Friday, November 16, 2012

Sir Edwards 12 yr old Scotch 80 proof

Mystique: 1-10 points
Score: ?/6 it was new I have to give it something, It's got a Scottish dude on it.

Color: 1-10 points
Score: 7 light amber turns pale yellow in glass

Scent: 1-10 points
Score: 7 oak, peat, alcohol smell

Initial impression: 1-10 points
Score: 7 inexpensive, taste is smooth, not bad

Mouthfeel: 1-10 points
Score: 9 good, not too oily, little burn

Taste: 1-10 x 4 points
Score: 32 Smokey, smooth a little peat/oak hint of sugary sweet

Raw Score:  54 points

Bonus: Value 1-10 points
Score: 10 $18 at my local store very inexpensive for 12yr old scotch

Total Score: 64 points

So I must start by saying I'm not a Scotch drinker, but I was checking some out with some friends and I decided to pick one up. We were drinking some Johnny Walker Black and rail stuff so all I was really basing my purchase on was to get something blended, 12yr old and inexpensive. I happened upon what was a new product at my local store, Sir Edwards. It fit the bill and hey it's got a Scottish gentleman on it so there ya go.  I must say I was pleasantly surprised with this purchase it tasted smooth, had little burn and not too much oak and peat aftertaste.  It has enough there to know it's Scotch, but it's not overpowering. Mixed in a Perfect Rob Roy it gets a little lost to the Vermouth. There's still a little smoke and peat but it almost completely blends out the taste.  It's a very smooth cocktail, but with no more bite than a traditional Manhattan. I didn't get the sudden urge to play golf or schedule a high power business lunch, but I did find a pleasant to drink, inexpensive alternative for that after work un-winder, when the Scotch mood hits me.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

(Cocktail Recipes) Holiday

I haven't run away yet, just got kinda busy and didn't feel like blogging, but I have some holiday cheer for you, and I figured I'd better get this up so there's still time to buy some ingredients.

I was thinking of some holiday cocktails, and when I went looking I saw lots of the same old stuff. If you go looking you'll find lots of recipe's for traditional drinks like mead or very heavy and sweet dessert cocktails and coffee. This was all well and good when you need something warming and stout, but most of us will be flitting to office and house parties where it's plenty warm and there's plenty of food. We don't need anything nearly that heavy, so here's some suggestions for some lighter cocktails that still give you some Christmas color or flavor.

1.) Looking for something tasty and elegant? Try a French 75. This sparkling cocktail is light to drink and full of flavor.

3 oz Dry Champagne
3 oz London Gin (that's right I said put the gin in your champagne)
1 oz Lemon juice
1/2 - 1 Tsp of powdered sugar
Add a twist of lemon or drop a cherry in it

This drink works best if you mix the gin, lemon juice and sugar in a shaker and pour it into the Champagne then stir. Serve in a Collins glass

2.) Planters Punch (Red) A simple classic you can adjust up to make party size punch.

3 oz Dark Rum
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Grenadine
Club Soda

To give it a little mystery flavor add some Orgeat Syrup.

Mix in a shaker and top with club soda

3.) The Grasshopper (Green)
This classic cocktail has fallen out of favor as of late, but if you like mint chocolate chip anything you'll probably like it. It's creamy but not nearly as heavy as many of those eggnog concoctions.

1.5 oz Creme DE Cacao (white)
1.5 oz Creme DE Menthe (green)
3 oz Fresh Cream

Mix in a shaker and serve in a martini glass garnish with sprig of mint.

4.) The Chinese (RED)
See review and recipe here

5.) The Dark and Stormy (Winter Solstice) It's dark and mysterious looking but pretty light on your stomach.

3-6 oz Dark or Black Rum (Did someone say Goslings?)
12 oz Ginger Beer (Find it, do not use ginger ale it will ruin it, it needs the snap)
Dash of Lime Juice and a Lime wedge garnish.

Mix in a Collins Glass. Just fill it up with Rum and add the ginger beer as you drink it ;)

Bonus 6.) The Alligator (Green) (I can only find this listed as an Alligator in one location, but I altered it. I'd call it a Ten-Forward as it looks like something served in that Famous Star Trek lounge. It's Tiki Drink Style, A little sweet, Smooth, Easy to Drink and Lots of Alcohol.)

3 oz Vodka
3 oz Melon Liqueur
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp powered Sugar
6 oz Orange Juice

Mix in a shaker and pour into a Collins Glass.

Cheers to You! I hope Your Holidays will be Merry!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jack Daniels donating funds to bring soldiers home for the holidays? Awesome!

Anyone who knows me knows I love my Jack Daniels products - particularly Single Barrel and Gentleman's Jack. Now, I've got even more reason to buy their stuff.

It turns out they're donating a tidy sum to bring soldiers home for the holidays. If you're a JD fan, now's the time to spring for the big bottle...or one of their higher-quality offerings. Me? I'm going to pick up another bottle of Gentleman's after payday.

I'm also impressed with the folks who check the "contact us" messages - apparently they send real responses, rather than form letters. Who does that anymore?

Keep up the good work, guys.

Monday, August 22, 2011

(Review) Hendrick's Gin 88 proof

Mystique: 1-10 points
Score: 9 Nifty bottle, Interesting reputation

Color: 1-10 points
Score: 10 I think Gin and Vodka are cheating here

Scent: 1-10 points
Score: 9 light juniper botanicals, also orange, coriander, fresh scent

Initial impression: 1-10 points
Score: 10 so far seems quite excellent

Mouthfeel: 1-10 points
Score: 9 thicker than regular gin then disappears

Taste: 1-10 x 4 points
Score: 36 pepper, cucumber, orange, lemon, rose, clean taste, fast burn then gone

Raw Score: 83 points

Bonus: Value 1-10 points
Score: 9 $34 a bottle, right in line with other premium gins

Total Score: 92 points

An interesting gin. I could really leave it at that and do it justice, but It doesn't really tell you about it now does it. This gin is like one of your friends relationships when you're wondering how that happened and they say well it's complicated and leave it at that. As if you're some 6 yr old that won't understand grown up things. Although the description will fit I'm not about to treat you that way. Hendrick's Gin doesn't think you should be treated that way either and they're pleased to tell you all about this gin of theirs and why it's different. The website is rather amusing and looks like a Terry Gilliam segment of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Hendrick's is a Scottish gin. Hell you say? No Really it is. It's a pleasant, smooth gin that's not too juniper and has an interesting aftertaste. I came to learn while drinking Hendrick's that my tongue associates cucumbers with salt. That's the big difference, a very slight taste of cool cucumbers. I kept thinking it was a salty flavor, but there's no salt in it. Hence my discovery. It's not cucumber infused and doesn't taste like cucumbers, it's very slight and you might miss it. If you make it in a gin and tonic with a cucumber slice it becomes more prevalent. It and the rose petal aroma are very, very, ethereal. You only notice them like a ghost walked into the room. What was that! A strange encounter. You will not mistake this for something else. It's flavor is Gin. Juniper and Botanicals. If you like Tanq 10 or Bombay Sapphire this is worth a try. A light almost refreshing gin that has become my top shelf favorite.

Friday, August 5, 2011

(Review) Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum 80 proof

Mystique: 1-10 points
Score: 10 Wow! wood box with straw, wax dipped, numbered bottle

Color: 1-10 points
Score: 10 Jewel Like, amber, shimmering

Scent: 1-10 points
Score: 9 vanilla, oak, molasses, hint of citrus

Initial impression: 1-10 points
Score: 10 impressive, smells intoxicating

Mouthfeel: 1-10 points
Score: 9 tingly on the tongue, slightly oily

Taste: 1-10 x 4 points
Score: 40 smooth, tart, oily, big molasses, no burn

Raw Score: 89 points

Bonus: Value 1-10 points
Score: 6 $65 a bottle, spendy, received as a gift

Total Score: 95 points

Here's some booty for you. It comes packed in a box that looks like Indiana Jones himself absconded with it from that fabled secret warehouse. Rum that's kept under glass, well Plexiglas. A flat black bottle, sealed with wax, that's apparently hand numbered. Marketing gimmick aside, this Rum deserves it's special treatment. Goslings has been making high quality Bermuda Rum since 1860. According to their website they have had their base store in Bermuda for 157 years and this Rum is proof that they know what they're doing (Not that Black Seal wasn't enough). It's sipping rum, like fine bourbon or scotch. Please don't mix it in a cocktail. Unwinding with a little on the rocks is all you need. The flavor is smooth and complex, it's got those nuances that you can tell it's carefully crafted. A tingle on the tongue, smokey molasses, with a hint of spice, oak and citrus. Balance is the word that comes to mind and the quality of flavor doesn't make me think of pirates like rum usually does, but perhaps a formal dinner at the governor's mansion. There's nothing rough and tumble about this. It's refined and almost proper. It makes me want to do this I must admit Gosling's Black Seal is my favorite rum and this seems to be the ultimate it could become if cared for and aged to completion.

I received it as a gift and as a gift it fits the bill perfectly. It has great presentation factor and most people have not tasted rum this good. It will be a new experience for most, and I must thank my friend Dave again for a present I probably wouldn't buy for myself.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

(Cocktail Recipe) The Scorpion

GET OVER HERE! Not for a FATALITY, but a great way to beat the summer heat. Summertime is the time for classic Tiki Style tropical cocktails, they're fun, they're tasty and they usually pack a whallop. The Scorpion is no different. I know, I know, these type cocktails are too sweet you say and they wind up being syrupy and not thirst quenching. That's not true if you do them correctly. Most bars operate on profit margins so thin they cut costs where ever they can, and unfortunately that usually means watered down drinks with lots of fruit juice and little of anything else. Check out the classic scorpion recipe.

1 oz light rum
1 oz brandy
1 oz orange juice
1.5 oz or half a lime juice
1/2 oz Orgeat Syrup

Some recipes call for powdered sugar or simple syrup, but I've found that if you're using a commercial Orgeat syrup like the great stuff from Torani it's sweet enough not to need it.

Shake and serve over ice in a high ball glass. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and paper umbrella.

The drink is light, thirst quenching, and easy to drink many of. Do not confuse the classic Scorpion with that abomination called The Scorpion Bowl that's usually served at your favorite Japanese steak house show bar. You know the one that comes in a bucket with 5 straws. This is not it. The Scorpion and the Scorpion Bowl usually get concocted with more fruit juice, sour mix, amaretto, and all manner of things. This makes it syrupy and way too sweet. Try the classic Scorpion, but Watch out for that sting.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

(Review) Rittenhouse Straight Rye, Bottled in Bond, 100 proof

Mystique: 1-10 points
Score: 10 Heard of it, reviews claim all other Rye's are measured against it

Color: 1-10 points
Score: 9 Beautiful, Dark, Garnet, Jewel like

Scent: 1-10 points
Score: 9 vanilla, oak, caramel, butterscotch? Rye bread

Initial impression: 1-10 points
Score: 9 looks good, smells great

Mouthfeel: 1-10 points
Score: 7 good, coats the mouth, stays on the tongue, feels thick

Taste: 1-10 x 4 points
Score: 32 caramel, slow burn, complete, with ice opened up beautifully burn
gone just peppery, a little sweet, smooth.

Raw Score: 76 points

Bonus: Value 1-10 points
Score: 9 great price point 23.95 a fifth

Total Score: 85 points

So they tell me this is the THE STUFF! It's one of the oldest Rye whiskies bottled and most reviewers use it to measure all new Rye's they try. It's a benchmark if you will. I think most of these reviewers are bourbon and scotch drinkers and that's why this Rye seems magic in a bottle to them. You can't blame them it's very good. Rye isn't that popular and it's very hard to find in some areas. This one in particular is difficult to find even in this area where Rye never truly went away. This is actually the first bottle of it I had ever seen and I was eager to try it. So what's all the fuss about? Flavor. It's got burn, it's complex and it's peppery. 3 things you don't necessarily get in bourbon or scotch. These reviewers seem in awe of it because they are very used to having a flat tasting bourbon or scotch at this price point. I don't know if it's the marketing machine or the fact that there are so many bourbons and scotch's out there, but to get a good one you usually have to spend a decent amount of money. Maybe they're snobs and they don't think anything inexpensive can taste good. If you think that way too you'd be very wrong.

Rittenhouse Rye is the taste standard for Pennsylvania style rye whiskey. Oh wait do I sound like one of those other reviewers? No. What do I mean? Hey what's Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey supposed to taste like? Here, taste this (hands you a glass), that. That is what it's supposed to taste like. It can be better or worse, but that's generally what you are supposed to get. It's the nature of Rye that it tastes so different from bourbon and scotch. It inherently has more flavors going on and it's not always going to taste as complete or smooth. I guarantee you will not like this whiskey if you drink it neat, very soon after you pour a glass. It's burny, it's got too much muddled mish mash of flavor going on. You might equate it to a Michael Bay action sequence. POW! BANG! jump cut, EXPLOSION! Holy shit! This stuff is awful. Exciting, but awful. Let's try this again. Pour it on the rocks, or add a little water. Let it sit a minute or two, now try it. Eh? what did I tell you. The profile completely changes. It's smoother, the burn is almost gone, there's flavors you can pick out. Pepper, spices, caramel, sugary, vanilla, fruit and it got smooth. What's going on here? I was watching Transformers and you switched it to Blade Runner. That's the nature of Rye whiskey.