Brew and Booze News

Tippling Tuesday Times for September 10th, 2013

Introducing The Glen Grant® Five Decades Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm celebrates his 50 years at Glen Grant with a limited edition whisky comprised of his best vintages from his five decades at the legendary distillery

NEW YORK CITY (September 2013) -­‐ Stepping into the Glen Grant® distillery, one is overcome with the feeling of entering a whisky cathedral. The tallest pot stills in the world rise up in a line like organ pipes. Decades-­‐old wooden barrels line the maturation warehouses like pews. And at the center of it all is Dennis Malcolm, perhaps the most experienced Master Distiller in Scotland, Father of the Scotch Religion and champion of whisky as it should be. As the category has blossomed, even the finer single malts have been drawn into whisky purgatory, engaged in a seemingly endless battle to over-­‐peat and out-­‐darken each rival expression: gimmicks that are meant to catch eyes, not taste buds. Malcolm is determined to bring crafters and connoisseurs alike back into the light by producing Scotch in its most original form: a classical and easily drinkable spirit with a beautifully light appearance.

Dennis Malcolm has spent 50 years chasing this goal, in the distillery in which he cut his teeth as an apprentice cooper at age 15. In celebration, the Master Distiller of the Glen Grant Speyside Distillery brings to you his Glen Grant Five Decades Limited Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Whisky disciples rejoice! Five Decades is a single malt specially crafted to pay homage to his five decades of experience with Glen Grant; this ‘Unique Selection of the Finest Vintages’ is the marriage of the most valuable Glen Grant casks from the past 50 years, carefully hand-­‐selected to deliver the distinctive smooth, fruity and rich taste experience for which Glen Grant is renowned. Dennis has hand-­‐selected his favorite casks, which he personally laid down over the last Five Decades (1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s). By marrying together these slowly aged casks, each of which has reached its peak of maturity, he has created a rich yet mellow Single Malt with unusual depth and complexity.

The Glen Grant Distillery was established in 1840 in the town of Rothes, and is now the proud proprietor of an entirely Barley-­‐to-­‐Bottle process: all whisky, including the Five Decades, is bottled at the distillery, meaning local Speyside water is used in distillation and hands are locally sourced. In addition, Glen Grant boasts some of the tallest, most slender pot stills in Scotland, which are perhaps most key to the Glen Grant Five Decades’ signature light appearance. The process is a product of gravity: to double distill the whisky, the fermented solution must be boiled to reduce volume by evaporation. With shorter stills, the vapor somewhat counterproductively falls back into the liquid, whereas a taller still allows the vapor to rise and escape-­‐ thus the pristine appearance of the single malt. Each still has a ‘purifier’ that further refines the character of the spirit making it refreshingly light and easy to drink.

“We believe in-­‐ nay, swear by-­‐ producing Scotch in its most pure, most classic form at the Glen Grant Distillery,” says Dennis Malcolm. “Glen Grant Five Decades is the embodiment of our devotion, being a culmination of each of the best vintages from every decade I have spent in this beloved hall of whisky excellence.”

The Glen Grant Five Decades is characterized by an appearance of light golden barley, and a bouquet melding vanilla, honey and Oloroso sherry. Once on the tongue, the Five Decades instills tastes of honey and orange blossom, with intensely creamy sweet toffee and raisin fruit. The finish is smooth and lingering, with continued notes of fruit.

The Glen Grant Five Decades Limited Edition Single Malt Whisky will be available for purchase in September 2013, and available nationwide at liquor stores for $150.00.


Saison deRose

Saison de Rose Debuts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Free Will’s Collaborative Pink Brew Benefits Rena Rowan Breast Center

Philadelphia, PA — To help raise funds and awareness for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the brewers at Free Will Brewing Co. partnered with some of Philly’s top female beer personalities for an inspiring pink beer collaboration in support of Penn Medicine’s Rena Rowan Breast Center. The brewers at Free Will essentially opened their brewery doors for these four women to make a brew that fit their specifications—serious, delicious, accessible, refined—and the charitable brew, Saison de Rose, will hit the Philadelphia craft beer market late September 2013 with an official Saison de Rose Release Party & Free Will Weekend at Devil’s Den the weekend of Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6.

When Free Will Assistant Brewer David Wood and Philadelphia craft beer bar owner Erin Wallace [Devil’s Den, Barren Hill Tavern, Old Eagle Tavern] worked together during a Philly Beer Week event, little did they know that it would be the precursor to a charitable collaboration between Free Will and four of the best female beer personalities in Philadelphia. Wood brought the idea of brewing a special charitable pink beer for breast cancer awareness month to the rest of the brewers at Free Will, while Wallace gathered a group of female beer experts like herself.

“To truly participate in the brewing process from start to finish has been an amazing experience. Free Will knows about brewing, but the four of us women know a whole lot about beer too,” says Erin Wallace. “We got to taste each batch and tweak various flavors— more spice here, more carbonation, less ginger, more hibiscus to adjust the color—it was really exciting, and to do all this in honor of the Rena Rowan Breast Center made it even better.”

FreeWill Brewing Co

These female beer experts include Erin Wallace, Philly Beer Week board member and owner/beverage director of Devil’s Den, Old Eagle Tavern, and Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery; Marnie Old, sommelier, author, and Cheap Buzz columnist in Philadelphia’s Daily News; Tara Nurin, Ale Street News columnist, Pink Boots Society historian, and Cicerone Certified Beer Server, and Carolyn Smagalski, an international freelance beer journalist, Certified International Beer Judge and Cicerone Certified Beer Server.

The goal was to brew a beer for October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month: seasonally appropriate, accessible for women, tasty for non-beer drinkers, and satisfying for craft beer lovers. They decided on a saison—a farmhouse pale ale, highly carbonated, fruity, and typically spicy—and Saison de Rose (season of pink) was created. They wanted a pink beer brewed with quality, unique ingredients that tastes great and at the same time meets the criteria, expectations, tastes and standards of a group of well-versed beer experts. Saison de Rose is a true collaboration, after many batches and flavor adjustments from the women’s expert palates.

Pink grapefruit, pink peppercorns, ginger and hibiscus contribute to the pink hue of the beer while contributing mild spice to the flavor profile. The beer is delicately sweet with the serious flavor of a farmhouse ale and just the right balance of ginger.

Saison de Rose will be available at Devil’s Den in South Philly, Old Eagle Tavern in Manayunk, and Barren Hill Tavern in Lafayette Hill, as well as numerous other craft beer destinations throughout the city. Saison de Rose will also be featured at the Midtown Fall Festival, Sunday, October 6, thanks to Brü Craft & Wurst and McGillin’s Olde Ale House. More details will follow with specific locations that will sell Saison de Rose. Every keg and every bottle bought by bottle shops and bars will benefit Rena Rowan Breast Center. $1 from every pint sold will benefit the charity with an estimated donation of $10,000 from the entire Saison de Rose project, plus additional donations from the participating bars.

The group chose the Rena Rowan Breast Center at Penn Medicine as the charity for the Saison de Rose project because the money goes directly towards helping patients and improving the center and services it provides. Currently there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, making the disease an issue that touches many hearts. The Rena Rowan Breast Center was on board with a beer, especially a pink beer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and was proud to be associated with these women and Free Will.



City Tap House’s 1st Oktoberfest Will Be The Best “Wurst” Saturday Ever!

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Saturday, September 21, celebrate the beginning of Germany’s famed Oktoberfest with seasonal food specials and German-style craft beers at The Best “Wurst” Saturday Ever hosted by City Tap House (The Radian Balcony, 3925 Walnut Street, 215-662-0105). From 1 to 4 p.m., the kitchen will prepare and serve an extended menu of Bavarian fare, while many of the bar’s 60 taps will be dedicated to both local and world beers brewed in honor of the annual suds festival.  Both food and beer will be available on a “pay as you go” basis, and TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb will provide live musical entertainment.

“There are so many tremendous imported German beers and great versions of German styles produced locally this year, we felt compelled to host our first Oktoberfest,” says beer steward Andy Farrell, who heads the 60-tap beer program at City Tap House, Philadelphia’s largest.  “Lots of beer with chef-crafted pairings and homemade sausages sounds like a great afternoon to us.”

Featured menu items will include:  Sauerkraut and Smoked Pork Loin “Hushpuppies” with house-cured kasseler and whole grain beer mustard; German Potatoes, hand-cut French fries with smoked knackwurst, crispy bacon, hefeweizen-white cheddar cheese sauce, horseradish cream and sauerkraut; Smoked Pork Loin Calzone with house-cured kasseler, emmentaler cheese, sauerkraut and whole grain beer mustard;  Bratwurst, grilled sausage on a New England-style roll with pickled cabbage and mustard;  Currywurst, sliced bratwurst with pickled cabbage, hand-cut French fries and curry sauce;  and“Steak” ’n Eggs, pan-seared calf’s liver with pickled onions, fried eggs, crispy bacon and sauerkraut mashed potatoes.

Beers filling City Tap House’s Oktoberfest lines will include not only fest beers, but other German styles as well such as:  Stoudts Oktoberfest;  Penn Kaiser Pils;  Ayinger Oktoberfest;  Bitberger Pils;  Kostrtzer Schwartzbier;  Weinhenstephaner Hefe;  Schnieder Hopfen Weisse;  HofBrau Delicator;  Hofbrau Hefe;  Sly Fox Oktoberfest;  and Stoudts Gold.  “Best Wurst Saturday Ever” half-liter steins will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

This fun welcome-to-fall event is the latest in City Tap House’s extraordinary line-up of beer tastings and pairings, following their popular Summer Movie Nights, 4/20 Beer-B-Q, Bell’s Tap Takeover and last winter’s exclusive Stone Vertical Epic Tasting.  With extensive open-air seating on two terraces and a row of five stone fire pits overlooking Walnut Street combined with the rich, rustic feel of a mountain lodge, City Tap House is one of the city’s most popular food-and-beer destinations.  It is located on the second level of The Radian, a pristine landmark building just steps from the campuses of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.

City Tap House serves lunch and dinner seven days a week, and brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am until 3 pm.  For more information, please call (215) 662-0105, visit, follow them on Twitter (@TapHousePhilly) and like them on Facebook.

6 replies »

  1. Great write-up! I’m intrigued by Saison du Rose and have no idea why I spelled it incorrectly. The concept and purpose behind the brew are more than top notch. I guess I’ll have to break out the oars or hovercraft and make like Washington (sans silly hat) to get my hands on one.

    And as for the Sausagefest, I have but 4 words: Pigs, In, A, Blanket

    That’s right, no need to even mention the display of reciprocating saws.



    • I wish I could take credit for writing any of it, but alas, I can not. All I did was cut, paste, and pretty it up a bit. I’m simply passing along all the news that’s fit to print.


  2. When someone gives you a compliment you say thank you and smile and wave. And, I’m proud of you. Posted a reference to SausageFest and didn’t feel the need to post a snippet of Cloris Leachman.


    • It’s not that I don’t appreciate a compliment, it’s that in this instance, it was unwarranted. I didn’t write it up, so it wouldn’t be fair to take the credit. Perhaps I should start these news posts with a disclaimer like this:

      “Here are a few of the more interesting Press Releases that have landed in our inbox this past week…”

      You know, for the sake of full disclosure.

      And as far as Cloris Leachman, I’ll try to keep it silly and semi-classy…


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