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About tanstaafl2

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    Atlanta, GA
  1. Amer Picon & Torani Amer

    I am traveling through London and Paris briefly next week so I have been trying to figure this out as well. As best I can tell the Picon Biere with the orange label (which I often see used to replace the original Amer Picon in a Brooklyn and other cocktails) is really a French bitters intended for flavoring a lighter beer. Whisky Exchange also lists a Picon biere with lemon added but doesn't seem to have any regular Picon Biere in stock at present. The Picon Club is more similar to the Picon Biere but intended to be a bitters aimed at flavoring wine according to the blurb about it on Whisky Exchange. http://www.kindredcocktails.com/ingredient/amer-picon https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/p/5030/picon-club-a-lorange-liqueur-bitters-litre What I think I want is the black label bottle pictured above called simply Amer Picon, which I think is the vestige (perhaps recently revived?) of the once much higher proof Amer Picon that was used in many prohibition era cocktails and was cut down in proof in the 1970's to the current 42 proof. It is slightly higher proof at 42 pf compared to biere and club at 36 pf but a far cry from the former proof of pre prohibition era Picon that was at one time apparently as much as 78 proof. All speculation on my part. But going with a bit more proof, even 42 versus 36, always seems like the best option! https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/p/29350/picon-amer-black-label In any case the Black Label is the one I am going to try to find if I get a chance. I can always slip in a dash of Everclear to boost the proof if need be!
  2. The Brooklyn Cocktail

    I don't think of OO as softer or more mellow but every palate is different! By mellow to you mean the lower proof? Current day OO is a young, thin (3yo and 80 pf) Beam rye and Rit is BIB (at least 4yo and100 pf) Heaven Hill rye but both likely have the minimum amount of rye in the mashbill at 51%. I find OO to be a bit grainy tasting and a shadow of its former self. But Rit is typically a very bourbon-y tasting rye whiskey. Although the newer DSP1 Rit does have perhaps a bit more rye earthy/spicyness character to me than the Rit from a few years ago that was made down the road by Brown-Forman at DSP354 on behalf of HH.
  3. Wasn't sure if this warranted its own topic so feel free to move as appropriate. This is more of a "what I am thinking about buying" post! Picture of a selection of older bottles which I can't seem to find out much about. The Ponti Asti Liqueur in the gold box at the bottom right of this picture has left me a bit in the dark. Anybody know anything about it?
  4. Rhum Agricole: The Topic

    If you can get the La Fav liter bottle for about $30 you might be able to get the 3yo La Fav Vieux agricole ($50-$55 or so in California?) as well and have both for less than $100. Might even be able to squeeze in a 6 year old Clement agricole (Also maybe $50 or so?) in place of the La Fav Vieux and still be under $100. For the aged rhum I would consider the older clement which is probably about the same price and a little more proof. Also gives you two different distilleries to explore. The Neisson Reserve Speciale is very good but probably about $70 or so in California. It is a blend of different ages up to about 10 years. But it is also a 1 liter bottle and is at 100 proof so there is that! That would squeeze you in at about $100 (if you don't count tax... ). If you get a choice with the Clement go for the older 6yo with a bit more proof (88 pf) over the newly released "XO" version which is also 6yo but at a lower 84 proof. Likely plenty of the 6yo bottles still around.
  5. To be honest I have found I don't like it from the freezer and have moved it to the refrigerator. I am not sure what the traditional way to drink it is but I think it is typically drunk as just a room temp shot in Hungary and probably is not typically chilled. It is pretty piney and bitter though!
  6. Drinks! 2017 (Part 1)

    That will certainly help you forget about the lack of limes! I avoided the need for citrus altogether and went with a Good Things Come to get my Irish fix.
  7. Unicum is about the only bottle I routinely keep in the freezer. Maybe the odd Limoncello when I have that and plan to use it on a dessert but usually the refrigerator is adequate. Gets nice and syrupy in the freezer.
  8. Drinks! 2017 (Part 1)

    Hmm, this recipe sounds intriguing to me. Fits right in with the flight of cocktails I did in my little (and very amateur) pop up bar in Kentucky for our little bourbon gathering this past weekend. I find Cherry Heering can work well with bourbon and rye when used judiciously in some of the recipes I found when preparing for it (mostly taken from the Beta Cocktails book). A bit like a very cherry fruit (obviously) forward vermouth as much as a brandy I suppose. I wonder how mole bitters might work here, perhaps in place of the Angostura. Guess there is only one good way to find out...
  9. Yeah, even I got banana on the JD ryes, especially the younger ones, and I almost never get banana. I lack the gene I suppose!
  10. I would certainly say the CEHT Rye deserves a shot in the competition if you try it again. Of course if you are limited to the current stock at hand then that makes things a bit tougher. Interesting that the Rittenhouse dropped in the ratings a bit. I presume in this tasting it was DSP1? It had to be DSP354 in 2011 of course. Different set of tasters too I suppose. The JD Rye showing was interesting. Was the Hirsch in 2011 one of those long gone 20+yo ryes? Not much in the way of MGP rye older than about 6yo in either line up. The older components of the HW ryes were typically those unique Barton recipes. Of course older MGP rye is not easy to come by these days!
  11. "The PDT Cocktail Book"

    Sounds interesting although an ounce of yellow chartreuse/GranMa sounds like the potential for a lot of sugar. I know that sweet isn't necessarily your (or PDT's) typical profile so I presume that isn't the case?
  12. Ok, I won't tell you... I believe one should drink what they like so if you like it then that is all that matters. That goes for Templeton as well! If you like it then you should drink it. I just find it important to me to know a little about how it is made and what is really in it. And if I don't like the way the company represents itself then it is almost inevitably going to effect the way I think about the product, even if it is "good". Michter's and WhistlePig are two that have impacted me that way. Some of the things they sell are pretty good but I just don't like how they sell it (with a made up story using whiskey they, for the most part at least in the recent past, got from somewhere else). Getting whiskey from somewhere else isn't inherently bad. But it is for me at least of some importance the way you market it and especially if you try to pass it off as something it is not. To get back on track I recently picked up the most recent batch of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof in its newly designed bottle at 127 pf. We then did a side by side of this new bottle against the very first batch (at 134.2 pf) that I dug out of a dusty corner of my basement. No comparison as the original batch is a superior whiskey to me. The picture makes the older batch look much darker and it is darker but the contrast isn't quite as dramatic as it appears in the picture.
  13. Maybe it will be but I wouldn't bet on it! Might need to define "moderate price" these days as prices go up and up! Templeton bottled MGP rye. If you like that profile you have several options. Smooth Ambler bottled some excellent barrels of this rye but they have gotten increasingly hard to find. But they were always up front about the fact they were bottling MGP rye and seemed to do a good job of picking good barrels. High West bottles MGP as part of their Double Rye (the other part comes from Barton) and it is pretty good. Bulleit is and always has been MGP rye. They don't provide an age and they weren't exactly forthcoming with the fact that it was a sourced rye either. They have the whole "frontier whiskey" BS on their advertising. Redemption rye is MGP and they offer some older barrel proof version but they have gotten pricey as well. Dickel rye is MGP with a twist (maple charcoal filtering) but not bad and usually very affordable. I like Sazerac rye for about $30-35 if you can find it. It is 6yo (or so the website claims, there is no age on the bottle). Made by Buffalo Trace but it is different as it has more balance between corn and rye (MGP has no corn at all in it) so it may taste different to you. The Buffalo Trace made Col. EH Taylor is excellent but tends to be a lot more expensive at around $70 or more. It is a bit like MGP in that it likely also has a high amount of rye in the mashbill but probably does have a little corn (BT isn't saying so just a guess!). Russell Reserve Rye is another I like and it is 6yo (I like the single barrel even better at higher proof but it is not age stated (not that age is everything of course). But they tend to be a bit more expensive. Rittenhouse is kind of the classic cocktail rye but not bad on its own and reasonably priced. Its older but more expensive big brother, Pikesville, is excellent as well but probably around $50 or more.
  14. Understanding Rum

    Well, at long last I made time for a little rum side by side by side by side. Some interesting history for the sufficiently nerdy (like me!) on the different versions can be found here at Tiki Central. Only the first bottle on the left had been opened prior to this tasting (and it was opened some time ago). Let's face it, these are big boys no matter how you cut it up. But there were a few surprises. The original bottle, owned by Pernod Richard but presumably still blended and bottled in Canada, still had tons of caramel/demerara/molasses flavor and was drinkable at proof if a touch fiery. Surprisingly the red label "Mosaiq" label (they acquired the brand from Pernod) which was blended in Guyana and made from around 2011 to about 2014, had pretty much all of the same flavor but a bit less heat making it most enjoyable. The surprise was the Hamilton 151, which was made available in about 2015 by Ed Hamilton when Mosaiq stopped making the red label and was also blended in Guyana but was perhaps not the exact same formula in the blend as the Mosaiq red label, which came across as all heat that seemed to overwhelm any flavor. Water seemed to make very little difference. A bit disappointing and will need to be tried again. Finally the newest edition of Lemon Hart (again reportedly made by Mosaiq who still owns the brand and still blended in Guyana like the former red label, not Canada as had been the case with the original Pernod bottle) had a good balance of flavor and heat. The family resemblance was there but it was not quite as rich as either of the first two bottles and it was not overwhelmingly hot. It seems an adequate if not ideal substitute for the earlier and now dusty labels. Now even I am not going to sit around drinking 151 rum (very often... ) but it was interesting to see how each differed. But the winner here, in a bit of an upset was the Red Label "Mosaiq" bottling which sadly is no longer available. Indeed neither of the first two bottles is available so if you like tiki and see one I suggest you grab these dusty's quickly!
  15. Just be aware that the whole back story on this one is almost certainly complete BS. The alleged prohibition era recipe rye certainly is. Indeed, Templeton lost a lawsuit over consumer protection laws because of their attempt to claim it was "Iowa made" rye. This is another of the extensive collections of sourced rye whiskey from MGP in Indiana. And usually a pretty pricey one at that. Not one I will buy as a result.