sku's Profile

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Jack Daniel's is not Bourbon.

The bill was tabled last month. It could come up the next legislative session but is most likely effectively dead. It wouldn't have been likely to pass anyway with Brown Forman against it.

http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2014/0...

Oh, and everytime I see a new post on this thread, I die a little inside.

Apr 11, 2014
sku in Spirits
1

Is burnt rubber taste normal for Barbancourt 5 star?

Is it aged in sherry barrels? Many sherry casks are treated with sulfur before being reused. When overdone, this can lead to a burnt rubber sort of note.

Apr 07, 2014
sku in Spirits

scotch/whiskey barrel/kit? (making, aging, storing)

There are a number of companies that make whiskey aging kits. They usually come with a small barrel and a bottle or two of unaged whiskey. You pour the bottles into the barrel and let it age on your own. How good they are, I can't tell you (though I'm not optimistic). There are also some companies that sell oak pieces you can stick in a bottle of unaged whiskey to age it.

I think the whole thing is mostly gimmick. From a tasting perspective, I'd rather have my whisky aged for me by the pros.

Mar 26, 2014
sku in Spirits

Tenn whiskey law change

This bill would alter the definition of TN Whiskey to allow the use of used barrels and aging outside of the state.

There's been a lot of hubbub about this in whiskey circles, but I think it's much ado about nothing. First, I can't imagine that a bill about whiskey that isn't supported by Brown Forman (owner of Jack Daniel's) has a chance in the TN legislature. It will probably die in committee. Second, the general law defining TN Whiskey has only been on the books for a year, so it's a bit disingenuous for Brown Forman to say that this is a huge setback. Third, it doesn't impact the way Jack Daniel's is made and it doesn't impact what can be made (only what you can call it). It's getting a lot of attention for a bill that's likely to have not much impact.

Mar 17, 2014
sku in Spirits

What is this Scotch?

Can you post a picture?

Mar 15, 2014
sku in Spirits

Has anyone tried this stuff?

Jefferson's Ocean. It's most certainly a gimmick. I had some from the first batch. It was fine but unexceptional.

Mar 13, 2014
sku in Spirits

Whistle Pig Rye

As you may know the Boss Hog is a 12 yo, cask strength version of the regular WhistlePig. If you like WhistlePig, you'll probably like it as it tastes exactly like what it is...a stronger version of WP, but it's hard for me to justify the price just for that given that it goes for double the price.

http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2014/0...

Mar 05, 2014
sku in Spirits

Whistle Pig Rye

WhistlePig is a Canadian straight rye made from 100% rye grain. It is thought to be distilled at Alberta Springs Distillery. Masterson's Rye and Jefferson's Rye are likely from the same source and taste very similar.

Mar 03, 2014
sku in Spirits

Canadian whisky for Manhattans?

Traditionally, Canadian whiskies were made with a lot of rye, but most mass market Canadians (CC, Crown Royal, etc.) are now dominated by corn. I would never use CC as a substitute for rye.

There is, however, a new generation of Canadians that is more rye heavy and would probably make an adequate Manhattan: WhistlePig Rye, Jefferson's Rye, Masterson's Rye and Lot 40 are 100% rye grain Canadian Whiskies and all are very good.

Mar 03, 2014
sku in Spirits
1

Martinis without Vermouth - The New Normal (At Least in LA)

Last time I was at Mastro's with someone who ordered a Martini, the waiter responded, "what kind of vodka would you like in it?"

Feb 17, 2014
sku in Spirits

Discovering Bourbon

Second Clay Risen's excellent book. It's the best book on American Whiskey that's come out in a decade.

Jan 24, 2014
sku in Spirits

Depaz Rhum Agricole - what to do with it?

I assume "drink it" is not the response you're looking for, but I love it neat.

Jan 13, 2014
sku in Spirits

Fine Dining in the Valley

Anything new or interesting? Looking for Studio City area or not too far from there.

Thanks.

Jan 07, 2014
sku in Los Angeles Area

James Bond: Drinking watered-down martinis?

Great, educational reply. Exactly what I'd expect from JMF. Thanks!

Jan 05, 2014
sku in Spirits

James Bond: Drinking watered-down martinis?

I think anyone ordering a vodka martini deserves what they get.

Seriously though, the rule of thumb is that drinks that are pure spirit (like martinis) should be stirred whereas drinks with juice, egg or dairy should be shaken. However, my understanding is that this was largely aesthetic, so stirred drinks wouldn't be come foamy. I can't imagine there is a huge difference in dilution between shaken and stirred, but maybe some of our cocktail experts will weigh in an correct me.

Jan 04, 2014
sku in Spirits
1

What bourbon are you drinking these days?

Temptation is from the same folks who make Redemption. It's distilled at MGP in Indiana.

Jan 01, 2014
sku in Spirits

What bourbon are you drinking these days?

Not sure about Old Taylor these days. It used to be Beam, of course, until BT bought it a few years ago. It's probably likely that it is the standard BT juice as you speculate.

Jan 01, 2014
sku in Spirits

Beginner Scotch Drinker Wanting to Sample the Regions

Sure. BenRiach, Benromach and Tomintoul (Ballantruan), among others, all make peated whiskies.

Dec 12, 2013
sku in Spirits

Beginner Scotch Drinker Wanting to Sample the Regions

The first thing you should know is that the Regions are pretty much meaningless. People use them to provide sort of a lazy shorthand for the styles, but the truth is, every Region makes different styles of whiskey and there isn't much regional consistency anymore, if there ever was. The most consistent Regions is probably Islay which makes mostly peated Scotch, but there is peated Scotch made in other Regions and other styles are made in Islay.

Instead of regions, I would concentrate on the three major styles of Scotch: Peated, Sherry Cask, Bourbon Cask.

If Bowmore is what you liked, try other peated whiskies: Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Talisker or Longrow.

For sherry casks: Glenfarclas, Glendronach, Macallan

Bourbon cask: Bladnoch (mostly), Old Pulteney

And then maybe try some combos, like peated malts aged in sherry casks: Lagavulin Distiller's Edition, Highland Park

And note that the suggestions above include at least one Scotch from every Region.

Dec 12, 2013
sku in Spirits

Knob Creek 9 Year Bourbon, Jefferson 10 Year Rye, Jim Beam Rye, Seeking a Good Rye

30 years ago Overholt was good stuff, made by National Distillers at the Old Grand-Dad distillery. These days it's just another label of Beam rye.

Dec 07, 2013
sku in Spirits

Knob Creek 9 Year Bourbon, Jefferson 10 Year Rye, Jim Beam Rye, Seeking a Good Rye

I don't know about that. I like WhistlePig and Willett. I detest Old Overholt though.

Dec 07, 2013
sku in Spirits

Whiskey for a gift

If he likes Crown Royal, Forty Creek is a bit more elegant Canadian Whisky that he might enjoy. Another nice Canadian that's pretty easy to find is Caribou Crossing. These retain those sweet Canadian notes but with a bit more complexity, and in Caribou Crossing's case, a bit of spice.

Dec 02, 2013
sku in Spirits

OFT considers Diageo offer to sell bulk of Whyte & Mackay whisky

I don't believe it is.

Nov 27, 2013
sku in Spirits

What do you suggest for someone trying to get into whiskey?

I'm not sure you can train yourself to like whiskey if you have always loathed the stuff, but here are some suggestions.

Based on what you like and your descriptions of why you like them, I would suggest rye whiskey, which has some of the same botanical notes in gin; sometimes I even pick up a juniper note. Try Bulleit Rye or Rittenhouse to get those flavors at a good price.

Woodford Reserve is a particularly medicinal bourbon that you might like as well given your love of amaro.

Nov 19, 2013
sku in Spirits

Report on my first trip to Paris

Interesting. Why do you think that is?

Nov 17, 2013
sku in France

Report on my first trip to Paris

I spent last week in Paris. This was my first trip so I did my best to eat around. I was based near Rue Cler but wen all around the city center. These were the best things I ate.

Cheese Shops: So many, but my favorite was Anne-Marie Cantin on Rue du Champ de Mars. They do their own aging and had some amazing stuff, including a grassy epoisse, tons of aged goat cheese, a half dozen comtes, butter and fromage blanc.

Chocolate. I liked both Patrick Roger and Maison du Chocolat for truffles (I tend to go for the plan, cocoa covered truffles). Roger's were more complex, but the butter MdC truffles were more delicious. For hot chocolate, I loved the thick, ganache at Lauduree.

Baguettes, what everyone said about French baguettes being so amazing was true. I particularly loved the cereal baguettes. Why can't American wheat bread taste as good? I didn't do a comprehensive search here, but my favorite was at Nelly Julien on Rue Sainte Dominique.

Falafel. L'As du Fallafel was probably the single most recommended place from everyone I talked to, and it was definitely worth it. The crisp little falafels, the various slaws, the sweetness of the eggplant and that addictive garlicky sauce all came together to make this probably the best falafel sandwich I've ever had. I liked eating in since they give you you're own bowl of sauce. We also tried Maoz falafel which wasn't nearly as good.

Meringues from Aux Merveilleux de Fred. These things are crazy. Layers of meringue covered in whipped cream and rolled in chocolate (or other flavored) flakes. Akin to a meringue layer cake, they come in various sizes. They are creamy, chewy, melt in your mouth miracles of taste and texture. The cream is not overly sweet and comes together with the delicate meringue to create a crunchy, creamy wonder. The whole experience is like biting into a sweet cloud. I'm not usually a fan of white chocolate but that was my favorite flavor. The dark chocolate flakes overwhelmed the subtlety of the cream whereas the white chocolate just added to the creamy richness.

Ice cream: Berthillon. Yeah, everyone suggested this and it was really good. Dark chocolate cacao, passion fruit sorbet, creamy pistachio. All great.

Fine Dining. I ate at a lot of bistros and cafes (quality varied quite a bit), but while in France, I wanted to do a splurge meal at a traditional French temple of fine dining. On a friend's recommendation, I chose Le Pre Catelan. The restaurant is located in Bois de Boulogne, a huge and beautiful (though somewhat seedy) park on the northwest outskirts of Paris. The dinner menus at this three star Michelin eatery are extravagant and extravagantly priced, but they have a lunch prix fixe for 105 Euro (140 with the wine paring). The lunch is an even better deal than it looks like as each course actually consists of two or three parts. I will resist going through each course of this meal and say only that it was one of the most memorable meals of my life. The ambiance, including the traditional French service with an army of waiters set in a beautiful dining room with a courtyard view, was of course memorable. But, as part of my three part pork entree, the meal included probably the best cooked piece of pork belly I've ever had, with cracklin' skin, a thick, toothsome but somehow not fatty layer of fat and meat that was the rich essence of all that is good and porky in this world, all bathed in a pork jus (the other two pork courses were a braised pork in tomato foam and a sort of liquid head cheese served in a martini glass and topped with mayonnaise. And of course, the cheese selection was wonderful, with a particularly well aged Mont D'Or. The wine pairings added depth to each course, and unlike in most American tasting courses, the pours were generous and bottomless.

On our one day trip to Chartres, we had an excellent sandwich at one of the kabob places near the train station. It was sort of schwarma type meat in a french roll with yogurt sauce. Great stuff to take on the train.

Thanks to all the folks who helped me with recommendations. It was an amazing trip.

http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2013/1...

Nov 17, 2013
sku in France

Question about standard pour in US

No. A bar can pour whatever they want.

That being said, it's possible there are localities in the US that have some restriction, but I'm not aware of any. There is certainly no national regulation.

Nov 06, 2013
sku in Spirits

What is the different between Grain Neutral Spirits, Unaged Whiskey, and Vodka

The legal difference in the US has to do with the distilling proof. Neutral Spirits and vodka (and vodka is a type of neutral spirits) must be distilled to above 190 proof. Whiskey must be distilled to less than 190 proof.

Nov 04, 2013
sku in Spirits

What bourbon are you drinking these days?

Bath variation is a possibility, but I don't think it's the culprit in this case. I shared my bottle with a friend who thought it was quite good. My guess is that the flavor profile has something that is objectionable to particular tasters but unnoticed by others (sort of like those PTC papers).

Oct 27, 2013
sku in Spirits

What bourbon are you drinking these days?

To be fair, I'm in the minority in not liking the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. Most who have tried it seem to like it, so it may be that it's just a polarizing bourbon. And, as shown by my review of the Old Forester Signature (which was part of a blind tasting), I generally don't like Brown Forman bourbons....just a flavor profile I don't much like.

Oct 26, 2013
sku in Spirits