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About tanstaafl2

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    Atlanta, GA
  1. Same source as WhistlePig and other 100% ryes (Alberta Distillers) by all reports. I have had the occasional single barrel that was pretty good over the years (The Party Source did a couple including one that had a funky orange jolly rancher type note that I rather enjoyed but was certainly distinctive!) but generally it is a bit too pricey for what you get. WP is 100 proof for typically a similar price or even lower price for example. Pretty bottle though... I would likely go for the Pikesville 110 between the two even if the price were the same but certainly if the price was $15- $20 more.
  2. But the Pikesville Rye of which you speak, a rye truly made in Maryland and considered a Maryland style rye, hasn't been made for a long time. The Pikesville version that existed before this new iteration came along, which has now largely disappeared, was also made by Heaven Hill in Kentucky (I don't think Heaven Hill has ever confirmed it is gone for good. But it probably is.). As I recall was basically the same thing as Rittenhouse only at 3yo and lower proof. Although it was surprisingly good for a young, inexpensive bottom shelf rye.
  3. Rhum Agricole: The Topic

    Well, we all have our own limitations... You have had it before. Apparently it didn't make much of an impression then either!
  4. I have found that there can be a value, if done carefully, to some but not all "fine spirits" as it were. I have also learned that I am a factor as well. What was good one day may not be as good (or might well be even better, the next). As a result I have my own eyedropper at home for use, particularly for trying something new, and often carry an eyedropper with me when going to tastings or spirits shows (yes, I am a nerd and I am ok with that! ). Some things prove to be better by themselves, some seem to benefit from a drop (or two, or three) of water and occasionally some things are good but different either way. For me it is part of the fun in drinking brown spirits (and a few white ones as well!).
  5. Rhum Agricole: The Topic

    Although I did not get to try it in a DWB that was my impression as well when I tried it. Hence it did not find its way into my bottle "collection". Of course my palate may be a bit jaded!
  6. I don't think I have ever seen a walnut when it was still that green! Apparently I have led a sheltered life.
  7. Certainly a very modest name! Although a somewhat interesting spelling of the English version of the name... The gin does sound interesting but if they distill it to a neutral spirit would it really make tha much difference what they use? I guess one can only hope they take it off the still at well below 95%.
  8. Mixing with Cognac

    Hmm, I recently got the Bigallet but haven't gotten around to trying it. I will have to do some comparison tasting! For science, of course.
  9. I am likely one of those! Although bear in mind that it is basically Rittenhouse rye at a little higher proof (110 as compared to 100) and a little more age 6 years versus 4 years). That said a little can go a long way and both the proof and age help! Worth seeking out but perhaps only a modest level of urgency. Pendleton is an Oregon company that sources rye from Canada, presumably Alberta Distillers, which is the same source as WhistlePig, Lock Stock and Barrel and at the Jefferson 10yo rye (at least the early bottles that clearly said it was from Canada. Who knows what it might be now given that Jefferson doesn't have the best reputation for being straight forward with where they source whiskey). The basic Pendleton is a sweeter typical Canadian blended whisky but the Pendleton 1910 is supposedly a 12yo 100% Rye. it's biggest shortcoming for me is a thin low 80 proof. But not bad presuming it is still a true 100% rye and not a more typical blended Canadian whisky if you can get it for a decent price. I have no idea what a decent price would be in NZ. Here it goes for maybe $40. Director's Reserve is new to me. Supposedly 20yo but still 80 proof. I would guess it is a blended Canadian whiskey. A bit spendy at around $125 here in the US with a swanky leather wrapping. Swanky wrappings always make me a bit suspicious...
  10. Mixing with Cognac

    Amer Picon has gotten to be a bit frustrating in newer cocktail recipes to me (Or I am just lazy! It might be more of the latter...). Few people are likely using Amer Picon since it isn't readily available, much less the original higher proof Amer Picon which of course hasn't been made in several decades. So are they using Picon Biere as you did or are they creating their own based on one of the several formulas floating around? And if so what is their formula? And what impact does each different formula have on the drink? I have an old bottle of Torani Amer but it was never my favorite. David Wondrich recommended a fairly simple formula using Amaro CioCiaro here on eGullet and Jamie Boudreaux suggests Ramazzotti in a somewhat more complex formula found on various websites including Kindred Cocktails. I haven't made Picon in a while (usually if I do I make the Wondrich/Splificator formula) and tend to just gloss over cocktails requiring Picon with the possible exception of the Brooklyn. But I usually get lazy again and just use Amaro CioCiaro, which for me at least is readily available, and an extra splash or two of Angostura orange bitters. Ah well, sounds like the drink was a good one either way!
  11. Rhum Agricole: The Topic

    I have tried it at a spirits show some months ago and confess I found it a bit wanting. Especially since I have access to the Bellevue agricole (at 118 pf I think!) that it is sourced from. That Bellevue bottle was a liter and only cost about 10 euros! Of course I had to go to Guadeloupe to get it. Makes for a hell of a commute... I guess the question for me would be how does it hold up in a DWB?
  12. This week I stumbled across a bottle of the most recent Angels' Envy Cask Strength after thinking I had been shut out. A nice find as I have been able to find at least one bottle each year since it has been available and always enjoyed it. Also picked up a locally made, if very young, rye called Resurgens from ASW distillery. It is an all malted rye (think along the lines of Potrero) with a bit of chocolate malt to help balance some of the grainy character of its youth. OK, maybe not an everyday neat pour but works nicely in rye forward cocktails. And this weekend I picked up some "bierschnapps" from another local independent distillery called, naturally enough, Independent Distilling Company! Owner/distiller of this small operation is a very nice and enthusiastic distiller who has worked with a couple of local breweries to make spirits from their beer wort in addition to his own rum, bourbon and corn whiskey. This one was some left over Feest Noel from Three Taverns in 2014 that has been aging for 18-20 months or so and is being released as a special one off just in time for the holidays. Somehow didn't manage to get a picture 9shocking I know!) but some additional info on the unique mashbill can be found the distillery website.
  13. It can be a bit of pain but with determination, resilience and the last bit of VEP from the previous bottle for inspiration it can be done! It has been awhile but I seem to recall that it was a bit of a pain! I believe I was able to locate the gap between the cork and the top of the bottle and carefully cut into the wax down to that gap with a well sharpened knife until I could remove the cork. Then you can cut or peel off the wax from the stopper and replace it before carefully trimming the wax from the top of the bottle to get the wax away from the edge without getting any into the bottle. It was something like that. That last bit of Chartreuse VEP left in the previous bottle may have been more than I was planning on and it is pretty strong after all!
  14. Rhum Agricole: The Topic

    I finally sat down and tried the US version of the non vintage Canne Bleu. I was using it as a comparison in a side by side with the Bielle Canne Grise I brought back recently from Marie Galante. Either there is a lot of variety in the Clement bottling or you had a bad bottle! Indeed, the Clement was rather tame with mostly a dry vegetal quality. It was almost boring when compared to the funky, floral and yes, slightly diesel-y Canne Grise. Fortunately I like all that funk so I enjoyed the Canne Grise. But there was nothing subtle about it! 118 proof probably helps....
  15. If somebody really wanted to cough up $2400 for my PVWFRR bottles then I might have to think about it! At retail, which you can't buy it for unless you know someone in the industry who is feeling incredibly generous, it is still listed at around $100 (all the Van Winkle is still priced at a retail cost that has changed relatively little. And it is now at least partly (and possibly mostly) made by Buffalo Trace anyway. Although there is some confusion about what is really in this years "Z" bottling. It has some of the original old tanked whiskey but I don't think it is clear if it is ALL tanked whiskey or if it is blended with BT made whiskey. Oh well, not that it matters. I haven't seen one for purchase at a price I would pay for several years now. I would be curious to know what they tried but didn't make the top ten as well. (ri)1 is a real oddity to me. It was an attempt by Beam a few years ago to create a "premium rye" that largely seemed to fall flat. I wasn't even aware they were still making it. And there is no Wild Turkey 101 here either. Is that really worse than (ri)1, Bulleit or some of the small distiller stuff? Other MGPs include the much derided Templeton, Smooth Ambler (although it tends to be older) and Willett, both their own make and the one they source (or used to source?) from MGP. I am not all that surprised the Knob Creek won, it was probably the oldest of the bunch, at least that they mention, by at least a couple of years (maybe 6 or so years old). I also think those prices might reflect a NYC cost to some degree.