being picky? Let's do the math, 2oz of Bombay Sapphire comes to roughly $1.50 at the LCBO plus another ~25 cents for the vermouth used to coat the inside of the glass. Having paid $10 for the martini, this is a mark-up of ~570%. So no, I don't think I'm out of line to look for proper execution and bar service. Juniper pays attention to all other details of its food and beverage so hiring a trained bartender shouldn't be an optional extra.

(**To quote the Savoy Cocktail Book: "Shake the shaker as hard as you can: don't just rock it, you are trying to wake it up, not send it to sleep!")

Wellington GastroPub
A bit of a letdown here, but probably the only one you will find at the Wellington GastroPub. Yes, it's a pub, and yes, pubs do beer, but when a pub has such a kickass wine list and a heady selection of microbrews on tap, one is entitled to assume that the bar would boast a similarly stellar, if not short, list of cocktail offerings. Not so here, but my dry gin martini was perfectly executed, served nicely cold, and prepared with some decent shaking (albeit still not with the enthusiasm I'd like to see... then again I can always watch Tom Cruise in "Cocktail" on DVD, right?)

On the plus side, when I asked about their rail gin, the bartender was only too happy to give me a straight sample of Victoria Gin before preparing my drink. I liked it, very much as a matter of fact, but I'm also a traditionalist and rather set in my ways so I think I'll be sticking to Bombay Sapphire next time. My husband contends that he'll order Victoria Gin should he order a martini here, which is highly doubtful given the selection of beer on tap...

2011 Apr 10
Freshly roasted Bolivian AAA FTO coffee!

Imported directly from the farmers' Co-op to me, with no middlemen!

2011 Apr 10
Johanna - the moon room now has a cocktail menu. it is a list from old school cocktails to some new twists. i tried a mai tai (1944) and my friend had a french 75 (1915).

2011 Apr 10
Beau's Lug Tread, then a big glass of milk. Time go go milk the cow. ;-)

2011 Apr 10
@DASKLOWN: I'm just glad to see you're using the good ginger beer. Grace's is the only authentic 'tear your head clean off' ginger beer I've found.

I'm drinking Golden Cadillacs tonight.
1 part Kahlua
1 part Galliano (gotta get rid of it somehow)
2 parts cream

2011 Apr 10
Stratus 2008 Gewürztraminer.

Tastes great, but really it's all about the texture. It's positively oily.

2011 Apr 11
Last night, my last bottle of 2007 Organized Crime Winery (Beamsville bench) Pinot Gris. A Canadian treasure. I'm not sure if it's available through LCBO though...


I have also taken to tequila cesears. Any kind of cesear - just replace the vodka with tequila. You'll never go back!

Evenings with an 18 yr old Glenlivet single malt and a Robusto cigar. Life is good...

2011 Apr 11
Hey Rizak

Surprisingly, PC makes a ginger beer that tastes pretty authentic and is super spicy!


If can't find Grace, I would suggest PC.

2011 Apr 11
TOO MUCH .... usually

2011 Apr 13
@hipfunkyfun: Thanks for the heads up. Although I enjoy the patio at Trio, I've never cared for the inside of this place nor their index cards of cocktails. I guess as a result I've been dragging my feet on giving Moon Room a try, but I'd be curious to see how they do the classics so will be sure to check them out this month.

2011 Apr 23
We've been cellaring our 2006 Stratus Red for two years now and finally opened one up. Yum! Everything's integrated quite nicely now: good balance of fruit, acid, and tannin. Apparently it's drinking well over the next five years, but I doubt that the bottles we have will last that long :)

I'm going to have to start varying my drinking habits; otherwise it'll all be "Stratus this" or "Stratus that." Booooooring.

2011 Apr 25
Momo - while my wine consumption is down quite a bit these days the best way I find to get some variety is to walk around the vintages section - look for something in a colour or price range I'm interested in, then look for the display with the fewest bottles. Works well for the most part, kind of a following the herd/wine roulette type of approach.

2011 Apr 25
I've been building a new summer cocktail menu for ZenKitchen, and I've fallen in love with the classic Pimm's Cup. Pimm's #1, fresh lemon juice, mint, cucumber, lemonade and a little sparkling water. It's a perfect hot weather cooler.

2011 Apr 26
I was just recently introduced to Chablis. Damn that stuff's drinkable!

2011 Apr 28
At home, I drink Makers Mark on the rocks with a maraschino cherry for garnish.

@Johanna and @hipfunkyfun I've been to the Moonroom a couple times for cocktails, their bourbon Manhattans are great, and I love the "Prohibition"--apricot brandy, sparkling wine, and I believe St Germaine. I will pretty much drink anything with St Germaine. You do pay for the quality, (12-13 + tax) but they are strong.

@HipFunkyFun where did you try the beau's IPeh? Is it at the LCBO, or on tap somewhere?

2011 Apr 28
IPeh was on tap at The Rochester last time I was there two weeks ago. I'll let you know if it is still available.

2011 Apr 28
OttawaNew.. I bought the IPeh in bottles at LCBO.I know they had some at Wellington & Kirkwood a few days ago (bought a bottle for my husband), best to check online first.

2011 Apr 28

2011 Apr 29
Yeah, do that: I didn't see IPeh at the Rochester last night.

2011 May 2
Spring is Hendrick's and Limonata season for me! Also I enjoy a nice Pimm's with the limonata and the cucumber - yummmm...

2011 Aug 21
Festa Cream Ale, less than a week old.

When you are too lazy or busy to brew your own, go Festa! Just try to let it age longer than I manage to :-)

2011 Aug 29
Beau's Dunkel Buck - Dunkel Weizenbock; Found this freshly released today at LCBO Rideau!

2011 Aug 29
i fell in love with rum punches in Barbados earlier this year and have been crushing them all summer. the Bajan version is far superior to any other variety i've had before.

this MUST be made with Mount Gay rum! ;)

Bajan Rum Punch (Inspired by Cutters) - www.upmagazine.com

1 cup unrefined brown sugar
1 cup water

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved.

Allow to cool. Yields 2 cups.

3 cups amber/dark rum
4 cups ice
8 limes, juiced to equal 1 cup

Combine all of the ingredients and pour over ice. Season with several splashes of angostura bitters and grate 1 whole nutmeg into the batch. Stir and garnish with a maraschino cherry and a mint leaf. Makes 8 drinks.

2011 Aug 30
Last night we (read: I) cracked open our last bottle of 2006 Le Clos Jordanne "Village Reserve" Pinot Noir.

I feel I haven't tried enough Niagara Pinots to know whether or not this is among the best of the best, but hot damn it's delicious. Focussed berry flavours, great mineral character, and this interesting, gritty, "cherry pit" bitterness on the follow-through.

2011 Aug 30
a friend's home brewed Dunkelweizen

oh it is good!

2011 Sep 8
crushed ice
Lime wedge

2011 Sep 12
Soon about to share the bottles of Izumi saké I brought back from the Toronto Saké Distillery. Hopefully can get bottles of the BC saké distillery to compare with. Battle of the Canadian Sakés! Since they all specialise in nama (unpasteurised) sakés, this could be good. I pretty much sampled near everything Izumi had while at the bar, and had to wait a bit, I could not walk. Though my reactions to several cups sold many more tastings to other patrons. That may be why my pours quickly became to the brim each time. :)

2011 Nov 17
I have alot of whisk(e)y on hand, but one that I keep coming back to these days is the latest limited edition from Forty Creek called "John's Private Cask".

A big, spicy whisky with lots of nuts and cinnamon, and a dry, warming finish, this is Canadian whisky unlike you've had it before (unless of course you've had last year's release of Forty Creek, the Confederation Oak Reserve, which is IMO the finest Canadian whisky currently on the market.)

2011 Nov 18
Johanna, I have bought a few bottles of John's Private Cask too, and like it as an alternative to my usual bourbon, but full disclosure, John is my cousin :)

2011 Nov 18
I just got back from two glorious months in Italy and spent many an afternoon (and sometimes into the evening) drinking the wonderful Campari Spritz.

Granted this is more of a hot weather drink, I still bought a huge bottle of Campari and have had a few since I got home.

Soda Water
BIG slice of fresh orange
Lots of ice

On every patio in Italy, you see Italians sipping on these bright orange drinks before dinner. It's made from bitter herbs so is not for everyone, but I swear it's medicinal as I have some gluten intolerance (not a good thing in Italy (ha!) and I never had any stomach problems while on the trip. I put it down to the Campari!

Here is a shot from my trip of the Campari Spritz on Lake Como :)

2011 Nov 18
@blubarry - what is your usual bourbon?

2011 Nov 18
ksw, thanks for posting that! my hubby and i were craving these this past summer, reminiscing about our honeymoon in italy. they are amazing...and surprisingly, especially good with the patatine (for others: think of the cheapest no-name brand of potato chips you can buy here) they serve them with at all the bars! :)

2011 Nov 18
Paola syrups with water and ice. REFRESHING !!

(May want to turn on your page translator unless you know Polish)

Never new about these fruit syrups till my first trip to Europe back in '86.

Anyone else enjoy these ? How do others use them ? (Desert/ice-cream topping?)

2011 Nov 18
Bobby Fillet, I've recently started enjoying Eagle Rare when I can find it, but otherwise I prefer Maker's Mark over some of the other more expensive brands.

2011 Nov 18
I am only a couple of hours away from my Friday night ritual: a vodka martini. Three olives (no lemon please!) and shaken not stirred.

2011 Nov 18
@blubarry Fair enough, full disclosure, John is a friend, but also the best whisky maker in Canada. Now if we're talking Bourbon, y'all need to put down the Eagle Rare and switch up to the Four Roses Small Batch or the Knob Creek Single Barrel. That is assuming you've already got some Makers 46 on hand.... right? ;-) Unless you're jonesing for serious flavour and sipping the Booker's until the 2011 release of George T. Stagg hits the shelves..

2011 Nov 19
Bourbon - Woodford Reserve
Scotch - The Balvenie Doublewood
Beer - Mill St Tankhouse

2011 Nov 19
Johanna, at one time John had the only privately owned distillery in Canada - don't know if that's still the case. I have never had the Four roses small batch but will definitely keep an eye out for that one. I'm not a huge Woodford fan, but do enjoy Knob Creek. In the south they cringe when you order a manhattan, because they think Bourbon should only properly be drunk over 5 (not 3, not4) ice cubes which will only completely melt into the drink after 45 minutes, when a gentleman should be on his last sip.

2011 Nov 19
@ blubarry, if you enjoy Knob Creek then you can't miss the Knob Creek Single Barrel bottling currently in stores. An extra $9 gets you an extra 9% in abv, and twice the flavour punch. This is an unapologetic, unabashed bourbon worth every penny.

2011 Nov 19
Saturday Afternoon: Making pizza dough, washing and prepping veg for the week ahead... all to the tune of Flying Monkey's Smashbomb Atomic IPA = Amazing.

2011 Nov 20
Bruichladdich Octomore. Quite possibly the best single malt I've ever tasted.

It's a monster. A smoky, peaty, 62.5% alcohol monster. (Brief tutorial: the peatiness of whiskies is measured in parts per million of phenols. While most peaty Islay whiskies have phenol levels in the 40-50 ppm range, this bad boy rings in at 167 ppm.)

But the crazy thing is that it just seems so damn balanced when you taste it. It's sweet, it's smooth, it's floral, it's smokey, and it's quickly catapulted its way into my heart.

2011 Nov 20
been drinking a fair number of tom collins made with Bombay Saphire. But I have learned about so many new ones from bartending class. Gonna have to get my drink on soon.

2011 Nov 20
Home made hard apple cider - yum!

2011 Nov 20
Just got back from a wrap up business project in Seattle-lots of local crafted beers and wineries combined with fine dining. Out there the craft beers and local wines (everywhere excellent in the several establishments we had the opportunity to visit!) seemed to be high in alcohol content but most were excellent--and not available in Ontario. Awesome place for foodies/wine lovers/craft beer lovers. Beer and wines were awesome!

2011 Nov 21
Tonight it's a cup of Kappha tea from The House of Tea (houseoftea.ca) on Yonge St in Toronto. If you are even remotely into tea this is THE place to go for their most awesome selection of specially imported loose leaf teas. The Sri Lankan owners have forgotten more about tea than this entire forum will ever know. Her custom blends are heavenly, in particular the rooibos ones (I always have on hand Orange Eucalyptus and Almond Cream). The Kappha I'm having at the moment isn't technically a tea, but rather a blend of spices including coriander, ginger and cardamom. Warming from the inside out and the whole place smells amazing after brewing a cup.

2011 Nov 22

2011 Nov 28
propeller ESB

2011 Nov 29
Last night I had the Dominus Vobiscum Triple on its own, and it tastes vastly different than after a bunch of stouts. (Duh.) Really fun taste, but five sips I started feeling a light dizziness.

I'm still paying the price today past noon of finishing the bottle last night, even after drinking half a pitcher of water afterwards. A price I'll happily pay for the deliciousness of the beer, but not one I'll pay often.

2011 Nov 30
I just had exactly what tourist started this thread with: Dark & Stormy. That's a great name. The only difference was the scale. Mine was about 24 oz.

Kraken rum + Grace ginger beer + a generous squeeze of lemon and throw in the rind, which was a nice touch as I could smell the lemon oils every time I took a swig.


2011 Dec 1
All kinds of amazing casked ales, ciders and stouts... I'm in the UK!

2011 Dec 1

I stopped by the brewery after work today. Really enjoyed the ones I tried: pale ale, wheat beer, and their "wildcard" ale. They were all crisp and refreshing and packed with nice flavours.

Sadly, I didn't get there late enough to buy the stout, or even try it. Guess I'll have to go again.

2011 Dec 2
My last bottle of Smuggler's Cove Dark Rum. I never bring enough back with me from Cape Breton!

2011 Dec 7
A custom drink I call 7th heaven. 1 blue curaco, 1 rum in a highball, top with 7-up

2012 Jan 16
Duggan's Brewery IPA. Slightly disappointed by the lack of hops that I am familiar with in west coast style India Pale Ales.

2012 Jan 17
Always stick with Jack Daniels.

2012 Jan 17
Lazzaroni Atentico Amaretto. They claim that it's the real deal. Distilled from cookies! (And probably other things.)

It's more a sipping Amaretto than a mixer. I love the delicate almond notes and the bitter finish, and the fact that it isn't cloying like Disaronno. (And I should know: I drank a lot of Disaronno to make room for this in the liquor cabinet!)

It's in Vintages, but there are still several bottles left around the city:


2012 Jan 20
True North Blonde Lager

Horray for Ontario Craft Brewers!

Magnotta for the win!

2012 Jan 20
A Brewsters Shaughnessy Stout for me and a Brasseurs de Montreal Coeur Brisé for her, with some St Albert curds - yum!

2012 Jan 21
Tonight was a Maker's Mark Old Fashioned night for me...

2012 Jan 23
Last night a Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted Blond Ale from Scotland, excellent once it warmed up from it's cold room chill; tonight my first Hop City Barking Squirrel outta Brampton, a bit disappointing in it's flavours and thinness.

2012 Jan 23
12-year-old El Dorado rum with a splash of Sussex Golden Ginger Ale. My last can.

2012 Jan 23
Hockley Dark Ale

2012 Jan 24
Rizak - where did you get the Sussex ginger ale? I haven't had that in years but have been looking for it ever since I did.

2012 Jan 24
I always bring a couple of cases back from my summer vacation. Maybe I should start a bootlegging operation.

2012 Jan 25
Patron tequila

Also recently become addicted to Lime falvor diet pepsi, but maybe that be in the "foodie shame" section...

2012 Jan 25
Waterloo Dark

2012 Jan 25
Gin and cranberry. :)

2012 Jan 25
Grower's 1927 Cider. Taste's like summer :)

2012 Jan 25
Garrison's Spruce Beer. Interesting flavour and tastes. Does not taste like the spruce beer of my youth.

2012 Jan 25
Vernor's Ginger Ale!

2012 Jan 25
Heather Ale's Alba, Scots Pine Ale - so not related to the spruce beer, not what I was expecting; how could it possibly remind me of candy apples? Mystified.

2012 Jan 25
Had the Mill St. Portage brew, exclusive to the Ottawa pub. I can't remember all the details, but it has two yeasts and is brewed like an ale then like a lager, mixing the two styles. The result seems, to my less discernable palate, quite square between the two - and interesting and quite drinkable experiment. (Then their weiss bock, vanilla porter and cobblestone stout. Yay 6oz flights!)

2012 Jan 25
@blubarry - I'm jealous, I love Vernors. Did you bring back some Faygo too?

2012 Jan 26
@lovtoeat: Faygo Yes! There is a "Detroit" store in Troy that sells faygo in old style glass bottles and you can make up your own sixpack in a cardboard carrier. I got rock n rye, cream soda and redpop.

2012 Jan 26
Freshly roasted coffee!

2012 Jan 26
Tree Hop Head IPA/Rogue Dead guy ale, and maybe a gin & tonic palate cleanser in between.

2012 Jan 26
@blubarry - now I'm really jealous, rock n rye and redpop.

sigh...I'm a born and bred Michiganian. I grew up with Faygo

2012 Jan 26
about to crack into a new (to me anyways) tequila called Gila

2012 Jan 26
An Affligem Dubble - double yum.

2012 Jan 27
love to eat: not what I'm eating while drinking Faygo, but also brought back Sander's bumpy cake and milk chocoalte hot fudge, and a couple of jars of velvet peanut butter :)

2012 Jan 27
Now you're just tormenting me blubarry ;)

2012 Jan 27
Sourdough: where did you pick up the dead guy ale?

2012 Jan 28
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen from Brauerei Heller - the original Schlenkerla Smokebeer. Smokin' ya, but needs a good piece of meat on the barbie to really be appreciated.

2012 Jan 28
Vernor's--Farmboy used to have it occasionally. Has anyone seen it recently? We used to pick it up on our regular visits to South-Western Ontario but we only go once or twice a year these days. Love that stuff!

2012 Jan 29
Sir Perry pear cider.

2012 Jan 29
@Tourist -- I pretty much always see the Rogue Dead Guy Ale at the LCBO at Rideau/King Edward. I'm not sure if there's another location that carries it. I rarely have it as I find it's overpriced at ~$16 (15?) for a 6 pack.

2012 Jan 29
muskoka mad tom IPA

2012 Jan 29
My buddies' German beers. I was invited to a friendly beer tasting that should have been a lot more serious than what it was. Ow, me head.

2012 Jan 29
Dead guy ale, LCBO Kanata Centrum. They had it in six packs this time. Usually I see them sold in singles. (happy for the sixter :)

2012 Jan 31
Mount Gay 1703... not inexpensive at $125, but a rum that comes as close to a single malt or cognac as any I've tried. One to try if you're into sipping rums, or if you think that all rums are cloyingly sweet.

2012 Jan 31
Fernet Branca and Creme de Menthe - all on rocks - Dr. Henderson

2012 Jan 31
A Charlevoix Dominus Vobiscum Double, a beer that challenges your taste buds and your perceptions of what flavours a beer can have.

2012 Feb 1
Johanna, if you are ever in Cape Breton, drop in to the Glenora Distillery and try their cask strength sipping rum. I think it was aged in single malt barrels. These barrels weren't listed on the distillery inventory and were found by the current owners when they bought the distillery several years ago. It is strong, but very smooth and "molassesy" without the sweetness. A real treat.

2012 Feb 3
Innis & Gunn with the spiced rum finish - heady rummy nose, excellent texture, gorgeous colour, delicious tastes with a lovely & complex finish. I'm thankful that they send so much of their beer here for us to enjoy.

2012 Feb 17
a glass of water #tellviceverything ;)

2012 Feb 17
Just sampling some Ron Santiago anejo rum that my in-laws brought back for me. So far so good. It's a typical Cuban rum. Sweet and smooth...I may have to dip into a Kraken later. Release the Kraken!

2012 Feb 17
Amsterdam Oranje Weisse - I picked up a good chunk of Ottawa's supply of this beer yesterday because I like it, one of the better Canadian versions of the Belgian classic wit. Had it with pita spread with hummus, sliced red peppers and lettuce, and some fried haloum (marinated in lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, cumin, ground red chilies and some ground coriander seed (homegrown) to tie in with the beer). All was copasetic.
Spring in February and Oranje Weisse - all thumbs up!

2012 Feb 17
Wild Card Ale from Broadhead. Trying to finish a 20l keg.

2012 Feb 19
Hawaiian Style Pale Ale from Spearhead brewery in Toronto, this is actually brewed with pinapple. Currently on tap at the Wellington Gastropub and I just love this one, tasty yet refreshing, citrus notes and just the right amount of hops to make it interesting while keeping it drinkable and quenching, and you can taste the fruit of the pineapple but it isn't at all sweet. Just love making new discoveries like this at the Gastropub.

2012 Feb 19
As a follow-up to the Hawaiian Style Pale Ale, we were generously treated to a bottle of "dessert beer" at the Wellington Gastropub, the Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout at 8.5% from Nickel Brook Brewing. As thick as motor oil, with notes of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate... and some traces of cinnamon. Heavy in body and creamy in texture. Bartender mentioned that it was currently on tap at the Arrow & Loon. We split this one, but I don't often have a whole beer to myself ;o)

2012 Feb 19
A fine and fresh Beaujolais from the Morgon Cru... thank you Mr. Duboeuf!

2012 Feb 19
Another new to me tequila. Calle azul anejo. Pretty tasty especially considering the pricepoint. $$10 us at Sams Club in states. This tequila would easily be priced at lcbo at over $50.

2012 Feb 24
Finally! Kichesippi Natural Blonde is available at the LCBO Rideau Street. Made my Friday :)

2012 Feb 25
I had my first of the 2011 Dieu du Ciel Solstice d'hiver extra strong beer (10.2% abv) tonight - a fantastically flavourful beer. Somehow it doesn't seem quite right to call it a beer - the label says barley wine and maybe that's more apt. This smelled sweet and malty good right from the act of pouring, and those tastes were there on tasting and chewing, along with a huge hop bitterness to balance; unbelievably good to sip and chew on - taste explosion! It was smooth and creamy, had great texture, a very long finish and at several points I tasted something like whiskey, making me wonder what it was aged in. At one point I detected some smokey peat but that may have come from the fire that we had burning tonight. This beer along with their outstanding Peche Mortel Imperial coffee stout show that Dieu du Ciel makes beer on a different level than other breweries.
Looks like I'll be aging the rest of these, sampling one every few months until next year's batch is released.

2012 Feb 26
Hendrick's Gin with a bit of club soda and lemon.

It's smooth, Scottish and made with cucumbers.

Wait, what?

2012 Feb 26
Checking out the Garrison Winter Warmer tonight. It tastes the way that Christmas smells. Lots of spices, some orange, with dark sugars and the perfect hint of booze.

2012 Feb 26
Tonight I decided to have the last of my stowed away Great Lakes Brewing Pumpkin Ale. I'm savouring it!

2012 Feb 27
Winnipeg's Half Pint Stir Stick Stout - very nice, wish LCBO would carry it.

2012 Mar 1
PB&A where did you get the Garrison Winter Warmer? Sounds good!

I had a Garrison Pils a couple nights ago - found it at the LCBO last week- really nice beer, could drink a few of these, with solid flavours, especially from the Saaz hops mmm-mmm good.

Right now I'm drinking the very last of my Hotel Chocolat Liquid Chocolat Aztec Chilli hot chocolate mmm-mmm good too! Even though it's not beer...

2012 Mar 1
@ Andy - I got it at the LCBO at Bank and Walkley a few weeks back. They only had a couple left at the time. I'm not sure if any stores still have some. If you're not using it, I would suggest signing up for drinkvine.com as it at least provides some indication of what stores have what products and you can set up watchlists. I went out of my way to pick up that one and a couple of the other Garrison releases. I thought that the Spruce Beer and the Baltic Porter were the best in the release and I would heartily recommend both of them.

While I'm here, I guess I'll note that the recently released Beau's Collabrewator Coffee doppelbock is really quite great. And I don't even drink coffee! (Or maybe that's a strike against it. My coffee-elitist friend also seemed to think it was great).

2012 Mar 1
Drat! PB&A I just missed it, I'm guessing. I picked up their Pils at Bank & Walk. LCBO on the 16th of Feb and didn't see the Winter Warmer. I checked LCBO today and no Garrison WW left in O town. Next year...
Will check drinkvine out and see what's up. Thanks.

2012 Mar 1
Apparently there's some left in Barrhaven if you're really out for it or have a connection. Heck, maybe you live in Barrhaven.:
Strandherd & Greenbank (Barrhaven)
120 Riocan Avenue, Ottawa

2012 Mar 1
At home ? Big Rock Trad, Moosehead, Mad Tom IPA.

At the pub... well I'm all about the Mill St. Brewpub right now (gotta fill that MBA card!) Elsewhere, Beau's Lugtread or Fuller's London Pride are most welcome.

As for spirits, you'll find me sipping on either Maker's Mark, or Sortilege, on the rocks. Sortilege is a maple whiskey, it tastes like maple taffy = absolute happiness in a bottle! Hard to find in Ottawa, your best bet is an SAQ across the bridge.

2012 Mar 2
i bought a bottle of JD honey the other day just to try it. For me, it's way too sweet. I'll maybe drink it on the rocks to dilute the sweetness but i really don't like sweet alcohol. my girlfriend really likes it though so I'll let her drink it all. I bought myself my first bottle of maker's mark recently and have been drinking it neat. good stuff!

2012 Mar 2
other than that, i've been drinking hop head IPA at home.

2012 Mar 2
Four Roses small batch bourbon. Neat. REALLY neat. Like, from-the-bottle neat. Glasses just get in the way.

2012 Mar 2
Seeing tourist's OP always makes me smile. I love that pic.

BTW, has anyone noticed the new labels on the Grace ginger beer and other drinks? I think they've toned down the recipe as well. It wasn't half as spicy as the last time I bought some. I get it by the case of 24 usually.

2012 Mar 2
i've really gotten into sipping rums lately. one of my favs is Ron Zacapa. they stock it at the LCBO now but for this caliber of rum it's a bit rich @ ~$80. plus bottles are rarely in Ottawa. if you're passing through the Caribbean, or even the US, i would highly recommend picking up a bottle (at a deep discount to the LCBO's price).

2012 Mar 2
Blackthorn cider in a beau's glass (photo for rizak...sorry I'll try harder next time)

2012 Mar 3
Tree Brewing Hop Head Double IPA.

2012 Mar 3
You win DA, I am only drinking the single IP. Haven't seen the double IPA since the first and only time I had it.

2012 Mar 4
Where are you boys buying your beer?

2012 Mar 4
I usually buy beer at the LCBO on Rideau Street.

2012 Mar 4
LCBO hunt club @ merivale

2012 Mar 4
Kanata centrum has hop head, and the castlefank and hazeldean location had the double IPA last week. Drinkvine is your friend :)

2012 Mar 4
Lately been on a Negroni kick, took a while to get used to its tartness and herbal taste, but now I'm hooked.
And a real treat, a friend brought back a bottle of 23 year Pappy Van Winkle bourbon from Kentucky. Seriously amazing, best bourbon I've had by a mile.

2012 Mar 5
recently had a kir royal (creme de cassis and sparkling wine) at dinner with friends and also some Lagavulin after dinner.

I typically get Lagavulin at duty frees but apparently some issues caused all of them to be out of it for about 3+ months (including duties frees in Frankfurt, London and Paris plus many US and Canadian airports)

2012 Mar 9
Cheers! Maker's Mark on a rock.

2012 Mar 9
Garrison Baltic Porter -- a really nice dark beer. 9% but you don't really notice the high ABV. A little bit of everything you'd expect to see in a stout or porter but without any astringency. Well rounded and smooth but not creamy. Lots of caramel and toffee with some grape notes but not too sweet. I'm sad this was just seasonal.

2012 Mar 11
Mill St. Chaudiere and Portage. Two big "MEHs". Chaudiere was quite rough.

2012 Mar 11
Wellington Trail Head lager

2012 Mar 11
Kawartha Lakes Brewery Raspberry Wheat. Perfect after a long afternoon walk.

2012 Mar 12
Broadhead's Long Shot white. Not as fragrant as some other whites, it is still very drinkable. The Dragonlady can't stand Hoegaarden because of the smell of violets, but doesn't mind this at all. Some citrus notes. A good beer.

I also picked up a growler of their Grindstone. Another drinkable beer.

I think I like Broadhead more than I do Kichessippi. I'd drink either, but I think Broadhead is going to be getting my money.

2012 Mar 12
"Grindstone" Uh-oh, I hope Niagara does not come after them for their "Gritstone"

2012 Mar 14
Double Whiskey Sour (Customized)
3 oz. bourbon (Jim Beam)
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. maple syrup (When you live in the land of maple syrup, might as well use it!)

I also added a dash of Angostura bitters

I find it quite pleasing. However, I really have no experience mixing drinks, though I am looking to learn.

Also, first post here. Cheers!

2012 Mar 14

There's nothing wrong with messing around with drink recipes. I just sometimes find it hard to remember what I thought worked out well...

Anyway, tonight I'm enjoying one of the LCBO's spring release beers: Weihenstephaner Vitus. I wanted to test it out to know if I should buy more and the answer is.. Yes. I think I'm going to stockpile some for those hot summer days when a refreshing wheat beer is just what the doctor ordered. This isn't no Keith's white though, it's full of all sorts of flavours (I got various citrus, spices, wheat, and something reminiscent of golden raisins among otheres) but it's all subtle and not cloying. Go get some!

2012 Mar 15
Kosher Coke and Pepsi. I'm curious to try the non High Fructose Corn Syrup versions.

Forum - Kosher Coke

2012 Mar 16
I tried a Somersby the other day (on draft, at Connors pub) and was quite impressed! I will be drinking more of these when the hot weather gets here, with a bit of ice.

2012 Mar 16
I finally spotted a 375ml bottle of Makers Mark so that I can try it. I hate having to lay out for a 750ml bottle without tasting. So far, I've been lucky with my Scotch and Bourbon purchases and have liked all of them. One was a bit of a letdown/surprise, but still not terrible (Bowmore...smoky). My last Bourbon was Woodford Reserve, which I really liked. Apparently Makers Mark is a good "starter bourbon" to see if you like bourbon, yet I've never tried it. It sounds like it's a safe choice and everyone really likes it, but doesn't love it or dislike it. I wish we had more 375ml bottles available for Scotch and Bourbon....or more tasting parties.

2012 Mar 16
Eau Benite. There's a great deal on a taster 12-pack from Unibroue @ Omni Mart (in Hull) for $13.99 plus taxes and deposit.

2012 Mar 17
You know BF, you don't have to buy a whole bottle of something to try it out. They have these places now that you can go to where they serve you different kinds of alcohol. You just have to ask.

Tell the man at the door, "I'm here with Lucky".

Seriously. You buy a whole bottle of something to see if you like it? That seems a bit spendy, as a method.

2012 Mar 17
Ya, but most bars charge an astronomical amount for a good Scotch. I may as well pay triple their shot price and have a whole bottle. I have read a ton of reviews, and for the most part they've been right. I know now what types I like and what types I won't, but each individual brand has its own characteristics that are interpreted slightly different from person to person.

They never go to waste...just some have a longer shelf life than others.

2012 Mar 17
I'm with Bobby on this. Instead of spending $7/8 for a shot of something, I'll lay out for the little bottle. I eventually splurged on the Makers before, although I'm happy to see that they've started selling it in smaller bottles too. I would've got to it sooner if they had!

Anyway, what's everyone drinking today? I've seen people wandering the streets with all sorts of beverages (most of them cheap lagers). I think I'm gonna run through some Smithicks, the Traquair Jacobite Scotch Ale, and a Garrison Barleywine that I've been aging since 2010. And maybe some Jamieson depending on how late I find myself in need of beverages.

2012 Mar 17
I guess I don't have as much room in my bar as you do.

I picked up a growler of the Broadhead stout: Dark Horse. Very nice. Well rounded and smooth. It doesn't have that high note that gives me a headache after 7 or 8 glasses.

2012 Mar 17
A wee dram of Jameson mixed with some lemon juice, hot water and a bit of honey.
(I have a cold)

2012 Mar 18
HA HA! That takes me back to Rizak's Tour of the Earth 1986.

I was settling in on a nude beach on Corfu when I got a nasty cold. A couple of friendly girls fed me a concoction of cherry brandy (made locally), hot water, ground aspirin, honey and lemon.

I don't remember much of the next week. I eventually got better. End of story.
I guess my cure was a bit heavy on the brandy.

2012 Mar 19
Y'know, I was going to rebut BF and PB&A's argument against bar shots, but then I realized I have a disproportionate number of bar staff in my friend circle. When I try something new, it's usually via one of those faithful drinking pals, who know my tastes all too well after a decade of serving and sharing drinks with me.

I also think a big factor in my preference for bar tryouts is the variety. If I don't like the first one I get, I can try others. It's not uncommon for me to have a little marathon, trying a bunch of different tequilas or scotches in one sitting, doing A-B (-cdefg) comparisons. Sure, it can get costly, but if my life were all about minimizing cost, I'd be drinking water.

2012 Mar 19
Billco, your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

2012 Mar 23
Went to Toronto last weekend. Going through the five Izumi sakés I brought back: still some of their lovely and bold Crazy Horse batch #10, arabashiris (free-run pressing, just hanging up the bag and collecting the deliciousness) of batches 11, 17 and 18, and their new blended genshu (undiluted). Quite a varied range, but not yet drunk all next to each other for a full tasting.

2012 Mar 23
Well, it was kosher Coke earlier. Now I've opened a nice bottle of Brune d'Achouffe, a spicy brown beer of an Ardennes recipe.

It's very tasty.

Believe it or not, I found it in the back of our fridge. Neither of us bought it, so either my good friend hid it in there or the beer fairy came by again. I can't remember, what is it that they take out when they put the beer in?

2012 Mar 27
My second of 3 Wychwood's Wychcraft with 3 malts and 3 hops, though I think they were too miserly with the malts, leaving the flavouring to the hops, making an unbalanced brew,imo. Very dry, maybe not my cuppa I guess. Best part was the smell, then the middle of the pour and the lengthy hoppy finish. Not looking forward to drinking #3 with much anticipation =:0(

2012 Apr 14
Cidre Saint-Benoit. Don't know much about this cider but it's very different than any other cider I've had before.

2012 Apr 16
A gimlet made with Tanqueray 10. The citrus flavours really help bring out the tastyness.

2012 Apr 16
Had two pints of Beau's Patio Saison at Irene's yesterday. Very tasty beer - sort of like a better Hoegardden.

2012 Apr 16
William Premium Cider great for a sunny day and this weather too.

2012 Apr 16
Southern tier Unearthly, imperial india pale ale...will crack that open soon for the game.

2012 Apr 17
Appleton Rum in a Pina Colada...tastes just like I'm on the beach! Using Master of Mixes...www.masterofmixes.com

2012 Apr 20
James, I love the Tanqueray 10. Very nice. Try Hendricks in the squat black bottle if you find any. Equally yummy.

I had a bottle of Curmudgeon I.P.A. last night. Very tasty. Also, a bit unironic.

2012 Apr 20
Amsterdam Strong Spring Bock - a good buy, flavourful malts, not as sweet as expected (that's a plus, adding to the balance), well-balanced, good texture, good looking, with a nice hop finish to nail it overall. I really enjoyed this beer.

Last night's beer was a Duchy Original from Waitrose (UK), their Organic Old Ruby Ale 1905, another finely balanced beer, not nearly as flavourful as tonight's offering but still one to enjoy for it's classic malt and hop flavours and beautiful ruby red colour. No complaints here, and I think most beer drinkers would find it quite enjoyable (but not spectacular). It's a good buy too.

The previous night's beer was Amsterdam's Oranje Weisse which went very well with the hummus and pita I made for dinner - the orange flavour in the beer goes very well with the cumin and lemon in the hummus (and the cumin in the gouda I had too). Lovely pairing! This is a very food-friendly beer, pairing nicely with citrusy flavoured foods like hummus, tomatillo salsa, etc. I wonder when it will next appear in the lcbo?

2012 Apr 20
Hacker Pschorr Munich Gold and Dieu Du Ciel Equinoxe du Printemps. The Hacker was a nice, fairly clean lager which I'd somehow never had before. I could see putting away a few of those on a summer day.

The Equinoxe is brewed with maple but it's not particularly... mapley? It's a strong beer (9%!) and it's apparently supposed to be similar to a scotch ale although I would've likened it to a bock first. A lot of the booze comes through in a sugary kind of form which reminds me a lot of a good, smooth rum. I don't know that I'd buy it again.

Happy friday everyone!

2012 Apr 21
"I Quattro Amici"

Named for the four liquors in it and the four friends who first enjoyed it!

2 oz Forty Creek Barrel Select Whiskey (or other good Canadian rye)
½ oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
¾ oz St-Germain (Elderflower) Liqueur
¼ oz Amaro Poli
Few dashes Fee’s Grapefruit Bitters
2 oz blood orange juice

Serve over ice. Garnish with a wedge of blood orange.

2012 Apr 22
Rizak: When I get the chance (I.E. I run out of Tanqueray) I plan on. I am intrigued by the cucumber flavouring.

Anyways, I'm drinking a giant novelty can of Foster's one of my friends got me. And by friend I mean I will never speak to this person again....

2012 Apr 23
Love to see this beer in the store.

2012 Apr 24
I got a growler of the Broadhead Standard ale. This is unbelievably nice. A really good beer. Good for quaffing, good with food. I'm really impressed.

2012 Apr 24
Agreed with Tourist - tree brewing rocks. Love their stuff.

2012 Apr 24
Flying Monkey Smashbomb to pass my last afternoon living in Ontario!

2012 Apr 24
I enjoyed a couple of pints of Scottish Ale from a new-to-me Ontario brewery, Highlander Brew Co. from South River, just west of Algonquin Park South of North Bay. I got it at the lcbo where it is listed on their website as Pale Ale and there seems to be some confusion about this beer out there. I can't find out if they do produce a pale ale or if they changed the name (as some people think) from Pale Ale to Scottish Ale (I did find the 2 different labels). Anyways its a decent effort at a Scottish ale imo, though for my tastes it could use a bit more toasty malt character to balance out the satisfying hoppy finish. Not a great beer but one with promise , one that is worth buying and drinking. At a few select lcbo stores eg Rideau St. I certainly hope to pick up some before it's gone.

2012 Apr 25
Forty creek on the rocks. Krusty if you're reading this I'm in dire need of a batch of your crystal meth ( get your mind out of the trailer park, best homebrew I've ever tried. I think he uses crystal hops or something like that when brewing) . Just cracked a moosehead .

2012 Apr 25
Yup, crystal hops. I've had crystal meth - good beer!

2012 Apr 27
a nice cold-cellared bottle of Beau's Beaver River IPeh?

2012 Apr 29
Barrel-aged Manhattan: 5-litre oak barrel seasoned with 5 year old Madeira for 5 weeks, and then filled with Rittenhouse Straight Rye 100 Proof (btw, far superior to Sazerac Rye), sweet vermouth and home made (not my home, mind you) bitters, 2 years in the making with cherry pits, cherry flavoured tobacco and wormwood.

This was left to rest for 4 weeks in the barrel and then emptied back into bottles a couple of weeks ago as the oak was taking over the Manhattan. Just delicious, the flavour of the bitters has fused beautifully with the rye and the vanilla notes of the oak.

(Now Billco, you're quite certain that you and I don't have anything in common? ;o))

2012 Apr 30
@Johanna -- Can we hang out? Also, Rittenhouse is great. Like so many other things, it's a shame it's rarely stocked at the LCBO.

2012 May 18
@PB&A, always open to hanging with someone who knows good rye but please note that the barrel aged Manhattan was prepared for an event I hosted and all gone save a few drops for myself!

Can I offer you a Blood and Sand instead? 2 parts Laphroaig 10 Year Old + 2 parts FRESH SQUEEZED orange juice (it really does beat Tropicana) + 1 part Heering cherry liqueur + 1 part sweet vermouth … shaken and served on ice.

PS: Not certain that there is any more Rittenhouse in Ottawa, I purchased 9 bottles when preparing this batch of Manhattan back in March ;)

2012 May 19
I ... don't know that I've ever seen a mixed drink that used single malt scotch. The exercise seems to be the opposite of the purpose for that ingredient.

2012 May 20
@Rizak: so I take it you don't think much of my Laphroaig Honey Lip Balm? (Breathe Rizak, deep breaths and hang on to your kilt ;o)

Truth be told the Blood and Sand isn't my usual treatment for Laphroaig or any other single malt. I'm actually quite the purist and don't care to see even water (ice or not) being added to my whisky save for the (very) occasional cask strength bottling.

But garbage in, garbage out, even more so with cocktails, and I do find that a Blood and Sand worth drinking requires a very robust whisky with a lower ratio of liqueur and vermouth than the recipe traditionally calls for.

And it's hot out Rizak, so be chill ;o)

2012 May 22
Hot summer day? A crisp German pilsener. Wernesgruner or Radeberger will do and they're just about the cheapest beers you can get.

2012 May 22
Moosehead is on sale this month at the beer store. I guess it will be nothing but green bottles for the next month or two.

2012 May 22
keep those green bottles away from the sun, green bottles make for skunky(er) beer.

2012 May 22
On days like these they don't make it far out of the fridge before I empty them.

2012 May 23
Wray and Nephew overproof rum. Yay. I am such a alcoholic, aren't I.....

2012 May 23
@James, only if you stuck a straw in the bottle...

2012 Jun 26
Stopped by the Wellington Gastropub and tried Beau's Pan Ontario 2012 blend.... stupendous really, lots of roasted malt, hazelnut and chocolate notes, very rich and satisfying, a meal in a glass actually and just perfect for a cold blustery Monday night. Not cheap at $6 for a half pint, but well worth the price of admission and at 8.2% abv a half pint was more than enough for me to enjoy. Also on offer at Brothers Beer Bistro and in Carp apparently.

2012 Jun 29
Smugglers Cove dark rum, Beep and a slice of lime = Cape Breton libre! (This is for you zymurgist!)

2012 Jun 29
Down wit' da causeway b'y!

Wellington Trailhead Lager over here

2012 Jun 30
Rhubarb Sours. Put more lemon and less syrup in the second one.

2012 Jul 1
A nice rose served out of a ceramic carafe.There are lots of choices at the LCBO right now and even more if you head across the border to an SAQ.

2012 Jul 1
I'm working the lcbo Food and Drink cocktail menus this weekend. This one was good too. Summer Heatwave - tropical and with spiced rum. www.lcbo.com

2012 Jul 22
I'm normally just a beer guy but today on on my 4th Malibu and pineapple. What is it about the summer heat?

2012 Jul 31
Man SG if I knew you were in to the drinks with umbrellas we may have had a future together. Ironically last time in the US I brought back a big bottle of Malibu and just bought another this eve to bring back on Th.

You show up with the umbrellas and we can have ourselves a date!

2012 Aug 1
Are we going to hold hands and talk about our feelings as well or just crush some rums .

2012 Aug 1
Well, didn`t this take an interesting turn of events ;) can we arrange this for a time other than cheese making day? I DONT want to watch lol...

2012 Aug 1
Hey krusty I picked up a big bottle of sailor jerrys spiced rum on the way home today. Captain Morgan can kiss my heinie this stuff is the bomb.

2012 Aug 1
Smoker Guy....I will drink my fruity drinks and you can drink your spicy drinks, but lets at least agree that we sit in a pickup, listen to country music and watch the sun set (again)


BTW Maybe I will fire up the still this weekend and finish processing my rum.

2012 Aug 17
Muskoka Summer Weisse (vintage 2012, 750 ml, bb Sept 23 or so), an excellent summer beer and very good example of the style. Only problem I have is with the foamy pour - the pic is after at least 5 minutes of settling - but I am resigned to it after 3 bottles and finding no amount of care can keep this tasty brew down.

2012 Aug 17
President's Choice Pilsener

2012 Aug 17
Cameron's Lager

2012 Aug 19
how...did i not see this before? This is the greatest forum ever invented!!

i need that bacon-infused bloody caesar from juniper that johanna mentioned right now!!

please keep the drinks coming people :)

2012 Aug 19
Alpine Lager while sitting in a Motel near the world's longest covered bridge :-)

2012 Aug 19
I know exactly where you are zymurgist, and I'm very envious. You are also homing in on Beep territory.....sorry about the car.

2012 Aug 20
Unsweetened Grapefruit juice
Club Soda
Ginger infused Simple Syrup
(dunno if this thing has a name, I kinda just threw it together)

...next time I would use vodka though

2012 Aug 20
I hang my head in shame as I write this, but...I am drinking...

fluffy marshmallow vodka with creme de cacao and cream.

let's just say it was better in theory!! :(

In other news, I am looking for the following:

-Bisol prosecco (not at LCBO)

-vina esmerelda torres (white wine) (not at LCBO or SAQ depot)

-pink moscato emeri de bortoli south eastern mousseux (sparkling wine). They used to have it at the SAQ depot and now I can't find it anywhere.

-Bollinger champagne

If anyone knows where to find them please let me know. Thank yo and good night! :)

2012 Aug 20
p.s. i saw the bacon flavored vodka at the LCBO today lol! But for some reason my first instinct made me retreat...lol I guess I'm a bit of a wimp. Would love to try it in a caesar for sure though. Maybe I will try that out next week.

2012 Aug 21
Bollinger isn't a Vintages Essential, so it only comes out a couple of times a year at the most. But, man, every time it shows up I buy some.

Apparently the Innes and Trim location has the only bottle left in the province. Call them call them call them!



2012 Aug 21
2008 Thirty Bench Riesling, "Steel Post Vineyard."

It was rather delicious, all peaches and lemon and mineral. Since it's got a couple of years of aging on it, it doesn't seem as tart and zippy as it used to be. But it's still fantastic.

2012 Aug 21
Just finished up a couple of kozel Czech ales. Not too shabby.

2012 Aug 21
Bourbon, bourbon and more bourbon... it's summertime and the bourbon is easy.

There used to be not even a handful of bourbons at LCBO once upon a time, but these days the selection is upwards of two dozen. Right now I'm celebrating the return of Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel (CSPC 600338 $54.95), a much more elegant and refined sipping whiskey than you would typically expect for a bourbon, even at 45% abv. For my money the Four Roses Small Batch still edges this one out but it's a nice change of pace for those moments when you want the sweet sass of a bourbon but without the swagger ;o)

2012 Aug 21
Johanna, I appreciate your bourbon recommendations, especially since I enjoy bourbon but my knowledge is limited. I do however, spend a lot of time stateside, and wondering if there are others I should seek out when I'm over there?

2012 Aug 21
The Dragon and I saluted The Distillers Edition, distilled in 1995, bottled in 2009, of Oban Double Matured West Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey. Very tasty, very smooth, but sadly, the last pours out of the bottle.

2012 Aug 21
Thanks Momomoto - that was so kind of you to check lcbo for me. I have an incredible urge to call but I know I won't be able to pick it up until the end of the week (hopefully no one beats me to it...).

Its too bad the stock is so limited! I first tried it at Le Tartuffe a couple months ago and have been looking for Bollinger ever since.

2012 Aug 21
Johanna, I appreciate your bourbon recommendations, especially since I enjoy bourbon but my knowledge is limited. I do however, spend a lot of time stateside, and wondering if there are others I should seek out when I'm over there?

I envy you blubarry... here are some suggestions in no particular order, knock yourself out:

Old Weller Antique 107 $
Old Grand Dad 114 Proof $ (great value)
Jefferson's Presidential Select $$
Old Fitzgerald 107 Proof $
Elijah Craig 18 Year Old $$
Parker's Heritage Collection $$$$
Wild Turkey Rare Breed $$
Old Forrester Birthday Bourbon $$

The holy grail for bourbon lovers is the George T. Stagg $$$$ but at over 65% abv it is not for the faint of heart and really cannot be considered a sipping whiskey, it is more... an experience ;o)

I personally wouldn't spend $100 stateside for a bourbon as there are so many good ones to be had under $50 but the one I do pine for is the Old Forrester Birthday Bourbon; it is released as a yearly vintage and they are all spectacular, and older vintages are often kicking around for $40-50.

2012 Aug 22
Two things: if the LCBO inventory on their web site says that they only have one unit left, they are probably sold out (think breakage). Oh and Jaegermeister.

2012 Aug 22
Many thanks Johanna!

2012 Aug 22
I use the LCBO app for Android and have found their listings to be quite up-to-date. I'm not saying that they'll be better than the website, but I've not been surprised when out looking for something.

2012 Aug 22
I'm with Rizak; in my experience 95% of the time you see even one bottle listed in a store on the LCBO website it is actually there. I'm tempted myself by the Bollinger but you go ahead @ShagMe, it has your name on it ;o)

2012 Aug 23
Personally, especially on the subject of Bourbon, I'm having the Corner Creek limited release bourbon. Really nice to sip, and at $30 for a 750ml, it's affordable on line cook paycheck.

2012 Aug 23
smoker guy has the idea: with Sailor Jerry, Kraken, Gosling's Black Seal and many other very tasty rums, I'm calling for a mutiny against Captain Morgan.


I must ask krusty more about this still of his. I've been looking into the same thing for a while.

2012 Aug 23
Had Nickel Brook Headstock IPA last night - best IPA i've had in a long time!

Wasn't too impressed with the Hops and Robbers "IPA" from Double Trouble brewery.

2012 Aug 23
Given recent news, I understand the Nickel Brook Headstock is most at home on an Avril Lavigne coaster (www.ebay.com). #chavril

2012 Aug 26
I'm calling this the Manchester Mule:

1/2 large lime
1/8 English cucumber
16 mint leaves
2 oz gin (Hendrick's is nice here)
About 4 oz ginger beret

Cucumber spear and mint sprig for garnish

Chop half of the line (that is, 1/4 of a line) and cucumber into about 1 cm pieces and muddle with mint in a mixing glass. Juice remainig lime and add with add with gin and ice and stir. Double strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with mint and cucumber. So refreshing!

2012 Aug 27
Make that ginger *beer*...damn you autocorrect! Although you can wear a ginger beret while you drink it if you wish.

2012 Aug 27
Pink moscato is my new obsession! I love Emeri but I tried a couple of others this weekend.All were under $20 at LCBO, I believe and 5.5-9% alc.

1) "Good earth Banrock station fine wine Pink Moscato" (Australia)

"Light pink in colour this Moscato displays fresh melon and grapefruit aromas with sweet lemon and tropical frut flavors"

2) "Innocent Bystander Victoria 2011 Moscato" (Australia)

"Made from Muscat grapes from old vineyards situated along Victoria's Murray River"

I was also recommended "Pelee Island" and tried it on Friday but I wasn't a big fan so I wouldn't get it again.

Also tried a nice sweet 2010 Riesling white wine from SAQ last week called "Relax" from Germany (whole name is Scmitt Sohne Mosel 2010 Riesling).

and a sweet sparkling wine "Clariette de Die" from France which was pretty nice as well.

With the amount of champagne that I have been drinking lately, I'm beginning to think I need to install a Champagne fountain in my apartment :) next to my Willy Wonka fountain of chocolate, of course.

2012 Aug 27
Fans of Canadian whisky and the Calgary Stampede will be interested in this bottle of 25 Year Old whisky bottled by Highwood Distillers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

Think of it as the big brother to the Century Reserve 21 Year Old: rye, vanilla and cedar notes on the nose with thick lashings of butterscotch, citrus and cloves on the palate. A thicker mouth feel that you might expect for a Canadian whisky with a drying finish. An excellent post-prandial for just $50 a bottle, but only available in Calgary.

2012 Aug 29
Had a couple of pints of Cassel Brewing Golden Rails yesterday at the Arrow and Loon - very nice drinkable beer

2012 Sep 28
My new favourite beer on tap: Spearhead Moroccan Ale -- a gorgeous nut brown ale with a creamy texture, slight bitterness on the finish and you can actually taste a hint of cinnamon. I like this even better than I liked Spearhead Hawaiian Pale Ale when it first came out. (And that was my most favouritest beer ever at the time!)

Tried it at the Gastropub last night and ran into Dimitri, Spearhead's owner, brewer and self-described 'evil genius'. He was doing a soft launch at the Welly and said he'd be at the Moon Room tonight (Friday Sept 28) after 8pm where they'll be mixing up beer cocktails as part of the Moroccan Ale promo. Done right, beer cocktails are fantastic so I'm tempted to drop by. If any other Ottawa foodies are heading over let me know.

2012 Sep 28
lovely cucumber, mint and basil agua fresca at Union 613

2012 Sep 28
You're there right now blubarry? On your smartphone?

Any room at the bar? ;o)

2012 Sep 28
Not there any longer. Amazing lunch - we reserved as I was bringing an important guest. Service and food were great and the biggest and best surprise was that because they made an error in the reservation they comped the whole thing. We continue to be thrilled with this place!

2012 Sep 28
Wow, give us more details! Were you stuck in a smaller table?

2012 Sep 30
Not a small table;brought a major foodie friend who had never been there, and my other half who is large, and can't handle the bar seats. When I reserved, I requested communal tables at the back and the guy on the phone confirmed.

They had no record of our reservation when we arrived and a huge group booking for the back area, so he offered us bar seats or the banquette in the front window as long as we could vacate in 90 min. We were very happy with this solution - mistakes happen and they did their best to accommodate and it was really no problem. So it was a very unexpected that they comped the lunches and we left thrilled as usual.

So it was not necessary for Union 613 to go the extra mile but they did. We would have left happy campers in any case, but all of us were impressed with the exceptional customer service as well.

2012 Sep 30
Discovered a great full-bodied Shiraz on Saturday at SAQ depot called "EXP Syrah" from California. Here is the winemaker's description:

"Our 1999 Syrah was produced from hillside blocks. Lower yields and mature fruit helped to produce a flavorful and concentrated wine. The result is an elegant, richly textured red wine with full flavors of raspberry, cherry, lavender and spice."

About $18 for the bottle. Highly recommended.

Also, the Yellowtail Shiraz found at Loblaws' wine store is pretty good. I had tasted it in Barrhaven but couldn't find it in Gatineau which led me to EXP Syrah. If anyone knows where to find it in Gatineau, please do let me know.

2012 Oct 3
Magnotta Brewery's IPA.

I buy my beer at the LCBO, but had a gift card for the Beer Store. I picked this one out because I had never heard of it before. I was pleasantly surprised. This is a good beer with enough flavour to call it an IPA but not too much flavour which allows you to drink more than one at a time.

2012 Oct 3
More than one at at time!?!

Tourist - are you a double, or triple fister? ;) or maybe you just use a big stein.

I've been on the Nicklebrook Head Stock IPA as of late - great value, great taste, ugly can.

I'll have to try the Magnotta's

2012 Oct 3
Haha you know what I mean!! I can easily drink many of these in a row.

Speaking of the beer store, the one on Merivale Road, listed on the beer menu was magic hat #9 - good stuff, brings back good memories. Unfortunately, when I ordered it, the guy at the cash didn't know what I was talking about, and they really don't carry it.

Based on experience, how good is the beer store website's product search function? Because it says that a few other stores carry it.

2012 Oct 3
All the Magnotta brews are quality, they're hidden gems. Just make sure the box at the BS isn't covered in dust.

2012 Oct 3
K Natural Blonde - every time I crack one the first few sips taste like I'm drinking from a tin cup, but after a while as the beer warms I start to feel the love. Good stuff!

2012 Oct 8
Wine from Georgia (the one in Eurasia, not the one in the United States), of all things!

2009 Mukuzani, from the Koncho Winery. Made from Georgia's indigenous Saperavi grape. It was in Vintages last month.

The back of the bottle says that it's been aged in oak for three years. It's dry, fruity, kinda tart, kinda smokey, and really interesting. The oak treatment is nice and not overly aggressive. I can see this as a wine made for the local food, people drinking this by the barrel whilst eating meats and cheeses and potatoes and what-have-you.

2012 Oct 8
Sailor Jerry rum and eggnog, with a bit of nutmeg. Yeah, it just isn't Thanksgiving without seeing Hallow e'en candy and Christmas foods in the store at the same time

I'm calling this the Pirate's Grog. Maybe the Pirates Nog.

2012 Oct 10
Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Thanks for the recommendation Johanna.

2013 Jan 24
Opened and finished my last growler of Wee Heavy Ale...

I'm down to a few litres of brew in the basement, oh the shame!
The soda keggeths doust runeth dry!

2013 Jan 24
I'm down to the last few glasses' worth of Apocalypse Belgian Double stout and Porter Baltique Grande Cuvée 2012. Putting a T-stopper actually conserves their carbonation quite a bit! It's been nearly two weeks since they were opened.

Sips of those in the current frigid weather really warms the gullet. if I'm inside.

2013 Jan 24
As soon as I get home tonight, I'm going to put some mulling spice into about a litre of apple cider, throw some Kraken spiced rum into it, heat the sucker up and drink until I'm completely thawed. It is freaking cold out!

2013 Jan 24
Yup, much like m0nkyman, it's winter warmer time! This evening will see me down a few stiff hot toddy-like beverages. Rum + cinnamon + sugar + a tiny amount of ginger + hot water.

2013 Jan 24
Thanks to a recommendation from Johanna, there was a bottle of Willette's bourbon under the Christmas Tree, and tonight may be the perfect night for it.

2013 Jan 24
Tonight I will have some 10 year old Ardbeg. I'm relatively new to Scotch, but this is easily the best Scotch i've ever had, highly recommended.

2013 Jan 26
Tourist: Ardbeg 10 is one of my favourites! If you like Ardbeg and are interested in more like it, try the other Islay distilleries, particularly Lagavulin, Laphroaig, and Bowmore. Those are the peaty, smoky ones.

Other Islay distilleries (Bruichlladdich, Bunnahabhain, Kilchoman, Caol Ila) tend to peat less aggressively, so they aren't all like drinking campfire.

2013 Jan 26
I know its cold out but I'm indulging in margarita's (Sauza Gold, ice cubes and real lime juice) or Corona's with lime-in anticipation of a February trip to Mexico.

2013 Jan 26
Beyond the Pale's The Darkerness. Delicious bourbon-barrel-aged oatmeal stout. So very dark and, at more than 10% alcohol, it kicks like a mule.

2013 Jan 26
I have a 40-year-old Armagnac that I use for Sidecars. I plan to stop 'wasting' the brandy and start drinking it straight.

2013 Jan 26
Botanist gin and tonic with lime.

2013 Jan 27
I made the 45 minute drive to Casselman yesterday to pick up some of the offerings from Cassel Brewery. The Lil' Red Steamer is very nice, but the real hit for me is the Golden Rails honey brown. Their cask ale IPA is called Caboose, because that's where you put everything that doesn't fit somewhere else. That's their in-house 'playhouse' beer. Quite good, too. Not very bitter (to my taste, anyway) for an IPA.

I dropped off 8 pounds of booze soaked vanilla beans with them. I'll be interested to see what they come up with.

2013 Jan 30
Last night I finished the last of the Apocalypse and Porter Baltique bottles from my tasting - capping with a T-stoppper meant they still had a bit of carbonation left - and flavour too!

However.. oxydized. I think. Let's say my head hurt this morning. And it normally does not - we're talking about 4 oz total of beer drunk.

I will never do this crime against beer again.

2013 Jan 30
Bloody Ceasar! I love to make mine extra spicy for the extra kick. WARNING do not experiment/make with flavored vodka might be traumatized!!!!!

2013 Feb 8
Spearhead's Hawaiian style pale ale. Great beer, just a touch of pineapple juice works very well with aroma hops. Naturally carbonated in the bottle. Got this at the LCBO, but also tried it a while ago at the Arrow and Loon.


2013 Feb 8
I've had a few of those Spearheads lately too, tourist, and found them quite enjoyable.
What I was not really impressed by a couple nights ago was Orkney Brewery's Skull Splitter, a disappointing wee heavy that left me with a headache yesterday. I'll give it another go before I write it off completely just in case it was a bad bottle or I just wasn't in the mood for it.

2013 Feb 8
I've gone all Amber Ale lately. Currently going through Flying Monkey Amber Ale, as well as Tree Brewing's Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale. Both are very nice beers, but I'd give the nod to the thirsty beaver.

2013 Feb 8
I like the Spearhead IPA as well. I had been tempted to write it off as a 'novelty' beer when I first saw it, but fortunately picked up a six and was pleasantly surprised. The pineapple is very subtle, doesn't overwhelm things, and it's a nice IPA overall.

I'm also enjoying Beau's Winterbrew, their latest seasonal. It's one of the most pronounced coffee-flavoured beers that I've had, much more so than the typical coffee-porter and other ones that you typically see. A good match between Beau's and Bridgehead.

2013 Feb 20
@Blubarry allow me to introduce you to W.L. Weller 12yo, a wheated bourbon (as is Makers Mark) and your next bourbon purchase assuming you haven't picked it up already. Great value at this price and rumoured to be the same whiskey as the Van Winkle 12yo that was the subject of last month's feeding frenzy, but at half the price. Enjoy!

2013 Feb 20
I've been on a Negroni kick lately. Equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, with a twist of blood orange if I have it kicking around, all over as much ice as I can get in the glass.

2013 Feb 20
don't laugh - lol...

It's pretty damn good and was the result of running out of fresh OJ and still having some vodka left in the freezer.

Oasis Health Break - Berry and Pomegranate juice with Prince Igor Extreme Vodka... mixed pretty strong.

The taste / balance is actually very nice, for a sipping drink.

2013 Feb 21
Thanks Johanna! I'm adding it to my list. I did get a bottle of Old Weller 107 on your advice but we haven't cracked that one open yet. We have an old brass tea cart in the dining room that has now been repurposed to become a bourbon cart.

2013 Feb 21
Founder's Centennial IPA :D

2013 Feb 21
Looks like a good beer! Thanks. I will have to try it.


2013 Feb 21
It really is, unfortunately you'll have to go to the states to buy it!

2013 Feb 22
Or wait a month or two for the LCBO to have it in stock.

2013 Feb 22
I'd like to try the Centennial IPA. Is it regularly available at the lcbo? It's not on their spring release list (though it looks pretty tasty too).
For me my enjoyment tonight was a Simple Malt Alt beer, a very nice German red, one of the better Simple Malt offerings I've had. I also my last Spearhead Hawaiian - very enjoyable.

2013 Feb 23
It will be general list starting mid-March. Eventually should be pretty easy to get a bottle, but I expect a bit of a frenzy to start things off given the current/annoying IPA obsession.

2013 Feb 23
Glad to hear it will be widely available soon. I don' t know about others B Mc, but I love an IPA before eating, finding them very food friendly.
Tonight I'm enjoying a Dominus Vobiscum Blanche from Charlevoix, just excellent, toasting an Anglo Québécois whose memorial service we went to today in Lachute - Cheers, Marj!

2013 Feb 23
A great IPA is a fine thing, but I think we're getting into dangerous territory. All beer nerds go through phases (according to me) and it goes something like this
2)Imperial Stouts
4)Inner peace
With a new wave of beer drinkers IPAs have sort of eclipsed a lot of traditional styles and, especially in Ontario, they're eating up valuable shelf space. The right beer for the right occasion, but I can see a time where the choice is between a couple dozen one-note IPAs. Beer ain't all about the hops.

2013 Feb 24
I can't ever see IPA's overtaking the adjunct lagers that dominate the Beer Store and LCBO shelves. Especially since neither Molson nor Labatt brew an IPA.

Plus if there are a couple dozen IPA's on the shelf, how will they all sell enough to remain viable? The best ones will be successful and the others will fall be the wayside.

2013 Feb 24

You need to spend some time at a good beer/wine/liquor store in the US. It is easy to find 20+ IPAs that you have never heard of let alone the main stream IPAs. Soooo many hops, so little time.

Brewers of these are like a good restaurant, in that their menus change and evolve. If they are good brewers and know how to manage $$ they will do fine.


2013 Feb 24
I should add I am currently enjoying a Crystal Meth APA but am too lazy to grab a picture.

2013 Feb 24
Oh, I've been to good beer stores in the US and there are tons of IPA's but there are also tons of other styles of beers in them as well. But those IPA's are coming from all across the US. The retail model in Ontario is so far behind what many states have that you can't just assume what will happen in the US will happen in Ontario.

2013 Feb 25
Freshly roasted, freshly brewed coffee!

2013 Feb 25
I agree with BrianMc. I like IPAs (a lot, even) but they are beginning to become a bit of a cliche. You go into a liquor store in the US and at first glance you are blown away by the selection, but then you shortly realize that there are about a hundred variations of the same damn variety.

I like the Quebec beer culture. There are some very good IPAs there too, but their microbreweries have a pretty wide repertoire.

2013 Feb 25
can't wait for the Panil Barriquée(sour beer) to come back to the LCBO. Has anyone tried it before? I had a beaus sour beer at the brewery market in the fall and really liked it. Any have other suggestions for sour beers?

Hopefully panil Barriquée isn't malty

2013 Feb 25
Did I mention how much I like Boreale? They have a new Coarse/Brute beer, I think they call it IPA. It's 6.2% and produces a nice head. Very citrusy and tasty, it reminds me of their winter lager, but bolder. I picked up a sixer for $9.49 at my local Metro.

2013 Feb 26
Boreale's IPA is pretty good for the price. I'd say it is the best budget beer available in the region.

2013 Feb 26
Eastcoast, Lindeman's Cuvee Renee has been sitting on LCBO shelves for months. A world class gueuze.

2013 Mar 2
Thanks for the tip, Johanna. I picked up a bottle of the Weller bourbon and it is ree-hee-hee-ally nice. The Dragonlady says it tastes more like a scotch and she likes her bourbon to taste like bourbon. Me, I like a nice sippin' bourbon that doesn't burn my throat. This is definitely worth the price. Not even that expensive, really.

2013 Mar 5
I also picked up a bottle of Weller thanks to Johanna's review. I'm a bourbon newbie and really enjoyed some that I had Union 613. I found that one a bit sweeter, while I also found the Weller was a bit more like a scotch (not as peaty as some scotch). So can someone enlighten me, should I get some sweet undertones from a a bourbon or should it be more dry and oak-y? Or does it run the gamut?

2013 Mar 7
Last night, along with the help of some of the Hendricks pictured above ...

The largest gin and tonic known to man.

2013 Mar 8
A nice glass of Four Roses Small Batch. What makes it tastier is getting it for free.

2013 Mar 9
The redneck sugar bush is back in production...Haupia Pie Chick'tini watching the sap boil...

2013 Mar 13
Johanna - thanks for the tip. I am savouring my last couple of bottles of George Dickel Tennessee Whisky - it seems to be very elusive at the LCBO. Hopefully it will be back around soon.

2013 Mar 14
Thanks for the tip, Johanna, I may just get me some Weller. Curious what proof it is.

Y'all heard Maker's Mark lowering proof by 6 (ie. 3%) to keep up with demand.

JD lowered their alc/vol twice in their history, it used to be 45%, then 43%, now only 40%.

2013 Mar 14
Maker's Mark reversed their plan to lower ABV by 3% about a week after announcing it. www.businessinsider.com

I think Johanna might be the first to tell you that the whole thing could well have been a big PR stunt by MM. ;-)

2013 Mar 14
In beers, I went basically from being able to tolerate Heinekein's and Grolsch, to highly enjoy (properly-poured) Guinness, then stouts. I dislike IPAs. Who, me, normal? :)

As for right now, I just came back from Toronto, so aside from a great big heaping amount of SOMA chocolate, I have three bottles of Arabashiri (gravity-pressed) batches of saké, one of Shobirotate (suspended-bag drippings) saké, and one of the nicest nigori sakés I've had, all from Ontario Spring Water Saké - ontariosake.com/products/. Seems their current batches are going melony in flavour ranges. (Sadly, they switched bottles from dark-tinted 300ml to tall, clear 375ml, which can endanger the product even with the fridge light. The owner was not there, and I had all of five minutes to spare, so was not able to ask why. I will send an email.)

2013 Mar 24
I made my own pomegranate green tea ice tea with green tea, POM juice and added some rum and vodka to it...

2013 Mar 31
"Thanks for the tip, Johanna. I picked up a bottle of the Weller bourbon and it is ree-hee-hee-ally nice... This is definitely worth the price. Not even that expensive, really."

No worries Rizak, might explain why I'm having such a hard time restocking this one... :(

The Easter Bunny came early this weekend and delivered 71.4% abv of Kentucky champagne in a bottle of 2012 George T. Stagg. Yes, this is somewhat overproofed and not exactly an every day sipping bourbon. But if you ever see some a taste at least is a must if you're into bourbon.

Of the 3 bottles that were sent to Ottawa for release on Saturday at 9:30am, one was already set aside for someone with an obvious connection, one made it back to my sideboard and one made it home with a wily gentleman who was holding his baby like a sack of potatoes while using his free arm to make a sneaky grab for the second bottle.

And in case the baby-daddy in question is reading this: my husband went easy on you in the struggle for bottle #2 so as not to witness a baby drop. Let's hope your wife doesn't hear about your child minding skills...

2013 Apr 1
This afternoon I`m enjoying Mikkeller`s "It`s Alive!" - a Belgian ale brewed with lychee and aged in white wine barrels, from Denmark, an Xmas prezzie from my ds (brought from AB). Maybe not as good as it sounds but I am enjoying it's funky, fruity flavours. It would be a nice summer afternoon beer on the porch if it wasn't 8%; well, I'd still drink it, but just the one I hope, well maybe 2.
Had an excellent porter from New Zealand a couple days ago - gotta nip in to Ottawa to pick some up, not many left in O-town.
Last week my dd and her dh returned from the US and brought me some Ommegang beers from the brewery in Cooperstown, NY, his fave Nor Am brewery. He was impressed by how it's grown since his last visit. I was very impressed by the beers I tried - their Gnomegang, Rare Vos, and Abbey Ale. I also have the Game of Thrones "Iron Throne" blonde ale that's to be released in Ontario later this month but haven't cracked it yet, though my dd said last night that she's more impressed with the other beers (and the "Hennepin" farmhouse saison). What an impressive lineup of quality Belgian style ales they've come out with. Not surprising as they started up with some support from Duvel and are now owned by Duvel. I hope to see some more of them here someday - dd & her dh were able to get some of their beers in England but us poor Ontario blokes are sorely deprived.

2013 Apr 2
I picked up a bottle of Old Forrester Birthday Bourbon after reading all the stuff Johanna posted about bourbons and seeing it on the specialty shelf when picking up a bottle of Woodford Reserve the other day. Really beautiful bourbon, thanks for the suggestions Johanna!!

I'm going to try to find the W.L. Weller the next time I hit the LCBO out in Kanata. I've been on a bourbon kick the last three months and this thread is only making it worse!!

2013 Apr 2
My wife and I polished off a bottle of Flat Rock Cellars' 2009 "The Rogue" Pinot Noir. (The 2010 is here: www.flatrockcellars.com)

It's called "The Rogue" because it's Pinot Noir done in a white wine style, so it's very pale pink and very oak-aged.

It's hard to describe. It's like a Chardonnay, with a touch of spice and berries. Something to pour blind for people that like showing off their wine knowledge ;)

2013 Apr 3
@Andy, rumour has it that Ommegang will be making it to Ontario in the near future. They've been working on releasing the "Iron Throne" at least, and possibly some others.

2013 Apr 5
Great new beers at the LCBO these days. Last night I had Lakefront Brewery's (Milwaukee) Bridge Burner. 8.5 %ABV, more of a malty beer but lots of great hop aroma as well. Really enjoyed this one.

Next up is Shmaltz's He'Brew Jewbelation Sweet 16 Anniversary Ale.

2013 Apr 5
Leo's early breakfast IPA from dunham brewery quebec. I bought this delicious IPA at brou haha. man was it good...not crazy hoppy but the flavour was amazing. the tea wasn't too strong but it was there in the background.

I think the 6-packs were on sale when i went.

Highly highly recommended

2013 Apr 6
Had an Ommegang Abbey Ale this afternoon, a full-flavoured 8.2% dubbel made with licorice root, star anise, orange peel, coriander and cumin. Quite a bit of sourness developed as this warmed up and I found it quite appealing (much like my increasing like for the higher acidity in lighter-roasted C&S American coffees of late). The coriander/cumin found a nice spot high on my palate but the licorice didn't appear until I had let the last of the beer warm to room temperature.

2013 Apr 8
Follow up on Shmaltz's He'Brew Jewbelation Sweet 16 Anniversary Ale.

At 14.5 %ABV (according to the white sticker on the back) or 16 %ABV according to the original label, this is not for the faint of heart. It took me all night to drink this beer. With 16 malts and 16 hops, there is plenty of flavour going around. I liked it at first, but it turned out to be way too much for just one person. This beer is meant for sharing.

2013 Apr 8
A few years back after watching reruns of The Dukes of Hazard I went to Home Depot and bought me some copper. After some soldering I ended up with a nice purification device. Sorry for the vague name. Much fermentation later I have got better at using it and its refining properties.....super easy to make home made Amaretto. Just dropped off a sample at Smoker Guy's place and left it with his kid. Will see if it makes it to dad!

2013 Apr 8
Had the last of my Les Trois Mousquetaires Signature series Hopfenweisse, a strong wheat ale. Pity. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but knowing that I have to visit Broue Ha Ha to get more warms my heart. I find this weisse very flavourful with good balance and a long, long hoppy finish with a bit of sourness in the mouth that reminds me of some Belgian yeasts. All in all a very tasty weisse that may be outside the mold of traditional weisses but works on all levels. On my list to buy another case.

2013 Apr 12
Right now I'm not drinking because I'm at work, but last night, and tonight, I'm drinking 66 Gilead Distillery's White Dragon Shochu. (66gileaddistillery.com)

It's a Japanese/Korean Spirit (My Korean coworker claims it's Korean) that is really nice. It's nice, and unusual tasting. Surprisingly, there is no burn, or at least that I can taste. Really smooth.

The Distillery is in Prince Edward County, only a couple hours drive away. Also picked up their Loyalist Gin. Really really good stuff.

2013 Apr 12
Mmmaple Crown Royal. I really like it. Great smell when you pour it and a subtle yet noticeable maple flavour. Not overdone at all IMO.

2013 Apr 16
pre-Prohibition Classic American Pilsner

2013 Apr 16
Pre-Prohibition? More flavourful? Warm?

2013 Apr 16
Style 2C


EDIT : one of several styles that were revived by homebrewers (in the 80s ) based on research

2013 Apr 17
Tree Pug,

I will bottle one for you. Think of it as a refreshing yet flavorful, light colored beer. The 20% corn in it adds a wonderful taste.


2013 Apr 24
Wow krustys homemade amretto rocks. Once I finally wrestled it away from my kids I was very impressed. The classic pilsner was also.great Krusty. Hope you have some left over its going to be a hot weekend and I could definitely go for another pitcher or two of that brew.

2013 Apr 24
Smoker Guy.....in keeping with my socialist policies....free refills as always!

The CAP is almost done. I had to hide it on myself it was sooooo good. Will have to make more this weekend.

Have an attempt at frangelico in the fridge but it takes a couple months to develop flavors.

2013 Apr 24
sipping some 50 year old glenfiddich single malt. delicious!

2013 Apr 26
Night school has finished for the semester so I will reward myself with a glass of Gewurtztraminer when I get home this afternoon.

2013 Jul 23
Hitting the bottle, again :o)

I was excited to find Suze at the SAQ, gentian-based bitters that I was introduced to when visiting Provence. Our hosts would offer a glass of this on ice before dinner and I really enjoyed the ricochet between sweet and bitter. It also reminds me of being a kid and sneaking sips from the glasses of brightly colured concoctions my European relatives used to drink on hot summer days.

2013 Aug 4
I had a few bottles of Guinness Black Lager. Basically it's a lager with roasted barley to give it colour. Not too much of a burnt taste but much more flavourful than a regular lager. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a lighter summertime treat for Guinness drinkers or a gateway beer to the traditional black stuff.I also got a cool opener attached to my six pack which made me feel better about buying this stuff. It's ok and now my curiousity is satisfied

2013 Aug 5
With the tough work week I had last week, I ended up drinking more than usual... Had tried Québec brewery Les Trois Mousquetaires's "Signature Series Sticke Alt", described as a red lager, last week. I have had extremely few lagers I liked, but I've enjoyed a lot of LTM's offerings. Overcarbonated, I let it in the fridge open and 2/3 full. Saturday I poured the rest of it - it had a "normal" head and was much, much more enjoyable! Flavourful yet light taste (only 6%) and perfect for a nice summer day.

2013 Aug 6
As of late, I have been experimenting with homemade infused liquors. (I buy the booze from the LCBO, then infuse it at home).

At this time I have made Lemongrass Vodka, Orange vodka liquer and limoncello. Currently I have another batch of lemongrass vodka on the go, as well as a vanilla rum going.

I also picked up a bottle of Tanqueray Rangpur in the states this weekend, so I'm planning to have fun with that.

2013 Aug 6
Old school: the greyhound. Vodka and grapefruit.

2013 Aug 6
I'm a firm believer in messing with liquor. Why be satisfied with what the LCBO has to offer? Be creative, and make your own flavoured boozes. Toast some pistachio nuts and let them sit in a nice bottle of tequila for a nice ... well ... roasted, nutty flavoured tequila. That's a really nice one. Most citrus is great in almost everything.


That old scotch that's been lingering in the back of the cabinet because you don't really like it? Mess with it until you do. What have you got to lose? Start a thread and ask for suggestions.

2013 Aug 7
Exactly! My next experiment is going to be grilled peaches in bourbon, and a coffee/chocolate vodka! The sky is the limit!

2013 Aug 8
Zero Gravity Conehead Wheat IPA - a delicious, fresh and juicy Citra-hopped beer that tasted of a mix of wheat beer and grapefruit juice. An afternoon delight!

2013 Aug 11
Andy, I think I'll have to add it to my drinkvine watch list - sounds great. - Edit, just checked, didn't see it listed - is this available in Ontario?

2013 Aug 12
I had a berliner weisse from Clocktower on Friday night. Definitely a different taste - sour/tart (by design) - a good thirst quencher, but you wouldn't want to have 3 of them. You can also get it "mit rot" with a raspberry syrup, just like they do in Berlin.

2013 Aug 12
Sorry sourdough, that really delicious beer was had on tap at Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier, Vermont. I did ask about availability but it is not
available in bottles - we can only hope that some day it is available.

Tonight I enjoyed a Moroccan Brown Ale - I'm really getting a like on for this beer, not too heavy, with lots of good flavours to enjoy.

Brought home lots of beer (mostly American) from the Bier Cellar in Portland, ME to sample over the next month!

2013 Aug 12
Sourdough: Have you tried the Pink Fuzz beer from Beyond The Pale? Sounds similar to the Conehead based on the description.

2013 Aug 13
Momomoto I did try Pink Fuzz on the Foodie outing last month. Enjoyed it. Its just a bit too much running around to get to BTP for a growler - they need to move west :)

2013 Aug 15
I like the Pink Fuzz. Fresh summer beer with a slight fruity taste. Tonight, I had the Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, an all time fav from NZ.

2013 Aug 15

Oyster Bay is my one of my standby NZ white and very nice. But if you can find Cloudy Bay from NZ, oh my, Yum.

2013 Aug 18
So far this month...


Eddie Da Veto IPA from Stockpot Ales: these guys are my favourite local brewers at the moment and I don't seem to be alone since their kegs run out within a few days of being tapped. The only downside is that it's the housebrew at the Wellington Gastropub where their amazing apps beckon you to have more than "just a pint" :o)

I realize that Mad Tom IPA is many people's go-to craft brew, but I was pleasantly surprised to buy a 6-pack and discover that it tasted almost as good as what I get on tap. A great, consistent craft beer with wide availability... wait, isn't that an oxymoron?


It's summertime and the drinkin' is easy: I don't care for anything too cerebral on these warm days so a nightcap of Makers Mark seems to fit the bill, with the occasional appearance by The Black Grouse when I'm in the mood for a peated budget blend.


Purchased a 2008 Villa Raiano from Taurasi on a whim, the Barolo of Southern Italy according to a Twit I follow on Twitter :o) Quite dry with great body and depth at 14% abv, a bit more tannic than I'd like, would probably drink beautifully in 5 years but patience has never been my strong suit. IMO this is a food wine but then again I'm not one to sip wine by itself (or hang around for years while bottles cellar). Looking forward to having some of this with BBQ Mild Italian Sausages courtesy of the Krusty Homestead.


I'm hard to please when it comes to the Sazerac, what many consider to be one of the original cocktails. Nonetheless I was both excited and impressed by Union 613's new house version made with Spanish brandy in a glass washed with Riga Black Balsam, a Latvian herbal liqueur that gives the cocktail an earthy black licorice note on the finish. Definitely an example of where the sum is greater than its parts, and made with brandy, not straight rye whisky as per Sazerac tradition. The only downside? Sipping this from a mason jar; note to self, ask bartender for an Old Fashioned glass next time...

(NB: While substituting brandy for whisky may be heresy to many cocktail purists, students of early American history will no doubt remember that brandy and cognac were the spirit staples of New Orleans long before straight rye made an appearance :o)

2013 Aug 18
Update on the 2008 Villa Raiano: I let my father know that I found this a bit too tannic for my liking and was chastised for seeking instant gratification in a big, bold Southern Italian wine. Thankfully my other half found a decanter at SVdP last year so I did as instructed and let the wine air for 2 hours. Along with a BLT made of garden tomatoes, True Loaf kamut sourdough baguette and Krusty Homestead Berkshire Bacon, this wine rounded out one of the best meals I've made this year, with the dryness and now-tamed tannins cutting through the fat of the bacon just so. In fact, the two of us even argued over the last drops of the wine. It seems the secret is in the decanter, something I'm sure more sophisticated wine drinkers on this site already know.

So to summarize: two big thumbs up for the 2008 Villa Raiano from Taurasi with a relaxed, meaty weekend meal, and IMO good value at $23.95, probably even more so if you have the patience to keep the bottle for another few years :o)

2013 Aug 23
Came back from Vermont last weekend, will be sampling a few things from my souvenir assortment. Really enjoyed the magic hat beer.

2013 Aug 24
Got into the kona longboard lager ,pretty good. Tastes a lot like 50. I love 50.

2013 Aug 24
Not drinking anythign right now, but I am planning on drinking a lemongrass vodka and tonic when I get home.

2013 Aug 24
Nice haul smoker guy and a good idea posting your pic. Maybe I should start a thread of beer and liquor hauls from away but it might be a short thread. So here's my take from Portland Maine 2 weeks ago, left to right in the pic:

6 Founders “Dirty Bastard” Scotch Style Ale Wee Heavy (Wisconsin)
2 Brooklyn “Sorachi Ace” (New York)
2 Maine Beer Co. “Mean Old Tom” stout aged on vanilla beans
2 Maine Beer Co. “MO” pale ale
2 Trappistes Rochefort 10 Belgian Ale
2 Bar Harbour “Cadillac Mountain Stout” (Maine)
2 Traquair “House Ale” (Scotland)
4 Allagash “Dubbel Ale” (Maine)
4 Allagash “Triple Ale”
4 Allagash “Black” Belgian style stout

So far I've tried the Dirty Bastard (excellent++), Mean Old Tom (very good+), MO (excellent), Traquair House Ale (very good), Allagash Dubbel and Black (both excellent). All beers were bought at the Bier Cellar in Portland. I was disappointed in all 3 Shipyard beers I tried, enjoyed a Geary's Summer Ale, and really enjoyed a Ringwood Old Thumper.

2013 Aug 25
Bought a growler of Beyond The Pale's Smoked Pol to go with the pulled pork I made. It's a smoked wheat beer. It's really nice: more subtly smoked than a lot of smoked ones that I've tried, and refreshingly low in alcohol (3.9%?)

2013 Aug 26
You can occasionally find the Trappistes Rochefort in the LCBO, and it is pretty darned close to whatever that beer is that everyone was going nuts for this spring. When a friend sees it pop up in his local, he buys every bottle. At $2.50 each, it is a bargain.

2013 Aug 26
Rochefort 8 is available now for an insanely cheap $2.55 a bottle due to a pricing mistake. I believe the 10 is coming soon.

2013 Aug 28
The 8 and 10 are available in Hull (@ $4 & $4.65, btw).

I had a Unibroue Ephemere Cherry a couple nights ago - my dw thought it was OK and drinkable, I didn't like it - cough syrupy and little beer character. Speaking of my dw she had an opinion of Hogsback Vintage Lager this week - "ho hum" - an opinion I fully share. I guess she's finally developing a taste for tasty beers like the Kich. Natural Blond, Tree IPA and Mad Tom IPA I've been feeding her lately!

I still think she's not a threat to drink my beers pictured above but fear that the time will come...

2013 Aug 29
I am an elderflower fanatic, so I really like this pear/apple elderflower cider from Sweden--available at the LCBO. It's a little sweet, nicely fizzy, and not too elderflowery. Just right. I like it best over ice.

2013 Aug 29
I have 4 types of sake from Izumi 泉 ontariosake.com/
You can buy at LCBO, but the selection is very limited.

Nama-Nama 純米生生is Izumi's signature unpasteurized sake, fresh, bold and fruity.

Nama-Cho 生貯蔵is Smooth and refreshing, once-pasteurized in bottle to maintain freshness through storage at ambient temperature.

Genshu Nama-Nama 原酒生生is Undiluted, unpasterized, higher-alcohol and concentrated flavour. Nice as appertif at room temperature or on-the-rocks.

Teion Sakura 低温桜 is Special limited edition – a low temperature ferment with high koji-to-rice ratio. Flavour complexity and acidity reminiscent of fine white wine.

2013 Aug 29
Thanks for the heads-up for the Rochefort 8. That really does look like a pricing error ($14 for the same bottle at Pub Italia). Hopefully they'll make an error of the same magnitude for the 10, if they'll indeed be stocking it soon.

2013 Aug 29

2013 Sep 5
Johanna, have you tried the Suze in a Brown Bomber? 2 oz. George Dickel whiskey (I use Rittenhouse), 3/5 oz. Lillet Blanc, 1/2 oz. Suze - stir and strain into a cocktail glass of your choice and garnish with a lemon twist. Quite good.

2013 Sep 16
Does anyone have any thoughts on the Lot No. 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Whisky? It has a 100% rye mashbill and is bottled at 86 proof - sounds promising. Basically, I am looking for a decent substitute for American rye (i.e. Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky 100 Bond, which is 100 proof). The LCBO doesn't appear to carry any other American rye, which the exception of Sazerac (not great) and the Colonel E.H. Taylor. I find American rye to be a)made with rye and b)nice and spicy. Any ideas?

2013 Sep 16
Forty Creek barrel select whisky and Canada Dry Ginger Ale.

Ahhhhhh. That'll do to salve my broken spirit.

2013 Sep 16
Italofilo, I recommend you check out Dillion's unaged rye. Made in Ontario, can be gotten at most LCBO's, and is made with 100% rye grain. It is unaged however, so don't expect oak flavor.

2013 Sep 16
Getting serious enjoyment out of my first Paddock Wood Brewing Co.'s Barrel Full of Monkeys Imperial Stout, one of the most flavourful Imperial stouts I've had, really well made, and a prezzie from my son that I've been sitting on since Xmas. But the zinger is that it is made in Saskatchewan - who'd a thunk it? Learn something new every day, and a good reason to visit that prairie province! I spent last week with him and we enjoyed some Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot, aka WTF, a strong American ale that tasted very much like a lovely wee heavy and was absolutely delicious. We shared a Flying Monkeys BNL Imperial Chocolate Stout (ds bought 4 when he found them on sale this summer) and it is still awesome.
To my cold room I've added a couple of bottles ds highly recommends and gave me to bring home and try: a Barrel-Aged Celebration Stout from Porterhouse Brewing Co. in Ireland, aged in Irish whiskey casks, and a Verdi Imperial Stout from Birrificio del Ducato in Italy - stout from Italy??? Can he be serious? We'll see.

2013 Sep 19
James C., perhaps I'll buy a barrel from The Crafty Bartender and age it myself! Otherwise that stuff looks like moonshine. I suspect it's a product they've released in order to generate some cash flow until they're aged stuff is ready for release. I've read a review of white rye that said drinking it was akin to “getting stabbed in the mouth with a screwdriver that’s been used to pry open a gas can.” Yikes! That being said, I'll drink anything twice.

2013 Sep 19
Please pardon the plug ...

I sell a lot of these at craft shows to those who know what to do with them: charred, white oak aging tablets. They're for people who want to try playing around with barrel aging but don't have a barrel.

I took a piece of kiln dried white oak that was unsuitable for woodworking, cut it up into appropriate pieces, and charred them all over. You put them into a Mason jar with your booze of choice (white wine, iffy scotch, local beer, shine, whatever) and let it sit for a couple of days. Test. Keep doing this until you reach the desired effect.

It's pretty much the same thing as barrel-aging, but putting the barrel on the inside. It works on a much smaller scale as well.

A bag of 12 (about the size of a pound of coffee) is $10 and will do you for quite a while. The tablets are easier to replace than a barrel, too.

I'm actually trying to barrel age some maple syrup right now, the same way. At my last show, someone said that they missed the open-fire taste from when their dad used to make syrup. No smokiness. I'mma give it a try.

2013 Sep 19
A very enjoyable bomber of Rogue Dead Guy Ale was enjoyed at Happy Hour this afternoon on the back deck with dw and her wine, the warm sun, Mr Mew, and what are surely the last of the tree swallows swimming in the bugstream at 100 ft.

2013 Sep 20
Flying Monkey Chocolate Stout was excellent. Wish I had seen it at LCBO when they were there.

2013 Oct 10
A delicious Ommegang BPA, beautifully balanced delicousness. Hopefully someone will have this in a bar in Ottawa, hopefully we'll see it some day in the LCBO, hopefully an Ottawa brewer will produce a BPA with such quality some day.

May I also add that I had the Beau's Octoberfest 4 pack last week and thoroughly enjoyed it, some mighty fine tasting beer there - I especially liked the Smokin' Banana Peels and the Oktobock. Beau's is up a notch in my book producing a 4 pack as good as that.

2013 Oct 15
Hey Andy, Yeah, Beau's can definitely make some tasty beers. My favorite is still the Dark Helmüt, with the Beaver River I.P.Eh coming in a close second. Delicious!

2013 Oct 15
Just came back froma trip to Vermont - Oh MY! they turn out some tasty brews. Finnaly go to try some Magic Hat #9, decent stuff, especially with the Turkey dinner, but I really ejoyed the IPA's they had to offer. And the Shed brown was DELICIOUS!

Looking forward to sampling the Johnny Walker Double Black I picked up on my way home :)

2013 Oct 29
Currently sipping on a "Friendgelico" also know as the Lanark clone of Frangelico...and Frangelico has always been one of my favs but expensive. Now I should be able to produce it by the gallon ;)

2013 Nov 7
Made myself a Sazerac last night using Knob Creek's Single Barrel Reserve (bottled at 60% abv), about a teaspoon of demerara sugar, 2 dashes of Angostura and 3 dashes of Peychaud's. I rinsed the glass with Pernod, rather than absinthe (too pricey - can anyone recommend a good value absinthe?). The overproof bourbon and the richer tasting demerara really upped the deliciousness factor!

2013 Nov 8
I've been drinking aviation cocktail variants. Current favourite is as follows

3 parts of Ungava gin
2 parts fresh lemon juice
1 par maraschino liquer
dash of maple syrup.

I call it the bush pilot.

2013 Nov 8
Hey, James C., you can still find lots of Creme Yvette on LCBO shelves (260331, $40) if you wanted to give the original a go.

2 oz. gin
0.75 oz. lemon juice
0.5 oz. maraschino liqueur
0.25 oz. Crème Yvette

Turns more pink that sky blue, but whatever.

The maple syrup sub is interesting. I may just have a Bush Pilot tonight!

2013 Nov 9
Ungava is yellowish unfortunatly, but when I get some cash I make go pick some creme yvette up.

2013 Nov 10
Black Cherry Cola from Cott. I got a case of 12 at Nate's deli on Merivale for $7. Real sugar, artificial flavour and colour, but damn tasty.

Sorry, not boozy.

2013 Nov 10
Kraken with a large wedge of lime and a splash of coke. Mmmmm.

2013 Nov 11
I love Kraken! I normally get it this time of year and into the New Year, then time to lose weight. It's a vicious cycle.

Caramelly goodness. I did try Sailor Jerry on a recommendation, but didn't like it as much as Kraken.

2013 Nov 11
Next time you mix up a rum & coke, maybe try this:

2 oz. dark rum
3/4 oz. freshly squeeze lime juice (or Meyer lemon juice)
1/2 oz. gin
2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Shake the bejezus out the above with ice and strain into Collins glass, top with Coca-Cola (or Fentimans Curiosity Cola, which you can get at Grace in the Kitchen). Stir to incorporate and garnish with lime wedge.

Viva Cuba.

2013 Nov 11
I shall definitely give that one a try Italofilo. Bobby Fillet, geeze, do you think it's the Kraken that prevents me from losing any weight??

2013 Nov 12
Mill Street Coffee Porter.

And it is gooooooooood.

2013 Dec 21
Happy Winter Solstice! Thoroughly enjoying Dieu du Ciel!'s Solstice d'Hiver circa 2011, (maybe 2010?) I've never bothered learning how to decode those infernal coded bites along the edges of the label. Anyways it's smooth, sweetish, incredibly flavourful and wonderfully textured barley wine, 10.2% strong beer, just delightful.

...and so much gooder than good.

Cheers! =;o)

2013 Dec 23
Technically I haven't sipped it yet, but I can hardly wait! I bought a few bottles of TreeWell maple sap "champagne" to give as gifts, and some of these lucky people better pop it in my presence! This is a non-alcoholic "sap"eritif created by a local guy with Lanark maple sap, lightly carbonated. This seems like a perfect alternative to regular bubbly on NYE. Only 1,200 bottles were produced in this 1st round as he looks for funding to truly bring this to market. Suggested mix with whiskey. I happen to have a bottle of Sortilege here! Maple overload? Is there such a thing? There were about 20 bottles of TreeWell left at Piggy Market today, which is the only place you can buy it.

2013 Dec 24
I'm on my third coffee and Bailey's.

2013 Dec 26
Last night, I used some wormwood bitters I got in my stocking to make a manhattan, and it turned out really well.

2013 Dec 26
maker's mark, egg nog and fresh nutmeg.

2013 Dec 31
Drappier Brut Nature Champagne. Varry naaice. Happy New Year!

2014 Jan 1
Last night I was mixing Boylans gingerale with an not-from-concentrate blend of cherry and pomegranate juice.

Holy delicious. Would be really nice with some vodka.

2014 Jan 1
Thanks to all you Bourbon lovers I branched out last night and we had Manhattans to start off our New Year's celebration at home. Bought our very first bottle of Knob Creek, a new bottle of Vermouth and resurrected our bottle of Angostura bitters....yum. Kraken and Smuggler's Cove will have to take a rest for now. Happy New Year's everyone!

2014 Jan 7
I found sparkling sake at LCBO TERRY FOX & CAMPEAU
Okunomatsu Junmai Daiginjyo sparkling. I will cook izakaya food at home and try this sake!

Left one is ROEDERER ESTATE BRUT SPARKLING, my favourite sparkling for appetizers.

2014 Jan 10
Aisu Kurimu, I have seen that sparkling daiginjo, and am far less averse to the concept of bubbly saké after tasting some really, relly nice ones at Kampai Toronto. Let us know how it worked!

Meanwhile, speaking of sakés, tonight I'm having yet another tasting with a dozen friends and a dozen bottles... scoured four different LCBOs in the area, plus some from Toronto, and one as a private import, the pièce de résistance.

Hakutsuru Sho-Une junmai daigingo; Masumi Karakuchi Ki-ippon junmai ginjo; Hwa Rang, a South Korean junmai daiginjo; Kikusui Fountain of Youth junmai ginjo; Yoshinogawa Kamé Daké no Saké ginjo and Goku-Jo junmai ginjo; Tamanohikari Omachi junmai daiginjo; Fukucho "Moon on the Water" junmai ginjo; Tenzan genshu junmai; Murai Family junmai daiginjo; Île Four junmai daiginjo; and finally Taiheizan Tenko junmai daiginjo (the private import).

I made quite sure to be in walking distance from my place. It's going to be a fun night. :)

2014 Jan 13
Here's what I'm drinking:


If anyone's interested, I started a blog chronicling my adventures in cocktails. I'll probably throw in the odd whisk(e)y post as well. I'd be interested to see what Ottawa Foodies think!

2014 Jan 17
I arrived home from work yesterday and discovered that my amazing (and enabling) wife had tracked down a bottle of Stagg Jr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon!

2014 Jan 17
Lucky man Paternal Drunk.

If I can suggest a cocktail for you, I suggest a Martinez. I made one last night. It's 2 oz of gin (I used Dillon's Unfiltered), 0.75 oz red vermouth, .25oz maraschino liquer, and bitters (I used dillon's wormwood bitters).

Quite nice, and not as sweet as you'd might think.

2014 Jan 17
Yes, a great cocktail, James C.. I make mine with Bols Genever and it is excellent. I also use the older school recipe of equal parts of (Hollands) gin and sweet vermouth (1.5 oz each), 0.25 oz Maraschino, and 2 dashes of Boker's bitters. Garnish with orange twist.

2014 Feb 8
Sigtuna Midvinterblot - 8% dark beer, chocolaty notes, very nice flavour profile, low carbonation. Perfect for February! I'd actually bought a bunch of strong beer/barley wine to enjoy over Christmas, but got sick, so enjoying them now.

2014 Feb 19
sourdough I heartily agree with you on the Midvinterblot - I loved it and bought some to store and drink over the next year. For a RIS it is fairly low in alcohol (8%) but it has a wonderful well-balanced flavour profile, is quite chocolatey and makes a nice afternoon tipple. Still some 330 ml bottles left in Ottawa LCBOs, I see.
Tonight I'm enjoying my first Black Magic Woman by Hornbeer in Denmark, also a RIS, and completely different with a smokiness that's surprisingly good and quite strong, good hop bitterness, and a long finish that has you wanting more. It smells sweeter than it tastes but has an enjoyable maltiness. 10% abv, 500 ml and still some in Ottawa LCBOs.