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Everything posted by tanstaafl2

  1. A little depends on the Byzantine limits some states place on sales of spirits from online locations. Some states permit wine but not liquor to be shipped to you. Some stores won't sell to a state that has limits and some will. Some states won't let stores in their jurisdiction sell online to out of state locations. it is bizarre and remarkably frustrating (and something I will fix immediately if I was ever elected dictator!). Most California stores and Binny's in Chicago won't ship to me which probably isn't a bad thing or I would spend even more on liquor than I do now (and what I spend now is already way too much!). Both DrinkUpNY and Astor (which seems to have more variety than DUNY) will ship to me so I have to rely on what they have and the typically higher, although not always, NY prices. So a long way of saying it depends in part on where you live as to what the best options might be.
  2. Had the pleasure of hosting a Compass Box dinner late last week with Mr. Compass Box himself, John Glaser! Had a great evening talking whisky with John but just now getting around to posting about. Apropos to this thread we started with three cocktails, all using Compass Box whisky of course. The first was a very pleasant but straightforward Peat Monster Old Fashioned right from their webpage. The second was a creation by the restaurants bar staff called "King John" (presumably for obvious reasons) that was somewhat of a Manhattan riff with Great King Street Artists Blend, Carpano Antica, Cherry Herring and bitters (angostura and orange mix I think) garnished with a maraschino cherry. The final option was an interesting take on the Last Word using Peat Monster again along with lime juice, maraschino liqueur, green Chartreuse and an absinthe rinse. I of course felt it was vital that I try all three! I may have gone back for seconds... Add on five 1 oz samples of various Compass Box whiskies and then some special pours I brought along to share with John at the end of the evening and lets just say I am glad Uber was driving at the end of the night...
  3. Well that seems like it might be an interesting rum. How is it? I have most of a case of the Plantation 1998 Guadeloupe left that looks similar with the black label and rattan wrapping. Nice rum but never saw one in a box. Scooping up the last of the Yam 12 I see. Best to get it while the gettin' is good!
  4. Kind of an odd test. If everything was a 2:1 ratio then why are the various pairs done at different volumes in ounces? Wouldn't they all be the same? They only report on about half of the combinations and none of the descriptions note the "quality score". Just whether they were "recommended" or not. Then there is the conclusion: Time and time again, we find that cheaper liquor does not a better cocktail make! Save your money for sipping spirits. And yet the best, and worst, combinations in the minds of the judges (whomever they were. There is no indication as best I can tell) were in the lower price category but mostly lower priced combinations made drinks as good (or slightly better on average based on the slope of the best fit line) as the higher priced combinations. So shouldn't the conclusion be that cheaper liquor can make a cocktail as good or better than more expensive liquor? Although even with that I see possible flaws. It could be that Potrero, being the most expensive but also the most different whiskey in the group, might just not be to the liking of the aforementioned mystery judges (unless combined with the cheapest vermouth apparently!). HW Rendezvous, the second most expensive, is also fairly different from the rest of the pack, having high rye MGP whiskey and older more mature whiskey in the blend than anything else in this group. The other six are far more similar to one another in price, age and mashbill being all low rye content (51% or so) rye whiskies (there are three Beam products at slightly different ages for example but all use the same low rye mashbill). I would say this seems a bit flawed in its design but I also have to consider the source...
  5. I would discourage you from wasting money on the WT 81 proof rye and go for the 101 (which I know you already have, unless you feel an urge to do it for the sake of cocktail science and compare the two in which case I say go for it!). Don't know why exactly but the proof difference seems really important in terms of flavor with those two. The earlier WT101 was a perhaps even a bit better than the newer 101 that typically only comes in a liter bottle. But the current 101 works well in cocktails.
  6. I forgot this new find at the store from a couple of days ago called La Quintinye Vermouth Royale. It is from the makers of G'Vine gin and caught my interest because it is made with Pineau des Charentes. That seemed a bit different. I did not see the blanc or the dry but they did have the rouge in stock. Seemed like a vermouth that could be a standalone drink and of course I have always been a fan of PdC. Definitely sweet up front as described but does evolve into a nice light balanced bitterness with a variety of spice and botanicals. The dryness carries into the finish and unlike the linked reviewer I was quite happy to drink it on its own. But the sweetness up front might not be for everybody!
  7. A few new additions in preparation for St. Patrick's Day! The Dair Ghaelach is interesting because of its finishing in virgin toasted Irish oak casks that were very limited. Not much left of Irish forests! Barrels from tree #6 are the ones available in the US. Barrels from other trees went to other markets. Somehow the scotch also managed to sneak into my cart...
  8. Have a friend going to Cabo (who is willing to bring me back a bottle or two) and I was curious if anyone had been recently and knew of any tequila not available in the US worth looking for. I seem to remember reading something about tequila availability in the Cabo area and the best store(s) to check but I can't seem to find it with the search function. Of course I could be "disremembering" and it was from another website that I am thinking of! Any thoughts?
  9. Best to avoid knights who say "Ni" then! A shrub as I understand it is a sweetened vinegar based infusion typically infused with fruit or herbs. Others may have a bit more detail as I don't make them, I just drink them! Can also be a rum based fruit infused liqueur like Clement Creole Shrub which makes an excellent substitute for curacao/triple sec in cocktails.
  10. Bacon infusions that work the best seem to be from bacon fat/renderings rather than freshly cooked bacon aren't they? Not sure I would try to infuse strips of bacon! As for tobacco there seems little reason to bother risking illness or death when Ted Breaux has seemingly solved the problem for us with Perique (When one can get it. Not available for those of us in the US to my knowledge and must be brought or shipped from across the pond). It isn't really exactly what I imagined when I first got it (much more of an anise based liqueur flavor to me although descriptions usually seem to say floral, lemon and tea with a hint of smoke) but it is fun to give it to people and then tell them what it is!
  11. Perhaps a place for a bit of the indubitable Stiggins rum?
  12. tanstaafl2


    There used to be Qi liqueur which I think was made with lapsang souchong but I think it has gone the way of the dodo. I have a single 375ml bottle left and it makes a nice addition to a Manhattan. Kindred has at least one recipe which mentions it called Poppies in October. Sounds interesting and perhaps you could recreate it using some other lapsang souchong syrup or infusion source.
  13. I presume the "Cruzan Blackstrap molasses vodka" requires a touch of sarcafont? Or is this now a "thing"?
  14. tanstaafl2


    Could be a quick squeeze of the hospital floor mop infused with a band aid and a splash of iodine! I tend to find a lot of peat to be as much ashy as it is smoky in most cases. There are exceptions of course. Smoke is more a mezcal thing for me until it gets overdone and turns into burnt plastic. Can't say I care for very much of that!
  15. Interesting. I tried Lucano for the first time this week and thought it a bit light. Good texture but not as much complexity. I think I still prefer the Ramazotti which has a bit more heft and more orange as I recall to balance the licorice component. I guess I should try them side by side.
  16. tried a new cocktail (to me) that featured an interesting combination of a touch of Chartreuse and an even smaller touch of All Spice Dram. The Shah Sleeps by Stew Ellington 1 1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro 1 oz Calvados 1/2 oz Carpano Punt e Mes 1 t Green Chartreuse 1/4 t Allspice Dram Stir and strain. Orange peel garnish. I liked this one. Even with just a touch of the chartreuse and all spice they both were present and the calvados seemed to work well as a base. Not really sure about the name though, presuming there is a reason to begin with.
  17. Tried a concoction called Fall to Pieces I found here because I like simple 1:1;1:1 style cocktails. When they work. This one seemed a bit too boozy, which is saying something for me. Maybe a bit less rye and brandy?
  18. tanstaafl2


    The Sotol's by the way are a little different as they are not made from agave but rather another desert plant distantly related as best I can tell. The only brand I have had is the more common Hacienda de Chihuahua, A much lighter spirit in general than most mescal.
  19. tanstaafl2


    I tried a couple of El Jolgorio's a couple of posts up and was a bit disappointed with them. Had a heavy burnt plastic character that I didn't care for. But neither were the particular agave species mentioned here which is a somewhat peculiar species that grows a bit more like a tree or cactus than typical agave. It is in the same family as the Barril that I tried above. Bicuixe is in the same family as well. But not sure if what I didn't like was more the distillery character rather than the particular species of agave. I did like the Tepextate species that I tried from Del Maguey and Vago. I see one of those on your list but a different brand of course. Many of these brands are unfamiliar to me, not that that is saying much!
  20. tanstaafl2


    It is probably fair to say that "artisanal" mezcal is trending upward, particularly mezcal made from different agave species than the usual espadin, I did a small tasting of several a couple of months ago. We tried three different brands of the tepextate/tepeztate agave species. My favorite was the Vago (52 proof) which emphasized a nice delicate citrus tone and only a mild to moderate smoky nose and palate that developed into a pleasant rubbery character that lasted well into the very pleasant finish. Second for me was the Del Maguey (90 proof) which initially seemed to have a much heavier smoky character on initial opening but quickly settled down to allow the citrus notes to peek out from underneath. The smokey rubbery tone had perhaps a touch of melting plastic character which kept it in second. Some liked it as well or better than the Vago. Last place went to the El Jolgorio (91.6 proof) which to me seemed to be impacted by a strong burning plastic smell that I did not care for. Unfortunate as it seemed to have a nice citrus quality underneath and I had high hopes for it. We finished with another El Jolgorio from another agave species, Barril, which as I recall also had some of that burnt plastic character. Most unfortunate. Not sure if I had a bad bottle or if it was normal. I expected some smoke and rubber character but not quite that much plastic character. I
  21. Apparently just a technicality from what this says.
  22. Yes, I have contemplated getting the Creole bitters as well but have not done so yet.
  23. I wish that would happened to me when something new comes out...
  24. Has anyone made much of the newish Peychaud's barrel aged bitters released early last year? Don't think there has been much mention of it here on the forum that I can find (although the search function is always a bit suspect). I am seeing it now in a couple of places locally but don't know much about it. Have seen a limited number of reviews so far (OK, haven't looked too hard as I am interested in what this community's experience, if any, has been!) and this one in particular makes note of an enhanced cherry character. Any opinions?
  25. Interesting. Don't think I have ever seen a box for the Plantation Single Cask rums. I presume there is a label on the back indicating which particular rum that is? Back when the Plantation 20th Anniversary came in the wide short bottle it had a box (and typically still does now that it is in a taller bottle as I recall) but not the vario0us single cask bottlings, at least in my area.
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