Saturday, October 29, 2011

Booze, brews & boos: Supernatural spirits for the paranormally good time


BY AMANDA ROSENBLATT
(additional reporting by Aaron Sagers & Amy Kates)

Whether you're planning a Halloween party, or just want some spirits to get in the spirit for any holiday, there is an extensive selection of grown up beverages with a certain supernatural flavor. Drink up these paranormal-inspired alcoholic drinks, and don't forget to let us know what we missed so we can add more to the list.

(Special thanks to Morria Karraz of Yankee Spirits in Southeastern Mass. for assisting us with the spirits hunt)


LIQUORS


This is likely the most popular, and obvious, choice when beginning this list. Frozen Ghost Vodka, with it's flashy site, scary intro and it's biography entitled "ghost story", embodies what one would think of when mentioning paranormal liquors. The water that the vodka is made from originates from a Western Canadian spring with a sinister past. This beverage is an ice cold, crisp drink distilled six times, and if you don't mind that a previous land owner froze to death in that water many years ago after being murdered by a jealous neighbor for his pure H20, and that his ghost still overseas the spring, then cheers to you!  The bottle is also super cool looking.





Welcoming potential customers with a lurid video of two sexy, female vampires feeding on a half-dead man on top of a kitchen table, you know this is going to be a unique liquor. One vampire complains to the other than she's bored of human blood, so the victim points to his cabinet where, voila, Vampyre Vodka awaits. The beverage is poured into a glass to show the unique (certified, no less) coloring that indeed makes it look like you're pouring a nice, refreshing glass of blood to drink! For the faint of heart, you can also order the Wickedly Smooth clear version. Visit VampireVineyards.com for more of the compelling backstory behind this quirky booze, including a rumor that their vineyard is actually run by genuine vampires! 

CRYSTAL HEAD VODKA 


An unseen benefit from this particular drink is that once you're finished with it, you can always use the empty, skull-shaped glass container as a decoration, or a cheesy fortune telling act. All jokes aside, the origin of this drink comes from the 13 crystal heads of varying ages found around the world in a major archaeological breakthrough. It is said the skulls hold a very spiritual symbolism, so showbiz legend Dan Aykroyd (who we spoke with about the booze) alongside noted artist John Alexander teamed up to create Crystal Head Vodka. The beverage itself is made from Newfoundland glacial water, distilled through Herkimer diamonds and trickled into the breathtakingly ornate containers to become the smooth, no additives concoction you can now enjoy today. 


If you want a product website with a succinct history of this liquor type, or a drink with an oxymoronic name, then Lucid Absinthe it is! Aside from long running stigma behind it in terms of politics, the drink has acquired the whimsical yet ominous nickname "the green fairy." Absinthe used to be linked to hallucinations where one would succumb to a mischievous muse who ruined their lives, which is quite a downward spiral from when it used to be utilized as a cure elixir and water purifier. The site has a tab entitled "drinks" where you can prepare Lucid any number of ways, and even when you look at the traditional recipe, the video tutorial recommends always diluting absinthe because of how strong it is (straight up absinthe is said to have a licorice, woody, almost bitter taste, which is why most people put sugar cubes in it). 

KRAKEN BLACK SPICED RUM


Beware, lest you be pulled to the brimmey depths by the Kraken! Okay, so that was just a clever euphemism for "watch your hang-over", but this particular brew does offer you an iTunes game where you can battle the epic cryptid yourself. Aside from the gimmicky brew name, app & slogan ("put a beast in your belly!"),  the website owns an impressive beer biography, as it gives you a history of the Kraken creature and drink when you click the "Book" link. The rum's inspiration comes from the vicious ink the Kraken is said to release and from a story of long, long ago when a crate of black spiced rum from The Caribbean was lost at sea forever after an alleged Kraken attack. If you seek a booze with a sweet taste containing ginger, clove and cinnamon accents and a terrifying back history, then get out your compass and hoist your sails…or just download the game app so you don't drown at sea.


BEER


GREAT DIVIDE YETI IMPERIAL STOUT


Although the description of the product leaves something to be desired ("an almost viscous, inky-black brew"), the liquor's name and consistency are an example of irony once you taste this beverage. What could be pin-pointed as mocha mixed with caramel and toffee flavor and a sharp finish, this drink will have you seeking out Yeti like many great explorers of the past and present. A tip - when you go looking for this particular Yeti, you probably don't need hunting gear or to look for giant foot prints. Just look for the little Sasquatch shadow in the right corner of the bottle.


The name just sounds like Halloween, does it not? This playful line of beer is brewed by Wychwood, and don't let the international website address scare you away - it is most definitely available in America year round. The highly animated website with demons, elves, and other mythical elements also has a very interactive and helpful menu to guide you to your right choice. Whether you want the "permanent" brews like the bitter yet chocolate tasting Hobgoblin and the dry, aromatic Wych Craft, or a seasonal flavor such as October's citrusy Wizard's Staff, you have many choices. The paranormal element behind the beer's themes comes from the creatures and lore originating from Wych Wood Forrest of Oxfordshire. 


This brewery boasts five classic flavors alongside a rich history. With All Hallows Eve being the toast of October, spirit enthusiasts will want to check out light tasting Blond Witch, malty Pendle Witches Brew and the dark, hoppy Black Cat in particular. The historical implications for this booze line comes from an early England witchcraft trial in 1612, which you can learn more about by clicking "Pendle Witches" on the main site. 


Upon entering the site, you are ironically greeted by the image and definition of a gargoyle before obtaining access to Stone Brewing Co. The mascot of this brewery, the gargoyle chases away "evil spirits such as chemical preservatives, additives and adjuncts." The many selections from this company have memorable names (Arrogant Bastard Ale, anyone?) and all the bottles have the trademark gargoyle on them. The Stone Levitation Ale will satisfy the monster inside you, if your monster is into hops & a malt citrus flavor.


WINES


GHOST PINES WINE 


If you love wine, want variety and a name that fits a spooky mood , Ghost Pines Wine will work for you. Four classifications are available for your consumption and while these beverages aren't particularly ghoulish in nature, their origin comes from the Ghost Pine Tree which grows in their vineyard. The name comes from the tree's ability to grow in less than lively soil and it's open, diverse shape. Plus, it's an excuse to drink wine, and who doesn't love that?


DRACULA SYRAH


This is a product of France’s Rhone region (don’t you look smart?), the Master's Syrah has dark chocolate and cherry notes. And the wax-stamped letter from Dracula is pretty cool, too. Meanwhile, Vampire Merlot is A Zin/Cab Sauv blend aged in French and American oak, the slick bottle will only cost you $9.99. It's a small price to pay for immortality. The Vampire Vineyards also has True Blood Pinot Noir, Chateau Du Vampire, and many other blends.


SASQUATCH CHARDONNAY


Bigfoot himself helped hand pick the grapes of the Sasquatch vineyards at the peak of ripeness before they’re barrel-fermented in French Oak. He apparently enjoyed the cool coastal breezes that gave the wine the nicely balanced flavors. This Chardonnay has rich texture that is crisp and refreshing.


NIGHT OF THE LIVING RED


The toast of the parabooze town, this bottle is shrouded in mystery: no ingredients. The coolest part is the packaging — it comes with “missing/suppressed” crime files that suggest zombies living in vineyards.



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