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Everything posted by tanstaafl2

  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...
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. When you make your own it kind of should taste they way you want it to! Don't know how much his helps answer your question but it was interesting from an historical perspective. I am lazy and usually opt for the standard Velvet Falernum.
  10. "wood still"? Do you mean the DDL wooden stills? I don't think there is much doubt that it is sweetened. Probably a lot based on the testing done. Not necessarily a bad thing on its own (although it is generally not my preference for rum these days). but I just wish they would own up to it. And everybody else that adds sugar to their rum for that matter!
  11. Interesting link but then I have always been a fan of history, cocktail or otherwise, and David Wondrich in particular. So the Black Russian evolved from a drink called the Russian that once had a rather odd combination of gin, vodka and cream de cacao that slowly evolved into vodka and Kahlua/coffee liqueur while the once rather ubiquitous White Russian started out as a "frilly" drink (to use the links term) called the "Barbara". Will wonders (and Wondrich) never cease!
  12. Excellent! I will check it out. I guess with Novasalus the use of Dandelion & Burdock bitters is a bit redundant? Don't know why I thought that might be in there! Interesting that they did not include cacao which gets mention in a lot of posts about it as you note. For me the latest delivery was the new Barrell brand of Jamaican pot still rum at around 135 proof (just a wee bit of a kick!) and several bottles of Vin Juane wine from Jura just to satisfy a gustatory itch, having never tried it, and to help complete my Jura trilogy (Jura marc, Macvin du Jura and now the Vin Juane). Couldn't wait and dived into a bottle already. Very fino/manzanilla like as expected but I think I like it better than manzanilla. Doesn't seem to last long once opened though.
  13. Can't imagine what they did to make cachaca smell and taste like olives? Was it aged in some odd local wood?
  14. I suppose Cocchi Americano is as out of reach as the Lillet Blanc?
  15. Quite funny! A favorite bartender of mine made a similar face when he tried it. I expect I did too. If I knew the proportions of the Dandelion Soda I would definitely give it a shot. My bottle of Novasalus hasn't had much to do as of late.
  16. This week for me it was a bottle of Redbreast Lustau Irish Whiskey that I had to breakdown and order online since it didn't seem likely to show up locally anytime soon. Needed in time for the St. Paddy's weekend and our annual celebration of all things Irish Whiskey. Since I had to order the Redbreast I of course needed to ad a few more bottles to round out my order. That included several of each of these for like minded friends to share. Several friends liked the Jacoulot marc and I told them better get it now if they wanted one of their own! But I may be looking forward to the cask strength 17yo Caroni rum most of all. And so others wanted one of those as well. Who am I to deny my fellow spirits junkies what they need most? In any case by the time all the orders were placed that managed to get my order up to a nice even dozen bottles!
  17. The Dandelion Soda (Jamaican rum, lime, cacao, and dandelion amaro) sounds interesting! And this was a fun article in the context of your post on Malort!
  18. Never tried this combination but I definitely can see the value of being conservative with the maraschino. The addition of gin and bitters does sound like a good plan!
  19. Been awhile since I had either the Goslings Black Seal or the Cruzan Blackstrap (I have both in the liquor cabinet but don't really care for either that much and relegate them to use in the occasional specific cocktail). I presume you don't have access to the Hamilton Pot Still Black rum? It is presumably all pot still as the name suggests and supposedly is more like what Coruba Dark used to be but isn't so much anymore (and as you no doubt know about the only recommendation in Smugglers Cove for that style). As for a good Black Jamaican rum substitute blend I think that will be tough to recreate. Maybe the Gosling with a bit of molasses added will get you to Cruzan Blackstrap? Cruzan also has a touch of anise to me as well. Can't recall if Gosling has that but I think it did as it is a bit more spice heavy. Maybe Gosling, Smith & Cross and a bit of molasses in some blend? Of course it is a wee bit tricky to create a blend to substitute if you haven't tried the original! Have you got a US friend that could send you samples of each if sending a full bottle isn't practical? Can't be too hard to send a couple of 2 or 4 oz boston round sample bottles to the UK.
  20. OTS? Probably know what you mean but not coming to me!
  21. I would think in this drink you might find some different impact from the sweeter cognac based Grand Marnier versus the typically drier Cointreau. Especially since you have moved from 2 dashes to 2 barspoons, not an inconsiderable difference I should think. Whether that is better or worse is of course an individual thing! True Curacao (which is rather rare these days. I can only think of the Senior line that is made on the island and to me it is perhaps a bit sweeter than I would have expected) is made with a drier brandy/eau de vie style than is Grand Marnier, at least to my taste. What comes to mind and which you probably don't have, which is a shame, is the Ferrand Curacao. Might also be an interesting place for Clement Creole Shrubb which I am guessing is also not an option!
  22. I know Death & Co likes to list specific brands (which I in fact find helpful) but I think it might also vary depending on the cocktail. Something boozy (OK, a lot of stuff in the book is pretty boozy!) and agricole forward probably could be impacted by the brand of agricole. But others may not be so dependent on the brand depending on what else is used. @FrogPrincesse as always provides excellent advice and has already covered what I would suggest. Try what you have access to and then move on from there when (not if) you come under the spell of all things agricole! You might well find that to your own palate a different brand is preferable to what is recommended in a particular cocktail book, even one as good as Death & Co.
  23. Midwest Grain Products or MGP (formerly LDI, formerly one of the many Seagram's distilleries of the past) may well be the single largest producer of rye whiskey. Certainly the biggest producer in the US. But almost nothing is bottled in their name. Their current business plan with regard to the whiskey thy produce is to make whiskey that others buy and slap their own name on.
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