Stashing for the holidays
The stealth gift that will reap huge rewards is an aged case of imperial beer. Like fine wine, high alcohol beers age and mellow with time. Varieties brewed now will taste much different in March or April—and even better a year from now—as hops, malts and other flavors mellow, meld and combine into a delicious maturity. Buying a case (or mixing varieties) and stashing it in a cool, dark corner of the basement (where temperatures remain cool and constant) makes a great gift next year. Good candidates include Avery’s Kaiser, Salvation, Czar or Maharaja ales; Left Hand Brewing’s Smokejumper Imperial Porter (if you can still find it), Widdershins Barleywine, Oktoberfest or Oak Aged Imperial Stout; Great Divide’s Wood Aged Double IPA, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti or Old Ruffian; and Boulder Beer’s Mojo Risin’.
White Russian, Boulder County style
A bottle of Roundhouse Corretto coffee liqueur, a bottle of 303 Vodka and a gallon of raw milk from Lafferty Farm in Erie will render a concoction that is beyond exquisite. Forget half-and-half, if you’ve never had raw milk before, you haven’t lived. And the locally distilled vodka and coffee liqueur are among the best you’ll ever taste.
Check out roundhousespirits.com and 303vodka.com and email for co-op info and prices: email@example.com.
Expand your Horizons
For $100 for three months to $500 for a year, you can give the gift of quality booze to that significant other in your life with the wide variety of “clubs” available at Boulder’s Liquor Mart. A variety six-pack a week for three months of craft-brewed beers will run you $100 (including tasting notes) while a year of single malt Scotch (a bottle a month) will set you back $500. There are also a variety of wine, tequila and whiskey clubs. A great way to sip and learn about your favorite alcoholic beverage. liquormart.com
Enable your favorite wino
A good bottle of wine—one that should be saved and savored when the time is just right—can be a spectacular gift. There are more than 80 Colorado wineries to pick from, many of which can be purchased at your local wine shop (try out Boulder Creek Winery’s award-winning merlot). To spice things up a bit, initiate an annual wine exchange with a friend, or host a blind wine-tasting on New Year’s Eve (cover all the bottles and have your friends vote on their favorites…wait ’til the last minute to reveal that your guests picked Two-Buck Chuck).
Good enough for Zeus
Redstone Meadery has produced vanilla bean and cinnamon stick mead just for the holidays. Learn more at redstonemeadery.com.