The Artful Winemaker kit is pretty simple.
The Artful Winemaker kit is pretty simple.

Allagash White
After brewing my first beer last weekend I got inspired to use the “Artful Winemaker” wine kit I got for Christmas from Mrs. Dan’s folks. I kept putting off setting it up until I got some space to work. With my clean laundry room I had an actual open space where I could setup.

It also opened up space for Moxie-the-Dumb-Ass cat jump up and check out what I was doing. Thankfully I sealed the kit up before she jumped up to contaminate it.

It only took about 15 minutes to setup the plastic vinting system, pour in the juice concentrate, add enough water and sprinkle in the yeast. It even came with oak “sachets” that gives the wine some oaky flavor. I did this during half time of the Georgia/South Carolina game. It’s kind of nice to know another SEC team sucked more that Auburn did today. Well, Georgia just scored so maybe both teams sucked about the same.

I made the Cabernet/Shiraz. I’m assuming the Cabernet is Cabernet Sauvignon. The kit comes with bottles and even foil crowns. I decided to use bottled water. Augusta water is pretty good but sometimes the chlorination is a bit overdone. In 14 days I start to clarify it a bit then bottle at 28 days.

So I sat back to admire what I had done and pulled one of the remaining 10 brews in the little fridge. I picked up the Allagash White and noticed it said it had yeast in the bottle. I had just sprinkled the yeast for the winemaking and thought maybe this would be a good segway so I grabbed the Allagash White.

Nice simple flavor. This brew has been in my little fridge since at least March although I’m not sure really how long I’ve had it. Not overpowering. Subtle hint of spices and orange peel. The bottle has instructions on the label on how to serve it. It is bottled with yeast so it’s a bit cloudy when you swirl it.

If you squint you can see the yeast sendiment floating around

They recommend pouring it in a glass then swirl what’s left and add that to the glass. I had this brew at a Wine World beer tasting back in July of 2011. I hope this isn’t from then. Could be. If it is more than a year old then it still is holding up pretty good. I find it funny they recommend on their website that this brew tastes best within 6 months and they don’t have any date on the bottle.

I think the yeast adds a nice mellow flavor. It has a nice yellow color to it. The color compliments its subtleness.

As this beer warms up it actually loses a bit of the spiciness. I think I like it colder. The finish though is kind of a dry wheat taste that I’m not in love with but if you’re nibbling it’s not a problem.

Their site says “Our interpretation of a traditional Belgian wheat beer. Brewed with a generous portion of wheat and spiced with coriander and Curacao orange peel, this beer is fruity, refreshing and slightly cloudy in appearance.”

I like this brew. I might buy another hopefully with a newer date and see if the flavors are different.

Their website says it’s best within 6 months but I got no clue how old this brew is. It’s at least 7 months old. Oooh. I see they have an Alagash Black. That sounds interesting.

From: Portland, Maine
Brewery: Allagash
Cost: $2.32 per bottle

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