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Everything posted by tanstaafl2

  1. I do think Sazerac rye might be your best chance to find a rye you like. Doesn't get too much softer than that one. But if Rittenhouse BIB didn't work then I am not sure what to tell you! Surprised that if you like bourbon-y ryes that Templeton and Bulleit are favorites given they are typical younger MGP 95% ryes. As MGP (Former LDI) ryes get older (8-10 years and more) they do change in character as shown by High West and Smooth Ambler and lose a lot of the minty/dill character to me. I can't imagine not liking a rye whiskey, whether neat or in a cocktail! Well, in my case I suppose that goes for just about any brown spirit...
  2. I am thinking you might be right! I might try to add a bit more overall maturity with the rye as well. Maybe the Pikesville if you have it if you want to keep the higher proof that the Willet has.
  3. I also noted you don't have genever, which can show up with some regularity in pre-prohibition cocktails, but I don't know if that is locally available.
  4. Only one way to find out! Sounds like you should give the Giffard a shot. Let us know what you think.
  5. Got these last week but haven't had a chance to post them yet. A few odds and ends arrived in the mail. That is almost always fun! Three rums I was having a hard time sourcing locally, a "white whale" rye whiskey and a couple of rather odd French marc brandies. The Jacoulot marc from Burgundy is aged seven years and was reviewed recently here. Based on the review it was hard for an oddity junkie like me to pass up! The Marcs du Jura (aged 10 years) somehow ended up in the shopping cart with it. I am a fan of Macvin du Jura and also really want to try a vin juane because, well, just because! Have tried the Jacoulot and it is indeed funky but in a peculiarly enjoyable way. it was quite funky and vegetal but rather like an agricole finished in port or PX sherry with a raison-y character, but with a finish that sticks in your palate for-ev-er! Fortunately no notes of rotting garbage on the nose or palate but not your ideal first pour of the night unless you just like starting with a completely trashed palate! The Plantation OFTD and new Lemon Hart 151 will allow me to do a couple of high proof rum comparison tastings just for fun as soon as I can find time to do the tasting and then take about a four hour nap! I haven't quite yet found that much time unfortunately. The Clement agricole is reportedly aged for a bit less than 4 years in "New American Oak". A store local to me did a barrel but cut it to about 88 pf. The new one from K&L is supposed to be at cask strength of 125 pf (hmm, rather a convenient round number). They were distilled AND bottled on the same day (barrel 148 and 154). As best I can tell new American oak is essentially a charred barrel that would typically be used for bourbon. But I am not sure if it truly a char and how heavy it is or if this is more toasted than charred. Mysteries abound. Finally, the last bottle was one I lucked into thanks to a friend and fellow whiskey geek. The 16yo Hotaling's is one I have sought for a while and therefore is almost assuredly not going to live up to the lofty expectations I have set for it in my minds eye! But I am going to drink it anyway.
  6. Giffard liqueurs that I have had have generally been OK, not that I sit and drink them by themselves, but have never had the Elderflower. If the price point is the same I would probably default to the St. Germain. If nothing else it is likely the more attractive bottle!
  7. If you are going to take the Jamaican rum out of the Kingston Negroni and use St Lucia rum instead (the choice of amaro aside) shouldn't it now be the Castries Negroni? Yeah, mon!
  8. Sounds like a fun project. As you are no doubt aware "whisky/whiskey" is a pretty broad category, rather like (but also very different than) rum, so I presume you will have at least variety of types of them on hand? I love herbal elements so things like Chartreuse and Benedictine might be worth trying to add if available. And of course amaro! Lots and lots of amaro...
  9. Sadly, I wonder if it is ever NOT a busy night! Although obviously that is good for business. One of my favorite places in town (not tiki) was usually reasonably quiet early on a random Tuesday evening when it first opened but lately not so much even then. It has been getting a lot of favorable press of late and now it is getting hard for an aging boomer like me to find a seat at the bar amongst the "millennial cognoscenti". Although admittedly the bar area is quite small though so it doesn't take much to make it busy.
  10. Pretty diverse collection on both the food and drink sides of the menu! Is the house "Grass Skirt" daiquiri made with Stiggins or something they infuse themselves? Presuming you know of course! Can San Diego handle two tiki bars? Or are there even more? And did you ever get back to check out False Idol again?
  11. Never tried that but the only one way to find out if it works for you and that is to try it! Would certainly think it would be somewhat different though. I presume you would be using the more tart white grapefruit noted above to replace the lime?
  12. The cost of the Capovilla is a bit less (like half!) if you go to Marie Galante to get it! Of course there is the cost of getting to Marie Galante you have to account for...
  13. Adding the water line unfortunately does seem rather spendy. Can buy a lot of good booze with $900! The lemonade/water dispenser pictured sounds like a great alternative for what you need. If you find you need more counter space for drink prep the water cooler can always be the back up plan.
  14. I have always liked David Wondrich's take on the El Presidente using Dolin blanc vermouth. Having made it with both a standard dry vermouth and the blanc I definitely think the blanc is the better choice.
  15. Rhum agricole blanc is typically not as expensive as high end Scotch to be sure, although they are generally more expensive than molasses based white rums. Of course most molasses based white rums aren't very good (at least to me). But well aged rhum agricole, like the Neisson 15 or 18 (although Neisson, a smaller family distillery on Martinique, while very good, seems pretty expensive in general) or Rhum JM 15, are typically very expensive (and also can be hard to find). And are oh so goooood! The sorry state of rum regulation is very frustrating. I agree with the idea of making the labeling be more honest but getting so many different countries to agree to a single set of rules, and rum is made in a LOT of places, doesn't seem likely any time soon. The economy of some small countries is largely tied to major rum producers and they aren't likely to do anything those massive companies are opposed to. Rhum agricoles and in particular Martinique agricoles are a good bit more regulated and are not allowed to add sugar (although there is even some suspicion of skirting rules with at least some of those brands). Jamaica and Barbados (home of Doorly, Foursquare and R.L. Seale 10yo, all made by the anti-sugar rum producer Richard Seale. His recent Foursquare 11yo cask strength rum is superb!) also have rules about sugar in rum. But most places do not. Sugar is rampant in rum and hard to always get the facts on. But there are places where the sugar contents of rums are listed. The ones from the Swedish and Finnish governments presumably are pretty reliable. I can't speak with certainty to lists on other blogs although since they are partly based on the government tests it seems they are likely to be fairly accurate. Of course I could say as much with almost any spirit although rum seems to be the gold standard for having a lack of standards! But Scotch, American whiskey and other whiskey producers tolerate a fair bit of their own nonsense within their industry. I would love to see requirements for the DSP being listed on any American whiskey produced, regulations to require labeling of coloring in Scotch as well as more transparency with age statements in both of them. The mystery 9.09% rule in Canadian whisky that doesn't have to be disclosed seems like a lot of nonsense as well. (I am going to have to start making sure I have gotten to the last page of the thread!)
  16. It has began showing up in a few places in the US in the last 6-12 months. I have seen it locally and I know K&L in San Francisco had it. The Fukano brand shown above and a brand called Kikori are the two I have seen. I don't know if it has a long history in Japan or is more of a result of the huge increase in interest in whisky in general in Japan. It is a bit different from Shochu, the more traditional distilled spirit that can be made from several different things to include rice, barley and sweet potato. The sample I tasted was sweet as well but otherwise a bit light and to be honest, bland, so I didn't get a bottle. The blurb about the Fukano on K&L suggests it has been around awhile for use in blending but not bottled for sale as whisky until recently. Ah, I see you had already responded with some nice links on the next page which I overlooked!
  17. We seems to get more of it in the US. Although it was supposedly going away a few years ago I can't recall when it wasn't available on the shelf at least in Atlanta and now it has been officially revived by Diageo. Whether the blend of the four single malts was changed in any way when the decision to eliminate it was reversed I can't say. I put a couple away when it was reportedly going to be discontinued but I still have some of that left. So maybe at some point it he interim it finally disappeared since I haven't really looked for it in a while! I do think it is a nice whisky, albeit underproofed for me like most JW labels, that is generally available at a decent price that seems to get underappreciated. Don't know how much it has gone up in price locally since I haven't looked for it recently but everything is going up so it probably has too! There is also reportedly a NAS "Island Green" JW being released that has more Caol Ila than the regular Green but that I haven't seen yet. As far as I know the regular Green remains a 15yo blended malt as it always was.
  18. I can understand not trying to put in water lines on an outside wall in a cabin but since your bar is on an interior wall, and a stairway at that, is their no way to bring a water line to it from beneath the stairway? I presume your water line is underneath the cabin already? If that isn't an option it looks like you have space at the end of the bar before the end of the stairway. Could you put a water cooler type stand there with the big bottle you invert on type of it? Or even a countertop model perhaps. Some provide both cold and hot water. Not very glamorous perhaps but then you would have water accessible and you could have a portable basin of some sort on the bar type to rinse stuff in and a pitcher to get the water from the cooler. Might be a pretty pricey option though! When I set up my little pop up cocktail bar outside (and I am by no means a professional. This is just a casual set up for friends so appearance is largely unimportant) I get the rectangular 2.5 gallon water bottle with a spout from the grocery store and put a bucket underneath to catch the water. Then I have fresh water to use or to rinse and clean with. But might be a little messy for indoor use. Although it doesn't seem like your pass thru to the kitchen is that far away. Less convenient but at least you could pass stuff relatively easily form kitchen to the bar area if need be although I know you said you didn't want to traipse through the space.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Well, we all have our own limitations... You have had it before. Apparently it didn't make much of an impression then either!
  22. 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!).
  23. 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!
  24. I don't think I have ever seen a walnut when it was still that green! Apparently I have led a sheltered life.
  25. 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%.
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