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]
Read More in: Rum
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.
Read More in: Liquor
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
Read More in: Beer
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.
Read More in: Reviews | Whiskey
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.
Read More in: Reviews | Whiskey
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.
Read More in: Reviews | Vodka
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.
Read More in: Whiskey
January 31, 2011
Over the weekend we watched the first episode of season 2 of Archer, one of our favorite shows in the universe. The episode, called "Swiss Miss," took place in Switzerland, and featured a cocktail called a "Green Russian," to hilarious results. We caused quite a stir by jokingly posting to Facebook that we were whipping up some Green Russians, and afterward our interest was piqued. We had to try it, but was our assumption that it was a White Russian made with swiss absinthe way off base? Continue reading: "Green Russian Cocktail Inspired by Archer"
Read More in: Absinthe | Cocktail Recipes
We got our bottle of Blackbeard Spiced Rum back in October, and if you had put a gun to our heads we would have sworn we reviewed it already, especially considering how bullish we were on the stuff. When it was brought to our attention the review was not online we all pointed fingers at each other and did our usual hair pulling routine but realized that wasn't going to solve the problem. So, with apologies, here is our belated Blackbeard review.
Blackbeard Spiced Rum
"Puerto Rican Rum with Spices and Other Natural Flavors" - 86 proof (43% ABV)
Blackbeard comes in a clear bottle with a striking black and red label, with its namesake pirate menacing you with two swords on the neck, and just chilling in profile down below. Maybe the suggestion is that he already killed you with those swords - we're not sure.
The nose is all kinds of vanilla and caramel, with a hint of oak and other spices. When we sipped, the vanilla and caramel definitely stayed out in front, with a hint of heat from cinnamon and other spices playing over our tongues. All our reviewers agreed we liked the level of vanilla sweetness and spice, and we all agreed we enjoyed it more than the syrupy sweetness of some big-name pirate rums out there, not that we're naming any names for fear of being keelhauled. We liked the spiciness at the finish that was accompanied by a slightly citrusy tang as well.
All in all Blackbeard is an excellent showing among the spiced rums we've tried, and an excellent value at around $15 for 750ML and under $20 for a liter. We can see this particular pirate sailing off the shelves, especially for folks who are looking for a change of pace from all those Captains and Admirals out there peddling spiced rum. This was our favorite spiced rum of 2010, and we plan to keep ourselves well-stocked.
Read More in: Reviews | Rum
January 27, 2011
Whether you want to keep your drink cold or protect your hands when you rail somebody in the face, any hockey fan worth his salt should get a Game On Glove, a hockey glove-shaped coozie, to hold his drinks. The most important question, of course, is whether you can beat the stuffing out of somebody WITHOUT spilling your drink. That's a varsity move, right there.
We're not huge hockey fans, so we'll probably just get a Hellboy Right Hand of Doom Glove and hollow it out enough to fit a beer.
Get your own hand of doom Game On Glove [via Thrillist]
Read More in: Drink Wear
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