February 28, 2011
While we're patiently waiting for the Worst Cold in the World (TM) to loosen its grip on us so we can smell well enough to do some reviews, we've been spending our time trolling around looking for a new bottle opener for the Liquor Snob offices.
Don't ask us how we stumbled across this one, but it seems like a good way to get your bottles open while also channeling your inner ninja - or at least your inner misunderstood teen. Not sure why it's called the "bartender" when it adds extra steps most bartenders wouldn't want but hey - who're we to judge?
Black Butterfly Bottle Opener
February 25, 2011
For many people, absinthe is a drink that is clouded in mystery and made intimidating by rumors and innuendo. "I don't know," they'll say when the subject comes up, "is it going to make me cut any body parts off?" We just found out about a documentary that's attempting to separate fact and fiction for the enigmatic spirit. We haven't seen it yet, but we plan to post haste.
From the synopsis:
Absinthe: was it ambrosia or poison, artistic muse or ticket to madness and death? There is a tremendous fascination with absinthe, yet few truly know its rich history. The documentary ABSINTHE definitively brings the Green Fairy out of her clouded past where, for one hundred years, her fabled effects and demonized reputation have excited equal doses of admiration and loathing.
Check out the trailer below and hit the Absinthe Film
website for more info; you can also stream the movie at Amazon
ABSINTHE documentary film trailer from absinthe on Vimeo.
February 24, 2011
Like you needed another excuse to drink on Thursdays, but here you go - the National Geographic show Ultimate Factories will be airing episodes about Jack Daniels and Coca Cola in March. The JD episode will air Thursday, March 10, and the Coke ep will air on the 17th.
Ultimate Factories travels to Lynchburg, Tennessee, where tradition and technology intersect to make 150 million bottles of Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 each year. The factory holds enough whiskey to fill 3 million bottles at any given time, fermented with yeast that descends from the same used in the original batch 140 years ago.
Coca-Cola reaches more countries than there are in the United Nations, and it takes a power factory to provide a beverage with a famously secret formula consumed in over 99 percent of the populated world. Machines in a bottling plant pump out almost 800 bottles per minute, utilizing specialized air-veyor belts to maximize efficiency.
Our recommendation is that you start drinking Jack & Cokes on the 10th and just keep going for the week. That way you'll be properly lubed up for St. Patrick's Day.*
[Image via Flickr]
* You realize that's a horrible idea and we're not actually recommending that, right?
February 23, 2011
The Bitter Truth - E**X**R
Amaro-style herbal liqueur
60 Proof (30% ABV)
The Bitter Truth
They Say: "E**X**R is velvety smooth while at the same time clean, aromatic and herbaceous. It embodies the caramel sweetness of port and the bitter flavors of a classic Italian Amaro."
We Say: We're fans of The Bitter Truth bitters, and we were surprised when we heard they were making a liqueur. The nose is bitter, which is to be expected, and most folks would acquaint the smell with a certain famous herbal liqueur called Jagermeister. The flavor is sweeter than we expected up front, with a lingering herbal taste that lasts, and it feels a bit syrupy on the tongue. At the end it's much closer to a Fernet than a Jager, and it's something we'd like to experiment more with in terms of cocktails. One of the recipes on the website is E**X**R and Ginger, which we mixed and really enjoyed the way the herbal flavors opened up with the ginger beer.
The Verdict: E**X**R is an enigma wrapped in a riddle, smothered in mystery sauce. It starts off sweet and ends up with a pleasant bitterness that will appeal to adventurous drinkers and those who like their drinks with some zazz. Try it in Negronis, or swap it in for vermouth in your favorite drinks - give in to your spirit of adventure and we think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
February 22, 2011
Looks like the vodka brands at your local liquor store will have to make room for Eristoff, a European brand being released by the Bacardi family. Eristoff is triple distilled and you can get it in three varieties - Original, Red and Black.
Eristoff Original (80 proof), Eristoff Red (40 proof) named for its bright red color and sweet taste of sloe berries, and Eristoff Black (40 proof) named for its dark, bold color and taste of wild berries. Eristoff is available in a full range of sizes: 1.75 liter (SRP $23.99), 1.0 liter (SRP $16.99), 750 ml (SRP $13.99), 350 ml (SRP $9.99), 200 ml (SRP $5.99) and 50 ml (SRP $1.49)
And check out that wolf on the label, huh? Why not pick up a bottle and see if it makes you howl at the moon? More at Bacardi
February 16, 2011
Sometimes it's like Christmas every week around here. Why do we say that, you ask? Are we tiptoeing around in footie pajamas, whispering to each other about what we'll find in our stockings tomorrow? Yes.
But it's also like Christmas because we often get beautifully-wrapped packages full of our favorite gift - booze. It's like the Fedex guy is our own personal Santa Claus. He doesn't like it when you try to sit in his lap though - we learned that the hard way.
The most recent package was a shipment of seven (yes, seven) bottles of DonQ rum, including their Limon, Mojito and Coco flavored rums, as well as Cristal, Gold, Anejo and Extra Anejo. Great Googly Moogly, we've got some tasting to do.
[image via Holiday Spirits Bazaar]
February 15, 2011
As most of you know, it's Mardi Gras season all February, ending on Fat Tuesday on March 8. What you probably don't know, unless you have night vision goggles and a perch outside our window, is that we're sitting in front of a Mardi Gras-themed package sent to us by Southern Comfort to help us prep for the celebration.
And what is the first thing you think of when you think of Mardi Gras? Oh, right, beads. But what comes next? If you're us, the next thing you think of is drinking. Which is exactly why Southern Comfort sent us...a doughnut? Err, excuse us, it was actually a King Cake, a Mardi Gras delicacy. We're sure they're delicious, but by the time Fedex delivered ours it looked like a giant glazed donut someone had shot with Homer's makeup gun set to "whore." From our hazy memories, that sort of fits the whole Bourbon Street vibe, but we got the picture above from here anyway.
They also sent us a couple interesting SoCo recipes, one of which - the "Flambeaux Mambo" which contains Tabasco - really piqued our curiosity. Looks like we'll have to dust off our bottles of SoCo and hot sauce and tuck into some cake...we doubt it'll keep until March.
Check out SoCo on Facebook and we're sure they'll keep you up to speed on all things Mardi Gras.
February 14, 2011
You might notice we seem to be studiously ignoring Valentine's Day, and that's because we are. Instead, we'll focus our attention on greater things, such as these beer-based marshmallows covered in beer & pretzels. We can think of nothing we would love so much - thanks Cupid...and thanks for the link, Jay.
...a thick and fluffy housemade beer marshmallow is dipped in milk chocolate and topped with our beer & pretzel brittle bits for a treat that settles the sweet v. salty and cruchy v. chewy debates. It's all good!
Get yours at truffle truffle
February 10, 2011
Charbay Whiskey: Release 2
Aged Hopped Whiskey Distilled from Pilsner
110 Proof (55% ABV)
Price: Don't Ask
They Say: "There is no other whiskey out that you can really taste the beer that it's made from. The spice from the hops and the barley flavors are very well balanced with just the right amount of oak."
We Say: It tastes so good when it touches our lips! This is like a "hop schnapps" all grown up into a full-blown whiskey, and our minds are reeling over the adventurousness of the flavor of whiskey and hops. Let's put it this way - if scotch was typically flavored with hops instead of peat, we'd move to Scotland.
The look of the bottle is classy all the way, with that gold-embossed black label, and the nose is excellent - did we mention whiskey and hops? It also smells like hops and whiskey. One of our interns called this the "mullet" of whiskeys - bourbon up front, hops in the rear - but that doesn't really capture the refined tastes you'll get of hops, berries, top-shelf bourbon, pepper and a touch of oak. This is excellent stuff, and if you mix it with cola we will come find you.
The Verdict: Punch your grandmother if that's what it takes to be able to taste this stuff. Seriously. If she loves you she'll be cool with it when you explain why.
Charbay Doubled & Twisted Light Whiskey
White Dog Whiskey made from bottle-ready IPA
99 Proof (49.5% ABV)
Price: ~$60 per liter, if you can still get your hands on this limited run
They Say: "The result of using a great IPA is all the hop flavors and two row malty flavors distilled over into the final spirit. The hops give the D&T a fruity, floral, very green spicy character, unlike any other whiskey out there."
We Say: When you're right, you're right, and these Charbay folks are right on, both with their description of Doubled & Twisted and the fact they even made it. What kind of geniuses decide they're going to take a bunch of bottle-ready IPA and distill the hell out of it? To us, it's a discovery so big it's like they invented the wheel, harnessed fire and discovered the lost city of gold, all at once.
The nose was all IPA and the black pepper rawness of an unaged whiskey, without burning our nose hairs. When we tasted it the hops in the IPA came through loud and clear, moreso than we would've expected even, and it has a nice, long hoppy finish we really enjoyed. On the recommendation of Rick from CocktailGoGo we mixed one of our 50ML sample bottles into a Manhattan, and we will never look at the drink the same way again. To paraphrase a certain beer drinking movie, we wished we could freeze it into ice blocks and skate on it, and melt it in the spring time and drink it.
The Verdict: As an unaged product made from high-end ingredients, Doubled & Twisted is the Tarzan of whiskeys - an excellent pedigree, but a bit lacking in table manners. As long as you know you're in for a moonshiney experience, we can see craft beer enthusiasts and whiskey lovers alike going gaga over D&T - assuming, of course, you can get your hands on it.
February 9, 2011
Absolut Wild Tea
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typical Price: < $20
They Say: "Absolut tea and elderflower is an unexpected combination of naturally sweet, fruity, floral flavors. Refreshing tea and white elderflower blended with vodka from grain grown in the rich fields of southern Sweden."
We Say: You'll be able to tell this is an Absolut vodka from a mile away thanks to their distinctive round-shouldered bottle, but you might be thrown by the sight of plants and flowers crawling up the side, especially if you don't know what elderflowers look like. Don't be scared - if you like tea or elderflower liqueur, we bet you'll like this one.
The nose is heavy on elderflower, a pungent sweetness, with a bit of black tea's bitterness and complexity on the back end. When you taste it you'll get the same flavors - maybe a sun tea lightly sweetened with an elderflower syrup. The effect is really interesting - not super-sweet like some flavored vodkas, and pretty distinctive all around. We can see this shining in the right cocktail - Absolut's recipes page suggests items from Mojitos to Martinis, and we can see it being delicious with just soda water and a twist.
The Verdict: Pick it up if you're feeling adventurous, or if you just want a splash of something in your iced tea.
February 4, 2011
Well, we've finally dug out of the Northeast's Snowmageddon 2011, and lo and behold, what did we find but some bottles of whiskey from Charbay. That bodes well for our weekend, because one is a variety we've been salivating over for a couple weeks now, and the other is one we're newly in love with.
The first is their Doubled & Twisted, a white whiskey made from bottle-ready IPA that we waxed poetic about when we read DrinkHacker's review. There's not much of it left, and we will cherish our two 50ML bottles until the last drop, when we crack them open and lick the insides.
The second is their hop-flavored whiskey, which we haven't tasted yet while we wait for the interns gather, but which smells divine. Like the D&T is distilled from IPA, this stuff is distilled from Pilsner - 20,000 gallons of it to be exact.
We don't think you'll have to wait too long to get the review on this one, unless we decide we need more so badly we just get in the car and head for California. It's a possibility if we can find someone to drive.