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
9:21 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Cambria Update - 10/15/14

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

Cambria Benchbreak Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, 2012 $$ **
(Very nice large-scale California style chard.)

Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay $ **1/2
(Hugh loves this big French influenced chard, at a great price...bargain!)

Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley 2012  $$ **
(Blend of vineyards, good well-structured pinot noir.)

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Cellar Notes
12:00 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Beers for Autumn - 10/8/14

Quality key:  * = good decent beer  ** = very good beer   *** = superb beer

Fuller's London Porter  ** 1/2
(A very complete porter, correct in all aspects and satisfying.)

Innis & Gunn Scottish Porter, oak aged  **
(Very tasty, but maybe too much of everything.)

McEwan's Scotch Ale **1/2
(Big, rich, complex thirst quenching, a classic.)

Samuel Smith Taddy Porter *
(A trifle thin, but a good effort, serve on the warm side.)

Darwin's Original Flag Porter **
(Very good porter, medium weight, complex and smooth.)

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

Cellar Notes
9:24 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Chile and Argentina - 10/1/14

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

Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchaugua Valley '09   $$  **1/2
(A dandy cab, with a lot of class and correct varietal character.)

Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon, Grande Reserve, Colchagua '11  $  *1/2
(No more than competent cab sauv at a good price.)

Norton Malbec, reserva, Mendoza '11  $$   **
(Refined malbec, well made at a affordable price.)

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Cellar Notes
9:38 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Reasonable Burgundy - 9/24/14

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

Thevenet et Fils "Virée Clessé" white, 2005  $$  *
(Not quite the star of the show.)

Carillon Bourgogne Blanc, 2012  $$ **    
(Good structure, nice flavors, worthy value at $21.)

Domaine Guyon Haute Cotes de Nuits 2009  $$ **
(Very good value in red burgundy, from a somewhat unreliable appelation.)

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Cellar Notes
10:03 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Maryland Governor's Cup - 9/17/14

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

**Governor's Cup Winner - Bordeleau Cabernet Sauvignon "Amarone" 2008

Best Red Belnd - Little Ashby 2011

Best White - Old Westminster Albarino 2013

Best White Blend - Rockland Farms "White Oak" 2013
(Vidal Blanc 75% Chardonnay25%)

Best Off-dry - Linganore Traminette 2013

Best Rosé - Port of Leonardtown Chaptico Rosé 2012

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Cellar Notes
3:23 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Williamsburg Winery - 9/10/14

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

Williamsburg Winery Act XII Chardonnay, Virginia 2011 $  *1/2
(Classic East Coast chardonnay.)

Williamsburg Winery Cabernet Franc, Hennings Statute, Virginia 2010  $$  **
(Full bodied, dark, with pronounced cedar notes.)

Williamsburg Winery Virginia Trianon, red blend, Virginia 2012 $$ **1/2
(Resembles the Cab Franc, only moreso.)

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Cellar Notes
9:04 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Provence Rosés - 9/3/14

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

Le Provencal Rosé, Côtes de Provence 2013  *  $
(Pale pastel pink, pleasant picnic wine, grenache dominates.)

Ch. Pigoudet "Insolite" Rosé, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence 2013  **  $$
(Despite pale color, loaded with flavor, cab sauv based, very well made.)

Ch. La Mascaronne Quat' Saisons Rosé, Côtes de Provence 2013 **  $$
(Very pale but full bodied, loads of red fruit and peach flavors.)

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Cellar Notes
8:24 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Old Zinfandel Friends - 8/27/14

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

Frei Brothers Reserve Zinfandel, Dry Creek 2012  **1/2   $
(Textbook Dry Creek zin, restrained scale, deep flavors, lovely aroma.)

Rosenblum Zinfandel "Old Vines", Sonoma 2009  **  $
(Big, juicy, rich zin, a well behaved fruit bomb.)

Buehler Vineyards Zinfandel, Napa Valley 2011  **1/2  $$
(Perfect Napa zin, with sturcture, deep flavor, restrained scale.)

Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi 2010  **1/2   $
(Shamelessly big and rich, a hedonist's delight.)

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

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Cellar Notes
9:57 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Maconais Chards, the Other White Burgundy - 8/20/14

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

Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Blanc 2012  *1/2 $$    
(A very rare wine, informal chardonnay, very nice.)

Sylvain et Alain Normand Macon-La Roche-Vineuse 2012  **  $
(Good buy in a spicy, mineral Macon.)

Fabrice Larochette, Chat. Chaintré Macon-Chaintré 2102  **  $
(Attractive peach, pear and mineral notes, well made, good value.)

Louis Jadot Macon Villages 2012 *1/2  $
(A very good value in Macon chard, from a reliable producer.)
        
Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.  See sponsor tab.

Cellar Notes
5:30 am
Wed August 13, 2014

House Swine (A Maryland/California Collaboration) - 8/13/14

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

**Wines are line priced at $20

House Swine Chardonnay, Santa Barbara 2011 *1/2  $$
(Classic Santa Barbara chard, creamy and loaded with good fruit.)

House Swine Zinfandel, Paso Robles 2011  **1/2  $$
(Superb zin, big but not massive, very complex and rewarding.)

House Swine Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, 2010 **1/2  $$
(Very Burgundian in style, supple, complex, graceful, impressive.)

These wines have been released in Maryland, and are available.  If you want to try them, contact your local wine merchant.

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

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