Vail Daily’s Red White & Brew: A ‘halo’ beer with plenty of character |

Vail Daily’s Red White & Brew: A ‘halo’ beer with plenty of character

Vail Daily staff reportnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

Just about every brewery makes a “halo” beer, a brew above and beyond its everyday products. Sometimes, those halo brews border on the absurd, with added fruit, or more alcohol, or an out-of-the-ordinary brewing techniques.This beer is sort of like that – Great Divide took its already heavy-duty Yeti Imperial Stout – “imperial” being brewer-code for “extra” – and decided to age the brew in oak barrels instead of the usual metal vats.The brewery claims the oak-aging imparts a hint of vanilla to this already big-and-hairy beer. Regular readers – thank you – won’t be surprised to learn that my oafish palette failed to detect anything vanilla-ish in the glass.What those clunky tastebuds can detect is pretty nice, though. This is a dark, dense beer, with plenty of roasty maltiness and a head you could write your name in. But, unlike a lot of stouts, the big malt has a big shot of hops in the mix. That lends this Yeti a nice bite without too much bitterness.This could be something of a surprise for people whose stout experience is limited to Guinness – which, in the pub draft cans and bottles is almost too smooth. Yeti Imperial has character, and plenty of it. I haven’t had the pleasure of sampling Great Divide’s regular Yeti Imperial, so I can’t tell you whether the oak aging makes a big difference or not. But this is a nice companion for a hearty stew with dark bread on one of fall’s lengthening evenings. And a fitting halo for any brewery.You can find this beer at West Vail Liquor Mart, Avon Liquor,Scott N. Miller, Daily Staff Writer

The little marketing gimmick for this bottle was an “$83 bill,” the suggestion being the bottle’s so good it’s worth a C-Note. I don’t know about that – not sure I believe in hundred-dollar bottles of wine – but at $17, this Sonoma County Cab is a true gem in the under $20 range. Complex, sure, but it’s an easy drinker with elegant cherry and blackberry flavors and a smooth but slightly acidic finish. The winemaker has struck a nice balance blending several appellations of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon grapes into a winner of a bottle, again, from Louis M. Martini.A good many California wineries have been around long enough now to be celebrating several generations of family management. Louis M. Martini is now headed by Mike Martini, who grew up at the family winery in Napa and took over from his father in the late 1970s. Early in his career, Mike spent time in Burgundy and Bordeaux studying the classic French wines, and over the years he’s continued to maintain Martini as one of the class acts in the region. It’s admirable that this venerable winery is able to kick out a Cab of this quality for this price. Quite simply, it represents some of the best California has to offer – and what a great bottle for date night, company or just because you love a good Cab.You can find this wine at West Vail Liquor Mart, Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail-Alex Miller, Summit Daily editor

Introduce your friends to Licor 43. This refined citrus liqueur will have them wondering and whispering about when you became so distinct.Licor 43’s conspicuous appeal stems from its deep history. It is very difficult to say when the liquor was originally made, but reports can be found from as early as ninth century B.C.E.(before Common Era). All reports pinpoint the area of origin to Carthage (present-day Tunisia). People have found accounts from Phoenician traders and Roman invaders describing many liqueurs unique to Carthaginian culture. After years of conquer and ruin, a Carthaginian’s lasting honor was the liqueur his family had passed down and produced in small secret presses. The particular recipe for Licor 43 has wound the clock for centuries and now rests in the hands of Spanish producer Diego Zamora.Licor 43, or Cuarenta y Tres, is made from citrus and fruit juices. A complex and sublime flavor then evolves from adding its namesake forty three herbs and spices. Most apparent is the soft vanilla taste and rich mouth feel. However the other flavors unite in a subtle and uniform profile. With a slightly citric taste, it has a sweetness that balances the scales. Its body is smooth and light which allows it an easy introduction to classic cocktails.There are many ways to use Licor 43. Drink it on the rocks as a night cap or after dinner. It also blends well with coffee and cream. If you want to get fancy, here is a recipe:The Roaring 40’sEqual parts:Premium VodkaLicor 43Mixed over ice garnished with mintYou can find this spirit at West Vail Liquor Mart, Avon Liquor, Alpine WIne & Spirits in West Vail -Dan Ryan, West Vail Liquor Mart

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