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Everything posted by db_campbell

  1. Sam, are you sure that M&R's Rosato is merely a blend of the two? I haven't had it, but an ad for it that I just saw which makes it seems like a different product altogether. The copy from the ad reads: "A crafted blend of light Mediterranean aromatics including citrus fruits and crisp raspberry complemented by soft notes of cinnamon and nutmeg." That doesn't suggest a blend of dry and sweet vermouths to me. Found some Rosato while on vacation for a wedding; I drink a lot of 50/50 sweet/dry vermouth, and this definitely tastes different. It could pass, however, for a Rosso/Extra Dry vatting + extra "botanicals," specifically red fruit. To my palate, though, the base tastes more like the Bianco than the other two. My best guess, then, is it's M&R's entry into the Chamberyzette style, though utilising (primarily, it seems) raspberries in lieu of strawberries. I'll add that the above is based on absolutely zero research, and merely the glass of vermouth in front of me this morning.
  2. That's similar to a drink our bar manager, Hannah Kirshner, created that's on our menu as Green Velvet: 2 oz Henry McKenna (or Bulleit) 1 oz Cherry Heering 2 dashes Fee's OF bitters Had to pay bills tonight, so merged these 2 with; 2 oz Bourbon (house-vatted, don't recall constituents) 0.75 oz Cynar 0.5 oz Heering 2 dashes Peychaud's 1 dash Angostura Very cool drink; thanks.
  3. I may simply be cheap, but I'd be very tempted to use the Beam as my standard pour, while still acquiring 1 bottle of the WT for special occasions.
  4. This is an interesting take; my impression was that the 'distiller' simply told Jimmy that his drink contained formaldehyde just to mess with the kid. I couldn't imagine he would actually sell the stuff with such an additive and hope to maintain a consistent consumer base, so I figured that Jimmy's reaction was simply due to the poor quality of spirit. If you're right, though, wow, that guy's more dastardly than I had believed.
  5. St. Augustine is known to have a large Minorcan cultural presence, which in food terms translates into the preponderance of the datil pepper. Most local seafoods spots feature a "Minorcan clam chowder," which is essentially Manhattan clam chowder + datil pepper. I would also suggest picking up a bottle of datil pepper sauce on the way out of town, if feasible. There's a great little hot sauce shop on St. George street. If you want to go less traditional, the Columbia Restaurant, also on St. George street, is a good example of Cuban-influenced (if I recall correctly) Spanish cuisine, especially for lunch.
  6. I'm curious to hear your opinion of how well the Angostura worked in this drink. I've taken to combining Regan's & Peychaud's in my Bobbys, since the latter just seems to play better with Scotch to my palate.
  7. In North Carolina (Chapel Hill) at Southern Season, as of today. Enjoyed as Eric suggested, over ice w/ splash of soda & orange twist as an aperitif. Pretty epic.
  8. I've discovered that this is a big problem with people when it comes to whisky in that they try and pigeon hole an expected flavour profile into a specific region. It's true that every region generally has a stamp of a particular profile but it's wrong to look at a sole region for that profile as you will find gems in other regions that give you exactly what you're looking for. For example, there's some fantastic smoked/peated malts from the Highlands that are definitely worth checking out, and even in Speyside something like the BenRiach Curiositas will give you what you're looking for without being an Islay malt... I suppose the solution, then, is to reach for the Lagavulin when I'm feeling something more Northern or Western Highlands, rather than Islay. Incidentally, I looked long & hard at the Ardmore Traditional Cask this weekend, before deciding against adding another mid-ranger to the cabinet.
  9. It was Chivas Royal Salute & Ardbeg Supernova for me this season. These two couldn't be more dichotomous if they tried: the former, aged & blended for maximum suaveness, the latter carrying no age statement but packing 58.9% abv & 100+ ppm of peat. I also picked up some Black Grouse to have around as a standard pour -- anyone had this stuff? I know its sibling is popular around here, but had never heard of this version. The label claims that it's a smokier, peatier Grouse, which at $30/1.75L was enough for me.
  10. You mean it's no longer "Seven Summers Old"? That is ominous. Last year I had someone bring me back a bottle Pikesville Rye from Maryland (I know it's not made there, but I figured that they should be able to easily find it there), and it's my understanding that it used to be aged 4 years, but this bottle is clearly marked "This whiskey is 3 years old." I don't think I like this trend. I hope distillers aren't rushing to get product onto the shelves and cutting time off the aging process. Correct. As far as I could tell from a thorough examination of the label, there is no reference to the age of the liquor. Strangely the standard entry level Weller has also changed bottles (to the same shape as this one--both like the bottle for the 12 yr) and it still sports the 7 yr age statement. Hopefully this is my imagination saying it tastes different because I too have found the recent trend in dropping age statements to be more than a little alarming. As much as I enjoy Old Weller Antique, I'm more concerned with how this potentially portends for the remainder of Buffalo Trace's wheated (well-aged) Bourbon line, particularly many of the Van Winkle bottlings. Not that I frequent the 20 or 23 yrs terribly often, but the 10, 12 & 15 yrs are pretty marvelous.
  11. A couple years ago, I used Aberlour A'bunadh as the base for a Bobby Burns that proved much more interesting than one made with either my usual vatted blend or my general step-up, Glenfarclas 12. Of course, this isn't much different from the Manhattan that you mention in the topic-starter. I do recall bostonapothecary doing some interesting things with Macallan Cask Strength over in the "Drinks!" thread, perhaps a year ago.
  12. For a while, El Jimador was mostly selling (and may still be in some places), non-100% product. I know I did a double-take a few months back when I spotted their labels sporting the 100% distinction. The EJ Blanco is my current house pour.
  13. Off hand, I know Henry McKenna single barrel to be BiB.
  14. Because you find White Horse so wonderful ? Could you elaborate on that, please ? Actually, the opposite; I can't find in it a focused flavour that I would describe as pleasurable. The menagerie of flavour notes, to me at least, come off as more a ragged harshness, rather than a complex whole. Perhaps it is the unwitting victim of undue expectations on my part, having read the back label before purchase and noting that whisky from Talisker, Lagavulin & Linkwood are in the blend. Given that provenance, I feel as if I should like it, but simply can't force myself to, despite heartened efforts.
  15. The Hardy VS is my got-to for mixing at home since it is delicious and goes on sale with some regularity. I confess to not having tried anything higher but they tend to go on sale quite often as well and I may snag a VSOP next time I see it. The way I look at it, Hardy is so inexpensive that even if the VSOP is "only" as good as the VS, it's still not really a waste of $25-30 since thats what it takes to get a bottle of VS from one of the bigger houses to begin with. Speaking of which, I've seen Martell VSOP with a red label around lately in the low 30s...anybody ever tried this? I've been thinking of picking it up since it's only a few $$ more than the VS and I love me some Martell. Seems to be a peculiarly low price for VSOP Cognac from a major producer but I'm certainly not complaining. I've been disappointed in my bottle of Martell VSOP. It's a little too nutty, and not very round in flavour to my tastes, while being unnecessarily hot. It might be fine in a cocktail, though, and if you're a fan of the house then it's likely worth a shot. I think, more than anything, it's simply emblematic of the larger houses using younger & younger spirit to fill out their VSOPs. The Hine Antique is superb; my friends and I rated it level with Hennessy Paradis. Another house that I would look into is Delamain; I've only had their Vesper, but it is excellent.
  16. The issue with White Horse for me, is that drinking it neat has caused me to never want to try it in a cocktail. I've found a 1:1 vatting of Teacher's and Glen Salen blended malt to be a fine everyday type cocktail base, though both are lacking in sherry & peat. If I'm feeling the former, I'll spring for using a sherried Speyside malt (usually 12 yr; Glenfarclas is typically both useful and relatively inexpensive). If the latter, I try to have a vatting on hand that utilises a large proportion of McClelland's Single Malt Islay, which one can generally find for <$20 and is essentially a very young (4 or 6 yr I believe) Bowmore.
  17. Can't say for certain from the pictures which bottle Richard actually poured from, but there are numerous bottles of Dalmore on the counter.
  18. Following bostonapothecary's lead, I mixed up the following: 1.5 oz Kirsch (St. George) 1 oz Rum (El Dorado 15 yr) 1/2 lemon (~ 0.70 oz) 1 tsp. date syrup (Kassatly Chataura) 4 dashes, Peychaud's 2 dashes, Absinthe (Lucid) shaken, strained, up. I picked up the date syrup at a local Mediterranean restaurant today. While a Pisco-Grape Brandy formulation proved to be a Sidecar with darker fruit tones, this was a different beast altogether. The fruit of the lemon/date sour/sweet dynamic co-mingled with the dry cherry & demerara to create a bright/dark interplay of flavours that gives adequate approximation to a four-part choral harmony. The Peychaud's has a tendency to become somewhat lost amongst the darker fruit, while the Absinthe demonstrates surprising difficulty cutting through the other big flavours, though both seem to contribute almost 'invisibly' to the coherency of the amalgamative whole. I would definitely make again, provided sufficient supply of quality Kirsch, and it's worth a shot if you're a fan of structured yet wantonly excessive flavour contrasts.
  19. I was able to procure a bottle last summer; it's been a while since I've tasted it neat, but I seem to recall it having what I can best describe as a darker-toned medicinal character. I primarily use it as a fractional supplement to the base spirit in mint juleps.
  20. I picked up the Clear Creek 8 yr over the weekend; for the oak, they're using old Cognac Limousin barrels. The distiller is definitely going for an overall Calvados-like character, though the entry retained an applejack-esque bite.
  21. With Antica standing in lieu of a dry claret, would you want to dial back a tad on the simple?
  22. Unlike most, I'll choose to not watch my wallet on the base spirits. If I'm limited to 10 bottles, I'm reaching for what's behind the glass case. Rye (T. Handy) Gin (Old Raj) Scotch (Talisker 25) Rum (Centenario Fundacion XX) Benedictine Bual Madeira Campari Sweet Vermouth (Antica) Dry Vermouth (Noilly) Angostura I definitely shade more toward the autumnal beverages.
  23. Not trying to devolve this into a flip thread, but I've had the following on offer at my apartment for a few weeks now, with a Korean friend of mine in mind. He approved: Masan Flip 1.5 oz persimmon-infused Soju 1 oz Vodka 0.75 oz Domaine de Canton 1 whole egg Dry Shake. Add ice. Shake, serve up. Standing at a mere 20% alcohol, the Soju needs an additional spirit to give the drink some life, but nothing that would obscure the subtle flavour of the persimmon-ginger combination; vodka seemed the most reasonable solution. The natural creaminess of the Soju and the richness of the egg are a perfect match.
  24. I've found lately that the Fee's Aromatic really begins to take over a drink quite dramatically, even after just 1 dash, if not tempered by other bitters. It's fairly disappointing, given its enticing Christmas spice aroma, but I've ruined many-a whiskey-based drink by heavy-handing the Fee's and tasting nothing much more than a glass full of cinnamon.
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