Author Archive

Mmmmm….Bacon vodka. Wait, what?!

- October 17th, 2012

bakon_bottle_mary_small
Who doesn’t love bacon?

In principle, that’s a hard bit of logic with which to find fault.

But even as a self-professed bacon aficionado, I struggled with the idea of the new bacon-infused offering that made its appearance at the Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival, which ran Oct. 12 – 13.

Bakon Vodka, courtesy of Seattle-based Black Rock Spirits, quite genuinely tastes like bacon.

At the suggestion of Black Rock’s vendors, I opted for their signature recipe with the meaty libation — a Bacon Caesar.

It was certainly … baconey.

While concoction has earned rave reviews, including a gold medal and a 92-point score by the Beverage Testing Institute’s International Review of Spirits in 2010, I found it difficult to enjoy the drink with the overwhelming, smokey taste on my palate.

Of course we live in an age in which bacon has invaded pastry, condiments, ice cream, and now booze.

But, it is worth a try.

The flavour is most definitely spot on. And if you’re a caesar fan, it gives the famed cocktail an extra meaty kick.

It’s available at several liquor stores in Calgary

How about some Mo’ beer

- November 7th, 2011

2011-11-06 23

The fine folks at Rickard’s are brewing up a blow by blow Mo’ battle for a good cause this November.

Helping fuel the nation-wide Movember movement as a proud sponsor, the Molson-Coors Canada-owned brewery has launched a limited, hirsute-inspired line of tall boy cans featuring moustache styles paired with its signature beers.

And in an effort to help the campaign raising both cash and awareness to battle the scourge of prostate cancer, an affliction that affects one in six Canadian males, Rickard’s is calling on thirsty Canadians to pick a ‘stache style, register at movember.com and pit their winning whiskers against all comers.

The traditional Imperial moustache, an oft-curled affectation popular in 18th century England and worn proudly by rocker Frank Zappa, adorns the staple Rickard’s Red cans.

Made popular by moustachioed trend setters Albert Einstein and Wilford Brimley, the Walrus highlights the Belgium-styled Rickard’s White.

Rickard’s Dark maple syrup-infused porter takes its inspiration from the macho roots of the Chevron, sported by Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds.

And the recently released (and incidentally, delicious) Rickard’s Blonde, a German-style pilsner with a blend of four hops, enters the fray with the Handlebar, the drooping, bushy style sported by Hulk Hogan.

So set down your razor, and raise a glass for the 25,500 men who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011.

And help out any way you can.

Fall treats from Big Rock’s brewmaster

- October 19th, 2011

CS_DSC_2382

There’s nothing quite like a sneak preview that leaves you hankering for more.

The newest additions to Calgary-based Big Rock Brewery’s stable of fine beers sat in frosty kegs at the always excellent Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival held at the BMO Centre last week.

Joined by fellow scoundrels Dave Breakenridge and Pablo Fernandez, we had the pleasure of trying out Big Rock’s new Night Owl Porter and Rye & Ginger Ale, part of the company’s Brewmaster’s series.

Both brews have just been released to the thirsty hordes.

I confess being a bit leery of the porter, a 6% dark concoction that includes a hint of black licorice, bringing memories of unfortunate run ins with Ouzo and sambuca in the past.

Instead, there’s a bare hint of licorice taste in the surprisingly smooth brew, that’s dry and earthy but not overpowering as you take your first sip through its frothy head.

The real surprise, however, is the Rye & Ginger, which combines a spicy rye malt and a crisp sweet flavour, a refreshing 5% beer.

You’ll want more. Trust me.

But while new offerings are always exciting, discovering a new favourite is even better.

Enter Big Rock’s Scottish Heavy Ale.

The affable Alastair Smart from Big Rocky happily pours us a sample of the 7% ale that’s been understandably flying off the shelves since Brewmaster Paul Gautreau whipped it up earlier this year.

We knowingly ask if it’s aged in oak casks after the first warm, lingering sip, leaving the palate with hints of malt, vanilla and toffee with a slight hint of peat.

“It’s aged ON oak,” Smart explains.

Whatever. It works. Very well.

Joining the Brewmaster’s line up is the Alpha Dog IPA, the Dunkelweizen wheat ale, and the Rauchbier.