March 8, 2013

Casamigos Tequila Review (With Apologies to Mr. Clooney)

casamigos-tequila-clooney.jpg(Image via World Red Eye)

As you may already know, a certain Mr. George Clooney recently added his considerable star power to a new brand of tequila called Casamigos. In doing so Clooney joined a considerable trend of celeb-backed spirits - a few of our favorites are Ludacris (cognac), Dan Aykroyd (vodka) and Marilyn Manson (absinthe). But is Casamigos tequila worth buying - especially at a relatively hefty mid-$40s price tag - or is it the tequila equivalent of a box office flop?

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February 14, 2013

Does Silicone Make Booze Taste Better?

gspirits.jpgGerman brand G Spirits certainly seems to hope silicone makes their liquor delicious. These folks aren't adding silicone to their liquors - they're pouring the booze they make over the (we can only assume) enhanced mammaries of an "international Playboy model." No, we are not making this up.

According to The Daily Caller:

German liquor company G-Spirits has created limited-edition bottles of whiskey, vodka and rum that all go through one very special step before bottling: Each drop of liquor is poured down the bare breasts of a naked model before it's packaged for your imbibing pleasure.

Does it actually change anything about the character or taste? Depends what the model was up to before she came to the distillery we suppose, but if you're interested you can try it out for $150 to $180 per bottle. Is it weird that the only reason we want to get a bottle of this stuff is to put it in a room with a bottle of Ron de Jeremy and film some footage?

More info at G Spirits (Most Definitely NSFW)

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January 23, 2013

TRVE Brewing - Join the CVLT

trve-brewing-logo.jpgWe've been looking for a suitable way to end our Liquor Snob hiatus and thankfully we just found the perfect one - a combination of two of our favorite things: beer and heavy metal. Denver's TRVE Brewing Company just opened this past summer, and it sounds like they're doing a lot of things right. We'll list out some of our favorites:

  • They make beer (and from what we've heard they make pretty damned good beer).
  • Said brews are all named after metal songs - our bucket listers are Black Cascade (an American Black Ale named after a Wolves in the Throne Room tune) and Prehistoric Dog (a salted wheat beer named after our favorite song by Red Fang).
  • Their t-shirt - 'nuff said because we already ordered one.
  • Their system is small enough that they need to be able to manage the volume of growler fills, and they've come up with a pretty ingenious method by letting you join their CVLT - a membership program that lets you get hand-painted and signed growlers, some free growler refills, and some other cool swag.

We know we're going to check 'em out next time we're in Denver (or make them the reason to head there?) so if you're in the area and any of that sounds kickass to you, you can follow 'em on Tumblr or Twitter too.

Read More in: Beer

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December 5, 2012

PAMA Poinsettias and Preparing for the Holidays

Welcome to the fourth entry in a series of Liquor Snob posts in partnership with PAMA pomegranate liqueur. If you like this one, check out our first, second and third posts.

pama_poinsettia.jpg
The holidays are approaching fast, and if you plan to entertain or attend some parties, it's crucial to have a few tricks up your sleeve for food and cocktails. PAMA, with its ruby red color and cocktail-modifying versatility, is a good tool to have in your kit for making holiday-themed drinks. One quick, easy and delicious option is the PAMA Poinsettia, pictured above:

PAMA Pomegranate Poinsettia (Recipe and Image via BarNoneDrinks)

Ingredients
1 oz. Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Orange Juice
3 oz. Champagne

Instructions
Mix first three liquids in a tumbler with ice. Slowly add champagne stirring gently. Rim a flute glass with orange zest. Strain into the champagne flute.


To make your life even easier if you're planning to make more than a few, you can pre-mix the first three ingredients and store the mixture in the fridge or display it on ice for your party. Then it's just a quick three ounce pour topped with champagne when your guests start to clamor for more. The PAMA Poinsettia is a holiday classic with a new twist - so what other tricks does this versatile liqueur have up its sleeve for the holidays?

ArrowContinue reading: "PAMA Poinsettias and Preparing for the Holidays"

Read More in: Drinking Advice | Liquor

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December 4, 2012

Whistlepig Straight Rye Whiskey [Gear Patrol]

Whistle-Pig-Rye-Gear-Patrol.jpgWe've had the Canada-via-Vermont rye whiskey called Whistlepig on our to-do list for months, but this review from the guys over at Gear Patrol has definitely stepped up our interest a notch. The price tag - similar to a high-end bottle of scotch - was part of the reason for our dragging our feet, but it looks like we're going to have to get ourselves a bottle of it for Christmas. Thanks, us!

This 100-proof treat is meant to be savored. Aging for 10 years in oak mellows the rye's pepperiness and also imparts a healthy dose of vanilla reminiscent of bourbon; however, the noticeable absence of corn radically changes Whistlepig's tasting notes.

Read the full write up from Gear Patrol, and if you're anything like us, find out where you can get it (apparently six states at the moment) on the Whistlepig website.

Read More in: Whiskey

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December 3, 2012

Vermont Ice Apple Creme Liqueur

applecremebottle.jpgWe were shopping for a party this weekend when we stumbled across some information for a new product that tickled our fancy for the holidays - Vermont Ice Apple Creme Liqueur from Boyden Valley Winery. We've enjoyed this Vermont-based winery's other products (big fan of their Glogg when we're too lazy to make our own), so we're excited to try out this new offering.

Until recently the Vermont Ice line was mostly ice wines and ciders, but it's being expanded with this new apple liqueur, and you can expect to see a maple liqueur coming out soon as well. The award-winning Vermont Ice Apple liqueur is a combination of ice cider, apple brandy and cream, which has potential to be out of this world on a cold winter night. It weighs in at 30 proof (15% ABV), and retails for about $30 for a 750ML bottle.

Learn more about Vermont Ice Apple Creme and pick up a bottle from the Boyden Valley website, and we hope to review it soon.

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November 13, 2012

PAMA, Texture and Thanksgiving, Oh My!

Welcome to the third in a series of Liquor Snob posts in partnership with PAMA pomegranate liqueur. If you like this one, check out our first and second posts.

It's one thing to be able to make a delicious cocktail - say achieving the perfect balance of sweet, sour and strong and creating flavors that dance on the tongue - but believe it or not flavor isn't the only thing that can make a good cocktail great. Texture is an unsung hero of for many home bar tenders, and playing with texture can be a fun way to achieve the next level for your drinks. What do we mean by texture? It can be anything from the "mouth feel" to other tactile experiences associated with a drink - learn more below.

pama_pairings.jpgWhat do we mean by "texture"? Basically it's anything that affects the physical feel of your interaction with the drink. Camper at Alcademics put together a nice list of textural descriptors to help you wrap your head around it, and also included some excellent tips for manipulating texture in your drinks:

Some Texture Descriptors for Cocktails and Spirits
Thick, syrupy, not dilute enough
Thin, weak, non-integrated, over-shaken
Silky
Light
Bubbly, fizzy
Tannic, astringent
Soft, pillowy, foamy, frothy
Slushy, viscous, chewy
Crunchy
Gloppy, chunky

As pointed out in the above post there are all kinds of ways to fiddle with the texture of a cocktail, including:


  • Modifying Sweeteners & Other Ingredients: Adding or removing sugar, or changing what you use to sweeten a cocktail (e.g., honey, agave nectar, etc.) can also change the mouth feel.

  • Modifying Ice & Temperature: Shaking a drink will break up the ice and cause it to form a layer on top of the finished cocktail; stirring does not do this. Chilling a drink more will change the liquid's viscosity - be careful because too cold or too warm can both negatively change the experience of a drink.

  • Adding Specific Texture Modifiers: An old trick for foaming up a cocktail is to add egg whites before you shake. You can also play with thickeners, pectins and other specific modifiers to change the feel of a drink, or substitute sparkling wine or seltzer for a still ingredient.

  • Modifying Glassware: Rimming a glass with salt or sugar is a sure fire way to change the drinking experience.

PAMA's position is that their product is excellent for toying with certain aspects of texture for multiple reasons, one big one being the tannins from the pomegranate, which "have a drying effect on the tongue and cause the mouth to water in response creating the illusion of texture on the palate." Learn other ways PAMA can change a drink's texture at Pama Pros.

An excellent time to be thinking about texture is when you're pairing your cocktails with food. If you're about to tear into a 2,000 calorie meal of turkey, stuffing, gravy, and pie, are you going to want a thick, heavy, syrupy cocktail, or do you want something frothy and light? We know how we'd answer - and we've put together a list of Thanksgiving-friendly cocktails using PAMA that will pair well with your turkey day and give you a few chances to play with texture.

ArrowContinue reading: "PAMA, Texture and Thanksgiving, Oh My!"

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November 12, 2012

The Bar10der Might Make You a Cocktail Super Spy

bar10der.jpgTis the season to wish you were James Bond, what with Skyfall out right now, and the bar10der just might make you the man with a golden shaker this year. This 10-in-one bartending tool includes a muddler, a stirrer, knives (channel and regular), zester, reamer, jigger, bottle opener, cork screw and strainer. It's also (we assume) Q-approved for dangerous missions, so whip out your license to mix and whip us up a Vesper.

Bar10der Ten-in-One Ultimate Bartending Tool (Orange); learn more at thebar10der.com

Read More in: Bar Accessories

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November 2, 2012

Jacob's Ghost White Whiskey from Jim Beam

jacobsghost.jpgFor some people, the idea of "white whiskey" just brings up connotations of unaged white lightning made in a car radiator. In reality it's just whiskey that is often unaged or only lightly aged, so doesn't have that deep brown color we often associate with bourbons, etc. We hadn't heard of the new white whiskey from Jim Beam, "Jacob's Ghost," until recently but we stumbled across this review of the stuff on Drink Spirits:

Jim Beam Jacob's Ghost (80 proof / 40%, $21.99) is pale gold in color. It might be more aptly named "off-white whiskey" but the color is so faint, when you get it in a glass (especially with ice), it looks white. The nose of Jacob's Ghost makes it clear that it has spent time in a barrel, with light oak tones combined with sweet corn, vanilla, light cereal grains, and a slight briny note. The nose has a slight spicy quality to it which may be from the young rye and barley in the mash, as well as its time in oak.

When you read the full review one thing they note is that a 1-year-aged white whiskey has a higher price point than Jim Beam's white label, which is aged for at least four years. Beam has been dabbling with trying to get non-whiskey drinkers interested in whiskey for a couple years now with their flavored offerings - our guess is they're now courting the vodka market, but we've been wrong before.

Read More in: Whiskey

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October 26, 2012

Tom and Jerry Cocktail Recipe (CHOW)

tomnjerrycocktail.jpgWe're not going to fight it this year - the Holiday season is coming and that means it's time to get fat. If it's anything like our previous years it'll start with us having a few extra cocktails and a few (hundred) extra candy bars at Halloween, and end with us casually wondering how many thousands of calories we've consumed while getting over our hangover on January 1.

In anticipation and celebration, we've decided to make a batch of Tom and Jerrys now, to leave our self respect at the door. Head on over to Chow.com for the recipe we'll be using - basically you make an egg noggy base that has booze in it, then add booze to it. Let's do this.

Read More in: Cocktail Recipes

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