Browse Tag


The mead for speed

Artesano Mead (Vermont) – 500 ml. Very floral. I know that, by definition, all mead is more or less floral, but this is really flowery, as if the bees got pollinated wind of a warehouse clearance sale on microgametophytes. It’s good, but I think it might be of more use doled out in very small amounts, or perhaps used in cooking. (10/10)


Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Imperial Porter (Vermont) – I used to love porter, but now I tend to find it an in-between style that’s not as appealing to me as something clearer or something more opaque. This is a fair brew, browned and nutty with a caramelized anise lacquer, but I can’t quite warm to it. (10/10)

Is it dusty, too?

Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Double IPA (Vermont) – Lovely, lifted aromatics…I don’t, as a rule, enjoy sniffing beer, but this smells pretty enticing…with, yes, confident hoppiness but very good balance. There’s complexity here that forces one to pay attention. If I rated the things I drink, this would be the point score: I bought a case, and I haven’t bought beer by the case since college. (8/10)

Marquette basket

Lincoln Peak 2008 Marquette (Vermont) – “For a Vermont wine” this is pretty good. Which means that, in the greater pantheon, it’s OK. Not all that foxy, but showing the slightly gelatinous fruit of the genre, here cut with enough acid for balance. Easygoing and nice to drink. (7/10)

XX garage

La Garagista Rose Liqueur (Vermont) – Exotic and seductive, but one has to like…no, make that love…roses as a comestible, which not everyone does. Get this involved with some seared foie gras, in place of the rose (not rose hip) confiture I can never find when I want it, and you’re halfway to gewürztraminer-pairing heaven. It’s OK on its own…but then, I like roses. (2/10)

La Garagista Gingered Lemon Liqueur (Vermont) – Inhabits two worlds: the warming stickiness of an infused liqueur and the bright refreshment of a tonic. For whatever reason, among a lineup of three variations on liqueur, this is the most successful, taking two clearly-expressed base elements (plus alcohol) and turning the result into something more than the sum of its triad. Fun. (2/10)

La Garagista Nocino (Vermont) – While the skin-bitterness and concentration that mark nocino are present, there’s a lot more going on here. The thing is, that “more” is from elements other than walnuts, and the result is more of a sachet/potpourri quality than I think is respectful of the core ingredient. It’s good, but it’s very sweet without much mitigation, and has a bit of a Heidi Fleiss character that not everyone will enjoy. (2/10)

All these liqueurs are the work of the husband & wife team that runs Osteria Pane e Salute in Woodstock, Vermont. These aren’t yet commercially available, but may be soon.

Continental divide

Lincoln Peak 2008 La Crescent (Vermont) – Drier than one expects, and probably drier than is ideal; it lacks the concentration to support a more arid expression, and would probably be assisted by a little more residual sugar. Flavors are bare, but inhabit some small corner of the lemon/apple/tea family. I hate to say that the absence of flaws is a significant improvement on most Vermont wine, but it’s the case here (the wine is painstakingly clean), and so I suspect that time, effort…and severe global warming…will eventually lead to better things here. (2/10)


Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Winter White (Vermont) – The more I drink of this, the more I like it. Blizzard spices and yeasty warmth are a good combination. (1/10)

Raspberry beret

[label]Otter Creek Raspberry Brown Winter Ale (Vermont) – I tend to prefer beer with fruit involved in its conception to beer in which fruit is more of a conceptual additive, but this is kinda nice, and the reasons are twofold: first, the brown ale is quite good, and second, the raspberry is nicely restrained. It’s a counterpoint…not a raspberry-flavored beverage on an absent foundation of allegedly brown ale, but a brown ale to which is added a suggestion of raspberry. I wouldn’t want to drink it all night, but it’s nice. (1/10)

High thanks

Wolaver’s “Alta Gracia” Coffee Porter (Vermont) – Yep, that’s porter. And yep, that’s coffee. Morning and evening, in one drink. “Good” is kinda beside the point…one either embraces the concept or doesn’t. (1/10)


Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Winter White (Vermont) – Really quite clever, combining the spicy lightness of white with the richer, heavier expectations of a winter ale, and managing to work this alchemy without sacrificing either style’s character or overall balance. (12/09)