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Archive for December, 2008

Beer with Potatoes

We thought this was a good label because it does an excellent job of answering the age-old question:  “Why Brewed with Potatoes?” That’s what we wanted to know, and this label is happy to oblige. It helpfully explains that potatoes add sugars that supply dryness to this extra-dry stout. Long Island Potato Stout is made by The Blind Bat Brewery of Centerport, NY. It is classified as a Malt Beverage Brewed with Potatoes. TTB has also approved Finnegan’s Ale Brewed with Potatoes. It is made by Summit Brewing Company in Saint Paul, MN. Note that TTB has asked Summit to add “Product of USA,” probably because of the large reference to Irish Amber and several four-leaf clovers.

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Vodka Distilled from Milk

Yes, it’s official. You can make spirits from just about anything. Duncan Holaday is determined to show us how. Here is Vermont White Vodka, distilled from 100% Milk Sugar, according to the label. The website for Duncan’s Spirits, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, says:

Inspired by traditional Tuvan milk vodka, this hand-made vodka is triple distilled from pure milk sugar and Vermont spring water. Crystal clear, smooth and with a delicate nose, this vodka is excellent straight and chilled, perfect in a white Russian.

After a year and a half of designing, building and perfecting, the distillery burned to the ground the night before their first delivery. Daunted but not defeated, they rebuilt the distillery, this time with more efficient stills and a wood-fired steam boiler for power. Within six months they were distilling again, and in August 2001, Vermont Spirits made its first appearance in Vermont liquor outlets.

Tuvan milk vodka is mighty obscure; good luck finding any information beyond this. To go with the White, Duncan’s also has Vermont Gold. It is “Distilled from 100% Maple Sap.” Sounds expensive.

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Recovery Red Wine

Don’t we all need some of this, right now?

A few weeks ago we showed several Recession Red approvals. In another dismal sign of the times, the Recession-themed wines apparently hit a lot of nerves. Recession Red is selling well, and our Recession post got more traffic than any other topic to date, by five times or more.

The Recovery Red wine (above), is produced and bottled by Ross Valley Winery of San Anselmo, California.

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Berry Christmas

There are lots of Santa labels of late, but this one got our attention because it combines many relevant elements in one small place. First, it is elderberry wine, and that’s fairly unusual. Second, it’s made in South Dakota, and that’s not so common. And then there is Santa. We don’t remember seeing so very many Santa Claus labels in past years. This may be because a great many states prohibit references to Santa on alcohol beverage products. The Wine Institute still discourages it, at least in wine ads.

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Ass Kisser Chardonnay

Thanks to Barry Strike for bringing this label and controversy to our attention. Barry is a lawyer at Hinman & Carmichael in San Francisco, where he has practiced wine and beverage law for many years. Barry explained:

In mid-2008, TTB approved four wine labels with the brand name above. The wines are made in Australia and imported by Rocland Wine Imports, of California. Either TTB is developing a sense of humor or the examiner is an ardent animal lover. (Or perhaps the examiner thought this was an animal husbandry reference?) In any case, this is a good example of TTB’s approval of a label with a brand name that likely would have been regarded as profane a few years ago. Notwithstanding TTB’s apparent embrace of humorous, daring labels, some state regulators are not as enlightened. The state of Michigan recently refused to allow Big Ass brand wine to be sold in the state. Lacking any applicable regulatory or statutory basis for disapproving the label, the state claimed it was racist(?!). The Big-Ass Coalition must have applauded the state’s bold step to protect big asses everywhere.

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