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tanstaafl2

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Everything posted by tanstaafl2

  1. I find many ryes to be "earthy" (my personal and rather nebulous term for the flavor I find in a lot of older ryes) rather than peppery while some (MGP for instance) tend to run towards a dill pickle/herbal range, especially relatively young. That Canadian groundhog from Vermont is of course generally older and has lots of that lovely earthy and yes, grassy at times, character to me. Pepper, not so much!
  2. Interesting to hear your thoughts on the Damoiseau. I have had the younger aged expression at lowish proof and wasn't that overwhelmed but never the blanc. I do like the Clement Canne Bleue and the Neisson although the Neisson seems a bit more variable to me from bottle to bottle.
  3. Interesting comparison but obviously one persons perspective. I have had the chance to try 8 of the 12 (unfortunately not all at the same time) and would probably rank them a bit different. The Batiste is a poor representative of the Bellevue distillery as I discovered when I managed to get a bottle of the Bellevue 55% in Guadeloupe. Looks like I will need to track down a bottle of the Damoiseau, especially the 55% ABV (and perhaps the Duquesne, a rhum now made at the La Mauny distillery but apparently on the original column still from the old Duquesne distillery) for myself! The other one I have somehow missed is La Favorite, which seemed to get left off the initial list in this post but is reviewed further down. For science of course...
  4. A nice way to make the Old Overholt a bit more palatable though! It is not one of my favorite ryes these days after Beam cut it down to a 3yo.
  5. tanstaafl2

    Aperol

    If Amaro Nonino is not readily available then Ramazotti, as noted in the notes on Kindred Cocktail page, can make an interesting substitution. Not that Ramazotti is necessarily a household bottle for most people either, but it may be a bit more available and a bit less expensive than Nonino. Both are certainly worth having!.
  6. There is only one consistent rule for drinking bourbon (or really any spirit for that matter). Drink it the way you like it! If that means a drop of water, a splash of water, an ice cube or two, club soda or a freakin' Red Bull then so be it. For me I generally do as @EvergreenDan does and start off by trying most everything that is new to me at bottle strength first and going from there. Indeed I tend to do that almost every time I having a whiskey or other brown spirit neat as even my own palate can vary over time. My preferred drinking strength for most things tends to be either original cask strength if I can get it (after all I can provide my own water! Brands that claim they have cut the spirit down to the perfect drinking strength for your enjoyment are just selling BS along with that water as far as I am concerned) or just a bit of water. If I find I need to add water (something I do with most spirits that are new to me any way just to see if the spirits improves or "opens up" with water) then I will titrate it down. For high proof spirits I usually add water to no lower than about 110 proof or so at most as needed. If 110 is good enough for Chartreuse it is good enough for me! Although as with everything there are exceptions. I tend to avoid buying spirits at less than 90-100 proof these days unless the full cask strength is lower than that or there is some other compelling reason to try them. WT101 tastes like a nice glass of tea to me as a result! But YMMV.
  7. Ha! With my luck given my rapidly advancing age, distaste for anything resembling exercise and extensive liquor intake (at least according to some!) I am going to die anyway before I manage to get back to the San Diego area so no harm there...
  8. What? No décor pictures? Will just have to make do with the pictures in the article. Must have been some truly serious technical issues to bring the house down on their pre-opening debut! Is the apparent cooler door to the left of the bar about 5 pictures down in the linked article on Craft & Commerce the Forbidden Idol entrance?
  9. I was there back in May and it was surprisingly quiet. Then again I think it was a Wednesday evening. Enjoyed the cocktails, menu seemed quite varied and the appearance was quite nice. And yet... I need to return and give it another chance I suppose but not sure I will be able to fit it in on my upcoming trip to San Francisco. So much to do!
  10. I still have some older yellow label LH as well as the red label and Hamilton. Now I just have to find the new one! Haven't seen it in Atlanta yet but we aren't exactly on the front lines of new spirits debuts even though it seems to be all around us (Florida, Tennessee). All the talk on Tiki Central suggests each is a bit different in its own way (not really a big surprise). Since I still have a little of the earlier yellow label left it will be interesting to see how it stands up to the other three if and when I do find the new version. Going to San Francisco in a couple of weeks so I will have to see what I can find out about the different versions at Smuggler's Cove if I can find time to stop in. Although odds are good that I will find the time...
  11. Long been a particular annoyance to me with various cocktail recipes. If it is based on the "typical" glass used by a particular person or bar then we aren't all going to have the same thing. Elucidation of the quantity recommended, whatever the ingredient is, is always my preference!
  12. Which is a perfect reason to drink it all by its lovely self!
  13. Been there, done that! Don't remember most of it...
  14. I got a chance to try this Foursquare 2004 as well as the port finish and the Zinfandel finish this week at a distributor's spirits show. I liked the port but liked the Zin even better. But the best for me was the 2004 cask strength blended rum. Now I just have to get some of my own!
  15. Ah yes, syntax is indeed critical! Well, it is as good a name as any and certainly better than the "tropical negroni" I have been using to this point! Not sure whether my friend would approve although he is pretty laid back so who knows, he might.
  16. Had an interesting little off the cuff cocktail the other night made by a bartender friend of mine that doesn't yet have a name. Kind of a lighter tropical negroni-ish sort of thing. 1 part Bombay East gin (the lemon grass and peppery character seems to be essential) 1 part Bruto Americano 1 part Cocchi Americano 1/2 part Yellow Chartreuse Stir with ice, strain and serve up with a lemon twist expressed and dropped in the drink. Yum!
  17. Green Spot is relatively light and very fruit forward (usually described as green apple) to me with perhaps a bit more grainy character due to its youth compared to the Redbreast which is maybe 3-5 years older and probably has more sherry barrel influence. The Black Bush is blended whiskey that is also more heavily sherry influenced than Green Spot and I have always found it a fairly straight forward but enjoyable blend both for cocktails and on its own, if a bit thin. I think you might like the Black Bush better than Green Spot in this cocktail. It is probably a bit cheaper as well! If you are looking for a somewhat more "meaty" whiskey consider the Powers John's Lane. It is a very enjoyable whiskey to me in the Midleton pot still family and similar to Redbreast as both are 12yo but less sherry influenced and more bourbon barrels with a bit more proof at 92 compared to the regular 12yo Redbreast at 80 proof.
  18. Can you not make it work with just the Stiggins and no mescal or agricole? But it should be easy enough to find an agricole blanc locally, right? Clement at 100 proof is pretty common here and I have also seen Rhum JM and La Favorite on occasion, maybe even Damoiseau. In the islands they are typically around 110 proof (provides some lovely viscosity!) but here in the US we are usually lucky if we get 100 proof. Boston selection has to be as good or better than Atlanta? I just got a bottle of the new St. George Bruto Americano that might be worth playing with in something like this.
  19. This just seems wrong to me! If you don't have enough alcohol in your diet to kill the bacteria in your food how can you be sure it is "clean"???
  20. Was bobbing about down island last week on the good ship M/S Sagitta and managed to make it to St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and Iles des Saintes (a small group of islands that make up part of Guadeloupe). Despite my best efforts I could not convince the Captain to go to Marie Gallant, another of the islands that make up Guadeloupe, which was only a tantalizing 15 or so miles away. Oh well. Picked up the odd rum/rhum or seven while I was there. The English Harbor was a gift from one of my tour guides and fellow rum enthusiasts. The rest came from the islands including a visit to Habitation Clement on Martinique. Well worth a tour if you ever find yourself on the island! For the 12 euro tour fee (8.7 euros for a group of ten) one could probably drink themselves silly in the gift shop where numerous Clement rhums (although not the high end stuff of course) were available to sample. I only wish I had more time to spend on Guadeloupe, to include Marie Gallant, and their 9 total distilleries, and Martinique which has about 7 distilleries. I am going to have to make a trip just to explore both these islands in more detail! I did find Bologne and Montebello rhum from Guadeloupe along with a white rhum/rocket fuel at 59% ABV from Bellevue on Marie Gallant. Also a couple of older expressions from Clement that I don't see in the US. And finally the 1931 is from St. Lucia. I also discovered that oddly the lone distillery in St. Lucia doesn't do a tour on Saturday and I am embarrassed to admit that I did not know Dominica has not one but two distilleries, the rum from which is not easily found outside of the island itself. Belfast makes Red Cap from imported molasses and sells white rum by the cask to local shops and bars where they make their own recipes of spiced "bush" rum. Meanwhile the Shillingford Estate makes a rhum agricole reportedly grown entirely on Dominica itself known as Macoucherie. That one sounded interesting to me. Oh well, maybe next time!
  21. I was at Anchor in May and went to their newly established "distillery tasting room" (not so much a tour as you never see the stills unfortunately). I noticed the new label and while I did not ask specifically it certainly still tasted the same. So I am guessing it was just a new label. They had also recently released an Old Tom gin to make the third variety of gin they have available. The Junipero and Old Tom labels now look similar although the Genevieve is not changed much if at all that I noticed.
  22. A retaste of the 00 Eau de Vie cidre a couple of days ago found that it had improved a bit with time after being opened as some spirits seem to do. Perhaps still not quite what the reviewer found but definitely more enjoyable. I was sharing a taste with a few industry pros at one of my local bars and they also seemed to enjoy it. Then again they may have been humoring me...
  23. Vile seems a bit strong! But then I gather you have some strong opinions on drinks. Which is OK, I do to! But I have had the SC Mai Tai and I can tell you that the vanilla had no impact at all on a very nice drink. My problem was more with the Denizen rum they choose to use but that rum was created in part by Martin Cates for his bar so I suppose it is unavoidable unless you ask for your own specific rums. it is good and I suppose affordable for a bar (although the drinks aren't cheap to start with) but there are certainly better choices in my mind. I am still trying to figure out the part about glass barware. I guess I haven't gotten to that part of the book yet! But plenty of the drinks when I was there used glass as do some of the pictures as I recall. What gives?
  24. I would presume it is similar as long as you are using a good quality water. Might want to let it "marry" together for a bit I suppose. By my calculation you would add 7.56 ounces of water for every 10 ounces of the 151 to get it to 86 proof. Were I to do that I probably wouldn't go below 100 proof though!. Volume of product x ((current proof/desired proof)-1) = Amount of water to add
  25. If I could figure out how to send whiskey as an email attachment I could probably make a fortune! A calvados of in the price range of the fairly spendy 00 would likely be pretty well aged. I find as it gets more age it loses some of the apple character and gets more brandy character from the barrel. They would likely be quite different from one another.
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