Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Throwback Sody Pop

Sody pop with real sugar is super duper healthy!

Wow, I feel like I'm power-blogging with my pretty regular and absolutely whopping one-post-a-week schedule. You'd almost think it was 2007 or something!

I know Throwback Pepsi and the other retro beverages are old news. I'm not trying to be some soda hipster breaking the news or bragging that I'd bought it X many years ago.

There are two types of people in this world: Soda pop connoisseurs, people who're indifferent, and people who can't count. A friend, a self-proclaimed pop connoisseur, always offered me a Throwback version of Pepsi, Mountain Dew or Dr Pepper. And I always accepted. After all, they contain less sugar than their high fructose corn syrup counterparts, yet taste better. It's like magic!

Ah, if only we could infuse the retro magic of the 80s into everything we eat, drink, touch and drive. I'm about to go off on a small tangent about how cars today have the most uncomfortable fake "sporty" suspension and the numbest steering in history, so if you don't want to read about why I love my iconic 1980's sports car more than anything any manufacturer is putting out today, you can skip to the next paragraph.

Too late.

Oh I nearly forgot. I'm also mad. My Throwback supply is nearly diminished and there have been no reinforcements sent to Canada from PepsiCo.

A press release I read somewhere indicated PepsiCo applied for and was granted permission from the FDA to add Throwback soda pop to its permanent product line. So they'd better make haste and ship those bitches up here soon. I need a premium product to mix my musty Maker's Mark with.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Scotch

Three wood, triple distilled. 3x3 = nine. Blow your mind!Whisky is expensive. And the longer it sits in barrels or casks, the more expensive it gets. You're not really paying for the sweet liquid inside, but rather time. As they say, time is money. Think of it as renting space to store something until you're ready to get it. You're also paying for the expertise of the Master Distiller as he nurtures it over those years.

In Canada whiskies get even MORE expensive when the "free healthcare" taxes are included. So, when one has fallen in love with it like I have, one has to make very wise purchasing decisions. No one wants to get stuck with a $100 bottle they don't like. Thankfully there are people like Ryan at Value Whisky Reviews to help. And there's more help at the LCBO. Every 30 days they put their juice on sale, but the savings are typically not much more than $1.50 a bottle. If you're lucky, you'll save $5, and if you've got horseshoes up your ass, it might be $10.

I loved my Auchentoshan 12 y.o. so much that I was willing to take a chance and buy the Auchentoshan Three Wood at full price. It is the only other Auchentoshan available in Ontario and I was dying to try another triple distilled scotch. Did the LCBO's devious little plan work? You bet. Full price: $77.

Three Wood is special in that it has been matured in three different casks. First it spends an entire decade in ex-bourbon casks, then a year in ex-Oloroso sherry casks and finally, finished for 1 year in ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.

PhtThe sherry gives the Three Wood a deep bronze colour, and more. The nose made my mind race, searching through file after file of scent memories, trying to find a match. Wood, butterscotch and grapes, and maybe more. It seems similar to the 12 year old only amped up and fruitier.

The taste is very much influenced by the sherry casks. It's an amazingly rich mix of dark fruit and sweetness. Mulberries, grapes, maybe a hint of tobacco and toffee, followed by the same tiny punch of smoke as the 12 year. No, a bit more smoke. Just perfect.

The finish is dry thanks to the sherry casks, a bit grassy, fruity and long. It's not very strong, just perfect. Again, it's similar to the 12 year, only drier and smokier. Even after brushing my teeth I was able to taste it! The finish really is fantastic.

After my first drink I was in love. To me, this is worth a bit of a premium over the regular 12 year. It's like paying extra for a DeLorean... because it has the gas flap hood! Huzzah!

LCBO: $77
43% (86 proof)


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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wild Turkey American Honey

Super sweet American Honey is perfect for bourbon wussies.I've been drinking Southern Comfort since I was a wee child. It is still one of the staples in my house, but in recent years I had become bored with it. About the only thing I hadn't mixed it with, was milk. Scratch that. Just tried it. Don't do it.

And so, on a Vegas vacation a few years back, I found myself shopping at a grocery store in Henderson with my friends. While they shopped for nutritious things to sustain us, I took a detour into alcohol alley. I asked one of the employees if there was a bourbon-style drink that was sweet like Southern Comfort yet not quite as sweet. I wanted something more bourbony. One of the suggestions he made was Wild Turkey American Honey.

That sounded great to me, and I admit since it was not available in Canada, the cool factor (read: "I have something you don't, nya nya!") played into it a little too. I bought a 750ml bottle for the equivalent of $26 Cdn.

American Honey is Wild Turkey bourbon mixed with real honey. And the nose doesn't lie. I smell bee barf, nectar, a strong sweet citrus, and something bitter like orange peel.

The taste is just a tad different. The light golden sunshine liqueur is hugely sweet, but not like Southern Comfort. It almost has a candy-like sweetness to it, honey, a faint bourbon quality and fleeting citrus.

The finish is sweet and dry, I still taste honey and something else. Something weird. Kiwi?

The honey overpowers the bourbon, but not entirely. And because of its versatility, it's pretty great. Bourbon and Scotch drinkers won't want to drink this neat, but if you're new to this it is a very good place to ease into your whisky sipping journey. And it's even perfect for mixing, adding a sweet corny honey taste to cola or root beer, and probably ginger ale and milk too. Yes, super sweet American Honey is perfect for the bourbon wuss.

NV grocery store: $26
35.5% (71 proof)


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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Maker's Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Maker's Mark bottles are dipped in wax which adds 8% more fancy.I'm back again, polluting the internet with my amateur whisky reviews. While my posts aren't ill-conceived, the notion that I know whisky probably is. However, whisky is a very personal thing.

Reading reviews I find I'm sometimes baffled by the elaborate or curious descriptions given. Chocolate? Creme brulee? Baked goods? In whisky? Well, sure. And I probably smell things that other people don't too. It's just how your brain interprets the scent.

On my way home from Costa Rica, which smells like bananas and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, I made a pit stop at the airport's mega-tiny Duty Free. When I say small, I mean it. I've been in bathroom stalls bigger than this place.

The store was so small, I was not able to shop. I had to get in line and shuffle along as the line moved forward, viewing what was on the shelves as I passed them. After about 10 minutes, I saw the very last 750ml bottle of Maker's Mark and grabbed it. Duty Free price: $26.

By most accounts Maker's Mark Straight Kentucky Bourbon is aged between 6 and 7 years. The rich orangey amber bourbon is a "small batch" whisky which means each batch is made from 20 or less barrels.

When I peeled the trademark red wax off the top and poured it, the nose wasn't what I expected: Thick wood, almonds, a hint of spice, and alcohol. But it was all fairly muted. I tried many times, but found it difficult to get a smell of something good and solid.

Maker's Mark tastes like notepads!The taste was much better yet still simple. Caramel, vanilla, pepper and Portuguese cork notepad. Wha??? Yeah, I also noted a very odd flavour - it tastes the way my Portuguese cork notepad smells; kind of musty, but not in a bad way.

The finish was spicy and peppery, which is strange because there's no rye in this bourbon. I'm not sure where the taste comes from, but it's very distinct and strong.

Overall, I didn't like this one as much as I thought I would. I guess the hype this brand has built up around itself backfired. I discussed this with a coworker and he convinced me to give it another chance. But over and over again, there was something about it I didn't love. It really threw me. So I decided to *gasp* try mixing it.

I made two of my favourite drinks, the first using Retro Pepsi, the second using Rootbeer. The Maker's Mark added a creamy vanilla flavour to each one, making them THE best Pepsi & bourbon and Rootbeer & bourbon I've ever had. They were so fantastic in fact, that I will happily sin again. If you think I'm a monster, leave me a comment and let me know!

Duty Free: $26
45% (90 proof)


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