From the Kitchen and the Bar – beer, cake, bourbon and rye

blue cakeThis week we tried a few new beers, a shockingly blue cake and my husband got me a bottle of rye.

The beers were from Shock Top, a craft type company owned by the giant Anheuser Busch. They were in a sampler pack of various flavored takes on their unfiltered wheat ale.

Twisted Pretzel – Weirdly enough, this beer does taste like a pretzel.   There is a very distinct toasted grain taste/smell plus a bit of salinity to bring it to fruition.

Shockolate Wheat – again based on the wheat beer, this is a nicely chocolate and vanilla beer.

Honey Bourbon Wheat – this one I wasn’t too keen on. I can taste more wood than bourbon. It does have a hefty vanilla hit.

Belgian White – This is a pretty standard Belgian wheat, with lots of coriander and orange peel.

The cake was a result of my husband going to get groceries and deciding he needed a cake. This Duncan Hines cake is the blue of a swimming pool. It’s very good, moist with lots of vanilla. It’s basically the same idea as a red velvet cake, which is built on a mild chocolate batter rather than vanilla, and a whole lot of food coloring.  It also has the same… ah…. interesting gastrointestinal effects as anything with lots of food coloring will have. 🙂   We iced it with cream cheese frosting. I’m tempted to try to make some crazy looking tie-dyed cake for this summer, using this blue, the red velvet and the classic white. My luck, I’ll probably end up with a purple cake, which would actually be pretty cool.

ryeThe rye my husband got me is J.P. Wiser’s Rye (all the liquor websites have age gates). It’s a blended Canadian rye whiskey. We do tend to like Canadian blends, like Crown Royal (though my husband loves the little bags it comes in too).   We like blends (including wines) because the product comes out as intended not so much dependent on the vagaries of nature. I also like classic American bourbons, like Wild Turkey (relatively expensive) and Old Crow, cheap but good and which is what I see a classic film noir private eye drinking (and supposedly Hunter S. Thompson liked it too).   Since we happen to have both on hand, I compared them.   The rye is light, floral with a hint of spice, and fairly dry.   I didn’t get the dried fruit that the website says one can detect in the tasting, though I could see maybe some dried figs.  It is has a nice smoothness without forgetting you are drinking a spirit. The bourbon, Wild Turkey 101, unsurprisingly, is sweeter with more vanilla/oak. It is quite strong in proof but oh it is dangerously smooth.  These were drunk neat, with a chilled piece of soapstone in the glass (it is a dodecahedron, aka a twenty-sided die sans numbers, because we are gamers. It came from thinkgeek.com. Wish they would have had the numbers carved on them…)

Eat and drink well!

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