Fisherman’s IPA and Ironclad IPA

fisherman_logoFisherman’s Beer is an American craft beer made on Boston’s North Shore. Grillaz, always trying to get to the source of all things that are good, took a trip to the Cape Ann Brewing Company’s brewery in Gloucester, MA, where they make Fisherman’s. This is a delightful brewery situated right on the water.

We sat at the bar and started off with the Fisherman’s IPA, which is on tap year round. This is an outstanding IPA with excellent balance. It is not too hoppy, and it would be a good choice as a “starter” IPA for those who wish to explore this type of beer. We would have preferred it to be a bit hoppier, but it was nonetheless an enjoyable beverage.

The bartender then steered us to the newly available Ironclad IPA, currently on tap. This beer is hoppier than the regular IPA, which is preferred by us, and slightly sweeter. But the striking feature is its citrus flavor. The combination of the hops and citrus resulted in an interesting taste that we enjoyed. But being a little more traditional, we would be more likely to reach for the regular IPA than the Ironclad.

American Craft Beer Fest 2013

Beer Festival

On Saturday (June 1, 2013), Grillaz went to the American Craft Beer Fest at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.
acbf-logo-blackThe large venue provided plenty of room for 140+ breweries to set up their booths and display 640+ beers for a multitude of beer fans. We went with the attitude that we wanted to explore beers we had not tried before, and that is basically what we did for three hours. We did occasionally have a taste of one our standard favorite beers – just to calibrate our taste buds. Here are the beers that we really liked, and we gave them 4 or 5 stars.

Oskar Blues Brewary Dales Pale Ale star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Baxter Stowaway IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Ballast Point Sulpin IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Troegs Hop Back Amber Ale star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Smuttynose Vunderbar Pilsner star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Jack’s Abbey Hoponious star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Red Hook IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Opa Opa IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Sixpoint Spice of Life
Thomas Hooker Spinster XPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Bentley Brewing Co. Sir Dankly star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Three Heads The Kind IPA star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3

Burgers Grilled on Mother’s Day

Some Badass Burgers

Grillaz hosted a little Mother’s Day cook out, and the guests requested gourmet burgers featured in the BuzzFeed article “28 Badass Burgers to Grill this Weekend.” We chose the Chile-Stuffed Cheeseburger, the Lamb Burger with Goat Cheese and Avocado, and the Pork and Chorizo Chile Burger. They all had wonderful, distinct flavors – something for everyone. For desert, we had a Key Lime Pie cooked from scratch by Soph’s Kitchen.





Kappy’s Scotch Tasting

It’s All About the Scotch

On Sunday (April 28, 2013), one of the Grillaz went to Tony’s Winter Scotch Tasting at the Peabody Kappy’s.  The other one went to the emergency room to have a rusty nail extracted from his foot.  Unsurprisingly, Kappy’s was more fun than the hospital.

Glenmorange18_scotchBefore Grillaz gives you an overview of the Scotches we tasted at the event, let’s have a look at what followed us home:  Glenmorangie 18 Year Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.  This beverage has a rich, complex flavor and – in Grillaz style – is not too peaty.  It is pricy, but it is worth it as a occasional treat.

Glenmorangie 18 star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Glenfarclas 21 star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
(Excellent but overpriced at $128.)
Glenfarclas 17 star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
(Good but overpriced at $100.)
Auchentoshan Valinch 115 star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3

(Very smooth, very little sting for a cask strength, but it is a little sweet.)

Hibiki 12 star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
(From Japan, so it is not a Scotch. A trifle bland.)
Ealanta star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Auchentoshan Three Wood star_small_3star_small_3
Bowmore 12 star_small_3star_small_3
Laphroag 18 star_small_3star_small_3

Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old Highland Scotch Whisky

How ’bout that Highland Scotch

dalwhinnie_highland_scotchThe Mastah Grillaz enjoyed Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old Single Malt Highland Scotch Whisky just recently, and it immediately jumped into our favorites list.  It has a clean, crisp, slightly sweet taste that finishes with light smoke and peat.  While we, the Mastah Grillaz, dabble in some of the smokier scotches, we do not seek too much smoke, unlike many other Scotch lovers.

Pork Chops and the Marinade Injector

Mmm Pork Chops

pork_chops_injectorSometimes those thick, grilled pork chops can come out dry after grilling them.  Marinating them for several hours or continually dowsing them with marinade while grilling can keep them moist, sure, but Grillaz wanted a short cut.  So we bought our first marinade injector.  We found a marinade recipe on the web that consisted of apple juice, sugar, and salt and injected our chops half an hour before grilling.  They came out perfect – hatch marks on the outside, just done in the middle, and moist and tender.

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Spinach and Feta

Chicken Breast Stuffed with things: A Great Innovation

chicken_breast_stuffed_with_spinach_feta_thumbnailThe only prepared meats that Grillaz usually grill are sausages, but while at McKinnon’s, a chicken breast stuffed with spinach and feta caught our attention.  It grilled up great.

1.  Place the stuffed chicken breast on the edge of a medium fire and put the lid on the grill.

2.  Rotate the breast a half turn after about 10 minutes.

3.  When the cheese melts and begins to flow (after about another 10 minutes), pull it off the grill – it is ready to enjoy.

Kappy’s Bourbon Tasting

KappysRedOn Sunday (March 10, 2013), the two Grillaz attended the Bourbon tasting event at Kappy’s in Peabody, MA.  As usual, Kappy’s hosted a splendid event with fine Bourbons to taste,  expert guidance on the differences between them, and a group of aficionados to share the experience with.

bottle_bourbon_iconBefore Grillaz gives you an overview of the Bourbons we tasted, let us show you the prize we took home with us: Breaking and Entering. This is a tasty blended bourbon from the artisan distillers St. George Spirits.

We did not taste everything at the event – so many to choose from – but here is what we did try and what we thought:

Breaking & Entering star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Colonol Taylor star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Maker’s 46 star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Basil Hayden’s star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Bakers star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Woodford Reserve star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Woodford Double Oak star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3
Old Forester star_small_3star_small_3star_small_3 ($26 great for the price)
Knob Creek Single Barrel star_small_3star_small_3
Jim Beam Ghost star_small_3

McClelland’s Single Malt Lowland Scotch

Lowland Scotch- Mellow and Smooth

mcclellands-lowland-scotchWe tried McClelland’s Single Malt Lowland Scotch Whisky soon after we enjoyed discovering the Highland. The Lowland, like its brother the Highland, is a tasty, inexpensive Scotch. It is mellower and smoother than the Highland – a plus – but is still immature when compared to our favorite scotches. McClelland’s Lowland would make an ideal “starter” for newcomers to scotch tasting.

McClelland’s Highland Scotch

More Highland Scotch Please

mcclellands_highland_scotchWe recently tried McClelland’s Single Malt Highland Scotch Whisky, which is a tasty and enjoyable scotch that is also inexpensive. It has an engaging complexity to its flavors but seems slightly immature when compared to our favorite scotches. McClelland’s Highland Scotch would make a good “starter” for newcomers to scotch tasting or a pleasant change of pace for those more experienced.