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

Spy Valley Dry Riesling, NZ '15 **  $$

(Very firm, bone dry riesling with deep fruit, great acidity)

Fratelli Allesandria Barbera d'Alba '14  **  $$

(Fully packed medium bodied red, with soft deep fruit flavors)

Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc, Elgin Valley, SA '15 ** $

(A big bold SB that makes a statement, very well made)

Paul Cluver Riesling, Elgin Valley SA '14 **/12 $

(Dead ringer for classy Alsatian riesling, very good effort)

Paul Cluver Pinot Noir, Elgin Valley SA '13 ** $$

(Very Burgundian style, classic flavors, some complexity)

Adelsheim Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley '14 ** $

(Strong, lovely floral nose, dry deep fruit, minearlity)

Rhiannon California Red Blend '14  **1/2 $ VALUE       

(Big, complex, brawny, over-delivers, stupendous value)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.    

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Pacific Rim Gruner Veltliner, Spring Creek Vyd., Washington  * 1/2 $

(Lean, tart wine with floral notes and traces of white pepper)

Austrian Pepper Gruner Veltliner, Austria '13  * 1/2 $

(Well structured with citrus, melon, and spice, good acidity)

Count Karolyi Gruner Veltliner, Hungary '14 * $

(Green apple notes with apricot, and peppery finish)

Broadbent Gruner Veltliner, Austria '15  ** $ VALUE

(A very good wine from a very good house, great buy)

Wimmer Gruner Veltliner, Austria '13 * 1/2 $

(Crisp, flavorful white with lime, white pepper notes)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits  

Price:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality: * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Yalumba Unoaked Chardonnay, South Australia '13 * $

(Delicate, clean flavors but not much character)

Ridge Crest Chardonnay "Unoaked" Columbia Valley '12 * $

(Simple, very dry, "Alsatian" approach)

Naked Unoaked Chardonnay. Santa Barbara '13 ** $

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

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

Boordy Vineyards "Petit Cabernet", American '14 ** $

(Crowd-pleasing light red with tons of flavor; very food friendly)

Marques de Cáceres Rioja Riserva '09  ** 1/2 $$

(Very young, yet already complex, gorgeous texture)

Domaine Pichot Vouvray, Coteaux de la Biche, Vouvray '12 ** $

(A leaner, more acidic version of Vouvray with lots of character) 

Dr. H Tanisch Bernkastler Badstube Riesling Kabinett '14 ** $$

(Sweet for a kabinett, but has crystaline purity of flavors, lovely)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.

Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Albarino - 4/20/16

Apr 19, 2016

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

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

Juan Gil "Kentia" Albariño, Rias Baixas '13 ** $

(Layers of complexity with herbs, stone fruit flavors)

Raimat Albariño, Costiere de Segre '14 *1/2 $

(Fresh, flowery wine with good acidity, firm structure)

Martin Codax Albariño, Rias Baixas '14  ** $

(A classic albariño with crisp apple flavors, mineral notes, complexity)

Burgans Albariño, Galicia '14 **1/2 $  VALUE

(A very complex, delicate, aromatic white)12

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  

San Pietro Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige '13 *1/2  $

(Tropical fruit flavors with honey notes)

Barone Fini Pinot Grigio, Valdadige '14 * $

(Lean, minerality, lemon notes, with crisp acidity)

La Crema Pinot Gris, Monterey '14 ** $ VALUE

(A rich, complex, aromatic wine with good complexity)

King Estate Signature Pinot Gris, Oregon '14  ** $

(A very aromatic p.g. with layers of flavor in a crisp format)

Jermann Pinot Grigio, Friuli Venezia '12  *** $$

(A very good maker of crisp white wines with great depth)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.

Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

House of Mandela Chenin Blanc, South Africa '13 **  $

(A fresh lively chenin, with great acidity, sweet/tart fruit and earthiness.)

Paul Blanck Pinot Blanc, Alsace '14 ** 1/2 $ VALUE

(A beautiful full-flavored pinot blanc, rich, easy to drink, aperitif.)

Sean Minor Sauvignon Blanc, California '13 ** 1/2 $  VALUE

(A great negotiant blend, plump for a grassy style of sauvignon blanc.)

Dr. E. Loosen "Loosen-Up Riesling" '14 * $

(A simple, very pleasant riesling with some sweetness and balance.)

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 wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Villa Antinori Toscanna Red IGT '12  *1/2 $$

(A classic Tuscan red, lean structure, modest fruit)

Tomasi Rompicolla '12 **1/2 $

(A velvety sangiovese/cab blend with opulent flavors and texture)

Familia Dante Chianti Riserva '12 ** $

(Dry, lean red with notes of chocolate and cherries)

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

Mara Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, '13 **1/2 $  VALUE    
(Classy versions of Juicy Fruit gum aroma and flavor, complex.)

Loriñon Rioja Crianza '10 ** $  VALUE
(Graceful, flavorful, with layers of complexity, a lot of bang for the buck.)

G. D. Varja Langhe Rosso '11  **1/2 $  VALUE
(Lovely blend of 6 grapes, bright, balanced and complex.)

Urban Maule Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle de Maule '11 **  $
(Soft, modest red with correct aroma and flavor, very tasty.)

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

Porter - 3/16/16

Mar 16, 2016

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

Original Flag Porter, England **    
(Grainy, earthy, iron flavors, almost light bodied)

Fuller's London Porter, England **1/2
(A touch of molasses, good density, well integrated flavor)

Anchor Porter, California **1/2
(Good depth, good body with roasted coffee and malt notes)

Saranac Caramel Porter, New York ***
(Very complex with true coffee flavors, great smoothness)

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

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