November 7, 2009

Canadian Club Classic 12 Whisky Review

canadian_club_classic_12.jpgBrand/Name: Canadian Club Classic 12 Blended Whisky
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Review Bottle Source: Supplied by Canadian Club
Typical Price: Around $25
Available online at Internet Wines & Spirits

The Look: A squat and flat-shouldered bottle; the black and white accents on the label give it a classic look.

The Nose: Whiffs of caramel, honey, brown sugar - very reminiscent of a well-aged rum at first whiff. Doesn't jump out of the glass and bite you on the nose - has the reserved quality we associate with aging. There's fruit in there too, adding an interesting sour tang on the back end, but it doesn't overpower the sweet.

The Taste: Starts off sweet, with a burn like raw ginger. Gets a bit more bitter toward the finish, but not in a bad the bitterness of the charred oak it was aged in. Some fruit to go along with the nose, finishes quickly, leaving a vanilla taste in the mouth.

The Verdict: We liked the Classic 12 just fine on the rocks, and a little water went a long way to smooth whatever edges were left on it. We were impressed with it in cocktails we usually make with bourbon as well...right on down to our standby drinks, the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan, where we thought it added a nice je ne sais quois. A must-try for folks who like the regular Canadian Club expression, and bourbon lovers who're looking to broaden their horizons without straying too far from what they like.

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October 26, 2009

Vinturi White Wine Aerator Review

white_wine_aerator2.jpgWe've been excited to try out the Vinturi Aerator, especially considering the fact we'd never given much thought to decanting white wine, or even letting it "breathe" as we might a red. Vinturi was kind enough to send us a model to review, and when we opened the box we were impressed with the heft of the vaguely cylindrical gizmo that greeted us, and pleasantly surprised to find a no-drip stand and cloth storage bag as well.

We peeked through the Aerator, unsure how much effect it would really have on our wine, but decided to take it at face value. We poured two glasses from the same unchilled bottle of the best Chardonnay we could get at the supermarket for $3.49, one directly from the bottle and the other through the Aerator.

It sloshed through the gadget with a satisfying glugging sound, and we were fascinated by the bubbles we saw in the chamber, and if nothing else we felt like we got our money's worth for the show alone. But would it fulfill its promises of a tastier glass of wine?

We took the two aforementioned glasses of wine, and we put them in front of our Senior Wine Intern, asking for a blind taste test of the contents of the glasses, to identify which had been aerated. After going through the tasting rigamarole, our intern correctly identified the aerated wine, saying the flavor and bouquet were subtly, but noticeably improved. Further tasting with other interns confirmed the positive review - this thing really works, especially on wine that starts out not-so-hot. The price tag may seem high, especially for those who don't drink much wine, but it strikes us as a great gift and an exciting addition to the gadget-hound's wine rack.

Vinturi White Wine Aerator; more info at the Vinturi website.

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May 28, 2009

Belvedere Black Raspberry Vodka Review

belvedere_black_raspberry.jpegSometimes we get a liquor in to review that feels...well, it just feels too classy for us. You know, like we're the only guys in shorts and flip flops who show up at a black tie affair. Belvedere's Black Raspberry vodka is one of those bottles - we feel like we should handle the bottle with white gloves so we don't smudge the finish.

Then we remember Belvedere puts their pants on one leg at a time, and we crack the bottle and get to sipping.

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May 19, 2009

Jim Beam Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon Review

red_stag_jim_beam_glasses.jpgWe got our bottle of Jim Beam's soon-to-be-released black cherry flavored bourbon, Red Stag, a couple weeks ago and now it's time to review it. We mentioned this before - we were hesitant to even try it at first, because full disclosure requires us to say right up front we're Jim Beam White Label men from way back, and we were a bit concerned about a syrupy Nyquil nightmare that would forever tarnish our sweet, sweet nectar.

So how did we fare? Surprisingly well, we must say

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May 17, 2009

Hiram Walker Triple Sec Review

hiram_walker_triple_sec.gifWe've never reviewed triple sec here on the site, but we're starting to think we should focus more on things like this. Hell, sometimes liqueurs and other mixers make up 25 or 30 percent of the cocktail you're drinking - we're thinking we're going to want to make sure the stuff is on the level.

Plus, this is going to be a fun review for another reason - because the Hiram Walker folks sent us a bottle of Cointreau, what many people consider the industry standard in orange liqueurs. So how does good old Hiram measure up to Cointreau? Only one way to find out, isn't there?

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May 13, 2009

Absinthe Mata Hari Review

Before we received our bottle of Absinthe Mata Hari, we had never heard of bohemian absinthe. We figured it was some kind of crazy libation people drank at poetry readings, sipping on it in between snapping their fingers in applause for the latest spoken word stylings. Hell, maybe that's exactly what it is.

All we know is we tried it, and yeah...maybe we did feel a bit more like Maynard G Krebs afterward.

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Oval Vodka Review

oval_vodka_sparkles.jpgWe've been looking forward to reviewing Oval Vodka ever since we got the bottle a little bit ago. We've finally had time to sit down and give it the look-see (and smell-taste) it deserves, and we're excited to share the results. Ever since we heard about the 11 day "structuring" process Oval goes through, we've been excited about giving it a go - after all, who makes a vodka with a proof as strange as 84 unless there's a damned good reason? Find out why after the jump.

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April 14, 2009

Guest Review: Michter's US 1 Whiskey

product_michters_whiskey.jpgWe haven't done a guest review in a while, so we're excited to drop this great review of Michter's. As usual, the only problem we have with this review is that we didn't get to drink it, but we've had the stuff before and thought it kicked some serious arse.

Thanks for the reivew, Carlos.

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March 24, 2009

Double Cross Vodka Review

double_cross_vodka_bottles.jpgWe got our bottle of Double Cross Vodka a little bit ago, and we've sort of been reluctant to open it. No ulterior motive other than that rectangular bottle looks pretty darned cool front and center in the Liquor (Snob) Cabinet, and we didn't want to sully it by draining it. But, of course, our curiosity to try out the nectar inside overtook our aesthetic sense, and we had to pop it open for some sniffing, sipping, and cocktails.

OK, maybe it wasn't as existential as all that. But you're curious about how it all turned out, aren't you?

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March 5, 2009

(ri)1 Rye Whiskey Review

ri1_rye_whiskey.jpgNews flash: we love whiskey. Bourbon, rye, Canadian, we just can't get enough of it. We've always felt rye got a bad rap as most people like its sweeter cousins, but the rip roar of rye has its place, especially in a well-crafted cocktail. (ri)1(pronounce it with us, rye-one) is the ultra-premium rye offering from the Jim Beam family.

So how does this new top shelf whiskey hold up? Read on to find out.

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