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Everything posted by tanstaafl2

  1. Indeed I have tried it and quite like it. The "A Midwinter Nights Dram" is a big favorite of mine. I had a chance to visit David Perkins at his new distillery a few months ago and really enjoyed it. He has played with a number of Quady barrels to include Vya and the orange and black muscat barrels. All are interesting and the Vya finish I thought was excellent (this was Double Rye not Rendezvous). I would love to have a bottle of that alone but it may all have been used in a blend with another finished whiskey to make the new Yippie Ki-yay.
  2. I have come to appreciate the American Prairie a bit more but still far from my favorite in the HW line. Still don't care for Son of Bourye (or "SOB"...) especially with a reintroduction of the newly formulated Bourye which, while expensive, I do like. Maybe even more than the original Bourye!
  3. Rio Sunburn. That is what you get when a Swedish tourist goes to Brazil for the first time...
  4. FP pretty well covered rhum agricole but I do seem to recall the lamentations of our friends to the north of the rather profound failure of the LCBO to provide an adequate supply of Rhum Agricole. In that case maybe Smith & Cross is your best bet as one of the rums. But I know what I would be looking to bring back the next time I left the country! Can't speak to the orgeat you used without trying it. sounds like it has decent potential. But Jo's recommendation of the Small Hands version is spot on.
  5. I have heard that argument before as well but it doesn't really matter because whether or not it is historically accurate the rhum agricole is better!
  6. Did you like it? If so then those were the right rums to use! A fairly traditional Mai Tai based on the Trader Vic recipe can be found on Kindred Cocktails (a great resource). I think of the Appleton 12 and a Rhum Clement that is 4-6 years of age as a good place to start. Note that in the notes S&C is mentioned as another good Jamaican rum. In the combination you listed it helped bring in the hogo or funk that would otherwise be missing from the ED12. A solid orgeat is critical to me. Not personally familiar with the one you used but it might be perfectly fine. I almost never use simple syrup, adding more orgeat instead. But there endless variations including many in the preceding posts on this thread.
  7. Certainly possible! I am sure that source is well informed. Nikka seems to have exploded beyond all expectations and capacity to replace thanks in part to the TV show. I still see both age stated versions on the shelf so maybe the "terminal aunt syndrome" hasn't hit here yet but the Taketsuru 12 and Hibiki 12 are gone (or going fast) with their NAS replacements already hitting the shelves. A side by side of the age and NAS bottles might be interesting but I am loath to spend the money on the NAS bottles as long as I still have access to the age stated versions.
  8. I do like it but it is tough to justify the local $150 cost. I guess bourbon approaching single malt prices just doesn't feel right. But I suppose it is the reality these days for things that are older and/or limited editions. At $100 I would feel a little more like it was a fair price. But I think it will sell, unlike the WT Diamond Anniversary that I still see sitting on the shelf. Nice mouthfeel despite the low proof similar to the occasional low proof older single malt that I have tried and has a solid caramel/fruit flavor (a touch of cherry perhaps?) on the palate. Not thin and watery like I typical feel is the case with many cut low proof whiskey's. But not overly oaky to me. in fact surprisingly little wood influence for 17 years. Cooler aging temps perhaps with less temperature variation through each season. WT for a long time kept the lower barrel entry proof (in WT's case about 107 pf I have been told) that once was pretty common. But these days they too are beginning to go up although not to the max allowed at 125 pf. Probably more like 115 these days for WT. But older WT isn't usually this low out of the barrel. This batch supposedly lost proof because of the type and location of the rickhouses they rested in. Or so the story of this release claims.
  9. I did manage to make a couple of interesting new acquaintances this week. The Masters Keep is a new limited edition Wild Turkey that is the first release by Eddie Russell following his appointment as Master Distiller. I guess his dad Jimmy is now Master Distiller "Emeritus". It is also the oldest bourbon released by WT in the US to date. Kind of an unusual history of aging that has resulted in a reported rather low barrel proof of 86.8. Kind of a convenient number as that was a common proof for WT in the good old days but I wouldn't want to get in the way of a good marketing yarn.... I find low barrel proof whiskey to be much more interesting than whiskey cut with water to a lower proof so I was curious to try this. Very solid whiskey if overpriced like most things these days. The Cut Spike is an American Single Malt made near Omaha, Nebraska of all places. The first batch got strong reviews but I haven't been able to get my hands on a bottle until now which is the third batch. This one has some surprising herbal almost gin notes on the nose but not much translates to the palate which I found a bit thin and lacking in any distinctive character. Oh well, you win a few, you lose a lot more!
  10. Most older Nikka such as the Yoichi 15 yo, Miyagikyo 12 yo, and Taketsuru 17 and 21 yo are keeping their age statements for now although they will likely get rarer and more expensive (isn't everything?). Only the Taketsuru 12 seems to be going away for now. And the Hibiki 12 is likely gone for the foreseeable future as well to be replaced by the Hibiki "Japanese Harmony" NAS. For the moment the migration of the 12 from the front to the back of EC12 is not supposed to indicate it is going to become a NAS bottling. Rather it is so the label looks consistent with the ECBP and the EC Single barrel lines. Although there is much speculation that this move will make it easier to dump the age statement down the road.
  11. I picked up a bottle of the Stiggins recently. Delightful stuff. Kind of a ready made tiki-ish punch in a bottle in the best possible way! Once I tried it I promptly picked up several more. Can't be too careful...
  12. In fact if you find that older cream colored label bottling that might be worth buying. It is at least 5 years old if not more. I feel like Cruzan has dropped in overall quality a bit over time. But that is purely subjective on my part.
  13. While I too think a nice 100 proof agricole blanc is always a good choice I would second the Flor de Cana Extra Dry as a good place to start for a readily available good quality and yet relatively inexpensive choice.
  14. Yes, it was a label change a few years ago. If memory serves the Single Estate bottle and label has since changed again. It now comes in a squatty shaped bottle rather than the tall wine bottle shape. While it is a Puerto Rican/Cuban style rum Cruzan is made in the VI's. DonQ is a major Puerto Rican rum producer. Of the Puerto Rican rums I like Ron del Barrilito but it may be harder to come by. At least I don't see it around as much. There is also a small company called Bacardi that used to make rum in Cuba and now makes rum in Puerto Rico (among other places). It is so so at best...
  15. Don't doubt the sophistication of Havana bars in the heyday of Cuba as America's prohibition and post prohibition playground. Cuba in the mid 2000's after the collapse of the Soviet Union is a more than just as little bit of a wildcard and based on my experience of Cuba in 2013, when things had started to pick up again at least a little bit with the arrival of European and Canadian tourists, I was more than a little underwhelmed. No doubt some bars are still doing it the right away but I don't think the odds of finding one at random now or in the past decade or two were not necessarily in your favor (the quality of the "Mai Tai" Wayne Curtis described in his article being a case in point!). Perhaps he knew where he was going and it was a quality locale but not every tourist is likely to have the same cocktail acumen!
  16. At a mere 1/2 barspoon (what is that, 2.5 ml at most from a typical barspoon anyway?) you can likely skip the grenadine of you must! I think the real revelation, at least as the Professor described it and that differs from the Wayne Curtis description, is the blanc vermouth as versus a standard dry vermouth. And just how fresh was the vermouth in a hole in the wall in Cuba a decade ago anyway? Questionable at best I should guess! Wasn't all that good when I was there just a couple of years ago! In any case give it another chance! Get a fresh 1/2 bottle of Dolin Blanc, a nice white rum (I still suggest the Flor de Cana 4yo Extra Dry but a nice aged dark rum will likely do) and see what happens.
  17. Perhaps my favorite was one that was briefly barrel aged. I don't know what their recipe was but I suspect it was without grenadine, In any case it is one I have been meaning to try to age but haven't gotten around to it. Always thought the Blanc vermouth would be a bit fragile but only one way to find out I suppose.
  18. Isn't that always the case. As for putting the sabre to it, well that I would like to see!
  19. Not sure who gets credit for really reviving this drink with the realization that Dolin Blanc was the key as I first learned about the drink from an Imbibe article by Professor Wondrich, although given the article was from 2012 and the book didn't get published until late 2013 perhaps the nod goes to Splificator on this one. Although who knows how long it took to write the book! Don't have the magazine with his specific recipe in front of me but I did find this one online. Pretty similar except you used a dark aged rum and didn't include a touch of grenadine. I have tended to use Havana Club Anejo Blanco when I had it or the Flor de Cana 4yo extra dry when I didn't as it is pretty good and not quite as spendy. 1½ oz. rich white rum 1½ oz. Dolin Vermouth Blanc 1 barspoon orange Curaçao or Grand Marnier ½ barspoon real grenadine Thinly cut orange peel Garnish: maraschino cherry (optional) Anywho I absolutely agree this is a real winner!
  20. Although if they truly have a well developed cocktail program and you tell them up front you want a more traditional Martini (sometimes called a "wet " Martini I think), in some cases back in the day it would be as much as a 3 or even 2 to 1 gin/vermouth ratio (often with a dash of orange bitters), then that is what you should get! If they won't make that then there is some question in my mind whether it is truly a "well developed" cocktail program to me. I even occasionally have a reverse or upside down martini with as much or more vermouth as gin if I am looking for something a little lighter.
  21. I would definitely agree. Turbinado/Demerara sugar, especially a rich 2:1 version is a lovely thing, at least in Tiki drinks. Never made my own Pimento Dram but I think it would work well in it.
  22. Wow, Neisson 18! I would love to be in the position of getting a "restock" on that one! My lonely bottle of Neisson Reserve Speciale is feeling rather jealous... I just hope that once you get it open you don't mix it up with the Reserve Speciale and use it all up in Mai Tai's! I know that using better ingredient's in theory makes for better cocktails but I think I would be sipping that bad boy neat! After all that is the equivalent of about a case and a half of the Reserve Speciale or 20 bottles of a decent Clement Select Barrel rhum agricole! That would make a lot of Mai Tai's...
  23. What he said! Would love to have "real" Amer Picon to "have to get rid of"! I have used several alternatives including Torani Amer and the formula offered by Splificator as a substitute. But never had the real thing. Current Picon Club and Picon Biere don't really count for me (not that I wouldn't try them if I had them!) meaning at this point it would have to be about 50 years old to be as close as possible to the real thing before the proof got slashed down from the original 78 proof. I wonder if the Amer Picon "Black" available at TWE at a slightly higher 42 proof is a similar formula and would be better than the current day Amer Picon at 36 proof.
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