Newport Storm Brewery and Thomas Tew Rum

Rhode Island has been added to the list of states we are visiting now. We recently went to a few places with Megan’s sister Samantha and her boyfriend Dustin. Our first visit was to the Son’s of Liberty Spirits Company. After we finished there, we went to our second stop- Newport Storm Brewery in Newport, RI. They are also the producer of Thomas Tew Single Barrel Rum, which is available for tasting as well.

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When you enter, you decide which tasting you would like to do, and after paying, can hop over to the bar for a tasting. If you are lucky enough, there may be a tour starting (3pm, but see website and facebook for additional times). The tour is free. If you aren’t there during a tour time, and want to learn a bit about how the brewery started, you can go on a self-guided tour. Grab one of your tastes and head up the staircase!

Who is Newport Storm?
Four friends decided in college that they wanted to start a brewery, so they spent their college years studying science and ‘sampling’ plenty of the future competitions product. They opened their brewery in 1999 in a 2500 square foot facility in Middletown, RI. They released their first beer, Hurricane Amber Ale in July of 1999. In 2002 they expanded their space by an additional 1000 square feet. In 2006 they started Newport Distilling Company to create Thomas Tew Rum. In 2010 they built their brand new facility, where they currently operate out of, and increased their space to 8000 square feet. They have released over 30 different beers and continue to create new an innovative beers, and the same four friends continue to run the brewery.

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Megan, Mark, Dustin, and Sam at the brewery.

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what’s on draft?

For our tasting, we each were able to try four beers.
Our tasting:

Hurricane Amber Ale – 5.2%
Good amber, tasty, drinkable. Fairly typical for an amber. This was the original Newport Storm.

 

Winter Porter – 6.1%
Flavorful but very drinkable. It is described as a ‘rich, dark Porter style ale’ which is what we were thinking. Everyone liked this beer.

 

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Tasting Card

 

 

India Point Ale – 6.5%
Smells super hoppy, tastes pretty hoppy but well balanced. Megan said ‘not bad’.

 

R.I.P.umpkin – 6.7%
Good pumpkin beer, better than most. Good balance of pumpkin, beer, and spices. They used locally grow pumpkins and have about 3 pounds of pumpkin in each keg.

 

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Cyclone Yoko
Really good flavor, a dark ale with roasted coconut undertones. Good balance and flavor, we bought a few of these.

 

infRIngement
Strong, barrel aged flavor, heavy and dark. This was the product of years of test brewing, barrel aging a Russian Imperial Stout in the Thomas Tew rum barrels for 5 months.

 

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Personalized beer for Mark! Also, one of their past seasonal beers

 

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Growlers to fill.

 

 

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The only sell one type of rum, Thomas Tew Single Barrel Rum. In order to make it into a real tasting ($9), they have you try the rum in 3 different stages.

 

Thomas Tew white raw rum is the unadulterated spirit right off the still and proofed to a typical bottle strength. This is not barrel aged, tastes a little harsh with not much flavor.

 

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Thomas Tew Cask Strength Rum is the unproofed rum from right out of the barrel. It is aged for 2 years and is a strong or harsh tasting coming in  at 108 proof.

 

Thomas Tew Single Barrel Rum is the distillery’s signature spirit. This has a much better, full flavored rum that is smooth to sip. This comes in at 84 proof.

 

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Plenty of shirts for sale

 

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Some look like this.

 

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Fun soap, made from their beer!

 

Want to visit?

Tours and Tastings…
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday: open 12-5pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: open 12-6pm

Want to try their beer… for free? Look on their Facebook page for Fridays@Six!

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Sons of Liberty Spirits Company, South Kingstown RI

We have to expand our goal now to include the state of Rhode Island. Megan’s sister Sam’s boyfriend Dustin lives in Newport and there are several places right there. Well, everything is close in Rhode Island (true story. Megan went to school down there).

We had Sam and Dustin show us the “local” places…

Our first stop- Son’s of Liberty Spirits Company. Sam and Dustin had been there before, and really enjoyed the tour and tasting. Hence, our first Rhode Island stop.

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 One of the reasons they started Sons of Liberty was to make good whiskey that other people aren’t making. They started the tour off by saying ‘What do you think of when I say American whiskey?’ Most people think of bourbons and Tennesee whiskey.

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Then he says ‘What do you think of when I say single malt whiskey?’ Most people think of Scotch, made in Scotland of course. ‘So why don’t American whiskey companies make single malt scotch?’ Well, Sons of Liberty does, and it’s really good. And they pose for pictures.

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Another question they had when they started thier distillery is why don’t people make seasonal whiskey? Some places make flavored whiskey, mostly honey, but why not make seasonal whiskey like seasonal beers. When we were their they had a Summer Hopped Whiskey and a fall Pumpkin Spiced Whiskey, which won the American Distilling Institutes’ world’s best flavored whiskey.

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 In order to make whiskey you have to make a distillers beer first. We didn’t know that! Then you distill it into whiskey.

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Distillers beer in the tank

 

All the distillers beer start with the same grains and then you add different malts.

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4 tanks of distillers beer

There are no hops used in distillers beers, they are added later.

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the still

Distilling too high strips the flavor, a lower distilling point keeps the beer flavor.

 

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Lots of inspirational t-shirts

They use mostly the heart of the whiskey. This is mostly what comes out in the middle of the distilling process. They put the heart of the whiskey in stainless steel barrels with a ton of oak staves from the barrels. This kick starts the barrel flavoring process. All sides of the oak now touch the whiskey instead of just one side. Then they barrel age the whiskey for a shorter period of time.

 

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Uprising
American Single Malt Whiskey born from a stout beer
This has a smokey and oakey flavor, really good, really smooth taste. Mark bought a bottle and shared it with several people, including an expensive scotch drinker, and he really liked it as well.

 

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Battle Cry
American Single Malt Whiskey born from a belgium beer
Smoother but less smokey and oakey. Megan like this better, less of a harsh taste to her

 

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Pumpkin Spice Flavored Whiskey – Fall Seasonal Release
Pumpkin spiced, not overbearing flavor, generally favorable among us. Sam wanted a little more pumpkin flavor. This didn’t hold up quite as well against the first two because they were so good, thought Mark. Won the World’s Best Flavored Whiskey by Whiskey Magazine.

 

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Hop Flavored Whiskey – Summer Seasonal Release
Born from an IPA
Not as flavorful, Sam liked it. Mark was really excited for this one, but same as the one above. The taste just didn’t quite compare to Uprising and Battle Cry because they were so good.

 

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Loyal 9 Vodka
Really smooth, really good, not much flavor but no bite at all. They say they distill it 99 times because they just keep sending it through the still over and over again.

 

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Loyal 9 Vodka – Mint Cucumber
First Seasonal Vodka – Summer Release
More mint than cucumber, very interesting flavor. Good for a mojito.

 

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Loyal 9 Vodka – Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean
Winter Seasonal Release
Good flavor. Mix with coffee syrup and whole milk

 

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The bartender wasn’t talking a lot, there were about 30 people at the bar tasting so he was really busy. When we did asked questions he answered them and gave us lots of info.

 

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Tours & Tastings

$10 Includes Tasting Glass

Saturdays every half hour between 12 and 3:30pm
Fridays 4:30-7:30pm (Self-guided tours)