Hugh Sisson

Host, Cellar Notes

As General Partner of Clipper City Brewing Company, L.P., Hugh J. Sisson is among Baltimore's premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state's first pub brewery, Sissons, located in Federal Hill.  A fifth generation Baltimorean, Hugh has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing.

In the mid-eighties, Hugh Sisson saw the potential for a small brewery in Baltimore, an historically "big beer" town. After researching the industry at its heart - in Germany, England, and the U.S. west coast - Hugh, with the help of Senator George W. Della, Jr., successfully lobbied the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation required to open a brew pub in Maryland.

After the inception of craft brew in Baltimore, Hugh immersed himself in the development and market recognition of both Sisson's and its beers.  He is a member of the Master Brewers Association of America, the Institute for Fermentation and Brewing Studies, and sits on the Executive Committee for the Brewers Association of Maryland.  He has served as President of the Cross Street Irregulars Home Brew Club and along with Al Spoler, he has been co-hosting Cellar Notes since 1992.

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Cellar Notes
10:26 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Bordeaux (Constantine Frank's Selections, Lanterna Distributor) - 4/22/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Chateau Coustaut, white Graves '13  **  $
(Mouthwatering flavors, with 40% semillon)

Chateau Haut Dambert, white Rentr-deux-mers '14  *1/2  $
(Inexpensive French sauvignon blanc, crisp, floral, touch of mint)

Chateau Lauduc, red Bordeaux Supérieur '12 **  $
(Great value for a fairly serious Bordeaux, round, lush merlot)

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Cellar Notes
8:37 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Spring Whites - 4/15/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Broadbent Vinho Verde Portugal NV  *1/2  $
(Totally charming, very light, sparkling, perfect for spring)

Husch Chenin Blanc, Mendocino '13  **  $
(A little off-dry, perfect for spicy Thai or Moroccan food)

Les Fosses d'Hareng Vouvray '12 **  $
(Perfect daffodil wine, slightly sweet, very fruity, with mineral notes)

Ruffino Orvietto Classico '13  **  $
(Light, round, supple and loaded with flavor, fresh as a daisy)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

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Cellar Notes
5:30 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Maryland Vidal - 4/8/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent   ** = very good   *** = superb   **** = elite

Knob Hall Vidal 2013 **
(Full flavored crisp white, think Chablis.)

Boordy Vidal, "Off-Dry" 2013 **
(Smells like viognier, drinks like a Vouvray.)

Crow Vineyards Vidal Blanc 2013 **1/2
(Intense, classy, drinks a lot like a Spanish Rueda.)

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Cellar Notes
8:49 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Odds and Ends - 4/1/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent   ** = very good   *** = superb   ****= elite

Anew Riesling, Columbia Valley 2012  *1/2  $
(Terrific value in crisp, flavorful riesling.)

Acrobat Pinot Gris, Oregon, 2013 *1/2  $
(Good value in good honest Pinot Gris.)

Acrobat Pinot Noir, Oregon, 2013 *1/2  $
(Good value for light, fresh, soft Pinot Noir.)

Taken Wine Co. "Complicated" Chardonnay, Sonoma **  $
(A decidedly good value in full flavored classic Cal-Chard.)

Round Pond Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa 2012  ***  $$$
(Pricey, but really worth it:  great classic Napa Cab.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
8:17 am
Wed March 25, 2015

New From Spain - 3/25/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent   ** = very good   *** = superb   ****= elite

Breca "Old Vines" Garnachia,  Calatayud 2011  **1/2 $
(Great value for a wild and wonderful Spanish red.)

Scala Dei "Negre" Priorat 2012  **1/2  $$
(A very good entry level wine from an important wine region.)

Gregory Perez "Brezo", Mencia, El Bierzo 2012 **1/2  $
(A very dynamic, lively medium bodied red with personality.)

Buil & Giné "17.XI" Montsant 2011  **1/2   $$
(Great region for value, sweet dark and lush red with lots of garnachia.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.  

Cellar Notes
3:35 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

New From Piedmont - 3/18/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    ****= elite

Villa M Rosso (Brachetto) 2013 *1/2 $
(A light, spirited wine with a fun-loving personality.)

Pioiero Arneis "Cascina Pioiero"  2013  ** $$
(A light, delicate white with floral notes and crisp acidity.)

Palladino Barbera d'Alba Superiore DOC 2012  **  $
(A dry, lean wine that opens up amazingly with food.)

Palladino Nebbiolo d'Alba 2011  **1/2  $$
(Like junior varsity Barolo:  fragrance of rose petals, earthy flavors.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
5:30 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Tuscan Reds - 3/11/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Castiglion del Bosco Chardonnay '12   *1/2  $$
(Crisp, nutty white with considerable interest...an Italian chardonnay!)

Castiglion del Bosco "Dainero" 2010 **  $
(Merlot, Sangiovese, a good value in a well-structured Italian red.)

Castiglion Rosso di Montalcino 2009 *1/2 $$
(Decent wine, but pales in comparison to the Brunellos.)

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Cellar Notes
9:21 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Red Blends from Around the World - 3/4/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Menhir Albanegra, Rosso Salento IGP 2012  ** $$
(Cotes du Rhone meets Zinfandel in Italy.)

Jean Royer "Le Petit Roy", Southern France, NV **1/2  $$    
(Deliberately a mystery wine, rustic, old-fashioned, yummy.)

"The Cleaver" Red Blend, California 2012 **  $
(Big classic Cal blend, perfect for Sunday roast.)

Quinta do Alqueve, Tradicion, Tejo Portougal 2009 **  $
(Vibrant, medium-bodied very food friendly.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
3:14 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

West Coast Pinot Noir - 2/26/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Byron Vineyards Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley '12 **1/2  $$
(Stylish, elegant light and supple)

Wind Racer Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley '11  **1/2  $$
(medium bodied, understated and elegant)

La Crema Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley '12 **1/2 $$
(A new Oregon offering from a very good pinot producer)

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Cellar Notes
8:38 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Petite Sirah - 2/18/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Michael David "Pette Petite" Petite Sirah, Lodi 2011 **1/2 $$
(Big, jammy Shiraz look-alike)

Marietta Petite Sirah, Alexander Valley 2009 ** $$
(Informal, personality-laden big red)

J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah, Paso Robles 2011 **1/2 $$
(A very refined, complex, elegant big red)

Earthquake Petite Sirah, Lodi 2012 **1/2 $$
(Blockbuster style, tons of fruit)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

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