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.

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

Ferreira 10 Year Tawny Port  *** $$
(Everything you could ask for in a middle-aged tawny)

Ferreira Late Bottled Vintage Port 2011 **** $$ SUPER VALUE
(This LBV has it all!  Why spend 3 times more for vintage port?)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats. Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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

Ferreira Ruby Port *** $  VALUE
(Arguably the best entry-level ruby port out there.)

Ferreira Tawny Port *** $ VALUE
(Superb value in classic tawny port.)

Ferreira "Brown Label" Branco Port **1/2  $
(Almost a rosé port, very intriguing.)
    
Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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

Big Cork Malbec '13  **1/2 $$
(Flavorful, dense malbec with great character)

Thanksgiving Farm Reserve Meritage '12  ** $$
(Elegant, sculpted blend with great flavor)

Port of Leonardtown "5th Anniversary Red" NV blend ** $
(A fun blend of random reds, comes together in a tasty wine)

Sugarloaf Mountain Winery Cabernet Franc '12 **1/2 $$
(A serious and successful cab franc from one of Maryland's best)

Boordy VineyardsMerlot '13  ** $$
(Lots of varietal character from our oldest winery)

Black Ankle Vineyards "Phylite" Red Blend '13 **1/2 $$$
(Unique one-off wine from the prestigious vineyard)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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

Juan Gil Muscat, Jumilla '14  **  $
(A dry, fruity, light white with abundant spice)

Juan Gil "Silver Label" Red, Jumilla '12 **1/2 $ VALUE
(100% monastrell, aged in French oak, delicious)

Juan Gil "18" Red, Jumnilla '10 *** $$
(Full bodied red blend, with 18 months oak aging)

Klinker Brick Winery Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi '12 **1/2  $

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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

Peter Lehman "Clancy's" Cab/Shiraz/Merlot, Barossa '11 ** $
(Big and blowsy Aussie red with a boatload of flavor)

House Swine Cellars Zinfandel, Paso Robles '11 **1/2 $
(Surprisingly good zin, lively and nuanced, look for the pig on the label)

Charles Smith Wines "Boom Boom" Syrah, Washington State '13  *1/2 $
(A big obvious red that has little varietal character, but works anyway)

Ancient Peaks Winery "Renegade", Paso Robles '12 ** $$
(Mostly syrah, with hidden nuances, deep tangy flavor)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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

Bourgozone Cabernet Sauvignon, Bulgaria '11 *1/2 $
(From Bulgaria?  Yeah, and it tastes like cab sauv)

Doña Paula Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza Argentina '13 * $
(Good straight-ahead cab from the pampas)

Ch. St. Jean Bijou Chardonnay , California '13  ** $
(Very crisp, light, slightly oaky entry-level chard that over-delivers)

Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi '13 **1/2  $
(My favorite bargain red this year; great quality for the price)

Marietta Old Vine Red Lot #62, North Coast NV **1/2 $
(Latest offering in a series of big brawny reds with lots of character)

Crios Malbec, Mendoza '14  ** $
(Bright and lively with deep flavors, drinks way above its price point)

Yalumba Viognier, South Australia '14 **1/2 $
(Are you serious?  Very good viognier at bargain basement price)

House of Mandela Chenin Blanc, South Africa '13 ** $
(Yes, that Mandela; very classy chenin blanc that touches all the bases)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Micro-breweries From Maryland:

Calvert Brewing "Flapjack Maple Milk Stout"
(available at the farm)

Falling Branch "Old Leaf" Belgian amber ale
(available at brewery)

Evolution "Rise Up" Russian Imperial Stout
(limited distribution, available at brewpub)

Stillpoint Farm, Milkhouse Brewery Black Sour Cherry Porter
(available at the farm)

Antietam Brewery Campaign '77 Winter Ale
(available at the brewery)

Independent Brewing Co. "Saison de Solstice" spiced Belgian Saison
(available at the brewpub)

Frey's Brewing Co. "Jenny's Sister" barley wine
(available at the brewery)

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

Ferrari Brut (Italian sparkling wine) ** $
(100% chardonnay, harmonious and well-balanced)

St. Hillaire "Coté Mas" Crémant de Limoux, Languedoc ** $
(Wonderful sparkler from the south of France)

Bouvet-Ladubay "Excellence" Brut Rosé, Loire Valley ** 1/2 $
(Tasty rosé bubbly made from cabernet franc)

Maschio Prosecco Brut, Treviso ** $
(A classy Prosecco made from the traditional glera grape)

Poema Cava, Penedes * 1/2 $
(Fresh, clean minerally bubbly, splendid as an aperitif)

André Jacquart "Brut Expérience" 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs, Champagne **1/2 $$
(All chardonnay, and all class, a great true Champagne)    

André Jacquart "Mesnil Expérience, Brut Nature" Grand Cru *** $$$
(From one of Champagne's most prestigious chardonnay vineyards)

André Jacquart "Rosé Expérience" 1er Cru Rosé de Saignée, Champagne *** $$$
(Pinot noir based, a true luxury experience)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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