Sunday, November 29, 2009

Whiskey in the Jar and Hot Toddys

Well, tonight I have a bit of a sore throat and thought I would put the last corner of Wild Turkey to good work.

I remember as a child my Dad always having a Hot Toddy when we would come home from Ice Fishing.  We would get our own too….sans whiskey, only Honey and Hot Water (my parents were bee keepers).  It was definitely a happy memory.

The history of the a Hot Toddy can be found HERE, but y recipe for a Hot Toddy is :

  • Cover the bottom of the glass with honey.
  • Three fingers of HOT water
  • Two fingers of Wild Turkey

I know some people like Lemon in theirs….but, we didnt have it and I am to lazy to go get some…..and it does fine without.  So, I say add what you like and enjoy.

So, while ENJOYING my drinks….I started goofing on YouTube and realized how many versions of Whiskey in the Jar there are.

I particularly like the song, especially since my mate Gary introduced me to the Dubliners so many years ago and a great wiki on the song can be found HERE

I knew of their version and the duet with THE Pogues, plus the version that Metallica put out….yet the Thin Lizzy version is totally new (Metallica was a cover of theirs).

So I thought I would start a new poll….which was better.

I put 4 of them here for your perusal:

The Dubliners

The Dubliners and Pogues

Thin Lizzy

Metallica

 

 

Voting is enabled at the right and pitch your case in the comments below.


Enjoy

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wild Turkey and Coke

Watching Notre Dame collapse against Stanford has been a long night.  ND held them early, but their Defense has sucked ass.

But I digress.

Tonight I have been drinking Wild Turkey and Coke.

If ever there is a perfect match in the world, it is this.

I reflect back to my days in Weisbaden with TonySama and Trojan.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day, Tony and I used to go to the bar and drink WT&C .

I remember laughing with Tony, as we called our bartender Lloyd because he reminded us so much of the guy from the Shining.

Every evening, he would say…Good Evening Sirs, what can I get you.

Eventually he knew it would always be the ….Turkey and Coke.

So tonight I revisited,  I missed the almost sickly sweetness of the drink.  Wild Turkey, with its high alcohol content, is often deferred to mixing,…..I think with Coke (in our case Diet Coke) .

As a highball drink, Nothing compares  to this one.

Big Punch, lotsa booze and even in a bar environment, a good mixer for a quick drunk.

So, ND looses (we wont even reflect on watching ND beat FLSt in you apartment guys)….hopefully we can get a good coach and create a new tradition with a new drink.

In the meantime, I still loves me some WT&C and there is even a Society on FB to promote it. 

Give it a try…great drink and a great drunk.

How does Scotch get the peaty taste

If you have drank scotch with me, you know I like the peat bombs.  Of them, Laphroaig is one of my favorites.  Neat, with just a splash of water (just like in the vid), never goes wrong.

Well, Modern Marvels ran an episode on distilleries….and they filmed at the Laphroaig.

Enjoy, Learn Something and pour a dram or two :)

Another friend blogging

Randy is now blogging about drinking too.

Check out his blog at My Side of the Bar

His first post is one of my favorite drinks, the Martini. Mmmmmmmm.

Wait, doesn't Debi owe me a bunch of those?

Friday, November 27, 2009

NUB Cameroon

Ok, day after Thanksgiving and it was beautiful outside as we went out in our annual trek for a Christmas Tree. 

After all my beer and liquor posts lately, and since we were going to be outside, I decided to do a cigar this afternoon.

A quick perusal of MY humidor lead me to go with the NUB, and of those….NUB Cameroon Torpedo (4x64 Torpedo with a 62 min avg burn time).

cameroon_framed_02_02

The wrapper is very smooth, thin, with a nice in color and no veins.  I learned from their website that the wrapper is actually grown in Cameroon (duh, I wondered where they got the name) and the binder/filler from Nicaragua.

I was pleasantly surprised by the overall burn of the cigar, it burned clean and even throughout…even though I didnt have time to properly toast the cigar at the beginning.  The long burn I think is attributed to the compression and density of the filler.  As most of my friends know, I prefer quicker cigars (due to me smoking at work and needing to get back to the phone at a moments notice)…yet the Cameroons are great for me when I have some extra time to enjoy.

The cigar itself starts off really good and was flavorful with lots of “dark” flavors. I got a roasted smoky wood with some coffee beans.  I would almost call it a “Guinness Cigar”.

As I reached toward the middle of the stick , there’s still rich dark flavors, very heavy on the palate, but not harsh at all. It’s just a heavy dose of smoke that would have paired well with the Sailor Jerry’s I am drinking tonight.  Maybe if I break out the telescope (It’s still beautiful tonight), I might pour me 3-4 fingers and break out another.

I would rate this cigar a solid B, possibly moving it up with the proper pairing.  A good stick that will not disappoint and one that I would happily break when friends come over.

Until next time….Smoke’m if ya Gott’em

IMG00125

The He’Brews


As you might recall, earlier I reviewed He’Brew Messiah Bold here on the Blog. As a brown ale, I thought it was very good and said I would buy it again.

Well, in her shopping for our Thanksgiving Day meal, Debi picked up a 6-pack of this AND found that HyVee now is also carrying He’Brew Genesis Ale.

When I was unloading the car, I knew this was going to be a good day.

I held off cracking open any of the He’Brews until Alby got over, as I wanted him to experience the new one with me (hint hint on a review Albs and K).

Anyway, I thought it would be hard to pull me away from the Messiah Bold, but Genesis did the trick.

A golden honey color opening with a malty/Caramel aroma. The taste of roasted caramel sits well on the tongue and there is a hint of nuttyness and hops as a finish. I particularly liked the creamy sensation this beer creates when resting on the tongue. It was great.

Alby and K sampled both the Genesis and Messiah, and I know their druthers….but they can add that in the comments section.

So far, Schmaltz Brewing has hit it out the park two times in a row for me. I know I am planning on exposing more drinkers to it on New Years, plus I have a Company Christmas Party coming up too. Hopefully we can create enough of a demand here in CoMO to get some the others in the product line.

Chutzpah Never Tasted So Good.

Finally, what is Genesis ;)

Worlds Strongest Beer

Man, will people get off their high horses?  This morning I read the following article.

First, the cool part…an upstart brewery in Scotland (Blue Dog) set the worlds record of Strongest Beer by brewing one they call “Tactical Nuclear Penguin Beer” (horrible name) at a whopping 32%.

Congrats to them.

Now the stupid part…..

Jack Law, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said: "It is child-like attention-seeking by a company that should be more responsible.

"The fact that they have achieved a new world record is not admirable.

"It is a product with a lot of alcohol in it - that's all. To dress it up as anything else is cynical.

"It's as strong as whisky, so you have to ask whether this is actually a beer or a spirit - it's clearly a spirit."

Hey EINSTEIN, they only made 500 Bottles.  It’s a marketing ploy to get attention to their company.  I doubt little kids are going to run out and buy it.  Pull your panties out of your arse and go have a pint.

Also….”As strong as whisky”?  Ummmm…..I don't know what you are buying bub…but the last I checked, the majority of whiskey is bottled at 40 to 46%, so it’s not “As Strong”. 

It’s teetotalers like you, Jack, that are a dreg on society….not the brewers (nobody is FORCED to drink their beer), Distillers or the drinkers. 

You skew statistics to meet your needs and try and influence the free will of people though your “Educational” meetings and disinformation.

I could think of thousands of better uses for the £1,636,558 of income your organization raised last year vs the fear mongering and leeching that is currently  going on.

Ok, I will now climb off my soapbox and have a beer.  You will now be returned to your regularly scheduled program.

Jim Beam leads to research

So, I was looking at the Jim Beam Website (one of these days I plan to review just websites and have a vote for the best) and saw this picture…..

 

JB_White_Mojitos_Spread_lrg

I thought it was funny, but then it made me think….how much Whiskey did they really take along?

Well, fellow readers….the amount wasn’t as much as I expected.  300 gallons.  Just under 6 Gallons a man….that lasted them a year.

Each day, the men were given a ration of 1 GILL (about 4 ounces) and forced to consume it immediately (to prevent hoarding and drunkenness).  Then they began to water that whiskey down to stretch it out. Every man in the expedition knew exactly how much whiskey was left, so when Pvt Hugh Hall was caught “taking whiskey out of the keg this morning which whiskey was stored on the bank (and under the charge of the Guard).” , he was court-martialed and given 50 lashes.  Incidentally, on June 29th….my birthday.

Eventually, they did run out of whiskey though…and it makes you wonder if they took a page from history.   Napoleon  once said, “Whenever you set off on a march, make sure you’ve got plenty of beer and wine along and that it’s enough to last until you get far enough away from camp so that the men don’t desert”.   That’s basically what happened with Lewis and Clark. They brought enough whiskey along to get them through to the Great Falls. The last drink of hard liquor was on July 4th 1805.  By then, they were so far into the wilderness….it was way too late for anybody to desert.

The men trudged on for over a year more before the expedition ended in September of 1806.  At a few points along the way, they got beer….but no hard spirits.  I can only imagine how rough that would have been during the winters of the plains. 


Raise a glass to these brave and sober souls……without them, what would have America turned out like?

In the spirit of Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Damage

One Six Pack HeBrew Messiah Bold
One Six Pack HeBrew Genisis Ale

One Case PBR (It seemed like a good idea at the time)
Two Bottles of Red Wine (Bitch was one of them)
3/4 Bottle of Wild Turkey
1 Bottle of Wild Turkey American Honey Liquor

Some Jim Beam
A Case of Sam Adams Seasonals
1/2 Bottle of Sailor Jerry's Rum
One Bourbon Smoked Turkey (AWSOME)
1/2 Debi's Turkey
Kendra's Deviled Eggs
Assorted Pies (to many to count)
....and a ton of other stuff.

I love Thanksgiving and I'm glad it was just Glenn and Kendra that came over ;)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
- Henny Youngman

I'm going to live forever

Based on THIS ARTICLE

"those who drank anything from three shots to more than 11 shots each day, the risk (of Hear Disease) worked out an average of 50% less. "

Man, at this rate...my heart should be strong as an ox.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We did it!




(click above for the invitation)


We cleared our first $100.

As of 1:54, we were at $102.33. Keep up the clicks.

If you don't know what I am talking about, I would suggest you visit here and here.

Thanksgiving Recipe and New Reviews coming

Ok Ok, I know I haven't posted any reviews since Sunday. Given my daily posting track record, I didnt want anyone to worry that I had (GASP) given up drinking.

Instead, I have been prepping for the upcoming game night and also trying to choose the recipe for my Thanksgiving Contribution.

Well, here it is -

SMOKED WHISKEY TURKEY BREAST

Serving Size: 6

1 each 10-12# Turkey Breast bone-in
1 batch Smoked Whiskey Turkey Injection cold

SMOKE WHISKEY TURKEY INJECTION
1 cup Honey
1 cup Garlic Oil Infused
1 cup Butter melted
1/2 cup Kentucky Whiskey
2 teaspoon Cumin ground
2 teaspoon Hot Chili Oil

Combine all ingredients together, and blend well.

Using about half of the marinade, pierce the turkey with a injection needle in several different spots.
Injecting the turkey with half of the marinade.

Place the turkey breast into a clear oven bag.
pour the remaining marinade over the turkey breast and remove the air from the bag,
by twisting and then sealing the bag.

Allow the the breast to brined for 24 hours. Bring the turkey out at
room temperature will you are building your fire and getting your smoker hot.
*********
Notes: Smoke in smoker with water bath at 225 degrees for 20 minutes per pound or until just done.

COOK TIME: 4-5 HOURS


I will try and get some review up later today....here are the upcoming ones:

Tommyknocker Alpine Glacier
Arcadia Ales Scotish Ale
Schlafly Dry Hopped APA

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wild Blue Blueberry Lager

Ok, Debi brought in one of her beers to sample, Wild Blue Blueberry Lager....and I should have known from the the deep magenta-purple body and thin pink head that this was NOT going to be a beer that I liked.

The nose wasn't overpowering, instead it was almost like a light wine cooler. There is no way this could be a beer. After one drink, I'm still not sure it is. I could make out no hops or maltyness....it was just to sweet. The flavor of the Blueberries was just to much and other flavors couldn't work their way through.

IMO, it's kinda cool, for novelties sake or maybe a dessert beer...but I wouldn't buy it again unless Debi requested it. Considering this is an attempt by Anheuser-Busch to get into the "Micro-Brew" market, I think they should go back to R&D and rethink their position....stick with what they know.

This is defiantly one of those beers that Debi could buy a 6-pack and I wouldn't touch it.

If ever there was a girly beer...this is it. I would love to see anyone (Debi's) feedback if they have tried this one.

PS - The picture below does not do it justice on the color, it has to be seen to believe.

Debi's Review of Gulden Draak


As for the Golden Draak, it was OK, a bit sweet, even for me and it gave me a headache (for those that don't know me, I have these crazy allergies, triggered by some unknown substance in various foods/liquids - an no it's not a hangover - it's one or two swallows and I have a migraine for 3 days). I can drink half a bottle of Patron and be completely fine the next day, or a sip of Baileys and be down for two to three days.

If you look around you'll see raving reviews for Golden Draak, so don't take my word as gospel, but if you want a really good barley wine - you'd be better served heading over to Flat Branch and picking up a growler of theirs.

He'Brew - The Chosen Beer



I have to admit, the name He'Brew The Chosen Beer made me literally laugh out loud and think of Ben and Steve. It being Sunday...how could I not buy it and try it first.

The bottle describes the beer as being a "Rich and Robust Dark Brown Ale", but I was really caught off guard with the nutty flavor when I took my first sip. I immediately went and got our Killian's Swag tasting cups so I could check color and offer Debi a sample.



As you can see, it was darker than I anticipated...with a great Carmel/nut fragrance. The head came out creamy (although Debi though the beer tasted a little flat) and the first taste makes you think...hmmmm, I've got something here.

The rich roasted malts blend well with a slight hoppyness, bring this beer together with a chocolate finish.

The beer was gone before I knew it.

Very Impressive, I would buy this over Newcastle any day of the week.

If you are looking for a Brown Ale, choose the Chosen Beer....choose He'Brew.

PS - Defiantly check out their site, it is a riot...here is a sample vid from it.

video

Our Trip to the New HyVee

Ok, today after Church we went to the new HyVee in Columbia.

Debi had been there before and looked at the new Liquor/Beer Department...but this was my first foray in.

We used to live behind the original HyVee, so I was aware of the Layout...although I must say, the selection here is much bigger.

Debi and I both picked out some wines, and each of us also took advantage of there Six Pack Special, where you can mix and match for $10.

Here are the ones I picked -

He'Brew Messiah Bold
Jackman's American Pale Ale (Left Hand Brewing)
Arcadia Ales Scotch Ale
Tommyknocker Glacier
Haywire Hefeweizen
Lagunitas IPA



I will be reviewing them one at a time as I work my way through the 6-pack. Also, I would expect some wine reviews (I even picked up a Goats Do Roam) and whatever Debi throws my way from her pick six.

Cheers

Glenn's Gulden Draak Report

Short and sweet, that is an apt description of Golden Draak. While I did enjoy this dark brown beer it was a bit too sweet for my taste... great flavor but I prefer less honey sweet to my drinks. But, Kendra loved it... she enjoyed the beer greatly.

All in all it was nice but more of a ladies drink as far as I am concerned.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tiger Wine?




University of Missouri's viticulture institute creates experimental winery

By Associated Press

4:01 AM CST, November 13, 2009
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A University of Missouri research center that studies grape growth is creating an experimental winery.

The school's Institute for Continental Climate Viticulture and Enology (ee-NAHL'-uh-jee) provides research support to the state's 92 commercial wineries.

By setting up a winery, the institute can apply those experiments to the entire winemaking process.

The wine will be commercially available with a label that reflects its university affiliation.

Viticulture is the science of growing grapes. Enology is the science and study of wines and winemaking.

Institute for Continental Climate Viticulture & Enology

Single Wide IPA




Well, it was game night here at Smokes & Booze...and I had some friends over. Of course nothing says "Friends" like Beer and Pizza (from Pizza Haus here in Town)and tonight's choices were Blue Moon Belgian White and Boulevard Single-Wide India Pale Ale (IPA).

The guys focused on the IPA, and why not....it is a MANLY Beer. With an IBU of 59, this beer really works the Hops for all its got...especially considering to qualify as an IPA, the minimum score is a 40. Even drunk straight from the bottle, you immediately notice the Hops' unique aroma. Mmmmmmmmmm.....I loves me some HOPS. The beer itself tastes of floral/pine hop juices balanced out with malty sweetness before finishing a little bitter and dry. It went well with the Pizza and I would be curious to the others opinions (HINT HINT). I will say I am biased, IPAs are some of my favorites...and since Boulevard is a "Local" (from KC), it gets bonus points. Throw in the cool origins of the beer (the Hops was a perspective when shipping beer from the UK to India) and I find this a can't miss when the guys come over.

Boulevard Single-Wide IPA (since 1989??? Boy do I feel old).....Two Thumbs Up.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Waiting on Glenn's "Guest Blog"

Have you tried that Gulden Drak yet?

Scotch Tasting

Last night we had our Scotch Tasting at Grand Cru. A good time was had by all.

Glenn and I arrived early, and knew it was going to be a long night when the waiter remembered both me and Debi (Blueberry Cha?) from the last time we were there.

I opened with a classic Laphroig (Neat) because I knew we were dealing with Speysides tonight and I wanted to get my "Peat Bomb" in early.

Glenn went with a Gimlet based on my past Gin Article, and I recommended Hendrick's Gin. He seemed to like it, and the next round I ordered the same while he sampled a different Gin, Old Raj from Cadenhead. He immediately said he like Hendrix better, so we swapped.

Old Raj was interesting, more of a traditional style of Dry Gin vs the crystal clear stuff you see today (like Bombay). The color reminded me of Gordon's and it had a very unique (spicy)taste, which I learned is due to a unique ingredient...saffron. The addition of the saffron is undertaken personally by the Company Chairman, in order to ensure a consistency in flavor and color each time Old Raj is bottled. Another interesting thing about Old Raj, it is bottled 55% ABV vs the 40% ABV or less of regular gins...so you know it packs a punch.

Debi, Jennifer and Jason showed up and we had another round (I have to do something about Jason always drinking Jack and Coke) before the tasting.

What stood out from this tasting was the fact that it wasn't put on by a distributor , but instead by a representative of William Grant & Sons. Impressive.

Tim Burckhart walked everyone through the basics of scotch and had interesting tidbits of information through the night. He was very knowledgeable (I told you Debi they were all Speysides) and willing to take a few minutes to talk about the various brands. If you see him out and about, buy him a drink.

We actually tasted 5 Scotchs, although the 5th addition was a last minute and I missed the name/year. I think it was the Glenfiddich 21 year old and if Tim happens to lurk into the blog, perhaps he will share what it was.

Here are my notes and thoughts of the others:

Balvenie 12 year old double wood - This Scotch had a very creamy texture and you could really distinguish the Barley and Vanilla flavors. Initially the nose smelled of Almonds, but when I added water I was reminded of those chocolate oranges you get at Christmas.

Balvenie 17 year old Madeira finish - The oaky nose left me totally off guard for the sweetness of this one. Sugary is what I deciphered from my notes, and I could definitely see this one being part of a dessert service.
Glenfiddich 15 year old - Smooth coat of whisky on swirling. Not many legs forming, although Debi taunted me for doing it....saying all drinks have legs. Medium-to-light peat smoke taste and water brought out the honey flavors and a citrusy nose. This would probably be the one I would pair with a cigar at the end of an evening.
Glenfiddich 18 year old - A darker color than I expected from a Glenfiddich, the Oak flavor really comes out in this 18 Year Old, probably due to the aging process...20% of which is done in Spanish Oloroso wood casks and the remaining time in the traditional American oak casks. The taste was good, a Spiced Apple with a cinnamon finish, but was a little lacking in peatyness for me.

Overall, I came away with a great liking for the Balvenies, particularly the 17. It's a little pricey, at $125, but well within my drinking budget. It was noted around our table that Balvenies seemed almost "Personal" while the Glenfiddich had a mass produced feel. I know it seems odd to say about a Scotch, but it's the only way to describe it. I will add that I had become accustomed to Glenfiddich 12 (the Green Bottle), so this was an eyeopener with regards to the rest in their range and will definitely be looking at 21 Year Old.

The night was a great success....I want to thank Grand Cru and Tim for a great production.

I cant wait for the next one :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009




Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) is on November 11 and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compi├Ęgne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" 1918. While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the cease fire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire.

The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. An exception is Italy, where the end of the war is commemorated on 4 November, the day of the Armistice of Villa Giusti. Called Armistice Day in many countries, it was known as National Day in Poland (also a public holiday) called Polish Independence Day. After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France. It is also an official holiday in Belgium, known also as the Day of Peace in the Flanders Fields.

In many parts of the world people take a two-minute moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. as a sign of respect for the roughly 20 million people who died in the war, as suggested by Edward George Honey in a letter to a British newspaper although Wellesley Tudor Pole established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.[1][2]

In the UK, beginning in 1939, the two-minute silence was moved to the Sunday nearest to 11 November in order not to interfere with wartime production should 11 November fall on a weekday. Both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are commemorated formally in the UK.

Tonight, we will be going to Grand Cru for a Scotch Tasting and also to raise a toast to the Fallen Hero's of a Forgotten War.

We'll be tasting four different scotches -

Balvenie 12 year old double wood
Glenfiddich 15 year old
Glenfiddich 18 year old
Balvenie 17 year old madeira finish

I know Alby and Jason will be there, but would love to lift a pint (or Dram) with any other Blog Followers.

The evening starts with a social at 5:30 p.m., the tasting will begin at 6 p.m. and is listed to the right if you need directions.

CYA there

Veteran's Day

I was originally gonna post something cute and funny about today, that is until I got an Email from my friend Gordy.

Gordy and I have been friends for a long time, 22 years to be exact. We met in Basic Training, went through Security Clearance Processing together and then Advanced Individual Training (AIT)....we even had the same MOS (33T).

Throughout the years he and I have stayed in contact, he stayed in the Army (they call him "Chief" now, but to me he is still a NUG) while I got out and started a career. He has been deployed several times, and is so currently.

I remember the last time he was in Columbia, we sat outside and didn't have to say anything for a long time....that is a sign of a true friend. When we talk, we both speak the same language.

Today, he forwarded over a speech his daughter wrote.....so instead of something cute, I decided to post it.

Thanks Gordy for serving and sharing.

Veteran’s Day Speech

For as long as I can remember, Veteran’s Day has been celebrated at my school by everyone meeting in the gym to hear some people speak about the importance of the day. We salute the former soldiers and the current ones that come to our school to commemorate the day. But when I was little, it started out as just another assembly, just another day. It wasn’t until I was in early middle school that I learned what Veteran’s Day really means.
It dawned on me when I was talking to my father, who has been a soldier in our military for twenty years. I only get to see him in the summer sometimes, and other times we talk over the phone. I had called him one day just to talk to him and it was shortly after Veteran’s Day in sixth grade. After we talked about what he was doing for a while, we moved on to what I had been doing.
“Well,” I said slowly. “We went to a Veteran’s Day assembly not too long ago.”
“That’s cool.” replied my dad. “So, who was there?”
“Just some old dudes that had retired from the military, all our teachers, and all the other students.” I replied thinking back. It was at that moment, which a question popped into my mind. “Dad, are you a veteran?”
“Yeah sweetheart,” he told me plainly. “Veterans can be anyone that has fought for our country.”
“Even if they’re still fighting?” I ask.
“Yeah.” he replied back. It was then that I realized how Veteran’s Day really affected my life. It wasn’t just about an assembly anymore where my school met to observe the day of veterans. It more than that now; it was about my family, especially my father.

As a child, I was narrow-minded; I never looked at the big picture. I never paid attention to what we were going through as a country, which was of course until the September 11th attacks. I remember everyone turning on their TVs and watching the news. I didn’t care at first; the news bored me at the time. What got my attention was when some of the teachers started to cry. I was confused and when I got home I asked my mom about it. She told me that the Twin Towers in New York had been attacked by terrorists. Terrorists, it was a new word for me. I was in third grade at the time, and “terrorists” wasn’t something they taught you back then. However, I still understood the word “Terror”. Then she told me how the attacks had killed a lot of people. Death was something else I was familiar with. I live by a country road and a few of our family dogs had already been killed by speeders. When I imagined the death of the attacks that day, I imagined the feeling of losing one of the pets that had loved deeply. But it wasn’t dogs that had died, it was people. People like you would meet everyday. When I asked why the attacks happened, my mother just told me it was because some people were angry with the U.S. When I asked what we had done wrong she told me that we were just living freely. We had freedom that most others didn’t have.
Then I remembered something my dad told me once. Soldiers protect our nation, and something just as important; the freedom we live by everyday. In the years to come, I learned just what he meant by freedom.
The origin of our freedom lies with the birth of our country. As our country started, I learned that we broke away from England and became independent. Our forefathers created the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, each stood for the freedom that we as a country stand for today. After that we fought England for our freedom and won, making independence official. But it didn’t get any easier after that.
We fought with ourselves in the Civil War and continued to fight other countries. Finally, the entire civilized world went to war. World War 1 took place from 1917 to 1918. After this war, in 1919, President Wilson proclaimed that November 11th would be celebrated as Armistice Day. This day was originally made to honor the veterans of World War I. But after World War II took place from 1941 to 1945, and the Korean War took place from 1950 to 1953, Congress decided to change the name of the day to Veteran’s Day. This is so that all veterans that have served can be honored. This was approved in the year 1954 and has been so ever since.
Since then, we have fought in the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and even now continue to fight in the Iraqi War. Men and women of our country have fought and died to protect our country and its beliefs. We’ve also fought to aid others who share our values of a better way of life. We may not have won every time, but we’ve stood our ground.
Veteran’s Day is especially important to me because I get to thank my dad. He’s not just my father; he’s a man that is risking his life for me almost everyday. Why? So I can have the freedom to be a Christian. So I can speak out on what I believe. So everyone can assemble to honor veterans on Veteran’s Day. Without our veterans, we wouldn’t be the country we are today. We would be just some other country who is suffering under the tyranny of a dictating government. I for one would not like that life. Where I would have no voice, where what I feel and think doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has an opinion and no one’s opinion is greater than anyone else’s. Some might think another’s opinions are incorrect or unjust, but everyone has a right to express themselves by their voice, to express their opinion.

I would like to end by thanking our veterans who have fought and others who have died for our beloved country. The men and women who have taken on the task of taking up arms and fighting for their freedom; but not just their freedom, for everyone’s freedom. The freedom that we are given at birth; what we deserve in order to live a fulfilling and purposeful life. So, thank you veterans. I hope my words have encouraged everyone that has listened and I hope that we’ll keep fighting no matter what. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday US Marine Corp

On this day in history, 10 Nov 1775, the Continental Congress formed the Continental Marines,planning to draw them from among Washington's army in Boston and send them to capture supplies from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

However, Washington was unenthusiastic about the plan and suggested the Marines be recruited in New York or Philadelphia instead. Captain Samuel Nicholas was commissioned as the Continental Marines' first officer on 28 November 1775.

What does this have to do with Smokes and Booze? EVERYTHING!

When Cpt.Samuel Nicholas enacted a decision of the Continental Congress to form the Continental Marines,he based recruitment at a tavern. Not just any tavern, but Tun Tavern, famous as a meeting place for prominent organizations and people, such as -

-St. George's Society
-the firt meetings of St. John's No. 1 Lodge of the Grand Lodge of the Masonic Temple
-St. Andrews Society
-Benjamin Franklin
-George Washington
-Thomas Jefferson
-The Continental Congress

So much history, in one Bar. Amazing.

Sadly, Tun Tavern burned down in 1781, but there is a historical marker near the location and a themed restaurant at Quantico.



Often, Taverns are overlooked at their significance in early American History....a place where people could meet, discuss, rest threir weary bones. A gathering point of the community. So much of Americana as we know it started in pubs, bars and taverns across the country....and today is a great example.

If you happen to stop by the Tinderbox today, say something to Kevin....our resident Marine. I'm sure it would make his day.

Cheers and Happy Birthday to the Corp.

Monday, November 9, 2009

And now a word from our Sponsors




Ok, I doubt it would surprise anyone that I started this blog because I am writing/blogging about something I really enjoy in life.

After throwing some posts up though, I learned that you could make a little money if people click on the ads and was curious as to how much.

Since this was Google, I figured it wasn't a scam and included them in my setup.

How good has it been? Well, without even trying I am already over $50 (thanks everyone who helped)....all in a little more than a week.

Is that earth shattering? No. Will I be able to afford both Parkplace AND Boardwalk? No. But what it is, if I continue growing in ad clicks, is more booze for the New Years Bonfire and gets the ball rolling for the next GOAT NIGHT.

I'm sure you are all wondering how you can help. It's easy, click through all the ads once a day. Visit the sponsors. Show/tell them you like their products. Buy stuff.

What if you are not attending either of these events? Well, as far as I am concerned....you all are invited anyway, even those of you I haven't seen in a long time. If you can't attend, you probably know me well enough to know I would buy you a drink anyway next time I see you (or have bought you a lot in the past). This is just a medium so that we can continue life as I like to enjoy it....with Booze for everyone.

I included a picture to show you what the ads look like, because some people say they didn't know where to click.



So, please take a few minutes out of your day and click through the Sponsors. If you are blogging and Monetize your site, I would be more than happy to do the same for you as well....just let me know the site.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

This Day in History

Nov 9 1953

Dylan Thomas allegedly drinks himself to death.

Who is Dylan Thomas, a Welsh Poet and writer who is quoted as saying

"An alcoholic is someone you don't like, who drinks as much as you do."

You can read more about him HERE, but I will close with this poem:

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

Nut Cracker Ale


Walking through Walmart after Church, I wasn't really planning on picking up a six pack, but then....a name jumped out at me- NUT CRACKER ALE - and I knew I had to have it.

NCA is a somewhat local beer, coming fro Boulevard Brewing in KC, plus this one is also fitting the theme of Seasonal Beers lately, so it looked like an all around win for the blog :P

Getting home, I cracked one open while putting away groceries....and was immediately WOWed by the Hoppyness and Molasses (I actually though of caramelized Maple Syrup) finish. Instantly a winner.

With an IBU of 31, it qualifies as a North American Brown Ale and the variant (Chinook) of Hops really plays through the beer. The Chinook Hops grabbed me so much that I was actually curious enough to look up the IBU on this one, because I thought it would be higher (just short of an IPA).

I didn't pay any attention to the color until I glassed the last one later in the evening, and then only as an afterthought. Very good looking medium brown, that when poured brought out an edge of nuttyness to the aroma for me. I wish I would have tried that earlier......oh well, I was thirsty.

At just under $7 for a 6'er at WalMart, this would be a good dinner beer (it paired great with my steak) and possibly a sit down in front of a fire over the holidays.

It would also make a good gift (when is beer ever a bad one?) with the Holiday Themed Name and Label....sure to bring a smile.

Enjoy

Crystal Head Vodka

Several months ago, I stumbled on a viral video with Dan Akoryd pitching a product called Crystal Head Vodka. At first, the video is so over the top that it couldn't be be believed, but further research showed that it was a real product.

Throwing caution to the wind, I ordered it and surprised Debi.

The Bottle presentation is one of the coolest I had seen, from the great bottle to the runes on the cork....very good.



The real question was how was the Vodka. To often in these decorative decanters, the booze is lacking. When you throw in that Mr. Akoryd stating that the vodka was triple filtered through diamonds......you know its gotta be bad.

WRONG!

The vodka was really smooth, clean and very very drinkable. Not only was the vodka good as a mixer, but could even be drank straight (on the rocks for me) and had a great vanilla aftertaste.

Currently you can buy Crystal Head at the Nostalgia Shop attached to Grand Cru .

Fast forward a few months and my friend Leo asked if he could have the bottle to do a presentation of the Mead that he makes. I thought sure thing and forgot about it. Today he emailed me a picture of it, and I thought I would share....enjoy.



More pictures can be found HERE

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Poor Man's Margaritas

Ok, I'm getting ready for bed and I realized I had an ommision in the review of last night.

I covered everything at Paddy Malone's, but then there was the ride home. Jason and I were in the backseat rambling on about how we needed more booze. Jenn was hungry and Debi was tired (still worn out from her bout with H1N1).

It was determined that we would just get dropped off at home and Jenn/Jason would grab some chow in Columbia.

Being the enabler that I am, as soon as we got home....I threw together a quick drink for me and Jason. One I called....the Poor Man's Margarita.

Now keep in mind, I had limited resources to work with....ie, we were out of booze and beer, except for two types of Tequila and a bottle of white wine.

So, thinking quick...I poured a double Milagro, threw in some cubed ice and topped with Mt. Dew.

It actually (in my drunken state) wasn't bad......but was Jason a bit to full to handle it? It was that or the BK. Inquiring minds want to know.

Cheers

Rare Artifact Unearthed


Well, my sister Cathy found this picture the other day and added it Facebook. I had known of it's existence for some time and had often looked for it when going through the pictures at my Mom and Dad's.

It's a fairly typical picture for the early 70's, bunch of men gathered around and someone get's the bright idea to hand the baby a beer. We've all done it. Except in this case, someone had a camera....and in that brief moment in the fall of 1970 (that is an estimate based on my the clothes I am wearing and comparing to other pictures), a legacy is born.

Who knows what would have happened if I had not been given that beer. Who knew that Budweiser was a gateway Beer. What is my oldest brother Jim (in the door) thinking? Would this blog even exist today if it wasnt for that brief brainchild of someone present (who...we'll never know).

Many years ago, I asked my Dad about that day. He told me that the guys all laughed about this picture for hours (the man on the left is my Grandfather, my brother Jim is in the door, Uncle Pete had the bended knee and my Uncle Thad is on the right edge), and that there was only foam in the bottom......but apparently I had kept trying to drink from it. They couldn't get the can away from me.

I owe those Men a lot in life, especially the one who took the picture...my father. They made me what I am today, and now I have photographic evidence :)

Cheers

Paddy Malone's

Last night I surprised my wife and went to Paddy Malone's in Jefferson City with our Friends Jason & Jennifer.

I had never been there, but it had great reviews from other friends.....plus Jennifer had never been to an Irish Pub Environment (other than McNally's in Columbia), so it was looking to be an adventure.

The pub itself is really easy to find, and going to the front door gave a great view of the Capitol Building

Inside didn't disappoint either. The pub is a cross between an Authentic Irish Pub and an Americanized one....but with the flavor very tastefully done. My personal favorite was in the Pub Proper....where all the tabletops had a hand painted "logo" for an Irish City .


Paddy Malone claims to have the best Guinness in Missouri (with great attention to detail), so I decided to kick the night off with that. Debi also went with Guinnes, while Jenn was drinking Amaretto Sours and Jason was having Whiskey and Coke. We also ordered appetizers (Chips and Cheese with Guinness Cheese Sauce, Loaded Tator Tots and the Fried Portabella Mushrooms). We were originally going to work through those and then order real food....but the waitress advised that we wait until we got through the portion size.

The drinks arrived, and I was casually amused with the Shamrock in the foam. I know you are wondering, did the Guinness live up to the hype? I don't know of the best in MO, but I'm pretty sure it's right up there. Perfect temp and very creamy head. When I drank it, the glass striated very well and it arrived ready to go (no waiting for the beer to settle). Since Guinness is my favorite beer on tap.....I know it well, and I was inpressed. Debi said "Very Tasty".

Jenn and Jason liked their drinks (although I can't remember the whiskey in Jason's). Jenn thought the bartender was pretty liberal with booze in her, so that always brings high marks.

Before our food arrived, I followed the Guinness up with a Harp. Again, great temp and very crisp. Service (IMO) was very fast and the waitress was friendly and joked with the table.

When the appetizers arrived, I'm glad our server "scared us off" because there was a lot of food. We all sized an area, I started with the Mushrooms, and dug in. All I can say is Mmmmmm Mmmmmmmm Mmmmmmm (Barak Hussein Obama). Mine was great, the Cheese Sauce was VERY good (with the fries crispilly delicious)and the Tots were not bad. Debi made an astute observation that everyone's favorite was what they started with....so opinions might have been skewed. I tend to think that was the case.

Next round was a Smithwick's, one that I believe I've only had once before. Very good, with a nice Carmel finish. It was hoppier than I expected and that caught me off guard. I loves me some hops....so that was a definite two thumbs up.

After eating, Jason and I explored the patio for cigars. I went with a Gurkha Exotica De Oriente and he had a Crusado from my stock. The patio is the only smoking area of the Pub, but they went to great lengths to accommodate smokers. It is covered, heated and service didn't drop off. They even went out of their way to keep our drinks on our inside tab vs making us run two.

I reviewed their Scotch list, and it too was impressive. I instantly saw Laphroiag and knew what I was drinking for the remainder of the night. I will say, Laphroiag is not for the faint of heart...it is a Peat Bomb in a bottle, and if you are not prepared it can scare you off scotch for life. Jennifer was impressed that adding just a little bit of water smooths out the liquor and really activates the nose. I was in heaven.

Coming back in from Cigars, I went looking for the bathroom...only to find the other section of the bar, where a pickup Irish Music group were playing. Rounding up everyone, we migrated into there and settled in for a couple of sessions. The group was fun to watch and they covered the "Classics". Jenn was in awe, her only forlay into Irish Music had been what is experienced on St Patrick's Day and this was totally different. I did notice that they tended to cover the Chieftains quite a bit, but hey....that doesn't bother me any, and the lead singer tried to always give an explanation of the meaning of each song. Reels, a few hornpipes and some good singing really rounded out the night.


A quick note about the decor of the side room. It's VERY Irish, and is currently being painted with art inspired from the Celtic style, mostly derivatives of animals from the Book of Kells . It's a tight environment and I think this really inspired the guests to participate with the songs. When the room is done, it will be a really nice addition.

Overall, the night was a total success. Good Music, Drinks and Friends made for a great evening. The bill for all four of us was really reasonable (less than $150 with tip, and that is with me drinking a LOT of top shelf scotch) and I would go back again in a heartbeat. If I were to make one recommendation in Jeff City, it would defiantly be..........Paddy Malone's.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

This Day in History

Nov 7 1872

A mysterious and sad day in History.

The cargo ship Mary Celeste sails from New York, never reaching Genoa. Four weeks later it is found completely abandoned, whereabouts of the ten man crew unknown.

How does this apply to my Blog? The ship's cargo of alcohol, 1,701 to be exact, was still on board, untouched.

So, my theory is Space Aliens....because there is no other reason that I could fathom leaving all that booze behind.

What is your theory?

Hung over Saturday

Uuuugh, why am I hungover and have the worst gas in forever? Three words - Family Game Night.

It all started innocently enough, last night was the night we taught our son James to play Monopoly. Now, James is a math wiz and even though he is younger than the suggested age, we didn't think that would be a problem.

Overall, the game went well....both Debi and I decided we wouldn't play cutthroat with him, but we didn't baby him either. The problem was, while we were playing nice with James....we were Monopoly Busting each other. So that translates to James having the only Monopolies, only houses and only hotels.....ie, the winner.

He was ecstatic.

Throughout the game, I was drinking Gimlets. Lately, I have been on a Gin kick....and Debi was to tired to make martinis, so I went with the old standard. The problem with that, I was mixing them myself. Ask anyone who I bar tend for, I am an enabler and make super strong drinks. If I am by myself, I am 20 times worse.

So, by the time FGN was over and I was watching Boise State survive the scare from LaTech , I was just doing a cursory wave of the lime juice at gin in the glass. My Gimlet had turned into Gin on the Rocks.

By now I'm sure you are saying "But Ed, Gin doesn't give you gas....it's not even carbonated". You are right, it doesn't....BUT, I have been on the Nutrisystem Diet (Don't ask) and my new shipment came in yesterday. Inside was my favorite lunch meal, Black Beans and Rice (with Sausage), and yes.....I ate three of them. So much for the diet, and boy does it stink the next day.

What is the moral of this story? Well, I can't think of one....other than diets suck.

On to the review -

THE GIMLET

I use the traditional mix as follows:

# 2 oz. gin
# 1/2 ounce Rose's lime juice

Pretty simple huh. Not a lot to remember. Even Glenn couldn't forget this one. I do stick with Rose's Lime Juice no matter what though, just because it's the best.

Generic Lime Juice mixed with Bombay Gin is like a $2 Hooker in your Ferrari.

Gimlets are not something I would pay for in a bar either.

First I don't think I could bring myself to say the name. I would feel like I was asking the Bartender to share a bathroom stall with me or something.

Secondly, if I'm in a bar...there are so many other things to choose from, why waste the opportunity on such a simple drink.

All this being said though, Gimlets are a pretty simple (yet tasty) drink when at home and I recommend everyone to try one...you might find that you have a new nightcap.

Cheers.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Johnnie Walker - Still Walking

What more can I say about this video......Bagpipes, Scotland, Bagby and Booze.

This has inspired me to do a Johnnie Walker tasting soon. Maybe I can get Crash and TommyGee to join in and write reviews.

Cheers!

This Day in History

Nov 6 1988

Beatle/boozehound Ringo Starr checks into an alcohol rehabilitation center. While many consider Ringo the least talented Beatle, he has shown exceptional acting ability in his "Atouk zug zug Lana" role (Caveman, 1981).

Thursday Night Gaming


Ok, lots of friends over for the night as we kicked off the new Ptolus Campaign.

Of course, when friends come over, that means drinking...and tonight was no exception.

There were a plethora of beers/drinks around, so I'll give a brief synopsis. If you attended (or just have an opinion) please leave your drink reviews in the comments sections.

Red Stripe (in the Can) - Much better than I expected. Unusually these regional beers don't translate to can well. I honestly thought it would have a metallic aftertaste (plus I missed the nostalgic short bottle), but I was pleasantly surprised. Good front end maltyness. Made me think of beaches. Thanks TommyGee.

Guinness (in bottle with the Widget) - Ok, I will say it...not that great. If you want to drink Guinness from a bottle, I suggest you go here, otherwise stick with the can (with the original widget) or go to a pub (even better). The flavor seems off, and the initial opening still leaves a bit of a mess. I feel the beer doesn't aerate well enough thought the bottle mouth and there just isn't a comfortable mix. Still not sold on the bottle, so my least favorite of the night. Thanks Randy

Schlafly Pale Ale - Probably my favorite Pale Ale, although usually I drink IPAs for the Hops. Still good enough to be a regular in my fridge and tonight was no exception. This was my staple drink of the evening, and I know others were drinking it too with no complaints. Definitely a mans beer though, something about women not liking hops that I will never understand.....

Mike's Hard Pink Lemonade - Ok, I know what you are saying...FooFoo drink here, but I actually liked this one. I got if for Jill (Debi was drinking Milagro Tequila) because I couldn't find any Mojitos and the fact that it is promoting Breast Cancer Awareness (Save the Ta-Ta's) is always a good thing. I cracked one at the end of the night and thought hmmmm....if I were mowing the lawn, this would be a great thirst quencher. Good tangy bite and very lemony...I'd buy it again.

Gin and Tonic (Bombay and Schweppes Tonic Water) - A classic. What more can you say than that. Glenn and I had one to wrap the night (see what you get for being sarcastic), and it always stands up. I know Debi was upset that I didn't have Diet Tonic Water, but that never tastes right to me. Instead, I just say screw the calories and go with the best of brand. Schweppes.

Finally, there was Harp Lager here....but I didnt get any :( Damn. Oh well, better luck next time on that.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pints for Prostates

Every now and then (and I mean once in every 15-20 years) CNN has a good article.

Today, it happens to be Pints for Prostates (on CNN)

I think this is a great idea and I love their motto "Reaching Men through the universal language of Beer".

I know I know, everyone says that the last time I saw the inside of a Dr's Office was when I was born, but even this inspires me (plus I am 40 now) to POSSIBLY make an appointment.

We'll see how it goes.

For those interested, the real website is linked at the right....and also HERE

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Orc Piss


So, while waiting for Debi to get home with the new dog (Long story...don't ask), I was setting up for tomorrow's D&D game.

I had already drank a few Leinenkugels and decided to try something different.

Enter Twist of Raspberry Smirnoff and Rockstar Energy Drink.

The flavor is actually pretty good, the rasberry mixes well with the tureen flavor of Rockstar...and as a mid-evening drink (when trying to decide if its going to turn into a session or more of a relaxing night), it actually works well.

Give it a try and let me know.

Enjoy

Lieinenkugle Fireside Nut Brown Ale

Here we are with another seasonal beer, this time from Leinenkugle...their Fireside Nut Brown Ale.

Unlike the two previous, this one claims to have a "Maple aroma and pronounced Chocolate, Carmel and Hazelnut Top Notes", so NO PUMPKIN.



The first time I tried this beer I thought "Meh". The flavor doesn’t hit you right away, it’s very subtle and at the end there is a nice caramel flavor with a punch of roasted nuts (but I don't get the hazelnut). The flavor full bodied with a touch of sweetness at the end and I get the Chocolate more from the Aroma (very sweet) than the actual taste.

The color of the beer is an amazing dark amber color. Darker than a Killian's, this one looks very good poured and held a nice head while took the dogs out.

It wasn't until the second or third beer that this one grew on me, although I don't think I could drink a whole 6 pack in one sitting (a true sign of a great beer). This would be one that I would break out when someone stopped by and we sat on the deck watching the sunset. Definitely NOT a Football Saturday Beer.

The flavor is definitely a little different, so I give props for that. Today, to many beers try to taste like the brand of the moment....here Leinenkugel really stands out.

I don't want to say I am glad this is a seasonal (Only available Nov - Jan) because I think it is unique and I wouldn't mind serving it at a Sept party...but since it is, look for it at our annual New Years Bonfire and give it a try.

Gin


Today we talk about one of my favorite drinks, GIN.

Gin is one of those alcohols that you either love or hate. I honestly hated it for a long time, mostly because I was only exposed to low quality Gordon's while drinking at the Army E-Club at Katterbach. Nothing says headache like a bad Gin Hangover.

But later in life, my friend Mike introduced me to Bombay Sapphire, and it was all downhill from there. The combination of 10 ingredients (almond, lemon peel, licorice, juniper berries, orris root, angelica, coriander, cassia, cubeb, and grains of paradise) all come together to make an elixir that can be quite refreshing.

From Gin and Tonics (little tonic water for me)to Gimlets, Gin Fizz (Hate) to Salty Dogs (loves me some Grapefruit)...Gin is just a great all round mixer.

My personal favorite though is a Dirty Gin Martini (extra dry with three olives), and to get more specific....only as my wife Debi makes them.

In fact, last night I asked her to make me one out of the blue and of course (being the great wife that she is) went out and bought a new bottle of Bombay and made the best ones I have had in a long time.

Of course, like many drinks, her recipe is secret...but here is a good ol'standby.

Standard gin martini

Many contend that the gin martini is the only mix fitting to wear the name "martini," and all other cocktails are impostors. We love a good gin martini, but we say "hogwash" to the naming issue.

Ingredients

* 6 ounces of freezing Bombay Sapphire or Mercury gin.
* 5 drops of Noilly Pratt dry vermouth.
* 2 small twists of lemon rind.
* 2 Picholine olives.

The mix

* Fill a glass martini shaker about 3/4 full of cracked, clean ice.
* Pour your gin into the shaker and let stand for sixty seconds. Count down from sixty to zero.
* Approach your shaker with caution, and lovingly apply the lid.
* Shake, shake, shake. About fifteen, vigorous, diagonal shakes should do the trick.
* Put that shaker down and get two well chilled martini glasses from the fridge or freezer. Allow the shaker to rest for about another sixty seconds.
* Into each glass drop two drops of vermouth (the fifth drop is just for good luck).
* Each glass gets a twist and an olive (the olive is optional--though we love em).
* Strain your very chilly gin into each glass.
* Chink and enjoy.

We use various glasses at our house, but this is my favorite. It's more stable, keeps the drink colder and you don't have any diluting after effects of water on a frozen glass.



Finally, regarding the picture that opens this blog. It's entitled Gin Lane and is by an artist named William Hogarth. It's commonly associated with the companion piece Beer Street and would make a great print for any bar. I had seen this print several times before and it came up when I went to Wikipedia on Gin. While this one of my favorites by this artist...it is not THE Favorite. That is reserved for his work called "Four Times of Day", most particularly "Night". Why is that my favorite, well BROTHER Hogarth depicts drunken Masons going home after lodge in London. I love the characters and I personally like the plate better than the painting. It creates a snapshot in history and is a great conversation piece amongst the brothers. What's everyone else's opinion?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Today's Public Service Announcement

You never know when you will need this helpful tip, but it might save you life.

To quote one of my favorite movies:

Learn it
Know it
Live it

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fun Quote

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.

Ernest Hemingway

The Showdown



Tonight we compare two seasonal beers, Samuel Adams Octoberfest and Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale.

Both beers caught my eye by having pumpkins on the Bottle, and it was Halloween when I bought them....so kudos to the marketing teams for both companies for hooking me away from that 12 pack of Stag that was calling my name.

The first beer I would rate is the Samual Adams Octoberfest Beer.

A product of Boston Brewery, the Sam Adams Website has this to say about the Brew:

The first thing you notice when pouring a glass of this seasonal beer is the color. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest has a rich, deep golden amber hue which itself is reflective of the season. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest is a malt lover's dream, masterfully blending together five roasts of barley to create a delicious harmony of sweet flavors including caramel and toffee. The beer is kept from being overly sweet by the elegant bitterness imparted by the German Noble hops. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest provides a wonderful transition from the lighter beers of summer to the winter's heartier brews.

Now I have tasted more than my fair share of Oktoberfest Beers in Germany, and let me tell you....this is not them. Instead, I found it as a more sophisticated version of a traditional Sam Adam Lager, with a sweet candy taste of Carmel. Before you say that is a cop-out, my tasting notes said Toffeefae (SP)in relations to the candy...and I don't read the companies site until after I drank a few...so I really is how I felt about it.

I found it to be a step up from Sam Adams, although the aftertaste after 4-5 started to get old and take away some from the experience.

Next up is Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, from Blue Moon.

Their website has little information other than:

Brewed early September through Late November.
Color - Copper Orange (no shit)
Made with the flavor of vine ripened pumpkins.
Full Bodied with a smooth finish
Goes great with turkey, sweet potatoes and beef.

Talk about lame.

Anyway, the beer itself tastes like a hefewiezen with a hint of spices. While ok to drink, I really felt there there was something to be desired when I finished. I couldn't discern between the "Pumpkin" and the other spices, so I think that calling this Harvest Moon PUMPKIN Ale is a bust.

I could see this being a favorite amongst the ladies, and perhaps a little orange zest on the head would bring all the flavors together....but I was tasting as is, out of the bottle.

So, in the head to head battle of Fall Beer...Sam Adams wins HANDS down.

As a side note, Samuel Adams is owned by Boston Brewery (did I say that already?) and is the largest American own brewery. So when in doubt, buy American.

Until next time.....

1 Million Bottles of Beer

Oh the Humanity :(




 
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