Monthly Archives: February 2015

Comics & Cocktails #4 • Hellboy Beer

Rogue and Dark Horse are teaming up to produce a limited-edition Hellboy Beer!? Count me in!

I know, I know… This post is called “Comics & Cocktails,” but that’s just a catchy name — any time the worlds of adult beverages and comics overlap in any way, I think it’ll be fair game for here.

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So, Hellboy!

I saw the news on Comic Book Resources last night.

The beer marks Hellboy’s 21st birthday and will be called “Right Hand of Doom Red Ale,” a limited release from the Rogue brewery, which is located in Oregon.

I can’t wait to try this. I love their “Dead Guy Ale” and I’m a sucker for gimmicks, especially when it’s a comic book tie-in. I imagine the release will be similar to the way in which Ommegang Brewery put out its several “Game Of Thrones” tie-in beers. I’ve tasted a few of those and they’ve all been solid, and I imagine this will be just as good!

IMG_0886The beer will be available nationally through Rogue.com, as well as the Things From Another World Comics store in Portland.

Here’s what Hellboy creator Mike Mignola said in a press release announcing the beer:

“When Dark Horse Comics published the first Hellboy story 21 years ago, I never thought there’d be a Hellboy beer. But I really can’t imagine a better time for Rogue to introduce the Right Hand of Doom beer. If Hellboy was real, I guess he’d finally be able to buy me a beer.”

Pre-orders can be placed now on the Rogue site. The beer has an ABV of 6.8% and is 82 IBU.

•WHAT IS IBU?•
Most beer-drinkin’ people know what their beer’s ABV percentage means as well as some of the other jargon on the label, like style of beer and whatnot. However, IBU is something I bet most folks might just skim right over when drinking craft brew.

IBU stands for “International Bittering Units,” which is a scale of sorts for the bitterness in all different types of beers.

Here’s a pretty detailed answer — (Link)

And here’s a chart of beer IBUs — (Link)

From Wikipedia:

IBU can not be determined by perceived bitterness. For example, the bittering effect of hops is less noticeable in beers with a high quantity of malt, so a higher bitterness is needed in heavier beers to balance the flavor and achieve the same perceived bitterness as compared to a lighter beer.

For example, an Imperial Stout may have an IBU of 50, but will taste less bitter than an English Bitter with an IBU of 30, because the latter beer uses much less malt than the former. After around 100 IBU, hop utilization is so poor that the number ceases to be meaningful in regard to taste, although continued hop additions will increase bitterness.

Light lagers without much bitterness will generally have 8-20 IBU, while an India Pale Ale may have 60-100 IBU or more.

•OTHER PRESS RELEASE QUOTES•
“Hellboy has appeared in graphic novels and comic books, prose novels, two animated features, two live action films, toy lines and all manner of merchandise,” Mike Richardson, President of Dark Horse, added in a statement. “Rogue Ales approached us with the idea of creating a heavy-handed, supernatural red ale and we loved the idea of two independent, Portland based companies coming together to create something new that would be both fun for fans and worthy of the Mike Mignola’s creative legacy.”

“This beer is dedicated to the B.P.R.D,” Brett Joyce, President of Rogue Ales, said in the announcement. “Right Hand of Doom is brewed with all the same passion and intensity that Mike Mignola and Dark Horse have brought to Hellboy for the past 21 years.”

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Comics & Cocktails #3 • The Superior Iron Man Shares A Drink

Tony Stark, Tony Stark, Tony Stark.. It was only a matter of time before Iron Man showed up here in the “Comics & Cocktails” feature.

This is a more recent comic compared with the other two I’ve posted so far. Links to those are at the end of this post.

Here we have Tony Stark drinking Matt Murdock’s booze and berating Daredevil. See, Stark fixed Daredevil’s sight for him — without asking. And, as you can see here, Stark wants to celebrate, but Murdock’s not all that happy:

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Stark’s back on the sauce in his new “Superior Iron Man” title and he seems to really be earning that new “Superior” moniker he’s been given. As a result of Marvel’s “Axis” storyline, some of the publisher’s heroes and villains have had their personalities flipped, so Tony Stark is even more of a pompous dick in the comics right now — and he’s pretty much extorting people with his “Extremis” app.

Earlier in this issue, as Daredevil’s waking up, Tony asks him where he keeps his good booze. Nothing like having an estranged friend knock you out and then rifle through your liquor bottles, am I right? But what would Daredevil have that Tony Stark would consider “Good Booze”?

This isn’t the sort of thing that Matt Murdock’s going to have on his shelves, but here’s a recent article from The Spirits Business about some premium bottles of Japanese whiskey selling at record prices. Tony Stark likes just about everything in his life to be expensive and extravagant, and so that article I’d just recently read came to mind when I started writing this post.

These next three panels come prior to the one posted above. Here Tony pours himself the drink which Daredevil slaps out of his hand.

Forget the dialogue balloons and keep your eyes on Iron Man in the background:
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Not a jigger in sight! Looks like Tony’s a free pour guy.

•GOT A SUGGESTION?•
Do you know of a panel in a comic where a character is boozing it up? Shoot me an email at FrontierMixology@GMail.com with the details. I’d love to include it here on the blog.

•PAST POSTS•
•#1 — Darkseid Drinking Brandy (Link)
•#2 — Constantine Chugging From The Bottle (Link)

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Things To Drink In 2015

I’m a sucker for gimmicks and I have a tendency to get over eager about new products and flavors and quirky packaging among other things. What can I say, I’m an easy mark.

The House of Angostura Amaro di AngosturaAll that aside though, there are a number of new boozes to be released this year which I’m going to make it a point to try.

There were surely new things I tried in 2014, but there was also a whole lot I missed out on — such as Angostura’s new amaro and that Canadian Club rye which was only released in Canada.IMG_6924

There were plenty of others for sure, but those are just the first two which came to mind. But enough about the past, I’ve got my eyes set on tasting these following bottles in the near future — and by all accounts, they’re surely more attainable goals. At least, I won’t have to travel to Canada to taste any of them!

•WOODFORD RESERVE RYE•
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I love Woodford Reserve. And I love rye! So this news about the new Woodford Reserve Rye really set me off. Truthfully, I’d heard a little bit about it some months back when I was at a competition in Pittsburgh, but the January announcement of the new product means it should soon be on store shelves.

Woodford’s rye will be$38 for a 750-ml. and will initially launch in 15 U.S. markets. The rye will be 45.2% abv and will be the third permanent extension in the company’s Portfolio.

•JIM BEAM RYE & BONDED BOURBON•
Jim Beam has two new boozes about to be released, a rye and a bonded bourbon.

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The rye is a relaunch, reformulating the brand’s Jim Beam Rye as Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition Style Rye. The rye will be 90-proof and will offer “a bolder, spicier taste profile,”according to the company.

Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition Style Rye will cost around $23 for a 750-ml.

IMG_6925Similarly priced, Jim Beam Bonded will be a 100-proof Bourbon aged four years, and made in accordance with the “Bottled in Bond Act” of 1897.

Jim Beam Bonded will be produced in a single distillery season at a single distillery and is said to to feature spicy oak notes with a background of vanilla and caramel.

What is “Bonded” booze?

The phrase “Bottled In Bond” is something I saw on several bottles of liquor for a long time before I finally went and looked up exactly what it meant.

As with so much else in the realm of whisk(e)y, “Bonded” booze is simply a set of requirements which a producer must follow in order to earn the term.

Bonded booze must come from a single producer in single season at a single distillery. It must be aged in a Federally-bonded warehouse and it must be bottled at 100 proof. There’s more to it than that though, so give the phrase a Google and read on:

•History of the Bottled-in-Bond Act•

One purpose of the Bottled-in-Bond Act was to create a standard of quality for Bourbon whiskey. Prior to the Act’s passage, much of the whiskey sold as straight whiskey was anything but. So much of it was adulterated out of greed — flavored and colored with iodine, tobacco, and other substances — that some perceived a need for verifiable quality assurance.

The practice was also connected to tax law, which provided the primary incentive for distilleries to participate. Distilleries were allowed to delay payment of the excise tax on the stored whiskey until the aging of the whiskey was completed (and the supervision of the warehouse ensured proper accounting and the eventual collection of the tax).

This combination of advantages led a group of whiskey distillers, led by Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. (creator of Old Taylor bourbon), joined with then Secretary of the Treasury John G. Carlisle to fight for the Bottled-in-Bond Act. To ensure compliance, Treasury agents were assigned to control access to so-called bonded warehouses at the distilleries.

•SVEDKA 100 & GRAPEFRUIT JALAPENO•
IMG_6930It seems like there’s barely a week that goes by without some new flavored being launched by one brand or another. That said, Svedka piqued my interest with the announcement of its new grapefruit jalapeno flavor — which will cost $12.99 for a 750 ml. The flavor is intended to capitalize on consumer interest in fusing sweet and spicy flavors.

The company is also launching a new 100-proof variant, which will cost around $15.35 a 750-ml.

Shanken Daily News and Good Spirits News are where I first saw these new boozes reported, and they’re where I took all the above info for this post. The images came from a Google images search.

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Super Bowl XLIX Drinking

Forget the teams squaring off each year on the field, it’s beer that’s the real winner of the Super Bowl each year — and here’s what I had tonight:

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