Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today is National Scotch Day. Hence: Tales from the Top Shelf - The Balvenie 21

“Well, between Scotch and nothin', I suppose I'd take Scotch. It's the nearest thing to good moonshine I can find.” - William Faulkner

Which shows to show you that one of the following are true about William Faulkner
  1. He never drank moonshine.
  2. He never drank Scotch.
  3. He never drank Scotch nor Moonshine.
So, it's national Scotch day.  Whose nation?  Ours I guess.  I'm not sure that it's really a true national day. The whole thing may be a trick by Scotch distributors to get some free pub.  Today, it worked.

For those of you who are new to Two Parts Rye, Scotch isn't really my thing.  You see, I used to lead a double life.  Pretending that I like Scotch, yep, I wanted to be sophisticated.  But it was all a lie.  A LIE I TELL YOU.  I am now comfortable enough with myself to admit the truth.  The stuff tastes like someone left an old shoe in a perfectly good Irish Whiskey.  That was liberating.

You can decide for yourself as to whether or not that's a condemnation of Scotch, or my stinky feet.

From the web:  To create The Balvenie PortWood Aged 21 Years, a marriage of rare Balvenie is transferred to port casks, or pipes, which have held fine port wines. Here it is sampled regularly by The Balvenie Malt Master to ensure that just the right amount of character is imparted by the port casks, enhancing and developing the single malt whilst preserving its original characteristics.

Tasting Notes: Mint, leather, menthol, nutmeg, tobacco, and a hint of Doctor Scholl's.
Grade: B+

Theoretically, this will show up on The Balvenie's Facebook page.  If it does, we'll know that they never actually read this post, or they have a sense of humor.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cocktail Test Drive: The Vesper

Scroll down two posts for the video for this recipe.

The Vesper is basically a variation on the Martini.  It has 3 shots of gin, 1 shot of vodka, which girlies it up a bit, and 1/2 a shot of fortified wine, in this case, Lillet Blanc.  I skipped the lemon twist because I don't have time for that crap.

This is not a cocktail for the pinkie out crowd.  It's booze, more booze, and a dash of more booze.  I approve.

Jim's Vesper (After she drowned)

3 Shots Gordons
1 Shot Vodka
1 Shot Lillet Blanc
1 dash of Grapefruit Bitters, in lieu of a lemon twist, because you don't garnish when you drink alone.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gordon's London Dry Gin

Here's the second part of our exploration of the Vesper Cocktail.  I'd link to the recipe and the Kina Lillet review, but it's just one post down, you can handle the scrolling.  If you haven't read it yet, go ahead and check it out.

Gordon's Gin is the most popular gin in the world.  My research on the web says that it is made in 150 countries.  It's on the web, so it must be true.  My bottle was distilled in Norwalk, CT.  US of A.

Why is it so popular?  It's cheap.  At approximately $10 a bottle, you're not going to break the bank.  Flavor-wise, I get juniper.  Any other complexity that you may detect is merely wishful thinking.  As far as my house gin challenge goes, I'm sticking with Whitley Neill.

Grade: C
Cost Adjusted Grade: B

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What in the world is Kina Lillet?

Once upon a time (way before this movie) it was a french aperitif, containing quinine, and it was sort of, kinda, not really made famous in Casino Royale.  Nowadays it's called Lillet Blanc.  The old recipe for Kina Lillet contained quinine, think tonic water.  Now it's a somewhat sweet and citrus flavored.  It makes me think of dry vermouth, except that it tastes good.  We'll be reviewing all of the ingredients for the Vesper cocktail, with the exception of the non-descript vodka.  So in other words, check back in later for a review of Gordon's Gin.

Cost: $18
Grade: B

Le Plus-Que-Parfait Manhattan

2 parts bourbon
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part lillet blanc
1 dash fee's west india orange bitters

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wry Observations: Curb Side Recycling

What's wrong with this picture?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

LeKing is Dead. Long Live LeQueen

Have fun being D-Wade's errand boy quitter.

Oh yeah, he's an alien too.  I can't keep your secret any longer traitor.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Maker's 46

I stopped by the liquor store with the intentions of grabbing a bottle of Maker's Mark for the house bourbon challenge.  Lo-and-behold, we just got in Maker's Mark 46 and there wasn't much of it left in the store.  So, it got purchased instead.

Bit of history.  Maker's Mark has been a one product company for-since-1956 (If you ignore their the defunct Maker's Black, and Maker's Mint Julep).  This product uses the standard Maker's Mark as it's base, and ages it longer with wood staves to add more flavor.  It's called 46, because it uses No. 46 French Oak Staves.  God help us, our bourbon has been inspired by French bureaucracy.  It clocks in at 94 proof and has quite a burn.  Adding a splash of water reveals a nice cinnamon flavor.

Grade: B
Cost: $31.95

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sangria Blanca

We had company on Friday.  It was Cousin David's brother and Sister-In-Law.  Cousins Barry & Maggie.  They're adventurous eaters, so I take the opportunity to show off when they come to town.  It was a spanish style meal with tapas to start off, and finishing with a big dish of paella.  We were dangerously close to over-dosing on paprika.  The drink of the evening was a white wine sangria.

Let me go give you my recipe first, then I'll give you some earth shatteringly brilliant observations.

Jim's Sangria Blanca:

1 Bottle of Pinot Grigio
2 shots Grand Marnier
1 shot St. Germaine
2 shots Beefeater Summer Gin
1 shot Licor 43
Juice from 1 orange
Juice from 1lime
Orange and Lime slices
Chill and serve.

The first observation is that the there is a fine line between sangria and hairy buffalo.  I believe that a hairy buffalo party is a required prerequisite for any bachelors degree, and counts as 1 credit hour towards the general curriculum.

The second observation came to me because I had never made Sangria before.  Would this actually taste good?  What if it doesn't?  The answer is simple.  Just add ginger ale.  Ginger ale is the duct tape of the cocktail world.

This cocktail tastes like shit.
How bout a splash of ginger ale?
That ain't half-bad.

This recipe does not need ginger ale.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

This Means Something

Well we did it.  We've finally hit our 50th state.  Though not with rave reviews.  Wyoming is the last state to visit our glorious drinking blog, and they don't appreciate being called lame.

Allow me to quote the brave poster: Anonymous  "Good! Then stay the Hell out, we don't want you here anyway."

My first reaction is that I can't decide what surprises me more, that they have the internet in Wyoming, or that they have electricity.  What's next, indoor plumbing?

I was eating dinner tonight and it hit me.
Devil's Tower Wyoming is where the Alien Invasion of the NBA Started!
Of course they hate this blog.  I'm the one who exposed their sinister plot.  Take that Xenu.
Now the only question is, which one of these green blooded bastards is after me?