BillB656's Profile

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Tips for Muddled Fruit Drinks?

Peaches have to be really flavorful ones (like local grown) for them to work for me. Otherwise the juice can be just sweet and watery. Also, because of the sweetness of the juice, I think most peach drinks can use a pinch of salt or a dash of bitters (or both) to bring out the fruit flavor and tame the sweetness.

Jul 08, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Tips for Muddled Fruit Drinks?

What didn't you like about your muddled peach whiskey smash? I

Last night I squashed up some fresh cherries, added 2oz bourbon, a splash of gum syrup, and bitters. Iced, stirred, and double strained. Cherry flavor came through nicely.

Jul 07, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Jim Rutledge to retire. End of an era

After nearly 50 years in the business and 20 as master distiller at Four Roses.

http://thewhiskeywash.com/2015/07/01/...

Jul 01, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Japanese whisky shortage affects Nikka

I totally agree with you about the impending overall drop in quality for NAS versus individual age labels and ya, there is a limit to aging (like Elijah Craig 18 over the 21, imo).

What we're being asked to do is to pay more for less special bottles and that model just can't sustain. +1 on the Nikka samples!

Jun 24, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Japanese whisky shortage affects Nikka

It doesn't seem all that different from so many bourbon labels dropping age statements and going NAS, does it? I'd guess that the new label structure isn't going to result in them making less money. Now if quality of the NAS label drops off, then that could be an issue. I say "could be" in that with the whiskey craze going on around here, many people seem to be less discriminating.

Jun 24, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Japanese whisky shortage affects Nikka

Sadly, a trend we are seeing throughout the whisk(e)y world.

A somewhat more in-depth article says that the quote above applies only to Yoichi and Miyagikyo lines from Nikka. Taketsuru line will continue with age statements (for now?)

http://www.nonjatta.com/2015/06/The-N...

Jun 23, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Under-appreciated and/or up-and-coming grape varieties?

Short but interesting article in this months Tasting Panel magazine discussing the Seven Percent Solution tasting recently held in CA. 93% of CA wine is reportedly from 8 grapes...this tasting focused on the other 7%.

It was good to see Steve Edmunds quoted for his gamay. Other grapes mentioned are charbono, trousseau, albarino.

http://digital.copcomm.com/i/518118-j... pg 18

Personally, I agree with the response above of chenin and gamay as being totally under-appreciated.

Jun 15, 2015
BillB656 in Wine

Fine whisky website launched in Japan

Cool..

I've been using http://www.nonjatta.com/ for learning about Japanese rarities but nice to see a retail source.

Jun 05, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Fantasy Question for Boston Old Timers

Heck Allen's - Saugus. This was my family's fancy splurge seafood place that we got to go to once or twice a year.
Toody's - Wakefield. Steak and cheese with sauce forever.

Perfect Cocktail Glass

Bought a set of these N&N glasses recently and love them!

Jun 01, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Mother's 60th birthday! Suggestions welcome!

In AJ, the Mining Camp Restaurant could be fun.
We haven't been for 5 yrs or so but had a decent meal and it's that western theme for sure.
http://www.miningcamprestaurant.com/

May 27, 2015
BillB656 in Phoenix

ABQ to Clovis

Went to Shorty's on the trip out. Decent pork ribs but the beans tasted canned and the slaw was just ok.

Leal's on Prince Rd in Clovis was very good. The salsa rocked it and the chile verde con carne was excellent.

Also went to Fat Boys for BBQ in Clovis. Both the pulled pork and brisket were very good. Sides were a step above Shorty's too.

May 22, 2015
BillB656 in Southwest

ABQ to Clovis

Thanks. I know ABQ pretty well but all those other spots are just what I need.

May 18, 2015
BillB656 in Southwest

ABQ to Clovis

Driving from ABQ to Clovis next week and am looking for any recs during the trip or for my one night in Clovis. Search results in this board having nothing after 2009. Thanks!

Thankfully, I'll get an afternoon/night in ABQ before flying back to PHX so I can satisfy my green chile fix.

May 14, 2015
BillB656 in Southwest

Green vs. Yellow Chartreuse

Fun little quote that I read this past week from bad-ass bon vivant, George Saintsbury from his "Notes on a Cellar-book" (1933) "But none of them approaches, for instruction in complexity and delight in appeal of flavor, the famous but now exiled preparation itself. And it must be green; there is no such absolutely veracious application of a well-known maxim that yellow Chartreuse would be green if it could."

Apr 27, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Mexican / Southwestern Restaurant Recommendations for Scottsdale & Phoenix

I haven't been there in quite a while so can't answer that one. I guess it's a good thing that nothing seemed out of place to you for your last trip!

Apr 13, 2015
BillB656 in Phoenix

What to bring back from Japan

Hermes orange bitters.

Apr 13, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Mexican / Southwestern Restaurant Recommendations for Scottsdale & Phoenix

Silvana parted ways with BQ last August.

Apr 13, 2015
BillB656 in Phoenix

Spring Training

The House is solid. Geoffrey Wilson recently started behind the bar and he makes some wonderful cocktails, particularly NOLA based drinks.

Apr 02, 2015
BillB656 in Phoenix

Spring Training

Pink Pony has a new chef as of last Nov (?) and they are even better than before.

Mar 24, 2015
BillB656 in Phoenix

Crudo: still my favorite restaurant in Phoenix

So love Crudo. As you said, the food, the cocktails, all stellar.

Mar 24, 2015
BillB656 in Phoenix

Opinions on Arrogante Anejo tequila?

I've not had the anejo but I really enjoy sipping the Arrogante repo.

Mar 17, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

TN: Cassoulet Dinner in the Napa Valley, 21 Feb. 2015 (eight wines)

The renowned Lou/BL dinner?

That dry furmint is an eye-opener. Their sparkler is pretty good too.

Mar 10, 2015
BillB656 in Wine

Discovering Tequila & I Like It!

Olmeca Altos is a great QPR for blanco and repo at ~$20. Espolon and El Jimador are decent for that price range too.

At a higher price point, I love Partida, Azunia, and Fortaleza blancos.

Feb 26, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Question for the Board: Should we stop talking about Old and New World wine?

Doesn't anyone use the Three Stooges scale anymore? ;-)

Feb 19, 2015
BillB656 in Wine
1

Ricard challenges meaning of ‘craft’ re: whisk(e)y

Went to a seminar at AZ Cocktail Week this past Saturday entitled "Defining Craft", chaired by Steve Olson with a panel including Eric Seed,Gaston Martinez, Ben Jones, Andi Fermen and others.

After 90mins of discussion, I can conclude that everyone on the panel had a completely different definition of what craft meant to them and their brands.

I think the statement from one of the presenters, "Craft is like porn. You know it when you see/taste it" summed it all up.

Feb 19, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits
2

Willamette Valley

St Innocent is one of my faves from the area. Tasting room is open until 5pm and is about 30mins from Dom Drouhin (another fave).

Feb 13, 2015
BillB656 in Wine

What bitters to use?

Great comments all around. One thing to think about is how bitters work. First they can provide aroma, particularly if they are dotted on top of a drink or used to mist a glass. Next they can provide front end flavor if used in sufficient amount or they can provide mid-palate or finish flavor components. And ya, they shouldn't (typically) add a perceived bitterness. But their true magic is how they can bring a drink together. Bitter additives suppress other components such as sour or sweetness. Through this suppression, the bitters can make the drink taste more harmonious. Say a drink is tasting a bit too sour. You can add more sugar or you can try a dash of bitters. Sugar will just add more sweet to try to level up to the sour. Bitters will suppress the high end sour more than it suppresses the sweet bringing it closer to where you want it to be (plus the bitters will add that flavor component).

wrt flavor, some bitters are designed for a more or less singular purpose. Many of the Fee's flavor bitters (lemon, lime, etc) are fairly focused in flavor component and serve a great purpose for adding that flavor. Bitters like Dr. Adam's Boker's Bitters can be much more "medicinal" and a) create a harmony in a drink....give me a Martinez with Boker's any day! and b) provide a fairly unfamiliar (compared to say, cherry) and subtle background flavor set that will set your drink apart.

Great idea about finding a bitters tasting bar! In addition to Boston Shaker, there is Napa Valley Distillery Vintage Bar Shop, Amor y Amargo NYC, Meadows (NYC and Portland), Vena's Fizz Shop in Portland ME, and I'm sure many others.

Feb 05, 2015
BillB656 in Spirits

Food Blogs/Writing in PHX Area

Yup...what Lolaclaire said. When I got to the Valley 8 yrs ago, CH was the place to learn. Now many of those people have migrated to PHXfoodnerds.

Jan 22, 2015
BillB656 in Phoenix

Ham

The Pork Shop in Queen Creek
http://theporkshopaz.com/

Dec 15, 2014
BillB656 in Phoenix