November 22, 2005
Aaah, Thanksgiving - the beginning of the holiday season. A time to be with the people you love and give thanks for everything you have. Like long airport lines, snarled highway traffic, relatives you only see once a year...for good reason. And don't forget those long, awkward silences when you tell people you've been spending all your time writing about liquor on the Internet. Oh, wait. Maybe that's just us.
But no matter what reason you have to drink this Thanksgiving, at least there's no question what should be in your glass. That's right, the only bourbon we know of with a holiday named after it...Wild Turkey. We recommend the 101 proof stuff to help you through the stickier situations, but use your own judgment.
Liquor Snob Wild Turkey Tips for Thanksgiving
- 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.
- Don't forget dessert! The Wild Turkey website says the taste of their bourbon "...is an American classic with caramel and vanilla and notes of honey and oranges. The finish is very long, rich and full-bodied, powerful, yet soothing." If Wild Turkey's not a perfect after-Thanksgiving-dinner drink, we don't know what is.
- 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.
For more tips on how to enjoy Wild Turkey, go to WildTurkeyBourbon.com
November 5, 2005
Hot Cock Toddy. Cock-a-Rita. Cock & Cola. They might sound like titles of movies you wouldn't want to watch with your parents, but in fact they're cocktail recipes for Fighting Cock bourbon. We are absolutely engorged with jokes we'd like to make right now, but we'll work hard on keeping them to ourselves.
Beyond the absolutely amazing name, from what we can tell the whiskey is good stuff too. It's a six-year-old Kentucky bourbon that clocks in at a hefty 103 proof, with rye substituted for the wheat normally in bourbon, to add that extra kick. We're looking forward to giving it a try. We'll let you know as soon as we tangle with the Cock, and then we'll probably end up going to confession.
Also, on top of the drink recipes we listed above, the site includes some excellent looking food recipes for cooking with bourbon. We're huge fans of cooking with booze, and there are a few recipes we'd really like to try. In a perfect world, every meal would automatically feature bourbon barbecue sauce and finish up with Kentucky bourbon pie, but we don't live in a perfect world, so you'll have to get yourself a bottle of Fighting Cock and put on your apron.
To learn more, go to the Fighting Cock site.
October 21, 2005
Willie Nelson has a tradition of opening his shows with his song Whiskey River, and he's been doing it a long time. That leads us to believe he knows a little something about the subject of whiskey, so we're very interested in Old Whiskey River, a bourbon he helped to develop. We're not sure exactly what (or who) he's trying to forget in the song, but but we know we're going to do our best to remember to pick up a bottle next time we're at the liquor store.
Old Whiskey River has been around for a few years in a 750ml bottle, and a new 1.75L bottle will be available soon to make sure your whiskey river don't run dry. We also did some poking around, and if you pick up the Old Whiskey River gift pack you can also get a CD of Willie's music. Bourbon and outlaw country music - two great tastes that taste great together. We know that's a gift pack we'd be fired up to find it in our stocking on Christmas morning. Or underneath our pillow if we lost a tooth, for that matter.
Learn more at the Old Whiskey River site.
October 16, 2005
Get ready for Michael Collins whiskey, an irish whiskey created by the Cooley Distillery, Ireland's last remaining independent distillery.
Remember Sidney Frank, the liquor pimp we told you about a few weeks ago? He is the man responsible for importing our favorite nectar Jagermeister into the US, and we just got wind that he will soon be adding a new liquor to his portfolio. The newest booze? Michael Collins Whiskey, a tribute to the life of the Irish patriot, and the announcement coincides with Collins' birthday, October 16, 1890.
According to a British newspaper, Mr. Frank's decision to launch the whiskey was inspired by the movie about Collins' life.
Sidney Frank, the company’s founder, saw the movie and then read Tim Pat Coogan’s 1990 book, Michael Collins: A Biography. Coogan has been retained as an adviser for the launch. The company has trademarked the name. Einsidler said a percentage of sales would be paid to Collins’ descendents, to be given to a charity of their choice.
Read the full article at the Times Online
. Plus, learn more about Michael Collins
, and check out the Cooley whiskey
site for more information on this Irish distillery.
Or, if you don't feel like reading, buy the movieat Amazon.
October 11, 2005
Trying to get into the world of scotch, but scared off by the drink's hoity-toity image? Enter Monkey Shoulder, a blend of three scotch whiskys bottled in a small batch of bourbon casks. They're calling it a "triple-malt," and this drink seems specifically designed to be entry-level. We're not sure how widely available it will be, nor can we find American prices, but they had us at "Monkey Shoulder." Learn more at MonkeyShoulder.com.
Plus, if you want to bone up on scotch so you can do your kilt-wearing friends and family proud, take a look at the Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch.
We found Monkey Shoulder via Luxist
September 21, 2005
We were never very interested in school, but we've finally figured out the reason why - boring classes, girls wouldn't talk to us and there was no scotch there. Whisky School, on the other, seems much more our speed. Caring teachers, applied chemistry, snazzy green coats, the works, all in a real, working distillery.
Plus, you get to learn about scotch. And smell scotch. And drink scotch. And bring home a bottle of the scotch you made. We don't see a down side. Well, except for the fact that we'd have to find our way to Scotland somehow, but we'd manage.
Read more from the Whisky School website below.
Continue reading: "Three Words: Scotch Whisky School"
September 16, 2005
We were going to call this one "Scotch for Dummies," but we didn't want to insult our readers since so many people are intimidated by the beverage. If you're one of those people, we know your pain - the first few times we tried the stuff we felt like we were sucking on a piece of peat moss soaked in lighter fluid. For us it was an acqured taste, but there are a lot of fierce Scotch drinkers out there who are as dedicated and choosy about their whisky as your typical wine snob is about the grape.
Scotch snob wannabes no longer have to go it alone. We found out that Kevin Erskine is attempting to change the image of the fire water, and make it more accessible for folks who want to expand the boundaries of their alcoholic enjoyment. Mr. Erskine's book, The Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch, is aimed at the novice drinker, and as he says on his site, "It could be the perfect gift for someone in your life who has not yet discovered the joys of the finest adult beverage in the world! (And who knows, even the savvy Scotch drinker may learn something.)" We found the book at Amazon for less than ten bucks, which we think is a steal for the wealth of information it includes.
Buy your copy of The Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotchat Amazon.
Continue reading: "Scotch Whisky for...the Inexperienced"
September 10, 2005
It's been a long time coming, but Jim Beam has finally jumped on the bandwagon for new-fangled technology to get their message out to prospective customers - it's called "television." That's right, after 210 years in the distilling business, the company will start running ads on cable TV stations including CMT, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, FX, Fox Sports Network, OLN and Spike TV.
"... the new commercial is a television version of the print campaign for Jim Beam that BBDO Chicago introduced last year, carrying the theme "The stuff inside matters most." And Jim Beam Brands is paying to run the new spots, from a budget estimated at $8 million to $12 million.
Indeed, by next year television "will be the lead medium" for the brand, said Keith Neumann, marketing director for Jim Beam bourbon at Jim Beam Brands in Deerfield, Ill."
Can you imagine that, sinking so much money into a new and untested medium like TV? I mean, the darned thing was only invented 80 years ago...
Read the full article Jim Beam Discovers the Power of TV at nytimes.com.
September 4, 2005
Here's another interesting battle in the whiskey war, because they're making it with a new ingredient. Whiskey is typically made of fermented grains like barley, corn, and rye, but a small distillery is making a splash by trying something new. According to a story at the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal
Heaven Hill Distilleries is going against the grain with a new addition to the popular and highly profitable small-batch whiskey category.
Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey, the company said, is the first on the modern market distilled primarily from wheat -- a selling point the company hopes will create a buzz among connoisseurs who are willing to pay the $40-a-bottle price.
Winter wheat makes up 51 percent of Bernheim's grain recipe, with 39 percent corn and 10 percent malted barley.
The story goes on to say that the creation "is not as sweet as bourbon...and has a tang usually associated with scotch or rye whiskey." I like the sweetness of bourbon, but I'm always up to try something new. I'll keep you posted if I can get my hands on a bottle.
DIAGEO, the company that owns Guinness, has set its sites on toppling Jameson's as the world number one selling Irish whiskey. The company has acquired Bushmills Irish Whiskey for £300 million (about $550 million USD), and has announced plans to market the liquor head-to-head against its rival.
Jameson, which is owned by Pernod-Richard, is currently the fastest-selling whiskey brand in the US. Pernod-Richard formerly owned Bushmills, but was forced to sell it on acquiring Jameson.
All I can say is that a price war is never a bad thing, especially when the commodity involved is whiskey, and Irish whiskey at that. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out.
Read the full article at IrishExaminer.com.