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

Kendall-Jackson Pinot Gris, "Vintner's Reserve", California '13  *1/2  $
(Well blended PG with good melon, peach, mango flavors)

La Crema Pinot Noir,  Willamette Valley '12 **1/2 $$
(Greatly improved from 6 months ago, very complex and delicious)

Stonestreet Estate Chardonnay, Alexander Valley '12 ** $$    
(Dynamic, finesse, rich and creamy, perfect for lobster)

Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley *** $$
(Deeply flavored, opulent and rich, nice oak and cedar notes)

Stonestreet Cabernet Suavignon "Rockfall", Alexander Valley '10 *** $$$$
(Very expensive, but worth it; powerful concentrated)

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

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

Monte Antico, Toscano I.G.T '10  * 1/2
(Chianti wannabe, well balanced with lovely fresh fruit)

Boordy Vineyards Petit Cabernet, Maryland '13 **  $
(Great flowing flavors, surprising depth, perfect for spring picnics)

Lan Rioja Riserva, Rioja '08    ** $
(Good alone, better with food, very pretty aromas and flavors)

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)

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.

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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