The First Pour: Charleville Whiskey Scented Santa
Cicero’s understands that when it come to beer, most people’s favorite is the latest and greatest new beer. Very few beer lovers drink the same beer over and over again. Sure, you might go back to an old standard, but you always try the latest beer first. For that reason, and others, Cicero’s changes their menu every week. When kegs kick, we change them up, unless we decide to keep it tapped for a while longer because it kicked so fast. With that in mind, we strive to keep you, our customers informed on our weekly changes. “The First Pour” series of blog posts will highlight and review the newest beers we have on draft for you. Again, we have a happy couple writing these posts for us. If you see them around, make sure and thank them for their hard work.
By Alaina Kantner and Mike Vecchio
Now, we know what you might be thinking, “Charleville Vineyards? I thought this was a beer blog!” You’re right, but let us explain. Charleville started as a winery, but in 2004, they dove into the craft beer scene and started their own microbrewery. In 2005, their IPA and Half-Wit Wheat won 1st and 3rd place respectively in the Lift for Life Microbrew Festival in Forest Park. In one short year they went from brewing their first beers to making a splash in the Missouri craft beer scene and they haven’t stopped since. Charleville recently started a craft series that introduces a new specialty beer each month to its fan. When we say recent we mean very recent, this next beer is their inaugural brew in the series.
When we saw that one of the beers we were asked to review was called Whiskey Scented Santa, we were a little skeptical. We’re happy to report that we were pleasantly surprised. The beer pours dark, almost black, with a hint of red that peeks through. The head drops to a nice lace that lingers for the duration of the beer. The smell is almost all whiskey, but after a few smells, sweet malty qualities come through. After taking a sip, raisin notes are apparent, and the sweet maltiness that was on the aroma is also in the taste. Whiskey is the underlying taste and lingers after each sip. With this beer you know what you’re getting. The imperial qualities are there, but the whiskey is the star of this beer. At 11.5% ABV we recommend sticking to one, but if someone else is driving your sleigh home, indulge and have another.
About the Authors – Alaina and Mike moved to St Louis from Ohio in 2008 and quickly jumped into the craft beer scene. Alaina has gone from drinking light lagers almost exclusively to enjoying maltier beers – most notably porters and stouts – and hefeweizens. In her free time Alaina enjoys reading, running, and attempting to teach their dog tricks. Mike has evolved from drinking highly hopped IPAs to enjoying a wider range of pale ales and traditional hefeweizens. Mike enjoys trying to teach his dog not to bark at anything that moves, reading about crime and gangs, and home brewing with his co-workers. Both Alaina and Mike have been attending Cicero’s Beer School for a year and credit it to helping them expand their knowledge of craft brew and assisting them to take the plunge into home brewing with their friends. Hopefully, they will bring in some of their home-brew one day.