We're not sure why nearly every spiced rum needs to have a pirate theme - maybe it's in the bylaws of the spiced rum distiller's code. That being said, we were happy to greet the latest pirate to arrive on our doorstep, Blackbeard, bearing his 86 proof cargo.*
We've heard excellent things about this particular spiced rum, including the fact it tends heavily toward vanilla flavors and other spiciness, and to quote our friend who tried it, it's apparently "frickin' delicious." We'll have to put that frickin' deliciousness to our own test, when we do a full review soon.
The Blackbeard Rum website is currently under construction, but you'll be able to find out more about the brand there when it goes live.
* - No pirates were harmed in the making of this post.
The folks over at Cracked.com are funny, funny sons of bitches - at least most of the time, which is more than we can say about ourselves. They're also, apparently, immense fans of "Top 5" lists, since they publish approximately 1.2 million of them per month. This one's a couple weeks old, but hey - there's always room for reading about lives that were made better by booze.
NASA actually launched an investigation looking for this sort of thing after the infamous incident in 2007 when former astronaut Lisa Nowak tried to kidnap her ex's girlfriend while wearing a diaper. Headed by Col. (Dr.) Richard E. Bachmann Jr. of the US Air Force, the investigators uncovered something that makes Attempted Interstate Infantilist Kidnapping look like charity work: On no fewer than three separate incidents, NASA had cleared astronauts to fly missions -- including two shuttle missions--while completely fucking tanked.
Looking to get in touch with your inner child, and still catch a buzz? Sounds like you might be in the mood for some Adult Chocolate Milk. Made by Temperance Distilling Company in Temperance, Michigan, ACM is a 40 proof (20% ABV) liqueur that will soon be joined by some other flavors - including Adult Orange Cream, Adult Fruit Punch, and Adult Limeade.
It's only available in the West right now, but according to Rick at CocktailGoGo, people all over the country will eventually be able to have adult chocolate milk mustaches:
...it's being distributed by Southern Wine & Spirits which means it's going to be just about everywhere. Let no man go without his Adult Chocolate Milk!
You can get a 750ml for $17.99 or a 1L for $19.99 and it's being sold in the West first and rolling out to other states later on.
Plus, if you absolutely can't wait, head to HiTimeWine for 750ML and 1LT bottles.
I had to watch this video twice to see exactly what happened, and I'm still not sure how the guy managed to pull this off. Hope that's not his writing hand. Or his drinking hand. Or his romance hand, if you know what we mean.
What happens if you toss a travelogue, a bar book, and a cocktail recipe book into a blender, add a jigger of humor, and flip the on switch? From what we hear, you get Jason Wilson's Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits. The book has been out for over a month, and we're not quite sure how we missed it, because we've been fans of Wilson's writing for a few years now. The book's getting great reviews, and we know we're in for something interesting when Wilson's at the keyboard (or at the bar).
Despite its flippant title, Wilson's book has a serious purpose. Its author wants to raise the level of Americans' appreciation for liquor, that oft-maligned beverage whose connoisseurs find alive with subtle and complex flavors and worthy of imbibing for delights far surpassing mere intoxication. Wilson's quest for the finest liquors has taken him all over the world. He has sampled the delights of Peruvian pisco, Mexican tequila, and French cognac under some remarkable circumstances. He favors robust distillates such as cognac and whiskeys over the bland neutrality of vodka.
So if your taste runs to the adventurous side and you're looking for some insightful on-the-road booze insight, without relying on Zane and Pleepleus, this is probably the book for you.
When we think of Phillips Distilling we usually think of the Phillips Union line of flavored whiskeys, and they're also the folks who bring Feckin' Irish Whiskey to us folks stateside. We were also just notified about another brand of theirs we hadn't previously heard of - Revel Stoke Spiced Canadian Whisky.
We hear it's been out since the turn of the century (that's 2000 for you youngsters) but we've never had an opportunity to try it since it was a smaller release. Turns out, that's all about to change:
Since 30 percent of all rum volume is "spiced," Phillips Distilling Company thought that the same could be applied to whisky. Revel Stoke is a spiced whisky at 90 proof. This is a higher proof than competitors Jack Daniels or Crown Royal, but is smoother, more palatable and easier to drink.
Revel Stoke was inspired by the age-old tradition of rugged Canadian outdoorsmen who customized their whisky with vanilla and unique spices. Revel Stoke is a remarkably smooth yet formidable spirit. Enjoy this Canadian Original straight, on the rocks, with cola (Stoke and Coke) or with ginger (Stoke and Ginger).
Don't worry - we'll do our best to get a bottle for review.
We don't know much about the rapper Twista. According to his Wikipedia page, he's from Chicago and there's a documentary being filmed about him. According to the video we just watched, he's "as good as Pelican Brief is." But our job isn't to know about hip hop - it's to know about booze.
Twista featured 1800 Tequila in the video for "The Heat," and he also has some pretty significant grillz in. That was cool, but what we were really into was the video of Scrooge McDuck swimming in his gold vault. Well played Twista - well played.
Well, we know Halloween hasn't even come and gone yet, but it's never too early to start thinking about the next holiday. Especially when that holiday involves time off from work, gorging yourself mercilessly, seeing friends and family, and hopefully, drinking some delicious whiskey.
This might seem like a crazy stretch to you, but Wild Turkey has declared itself the "Official Bourbon of Thanksgiving." Wait for it...OK, you're seeing the connection now. As we told their representative, we already wrote our magnum opus connecting the two way back in 2005 - Make Thanksgiving Wild Turkey Day. Not to be outdone, they fired back with some thoughts of their own.
So, without further ado, advice from Wild Turkey on what to bring (and what to know) in order to survive Thanksgiving (with some slight tweaks from us):
A bottle of Wild Turkey 101-- The night before Thanksgiving is a big night to see old friends, and there's no better way to show them you care than by responsibly sharing a bottle of good bourbon
Earplugs -- Unless you want to be woken at 6am on Thanksgiving morning by the general hustle and bustle, you might want some of these.
Antacid -- Thanksgiving is a great time to push the limits of human consumption. It's a bad time to feel like you're dealing with the Chest Burster from Alien.
Pocket-sized head bandage -- Tell your crazy ex that, "ever since the accident I don't recall faces well."
Breath mints -- In case of not-so-crazy or potential ex.
Cab fare -- Because you're old enough to be responsible.
Flowers and a necktie -- Because you still need to make it up to Mom for last year.
Another bottle of Wild Turkey 101 for your host--This is the difference between sitting with your cool cousins and being forced to work the turkey carving station. Plus, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, they'll have to share.
Can of cranberry sauce -- Welcome to supply-side economics.
Blacklist of conversation topics -- Do the legwork in advance to make sure you don't ask "Where's Ricky?" if the answer is "still in jail."
Remember two things: Drink responsibly, and it's not Thanksgiving without the Turkey.
And, since it's our site, we'll give you the high points from our original article:
Take a few nips before you get to the table. You'd be surprised how many places you can find in your parents' house to sneak a drink. Hell, your mom's been doing it for years.
Wild Turkey is a gentleman's drink. Don't forget to share with grandma. Alternately, you can share with any "available" friends your siblings may have brought home for the holiday (21 and older only, please). In a pinch, attractive cousins at least twice-removed are acceptable - they're called "kissing cousins" for a reason.
Bring your bottle to the table. There's no reason to interrupt your Turkey consumption while people are stuffing themselves with bird. If your family doesn't approve, put it in a gravy boat and tell everyone it's vegetarian dipping sauce...it'll be all yours.
Swish the bourbon in your mouth during and between bites. This is a way to try to rehydrate the dry, overcooked turkey, if necessary. It will most likely be necessary.
Try to pass out right after dinner. This works well with the 101 proof variety. If you play your cards right, you'll be off in tryptophan and bourbon-induced slumber behind a potted plant well before your uncles start unbuttoning their pants to make room for seconds.
We figure between the two sets of advice, you'll end up in your family's good graces...or in jail. Happy Thanksgiving - it's only a month away!
Don't look now, but we got a bottle of Vodgria, a sangria-flavored vodka, in the mail for review today. For those of you who've been living under a rock, sangria is a wine punch that is usually fortified with a little of the hard stuff, usually brand, triple sec, or vodka.
Vodgria cuts out the middle man of actually having to mix up sangria for yourself, and coming in at 30 proof (15% ABV) it will pack a similar punch. It looks like it's going to be gunning for the same market as brands like Hpnotiq, Alize, and Nuvo, and is the only sangria-flavored vodka around. Vodgria retails for under $13; we'll do a full tasting and get it posted ASAP.
If you're on the hunt for a full-on home bar setup, but don't feel like going through the work of building it yourself, this home bar set-up kit from KegWorks might just fit the bill. This kit would also make a great gift for that friend of yours who always insists on making drinks and then cuts your limes with a steak knife on a plate and shakes the drinks in an old spaghetti sauce jar. You know the type.
We love Fridays anyway, but today is even better because of an embarrassment of riches for whisky (and whiskey) afficionados. First it was 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die, and now we've been alerted that Kevin Kosar over at Alcohol Reviews has written a book entitled Whiskey: A Global History.
Mr. Kosar knows a thing or two about spirits, having run the above-mentioned site since 1998 - that's something we can vouch for since we've been reading his spirit reviews on and off for the last five years. We haven't read the book ourselves (yet), but Jason Wilson at the Washington Post gave it a very positive review.
Although he covers the entire bar at AlcoholReviews, when it comes to spirits, whiskey is where Kosar's heart is. "Whiskey is so interesting because there is so much diversity," he says. "There's no way a vodka can be as interesting as whiskey. It offers such a great experience. It's the spirit that's most similar to wine. You could never hope to taste all the whiskeys out there."
Ah yes, yet another book for us to add to our Christmas wish list, then get too impatient and buy it ourselves.
Last month, we reported on a super-interesting book called "101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die" and at the time, it was slated for release in early December. It looks like Christmas has come early, because faithful reader Chuck ordered his and got a notification that it's already shipped out.
We've confirmed on Amazon that it's in stock and ready to ship - it's even Prime eligible if you're one of those folks who likes free shipping. We're getting out the old credit card right now and we'll give the book a read and give you our thoughts once we do.
So we're finally back from Las Vegas, and the hangover has mostly subsided enough to talk about some of our experiences there. For those of you who don't know, we went out to Sin City for the Harlem Shot Drink Showcase. For those of you who don't know what Harlem is, it's a new herbal liqueur we never got a chance to try until we were actually in Vegas (not that it took much convincing to get us out there anyway). For those of you who don't know what a shot drink is - there's not much we can do to help you.
Keep reading for our quick review of Harlem itself, a brief description of our time in Vegas, and our thoughts on the "2 ounce cocktails" we tried at the showcase itself. Oh, and for those of you laughing at the quality of the picture on this post - you try snapping a good shot on an iPhone, in the dark, after sampling 13 or 14 shots.
This just in - we've spent a good amount of time sitting at a bar, but it's not until fairly recently that we really thought about what makes a good bartender. Is it most important to be able to dream up and build perfect cocktails - y'know, the ones that take 2 eye droppers, a tube of liquid nitrogen and a paint mixer to make? Or is it more important to be able to connect with your customer, remember his favorite beer, and make easy conversation while you're pulling it?
It obviously depends on the atmosphere and other factors in the bar, but the truly excellent bartender should be able to do both, right? Just in time for this kind of soul searching we're involved in, Gary Regan has put together a great article about "young" folks behind the bar, to give the whippersnappers some schooling on everything from building drinks to charm and poise. Cheers, Gary!
Although the core chore of the bartender - to make people happy, welcome and cared for - will never vary, over the past decade the mixology side of the craft has changed completely...Not all drinks being served in today's cocktail lounges, though, deserve space in a chilled glass. I hate to be the one who says this, but I'm betting you've seen it coming. The cocktailian craft has been grossly mishandled of late, and it's time to rein in a few newcomers to the craft who seem to have missed the point.
We figured since we're out in Vegas for Harlem's shot drink showcase we should commemorate the day by finding a nice book of shot recipes for our readers to try at home. The Big Bad-Ass Book of Shots contains over 1,400 shot recipes (though probably a lot of them are variations), and seems like just what the doctor ordered if you're looking to slam a few.
Though we have to say - they list the body shot as one of their recipes, and if you need a book to tell you how to do that you probably don't have anyone to do them off. Sorry.
That's right, kiddies, our fearless Editor in Chief will be getting on a plane tomorrow to head to Sin City. He'll be there a couple days, and in between bouts of blackjack and bedspins (kidding) he'll be attending a "shot drink showcase" being held by Harlem Liqueur. If you haven't heard of Harlem, it's a Dutch kruiden liqueur named after Haarlem, a town outside of Amsterdam.
We haven't tasted Harlem yet, but the reviews say it's similar to our beloved Jagermeister, but with more of an orange vibe. According to the info we got, "Over the past month, HARLEM® in connection with The Tasting Panel has challenged the finest bartenders across the country to go head to head in the quest for the best 2 oz. drink using HARLEM combined with innovative ingredients of their choosing." And we get to go to Vegas to be part of the final showcase of said 2 oz. (read: shot) drinks.
Harlem is imported by the same folks who brought you the Ketel line of vodkas; you'll notice Ketel makes its way into the drink recipes below. Check them out, and we'll make sure to keep you updated on the blog, on Twitter, and probably on Facebook too (yes, we're attention whores...errr, dedicated to keeping you informed).
We just watched a video featuring Marisa Miller of Sports Illustrated and Victoria's Secret fame, and for a while we were pretty sure we were watching a trailer for some kind of porno flick, we realized to our dismay it was a teaser for Captain Morgan's new First Mate campaign. Miller will be the titular (see what we did there?) First Mate.
Keep an eye out for the full campaign, we guess - there were bared swords and bared midriffs, and sand. Lots of sand. SPOILER ALERT: We wanted old Cap to take Marisa in his arms and say "Want a little Captain in you?" but it didn't happen. Check out the vids below (they're essentially the same and both tease the date 10.10.10), and check out the press release.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again - old people may smell like mothballs and regret, but they know how to drink right. Want to know why? Because you'd never catch your grandfather - and most likely grandmother, for that matter - drinking a Flirtini (or any -tini other than a martini). Our older generation knows the value of a drink that makes you grimace juuust a little bit - and chasing that drink down with a pickled egg.
That's why we're excited about Old Man Drinks: Recipes, Advice, and Barstool Wisdom. It's chock full of quotes and wisdom from semi-ancient barflies, and includes a multitude of cocktail recipes that need to start rubbing elbows with Cosmopolitans on drink lists.
Here you'll find histories and recipes for Old-Fashioneds, Sidecars, Clover Clubs, Rusty Nails, Hot Toddys, Monte Carlos, and more than 60 other vintage cocktails. Accompanying the text are evocative black-and-white photographs of real old men enjoying their beverages of choice and dispensing such timeless words of wisdom as "I'm gonna die some day, so I may as well drink" and "I've taken an involuntary vow of celibacy."
We've started posting some of our liquor reviews over at our spiritual sister site cocktailgogo, and we wanted to bring your attention to them. The site is structured more as a community, and gives you the ability to log in with your own Twitter, OpenID or Facebook Connect accounts to add liquor reviews, cocktail recipes, etc. Please see below for excerpts from the two reviews we've added most recently.
Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum Review
Cruzan 9 is the latest addition to the Cruzan line, adding another layer to the brand's already-extensive list of flavored products.
It's a light honey color in the bottle and glass, and gave me a nice mixture of sweetness, spice and a hint of pipe tobacco on the nose.The name "9" comes from the nine spices used to flavor it - allspice, vanilla, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, clove, mace and juniper berry.
Cruzan 9 has a nice mellow burn without overpowering, and the blend of spices did a good job of tempering the rum even when I sipped it neat.
The smell is of a freshly-baked alcoholic cinnamon bun, and is really appealing. The taste starts off with a nice dry cinnamon heat, then finishes with hints of vanilla and frosting, which keeps it from being overpowering. This liqueur is more "Mom's baking" than "Atomic Fireball," and feels like a strong addition to the world of cinnamon schnapps.
For all the times you wished you could have 36 shots of liquor on your person at any given time, we present to you - the Shot Bandolier. Similar to the Beer Bandolier will allow you to carry 36 one-ounce shots via crossing chest straps and an adjustable belt. What won't they think of next? Plus, it's only 10 bucks.
Hi all, Jake here, Editor in Chief of Liquor Snob. I'm breaking out of our usual editorial voice because the story I am about to share really happened, and better yet, it happened to me this weekend at my birthday celebration (go me for getting older).
I arrived at the bar after my friends, and they told me they had just ordered a round of Irish Car Bombs. I don't drink them often because they don't do much for me - I'd rather go slow and steady with the stout and shoot the whiskey. But, being the agreeable, thirsty guy I am I took one. Apparently my aim was off, because the shot glass entered the pint glass at such an angle that about 40% of the drink splashed onto the table and my lap, forcing my friends to get the bar rag of shame and clean up after me (just the table, not my lap).
What's the moral of this story? Basically I wish the bar had featured The Party Bomber. It's basically a speed loader for bomber drinks, and from what I've seen it eliminates a good portion of the muss and fuss I encountered on my birthday. You put the pint glasses into the contraption, put the shot glasses in the upper half, and when you drop the plunger the shot glass drops and a seal is formed to keep spillage to a minimum.
It's probably not going to make me any better at actually taking bomb shots (I always end up with Bailey's on the bridge of my nose from the shot glass sliding up) but at least I won't have to wear a diaper while I'm taking them. Check out The Party Bomber site for models and pricing. Thank you for listening to my confession - I'll do my 20 hail marys and 3 boilermakers as penance.
When we first discovered Screwpop we weren't sure whether to cover this ourselves or send it over to our compatriots over at Tool Snob. Then we realized they'd probably spend all their time gushing over the tool aspect of it - the flathead, Phillips and 1/4" hex nut driver.
Yeah, those are handy but here's the thing - you can open beers with the Screwpop too, and it all fits on your keychain. Plus, you can use the sharp(ish) end of the tool to fend off anyone who tries to get near your beers!
Check out an external video review after the jump, and grab yours for five bucks (seems like a great stocking stuffer to us) at ScrewpopTool.com.
Tis time again for a roundup of what we were up to last month. if you missed it, we discovered Bear Pong, decided to build an ice luge to the sky with Luge Cubes, and learned how to open a wine bottle with a shoe. We also were a ragtag group of lovable misfits who looked like they had no chance to make it to the championships, but because of our giant hearts and an improbable play call, we won anyway. Oh, wait...that wasn't us that was the Mighty Ducks.