Archive for January, 2010

High West Rendezvous Rye

Posted in rye with tags , , on January 3, 2010 by Mick

I think we can thank Mad Men for rye having the comeback its having.  I remember for a hot minute, there were probably 4 or 5 big ryes out there that were available at some liquor stores. Now you can buy it in the grocery store. (Out of state peeps – In CA you can buy liquor in supermarkets)

My point is, with all of these “new” options, (i used new loosely, as its new to me)  it was time that BABAC (Bay Area Bourbon Aficionado’s Club) did a one-off and had a rye night.

To me, rye isnt the best thing to drink straight. Im not into the harsh bitter end you find in most ryes, and the empty middle. So we made sure we had two testings. Straight and a classic Manhattan. In both catagories, High West DESTROYED the competition. Like, when i say destroy, i mean imagine a 1-on-1 game between LeBron James and Stephen Hawking.  I know….that was harsh. But this rye wasnt.

Why? It tasted like a goddamn bourbon. Caramel? Butterscotch? Deep earthy oak notes? WTF? Are we being punked? I remember looking around for Ashton Kutcher’s goofy ass….nope. This is a RYE.

A little more research told us why. High West creates a blend of two of their ryes; a 6-year old 95% rye and a 16-year old 80% rye. With this mixture, you get the bourbon caramel and maple notes, but the sharper rye finishes youd expect. And at about 92 proof, its smooooooth.

Make no mistake, im no rye expert by any means, mainly because i said “I like this rye alot. Because it tastes like a bourbon.” Any rye drinker would slap my Bearded cheeks for saying that. But, its a start.

Im probably out of my gourd for saying this, but until i have another rye as good as this one, ill just assume THIS rye is amazing.

My score – 97 out of 100.

Victory Yakima Twilight IIPA

Posted in ale, beer, ipa on January 2, 2010 by Mick

Off the bat, i almost avoided this beer because I have a natural aversion to the word “Twilight” now. As well you can understand.

Im not a 15 year old girl that cuts.

I am, however, a 35 year old man that likes a good, heavy strong IPA. And if its Imperial, thats even better.

We were in San Diego, and we checked out one of the local beer-happy bars, Hamilton’s Tavern, as they boasted a pretty good selection of beers, and according to the locals, never really got over run with the striped shirts.

I first ordered the Victory Yakima Twilight, as i wanted my tasties to experience the stronger flavors before the 9% ABV killed off my tongue. The hoppiness, caramel smells and strong honiness really kicked in….i was just a teeny disappointed in the tail end of the taste, as it didnt quite pack the punch an IIPA should.

It was however, enjoyable enough to drink TWICE. This isnt a beer id use as a model for an IIPA, but as an IPA, its pretty goddamn good.

My score – 89 out of 100 stars.