Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 53

The Captain’s Log

The waiting, as Tom Petty once said, is the hardest part, while some other big thinker famously noted that patience a virtue. So you’ll need a bit of patience as you wait for the compelling collaboration between Captain Lawrence and the Still the One distillery in Port Chester to come to fruition. Still the One is distilling Freshchester Pale Ale into a very intriguing, locally produced whiskey.

Captain Lawrence owner Scott Vaccaro calls the mash-up “floral and fruity, with a hint of hops.”

Now, the waiting part. A small batch may be available for tasting by the end of 2013, while the pale ale whiskey is slated for broader consumption another year or so after that.

The wait for the beloved Rosso E Marrone sour ale won’t be nearly as long. The beer’s release used to prompt diehard fans of the Rosso to drive from miles around to sleep outside the old Pleasantville location, like those camping out for the latest iPhone, before the beer’s release. Captain Lawrence won’t post a release date in advance, but will make the Rosso E Marrone’s availability known on the website soon as the beer, currently bottle-conditioning in the brewery, is ready.

“It’s sitting as we wait for it to carbonate,” says Scott. “The beer will tell us when it’s ready.”

The Rosso won the gold medal among American Sour Ales at the Great American Beer Fest in 2009. While that kind of beer is not for everyone, a more widely accessible brew is the Sun Block, which Scott calls an unfiltered American wheat beer dry hopped with cascade hops. Available in the tasting room, Sun Block is a new formulation of an older beer; it was previously a Belgian white. “We’ve cranked up the hops a little,” Scott says. “There’s more flavor and a lemony aroma, thanks to the hops.”

In the big and bold brew department, Scott has ordered up a Baltic Porter for the brewery’s experimental pilot system. Made with Kolsch yeast, it’s a smooth and malty concoction. “We’ve been making porters from Day One but we haven’t played around with the Kolsch yeast in them,” he says. “It’s a nice little add-on.”

–Michael Malone (malone5a@yahoo.com).

Also continuing to ferment is the Frost Monster, a formidable imperial stout that’s hanging out in 50-gallon oak barrels. “It’s coming along nicely,” says Scott, who nonetheless has “no clue” when the Frost Monster will be ready to tap.

Another intriguing, and mega-bodied, brew to look out for: a triple IPA that’s in its earliest stages. “It’s all about the hops,” is about all Scott will say about it.

Finally, the endless winter is trying everyone’s patience as it continues to put spring plans, including al fresco beer sampling, on hold. Try to be patient. “We’re hoping the snow on the bocce court will melt soon,” says Scott, “so we can finally get out there and have some fun.”

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