Blackstone To Resume Bottling in 2011

I participate in several in online beer communities, and there is a beer aficiando in Knoxville that digs up and posts all kinds of Tennessee beer news. Let's refer to him as Lithy. I offered him guest permissions for the blog and I am waiting to hear back. In the meantime, I am free to repost anything he shares in the forums.

I have run into the Blackstone Brewery owner at a few local beer tastings, so I knew something was on the horizon. Well  it's now official. Expect Blackstone to be bottling and kegging at their new facility in early 2011. More info can be found in this Nashville Business Journal article. This is great news and yet more growth for the Nashville Craft Beer Scene. Thanks for the official scoop Lithy!


Beer Review- Ass Kisser Double IPA

I went to visit one of my beer mentors a few weeks ago down in Dallas, Texas for a weekend of craft beer drinking. My flight was late getting in Friday night, so we stayed in drinking draft homebrew and a 1989 Thomas Hardy's Ale. The following night was crazy, as I got to experience my first North Texas Homebrewers Association pool party. Sunday I wanted to hit a few beer bars to try offerings from Texas craft breweries. We started at the Ginger Man in Plano for a special keg tapping of Rahr & Sons End of Winter Warmer, an English Strong Ale aged in Kentuck bourbon barrels. 

The district sales manager from Rahr & Sons happened to be there, so I took the opportunity to discuss the release of Ass Kisser Double IPA in the TN market. Since I had a bottle sitting back at home, I wanted to find out more about it. The beer is contracted brewed for Ass Kisser Beverage Company, who produces wines with the same Ass Kisser name. Apparantly they also wanted to have a beer available to compliment their product line. And the rest of the story.

Ass Kisser Double IPA-
Ass Kisser Beverage Company (contract brewed by Rahr & Sons, Ft Worth, TX)

Commercial Description:
Ass Kisser Double IPA is a rich malty ale that has warm caramel notes that ope up as it warms up to your glass........ ABV: 9%

Smitty's Review: Sampled at 55 degrees. Pours a nice amber with a dissipating ivory head. Piney hop aroma, but as it warms I pick up carmelly malt, raisen, and alcohol. Lighter side of medium bodied with a soft carbonation. Mouthfeel is definitely more British in character. Starts of malty with strong notes of caramel and wet grains, but the piney and earthy hops quickly dominate mid palate. Long, dry bitter finish with some clinging resin and a slight astringency. There is some alcohol warmth as it goes down the windpipe.

I am not sure I would classify this as a Double IPA. This comes across more as an English Strong Ale or perhaps even an American Strong Ale. It does not matter because classification does not cloud my enjoyment of a beer, and I enjoyed this one.

Rating*: 8 out of 10

Recommended Food Pairing: This one is tricky for me with the malt and hops combintation. I recommend Stilton cheese, game, cured meats.

Moderate at $6.99 per 22 ounce bottle

Beer Audience: Hop heads and experienced craft beer drinkers.

Where To Buy:  I picked this up at Midtown Wine & Spirits, but other liquor stores with a good craft beer selection should have this.

* rating system based on aroma (1 pt), appearance (1pt), palate (2 pts) flavor (3pts), comparison to other commercial examples of the style (3pts)