In our experience, scotch whisky has long been the domain of men, with most of the women we know wrinkling their noses and opting for something that's not such a chore for them to drink. That's why it's refreshing to see this book, The Smart Guide to Single Malt Scotch Whisky, appear from author Elizabeth Riley Bell. Not only is she one of the first Americans to take a poke at making single malt scotch accessible, she's also one of the first women (though you probably figured that out by our use of the feminine pronoun).
According to our brothers from another mother at CocktailGoGo, Bell has "...been to over 100 distilleries over 25 summers to put together this compendium of Scotch knowledge." That's a lot of knowledge, and we're excited to check out her book.
The folks over at Topless Robot have gotten their hands on a bottle of Highland Park whisky called "Thor." They mention that it feels like a pretty obvious cash-in on the popularity of The Avengers, but we're big enough geeks that we find ourselves secretly hoping it's a reference to Starcraft's Thors. Maybe that's just because we like to picture ourselves piloting a giant mech while cradling a bottle of scotch.
The smell is smooth, earthy and sweet. The taste is likewise smooth, but with smoky hints of vanilla, a touch of honey, and a soft peatiness -- but it's still powerful, with a strong, clear finish with just enough spiciness that one might be tempted to liken to a powerful blow from Mjolnir if one were so inclined. If you think I'm ashamed for writing that, you're wrong -- because that's seriously the image that comes into my head when I drink it.
You had us at Mjolnir - though at $200 bucks a bottle we might have to do a little pillaging to afford a bottle. Read the full review at Topless Robot; if you've got enough plunder, buy your bottle right from Highland Park.
Ever since our local brewery The Alchemist started offering their delicious Heady Topper double IPA in 16 oz. cans, we've been high as a kite - on both the tasty beer's 8% ABV and the concept of drinking beer from a can again. Oh, and by the way - this year is the 77th anniversary of breweries canning their beer.
We shifted our palates away from mass market beer to craft brews (for the most part) in college and since then our only real options were to rely on bottles or taps to get the tasty nectar. Still, we often found ourselves pining for the days of buying a 30 rack of cans for a party, or even just being able to easily tote along a six pack without fear of breakage when we went off to play our hippie lawn sports. So why was it so hard to find good beer in a can?
A Tuesday morning is a great time to learn about gin, the spirit once known as "Mother's Ruin" among other name. Luckily, Michael Dietsch from A Dash of Bitters has put together an excellent guide on all aspects of the spirit for Serious Eats.
You can learn the history, the varieties, the aromatics typically used to give it that gin-iness we all know and crave, and why we were born too late to have access to something as awesome as a gin vending machine. Learn more at The Serious Eats Guide to Gin.
We got a package in the mail yesterday, and inside was Bottle Ninja from Bar Ninja for review. It's a sleek-looking creation that looks just like the butterfly knives we coveted as kids, but when you flip it open you'll find a bottle opener instead of a blade - and you'll probably be much less prone to lop off a fingertip if you hold it wrong.
The Bottle Ninja comes with two darling little glow sticks you can put into the flippy end, which would look most awesome if you were bartending at a rave in the '90s or opening sodas at an eight year old's birthday party. We're kind of wishing they'd gone with a speed-opener shape for the bottle opener, but we can sort of understand the design choice they made in the interest of not having handles as thick as your wrist.
Those small quibbles aside, we feel like Chuck Norris when we're flipping the thing open - even though we've never seen Chuck use a butterfly knife, nor have we seen him tend bar. We'll be taking ours down to the bar today to put it through its paces though, just as sure as Chuck doesn't sleep - he waits.
Get your own Bottle Ninja for $15.95, and check out their promotional video at Bar Ninja.
When we receive whiskey around the Liquor Snob offices it's always a cause for celebration. We love whiskey and we love whiskey drinks. The folks from Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey sent us a bottle this week and the promise of a whiskey you could simply drink and make cocktails was delivered upon. This whisky is meticulously handcrafted using the finest hand-selected grain and barley and the whiskey has a smooth, sweet taste with a malty finish.
Now Kilbeggan isn't expensive whiskey at $20 bucks a bottle, but it's also not cheap-tasting. We tried it both alone over ice and also made several drinks including our favorite Punt e mes Manhattan. Everything we had we enjoyed.
If you've never had a Moscow Mule, you're missing out on an excellent, simple drink that completely hits the spot during summertime. Basically a Dark N Stormy with vodka instead of dark rum, this combination of vodka, ginger beer and lime juice is like a high five of deliciousness for your tongue.
For those of you who are familiar with Moscow Mules, here are a couple things you might not know - 1) a Mule (also known as a "Buck") is any variation of cocktail using ginger beer, citrus juice and a base spirit, and 2) Moscow Mules are traditionally served in a copper mug instead of a glass. Most bars these days serve the cocktails in pint glasses because they already have them around, and because the interesting-looking copper mugs have a tendency to grow legs and walk out the door.
If you're a fan of this delicious drink you can get your own copper mugs for a bit of an investment. Do they make the cocktail better? Some say they do, because of some science-y mumbo jumbo called oxidation. But we just think the mugs look badass, really.
Hey, you know when you have too much to drink and suddenly terrible ideas seem like awesome ones? We've heard some people say alcohol eats away at your judgment - though we've always attributed it to vile humours and foul daemons that need to be exorcised with more booze.
Turns out the folks at Sad and Useless have finally figured it out - when you get drunk enough you can actually hear the liquor talking to you. And it turns out that liquor is a jerk! See more pictures of scumbag booze.
We've been thinking about getting a kegerator for Liquor Snob headquarters (because why not, right?) but we really like the idea of building our own. We don't have a chest freezer like the one used in this how to video from Northern Brewer, and that's pretty much the only thing keeping us from heading upstairs and pawing all the frozen waffles and ice cream right out of the damn thing post haste.
For us, drinking is the fun part and the buzz is the awesome side effect, but apparently there are people out there who'd rather get the loopiness without crushing their way through a cocktail. For those people, we offer you Quantum Sensations, which is apparently the Binaca of booze. You breathe it in, you get a buzz, and apparently you're unbuzzed seconds later. Sounds like the opposite of a good time to us, but maybe it'd be good if we decide we need to freshen up our buzz while we're in the bathroom. [via Gizmodo]
Seriously, it's not available in the States yet and even when it is you may want to tread lightly according to Ubergizmo:
One ought to tread on such a device with caution, however, since there is no way to regulate the use of such a device, and even after recovering from a state of drunken stupor, there might be slight side effects which could affect the motor and cognitive skills of the person.