BEST BUYS FOR DAD
STUCK FOR A PRESENT THIS FATHER’S DAY? BJ FOLEY PRESENTS HIS SURE-FIRE WINNERS, FROM WINE, RUM AND BEER TO BOURBON
I’ve casually mentioned in columns before that I like beer. I have my standard go-to beers, but I’ll also grab a couple of different bottles, or a six pack of something different every time I go to the bottle-o, trying different styles, different brands, different countries as I go. The hard part in that though is having the glassware to match the beers. In much the same way that there is a certain wine glass for each wine variety, that will accentuate the flavours and aromas, the same is true for beer. I know I don’t have the space (or cash) to have 15 different beer glass varieties on my shelf. I have a few different glasses – Spiegelau IPA and porter/stout glasses, and then quite a few nucleated lager glasses that I picked up from the local hospitality/commercial kitchen supply store. The beauty of these glasses lie in the etching on the inside of the bottom of the glass. It creates a rough spot which forces the carbonation bubbles to burst in the beer, creating a better head that lasts longer, resulting in a beer that has more aromas (80 per cent of taste comes from smell) and tastes fresher longer as the head keeps the oxygen away from the beer. A single glass is somewhere about $5, a couple of those and a sixpack, I know I’d be stoked. And try matching them to a few of these...
A deep amber-coloured IPA with West Coast US hops and a touch of rye. The hop characters show through, but it’s the malty notes that take centre stage. Bready, dark fruit cake notes, toffee biscuity in the finish. Another limited release from the LC team, and it’s probably best described as a hopped-up version of the Rogers with citrus and pine balanced with malt caramels and a slight nuttiness.
An unfiltered Helles style lager. Clear yellow with a white head and good carbonation. Malty and grainy on the nose with cardboard notes. Light bodied and plenty of carbonation, good balance of light malt, light citrus and a tiny bit of bitterness. It’s refreshing and easy drinking. The name is a mouthful, but so too is the bourbon. Pour it and let it open in the glass a while, grains, old leather and light marmalade and tea on the nose. On the tongue there’s a bit of a battle between the corn and the rye. Great finish to it, with liquorice and spice. Sipping bourbon not to be ruined with mixing. Finished in ex-rum barrels, which impart sweet, smooth and slightly woody notes, orange, honey and caramel notes on the nose. On the tongue it bursts with flavour, spiced and rich, dark chocolate, vanilla and clove. But the magic really comes here in the mid and the finish, where the spice, grain and those smooth woody notes from the cask show through. Great lingering spice and caramel on the finish. A blend of three single malt Scotch whiskies produces an interesting final result. Cinnamon and pear on the nose with a touch of marmalade, vanilla and woody spice. Malty with a creamy feel on the tongue, cloves, butterscotch and buttered toast, touch of dried apricot in the finish. I’m on record as saying I’m not a huge fan of the Bundy flavour profiles, so for me to have one on a list here, you know it needs to be pretty darned good. It’s finished in ex-sherry barrels which give it deeper, complex notes. There’s layers of flavours here, dark fruits, woody spice dark brown sugar and light on that traditional “bundy” flavour when its let to breathe for a bit. Around $90 St Hugo is one of Australia’s most under-values wines, consistently knocking out great wines with an exceptional ability to carry age. Rich, ripe dark fruits, vanilla and a roasted nuttiness in there too. Long firm tannin finish, almost chewy. It’s a big red and won’t appeal to all, but those who like big, bold flavours of a classic Coonawarra will be rewarded.