Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
James Norton, Food Editor
■ Burning Brothers Roasted Coffee Ale
If you didn’t already know that this strong ale blended with cold-brewed coffee was gluten-free, it probably wouldn’t occur to you—this beer is brimming with flavor and substance. In contrast to many coffee beers that lean hard on dark, chocolatey malt notes, Roasted feels more akin to a lightly roasted brewed coffee, with some brighter, fruitier flavors and a strongly carbonated texture. The finish is caramel and coffee, and the overall package is bold but nuanced, perfect for an autumn evening.
■ Idealist Wines 2016 Antithesis Pinot Noir
■ Domaine Dupont Pommeau de Normandie
■ Tin Whiskers Nut Goodie Porter
■ Eastlake Sun Dogs’ IPA
Lauren Sauer, Editorial Assistant
■ Bad Weather Windvane Red IPA
In this confusing time of seasonal transition (Do I need a coat? Is it snowing?) I find myself leaning on my go-to beers for emotional support, suitable whether it’s sweltering or sub-zero outside. Bad Weather Brewing’s year-round flagship red IPA is just the ticket, balancing strong hop presence with the warmth of roasty malt character to make a perfect beer for every season. The piney, citrusy, and resinous flavors brought forth by the hops are supported by the malt, which provide a full-bodied, balancing backbone. Plus, if that deep amber-red color doesn’t scream fall, I’m not sure what does.
■ Rush River Small Axe Golden Ale
■ Helioterra 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
■ WarPigs Lazurite IPA
■ New Glarus Moon Man No Coast Pale Ale
John Garland, Deputy Editor
■ R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia 2009 ‘Viña Cubillo’ Crianza
There may be no producer that typifies old-school Rioja like R. López de Heredia. They thumb their nose at new French oak, opting instead to frequently rack their wines between old neutral barrels. This kind of interplay with oxygen is no good for making wines taste fresh and ripe, but when it’s done right, it brings out complex notes of soil, leather, and spice. The 2009 Cubillo has tart berries and a slight whiff of vinegar on the nose, followed by a full-bodied sip of luscious black cherries and elegant leathery tannin, with a grippy, mineral-driven finish. Pair with a plate of hard cheeses and a roaring fireplace.
■ Surly Side Hustle Golden Beer
■Fidencio Unico Mezcal
■ Fair State Vienna Lager
■ Auchentoshan 12-year Scotch
Brian Kaufenberg, Editor-in-Chief
■ Excelsior RipRap Peanut Butter Cup Stout
Growing up, no Halloween candy was more coveted in our household than peanut butter cups. They were the gold standard for trading with my siblings and worth two of any other candy. True to its name, Excelsior’s RipRap Peanut Butter Cup Stout is chock-full of peanut aroma and rich chocolate flavor that instantly conjure memories of rationing out my cache of Reese’s as a kid. The stout avoids being overly sweet, with its nice roasted and nutty malt character. It’s a liquid treat for nostalgic adults like myself.
■ Lagavulin 16-year Scotch
■ Lift Bridge The Warden Milk Stout
■ Indeed Flavorwave IPA
■ Little Thistle The Doug Lager