1. Ed loves Black Velvet's Toasted Caramel Whisky. Last year, when he came out to visit, I couldn't find a single bottle of it in Greenbelt or at Old Line. So, this afternoon, I decided I'd do a mile a walking indoors, thanks to the chilly wind outdoors, at Total Wine up at the Laurel Corridor and pick up a fifth of Toasted Caramel Whisky in preparation for Ed and Mike's arrival on Monday.
Well, as long as I was at Total Wine walking a mile in the aisles, I picked up six bombers of six different beers. For example, it will be fun to drink some Eugene beer when we pop open the Ninkasi Tricerahops and I picked up some other favorites and some beer we haven't tasted -- like the Union Brewing/Heavy Seas collaboration, Partnerships Olde Ale. I'll probably start grabbing or ordering Old Ale style beer every chance I get these days -- last night I had a taster of Old Curmudgeon Old Ale at Quench and I loved its boozy sweetness.
That's not all I bought at Total Wine. I was scanning the whiskey shelves and I suddenly remembered when the Deke used to go to a friend's backyard in Eugene and drink rye whiskey and I always liked the sound of that as well as the sound of "them good old boys" in "American Pie", but I couldn't ever remember drinking rye whiskey myself, let alone with the Deke. I decided to buy a bottle of rye whiskey distilled in Baltimore, Sagamore Spirit. We'll see how it goes. I have high hopes.
2. Tuesday at Old Line, the Deke and I were at the elbow of the bar and after we'd been there a while, three affable kindred spirits sat down at the elbow: Jo, Jim, and Sarah. We got to talking, started learning a bit about each other, and they invited the Deke and me to join their Friday Franklins Regulars get together. It's kind of like the Thursday get together we loved at Billy Mac's in Eugene -- people who enjoy each other sitting around a table for some beers and food.
So, this afternoon, I picked up the Deke from school and we drove down to Franklins, in Hyattsville; it's advertised as our county's only brew pub. (I guess that's still true....) As an added bonus, Molly, Ana, David, and Olivia also came to Franklins. The Deke and I visited with Jo, Jim, Sarah, and Katie for a while and then made our way downstairs to join Molly and the kids at another table. My favorite beer of the night was a half pint of Batch 900, a strong ale -- I'd also say Old Ale style -- rich with sweet flavors and a little boozy. I also drank a half pint of Twisted Turtle Pale Ale, presented as an ESB. If I try this beer again, I'll order it first. It might have suffered from following the much more flavorful strong ale.
For a few minutes, we poked around in the Franklins General Store, a place packed with candy, games, and toys with beer and wine in the back and drove back to our apartment home, happy after a night of fun conversation and enjoying Molly and our grandchildren.
3. Once settled in at our apartment home, I broke out the Sagamore Rye Whiskey. Heh. I confess. I sampled a nip before going to Franklins, so I already knew that this was a fine whiskey -- just the right spicy molasses-y (not cloying) sweetness to start and a pleasing peppery burn to finish. The Deke loved it, too. I suddenly wished we had a few more bottles of whiskey from small distilleries on hand and could share a flight together, but, alas, for now this was all we had and it was tasty, relaxing, and sufficient.