Archive for March, 2011

Pinkus organic hefeweizen is certainly a departure from the usual Hefei that I am accustomed to. The bottle is pretty, touting organic certification and extolling the virtues of the Brew.

This unfiltered beer pours well with a beautiful white head that certainly looks inviting. I refuse to garnish with citrus like most, so that I can truly appreciate the flavors of the brew…

This beer smells like yeast and bananas; taste is less striking than I had hoped for. This a pleasant beer that is best served chilled. It is refreshing and enjoyable.

Monschoff is one of the oldest beer brewing institutions in the world. Their Schwarzbier is one of my all-time favorites to enjoy at any time of year. This black beer looks like a stout, but it certainly doesn’t taste like one. This beer comes in a beautiful heavy bottle with old-school wire-tied cap. It definitely exudes old-world charm.

Opening the bottle unleashes a yeasty cocoa aroma with hints of coffee. The beer pours well with a deep dark color and medium foam. The first sip is yeasty without being overpowering…slightly fruity, but restrained. The mouthfeel of this beer isn’t as cloying as some other dark beers, it is much more refreshing, and crisper than you would expect.

I like this beer, in fact, I almost love it…Guinness still remains my favorite; but this is certainly a close second.

The hype:Turbodog is a dark brown ale brewed with Willamette hops and a combination of pale, crystal and chocolate malts. This combination gives Turbodog its rich body and color and a sweet chocolate toffee-like flavor. Turbodog began as a specialty ale but has gained a huge loyal following and has become one of our flagship brews.

This ale pairs well with most meats and is great served with hamburgers or sausages. It is a good match with smoked fish and can even stand up to wild game dishes. Turbodog is also great for marinating and braising meats and cooking such things as cabbage and greens. Colby, Gloucester, Cheddar and Blue cheeses go nicely with Turbodog. It’s perfect with spicy Louisiana jambalaya or Spanish paella. Some even like it paired with chocolate!

The review: I love my Guinness, so whenever I get a chance to compare dark ales, I fall back to Guinness as a frame of reference. Turbodog hails from Louisiana and is one of many brews from the Abita beer company. I drank Turbodog from the bottle at a quaint little restaurant in Houston this week. The aroma from this beer is very intriguing; bready and sweet, but with a hint of coffee. The brew is dark and suds are creamy like the Irish stuff.  This is a 5.6% ABV brew so the alcohol isn’t obviously noticeable. First mouthful is hearty and slightly bitter, but quickly mellows into a chocolatey goodness. Mouth feel is pleasant; it is smooth and coats the tongue with yeasty flavors…it tastes a little like a chocolate babkawith a hint of espresso. Easy to drink and savor, but not a lightweight in the flavor department. I drank 6 of these over dinner with friends, so I suppose that says it all. Very nice beer.


This purple port epitomizes my vision of a ‘desert’ port. The nose is fruity with a hint of berries and caramel.

Swirling it around, there is a deep ruby body with minor tawny yellowing at the top. First mouthful is tannic and sweet without being cloying. Holding a mouthful draws in the cheeks without being completely astringent. The alcohol is there, but nicely balanced by the fruit and adds to the exciting mouthfeel.

Nosing this port further after a few mouthfuls and allowing it to warm in the snifter, it begins to exhibit a strawberry odor with a hint of banana and pears.

Continuing to drink I find even more fruitiness with a currant undertone; even hints of tobacco and leather…this would go very well with a CAO Brazilia anaconda. – Delicious!

By UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER  Friday, March 18, 2011

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Experts at the University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre are working with colleagues at De Montfort University to create a handheld device which will detect fake whiskey and wine — through the bottle.

The technology has already been developed by the University of Leicester team to spot counterfeit medicines by scrutinising the packaging. Now the experts are working to transfer the technology to analyze liquids in bottles.

As well as helping to stamp out the big problem of counterfeit whisky and fine wine, this could also have major potential for airline security systems, they believe.

The technique relies on detecting the differences between the characteristics of light reflected from printed packaging. Originally developed from a spectrometer designed and built by the Space Research Centre for astronomical research, the technique was adapted for use in the pharmaceutical world by the University of Leicester team in conjunction with university spin-out firm Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International Limited which is a specialist crime and security consultancy.

Now the technology is being adapted again by the University of Leicester team for use in detecting fake liquids, with experts at De Montfort University providing skills in product design and rapid proto-typing so that a handheld device can be created.

“The support from the Food and Drink iNet will allow us to take the technology and apply it in the case of whisky and fine wines,” said Tim Maskell, Knowledge Transfer Manager in the Space Research Centre at the University of Leicester. “The iNet funding will enable us to design, build and test a laboratory prototype that will allow us to prove the technology works. If we can then take the technology and do something similar with other liquids there are potential airport security opportunities too.”

For more information, please visit the University of Leicester at


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