Monday, December 24, 2012

Brett Keisel is a Bumble

Not all monsters are bad.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 30, 2012

James E Pepper 1776 Rye: That's the old Pepper?

I couldn't find an image of Bugs playing catcher.
It is pretty good, but a tad too sweet.  It is sourced from LDI for those who care.  I liked it when I first tasted it and my opinion has gone downhill since and I won't be buying it again.  It costs around $30 and I'm too tired to say much else about it.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Power Wry Week 13: Order is Restored

I present to you, the 2012 Heisman winner.

  1. Ohio State (12-0) Defeated Michigan Our Bitch'again (26-21)  I'll tell you everything that you need to know about the Big 10(12(14)) Title Game.  OSU Over Nebraska 63-38.  OSU Over Wisconsin 21-14.
  2. Our Lady de Gonna be Rusty in January (12-0) defeated USC 22-13.  The ratings are in, and everybody watched it, except me.
  3. Alabama (11-1)  Defeated Auburn 49-0.  After the close call with Cam Newton, Auburn has been shopping at the bargain bin.
  4. Georgia (11-1) Defeated Georgia Tech 41-10.  The Dusty Rhodes vs. Harley Race of football.
  5. Oregon (11-1) Defeated Oregon 48-14.  For those who didn't know, the Oregon civil war was started when someone puffed puffed, and didn't pass.
  6. Kansas State (10-1) Did not play.  They prefer to spend Thanksgiving weekend in Oz.
  7. Florida (11-1) defeated Florida State 27-26.  Once again Del Boca Vista Phase II beats Del Boca Vista Phase I.
  8. Texas A&M (10-2) Did not play.  By did not play, I mean that they defeated Missouri 59-29. Not only does Johnny Fever have the Heisman trophy locked up, he has earned his PhD in his freshman year.
  9. LSU (10-2) Defeated Arkansas 20-13.  And Les Miles gets a raise again.  For somebody that everyone thinks is an idiot, he sure does rake in the cash.
  10. Kent State (10-1) Defeated Ohio 28-6.  Enjoy your head coach, because he'll be packing his bags for greener pastures come January.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Power Rye Week 12 2012. Suck it Bielema

The Power Rye, or Power Wry, depending on my mood and state of sobriety, is the most accurate ranking of college football available.  Each week, I feed all of the facts, figures, stats, scores and a pint of rye whiskey into the Power Rye ranking matrix.  Two days later, I pinch off a post.

I'm not sure how you lost poop boy.
  1. Ohio State (11-0) Defeated Wisconsin 21-14.  The Buckeyes delivered another clinic on how to win when you get totally outplayed.
  2. Our Lady de Don't Choke and You Are In (11-0) defeated Wake Forest 38-0.  An exciting preview of future Notre Dame vs ACC action.  Chip Kelly will have them ready to play against USC.
  3. Alabama (10-1)  Defeated Western Carolina 49-0.  Hey dumb-asses  There is a North Carolina, and there is a South Carolina.
  4. Georgia (10-1) Defeated Georgia Southern 45-14.  I have to do more research, but I think that the Republic of Georgia Southern used to be part of the Soviet Union.  We may have an Air Force base there.
  5. Oregon (10-1) Lost To Stanford 17-14.  Way to prepare for a rainy night Brian Kelly, because it never rains in the Pacific Northwest.  I also think that Andrew Luck kid is going to be good.
  6. Kansas State (10-1) Lost to Baylor 52-24.  That RG III kid is going to go places.
  7. Florida (10-1) Jacksonville State 23-0.  And people wonder why the Jaguars can't sell out on Sundays.
  8. Florida State (10-1) Defeated Maryland 41-14.  The Big 10's (14!?) reputation takes another hit.
  9. Texas A&M (9-2) Defeated Sam Houston State 47-28.  You want to leave the Big 12(10) for the SEC, then fine.  But to attack a great man like Sam Houston because he wouldn't let Texas join the Confederacy; that's just wrong. 
  10. Kent State (9-1) Defeated Bowling Green 31-24.  The Golden Flashes converted a 7-10 split for the victory.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Power Rye Week 11 2012. Stumble Trip, Stumble Trip.

The Power Rye, or Power Wry, depending on my mood and state of sobriety, is the most accurate ranking of college football available.  Each week, I feed all of the facts, figures, stats, scores and a pint of rye whiskey into the Power Rye ranking matrix.  Two days later, I pinch off a post.

  1. Oregon (10-0) Defeated Cal 59-17.  The Pac-12 needs to consider a mercy rule.
  2. Kansas State (10-0) Defeated TCU 23-10.  While it was not his greatest game, we need to stop pretending that anyone other than Calvin Klein is going to win the Heismen this year.
  3. Ohio State (10-0) Did not play and moved up.  How Tressellian of you Urban.
  4. Our Lady de Ho-Hum (10-0) defeated Boston College 21-6.  Ho-Hum.
  5. Alabama (9-1)  Lost to Texas A&M.  The SEC is still tops, but the gap is closing rapidly.
  6. Georgia (9-1) Defeated Auburn 38-0.  That's it?  Poor showing by Georgia.
  7. Florida (9-1) Defeated La Lafayette 27-20.  Really?
  8. Florida State (9-1) Defeated Va Tech 28-22.  The weekly prize for further exposing the Va Tech sham goes to the Seminoles.
  9. Texas A&M Defeated Alabama 29-27.  Johnny Football is a hell of a player.  Throws the most accurate wounded duck in the nation.
  10. Kent State (9-1) Defeated Miami 48-32.  Why not?
Having said all that.  Don't be shocked if Alabama sneaks back into the title game.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Rye

Buffalo Trace Distillery continues to produce so many good whiskeys, their motto should be "we always remember to cup the balls."  For the ladies that didn't get that reference, it's like "dialing the radio", except we actually like it.

I've been a big fan of the Colonel Taylor Series and the Rye does not disappoint.
It has been a while since I played the official press release tasting notes game.  Let's dust it off tonight.

The latest offering from Buffalo Trace Distillery pays tribute to the former Distillery owner with a small batch, Bottled-In-Bond, 100 proof, straight rye whiskey from days long past.
An altogether different recipe and profile than Sazerac Rye, this recipe contains just rye and malted barley, no corn.  Well I'll be damned.  The result is an aroma full of dried fruit agreed, black pepper if by pepper, you mean oak, then sure, and touch of fresh dill nope. A small sip brings an array of flavors both sweet and savory It's like I'm watching Mexico, One Plate at a Time.  Thank you Rick Bayless, I've learned so much from your show.  It's a shame that your brother Skip is the world's biggest ass-hat.  Guessing that only the fans of Mexican cooking shows will get that reference.  Fortunately PBS will survive and those of you who are curious should check it out. With a terrific balance of dark spices and subtle caramel overtones.  I guess I can give you that one.  The finish is especially pleasing with an oaky dryness that lingers just long enough.

I've refilled my glass and "proof-read" this post.  It's quite the train wreck, like Chuggington ... and Publish.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Power Rye Week 10. The polls are in, we have a champion?

The first team to 10 is the champ right.  Congratulations Ohio State!  Wait, that's not how it works.  Shit.

The Power Rye, or Power Wry, depending on my mood and state of sobriety, is the most accurate ranking of college football available.  Each week, I feed all of the facts, figures, stats, scores and a pint of rye whiskey into the Power Rye ranking matrix.  Two days later, I pinch off a post.
We're the best yeah, better than all the rest!

  1. Alabama (9-0)  Defeated LSU 21-17.  Why do the best teams in the country constantly turn out snoozer games.
  2. Oregon (9-0) Defeated USC 62-51.  Has Lane Kiffen actually won anything besides biggest douche in the universe?
  3. Kansas State (9-0) Defeated Oklahoma State 44-30.  And once again, nobody watched it.
  4. Ohio State (10-0) Defeated Illinois 52-22.  Hire Ron Zook!
  5. Our Lady de You Lucky Bastards (9-0) defeated Pitt 29-26.  I'm glad that Big Ben saved is B game for the Giants.
  6. Louisville (9-0) Defeated Temple 45-17. I can't believe that a big time program or an NFL team as not hired Bobby Petrino.
  7. Georgia (8-1) Defeated Mississippi 37-10.  Peachy
  8. Oregon State (7-1) Defeated Arizona State 36-26.
  9. Florida (8-1) Defeated Missouri 14-7.  Really?
  10. Kent State (8-1) Defeated Akron 35-24.  The hot MACtion continues.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Power Wry 2012 Week 9

The Power Rye, or Power Wry, depending on my mood and state of sobriety, is the most accurate ranking of college football available.  Each week, I feed all of the facts, figures, stats, scores and a pint of rye whiskey into the Power Rye ranking matrix.  Two days later, I pinch off a post.

  1. Kansas State (8-0) Defeated Texas Tech  55-24.  Your mission, beat the rest of the cupcakes on your schedule and hope that Oregon, and Our Lady of I'm Back Baby lose, and Alabama's team catches that steroid meningitis.
  2. Oregon (8-0) Defeated Colorado 70-14.  Looks like bringing in Peyton Manning didn't pay off.
  3. Alabama (8-0)  Defeated Mississippi State 38-7.  I can never remember which one of the Mississippi schools payed Sandra Bullock to have Michael Oher go to their school.
  4. Our Lady de Just Suck it Haters (8-0) defeated Oklahoma 30-13.  I hope that they have a big screen in heaven.  Beano Cook has been predicting this resurgence for 15 years.
  5. Ohio State (9-0) Defeated Penn State 35-23.  It's amazing how deafening 105,000 people can be while they turn a blind eye.
  6. Louisville (8-0) Defeated Cincinnati 34-31. The Bear Cats would have pulled it off, but since the Bengals were off this weekend, they let them take their place.  Plan go poof.
  7. Georgia (7-1) Defeated Florida 17-9.  I guess that if you beat my #1 from last week, I'll let you back in the top 10.
  8. Oregon State (6-1) Lost to Washington 20-17.  Clean the kitchen Cinderella.
  9. Florida (7-1) Lost to Georgia.  Do the dishes Cinderella.
  10. Kent State (7-1) Defeated Rutgers 35-23.  If only a storm would come through to wash the stain of this loss from New Jersey.  Oh shit.
Stay safe everybody.
I'm thinking about building an ark.

Jefferson's Straight Rye Whiskey

I really enjoy doing the Jefferson's reviews.  They taste good and thanks to my Jefferson's grading scale, I can put even less effort into the review than normal, which is saying something.

Thanks, but I feel like
you misrepresented  your services.
I have found out something disturbing.  I have known for quite some time that Jefferson's whiskey is sourced from other distilleries.  Doesn't matter to me, as long as it tastes good.  I am disturbed to find out that this rye tries to slip one past you by claiming that it 100% North American Rye, it's made in Canada.  For Shame.

I was wavering between a Tom Willis and a Weezie, now I have to demote it to a new rating.  A Ralph the Doorman.  Go ahead and give them your $30, it's worth it, but you may feel a little dirty afterwards.

Good info provided by :

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tuthilltown Hudson Manhattan Rye

It's the second part of our 5 New Rye Whiskey series.  By new, I mean new to me.  I have to admit that I am quite happy that the Tuthilltown whiskey's have made their way to Ohio.  I have been wanting to try them for several years.

It's pretty good.  It has a leathery flavor to it that reminds me of something from Woodford Master Distiller's collection.  There is also some nice spiciness.  It works quite well in a Manhattan.  Shame that I just killed the bottle, but it is tiny.

That's the problem. $45 for a half bottle is too much.  I still try on planning their four grain bourbon in the near future because I'm a glutton for financial punishment.  Whiskey is still cheaper than a coke habit.  (or so I assume)  I recommend it for those who have to try everything, like me.  If you are looking for bang for the buck.  Pass.

A month or so ago, a fellow blogger, @skurecenteats heard back from a disgruntled distiller who didn't like his review because he called the product too young, which is frankly a common problem with craft spirits.  In the understandable need to get to market, they release it young, and often use small barrels to speed up the aging process.  The hipsters don't know better and gobble it up.

If you are going to make a GREAT whiskey, in addition to a great mash and quality control, you need evaporation to concentrate the spirit.  Finishing in used barrels is also a great and proven technique for coming up with something new.

Anyway, to paraphrase the argument.

Distiller: What if I told people that your writing sucks?
SKU:  That's ok, because I didn't charge you $50 to read it.

There's the rub folks.  And burn.

Does anyone know if it is pronounced tut-hill-town? or tuth-ill-town?  or tuttle-town?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Power Wry NCAA 2012 Week 8 Rankings

The Power Rye, or Power Wry, depending on my mood and state of sobriety, is the most accurate ranking of college football available.  Each week, I feed all of the facts, figures, stats, scores and a pint of rye whiskey into the Power Rye ranking matrix.  Two days later, I pinch off a post.

3 Magic references in a row?

  1. Florida (7-0) Defeated South Carolina 44-11.  Florida has the most impressive resume, but beating South Carolina is starting to get less impressive.
  2. Oregon (7-0) Defeated Arizona State 43-21.  Halftime score 43-0.  They took a self-imposed second half ban in order to score points with the committee for infractions.
  3. Alabama (4-0)  Defeated Tennessee 44-13.  
  4. Kansas State (6-0) Defeated WVU 55-14.  And for a change, somebody watched it.  Just not for long, because it was a grade A ass-kicking.
  5. Ohio State (7-0) Defeated Purdue 29-22.  Urban pulls another victory out of his magic murder bag.  (Currently watching an old Venture brothers rerun.)
  6. Oregon State (5-0) Defeated Utah 21-7.  Whooped BYU last week.  I'm thinking that those magic underwear are overrated..
  7. Our Lady de Just About Right defeated BYU 17-14.  Yep, magic undies, overrated.
  8. Oklahoma (5-1) Defeated Kansas 52-7.  A nation prays that they end the Our Lady of Please Go Away nightmare this week.
  9. Mississippi State (7-0) Defeated Middle Tennessee St 45-3.  Congratulations.  Next week, you get crushed by Alabama.
  10. Clemson (6-1) Defeated Virginia Tech 38-17.  I'm thinking about saving the 10 spot for whoever beats Va Tech each week.  5-2 NC State, you're on deck.
No Desmond Howard's were harmed in the creation of these rankings.  It was not for a lack of trying.  He's still really fast.  Free the Torg.  I also hear that Kent Graham's backup pussed out on his radio show this week.  That is hear-say because no one in Columbus listens to the Kirk Herbstreit show.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 Parts New Ryes: Pritchard's Tennessee Rye

It has been a while since I posted a whiskey review.  My cold/bronchitis is starting to wane, and I have 5 new Rye's sitting on the bar dying for a review.

Pritchard's Rye has been available in Ohio for a few months.  I managed to get a sneak peek taste of it and hated it.  For some reason, I bought it last month because I wanted something new (little did I know, the mother load was coming in September/October).  I have been tasting and tasting this Rye at home and have hated it every time.  Until today when I sit down to do a review.  Odd.

For the record.  Pritchard's Double Barreled bourbon is really good and I'm shocked to see that I have not reviewed it.  My cousin David pretty much lives on it.  The only thing that I don't like is the price at $60+.  For the whiskey nerds/snobs out there, I don't care if it is sourced.  Their website states that this Rye is distilled it in their copper still, so maybe they made it, maybe they didn't.

I have been hating it because it doesn't taste like a Rye whiskey.  There is nothing rough about it and I find it to be sweet, but not Canadian Rye sweet.  It's dominated by fruit flavors, orange peel and quince, with a light oak finish.  It kind of reminds me of a cognac.  It makes a horrific Manhattan.

If you want something different and are willing to shill out $50, then go for it.  I can't say that I'll be buying another bottle.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Power Rye NCAA Week 7 Rankings

I spent a long weekend in Nashville watching the Steelers not win and drinking until I lost my voice again.  Still searching for it.  Let's get to raaankins.

The Power Rye, or Power Wry, depending on my mood and state of sobriety, is the most accurate ranking of college football available.  Each week, I feed all of the facts, figures, stats, scores and a pint of rye whiskey into the Power Rye ranking matrix.  Two days later, I pinch off a post.
  1. Oregon (5-0) Did not play.  It was probably raining.
  2. Alabama (4-0)  Defeated Missouri 42-10.  Did Alabama join the Big 12(10)?
  3. Florida (6-0) Defeated Vanderbilt 31-17.  I know that I left Florida off last week.  I was just waiting for them to beat a quality opponent.
  4. Ohio State (7-0) Defeated Indiana 52-49.  Braxton Miller was money from the 3-point line.
  5. Kansas State (6-0) Defeated Iowa State 27-21 and nobody watched it.  
  6. Oregon State (5-0) Defeated BYU 42-24 in an electoral college landslide.
  7. Our Lady de Just About Right defeated Stanford 20-20  20-13.
  8. Oklahoma (4-1) Defeated Texas 63-21.  Texas would be doing better, but Urban Meyer left Will Muschamp an empty cupboard.
  9. Rutgers (6-0) Defeated Syracuse 23-15.  Nice to see the MAC still representing.
  10. Louisville (6-0) Defeated Pittsburgh 45-35.  Conference USA y'all.
I went and cursed my College Pick'em last week.  That's what I get for betting big on Sparty, South Carolina; the Sparty of the South, and WVU; the West Virginia of the Big 12(10).

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Power Wry NCAA Week 6 Rankings

The Power Rye, or Power Wry, depending on my mood and state of sobriety, is the most accurate ranking of college football available.  Each week, I feed all of the facts, figures, stats, scores and a pint of rye whiskey into the Power Rye ranking matrix.  Two days later, I pinch off a post.
Our Lady de Overated's helmets are a Harvey Dent original.

  1. Oregon (5-0) Defeated Washington 52-21: The Ducks were inspired this week.  They heard that Our Lady de Overrated (Notre Dame) one upped them in the ugly department.
  2. Alabama (4-0) Did not play.  What's the matter Sanders?  Chicken?
  3. South Carolina (6-0) Defeated Georgia 35-7... and Mark Richt's seat heats back up.
  4. West Virginia (5-0) Defeated Texas 48-45.  This qualifies as a pitchers duel for WVU.
  5. Ohio State (6-0) Defeated Nebraska 63-38.  Homer.
  6. Kansas State (5-0) Defeated Kansas 56-16 and nobody watched it.  
  7. Oregon State (4-0) Defeated Washington 19-6.  FG, FG, FG, TD, missed PAT.
  8. Our Lady de Overrated Defeated the U 41-3.  In the U's defense, they are not used to playing in front of crowds > 10k.
  9. Oklahoma (3-1) Defeated Texas Tech 41-20.  Texas Tech, snitch on your coach, get him fired, then suck.
  10. Rutgers (5-0) Defeated Connecticut 19-3.  Nice to see the MAC represent.
I'm going to curse my ESPN college pick'em streak by showing you that after 4 weeks, I get in a groove.  I'll probably score about 10 points this week.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Power Wry 2012 Week 5 College Football Rankings: Who's Number 1? The world and WWK want to know?

Unlike the other dumb ass college football rankings that start in the preseason.  This Dumb ass waits five weeks to show you that he doesn't know dick.

The Power Rye, or Power Wry, depending on my mood and state of sobriety, is the most accurate ranking of college football available.  Each week, I feed all of the facts, figures, stats, scores and a pint of rye whiskey into the Power Rye ranking matrix.  Two days later, I pinch off a post.

  1. Oregon (4-0) Defeated Washington State 51-26: I actually have much respect for the PAC-12 this year.  That's right SEC.
  2. Alabama (4-0) Defeated Mississippi 33-14: 4 S's * 2 P's raised I to the 4th Power + M.  Sounds about right.
  3. South Carolina (5-0) Defeated Kentucky 38-17.  John Calipari had his team in contention at the turn, but a couple of bottles of Dom and a steak sandwich and... a steak sandwich charged to the Underhill's account rallied Steve Spurrier's team to victory.
  4. Florida State (5-0) I thought that I could get by without a small conference team in the rankings, but that ACC has some athletes.
  5. West Virginia (4-0) Defeated Baylor 70-63.  Lost in the 70 points of offense, was the 63 points surrendered to an RG III-less Baylor.  WVU, pride of the BIG 12(East-$$$$ really wanted to be in the ACC Suck it Louisville)
  6. Kansas State (4-0) Did not play, as always, well played.
  7. Georgia (5-0) Defeated Tennessee 51-44.  Mister Windell suffered an ACL sprain at the end of the 3rd quarter, dooming the Vols.
  8. Texas (4-0) Defeated Okie State 41-36.  Looking forward to that Oct-Nov collapse.
  9. Ohio State (5-0) Defeated Michigan State 17-16.  Homer.
  10. Oregon State (3-0) Defeated Arizona 38-35.  Any team that has beaten Wisconsin is ok in my book.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Watershed Bourbon Barrel Gin

Last month I saw a tweet from Watershed inviting folks to a premier party for the bourbon barrel aged gin.  The party started at 11 and the gin was unveiled at midnight.  For me, this was an I'm too old for that crap moment. So I waited an additional week and bought it at the liquor store.  Was this story relevant?  Nope.

I have been anxiously awaiting this gin since I first heard about it a few months ago.  I was hoping for a Reese Cup Chocolate and Peanut Butter epiphany.  It's not that.  I get more smokey wood than bourbon notes when I taste it.  I've been trying to figure out if it would work bet in a gin or bourbon cocktail.  In the end, keep it simple and make a martini is the best thing to do.  I admit that after my second martini, I might be getting the vanilla sweetness from the bourbon.  There is the lesson for you.  When in doubt, drink more.

It tastes like their regular gin, which is good, with a light wood flavor in the finish.

Long Sleeves are for Pansies Martini
  • 4 oz Bourbon Barrel Gin
  • 1/8 oz sweet vermouth (using Cocci Vermouth di Tourino)
  • STIR with ice and strain
  • Rim the glass and garnish with a lemon twist

Monday, September 24, 2012

13th Colony Southern Corn Whiskey

I'll start off by saying that this is really tasty.  The first thing that I wondered when I saw this is why it was called Corn Whiskey instead of Bourbon.  Bourbon Enthusiast speculated a couple of years ago that they aged the whiskey in used bourbon barrels.  I expect that they are correct.  It looks like white wine in the glass, but it has some welcomed roughness of flavor.  It is bottled at 95 proof, and I usually recommend cutting at that strength.  This one is perfect neat.  I've tried it in a julep and a Manhattan and feel that gets lost when mixed.  Love it as a sipper.

Lots and lots of corn with some rough oak edges and heat in the finish.  Recommended at $30.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A View from the cheap seats: OSU vs Cal

My sugar mamma's hooked me up with the seats this year.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Nation Mourns a Tragic Hero: Art Modell 1925-2012

Today, a nation mourns the passing of a tragic hero.  A man who did all that he could to destroy a blight, and in the end, caused even more harm than he could have imagined.

Art Modell purchased the Cleveland Browns in 1961.  After two short years, he began his quest to rid the world of the Cleveland Browns by firing one of the greatest coaches in the history of football, Paul Brown.  Little did he know, the Browns would continue to thrive in the short term, winning the NFL championship in 1964, giving Cleveland it's last moment of happiness.  Even worse, Paul Brown would found the Cincinnati Bengals, creating a fan base almost as low-brow as the Browns fan.

For a while, it appeared that Modell would overcome this adversity.  The Browns were awful in for most of the late sixties through early eighties.  But his plan to bring in the slow footed and weak armed Bernie Kosar as his quarterback in 1984 failed; the franchise sank into relative success.  He was often quoted as saying, "Thank God for John Elway."

In 1996, it appeared that he had finally triumphed.  The Cleveland Browns were moved to Baltimore.  But the NFL, influenced by a young intern named Roger Goodell, kept the name and history of the Cleveland Browns and awarded the city with a new franchise.  Modell also unwittingly unleashed a new class of asshole on the nation: the Ravens fan.  The Ravens fan is like the kid who had his lunch money stolen from the bully, who made himself feel better by stealing the lunch money of a Kinder-gardener   In 2000, Modell's Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV, successfully scarring the psyche of Clevelanders, but sadly giving the Ravens fan the validation that they longed for.

It was not all tragedy, even though the Browns came back into existence in 1999, they have been the laughing stock of football for more than a decade.  They have been perennially trounced by their "rival", the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Last winning in Cleveland on December 10, 2009, on a night when hell literally froze over.

The Steeler Nation wishes you Gods Speed Art Modell. We hope that in heaven, there is no "Red Right 88", no "The Drive", no "The Fumble".  We can all agree.  Go fuck yourself Cleveland.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Blackberry Cobbler

This is one of those not at all practical cocktails that annoy me when I read about them.

It all started with the August issue of Mutineer magazine, which had a recipe for making Blackberry gin.  (Gin, lots of blackberries, sugar, time, couldn't fine a good link.)  After letting it age for a month, I have one hell of an extract.  I also have 1 pint of 80 proof blackberries, which leads us to where we are now.

Blackberry cobbler:

  1. Muddle 6 gin soaked blackberries with 1/2 oz cardamon syrup (water, 4 cardamon pods, sugar, a day worth of extract time)
  2. Add 2 oz Russel's Rye
  3. Shake, strain into an ice filled rocks glass.

Cobblers are actually a type of cocktail which get their name from the cobble stone shaped pieces of ice in the glass.  See what I did there.

I tried to make a flip version of this cocktail, same recipe + pasteurized egg white.  There may be an Cement-Mixer-Non-Salmonella explanation as to why it is grey, but I won't be exploring it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fixing the Whisky Advocate Bourbon Cover

The latest Whisky Advocate came out recently and it is a great issue featuring bourbon, but the cover has some serious flaws which I have seen fit to correct.  I will have to admit that they have better lighting conditions than my basement bar.

  1. What's up with the full bottles fellows?  I have a steadfast rule, no full bottles on the bar.  It's more fun that way.
  2. A rocks glass for top shelf bourbon.  Shame.
  3. Top shelf bourbon on the rocks.  Double shame.  That better be iced tea or Canadian Whisky stunt dick.
  4. It's a bourbon issue.  Splurge for the "e".
I couldn't quite replicate the cover.  I don't have the Pappy 20, just the 15 and 23.  Poor me.   The Glencairn glass has the Taylor single barrel, lower proof and almost empty as I hit post... and all the way empty as I hit re-post with the stunt dick joke.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pendleton 1910 12 Year Rye

I really wanted to like this.  I like rye (duh), I think that Pendleton's normal whisky is one of the better Canadian whiskys on the market.  In the end, that's what this is, a Canadian whisky, not a rye whisky.  Sickeningly sweet butterscotch and vanilla.  I'm doing a side by side with Russel's rye and they couldn't be more different.  If you want a quality Canadian whiskey, save your money and get their normal product, or Forty Creek, which I'll get around to reviewing some day soon.

I don't know how a nation that came up with something so wonderful like poutine, could screw up whisky on such a consistent basis.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jefferson's Bourbon Tiered Flight

It's been over a month since I've put up a review.  I had this great idea for doing a Jefferson's flight and using the characters from the Jefferson's for the grade, and then Sherman Helmsley died on the same night that I was searching for images from the show.  I feel that we've moved past the too soon stage.

The grades:

A Florence: Pretty much exists to piss me off, like Woodford Reserve Double Oak 

A Mister Bentley, fun to have around, but you may not be inviting him back.  Like Maker's 46.

A George: Costs too much, but I still don't regret it, like Colonel EH Taylor.

A Weezie: My wife tells me how her brother was drawn to Weezie as a kid and didn't understand why.  There is a lot going on with a Weezie, you just might not understand it, like Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit.

A Tom Willis: Smooth as they come.  Like Pappy Van Winkle.

Now to the bourbon!

Jefferson's Straight Kentucky Bourbon: This is the "entry" level bourbon from Jefferson's.  Tastes great, but not quite worth $30.  I give it a Mister Bentley.

Jefferson's Reserve: I'll have to get back to you on that one.  Don't currently have it.

Jefferson's Presidential Select 17 Year Old: If there was ever going to be a Tom Willis, this is it.  You drop a dime on it and say money well spent.  (It is the old release, if you ever see it buy it, as good a bourbon as you'll have.)

Jefferson's Presidential Select 18 Year Old: I have to give it a George.  It's pretty much the same as the 17, but slightly rougher with more bite.  Still worth it.

Nothing like a set of bourbon reviews without the words, oak, cinnamon, vanilla, spices.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof

My original review of Colonel Taylor's Single Barrel was someone tepid.  It really started to grow on me as I experimented with adding water and it has become one of my favorite whiskeys.  It will come as no surprise that I recommend diluting the 134.5 proof version by about 2/3 whiskey to 1/3 water.

If you do taste it neat, it is good, but then your tongue starts to sizzle and your epiglottis threatens to have a warp core breach.  When that happens, you have to separate the saucer section and in the end Captain Kirk dies a lame death.  Add some water.

Adding some water brings out the spices you would expect from this high rye content bourbon.  The sweet vanilla honey bourbon notes are there in the finish.

$70.  Highly recommended.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Michael Collins Single Malt Irish Whiskey

The real big fellow.  You'll hearing from his lawyer, Zorak.
If you were to take a taste of Michael Collins Single Malt without being told what it was you were drinking, you would think that you had been handed a pretty nice glass of scotch.  There whiskey is lightly peated giving you a somewhat sweet and spicy dram, with a hint of smoke.  I have had this bottle for quite a few years now, and the distillery now labels the single malt as being aged 10 years.  I expect that my bottle is a few years younger than that, in the 6 year range.

I mildly recommend it. Butt it is a tad pricey at the $40 range.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Watershed Vodka

What is the watershed?  If you have been following the blog for a while, you know that the watershed is where people used to beat their kids back in ye-olden-times before Wal-Mart existed.

To the vodka.  Clean, crisp with citrus notes.  It is a good vodka.  I'm a whiskey guy, so that's about as high a praise as I can give.

In honor of their location in Grandview, and the fact that I've been getting the same haircut in the same barber shop for 20 years, I give you the....

Howards Barber Shop Martini

1/4 oz Cocchi Vermouth Americano
2 oz Watershed Vodka
Lemon Twist (rim the glass with the lemon oil before dropping in)

For the old time Ohio State Alumni who may run across this.  I know that Howards was in UA for-damn-near-ever.  OSU bought their building and basically told them that they could stay for the length of their lease, but there would be a fence blocking their parking lot.  OH-FU.  They promptly moved to 5th and Grandview.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Father's Day Cocktail

Cape Hatteras Cocktail

1 1/2oz Wild Turkey 81
1/2 oz Wild Turkey 101
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 btl tonic water

2 springs rosemary, 1 reserved
6 thin slices ginger root

This recipe did not come with specific instructions, but I've been doing this long enough to figure it out.

Muddle rosemary, ginger and syrup.  Add lemon juice and bourbon, shake, strain, top with tonic and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

I have been receiving quite a bit of correspondence lately from reps for different brands asking to feature cocktails on the blog.  These recipes usually include an offer to send samples, which is why I have been blogging all of these years.  Free hooch.  This round of cocktails are in honor of father's day.  Below is my variation on the Cape Hatteras.  This one's for you Dad.

Stop Crying Before I Give You Something To Cry About Cocktail

2 oz Wild Turkey Kentucky Select
1/4 oz Liber & Co Tonic Syrup
1/2 oz Snap Liqueur
Top with sparkling French Lemonade

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve15

Today is national bourbon day, for me, any day that ends in a "y" is a bourbon day.  It does give me an excuse to break out a one of the better bourbons.

I was at my weekly Friday wine/beer tasting a few months ago when the liquor guy told me he had something special stashed away for me.  I asked what and he told me "Pappy 15."  For some dumb reason I actually asked how much, which came to the reply of "Does it matter?"  No it didn't, but for the record it was around $70, which was quite the deal in my opinion.

This is reportedly the first 100% Buffalo Trace produced Van Winkle.  It was previously produced by Stitzel-Weller.  This bad boy is 107 proof.  It has a lot of the usual adjectives, wood, cinnamon, maple, dark fruit. vanilla, spice.  I like it when it's slightly diluted.  It's more bold than my bottle of Pappy 23, which I still prefer.  Damn good stuff.  If you ever have the chance to grab a Van Winkle product.  Pounce on it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Widmer Brothers Kill Devil Brown Ale

I should start by saying that Ron Matusalem did not provide the barrels for the Kill Devil.

This is a pretty cool beer.  It is "Aged in Puerto Rican rum barrels, and brewed with Sweet Barbados and Blackstrap molasses, palm sugar, and Calypso hops, Kill Devil’s flavor and name were inspired by the ingredients used by Caribbean distillers.”

It is a really smooth and tasty beer.  It is somewhat similar to Kentucky Bourbon Ale; both beers have integrated the flavors from the barrel, but you don't really taste the spirit that was originally aged in the barrel.  I like my barrel aged beers to have a bit of a kick, so I undid their hard work by throwing a shot of Ron Matusalem into my final pour from the pounder.  That's more like it.

Either way it's a damn tasty beer.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Smooth Ambler Old Scout

This is a bourbon from the Smooth Ambler Distillery in West-By-God.  Except, it is not from West-By-God.  It is from Indiana.  It is a sourced whiskey, hence "scout".  We all know the scout's motto: be prepared, with a 99 proof bourbon.

That is all fine and dandy, but the important question is does it taste good?  The important answer is yes.  It is spicy and somewhat rye forward.  Nice minty notes, especially if you dilute it with a splash of water.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Aperol is the sweet Amaro.  Not that there really is such a thing.  For those who are not familiar with Amaro's, they are a class of Italian liqueurs that have the following in common.

  1. They are made from a secret family recipe.
  2. The secret family recipe contains many botanicals.
  3. It is bitter.
Aperol tastes like orange, sugar, and ouch.

I mixed up Jacopo Falleni's Jashimi cocktail for the image.  It contains equal parts Aperol, St Germaine, and Grapefruit Juice.  These ingredients really enhance what Aperol is all about.  The St Germaine brings out the sweet and herbaceous qualities while the grapefruit juice adds to the dry tartness of it all.  It is relatively low in alcohol so I think I'll have another or more likely five anothers.

OK.  I actually used the last of my St Germaine in the drink for the picture.  In 15 minutes since I posted I have swapped it out for the following:

  • Heering Cherry Liqueur: Oddly enough, it gives the drink a raisin flavor.
  • Laird's Apple Brandy.  Whoa.  Now that ain't half bad.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Ginger Julep '68 Fastback

Ahhh, the summer of '68.  Boobs were sagging.  Gas was leaded.  And, I was still a few years from being born so I don't know what I'm talking about.

I featured this recipe right before the Kentucky Derby in exchange for a bottle of Bulleit for review.  I've reviewed Bulleit Bourbon way back in yee-olden days of 2009, and in summary.  Is it good?  Yes?   Is it my favorite?  No.

It's hot today and this cocktail works nice.  I've swapped out the muddling for 1/2 oz of ginger syrup and swapped the soda water and twist for some french lemonade.

If you can not see this recipe in IE, get Chrome.

The Ginger Julep ’68 Fastback
Choice 2Ingredients:
o   1 ½ oz. Ginger Infused Bulleit Bourbon
o   ½ oz. Organic Brown Sugar
o   ¼ oz.  Peeled Minced Fresh Ginger
o   1 ½ oz. Soda Water
o   1 Lemon or Lime Twist

Directions: Muddle the ginger and brown sugar together until all of the sugar is moistened and nearly dissolved. Add a dash of soda to finish dissolving the sugar, stir in your Bourbon. Finish with ice, soda to taste and a lemon or lime twist.

Why we love it: The Ginger Julep ’68 Fastback brings a warm, gentle heat to the julep cocktail family with an invigorating ginger kick and splash of lime zest.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Knob Creek Rye

When I did my half-assed Basil Hayden's review last week, I was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you to find out that Knob Creek was one of the "Better Beams".  Its name doesn't start with a B, how is that possible?

So, I went to a wine tasting last night and came home with a bottle of Rye.  Why?  Because I'm cool.  The label tells me that it was patiently aged, because if you are impatient, those 9+ years just drag you down.  It has a very strong cherry-nutty-oaky flavor.  It's 100 proof and little bit of water helps to cool the burn.

Is it good?  Yes.
Is it $37 good?  Ummuhhmaybeishno.
Is it better than Russel's Rye?  Nope.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Basil Hayden's

Basil Hayden's is one of the Better Beam's: Baker, Basil, Booker and Knob Creek.

This is the easiest drinking of the Better Beams.  It has a nice corn, rye, mint and leather flavor.  It drinks quite nicely straight and works well in a Manhattan.  I only had one shot in the bottle at the time of writing this review and it is already gone.  Shit.  I'll have to break out the old grading scale to fill up some space.

Grade: B+
Cost: $40
Cost Adjusted Grade: B

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Derby Day; Trying to Sell out to Bulleit Bourbon; Cinco De Mayo; Drinking holidays collide

It was all supposed to work out.  The bottle of Bulleit bourbon was offered up for review.  Tasty Kentucky Derby Cocktail recipes were provided.  Today is Kentucky Derby Day, one of the great drinking holidays, and it's Cinco De Mayo, another great drinking holiday.  One problem.  The bourbon has yet to show up.  Barney Fife had one Bulleit for his pistol.  I have none. 

Good thing for me that I have a well stocked bar.  When the Bulleit shows up, I plan on taking the Ginger Julep '68 Fastback for a ride.  Until then, we'll sip on a Cinco De Mayo Julep.
  • 3 oz of Anejo Tequila (using Patron, because I'm  a poser)
  • 1/2 oz of Mint syrup
  • Add ice, stir and drink
I'm going with Bodemeister to win the derby.  I hate to pick the favorite, but my kid has a friend named Bode, and that's as good a way as any to pick this race.

The Ginger Julep ’68 Fastback
Choice 2Ingredients:
o   1 ½ oz. Ginger Infused Bulleit Bourbon
o   ½ oz. Organic Brown Sugar
o   ¼ oz.  Peeled Minced Fresh Ginger
o   1 ½ oz. Soda Water
o   1 Lemon or Lime Twist

Directions: Muddle the ginger and brown sugar together until all of the sugar is moistened and nearly dissolved. Add a dash of soda to finish dissolving the sugar, stir in your Bourbon. Finish with ice, soda to taste and a lemon or lime twist.

Why we love it: The Ginger Julep ’68 Fastback brings a warm, gentle heat to the julep cocktail family with an invigorating ginger kick and splash of lime zest.

The Bulleit Rye Mint Julep
o   1/3 oz. Bulleit Rye
o   1 ½-2 oz. Stirrings Simple Syrup
o   Fresh mint leaves

Directions: Muddle mint leaves, Stirrings Simple Syrup and crushed ice in rocks glass. Add Bulleit Rye and fill glass with ice. Pour into cocktail shaker, shake vigorously and serve in rocks glass with fresh mint garnish.

Why we love it: The mint julep has been the refreshing spring cocktail icon of the Kentucky Derby since 1938, proving its test of time as a classic and distinguished recipe.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

W.H. Harrison Whiskey

Indiana has made a habit of sending their best to Columbus.  See Oden, Gregg, Connely, Michael Jr, Thomas, Deshawn... I could go on all day.

Now they have sent us their bourbon.  This bourbon is named after William Henry Harrison, who also started his career in Indiana, before seeing the light and moving to Ohio.  He was elected the 9th President of the USA and promptly died of pneumonia 32 days after taking the office.

I've looked at some of the bourbon message boards, and there is a bit of a kerfuffle about whether or not they are distilling it in Indiana, or just bottling it there.  I personally could care less.

This is a very corn forward bourbon.  There is a bit of orange, vanilla and cinnamon.  Not extremely complex, but satisfying.

I will give them credit.  If we zoom in on the label, we can see that one noxious Indiana ingredient has not infected this product.  100% Tom Crean Free.  Which also means that it is Harbaugh free, once removed.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Woodford Reserve Double Oak

Woodford has added a second product to their normal offering of Bourbon.  This bourbon is the typical Woodford Reserve that has been aged in a second, heavily toasted barrel after it has matured.  More on the process can be seen in the video below.

That is all wonderful, but the question is how does it taste?  I had it described to me as dry, and that wine term is accurate.  There is very little sweetness to be found with this whiskey.  Not surprisingly, there is a strong wood flavor, but the tannin is not so strong that it completely ruins it.  A splash of water opens it up a bit and allows some vanilla and honey to come through.  It is an interesting whiskey, but I have trouble recommending it at $50.  Honestly, it barely resembles a Bourbon.

However.  This is the official Bourbon of the $1000 mint julep at this years Kentucky derby¹.  You know, the $10 cocktail in the $990 cup.  I played the home game last night, and after a couple of julep's, I know that the bottle will not be laying around collecting cobwebs for long.  All it needed was sugar and mint to taste good.

I would also be remiss if I did not try this in a Manhattan.  Doesn't work.

¹  2012 for readers from the future.