Archive for the bourbon Category

Maker’s 46

Posted in bourbon on August 31, 2010 by Mick

Ok…here we go. Let me give you an analogy that anyone could understand. I used to have an 84 VW Rabbit. It was passed down to me from my Pops, who bought it brand new in 84. It was 1991, I got my license, and i was set to take over the world. My dad, unfortunately, had a stroke, and couldnt drive stick anymore. One day, when i asked to borrow the other car (a 1986 Plymouth Reliant K Car Station wagon) he tossed me the Rabbit keys and said “If you teach yourself stick, you can HAVE it.”

HAVE it. Like, take it. Its yours. A 1984 Rabbit, in 1991 with…count them….31K miles. It was the Wolfsburg edition, which means it was as loaded as a Rabbit could be. And at the time, in my mind, it was well, just a Rabbit. Eighty-nine horsepower. TOTAL. Thats it. I knew the value of a dollar, and accepted the free car…but my teenage mind was like, “Damn…some of my friends have muscle cars…i got …this.” I had all these preconceived notions of Rabbits. Slow. Four cylinders. Tiny. Until i took it out. Once i got the hang of shifting, ill never look back or diss something i had preconceived notions about.

Enter Maker’s 46. Maker’s Mark has always been a decent go-to, but always never what i would consider top shelf. So the notion of Maker’s making a boutique bourbon was like…well, the Rabbit but being the loaded Wolfsburg Edition. Until first taste.

Jesus. H. Christ. This is NOT Maker’s Mark. This is Michters. This is Blantons. This is amazing. The depth, the caramel, the butterscotch, the body. This shit was Ice T’s wife Coco in a thong. (Google her. You wont regret it.) This is seriously one of the most complex bourbons Ive ever had. The nose, insane notes of caramels, and yes…oatmeal cookies! And at 94 proof, this taste is a PERFECT proof. The heat doesnt kill the delicate flavors, but yet adds enough for a kick. I even tasted some oak!

I picked up this bottle for $34 at Cask, and I was lucky, given that its slow rollout is making it a bit scarce. But, make no mistake, I would pick it up ASAP. Who knows how long this little bourbon is going to last. Especially with its boutique-ness.

Dont be a fool like me, and judge things based on what you think they might be.

My score – 97 out of 100

Rowan’s Creek Kentucky Bourbon

Posted in bourbon on July 13, 2010 by Mick

Try this badboy sans rocks. If you got the stones!

Sorry for the long delay. Ive been REEEAALLLY hungover since January. The truth is, im planning a wedding, and getting married in about 3 weeks. While i HAVE had imbibed in many a new bourbon/ beer/ wine/ tequila/ drink, i havent had time to update.

My apologies. If you are a regular, ill buy you a couple fingers’ worth.
Anyway, this little bourbon. Dont let the label fool you. It may look like Cletus Ray Van Hallibaster the IV (or his father/son) designed the label, but what they lack in artistic panache, they make up for in TASTE.
This is one hell of a bourbon. If this bourbon were a vidya game, id put it at an “intermediate level” as it comes raging out at just a possum hair over 100 proof. If you can manage to get past the hotness of this bird without pussing out and adding water, youll get immediate snaps on the tongue of licorice, tobacco, chocolate and a bitter that seems to taste of old coffee. But goddamn…all of these flavors together are better than your grandma’s easter ham.
And i meant that in the most obnoxious way i can muster.
If you got the stones, do this one neat for the first taste. Its hot as hell, but man…this dog WILL hunt.
My score – 92 out of 100 fiery Southern stars.

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.

Session – Lager and Black Lager

Posted in beer, lager on October 4, 2009 by Mick

My dad, who is a master glazier (glassman in lay terms) taught me that, while not always necessary, it is pretty effective to “get stoned with two birds” er….something….

Session, to me, is a great boutiquey beer put out by the Full Sail Brewing company, and uses the stubby barrel bottles. For both the red and black versions. Lets knock them down one at a time.


Sessions original lager has always been a good picnicking beer for me…easily portable, full bodied, but refreshing enough to not be a heavy beer. Im always happy that the little 11oz lager fits in my Kreuz BBQ coozie from my trip to Austin. Im a huge fan of the “red” label lager, and find its balance to be near perfect.

sessions blackThe black on the other hand, comes in hitting heavy, as it is exactly what youd imagine it is to be. Black lager denotes dark. Its dark, its heavy, it doesnt fuck around. It doesnt taste boozey at all, but its intense flavor comes rife with nuts, bread, and has a really autumnal flavor…so perfect for this October chugging. Unlike its red brother, i can barely get through 3 or 4 before my stomach feels like i ate a loaf of bread. There are complexities to the tastes that the red doesnt have, like a strong honey flavor and a deep malt that is as refreshing as oatmeal.

Like two siblings, each os special in their own way. (But i like the red better).

My Scores:

Original Lager – 91 points

Black Lager – 88 points

Simpler Times Lager

Posted in beer, lager, trader joes on September 14, 2009 by Mick

stbeerAhh Trader Joes….

I spend so much money there saving money…..make sense?

I go to TJ’s once a week and do a decent amount of food shopping on some basic stuff….i dig the frozen fish, their peanut butter, English Muffin bread, and well…their booze. I partake quite a bit in the Two Buck Chuck, (Charles Shaw wine, stay tuned for the review), as well as the devlishly perfect-for-the-price, $2.99 a sixer, Simpler Times Lager….

Clocking in at a pretty hefty 6.2% alkies, this beer is more than worth the low ass $3 splurge. And, it doesnt taste too shabby!

Its like George Foreman. It is what it is. A haymaker, a jab, a block. No mystery, no backstories. Its. Just. Beer.

Initially, you get the flavor of sweet corn with the wash of a….how do i say…..QUALITY Pabst Blue Ribbon. Imagine if Pabst Blue Ribbon received a Blue Ribbon in  taste….add a little salt, a little depth, and some sweetness to round its bitterness, and boom….youre in some Simpler Times.

Now keep in mind, it isnt genius taste-ification on the palate here.Its a 50 cent can of beer that doesnt fuck around. That’s it. It’s a brawler, it’s a cowboy, it’s an outlaw. It’s a kick in your balls by a drunken karate chimp….It’s some mutha fuggin Simpler Times.

I dare say that eventhough this is a seriously cheap, and nasty beer to some, its still hipster enough to bring to a BBQ or house party and people will be like….”Sweet….you brought some of The Times.”

This beer will be cool ONLY until the moment bartenders with whitebelts named Tyler are selling it for $3 EACH in the Mission. Until then, dear readers…..partake in some of the Simpler Times.

My score is 83 out of 100 points.

Budweiser Chelada

Posted in beer on September 14, 2009 by Mick

budweiser-clamato-cheladaWe all do dumb shit.

Some people drink Budweiser….some people drink Clamato. Some people add Clamato to Budweiser. And THAT insane, schizophrenic combination is actually manufactured and SOLD as a tall boy.

I took one sip and wanted to puke everything ive ever ingested in my, yours and my Aunt Ruth’s life.

This “beer” is completely unnecessary and wrong on every level possibly ever invented. There are suffering, depressed, broken alcoholics that would refuse this. And dont even get me started on its skinny cousin, Bud Light Chelada.

Seriously? What the fuck is wrong with people….it is bullshit like this that makes me lose faith in everything.

If you see this shit walking the streets…kill it with fire.

My score – 12 out of 100…..i have to give it credit for having the balls for thinking two wrongs make a right.

Red Stag by Jim Beam

Posted in bourbon with tags , , , on June 29, 2009 by Mick

Red StagIf youve been reading along, and know anything about what i like, youd know i am pretty resistant to flavors corrupting my bourbon.

Maker’s/Ginger Ale….offensive.

Bulleit Coke…..fucking seriously?

Im from the school that is plain and simple….if you need a gimmick or need to add flavor to something to make it pallatable, then said something has issues. (Im talking to YOU lime infused beers.)

About three months ago i had starting hearing mumblings about a cherry infused Beam in the bourbon Twitterverse. (Believe it or not, ALOT of people that know their shit are on this) i got two completely different, immediate reactions.

Reaction 1, “Oh Jesus Christ, no, cough syrup, Southern Comfort, kill it with fire.”

The other reaction, the latter reaction was this: “Hmmm…this is a Beam. Fathers of Booker’s, Baker’s, Basil and Knob.” (Those 4 names together sound like a quartet of Disney characters…drunk, obviously). But these names also represent an amazing array of history, quality and taste.

Ok, Beam…ill bite.

I had to special order my bottle from CASK as apparently, im so fucking cutting edge with the bourbon, (ha) so i couldnt wait to try it out. The packaging is gorgeous…im kind of a sucker for good packaging, so this was an immediate win. I cracked it open, and IMMEDIATELY the smell of cherries and oak smacked me in the shnozz. It was beautiful…i found the smell to be anything BUT medicinal. Poured about one finger neat into a low-ball glass and took a sip, and ill tell ya…i was expecting Syrup City.

Not so much! It was clean….nothing coated my mouth, nor did i want a glass of milk. I will say this, it was a bit sweet. Now granted, im not used to sweet and whiskey. I dont do Jack and Cokes, i dont do Manhattans, though admittedly, i will reach for a Whiskey Sour on occasion. But this…the oakiness of bourbon killed alot of the sweet and left some of the tart of black cherry. I made another over rocks, and it was even better….the cold made the drink refreshing, and could hold up as a stand-alone.

Ill say this…it isnt something id reach for over my regular Jim Beam Black, but its definitely a WIN for the liquor cabinet. I can absolutely think of a million uses for this…a bourbon Manhattan for one. Im not really down with how sweet it is, but considering WHAT it is, its pretty respectable for a flavored bourbon. One thing to be careful of…because it is sweet, and smooth, its REAL easy to let this 80 proof booze get away from you.

My score – 84 out of 100

Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon

Posted in bourbon with tags , , on June 20, 2009 by Mick

BlantonsLiving in the Bay Area, we are completely spoiled by the selection of great restaurants and bars. The choices are sometimes so vast, that its completely overwhelming. We pick away here and there, and last night, we hit A Cote in Oakland.

As a pretty seasoned bourbon drinker, (i mean that figuratively and literally) my eyes usually focus on the bar to the slight translucency of BROWN. And then i saw it across the bar.

The faceted bottle…the horse on the top…..Blanton’s. Like a butterscotch jewel from afar….

I became excited….like that rush you get when someone tells you “Pssst…i forgot to tell you, i have a house in Tuscany….and you can have it.” I knew it was rare for a bar, let alone a restaurant to have it, so i decided that after dinner, id knock it down.

Once our delicious dinner of flank steak, salmon and gnocci ended, i got my Blanton’s. It was served neat WITH an extra glass of ice on the side. Holy fuck, right?

I am coming from two camps on this one. I usually drink bourbon on the rocks….but admittedly, i regret having poured this one over rocks. It was definitely better neat….the legs, so viscous and thick….like a port wine.

The taste is like DisneyWorld in your mouth. Chaotic, colorful and hot. The initally sip is surprisingly smooth for it being 93 proof, with immediate caramel notes and the oakiness of Pop’s tobacco and his old leather sofa. At the next level, you get vanillas and creaminess which soften the next-to- follow minty spice finish. Am i eating Indian food, or drinking bourbon here? Its amazing.

And then after that first sip warms your belly, the second one is just as enjoyable.

I dont think this is a bourbon i would have all the time….this is the one you keep hidden from people.

Like me….hide your Blanton’s from me because i WILL steal it from you.

My score – 99 out of 100

Nothing’s perfect. But this is as close as it gets.

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon

Posted in bourbon on June 2, 2009 by Mick

elmerFirst, id like to welcome the @JimBeamFans for following me on Twitter, so now i definitely need to be on my game.


Second, given the fact that i have solid bourbon fans possibly perusing my blog, i most likely do not need to educate them that Elmer T. Lee is the distiller that made one of my favorite bourbons, Buffalo Trace, famous.


Right off the bat, lets just say “holy shit” to the price point for a single barrel bourbon at $30 for a 750ml bottle, from my favorite bourbon shop, CASK ….


This alone, is worth the try.


Especially when you look at how deep, orange and red the color is….its like a raging inferno of smooooothness inside. Pour a glass, let it begin…..


I tried it for the first time over one rock in a standard low baller. As some of my wine afficianado friends would say, “the legs” on this bourbon or like a supermodel in a pantyhose ad. 


CRAZY. The body and depth when you roll it around the glass does not make me think of a $30 bourbon…i am reminded of a Blanton’s or a Booker’s. And not only that, but you get an immediacy of a deep aroma….i smelled tobacco, leather and butterscotch….which all at the same time as a smell historically means STRONG intense flavor…..not so much.


And not even in a bad way.


This bourbon was like the Belgian-French language….slight complexity on the tongue, but after the second try, easy as it rolls off the lips.


Even at 90 proof, and 14 years in a barrel, its SMOOOTH.


Like Yacht Rock brand peanut butter.


Id highly HIGLY recommend this to annyone looking to have a good, economical standard bourbon in the bar, as well as offer this to my wine drinking friends who may not quite be ready for bourbon yet.


Do not encourage them to mix it with anything…..this is to be tasted sans others. Like your mom….




My score – 93 out of 100

Booker’s 8 Year Bourbon

Posted in bourbon with tags , , , on May 31, 2009 by Mick

bookersJesus Ca-Ripes on 12 red wigs.


THIS is what bourbon is all about. Ive been a fan of Booker’s for a minute, but for some reason, i never really appreciated it until recently. I think my pallette matured or even got smart. Because daddy likey.




Lets start with the initial aroma that can only be the same as Ivan Drago punching you in the fucking face with a handful of molten caramel. Such an intense INTENSE complexity, it is a bit surprising. The most intense smell i get is a smokey citrusey vanilla oakiness. Like if you were to set a stripper’s casket on fire.


Ooof….too much? Too intense? I told you…this is a badass bourbon.


Then there is the taste. 


Imagine the greatest grand marsala that has ever touched your lips with a meritage of a thousand spices and smells while 14 ninjas were hitting you in the face with throwing stars made out of cloves and set ablaze. This is the kid you graduated that disappeared for a year and came back with a Beard, knowing 9 different disciplines of martial arts. This is all that of the bourbon family.


Where do you begin with the flavors….think of what a burnt orange tastes like just moments after you eat a Werther’s original. 


Its a little hot on the lips at first, as it weighs in at a Leviathan sized 126 proof. And believe it or not, its amazing neat or on rocks. I even had it with just a little spritz of water. Anyway you slice it, this bourbon IS why people move to Kentucky.


That and horses. Big, badass horses.


My score – 98 out of 100. Best. Bourbon. Ever. So far…….