Podcast 108- 100% Agave Comparison and Oh Cherry

ole smoky moonshine cherries and white lightnin

Old man talk. We compare Sauza mixto and Sauza 100% agave head to head. The results are (maybe) surprising! Wiser these days? Greg’s “40-year-old Fashioned.” We make the Oh Cherry cocktail, props to Neil Diamond, Journey and the Four Seasons. Here’s our previous moonshine tasting episode: Podcast #10. “Now it’s bad.”

Download Episode 108.

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Drinking with the Republicans & Drinking with the Democrats

drinking with the republicans drinking with the democrats

Election Day in the United States is tomorrow, and it has increasingly become a polarizing event in our country. Based on the outcome of the election, Americans will most certainly be drinking tomorrow, whether in celebration or to bathe their sorrows.

Mark Will-Weber, also the author of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking (Amazon link), has chosen to divide our drinking pasttime as we’ve divided our political pasttime, and that’s by political party. He’s published two, 200-page books that allow you to choose your favorite party, and drink your way through history.

Both books are seperated into chapters by president, and each of those chapters has some short historical tales of the leader’s preferred tipples and one cocktail is chosen for each president. Will-Weber uses interviews, newspaper stories, and sometimes a bit of lore to figure out his stories for each prez, though based on his previous book, be’s pretty much the authority on presidential drinking. Will-Weber does a great job or writing 2 very entertaining cocktail books, regardless of the party you identify with.

These books server as excellent bathroom or coffee-table reading because of the books’ short, sections and sidebars. One of the first cocktails that jumped out at me as I flipped through was this recipe, imagined by Will-Weber as George W. Bush’s drink of choice:

Beer Old Fashioned

  • in an old fashioned glass, add:
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 2 tsp superfine sugar
  • 1 oz bourbon
  • stir
  • fill with ice and top with 3-4 oz of chilled lager or pilsner beer
  • squeeze an orange peel over the glass and drop in

Buy the books on Amazon here: Drinking with the Democrats // Drinking with the Republicans

Podcast 107- Plantation Pineapple Rum and Holland Razorblade

photo 1

“That’s why we’re good friends.” We talk about literature and what makes James’s wrists hurt. We taste Plantation Pineapple Rum. Fruit Loop vodka. Tasting notes like “I can feel it in my butt” or “the hair on my arms stood up.” Old rocks. We make a Holland Razorblade. “Drink a little more, and you’d learn to like it.”

Download Episode 107.

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William Wolf Flavored Whiskies

william wolf coffee whiskey

Over the course of the past several weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to try a couple of varieties of William Wolf whiskies on the podcast. Available in about half the states in the U.S., William Wolf’s line is distilled in Holland and imported.

William Wolf Coffee has an amazing coffee scent, rich and creamy tasting with a bold coffee finish. This is a great alternative to the bigger-name coffee liqueurs like Kahlua or Tia Maria. It’s not too sweet, it’s high alcohol (35%) and it has a great coffee flavor.

Don’t forget with is a whiskey, though. As I’ve pointed out on the podcast, this drink tastes nothing like whiskey. Not a trace. We have enjoyed it on the rocks with cigars and, as I said, in place of Kahlua and it’s a good value at $25.

william wolf frisky whiskey

Now this week’s podcast episode revealed a bit of a mystery that lay in our bottle of Frisky Whiskey, namely what is it? Frisky arrives in a purple crushed velvet bag and sports a pink-ish label with a guitar-playing Mr. Wolf. It does not tell you much about the whiskey itself though, so I went to Wolf’s website to research it more:

“William Wolf Frisky Whiskey has an enticingly caramel nose, smooth taste, and a lingering vanilla finish.”

That didn’t help either, particularly with one big question I had: is this a flavored whiskey? Well, after one taste, it very much is. Just like their coffee whiskey (can we just call these liqueurs now?), Frisky is flavored and sweetened, too. This is not a typical caramel nose and vanilla finish, that you experience with other whiskies, it’s actually caramel and vanilla flavored! This is a creamy, vanilla liqueur posing as a whiskey, and I wished there was more clarity on the label about that. As we experienced with their coffee “whiskey,” Frisky really doesn’t taste like whiskey at all, in fact, it tastes even less like whiskey than the coffee variety.

Frisky has it’s place in a cocktail bar as a vanilla liqueur, and it does a noble job in that role. At $25 a bottle, either of these liqueurs are a good buy.

Just don’t tell us this is “whiskey.”

Podcast 106- Frisky Whiskey and Kamikaze

kamikaze cocktail

The secret is out. James and Jenny are back! The beard is too big for the lens. Great ideas for the kids’ teachers…can you give booze? Greg’s sketchy liquor past in southern NM. We taste Frisky Whiskey. We make a Kamikaze Cocktail. James and Jenny have a good set of friends.

Download Episode 106.

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Podcast 105- Jack Daniel’s 150th and Last Word

last word cocktail

Big vs little bottles. Prescription booze. We taste Jack Daniel’s 150th anniversary. The Jack Daniel’s mash bill is…… Lisa’s a marketing genius. We make a Last Word Cocktail. “Now I’m not impressed.”

Download Episode 105.

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Podcast 104- Gem and Bolt and Betty Rubble

lovoka caramel liqueur

“I have a picture of a flower.” We taste Gem and Bolt Mezcal with damiana. How to make another alcoholic drink? Bar bet trivia? Larry’s dirty mind. We make a Betty Rubble cocktail. Greg mentions Mixology Talk’s Absinthe seminar.

Download Episode 104.

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Frey Ranch Gin and Vodka

Frey Ranch Distilling, near Reno, Nevada, is a near-200-year-old family farm that began distilling in 2010. One of the few “estate” producers in the U.S., the ranch’s current caretakers Colby and Ashley Frey oversee production of everything in each bottle of Frey Ranch products, including growing and farming all of the grains.

I has an opportunity to taste both their vodka and gin. Frey Ranch Vodka is unique in it’s ingredients, using 4 grains in the distillate: corn, rye, wheat and barley. Its typical of a vodka to use one of these grains, usually corn, sometimes wheat, and only occasionally rye or barley. The end result, then, is an earthy, balanced, fresh and clean-tasting. Frey Ranch Vodka retails for $23.

Frey Ranch Gin is distilled from Frey grain, too, then blended with estate-grown juniper berries and sagebrush with other botanicals sourced from around the world. The Fray’s Gin has a nice bite (it’s 90 proof) and an expected juniper note, with sweet sap and floral notes in the midpalate and a long finish with clove and anise spices. It’s bold enough to hold up in a Gin and Tonic, though delicate enough to make a solid Martini as well. Frey Ranch Gin retails for $35.

Like their vodka, some varieties of the soon-to-be-released Frey Ranch Whiskies will contain all four of these grains in the mashbill, plus their take on ryes, bourbons, and more. Their whiskey products are currently being aged, to be released in the coming years.

There is a real value in controlling all aspects of the production of a spirit, including the moment the seeds are planted for the grains, and the Frey family is working hard to make a solid product that’s both unique and versatile enough to make great classic cocktails, plus the price is hard to beat when you consider the work that’s gone in to it’s production.

For more details on the Frey farm and history of the family, check out my friend Geoff Kleinman’s visit to Frey Ranch at Drink Spirits.

Podcast 103- Scotch Tastings: Bowmore 12 and 15, Auchentoshan American Oak and Three Wood

scotches

Mark’s a bread master, too. Our scotch tastings continue with Bowmore 12 and 15. You lose your Gaelic in Albuquerque. We taste Auchentoshan American Oak and Three Wood. We talk about our favorites overall. Here’s that German list again.

Download Episode 103.

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Walk the Line: Knob Creek

knob creek walk the line

Knob Creek is a familiar name for whiskey drinkers and widely available. Here we’ll add another brand to our long-running Walk the Line series with Knob Creek, a Jim Beam brand (now owned by Suntory) and one of the best-selling “small batch” lines at Beam. Bourbon Curious, my bourbon reference bible, places Knob Creek’s line with the cinnamon-forward bourbons, like Wild Turkey, Bulleit and Four Roses, most of which are my favorite bourbons, so Knob Creek is in good company in my liquor cabinet.

Here are some notes on each, pictured from left to right above:

Knob Creek Bourbon. 100 proof, about $35. For a 100-proof bourbon, Knob Creek is surprisingly sweet and smooth. The mashbill isn’t released by the company, but I’m assuming it’s a pretty typical corn/rye/barley, maybe wheat. The blend is balanced and cool, with just a mild touch of rye spiciness to it. This is a 9 year old bourbon.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon. 120 proof, about $45. Similar in taste to the staple bourbon, S.B.R. is a touch spicier and has a more pronounced barrel flavor. It’s not uncommon to find a “high-end” high-proof bourbon these days, but for $45, this is a bargain as well.

Knob Creek Rye. 100 proof, about $40. I love the bite of a high-rye whiskey, and Knob Creek isn’t quite that. Hear me out, though: this is a rye that I really love to drink. Again, Knob Creek’s mashbills are secret, but many (including me) suspect it’s just a reversed version of the bourbon recipe. That is to say, this is not the 95% or 100% rye mashbill that some others brag on, but this whiskey is a balanced experience with the right amount of sweet and spice and ultimately, it’s a sipper with a little more character than the spice bombs out there. Knob Creek’s ryes don’t currently have an age statement, they just say “patiently aged.”

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