Friday, February 10, 2017

Tieton Cider Works Wild Wash. Apple Cider & NRV A Guardrail Cache

I guess we can start with the geocache this time, because I'll be honest with you, the cider was interesting at best.

GC2P5MY: NRV A Guardrail Cache. So apparently this is an easy guardrail cache to find. The hint says magnetic and it was found about 20 times in late September during the quarterly cache machine. Of course, the only person who didn't find it was TravisL, the organizer to the cache machine. LOL. I find this ironic. I still have not found this cache, but I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty by sticking them in the nooks and crannies of this barrier. We'll see how difficult it's 4 star rating really is. The Cache location is surrounded by apple orchards and in the Yakima area. This is the connection to the cider I will review next.

Segway Tieton Cider Works Wild Washington Apple Cider...

After tasting a really nice apple cider from the UK, my wife and I decided to try something a little bit
closer to home. A Washington apple cider, because what is Washington known for other than Starbucks and Microsoft? Apples. Tieton Cider Works has been around for several years and it just recently went through a well deserved packaging redesign that shot it straight into the 21st century. I'll be honest, the old label was retro 1988 or so.

I was super excited to get to taste this cider and after having such a great experience with the last cider we tasted, I was anticipating a similar experience with this one. After all, it is from our backyard. We cracked open the bottle and I poured 6 ounces into my glass and 6 ounces into my wife's glass. Her immediate thought was, "hmmmm, a lot lighter in color than the other one." I noticed this too and proceeded to smell it. "Not much", I thought. Then we both dug in. "Not much on the palate, either" we both remarked. Maybe it was just a bit shocked from being opened? It wasn't cold because if you taste white wines and ciders at room temperatures, you have the ability to taste flaws. This cider was just bland. We really didn't expect it to be so one sided. From the nose to the front of the palate, mid palate to the end there
was nothing there. Except for a sharp dry finish that still seemed a bit weak. Tasted like a lightly flavored sparkling apple water. Disappointed is what we were. Loved the package and the new label, stoked to finally taste it, hoping it would destroy the previous imported cider and in the end, it did nothing. Not one thing. I will not recommend this in the future and I may not even carry it in my store. I hope next year they find a new recipe. 84pts. AP 2/10/2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thistly Cider: Traditional & Cam Fife's Hole-In-One

I've been meaning to write more about beer, wine, spirits and ciders for the past year, but since my two hobbies; wine and geocaching take up most of my time, it's been hard to take 15 minutes and just type away. Tonight I had an idea. Why don't I parallel a product I'd like to review with a specific geocache I have found or have not found. Why not?!? If this works then great, if not then oh well! For those of you who do not know what geocaching is, it's simple. People hide lock-n-locks or ammo cans in the wilderness, set GPS coordinates into the Geocaching.com website, a volunteer publishes the cache and it's a race to find it by thousands of people. It's fun and free.

Onto the cider: Thistly Cider Traditional from Scotland. They don't only make whiskey there, they also make cider and this one is good. My first inkling into this was that it was going to be dry, but that's not the case. It's lush with what I'd describe as ripe red skinned apples...Gala apples comes to mind. A juicy apple in a simple pint glass. From front to mid palate the cider kicks with ripeness, the back palate as I swallow it is still intense but with a mild apple pie burning of the edges style. Its not one sided, but then again it's not complex. This is a VERY GOOD example of what a good red apple cider should taste like. I like it. 93pt. AP-2/19/17 (6.2% ABV)

Segway to the geocache. An apple related cache at that...

Cam Fife's Hole-In-One: GC4X2Q hidden by Medicrncen in Wenatchee Washington just down the street from Stemiltt's Gala Apple Yard. Such a great cache. This is actually built and designed by Mr. Gadget #2 for Medicrncen and it's not the only one in the area like this. There's an even bigger one up the road. So, if you're in the mood for a Gadget quasi field puzzle with all the necessary TOTT (Tools of the Trade) on the GZ (Ground Zero), this is a must for anyone visiting Wenatchee. Hint: Hand-eye coordination is needed with the ball and the popsicle sticks and the shaft. Good luck.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Northwest Brewing Company: Mango Weizen

Northwest Brewing Company used to be known to the rest of this local as the Laughing Buddha Brewing company. Now it's got a plain and simple name to it. I'm not really sure if that will work with all it's interesting beer recipe concepts. They're got 2 IPAs, 1 Mango IPA, 1 red pepper IPA and a Ginger IPA, which was what the Laughing Buddha was known for.

Not sure if this is normal, but I'm spotting a large amount of medium sized sediment in the bottom of my glass. I'll try it now (1/24/2017) and try to review it, but if this is really a problem I'll update this review next month. So, I'm not getting too much mango off this beer. It's really not repulsive. If you're expecting a quasi Ballast Point Grapefruit style mango beer with this, you're not going to get it. It's incredibly smooth and has a nice slight bitterness that a light wheat beer would give you, except that I don't feel or really taste the mango. I'm expecting mango. Here....mango, mango, mango. No mango. Maybe I got a bad bottle!?! Interesting beer to say the least. AP Rating: 83pts. 1/24/2017

Northwest Brewing Company: Hoppy Bitch IPA

I sure love coming home to a good "Hoppy Bitch" after work, but I must admit that this IPA wasn't as easy to drink as it's counterpart the "Road Trip IPA" from the same producer.

Northwest Brewing Company used to be known to the rest of this local as the Laughing Buddha Brewing company. Now it's got a plain and simple name to it. I'm not really sure if that will work with all it's interesting beer recipe concepts. They're got 2 IPAs, 1 Mango IPA, 1 red pepper IPA and a Ginger IPA, which was what the Laughing Buddha was known for.

I wasn't a really big fan of this and it didn't really make much of an impact to my palate as the Road Trip did, but I'll give it respectable numbers. AP Rating 87pt. 01/24/2017

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Base Camp Brewing: In-Tents IPL

Coming from the east coast, I pretty much grew up on lagers. Back in the day, I'd usually be drinking Yuengling Lager, Sam Adams Boston Lager or Old Dominion Lager. Up until 8 years ago, the lagers dominated the Pale Ales. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Victory's Hop Devil IPA were really the only impressionable IPAs on the market.

It wasn't until I moved to Seattle that I realized IPAs where my type of beers. There were so many to choose from and believe me, I tried a lot of them. Then I realized that there weren't really any local "Lager" breweries. I only knew of one. Until last year.

Last year, I discovered Base Camp from Portland, Oregon. The Base Camp In-Tents IPL's bottle stood out like a sore thumb next to the traditional 22 ounce glass bottles. The Base Camp In-Tents IPL is a 22 ounce aluminum bottle. Tall and busy!! When I first tasted this, I was worried that it would give off this metal taste that most Bud, Miller, Heineken and Coors products give off. That didn't happen. This beer smacked me in the face and reminded me that Lager was cool again. Very well balanced malt and hops and so light that you can drink 3 to the one high alcohol content IPAs that are produced in this area of the world. This beer ended up being so popular, that the distributors couldn't keep it in stock and I can't blame them! Who wouldn't want to go camping or hiking with a killer 22 ounce aluminum bottle of IPL, especially this one!! AP Rating 90pt. 11/17/2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Domaine Pichot Vouvray 2014

My friend Jared doesn't like red wine. Jared likes cider, PBR, Coors Light, Vino Verdhé and believe it or not, Vouvray!?! Not just any Vouvray, french Vouvray. Vouvray is actually a small town in the center of France. About 180 km south of Paris. Vouvray (the Town) is known for it's amazing chateaus and it's delicate white wine made from Chenin Blanc. This wine tends to be semi-dry or in the words of the french demi-sec. The wine also has this sort of gnarly sweet tone derived from the particular time of harvest, the geographical direction in which the vines face and the natural acidic value of the grape itself.

As we were walking through the wine aisle at our local specialty grocery store, I spontaneously found 2 bottles of Vouvray staring me down. One was a 2012 at a price of 20 bones and the other one was this 2014 Domaine Pichot at $17. I looked at Jared and said, "hmmm, We're gonna do steak and Vouvray!". Not really the thing to do, pair a dry demi with a steak, but I know we'd enjoy it. SOLD!!

Chilled wine, steaks ready, wife home, time to pop the Vouvray. The nose was pleasant and unoffensive with some very light tones of honeydew, apple and that musky hard honey sense. The color was a subtle very light  yellow expected from Chenin Blanc. Then we tasted it...I'm not sure if it's just me, but are French, Italian and the rest of the old world wine producers making wine specifically for the American palate or did we just pick a wine that's simply too young to drink?!? I'm hoping the latter. This 2014 Vouvray was far too sweet for the steak!! It was amazingly silky, and that's a good thing, but it was like drinking a dessert wine. Not what we expected. Perfectly drinkable for after dinner. That's what ended up happening, we finished it after dinner where it was a lot more enjoyable. Perfectly paired with soft french cheese and my wife's apple crisp. AP 89 Points $17

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Gilgamesh Brewing Co. Ridgeway IPA

I recently got the opportunity to taste the Gilgamesh Brewing Ridgeway IPA. I wasn't really sure what to expect and I had just gone through 4 or 5 other IPAs from the Bend Oregon area. My mouth was a bit shot, but I found a few BBQ Pork sliders and cleared up my palate. I had never heard of this brewery prior to this tasting, but after an hour or so talking to other beer and wine buyers, the name Ridgeway IPA kept popping up. "Great medium hopped IPA!" was what kept coming up. So when I reached their table, I didn't hesitate to ask for it.

When it comes to medium palate IPAs, I'm a huge fan of Uintas Hop Nosh IPA. The Hop Nosh IPA is mellow and unoffensive, yet has this mild bite that leaves it's mark. I truly love that beer and it's become my "go-to" mild IPA...until now!!!! The Ridgeway IPA is exactly that, a mild IPA that's not forceful, yet has that kick without leaving a mark. A perfect football and beer IPA. I just hope to see it in some sort of six-pack in the future. This is a must try!! AP Rating: 92 points 11/04/15