With cold weather steadily approaching, it’s a fine time to reflect on the warming qualities of a booze staple of Maine: Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy. There are few people from Maine who can say they’ve never been comforted by a “Sombrero” after a hard day of snowsledding, picking potatoes, or taming “The Loaf”. The beverage is equal parts whole milk and Allen’s and provides all the fat, sugar, and alcohol a true Mainer needs to recharge. Plus there is just enough caffeine to provide a nice boost without getting into the now illegal Four Loco category of “energy drinks”.
Yes, Allen’s Coffee Brandy is tailor made for the Maine winter and has the sales figures to prove it! The Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations records the hefty 1.75L bottles of Allen’s as the number one liquor in terms of volume and sales…with the 1.0L, 750mL, and 375mL bottles also all in the top 10. Combined, there just a few thousand less bottles of Allen’s sold as there are people in the state…I wonder who chumped out on drinking their fair share?…This is nothing new either as Allen’s has been the leading Pine Tree State liquor for over 20 years (just don’t tell anyone its made in Massachusetts).
There is a downside however to a beverage so tasty it has spawned nicknames ranging from “Gorilla Milk” to “Fat Ass in a Glass”. Apparently there are about 475 calories and 4 grams of fat per 8 ounce serving…So if you’re really making a night of it, you’ll have reached your Food and Drug Administration recommended daily allowance in 4-5 drinks! Yum!! Unfortunately statistics from the US Center for Disease Control show ~27% of Maine’s adults as obese (Body Mass Index of 30 or greater) and while there’s no proven coorelation between Maine’s love of a good Biddeford Martini and those extra winter pounds lingering year round, it may be worth practicing just a bit of moderation…or at least giving skim milk a try.
Lately sales of Allen’s have leveled off somewhat as a few competitors have entered the scene. Mr. Boston has been agressively marketing a lower cost coffee brandy and some folks may have gone the way of the old timey home brew recipe: heat a fifth of vodka, equal parts coffee, and about a 1/4 cup of sugar on the stove until mixed and dissolved…then chill (and hide from parents in the basement for future consumption). There are also those fancy pants Mainers who would go for the imported models (see: Kahlua, Patron XO Cafe) but all told the rest of coffee liqeurs combined is less than 10% of Allen’s market share.
So keep on slammin’ that Allen’s, Mainers! If anything, it’s nice to have a beverage worthy of the title, the Champagne of Maine!