Labels

About this Blog

Welcome to Po'Nutrition Fax! This blog is about alcohol - it has nothing to do with health or wellness, and the only relationship between this and Edgar Allen Poe is that he was an alcoholic.

I used to work in a liquor store and developed a taste for all different types of booze. As my collection grew, I felt the need to share my knowledge of, interest in, and experiences with my purchases - from the standards (e.g. whisk(e)y, gin) to the less-than-standard (e.g. kirschwasser, raki). You'll also find a lot on beer (another love of mine).

This is not about how much I can drink nor do I promote over-excess of alcohol. As with most blogs, there is some self-reflection included with most of the reviews. The point is to encourage everyone to reflect on what they drink.

Leave comments or ask questions! Also, "follow" me if you like what you read - I am not making money from this blog but if I see more interest in this and hear some feedback, it will encourage me to write more.

Cheers!
Mike

Friday, September 27, 2013

Russell's Reserve Rye

Jimmy Russell signed it - to me.  Boom.
I don't know if I've said this before, but I love rye.

I've been watching a lot of Hell on Wheels lately, and they drink a lot of whiskey on that show.  I was finishing the second season this evening (on Netflix) and felt the urge to drink some rye whiskey.  I've mentioned a few things about rye whiskey previously so I won't say much more about what straight rye is and how it isn't Canadian Whisky - except to make that very important distinction.

I hadn't had rye in awhile but I remembered I had this bottle stored away.  I recently moved so all of my bottles are neatly packed away.  They are compartmentalized into their own spot in the box I moved them in, easily accessible and waiting to be consumed.

I had been holding on to this rye since late 2008 when I met Jimmy Russell (the Master Distiller at Wild Turkey).  He signed this bottle and I could never quite bring myself to open it.  However, whisk(e)y is distilled for one purpose: to drink it.  Perhaps it was the recent move that inspired me too: purging my old ways, taking chances.

Or I was getting sick of drinking so much kirschwasser and scotch.

Nevertheless, I should share my experience of this rye with you.

It is aged six years but it is definitely better than some other six-year ryes I've had.  The nose has delicious aromas of honey, dried figs, and star anise.  The palate is much earthy though: tobacco, leather, with hints of peanut and figs.  It is a very rich six-year whiskey and I can definitely see myself drinking this again.

There has been an explosion in straight rye whiskey the last few years but Wild Turkey has had a 101 proof rye on the market for years.  Jimmy Russell knows how to make a good rye and this whiskey is a fine example of a rich and complex rye - for not a ton of money either.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Aberlour A'bunadh



Let me start off this post by making one thing very clear: Gaelic is spoken in Scotland, Gaelige is spoken in Ireland.

From 2005-2008, I was in the process of teaching myself Irish.  It's a tough language to learn, but the complexity of it made it all the more interesting to me.  I stopped due to the time constraints associated with graduate school so it wasn't from lack of interest on my part.  Regardless, what I know of Gaelige has assisted in my pronunciation of scotches as the two languages are closely related - but they are not the same!

This A'bunadh (Ah-boon-a) from Aberlour is Gaelic for "of the origin" (at least according to the packaging).  In Gaelige, I think it would be As Bunadh.  I'm assuming they chose the name since this whisky is straight from the barrel: cask-strength, and non-chill filtered.

Aberlour releases this whisky in batches - the one I'm reviewing here is Batch 39.

As this is a cask-strength whisky (it is bottled at nearly 120 proof) I feel it's necessary to review this whisky at both full-strength and watered down.  Adding water to whisky changes the characteristics, what they refer to as "opening up" the spirit.  I agree that water does "open up" a whisky, but I think it's best to see how the whisky changes with the addition of water.

It's no surprise that before I added water, this whisky had plenty of kick from the alcohol.  However, I was able to detect aromas of orange, honey, pecans, and oak along with floral hints.  The palate was largely masked by the alcohol but I found the orange, pecans, and some pepper too.  With the addition of water, the nose revealed rosemary and nutmeg along with some cola too.  The peat became the most dominant flavor with toffee and very bitter, dark orange chocolate on the finish.

All in all, this is a very enjoyable whisky.  It isn't the best scotch I've ever had but it is very good.  It was a gift so I cannot have any "buyer's remorse" but I'm not entirely sure I'd get this again.  Not that it's bad but there are too many scotches in this world and I'm only one man.  I've got plenty of new things to try first before I can consider coming back to this one.  However, let me suggest you try it first.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Clear Creek Distillery Kirschwasser



I've mentioned Kirschwasser a few times on this blog, but I've never reviewed one.  I reviewed a "framboise," and an apple eau-de-vie, but not kirschwasser.

That ends with this post.

Kirschwasser is an eau-de-vie distilled from cherries.  Kirsch is the German word for "cherry" and wasser is the German word for "water:" cherry water.  If you've ever had a Black Forest Cake, a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, you may recognize the flavor of kirschwasser; it is poured onto the cake after baking.

This particular kirschwasser comes from Oregon, not Germany.  Clear Creek Distillery (in Portland, OR) makes a lot of Old-World style spirits, including eaux-de-vie like this krischwasser, slivovitz, and framboise.  They all have a slightly higher price point than other eaux-de-vie (this .375L bottle was about $26) but they are high-quality spirits.

This kirschwasser has aromas of cherry, meringue, and salty caramel.  It has a delicate cherry-blossom taste and is exceptionally smooth.  I can't believe I've only used this spirit for baking before.  Next time I'm getting something cheaper for baking and I'm buying this one to drink.

I highly recommend this kirschwasser and I cannot wait to try more from Clear Creek Distillery.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Skinos Mastiha

Mastic tree resin - let's put it in some booze!
This mastic-flavored liqueur recently came to my attention.  I never had mastic before and have been secretly obsessing over it's unknown flavor (unknown to me at least) for a few years.

About five years ago, we created a Turkish feast which included a rice pudding dessert.  However, the recipe called for mastic and I was unable to find any.  I ended up making a baked rice pudding dish anyway, but that's beside the point.  Since then I have always checked for "mastic" in the spice aisle at every grocery store and spice bazaar I've gone to, hoping to one day try that mastic-flavored Turkish rice pudding I tried making all those years ago - but I've had no success.

Therefore when I was told of this mastic-flavored liqueur I jumped at the opportunity to purchase.  Fortunately, they had 50mL sample bottles at the store so I didn't have to commit to a $30, 75dL bottle too!

Sweet aromas of cedar, anise, and pepper introduce one to this clear spirit.  The flavors of this remind me of many other Mediterranean anise-flavored liqueurs but the aromas/flavors of cedar (that mastic flavor I've been searching for) make this spirit stand out.  It's very sweet too and packs a bit of a kick at 60 proof.  This would be much better served chilled on a hot summer night than at room temperature on a cool, autumn evening like tonight.

I'll have to remember that for next summer.