Sunday, July 26, 2020



Three years ago, I would never have thought that "Hazy" beers would have continued to make an impact in the beer market. I thought it was going to be another trend and go away slowly over the course of the following couple of years. hasn't! Not only has it not gone away, but it's redefining what IPAs are capable of doing. It's attracting non-IPA drinkers and mesmerizing regular hop-heads with either yays or nays. One thing it's done, is expand the beer market for everyone. 

In March of 2017, my wife and I took a long weekend trip to Cannon Beach on the coast of Oregon. Our weekend was full of geocaching, sight-seeing and romantic dinners. As we returned home that Sunday, we stopped in Astoria for a tour of the Column, a 125 foot column with 164 steps to ascend to the top. On regular days you can see for miles. Even out to the ocean and across the Columbia River to the Washington side. This day was different. We were socked in! I mean thick fog. You couldn't see more than a few hundred feet. So we chose to find the two geocaches near the column ( GC1901 / GC6BEQZ ). 

Now that that was done, we checked our smart devices to figure out if there was a good burger joint that was open on sundays. None! But the local brewery was! We drove down the hill into the center of town and found the Fort George Brewery in an old manufacturing building. We sat at the bar and ordered a flight! This flight had something called the 2017 Beta IPA in it. Another Hazy being prepped for summer, I thought! No! This was "One" of the beta versions of a 3-way collaboration that Fort George draws together every year. This one was being produced by Fort George Brewing, Great Notion Brewing and Seattle's own Reuben's Brews in Ballard. It was spectacular!! Absolutely stunning! Full of life bouncing from one side of my mouth to the other and up and down and with a massive tropical fruit finish. HOLY SHIT, was that a good beer!! 

Unfortunately for FG, the 2018 made by FG, Holy Mountain from Seattle and Modern Times Brewing, wasn't anywhere as interesting as the '17, still close and tasty beer. The 2019 was terrible. Unlike it's predecessors, it was almost 2-sided, meaning it didn't have really much to it, and most of the beer fans around me weren't impressed with it either. Not much lost! However...the 2020...WOW!! I still don't think it's as good as the 2017, but man does it put FG back on that "So looking forward to the 3-Way next year" map once again. The 2020 is a Collab. with Level Brewing and Structures Brewing. Using Chinook, Azacca, Citra and crazy amounts of Simcoe hops these three well-established brewers went to work producing a monster of a beer full of tropical fruit with hints of melon, pineapple and an orange-peel finish!! Such a great beer! I mean that..."GREAT BEER". For me, it ranks in my Top 3 for 2020 and Top 5 for the year. Easy. This beer is NOT found easily, but I've got a really good relationship with my beer guy! So, every time I see him, I always ask him politely if he would sell me a 4-pack. He usually says yes. 

The Fort George 3-Way IPA is usually released in early to mid-June and gone by end of July. Some places can get kegs of it well into August and September, but seldom to you see it beyond that. You won't find it east of Idaho either...too bad for them!! More beer for me. 😜

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


VIDEO: 11/17/2019
WRITE-UP: 12/04/2019

Woodford Reserve Distilleries really went after that fan of grainy bourbon with this one. They did it with one of the most basic of grains...Oats! And they did it well!! 

The 2018 Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Oat Grain Bourbon is really special. Special, in that everything about it exemplifies oats. From nose, to mid-palate all the way out to about 45 seconds after it's been swallowed. I got a rustic, earth and dark grainy apple sauce nose off the bat. I mean, don't get me wrong here...the oat was there for sure, but I tried to find something else other than just the grain and that overly ripened fruit was there. As for my partner-in-crime reviewer, at this point shall remain anonymous. Let's just call him "Timmy". Well, Timmy just got oat. Multiple layers of oat. However he did say that on the back palate, he noticed a slight light cigar action. After we shut down the video, we dug a big deep into what that cigar was like and we both agreed that it was more reminiscent of MACANUDO "Cafe" Cigars

Woodford got what they wanted on this one. A single grain bourbon with complex notes, a beautiful color, and an overall well made dram. 

Check out the video. It's our first. It's absolutely mess and comical. We're looking for a Title for our video blog. Our intention is review one or two spirits across the board every week and a LIVE Q & A once a month. We'd like your thoughts, suggestions, feedback and questions. 

Video: Samsung Galaxy S7 Phone
Sound: Samsung Galaxy S7 Phone
Stand/Tri-pod: a bottle of 750 ml. Tito's Vodka

Monday, September 16, 2019



Not often that I get blown away by a beer, let alone a beer in a can. I'm one to believe that beer on tap or in a growler is always best. It's freshest...and that's probably correct, but man did this beer stop me dead in my tracks. 

I get tons of new beers every year, every week from reps who want to sell me on the next best thing. I usually let Leif Erickson run through them either before me or after me or at the same time. One way or another, we're both plowing through them. This time, we didn't even get these cans as supplier samples. One of our reps came in, simply told us to get a case and when it came in, he went straight for it. Didn't even take an order!! Straight to the case, grabbed a 4 pack, ran to the registers, paid for it and came back to the beer department. Split-off 2 cans and handed Leif and I one and said, "You gotta try this!". 

Leif tried his immediately that night at home, came back in the next day and asked me if I had tried it. I told him I had so many others to try that I hadn't even put it in fridge. That day, Leif bought a 4-pack...a $22 four-pack. $22!!!!! Leif, doesn't spend that much on his girlfriend, let alone beer. That got my attention, but not enough to try it immediately that night. 

 Fort George Brewing Company makes some amazing beers. I first discovered them in March of 2017 when my wife and I took a long weekend to Cannon Beach in Oregon. As we were driving back home to Seattle, we stopped at the Brewery in Astoria, Oregon. That was the weekend they had an open-house and the release of the much anticipated 2017 3-Way IPA. That beer was good too!! Actually, I personally think it was the best 3-way yet. Anyway, Fort George Vortex IPA is definitely in my TOP 5 "GO-TO" IPA's of all time. Maybe I'll blog about those later, but for now...Skies of Wonder.

Last night, I told my wife that I was having a beer. I told her I'd be having a full 16 oz. Imperial. She was immediately intrigued as I don't usually have a whole beer. I usually take a few sips, micro-blog on Untappd, take a few photos and then dump the rest in the sink. Too many beers!! I cracked this beautifully designed 16 oz. can and started pouring it in my new "Mac & Jack" Pint glass. I immediately recognized the solid-looking froth creating this unmistaken head in the glass. It wasn't expanding beyond control, it wasn't inconsistent in tiny bubbles, it was really really well balanced and just perfect. The beer itself was golden with a tinge of lime green color and thick almost as if it wasn't filtered. I knew I was in for a meal. I immediately let out a "Woah!!" Nikki (Mrs. Winos) looked up from the football game on TV and asked if she could see. I walked it over to her, left hand with the glass, right hand with the can. I handed her the can knowing she couldn't have a drink cuz of work early in the morning. 😏😏. She looked at me and looked at the glass, handed me the can and took the glass. Looked at it and took a tiny sip...won't kill anyone. I believe that too. Her face lit up and she shook it, "Wow! That's good!". My turn...Sat down, beer in hand, Eagles in the 4th had just scored a 2-point conversion, I was good, I was ready to try it, but I was still looking at how perfect this head in the glass was. 

Screw the head...the smell was over-whelming of pineapple, citrusy sweet grapefruit, almost like lemon/orange sherbet or orange cream-sicle. The taste, was thick with citrus flavors, a full on blast of medium-bodied hops, "HOLY SHIT!!" I said, "Goddamn, that's a good beer!" It had this amazingly long finish that didn't stop, I could taste the fucker 45 seconds to a full minute later. Who cares if in the span of time it took me to drink it the Eagles had managed to lose the game to the Falcons! This beer had my attention! I picked up the phone and called Leif. "Dude, that fucking beer is a 5", I told him. He had no clue what I was talking about. Then, I told him what I had just tasted. He said, "Finally!" and "I fully agree!". I told him to get more. He said, that's all they had and that it was gone. I told him to get a keg...we'll see if that happens today (9/16/2019) That'll be an expensive pour, but shit, this beer's that good. 

Best beer this year for sure. I UntappD it at 5.0 Stars. I've never done that before. I'm SO looking forward to finding more from Fort George. First 3-Way, although the 2019 3-Way wasn't the best I've had, and now Skies of Wonder. What's next?!?

Thursday, September 5, 2019


(09/05/2019) AP 88 Pts. 

OK...I'm not looking for anything fancy, and I'm a bit repulsed by comments from people saying that I'm a wine snob!! Look what I'm drinking tonight!!!!!! It's Frontera! I had to look for a vintage! 

There's a good reason why I'm meddling with jug wine. That's because I'm looking for one. Three years ago, I carried Robert Mondavi 1.5 Liter bottles, and then they went to Constellation Brands and I said, "Bye-Bye!". Now I carry CK Mondavi and I'm feeling that they're getting a bit stale. So why not find something new before the holidays!?! 

I like it!! Actually, I'm on my second glass! I'M ON MY SECOND GLASS of this once considered "SHIT WINE!" I really kinda like it. I'm able to have 2 glasses. It's fruit forward, tastes like a Malbec and is BARGAIN for the large format price! Maybe the only thing it's missing is a bit of tannin, but shit....!!! What can you expect for a $14 large format bottle of wine. This wine is really good. I will ABSOLUTELY buy it!



While the wifey watches Opening Night NFL football and I sit back waiting for my dinner to reconstitute into an edible thing, I poured myself a class of the first random beer available to me in the refrigerator. That beer being the bright red can of Lagunitas Lagur. 

Being from the east coast, I may have already mention this, but still, being from the east coast, I do miss my Yuengling Lager. So...if this beer thinks it deserve

s the right to call itself a Lager., then it better taste like one. Actually, I'm a bit happy that they misspelled it. You don't spell Lager with a U!?!? 

The color in my glass, doesn't even look like a Lager's Lagur, maybe it looks like a Lagur, but how do I compare this Lager with Lagurs when I don't even know what type of Lager a Lagur is!!?!? Soooo, confusing!! First taste, blech!! Hopped up pee! Gross, the wifey says from the comfort of the couch. I mean, meh, it's not really what I'd consider a Lager's Lager. This is a Lagur's Lagur. It's light, and I could probably kick back three quarter's of a dozen in one sitting while watching my birds destroy the Giants, but man...there's WAY BETTER BEER I'd want to be drinking. 

So, not a poor attempt from one of the finest craft brewers in the country. Just not my style!! They can keep their Lagur

AP Rating: 76 Pts.

Sunday, August 25, 2019


AP 88 PTS (08/25/2019)

Last week I tasted a Mango Hefe from Golden Road Brewing that was not that bad. It was good enough for me to replace Schoffenhoffer Radler with. This week, I'm tasting Square Mile Rose Apple Cider and this is actually good enough to beat out ACE Pink Cider and replace Angry Orchard Rose Apple Cider. So, hmm, yep...that's what I'm going to do. 

There's something much more interesting about these two brands that is not known by many people. That is that they're both owned by Anheuser-Busch...or Budweiser...or Inbev...or the Belgians. Since Inbev has owned Budweiser, they've been on a tear to buy out anyone that wants that is greedy enough to sell-out for $10 million. Anyone!...from 10 Barrel, to Red Hook, to Elysian, Golden Road, Goose Island, and now Square Mile. At first I was repulsed by all this, but now I'm starting to open my eyes a bit and at least open-minded enough to give them a taste. So far, I've only found 2, out of about 20. 

This Square Mile cider is one to one and a half sided. It tastes like apples and has this zest of an apple cider, but it's also got this bright red rose feel to it mid to end of the palate. I actually dig this. It's refreshing and sure of itself and not sweet nor is it too dry. Right down the middle. If I can drink an entire 12 ounce bottle, then it's good enough for my guests. 


AP 88 PTS (08/25/2019)

My wife and I live 468 paces from our front door to the Rogue Ales Issaquah Alehouse just to the east of Seattle. 468 paces!! This makes us not only Rogue Nation citizens, but we're also Pint Club Members. So, we love our Rogue!! My go-to Rogue ale is the Outta Line IPA. It used to be the 7 Hop, but the Outta Line is a bit more on the crisp side. Just really well made. My wife is a fan of the Brutal IPA. A much darker IPA with a multi-layered finish. I was recently presented to a Rogue Paradise Pucker bottle. I know this product sells well in my store and I know it's got a local cult following, so I was excited to taste it. 

I've recently been interested in trying goses or sours or cysers or whatever you wanna call them! This Paradise Pucker isn't by any means the best I've ever had, but man is it quenching. Off the top, I get guava and orange and all throughout I get residuals of passionfruit and guava. Long, long tail end makes this sour, the kinda sour I won't just pour down the drain. So, if you want a refreshing sour that's not super complex or not the best that you've ever had but you just want something that's solid and exactly what it tells you it will be, this is the sour for you. 


AP 84 PTS (08/25/2019)

Living in the Seattle metro area, we are awarded to the great outdoors like no other place in America. Lush green forests, big wide oceans, peaks up to the top of volcanos to ridge-lines that span for miles and miles. One of those hikes is Mailbox Peak. Just 35 minutes east of Seattle in the foothills of the cascades. Mailbox 4,822 feet above sea level. It's a tough climb. Kick-your-butt climb...and it used to be harder, kick-you-ass climb with a final 1/4 mile scramble straight up. I've climbed Mailbox twice and both times got my ass handed to me by the mountain. What's this have to do with this beer? Well....

I've never been a real big fan of Snoqualmie Brewing. All their beer tastes the same. Recently my good friend Fezz started working there and I started hearing really positive things about what the new owners at Snoqualmie have been intending to do or have begun to do. New canning line-up, a hazy, events...I mean, really putting time and effort into this brewery. Awesome!! I asked Fezzie if he could bring me something interesting that Snoqualmie was currently making. His eyes popped wide open! This is because he's known that I'm not a fan of the brewery and that I wouldn't carry their products, so when I asked for something new from them, all Fezzie saw was an opportunity. 

Fezz brought me the Snoqualmie Brewing Mailbox Peak Hazy IPA. Just like the mountain near this brewery, this beer was a kick-in-the-butt. All it's trying to do is kick me in my ass! It's totally one sided and all you get is a frozen hop mash. On the flip side, they've managed to make it hazy. Which should help with the sales cuz I'm still not buying it. 


AP 94 PTS ( 08/24/2019 )

Not every day we get to pop into a true french Champagne. Well...that's not true! We do this more often than most people. But actually bust into one for reasons other that sampling or reviewing...not often. 

Last night, we were invited over for dinner at Powerpop and the Chewie abode. Where Mr. Pop and I had planned to drink an entire bottle of Elmer T. Lee. It was a special occasion. We found out we were new soon-to-be parents and Mr. and Mrs. Pop had just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and bought a house in the center of Issaquah just across the street from our apartment. Good occasion for a good red wine, a good champagne and a great bourbon. 

I wasn't quite sure of this champagne and being that I'm quite particular to specific Champagne, i.e. Moutard, Bollinger, Pol Roger, Louis Roederer Brut Vintage, and Laurent-Perrier. I've had a bad experience in the past with Moet and Gosset, so something new was on my mind. 

We popped it and poured it. It had very rapid ascending tiny bubbles that Nikki noticed immediately. The nose was of the white lemon pulp that sits between the rind and the actual lemon itself. The mouth, oh boy the mouth. I'll remember what it felt like for a bit of time. It wasn't super fizzy where it would sting the tip of your nose. It was super smooth and easy to get into. Not super earthy, nor was it extremely aciditic. Very well rounded and balanced. This wine is FAR BETTER than Veuve. Which I strongly believe that every time you buy one of those bottles, the orange label gets more orange. You're literally paying for the label on that bottle. A waste of money. This Nominé-Renard...I will carry this. As soon as I'm back in at work, I'll look to see who carries it so that I can order it this week. Nice Wine! 

Friday, August 16, 2019


AP 90 PTS (8/15/2019)
Well, Leif Erikson and I had a pretty good day. Got a lot done. From beer, to wine, to cider, back to beer, some growlers, liquor, a tasting in the middle and back to beer, wine and spirits. A good day overall. By the end of the day, I had almost forgotten about some wine that needed to be tasted. I had this bottle of Alsacian Pinot Gris ready to be cracked into. 

Alsace: Alsace produces some incredible elligant traditional Pinot Gris' , Rieslings and Gewurtztraminers in the world. Nestled along the western banks of the Rhine River in the northeastern most corner of France, right along the German border, are rolling hills of lush green grapevines. These wines are so perfect that there's no spiciness in the Gris and not bitterness in the wurtz. Just "true                                                                                  grape" wines. 

I finally get home and dig into the 2017 Pinot Gris by Lucien Albrecht (Cuvee Romanus). A quick flick of the screw-cap and into a stemless it goes. On the nose is a very light lemon smell with something reminiscent to Lemon Pound Cake batter. Yep, took me a minute to figure that one out, but that's really exactly what I get. Now I'm really looking forward to this glass of wine!! That's almost exactly what I get on the whirl. Lemon Pound Cake Batter with a very slight oak spice finish. I really like this wine. The labels on these wines from Alsace never do them justice. Therefore, I encourage anyone reading this to pick up a bottle of a Pinot Gris from Alsace!! Just try it!! Well worth it, I think!.