On The Shelf – Sierra Nevada Brewing 2014 Narwhal Imperial Stout

By The Gentleman

Before I begin I just want to say that anyone who doesn’t like annoying, kind of funny, repetitive Internet songs that get stuck in your head for a decade should probably stop reading right now…okay are they gone? Good, then let’s begin.

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I want to take you back over ten years, to a time before YouTube, when finding hilarious online videos usually involved a trip to Newgrounds or some other Flash video portal. During this time there was one particular Flash cartoon creator who was like the Devil incarnate for catchy Internet videos : Jonti Picking and the Weebl Stuff website. Picking had a gift for creating repetitive songs that could drill deep down into your brain. Years after seeing a video you’d still find yourself humming along to Magical Trevor, Badger, Badger, Badger, or the Kenya song. Once you heard one of these songs it was impossible to forget it. Someone starts talking about Kenya (or Norway…more like Snoreway!) and all I can see is little dancing Lions and Tigers and all I can hear is an Englishman singing “Come to Kenya” with a really annoying trumpet accompaniment. Basically the point of this is the whole time I was drinking the Sierra Nevada 2014 Narwhal Imperial Stout all I could think of was “Narwhals! Narwhals! Swimming in the ocean causing a commotion coz they are so awesome”:

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I’d like to talk about the delicious thick, creamy, brown head and the big, rich, roasted coffee and chocolate flavour of this Imperial Stout, which smelt just as good as it tasted and went down surprisingly smoothly with little bitterness or over the top boozyness despite clocking in at a beastly 10.2% ABV, but really all I can think about is Narwhal’s and how they are so awesome. Did you know they are the Jedi’s of the sea AND they invented the shish kebab? Looking at the bad-ass Narwhal on the Sierra Nevada label it’s easy to believe these things. They look like a creature that doesn’t mess about and just gets straight down to the business of being awesome, much like the Narwhal Imperial Stout.

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Apparently the Narwhal Imperial Stout is a beer that gets better with age, but I don’t think I’d be able to have it in the house for any length of time. Every time I see it I’d just start thinking about Narwhal’s and singing that damn song, it would slowly drive me insane. No this is one to drink as soon as you can get your hands on it.

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Out & About – Espresso Martini at Melt Pizzeria

By The Lady and The Gentleman

After sampling the latest Coffee Experiment from Loft Wine Bar we were reminded of an experience that we meant to write up but never got round to…until now. It was during the height of the crazy February-March Adelaide event season when we managed to nab the last counter spot at one of our favourite city locations, Melt Pizzeria. It had been a long and hectic day and aside from wanting some damn fine pizza The Lady had one other craving on her mind, the perfect Espresso Martini. Let us tell you dear readers that we came pretty close to finding it that day.

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Our bartender buzzed around like a mad thing and we only caught glimpses of what was going into this glorious creation. Vodka, a large shot of freshly made espresso, and magic. The first thing we noticed and admired was the heavenly, strong coffee aroma with something a little extra going on and the thick, inviting foam. Try as we might we can never quite get enough of that delicious foam that elevates an okay to cocktail to the spectacular. We had to bow down in appreciation of the epic foam on the Melt Espresso Martini, which made you just want to eat it up. We almost didn’t want to take a sip, it looked so damn good. Of course, we did, we’re only human after all.

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Taking that first amazing sip the hidden scent in the aroma was revealed, a delicious note of orange. It was almost like drinking the best damn alcoholic, coffee infused Jaffa cake dreamt up in an Adriano Zumbo fever dream. The bitterness of the coffee was balanced out by the light creaminess of the foam and the slight sweetness and acidity of the orange yet it still tasted strong enough to keep you perked up all night long. We’ve done our own experiments with coffee and orange and this just confirmed that these two flavours deserve to be up there with other great partnerships throughout history like Ben & Jerry, Hewlett & Packard, Mawson and all the other guys who went to Antarctica but no one ever remembers. We’d like to say more but our urge to devour this amazing glass of coffee goodness took over. What we’ll leave you with is a throwing down of the gauntlet and a promise. This is probably the best Espresso Martini we’ve ever had. Period. Therefore, the rest of the Adelaide bar scene has been put on notice because we’re coming and the bar has been set.

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Now Serving – Milk Boss

By The Gentleman

Do you know what’s annoying? Milk. You think you’ve purchased a reasonable amount of milk, no giant 3L bottle for you, but even so you just can’t get through it before the ‘use by date’. We hate to waste food, but life (that old chestnut) has a habit of getting in the way of your milk drinking plans and screwing everything up! Next minute things are starting to smell a little bit funky and you’re trying to think back to the last time you poured milk on your cereal and whether that was before or after it went bad. This time though we were not going to be beaten by the use by date. We showed that milk who was boss by pouring it’s still-fresh ass into a cocktail shaker with some damn fine booze. And thus the Milk Boss was born.

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Milk Boss :

70ml Mr Black Iced Coffee 15ml

Stolen Spiced Rum

90ml Full Cream Milk

10ml Maple Syrup

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Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour 30ml of Mr Black and the maple syrup into the glass. Grab your cocktail shaker and add 30ml Mr Black, Spiced Rum and milk. Give it a hard shake then pour into glass. Top with remaining Mr Black. Serve with a straw. This is the sort of thing we’ve already made a lot of with Mr Black, but there’s a reason for that: it tastes so damn good! It’s easy to drink with a nice sweetness from the maple syrup. There’s a nice spicy smell, but not an overly spiced flavour. It’s more of a caramel combination from the spiced rum and maple syrup with just a subtle spiciness. Using the full cream milk also gives the drink a really creamy flavour. It tastes kind of like a decadent creamy coffee truffle. It’s just a little bit fancy really.

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Next time your milk is about to expire show it who’s boss by slamming it down with some sweet sweet alcohol. Go on, make yo’self a Milk Boss.

P.S the only good thing about nearly being out of Mr Black Coffee Liqueur is the badass artwork on the inside of the bottle is almost completely revealed. God it looks cool.

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Now Serving – Stolen Coffee

By The Gentleman

Stolen Coffee

Some mornings the only thing that lets you face the day is that cup of strong black coffee. Until you get that sweet, sweet black liquid gold the struggle is real. Then you actually start working and all the joy of that morning coffee is crushed, to be replaced by the longing for that end of day cocktail. This is clearly the reason why coffee and cocktails go so well together, combining two of the strongest motivators to get through the day, and why the Stolen Coffee needs to be added to your drinking repertoire (and possibly morning routine).

Stolen Coffee

Stolen Coffee

60ml Stolen Spiced Rum

30ml Fresh Orange Juice

30ml Cold Brew Coffee

15ml Mr Black Coffee Liqueur

Orange peel to garnish

 

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice stir the rum, juice, cold brew, and coffee liqueur with a bar spoon till it’s nice and cold. Strain it into ice filled tumblers and then garnish with a piece of orange peel.

Stolen Coffee

Hot damn this is a morning coffee with some kick and just a bit of a twist. Think the lingering bitterness of black coffee mixed with the sweetness of fresh orange juice and a rich, caramel-y, molasses rum. You’ll be reminded of breakfast as the coffee and orange notes in the aroma mix and contend with each other. It sounds a bit weird, it did to us at first, but it’s like pairing your two favourite morning beverages in one for twice the fun (and by two favourite morning beverages we mean coffee and juice not rum…although we are always open to new suggestions). You get the orange first and then you’re left with that strong, slightly bitter aftertaste. It’s an interesting and tasty combination. What really boosts this to the next level is the Stolen Rum. It is the perfect rum for this drink because it already has those coffee notes. The rum just blends into the coffee like they were meant to be together. The molasses of the rum also just smooths out some of the bitterness of the coffee and the acidity of the juice to balance things out and make it very easy to drink.

Stolen Coffee

We don’t necessarily condone morning drinking, but if we did then we would be all over Stolen Coffee as our morning recommendation and beverage of choice. Coffee, rum, and juice is some sort of holy trinity that we are all for.

Stolen Coffee

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Now Serving – The Dude

By The Gentleman

“Hey careful, man, there’s a beverage here!” – The Dude

The Dude

And a damn fine beverage at that! The Dude certainly knew where it was at, worrying more about preserving his cocktail while he was being manhandled into a limo than the fact that he was being manhandled. There’s a drinking game that goes with The Big Lebowski where you have to drink a White Russian every time the dude does. With the addition of cold brew coffee and a touch of vanilla we think this is the perfect beverage to go drink for drink with The Dude.

The Dude

The Dude

45ml Fire Drum Vodka

30ml Mr Black Coffee Liqueur + 5ml for garnish

30ml Cold Brew Coffee

Whole Milk (We used B.D Farms)

1/4 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Grab a tumbler and fill it with ice. Pour in the vodka, Mr Black and cold brew coffee. Give it a bit of a stir and then top with whole milk. Sip and add vanilla extract to taste, just to smooth out the flavours. Top with extra Mr Black.

The Dude

Drinking The Dude you can really understand why The Dude drank so many White Russians in The Big Lebowski. It’s creamy and delicious. The B.D Farms Paris Creek Whole Milk is so delicious and it really takes the drink to another level of creaminess. The coffee flavour wasn’t as pronounced as you would expect with the combination of coffee liqueur and cold brew coffee, but there is a more subtle and pleasant coffee flavour. Cold brew isn’t as acidic so a more mellow flavour is probably to be expected. Not to mention the coffee aroma is just intoxicating. The whole milk and touch of vanilla make it so smooth and easy to drink. They just take the bite off the alcohol, which makes this a deadly little drink. It’s packing a fair bit of alcohol but you can drink it so damn easily.

The Dude

Everyone loves The Dude and we are sure everyone will love drinking The Dude just as much as we did. Just be careful when you are trying to keep pace with Mr Bridges and make sure you keep a firm hand on your glass, there is a beverage here after all.

 

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Now Serving – Mr Black’s Experimental Brew

By The Gentleman

Mr Black's Experimental Brew

So we planned on publishing this post later in the week, but my drinking friend, drafted in because of The Lady rocking the vego life, got a little too excited and revealed it on Instagram so we had to speed things up a bit. We don’t blame him though because this is one damn fine drink made with some damn good Australian spirits. Get ready for breakfast and start the day the right way with Mr Black’s Experimental Brew, the breakfast cocktail of non-vego champions.

Mr Black's Experimental Brew

Mr Black’s Experimental Brew 

30ml Experimental Spirits Co. Bacon Bourbon

30 ml Mr Black Spirits Coffee Liqueur

10ml Maple Syrup

Dash of Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub

Large Ice Cube

Coffee Bacon for garnish

 

In an Old Fashioned glass, or a brandy balloon if you are unprepared like us, mix your bitters, maple syrup, bourbon and coffee liqueur. Give it a good mix so the maple syrup is well mixed in and less syrupy. Add your big ice cube and garnish with the coffee bacon.

Coffee Bacon

To make the coffee bacon you need to whip up a quick little coffee marinade. For three pieces of bacon I combined coffee (3 tsp), brown sugar (3 tsp), a good squeeze of maple syrup, smoked paprika (1/2 tsp) and some water. Mix it together till the coffee and sugar have dissolved then pour it over your bacon. Leave it to marinate for at least an hour, but the longer the better. Preheat your oven to 190 C and cook for roughly 15 minutes. You want the bacon to be nice and crisp.

Bacon Bourbon

This drink showcases two new Australian spirits that are rocking the market right now thanks to people like you. Both drinks were funded using the Australian crowd-funding site Pozible, so we had a little Pozible party in the glass. We’ve already played around with Mr Black’s coffee spirit to some delicious ends, but I was very excited to try out the Bacon Bourbon from Experimental Spirits Co, a venture started by some of the talented folks at Melbourne and Sydney’s Eau De Vie Cocktail Bar. While The Lady sadly can’t partake I am secretly pleased as that just means there is more for me!

Mr Black's Experimental Brew

The drink is a play on an Old Fashioned with a breakfast twist. I love nothing more than starting the day with good coffee and crispy bacon. You know things are going well when you have these two things in your life. I’m also a convert to having something a little sweet with bacon, and maple syrup is the classic choice for a reason, although you can’t go past a bit of hot sauce. The cocktail transfers these flavours into the glass. The bacon bourbon is so smooth. We sipped a bit on its own and it’s just really mellow without a crazy alcohol taste. That worked nicely in the Coffee and Bacon. It didn’t overpower the coffee or the shrub. The shrub is alive and kicking, providing some nice heat to the finish, while the coffee liqueur buzzes strongly with its rich flavour. I think the sensation of the drink feeling really smooth comes from it’s slightly syrupy consistency. It just fills your tastebuds with smooth, syrupy goodness. What really tops it off though is the coffee bacon. Biting into that crisp, blackened piece of bacon is heaven. The coffee darkens and burns slightly and when that is mixed with the smoked paprika you get a delicious smoky flavour with a touch of sugary sweetness. Wash that down with a sip of Mr Black’s Experimental Brew and you’ve got a smoky, coffee, bacon mouthful that satisfies all your breakfast cravings at once. Damn son.

Mr Black's Experimental Brew

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It also makes a damn fine cocktail. So remember to start your day the right way and get some breakfast in yo glass with Mr Black’s Experimental Brew.

Mr Black's Experimental Brew

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Now Serving – Mr Black’s Dream Date

By The Gentleman

Mr Black's Dream Date

Today’s post again gives you, our readers, two recipes for the price of one. Last week you may remember we experimented with Mr Black’s Coffee Liqueur and also sampled a rather delicious date flavoured beer from Burleigh Brewing, the Dream Date Dark Ale. The Lady and I enjoyed both of these so much we just had to have more of them and then the crazy idea hit us, how about we combine the two for some simple but hopefully incredibly tasty beer cocktails. So we once again went a little mad scientist and mixed up a few experiments and the results, well, an interesting thing happened. Out of the two drinks we made, both were quite nice, but The Lady really liked one and I really liked the other so we present to you, The Lady’s Dream Date and The Gentleman’s Dream Date. Enjoy!

 

The Lady’s Dream Date

15ml Ginger and Cardamom Syrup

30ml Mr Black’s Coffee Liqueur

Burleigh Brewing Dream Date Dark Ale

In a fancy glass, mix together the syrup and liqueur. Top with beer then stir to combine. The syrup is really easy to make, just combine one cup of sugar to half a cup of water and then add ginger and cardamon pods to your liking. We chose ginger and cardamom as they are flavours that are meant to pair well with dates. I only had powdered ginger on hand (as usual this was a last minute decision and something I had to make RIGHT then) and used about a teaspoon and a half of ginger to six cracked cardamom pods for a more ginger heavy syrup.

The Lady's Dream Date

You can definitely add more ginger syrup if that’s how you like it as the drink can definitely take it. We were concerned the syrup might make it too sweet, so that’s why we kept it on the down low, but it didn’t. The Lady described the drink as having a flavour reminiscent of those hard boiled ginger sweets your grandparents would always have and everyone knows grandparents only ever had the best food to constantly fatten you up so this is definitely a good thing. The ginger sweet flavour was at the top of drink, what you captured with the first mouthful. As you drank more and dug deeper into the flavours and the aftertaste the strong malts and hops of the beer became more pronounced. The coffee was definitely a subtle flavour, adding a slight bitterness along with the beer and combining with the syrup to give the drink an almost medicinal, herbal sort of aftertaste which left a very pleasant flavour in your mouth.

The Lady's Dream Date

The Gentleman’s Dream Date

45ml Mr Black’s Coffee Liqueur

1 tablespoon Fee Brothers Chocolate a Bitters Spiked Whipped Cream

Burleigh Brewing Dream Date Dark Ale

Pour liqueur and cream into a fancy glass. Top with beer. Stir to combine. The cream is similar to what we used in the Red Wine Chocolate Cake, just without the Mork cacao powder.

Gentleman's Dream Date

This was my favourite but also the one we were most unsure of at first. Cream and beer isn’t exactly a new thing but it is usually only used in conjunction with a dark stout, like a Guinness. The Dream Date Dark Ale is certainly no where near as heavy or creamy as a stout, but we thought the flavour of the beer combined with the coffee of the Mr Black would work, sense be damned! Luckily for us, it did. The Lady felt the drink was almost too sweet and this is why she preferred the less sweet, bitter, herbal flavours of The Lady’s Dream Date, but I really enjoyed this drink. For me that sweetness, combined with the dates in the beer and the coffee of the liqueur, made the drink taste like a like a creamy, caramelly iced coffee and not just the kind made over ice (which are lovely as well), but the really over the top kind that’s made with heapings of ice cream as well. The beer causes the cream to foam up immensely, it almost overflows, which gives you the same awesome creamy foam that you would get with a spider or float. Not only is the foam delicious but it gives the whole drink a creamy flavour. The Lady’s drink also generated some foam, from the syrup, but that simmered down over time whereas the cream meant the foam on this badboy stuck around the whole drink. The drink itself takes on a real caramel colour and the beer and cream don’t overpower the coffee. The drink still has a really strong coffee smell and the coffee and hops do give it a slight bitterness so it’s not all sweetness.

The Gentleman's Dream Date

Both of these drinks aren’t really for everyone. Even The Lady and I had our clear favourites. Still, each drink has some really interesting flavour combinations going on that beg to be tried out so you can see for yourself. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised , especially those of you who are fans of iced coffee or ginger lollies.

The Gentleman's Dream Date

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Dream Dates