December 10, 2010

Revel Stoke Spiced Canadian Whisky Review

revel_stoke_spiced_whisky.pngOur local package delivery man (that sounds a bit dirty) was kind enough to drop off another gurgling box at the Liquor Snob offices today, and once we tore it open we saw it was a bottle of Revel Stoke spiced whisky. As you can tell by the missing "e" in whiskey, Revel Stoke is Canadian. As you can tell by the image above, it's spiced with ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom and coriander.

We've gotten into a bad habit lately of sitting on reviews, so we're doing an early New Year's resolution to review bottles as soon as they come in. So, with no further ado, our thoughts on Revel Stoke.

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October 26, 2010

Revel Stoke Spiced Canadian Whisky

revel_stoke_whisky.jpgWhen 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.

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October 21, 2010

Wild Turkey Thanksgiving Survival Kit

wild_turkey_thanksgiving.jpgWell, 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'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!

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

October 15, 2010

101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die Released Early

101_whiskies.jpgLast 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.

101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die

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September 15, 2010

101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die

101_whiskies.jpgWe're pretty sure the title says it all here. If you like to drink whisky, this should be your bucket list, and not in a pretentious way. Check this out:

Avoiding the deliberately obscure, the ridiculously limited, and the absurdly expensive, whiskey expert Ian Buxton has scoured the shelves of the world's whiskey warehouses to recommend an eclectic selection of old favorites, stellar newcomers, and mystifyingly unknown drams that simply have to be drunk.

This witty, focused, and practical guide is not an awards list or a list of the 101 "Best" whiskies in the world in the opinion of some self-appointed whiskey guru. It's simply a guide to 101 whiskies that enthusiasts really must seek out and try--love them or hate them--to complete their whiskey education.

How can you go wrong? In other news, this little baddie comes out just before Christmas (hint hint).

101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die at Amazon

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September 2, 2010

Gilpin Family Whisky: URINE for a Treat!

pissky.pngTalk about a new spin on an old product - a gentleman in the UK has started making what is colloquially known as "pissky" - whisky distilled from the sugary urine of elderly diabetics. Let us say that again, slowly - whisky...made from the urine...of old people. And before you ask, no they're not selling it, but the linked story has details on how you can try it if you want to hop on a plane to London.

Here are some more details from the story over at

The source material is acquired from elderly volunteers, including Gilpin's own grandmother, Patricia. The urine is purified in the same way as mains water is purified, with the sugar molecules removed and added to the mash stock to accelerate the whisky's fermentation process. Traditionally, that sugar would be made from the starches in the mash.

Once fermented into a clear alcohol spirit, whisky blends are added to give colour, taste and viscosity, and the product is bottled with the name and age of the contributor.

Thanks for the link, Tool Snob - and would you mind peeing in this cup for us before you start that table saw?

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March 17, 2010

Liquor Snob Pickle Back Challenge

picklebacks.jpgWell, you can say what you want about us, but you can never say we backed down from a challenge. For those of you who have no freakin' clue what we're talking about, we here in the Liquor Snob offices made a vow when we first heard about the Pickle Back that if our readers wanted us to try them, we'd do it on St. Patrick's Day. For the record, we found the entire idea to be obscene, but the emails and Facebook messages we received convinced us we should think otherwise. Then, when we read the pickle juice in a Pickle Back can help avoid a hangover, we were all in.

Those of you who think were were just going to toss back a single shot of whiskey with whatever dill juice was lying around our fridge, however, are sorely mistaken. When we say we're going to do something, we do it, so we made an event out of it. We decided to find a Pickle Back winner among four different contenders - pickled egg brine, half sour brine, kosher dill brine, and the crap floating around in a pickled beet jar. Our findings are below, and while we aren't going to put this into our everyday drinking regimen, we have to admit people are on to something...if you find the right pickle juice.

Oh, and you might notice something odd about our pictured shot glasses - we decided to break out our Quaffers to cut down on the possibility of carpal tunnel from doing so many shot/chaser combos in a 10 minute period. And now, on to the show:

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February 4, 2010

Seagram's 7 Dark Honey Arrives for Review

Last week, we posted about Seagram's 7 Dark Honey, positing it was Seagram's' attempt to hit the same "I don't like whiskey" market that Beam seems to be targeting with Red Stag.The folks at Seagram's were kind enough to send us a bottle of the stuff for us to try it out ourselves, and based on our initial tasting, we have to say we weren't too far off the mark. We're trying to get better about turnaround time on reviewing the products we receive, so we'll post our initial thoughts here and hopefully be able to come back with some thoughts on how to mix it.

The bottle itself is interesting, a boxy affair with subtle honeycomb graphics climbing the outside. When we smelled it, we got a mixture of wheat and sweet, more on the sweet side, like the smell of the milk in your bowl after your morning Honeycombs cereal. There were other smells in there too - obviously the tang of alcohol, accompanied by molasses and a hint of cinnamon.

The cinnamon flavor carried into the taste as well, with a nice balance of cinnamon and the namesake honey, and a long sweet finish. We didn't taste much by way of whiskey flavor hidden in the honey, but the overall taste was pleasant enough that we kept sipping, which seems a good sign.

Overall, we think it would add a nice sweetness to drinks that would otherwise overpower whiskey novices (we're thinking the Liquor Wife would enjoy a Manhattan using half Dark Honey and half whiskey - sacrilege to cocktail nerds we're sure), and it confirms our original thought that this could be a "training wheels" whiskey for novices and the less adventurous. Plus, at $15-$20 per bottle, you don't have to break the bank to do it, which is also pretty sweet.


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January 25, 2010

Seagram's 7 Dark Honey

Seagrams_Honey_300.jpgWe just heard about a new product from Seagrams 7 that sounds right up our alley, and we're looking forward to getting our hands on a bottle. It's called Dark Honey, and like the Seagram's 7 product you're used to, it's a blend of a variety of whiskeys; the difference comes when they add (you guessed it) honey into the mix.

At 70 proof, or a little lower test than most whiskeys on the shelves, and with that touch of sweetness, we can only imagine they're going after that same demographic Beam's Red Stag started after last year. We're thinking the target market is folks who want something a bit more flavorful, a little less frightening, without turning to a liqueur. If things go well, it's quite possible this could be another "training wheels" whiskey - a gateway spirit that opens the doors to more traditional whiskeys.

We'll let you know when we get a bottle and get our review up ASAP; for more info head over to

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

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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