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Saturday, January 01, 2011

A Year of Drinks

During 2010, the Lyke2Drink blog committed to chronicle a year's worth of adult beverage enjoyment.

Some drinks were consumed with friends, others were tasted solo while researching articles. Some were purchased while on the road, others were shipped to me by brewers, vintners and distillers looking for coverage. Whether they were sipped at a festival or enjoyed during a dinner with my family, the task of making sure I had a new drink to review for each and every of the 365 days of the year was both challenging and rewarding.

Looking back over the 365 drinks, there were 228 different beers, 62 wines, 63 spirits, 6 cocktails, 4 ciders and 2 sakes. There were too many good drinks to try to name favorites. If you put me in a corner and said pick some of the best from each category, I would have to say that it really comes down to a few experiences along the way.

In the Beer category, it is nearly impossible to beat the September afternoon at the Denver Rare Beer Tasting. Jolly Pumpkin Biere de Goord was one highlight, the beer that was brewed to help raise awareness and funds for the Pints for Prostates campaign. Among the 26 beers poured that day were some truly rare brews, including three that are single day release big beers that could be sipped just feet from one another: Big Sky Barrel-Aged Ivan the TerribleThree Floyds Dark Lord  and Foothills Sexual Chocolate.

In Spirits, having the chance to taste two new Bourbon releases at the distilleries was pretty special, particularly when Bill Samuels Jr. was the host for Maker’s Mark 46  and Brown-Forman Master Distiller Chris Morris conducted the tasting of the Woodford Reserve Master's Collection.

In Wine, some bottles enjoyed with my wife that reminded us of earlier winery visits. These included Hermann Wiemer Semi-Dry Riesling, Dr. Konstantin Frank Fleur de Pinot Noir, Kathryn Hall 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Louis Martini 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon and  Raffaldini La Dolce Vita.

On the “unique” side of things, there was bacon used in vodka and beer; the Bolivian liqueur made from the same raw ingredients used to produce cocaine and the Ohio wine made from a nearly extinct grape variety. Memorable drinks came in the form of a four beer anniversary series from Sierra Nevada, some great cocktails and a number of good wines. But quality is a common thread that unites the drinks of 2010, like Anchor Christmas Ale, Olde Mecklenburg Bauern Bock, Firestone 14 Annivewrsary Ale, Ledson 2009 Carneros Chardonnay , Highland Park 25 Year Old, Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale and Germain-Robin Coast Road Reserve.

With Day 365 Drink, this feature of the blog is being retired. But Lyke2Drink will bring back the weekly “Tuesday Tastings” review segment during January. This blog has been around since 2006 (which is almost ancient when it comes to the drinks blog world) and we are approaching 1,500 total posts. Our plan during 2011 is to take a slightly new focus for Lyke2Drink. This approach will encompass a part of the drinks culture that the blog has touched upon from time to time in the past -- a vibrant and fertile topic that few other outlets really thoroughly cover. In this way we hope to remain relevant to readers and enhance the usefulness of this blog in helping you enjoy the best beer, wines and spirits.

Visit Lyke2Drink in the coming weeks and see where this new direction takes us on our drinks journey.

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