Wild Turkey: The Spirit of America Lives On

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Did you know that in 1964, bourbon was declared America’s “Native Spirit?” In fact, bourbon is one of the few spirits the U.S. can claim as their own. That’s why the U.S. Congress declared September “National Bourbon Heritage Month” in 2007. The bill was sponsored by a Kentucky senator, and passed without opposition.

Less than a year later, another awesome thing occurred. Wild Turkey released American Spirit. This rare alcohol is a 15 Year Old Bourbon produced in 2008 as a limited run by Wild Turkey. Only 24,000 bottles were produced world-wide to celebrate National Bourbon Month. To commemorate the release, the bottles were designed with a unique shape, and shipped in beautiful wooden box with an insert explaining the history of the spirit. Every bottle comes with a 100% wood stopper, and a limited edition coin affixed to the bottle. A strip stamp seal on the bottle was added for additional authenticity.

American Spirit is 100 Proof bourbon that’s a nod to the history of bourbon making. This is considered a Straight Whiskey, with no additional flavorings added. But enough history. What can you expect when you open the bottle up?

Nose: American Spirit has a very alcoholic smell, so let it aerate for a moment. Afterwards you should expect strong elements of leather, vanilla and nuts. There are lesser hints of rye, maple syrup and citrus. Overall, the head is robust. It will probably run off any drinkers that expect this bourbon to be mixed with cola.

Taste: American Spirit starts off smooth and sweet. It’s almost surprising how light the initial flavor is. After that, you can expect a spicy middle flavor. The burn is nice without being painful. Overall the taste is very smooth and rich. Again, American Spirit isn’t for the rookie bourbon drinker.

Finish: This is a strong finish, but not overpowering or even complex. The finish is smooth and dry, with hints of almonds, oak and vanilla. Don’t expect any fireworks—this is a slow, refined finale.

Overall: If you’re expecting a giant, obvious flavor like 101 or Maker’s Mark, you’re looking at the wrong bottle. This is a strong, rich bourbon with a smooth flavor. The finish isn’t as strong as some like, but many will enjoy the simple subtlety of American Spirit.

I highly recommend Wild Turkey American Spirit for both the bourbon fan and collector. For those that love to drink bourbon, this is a smooth ride that you can appreciate. For the collector, you’re purchasing a beautiful product from a rare, limited collection. Interested in buying? Wild Turkey American Spirit is $130.00 a bottle at Payless Liquors. Stop in now before they’re all gone!

The Rockies Come to Visit the Mid-West

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It’s always a special occasion when friends come to visit for the holidays, especially when they’ve traveled pretty far. Oskar Blues Brewery comes to Payless Liquors all the way from Lyons, Colorado. Oskar Blues has a rich history that you can read more about here. Suffice it to say, they were the first US craft brewer to can their own beer, and they’ve grown quite a bit since they started creating beers in the basement of their brewpub.

But history was never our strongest subject in school. Here, in no particular order, are a few of the Oskar Blues beers that you can now pick up at Payless Liquors:

Dale’s Pale Ale is the flagship beer of Oskar Blue Brewery and the first to be canned. Described as an ale with “a hoppy nose,” this beer delivers a strong but balanced taste from beginning to end. We have it available in 6 packs and 19 oz cans.

Mama’s Little Yella Pils is a pale lager that Beer Advocate describes as “malty and grainy.” With so much focus on hops in the current market, it’s good to see a lager getting so much attention. Available in 6 packs of cans.

Ten Fidy was created in 2007. It’s a viscous stout with flavors of chocolate, caramel and coffee. Weighing in at 10.5% ABV, Paste Magazine offers that “you don’t want to swig these bad boys.” With such amazing flavor, why would you want to? We’ve got these heavy weights in 4 packs of cans.

Old Chub is a Scottish ale that comes in at an agreeable 8% ABV. Old Chub won Oskar Blues GOLD at the 2008 World Beer Championships. Rate Beer gave this Scottish brew a 97%. We couldn’t agree more. Also available in 6 packs at Payless Liquors.

Deviant Dale’s IPA is Oskar Blues Brewery’s latest creation, and their first can to come in the 16 oz variety. With aromas of citrus, grapefruit and pine, this IPA has a beautiful copper color and amazing finish that will leave you wanting more. We carry them in  4 packs.

As you can see, Oskar Blues Brewery produces top quality beer. That might be why they’ve been steadily expanding into new states and facilities for over 10 years. Payless Liquors is only too happy to help with that expansion. Don’t miss the boat—come visit our new Colorado friends!

Green Bullet Triple IPA: Tropical and Bitter

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Green Bullet Triple IPA was produced by Green Flash Brewing in San Diego, CA. Green Flash is an award-winning brewer that was founded in 2002. The beer was named after its New Zealand high alpha hop. The beer was initially brewed to celebrate Green Flash’s ninth anniversary in 2011, but the popularity of the Triple IPA has made it a seasonal regular. The beer is brewed with Green Bullet hops as well as Pacific Gem, and is heavily dried. Both hops are quite strong and very sweet. After the hops are dried pine sap, caramel, and tropical hops are added for flavoring.

But enough history—let’s move on to the good stuff. This beer pours a medium-dark orange with hints of yellow. The colors swirl as you pour, catching the light. The head is thick and white, and will overtake the glass if you aren’t careful. It dissipates quickly, leaving very little residue on the glass. The aroma is quite complex. There are hints of tropical fruit like pineapple, but you also get a very grassy smell. The mint and caramel are also present too, but those are less potent.

Green Bullet is one of the first beers I’ve ever had that tasted almost exactly like it smelled. There is an earthy, grassy taste with floral hints at first. The middle taste has that exact same mint and maple combination. The end taste is a pretty strong bitter alcohol flavor. That might be one of the few things about this beer that will run some people off.

The overall feel of the beer is medium thickness, with nice notes of sweet and bitter. The ABV on this beer comes in at a whopping 10.1%. Be careful with this one. Green Bullet has a really nice carbonation that even the uninitiated will enjoy. A great beer for a cold night.

This is a very well balanced and beautiful beer; I would recommend it to my friends just starting on their hops journey. Other than the bitterness and strong alcohol content, this is a perfect beer that stands up to other IPAs nicely. Green Flash Brewmaster Chuck Silva says of the beer: “Green Bullet is an extremely well-rounded and quaffable triple IPA.” I couldn’t agree more. Green Bullet Triple IPA is available at select Payless Liquors for a limited time. Stop in and grab one, because I don’t expect them to last ($12.99).

Fat Head’s Brewery Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale Now Available

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Something weird happens to me towards the end of September. Like the werewolves of legend, I begin to change. I don’t crave virgin flesh, though. No, I want pumpkin flavored ice cream. I remember when the craze first hit in the late nineties. It was like the McRib for ice cream lovers. Now the pumpkin flavored thing has become a mainstay in our culture. But perhaps some of the best pumpkin-flavoring comes not from sweets, but from craft beer.

Take Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale. It’s a seasonal pumpkin-flavored beer produced by Fat Head’s Brewery, who originates from North Olmsted and Pittsburgh, PA. Now Spooky Tooth is by no means the only pumpkin flavored beer out there. There are some good opponents, but I feel Fat Head’s creation blows them all out of the water. This beer scores 4 out of 5 stars on Untappd and has a 98 out of 100 on Rate Beer. Brewologist Steve Goble comments that Spooky Tooth has a “very smooth feel” and “quickly climbed near the top” of his list of pumpkin beers. Second place, if you read his full article.

Spooky Tooth pours a deep orange in the glass, with a nice thick off-white head. The foam residue is minimal. The aroma is immediately that of pumpkin pie, and spiky smells will make your mouth water. The mixture that you drink has a medium body, but you will feel pretty full drinking it. Some drinkers have commented that it has a chewy, thick feel to it.

The first hints of taste are, again, pumpkin pie. You then get tastes of nutmeg, vanilla, and brown sugar that will remind you of floury pie crust and whipped cream. As the beer warms, the brown sugar will become more apparent. Despite sounding so sweet, the overall flavor isn’t overwhelming. If you’re a fan of ales, this will sit well with you. At 9% ABV, the lasting flavor is warm and alcoholic, but the booziness is slightly hidden. Be careful—especially if you’re new to higher alcohol craft beers. This one can sneak up on you.

Overall, I cannot say enough good things about this beer. I would suggest you go out and get it now. I know it is still early October, but this seasonal craft beer is going to fly off the shelves like a vampire bat. If you have any more questions, please hit us up on social media, or speak with our Beer Guy Josh at the SR 135 store in Greenwood.

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