December 30, 2005

The Liquor Snob New Year's Eve Bender

Liquor BottlesIt's finally here. We had fun on Thanksgiving, and we enjoyed our Christmas, but this is the day we've been waiting for. It's the holiday to end all holidays, and the best reason to stock your liquor cabinet...New Year's Eve. We'll be throwing a small gala this year, consisting of the interns (see, it's not all punishment to work here) and some friends and family. We're so excited, we had to post to tell you about our plans.

The Product: The most important part of any New Year's party is the booze. This year we've got assorted booze and cigars that were supplied by the fine folks at Tommy Guns Vodka. We've been looking forward to uncapping the bottles for months, and we finally have our chance to try Rumrunner's Rum, Speakeasy Scotch, Bathtub Gin, Hideaway Brandy, 4 Deuces Tequila, Bootleg Bourbon, Dixieland Vodka and Prohibition Whiskey, and we might even open up our second bottle of Tommy Guns vodka if we feel the behavior of our guests warrants it. As for the cigars, they're hand-rolled and Dominican, and we've tried a few, but we've had them waiting in a humidor for just this moment, and the moment has finally arrived.

We've also got a few bottles of liquor we haven't tried yet, so we'll be combining some reviewing into the party. You can expect to hear more about Hendrick's gin, Buffalo Trace bourbon, and two Vermont-made vodkas (Vermont White, which is apparently made from milk, and Green Mountain Sunshine, which isn't) in the new year. Also, since we're not big champagne drinkers, we got ourselves a nice, fat bottle of Jagermeister for the toast at midnight.

The Events: We'll be pretty much doing what you'd expect us to be doing. We'll be hanging out by the bar, mixing drinks at an uncanny rate. But around us, there will be beer pong and other drinking games, and possibly even some shotgunning.

We'll keep you posted of any wildness that springs forth from the party, and in case you're wondering, people will be sleeping here. If anyone plans to drive home, we'll be monitoring their drunkenness with our handy Alcohawk breathalyzers to help them make the right decision about getting behind the wheel.

Liquor Snob would like to thank our liquor and cigar sponsors as well...please go to TommyGunsVodka.com to find out where you can get your hands on the booze we mentioned above, and check out Al-Capone.com to find the great cigars.

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December 29, 2005

Ice Shot Glasses Are Frozen Genius

Ice Shot GlassesThere are some shots that need to be as cold as possible in order to be truly great. A certain herbal liquor springs to mind...we won't tell you the name, but we'll tell you it starts with "Jager" and ends with "meister." Sure, you can freeze the booze; you can even throw your shot glasses in the freezer. But if you want to achieve true Hoth-like temperatures, why not drink your shots out of an ice cube?

With the ShotRock ice shot glass, you can chill your shot, slam it, and smash it against the wall while you're still in the midst of a freezerburn headache, all without fear of reprisals or broken glass. Here's what the ShotRock site has to say:

A ShotRock is a shot glass made out of ice! Imagine lifting a solid block of ice to your lips and drinking a freezing cold shooter...so cold and so good! ShotRocks are the best way to drink Jagermeister, Goldschlager, Aftershock, Southern Comfort, Cuervo, and more. Any shooter which should be served cold, tastes better and goes down faster when served in a ShotRock!
You can make four glasses at a time, and they take about 4-6 hours to fully freeze...not quite in time for New Years, but if you get your set now you'll have like 364 days to manufacture glasses for next year. Hope you have a big freezer. Learn more at ShotRock.com.

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December 29, 2005

And You Wonder Why The Scotch Costs $200?

Johnnie Walker BlueSometimes a story comes along that sort of makes things click into place. Kevin over at The Scotch Blog just got his hands on a copy of the "The Blue Label Book," a large and expensive treatise from Diageo, the folks who own Johnnie Walker Blue. It's big. It's blue. It's expensive-looking. It's supposed to make rich people want to buy an expensive Scotch. But here's the problem...it doesn't actually say anything about Scotch.

It is a beautiful piece of work with a tri-fold blue linen cover and gold-edged pages. It has one of those built-in ribbon bookmarks generally reserved for bibles and great master-works. Yet, it is singularly uninteresting - whether to a Scotch aficionado like myself, or to a busy CIO of a Fortune 50 company, like the original recipient.

Let me quote from the Introduction:

"You are holding something rare. It's called the Blue Label Book and it's brought to you (personally) by the ultimate luxury Scotch, Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Rare because, like the whisky itself, we feel only a select group of individuals worldwide are capable of appreciating what the pages of this strictly limited-edition Blue Label Book have to offer.

The book goes on to show the "best seat in the house" for a number of worldwide venues - various theaters, opera houses, restaurants and the like, interspersed with paintings of well-dressed, beautiful people enjoying (presumably) Johnnie Walker Blue.

There are only four paragraphs on a single page that refer to Scotch in the entire book.

Well to be honest, I may well be wrong about that as I quickly became bored with the book and put it aside. The high-powered exec that this book was originally meant for (presumably to mesmerize him into buying a $200+ bottle of Blue) didn't even give it a second glance.

Why would Diageo spend so much money to put out a book about Scotch that's not about Scotch? We're guessing it's so they can justify the price tag. "We have to charge $200 for it...did you see our marketing budget!?"

If you need us, we'll be drinking our White Horse, getting ready for New Year's. You can read the rest of the story at The Scotch Blog.

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December 28, 2005

Drink Vodka Like a Russian

Drinking Like A RussianFace it...some day you're going to have to polish off a large amount of vodka in one sitting. Maybe you move to Poland for work. Maybe you're challenged to a drinking contest by a large Eastern European man. Maybe you're having lunch with Ted Kennedy. Whatever the situation, read on to find out how to avoid getting too drunk as you pickle your liver on Crankshaft ...just in time for New Year's!

ArrowContinue reading: "Drink Vodka Like a Russian"

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December 27, 2005

Flask Belt Buckle: Drunk Couture

Flask Belt BuckleWe're not exactly fashion mavens over here at Liquor Snob, but we've always been fans of combining liquor with clothing...case in point are our bottle opener flip flops and belt buckles, and the whiskey stains on most of our shirts. Now you can wear your liver-abusive tendencies on your sleeve, or on your belt anyway, with the Flask Buckle from Urban Outfitters.

Unbuckle BEFORE You Drink? The order sounds just as backwards to us as it does to you, but that’s the theory behind this flask belt buckle from Urban Outfitters. Be careful, though: in some states, a flask counts as an open container violation inside a vehicle.
via The Sporting Life; available at Urban Outfitter's.

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December 26, 2005

Happy Holidays from Liquor Snob

Drunken SantasWe haven't updated the site in a little while, so you may be wondering where we've been. No, we weren't on a bender or in the drunk tank, but it has been a crazy few days. Our Internet connectivity went POOF on Thursday, and since we'd let all the interns go home on furlough for Christmas, we haven't been able to make any updates. We've wandered through the snow for days like Yukon Cornelius, searching for Internet, and we've finally found it. It's a Day-After-Christmas Miracle!

We hope all of our readers had a joyous holiday season, and we'll hopefully be back to updating the site with some regularity. We got our hands on some excellent toys over Christmas, from a Beer Belly to a batch of Shotgun 2.0 keys to a Bottle Blaster, along with a few other surprises, and we'll do full reviews in the coming days. Thanks for reading, and we look forward to driving you to drink in the new year!

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December 22, 2005

Stretton's London Dry Gin Review

Stretton's London Dry
86 Proof Gin, Imported from South Africa
Typical Price: About $13 for 750ml

Stretton's London Dry GinEver since vodka took over the reins as the most popular neutral grain spirit, we think gin has been getting a bad rap. For a lot of people looking for refreshing and palate-pleasing cocktails, the pine cone tang of juniper berries is the last thing on their minds when they belly up to the bar. We have to admit even we are guilty of falling into the gin-free category over the past few years, but our avoidance of the spirit is mostly due to pleas from our friends and family who had had enough of our pine-scented belligerence when we're one gin and tonic too deep.

So what turned us around on the spirit once known as Dutch Courage? For one thing, we found out it was originally distilled in Holland as a remedy for stomach pain, gout and gallstones, and we're all about taking our medicine, especially when it's suspended in alcohol. For two, we got our hands on a bottle of Stretton's London Dry, a South African spirit distilled from sugar cane. It came to us highly recommended, so we decided to end our gin drought and give it a whirl.

When we unscrewed the cap we were preparing ourselves for the industrial, medicinal smell we associate with gin, but instead it had a mellower, but still evergreen, scent. When we tasted it, we were impressed with the smoothness, with no bite on the back end, and it had a more complex flavor than we would have expected for the price. The label says Stretton's contains coriander, juniper berries, angelica root, cassia bark and dried orange peel...we don't know what half of those things are, but there was definitely a citrusy taste to be found. All in all a pleasant experience, and we could already tell it would be a worthy mid-range gin.

Drink Recipes: As far as we're concerned, there are only two drinks that contain gin - the martini and the gin and tonic. We made our martini extra-dry, with just a splash of vermouth, and it was really very tasty. As for the tonic, you can't really mess that one up...the citrusy taste of the gin did blend well with the tonic and lime we added, and we had a feeling we could get ourselves into a lot of trouble if we constantly had a bottle of Stretton's lying around.

Another drink we'd never had but wanted to try was the Tom Collins, and the Stretton's bottle gave us a great excuse. We found a recipe and whipped up a batch, and we can see why people like these guys enough that they have their own glass named after them.

Tom Collins Recipe
2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
1 tsp superfine sugar
3 oz club soda
1 maraschino cherry
1 slice orange
In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well. Strain into a Collins glass almost filled with ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir and garnish with the cherry and the orange slice. Recipe via DrinksMixer.com.

Finishing Thoughts: All in all, we were impressed with how Stretton's measured up to other gins we've tried. We liked it better than the Beefeater and Tanqueray we typically have, and we'd be interested in doing a blind taste test against some top-shelf bottles with our gin-drinking friends. We recommend Stretton's as a starter gin for people who don't think they like the stuff, and for the price we have definitely not tasted a better gin this year.

Stretton's London Dry is imported from South Africa by Berniko, and while we couldn't find any mention of it on their website, you can try to find more information at Berniko.com.

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December 21, 2005

Octopus: Tap A Keg Six Ways From Sunday

Octopus Keg TapOK, so the title of this article is a bit misleading, because the Octopus beer tap can really only tap a keg three ways from Sunday. But hey, that's two more than that lame tap you rent with the keg. One beer line per keg...that's so Fall 2004. Actually, this thing kind of reminds us of the Ubertap, but without the foot pump and $50 cheaper.

Keg lines are killer. You stand there and stand there and when you get to the tap you notice someone has sucked the beer straight out of the barrel and puked Cheetos on the top of the keg. At least that’s how I remember my Confirmation. Anyway. This is a four-spout tap for kegs that encourages sharing and faster beer handling.
via The Sporting Life; learn more at OctopusTap.com.

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December 19, 2005

Evan Williams Bourbon Egg Nog Review

Evan Williams Holiday Egg Nog
30 proof egg nog liqueur mixed with Evan Williams bourbon
Typical Price: Under $10 for 750ml

Evan Williams Egg NogInitial Thoughts: For most people, egg nog is a drink that goes hand-in-hand with the holidays. For us, bourbon is a drink that goes hand-in-hand with most days. If you're looking for a solid combination of the two for under ten bucks, we recommend the pre-mixed variety from Evan Williams, because it gives you the holiday comfort and the buzz, without the muss and fuss of making your own nog. Plus, you don't actually have to see all the eggs that go in there.

This stuff is sweet, but that's to be expected from any egg nog, and the bourbon offers a nice caramel back end that augments the natural flavor of the nog, and helps fortify you for time with the relatives. We liked the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors that swirled around over our tongues as well, keeping the eggy sweetness from being overbearing.

Cocktail Recipes: This stuff is ready to go right from the bottle, unless you want to splash a little more Evan Williams in there. It's the holidays...who are we to judge?

Finishing Thoughts: Don't be surprised if this stuff is a little less thick on your tongue than the virgin nog that comes out of your local dairy case. We found it to be very tasty, however, and a far better holiday tradition than fruitcake in any form, to say the least. You'll definitely want to drink it chilled, or at least over ice, because it will help thicken it a bit and give you the full egg nog experience. You also might enjoy sprinkling a little bit of cinnamon or nutmeg over the top of your glass, or dropping a cinnamon stick in there. We recommend it for your company's holiday gift swap, Christmas Eve (or Christmas Morning), and next to the plate of cookies you're leaving for Santa.

For more information about the bourbon that graces this noggy goodness, go to EvanWilliams.com.

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December 18, 2005

Hpnotiq Liqueur Review

HPNOTIQ
34 proof blended liqueur of vodka, cognac and tropical fruit juices
Typical Price: About $25 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits

Hpnotiq LiqueurInitial Thoughts: We have to admit, when we picked up our bottle of Hpnotiq, it already had three strikes against it. First, it already breaks our "too many ingredients" rule right at the outset by combining vodka, cognac and a multitude of fruit juices. Second, it's bright blue and has a hip, trendy name. Third, our first impression was that it smells a bit like the alcoholic version of blue Gatorade.

We were impressed with the heavy, frosted champagne-style bottle, however, and we know the stuff has been garnering tons of buzz. All sorts of stars and heavy-hitters swear by the stuff, and according to an Hpnotiq press release, NBC called it "the drink of choice for celebrities." Hell, if it's good enough for Lil Jon, who are we to turn up our noses?

When we tasted it, we liked the fact that it wasn't as sweet as we'd expected, and the tartness of the juices made for a much more complex experience than we'd expected. It was pretty tasty on the rocks, and if you like your cocktails to feature fruit juice heavily, we say you're going to dig it. Plus, while some people do drink it straight, there are so many Hpnotiq cocktail recipes out there we realized that was probably the way for us to go.

Cocktail Recipes: We usually don't drink a lot of cocktails, preferring our liquor on the rocks or straight up. We did mix up a few cocktails we really dug, however, and we decided that at least around the Liquor Snob offices, the true value of Hpnotiq was as a mixer. There are all sorts of hpnotizing drink recipes all over the Web, and there were a coupe at the official website with superhero themes, and since we're comic book geeks we've compiled them for your mixing pleasure.

Hpnotiq Hulk
2oz Hpnotiq
2oz Cognac (We used Hennessy)
Layer over ice in a rocks glass, let the drinker stir it up to watch the transformation...it's all the rage.

Green Lantern
2oz Hpnotiq
1oz premium vodka
1oz Red Bull
Combine ingredients over ice in a rocks glass. The site recommends garnishing with a lemon wedge, but we don’t because the Green Lantern's power is diminished by the color yellow (we told you we were geeks).

Blue Devil
1.5oz Hpnotiq
1oz dry vermouth
.5oz scotch
Combine Hpnotiq and vermouth over ice in a rocks glass; float scotch over the top.

We were also able to mix up an amazing batch of dumpster juice, replacing the Midori with Hpnotiq.

Finishing Thoughts: All in all, the drinks we made with this liqueur were a pleasant surprise, and we can see why the illuminati are gravitating to it. We recommend Hpnotiq when you're looking for a classy pre-mixed cocktail that will impress your friends, at your next Oscars party, or when you want to pretend to be a super hero. It also strikes us as a great wedding present (old, new, borrowed, blue...get it?), and there's a section of the site dedicated to integrating Hpnotiq into your wedding festivities. Plus, we challenge our readers to come up with tasty cocktail recipes with Smurf-related names, just for fun.

To learn more, find recipes and catch up on what people are saying about this drink, go to Hpnotiq.com.

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December 16, 2005

Drinking, Smoking & Screwing Book

Drinking, Smoking & ScrewingDrinking. Smoking. Screwing. We don't smoke anymore, and none of us are exactly Casanovas or Lotharios, but...don't be shocked here...we do enjoy a tipple every now and again. That's why we love this book. Instead of vilifying folks who like to take a drink, it's all about "a martini before and a cigarette after," if you know what we mean. It includes stories by Bukowski and Buchwald, Mencken and Miller, Thurber and Twain, and a bunch more besides. And there's useful information in there too...from how to survive an office holiday party, to the etymology of the cocktail to the joys and dangers of the Green Death (and no, it's not absinthe).

Whether you're shopping for a loved one's vices, or want to exercise a few of your own, this book is worth picking up. You can buy it at Amazonfor $11, but you'd better act fast because they're running low on stock.

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December 15, 2005

Alcohawk Breathalyzer Review

We're big proponents of breathalyzers here at the Liquor Snob offices, because we think their judicious use can really help you keep out of trouble. One of the biggest names in the consumer breathalyzer industry is Alcohawk from Q3 Innovations, which offers a large line of these Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) testers at varying price points.

A couple months ago we covered the Alcohawk Micro keychain breathalyzer, which has been very popular with our readers, and now we've rounded up three more Alcohawk models for review and comparison. We've outlined the statistics of each model, as well as our favorite features, and then compared them to one another as well so you'll have the information you need when you buy your own.

Breathalyzer Information: On paper, all three of these units are very similar. They're all compact enough to fit in your palm, and weigh in at less than half a pound. They all come with extra mouthpieces, in case you're testing multiple people. They all use sensitive semiconductor technology in their testing, which is pretty much as accurate as you can get without getting up into the professional testers, which cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Also, they all test BAC up to 0.4, which is a heck of a lot higher than the typical legal limit of 0.08.

Alcohawk Elite
Typical Price: $139.95
Amazon: Q3I ELITE DIGITAL ALCOHOL BREATH TESTER
Q3ATS: Product Page
Alcohawk EliteNotes: At first we were impatient with the Elite's 60 second warm-up time, because we wanted to blow into it NOW! Then we realized the wait probably had something to do with calibration, and we decided we'd rather have it be accurate than quick. We blew into it for the requisite 5 seconds, and a few seconds later it had responded with a BAC down to 3 decimal points (.027 after our first double).

We were impressed with how pimped out this thing was, with a blue LED readout and an internal thermometer to make sure your readout is as accurate as possible, not thrown off by temperature factors. The battery is good for 100-200 testings.

Alcohawk ABI
Typical Price: $109.95
Amazon: Alcohawk ABI Digital Alcohol Breath Tester
Q3ATS: Product Page
Alcohawk ABINotes: The first thing that struck us about the ABI was the cool protective zipper case it came in. The other two units were in disposable plastic trays with accompanying mesh carrying bags, but this guy was in a hard shell carrying case, just in case we wanted to do any EXTREME testing. Next time we use it, we'll make sure we're at the top of a mountain or jumping out of a plane.

We were also big fans of the shorter load time, closer to 20 seconds than the full minute we got from the Elite, but the ABI only gave us info down to two decimal places, so that's the tradeoff. But honestly, how many decimals do you need for what you'll be using it for? Another high point is the fact that this puppy is good for more than 300 tests on one battery. Now that's a lot of drinkin'. Oh, and plus, it comes with an AC adaptor, so you can test and drive at the same time. Just kidding.

Alcohawk Precision
Typical Price: $79.95
Amazon: Alcohawk Precision Digital Alcohol Breath Tester
Q3ATS: Product Page
Alcohawk PrecisionNotes: The warm-up time on the Precision splits the difference between the Elite and the ABI, at about 45 seconds. Like the Elite, the readout is to three decimal places, but we did find that the readout on the Precision clocked a bit lower than what we got from the Elite on occasion. According to the paperwork we got with our Precision it offers the same accuracy as the other models, so it may have been drunken operator error that caused the problem.

Our Favorite: We liked all three of these products. They all felt well-constructed, and we trusted the results we got, especially the consistency. All in all, the three of them gave us a good feel for how tipsy we were, and we felt they let us guage our drunkenness much more accurately than the old "Was that girl hot 20 minutes ago" test.

If we have to pick one as our favorite, however, we have to go with the ABI as our favorite, mostly because of the snazzy carrying case and the AC adaptor. Plug it in before you go to the bar, and wind the cord around the steering wheel as a reminder for a loved one who likes to drive a little on the sloshed side, maybe? Sounds like a good idea to us.

Get more information on these and other breathalyzers, plus buy your own, at Q3 Innovations, which offers a lot of helpful information on their site, including tips on how to choose a breathalyzer. There is also BAC cheat sheet by weight, as well as info on BAC limits by state. The legal limit is .08 almost across the board, but there are some slight variations by state for BAC content and the penalties for exceeding the legal limit. You can also compare and buy breathalyzers at Amazon where you can read other consumer reviews.

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December 14, 2005

24 Hours In A Day... Beer Stein

24 Hours In A Day Beer SteinWe don't usually go for pottery, but we just found this amazing beer stein that pretty much sums up our attitude on the whole beer issue in 11 words. The stein is from the Our Name Is Mud gallery in New York, and here's what they have to say about this kickass crockery:

We consulted Oliver Stone on this design, and we think he´s on to something. Remind yourself even when you´ve had enough to forget: "24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?" We think not.
The best part is, this thing used to be $20, but it's on sale right now for $10. Just in time for the holidays. Coincidence? We think not. Buy this stein today to make sure it arrives for holiday gift-giving, or browse Our Name is Mud's other goblets and steins for all your beer and wine needs.

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December 13, 2005

Finlandia: The Naked Vodka?

The Naked Vodka?Finlandia is hoping you like your vodka in the buff, as they introduce a new ad campaign that touts the virtues of their spirits in the nude. So, the question is, are you ready for naked vodka?

That is the multimillion-dollar question being asked by the Brown-Forman Beverages Worldwide unit of the Brown-Forman Corporation as it readies a campaign meant to reintroduce American drinkers to Finlandia vodka. The campaign, along with versions using variants on the theme, will also appear in other markets, including countries like Hungary, Israel and Poland, where Finlandia is a top-selling vodka.

In the United States - where Finlandia ranks No. 6 among imported vodkas and 22nd among all vodkas, domestic or imported - the campaign will run initially in magazines before branching into other media like television, radio, the Internet, signs and commercials in movie theaters.

Like we needed anything else to make vodka attractive...now they go and make it all sexy. Read the full story at nytimes.com (registration required). Or, head right over to the naked vodka site to try to sneak a peek for yourself.

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JB Wagoner's Ultra-Premium 100% Blue Agave Spirits Review

JB Wagoner's Ultra-Premium 100% Blue Agave Spirits
100 proof ultra-premium tequila
Typical Price: About $60 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
Availability: Currently California and Illinois, with Georgia, Texas and New Mexico on the way. Plus, some JB Wagoner retail locations will ship directly to you.

JB Wagoner's Blue Agave SpiritsInitial Thoughts: Not to get too metaphysical on you, but what makes a tequila a tequila? When you're taking a sip, does it matter to you whether it was distilled in the Jalisco region of Mexico, or do you just care about the taste? That was the question we asked ourselves when we sampled JB Wagoner's Ultra-Premium 100% Blue Agave Spirits, and the answer was "Damn, this is tasty!"

That's right, JB Wagoner's looks like tequila. It smells like tequila. And we'll be damned if it doesn't taste like some of the best tequila we've ever had! If you haven't been following the story, JB Wagoner is an American who decided to bottle his own spirit from Blue Agave and call it Temequila, a pun after his home town of Temecula, CA. Only problem was, Mexican tequila makers didn't see the humor in it, and have dogged his progress every step of the way, right down to banning and ejecting him from a local tequila festival. You can learn more in our tequila archives - you'll notice we didn't put it in the "100% Blue Agave Spirits archive...take THAT Mexico!

But enough of our politicizing...what does JB Wagoner's taste like? We were impressed with almost water-clear color, and the nose was just as appealing. The taste was as clear as the color, with citrus overtones and a crisp finish. This is definitely the best American tequila we've had (wink, wink), and it's in the running for the best tequila we've had this year.

Cocktail Recipes: We loved this stuff straight or on the rocks, but one of the first things we made with JB Wagoner's was a Bloody Maria, using some of good old Dave's Gourmet mix. We were surprised at how sweet and refreshing the resulting drink was, even considering the bite of the extra-spicy Mary mix. You can find other great recipe ideas on JB Wagoner's recipes page.

Finishing Thoughts: We have to say, all discussion about whether it should be called "tequila" aside, this is some of the best agave-based liquor we've had. And not only is it great booze, the packaging is cool too, with the American flag emblazoned right across the label. And one thing to note...between the price and the smooth taste, this ain't no shooting tequila. We recommend JB Wagoner's Ultra-Premium 100% Blue Agave Spirits for your adventurous, tequila-loving friends, but also for people who have had a bad experience with tequila and say they'll never have it again. Mix them up a Bloody Maria and they'll be on the Agave bandwagon for life.

Learn more about the liquor at the JB Wagoner's site, or stick it to the man by buying your own "Temequila" t-shirt from Temequila.com.

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December 12, 2005

Bottlefly: The Bruce Lee of Bottle Openers

Bottlefly Bottle OpenerRemember that kid in your high school who thought he was a ninja? Like Napoleon Dynamite without the llama or the dancing skills, he was never without his nunchaku, his throwing stars, his butterfly knife. Yeah, that guy was totally weird, but you have to admit...butterfly knives are pretty damned cool. A few twists and a flick of the wrist, out pops the blade. Another flick, the blade's inside the handle again.

Now, some genius has had the amazing idea of combining the geeky panache of the butterfly knife with the utilitarian necessity of the bottle opener. Yes, the Bottlefly bottle opener is a true case of East meets West, and you can add the flair of a Kung Fu movie to every single beer you open. You'll be the Chuck Norris of cerveza every time you flick out the bottle opener "blade." Plus, you know everyone's going to want to play with this thing after they've had a few, and you won't have to worry about anyone cutting themselves when they show off their skills.

You can get the Bottlefly, AKA the Balisong Bottle Opener or the Bottle Ninja, at quite a few bartending shops on the Web. We found one site, BottleflyUSA.com, which claims to be the "home" of the Bottlefly, but their order form doesn't seem to work. Shoot them an email at the address on the page to find out about ordering one, or you can Google Bottlefly bottle opener or Balisong bottle opener to find the best place to get your hands on a Bottlefly of your own.

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December 11, 2005

The 2005 Liquor Snobby Awards

Drinking AwardWe know what you're thinking. You see that we're announcing the pre-game show for the 2005 Liquor Snobbies, and you think, "Here we go again with another freaking award show. A bunch of stars prancing their bloated egos around on the carpet, while Joan Rivers and her Demon Spawn fawn over them and verbally fellate whatever horrifying threads they're wearing." Well, that was the original plan, but we've decided to go in another direction with the Liquor Snobbies.

Over the last few months, we've been working our fingers (and livers) to the bone, letting you know about what we thought were the coolest liquors, the hottest news, the snazziest products. Now, it's your chance to let us know what you think. Over the next couple weeks, go through the site to find your favorite stories, from absinthe to whiskey and everything in between. Or, just head straight to the archives and give them a "how's your father."

Then, post a comment here in this story or drop us a line at the news/stories email address at the top of the page to let us know about your favorite(s). Once we get some responses, we'll start putting together the categories and give the awards based on a combination of your favorites and ours. We'll keep you posted on further details, but until then, vote early and vote often!

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

December 10, 2005

Bottle Blaster Shotgunning Technology

Bottle BlasterWe're not exactly sure why we always seem to stumble across beer shotgunning devices around the weekend. We can only guess that it's because by the time the work week is over, we want to get as much beer as possible inside us as quickly as possible. We've got canned beer pretty much dialed ever since we discovered Shotgun 2.0, but sometimes the only beer you have around is in a bottle. While it's quite possible to chug a bottled beer very quickly, it usually gets all foamy and the bubbles make it tough to do it as quickly as a shotgun. Enter the Bottle Blaster.

How does the Bottle Blaster work, you might ask? We were curious too, and when we first saw the tube sticking out of the end, we thought you were supposed to put it down your throat, shooting the beer right into your stomach. While that would be some serious shotgun dedication, the tube actually goes up into the bottle, and we have to say we're pretty glad about that. Since we're obviously morons, we'll let the Bottle Blaster folks explain how it works themselves.

This is a pocket shotgun adapter for a beer bottle. It fits most 12oz bottles of beer and is quality made.
Basically this is how it works:
  1. Un-cap your beer bottle
  2. Insert the Bottle bong into your beer making sure the thin vent tube reaches the bottom
  3. Cover the outside end of the thin vent tube with your finger
  4. Put the mouth piece up to your mouth
  5. Tilt your head back and stop covering the vent tube
  6. You are on your way to being DRUNK!
It takes about 3 seconds for a beer to come out of the bottle, and it produces NO FOAM. It really is a wonderful product that will get you VERY drunk VERY quickly! This is really an essential party accessory and at this price, you can't resist it!!
Still confused? Watch the Bottle Blaster video. This little stroke of genius runs for $14.95, and you can get yours at the Bottle Blaster store.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 9, 2005

Big Black Dick Rum

Big Black DickA few weeks ago we told you about Fighting Cock Bourbon, and it was everything we could do not to make certain juvenile jokes about the drink's name. On a completely unrelated note, the next time you're in the Cayman Islands we recommend you pick up a bottle of Big Black Dick Rum.

Not only does it have an...interesting name that makes it a must-have for bachelor and bachelorette parties, but can you imagine whipping yours out at a family gathering or church picnic? "Grandma, you look like you need a Big Black Dick."

We don't usually buy our drinks on the power of the name alone, so we did some research on the flavor....according to the site, "some have described it as stiff, yet tasty." It's also interesting to note that Big Black Dick comes in multiple flavors, including dark, white, coconut and vanilla. You have no idea how much enjoyment we got out of writing that last sentence.

You can learn more about Big Black Dick rum, along with his hot sauce, premium cigars and clothing, at BigBlackDickRum.com. On an unrelated topic, why do we get the feeling we're going to be getting a lot of people to the site soon who weren't look for booze?

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

The Best of the Blogpire

Mailing List Promotion-1Another week and another Best of the Blogpire. We've got promotions all over the Blogpire including the chance to win a GPS at GPS Lodge! You can Sign Up for the GPS Lodge Mailing List & Win a Garmin eTrex Legend. Also there's lots of interesting November Roundups and Holiday shopping guides at all the sites. Enjoy!

GPS Lodge: Sign Up for Our Mailing List & Win a Garmin eTrex Legend, GPS Review: Garmin StreetPilot C340 Review by GPS Lodge, GPS Lodge: Monthly Round up for November 2005

The Cooking News: Wine News: Words on Wine, From Opposing Shores, Cooking News: Ever So Humble, Cast Iron Outshines the Fancy Pans, Coffee News: Coke set to launch premium coffee line

Liquor Snob: Holiday Egg Nog Recipe From Maker's Mark, Buzzing On Expensive Scotch, But At What Cost?, Make Your Own Simple Syrup For Cocktails

Single Serve Coffee: Review: LilyPod Microwavable Single Cup Coffee Pod Mug from Single Serve Coffee.com, November 2005 Roundup for Single Serve Coffee.com, December Mailing List Sponsor: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters – Win One of Five Keurig B60s!

Just The Chips: Sega Casino for Nintendo DS, PSP World Series of Poker Reviewed, The Texas Hold 'em of Backgammon - Nannon

Kitchen Contraptions: IZ for your Kitchen, Vipp Super Wastebasket, Butter on Demand with The Butter Wizard

Shaving Stuff: Free TurboScrub at Heavy Duty, Panasonic ES8077S Vortex HyrdroClean, Old-School Shaving Supplies from Clubman Online

TV Snob: HDTV Education for Consumers Has a Long Way to Go, Apple and their Sneaky iPod Advertising on "The Office", Just Got Mediacom Phone Service

Shirt Snob: All Over Print Cashmere Hoodie by L.A.M.B., Review-Tees from High Hand Designs, Monthly Round Up-November

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 8, 2005

Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey Review

Bernheim Original
90 proof Kentucky straight wheat whiskey
Typical Price: About $40 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
Slogan: "Kentucky's Spirit of Innovation"

Bernheim Original Wheat WhiskeyInitial Thoughts: If you're not interested in whiskey, it might be easy to wonder what's all the hubbub about Bernheim Original Wheat. "Sure," you might say, "nobody else is making it, and it probably hasn't been made since before Prohibition. But how much difference can it really make?" In fact, we might have been asking ourselves the same question a few short days ago, but now that we've tried Bernheim we know the answer...it's all about the wheat, baby!

At first blush, there doesn't seem to be too much difference between Bernheim and your typical craft Bourbon. The distillation process is similar, the crafters use the same process, and it’s not aged significantly more than a lot of other whiskeys (about five years, if you're interested). But when you pull it out of its protective little cardboard box, you start to notice the uniqueness.

When we slipped the cork out of the neck of the bottle - we have to admit, we're suckers for any whiskey that's corked instead of capped, for reasons we can't even figure out ourselves - we thought we were prepared for anything. What we weren't prepared for was the sweet, delicate aroma that wafted from the neck of the bottle...we'd expected something much more hearty. In the glass it offered up a much lighter color than we'd expected as well, somewhere between the peaty yellow of Scotch and the molasses brown of Bourbon.

When we tasted it, the flavor was surprisingly light and dry, almost refreshing. We want to say it was sweet, with honey undertones, but it wasn't syrupy at all. The flavor also hinted at nuts, with a trace of some fall fruits, and it was incredibly dry, and didn't coat our tongue like some similar whiskeys might. Once we added a small splash of water, the dryness intensified and became even more crisp.

Cocktail Recipes: N/A. We're sure Bernheim would taste great in cocktails, but we recommend it straight, with a splash of water, or on the rocks.

Finishing Thoughts: We've had whiskey that contained wheat before, because a lot of Bourbons and other American whiskeys use it in their mash, but as we said before this is the only whiskey currently on the market that utilizes wheat as the primary ingredient. We were extremely impressed with it, and we think it can hold its own against pretty much any other American whiskey we've tried. It's tasty, it's craft-distilled, it's unique, and we're still impressed with that dry finish. We think it would make a great gift for any whiskey drinker on your list, especially if they've expressed an interest in trying something different.

Read more about Bernheim wheat, along with profiles of corn and rye whiskeys, in our earlier story: Whiskey Alternatives: Corn, Rye and Wheat.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 7, 2005

Holiday Egg Nog Recipe From Maker's Mark

Egg NogWe just got an email from Kevin over at The Scotch Blog, and apparently Scotch isn't the only whisk(e)y he drinks. He was perusing the Maker's Mark website and found an interesting egg nog recipe just in time to get ready for your holiday party.

Sure, our hearts will probably stop due to the two-dozen eggs, but a nog recipe that calls for a liter of bourbon? We're so there.

Maker's Mark Bourbon Eggnog
Ingredients:
1 liter Maker's Mark
1 quart milk
1 quart heavy cream
2 dozen eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
Nutmeg for garnish

Separate eggs and beat yolks until creamy. Whip sugar into yolks. Beat whites until they stand in peaks, adding 1/2 cup additional sugar, if desired. Beat yolks and Maker's Mark together, add whites. Beat cream. Add cream and milk to mixture. Add nutmeg to taste and garnish each cup with nutmeg. Makes 2 1/2 gallons.

This recipe, along with a bunch of other interesting ones that aren't so holiday-centric, can be found on the Maker's Mark Recipes page. You can also sign up to be a Maker's Mark Ambassador and get all sorts of cool offers, print out score cards for your next Bourbon tasting, and name a barrel of Maker's after yourself or someone else!

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Rittenhouse Bottled In Bond Rye Whiskey Review

Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond
100 proof aged rye whiskey
Typical Price: About $15 - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits

Rittenhouse Bottled In Bond Rye WhiskeyInitial Thoughts: Rye was one of the first whiskey types to be distilled in the United States, and it was originally distilled mainly in the Northeast. After a few glasses of Rittenhouse we thought it was hysterical to think about Boston Puritans getting plastered on the stuff, and maybe going out and dumping a bunch of tea into the harbor or something.

In fact, rye whiskey does have a bit of a tumultuous history...it was the inspiration for the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. The stuff remained popular all the way up until Prohibition, which is when Americans started mixing cocktails to take some of the bite out of their drink. By the time Prohibition ended, most people had sort of lost their taste for the stronger flavor of Rye and gotten used to booze with lighter or sweeter flavors, hence it becoming a bit of an alternative whiskey.

And it's a sad thing, but we keep hearing more about rye and we think it could be on the rebound. Based on what we tasted in Rittenhouse, it definitely should be. We've been Bourbon types for as long as we can remember and when we opened our bottle of Rittenhouse and gave it a sniff, the first thing we thought of was how reminiscent it was. The nose was rich and had a scent of brown sugar, and while we remember smelling rye in our earlier years and wincing, this had none of the overpowering alcoholic tang we used to associate with rye.

In the glass, we liked it even better (of course). The flavor was complex, with overtones of black strap molasses and the sweetness of caramel, and we even thought we could taste, for lack of a better term, a taste of rum and burnt sugar on the back end. All in all, very nice. Find our cocktail recipe suggestions and finishing thoughts after the jump.

ArrowContinue reading: "Rittenhouse Bottled In Bond Rye Whiskey Review"

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (11) | social bookmarking

December 6, 2005

Buzzing On Expensive Scotch, But At What Cost?

Barney BillionaireThere's been a lot of buzz out there lately about hugely expensive bottles and/or casks of Scotch that have become available. We should know...we covered Johnnie Walker's $27,000 bottle (or was it $28,000?) a while back. We're pretty sure we'll never be able to afford that level of high-end booze (it's OK...we're drinkers, not collectors anyway), but we didn't really think about what these bottles had to say about Scotch and the people who drink it. However, we just found a very thought-provoking piece from Kevin over at The Scotch Blog that puts these kinds of promotional bottles and their possible impact into light.

He mentions a bottle of $48,000 Glenfiddich, the $28,000 Johnnie Walker, bottles Dalmore 62 that went for $44-$55,000, and is concerned about the perspective it puts on Scotch drinkers on the whole and how Scotch is perceived.

While I understand that positive exposure and free press are a great thing, in this context, and in my estimation, it simply reinforces the widely held misconception that Scotch is for silly old rich men, Dot Com millionaires or Traders with expense accounts.

I wonder if there is a correlation between the release of the "most expensive" stories and a noticeable increase in sales? I also wonder if such stories have the effect of solidifying any "for the old & stodgy" perception that Scotch may have amongst the general public.

Read the full story, along with interviews of notable Scotch luminaries, at The Scotch Blog. While you're at it, we'll be plowing through a bottle of White Horse in protest.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Alcohawk Breathalyzers Arrive For Review

Alcohawk BreathalyzerA while ago, we told you about the Alcohawk Micro-Digital, a keychain breathalyzer designed to fit in your purse or pocket. There was some discussion after we posted our original story about whether getting breathalyzers was a good idea...some readers thought they would simply convince people to drink more, competing for the highest "score" for blood alcohol content. We like to think people will use them for more noble causes, like convincing friends not to drink and drive, but we can see how both might happen.

We've finally gotten our hands on a few more Alcohawk models, so we can do a full review of some individual breathalyzers and let you know about the features and options of each. The models we've got are the Alcohawk ABI, Precision and Elite models, and you can expect to see reviews up ASAP. As soon as we're done with our breathalyzer races.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 5, 2005

Sad? Lonely? Have some Beerhugs!

Beerhugs Beer Mug Depressed by the cold, wet hand that results from drinking from your normal, everyday frosted beer mug? Wishing you could keep your hands dry and warm while still enjoying your daily pint(s) from an icy cold receptacle? Sick of the lonely drudgery that is your pathetic life, from your solitary drinking schedule to your balanced diet of take-out and Hot Pockets? If you're looking for respite from two of those problems (we're not telling which two), try Beerhugs beer mugs.

What are Beerhugs? According to their website, they are the only glass mug with an insulated plastic handle. This means you can chuck the glass in the freezer to frostify it, and the glass will get cold but the insulated handle will stay warmer to the touch. It kind of puts us in mind of the old McDLT ads from the 80s ("keeps the hot side hot and the cool side cool), but they might just be on to something...we've got a ton of frosted mugs in our freezer but rarely use them. Maybe because we're afraid of frostbite and prune hands?

Learn more at Beerhugs.com.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

AI Bar Is, Like, Wicked Smart

AI BarWe're not sure what it is, but we're a bit creeped out by the concept of robot bartenders...maybe it's the herky-jerky movements, the stilted post-pour conversation, or the fact that they could go HAL on us at any moment if we spill our drink. We'd be a lot more comfortable with something between the beer-only Kegbot and the "I could crush your face with robot strength" of T-Rot and RoboBar. Luckily, thanks to the fine folks over at The Sporting Life, we may have found it in the AI Bar:

This modified refrigerator houses up to sixteen different liquor/mixer bottles and a keg, all powered by CO2. The real magic? It plays bartenders, too. On the left half of the unit, where you might normally find a water/ice dispenser, you’ll find a touchscreen running bartending software that allows you to select from a huge variety of drinks, cocktails, etc. After making your selection, the unit pours the drink for you–voila!
via TheSportingLife

According to the AI Bar site, this mechanized mixologist can make over 1,000 drinks, and there are plans in the works to commercialize it. Plus, the inventors plan all kinds of upgrades, like remote ordering through PDAs and cell phones, voice recognition software (imagine programming yours to say "Free Drink") and card readers for automatic credit card charges. Sounds like a vending machine from drunken heaven to us.

Learn more at AIBar.com.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Homemade Kahlua Recipe: Dual Buzz

Pre-Liqueur Coffee BeansWe're buzzing over here, but it's not from our typical mid-morning constitutional shot...it's the anticipation of caffeine jitters. That's right, move over, Kahlua...we've just found a recipe for home-made coffee liqueur that looks like it's as easy as it is tasty. Our good friend Rob sent it along, and he says it tastes great...plus we love any recipe that calls for grain alcohol in gallon increments (even if it's partial gallons).

Whether you're preparing to watch The Big Lebowski and you need to prepare some stellar Caucasians, you want to whip up a batch of the World's Blackest Russians, or you just want to impress your in-laws at your next holiday gathering, this stuff looks like a must-try. Plus, if you're caffeine-sensitive (here's looking at you, Ashley), you can use decaffeinated instant coffee to get that Kahlua buzz without all the caffeine side-effects. Wuss.

We've got the interns out rounding up the ingredients as we speak, and we're looking forward to the coffee coffee buzz buzz.

Homemade Kahlua Recipe
1/5 gallon Grain Alcohol
8C Water
2C Dark Brown Sugar
1C Honey
½C Instant Coffee (Don’t buy generic)
6 Tbsp Vanilla (Use real bourbon vanilla, not the imitation crap)

Heat water, sugar, and honey until melted.
Add coffee crystals and simmer 30 minutes.
Cool to 110 degrees and add vanilla.
Let set for at least 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add alcohol and stir well.
***Do Not Bring To A Boil***

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

December 4, 2005

Holiday Gift Ideas: Decanter Sets

We don't usually stand on ceremony when it comes to serving booze. In fact, we've been known to drink directly out of the bottle when there were no clean glasses around. But sometimes you want to snazz up your booze and serve it with style. Whether you're entertaining foreign dignitaries or just having the family over for the holidays, nothing says class like serving your liquor from a decanter. We've searched around for some of the nicest decanter sets we could find, and rounded them up so you can buy them for yourself or as a gift.

Crystal Nightcap Decanter Set
Buy It at Amazon

Crystal Nightcap Decanter SetInvite someone back to your place for a holiday nightcap and wow while you woo them with this handcrafted Scottish crystal decanter and two shot glasses. The decanter holds 7oz, and each shot glass holds 2oz, plus they're all inlaid with Celtic knot work. The set comes in a satin-lined gift box, and you can buy it for $49.95 at Amazon.

Mikasa Motion Decanter Set
Buy it at Amazon

Mikasa Motion Decanter SetAdd some movement to your bar with the Mikasa Motion decanter set. This lead crystal set also comes in a gift box, and includes an elegant decanter and four double-old fashioned glasses. Not only are the decanter and glasses crystal clear, the lead crystal gives them a good heft when you hold them and a solid feel in your hand. The set usually retails for $120, but you can get it for $79.99 at Amazon.

Nambe Tilted Decanter Set
Buy it at Amazon

Nambe Tilted Decanter SetSpeaking of motion, give your bar the illusion of speed with this tilted decanter set. It will be interesting to see your decanter already appear tilted before you've even started drinking, and this is the kind of unique gift that will become a true conversation piece. Get the hand blown crystal tilted decanter and two double old fashioned glasses for $175 at Amazon.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 3, 2005

Make Your Own Simple Syrup For Cocktails

SugarOne things we've been noticing lately as we troll the Web and other resources for cocktail recipes, a lot of the drink recipes we find call for simple syrup. Plus, even if the recipe you're using doesn't call for simple syrup (AKA simple sugar), you can use it as a replacement in any recipe that calls for granulated sugar. Quite often, the sugar won't fully dissolve unless you give it a good muddling, so if you get sick of grainy clumps of sugar in your nice drinks, the liquid form is the way to go.

Quite often, you can buy simple syrup wherever you shop for your other liquor supplies, but it's often overpriced for what you get - sugar dissolved in water. We've found a cheap and easy way for you to have simple syrup on hand at all times by making it yourself.

Simple Syrup Recipe

  1. Put one cup of water in a small saucepan.
  2. Add two cups of sugar.
  3. Heat to a boil while stirring.
  4. Reduce heat and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves.
  5. Cool to room temperature.
  6. Find a clean container that will hold at least a cup and a half.
  7. Using a funnel, pour liquid into container.
  8. Seal and store in refrigerator indefinitely.
  9. Use whenever a recipe calls for simple sugar or simple syrup.
via: cocktails.about.com.

It's also possible to tweak the recipe to fit the drinks you're making. For example, we found a recipe for Minted Simple Syrup at cooksrecipes.com, which would go great in your next batch of Mint Juleps.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

Dave's Gourmet Bloody Mary Mix Review

Insane Bloody Mary MixWe've always prided ourselves on enjoying hot foods...in fact, we've been known put hot sauce on everything, from french fries to sandwiches to breakfast cereal. We have a high tolerance to spiciness, but there was one hot sauce we've tried that completely stopped us in our tracks. That sauce was Dave's Insanity Sauce, made with the essence of habanero peppers, and to put things in perspective for you, according to Dave's site it was the only hot sauce ever banned from the National Fiery Food Show.

After having nearly blown a gasket on the merest drop of his hot sauce, we were a little nervous when we came across Dave's bloody mary mixes. Available in two varieties, Dave's Original Bloody Mary and Insane Mary Mix, just looking at the bottles made us sweat like a virgin at a satanist convention. But we overcame our fear and dug in, mixing drinks with various types of vodka we had around the office.

The verdict? Dave's Gourmet makes some damned good Bloody Mary mix. Both varieties have an extremely fresh taste, like you just whipped up the tomato puree and horseradish yourself. The Original variety has just the slightest kick, while the Insane Mary has a much more significant spice to it, but at no point was there smoke blowing out of our ears. In fact, we have to say this is the best pre-prepared bloody Mary Mix we've ever had.

We recommend you get your hands on some for the next time you're mixing up a batch of Marys - bottles typically run for $7-$8. Plus, if you're not a huge vodka fan, we whipped up some stellar batches of Elusive Redheads with our bottles of Appleton V/X and Rumrunner's rum. Or, if you're the tequila type, combine tequila and Insane Mary Mix to make yourself a nice, spicy Bloody Maria.

Dave's Gourmet also offers a margarita mix which we weren't able to get our hands on in time for this review; learn more about all three of Dave's drink mixers, and buy some if you can't find them locally, at the Dave's Gourmet store.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

Amarula Cream Liqueur Review

Amarula
34 proof Marula fruit cream liqueur
Typical Price: Around $23 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits

Amarula Cream LiqueurInitial Thoughts: We didn't know much about Amarula when we got it, so we had to begin by judging it by the bottle itself. It comes in a swanky-looking shaped brow bottle, done up in gold labeling with a charging elephant on the front. We figured that was a good start. When we read that it was a liqueur made from "fresh cream and the unique fruit of the Marula tree," our first question was, "What's a Marula?"

According to the Amarula site, it's a tree that only grows on the plains of Africa, and its fruit is often enjoyed by elephants, which munch away on the berries whenever they get a chance. In fact, the berries are known to drive elephants a bit mad because they can ferment a bit after lying on the ground. So we know the Marula is good for getting elephants drunk (a sight we'd love to see), but how does a liqueur made from it measure up? Find out after the jump.

ArrowContinue reading: "Amarula Cream Liqueur Review"

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (6) | social bookmarking

December 2, 2005

Holiday Gift Ideas: Leatherman Juice CS4

Leatherman Juice CS4There's something inherently cool about multitools, something that appeals to our primal nature. Any time we need to reaffirm our manliness, all we have to do is strip some wire, pry something open with pliers, or unscrew something and screw it back together. And if it all can be done with a single tool that hangs from our belt, all the better. Enter the Leatherman Juiceline of multitools, which has all the cool, manly tools you expect, plus offers some assistance for your mobile bar.

We love Leathermans (Leathermen?) in general, but we want more than just an opportunity to carry 14 knives, pliers and a saw on our belt at all times. We want to be able to open beers and uncork wine, as well as be able to make repairs and adjustments on our beer pong table. With our favorite model, the Leatherman Juice CS4, we can do all that and more. Here's the product description we found at Amazon:

Packing 14 individual tools into a remarkably compact, metallic blue, anodized-aluminum body, Leatherman's cool new CS4--a.k.a. the Glacier--is a midsize member of the company's exciting, new Juice line of multitools. Only 3-1/4 inches long, and weighing a mere 5-1/2 ounces, the Glacier really is small enough to carry comfortably in your pocket.

Like other Leatherman tools, the Glacier butterflies open, exposing the needle-nose pliers/wire cutters/wire stripper, with access to three flat-head screwdrivers, a Philips driver, and a lanyard attachment--the same tools you'll find inside Leatherman's KF4 Solar. The Glacier's handles, however, harbor a different combination of tools that are perfect for picnickers: scissors, a can/bottle opener, corkscrew, a saw, an awl, and a straight knife.

Like the entire Leatherman's Juice line, the Glacier positively snaps into the open position, and the individual tools are all made of high-grade stainless steel. The Juice multitools do lack the blade-locking mechanism found on Leatherman's Wave, but the blades click crisply into place and hold securely. Looking for a gift for your favorite technophile or gadget lover? You can't go wrong with the Glacier.

We're sold! You can pick up the Leatherman Juice CS4at Amazon, and it's currently marked down from $69.99 to $49.99. Or browse the full Leatherman Juiceline to find one that meets your needs. And remember, it makes a great gift for the man (or gadget-oriented lady) in your life, as well as for your friendly neighborhood Liquor Snobs.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

Friday Fun: The Chuggler Mug

Red Chuggler MugWhen we were in college, we had a lot of friends who were huge fans of funneling beer. They would set up these crazy, MacGyver-style funnels that were three stories long, offered five funneling tubes, and held 14 quarts of Natural Light or whatever cheap beer we were drinking at the time. The Liquor Snobs have never been big funnelers...we've always felt if we want to blitz our stomachs with too much beer too fast, we'll shotgun it in manageable doses, thank you.

That is, that's how we felt until we discovered The Chuggler, a funneling apparatus that may make us change our tune. Basically, the Chuggler is a 30oz mug that comes with a 12"x1/2" tube that sticks out of the bottom. If you're feeling like a normal-speed intake, sip out of the top. If you want to rev things up a notch, whip out the tube and run your own personal funnel. Seems like a win-win to us.

And the best thing is, the Chuggler usually runs for $19.95, but it's currently on sale for $14.95. Apparently there are only limited quantities available, however, so if you're getting one, get it soon. Learn more at Chuggler.com.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Get Bombed for the Holidays - 10% Off!

Get Bombed!Remember a couple months ago we went on a beer pong frenzy, and one of the products we featured was a racking system called Bombed? We really liked the game a lot, and we found the rack made it much easier to refill our beers, plus it kept us from knocking over our cups with bad tosses. We've just been informed that Bombed has updated their store with some new products, including the "Reload" package that includes spare ping pong balls and cups. They also offer tons of cool t-shirts...we got one of their "Nice Rack" shirts, and it's a great conversation starter no matter where we go. Plus, what better way to intimidate your beer pong opponent than to show up dressed for the occasion?

As if the beer pong-related products weren't exciting enough, Liquor Snob readers are eligible for a 10 percent discount on all their holiday purchases. What better way to tell mom or sis that you love them than with beer pong-related gifts? All you have to do to get the discount is order from the GetBombed.com site and enter the promotion code "GIVEBOMBED" at checkout. It's almost too easy.

If you need more coaxing you can read our full Bombed game review, but we recommend you head on over to the GetBombed store and get to shopping.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

The Beerbelly: Sexy AND Functional

The BeerbellyIf you ask us, and people often do, the beer belly gets a bad rap. What could be better than a spherical expression of your love for beer, peeking out from under your shirt? We think this was summed up best a by a t-shirt we once saw that said "When you have a tool like mine, you have to build a shed over it." And since the beer belly is a gift from nature, we all knew it wouldn't take long for man to synthesize it. Enter The Beerbelly.

Normally we wouldn't be that excited about buying a beer belly, especially since we've buying our own on the six-pack-by-six-pack installment plan for years. The Beerbelly isn't just a fashionable accessory, however...it is purely functional too, as a way to smuggle your favorite drink wherever you go without being noticed. Here's what the Beerbelly site has to say:

Now you can take up to 80oz. of your favorite beverage wherever you go... Even where "they" don't want you to!

The Beerbelly is made up of a neoprene “sling” and a polyurethane “bladder” with a tube for dispensing. The bladder is held in an insulated pouch in the sling which is worn under your clothing for concealment. When worn, it looks just like a beerbelly.

So you're telling us we can develop the divine curvature of a Marlon Brando AND smuggle beer into movie theaters, sporting events, concerts and churches? We can't think of anything better than that. You can get the full Beerbelly package, including the product itself, cleaning tools and a spare ice pack, for $49.95, or you can get the Beerbelly alone for $34.95. Looks great on women too, as long as you don't mind people asking when the baby is due.

Learn more and buy your own Beerbelly at TheBeerbelly.com.

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 1, 2005

November Monthly Roundup

Hey, Turkey!Well, November has come and gone, taking Thanksgiving with it. We're going to miss being able to glut on food and drink without anyone batting an eyelash, but at least we don't have to wait too long for another drink-filled holiday season, just around the corner. This month saw us breaking away from vodka reviews a bit to try other liquors, we unearthed some great booze-related reading, and we've unleashed Liquor Snob Intern t-shirts on an unsuspecting populace. How's that for a busy month?

Liquor Reviews and Info:
Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Review

Paula's Texas Orange Liqueur Review

Fighting Cock Bourbon Whiskey

Level Vodka Review

Ikon Russian Vodka Review

American Tequila Maker in Mexican Standoff

Absinthe for the Holidays

He'brew: The Chosen Beer

Appleton Estate V/X Jamaica Rum Review

Whiskey Alternatives: Corn, Rye and Wheat

Product Reviews and Info:
Modern Drunkard Book Review

Vermouth Sprayer Makes Martinis Extra-Dry

Shotgun Party Beer Opener 2.0 Review

Whiskey: The Definitive World Guide

Envious Ounce Glowing Shot Glass Review

BJ's Beer Pong Table Review

Just Plain Cool:
Win a Free "Malt Whisky" Shirt from The Scotch Blog

Breaking News: Pudding Shot Recipe Found

Bong Vodka Release Parties This Weekend

Liquor Snob Intern Shirts...Finally!

Jake Jamieson Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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