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

The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page -

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.

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