Barreled Souls, Saco, ME

rpyr9810

 

We visited Barreled Souls in the late summer. They are located in Saco, ME and as the name suggests, they make all barrel fermented beer.

 

yeap9687

 

The entrance is around back, in the basement level. It was a little dark in there, nice atmosphere, but due to this, not all of our pictures came out that great. The have an outdoor area where you can sit in the nice weather.

 

yggm9542

 

Of course they have lots of cool furniture made from old barrels.

 

spst1438

 

Our tasting:
Tequila Barrel Aged Space Gose
– 5.6%
A slight tartness up front, then tequila flavor takes over. It is light in body and tastes like a tequila beer, we liked it!

 

MEmosa – 5.8%
Flavorful for what is described as a ‘light, clean blonde ale’. A little citrus up front with a hoppy finish. Light, refreshing and bubbly.

 

tmsj7665

 

Bourbon Barrel Aged Quaker State with Chocolate and Orange – 6.8%
Aged in Woodford Reserve Barrels, you get some chocolate flavors, a little citrus, then the bourbon flavor takes over. An interesting combo, and well done, definitely a heavy barrel aged beer, but tasty.

 

Mocha Grande – 7.5%
Megan says ‘It’s coffee’. It tastes more like coffee than beer, certainly does not taste like 7.5%. Megan liked it better than Mark. It is a ‘brown ale with french roast coffee and a nutty, malty finish’.

 

wrmr9510

 

Munro – 9.7%
Labeled as a ‘strong scotch ale’. Very tasty, they described it best, ‘rich malt flavors, reminiscent of dark caramel, fig jam, and a light smoke’. Yup, rich, dark tasty with a hint of fruit.

 

Big Boy – 11.9%
This is a ‘barleywine with toffee malt flavors’. Mark is not a big fan of barley wines, so it was just ok, not our style but figured we would give it a shot.

 

yfsl3539

 

They also had a home brew competition running while we were there, you could taste and vote on the best home brew. We did not end up trying these, but that is cool that they do that for those who are local.

It seems like they have a rotating tap list, so there is always something new and different on. We liked most of the beers and can certainly see ourselves going back another time.

 

Hours

Wednesday and Thursday: 4:00 – 10:00
Friday: 4:00 – 12:00
Saturday: 12:00 – 12:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 8:00

Deciduous Brewing Company, Newmarket, NH

IMG_6535

Deciduous Brewing Company opened in mid August of 2015. They are a ‘constantly striving, boutique brewery’ in Newmarket, NH. The brewery is co owned by Frank Zagami, his wife Maryann, and David Sakolsky. David is the head brewer at Deciduous, and formerly the head brewer at Blue Lobster.

 

IMG_6536

They do 4 oz tasters for $1.50 each, we tried all the beers they had on tap. While we were there, they had 3 beers in bottles that were unfortunately not available to taste.

 

IMG_6529

 

Aggregation – 2.4%

Gose – 60% white wheat
A little tartness, really light in body. The addition of salt gives it a dry mouthfeel.

 

Arose – 4.8%
A strong smell of hops, well balanced. Hop and malt flavors, not overly hoppy or bitter, their take on a house pale ale or table beer.

 

Cumulation – 4.5%
Dry hopped ‘imperial’ gose
Tart, light in body, Megan tasted the salt on her tongue, had a dry finish.

 

Auroral – 4%
Berlinerweisse 50% wheat with blood oranges and lychee fruit
Really tart, a sweeter sour flavor. Megan said it was like a sweet tart. This was a very good sour beer.

 

IMG_6540

 

Lambent – 4%
Berlinerweisse 50% wheat with raspberries and passion fruit
Tastes less tart than the Auroral, more fruit flavor with a hint of tartness. Megan said it was juicy.

IMG_6541

 

Jack O Lambent – 4.5%
Roasted pumpkins with toasted pumpkin seeds from Coppal House Farms in Lee, NH
Slight tartness, toasted pumpkin seeds are the main flavor, with a dry unexplainable finish, does not finish tart.

 

IMG_6545

 

Agricultural – 6.3%
Dry hopped wheat IPA
Melon flavored hop taste, light to medium body, bitter and piney finish. Not either of our favorites.

 

Phenotype – 5.8%
Dry hopped IPA
Smells of tropical fruit hops at first. Had a tropical hop flavor with a bitter finish. Bitterness takes over as the main flavor and kind of over powers the good hop flavors.

 

IMG_6549

 

Epiphyte – 8%
DIPA
More of a malty style DIPA, heavier body and flavor, a touch sweet, slightly bitter finish.

 

Renascence – 8.1%
Multi grain porter, rye and peat smoke malts
Smokey porter, pretty tasty, we liked it.

 

IMG_6551

 

 

IMG_6553

Introspection – 10.3%
A 100% Brett fermented Russian Imperial Stout.

We decided to buy the Introspection bottle, even though we couldn’t sample it. It was very tasty, we shared it with friends who like RIS’s and they really liked it as well.

 

IMG_6539

 

They do a lot of interesting styles of beer, which seems like where their strength is. The IPA’s Mark was not a big fan of, but the Gose and Berliner style beers and the Introspection were really good.

 

IMG_6538

 

 

IMG_6531

They have a pretty decent sized tasting room. It wasn’t too crowded when we were there, we showed up right at 12:00 when they opened on a snowy Saturday. Shortly after, people began to stream in.

IMG_6532

They are located in a small strip mall across from the Mill in downtown Newmarket. We went to Panzanellas’s after sampling to eat. The moved into the newly constructed strip mall to double thier space, they have been opened in Newmarket for 13 years.

 

Current Hours

Thursday 4:00 – 7:00
Friday 3:00 – 7:00
Saturday 12:00 – 5:00

As always, check Facebook for their most up to date info and hours.

 

Banded Horn Brewing Company, Biddeford, ME

IMG_2095

We visited Banded Horn Brewing Company on a recent Sunday afternoon. They are located in Biddeford, ME in the 150 year old Pepperrell Mill complex.

From their website: No matter the style, no matter the strength or the flair, the best beers share one common virtue: balance. At Banded Horn Brewing Co. we strive for a harmony of flavors with each brew, from traditional styles to cutting-edge beers that defy classification.

 

IMG_2087

 

Pepperell Pilsner – 4.6%
German style pilsner. A light pilsner, ok taste, did have some flavor, neither of us are fans of this style of beer.

 

Veridian American IPA – 6%
Light in body, hop flavor but no bite, more of a citrusy hops aftertaste, with a touch of piney taste.

 

IMG_2088

 

Norweald American Stout – 6.5%
Good stout, robust flavor, not overly dry, good balance of flavors, nothing overpowering.

 

Jolly Woodsman – 7.5%
Coffee taste, decently heavy stout, good overall flavor. Strong coffee taste, not bitter, made with cold brewed espresso. A special blend of Norweald Stou and Mountain Stout.

 

IMG_2106

 

Eldir – 5%
A rauchbier, smoked lager. Light in body, smoky flavor. After just several sips from the taster glass, smoky flavor dissipates, leaving just a dryish taste.

 

Banded Souls DIPA – collaboration with Barrelled Souls
A slightly heavier IPA, a touch piney, not as much as the Viridian. It was dry hopped with lime zest, which we think cuts the hoppy flavor.

 

IMG_2099

 

Barchen – 2.9%
A berliner weiss, sour up front, really really light in body, sour and citrusy. Megan was hoping for a little bit  more sour, but overall a pretty good sour beer.

 

IMG_2086

 

IMG_2393

They had The Jolly Woodsman in a 4 pack of bottles, which we bought, and Veridian in 6 pack of bottles.

 

IMG_2097

 

IMG_2089

 

 

IMG_2100

 

They have some extra open space, and fooseball table, corn hole, and a ping pong table set up for visitors to use.

 

IMG_2101

 

 

Want to visit? Hours are ….

Wednesday and Thursday 4 – 8pm

Friday 4 – 10pm

Saturday 1 – 9pm

Sunday 2 – 6pm

 

 

 

Visit #90! Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

IMG_1322

Our third stop on our most recent trip through Portland with Jason and Maureen was Allagash Brewing. They are right across the street from Bissel Brothers, Foundation, and Austin Street Brewing or should we say they all moved in right across the street from Allagash.

 

IMG_1317

 

If you want to go for a tour, you need to book it ahead of time. The tours book up quickly, and they try to keep them a fair size- so everyone can see and hear the tour guide. The tour is free, but you have to plan ahead. We booked our tour about two weeks in advance, and booked it for four people- not yet knowing who the other two people would be! We booked for the only time slot that had spots for four people, knowing we would have company. We didn’t want the others to not be able to go. The tour includes a private tasting as well.

IMG_1314

Cool bar in the tap room

 

If you find that you aren’t able to book a tour, you can go to their tasting room and try some there! We were unaware that they had a tap room prior to our visit, but now know we can go anytime we are in the area!

 

Our tour guide was Thadius, a local college student, which he reminded us of several times. His fun loving personality made the tour entertaining but he was also quite knowledgeable about the brewery and was able to answer questions people had.

 

We learned a lot about Allagash while on the tour. They told us what makes them special and different, not just the typical story on how beer is made, so we liked that. We learned that 80% of what they produce is Allagash White. They are the 32nd largest brewery in the US, and still a craft brewery. Their biggest markets are LA, then Chicago and Boston.

 

IMG_1282

 

They operate a 70 barrel system right now. They expanded 2 years ago, and now they are planning to add more fermenters.

This is inside of the newest part of the brewery. This was the old exterior wall, and they left the old Allagash Brewing Company sign up.

They have a custom BrauKon system for producing as much White and Saison as they can.

 

IMG_1281

 

This newer system is more computerized, but you still need the brewer to check on things and know how to work the system. They brew 5 days a week, 24 hours a day. They have 15 brewers and over 80 employees.
How are they working to be even more eco-friendly?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
*Their spent grain goes to a local farmer, Norm, to feed to his cows.
*They also use steam energy.
*Just last year, they added a beehive on premise to use the honey in the beer. They are using the most local honey they can, and are helping the honey bee population! Another cool fact about the honey- their Accountant is the bee keeper!
*They have the least water usage of breweries, and use local water coming from Sebago Lake (just over 10miles away)

 

IMG_1287

Old system with Thadius

 

They still use an old 15 barrel system that Rob Tod started with back in 1995. They use this older system for their more experimental brews.

 

IMG_1291

 

They use Microstar kegs, a co-op program so when they ship full kegs to somewhere like LA, a local brewery reuses instead of shipping empty kegs back to Maine, which not only makes it easier for them, but also is more eco-friendly.

Fun fact- about 60% of their production is put into kegs. This is a lot for a brewery of this size.

 

IMG_1297

barrels in their barrel room. Each has the beer’s name or a code name on it.

 

An interesting sounding beer we heard about in the barrel room was the Koelschip series. The Koelschip series are sour and/or funky beers. They use wild yeast to get the sour flavor, and it takes 3-4 years to actively ferment. Megan really likes sour beers, so we will be on the lookout for any Koelschip series releases!

 

IMG_1294

 

IMG_1295

The oldest barrel we saw.

 

These barrels were in a separate temperature controlled building to age.

IMG_1300

large barrels and fermenting beer

 

Allagash has a pilot system in which employees can submit recipes for brewing. Like their Saison? You can thank an employee for that! The Saison is not their first new year round beer in just about twelve years.

IMG_1286

a little view into how large they actually are…

IMG_1279

empty barrels, ready to be filled

 

IMG_1299

the private tasting area in the barrel room

 

Our tasting:

White – 5.2%
The first Allagash beer. We have all had this before and we have liked it. Maureen thought it was light, Megan and Mark order it out at the bar sometimes.

 

Saison – 6.1%
Recommended to have with spicy food. Light and citrusy with orange and coriander taste. Maureen said it was a titch spicy on the back of the tongue. We all liked this as well.

 

IMG_1298

the Saison mmmmmm

 

 

Four – Quad – 10%
Takes four months to make, uses 4 yeast and is complicated to make. Smooth and very flavorful, we all liked it. Jason liked it so much he bought a bottle there, and has bought 2 more since then.

 

Tripel – 9%
Aged in Jim Beam barrels. Light for being aged in Jim barrels. Maureen said she tasted fruit right on the tongue. Good balance of beer, flavor and fruit. Mark bought a bottle of this.

IMG_1454

IMG_1316

Cooler full of brewery only beers as well as beers you will find elsewhere!

IMG_1262

Special Release! Midnight Brett Ale

IMG_1452[1]

Midnight Brett Ale:
Megan opted to purchase this one, despite having not tried it. She understood that Brett Ales can be on the tart side, and loves trying beers like that. It had the flavor and aroma of berries and sour cherries. She was very happy to have bought two bottles. Mark had hoped for a bit more tartness.

IMG_1270

the tap room bar, inside the retail store

IMG_1272

t-shirts galore!

IMG_1264

have a kegerator at home?

 

We enjoyed our visit to Allagash, and liked how the tour was- it wasn’t just the “here’s how we make beer,” but what actually makes them who they are. We will certainly be back, especially to see what special releases they have!

IMG_1318

Want to visit?
HOURS: Monday – Saturday: 10am-5pm.
Last tour at 4pm, taps close at 4:45pm

Check their website or their facebook for any changes.

IMG_1303

************************************
In the area? Besides going across the street to Bissel Brothers,
Foundation and Austin Street, take the drive to:
Urban Farm Fermentory
Shipyard Brewing Co.

Schilling Beer Company, Littleton, NH

IMG_3296

While visiting our friends Jamie and Andrew, we took the drive to Schilling Beer Company. Andrew recommended we go here. He said they have really good pizza and some quality beers. We have to agree. They are located in Littleton, NH which is about 20 miles north of the Lincoln/Woodstock/Loon Mountain area.

IMG_3310

From their website: “Schilling Beer Co. is a family-owned artisan microbrewery centered on the values of family, community and excellence. These values are reflected in the three united grain heads that comprise our logo.

Schilling is the embodiment of a dream for four brothers and Dad, who left professions and moved across continents to link up in the North Country to brew together. The name “Schilling” honors our grandfather, Dr. Richard J. Schilling (his picture hangs near the bar), and also reflects the continental European influences on the brewing.

We brew Schilling beers on a custom 5-barrel wirelessly controlled brewhouse here, in the oldest commercial building north of Concord, NH – a renovated gristmill dating to 1797.”

IMG_3290

outside seating- a bit too cold now! Love that they have it- maybe next time!

 IMG_3292

IMG_3294

let’s head on in!

It’s hard to describe these beers without using the term ‘Belgian style’ or ‘ Belgian taste’ in the description. Most of the beers have that as a taste with some extra flavoring or style in it. This is in part due to their European influences and experiences.

IMG_3301

 Our Tasting:

Erastus – Abbey-style Tripel – 8%
A heavy ‘blue moon’ flavor, a little earthy, Belgian flowers.

Foy – Belgian-style IPA – 5.9%
Andrew said it had the hoppy taste of an IPA, but not overpowering. We agree, almost like a toned down IPA with some Belgian flavors, you get both. Jamie got a little citrus fruit taste.

Trapu – Belgian-style Dark Ale – 6%
Smooth. Chocolate and light coffee notes, on the verge of a ‘cask strength’ flavor.

IMG_3306

Blonde Grisette – Belgian-style Saison – 5.5%
A tiny bit fruity and a little earthy, light beer. Andrew agree’s.

IMG_3317
Jamie enjoying her beers

Pater – Abbey-style Single – 4.8%
Spiced rather than hopped. Light, Belgian session beer, not super flavorful.

Grotius – Abbey-style Dubbel – 6.3%
Belgian style with a darker, malty taste with a little bit of ‘dark fruit aroma’s’, their term but we agree.

Resistance – Belgian-style Saison – 6.3%
An earthy saison.

IMG_3308

Dr. Oovert – Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale – 9.1%
Strong flavor, good taste. The description said ‘dark fruit and caramel’, we agree, fruity but a heavy taste. Andrew agree’s there were a ‘multitude of dark fruit flavors’, got stronger and more flavorful as you drank. Megan did not like this beer.

Le Nain – Biere blanche – 6%
50% wheat, cloudy, flavorful, a medium silky mouth feeling. German and American hops.

Schilling ‘Sticke’ Collaboration with White Birch – Wheat Ale – 5.5%
Fruity notes, smooth wheat ale. Megan said it was what she expected from White Birch.

IMG_3328
downstairs, bar area great atmosphere
IMG_3327

seating area at the top of the – love the look!

 Time to eat!

IMG_3312
Maple Bacon Pizza- AMAZING!

Yes, maple syrup, bacon, chicken and apples. Sweet and savory. This was a special, and it was everyone’s favorite. A slightly odd combination that really works.

IMG_3313
Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Good amount of spice, really good pizza

IMG_3315

Loaded Pizza

This pizza was good, but overshadowed by the other 2 because they were so good. Plenty of sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers.

IMG_3322

Megan being …… an owl?

Jeff Cozzens, CEO, runs the place with his brothers. Very approachable, and was seen interacting with all customers, not just us. He was a great guy, and spoke with us and others about the beers, and how they came to be.

IMG_3319

Meg, Mark, Andrew & Jamie

IMG_3298
Want to visit?

Newburyport Brewing Company, Newburyport, Mass- visit 41

Newburyport Brewing Company, located in Newburyport, Massachusetts has been open since 2012. It was the idea of Chris Webb & Bill Fisher, locals who like beer and great music. It is located in an industrial park and is fairly easy to find. The outside of the building is very distinctive.

100_1238

Their tasting room is more than just a tasting room- you get the feeling that it is a place to go and hangout. Bill and Chris’s 8-piece funk band plays there, as well as other local bands. You can go in and have a tasting, or a pint. It is a nice, big room with a twelve seat bar, and two-twelve seat tables as well as a Foosball table, as well as plenty of space for their live music.

 

Our tasting:

100_1239

The Signature Beers

Plum Island Belgian White: good, citrus-y, with coriander. Unfiltered witbier. 5.4% alc

Newburyport Pale Ale: hoppier than a typical pale ale… almost an IPA. Slightly citrus-y with a light toasted sweet malt finish. I wasn’t feeling the hoppiness when we went- just one of those days. Mark enjoyed the hoppiness 5.5% alc

GreenHead IPA: a West Coast style IPA. Almost a double IPA 7.2% alc

On Rotation at the Time

Double IPA: almost has a candy/chocolaty/sweet caramel feel

Joppa Stout (1635): great mocha smell. Easy to drink stout. We went home with a growler of this

Mark enjoyed all of the beers, with the Plum Island Belgian White being his favorite. He enjoyed the Double IPA for the different flavor, but wasn’t sure how much he would be able to drink. Mark didn’t have a beer he disliked. I, on the other hand, was not in the hoppy mood.

The brewery only cans and kegs and started distributing about 8 months ago. They choose to use aluminum cans instead of glass bottles, for many reasons. Aluminum keeps the beer cooler longer, and can naturally protect beer from light and oxygen. Aluminum is more likely to be recycled than glass, and is easier to do so. 

The tastings are free (which is great for the amount that you get!!), and once you find one you enjoy you are encouraged to buy a pint and hang out. It is a very welcoming place and we would love to go back.

Oh, one other thing. They have really cute sweatshirts- with their logo as seen on the building. The last of the women’s sweatshirt, with the small logo across the front was purchased while we were there. It was cute, and didn’t scream BEER unless you were in the know 🙂 If we are able to go there again, one of those zippered sweatshirts will be going home with me.

Want to visit? 
Hours:
Thursday & Friday: 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday: 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tours: Fri & Sat at 5:00pm

 

Jewell Town Vineyard, South Hampton NH #44 (a little out of order)

100_1281We recently visited Jewell Towne Vineyard. We decided it was a great idea to go out during a snow storm, which in a way was true. Not that fun to get there (for me, although luckily Mark drove) but once we found Jewell Towne, we were the only ones there. We had just missed two car loads of people. IMG_0269
Jewell Towne is located in South Hampton, New Hampshire and is very close to the Massachusetts border. We were in New Hampshire, and drove through Massachusetts to get there. It is a little difficult to find, so pay attention to their directions as found on their website.100_1280  100_1279   100_1283  100_1282

Time Line:
1982- owners Peter and Brenda planed six grapevines
1990- Jewell Towne was established
1994- Jewell Towne Vineyards became a licensed commercial winery
1998- the winery was built, a 18th century reproduction

Facts:

  • Since they began, Peter has helped other wineries become established in the area, offering his knowledge of viticulture. Peter leads the way for the wine industry for New Hampshire. Peter has also helped with legislation in regards to the the winery industry.
  • Jewell Town is New Hampshire’s oldest winery
  • They have won over 150 medals in national and international competitions
  • Their upstairs art gallery features local artists, as well as Brenda’s work
  • They produce 6 thousand cases of wine every year
  • Their wine can be found in over 150 stores and restaurants in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as at many Farmer’s Markets (Portsmouth, Concord, Greenland, Newburyport, Middleton and Gloucester)
  • Their tours as well as their tastings are FREE
  • You won’t find other fruits here- they produce only traditional style wines
  • They currently have 5 acres of grapevines
  • Many grapes they use are grown there, but some are contracted in (due to climate)

100_1287   
IMG_0270 IMG_0274
100_1284

IMG_0271the tasting bar

Our tasting:

Not all wines are open at once. They have a dry-erase board with their current offerings, and you may choose 6IMG_0272

Aurore: hints of green apple, dry

Riesling: hints of honey and orange

Seyval 2012: “off dry” description fit well. Not too fruity, good plum flavor

Vignoles 2012: honey and lemon flavor. Off dry

Traminette: relative of Gewurztraminer. Had a touch of sweetness to it

Steuben: sweet rose with flavors of ripe strawberry and fresh pineapple. yum!

Leon Millot: smooth, off-dry. Light red wine with cherry and black raspberry flavors.

Sparkling Marechal Foch: unintentional (sparkling) wine. Festive flavor. Good for sangria.

Rhapsody in Blue: ice wine. Strong hints of honey. yum!

Everyone there was very friendly. The two women who were working in the tasting room, as well as Peter. It was one of the women’s first day there, but it didn’t show. All were very knowledgeable and friendly. Jewell Towne Vineyard would be a good place to go for those who know their wine, as well as those that are new to wine.

100_1295  100_1294  100_1292

Want to visit?
Hours of Operation: 
11am – 4pm Wednesday through Friday
11am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday
Be sure to visit their website before you plan your visit
so you don’t get lost!

 

Our 40th Visit!! Walpole Mountain View, Walpole NH

100_1196
100_1197

We visited Walpole Mountain View Winery in mid December, which waiting for a snowstorm to set in. Walpole Mountain View Winery is located in Walpole, New Hampshire. We became slightly lost on the way there thanks to our GPS, but were able to get there in one piece. Definitely a food day to test out how my fairly new tires handled the snow covered roads.  100_1181 100_1182
When we pulled up to Walpole Mountain View Winery, we thought it looked very pretty, all dressed up for Christmas. When we entered, we were greeted by David, who introduced us to the Winery. The tasting room has a bar along the right side, and many bar height tables, with comfortable chairs to sit in to have your tasting. 100_1195 the menu100_1194David showed us the wine list, had us pick a glass (stemless or traditional), and told us to pick out 6 wines each. The wine list was extensive, but was easy to view. It was a two sided menu, with dry wines on one side and sweeter (greater than 1% residual sugar) on the other side. They were then listed by dryness or sweetness level. Once we picked out our six, David brought us to a different room to view a short video tour.

Walpole Mountain View Winery Facts:

  • Family run winery, with each member taking part
  • 2000- they began to think about the land (rolling hills, wind and sun) and how located elsewhere, it would be great as a vineyard. They started to look into grape varieties that would work for them
  • 2004- they started to plant the grapes
  • 2009- made their 1st wine
  • They currently operate on 5 acres, with 32 varieties of grapes, producing 28 wines. 4 varieties of grapes they grow are table grapes.
  • They are one of the few estate wineries in New Hampshire. An estate winery is when all grapes used in their wine comes from their property
  • March of every year brings pruning
  • Harvest is mid-September to October
  • Autumn–> Spring= wine production time
  • All grapes are hand picked
  • They add oak chips during some red wine fermentation
  • They strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible

When we finished our video tour, we went out to the deck area to see that setup. The deck area had 3 long, bar height tables with stools. Overhead heat lamps were set up, making the room good for most weather, although too cold for that particular day. 100_1183 Mark, testing the heating lamps  100_1185  100_1188  100_1184 100_1187 View from the deck area

We then went back to the tasting room, where Alysa had put together our tasting trays. David brought them over to us and instructed us on how to properly complete the tasting.

100_1189 My tasting tray

100_1191 the tasting table set up

Our tasting:

La Crosse: white varietal ’11. Oak aftertaste. Only oaked white in ’11. Crisp, warm tart flavor, slight lingering flavor.

Barnett Hill White: plum nose. Easy mouth. White blend, 2012

Seyval Blanc: white varietal, 2012. nose- honey/mead like. “Slowly tart,” a great description- not quite tart. Unfiltered

Marquette ’10: great red, tart and fig. Bold. Would enjoy with a steak dinner.

La Crescent ’12: Sweet with a tartness. Sweet apple and pear with a slight citrus flavor. Unfiltered, white varietal.

Frontenac Gris: white varietal, 2012. Mark said that Kiwi flavor was a good description, smooth also makes sense. Unfiltered.

Leon Millet ’11: off dry red. Nose- cranberry, cocoa, molasses, jam. Mouth- dry, maple, cherry. Yum & great nose! We really enjoyed this one!

1761 Walpole Red: red/white blend. Good nose- peppery. Fruity but not sweet, with a slight spicy tingle.

Mountain View Red: red/white blend, 2012. Raisin with a hint of chili pepper. Fruity taste, but not too sweet. Bolder.

Marquette ’11: red, roasted red pepper. Chili powder with a slight mushroom nose. Berry, cherry and bold.

La Crescent “Late Harvest”: 75% 2009, 25% 2010. Peach & Citrus. Notes of melon. Very sweet and tasty dessert wine.

Cayuga White “Late Harvest”: tropical like; dessert wine

We had a great experience at the Walpole Mountain View Winery. David was very friendly, and made us feel very comfortable.
The set up was interesting, in a good way. We liked that you sat down, chose your wines to taste and went to watch the video tour before coming back to enjoy the tasting. This not only made for a good experience for us, but we can envision this set up working very well during high traffic times.

Want to visit? They are currently closed for the winter, and typically reopen Memorial Day weekend. 

2013 Hours (check their website and facebook for 2014)

Memorial Day- Halloween
Fridays 5-7p
Saturdays: 12-6p
Sundays: 1-6p

November 1st-Late December
Fridays 4-6p
Saturdays: 12-5p
Sundays: 1-5p

Martha’s Exchange, Nashua NH

100_0856We went to Martha’s Exchange  located in Nashua, NH for a quick bite after going to Anheuser- Busch in Merrimack, NH with Jason and Maureen. It was relatively close by, so going there for food made a lot of sense. Seeing that it was a brewpub, we had to try some beer while we were there. It was a nice fall afternoon, so we took advantage of the weather and sat outside. The outside seating area was part sidewalk, part in an alleyway.100_0859 The inside seating areas all had white linen tablecloths.

100_0857Prior to ordering, we noticed a sign on the table that said that some appetizers were half price and drinks were buy one get one for a penny until six pm. We asked if the sampler was included in the B1G1, and the waitress thought so, so we ordered two- one for Jason and Maureen and one for Mark and I. We also ordered buffalo chicken fingers and nachos. We found out a few minutes later that the sampler was not included, but the glasses were 4 ounce pours, so that was ok.

100_0862  100_0864  100_0865

 

 

Our tasting:

Volstead 33′: good, familiart flavor. Someone commented that it reminded them of a Harpoon beer

Warriors Gold IPA: Whoa! Hoppy! Good flavor.

Maureen said it was too hoppy for her.

Jason and Mark enjoyed it, said it was fine, that it taste like beer.

 

Summers Sunset: spicy notes, ginger

Jason, Mark and I thought it was good

Maureen said it wasn’t too bad

 

Dr. Hoppenstein: a Double IPA. Good first taste, but I felt it had a medicine like finish.

 

20th Anninversary Old Ale: cinnamon, candied oranges and pears. Nice, flavorful, surprising.

Maureen didn’t like how it finished.

Jason, Mark and I enjoyed.

 

Oktoberfest Lager: typical tasting. Mark said it was alright.

Maureen liked it.

 

Revolution Red: Mark and Jason said it was alright. I thought it had a mediocre taste.

 

Steeplechase Porter: Jason gave it a thumbs up, Mark thought it was a light porter.

I thought it was a good porter.

Maureen thought it was disgusting.

 100_0866  100_0867  100_0868  100_0869 Where did our beer go?

After our tasting, we each ordered a drink. Maureen didn’t find a beer she liked, so she got a Washington State Riesling- Chateau ste Michelle Reisling. Jason, Mark and I all ordered the 20th Anniversary Old Ale (times 2!). 100_0874For the B1G1 for a penny deal, it was per person, not total across the check, so we had to enjoy more than one (with that Ale percentage, it was good that Maureen was driving us home!).

Our food:

100_0872  100_0873

Before heading out, Maureen and I stopped at the candy counter inside the restaurant. Yummy and a good addition to the meal.  100_0871Maureen


100_0870 Mark

Want to visit?

Hours of Operation:

Monday & Tuesday – 11am to 9pm
Wednesday – 11am to 9:30pm
Thursday – 11am to 11pm
Friday & Saturday – 11am to 1am
Sunday – 11am to 9:30pm

 

6th Annual Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival at Mount Snow in Dover, Vermont

100_0734Last weekend, Mark and I went to Vermont for the 6th Annual Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival, located at Mount Snow in Dover, Vermont.

We played tourists for the weekend, visited a couple of breweries and a winery, saw the beginning of fall foliage and went camping. 100_0741
100_0605  100_0607

We started our weekend early, heading over Friday morning. We arrived around 1pm, and started our weekend off with a quick chat and tasting at Northshire Brewing. Look here next week for a review and photos! We followed the beer with more beer (and lunch) at Madison Brewing Company, a brewpub. Look here next week for a review and photos!

We then checked into the campground, and went out on the pond for a little bit. 100_0653  100_0646 We followed paddle-boating with a dinner cooked over the fire and watched the fire glow… 100_0654  100_0672 100_0684  100_0683  100_0682

The next morning, Saturday, was the day of the 6th Annual Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival. After making a quick breakfast of bagels toasted over the fire, we set off for a fun and alcohol filled day.

When we arrived at Mount Snow, we (at first) went the wrong way. Although our GPS was giving us the correct directions, even once we were on the Mount Snow property, we tried to follow the signs to determine where to park. Unfortunately, it was a breezy day, and some of the signs had turned around, misdirecting us. Luckily, the hotel valet directed us the correct way (as our GPS had been telling us to do haha). 100_0717After we found parking, we checked in and proceeded to have our IDs checked. After receiving our “over 21” bracelets and a stamp stating we had paid, we proceeded to get our wine glasses, grab bags and 3 tasting tickets a piece.100_0718  100_0729

We decided to walk around the two large tents before really stopping to taste anything. There were wineries, cider, cheese farms, and distilleries, places sampling jam, pickles and candy…

Oh, a note on the tastes. Each taste cost 1 ticket. A size of a taste varied table to table, some saying it was 1 ticket per pour, others 1 for all they were offering, and others, 2 tickets for all that they were offering. We were not able to try all of the wineries, but were able to try most and didn’t spend too too much on extra tickets (about $13).

Many of our stops at the festival:

Grafton Village Cheese:

We tried:

  • 3 year cheddar (bought)
  • 5 year cheddar
  • Maple Smoked Cheddar (very dry, but good!)
  • Leyden- English style cheese. Really good!

All of their cheese was very delicious! Would have loved to go home with more- will look into buying at least another block next time we are in Vermont. One of the really great things about the Grafton Village Cheese table, besides all of the delicious cheese, is that although this was one of the first tables we went to, they remembered us at the end of our day, when we went back to make a purchase. Something as small as that gesture of remembering really helps make a difference.

Newhall Maple Syrup:

Woodfired, grade A maple syrup

Really good, nice, sweet and thick

Newhall also made a cider, and had it paired with two other small orchards for a tasting:

we tried them in the following order, from lowest to highest in both alcohol and acidity

  • Windfall Orchards Ice Cider- 30 different varieties of apples go into the making of. 9% ABV. Great with dessert or cheese
  • Eden Heirloom Blend-10 different varieties of apples, 10% ABV. Goes well with dried meats
  • Newhall Ice Cider-Won a double gold metal. 12% ABV.

We both liked all three, for different reasons. Each one was unique.

Caledonia Spirits and Winery

All products are made from honey

I was very excited about this brand, due in part to the “Barr” name of two of their products.

Our tasting:

  • Barr Hill Vodka- not harsh, slight honey flavor
  • Barr Hill Gin- honey more powerful here. A sipping gin. Although I am not a gin drinker, i enjoyed this.
  • Elderberry Cordial- really good! Would be great as an after dinner drink or mixed with Prosecco 100_0722  100_0719  100_0721  100_0720

Whistlepig Straight Rye Whiskey

100 proof. Highest rated whiskey, 96 points. Good taste, but pricey. I found out after the festival that Whistlepig is not made in Vemont as we were made to think (all the others were Vermont made). I was disappointed in this. I did, however, find out that the distiller who makes this used to work for Maker’s Mark, which could be why I enjoyed it.

Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company

Tried:

  • Lille- thicker than Brie. Really good! Great flavor
  • Governor’s Cheddar- good, dry cheddar

Mad River Distillers

  • Maple Finish Rum- tastes like whiskey to me (which in later discussions with a distiller I know, I found was actually the oak barrel taste that I associate with whiskey). The maple syrup is aged in bourbon barrels.Good flavor
  • First Run Rum- good mixer
  • Chocolate Rye- nice, spiced, smooth100_0723

Vermont Distillers

  • Metcalf’s Raspberry Liqueur- good, tastes like raspberry jam. Would be great added to other drinks, or even a splash in sprite
  • Metcalf’s Vermont Maple Liqueur- Really good. Mark said it could be his new skiing coffee mixer.

 

100_0724 100_0761 We stopped by their tasting room at Hogback Mountain Scenic Overlook on the ride home, but they were not present. We assumed their staff was at the festival.

Vermont Spirits

  • Vermont Gold Vodka- not too much of a burn. Distilled from maple syrup.
  • No 14 Bourbon Whiskey- Mark really liked; they suggested adding water to a glass of whiskey to make the flavors open up

Mother Myrik’s Confectionary

Had their Buttercrunch to sample. Really delicious! It is handmade and made with Cabot Creamery butter.

 

Saxtons River Distillery

  • Vermont Maple Liqueur- good, although somewhat harsh going down
  • Vermont Maple Bourbon Whiskey- Mark tried, he said it was good, but “weird” because the maple flavor is different
  • Perc Coffee Liqueur- tastes just like coffee

Comment made by Mark:

“There’s a lot of maple and cider stuff in Vermont.”

Everywhere we looked, there was maple flavored stuff or cider!

Shelburne Vineyard

Tasting:

  • Louise Swenson- driest of the whites. Not too dry, it had a nice pucker to it
  • Riesling- Mark “that’s good.” Me- dry Riesling, not typical for me.
  • Lakeview White- semidry blend
  • Marquette- dry red. Hybrid grape with pinot noir. I actually liked this one, which surprised me. Mark also enjoyed.
  • Harvest Widows Revenge- semisweet red. Best served chilled. Mark and I really enjoyed.

100_0727  100_0726  100_0725

North Branch Vineyard

Tasting:

  • Frontenac Gris- dry white. Nice flavor to it, white peach and citrus. Liked it!
  • Miss Maeve- red raspberries. Not strong raspberry flavor, dry rose. Not sweet like you would expect.
  • Traminette- semidry. Similar to a dry Riesling. Rose petal and grapefruit. Mark liked.
  • Lacrescent- semisweet. Intense sweet apricot. Liked it, it is a different flavor
  • Marquette- oaked. Dry, black pepper and cherries. Like it, sweet, although it doesn’t intend to be.
  • Marechal Foch- dry blackberries. We both actually enjoyed this wine, although we tend to not like dry wines (guess our tastes are changing!)

Comment by Mark:

“I think we’re spoiled by Lukes.”

Lukes Liquors, located on the South Shore of Massachusetts in Rockland, hosting a wine tasting twice a year. The cost is $5, and for that price you get a wine glass, booklet, pen, small bites, and the opportunity to taste more than 100 different wineries.

Fresh Tracks Farm

We had to pick 3 each to try

  • American White- Mark tried, it was alright
  • Vermont Rose- I tried, it was ok
  • Vermont Apple Wine- semidry, juicy apple juice front. Refreshing finish. Good apple wine- you don’t see many apple wines that aren’t ice wines, so it makes it to be a more affordable way to enjoy
  • 2011 La Crescent- Mark enjoyed, and later went back for a larger sample (1 ticket for a larger pour)
  • 2011 Frontenac Gris- I tried and really enjoyed. Good amount of sweetness. I went back for a larger sample later.

Crowley Cheese

Had to try this cheese due to it being a family name.

  • Unusually Sharp- soooo good!
  • Chive- really good!

Yum! Understood the high prices, but would have purchased if it were less expensive for what they had left when we got there100_0638 100_0730

Whetstone Ciderworks

Told us their ciders were as “dry as any other cider on the market” and “a food friendly product.”

Our tasting:

  • Orchard Queen- dry, crisp, refreshing
  • Barnyard Blend- more rustic, English Farmhouse style. I enjoyed this one more than the Orchard Queen
  • Orchard King- most carbonated of all. Mark enjoyed
  • Whetstone Reserve- a different flavor. Mark enjoyed

Grandview Winery

Our tasting:

  • Pear Wine- Eastern States Wine Convention “double gold” and “best in show.” We both thought it was really good
  • Cranberry Wine- Ok, have had other cranberry wines that I have enjoyed more (such as those from Plymouth MA!)
  • Mac Jack Hard Cider- fresh grown Vermont apples, carbonated
  • Strawberry Rhubarb- nose picks up strawberry, then mouth picks up rhubarb
  • Raspberry Apple Wine- great nose. Nice and refreshing. Great combination. This is the bottle we left with, which was enjoyed with our Grafton Village 3 year Cheddar Cheese by the campfire.

On Sunday, we packed up and set off towards home mid-morning, making a stop on the way at Honora Winery. Look for that post soon!

Want to go to the 7th Annual Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival? Look here for more information as the time gets closer.

Due to the nature of our visit (it being a festival), there is not a huge amount of detail for many of the wineries. Since it was a festival, they are all still on our list to visit.

 

100_0732  100_0731