30 April, 2009

To marry Luigi Guglielmo........

A couple of months back I heard rumors about a chocolate grappa arriving on the Irish market. In true Deveney style I harassed the company in question till Fergal called last week and had a case with my name on it.

Liquore al Cioccolato con Grappa arrived on Friday and I managed to abstain until last night. Any man that can produce a liqueur that tastes this good has seriously found the way to my heart- forget designer handbags and candlelit dinners, I did contemplate seeking him out and asking him to marry me. Unfortunately he established the company in 1875 so my thinking is he is either incredibly old or dead, either option is not great!!....

It has the consistancy of a traditional hot chocolate, thick, heavy, creamy and syrupy. The palate is so smooth, the chocolate is a good balance between milk and dark and theres not much to this other than it feels like melted good quality chocolate with a slight alcoholic kick. I don't think a chocolate liqueur could get any better than this. I was trying to think how best to serve it and you've loads of options, ideally in a big cognac glass by the fire in winter, you could have it on the rocks or mix with a good quality Vodka and shaken over ice with a drop of cream and garnished with chocolate shavings. It would be really nice over Ice-cream or strawberries, I could probably go on and on with suggestions!!!

Call into me I have a bottle open here in the shop- it'll probably last about as long as a box of Lindt chocolates............. Chocolate liqueur with Grappa €29.90, Available in Deveney's Dundrum

O&O Ruthx

Sierra Nevada Torpedo and E.S.B

Sierra Nevada always intrigues me and of all the breweries to release seasonal beers I really look forward to the new editions to the Sierra family.

This Brewery was established in the small town of Chico, California in 1979. Ken Grossman began home-brewing which flared a passion and he converted this into one of the most famous craft breweries the States have to offer. These guys have won a minimum of 4 awards every year since 1987. That's pretty impressive.

The first batch of 'Pale Ale' was produced in 1980 and they've grown hugely since then with a very impressive portfolio of strange and interesting comparisons to Traditional English styles and innovative brewing experiments.

The Sierra Nevada Torpedo, extra I.P.A. Traditionally I.P.A's were brewed in England to export to the the homesick English Colonists therefore to last the distance had to be over-hopped and very high in alcohol, this brewing tradition for longevity has become a popular style, especially from American breweries. This is not similar to any other I.P.A that I've tried. On the nose it's pine cone and resin aromas with some citrus notes. The palate is grapefruit with an oily pine resin finish.

The Sierra Nevada E.S.B also just arrived, clear brown colour, the nose is a little too serious for me - bread dough and hops but the palate is smooth spicy with some caramel on the finish.

Overall, this is a good show from these guys, impressed with their very different styles and ability to always surprise me.....

Looking forward to the Summer beer, will keep you posted. O&O Ruthxx

27 April, 2009

Out with the old.........

Aesthetically this is the most exciting thing to happen in Deveney's since Jim Corr dropped in to buy 20 Silk Cut Blue, so as you can imagine a very momentous occasion............

Sunday night the fridges were emptied and discarded to make space for a 14ft open refridgeration cabinet.

The problem with re-inventing yourself slightly is it's a little like getting an eyebrow lift and realising that the rest of your face needs some serious work!!!...

We're getting there though and most importantly the extra space means an even bigger selection.

I decided against unveiling the new and improved cold beer system and I'm urging you all to visit.... That includes you Jim.
Hope to see you all soon,
O&O Ruthxx

21 April, 2009

Liefmann's Framboise and Framboise Boon

Ordered some new beers last week and selfishly included some raspberry beers with the mindset of if 'I can't sell them I'll drink them myself'. Like most Irish people I'm a serious sunshine optimist and when I woke on Sunday morning it was all talk of barbecues, cutting the grass and walking Marlay park in our shorts. We settled on the barbecue and sampling the new Belgian beers that had arrived in Deveney's last Friday, cutting the grass and walking the park were put on the back burner - temporarily or maybe till next summer, along with the shorts...

We started with the Liefmans Frambozenbier. Big fan of beautiful bottles so although not my favourite definitely like looking at it. Took out the 3 glasses, There was lots of excitement with the packaging and them we poured it.... Reddish Brown liquid, thick in consistency with a slight carbonation. This kinda reminded me of the liqueur Creme de Mures in colour and nose- stewed raspberry jam with a slight maltiness. The palate was really interesting, sourdough & sherbety with hints of cola and a ginger spiciness. There is a serious sweetness to this but cut with a lovely citrusy finish. At 5%, the alcohol is really well camouflaged and it's almost like drinking a flavour from Soda Stream...... Louise loved it, Clare was a little disappointed and I thought it was unusual but definitely worth trying again- surprisingly!!

The Framboise Boon was a definite in the Summer beer stakes. This is totally what I'd expect from a raspberry Lambic even down to the colour- Really bright pink, the nose was freshly picked raspberries and the palate had very little sugar and crushed fresh raspberry and citrus fruit with a traditional sour Lambic finish. Although it's not 'a 6pk please' it's possibly the nicest fruit Beer I've tried pushing Chapeau Kriek off the number one spot. As fickle as always, I have a new favourite!!!

Got myself into town and had a few Caipirinhas in Solas just to celebrate the good weather and the even better find from the Belgians..... Good job!!!
O&O. Ruthx

15 April, 2009

Grown in Bolivia... distilled in Amsterdam.....

A Bolivian Coca leaf liqueur distilled in Amsterdam.... Sounds ominous.

We sell it though and had to open a bottle for anyone interested in sampling a spirit derived from the bi-product of a class-A drug.......

Every 700ml bottle contains 40grams of Coca leaf and is blended with Guarana & Ginseng.

It's not the first attempt at a Bolivian Coca Leaf Liqueur, In 1820 a similar product was manufactured in Bologna but was taken off the market with the banning of cocaine- as rudimentary distilling did not remove the narcotic..... It's nearly spent the last 200years in rehab and it's back, clean and very fresh looking but slightly green....

On the nose it smell exactly like Rose's Lime Cordial but it tastes absolutely nothing like the sweet& tangy lime concentrate. It's all herbs and soft vanilla but with a bit of an Oesophagus warming effect on the finish.... a must for any Spirit attempting to become a must-stock/ must-reside in my drinks cabinet. This is a liqueur for mixing - it's not undrinkable neat but it's quite neutral and works really well in male-octails. There is nothing soft and squidgy about this product or the recipes to follow.

The rainforest Caipirinha:
Whole lime cut in quarter with 1 tablespoon of sugar and muddle well. add chipped ice then 2 msrs of Agwa liqueur. Use bar spoon to mix the sugar and lime combo with the Agwa, the melted ice will dilute the Liqueur.
The 8 Ball:
Shake 1 msr of Agwa with a msr of Bacardi 8yr, add freshly squeezed Lime juice with cloudy apple juice, Shake over Ice well and Strain into High-ball glass.
If we ever get the Sunshine these are ideal for the garden if not turn the heating up put a bit of shakira on the ipod and talk back-packing around South-America. As my Dad always says - 'Drink these lying down' or at least try not to stand up after any more than 3......
O&O Ruthx

10 April, 2009

A few of my favourite things......

I think one of the reasons I love alcohol (apart from the seriously obvious ones) are the stories attached to a really great drink. Don't get me wrong I've consumed plenty of average shorts beers and shots and had difficulty piecing nights together but really great single malts, aged rums, first class growths and vintage ales always seem to come with a fluorescent post-it of a yarn. This is either one of three things 1) the drink in question was too rare to forget that the mind has fabricated a memory for your own bank balances sanity or 2) The drink was so incredibly unforgettable that even after a few too many the sub-conscious managed to press record or 3) It was the very first drink of the night/operating heavy machinery. Being a semi-Romantic and all about the 'drinking Limoncello in the Tuscan sun' or 'a glass of Syrah on a hill in Hermitage' I choose to believe number 2).... Every good drink has a good story and most are shared with your favourite people.

I found Matusalem Gran Reserva 15yr old rum about 18months ago and consequently rum became my new Spirit passion. I had never been a fan of white rums, i always got a strong flavour of burnt plastic from some of the more commercial brands and kind of avoided it.This is such an impressive drink in any form- neat, on the rocks or with a Fentimans ginger beer, muddled lime and crushed ice. On the nose it's exactly like an x.o Cognac all dried fruit hints of honey and caramel with notes of vanilla. On the palate it's really full bodied, cherry apricot and black liquorice with such a smooth finish. This is now produced in the Dominican Republic after the family were exiled in the 50's but the story begins in Jerez (sherry country) Spain in the early 1800's. The Alvarez family who had produced Sherry for Generations up and left their homeland for Cuba in the late 1860's. They brought all they knew about fortified wine to the home of fermented sugar cane and recreated the traditional style of Rum. Establishing Matusalem Rum in 1872....

My experience with this rum have only been fantastic nights of good friends, laughter and late nights.........Recommendations don't get any better than this.O&O Ruthx.

Matusalem 15yr €44.90, also available in Deveney's Dundrum white, 7yr old & 10yr old.

02 April, 2009

It's the April Tasting.........

We've decided to stay a little closer to home for the April tasting and it was a toss up between England and Scotland so I settled on the latter. These guys have been cleaning up at the Beer awards, I thought it'd be good to taste them against each other and give them the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the great English ales and a good excuse to take the Luas to Dundrum!!
I mentioned in one of my other blogs that Fridays - although a great day for a beer gathering, have been disrupting the inhabitants of the village and their Friday ritual of visiting Deveney's. Thursday is now the day to finish work early, take whatever mode of transport that enables you to have more than 2 units, feed the children well at lunch hour and make your way to Dundrum between 6.30-8pm, Just to remind you that I take no responsibility for pitstops en-route home or write excuse notes for absence. I look forward to seeing you all on Thursday 23rd April, dress code: Kilts (not optional)
Ruth D.

01 April, 2009

Samuel Adams Honey Porter.

Finished work at 5pm yesterday, the cafe where I buy my soup had let us down by making mushroom - which Mark won't eat, so we both had to suffer!!! I left Dundrum with severe starvation disorder and headed back to Nutgrove and the chicken (kinda spicy /makey- up) curry I'd made the night previous.
Samuel Adams Honey porter had arrived last week on a back order placed 6 weeks ago which needless to say had slipped my mind . On it's first night I bought a bottle with the intention to blog and put it in the usual place -the lettuce/beer/mayonnaise department of my fridge at home and forgot. I decided it didn't sound bad - spicy almond curry with an American heather honey porter - odd maybe but delicious, at this point of hunger if you'd replaced the 'almond curry' with 'hoof & hog curry' I'd probably have thought the same!! Anyway the nose was Demerera sugar, maple syrup and wild honey with hints of clove, really amazing and interesting. On the palate there was a nice soft carbonation loaded with wild honey hints of heather and fruit, finishing dry with some sour-dough elements.
When matching a wine with a spicy Indian curry or an Asian dish I'd always recommend a really aromatic grape like Gewurtztraminer/ Riesling or a New World Pinot, this American honey porter is a great alternative to these and really kind on the cash......€3.29.....o&o Ruth.