It’s another video review! Today it’s the return of #CiderSunday with an apple cider flavored with paw paws from one of my favorite Michigan cider makers. Enjoy!
These are strange days, my friends, so I decided to try a video review again. No bikinis in this one but I hope you’ll still enjoy it. Cheers!
Maker: Blue Water Winery & Vineyard, Lexington, Michigan, USA
Grape: Pinot Noir (at least 75%)
Place of origin: Michigan (at least 75%)
Purchased for $22 (Michigan by the Bottle Sipper Club)
Nose: Blackberry, red currant, fresh mushroom.
Palate: Medium bodied. Chewy, with black raspberries and wet earth.
Finish: Black currant, wet leaves.
Parting words: Blue Water is located in the tourist town of Lexington, Michigan. I reviewed their Chardonnay back in 2018 and I recommended it. This Pinot Noir is uncharacteristic of Michigan. It’s much earthier than most around here which makes for a refreshing change from the tart fruit that dominates in the Mitten State. That said, this wine could stand to be more balanced. Still, not bad for a $22 bottle from one of the most challenging vintages in state history. 2015 Blue Water Pinot Noir is recommended.
Maker: World Spirits, Princeton, Minnesota, USA (Phillips)
Distiller: Cooley, Louth, Leinster, Ireland (Beam Suntory)
Style: Blended Irish Whiskey
Age: NAS (at least three years old)
Michigan state minimum: $22
Appearance: Medium copper.
Nose: Sweet malt, a little sherry, leather, woodruff, anise.
Palate: Full bodied and soft. Caramel, butterscotch candy with a little bit on the back end.
Finish: Vanilla custard, white pepper, nutmeg, alcohol.
Parting words: Like 2 Gingers, this is another Irish whiskey from Minnesota (?!) but this one comes with a story about someone in a gang in New York or something. I don’t care about NDP marketing bullshit, so I’m not going to get into that.
I’m a big fan of the Cooley Distillery, and Hell-Cat Maggie is in the classic Cooley style, so it has that going for it. It’s not as elegant as Tyrconnell or Knappogue Castle but it’s a little more refined than 2 Gingers (which one would expect at $8 more). It mixes well too. My only criticism is that this Hell-Cat lacks claws and teeth. She would benefit from 2%- 6% higher ABV. Still, I like her. Hell-Cat Maggie is recommended.
Maker: Maison Dartigalongue, Nogaro, Gers, France.
Region: Bas Armagnac, Gers, France
Age: 23 y/o (distilled 1996)
Price: $85 (Seelbach’s)
Appearance: Dark copper.
Nose: Strong. Old French oak, star anise, grape soda, chipotle chili.
Palate: Full bodied and semi-dry. Blackberry jam, jalapeno jelly.
Finish: Licorice, burn.
Parting words: I don’t usually pay over $100 for spirits, but I did for this bottle. It was highly recommended by pals from the Serious Brandy Facebook group. I can say that, unlike recent rye and bourbon purchases in that range, I have never once suffered from buyers remorse brought on by this bottle. It’s complex and mature but not overoaked at all. It’s also even cheaper now than it was when I bought a bottle. I just might buy another one, even at $85. I can’t say more about this brandy because I’ve said it all and it’s getting late. Dartigalongue 1996, Seelbach’s selection is highly recommended.