"The domestic craft beer boom is still in full swing, and there is a growing interest in imports. That’s what made the selection of our Top 25 Beers so difficult. The beers presented on the following pages are among the best-reviewed selections we tasted over the past 12 months, exhibiting extraordinary quality at prices that still represent affordable luxury. The list is all about balance—the balance of countries, brands, styles, prices and production sizes. This year’s Number One beer is a perfect balance of all the elements considered when compiling this list: high score, reasonable pricing, brand buzz, hot style and superb availability. In addition, however, you’ll discover a couple of high-scoring items here that might not be distributed to your area or are extremely limited in production; these are beer treasures that are definitely worth the hunt." -- The Wine Enthusiast
Here are the ones from the list that we stock at The Wine and Cheese Place
There’s a lot going on in this triple wheat ale, and it continues to evolve as it warms in the glass. The nose is heady and intense, as assertive aromas of orange, peach, white strawberry, yeast and spice mingle with hidden accents of barnyard and earth. The complexity continues in the mouth with a texture like liquid velvet: creamy but light and clean. The alcohol is remarkably balanced and the finish is dry and long, with an earthy spice flavor persisting throughout. — L.B. (7/1/2011) — 97
#2 Founders KBS -- Seasonal -- not currently in stock #3 Westmalle Tripel -- in stock now #6 Stone Russian Imperial Stout -- Seasonal -- not currently in stock #7 Rochefort 10 - in stock now #9 New Belgium Ranger IPA - in stock now #12 Samuel Smiths Pale Ale - in stock now #16 Odell Friek - was just here and sold out now #17 Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - in stock now #23 Goose Island Fleur - in stock now
Brian Bauer Certified Specialist of Spirits will conduct the class
Here is what we plan to taste...check out this impressive list
William H.Harrison Governors Reserve
Elijah Craig 12yr "The Wine and Cheese Place Barrel"
Deaths Door White Dog
JJ Neukomm Whiskey
Hirsch 20yr Canadian Rye
Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey
Parkers Heritage Collection Bourbon Aged in Cognac Barrels
New Hollan Zeppelin Blend
"True to his tradition of innovation, Heaven Hill Distilleries' 6th generation Master Distiller Parker Beam offers a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Cognac Barrels, Select barrels of premium Bourbon, each aged 10 years, are transferred to 2 to 3 year old Limosin oak casks imported from France, in which Grande Champagne Cognac was aged. After nearly six months of aging, the Bourbon is infused with subtle notes of Cognac and is bottled at Cask Strength. Lack of chill filtering allows you to enjoy the natural taste and texture of this limited edition bottling, one you'll definitely want in your collection." -- back label
More Breakfast stout has arrived --- not putting it online for reservations -- it will be on the shelf first come --
Each of our stores is getting 2 cases today --
Founders Breakfast Stout..$9.49 /4pk ABV = 8.3% and 60 IBUs "The coffee lovers consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, Sumatra and Kona coffee, this stout has an intense fresh roasted java nose topped with a cinnamon colored frothy head that goes forever." -- Founders "You’ve got to love coffee to truly appreciate this phenomenal brew. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and sweetened imported chocolates, Sumatra and Kona coffee. We’re actually not sure if this is some type of coffee cake or a beer. Either way you can drink this ale with a fork. Breakfast Stout has an intense fresh roasted coffee nose topped with a cinnamon colored frothy head that seems to never fade and makes you wish breakfast could last forever. " Rated 100 percentile on RateBeer (over 1,100 ratings) Rated A on BeerAdvocate (over 1,100 ratings)
A new South African winery arrives in St. Louis.....
2010 Riebeek Chardonnay....$11.99
This unoaked Chardonnay displays a brilliant green-gold color. The style is dry but fruity. The nose offers exceptional tropical aromas that follow through in the palate with a well-rounded finish of lingering citrus fruits. It is lovely with most entrees from crisp salads to creamy soups and chicken, whether served grilled or in a creamy sauce.
2010 Riebeek Pinotage....$11.99
20% of a blending component called Mocha.
The flavors of this unique South African grape varietal are complex and exciting with ripe plum and fruitcake all beautifully integrated and then finished with subtle oak for a lingering aftertaste.
Lovely with rare beef, barbequed lamb and casseroles. This versatile lighter style of Pinotage is also a lovely combination with spicy chicken.
Cole’s is the earth-friendly company dedicated to bringing you the finest, freshest foods from around the globe while preserving the delicate balance between nature and our own nutritional needs.
From our recycled packaging to selecting only all-natural products that meet our strict standards for sustainable farming and fishing methods, Cole’s brings you great gourmet taste with a conscience. Cole’s Fish have been carefully selected because…
Our trout are raised incorporating a semi-intensive farming method using a natural, closed-in stream that is constantly running and fed by pristine mountain springs. Every step is taken to make sure no chemicals enter the system and no “escapees” get away to threaten the local ecosystem.
Our mackerel are taken directly from the coastal waters off of Portugal using the line and hook method, to minimize the unintentional catch of other species. This traditional fishing method utilizes driftwood or other materials—even old rope—to catch a string of our prized mackerel.
Cole’s firmly believes in sustainable fishing practices, sound environmental stewardship, and in giving back to the farming and fishing communities who supply us to maintain their dedication to these same principles.
In stock now at Forsyth
Cole's Ventresca Tuna in Olive Oil 4.4oz Can
Regarded by some as the most luxurious tuna in the world, velvety Ventresca tuna comes from the belly of the fish and has delicious deep, buttery flavors.
Portuguese Sardines in Olive Oil 4.4oz can
Caught by local boats off the northern Portugal, these delicious sardines are sealed in pure olive oil.
Cole's Olive Oil Wild Mackerel 4.4oz can
Harvested using the traditional line and hook fishing method from the coastal waters of Portugal, this delicious ocean fish and is skinned, boned, and sealed with high-quality olive oil for maximum taste and freshness.
Cole's Smoked Rainbow Trout 3.2oz can
Our farm-raised rainbow trout is de-boned, then carefully smoked using aromatic apple wood and then packed in tins using high-quality olive oil to for freshness and delicate taste enhancement.
Cole's "School of Fish" Serving Tips
Enjoy it straight out of the tin!
Pour your favorite wine and relax with a fine cracker and cheese
As a complement to just about any salad with spinach, lettuce and greens
Blended with a mixture of herbs, chopped green onions, a bit of balsamic and a touch of mayo
As a topping for a truly gourmet pizza
In your favorite dish accompanying rice or pasta
Place the fish on top of thick slabs of fresh tomatoes. Drizzle some of the oil from the can over, and then sprinkle with zahtar (a middle eastern spice blend), salt and pepper. Or place onto a slice of your favorite crusty bread.
Angostura Orange Bitters are in stock now at our Forsyth location.
The master of bitters, Angostura, releases for the first time in 2008 -- Orange Bitters.
We finally have them in stock!
ANGOSTURA® ORANGE BITTERS
Blending two varieties of citrus essence with their distinctive herbs and spices – creates a truly unique new style of bitters. A harmonious balance of bitter orange fruit and sun-ripened sweet oranges from the Caribbean bring a depth of orange flavour. The perfect enhancement to an endless variety of culinary delights and cocktails
Global trends in the bitters category have been diversifying into flavoured segments. Angostura, world renowned for its aromatic bitters has used nearly 200years of experience to formulate this zesty new new orange bitters.
I am not exactly sure when they switched, but I noticed today that both the Hennepin and the Ommegang we have on the shelf are the ones that are brewed in Belgium, not Cooperstown New York. I know a lot of people wanted me to inform them when these arrived. Well, they are in stock now at our Forsyth location. The labels are only slightly changed is why I had not noticed before.
Tis true: Duvel will again brew some Ommegang beer for us in 2011.
We're closing Brewery Ommegang for two weeks in late January 2011. We'll completely tile the brewhouse and packaging hall as well as make other improvements. Our objectives are improved efficiany, better and faster sanitation, and an enhanced ability to grow.
Increased demand has seen our brewing schedule literally double in the past 14 months. While we're delighted with the growth, we now need some additions, improvements, and renovations to allow brewing and packaging to run more efficiently.
You may know that Duvel brewed some Hennepin, Abbey and Three Philosophers for us back in 2007/08, while we dealt with production issues centered around upgrading our aging bottling line. We were uncertain how people would respond, but quickly discovered that serious beer folks were comparing the beers to see if they could detect any differences. It turned out to be an interesting and enjoyable exercise.
Duvel, of course, has impeccible brewing skills and facilities and did a bang-up job filling in for us last time. We expect nothing less this time. Our brewmaster Phil Leinhart and Duvel's Hedwig Neven will stay in close touch throughout the process while Duvel brews Abbey Ale and Hennepin, which will probably appear on shelves in April at the earliest.
While the tiling and other interior changes are made we'll also be installing two exterior 360hl unitanks in early February, bringing us to a total of eight. I'm looking out the window at the just completed footings.
Also, our store and tasting room will move out of the brewhouse to a dedicated new building about 100 feet from the brewery. This new 4000 sq.ft. building will house an expanded store and tasting area as well as a huge new indoor/outdoor bar and patio, and ta-da! The long-threatened restaurant: Cafe Ommegang.
We expect the store move to be in mid-to-late Jan, and that the cafe will be open in late Feb/early March, depending on permits from the NY State Liquor Authority. The interior finishing in the store/bar/cafe is going on right now.
All in all, it's an extraordinarily exciting time at Ommegang. We're preparing for continuing growth and brewing more fantastic (and some new) beers. Including a Chouffe collaboration beer, tentatively named Gnomegang, coming out in April. Yes, you read it first right here.
We planned to release all this news next month but you sleuths beat us to it.
Pinckney Ben Hand Crafted American Gin...$22.99 / 750ml
This is their very first release -- and their first stop in St. Louis was to The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton!! The gin has a great balance of juniper and a touch more citrus than most other gins.
"All gin is not created equal. The nine botanicals used in Pinckney Bend gin are all grown in the USA. They are distilled individually, and then blended in small batches. The result is a premium quality American gin with nuanced layers of flavor and aromatics. Pinckney Bend gin is exellent on its own in a martini, but it also plays exceptionally well with others as a mixer." -- label
Mikkeller's Chipotle Porter has now been released in a Speyside Whiskey Barrel. This porter has an alcohol content on 6,6%.
Interaction between the American hops, malt, the complex structure and the warming chili and notes of vanilla from borubon barrels, makes this porter a very special and very complex beer.
Look forward to tasting this cowboy beer.
"Pot Kettle Black is our multi-award winning 'Black IPA' (that some call a 'Hoppy Porter'). The different names convey the fact that this beer is a contradiction of styles: fresh and hoppy, yet dark and rich. Most importantly it is mindbendingly delicious and a complete original. Like all Yeastie Boys beer is is painstakingly crafted by people who love beer., then conditioned to optimum ripeness, before making its way into a bottle and then to your hands. Now take the next step and enjoy with thoughtful consideration." -- label
Rated 97 on Ratebeer
More about the beer
Winter 2009 sees the return of Yeastie Boys much loved debut beer - New Zealand's original 'Black IPA'. This year's vintage is built upon the same malt base as the original but has fired up the 'chocolate and orange character' with more NZ Cascade hops and a zesty fistful (or 10) of imported Styrian Goldings. At 6.0%abv and 50ibu it is rich, hoppy and way too drinkable.
If there was one road trip that would invoke jealousy amongst the nation’s beer drinkers, it would have to be one that involved visiting the majority of craft breweries in the country. Two of New Zealand’s leading craft brewers have done exactly this. All with the hope of putting together a series of episodes that document the excitement, passion and flavour that the beers and brewers of this fine country have to offer.
Luke Nicholas, president and founder of Epic Brewing Company in Auckland and new recruit, Kelly Ryan, who recently joined Epic after a successful brewing career with multi-award winning Thornbridge Brewery in the UK took up the challenge of visiting as many breweries as they could over a 17 day period.
Film crew in tow, they travelled the country by camper van, covering almost 4500 kilometres as they documented the current craft beer scene. Visiting breweries, sampling beers, discussing brewery history and the passion that had resulted in people from all walks of life choosing brewing as their occupation, the pair’s progress was captured on camera to be used in an online video series.
Coupled with the production was the idea that all of the passion and concepts of the craft brewers be captured in a special collaboration brew that was to act as a summary of what was happening in New Zealand beer in 2011. A grand total of 44 breweries from Invercargill to Auckland were included in the project, with a bunch of them turning up for the brew day at Steam Brewery in Auckland.
British brewers created the IPA (India Pale Ale) originally as a pale ale style in the eighteen century to satisfy the demands of their countrymen living in India. The long trip from England to India, around the Cape of Good Hope emulated the cellaring that used to occur with such beers, resulting in increased depth of flavour and maturity. Doubling the amount of hops (a natural preservative) resulted in a hoppy, high-alcohol (in those days 6.5-7%) beer we know today as IPA.
In 2009, curious about how the long sea voyage in barrels would affect a beer, Epic’s Luke Nicholas put 40 litres of his Armageddon IPA into two oak barrels and sat them on the Interislander ferry for six weeks as it made it’s way back and forth across the choppy Cook Strait. The resulting beer proved so popular that Luke made another larger batch - and another and another.
Each time the beer has turned out slightly differently, reacting to the diverse barrels to give various flavours. This year (2011) Epic used new American oak barrels and aged the beer for three months, as opposed to two months for the 2010 vintage. Some fresh Armageddon was also blended with the barrel-aged ale, resulting in a beer in which the large vanilla oak character is balanced by the fresh hops. Mandarin, orange oil and cedar are evident in the palate as well. Barrel-Aged IPA is the perfect accompaniment for a creamy blue cheese.
"Enough heavy dark obnoxious sweet super malty x-mas and winter beers. When you eat heavy duck with fat gravy, the last thing you want is another heavy sweet malt liqour!
NO! you want something that can help you sink the dinner, ease you stommach and cleance your throat. And that is exactly what Snowball Saison will do. It is a SUPER sparkling crisp and dry Saison that has been after fermented with milk acid bacterias and dry hopped over and over to give the beer a crisp and smooth tart finish (not to mention.... there is a lot of hops of course...)
Have a nice winter!" -- 94/100 RateBeer
"You might think that this Christmas Beer is a Christmas Beer. But actually it is something so non-Chirstmassy as a classic Imperial IPA. Bitter as defeat and generously fruity as a baby's porridge. If you prefer sugary beers, this non-Christmas beer is certainly not for you. P.S. Should be enjoyed all year round." -- Label
"You’re probably wondering where the name “Bink” come from. It’s a slang term of endearment for a guy in the rustic area around Kerkom – kind of like the American “dude.” The typical character of a local Bink – a bit coarse but cagey enough to make his way in the world, is described in a common story. It seems that a certain Bink is plodding along the dusty road leading a cow by a rope, when he catches the attention of the constable. The constable recognizes instantly that this Bink is not the cow’s rightful owner, and confronts him. He demands, "Why are you walking off with that cow?" The Bink, looking very surprised, replies "Cow? I just found this piece of rope that someone left lying around. I didn’t notice that there was a cow attached to it." In the end, the Bink lands in the klink, but his quick thinking under pressure is still much admired. There is a bronze statue of this famous Bink in the pub of the Kerkom brewery." -- importer
Back in 2008, Struise was voted #1 Brewer in the world! (#1 out of 5,836 brewers on the ratebeer.com list at the time) Order Struise online
2011 just arrived! (we have a few bottles of 2010 on the shelf) 2011 Struise Pannepot...$5.99 / 11.2oz
Rated 100/100 Ratebeer
"Commercial Description: In the early 1900s, the village of De Panne, close to the French border, was famous for two things -- the ‘Pannepots,’ or fishing boats, that could be seen along the coast, and the unique dark ale enjoyed by the local fishermen. Our Old Fisherman’s Ale is a tribute to these hardy sailors and their rich, flavorful brew. Unfiltered." -- ratebeer.com
Rated 100 percentile on ratebeer.com
That is the top, there is nothing better
2009 Struise Pannepot Reserva...$6.49
Rated 100/100 Ratebeer
2005 Struise Pannepot Grand Reserva.....$7.49 / 11.2oz
Rated 100/100 Ratebeer From what I gather, the Grand Reserva is the Reserva that is then put into Calvados barrels and aged some more.
"The Pannepot Reserva was an idea from my brew collegue Carlo who wanted to age Pannepot in genuine French oak barrels (barrique 225 liters). We have brewed 90HL at the end of 2005 which has been aging on oak ever since (14 months). 30 Hl was bottled Tuesday 8th May 2007. 60Hl has been transferred now to second hand calvados oak vessels and will be bottled again early autumn 2007, we will name that batch Pannepot Grand Reserva. As quality and results rule at Struise, the Reserva was already brewed again and aging on oak." -- RateBeer
We first brewed Pannepot in 2001 as a tribute to the local fisherman from our village of De Panne. Pannepot Grand Reserva was the idea of my colleague Carlo, who proposed to age Pannepot in oak barrels that he had found in France. Our first batch was brewed in 2005 and has been agin in these oak barrels for 24 months. Naturally this ale is unpasteurized, unfiltered and bottled-conditioned. Since a total of only 3000 bottles have been filled, this is an exceddingly rare treat, to be savored with close friends. Enjoy!" -- label
Firestone Walker XV Anniversary Ale...$17.99 / 22oz
Very, very limited -- 1 bottle per person
Sold out now at Forsyth and for online reservations
Should get a little today also at our other stores....
Rock Hill -- 314.962.8150
Ballwin -- 636.227.9001
New Ballas - 314.989.0080
"As a finished beer, XV is alive with amazing complexity and yet it is quite possibly the most integrated and seamless blend yet.
Looking at a blend of 8 beers on paper at first looks chaotic and potentially disjointed; however, a closer look reveals and interesting theme: 76% Barley Wine style beers, 19% Stout and 5% Imperial IPA. XV introduces our new blonde barley wine Helldorado with flavors of lavender honey liqueur. The well establishedDDBA delivers its signature American toasted oak, English caramel toffee and light leather nuances. 2010 vintage Sticky Monkey folds in brown sugar, maple, cinnamon, ginger and ripe figs. Parabola brings the familiar flavors of roasted dark coco, and chocolate covered cherries. Velvet Merkin carries silky milk chocolate, toasted coconut and creamy textures. Good Foot and Bravo add assertive barley wine warmth and lush barrel derived vanilla bean notes. The game changer this year is the addition of Double Jack to the blend. At just 5% its massive dry hop character brings citrus zest, tangerine and mango aromas making this a completely new beer.
The beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XV is best enjoyed poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. As the beer sits and breathes in the glass, a richer, orange zested, chocolate dusted, vanilla custard character is reveled, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. I suspect that this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making and I truly hope you enjoy our Sixth oak-aged blend! Our journey continues and it’s just as fun and exciting now as it was back in 1996."
"Six Row Brewing Company produces quality ales from the site of the old Falstaff Brewery at 3690 Forest Park Ave., in the Midtown area of St. Louis, near St. Louis University. Our Old Plant No. 1 Pub is open to the public and features our craft brewed beers along with selections from other craft breweries and wineries. Stop by and enjoy a pint soon! Then, take home a growler to enjoy one of St. Louis' finest craft beers till your next visit!" -- Six Row Brewing Company
Six Row Brewing Whale Ale....22oz
What can we say about this one? A bit of luck meets years of homebrewing experience? When it came time to test out our brewing system for the first time, we needed something that we wouldn't feel too bad about dumping if we had equipment troubles. One of our brewers had enough malt in his homebrew stock, which unfortunately wasn't being used due to all his spare time being spent helping get Six Row started, for a batch.
However, it was a bit of a motley collection of ten (yes, ten!) malts, everything from wheat to pale to crystal to aromatic to our namesake. With a little supplemental malt from the local homebrew store, some Cascade and Goldings hops and a blend of US ale yeasts, the Whale (wheat/pale) ale was born. Pale copper in color, this is an interesting beer that has already been enjoyed by many. Let us know how you would describe it.
Includes 2 bottles of 375ml Rye aged in different barrels packaged in a wood box
RARE RYE SELECTION
This year’s release is the Rare Rye Selection. This selection, a double offering, starts with the same spirit – a 100% rye recipe triple distilled in pot stills – which ends up packaged in dual 375ml bottles. One bottle has been matured in new, charred casks making it Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey. The other has been matured in a once-used (aged) cask to create whiskey distilled from rye mash.
This double release allows the consumer the rare opportunity to experience the different maturation effects that result from casks conditioned in different ways have on the same spirit.
2008 Castelmaure La Pompadour Corbieres...$19.99Made from 50% Carignan, 30% Syrah, 20% Grenache.
"Powerful aromas of red fruits and blackberry, spices and garrigue. Round and ample in the mouth, a silky texture, ripe flavors and vanilla notes. Great length." 91/100 The Wine Enthusiast
We received 10 cases at Forsyth -- so no limit - in stock also at Rock Hill and New Ballas
Stone Brewing Double Bastard Ale...$6.29 / 22oz
100 percentile on RateBeer
"This is one lacerative muther of an ale. It is unequivocally certain that your feeble palate is grossly inadequate and thus undeserving of this liquid glory...and those around you would have little desire to listen to your resultant whimpering. Instead, you slackjawed gaping gobemouche, slink away to that pedestrian product that lures agog the great unwashed with the shiny happy imagery of its silly broadcast propaganda. You know, the one that offers no challenge, yet works very, very hard to imbue the foolhardy with the absurd notion that they are exercising ‘independent’ thought, or attempts to convey the perception it is in some way ‘authentic’ or ‘original.’ It’s that one that makes you feel safe and delectates you into basking in the warm, fuzzy, and befuddled glow of your own nescience. Why so many allow themselves to be led by the nose lacks plausible explanation. Perhaps you have been so lulled by the siren song of ignorance that you don’t even notice your white-knuckle grip on it. You feel bold and unique, but alas are nothing but sheep, willingly being herded to and fro. If you think you are being piqued in this text, it is nothing when compared to the insults we are all asked to swallow streaming forth from our televisions and computers. Truth be told, you are being coddled into believing you are special or unique by ethically challenged “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” marketers who layer (upon layer) imagined attributes specifically engineered to lead you by the nose. Should you decide to abdicate your ability to make decisions for yourself, then you are perhaps deserving of the pabulum they serve. Double Bastard Ale calls out the garrulous caitiffs who perpetrate the aforementioned atrocities and demands retribution for their outrageously conniving, intentionally misleading, blatantly masturbatory and fallacious ad campaigns. We demand the unmitigated, transparent truth. We demand forthright honesty. We want justice! Call ‘em out and line ‘em up against the wall... NOW." -- Stone Brewing